The news is still full of stories about the large numbers of unemployed people in this country. However, the untold story is about people who face chronic underemployment. Not only are their skills sets not utilized fully, their salaries and salary growth suffers as well. Once a person finds herself taking a salary offer that is half of what she used to make, it is then a struggle to regain ground and raise the salary back to where it used to be.
Employers do recognize that the salary growth gets reset every time you accept a position at a lower rate than you normally would because you need a job. However, reputable salary calculators are your best defense against getting low-balled or offered a miniscule salary. Gather your information. Search several different salary calculators for your position in your geographic location. Take careful notes, or even better, print out the salary graphs you find for your particular job of interest. Make sure that the figures you will take into salary negotiations with a potential employer match your education and work experience on your resume.
You may find that the employer will not raise the salary offer even after you have tried to negotiate it. You may also find yourself in a perpetually temporary position, one with low wages and no benefits. If you have to take the temp position, go ahead and do it. However, you will need to set yourself a goal for leaving this position to find something else that pays better, is full time, and is more of what you want.
If you are looking for an easy way out of creating a resume you are out of luck. You will need a resume for practically everything, including a promotion within your own company.
While it will be different for every company, most will require a resume of some sort. Even for entry-level positions. This means that you need to have a resume no matter what. Not only will it save you heartache during your job search, but it will be impressive to employers who have not required a resume. By having a resume, you make it easier for potential employers and it also makes your job of “selling” yourself to the company easier. It is just a good idea to have a resume no matter what.
However, there are definitely some cases where you won’t need a resume. If in the job posting it specifically says “no resume needed,” then you are in luck. Another case may be if a company has an application that they want all applicants to use instead of a resume for organization and record keeping, then you have again lucked out, but for the most part, this will not be the case. The vast majority of the time, employers want a resume from you so you better be prepared to give them what they want or they won’t give you what you want — the job.
A resume is not difficult to put together if you take the time to do it. And if you really feel you can’t write an impressive resume, hire a resume service to help you out. There is no harm in having a resume, and who knows? The resume may just get you that job.
It used to be that the only ways to find a job were to look in the newspaper or watch for “Now Hiring” or “Help Wanted” signs (remember those days?). Not only was this inefficient, it was disappointing because there never seemed to be enough jobs or the right kind of job. Luckily, we now have a very useful tool for job searches–the Internet.
The Internet is a very valuable thing in this day and sometimes we do not take advantage of all its perks. There are hundreds of job search sites that not only list jobs that are available, but allow you to post your resume to the site so that employers can see your resume and offer you a job before you have even talked to them. Many of these sites also have very good search filters that allow you to customize your job search from the job area to the hours to the place where the company is. This makes sorting through jobs much easier so you can find the job that is right for you in less time and start working sooner. These sites are built to make your life easier when searching for a job. Take advantage of them and try out a lot of them. Some of them may work better for you than others, but you will never know until you try them out.
LinkedIn is another great internet ‘job hunting’ site. It’s a great place to expand your network by making new contacts, researching companies or roles you may be interested in, joining relevant groups where you can ‘mingle’ with people who are interested in what you do, or do what you do and may be able to help you get an ‘in’ to the company you want, and so on. There are many ways you can use this service and I would use it every day if job searching (yes, it’s that good!).
Do not take the Internet for granted when searching for a job. While it doesn’t replace actual networking, it can save you time and disappointment and ultimately get you working much sooner.
In this day social media and social networking is everything and if you are not a part of it you are missing out on a great deal.
Companies that utilize social media sites are on the top of their game and they want to know that their employees are not only comfortable using these sites, but are skilled at using them. Take advantage of this.
When you apply for a job offer your future employer the chance to look at one or more of your personal pages on various social media sites. Be warned: if you do decide to do this, make sure that your page or profile is professional and enjoyable. Do not post crass, vulgar, or potentially embarrassing thing that could jeopardize your chance at a job. This is also something to be careful of once you have a job. Be careful to avoid talking about employers or coworkers in a negative, mean, or condescending way. This will keep you from getting into any unnecessary company drama.
If the company you apply for (or currently work for) has not gotten on board the social media promotion train, then offer to help get them started. If you are skilled and effective when using social media sites, then offer to start a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, or blog for the company. Not only will you be showing initiative, but you will also be in charge of helping the company’s marketing in a big way. This will be very impressive to employers.
Social media is an extremely useful tool and you (as well as the company you work for) need to take advantage of it in order to get ahead.
