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Are You Making These Ten Job Search Mistakes Of Older Workers?

This infographic is a summary of the ten most common mistakes I see older workers make when they commence a job search. It was written in response to one client's request for help. I analysed her situation, her resume and cover letter, and observed the following 10 classic mistakes being made. Many of the mistakes were related to her resume which didn't give her the best possible chance of getting a job she wanted.

I hope this list of mistakes helps you to make the changes you need to make and that this results in you making the changes you want in your career. 

Infographic - 10 common mistakes made by older workers

Cover Letter FAQ

A cover letter is your introduction to the employer and highlights your best qualities and how you would bring value to the employer. Your goal is to keep the reader’s interest throughout the letter and to make them eager to read your resume. A cover letter is also an excellent tool for explaining issues that are not apparent from your resume. You may clarify in the letter why you are seeking employment with that particular company or why you are unemployed or why there is a gap in employment.

 

1. Do I always need to include a cover letter with my resume? Yes. Many employers do not bother to read them, but to other employers, they are evidence that you are thorough and serious about opportunities with their company and serious about your job search.

2. What format should I use? The letter should be in standard business letter format with your information at the top in the identical format as it appears on your resume.

3. How long should it be? It should be no more than one page. Hiring personnel have limited time and will not read more than several paragraphs. The cover letter simply highlights what is to come on the following resume.

4. Should I include salary information? It depends. Generally, you should never include salary information or requirements in a cover letter; however, if the job advertisement states that it is required, then you need to include it. As a rule though, salary discussion should not come into play until after a first interview unless the employer brings it up.

5. Can I use the same one for every job for which I apply? Absolutely not. Every cover letter should be targeted to each specific job and company to which you apply. Otherwise, your letter may appear irrelevant to some jobs or not highlight the most relevant qualities you would bring to the job. In those cases, the employer may also get the impression that you are too lazy to bother to use a tailored cover letter. A smart suggestion is have one general cover letter saved on your computer that you alter a bit for each company or each job for which you apply.

6. What if I don’t know the name of the addressee? Do research. Do not address the letter to Human Resources and write “Dear Sir or Madam”. Find out the name of the person who will be reviewing resumes to determine which candidates to interview. This demonstrates to the resume reviewer that you took the time to the seek information and personalizes the letter. A variety of company information is often available online, through local Chambers of Commerce, or by calling the company directly. Unless you havecompletely exhausted all means and cannot find out to whom you should address the letter, there should be a name on the letter.

7. Should I mention why I am in the job market? If your former company closed or you were laid off, there is no harm in saying so. If you were fired, say nothing. If you are returning to the workforce after a break of a year or more, explain why in a positive manner, mentioning any volunteer work in which you were involved or additional training you completed during that time.

8. What content should I include? The first paragraph should include how you heard about the job opening and/or why you are seeking opportunities with the company. Discuss how your professional attributes, accomplishments, and experience meet the employer’s needs and are a match to the available position. Just include highlights and do not simply repeat word-for-word what is on your resume. Your closing paragraph should request a time to meet to discuss employment opportunities and thank the person for their time and consideration. You may also briefly re-state why you are the best candidate for the job.

9. How can I make it stand out in a dynamic way? Make your statements employer-focused and value-based. They are not interested in what you are looking for in an ideal company. They want to know what value you bring to the table. Why should they hire you? Also, use powerful verbs and industry keywords in describing your qualities, including keywords from the job description. Subtly inject your personality and add sizzle with distinctive impact statements about your abilities (no arrogance though) to keep the letter from being boring.

 

Krista Mitchell is a Certified Professional Resume Writer crafting resumes designed to showcase your qualities with maximum impact. My job is to provide you with your custom sales tool to generate job interviews. FREE comprehensive resume reviews offered as well as full resume and cover letter writing services. http://www.composureresumes.com

4 Tips to Spice Up Your Cover Letter

Cover letters aren’t just there to serve as a cover page for your resume. While the debate rages on over their importance, the fact remains that they are a part of your job search and not to be ignored. Here are some new ideas for cover letter content to keep your readers interested!

 

1) Start with a really strong statement telling the hiring manager why you’re the person for the job. For example, “I was excited to learn of your need for a talented and knowledgeable resume writer. Today is your lucky day, because I am the candidate you’ve been looking for.” Perhaps the hardest part of writing the job search package yourself is being self-promotional. It’s hard to talk about yourself as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that’s what this is all about. You’re selling yourself as the BEST candidate to a potential employer. This is no time to be bashful.

2) Convey your ability to add value to the organization. This sounds like a simple one, but it’s incredibly important for an employer to know that you understand the challenges they face and can help them achieve success. For example: “In today’s dynamic and ever-changing workplace, companies need solutions-oriented team players with great attitudes.” Who wouldn’t want an employee who fits that description on their team?

3) Offer accomplishments that aren’t on your resume or more detail about those that are. In three sentences or less, show employers how you improved productivity, drove revenue or increased efficiency in a previous position. Then follow up by letting them know it’s exactly this kind of initiative and commitment you’ll bring to their organization.

4) Include insight about the industry or their company. Do your homework! Find out what the latest trend is in the industry or that the hiring manager was recently promoted and comment about it. Compliment the hiring manager on that promotion or offer some insight about the latest legislation passed that will impact the organization. Showing a potential employer that you’re conscientious and have gone the extra mile will go a long way towards securing that all-important interview.

As a jobseeker, it can be frustrating to send your resume and out and not be able to directly address the recruiter or hiring manager on the other end. Think of your cover letter as that conversation – it’s your opportunity to tell the recipient exactly what separates you from the crowd and makes you the best candidate for the job!

 

Recruiters review hundreds of resumes each week. Your resume only has about 15 seconds to grab their attention. A certified professional resume writer (CPRW) can help keep yours on top of the pile and increase your chances for getting an interview. Searching for a job is stressful enough – let me put my skills and experience to work for you so you can focus on the big picture!

What Should Be in a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a professional document sent along with your resume. The aim of writing a cover letter is to provide additional details about your skills and work experience that proves your suitability for the job and directs the employer to read your resume. Before you start drafting a letter, you should understand what should be in resume letters.

What should be in a letter?

