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Let your Resume Speak Volumes for that Next Big Job
Before you even get through the door of any job interview, there is already one document that has done the talking for you ? your resume. A good resume can mean the difference between getting the call of the interview and waiting by phone, and a well written, thoughtful resume can make you stand out over and above other applications with similar skills and work experience. Let your resume give you the edge on that next big job by following a few simple tips.
When you sit down to write your resume, you need to plan it out before you start typing. There are two main formats for a resume: the chronological format, in which you simply list your job history, starting with your most recent or current job and moving backwards, and the functional format, in which you highlight your skills and experience rather than specific jobs and specific employers. The chronological format is definitely the most common, and many employers prefer this kind of resume, but choose the format this is going to show off your skills in the best light. If your work history is a choppy and a chronological format resume would only draw attention to that, use the functional format. The key is to choose the format that will give you the best chance of getting noticed for the job and to stick with the format throughout your resume.
No matter which resume format you choose to use, the top of your resume should always include your name, contact information and work objectives. Name and contact information is pretty straight forward, although experts do recommend that if you have a ?gender neutral? name that you include a helpful ?Mr.? or ?Ms? to clear up any confusion. Your work objectives should be your career goals. For instance, if you want to manage a small team of sales people, then say that, so your potential employers know that you are moving in a certain direction with your career and not simply apply for jobs willy-nilly.
After your work objective comes your work experience. List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Instead of simply creating a bullet pointed list your work related tasks, look for a way to frame all of your responsibilities so that they sound like you showed leadership and problem solving capabilities. For instance, if you were in charge of keeping the expensive accounts in order, say that you were in charge of troubleshooting monthly expense account records, saving the company hundreds of dollars every month.
If you have a few blips in your work history, be clear about what you were doing in the downtime. If you were raising children, traveling, or in school, say that you were. If you weren?t really doing anything, put as positive a spin on things as you can without lying. Never leave gaps in your work history unaddressed on your resume.
After your work history, it is time to list your education credentials. If you didn?t finish a degree, say how much college work you completed and highlight any coursework relevant to the job. If your college degree or post grad work is in progress, say when you expect to be finished. This is another place where gaps matter. If there is a gap in your education history, again say what you were doing in that time, referring back to your work history where appropriate. You can overcome these gaps as long as you don?t pretend that they don?t exist.
Round out your resume by listing any awards and professional memberships you may hold. Don?t get into your hobbies unless they are specifically related to the position for which you are applying. Personal details like religion and race have no place on your resume and you are not required to disclose your age. Instead, let your experience do the talking.
Big Time Experience with Small Time Publications (writing newsletter articles) When you start writing, you may have ambitions of getting your name on the front page of newspapers and on feature stories in magazines, but you will soon find out that it takes time to get there. Even the best writers have to make their way through the ranks before making it to headline status. Don?t be discouraged though. Even though you may have been rejected more times than you could have ever imagined, there are still many places that will be accepting. Even if you feel like you?ve exhausted all of your creative power, there are publications that are ready to help you develop even further. The buildup is not leading towards riches or fame, but writing newsletter articles can be a great step in that direction. The first thing that any writer should realize is that there is more to learn. Even knowing all of the grammar and all of the clarity rules will not make you a good writer. Only experience can bring you to that place. Newsletters are a great place to start getting cleaning up your writing and to start learning to write for different audiences. Who Prints Newsletters? Why are newsletters such a great place to start earning publications? There are plenty of organizations and groups that print them. The printing money and the circulation are already in place. The other great thing about writing newsletter articles is that there is almost always a high demand for newsletter writers. The pay is not great and is most often non-existent, but the newsletters must go out all the same. Hit up any organization in town that you know prints a newsletter. Some of the printing is done nationally for the larger organizations, but many will be done locally. Try volunteer and non-profit organizations as well as university and church groups. These organizations will all have news that they need to get to the public. Many of them survive based on public donations. What that means for you is that there is plenty of demand for talented and interesting writers. The Expert in Print If you have any sort of claim to expertise along with your writing skills, you will be a fantastic candidate for writing newsletter articles. One great draw for a reader is the pull of a well researched and authoritative article. Imagine the thrilled group of environmentalists when you approach them with evidence that the developmental process for non-stick pan coating is connected to the decreasing population of Asian tortoises. You?d have a job in no time. Regardless of whether or not you got paid for your work, you can expect that you?d get repeated assignments, growing experience and bylines galore for your next step of job applications. Being knowledgeable about a certain subject will give you many writing opportunities. If you have any experience in a subject area, be sure to add it to your resume. As you write newsletter articles, you?ll only add to you?re your expertise. Other Newsletter Articles If you don?t necessarily believe that you have an area of expertise that is not a problem. There are many other ways to get into writing newsletter articles. A big part of newsletter content is just content. Newsletters need to be made up of interesting and varied articles. There are usually volunteers that head up the projects and they in turn hire various writers to fill in the titles that they choose. If you can be flexible in your writing and if you can find a newsletter that works with a topic you care about, you will be well on your way to building your resume with bylines and great circulation. Writing newsletter articles will probably not be a career in itself because of the low pay scale, but it will take you closer to a lucrative writing career. Think of writing newsletter articles as a type of community service. Even after you have added paying pieces to your repertoire you may continue to write for the newsletters that you care about.
