RESUME & CAREER TIPS
To Jumpstart Your Job Search
Are your training, experience, resume and interview skills good enough
to reel in the job you seek? Within the first few seconds of an interview,
most Human Resource [HR] professionals know whether or not
they are interested in a job applicant.
Career changes are usually challenging. Even if you are fortunate enough to be
shifting jobs or even careers willingly, you will need to invest considerable time and energy. Launch the process by examining all aspects of the job you seek. Next, ask yourself, "Do my skills and experience match the standards of my industry? Determine how your profile compares to those of competitors...and to the
expectations of potential employers. Obviously you cannot ignore gaps you find in
your knowledge and experience, so consider individual study or even short-term institutional retraining to overcome your deficiencies.
Research likely employers. Examine leading firms in your industry as well as those
large enough to have a department that relies on your skill set. Also access your
social networking data bases, your address book, and email contact lists for anyone
who might be able to help you expand your list of possible employers. Remember
that you will need to alert contacts if you have not informed your employer of your desire for a career change. This begs another question--Are there opportunities you should consider within your current employer's organization?
Don't forget to research yourself. Run a Web search on yourself--including social media and your credit rating. Where possible, correct errors you find and change or eliminate social networking sites that contain inappropriate information or images
that a diligent Human Resources specialist might find. Be prepared to answer any
questions that might arise about your public persona that could be raised in an
As you review your research, determine whether your skills, personality and
work style are in harmony with the needs and goals of the employers you are considering approaching? And, since it can take a long time to find a job by
yourself, you may decide that it may be cost-effective to hire a headhunter.
PREPARING RESUMES AND OTHER ITEMS FOR SUBMISSION
Knowing you will have to satisfy the Human Resource [HR] specialists prior to getting
a job interview, ensure you follow all procedural requirements for submitting your resume, curriculum vitae [CV] and/or job applications.
Create a summary of skills, work history, education, training, awards,
volunteerism and other community involvement. Create a master list of life experience in reverse-chronology layout. This can be updated periodically to help generate personalized submission materials as distinctive job opportunities arise.
Prepare a one or two-page reverse chronology resume for each employer. Since a
cover letter or application form will allow you to state your goals, open your resume
with a list of the skills and unique knowledge you possess that parallel those required
for the position you seek. Use sentence fragments, but avoid abbreviations,
acronyms, and jargon unfamiliar to a generalist in the HR department.
Write clear cover letters when possible for both hardcopy and electronic resume submissions. Express knowledgeable interest in the employer. Conclude by saying
you will call to verify receipt of your materials and to learn if further information is required.
Prepare samples of your work. When being interviewed, be prepared to tangibly demonstrate your skills. Show the difference between you and the next applicant
with a presentation of your creative and technical abilities. Even "dummy" examples
will show your ability with letters, forms, reports and promo pieces.
Proofread and Review. Run software spell-check repeatedly; determine whether industry-specific jargon can be replaced with generic terms HR staff will understand easily. Have colleagues plus non-specialists review all your submission materials.
Quality control is most important in this phase of your job search! Print everything on quality printers or copiers, for hardcopy mailings or personal delivery. Off-white paper is acceptable if it has high reflectivity. Use plain linen paper without artwork (unless you have a personal logo) or screened backgrounds that
prevent ease in reading. For electronic delivery, a PDF file [Portable Document
Format] is usually acceptable, but many government agencies and large companies
insist job applications be executed through website forms, or require a plain text
layout in ASCII [American Standard Code for Information Interchange].
Despite an employer’s stated needs or evident corporate style, present yourself professionally. You can always remove a tie or jacket to demonstrate compatibility with a casual work environment, but you have only one chance to make
a first and best impression! If the firm is noted for staff dressing in aloha wear or
even T-shirts, you could put a jacket over a casual shirt or blouse that is artistic and might include their corporate colors. [See Wearing Your Brand and also
Bios To Empower You for further career-enhancing information.
Eat a nourishing, light meal before interviews and drink enough water to ensure alertness, without a need for awkward trips to a restroom. Have fresh breath and
Carry copies of the job listing, your cover letter and resume or CV, plus two
pens and a pencil, and examples of your creative and technical abilities. Be prepared to leave copies of sample materials, if you are not concerned about
Be focused, confident and respectful; follow directions. Use good posture and
shake hands firmly, but not hard. Smile and make easy eye contact. Listen.
Speak in a well-modulated voice; rephrase difficult questions. Show active
interest with opening remarks demonstrating research about the firm. Ask a few questions—NOT about salary or benefits. Interviewers will specify aspects of employment, like pay and benefits.
Demonstrating your interest in the firm is more than demonstrating good manners. Making significant contacts is useful; sending post-interview thank-
yous affirms your interest in a firm, helping in future hiring--or even referrals to
other firms. Even if you do not get the job you seek, each contact expands your knowledge of your industry and introduces potential colleagues. So go beyond
the polite handshake and take the time and effort to write a sincere thank you card. Finally, if you are young, or shifting fields, a sequencing of lesser jobs can help you reach your goal for the one that will compensate you fully for the varied skills and talents you possess.
Practice interviewing in front of a mirror or with a friend. For
more practice, apply for a job you don't want simply for the
experience of going through the process.
To enhance your own wordsmithing skills, visit Jeanne’s blog: Blog.ImaginingsWordpower.com
Copyright 2015 @ Imaginings. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2015 @ Imaginings. All rights reserved.