1. Your contact details: Start the letter by mentioning your contact details at the top. Include details such as your name, correspondence address, contact number and email-id. It is important to mention correct contact details because the employer may use these details to contact you.

2. Employer’s contact details: It is important to research and find the name and designation of the concerned person, before writing employer’s address details. By mentioning the name of the concerned person your cover will be directed to the appropriate person and improve your chances of getting an interview call.

3. Correct salutation and valediction: Make use of salutation such as “Dear Mr. Brown.” You may use valedictions such as regards, sincerely, and respectfully. The employer expects that you keep a professional approach, when you are applying for job.

4. Reference: If you are applying through reference, it is important you mention the name of the person, who is referring you for the job. Mentioning such important detail in your letter would provide you an edge over the rest of the candidates.

5. Exact job profile you are applying for: In the opening paragraph of the letter, mention details about the exact job profile you are applying for. It important to be precise and to the point. One should avoid mentioning unnecessary details in a letter.

6. Additional skills and professional experience: You write a letter to prove your suitability for the job. Those skills and work experience details that you were unable to mention in your resume can be mentioned in your cover letter. But it is essential to mention only relevant details.

7. Request to read your resume: You should send a resume cover letter along with your resume, so that the employer reads your resume. Hence, you should direct the employer to read your resume and list your resume in the enclosures.

As letter is an important document that will decide your future in the employment process. Hence, you need to take efforts to draft a well-planned resume letter. The employer will read your resume only if you are able to prove your suitability for the job through your letter. You can even refer some example letters, cover letter templates, or sample letters, before you start drafting your resume letter. Make sure that you include all the vital points mentioned above in your letter.

I am Dianna Joy. Writer for cover letter writes article and blogs that inform and teach about using your resume cover letter most efficiently to help get you a great job.

 

Mastering The Job Search Process

In the last decade, job seeking has changed and competition for every role is more competitive than ever. The prosperous decade of the 1990s, when jobs were plentiful and money (not to mention credit) was seemingly free flowing, failed to give way to an equally prosperous 2000s. Individuals seeking employment in this market are finding it difficult to do so, mostly because jobs have disappeared, having been shipped overseas or completely phased out. (Does anyone remember the door to door salesmen selling encyclopedia sets!) Job seekers are finding that they must be more strategic then ever in their search for employment.

Preparing the job search strategy

In order to succeed you need to have an understanding of what it takes to stand out in this tough job market. Those that fail to adequately prepare a job seeking strategy will likely find themselves without a job for the foreseeable future. Job seekers must learn to utilize their personal and social networks, professionalize their resume and develop great interview skills. Each of the aforementioned will greatly improve an individual’s chances of landing a job.

Networking

Networking is a strategy that many job seekers don’t focus on enough but in today’s society should be the number one strategy at the top of the list. The fact is, many workers can trace their current employment to someone who was kind enough to give them a job lead, a foot in the door or point them in the right direction. Today, networking has become easier then the ever, thanks, in a large part to the growth of online networking websites.

Social networking websites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great places to meet people who share similar interests or who work in the same industry. However, even with the power and reach of social networking websites, a person may want to start their job search using the contacts they’ve developed in their own, personal network. Speak to your family and friends and make them aware that you are job hunting. Don’t be scared to reach out to people who are in a position to help.

Professional Resume Writing

Having a strong resume is a vital part of the job search process. With unemployment on the rise, the competition for jobs is as fierce as ever. Human resource professionals routinely receive hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of resumes for each and every job opening. In order to even be considered for a job, an individual’s resume must stand out from the pile. If it fails to impress in the first few seconds, the chances of being called in for interview is greatly reduced. Without a professionally written resume that highlights an individual’s skills, experience and achievements the chances of actually getting the job becomes an impossibility and only leads to further despair and stress. 
If you are not having the success you desire from your existing resume consider having your resume professionally written or edited. The cost of a resume writing specialist is far less than the cost of not having a job.

Interview Skills

Having great interview skills is extremely important and gives you the opportunity to shine in person. Actually receiving an interview request is often the hardest part of the job search, therefore make sure you are well prepared for the job interview. Research the company and practice answering potential interview questions. The more information you have on the company the more prepared you will be to answer any tough questions that come your way. The best way to becoming a master interviewee is practice!

Staying Positive

In today’s tough job market, job seekers should be prepared for a lengthy job search. However, being strategic about your job search can help you remain confident and upbeat during this period. Positivity is important so make sure you surround yourself with positive people. The last thing you need is negativity in your life.

RedStarResume are the Resume Writing Experts. They offer a resume writing service that is unmatched in its professional attitude and quality of service. RedStarResume have helped thousands of job seekers meet and achieve their career goals through delivering specialist resume writing that seeks the attention of hiring managers and ensures that you stand out from the crowd.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

You, Inc.: Creating Integrated Career Positioning Messages

 Navigating the unpredictable economic winds and stormy job search seas, today’s executive and professional career explorer must don the appropriate foul weather gear, plot out a meticulous course, shore up his resources and set sail for what may be a longer-than-expected journey.

 While charting a course and preparing with all of the necessary equipment are imperative, being flexible and adaptable to shifting winds and alternate ports of entry are equally important. This is why creating and implementing a multiplicity of career positioning messages (ports in the storm, if you will), articulating your value and compelling readers to want to know more about you, is vital.

 A rigorous, often intellectually daunting exercise, strategizing your unique value drivers is an introspective process; you mustn’t downplay the importance of taking time, and thought, to do it right.

 Now, with your value messages prepared, I suggest there are six key off- and online career positioning ports that you populate with the painstakingly prepared messages, as follows:

 1. Presentation Resume: The heartbeat of your executive or professional story, this pithy, content- and design-driven document should be created initially in a Microsoft Word format. Focus first on melding together a congruent complexity of career anecdotes that zero in on the “why” and the “how” you do what you do in a way that tells your target reader (hiring decision maker) that you can create the same return-on-investment for them!

 Then, use the career unearthing and clarification process to populate several online venues.

2. LinkedIn Profile: The LinkedIn profile is not a mini-me resume; however, the shiny gems you dug up to create your resume will serve the LinkedIn story well, beginning with the creation of a first-person narrative Summary. This chronicle is an opportunity to uniquely weave in colorful threads of your passion for skyrocketing business growth, driving technology improvements, directing customer service enhancement initiatives, steering cultural change … and more.

