Judi Perkins, contributing career writer for JamminJobs.com1.A BLAND OR GENERIC OBJECTIVE: If your objective could be applied to a marketing resume as easily as a resume for an accounting position, then your objective says nothing and will get you nowhere. An objective is NOT some required paragraph at the top of the page that is an exercise in 5 lines of job speak. It's an actual and real description of your skills as they're related to who you are and what you want. It should vary with the type of job for which you are applying. 2.BLAND JOB DETAILS: "Responsibilities included overseeing construction of 4 Hilton Hotels in Tri-City Metro Area, each 50 floors in height." Yeah? So what? That doesn't say if they went up on schedule or if you brought the projects in under budget. It doesn't say if you took all four from site work up or if the guy handling two of the four hotels was fired and you were promoted to overseeing all four. Differentiate yourself from the others coming in to interview. If you don't tell the hiring company how you will be an asset to them, how will they know? 3.WHO'S THE MYSTERY COMPANY?: Don't assume the name and purpose of your company is common knowledge. If it's a competitor, it might be, and if it's in the same industry and located nearby, it might be. To be on the safe side, provide a sentence or two about the focus of your company's products or services.4.ANOTHER JOB, ANOTHER PARAGRAPH: Don't keep adding on to your resume job after job, year after year. By the time you're in your 40s, you need to have weeded out some of the earlier stuff. You don't need all the college activities, just your degree. You don't need ALL 5 bullets for each of your first two jobs. 5.REFERENCES: Shouldn't be listed on your resume. "References available on request" is the proper phrase. You present them separately when they're requested. This isn't about protocol. This is about protecting your references so they aren't called until you and the company are serious about each other. 6.IT'S NOT A STORY!: Don't - whatever you do, DON'T - write your resume in the third person! 7.SKIP THE PERSONAL INFO: You might think your weekend baseball coaching or your church choir participation shows you're an interesting and well-rounded person, but they're irrelevant. If the interviewer wants to know who you are as a person, aside from the job interview and your qualifications, he'll ask. 8.DEGREE DATE: No matter how old you are, don't leave the date of when you were graduated off your resume. It looks like you're hiding something (well, you are, aren't you?), and then everyone counts the years backwards and tries to figure out how old you are. Sometimes you can be ruled out - just for leaving the date off. If you're trying to hide your age by not stating the date, what else might you not be forthcoming about? 9.SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK: Spell checking visually by you AND someone else, any fewer than three times, isn't enough. And don't forget to check your punctuation.10.GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part one: Don't use one of those resume blaster things. Half of those sites they blast it to aren't even valid. You don't know how it will come out on the other end. You don't even know where it's going or if the landing targets are employment related. It's bad form and just....NOT the way to find your perfect job. Finding your perfect job takes focus, attention, detail, individuality, tailoring, specifics. Resume blasting is about as far from that as you can get.11.GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part two: If it's an ad, you probably have instructions as to how to send it. If it says email, cut and paste it in the form, AND attach it. You never know what it can look like on the other end because of the variety of settings available to each user. Quite frankly, you're better off not emailing it at all, because it usually just goes into cyber space, and then it's all about the hiring company - but unfortunately, besides not sending it at all, sometimes that's your only choice. Emailing your resume takes any option for further participation right out of your hands, because often there's not even a name given for a follow up contact. You've no other option than to wait and wonder. (And half the time it's going to HR or an admin department to be scanned into an electronic database.)12.GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part three: If you know the company, call and ask if they prefer email, fax, or snail mail. I know a recruiter who never even opened his email. Because he was listed in The Kennedy Guide to Executive Recruiters, he received so many resumes emailed to him cold (so NOT pro-active) that he just did a mass delete every morning. Candidates contacted for a specific search were requested to snail mail their resume to him. How about that? I'll bet less than 10% of those who emailed their resumes even bothered to follow up to see if it was received (this isn't a numbers game). 