A Career Planning Checklist for Your Job Search

If you are currently looking for a job, you probably have some idea about the job you want. You may know something about how to get that job. You may even have some ideas about companies that might hire a person like you, with your skills and interests. Maybe you learned these things from friends and family members, in school or from previous job search experience, or from just living — in other words, “common sense.”

Sometimes, however, “common” sense is not always good sense. Unfortunately, many people learn career planning and job search skills the same way they learn about sex — “on the street,” from their peers, from experience, or from training in school, or from an all-too-brief conversation with a more experienced person. And how accurate was what you first learned about sex? Well, you get the point!

If you have spent any time looking for a job, you may be thinking, “There must be a better way.” In fact, there are many “better ways,” and it is up to you to find your better way. When it is all said and done, it is not what you know that matters. It is what you do with what you know that will get you from where you are to where you really want to be. Most successful job seekers do follow some common practices to progress in their careers. Discuss your goals and activities, ask questions and seek career counseling from a qualified career coach. Seek career training or join a job club if these options are available. Use this checklist to measure your progress.

World of Work: I understand the value of making wise career decisions. I am learning to expect change and prepare for it.

Expanding Knowledge of Myself: I have taken an inventory of my skills, interests, values, abilities and dreams. I have established a profile of my Skills Language, my situation and my concerns that are important to my career decision-making.

Expanding Knowledge of Job Options: I have identified possible occupational, educational and other developmental alternatives. I have compared the pros and cons of a variety of occupations and determined which ones are best for me. I have a focused employment objective.

Who is Hiring: I know how most people find jobs and use every source of job leads available to me. I have something valuable to contribute and am ready to go to work.

Networking & Direct Contact with Employers: I clearly explain my goals and skills to people I know. I follow up on all new contacts, so I will know more people. I contact employers that interest me, even if they have no job openings. Out of respect and gratitude, I write thank-you notes to each person who helps me along the way.

Marketing Myself on Paper and in Person: I make a good first, and lasting, impression. I use my Skills Language effectively in job applications, in my resume, in cover letters, during interviews and for other opportunities. I use the phone with confidence and briefly summarize my skills and goals. I am well prepared to find the job I want.

My Action Plan: I have made decisions about my goals that are both realistic and reflect the lifestyle I want to have. I mapped out plans to reach my goals. I am taking actions needed to reach my goals, such as enrolling in courses of study, acquiring additional work experience and news skills, networking and meeting with employers.

Repeating the Process: Career planning is never over. There is a great deal to learn from every job I hold: new skills, new ideas, new challenges, new opportunities that come my way and I create. I am reviewing my career action plan every year or two to determine if my work is still relevant or if my situation has changed. I am planning my next move. I am helping others by sharing what I am learning.

Tips on Finding a Sponsored Job in Australia

Many people around the world are trying to find the answer to the question: “How do I find a sponsored job in Australia?”.

Finding an Australian employer to sponsor you can be the most difficult part in emigrating to Australia. Most people search for a sponsor by applying to adverts on job search websites or in newspapers. Did you know that only an estimated 30% of all jobs are advertised here? There are theories that around 70% of all jobs in Australia are found in the ‘hidden job market’, meaning they are not advertised through the usual media channels.

This article will give you a plan, using several steps, of how to tap into the hidden job market in Australia, and to help to make your dream of emigrating to Australia become a reality.

1. Do Your Research.

You will not often find Australian employers advertising that they are looking for someone to sponsor from overseas. The main reason being, if there is someone with the required skill set in Australia, it is easier for the Australian employer to offer a job to someone who is already established in Australia and can start work immediately – in comparison with employing a foreign national and going through the sponsorship process, the cost involved and the time delay for the sponsored individual to commence employment in Australia.

You are also unlikely to find an Australian employer to sponsor you through the use of a recruitment agency,unless that recruitment agency specifically mentions in their job advertisement that the Australian employer is willing to sponsor the right candidate.

Search out companies in Australia whom you would like to work for. In general, larger companies in Australia are more likely to sponsor people from overseas than the smaller companies (due to budgets and business scope), however you should not strike out the smaller companies, as some are still willing to sponsor the right person. Wikipedia provides a list of Australian companies. You can also research the Yahoo Companies Directory to find companies in Australia to approach for sponsorship. The advantage of Yahoo is that they have categorised the companies for you to make it easier to find what kind of company you are looking for.

