|PBJ - People Between Jobs|
Friday, January 13, 2006
( 6:43 AM ) axmc
CAREER PROS: Is Your Job Search Too Passive?
by Carole Kanchier
Gail has sent out two hundred resumes within the past three months, but only landed one job interview. Is this happening to you?
Passively sending out resumes – regardless of how well-written they are – to employers or recruiters won’t necessarily get you an interview or job. You must get your resume to the right person, which requires creativity and work. Try the following.
Don’t select a job because experts predict it’s in demand, to please others, or just to be employed. Rather, select one that’s congruent with your personal qualities. What’s your passion? What skills and other attributes do you want to use?
It’s difficult to maintain enthusiasm when you are applying for positions that don’t excite you.
To make your resume easy to scan, use crisp type, such as that produced by laser printers. Use white or light-colored paper, with standard typefaces such as Helvetica or Courier, and font sizes of 11 to 14 points. Use all capital letters for section headings.
Avoid fancy treatments such as italics, underlining and graphics. Use common headings such as career objective, skills summary and work experience. Include the job code listed in the ad.
Employ key words from the text of want ads to define your skills, accomplishments, education and other strengths. Include numbers, dollars and evidence of quality. Use nouns such as manager and technician, and industry jargon.
Develop a different resume for each job target. Also craft two variations of your resume: one with a scannable layout to send by email; the second with a more creative arrangement to bring to an interview.
If you’re using email, save your resume as a text document. Ask someone to proofread it.
If you’re an older professional who is changing fields, consider the functional format (organize accomplishments and skills to match specific job requirements). This enables you to cluster accomplishments of a particular function such as marketing, regardless of when and where you performed them. Include a section outlining your employment history.
Identify people who can connect you with decision makers in the organization. Personal referrals to hiring managers increase the likelihood your resume will be read.
Create ways to meet people in hiring positions. Ask for introductions. Make cold calls.
Look for hidden leads. A newspaper story or television program describing a new company or product may suggest positions with a growing company or expansion of a larger one.
If appropriate, revise and send your resume. Show that you’re qualified for the targeted position. Request an interview.
Contact small companies. Try executive recruiting firms, temp agencies, and trade and professional associations.
Carole Kanchier, author of Dare to Change Your Job - and Your Life, is principal of Questers, a career consulting group. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-206-0108 #