There are many things to consider when deciding what career path to take and one of the most important is your family. Whether you have a family or are planning to start one in the future, it is important to consider when choosing a career. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to help you decide what path to take.
- How big do I want my family to be? Depending on how big you want your family to be will help decide where you want to work. You will need a salary that will be able to support your family.
- What kind of lifestyle do you and your family want to live? Whether you want to live simply or decadently is another factor to consider. If you want to live in luxury, then you need to find a career that has an appropriate salary and even the option for career and salary advancement.
- How much time do you want to spend with your family? Your work will take some time away from your family. You need to decide how much time away you want. If you want to spend a lot of time with your family, then you need to choose a career and a company that will allow you to spend as much time with your family as possible. Full time, part time?
- Perks? You may be able to negotiate your benefits or perks, i.e. having a bigger vacation package and little to no health insurance. If you don’t need to carry insurance, you may be able to negotiate more vacation days or even flex time with the amount of money you will be saving the company on health insurance.
Considering all these questions will help you make the best decision on what career path to take. While these questions can help you, you should not make this decision on your own. Talk to your family and get their input. They can be your most valuable resource in making this decision.
Getting a job is hard. It is even harder when you have just graduated and have little or no work experience. In this case your education and your skills will say more to your potential employers than your small amount of work experience.
The skills you gain at a job are very useful in other jobs and therefore are good to put on your resume, but what about the skills you have gained while at school? Well, there are many that are just as useful in the work field and you should let your potential employers know that you have those skills. Here are some examples of skills that will help improve your resume:
- Computer Skills: Knowing how to use a computer is pretty much a necessity nowadays. Luckily, you can learn those computer skills at most schools and therefore you can put those skills on your resume. It will make your employer’s life easier if they don’t have to teach you the basics of computers when they hire you.
- Teamwork and Leadership Skills: Whether you were on a sports team, student council, choir, band, or involved in theater, you probably gained some very good skills in working with other people and being a leader. This is important because you will be working with all sorts of new people and eventually leading people and the fact that you know how to work with and lead people is important to your potential employers.
- Various Field Specific Skills: Depending on what you are applying for you may have some skills that are more specific to that job. That will be up to you to decide which skills are applicable and helpful in landing the job.
Now you have an idea of what skills you have and which ones you can bring to the table even with little or no work experience.
Job interviews are a tricky thing to master, if you don’t know what you are doing. You want to show off your skills and accomplishments as well as showing your personality, however, that can work against you if you don’t go about it the right way. You need to make sure that you don’t come off as entitled. Even if you feel that way. If you put off the attitude that you expect the job to be handed to you, you are not going to get the job and you will make a fool out of yourself. So how do you do it? How do you show off your accomplishments and skills without coming off that you feel entitled to the job? That is what I hope to help you with.
- Be polite: The best thing you can do is use proper manners. Don’t interrupt and be polite and respectful. This will go a long way in your interview.
- Make it about the employer: Don’t praise yourself. Instead praise the company and your potential employer and emphasize (don’t praise) your skills that could help you work well in the company.
- Look like you care: It is simple enough, but people often forget this. You need to look like you care about the company, the job, and most importantly, the interviewer and their time. Dress professionally, sit up straight, and give eye contact. This will all show that you care more about them than yourself. Which is always a desirable trait employers will look for.
If you follow these simple guidelines you will avoid coming off as entitled. Have the right attitude and you will succeed in your interview.
Searching for a job is a big task and it can be disappointing when you don’t find the job that you are searching for. Now, this could be because you are not the right fit, or it just does not feel like a good job for you. However, it could also be because you are not being honest or realistic with yourself and your job search expectations. So why is it so important to be honest with yourself in a job search? And how are you supposed to be realistic?
It is important to be honest with yourself because if you are honest with yourself, then you will remain more focused in your job search and you will be more likely to find the job that you want. So now that you know why it is important, let me show you how you can be realistic and honest.
- Ask yourself tough questions: You need to really analyze your skills, experiences, and accomplishments. You need to ask yourself what you can do and what you can’t do. If you don’t do this, then you will apply for jobs that you are not a good fit for. Ask yourself the tough questions so you know what you can do.
- Focus your search: Focus your search based on what you have determined you can do well. No matter how enjoyable you think the job could be, if it doesn’t fit with your skills, then you should not apply for the job.
If you do this, than you will have a better time finding jobs that fit you so you can hopefully land the job and end your job search with a positive outcome.
Your professional portfolio is a collection of physical evidence that documents, describes, and emphasizes your professional accomplishments. A professional portfolio can be very useful in encouraging potential employers to offer you that coveted job. Many job seekers know they need these documents during their job search, but aren’t always sure of what needs to be included and how they should be presented. Here are some simple answers to help get you get started.
