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Avoiding Mistakes and Gaffes In Your Resume

Having mistakes and gaffes in your job resume spell disaster for your job search. The last thing an employer needs is to look at a poorly written resume. The employer is looking at possibly dozens of resumes a day, and if yours is not up to par, don't expect to hear from him/her.

Make sure you proofread your resume for spelling errors. If you're not sure about the spelling of a particular word, make sure the spell check function is on while you are writing your resume.

One of the first things that an employer will look for are your qualifications for the job. Don't waste the employer's time by not listing your qualifications where he/she can see them. If the employer sees that you're qualified for the job, then they will continue to read your resume.

Don't turn in a resume that is poorly written, hard to read because it's printed on some dark colored resume paper, or just plain sloppy. The recruiter doesn't care how cool you are because you used a different color paper than everyone else. They're only interested in what's on the paper.

I know you want your resume to stand out from the others, but using standard white resume paper is your best option. Try to stand out from the others by listing your achievements and skills instead.

Don't put too much information in your resume. Keep it short and to the point. You don't have to put down every single job you had since high school. Remember, the whole point of the resume is to show the potential employer that you are qualified for the position.

Emphasize the skills and achievements that are related to the job you are applying for. When writing your past job descriptions, elaborate only on the duties of your job that help the potential employer recognize your qualifications for the position you are seeking.

Even after doing all of this, your job resume will still be compared to dozens of other resumes. There's not much you can do about that. But, with the tips listed above, you increase your chances of having your resume actually read and considered for a possible job interview.

About The Author
Michelle Roebuck provides job interview tips and resume writing advice on her website http://www.job-interview-and-resume-tips.com/.

Five Stumbling Blocks To Successful Networking And How To Overcome Them

The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business.  Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships.  These occasions are critical for anyone who wants to grow a business or promote a career.

Many people are simply not comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up conversations. Here are five common stumbling blocks that you may face and tips to help you overcome them.

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Use Your PALs to Network Effectively

The mythology about online job seeker groups is that they are places where those in transition can help one another advance their job search.  While they certainly have that potential, however, they seldom enhance a person’s occupational brand or connect them to appropriate employment opportunities.

Instead, the discussions typically take one of two tacks.  They provide answers to job search questions and information about employers or they devolve into grousing about recruiters and the state of the job market.  And yes, that insight and venting may be helpful, but the time and effort they require can yield better results elsewhere.

To network most effectively, use one or more of your PALs.  They are the Web-sites of: 

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Applying for Summer College Internships

There are no standard dates for applying for summer internships, but the best advice is apply early. Unlike typical jobs, applying for college internships often starts long before the internship begins. It's not rare to find applications beginning in the fall of the year prior to the summer internships, when universities often hold their career fairs. Some companies and government agencies don't accept applications received after October of the prior year. Consequently, it's a wise idea to get started as soon as possible, as the competition for internships has been extremely competitive in the last few years. Even so, that doesn't mean if you find yourself in April or even May looking for an internship that you're out of luck. Companies needs change, and it's not surprising to find companies with last minute needs even beginning in summer.  

We recommend that you regularly search MarketingHire.com's summer internship job posts and set up a job agent to have the latest posts automatically delivered to your inbox -- so you're among the first potential candidates to see them. MarketingHire.com lets employers list interships free, and we get some extremely sought after employers posting interships with us. But just like applying for a full-time job, we still recommend networking your way into an internship. For example, if you see a job for XYZ company, check your network and see if you know anyone connected to somehow who works at that company. If you do, find out if he or she can make an introduction and recommendation for you to speak with -- and ideally meet with -- that person. If that's not possible or realistic, than do your best to submit your application via the standard process. 

Most of all, best of luck with your career! Network, keep focused, be persistent and stay positive. 

The Optimal Job Search Strategy is an Integrated One

I'm regularly asked advice by marketing professionals seeking to change jobs on how best to conduct a search and I find some are genuinely surprised when they find I tell them that its much more than registering and putting their resume at job boards and creating job agents. Granted, that's important, but there's much more to do. Just like conducting an effective marketing communications campaign, in most cases, you should be integrating your efforts and not merely rely on one vehicle or channel exclusively.

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How to Compete with Employed Job Seekers When You're Unemployed

Employed job seekers often have an unfair edge in the job market.  The fact that they currently have a job gives them a “credibility premium” with employers.  Consciously or not, many organizations assume that anyone good enough to be on another employer’s payroll is probably good enough to be on theirs.  It’s a significant advantage and one you simply cannot match if you’re in transition.

Does that mean you’re out of luck and doomed to remain out of work?  Absolutely not.  You can undercut an employed job seeker’s advantage by using the one advantage that you have and they don’t – the capacity to do what’s best for you.  That’s an edge that working people simply cannot match.

How does that advantage work in your favor?  As a person in transition, you have:

  •  the time to add 2 kinds of skills that will upgrade the expertise you offer to employers;
  •  the flexibility to network in 2 venues that will expand your visibility in your field;

and

  •  the freedom to brand yourself in 2 ways that will enhance your occupational standing.

Let’s look at each in a bit more detail.

The Time to Add 2 Types of Skills

The most valuable candidate in today’s job market is a person who is both an expert in their primary field and able to apply that expertise in a wide range of work situations.  Therefore, a person in transition can gain an advantage if they enroll in 2 kinds of training or academic courses during their job search: one that will put them at the leading edge of knowledge and skills in their occupation and a second that will add an ancillary skill that expands their range of contribution.  An employed job seeker seldom has the time to do either, let alone both.