Punctuate the summary with solid, concrete and measurable results while also infusing it with personality. This is only the tip of the LinkedIn profile iceberg. The Experience section as well as the Skills, Education and other areas offer further opportunities to fuel a message through a well-known, 100-million+ member business-networking site.

3. Twitter: I cannot deny it: Twitter is my favorite social media venue. With a brief, 160-character profile opportunity, I’d suggest you whittle down your value message to the most optimal insights.

Then, start listening to your Tweet stream, following movers and shakers — not necessarily the most popular and Klout-ranked tweeters, but those who are active and influential in a way that interests YOU and your goals. Whom would you like to meet? … to get to know better? Watch what they say; show interest in their messages; retweet them and add sincere, complimentary and value-add comments to their messages. Engage.

4. Google+: So much has been written already about this new microblogging platform including its value in boosting your Google search results. While I’m still exploring its value, I immediately saw the benefit in developing a meaningful storyboard profile: https://gplus.to/ValueIntoWords. I suggest the same for you. Then, start listening, and strategically posting valuable content and insights.

5. Facebook: The drumbeat of Facebook’s importance in the job search equation is getting louder. Most recently, an article in SmartBrief quoted one recruiter as saying that “… recruiters are increasingly using Facebook to find candidates. Potential candidates need to acknowledge this new branding of the self that social media generates and adapt their profiles to the new reality.”

6. about.me: Corral the above links into a central website repository by creating an about.me profile, as I did here: http://about.me/JacquiBarrettPoindexter. It also is crucial to include a tasteful, focused career value proposition, a summary that is consistent with your other profiles, mentioned above. Share the about.me link with networking 

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend.net. Collaborating with professionals in transition, or individuals who desire to ignite existing careers, Jacqui is one of 27 Master Resume Writers globally and holds a BA in writing. She can be found blogging at the CareerTrend blog, or Tweeting at @ValueIntoWords.

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Do You Really Need A Cover Letter?

The cover letter accompanies your resume as part of your job application ‘pack’ and is meant to expound on information in the resume. History is replete with job applicants that missed out on important opportunities simply because they did not send a cover page. There is no standard length of a cover letter but ideally it should be no longer than one page and a maximum of three paragraphs. You want to catch the recruiter’s attention as quickly as possible and a long cover page is unlikely to do that. Candidates must make the cover letter work to their advantage and be the gateway to landing that all important interview.

 

So whereas it would be easy to simply answer ‘Yes!’ on whether you need a cover letter, a look at the reasons why it is important would provide for a much more plausible argument for this short but vital document in your job application.

* A snapshot into your way of thinking – Most recruiters are looking for someone that stands out from the crowd and that can clearly demonstrate how they will fit in to the organization if recruited. One can show what they can bring into the organization as opposed to just what they expect to gain by getting hired. Where two or more candidates are practically dead even in academic qualification and experience, a compelling cover page can provide that vital tipping point for one to secure an interview or be hired for the job.

* Ability to write – A cover letter more than the resume provides a good example of your writing capabilities. Written communication has and will continue to be an important skill in today’s organizational environment. Therefore, choice of grammar, language, punctuation and spelling must be carefully considered. Mastery of grammar and the articulation of ideas is a strong statement of your professionalism and would provided additional impetus for the recruiter to pick you out from other applicants.

* Your personality – A cover letter gives you a better platform to be yourself and show your personality than the resume does. The resume must follow a certain structured format which makes it very formal with little flexibility. Your resume lists your education and experience but your cover letter allows you to demonstrate these skills and your knowledge of the work you will be expected to do.

* Address concerns – The cover letter can be used to put to rest certain uncomfortable issues that the recruiter may already know or may find out about you. For instance, in this era of technology and heavy use of social networking websites, many employers may not like what they find out about you in case they decide to look you up on the internet. It is better if you proactively raise the issue and briefly explain the circumstances on your cover letter as opposed to the recruiter finding out on their own.

* Use the cover letter to tell your story – People usually remember personal stories more than they do a bland text. You can catch the attention of the recruiter by relating a story that cements your interest in the job. For instance, if you are looking for a job in a food production company, you can talk about how you grew up eating their products. That said, the stories must be truthful as lying will have the exact opposite effect.

So based on these reasons, it is increasingly clear that accompanying your application with a cover letter presents more opportunities to sell yourself and thus increases your chances of being hired for the job.

 

Did you find this article helpful? If so, I encourage you to read how to write a resume cover letter and information on how to write a resume for a job.

Tips For Writing Persuasive Cover Letters

Despite the desirability of experience as a “wish list item” on any hiring manager’s checklist, job seekers, especially those over forty, often fear losing out to their younger competitors. Notwithstanding protection from anti-discrimination laws, a few creative strategies can transform your resume into a powerful document that not only showcases your hard-earned experience, but also downplays the age factor (“A-Factor”).
As a career coach and professional resume writer, I work with thousands of accomplished professionals and executives, some with over three decades of experience. Though not appropriate in all cases, here are some strategies I have used to de-age resumes without compromising experience:Take years off your resumeExperience is certainly a prized positioning strategy, especially for senior-level candidates, but that doesn’t mean one should go all the way back to the 60’s. In my opinion, fifteen years of recent employment chronology is sufficient to market a professional’s background.In unique situations where a job seeker’s background – and the position’s requirements – merits detailing older positions, consider creating an “additional experience” section without dates. Eliminating dates can be very useful for the education summary as well, especially if your bachelor’s degree was obtained in or prior to the 80’s.Highlight your work with younger markets, technologies, or productsIf you recently worked on a marketing campaign targeting Generation Z or contributed toward the development of a cutting-edge product, mention it at the beginning of your resume. A summary section may be the most appropriate place to highlight this experience. For technology workers, start your professional proficiencies section with technologies, systems, processes, and strategies that are truly cutting-edge.Expertise in state-of-the-art technologies can give you a solid competitive boost, especially if your profession is constantly evolving.Emphasize your ability to connect with younger peersAlmost no executive can claim to have risen to the ranks without training Ms. Robinson, the intern, or Smith, the entry level professional and yet this information is almost never found on the resume. The ability to connect with younger professionals is an excellent indicator of a senior-level professional’s flexibility.Stay abreastAdd a “Professional Development” section to your resume to identify your continuing education efforts. The section can send a strong message to recruiters that you are actively upgrading your skills.Leverage social mediaAdd Web 2.0 tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking strategies to your job search arsenal. The advent of Web 2.0 and social media has impacted the job search landscape significantly. Recruiters and hiring managers often use these tools to find and evaluate candidates and a meaningful presence on the social media circuit can be an important contributor toward your job search success.
Nimish Thakkar is a sought-after certified career management coach and professional resume writer. Through his resume writing service, ResumeCorner.com, and free career information site, SaiCareers.com, he has helped thousands of clients. SaiCareers.com features hundreds of free articles and thousands of resources.

