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Job Search

Resume Tips 101

Three must do’s. Be totally truthful. NO bad spelling or typos. Only include pertinent information.

A cover letter can explain gaps in a more constructive way than your resume. Customize every cover letter.

Your resume is an historical record; your cover letter a proposal promoting suitability for the position.

Always use a professional font on your résumé. Comic Sans doesn’t do it !

Prioritize items on your résumé by importance and significance to the job you want.

Begin Résumé with professional summary, 3 to 8 sentences highlighting strengths, experience, education.

Best to provide greater detail for your last 10-15 years, and only outline earlier experience.

Customize your cover letter to address particular skills employer requires. Creates more interviews.

Don’t repeat achievements or tasks.If already listed under previous job, skip or revamp it.

Don’t over emphasize skills unrelated to job , employer may assume you’re not suitable for the position.

Cover Letters

“Your cover letter is like your résumé’s cheerleading section; it reveals your personality and ensures your résumé gets read. Include always”.

That is my opinion on Cover Letters.

Here is a just a few of the, what I believe, positives to sending a Cover Letter…

▪ Promotes your Unique Value Proposition.
▪ Highlights aspects of experience most valuable to employer’s needs.
▪ Dispels perceived age related issues, especially for older applicants.
▪ Addresses circumstances of gaps in your history in a positive way.
▪ Shows you researched the employer’s needs, and are acquainted with other pertinent information.
▪ Gives a chance to refer to salary expectations if appropriate.
▪ Mentions the type of position you’re seeking and why you’re qualified.
▪ Introduces a professional connection to the position, where appropriate.
▪ Demonstrates your writing competency, and knowledge of the vernacular of the industry.

And as I mentioned, everyone has an opinion, so my suggestion is to send a customized Cover Letter which speaks to the employer in their own words, shows a little of your personality, addresses their needs, and illustrates your ability to fulfill those needs.

Networking

1. Always Be Prepared
Have business cards and copies of your resume with you at all times. Opportunities will arise anywhere and everywhere.

2. Stay in Contact
Keep your contacts informed about your efforts in the job search. They can be kept informed by short phone calls or brief handwritten notes. Be sure to send a thank you letter within 24 hours of an interview. Be consistent.

3. Talk First with People You Know
Talk to your friends, family, teachers, professors, former supervisors or managers, etc. Practice selling yourself first to those who know you.

4. Contact People You Don’t Know
Begin contacting people to whom your friends and acquaintances have referred you. Initiate each conversation with information on how you received their name. Show an interest in what they have to say, not just what they can offer.

5. Ask for Information, Not a Job
This is called an informational interview. Detailed information is at the end of the chapter Job Search Preparation.

6. Keep Conversations Focused
Use each conversation to get good information. Give your contact a brief summary of your job search objective, major highlights and accomplishments. Ask specific questions that will provide you with helpful insights.

7. Look for Opportunities to Give Back
Be prepared to offer something of value to those who are taking time to help you.

8. Keep Your Promises
When you tell someone that you will call back, be sure to follow-up. If they’re difficult to reach, keep trying. It’s your responsibility to connect.

9. Join Professional Organizations
Visit or join a professional organization in the industry you wish to pursue. Many members are eager to help job seekers and often know employers with open positions.

10. Get a Mentor
Find people who have experience in the areas you’re pursuing and build a relationship with them. Get their advice and use them as a sounding board for discussing your thoughts and ideas. Ask for an opportunity to shadow them for a day in order to get a better picture of what they do. This may also expose you to new contacts.