a great graduate gift suggestion

You know the story; someone you love is graduating and you want to give them a gift. But you don’t want it to be a gift that doesn’t really help get them on their feet with adulthood. You want your graduation gift to make a difference for the future.

An Entry Level Resume is a great gift because it is a service that results in a customized, professional resume that displays a graduating student’s coursework, internships, early experiences, and skill sets. It includes an initial consultation and unlimited email support, which really can help that first job search and the entry-level resume, a cover letter, and a thank you letter in both ASCII and PDF versions for electronic submissions.

That unlimited email support can come in handy for a newbie in the job market, and the benefit of a professional resume writer working with your graduate to clarify their skill sets and highlight what might be missed is worth more than you think.

Because a professional resume writer is tuned into what employers are looking for and does this all the time, a process that is painfully convoluted and prone to mistakes becomes a challenge skillfully met. They work with things like keywords and SEO and can write for the computer that screens the resumes as well as the human who reads the resumes that got through the initial filter.

If you don’t do that all the time, it’s tricky. Even an English major will have some trouble with writing a resume for today’s job search because it does take more than writing skills.

So consider this graduate gift suggestion: an Entry Level Resume from Professional Resume Services.

what if you overqualify for the job you want?

Sometimes, you find yourself in the unenviable category of “overqualified” candidates when applying for a job. If you are interested in a position that you overqualify for, take a proactive stance and answer some common interviewer’s questions before they are asked.

  • Answer “why are you applying for a job you overqualify for?” in your cover letter. Maybe you want to have a less demanding position because you have decided family time is more important than working 70 hours a week. Along with that, make sure you state that you highly appreciate being able to have a job that allows you to use your skills and work fewer hours. Another scenario is the person who has found they really enjoy the challenges of the lower level job and has decided they do not want to move up.
  • Answer “won’t you move on to another opening as soon as one shows up?” with a resume that has highlighted the skills and experience you bring to the job, how those skills meet the job requirements, and some questions of your own during the interview that show your interest will be ongoing.
  • Answer “how will you react to a younger supervisor and new technology?”  by relating instances in your career where you worked successfully with all ages, and the technology trends you have kept up with or are currently learning how to use.
  • Answer “what if we can’t pay you what you were making before?”  by being prepared to discuss salary and a firm grasp of what you will accept, even if it is less. You may very well be working for less than you made before, but if the job is one you enjoy, that is worth more than dollars.

The cover letter and resume for an “overqualified” job seeker need to be fine-tuned to answer some of the questions satisfactorily and get you the interview where you can discuss the rest. If you are not sure how to do this, perhaps our coaching services would be a good investment. A Certified Career Coach can work with you one-on-one to strategize your job search effectively, and transform being “overqualified” into an asset that gets you that interview.

three tips for using electronic job applications

It is very likely that your next job application will be done electronically. In some ways this makes the process easier, I think, since many find it laborious to fill out paper applications by hand. Still, there are some issues you can run into with an electronic application that could cause problems if you’re not paying attention.

  1. Read the instructions.  Don’t assume you know how this particular company’s software will work just because you have filed online in other places. There might be a nuance that makes a difference to the person (or computer) screening the applications. When hundreds of applications are being screened, little things can get you in the wrong category.
  2. Load your resume in the right format. There’s a reason why Professional Resume Services offers both ASCII and PDF versions of your resume in our professional resume packages. We don’t know what your (hopefully) future employer will want. Having both versions gives you the best chance of having the right one.
  3. Check all the information carefully! It happens all the time: the resume is attached and the little boxes of the electronic job application magically fill up. But those little boxes don’t have the information in the right place and, again, a little thing makes a big difference in getting your application passed through the initial filter. You need to look it over with the idea that you are proofreading, even though your resume was already proofread. Otherwise, you could end up verifying that your college degree was earned at your last job when you carelessly submit it. That scenario isn’t as farfetched as it sounds–so check to make sure the right information is in each box.

how to dress for that job interview

When you sit down for that job interview, the last thing you want to be worried about is what you are wearing. That choice should have been made a few days beforehand, if possible, to give you time to put together an “interview outfit” that gives confidence.