13.RESUME VISUALS: Ivory paper. Black ink. Individual pages. No plastic, 7th grade, science report cover with the plastic slider or metal push down tabs. Your name centered at the top, not on a cover page that says "Introducing Clifton Lewis Montgomery III". No exceptions. Your resume is a professional document, not a school book report or an art project. Until every resume is done this way, yours will still stand out in the crowd.You are the product, and your resume is the marketing piece. To find your perfect job you must differentiate yourself from the other people who will be interviewed. Your resume must be specific, individualized, easy to skim so it invites a closer reading, and focused on the differences you've made with your previous companies, as well as the accomplishments you've achieved with - and for - them. This tells the hiring company what you can do for them - and it IS about the hiring company, not you.Of course this assumes you meet the requirements for the job - otherwise it doesn't matter how good your resume is! The resume is what gets you in the door. If your resume is poorly written, looks sloppy, is difficult to read, is cryptic in any way, or necessitates being slogged through to learn your information (they won't bother), you won't even get in the door. And how can you decide whether you like the company, if they've already decided they don't like you?copyright: Judi Perkins, VisionQuest
I had a recent exchange of e-mails with someone who wrote:"39 dollars for a book that proclaims itself to be a way out of depression and feelings of worthlessness for unemployed people?Tell me: what does a PsyD know about unemployment and low-self-worth? This price tag is atrocious.You are victimizing the unemployed, the societal outsider, and I do not appreciate it."After my initial response, he wrote back: "I can't say I expected any less than what you've given... a total dismissal of my opinion. Do you see no injustice in the "Catch 22" of expensive "ways out" of financial difficulty?"The gentleman raises a very interesting question. Is there something inherently exploitative about selling a product or a service to individuals who are in a place of great need and few resources?There is a common expression in marketing: "Don't try selling boxes to the homeless." Why? Because they obviously have no money, that's why they are homeless. Sales need to be geared to a more lucrative market and demographic distribution charts are developed that pinpoint geographic locations, professions, age levels, and ethnic distributions where household incomes are higher and purchasing is more likely.Where does that leave the homeless, or anyone else who is in a difficult situation where help is needed but money to pay for it is unavailable or severely limited?There is the government for starters. At all levels, our public agencies exist to provide the help and services citizens need, that is the purpose of paying taxes. In fact, they do provide those services to a greater or lesser extent, depending upon how well developed is that particular sector. When the services fall short of what is needed, the private sector steps in. Apart from true charity organizations or companies contracted with some level of government, private services require regular income or will shortly vanish from the scene.If public colleges don't provide the classes you need, on a schedule convenient to you, you pay to attend a private vocational school that costs thousands of dollars more than a community college but gives you what you need, when you need it.If the State Consumer Credit office can't help you with your bills and creditors are driving you crazy, you pay a private credit company to work out some sort of financial survival plan.If the unemployment office has not been able to help you find work, you may pay a private job coaching service to redo your resume, give you interviewing skills practice, and perform research in your field. Are these agencies exploiting your predicament or meeting your needs? If they give you what you paid for, they are providing a service. Obtaining solid vocational skills that lead to a good job, working out a manageable repayment schedule that allows you to live without the hounding of collectors, or transforming your self-presentation to allow successful competition for a good position, are all examples of worthwhile pay-for-results exchanges.It becomes exploitative when a school takes thousands of dollars, provides training of questionable quality, and leaves you unemployed with huge student loans to repay. It is exploitative when a company takes money to reestablish your credit and fails to follow through, leaving you still battling collectors with even more depleted assets. It is exploitative when an employment-assistance agency charges you hundred (or thousands) of dollars and fails to produce the results they promised.In the end, it comes down to what we need and whether we are willing to pay for a service we see as better than those publicly funded. It also means that we have a responsibility to ourselves to thoroughly research any company, or group, or author, before we hand over our money, to make sure that the services offered will be useful, that the source will deliver what has been promised, and what recourse we have if premature withdrawal is necessary.P.S. I cut the price of the book in half, anyway.