Contact these companies that interest you, sending them your resume / CV and enquire as to whether they have any opportunities available. Many of the larger companies tend to have a “Careers” section on their website, where they enable job seekers to search for their current vacancies, and also to submit their resume and cover letter into their database. This way, if they do not have a current vacancy that is suitable to your experience, they can call upon their database when a position does become available, and contact you.

2. Global Companies

Search out global companies who are based in both your home country and in Australia, and find out whether they offer transfer opportunities – quite often global companies do. Even though it might mean working in your home country for a period of time before an opportunity arises in Australia, it is worth it in the long run, if it means you can emigrate to Australia through that company. Global organisations also tend to look impressive on your CV / resume.

3. Keep a Record

Keep a list of the companies that interest you, and contact them all. I recommend phoning to speak to the manager of the department you would like to work in. If that fails, speak with the Human Resources department. Find out whether they are a company who are willing to sponsor someone from another country with the right skill set. Find out how often they destroy applications /resumes / CVs as well – most companies in Australia hang on to applications for 3-6 months, so to be safe, you should follow up your applications every three months. Keep a record of all of the dates you apply for jobs and speak with the company, for ease of keeping on top of your Australian job applications.

4. Plan a Trip to Australia

Once you have quite a healthy list of companies you would like to work for (no list is too long), and have applied and spoken to all of them, you should plan a trip to Australia where you can meet with each of the employers. If you are unable to set an appointment with every employer, make a plan to visit the company anyway, dropping off your updated resume, and try to get in front of either the department manager, or a Human Resources Manager.

Through making this vital connection with the Australian employers, you reach them on a personal level, and if they like you, they are more inclined to consider sponsorship than if they had not met you at all.

5. Volunteer Work Experience

If you are able to, when you visit Australia, try to line up some volunteering work with some organisations in Australia. Companies that are most likely to accept volunteers are charitable and non-profit organisations. Approach them and set it up before arriving in Australia so you can build it into your plan for your trip to Australia. Also ensure that you are volunteering in the area of your profession. It will be to your advantage if you have experience working in Australia when you are looking for a sponsor, even if it is volunteer employment. “Non Profit Organisations Australia”, has a comprehensive listing of non-profit organisations in Australia by state / region / city or town, and is a great place to search for possible companies to approach for volunteer work.

6. Build your Networks

Use social media, join industry groups, make friends in all the right places and put yourself out there. Use your networks and use other people’s networks – especially if you already know people in Australia. The more you put yourself out there, the more success you will have in finding an Australian employer who is willing to sponsor you. If you think of it this way: most people have at least 100 people in their networks. Therefore if each of those 100 people also have 100 people in their networks, you potentially have access to a network of 1000 people! The more people you are connected to, the more likely you are to find someone who has connections in Australia.

Make everyone that you know, aware of your search for sponsored employment in Australia, and ask them to reach out to anyone that they know, who may be able to help.

You should also try and be wise when building your networks and be selective with you you are connecting with. It would be wise, for example, to strive to make as many connections with Australians as possible, especially if they are working in the profession of your choice. Linked In is fantastic for professional networking and has the benefit of assisting employers to find you. Facebook, and other social networking sites can also be useful, particularly joining industry or Australia-focused groups.

7. Study in Australia

Are there any courses or further education in Australia in your industry you can enroll in? If you can get a student visa and go to Australia to study, you are normally entitled to a certain amount of hours per week that you can work. This is an awesome opportunity for you to network, get your foot in the door and gain valuable Australian experience and qualifications. Quite often, foreign nationals who study in Australia, are able to stay on in Australia afterward, by transferring their visa status and/or through finding sponsored employment in Australia. There is certainly an advantage for applying for jobs when you are already in Australia, as you are immediately available for job interviews. Again – it is making that personal connection with Australian employers.

8. Successful Self-Marketing

Prepare your marketing materials for success. Do your research to ensure that you will be competitive in the Australian job market – that means ensuring your resume / CV is in a successful Australian format, and ensuring you have a high-impact cover letter that will entice the Australian employer to review your resume / CV.

If you are serious about increasing your chances of finding an employer sponsor in Australia, you should consider having your resume professionally rewritten specifically for the Australian job market. Contracting an Australian professional to rewrite your resume to a successful Australian CV template, means that you will be in the hands of a specialist who works on a daily basis with foreign nationals, assisting them to find employment in Australia.

In Summary

Remember: an estimated 70% of jobs in Australia are not advertised, and are found in the Australian ‘hidden job market’. It is essential to your success that you access this enormous resource of job opportunities in Australia.