Important Steps to Follow in Creating a Professional Digital Identity for your Job Search Having a professional digital identify is essential in finding new business or employment. Everyone can benefit from having a polished professional digital identity. It is key to advancing in any career. Of course, how you present yourself digitally depending on what type of career advancement you are going for. If you are starting a new business you will need to have a stellar website. A professional should consulted so that you have the best website possible. If you are interested in securing a new job, you can probably build your own website or just post your resume and portfolio. Trying to land an interview is much easier than striking out on your own so it takes a little less effort. However, no matter what your career aspirations are a professional digital identity is important. If your professional digital identity is lacking in credibility spend some time and effort improving it. A healthy professional digital identity will help you get the job you desire. Instead of spending money on business cards, invest in presenting yourself well on the web. People can always get in touch with you on the web. Business cards get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day paper accumulation that most people acquire. Locate all of the social networking sites you can. You can never be too well represented on the web. Of course, people like to shake hands and meet you in person. When circumstances permit, set up lunches or coffee dates to discuss projects or networking opportunities. For entrepreneurs, it is wise to stay well acquainted. The type of business you are in will influence what you have in your portfolio. If you are striving to build an online presence for your own personal business, have plenty of samples on your site. If you business is not one where you have samples to show, have coupons or special offers posted. Create a strong professional digital identity and you will attract more sales. Whether you are networking or building up business for yourself, you need to have a professional digital identity that people can respect. Provide a number of ways for people to get in touch with you and keep your information updated. Do pro bono if necessary. Do some things for free to gain exposure. First impressions have a big influence on what people think about you. In the past people were limited to physical or phone impressions. These days the way that employees first get to know most candidates is through their digital identity. A bad web site or a sloppy portfolio online can ruin your chances of getting a job. Make sure that your professional digital identity is well developed. One of the major mistakes people make when it comes to digital identity is registering for networking and social sites and posting less than favorable pictures and comments. Some employers check MySpace and Facebook to try to get a clear picture of the candidate they are interviewing or deciding whether or not to work with. If your Myspace page is full of pictures of you in your scantly clad bathing suit their decision to hire you or not becomes very easy. Do not use your real name to register for these types of sites. Or if you do, use the site in a professional manner. Set up your Myspace page in an attractive and professional way. Friends will be able to reach you but employers will also view you in a professional manner. A great way to present yourself well digitally is to have your own website. Upload your resume and include information about your work history. Employers will be able to review your work history more extensively making them more inclined to contact you.
How to Be a Better Employee when You Work for Yourself Whether you are just starting or you have had your own business for many years, there are many reasons why you would be a better employee when you work for yourself. The biggest reason of all is probably that you work to make your own living. You do not just get a salary. If you as the boss and owner of the business do not produce the work and effort needed, you most likely will not make any money. If your business is not only providing for you, but also for you family, it is even more important that you make profit of your company. No profit and income from your joint venture means no food on your family?s table and that is a serious problem. For this monetary reason, many self-employed workers work harder, longer and put more effort in than other employees. Another reason lies within proving that your business can be successful. You want to be top-notch in what you are doing. Whether it is manufacturing products or offering services, if it is your own business, you are taking pride in what you do and you want to prove to customers and others that you are their first choice. Then you need to deliver quality. Often times as an owner of a business, you make sure that everything is one hundred percent and that is more than you would most likely give for somebody else?s business. If you work for a company as one of their employees, you might wonder why you should work long hours each and everyday, without the benefits. However, when it is your own business, money flows right into your pockets and every profit you gain from working harder can be yours immediately. Also, if you belong to the group of people that like to decide when they start work, when they finish and what they do, then being your own boss is probably one of the best choices for you. It is easier to work better and give more energy in what you do when you can decide what exactly you want to work on. Of course, some things always have to be done, but you can more or less decide whether you want to do it now or at ten o?clock at night. Did you also know that most of people would work better when they are having people that are under them? You are trying to set an example in work ethics, hours worked and projects completed and therefore, you will put extra effort in what you do when you are working for yourself. Your employees take you as an example for how they should do their work and if you just hang around and do nothing, why would your employees be motivated to do something? But if they get feedback and motivation from you and can see that you put just as much effort or even more into the company, they are more likely willing to follow in the footprints that you have left for them. Keep in mind, that when working for yourself, you are your own resource and motivator. Therefore it is important that you keep better work ethics than when you work for somebody else to not risk what you started. A hard working company owner most often gets rewarded with a growing business and happy customers that will come back year after year. Customers do like to be appreciated and a hard working business owner that will get on their case immediately is one way of appreciation to them.