Why use a professional portfolio?
- Effectively express your professional and career goals
- Articulate the work you have been doing to achieve your goals
- Record accomplishments
What goes into a professional portfolio?
- Introduction: Statement of your professional goals and your professional philosophy.
- Career History: Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
- Narrative description of experiences you want to highlight such as: Academic Work, Research, Teaching, Leadership, Service, Publications, Conference Participation, Lectures/Speaking Engagments, Performance Reviews, Recognition, and Awards.
- Appendices: Annotated materials and examples to illustrate or elaborate on the previous portions of your portfolio.
- Professional References: Not all employers ask for these during an interview, but if they do, show them you’re prepared by having your list ready.
How to get started with your professional portfolio?
- Develop the practice of collecting materials that represent your skills, achievements and accomplishments.
- Study job postings and learn what potential employers value when they are hiring.
- Determine what materials and examples provide the best representation of your goals and philosophy.
- Select an organizing principle that best reflects your work: chronological, functional, thematic.
A portfolio will help you stand out amongst the scores of job applicants. It will look very different from all the other candidates because your experiences will be unique. This makes it easy for you to stand out and impress those potential employers.
Everyone has different needs when writing a resume due to their education, skills, and work experience. That means not everyone will have the exact same resume format. You need to find a format that will work to make you look the best to your potential employers. If you have no clue what format to pick, don’t worry. That is what this post is for. To help you pick the resume format that will be the best for you.
- For (almost) anyone: For the most part, anyone can use a chronological resume format. This is the traditional format that will list your most recent employment first and go in reverse chronological order to your very first job (if you have the space to go back that far). This is fairly simple and most anyone can make it work.
- For someone with no work experience or a large gap in their work history: A functional resume format is a good idea for people like this. It focuses on your skills rather than your work experience. If you go this route make sure to put detail into your description of your skills.
- For someone with some but not a lot of work experience: A combination format would be best in this case. You would list some of your skills (like in a functional resume) first then follow with your work history (like a chronological resume). This will show employers you have the skills they want while also providing them the work history they are used to and, probably, prefer.
- For someone applying to only one job: In this instance you would want to have a targeted resume. A targeted resume is tailored to fit with the company and job position you are applying for. Your objective will be specific to the company. The work experience you choose to put down will be similar to the job you are applying for.
Hopefully, you will be able to find that one of these formats works for you and makes you look the best on paper so you can get an interview and maybe even get the job.
A resume is used to show off your best qualities to an employer. It shows your skills, work experience, and accomplishments. With all that information, how do you emphasize your best features? You can tailor your resume and pick only your most impressive entries, but you can also use keywords that will help you stand out and impress your potential employers.
Keywords will do a few things: they will keep your resume focused, they will make certain traits stand out to employers, and they will make your resume different than your competition, making you stand out even more.
- Keeping your resume focused: Keywords will keep your resume focused because everything you list or say will go back to reinforce those keywords. This will make your resume coherent, consistent, and focused.
- Make certain traits stand out: Instead of your potential employers looking at many traits that are desirable, using keywords, especially those found in the job posting, will make specific traits stand out so that they know exactly what they can expect from you as far as skills and expertise go.
- Make you stand out among the competition: Not many people know to utilize keywords in their resume, so if you do, then your resume not only stand out, it will be picked up by scanning machines used by recruiters and employers to week out non-candidates.
So now that you know how keywords can improve your resume, you need to know how to utilize them.
- Pick out about three keywords you would like to use. A few good ones could be, Customer Service & Relations, Operations, Information Technology, Sales & Marketing, Staff Leadership, Finance, tc. The keywords can be anything that make you stand out and emphasize the things you are best at, but they should also relate directly to the skills/qualifications outlined in the job posting.
- Insert the keywords wherever appropriate into your resume. Keywords can be incorporated into your career summary, your skills (keyword) list, your professional experience, and accomplishments. Make sure that potential employers see these keywords and have a clear understanding of your areas of expertise.
Using the appropriate keywords throughout your resume will help to ensure that YOU will be the candidate called for the inteview.
While the job interview can be scary, it doesn’t have to be hard to make a good impression. In fact, if you follow these 8 simple tips you will be able to make it through the interview without freaking out, impress the employer, and be able to move forward with your job search process.
- Eye Contact: This is one of the most important things you can do in an interview. Making eye contact with your interviewer shows that you are confident in your expertise and interested in what your interviewer is saying. However, be careful that you are not staring your interviewer down. Be confident, not creepy.
