Tag: job seeker (page 1 of 2)

4 Tips for Crafting a Resume that Shines

In our last article we discussed the biggest do’s for writing a cover letter that allows you, the job seeker, to lead with your best foot forward. As a follow-up, we’ll share the various ways you can craft a resume that shines. Your resume is often times a one-page document that is supposed to convey to your future employer that you are the perfect fit for the job that they are needing to fill. Talk about pressure! However, crafting a great resume is not as daunting as it seems. Hopefully the following tips help facilitate a little more confidence for you to pitch your skills and objectives to your future employer.

Use Action Words

Always use strong action words, such as created, drove, facilitated, etc­­., at the beginning of a bullet. These strong words allow you to seem like a stronger candidate by showing action and involvement. For example, if you worked in a retail setting for several years, instead of saying, “I helped sell products,” try saying, “Drove sales to meet the store’s goals by xxx%.” You see how that simple leading word conveys an overall more confident and active tone?

Tailor Your Past Work Experiences to Match Your Future Employment Goals

While it is great that you may have had a lot of work experience, it is always better to look at what your employer is listing in the job requirements. Look at your most recent job history and decide what experiences might help sell you as a better candidate. Is your company looking for someone with strong communication skills? Find a way to convey that your past employment has equipped you with the tools needed to excel in this new position. Taking time to do this also allows you as the applicant to feel a stronger sense of confidence in applying for the position. It allows you to have a sense of certainty that you really do possess the skills that this employer needs and is looking for. Automatically your mind set will shift and you will be writing your resume in a better state of mind.

Step Outside of the Usual Format

When thinking in terms of the actual formatting for your resume, do not be afraid to shake it up a little bit. Depending on what field you are trying to get into will ultimately determine how outside of the box you can get with your resume. While sometimes formatting guidelines can be helpful in showing us what to put on an actual resume, it is not always beneficial for us to copy and paste our information into these formats. This creates little interest for the eye when an employer is flipping through stacks of resumes. As long as your resume does appear to be cluttered, sometimes switching up shades of paper and ink can allow your employer to make a mental note of your resume much more effortlessly.

Keep it Snappy

While it is important to accurately convey your awesome talents, it is important to be wise in your word choice so you do not overwhelm the reviewer of your resume. You can say a lot in a few words that have been intentionally selected. Another word of advice is to make sure you are using select terms correctly as improper word usage can create an entirely different meaning to what you are sharing.

A resume is just another piece to the puzzle that needs to be put in place before sending it out unfinished to potential employers. Your cover letter is your first impression; but your resume acts as your selling point. Take one or two of these tips and keep them in mind before you send off your resume. Happy resume building to you!

Make Yourself Available & Be Seen

We can’t even begin to tell you how important networking is for job seekers. Whether your touching base with a potential employer on social media or interacting with employers at job fairs or networking events, its important to exude confidence and be able to speak on the fly. If you’re uncomfortable, check out local Toastmasters organizations who can help develop your public speaking skills.

For additional resources and job seeker advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook.

Success Is Calling | How To Prepare For A Phone Interview

phone interviewIf you’ve searched for a job within the last few years, you’ve likely been asked to do a phone interview. No longer just for out-of-town applicants, phone interviews often act as a prequalification process for recruiters to see if you are a viable candidate they should pursue further. Sounds easy-breezy, right? Lying on your couch, staring at the ceiling while you informally chitchat with a recruiter? False. The truth is, phone interviews should be taken quite seriously – especially if you are serious about getting the job.

To help you get ready for a phone interview – whether now or in a future job search – we’ve put together some simple tips for mastering the call.

Preparing for the call
Just as if you were doing an in-person interview, preparation is key. This means doing research about the company itself and prepping answers for commonly asked interview questions, as well as preparing questions to ask the interviewer. The best part? You can create a cheat sheet! Write it all down and have this lifesaver handy during your call – just be sure you use it as a prompt for your talking points rather than reading it like a script. It’s also a good idea to have your resume in front of you, as well as any other documentation you may need to reference during the call. Some recruiters may even direct you to a website during the call so it may be a good idea to be in front of a computer as well.