How to Write a Properly Formatted Cover Letter

A cover letter has many different uses in business, including:

  • An introduction of yourself and/or your company.
  • To outline your services, experiences, and qualifications.
  • To and request a call to action to be taken by your customers and/or clients.
  • To introduce other documents that are enclosed in the same package.

 

Letterhead

If you don’t have a logo with a letterhead as of now, you should make sure that you include the most important and up-to-date version of your company’s contact information including:

 

  • Company name
  • Return address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

 

It would also be wise to include any other specific details that would be applicable such asa fax number, company, etc.

Recipient’s Address and Date

It is proper format to include the recipient’s address and the date that the letter was written on after your contact information. This should all be aligned to the left.

Usually, the recipient’s address box includes the following:

 

  • First & Last Name (with prefix if applicable)
  • Title
  • Company
  • Mailing Address

 

You may sometimes include the recipient’s position and/or any other details that pertain to the recipient’s relationship with the company.

Greeting

This area of your cover letter will usually acknowledge the greeting of your recipient by name, and will have a colon following this.

Typically, the recipient’s prefix and last name will be used in accordance with “Dear” (i.e., Dear Mr. Smith). Adjustments to this standard greeting can be made to reflect the relationship between the recipient and the sender. If you are closer with the recipient and the letter is meaning to be less professional, you could greet the recipient with: “Dear John,” or even drop the”Dear” entirely to just have “John,”. This offers a great alternative to the more rigid format with the hopes of having a more personal letter.

Opening Sentence

The first sentence of a cover letter should come just after the greeting and offers something similar to a subject line or title. What it should do is summarize as to why you are sending this letter to the recipient, and start to bring forward what the letter will actually contain.

You may want to acknowledge how you came about contacting the recipient in this area. An example of this would be; you can mention the fact that they opted-in to the monthly newsletter or you were introduced by a coworker. Basically, it could have anything that pertains to how you gained the recipient’s contact information.

This would be a great example of an opening sentence:

“As to the meeting we had on April 18th, our proposal to provide our financial analysis services for you business has been enclosed.”

Body

Your body paragraph(s) should introduce exactly what enclosures are attached, and highlight any details as to what your recipient is reading about and what you would like them to understand.

If this is a cover letter for a proposal, you should summarize what kind of experience you have as well as your qualifications. You may also want to include any previous, successful projects that you underwent in the past and why the recipient should pick your company for the job. Including too much detail will bore the reader so make sure not to go too in depth. Make sure that you are engaging the reader’s attention with good transitions and interesting facts. Do everything possible to convince the recipient to read the enclosed documents as it’s here that the recipient will begin to truly consider your proposal.

This area of your cover letter should not be much longer than three to four average-sized paragraphs. It definitely wouldn’t be a bad idea to use bullets and lists where possible to be more precise and to the point with the hopes of keeping your reader’s attention and utilize the primary points.

Call to Action

Following the body area of your cover letter will be your call to action. To make your cover letter a success it should end with precise steps that you would like your recipient to take following the closing of the letter. For example, in a proposal you would most likely want the recipient to continue reading the enclosed documents. Sometimes, you may have multiple calls to action where you would want them to do this and contact you with any questions. It all depends on the situation and what your business wants.

Calls to action to specifically highlight exactly what you are hoping will happen next, after reading the cover letter. A good example of precise call to action would be:

“Please continue to review the enclosed documents related to our proposal. If you have any questions as to the information provided in this letter, contact us with the information provided at the top of this document.”

Closing

The closing of almost every cover letter contains a valediction such as; sincerely, regards, best regards, your truly, etc., followed by your handwritten signature, your name, title, and usually your position at the company.

It’s important to always include your unique handwritten signature and not one that’s been computer-generated to personalize the letter and instill trust in the recipient. It will also appear as though more effort has been put into the creation of the cover letter and all other enclosed documents. Your signature should go underneath the valediction and before your name so it would be wise to leave some space here. If you are using an online resume, you can used an online signature to replace your physical one.

Don’t forget to include the word Enclosure along with the number of enclosures at the end of the letter on the very last line. This references the additional documents and notifies the recipient as to how many documents have been enclosed.

It would look something like this:

“Enclosure (3)”

 

How to Tailor Your Resume for the Job You Are Applying For

Today’s seasoned professional possess a variety of skills and abilities that benefit the work environment. Corporate employees are expected to keep up with trends within their field of expertise. If you are fortunate your employer will pay for your education and training. As a result of increased duties and cross-training many job seekers realize they can fill jobs outside of the title and industry they have been working with for years.

Recently I coached an individual that was having difficulty returning to the workforce after being laid off 8 months ago from her job where she worked as a District Store Manager for a retail employer. Karen was 49 years old and had worked for over 20 years within the retail industry in some form of management capacity. She posted her resume on Monster and searched for jobs on Indeed but she only had one phone interview in the past 8 months. Her resume looked OK but when I asked her to provide more details in her job duty section it was revealed that she had performed many job duties that a corporate human resource generalist, recruiter and trainer does. She conducted interviews, provided training, negotiated and extended offers. She prepared and distributed payroll. She enjoyed these H.R. related duties so we prepared a 2nd resume that highlighted all of her H.R. related duties. The best place to highlight your specific skills related to the job that you are applying for is in your summary which should always be listed right beneath your name and contact information. Your summary of qualifications is a very critical component of your resume, without it your odds of being recognized are diminished significantly. It was in the summary that Karen listed how many years she had with preparing payroll, interviewing and training. She mentioned what kind of payroll software she worked with, what type of interviewing techniques she used and the size of her audience that she trained. In the summary specifics sell. Karen reposted her revised resume on Monster, created a LinkedIn account and applied to human resource related jobs via Indeed.com, within one week she had three interviews for human resource jobs! Within two weeks of posting her new resume she accepted an offer with a major retailer to work within their human resources department. The offer paid more than she ever earned as a District Manager and an added bonus her exhausting road travel requirements were eliminated. In Karen’s case she enhanced her human resources duties but applied to H.R. jobs within the retail field where she had many years experience.