The idea that you must “dress for success” never goes out of style because people see your clothing as part of your initial impression. Here are a few tips to work on now, so you will be ready to go the morning of your all-important interview:

  • Plan one or two “interview outfits” and keep them ready to wear (c’mon ladies, we have at least that many outfits ready for a night out!)  That means they are clean, mended, and fit comfortably.
  • Get dressed in the entire outfit and have a friend take your picture from the back, side and front. Look at those photos and decide what needs to change. (You can’t change your body in two days, but you can pick a better shirt or shoes.)
  • Do your research and know what is appropriate for this interview. Go conservative if you have doubts.
  • Figure out the entire outfit, from shoes, socks and underwear to tie and jewelry. Have it all laid out the night before so you know it’s ready.
  • Have a backup in case you spill something on yourself. It’s been done!
  • Shine your shoes, give yourself a manicure (and pedicure if you’re wearing peep-toe shoes) and plan your grooming schedule. This is not the place for that just-stepped-out-of-the-shower-wet look.

When you have planned your outfit and know you look your best, you have confidence. Preparing ahead of time helps you focus on the interview instead of that button that popped off your shirt before you left home. Part of your job search includes dressing for success, so get ready to shine!

Interview Mistakes: References
A great resume and fantastic cover letter will get you an interview. What happens from there has a lot to do with you, and if you nail the interview, then you need to be sure that the final factor in the job search process – your references – are prepared to help you seal the deal.

It used to be standard to put “references on request” on your resume. This had essentially become the norm,  but because most employers aren’t really interested in your references until after they’ve met you, you no longer need that line on your resume. But…you do need to ensure your reference list is prepared and ready to hand over to a potential employer during the interview. .

Here is how hiring generally works: The company goes through and picks out a handful of candidates to interview. This is where your outstanding resume and cover letter are so important because it’s all they have to work with at this point. Once your resume is selected, you are scheduled for an interview. It’s after the initial interview that employers begin to check references. What happens here can be the difference between a second interview (or if you really blew them away, an offer) and being removed from consideration.

You not only want to have a list of references ready, but you want the right kind of people on that list. Exclude your mother, doctor, and 3rd grade teacher. What the employer wants are past professional contacts. People who know your work ethic and can speak professionally about your skills and expertise. If you are a recent graduate, you might need to look at the supervisor of your internship or volunteer work. In a pinch, if you have nothing else, check and see if a professor will consent to be a reference.

Always ask the person for permission before using them as a reference. You are not generally required to request the permission of your last boss or supervisor, but it’s a classy touch that can help when they get the call. If possible, let your references know the job you’ve interviewed for, the name of the personal who will be contacting them, and any other significant information. The more prepared your professional references are, the better they will be able to speak on your behalf.

 

5 Ways Lifestyle Can Ruin An Opportunity
Many people want to keep their “work lives” and their “personal lives” separate. However, with social media it has become more and more difficult to keep the two worlds from colliding. Today’s employers will look through social profiles in order to help them decide who would be a good candidate for a job position. The amount of information your publish on social media sites makes it easy for potential employers to have access to your personal life, which could turn out to be bad for you if they happen to spot some things that will turn them off, and ruin your opportunity to get the job.