When setting up the interview, it is important to ensure that you are available to take the call at the scheduled time. If the recruiter suggests a time that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to speak up and choose a time that will allow you to be at home or in a quiet space without distractions. Also be sure to answer the call promptly – don’t let it go to voicemail. Unfortunately, a missed call can likely mean a missed opportunity for you.

In the event that the recruiter calls and wants to do an on-the-spot phone interview and it’s not a good time for you (i.e. you’re at the grocery store, picking your children up from school, etc.), you may apologetically explain your situation and suggest setting up a different time. If the interviewer is hesitant to reschedule, you may have to go for it and try your best!

Taking the call
As with any professional call, it is always a good idea to answer the phone with your name (i.e. “Hello, this is John Smith”) to prevent the recruiter from having to ask for you and to get the conversation flowing immediately. It might sound silly but smiling while talking will also transmit enthusiasm and help to portray a friendly demeanor. When you are not speaking, it is courteous to put your phone on mute to prevent the recruiter from hearing background noise on your end while they are speaking. Just be sure to unmute yourself before speaking again!

Of course, it is vital that you are honest during the call. Interviewing over the phone can create a false sense of security but chances are that if you progress to an in-person interview – and then on to employment ­– the truth will likely come to light. Start off with your potential employer on the right foot and be truthful in your dialogue. As with any interview, be sure to finish the call by asking what the next steps may be and when you can expect to hear back. Be sure to have pen and paper handy in case you need to jot anything down!

Following the call
Lastly, it is always a good idea to follow an interview, whether on the phone or in-person, with a thank you note. This is not only a way to display your interest and professionalism but also a second chance to reiterate your strengths and the value you could provide the company. If you do not already have a mailing address or email address for your interviewer, be sure to ask for their contact information at the end of your interview so you know where to send your thank you letter/email.

It’s okay to be nervous – just do your best and remember that the immediate goal of the phone interview is to get an in-person interview. Just think of the phone interview as a practice run and you’ll be well on your way mastering the rest of the interview process!

Online Networking Benefits Veterans and Transitioning Service Members

Networking has always been a vital component of a job search, but now job seekers have access to a variety of online platforms that make interacting with employers and peers easier. For example, veterans and transitioning military service members can use RallyPoint to build their professional network and explore career opportunities within the military and civilian sector. Watch more tips for successful networking from Shaw Industries’ Deane Osner.

What’s the best job seeker advice shared with you? Comment below! Ready for your next job? Visit http://my.jobs or http://veterans.jobs

[JOB SEEKERS] A Look at State-By-State Job Openings in the U.S.A.

Optimizing your LinkedIn Headline, a Psychological Look

The following guest post is from Joshua Waldman, founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. Watch his exclusive video “3 Secrets to Getting Job Interviews by Next Week” to learn the 3 secrets no one wants you to know about getting hired in today’s job market. 

In the psychology of design, your LinkedIn headline is known as Caption Text, that is, any text that appears beneath or next to an image as if to explain it’s context.

Think about the last magazine you read. Your eye went to the picture, then the text below it looking for context.

It’s no wonder that eye tracking studies of people looking at LinkedIn profiles routinely show the headline as the #2 area just after the picture.

Furthermore, the headline is the only text presented next to your photo on a search results page. A good headline gets the click. A boring headline and the entire profile get’s ignored.

Despite the Headline’s relative importance, it amazes me how little time people devote to it.

Look. You have 120 characters to make a powerful first impression. Why not take full advantage of that opportunity.

If your headline is less than 100 characters, chances are you’re just using your job title.

I saw a headline once, “Senior Software Engineer | QA”. The guy lived in the San Francisco area. Do you want to guess how many other engineers he’s competing with for attention? Thousands.

Don’t commoditize yourself. You are more than your job title.

He might have added, “Enabling quality time to market products for 9 years” to show that he understands the business problem, time to market deadlines.

