Current workforce trends reflect constant change: reengineering, reinventing, and re-training. Employees unprepared for this environment may find they are forced to make unwise career decisions and transitions or, perhaps, lose jobs based on lack pf preparedness. Employers look for employees who understand how their knowledge, skills, and abilities match the demands of the current job openings and for possible promotions or developmental projects.
Two things happen when a person is hired to do a job that matches their natural work preferences. First, they immediately focus their energy on the completion of the job. Second, they enjoy doing the job because of the natural behavioral match-up. By contrast, those people who bring different work preferences and motivators to the job first have to focus their energy on changing their behavior to meet the job and then use what energy is left to perform the duties of the job.
Before writing a resume or applying for a specific job, you need to begin the process of knowing YOURSELF, your strengths, the type of work environment that you need to be successful and understand what motivates you. You also need to understand as much as you can about the job or project being offered. By clarifying job expectations, discovering reasons for inner conflict and stress experienced in past or present jobs and in analyzing your perception of the “ideal job”, sound career choices and changes can be made more easily.
TYPES OF RESUMES:
The type of resume you prepare may be directly related to the type of job you are seeking and your work history. The first type of resume is a chronological resume. This resume will list your experience from the most recent and then progress back NO MORE THAN 10 YEARS. Employers are looking at your current areas of expertise.
If you have experiences that are more than 10 years and are relevant to the job you may want to develop an experiential resume. In an experiential resume you identify your skills, give examples of your experience and/or describe how you were successful in utilizing those skills - without putting dates
It is also important to note that you may want to create several resumes or tailor your primary resume so it matches what a potential employer is looking for. Narrow the range of realistic job possibilities and then label your resume according or include the exact job opening in your “objectives”.
So Where Do I Start?
Here are a few hints that will help you in writing and submitting a resume:
1. When sending a resume by e-mail, always have a cover letter as an introduction in addition to attaching your resume. Put the text of your letter in the e-mail as opposed to attaching. People are busy and may not take the time to open two attachments. It is also appropriate to put your resume in the text of your e-mail if you are sure the formatting will hold.
2. When uploading into an online job form or attaching to a direct e-mail, label the document with your first and last name. Avoid unrecognizable or “cutesy” document names, i.e., Jumpingjosh.doc. Instead simply use your name and identify the document, i.e. JohnDoeResume.doc. You want the reader to know immediately who is sending the e-mail and to be able to retrieve it if they save it to a data file for future review.
4. If asked to include references, only use professional or job related references. Organizations know that if you use Aunt Betty as a reference, she probably can’t speak to your work skills. Let references know you are using their name and make sure you have a correct phone number for them.
5. Always take a copy of your resume to the interview so you can refer to any sections where there may be questions or if the interviewer does not have a copy.
6. If asked for a one-page resume, KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE. You will often be given the opportunity to attach or include additional supportive information but, if not, don’t include it.
7. Use Arial or Times New Roman font. This is a professional document, not a letter to a friend. Keep your fonts crisp and easy to read.
8. If you're responding to an email address, check the email address to see if it looks like a person's name. If the email address is a person's name, don't address your cover letter "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom it May Concern." If the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, begin your letter "Dear Ms. Jenkins."
9. Don't, don't, don't send an email message that says "To learn more about me, click here" with your blog or personal website url. Write a proper cover letter, instead.
10. Be personable and conversational in your letter, but don't be cutesy. "Stop! Your search is over. I am the person you want to hire."
11. If you say in your letter "I am perfect for the job" explain why and be specific. If you've had experience in similar jobs, describe your experience.
12. Use spell-check!!!!! Ask another person to read your resume and cover letter for feedback. Find a person who will be honest with you and who has some knowledge about how to write a resume and cover letter.