By following the steps above, and consistently working towards your goal on a long-term basis through thorough research, keeping track of your applications, utilising the hidden job market, building your networks, ensuring your marketing materials are of high quality and competitive in the Australian job market, planning a trip to Australia, considering volunteer work in Australia and/or furthering your studies in Australia; you are guaranteed to increase your likelihood of finding a sponsored job in Australia.

Creating Successful Cover Letters For Your 100k Job Search

Your cover letters for your 100k job search are one of the essential elements that cannot be overlooked. Without a winning cover letter it is quite likely no one will ever even look at your resume or consider you for their 100k jobs. There are volumes of job career advice on the Internet but your first step must be to create a cover letter that sells. Below are a few points that you must consider when drafting your cover letter for your job search.

Research

You may have already heard this repeated again and again while looking at job career advice, but it is absolutely essential. What happens if you get through to an interview for a six figure job and are asked to do a presentation on the spot for one of the company’s products or services? Researching now shows an employer you took the time to look them up and want to work for this company and are not just desperate to work for anyone. It also tells a potential hiring manager that you are familiar with their business and are confident you will fit in. Before drafting your cover letter make sure you have done your research on the company and it’s executives and demonstrate this throughout out your cover letter for your next 100k job.

Targeted & Original

No matter how good you are, if you haven’t taken the time to draft a targeted and original letter for your 100k job search your resume will probably just land in the trash. If you are applying for any executive jobs or 100k jobs you should be an expert. If you are too lazy to write a targeted cover letter how can you expect an employer to believe you are going to work hard on the job? Forget all the cover letter templates out there, there are so many job seekers for 100k jobs that they have probably seen the same outline again and again. Show an employer that you have read their job posting thoroughly and that this is the job you want and that you are qualified for it.

Words That Sell

Regardless of whether this cover letter is for finance jobs or a sales executive job the cover letter for this 6 figure job is a sales piece. It must spike interest and demand that the recruiter or hiring manager take the time to review your resume or call you for an interview. Consider stating your number of years in the industry but not your previous employer information so they must turn to your resume. Use words and techniques that sell without being cliche. One sales technique to use throughout your 100k job search is ‘mirroring’. This can be done using the exact same words and terms they use in the 100k job posting. Repeat phrases or include technical terms that the employer used make them feel you are an instant match.

Highlights

Include a few bullets of what you have achieved in your previous 100k jobs. How many years experience do you have, have you successfully completed projects for their competitors who they envy, have you saved a company $100k, have you received any awards?

Hiring A Pro

If you really feel that you do not have the writing skills to make your cover letter shine for your 100k job search then consider hiring someone else to do it for you. How much is this new 100k job worth? Certainly a few dollars invested to ensure you get the job will return an incredible yield.

Is the Dental Assistant Job an Underpaid and Overworked Career?

People always look for career potentials before they undergo training or pursue higher education. They also consider the employment prospects since this is the primary reason why they are choosing a specific career path. Being without a job is not a good position to be in considering the current economic climate. There are many job opportunities in the medical career but oftentimes people are wary of the difficulties of the job considering the long working hours and working in a hospital scenario. This is also common in their outlook towards the dental aid jobs.

The dental aid jobs don’t often require a hospital environment since the job is mostly done on an office with duties and responsibilities not as difficult where one is in a medical career. The dental aid jobs are a supportive of the role played by the dentists. With the growth in demand for dental services, the dentists often find their schedules full requiring them to hire the services of the dental aids. The salaries of the dental assistants are dependent on a lot of factors but it is excellence and experience that are the major considerations for the salary increases. A dental aid with extensive job experience including a good number of certifications deserves the best that the market has to offer.

In order to have a job in the dental field, the first thing to be done is to look at prospective job opportunities and submit a dental helper resume. If you find difficulty accomplishing a resume, there are many templates online where you can find a dental helper resume that can be easily edited according to your requirements. There are also professionals online who can do the services of creating an excellent dental helper resume for a fee. Based on the advice of experts, it is important to limit the number of pages of the resume to one or two pages. What is considered to be most important is honesty as making representations on the resume may cause irreversible problems later on.

When you have gained a lot of expertise and experience in your job as dental assistant, it results into plus points for you during the job interview. The educational background, work experience including the skills gained will also determine the salary that will be offered. While the beginner naturally gets a lower pay, hard work and efforts always produces the best results not only financially but emotionally.