Here are some Headline writing guidelines:

  • Use up as much of those 120 characters as possible
  • Include your job title but…
  • add more than just your title, make your profile unique and interesting
  • Show you understand your target audience by mentioning a problem you solve

If you liked this post, join us for a free one-hour webinar, 3 Secrets to Getting Hired Using LinkedIn, featuring Career Enlightenment’s Joshua Waldman on Tuesday, May 20 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT. Learn more and register now!

Completing Your My.jobs Profile for Increased Employer Visibility

If you aren’t familiar with it by now, My.jobs is a new resource from DirectEmployers Association that assists job seekers in finding open positions from verified employers around the world. We recently shared a post on how to set up a saved search on My.jobs in order to have job openings of interest sent directly to your email inbox, but this post will focus on the importance of fully completing your profile upon registration. Remember, the more information you share about yourself, the more employers can learn as they consider you for employment.

While you may have reservations about sharing your information, it is important to know that My.jobs has been awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal signifying that its privacy policy and practices have been reviewed for compliance in regards to the collection and use of job seeker’s personal information.

So, what information is included in the establishment of a My.jobs profile? Information that you should absolutely plan to share includes: name, email address, employment history, education and other preferred methods of contacting you. You also have the opportunity to include additional information that may apply to you, such as:

  • Secondary Email Address
  • Military Service
  • Website
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Volunteer History
  • Summary

Enhancing your profile to include this information may be especially useful to employers who are looking for candidates with a web portfolio, certifications, or a military background. Just think of your profile as a virtual resume!

Once you interact with a company’s jobs, the employer can view your profile. As you search and click on opportunities of interest, it’s like tapping that employer on the shoulder and letting them know you’re interested. You can also view a company-specific page on the network, such as REI.jobs to make your profile accessible by that organization.

Think your profile is complete? On the right side of your profile you will find a helpful tool bar that tracks the completion of your profile (by percentage), based on the information that you have provided. Be as thorough as you can to improve your visibility and attractiveness to employers, but remember to be truthful. Embellishing on your education, employment history and achievements is never a good idea; the truth will come out eventually!

What are you waiting for? Create a profile today and start your career search on My.jobs – the right place for you!

You Are Not A Job Seeker!

Watch Joshua’s exclusive video “3 Secrets to Getting Job Interviews by Next Week” to learn the 3 secrets no one wants you to know about getting hired in today’s job market. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. 

 

Job seekerThis article originally appeared in apploi-observer.com last December 10, 2013.

Ever hear the expression, “It’s easier to get a job when you already have one?” Well, it’s true!

When I was at Cisco back in 2008, I had recruiters contacting me almost every single week. As soon as I was laid off, they disappeared. Advertising to the world, “I’m looking for a job” is the fastest way to scare recruiters off. Somehow “unemployed” became synonymous with “unemployable”. This type of unemployment discrimination is prevalent in almost all sectors and although it makes me sick, it’s a reality. Luckily there are some things you can do to avoid getting labeled as ‘unemployable’.

 

Unemployment discrimination is prevalent in almost all sectors and although it makes me sick, it’s a reality. Luckily there are some things you can do to avoid getting labeled as ‘unemployable’.

 

Don’t Job “Seek”

Someone once asked me: “Should I say ‘seeking new opportunities’ so that employers know I am interested in a change?” No!

It would be committing career suicide to say, “I’m looking for work” (or any variation).  You want to show what you can do for them. The word “seeking” is asking what they can do for you. Demonstrate your value to a prospective employer and mention your openness to new opportunities in your summary (if at all).

Consultant is Just a Fancy Word for Unemployed

I was working with a friend the other day when he erupted into laughter and said, “John just updated his profile to Consultant. I guess he got fired.”

If you suddenly update your current position to consultant or freelancer, you’re just telling your network that you got canned. Likewise, if a recruiter sees that you are a consultant, they’ll assume you’re unemployed unless you give them more information.

There are a few solutions to this dilemma.

1. If you really are a consultant, backdate your starting date in your role to before you were laid off. Then add as many work samples and testimonials as possible.

2. If you did just lose your job, don’t feel that you are necessarily obligated to update this information right away.

How About You?

These details are only things that matter at first. After you’ve made contact with an employer, allow them to get to know you and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble convincing them that you are very much employable.

