Resume Check UP
Whether you are in a job you enjoy, looking for a better situation, or in transition searching for your next great opportunity, you need a resume that highlights your education, skills and experience. Your resume needs to be well written, well organized and visually appealing. It needs to catch the eye of people who skim the contents and people who read every word. Remember that a resume is a marketing document and not a biography. Give your resume a look and pay attention to 3 specific areas: the summary statement, the roles and their responsibilities and the accomplishments you've had in each position you've held.
Summary: Instead of the objective that says "looking for a position in customer service that uses my skills and abilities and moves the company forward". Start with a summary paragraph that gives the reader a summary of your career and its over-arching themes. Try opening with a line like "Dedicated and driven administration professional with a strong ability to support clients and grow sales"
Role and Responsibilities: Instead of giving the Human Resources person a daunting list of day to day activities give some context to your role by making a statement about the company and how your role functions within it. "Responsible for producing compelling marketing collateral for this multinational pharmaceutical company". Follow a statement like this with information about your day to day duties.
Accomplishments: Once the reader is clear on your responsibilities, then its time to point out your accomplishments. To make them stand out use bullet points. If it is difficult for you to define your own accomplishments try this exercise. Ask yourself how your role may have saved time or money for the firm. Ask yourself if your role has added some sort efficiency or innovation to the company. Finally ask yourself what would happen if you did not do what you do. Answering these questions in your own mind will help you gain clarity on all your important contributions.
If you can make the reader see you doing your job and adding value, you are one step closer to being invited in for an interview. These three steps will help your resume appear concise and well organized and show your experience off to your best advantage. Try it.
Playing a Positive Role in Your Network
When looking for a position or to grow a career the advice that people get often centers on networking. And it sounds like good advice. Meet new people in your field, get introduced to decision makers and land a new position. People diligently try to put that advice into practice. They go to industry and networking events looking to meet those connections. They keep their ears open and engage in countless conversations hoping to make an impression on someone.
Weeks or even months go by, sometimes without much to show for it. Maybe a stack of new business cards and some new connections on LinkedIn. But in the search for a position not much further along. Why is that?
It is because networking is in fact an act of giving and not receiving, and most networkers view it as the opposite. The majority of people are at networking events looking to get rather than to receive.
Turning this thinking around opens us to so many more possibilities. From now on try this: Tell yourself that you are going to help someone at the next event that you attend. Listen to what people are saying, think about how you can help, and make offering that assistance your impetus for follow up.
Call a new contact with follow up information, or an offer to connect him/her to someone in your existing network. Instead of looking to increase your contacts, seek to share your contacts with someone else.
By sharing with and advising others your network expands in a solid and sustainable way. You make a lasting, tangible impression on the new people in your universe. Those new people and others will be motivated to share with you. Try it.
Many people in transition are told that the best way to to find job leads and expand their contact list is through networking. And while this is good advice, many people are usure of how to put this into action.
Step one is to find networking events relevant to you and the contacts you are looking to develop. Research trade and industry associations in your field and attend events in your area.
Step two is to be prepared. Make sure to arrive at a networking event with a 30 second "elevator pitch"(delivered in the time it takes to ride in an elevator). This short speech basically covers who you are, what your background is , where your expertise lies, and what you are looking for. For example "my name is Sally Smith. I am a Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience in the consumer package goods industry. I excel in the areas of employee relations, recruiting and benefits administration. I am currently seeking a director level position in a smaller company that alllows a more hands on approach to dealing with human capital management."
Step three is to make the process as mutual as possible. Remember that as you attend networking events in the hopes of leveraging new contacts into business deals or job opportunities, others are there doing the same. Be open to sharing your contacts and expertise with the new people that you are meeting.
Keep the folllowing suggestions in mind as you attend events with networking as a goal and you should come away from each session with valuable new contacts who will be glad to help you reach you goal.
Arrive prepared: know your elevator pitch, have business cards with you and dress in a professional manner.
Be personable: Share stories about your common industry or interest. Ask fellow networkers about hobbies or causes that are important to them. Tell them something interesting about yourself.
Follow up: With each contact that you meet, invite them to join you on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Keep in touch. If someone tells you they are interested in gardening or semiconductors, send him or her an article on that subject when you come across one that is timely and relevant.