- Smile: This will also show confidence as well as put your interviewer at ease. A smile makes people feel like you are an enjoyable person and they will mirror the smile back. When you see your interviewer smiling, it will help you feel at ease and the cycle will continue throughout the interview.
- Speak Clearly and With Purpose: If you need to, take a small moment and think about what you want to say (not too long or it will become awkward) in order to avoid using fillers such as “mm” “um” or “hmm.” This will make your answers precise, purposeful, and clear.
- Be On Time: There is nothing that will put your interviewer off more than tardiness. Their time is valuable and if you are wasting it, even for a moment, you are giving the impression that you don’t care about them or their time. Be early if you can, but do not be late.
- Be Honest: Lying is not appropriate or acceptable in the real world, so why would it be okay in a job interview? It isn’t. Be honest and it will make your life and your interview easier, as well as will prevent a termination down the road, if your lie is discovered.
- Dress Professionally: It is an easy thing to overlook, but if you go into the interview looking dingy or unkempt, then you will put off an image that you don’t care about yourself or the interviewers. Dress like you care about yourself, the job, and the interviewer, and you will be on the right path to getting the job.
- Don’t Interrupt: It seems simple enough, but it is important to remember. While you want to make sure that you express who you are and why you would be good for the job, you do not ever want to interrupt the interviewer. No matter how good you think your comment is, it is not good enough to interrupt your interviewer.
- Be Friendly: Don’t be sarcastic or rude. Even if you are having a bad day or you just want to be done with the interview, make it seem like there is nowhere else you would rather be.
Follow these tips and you will be in good standing for your interview and you will be on your way to getting the job.
It is inevitable that your experience, skills, and achievements will change and increase. That is just a part of working and progressing in your career. With career progression comes the need to update your resume to reflect your career highlights and history. Since most people don’t really think about updating their resume until they are looking for a new job, job seekers today need to make sure that resume updates are made only after careful thought and time have been put forth. Quick updates could mean making critical errors, and we all know that errors on a resume don’t lead to an interview-errors lead to the trash pile. Here is some food for thought to ponder before you start making revisions to your resume:
- If you are rushing to put something onto your resume last minute, chances are it will not look as good as the rest of your resume. You will not take the time necessary to edit and make sure that the piece of information you have just put in matches the flow of the rest of your resume. If one part of your resume looks different from the rest of the document, employers may take this as a sign that you do not give attention to detail, or that you are disorganized.
- If you put something on last minute, more likely than not you will forget what it is that you have just put on. This means that in an interview, if you are asked about the addition, you may need to scramble to figure out what exactly it is and why you put it on your resume in the first place. That scrambling looks, to your interviewer, like you don’t know what they are talking about (which could make it seem like you never did it in the first place), and it will make you look inadequate and incompetent. Not a good first impression!
- Quick fixes lead to quick errors. Job seekers are more likely to have spelling, spacing and grammar errors when making quick edits. Read your changes over several times and ensure you don’t have typos. Better yet-try a second set of eyes. Ask a friend or colleague to review your changes just to be sure you didn’t miss anything. If you have errors on your resume, the employer will expect that you will make errors in your daily work, and may not see you as a strong candidate for the position, regardless of your skills and expertise.
All in all, it is just better to add additions right when they happen. Make your resume a living document. Receive an award? Add it to your resume. Complete a professional development class? Add it to your resume. Keeping your revisions current will give you time to know exactly what is on your resume and why you included certain information. Doing so will save you from bumbling and looking unprofessional in an interview, as well as will make your resume look more impressive overall.
Searching for a job takes time and energy and leads to a lot of disappointment. It is even worse when you can’t find jobs that are close to home. So what do you do? How do you continue with your search and find a job that will work? The following are some guidelines to help you move forward with your search and figure out what to do next.
- Decide how far you are willing to commute
- Look for jobs that fit into your desired commuting distance
- If there are not jobs that fit your commuting distance, look for jobs that offer telecommuting positions. This can be a very good option for people with families, students, or if you are looking for a second job.
- If there are no telecommuting positions or you do not feel that telecommuting is not the right option for you then you have a big decision to make. Should you move to find a job?
Now, you don’t need to jump up and move right away. You can start looking for jobs near an area you would be willing to move to. If you can find a job that fits what you want and is in a place you would be willing to move to, then you should go ahead and apply for the job. Since you are moving for the purpose of getting a job, you should really wait to move until you have a job secured. Who knows, your employer may even help pay for your moving costs. It is hard to not have a job close to home, but there are still options for you and even though it may be scary, moving for a job is something that many people have and will continue to do, so you don’t have to feel alone.