How a Professional CV Service Can Help Catch a Big Job Opportunity

CV an Important Job Hunting Tool

If you have no or little experience of job hunting you will recognize how important a CV is for your career. Whenever you will visit a company with the aim of getting a job, the first thing that they will ask you is your CV. Only if they find your CV impressive and up to the mark they will take you the next level. On the other hand, even if you post your curriculum vitae to companies, you have to keep in mind that just like you hundreds of other people will be sending their curriculum vitae also. Therefore, you have to ensure that your CV is attractive and strong enough to catch the eye of employers even from the hundreds of CVs that they have received.

How CV Helps You Attract Employers

In order to ensure that the aforementioned happens, you have to work hard on your CV and of course a cover letter, the way you present your curriculum vitae counts and should be given importance. Most people are of the impression that CV writing is nothing more than compiling your education qualifications, interests and job experience if any. But the fact is that CV is an opportunity for you to present your whole life in front of your employer in few words. It gives you a chance to bring forth your positive points in front of employers and also tell them why they should hire you. Only a well planned and well written CV can do that for you. Therefore, a lot of thought must be paid while writing a curriculum vitae.

CV Writing Professionally or Via Web

While writing a CV it is important you take help from a professional. With their years of experience, they can easily prepare a CV for you that will help you attract potential clients. But getting CV prepared from an expert can be out of budget for many. The other options available to you are of searching the web and finding some good CV templates. CV templates are designed with the motive of guiding you in your mission of preparing a good curriculum vitae. You can use these as sample and prepare a curriculum vitae that can get you hundreds of calls for jobs.

If you are looking for professional curriculum vitae writing services, curriculum vitae templates or curriculum vitae examples to suit your job search needs then search for cv service sites online. You can also find free CV writing advice or get your CV written professionally online CV consultants.

Jumpstart Your Job Hunt With a Quality Resume – Ultimate Resume Writing Dos and Don’ts

After years of working in the executive staffing and recruiting industry, collaborating with countless hiring managers and human resource administrators across various industries, I acquired a thorough understanding of what these individuals were looking for in potential job candidates. I began to see patterns, consistencies, universal tendencies, and I began to see just how important a good resume really is.

As a point of fact, hiring managers only spend around 15 seconds perusing over a new resume and they are really only looking for a couple of things when they do. They’re on autopilot, for the most part. They want to know:

1) Who have you worked for?

2) Have you had steady employment?

3) What notable achievements and recognitions have you had throughout your career?

4) What do you have to offer which will meet with their specific needs?

An effective resume will answer those questions with a minimal amount of effort and, as with any effective marketing tool, it will also leave the reader wanting to know more. You want to give them just enough info to prompt them into action. That’s when they pick up the phone and call you for an interview!

So your resume is your professional introduction. It’s your only chance to make a memorable first impression and I can tell you right now that if you do not take your resume seriously, then your resume will never be TAKEN seriously. It really is that simple.

Now, if you feel you are capable and qualified to write a compelling and dynamic resume, then by all means give it a shot. However, if you’re not extremely confident in your skills as a writer and/or marketer, I would sincerely recommend you hook up with a professional resume writer to help you craft the perfect resume for you. A seasoned veteran in these matters can be an invaluable resource. After all, I trust my mechanic to work on my car because he works on cars all day, every day. Well there are people out there who work on resumes all day, every day…so trust us!

For those who are convinced they have what it takes, this article should help you with some of the finer points. Although job markets and technologies are always changing, there are some things which are fairly universal and constitute the basic principles of a winning resume. To guide you along, I have compiled a comprehensive list of resume writing Do’s and Don’ts, complete with secret tricks of the trade as well as a collection of common mistakes people make. So pay close attention, take my advice into consideration, and you’ll be on your way to landing that dream job in no time!

DON’T

Misrepresent the Truth – Lying on your resume is never a good idea. You don’t want to start a professional relationship based on the misrepresentation of facts. Just as you would hope the employer is not lying to you about the job requirements, salary, etc, they expect you are not lying to them about your background and/or skill sets. It’s the decent and respectable way to conduct yourself and there is no room for dishonesty in the workplace because, sooner or later, these things always have a tendency to come to the surface. Remember: The truth shall set you free!

Use Slang or Jargon – You need to be as professional as possible in the context of your resume if you expect to be taken seriously as a professional. For this reason, you should avoid using familiar lingo, slang, or jargon in your resume. The exception to this rule is when using very industry-specific terminology to describe your particular skills. This can actually help to lend you credit as a knowledgeable individual and an expert in your field, but your such terms wisely and tactfully.

