Whether you are employed or unemployed searching for a job is no fun! The search is daunting to say the least. These days you have to really search to find help wanted advertisements. Employment opportunities are not just posted in the help wanted section of the newspaper. They are on job listings websites, the companies website (usually hidden at the bottom of the page under careers), or you must go to a job center and job fairs.
Once you find the listings, you are faced with the task of finding employment that appeals to you. Do you even know what it is you are looking for? You may want a change but not sure what type of change. Or maybe you are afraid to change because you don’t have the education or experience. Then what? Do you give up on the dream? Do you go back to school? Maybe you are in dire need of income and anything will do at this point.
Did you know that a hiring manager looks at your resume for an average of six seconds? So, what’s a person to do? How can you leverage resume to land an interview? Choose the format that best suits your needs. There are many different resume formats. Below are the four basic resume styles.
- Chronological. This style is a list of your job history over the last 10-15 years starting with the most recent.
- Functional. This style focuses on your skills and experience. This style is great for the person starting their working career, changing careers or who have a diverse job history. This style allows you to emphasize your vast knowledge and skill.
- Combination. This style is a combination that emphasizes your skills and traits in the chronological format. You can showcase who you are as an employee and set yourself apart.
- Targeted. This type of resume is specific for the job you want. It highlights the skills, education, and work experience you have related to the position you want. This will set you apart from the other type of resumes as it reflects the job description and your ability to fulfill their needs.
The length of a resume can be just as important in the six seconds a hiring manager is sorting through the stacks. Rule of thumb here is if you are a recent graduate, one page is fine. However, the more experienced you are, the longer the resume. Two to three pages spanning 10-15 years of employment is optimal.
What is a cover letter and do I need to include one?
A cover letter is a letter that introduces you to the potential employer. It explains your purpose for writing, emphasizes that the skills and experience you have matches what they are looking for and it concludes with a call to action by welcoming an interview. Should you include a cover letter? Some hiring managers ask for cover letters. Others do not. You should submit a cover letter unless the job ad specially says not to or if it is poorly written.
After digging you find a job that sound promising only to apply and never hear anything back from them. Do you call them? If you do will it help or hurt? Maybe you get an interview only to have it go badly. I had an interview where the interviewer didn’t ask any questions and expected me to do all the talking. Maybe the interviewer had formed an opinion about me based on my appearance. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t dressed badly. I was dressed nice in business attire. To be fair, our appointment was first thing in the morning and maybe the interviewer was not prepared causing me to freeze up. I am not sure what the deciding factor was, but I did not get the job.
Finally, I want to leave you with this encouragement. Just be yourself. If you have to conform to someone else to get the job, it will be stressful. If they do not like you for who you are and what you can do, then find employment that does. I was able to find employment by a referral from a place that I applied but did not have a position. However, I must have made a great impression for that hiring manager to refer me to another agency needing help.
As always I welcome your feedback and questions. You can leave them in the comments below. If you like what you read let me know with a thumbs up.
Remember that you are not alone, I am here to walk along side of you.
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