1. Determine if your Old Resume Represents Your Career & Qualifications Well on Paper
Before beginning to write your resume (whether you decide to do-it yourself or hire a professional resume writer to help you), you will first need to honestly ask yourself… Does this resume truly reflect my skills, qualifications, and abilities? Is this resume updated to my current position? Is my resume basically a laundry list of job responsibilities? Do I outline my entire work history without consideration to my career goal and job target? Do I say too much or not enough in marketing myself? Does my resume need a “facelift” in terms of writing, formatting, and complying with modern resume standards?
2. Assess Your Career Direction and Current Career Goal
When it becomes evident that you want or need to change jobs by securing employment in another company (or advancing in your current company), the first step is to decide what you want to do in your next position and the types of jobs you want to target. This may involve the multi-pronged approach of reviewing job descriptions on the Internet or going directly to company websites (for companies you might be interested in exploring career opportunities with). Ask yourself honestly, Do I have the qualifications to do well in this position? And is this a position I’d be interested in applying for if the geographic location, company culture, and salary requirements are a “good fit?” Would I consider this my ideal job or one that could lead to obtaining my ideal job?
3. Determine the Job Search Tactics You Will Use to Market Yourself
Is your idea of conducting a job search going on the Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com websites and posting your resume, and then waiting to hear from prospective employers. If that is the case, you may be surprised to learn the “new” (and not-so-new) job search strategies involve company research, informational interviews, telephone pre-screenings, networking, and not focusing on “advertised” positions. There is just as much of a mental and emotional process involved in the job search, so it is always best to still be gainfully employed while searching for a new position. Although job seekers have more time constraints when they are still employed and seeking out new employment, there are a lot of tools and resources available to job seekers. More importantly, career services companies, like Dynamic Resume Solutions, are available to help. Check out www.dynamicresumesolutions.com.
4. Write a Resume that Captures, Paints a Picture of your Background, and Targets you for your Ideal Position
Your resume needs to show what you bring to the table and why a potential employer should hire you. The most effective way to demonstrate that fact on a resume and get them to call you in for an interview is to outline your Accomplishments / Achievements in your present or past positions – not just listing job duties with a vague Objective Statement as resumes were traditionally done in the past. The reason for this is that potential employers want to know why they should hire YOU versus the hundreds of other candidates applying. Therefore, what you want to convey is: What makes YOU stand out and how can YOU be immediately productive to their company. The best way to do this is to show what you have accomplished with current/past employers.
5. Prepare Other Personal Marketing Documents such as E-Notes or Traditional Cover Letters along with a LinkedIn Profile
Everyone knows that you need a resume to secure almost any job nowadays. However, don’t forget that e-note cover letters or the more traditional one-page cover letter along with a LinkedIn Profile are the other key documents that job seekers should have to market and brand themselves the same way their “new” and updated resume does. In other words, you want to portray your qualifications the same way throughout all of your personal marketing documents. Social media, particularly LinkedIn, has now become the place where job seekers and hiring managers go when they want to find qualified candidates. Don’t shortchange yourself by missing out on LinkedIn; it was originally designed as a networking website for business professionals!
6. Research Companies You are Interested in Exploring Career Opportunities With
The Internet can be overwhelming, but no one can deny that it is a great resource when you want to find information quickly and efficiently. As we know, the information on the Internet is not always accurate, but it is still a great place to go when you are starting a job search to research companies you might be interested in working for, review company financial information, and find job descriptions for various positions of interest.
7. Adequately Prepare for Employment Interviews
When most people think of interviews, the first thing that comes to mind is the in-person interview. In today’s world, it is important to realize the interview begins when you submit your resume and provide your contact information to potential employers. The first step is making sure you have an email address and phone message that is professional sounding. Also, keep in mind that phone interviews are now common practice and used as a first screening of job candidates, so be professional and be prepared that it could be a potential employer on the line when you answer your phone.
8. Continually Seek Out Ways to Improve Your Skills
Enroll in opportunities for professional development and continuing education. This allows you to be a more marketable job seeker and shows potential employers you are a continual learner in your area(s) of expertise. Many employers will pay all (or a portion) of this cost for their employees to keep up-to-date with training and seminars. Keep as current as possible since your resume should only reflect the last 10 years of professional development.
9. Know When You are too Close to the Situation to be Objective
It is very hard to be objective when it comes to your own resume, your career, and your life. Add into the mix that friends and family can be well meaning, but sometimes they have a hard time in helping job seekers due to misinformation and lack of knowledge. So if you are a career-minded professional who realizes you are too emotionally tied to your background and career, you may be best served by going to a career expert for advice and guidance. A good resource for professional resume writing and job search coaching services is Dynamic Resume Solutions at www.dynamicresumesolutions.com.
10. Assessing the Company You Interviewed with to Determine the Fit for Your Career
When securing a job interview, many people get caught up in the idea that, “they are interviewing me,” and as a result, get very nervous and sometimes common sense can go “out the window” with some basic do’s and don’ts. The key thing to remember in a job interview is, “YOU are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.” So ask yourself after the interview, is this a position I’d be interested in applying for if the geographic location, company culture, and salary requirements are a “good fit?” Would I consider this position to be my ideal job or one that could lead to obtaining my ideal job in the future?” If after the interview you STILL want to be considered for the job, make sure to send a thank you or follow-up letter. In very competitive positions, this little letter could mean the difference between getting the job and not, and negotiating the compensation you deserve.
At Dynamic Resume Solutions, we can help! We’re career experts who skillfully guide job seekers through the process every step of the way. Call us today at (610) 678-0147 to begin the steps to achieving your career goals! We look forward to speaking with you soon.