Include a Picture – Unless you’re a model or in a professional dependent on physical attributes, I always advise against putting your picture on your resume. In my experience, it can do more harm than good. So keep the formatting of the resume simple and let the hiring manager use their imagination until they call you in for an interview. Plus, your looks should have nothing to do with your professionalism or the credentials qualifying you for the position. In the business world (even legally), your appearance should have no value as a selling point for you as a competent job candidate.

Include Irrelevant Info (AKA “Fluff”) – If it’s not important, don’t add it to your resume. If you were a cook 10 years ago but now you’re looking for a job in retail management, don’t clutter up your resume with irrelevancy. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself what they would see as important. How does your background correspond with their needs as an employer? Anything else is fluff. Don’t add your hobbies to your resume. Don’t add your references (if they want them, they’ll ask at the appropriate time). And don’t include your high school education either. Finally, don’t be redundant and repeat yourself throughout the context of your resume. It’s OK to reinforce themes, but don’t push it. If your title has been Branch Manager at each of your past three companies, find a way to differentiate each of these positions and highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don’t just copy and paste the line “Managed a team of branch employees” three times. That will get you nowhere.

Include a Core Competencies Section – I find Core Competency sections to be fairly worthless in a professional resume and I’ll tell you why: It doesn’t matter if you’re a waitress, an administrative assistant, a nurse, a teacher, or a sales executive – it doesn’t matter what kind of background you have – anyone can describe themselves as “Self-Motivated”. Anyone can say they are “Goal Oriented” and “Results-Driven” and everyone has “Strong Verbal and Written Skills” when they’re applying for a job. I can say with some degree of certainty that the majority of hiring managers and HR administrators skip right past a Core Competencies section and with good reason. The key to a successful resume is in SHOWING a manager how you are “Results-Driven” and “Goal Oriented” instead of just TELLING them! Your accomplishments speak volumes, let them do the talking. If you are going to include a Core Competencies section, make sure it’s unique and adds value. Again, vagueness will often work against you here because it cheapens the experience of reading your resume.

Rely on Templates or Sample Resumes – If you are surfing the web and looking for a good resume sample or template to use as a guideline for your own resume, make sure the sample you settle on is appropriate considering your background, the industry you’re in, and your career intentions. Because when it comes right down to it, different styles of resumes should be employed in different industries. By way of illustration, a computer programmer’s resume will vary greatly from that of a sushi chef. They both have very different skill sets which need to be highlighted in very different ways in order to be effective. If both those individuals tried to write their resumes in the same format, it would be a disaster. Hiring authorities, respectively, each have their own expectations and some resume formats are better than others at addressing those individual expectations.

Write a Novel and Call it a Resume – I repeat: Do NOT write a novel and call it a resume. Too many people make this mistake. They want to write this wordy, drawn-out thesis outlining their life story and their career aspirations. They have all these skills and accomplishments and they want to include them all in there somewhere, but the problem is most people just don’t know when to stop. Don’t be afraid to leave out some of the details and explore those further in the interview process. My advice is to highlight only those aspects of your background which are most applicable for the job, or types of jobs, you are planning to apply for.

Limit Yourself to One Page – In contrast to the last point, you may not want to limit yourself to a 1-page resume. A common misconception is that a professional resume HAS to be one page. However, that’s not really the case these days. I while back, before the miracles of technology, I may have agreed. But now that most resumes are being read on a computer screen versus on paper, there’s no need to limit yourself in such a way. Those who try to cram all their info on 1-page resume usually resort to smaller font and zero spacing. When viewed on screen, this is not an attractive format and it’s hard to read. Now, I’m not saying you should write a 20-page catalogue of your experiences, nor am I advocating the use of size 20 font. Instead, I would say 12-14 size font should suffice and I recommend you keep it at two pages. That leaves plenty of room to say what needs to be said. Of course, if you have limited experience then a 1-page resume will do just fine.

DO

Use Bullet Points – When it comes time to explain your experiences in your resume, use bullet points to outline your accomplishments. It is much easier to read and even easier to skim, which is what hiring managers are doing most of the time anyways. Bullet points draw attention to important information. They are also visually appealing and make the information seem more accessible to the reader. So keep them short and meaningful. Some people opt for a short paragraph explaining their duties and responsibilities, followed by bullet points highlighting their most notable achievements. This too is acceptable, just make sure to keep that paragraph very succinct and avoid any redundancies as well.