Writing a resume can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to let it get to you. There are many different types of resumes and many ways to write them, but here are some tips that will help get you started so you can have an amazing resume with less stress and frustration.
- Focus on your strengths: People are not perfect. They have flaws, but potential employers know that. They are not looking for your flaws. They are looking for your strengths and the skills that make you stand out. Don’t make things harder on yourself. Take the things you are the best at and put a lot of focus on those things when writing your resume.
- Emphasize your achievements: Potential employers not only want to know that you are skilled in an area, but they want to know that you have put that skill to use and it was a positive outcome. They are hiring someone that will help their company succeed, and you need to show them that you have succeeded in the past and have the skills to succeed in the future.
- Keep it honest: It seems like a simple enough tip, but it is true. Too often people try to fluff their resumes with skills and experience that are not completely true. This may get you the job if your fake resume is impressive enough, but your employers will find out that you lied eventually and that will cause more problems than your fake resume can help you with. Keep your resume honest and it will pay off in the long run.
Keep these tips in mind as you write your resume and it will be smooth sailing.
When searching through candidates, executive recruiters typically ask three main questions about each candidate:
- Can you do the job? This is all about your strengths, skills and experience
- Will you love the job? This is all about your motivation and work ethic.
- Can we tolerate working with you? This is all about how you will fit with the employees and employers already at the company.
You need to keep these in mind as you are working with the recruiter. Everything you think, do, and say when with the recruiter should be an attempt to answer those questions. You should mention your strengths and skills often, but not to the point that it becomes annoying or obnoxious. You should express how love and enjoyment of the field of work you are applying for and you should be fun, charismatic, and easy to be around.
Expressing your skills and your love of the field is an easy enough thing to do, but it will not get you the job. No matter how qualified you are the recruiter will not want to bring you to the employers as an option if you are someone they find difficult to work with. This is why the third question is the one you need to focus on when preparing to meet a recruiter.
Make sure to smile and try not be too uptight. I know that you are going to be nervous, but don’t let the recruiter know that. Let them think you are professional, but also laid back and easy to be around. Confident, even if you have to fake it. Show them that you can get the job done, but you can also be the kind of person they want to have lunch with because they enjoy your company. If you can do that, then you will impress the recruiter and will have a step above the other candidates, which will hopefully lead to you getting the job.
Nowadays, the most successful marketing campaigns are those that extend beyond traditional forms of marketing (print, radio, even TV) and into internet and online marketing and branding. The same is true about personal branding. In order to have the most successful marketing of yourself, you need to focus a lot on branding yourself online. And you need to make sure that your “campaign” is up and running long before you are ever contacted for a job.
Having an established online profile of yourself before you need it will not only ease the stress of creating a phenomenal online branding for yourself, but will also show potential employers that you are at the top of your game and a step above other potential candidates. If the idea of branding yourself online is stressful or overwhelming, then just start small. Start with a LinkedIn profile. This will give you the perfect start to branding yourself online. It is simple and professional and is the networking that most businesses use.
On your profile, make sure to include these things in order to ensure the most effective branding:
- Show your expertise as much as possible
- Publicize your successes and achievements
- Make sure you are easy for potential employers to contact (phone number, email, other forms of communication)
These things are easy to do and they will make your profile, and thus yourself, look impressive and professional. Of course none of this will do you any good if it is not established on your personal branding sites before you look for a job or are contacted about a job. It is easy enough to do so why not jump the gun and be one step ahead of your competition?
When you are out searching for a job it is very likely that you will never even see your potential employers, let alone meet them, until you get an interview. You will be giving your professional resume and applications to receptionists and other employees.
While you want to provide an image of who you are, you do not want to look unprofessional. You may feel like a fun and whimsical font is a better representation of your personality. That’s fine for informal or recreational documents, but not for your professional resume. Your font should serve two purposes: it should make your resume look professional and it should be easy to read. Using a font that does this will bring your resume–and your image–up a notch.
You may also want to avoid clip art or picture images in your resume. I once received a resume to critique that had dollar signs ($) where all the ‘S’s were and little clip art images of dollar bills throughout the document. While I got the meaning (the client was in finance), it was very distracting and, okay, very tacky-looking. Keep it clean, crisp and concise.
Try not to write a resume novel. Your potential employers are reading through stacks of resumes and they want to be able to look and see immediately what makes one candidate better than another. Keeping it to a couple of pages will help keep the hiring manager from either rolling their eyes at your resume, or falling asleep.
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you understand why your professional resume is so important to creating your image and they will give you an idea of how to go about creating a professional resume that provides an image that employers want to have working for them.