One of the keys to tailoring your resume for a specific job is know which skills you have that are of value to the position/client. One of my human resource friends, Cindy, has a general version of her resume and a resume that she uses when she applies for jobs that require a recruiter that has experience finding Information Technology professionals. As a corporate recruiter consultant she has interviewed and on-boarded professionals for Sales and Marketing, Healthcare, Wireless and Information Technology positions of employment. When she applies for an information technology recruiter position Cindy minimizes her background that involves recruiting Sales, Marketing, Healthcare and Wireless professionals and expands on her I.T. recruiter experience. For her latest I.T. Recruiter resume she wrote a list of what are the most common questions she is asked in an interview setting when applying to an I.T. Recruiter position. Upon reviewing her list she was able to answer many of the interview questions in listing those skills first and foremost in her resume summary section. Cindy put in bold the areas she wanted the recruiter or hiring manager to be drawn to when reviewing her resume. If there is something that is very important for the reader to see she will print it in bold red lettering. She also looked carefully at the key words listed within the job descriptions that appeal to her and incorporated as many key words as possible in her resume summary and job description. To identify key words look for the specifics in the job description.

Below you will see Cindy’s general Recruiter resume followed by her Information Technology Recruiter resume:

Cindy Examplelcandidate 
Cindy’s contact information listed here… 
*successfully traveled to work on-site for duration of contracts as well as worked remotely

Summary: 5+ years agency experience, 10+years Corporate Contract Recruitment experience within a matrixed environment. Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist with over fifteen years of full-life-cycle internal/external recruitment experience including developing and maintaining relationships with hiring managers to determining the best recruitment strategies. Serve as candidate advocate working to ensure a world-class experience for all potential candidates. Able to thrive in a high-pressured, ambiguous environment. Experienced with UltiPro, Vurv, Recruitmax, BrassRing, Prohire, Raycats, Peopleclick, PeopleSoft, SharePoint, Behavorial interviewing, Web 2.0 recruitment processes, Outlook & Lotus Notes. Managed vendor relationships. Articles published on corporate recruitment – Western International Media & e-zines.

Experienced sourcing and screening for the following: I.T., Sales, Marketing, Retail, Wireless, Healthcare, Government and Business professionals.

Work History **All assignments were completed successfully, on-time, within budget. 
1999 – Present EXCELLENT Incorporation Company 
Principal – Corporate Contract Recruiter 
Aka: Talent Acquisition Consultant

CLIENTS:

IBM 
As Recruitment Program Manager am responsible for managing exempt-level I.T. high-volume candidate activity. Serve as front end to hiring partners. Qualify candidates, facilitate the interview process, work closely with hiring executives to evaluate candidates and prepare offers. Also provide direction to dedicated sourcers for fulfillment of opening requisitions. 
September, 2010 – present

Press Ganey/South Bend, IN 
Responsible for staffing I.T., Legal, Sales & Marketing departments for this leader for Patient Satisfaction Surveys. Source and Screen legal, sales, marketing and I.T. professionals for positions located across the U.S.A. Coach managers on selection of hires. Prepare offers. Write and post job descriptions. Cold calling as well as utilizing major and niche job boards. Assist with the implementation of company ATS, Ultipro. 5/10/10 – 10/27/2010 and 9/14/09- 12/17/09

IMS -( I.T. Staffing Agency)/Huntington Beach, CA 
Assist this agency with staffing for: Architect, Management, Project Leader, Programmer Analyst, DBA, Developer, Systems Analyst, Software Engineer, Business Analyst, and other I.T. related roles. Skills recruiter for: Citrix, SharePoint, SQL, LAN/WAN, DHCP, Lotus Notes Administrator, helpdesk, C#,.NET, IBM, Intel, migration, VB, Oracle DBA, MCSE, CCIE, PowerBuilder, XAML, WinForm, TCP/IP, C+, HIPAA, Scrum, Agile, Q.A. Analyst/Tester, MCP, J2EE, JDE and others. Extensive Cold- calling

Clients: Entertainment, Commercial, Automotive, Healthcare 1992 – (on/off support)

T-Mobile USA/Cerritos, CA & Novi, MI 
Source and screen for retail division. Roles responsible for filling include: Sales Engineer, Account Development Representative, Event Rep., and Technical Sales Support. Positions are spread across the country. Partner with hiring managers to council on selection of candidates as well as construction of offers. ATS: Vurv 3/5/07 – 8/26/07 and 8/8/08 – 1/5/09

AT&T Mobility/Los Angeles, CA 
Source and screen wireless sales professionals for the government division. Interact with H.R. Hiring Managers and Applicants across the country. ATS: Peopleclick Offer process: Peoplesoft Corporate community site for sharing information: Sharepoint

Assist hiring managers with newly developed recruitment process due to AT&T acquisition of Cingular Wireless. Create and conduct phone screens. Review resumes in ATS and make recommendations to hiring managers. Prepare and extend offers to candidates. Company was in M&A mode with U.S. Cellular 
“It is evident that Kelly has a passion for recruiting, and a confidence in her skills. This shows in the way that she approaches the recruiting challenges that are presented to her.

I highly recommend Cindy for any recruiting position she will pursue in the future. She has been a very valuable resource on my team.” Charlotte P – Associate Director Mobility Staffing 10/07 – 7/08

Humana /Louisville, KY 
Using ATS, RecruitMax (Vurv), job boards, internet, and referrals sourced a variety of healthcare insurance professionals for exempt and non-exempt level positions of employment. Consult with hiring managers to determine specifications for role. Develop phone screens to determine interview eligibility. Interview applicants face-to-face. Consult with hiring managers for selection of candidates to extend offers to. Negotiate salaries for and with candidates.