Have a Strong Objective Statement – Although this is a matter of some debate these days, I firmly believe a strong, concise Objective Statement can go a long way. First off, it immediately tells the reader what job you are applying for. That can be a big deal when you’re submitting your resume to a HR representative who has their hands full with many different job openings. Recruiters as well. And if you’re a senior manager, you don’t want to get thrown in the pile with the mail clerks, right? Not only that, but an effective Objective Statement will briefly summarize your qualifications so a hiring manager can make an instantaneous decision whether or not to keep reading. They do that anyways, so why not address their needs in the intro and add value by showing them what you have to offer right off the bat. Remember, I’m only talking about one sentence here. One sentence to market yourself. Once sentence to spark their interest. You don’t want to give the reader too much to think about, rather you want them to proceed on and read the rest of your resume. So grab their attention, establish your professional identity, show them your value, and let them move on to the good stuff!

Choose the Right Format – One thing you need to remember is that there is not one universal formatting methodology because, in truth, there is no cookie-cutter way of writing a resume. What works best for one person may not be best for another. Some people will benefit from a Chronological resume whereas that format may be detrimental to someone who has jumped around a lot in their career. The only thing I can suggest is that you do your homework. Know the different types of resumes (Chronological, Functional, Targeted, and Combination) and know the distinct merits of each. Then make an informed decision as to which style is best for you. If you are surfing the web and looking for a good resume sample or template to use as a guideline for your own resume, make sure the sample you settle on is appropriate considering your background, the industry you’re in, and your career intentions.

Cut to the Chase – Don’t waste time…get to the good stuff. As I said before, a hiring manager will most often skim, scan, and glance over a resume. Keep in mind that they have specific questions in mind when they review a resume for the first time and they expect specific answers. One of the most important questions they are asking is: “Who has this person worked for in the past?” For this reason, I always suggest that serious job seekers highlight their experiences first and foremost. Right below your one-sentence Objective Statement you should transition into and Experience section. In this section you should list your past employers, the years you worked for them, your job titles, and a brief description of your duties there. Of course, this may not be the best approach for some people. If your background is heavily dependent on your academic experience, then you may want to jump into that first.

Focus on Your Target – My reasons for saying this are as follows: An unfocused resume sends a very clear message that you are unfocused about your career. And a hiring authority doesn’t want to see that. They want to see that you have career goals and that those aspirations correspond with their needs as an employer. So keep in mind that a customized resume, modified for a specific position, is always preferable to a generalized and vague resume. If you’re serious enough about a job then you should take the extra time and effort to tailor a resume to that job’s requirements. I assure you your efforts will not go unnoticed.

Be Articulate and Grammatically Exact – In my humble opinion, it’s of the utmost importance to be eloquent within the context of your resume and to make sure you’re using proper grammar and syntax. For your current job description, use the present tense. For past jobs, use past tense. This seems like a no-brainer, but again you’d be surprised at how many people make this mistake. Being articulate can go a long way as well. Most hiring managers will consider it a plus if you can convey your level of intelligence in your written communications. So don’t be afraid to break out the thesaurus and make sure you have someone else edit your resume before you send it out to potential employers. That’s imperative!

K.I.S.S. – A wiser man than me once made this bold statement and it’s extremely applicable when writing your resume: Keep It Simple, Stupid! Too many people make too much of an effort to “stand out from the pack” and in doing so they may unwittingly be hurting themselves. In some professions, such as the creative design field, it may be advantageous to show your originality and imagination, but in other business fields this kind of flamboyancy in a resume is unnecessary and can actually be injurious to your cause. In terms of formatting, the same holds true. I have found that people tend to have much more success when they opt for an uncomplicated formatting style. Some people still want to get all jazzed up with pictures and text boxes and funky font, but that’s just fluff. It’s noise. It is irrelevant to the purpose of your resume, which is to sell yourself through highlighting your skills and accomplishments. And hiring managers see right through that!

Take Your Resume Seriously – As previously stated, if you don’t take your resume seriously then your resume will not be TAKEN seriously. If you choose not to work with a professional, then at the very least have an impartial third-party edit it for you and give you some constructive feedback. This is for your own sake. What happens when you accidentally type “Manger” instead of “Manager”? Do you think Spell Check is going to bail you out? Whatever you do, don’t send it out to potential employers without having someone else look it over. Some people just need to swallow their pride because when it comes right down to it, you may be the best at what you do, but if you don’t write resumes for a living then chances are there’s someone out there more qualified to write your resume than you are. Please consider that if you’re serious about being taken seriously!

