Archive for the ‘Job Search Tips’ Category
The unemployment news is bleak and we want to offer something that I believe you will find helpful and hopefully give you some new ideas for the future. There have always been tough economic times like this when it becomes necessary for a person to say, “enough is enough,” and quit allowing someone else to provide you with opportunities (i.e. a job) and make some happen for yourself; and yes it can happen, even today, even in this gloomy economy – let us show you a few ways.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to feature some exciting ways for you to reinvent yourself and start over. This is not a come-on gimmick designed to sell you something but, as the old adage says, just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
First some examples: Last night on 60 Minutes they ran an article on the young man who created Face Book. Today he is 26 and when he began this company he was only 19 years old. I am not suggesting you plan to compete with Face Book but what he did some of you could also do, perhaps in another arena. Social sites are not the only thing the Internet is capable of. If you have a background in mathematics or computer programming and a fertile imagination you can create the next big thing. Come on people, think. Some of you can do this. For this type of creation you need to have some knowledge of html code. No problem – you can learn this from your local college. It is best to team up with someone and work together, but you can do this.
Next; also last evening on the program Undercover Boss they featured ABM a large (actually huge) company whose specialty is building maintenance. This company was started as a one man operation – a Dutch immigrant who started cleaning windows. The company grew till it’s one of the largest in the USA. They do everything from cleaning the outside of those glass high-rises to providing the entire housekeeping. You name it, they do it. Can this be repeated? You bet! This is the type of business that anyone can do; start small and work hard and it will grow.
A personal example that I know of: I have a friend who came here with the last load of refugees from Viet Nam when our military pulled out. She came here penniless but had a family already here. Here is what she did; she pooled her money with her family to get a big home. Next they pooled their paychecks into a common pot. She took jobs cleaning houses and anything she could make money at, her whole family did the same. Next she took classes and became a hair stylist, thus setting her own hours and income level. She and her family then combined their resources and opened a very successful Vietnamese / Thai restaurant. Could this be replicated? Yes, provided everyone has good honest work ethics and is not afraid of hard work.
Examples are all around you; but I will give you one more true to life example. Here in Phoenix is a local company called “To Fix It”. (ToFixIt.com) – Started by Terri Ouellette (known to her fans as Terri O). As the creator of Terri O’s Super Simple™ – a series of DVDs made for those who need a little extra help to be creative – Terri’s philosophy has always been to keep it simple, efficient, easy and cheap. To Fix It is a referral service whose motto is: “We recommend the Best . . . And Toss the Rest.” She started with what she knew best and built on that. Could this idea be replicated? You know it could!
So over the next few days and weeks we will post additional ideas and recommendations. Some of them will be in the form of e-books and products that require a modest investment but offer honest opportunities. I give you my word that we will not offer you anything that cost you money that we have not checked out thoroughly and none will require a major investment. We want to help and not make the hole in the boat larger.
A personal note from checking this company out; she started with what she knew and built on that. This is something that anyone can replicate.
Watch for more every three to four days. Tell a friend!
Are you sending out dozens of resumes each week but getting no response? Do you feel discouraged by a tough job market and your competition?
In your efforts to get noticed, you should keep one thing in mind: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s place. Ask yourself, “What would the employer think of my resume in the initial few seconds she takes to read it?” Even if you’re exactly right for the job, you may never be asked to interview unless you make the proper first impression with a well-written resume and cover letter. Use these tips to guide you:
- Manage the content and format effectively. The content and format of your resume are very important. A resume that employs a tiny font and has too much information will be quickly passed over by a hiring manager in favor of a clean, easy-to-read, well-spaced document. Use bullet points and even-spaced margins. Don’t make the mistake of including every single thing you did at a previous job. Instead, list key accomplishments and major, progressive responsibilities that highlight your skills. You can then expand on your previous responsibilities in a cover letter and during the first interview.
- Make the content of your resume reflect transferable skills related to the position for which you’re applying. Hiring managers often glance at a resume looking for key phrases and buzz words that they want in their ideal next employee. Take the time to tailor your resume specifically to a job description. Including key phrases from the description may get you past the employers’ web-based application filter as well as generate enough interest for a first interview.
- Keep your resume free of spelling and grammatical errors. You want to convey that you are professional and detail-oriented, can write well, and take your work seriously. One glance at a resume with spelling and grammatical errors might cause an employer to think you are sloppy, make mistakes, and are wasting his or her time. Take the time to proofread your resume. (Don’t depend on the computer spell checker) Then have someone you trust review it for you.
- Your cover letter should always express your interest in the specific job. Does the position give you an opportunity to expand your skill set? Is the company dynamic and progressive? Clearly convey your strong interest in the company and position, and then explain why you’re the ideal candidate. This shows you have done your homework on the company and truly want to work there.
Putting the employer first by having a tailored cover letter and well-written resume will ensure you have submitted the best possible representation of yourself, bringing you a step closer to getting that interview and job offer.
It is astonishing how many recruiters say they receive resumes and cover letters filled with spelling errors. A spelling slip-up, even a minor one, says more about you than the most articulate choice of words. For instance, is it “too” or “to”? Did you write “it’s” or “its”? Just those two words alone count for a lot of mistakes.
Get as many people to proof and edit your resume and cover letter as possible. You can never have too many eyes. The corporate content manager of a large instrument company says she sees a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. Once she sees a mistake she won’t read any further. She is not alone. When asked about the worst resumes and cover letters they have ever received, those that read them can come up with some hilarious shockers. How about the person applying to work at ExxonMobil? Nice resume, great cover letter, but he spelled the company’s name Exxon Mobile. There goes that job prospect.
While such big blunders are not that common, many people do make simple mistakes that could be easily avoided.
The top four common mistakes are:
Spelling and grammar are at the top of the list, probably because people rely too much on spell check. Spell check is a useful tool, but you also need several sets of eyeballs to catch everything. Spell check doesn’t check the context and use of words—your or you’re, four or for?
Repeating verbatim what’s in your resume on your cover letter
Forgetting to replace a company name when cutting and pasting parts of a letter
Carelessness — “I’d like to work for your company” (and the organization is a non-profit or government agency) or “I read your ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer” and it was run in another publication.
To make your way through the maze of errors that inevitably pop up, follow these simple steps:
Find people who will critically read each resume and cover letter you write for the content as well as the details. You might not notice that a period is missing from a sentence or an indentation that should be there isn’t. A reader hunting for errors will find them.
Read your resume and cover letter backwards from the bottom up, word by word. It sounds silly, but doing so allows you to see errors you would probably gloss over reading it from the top down.
Read the resume and cover letter aloud to find words that don’t make sense or aren’t meaningful.
If you send a resume or cover letter to several companies, highlight each specific change so you make sure not to send Company A’s letter to Company B.
Finally, if you send a resume and cover letter via e-mail, stick it in the draft folder for an hour and then read it again before actually sending it. However sending something this important email is not recommended.