Extend offers verbally and in writing. Assist with mass hiring campaigns for various Humana locations throughout the United States. Utilize basic HTML coding. 
Was key contributor for two week hiring initiative of 20+ Frontline Leaders (Supervisors). This initiative required the sourcing of 200+ resumes, phone screening 40+ candidates, coordinating with hiring managers to interview and on-board new employees within two weeks all at the same time providing candidates and extending offers for other hiring departments.

“Cindy is an expert in the Staffing/Recruiting Industry. She has a wealth of knowledge and is an out-of -the-box thinker. She delivered results in a challenging and tough environment, while carrying a heavy workload of requisitions. I received numerous compliments from hiring managers on the quality of candidates presented and responsiveness.” Larry M – Staffing Manager at Humana 10/05 – 2/07

HRFirst/American Express/Troy, MI 
Using BrassRing, job boards and the internet was responsible for sourcing & screening various marketing professionals for sites across the United States. 8/05 – 10/05

Berbee Information Networks/Southfield, MI 
Hired to develop talent pipeline and place networking and sales professionals for Berbee’s enterprise software industry clients. Berbee provides end-to-end sales and services for IBM, Cisco & Microsoft business products. Utilize ATS: Prohire, job boards, employee referrals and networking to hire systems engineers, system architects, account managers, Network Voice

Engineers, and other I.T. professionals. Developed phone screens from questions asked of hiring managers and top level I.T. professionals within industry. Negotiate offers, consult on recommended starting sign-on bonuses, relocation and vacation packages. Check professional references. Sell candidates on the value proposition of joining the Berbee team. 2/05 – 6/05

Raytheon/Troy, MI 
Hired for ten-week contract recruitment assignment for this Fortune 100 company. Raytheon Professional Services, LLC designs and executes integrated learning solutions for commercial, military and government organizations worldwide. Responsible for sourcing, screening and hiring web instructors, as well as hard-to-fill hybrid I.T. positions. Provide strategic recruitment methods. Create and conduct phone screens. Using Lotus Notes, set up interviews for multiple hiring managers. Utilized company ATS: RayCats. 11/04 – 2/05

Kaiser Permanente/San Jose, CA 
As project manager for community-wide nurse hiring event was responsible for contacting college instructors, cold-calling potential attendees, keeping administration and recruitment staff abreast of activities, maintaining spreadsheets for activity updates, and delegating responsibilities to various personnel. Overall duties involved hiring of nurses from start to finish, i.e., sourcing, screening, interviewing, set up interview with management, follow up with applicant and management, salary negotiations, offer letter preparation. Utilized internet effectively for recruitment purposes. As part of recruitment team was able to bring on board over 60 nurses, thus cutting nurse hiring needs in half. “I am continually amazed at your dedication and work ethic.” Sherry B, nurse management candidate, Kaiser email message. 8/04 – 11/04

Port Huron Hospital/Port Huron, MI 
For this six-month contract assignment was responsible for full-life-cycle recruitment of allied healthcare professionals for 1200 employee hospital. On average filled four positions per week. Utilized behavorial interviewing techniques. Developed recruitment strategies and advertisement campaigns to attract candidates for difficult to fill positions of employment, i.e.: respiratory therapists, pharmacists, MRI technicians, ultra sonographers and phlebotomists. Prepare offer letters, prepare and give presentations to management on how to recruit effectively, gave presentations regarding H.R. procedures at staff orientations, negotiate with vendors and prepare a host of H.R. related paperwork. Track Affirmative Action using Peopleclick software. “She has covered every aspect of what I need to know to keep the process (recruitment) moving. I truly appreciate all she did to fill our open positions” Marlene Z/Housekeeping Supervisor, email sent to H.R. department head at Port Huron Hospital. 
12/03 – 7/04

Additional Clients 
Clients: Deloitte & Touche, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Accenture, Carlson Marketing, Paramount Pictures, Giorgio’s, Universal Studios, Staffed senior level I.T. professionals.

EDUCATION 
B.A. with distinction in Speech Communication San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

MEMBERSHIPS 
SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management 
SMA – Staffing Management Association 
ERE – Electronic Recruiters Exchange

Volunteer 
Provide job-search workshops to various classes/groups/associations/government sponsored events 
Published articles on job search in newspapers, e-zines and magazines

**Following is Cindy’s I.T. Recruiter resume. You will notice that in addition to highlighting her I.T. recruiting activity in the first page of her resume she continues to highlight her I.T. related skills throughout the job duty descriptions and right up until the end of her resume where she list the additional clients that she has worked for. **

Cindy Examplecandidate 
Cindy’s contact information listed here… 
*successfully traveled to work on-site for duration of contracts as well as worked remotely

Summary: 
15+years Corporate Contract Recruitment experience within a matrixed environment. 
15 years full-life-cycle internal/external recruitment experience including developing and maintaining relationships with hiring managers to determining best recruitment strategies. Serve as candidate advocate working to ensure a world-class experience for all potential candidates. 
Able to thrive in a high-pressured, ambiguous environment. 
Experienced with UltiPro, Vurv, Recruitmax, BrassRing, Prohire, Raycats, Peopleclick, PeopleSoft, SharePoint

Experienced sourcing and screening for the following: 
20 yrs full-life-cycle recruitment for I.T. professionals for the following environments: Manufacturing, Wireless, Healthcare, Consulting, Retail 
On & Off 10 yrs engineer staffing: software, sales, network, VOIP, systems 
20yrs recruitment for exempt, non-exempt, enterprise software (ERP), SQL,.NET, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft infrastructure, engineer, architect, process improvement, business analyst, Business Intelligence, outsource operations, Six-Sigma Black-belts, Project Managers, others…

Tools and Sources used to locate quality I.T. professionals: 
• Company ATS 
• Linkedin (messages, invites, announcements via groups and associations) 
• Job boards: DICE, Monster, TheLadders, SixFigures, Executnet 
• Niche internet sites: Free-for-Recruiters, scguild.com, findadeveloper.com, ishunter.com 
• Web 2.0 sites: Twitter, Facebook, Zoominfo, Spoke 
• Utilize own income to join and participate in associations and conferences 
• Referrals, heavy networking, meet others when I give job search presentations in the community 
• Passionate about cold-calling

Work arrangement: Lifestyle flexible to where have travelled to work on-site for duration of contract as well as have worked successfully from home office as telecommuter.