So there it is…everything you need to know about writing your resume. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and feel free to contact me if you ever need any assistance. I’m here to help!

Here Is Why Your Resume Can Make or Break Your Job Prospects

Are you looking for a job? Or do you plan to look for a job in the near future?

Those questions represent the most common reasons why someone would begin to look at their resume and decide if it needs to be updated. What most people discover over time is that their resume should always be update-to-date as job changes can occur suddenly and without any prior warning. But most people wait until a resume is needed and it is at this time that a decision is made to try to refine and update it, or leave it as is and hope that it will be sufficient enough to gain a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention. There is a misconception that because resumes are rarely mailed out any longer, they are not that important. Yet many online application forms still request that a resume copy be uploaded for review.

A challenge for many people is knowing how to create an effective resume. You can conduct an Internet search and find literally hundreds of online articles and resources that provide fairly standard methods of creating a resume; however, that can become overwhelming in time. In addition, few people are highly skilled as a writer, and poorly written sentences with numerous spelling and grammatical errors can create a poor impression. You have to keep in mind the fact that when you send out a resume it is taking your place and represents you as a person, without the guarantee of securing an interview – and that means your resume can make or break your job prospects before you ever get to speak to someone about it.

Typical Misconceptions

One of the first misconceptions that people hold about the use of resumes is that they are never actually read, especially when there are online application forms to be filled out. While this cannot be proven either way, I do know from my own experience as a professional writer that most recruiters do look at the resumes received because it provides a general overview of the candidate’s attention to, or lack thereof, details such as the style and type of writing.

Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.

Other misconceptions include the use of an objective on the resume and writing detailed job descriptions. A job objective is usually a statement of what the candidate would like to do or the specific job they are seeking. The reason why this is not needed is that the cover letter should express interest in the position and there is no need to state it again. In addition, many objective statements are so specific that the candidate would be ruled out from other potential positions that may be related to the advertised job. In addition, many jobs I have seen listed on resumes includes wording that either came from job descriptions or have been written like standard wording from these types of descriptions, and that doesn’t necessarily explain the skills the candidate has and may contain jargon that is not easily understood by everyone reading it.

Skill Sets or a Chronological Listing?

Another important decision that has to be made about the development of a resume is the format it should follow and the most common approach is use of a chronological style. This approach lists each job in chronological or date order and the most current job is listed at the top of the page. The inherent problem with this type of resume is that the focus is placed on what the candidate is doing now without drawing attention to the skills that have been acquired throughout their entire career.

My approach to resume writing involves the use of a skill set based approach and that means when a recruiter or hiring manager opens the resume they first read skill sets that have been acquired throughout the candidate’s career. More importantly, the skill sets listed are directly related to the job or career the candidate is interested in. This can change the entire perspective of the candidate when viewed by a potential employer as now they are viewed beyond the current job they hold. This is an especially helpful approach for anyone who is interested in changing jobs or careers.

The Anatomy of a Resume with Impact

What gives a resume impact, with regards to standing out among other resumes submitted? It is a resume that can be easily read, displays skill sets that are immediately identifiable as being related to the advertised position, and highlights important accomplishments and achievements. A chronological resume emphasizes what a person is doing now; whereas, a skill set resume represents what a person can transfer from their entire career to this new role. A resume with impact also lists a professional summary at the beginning, in place of a career objective, and this provides career highlights that are relevant to any position. Finally, a highly effective resume will be well-written and formatted, with meticulous attention given to every minor detail.

Why Invest in a Professional Writer?

Most people are not fully equipped for the task of developing a resume that meets all of the criteria listed above and that is why a professional resume writer is needed. However, my experience has found that a professional writer is not contacted until an attempt has been made to wing it, so to speak, and the results sought have not been obtained. In other words, there have been few or no job calls received. There is a hesitation to pay for the cost of a resume writer, especially when a person is unemployed – and I certainly understand the financial limitations of that situation. What I have found is that anyone who needs a job also needs to make this investment as it is an investment in a career that can yield long term results.

Finding a reliable resume writer is the next challenge for anyone who decides it is time to make the investment. A good resume writer needs to have a history of writing and editing experience, along with knowledge of recruiting and hiring practices. What credentials determine an effective resume writer? There are resume writing certifications available and that certainly demonstrates commitment to the job. My background is different than that as I have advanced education and experience as an educator, writer, and author. The most important element is that anyone who works in this type of industry needs to have some evidence of writing experience.

