As odd as it may sound, many people keep the fact that they are searching for a new job a secret even when they are unemployed. This is a bad idea simply because you never know who is going to hear about a job opening that would be a perfect fit for you. Still, networking has changed drastically over the past few years. In fact, just 5 years ago this would be an entirely different set of hints. In any case, sending out resumes is just not enough.
Tell your friends and former colleagues that you are looking for a new job
You don’t have to go into detail about why. Just be sure that everyone you know is aware of it. Be sure to mention it on your social media sites as well. The world has gotten a great deal smaller in recent years due to the Internet, and letting your online contacts know that you are actively searching for a new job can literally open up an entire world of opportunities.
Attend workshops and meetings for your field
There are a wide variety of meetups, gatherings and seminars that will put you into direct contact with others in your field of expertise. Be sure to have a supply of updated business cards available. While this may seem like it’s just for fun, many employers attend these events looking for new candidates. Attendance at these events shows a prospective employer that you are ambitious and enthusiastic about your career.
Update your business cards
Instead of your entire physical address, something that is far less important now than in prior eras, use the space to provide links to your social media sites. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts make it possible for a prospective employer to learn more about you; LinkedIn has an online resume that makes it possible for even more prospective employers to see your skills. You will of course want to include your email address and cellphone number.
Networking is an important step in the job search process and it can be an enjoyable one. So load up a few resumes (depending on the type of gathering), build a stash of business cards, and head out.
When applying for a job, you are not going to be the only applicant. You will be competing for the job with dozens of other qualified candidates. With so many candidates, it is not unreasonable to fear your resume getting passed over or lost in the mix of things. In order to avoid that from happening you need to create a resume that will stand out from the crowd. While you want your resume to pop, you do not want it to be unprofessional. Here are some concepts to create an impressive resume that will stand out.
- Eye Catching: You want your resume to catch your potential employer’s eye immediately so they spend time looking at your resume intently rather than just passing over it briefly. While it would be easy to do this using a wacky font, that is a bad idea. Using a wacky font looks unprofessional and can be hard to read. It might not look the same on their computer either. They might see an entirely different font. Instead, use a sans serif font. Another idea is to add a touch of color. Color in small doses can look great. This will catch their eye without looking unprofessional.
- Professional: You do not want to give your potential employers a bad impression by having a resume that looks unprofessional. This means you need to keep it easily readable and organized. No wacky fonts, bright colors, or pictures (or words) that are large, obscene or vulgar. A small clip art that has to do with the job may be appropriate, but for the most part you should not put any pictures on your resume at all.
- Impressive: Now that you have caught their eye and shown them a professional resume, you need to impress them with what you put on your resume. Keep them interested and invested in you by putting your greatest accomplishments, achievements, and job titles on your resume. This is what will make them want to call you in for an interview.
It can be hard to get your resume noticed in a sea of resumes that all look very similar, but if you can find a way to make your resume stand out without compromising professionalism, then you will be one step ahead and closer to getting an interview and landing a job.
There are times when you will not use a traditional resume when applying for a job. You may need to use a functional resume, a professional or executive resume, or you may need to use a curriculum vitae.
A curriculum vitae is typically used when you:
- Are applying for an academic position or a research fellowship
- You have a lot of publishing credits to your name
- The company you are applying for asks for a more detailed history of your professional accomplishments
If you are in one of these positions, then you need to ensure that your CV is complete.
The main difference between a resume and a CV is the detail included in a CV. This means that a CV is going to be much longer.
A complete curriculum vitae should include all publications in which you’ve been published and all relevant training. You should also include a full work history even if it spans across twenty or thirty years. Obviously having all this information will make your CV particularly lengthy. If your CV is not three or more pages, it is likely that you do not have all the information you need to present.
Go through your entire career and education history to ensure you have all the information. Hopefully, you have kept complete records so that you know exactly what to put into your CV and the details about each project, publishing, and job.
When you have all the details put into your curriculum vitae it will be long, but don’t worry, a CV should be that long in order for it to be complete and professional.
There are many skills you can put on your resume, but there are two specific skills that are very important to employers and will help upgrade your resume:
- Customer Service
- Strong Work Ethic
These skills are important in almost any field of work, and here is why:
- Customer Service: Companies have customers. That is how they make money. They get paid by a customer, a client, another company, etc. to perform their purpose as a company, making customer satisfaction a very important facet of their business. If their customers are not happy, then the company will lose business and money. How do they keep those customers happy? By providing the customer with the product or service and providing it through employees that exhibit excellent customer service. If you have learned how to be an excellent executor of customer service, and you express this on your resume, you will be at the top of the list for jobs, because employers will know that you will help keep their customers happy and help them make money.
- Strong Work Ethic: Micro-managing is one of the most inefficient forms of management. It keeps supervisors from getting more things done and it keeps employees from feeling that they enjoy their work. If you have to be micro-managed in order to get your work done, you are wasting time and losing revenue for the company. However, if you are able to work well on your own without supervision and can produce good work independently, then you are working more efficiently and in turn, helping the company save and earn money.
If you have both of these skills, and show where you have used these skills throughout your career, you need to make sure that you feature them prominently in your resume. If you don’t have these skills, then learn them. Work on them and learn how to utilize customer service and a strong work ethic in any situation so that you can upgrade your resume and land a great job.
This is a question asked thousands of times every year across the country: “How do I put together a great resume when I’ve only just graduated from college?” The overly simple answer is that you do it the same way you would if you had been in the workforce for 25 years. It’s not that simple when you have little to no work experience, but it can be done in a slick and professional manner. When in doubt, hire an expert resume writer to help you. It will be money well spent in the long run.