Work History **All assignments were completed successfully, on-time, within budget. 
1999 – Present EXCELLENT Incorporation Company 
Principal – Corporate Contract Recruiter 
Aka: Talent Acquisition Consultant 
CLIENTS:

IBM 
As Recruitment Program Manager am responsible for managing exempt-level I.T. high-volume candidate activity. Serve as front end to hiring partners. Qualify candidates, facilitate the interview process, work closely with hiring executives to evaluate candidates and prepare offers. Also provide direction to dedicated sourcers for fulfillment of opening requisitions. Positions processed: Oracle developer, Oracle DBA, SAP Basis, SAP Architect, COBOL developer, Siebel developer 
September 16, 2010 – present

IMS -( I.T. Staffing Agency)/Huntington Beach, CA 
Assist this agency with staffing for: Architect, Management, Project Leader, Programmer Analyst, DBA, Developer, Systems Analyst, Software Engineer, Business Analyst, and other I.T. related roles. Skills recruiter for: Citrix, SharePoint, SQL, LAN/WAN, DHCP, Lotus Notes Administrator, helpdesk, C#,.NET, IBM, Intel, migration, VB, Oracle DBA, MCSE, CCIE, PowerBuilder, XAML, WinForm, TCP/IP, C+, HIPAA, Scrum, Agile, Q.A. Analyst/Tester, MCP, J2EE, Java, CISSP, JDE and others. Extensive Cold- calling 
Clients: Entertainment, Commercial, Automotive, Healthcare 1992 – (on/off support)

Press Ganey/South Bend, IN 
Responsible for staffing I.T., Legal, Sales & Marketing departments for this leader for Patient Satisfaction Surveys and performance improvement. Source and Screen legal, sales, marketing and I.T. professionals for positions located across the U.S.A. Coach managers on selection of hires. Prepare offers. Write and post job descriptions. Cold calling as well as utilizing major and niche job boards. Assist with the implementation of company ATS, Ultipro. 5/10/10 – 8/27/10 & 9/14/09- 12/17/09

T-Mobile USA/Cerritos, CA & Novi, MI 
Source and screen for retail division. Roles responsible for filling include: Sales Engineer, Account Development Representative, Event Rep., and Technical Sales Support. Positions are spread across the country. Partner with hiring managers to council on selection of candidates as well as construction of offers. ATS: Vurv 3/5/07 – 8/26/07 & 8/8/08 – 1/5/09

AT&T Mobility/Los Angeles, CA 
Source and screen wireless sales and technical sales professionals for the government division. Interact with H.R. Hiring Managers and Applicants across the country. ATS: Peopleclick Offer process: Peoplesoft Corporate community site for sharing information: Sharepoint 
Assist hiring managers with newly developed recruitment process due to AT&T acquisition of Cingular Wireless. Create and conduct phone screens. Review resumes in ATS and make recommendations to hiring managers. Prepare and extend offers to candidates. Company was in M&A mode with U.S. Cellular 
“It is evident that Kelly has a passion for recruiting, and a confidence in her skills. This shows in the way that she approaches the recruiting challenges that are presented to her.

I highly recommend Cindy for any recruiting position she will pursue in the future. She has been a very valuable resource on my team.” Charlotte P – Associate Director Mobility Staffing 10/07 – 7/08

Humana Inc/Louisville, KY 
Using ATS, RecruitMax (Vurv), job boards, internet, and referrals sourced a variety of healthcare insurance professionals for exempt and non-exempt level positions of employment. Consult with hiring managers to determine specifications for role. Develop phone screens to determine interview eligibility. Interview applicants face-to-face. Consult with hiring managers for selection of candidates to extend offers to. Negotiate salaries for and with candidates.

Extend offers verbally and in writing. Assist with mass hiring campaigns for various Humana locations throughout the United States. Utilize basic HTML coding.

Was key contributor for two week hiring initiative of 20+ Frontline Leaders (Supervisors). This initiative required the sourcing of 200+ resumes, phone screening 40+ candidates, coordinating with hiring managers to interview and on-board new employees within two weeks all at the same time providing candidates and extending offers for other hiring departments.

“Cindy is an expert in the Staffing/Recruiting Industry. She has a wealth of knowledge and is an out-of -the-box thinker. She delivered results in a challenging and tough environment, while carrying a heavy workload of requisitions. I received numerous compliments from hiring managers on the quality of candidates presented and responsiveness.” Larry M – Staffing Manager at Humana 10/05 – 2/07

HRFirst/American Express/Troy, MI 
Using BrassRing, job boards and the internet was responsible for sourcing & screening various marketing and I.T. professionals for sites across the United States. 8/05 – 10/05

Berbee Information Networks/Southfield, MI 
For this high-tech consulting company that provided end-to-end services for IBM, Cisco & Microsoft business products utilize ATS: Prohire, job boards, employee referrals and networking to hire systems engineers, system architects, account managers, Network Voice Engineers, and other I.T. professionals. Negotiate offers including sign-on bonuses, relocation and vacation packages. Sell candidates on the value proposition of joining the Berbee team. 2/05 – 6/05

Additional Clients that I served on a contract basis 
• Deloitte & Touche – I.T. professional placements – Greater Nashville area 
• Hewlett-Packard (HP) – I.T. professional placements – Metro Detroit area 
• Accenture – I.T. professional placements – Michigan 
• Raytheon – Marketing professionals – Michigan 
• Paramount Pictures – I.T. professional placements – Southern California 
• Universal Studios – I.T. professional placements – Southern California 
• Carlson Marketing – I.T. and Marketing professionals – Michigan 
• Girogio’s – I.T. professional placements – Southern California 
• Kaiser Permanente – RN’s for their hospitals in Bay area, CA

EDUCATION 
B.A. with distinction in Speech Communication San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

MEMBERSHIPS 
• SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management 
• SMA – Staffing Management Association 
• ERE – Electronic Recruiters Exchange 
• AHIMA – American Health Information Management Association 
• HIMSS – Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

Volunteer 
Provide job-search workshops to various classes/groups/associations/government sponsored events 
Have been a guest on Cable TV show relating to the Job Search process 
Online video speaker for Newspaper web site 
Published articles on job search in newspapers, e-zines and magazines 
Author of book, The Recruiter’s Hiring Secrets

Create several versions of your resume and save them on your computer so you can easily upload the appropriate resume for the job you are applying for. Also remember to constantly be updating and refining your resume. Happy Job Hunting!