  1. Vulgarity and Obscenity: People generally speak on the internet the way they speak in real life. Or at least that’s the way employers think. If you use vulgar language in your profiles, then employers will assume you lead a lifestyle where you speak publicly the same way, and they will not want to hire someone who they cannot trust to communicate in a professional manner.
  2. Negativity: Employers want to hire people who will keep a positive atmosphere in their company. If you are a negative person, don’t show it. Don’t post negative comments or qoutes on your online profiles, and when you are at work try, your hardest to be positive and upbeat. People have actually been terminated because of posting negative comments and/or making negative or derogatory remarks in the workplace.
  3. Gossip: If you gossip at work or gossip about co-workers or supervisors outside of the office, you can jeopardize your current job, your chance at a promotion, and your potential for new jobs. It may be hard, but try to avoid gossiping on the internet and everywhere else. Things you say on the internet travel fast and they stay there forever, even if you think you have gotten rid of them, once your post has been seen by someone else, the damage is already done.
  4. Overly Outspoken: If you have an extremely outspoken personality, it can cause problems. Now you don’t have to ignore your beliefs or not express them, but try to avoid “screaming” your beliefs over the internet or getting into arguments about them at work. While employers shouldn’t decide who to hire based on a candidate’s beliefs, they may have a negative feeling towards you if you are loud and obnoxious about those beliefs.
  5. Hygiene and Appearance: Once again, employers cannot keep a job from you simply for how you look, but it can affect how they think about you. If you look unprofessional or you don’t appear to be clean in pictures that you have posted online, potential employers will not want to hire you because you may show up to work looking unprofessional and unclean.

Be smart with your social networking and think twice before posting controversial or negative information on your personal sites-don’t hurt your chances of getting a great new job before the employer even has a chance to speak to you in person.

Aggressive or Assertive: Which Are You?
In order to have a successful job search you need to be outgoing, resilient, and be able to put yourself out there. You can’t afford to be passive. If you are passive, you may lose out on opportunities, or come off as incompetent in an interview. So the other choices are to be aggressive or assertive. There is a fine line between being aggressive and being assertive, so you need to be aware of the differences between the two and the differences in results from being assertive or aggressive.

  • Aggressive: People that are aggressive will push their ideas and thoughts onto others. They will not take no for an answer. They will use almost any means necessary to get what they want. They are pushy and can become obnoxious, annoying, and rude. If you are aggressive in a job search or an interview, potential employers will become upset with you and your attitude. They will not want to hire you because you are not the type of person they want to work with or be around. Avoid being aggressive; it can cause you problems.
  • Assertive: Many people have a hard time deciphering the difference between being aggressive and assertive. While aggressive people are pushy with their ideas, assertive people express their ideas without pushing their ideas on others. Be confident, but be willing to back down if you become pushy or obnoxious. This will show potential employers that you believe strongly in your ideas and yourself, but that you are also willing to listen to others. Being assertive is a trait you want to make sure you develop and show at interviews and in your job search.

Now that you know what being aggressive and what being assertive look like, you can avoid being aggressive and you can work towards being assertive in order to have a successful job search and an even more successful interview.

 

Don't Come Off As Entitled In Your Interview
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.

 

professional portfolio
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.

Don't Let Your Past Haunt You

Job interviews can be terrifying. It is one of the few times when you know without a doubt that you are being judged. Without judging you, how can potential employers know if you are a good fit or not? They can’t. They will go over everything in your resume and your work history with a fine tooth comb. They will call your references and they will make sure that you are worth their time and effort. Because of this, you need to be careful. You need to make sure that you don’t have anything in your past that could come back to haunt you and cause you to lose future job opportunities.

This means that no matter what stage of life you are in or where you are in your career you need to be thinking ahead. Think about what effect the things you are doing today might have on your future.

Here are some things that are obvious to avoid: bad talking your boss or superiors, being late, being unprofessional, etc. Those are things almost everyone knows to avoid, but there are some things people might not know, such as: talking about coworkers or superiors on Facebook or other social networking sites, posting vulgar or obscene things on your profile(s), or lying on your resume. All these things can be found out by future employers and harm your ability to keep your job and get a new job in the future.

If you simply think ahead before you do anything, then you should be able to avoid doing something that could harm you later in the road and you won’t have to live up to it in an interview. Remember, you are being judged. Don’t give your potential employers anything they can judge badly.

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5 Surefire Resume Tips To Dazzle The Employer & Get You To The Interview





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