So, enroll in the appropriate classes and then feature them on your resume.  Those entries convey two messages that act like catnip for employers.  First, they signal that you are a person who understands the importance of continuously adding expertise.  And second, they indicate that you are someone who takes personal responsibility for doing so.

The Flexibility to Network in 2 Venues

The conventional wisdom is that 30 percent or more of all open jobs are never advertised.  They are typically filled by networking.  Therefore, a person in transition can gain an advantage if they commit to active networking and then perform that networking in 2 places: one that will expand their visibility among their peers generally and a second that will do so among those who are members of their professional society or trade association.  An employed job seeker seldom has the flexibility to do either, let alone both.

So, commit yourself to networking, but do it in the right way.  First, the word is netWORK, not net-get-around-to-it-whenever-it’s-convenient.  Make networking an integral part of daily job search activities.  Second, practice the Golden Rule of Networking and “give as good as you get.”  Be helpful to others if you want others to be helpful to you.

The Freedom to Brand Yourself in 2 Ways

The biggest threat to employers today is competitors with smart workers.  Their only defense is to hire those who are standouts in their field.  Therefore, a person in transition can gain an advantage if they build their brand in 2 ways: by sharing their professional knowledge and experience at blogs or online discussion groups that are occupation-related (not focused on job search) and by holding office in or otherwise contributing to their state or national professional society or trade association.  An employed job seeker seldom has the freedom to do either, let alone both.

So, set yourself apart from the herd.  First, make sure you haven’t subconsciously accepted the view that you are flawed.  Take the time to reinforce (or regain) your self-respect and self- confidence.  Second, get up and go to work each day, shaping an exceptional image of yourself among your peers and their employers.

Employed job seekers seem to have all of the advantages in the job market.  They don’t.  Those who are in transition have their own advantages that provide 2 powerful benefits.  They can level the playing field and give those who use them a powerful competitive edge.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American DreamThe Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired,WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet,The Career Activist Republic, and The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hold Onto the Job of Your Dreams  Get them at Amazon.com and www.Weddles.com today.

Kindergarten Can't Help: The New Rules in Today's Job Market

One of the first lessons you’re taught in school is to follow the rules when playing a game.  The rules ensure that there is a well defined pathway to victory and that everyone knows what it is.  They establish certainty and fairness.


The job market is no game, but it too has long been governed by a set of rules.  Those maxims determined how to win employment.  They were all important, but only one was absolutely critical to success.  It was the definition of “qualified” – what it takes for you to be considered a legitimate contender for an open position.

Employers set that rule because only they judge a person’s qualifications.  And, for the last fifty years or so, they’ve defined a qualified candidate as someone who met the requirements and responsibilities specified for a job.  If your education and experience met that standard, you were deemed to be an acceptable applicant.  You were in the running for selection.

And now you aren’t.  In today’s job market, if you apply for a job where you are a perfect match with the stated requirements and responsibilities, you will almost certainly be ignored.  All you’ll hear back from the employer is the sound of silence.

What’s causing this situation?  Employers have ignored what they were taught in kindergarten.  They’ve changed the rules and haven’t told anyone they’ve done so.  They’ve reset the definition of “qualified,” and kept the existence of the change to themselves.

The New Rule for Being Qualified

The change in the definition of “qualified” wasn’t done maliciously or out of spite.  Indeed, many employers aren’t even aware that they are using a new standard for determining who is eligible for their open jobs.  Whether it’s applied consciously or otherwise, however, it is being used because employers now face changed conditions for their own success.

For years, employers selected candidates based on their ability to do a job competently.  Their requirements and responsibilities were simply a way of ensuring that level of performance.  They believed that individual competence was sufficient for organizational success.  When employees performed as required by the responsibilities of the job, employers would thrive.

Today, that’s no longer the case.  Employers are now facing domestic and global competition from organizations with workers who perform at a higher level than competence.  These employees aren’t doing their jobs, they’re excelling at them.  That’s the new standard.  Being able to excel at work is today’s definition of “qualified.”

How can you prove your ability to excel on-the-job?  It involves the 3 Rs: resume, reputation and recurrence.  I’ll explore each of them in my next column.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American DreamThe Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, andWEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.  Get them at Amazon.com and Weddles.com today.

Job Search Budgeting for Job Seekers

We all face time constraints in a job search.  There are many different ways to look for a job, but only so many hours in the day.  For many, maybe even most people, therefore, the best strategy seems to be to do a little bit of everything.  You don’t know which specific tactic or set of tactics to rely on, so you cover as many bases as you can in the hopes that one of them will pay off.

The problem with this approach is that it forces you to minimize the time and effort you invest in any one tactic.  You start out doing one thing, but quickly feel as if you have to get started on something else.  As a result, neither one gets the concentration of attention or level of commitment necessary to deliver any, let alone the maximum benefit to you.

As you race from applying to jobs posted online to an informational interview and from networking on a social media site to conducting research on prospective employers, you are constrained in two ways.  Either you’ve worn yourself out and lack the energy to do your best or you do your best but can’t stick with it long enough to get the best results.

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A Multitude of Hope for Job Seekers

No one likes confrontation, but sometimes it’s the only way we can make change happen.  That’s the central thesis of a book I’ve written about the post-recession job market in this country.  It’s not your typical career or job search primer, but is, instead, a novel called A Multitude of Hope.

The book traces the experiences of three out-of-work Baby Boomers as they struggle to find a way through today’s dehumanizing job market.  Along the way, they meet a secret online group of radical activists practicing “economic disobedience” against the all-for-me-and-none-for-you class of corporate America.

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