 

Kelly Smith is a Corporate Recruiter Consultant. Kelly works alongside human resources and hiring managers to source, screen, review resumes, interview, negotiate and extend offers to thousands of candidates throughout her more than 15 years in staffing. Visit Kelly’s web site at http://KellyStaffingExpert.com see her blog, view jobs, and visit her store to buy her book, The Recruiter’s Hiring Secrets. Also, in the store link you can send Kelly your resume for her to review and to make recommendations from her corporate recruiter perspective. Happy Job Hunting!

Guerilla Job Hunting – Give Yourself an Edge and Get the Job

Have a plan

A job search is about marketing yourself and, just like any other marketer, you need a marketing plan that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. In order to build a plan, you must first determine your goal-What sort of job do you want? I know, you are tempted to say, any job that pays. But, think of it this way. Just like a marketer will pick a target audience in order to refine and deliver a message with the most impact, you will gain an advantage over the competition by creating a resume and an interview strategy that specifically targets your ideal job. On top of that, by targeting your dream job, you may prevent going through this whole process again in a few months. Now, realistically, finances may dictate that you take whatever you can find most quickly for now. But don’t give up there. If you have to take a job that is less than what you really want, look for something that will allow you to continue your search until you find what you’re looking for.

Then, examine your strengths and weaknesses. What makes you uniquely qualified for the position you want and where do your skills need some work? Your strengths are your selling points and you should be prepared to set employers at ease when they ask about your weaknesses by showing how you have successfully overcome them in the past and what steps you have taken to correct or minimize them.

Your plan should include measurable outcomes that you can control. For example, how many calls will you make a week? What steps will you take to strengthen your network? How many resumes will you send out? Do you have a cover letter that you can use a template and customize easily to fit each position that you apply for?

Prepare for your search

There are all kind of resources out there to help you get ready for your job search. Your local library can recommend good books to help you and you can search for resources online. There are five critical components of your job search: your resume, your cover letter, your interview skills, and your follow up/thank you letter. So, stay in touch with your contacts, make sure that your written communications are up to snuff and practice interviewing. Be ready for the behavioural interviews that are so popular today. Do an internet search for job interview questions, think about what you would ask if you were the hiring manager and be prepared with great answers.

Keep Track

Track every part of your job search. I like to keep an Excel spreadsheet with the dates that applications or resumes were submitted, follow up dates, and offers received. If you track your job search, you will know when it is time to follow up with a potential employer and can get a feel for what is working and what is not. For example, if you send out a lot of applications but get no interviews, you will want to work on your cover letters and resumes. If you get interviews, but no offers, brush up on your interviewing skills.

Follow up

Use your tracking system to help you keep in touch with potential employers. Stand out from the crowd by taking the time to follow up on your application a week or two after it is submitted. Send a follow up letter to each person that interviews you to thank them for their time, express your interest in the job, and comment on some aspect of your conversation.

Dig Deeper

One technique for effectively answering behaviorally based interview questions is the SMART technique http://soar.swiftlysoar.com/2010/09/07/ace-the-behavioral-job-interview-using-soars-smart-technique.aspx. Following the guidelines in this article may help you avoid awkward follow up questions by the interviewer.

Cover Letters and Resumes – Does Paper Really Matter?

Okay, you’ve updated your cover letters and resume. Now they are polished, bright and terrific. You’ve paid your local resume guru a few bucks to make sure you’ve got smooth sailing to your next job or career. He wrote you a killer objective statement and put the latest buzz-words into these finely crafted pieces of literary art.

You’re ready to go out and conquer the world now, right?

Not so fast…

There might be a few details you didn’t quite get to while preparing to conquer the Earth. Let’s talk about paper first. What is the first hurdle you’ve got to overcome in this process?

It’s not a tough question, but this one gets many job seekers right out-of-the-gate.

You’ve got to survive the beauty pageant.

Huh?

This is the first glance and looks are everything. Pretty, “conforming” submissions make it – ugly ones don’t. You’ve got to survive that first, potentially fatal gaze. At this juncture, employment pros aren’t looking to find qualified people – it’s far easier to find the ones that sent in cheap photocopies or had their masterpieces printed on chartreuse-colored paper.

This is a time you DO NOT want to stand out or be noticed. If you get noticed now, it isn’t for a good reason.

So, what kind of paper are you submitting your presentation on?

Are you using an original, laser-printed document? How about paper quality and color? These are small points, but critical ones. You should see what HR and other hiring specialists get every day. They receive some wild submissions from “serious” candidates. Let’s not make those same mistakes.

First, we need to get your presentation past the reviewer who will toss your Picasso in the not interested pile as fast as you can say: rejected. They don’t need a good reason to dislike your documents. If they don’t look “worthy” of consideration, they will get tossed. That’s what these people get paid to do.

This isn’t personal, but it is life, reality and the way it is in the business world.

These are things that speak volumes about you without you ever being seen or heard. Use cheap paper and the consensus will be that you are not a serious candidate. So, use the highest quality paper you can afford. Ideally, a 25 lb. bond with high cotton content and watermark says you’re serious and a winner.

By the way, make sure the printing is on the correct side of the watermark and that it is right-side-up. It is easy to print on the wrong side or upside down.

Color choices are white, white and – oh yes – white.

You never know when the person doing the initial culling is a guy with a crew-cut, glasses and wearing a button-down shirt every day. ANY color other than pristine white is a mistake, simply because you don’t know the details about who is reviewing your submission.

Using another color means you’re choosing to allow a super-conservative type to pass judgment and decide you don’t need to work there. In some professions like health care, accounting and legal, there has never been any other color but white for cover letters and resumes.

Preston Mars is an award-winning career strategist and employment writer. In 23-years, he has authored professional, job search documents for over 14,000 clients.

Would you like to write cover letters that get incredible results like Preston Mars? Easily and quickly – with no guesswork? This is his personal, secret weapon to writing cover letters that get read and produce interviews. 93.7% of his clients will tell you this is an absolute must have! Click here to find out: http://2snip.com.

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