What you were taught in school no longer applies to the job searching skills needed in today’s market. The rules have changed…from the resume through the interview. Don’t be caught with an “objective statement” on your resume, or asking the interviewer questions you should have researched on the web on your own.
Here are some hot tips for being a savvy career planner:
1) Identify your top competencies, strengths, demonstration situations and high point stories – Different behaviors for different jobs are needed. Today there are sophisticated career planning assessments on the market to help you identify your ideal work environment. It is important for you to become very familiar with your strongest skills. Then, whether it is a resume, a job application, or a job interview, you’ll be able to articulate them succinctly and professionally.
2) Identify your competitive advantage – the single most important job search skill is your ability to communicate what you can do for a company! When the hiring manager believes that you can help solve the type of problems they face, you dramatically increase your chances of being offered the job. The fact is, companies will hire someone when they believe that the person will bring more value than they cost.
3) Selling yourself using high point stories and demonstrating your skills through examples – Your accomplishments or achievements can be identified in your demonstration situations. Using accomplishments in your letters, resumes and interviews gives a convincing picture of you in action. Employers today want do-ers. Your high point story should illustrate a contribution that you made to something that had a positive outcome.
Effective Resume Writing
Creating an effective resume is a crucial step in the career planning process. Most job seekers rush into creating a resume before they fully understand their product (themselves). A resume advertises you – it sells ability, experience, potential benefits and value. It stimulates the interest of prospective employers to find out more about you and invite you to an interview. A common myth is that a good resume will get you a job. The reality is, however, that a resume will at best interest the reader enough to want to meet you. Here are some helpful tips on writing an effective resume:
• Keep your resume brief – especially in describing responsibilities. Describe the key outcomes or accountabilities of the position, not the tasks! (This is what a guerrilla resume is designed to do.)
• Eliminate any information which is extraneous or that could create a negative effect; for example, marital status, religious or political affiliations, sports or hobbies, salary and references.
• Make sure it is formatted neatly with the latest software to help you. Be sure it has plenty of white space and use the grammar and spell checker. Final copies should be printed on at least (20) pound bond paper in ivory or white – if you use a Guerrilla Resume it should be in full color too.
• Check to make sure you use a consistent format throughout your resume. If you used bold headings, make sure all headings are bold. Also make sure your verb tense is correct.
• Have your resume reviewed before finalizing it. Typos and spelling errors are almost guaranteed to eliminate you from being considered.
• Do not underestimate the importance of using a cover letter in your job search! Cover letters reflect the time, care and preparation you have given to your search. They also demonstrate enthusiasm and confidence which can help you begin to develop a rapport with the reader.
The interview is a bus9ness meeting, an exchange of information between the candidate and the company for the purpose of determining if there is a fit for the open position. You have certain qualifications to offer and they have certain needs to fill. Your qualifications have already separated you from the pack and brought you to the final selection process. The following tips will provide you with some techniques and information to help you fine-tune your presentation:
• Dress conservatively. Men: wear a suit and tie, dark colors. Women: wear a suit or a dress with a jacket, conservative colors, simple jewelry, little makeup and perfume. Neatness is critical!
• Arrive about 5-10 minutes early. Be nice to everyone you meet at the company.
• Sit up straight, leaning forward slightly; this helps to convey an attitude of high interest and energy.
• Be positive, friendly, enthusiastic and sincere. Practice will help you to relax and be yourself. Be positive about previous employers and managers.
• Maintain good eye contact.
• Rest hands comfortably in your lap; gesture appropriately as you speak.
• Speak at adequate levels and avoid monotone patterns; don’t drift off at the end of sentences. Speak with assurance.
• Be an attentive listener; ask questions and clarify meanings; answer concisely and clearly, do not ramble.
• Anticipate general questions and those related to your experience. Prepare answers ahead of time. Picture yourself answering these questions confidently.
• Anticipate behavioral interviewing questions that demonstrate you have the behaviors, competencies, and attitude to do the job.
Once you have won the job you want, it is important to maintain your competitive advantage. The world of employment is dynamic. You need to become just as competitive and strategic about your career as employers are. More significantly, employees need to take responsibility for their own careers. If you want to continually compete and win in today’s job market, you must maintain a competitive edge in your job performance in order to do so. Just as everyone has strengths, everyone has weaknesses or hindrances to performance that they must manage and overcome in order to grow professionally.
The best of luck on your search!
Increasing competition in the job market has provided a job seeker the status of a commodity that needs to be marketed properly. Resumes are to be structured to woo the market by working on the presentational skills. There are free sample resumes that guide in this process of presentation and can be obtained from the Internet. The placement cells of different universities also provide free sample resumes. Some consultation agencies provide assistance in resume making and charge a fee. However, the Internet is the most reliable source of finding free resumes.
There are many sites on the Internet that offer free sample resumes. They have resume templates for a wide variety of professions. Users can download these templates from the net and can further customize the resume according to their requirements. A resume should be timely modified with additional experiences. Apart from the resume templates, these sites also provide free sample covering letters, which are used to send resumes by post.
The Web sites also provide specific industrial resumes. The requirements of an airline industry differ from those of teaching. They provide different ways of presenting information as per the industry. Hence, industry specific resumes are a must. Apart from this, free sample resumes also guide experienced people by helping them present their credentials in a better manner. Sample resumes cater to almost every possible industry, ranging from manufacturing and commerce to technology and teaching.
Some Web sites provide interdisciplinary resumes, but these are not free of cost. The user has to pay a fixed amount to get the resume made as per his or her requirements. This is known as a customized resume.
Free sample resumes provide guidance in preparing a new resume, though every feature in them may not be always be necessary. Thus one should not entirely depend on these resumes and should pick only the essential components when compiling their own document.
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Here's a great way to network better, uncover more job leads — and get hired.
Because it's a true guerrilla job search tip, you won't find it in any traditional job search book.
Instead, you'll find it in The Little Black Book of Connections, by Jeffrey Gitomer. He's a favorite of both David and myself.
Gitomer says that the key to making good networking connections is to start with your own. "Your lawyer knows other lawyers. Your accountant knows other accountants. And they both know all of their clients and can potentially leverage your position with a third-party introduction," writes Gitomer.
What does this mean for you? If you introduce the professionals in your network to each other, you can leverage the resulting good will to find new job leads.
Example: Introduce your banker to your lawyer, or your accountant to a friend who owns a small business. They will all thank you … and be more likely to introduce you to decision makers who can hire you.
Action Steps: Why not get on the phone today and set up one lunch or coffee meeting for later this week? Matchmaking like this can increase the value of your network exponentially — and get you hired.
- Kevin Donlin
Co-Author, Guerrilla Resumes
For me, Mark's story is an inspiration for Career Mavericks everywhere demonstrating that good guys do win.
In a breathless résumé spanning 33 years, his changing interests and passions have led him to work variously as an auto mechanic, scuba diver, salesman, retailer, venture capitalist and manager in a municipal government business development agency.
It's a story that might entice a literary agent more