Have you encountered unemployment discrimination before? What do you do about it?

Thanks again to Joshua for continuing to let us share his great content. Get more job seeker advice from other Help Wanted posts and find your next job at My.jobs.

Healing Tips for the Broken Hearted Job Seeker

In the spirit of Valentines’s Day, we wanted to share the following guest post from Joshua Waldman. Watch Joshua’s exclusive video “3 Secrets to Getting Job Interviews by Next Week” to learn the 3 secrets no one wants you to know about getting hired in today’s job market. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. 


Someone once told me that a corporation was a nasty thing to fall in love with….because it will NEVER love you back. The rules of loyalty in the work force are changing. No one can deny that.

However, knowing this doesn’t change the pain of getting laid off or let go. It hurts. It can wound.

Each of us reacts in one of two ways, either by getting pissed off and hating the company we used to love, or by blaming ourselves in what can be called a state of numbness.

These wounds deserve every bit of healing that we have. However, because our financial situation may depend on sweeping the pain aside and getting another job as quickly as possible, we might need a strategy of getting past this stage.

The Cure or the Healing

For those of you who can’t afford to wait a month to regroup, lick the wounds and find your emotional footing again, I offer these simple speed coping tips.

  1. Stop the story: stop replying the day you got the pink slip. Stop repeating the story that is pissing you off. Instead replace it with what you need to do right now?
  2. Stop and Breath: Calm down. You can never get anywhere if your mind is still in a fighting mode or if you are numb. Wake up in the morning and count 10 breaths. Allow your mind to come back down.
  3. Allow the parts: allow the part of you that is angry to be angry… on the weekend when you can afford it. Allow that part of you that is sad or afraid to feel that way…after 5 when you’ve completed your job search tasks for the day.
  4. Let it out: find new ways to channel the emotion. If you punch, then punch a punching bag. If you shout, then shout in the car on the highway. If you cry, then give yourself space to do that. And when you are done, then leave the emotion there.

Thanks again Joshua for sharing your expertise! When you’re ready to regroup and move forward with your job search, visit My.jobs.

An Often Overlooked Keyword Tip for a Better Online Job Search

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is recognized as one of the nation’s top authorities in Social Media Career Advancement. To learn Joshua’s secret strategies for shortening the online job search and getting the right job right away, watch his exclusive video training here to learn How To Use Social Media Find a Job. The following is a guest post from Joshua.


The Death of the Verb

You and I have both heard the typical line from career counselors, “use power verbs in your résumé.” Right? They’ve even given us lists and lists of verbs to begin sentences:

  • Managed team of 10 engineers in highly competitive RFP process
  • Resolved difficult customer service issue for high stakes sale
  • Safeguarded company position through advanced marketing strategy

The problem with all of these verbs is that online, verbs are not as powerful as nouns.

Thanks to search engines, and by extension, résumé-crawling software that HR departments use to pre-filter candidates, using the right nouns can either get you a job or keep you in the unemployment line.

The New Rules of Résumé Language

I’m not suggesting that you pack in as many nouns related to your field as possible. Keep it real, and just change the focus from verbs to nouns.

Careful. If you take this too far, your online résumé might look like this:

Manager, team player and results-oriented marketing professional with 10 years experience managing, leading teams and running advertising for large companies that have managers and teams….

Make sure you write for people, but make sure to use the right combination of nouns. Too many nouns will get you red-flagged and discarded. Sentences that don’t make sense are also thrown out.

Where Do I Find My Nouns?

Because you are targeting specific jobs with specific companies, no one can give you a list. There are many tools to help you, but the best one comes directly from the company you are targeting!

Here are the steps I tell clients to grow their noun list:

  1. Collect 5-10 job postings from the company and/or position you are looking for (hmmm I guess Job Boards are good for one thing!)
  2. Highlight the nouns that seem to be recurring over and over again
  3. Jot down the nouns with the highest occurrences; make a list of 10.

Now you know what words to weave into your résumé for your target company.

For more tips and advice, check out other Help Wanted blogs and our Job Seeker Pinterest board.

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