Hopefully, you obtained some work, volunteer or internship experience while in college. It’s important to remember that experience doesn’t have to have been paid to count. Many new graduates incorrectly assume that if they were not paid during the internship or for volunteer service that it doesn’t count. The reality is that everything counts. An internship, especially one in your field, is every bit as valuable to a potential employer. Volunteer work as well.
The most important thing to remember is that a potential employer is looking for someone who is a team player, will be great to work with and has the skills to do the job. They do not care how you got those skills. Employers also want to hire people who have been in real work environments before.
Following a few common sense tips and ideas will make it possible for you to create a great resume and land a job that is right for you.
For some strange reason there is a great deal written about how to craft the perfect resume, but much less attention is focused on the cover letter. The fact is that quite often it is the cover letter that the convinces the reader to even bother looking at your resume. It can certainly be the difference between a cursory glance and someone actually reading it and considering you for an interview.
The worst part is that people quite often make the biggest mistake in cover letter writing almost immediately. They make this mistake by addressing the letter to a “hiring manager”, or worse, “to whom it may concern.” Trust me, if you start your letter like this, it doesn’t concern them. No one likes to be thought of as a non-entity, and that is what you are doing when you address the letter to whomever happens to open the envelope.
Take the time and effort to find out the name of the person that is doing the actual hiring. Call the company and ask the secretary if you need to do so. Then address the letter to that person directly.
The body of the cover letter follows, and generally there need to be three short paragraphs. In the first one, briefly discuss why you are writing, what job you are applying for and mention where you learned about the job. If you have a mutual contact person, mention it here.
Move on to the second paragraph and briefly mention your skills, what you offer the company. Discuss how the skills listed in your resume translate into the job you are seeking. In the third paragraph, thank them for their consideration and let the person know how you will follow up within the next week. Be sure to actually follow up.
If the cover letter is mailed, then it needs a handwritten signature. If it is emailed, then a typed signature is fine. Be polite, be concise and be brief.
Changing jobs and career paths is not unheard of. In fact, it is quite common. Many people realize after they have spent time in a career that they want something new. In some cases this is returning to a previous career path. The reasons for this choice are many and varied for each person. The reasons don’t matter. Whatever reason you have for returning to a previous career path, I am going to try and help you figure out how to get back to that path, without too much grief.
- Look at your old job: If you enjoyed your old job, they enjoyed you as an employee and if you left the company with no bad feelings between you and your boss then you may be one of the lucky ones. You may be able to go back to your old boss and see if they are hiring. If they are, then you are one step ahead.
- Look at new jobs in your desired field: If you are not one of the lucky ones from step 1, then you need to start searching for new jobs in your desired field. Use job search sites with filters and look for papers or websites that are tailored to your field so that you can find a job that matches your needs and wants quickly.
- Update your resume: Make sure that your resume is up to date with your new work experiences, achievements, and accomplishments. Make sure that they can see you have experience in this field of work so they are more likely to hire you.
- Prepare for your interview: When preparing for your interview make sure that you always remember to emphasize your experience in your field. If you can show that you have experience and have accomplished things in that field, then you will be one step above your competition.
- Be prepared to start back at the bottom: While you do have experience, you will most likely be starting at the bottom just like any other applicant. This means that you need to prepare yourself for that. If you want a higher position immediately, you will have an easier time getting it at your current job and you should avoid switching career paths.
Hopefully this will help you get back on the path you want to be on and will help you be happier and more successful in your career.
One of the most difficult positions people can find themselves in is to be unemployed towards the end of their career. Many people think that the best option is to take early retirement if possible. This is not only untrue, but it can also be devastating to your financial goals. Older workers, those over 45, have a great deal to offer and most corporations recognize this. They actively recruit end-of-career hires because of the dedication and stability that they bring to a team.
It has long been assumed that the most desirable age for a new worker is between 23 and 25. This is no longer the case in most fields! Longevity is now being seen as a positive. Consider that on the resume of someone who has been in the workforce for 20 years a hiring manager has a tremendous amount of information about the person before ever meeting him. The manager can see how stable his employment has been, what types of projects he or she been working on and for how long; having decades of experience is always a positive trait.
If you are an over 45 worker that suddenly finds yourself looking for a new position, play up your longevity. Make sure you are familiar with all the latest trends. This is where networking is great because it will help you be sure you haven’t missed anything important. Then play up your contacts, your education and your projects. Use your wisdom and skill to your advantage and in no time you will be employed again, and perhaps in an even better position than you thought possible.
If someone were to put together a list of the most hated interview questions, there is little doubt that one of the top ten would be “Why are you applying for this position?” The short and glib answer would be simply that I want the money. That is also the answer that no one should ever give. If you have done even a brief amount of homework on the company before you sent your resume, then you should know enough to answer this question.
If you have been out of work for any length of time, a somewhat honest answer is a good idea. Tell the interviewer that you have been waiting for a position such as this to open up. Go into detail of what you offer the company at this specific time and for this specific job. Interviewing is about generalities on their end and specifics on yours. You need for them to see you as someone ready to get started the moment you are hired.
If you are currently employed, you are in a better position. Tell the interviewer that you have been waiting for this position to open and then tell them why. Again, go into detail about what you offer.
One thing to be cautious of is if the interviewer words the question in a way to elicit information about your current or previous employer. This is about integrity, and it is common for the interviewer to see if you are the sort of person that is going to bad mouth your employer. That is never a good idea. Make it clear that you aren’t unhappy with your current job but that you would enjoy the one you are applying for even more. You want to leave the interviewer with a positive image of you.