Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is Your Resume Getting Any Action?

When your resume is not working for you, what do you do?
  1. Sit at home and sulk, because you can't find a job.
  2. Go shopping to bring some joy to your life.
  3. Yell at someone. It's always better to make someone else feel worse.
  4. Make a new resume.
Although all the above are definitely options, I would suggest you lean more to number 4. Make a new resume. If you are not receiving any interview requests, perhaps it's because the screeners/scanners do not see anything that appeals to them.

Is your resume the best it can be? Have you followed the new rules or are you still doing things like adding your age and hobbies to your resume? Be smart and research what makes a good resume. Once you have done that, try to incorporate those techniques into a new resume that gets noticed. If writing is not your thing, then find someone to write your resume for you. This is not the time to be proud or frugal.
Here are a few tips to get you started on creating your new, action focused resume.

  • Use action words. What better way to show that you can get the job done. Ex. Instead of saying, "Worked as an analyst" say, "Analyzed data". The first phrase sounds like you had someone pushing you to do it. The second sounds like you took action without being pushed.
  • Highlight your transferable skills. When your resume makes it past the scanner, you want it to be easy for a person to identify your best features.
  • Eliminate any reference to age. Ageism exists, but is not always just against the older worker, as some might have you believe
  • Use the spell-checker that comes with your word processing software, but don't rely on it to locate all errors. Spell-checkers look for words that are misspelled. They don't look for words that are improperly used, but spelled correctly.
  • Have someone you respect read your resume and offer feedback. Although you have spell-checked your document, there is almost always something that you've missed or perhaps a better way to say something.
I would love to hear how your new resume works for you. Leave a comment to update me on your results.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolutions and Solutions

Normally, I don't make resolutions for the new year, but for some reason this year felt different. I actually made several resolutions and by starting this blog, I have kept them all.

As a career coach, I meet many people who have made resolutions that were sidelined as a result of career/job transitions. Some of these people are in transition, as a result of layoffs or firings. Others decided it was a good time to make the change. Those who experienced the loss through layoffs and firings were often caught unaware. Those who chose to leave their jobs, obviously had some warning. Regardless why the transition happened, the change still caused some type of upheaval in their lives.

How can we maintain our focus on resolutions we made to better our lives, during a time of transition? Here are 5 solutions to keeping resolutions throughout your career transitions.

  1. Make goals for your new career plans and include your resolutions in them.
  2. Assign deadline dates to the resolutions. Most of us operate on a schedule. If we maintain a calendar of when we expect these to be accomplished, we will most likely stick to them.
  3. Attach a reward to the completion of your resolutions. Who doesn't like a gift. Promise to treat yourself to something special, upon completion of each resolution.
  4. Be flexible. A resolution such as "To get a promotion" is still within reach. Just know, you will likely not be getting the promotion at your original place of employment. Since you are currently unemployed, a promotion could now be obtaining a new job.
  5. Remind yourself why you made the resolution. If it was important enough to make, it is important enough to keep.

These are but a few suggestions. I am sure you could probably generate more. Just know that although it may seem, as though your life is out of control, it is not. Stay focused and you will be able to successfully bring in the next new year with a smile that says, "I am satisfied. I fulfilled all my New Year resolutions of the past year."