College students and recent graduates seeking to get a foot in the door in the working world can gain valuable experience through volunteering. The key to success is in thinking beyond traditional jobs to find volunteer opportunities and resources that will jump-start a meaningful and fulfilling career.Volunteering experience can be a significant asset to the resumes of college students and graduates. Many recruiters now look for volunteer service on resumes as a telltale sign of strong moral character, good work ethic and proven leadership skills. Not only does volunteer experience show potential employers that a candidate is a responsible citizen of the world, but it also provides networking opportunities, a critical component of the business world that may be a new concept for those in college or recently graduated.Kiwanis International, a global volunteer service organization, and Circle K International, a Kiwanis service leadership program for college students, created the Career Contacts program and job board with the link between volunteering and networking in mind. Designed to promote career development by encouraging college students to interact with Kiwanis members, the program offers opportunities for students and recent graduates to introduce themselves to key decision-makers across a wide variety of professional fields. Kiwanis members support the program in many ways; as career mentors, hosts for a "day at the office," participants in a campus career fair or mock job interview, or just by being listed in the business directory."We created this program in hopes of educating today's youth on the process of job searching and providing them with opportunities vital to success in today's working world," said Casey Keller, director of Circle K International. "Career Contacts is an excellent resource for both potential employees and employers to find prospects with similar, service-oriented interests and backgrounds."For other ways to build a circle of professional contacts and gain valuable volunteering experience, consider the following tips:• Join a service organization or start your own local club.• Actively seek out volunteer opportunities, job fairs and professional networking events related to your field.• Ask to job shadow a professional contact met through volunteering.• Utilize volunteering and networking Web sites to meet likeminded individuals.• Participate in your school's local chapter of a larger professional organization.
For most people, aiming for a higher position at once is the key to job search success. However, for some people who know that in order to succeed in the job market, they have to, literally, start from scratch. This means that people who want to grow positively in the working world; they have to learn the basics and fundamental principles of working, how it is to love the work most people do, and how to establish a good working relationship with his or her colleagues.In order to enjoy all of these, one must submit himself or herself to an entry-level type of job. This refers to a job that requires minimal skills and expertise with no experience requirement needed. Because of its nature, entry-level jobs are characterized by low salary, require physical work, and sometimes need field work.Most often than not, people who are into entry-level jobs have very low hourly rates and may or may not entail insurance. This would mean that any hospital expenses caused by accidents that happened while the worker is at work may or may not be compensated by the employer, meaning there is no guarantee or whatsoever.Whats more, most entry-level jobs are on a part-time basis. Examples of entry-level jobs are receptionist, apprenticeship, those who are working in a fast food restaurant, customer service, cashiers, etc.Contrary to popular belief, entry-level jobs should not be ignored. What people do not realize is that entry-level jobs offer more than just low wages. These jobs are the foundation of all other positions available in the job market.In most cases, people who start to work on higher positions right after they graduate from college are easily bored from their work. What is even worse, there is no room available for personal growth and career advancement.Entry-level jobs are the stepping-stone to success in careers. So, for people who wish to grow and be promoted to a higher position, here are some tips that they can use:1. Workers who are in the entry-level position should show enthusiasm, efficiency, caring, and love for his work.2. They should master their skills and hone their craft.3. They should be an expert on customer service.4. They should know how to impress a customer who happens to be seeking an employee who knows optimum customer service.These are just a few of the qualities that must be employed by an entry-level worker in order to advance to a higher position. And once he reaches the top, he knows that work is definitely something worth valuing for.
Q: I understand that Entrex has brought public market standards and disciplines to the private market. What does this mean for my employees and the possibility of stock ownership or options?- Al Davenport, business owner, Pompano Beach, Fla. A: This is a great opportunity to show your employees the value they bring to your company. Just imagine if employees could actually see quantifiable gains and losses in the value of the company through their efforts.Public companies have the advantage of being able to option employees with shares that have quantifiable value. Now, by following the standards for public company disclosures and reporting, private companies and their shareholders can measure performance against established benchmarks.As a company owner, you have the choice of providing limited distribution of company data or offering wide access to the community of alternative investors. In either case, by participating in the private company market, you provide employees the means of having a tangible quarterly valuation of their stock and ultimately, the possibility of liquidating their shares.You didn't mention whether you have an actual employee stock ownership plan program, or if you have limited distribution of stock to key employees. While ESOPs may provide liquidity for the founding shareholder, new owner/employees have generally fewer liquidity options, because they have limited exposure to the financial community.The private equity market provides a vehicle for companies to gain exposure, allowing their stock to trade freely among alternative investors. By simply following industry-accepted valuation principles, owners, optioned employees and external investors can acquire shares, track share value and know their liquidity options.