Another distinguishing feature is the fee that a resume writer charges. I know of many writers who charge exorbitant fees and then guarantee their resumes will produce jobs or job calls. I do not believe that anyone can guarantee results solely based upon the resume; however, what a resume can do is present the best a candidate has to offer and help generate interest. My clients have told me that after receiving a resume I’ve written they started receiving more job calls. It was then up to them to speak well and encourage the potential employer to consider them further. I have also found that another benefit from having a resume professionally written is that it provides a boost of confidence as the person sees themselves in a better light, as they are reminded of the skills and qualities they possess.

I am often asked for resume samples and that is another way I am able to distinguish my resume writing service from others as every resume written is custom made, instead of templates being used. What I can do is to describe my approach to resume writing and provide an overview of the process and format of the new resume. I have also taken another step and had my business certified by the Better Business Bureau as it confirms when the business was founded and provides an overall rating. This does not provide a guarantee of the quality of services provided; however, it does offer some measure of assurance when someone is interested in contracting with me to write their resume.

If you are interested in developing your career, regardless of the type of industry you are presently in or the job you hold now, you need a resume that represents you in the best possible manner. Once you submit a resume you do not get a second chance to resubmit it and what the potential employer views determines their initial impression of you, your career, and your background. Whether you fill out an online form and upload a resume, or send a resume direct, it must connect you to the potential job by demonstrating you have acquired the necessary skills, training, education, or other similar qualifications. Your resume can either help your prospect of being considered, or cause you to be disqualified. That is the power a resume holds for you and your career.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Teens Make When Trying to Get a Job

As an employer, I interview a lot of folks… and a lot of teens. I hate to say it, but teens usually have no clue how to interview and get a job! They blow it!

This article will address the three mistakes most teens make so that you or your kid can learn how to get your favorite job.

1. Resume

I would say about 8 out of 10 kids drop off a resume with misspellings. This is the FASTEST way for the resume to be thrown in the trash!

In addition, most resumes look like someone just spit a bunch of information into a template and hit print. The information is rarely organized and often unformatted. The result is a messy-looking resume with misspellings that gets thrown in the trash before there’s even a chance to interview.

Here are a few keys for a good resume:

  1. Triple check spelling!
  2. Don’t add an objective. Rather, write a couple of sentences explaining why you’re different and HOW you would help the company.
  3. List the jobs you’ve had… and how you impacted the company rather than just the job. I don’t care that you were a pizza delivery person. What did you do different that helped the company?
  4. List your education at the bottom because it’s not as important.
  5. Contain your resume to ONE piece of paper – front side ONLY. Most people don’t want to read a lot, and multiple pages just makes things difficult.

2. Follow-up

OK, let’s say you submitted a great resume… that’s the least of your worries now. Many companies won’t call you back.

I don’t call anyone back. Why? Because I want to see if they’ll take the initiative and call me. I want to know if they’re a go-getter and willing to be persistent.

Most people never call back!

The call-back is very simple. All you have to do is ask if they received your resume. When they say yes, simply say “Great! Well I’d love to set up a time to interview.”

Maybe they’re actively looking for employees so they will set up an interview. Maybe they want resumes because they want to have some people ready to call IN CASE they need someone. In that case they might tell you they’re not hiring.

Ask to interview anyway. Tell them you understand, but you want to meet them so they know who you are in case they need someone.

If someone called me and said that… I might even hire them and replace one of my employees that wasn’t doing a good job. That kind of call shows initiative and demonstrates that you would be a great worker.

3. Dress & Presentation

So now you have the interview… big deal. Most kids blow their chances because they dress terrible – They wear a tank-top, shorts, and flip flops to the interview.

Even though that might be standard clothing for most teens, it creates a bad first impression. As an employer, we think, “Oh no, this kid is unprofessional. They’re probably not a good fit.”

You just made a great phone impression, so you need to reinforce that with a good visual impression. Make sure you wear a collared shirt, either slacks or khakis, and some nice shoes. Women should wear the same thing or a nice dress that isn’t too short.

his will set you apart from the other kids applying, and it will leave a great impression with the employer… HELLO JOB!

In addition to dressing well… always remember to sit tall and speak well. Make eye contact and answer questions confidently.

When you slouch, chomp gum, or look around, it makes you look dumb and unqualified.

There you have it! If you can make these simple changes, you will make yourself much more valuable to the employer and be more likely to get the job you want!