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Career Connections

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?      Are you sending out resume after resume and responding to every Internet job ad you can find, knowing deep down that your phone won't ring?

 

?      Does your resume lack something, but not sure what it is?

 

?      Do your friends seem afraid to tell you what they really think about your resume?

 

If your answer is "yes" to any of the above, you will learn something about how to be top in resume writing and finding your dream job through the contents of this page.

 

If you are looking for My Resume Page (Career History), please CLICK HERE.

 

CLICK HERE to view a complete online guide in ‘CAREER MANAGEMENT’.  It is a career guidance issued among the government employees in South Australia. It provides an A to Z guidance to your career with the help of Charts, Examples, and Illustrations etc… CLICK HERE 

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Compare job search services and learn how HireExposure helps you find a job better than anyone.

 

Seven Executive Résumé Strategies

By Louise Kursmark, Best Impression Career Services


A résumé isn't designed to get you a job. A résumé can't make you qualified for positions outside your area of expertise. A résumé won't, all by itself, open up doors or knock down obstacles in your path.

 

But there is a lot that a good résumé can do... and those job seekers with them have an edge in the job search.

 

To be competitive, your résumé needs to communicate more than just your work history, job duties, and even key results of your efforts. At the executive level, hiring authorities want to know more than just "what" you did; they want to know "how" and "why" so they can better assess your fit within the organization and its goals.


Compared to entry-level or mid-level résumés, executive résumés tend to be longer (two or even three pages is the norm), a bit more detailed, and emphasize strategic contributions. Everything in the résumé should support a specific career target, and the entire document should present a sharp, focused, cohesive picture of who you are and why you're valuable.

 

Consider these strategies for a powerful executive presentation of your capabilities.

1. Start with a summary rather than an objective.

Objective statements on résumés are passé. Instead, begin with an overview of your strongest selling points -- those things about you that will make a reader sit up and take notice. Make sure this summary clearly indicates the type and level of position you're interested in, and be certain to include highlights of your career contributions.


2. Show your chronological work history.

If you're sending résumés to recruiters and responding to print or online ads, you'll do yourself a huge disservice if your résumé shows a confusing career history. Nearly all executives are best served by a traditional reverse-chronological format introduced by a powerful summary. Even if you're trying to downplay some less-than-stellar recent experience in your work history, be certain to show job titles, employers and dates of employment. Otherwise, you risk being quickly eliminated in a flash.

 

3. Don't write "job descriptions."

Your résumé should be more about what you did than the duties of the job itself. Briefly describe your scope of responsibility, then highlight your achievements and contributions -- things you did that improved revenue, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction or contributed to other business objectives. As an executive, you should be more focused on strategic contributions than day-to-day administrative duties: Be sure you're communicating the "big picture" in your résumé. Keep in mind that résumé readers are pretty intelligent. They can make assumptions based on job titles and general descriptions; they don't need to have every task spelled out for them.


4. Be specific.

Avoid vague qualifiers such as "substantially" and "significantly." Instead, use hard numbers to lend credibility to your accomplishment statements.

 

5. Describe context and challenge.

Your accomplishments will have even more impact if you present them in context or in relation to a specific challenge. Instead of writing "increased revenue 23 percent," it might be even more meaningful to write "reversed a five-year declining-revenue trend by focusing business development efforts on niche markets; grew revenues 23 percent and achieved profitability for the first time since 2002."


6. Be concise.

Even though a two- or three-page résumé is acceptable for an executive job search, it's still important to use a tight writing style so that you can communicate important information without losing your reader in a sea of text. Edit ruthlessly to remove information that isn't essential to your message.


7. Use format to increase impact.

Make it easy for readers to skim through your résumé to pick up important information. Use type enhancements, bullets and indentations to create an organizational hierarchy that makes your information easy to absorb. Above all else, make sure you don't make spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.


Your résumé is important. If it's powerful and focused, it can help advance your career. If it's vague and unconvincing, it can leave you languishing in a protracted job search. Time, energy, thought and care spent on résumé development is an excellent investment in yourself and your career.

 

{Louise Kursmark is an award-winning résumé writer and executive career consultant who has written 18 books on career and business topics; her most recent title is "Executive's Pocket Guide to ROI Résumés and Job Search," published in 2006 by JIST. In her private practice, Best Impression Career Services, Kursmark works directly with executive-level clients to create powerful career marketing documents. She has earned multiple industry certifications and was the first person worldwide to earn the Master Résumé Writer credential from the Career Masters Institute. Louise can be contacted via her Web site) (www.yourbestimpression.com) or blog at (http://careerhub.typepad.com/main).}

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TEN Ways to Blow the Interview

By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

Information abounds regarding what you should say in an interview. But it can be just as important to realize what not to say. It is also imperative to note that what you say say can be communicated through both your words and actions.

1. You arrive late to the interview.

What it means: "I really don't care about getting this position."


Arrive a healthy 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to give you time to collect your thoughts, review your notes and make a good first impression.

2. You're rude to the receptionist.

What it means: "I'm difficult to get along with."


Receptionists are the gate keepers and it's their job to be the eyes and ears of the company," cautions Lauren Milligan, founder and CEO of ResuMAYDAY, Inc. Besides, if hired, you may need their cooperation one day.


3. You answer questions with trite or cliché responses.

What it means: "I'm just one of the crowd."


Telling the interviewer you are a perfectionist and expect too much of yourself is sure to elicit a yawn, if not a discreet roll of the eyes, Milligan warns. Prepare potential responses ahead of time to avoid relying on the usual.


4. You don't ask questions.

What it means: "I'm not that interested in your company."


The interview should be a two-way conversation "to determine if you are the right fit for the company, and if the company is the right fit for you," Milligan says. Use the interview to gather as much information about your potential new position as possible.

5. You answer the standard "Tell us about yourself," with "What would you like to know?"

What it means: "I have nothing special to offer this company."


This is your opportunity to steer the conversation into areas where you truly shine. Don't waste this chance by appearing to lack any outstanding qualities you want to share. And please don't start with where you were born. Focus on your career unless your birthplace is relevant to the job.


6. You use inappropriate language.

What it means: "I'm unprofessional and if it shows in the short span of an interview, imagine what I'll be like in the office."


Even if they're only mild and somewhat acceptable words, there still is no place for them in the interview.


7. You trash-talk your former boss.

What it means: "I have no discretion; I'll blab any inside information."


"If you left your prior job on poor terms, you need to put this relationship in a positive light for the interview," Milligan advises. "Even if your boss was to blame." You never want to bring negativity or antagonistic emotions into the interview. Keep it positive and upbeat.


8. You ask the interviewer to not contact your former employer.

What it means: "I have something to hide."


Even if you do not get along with your boss, you can always name someone else in the organization as a reference.

 

9. You exaggerate your accomplishments or credentials.

What it means: "I'm not good enough on my own merits, so I need to lie to make myself look good."


A skilled interviewer can easily identify fabrications in your background or experience. State your qualifications with confidence. You don't have to be Superman to get hired; you just have to be right for the job.


10. You don't thank the interviewer.

What it means: "I have no manners."


Forgetting to thank your interviewers in writing for their time can take the luster from even the most stellar interviewee.

 

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Keep these things in your mind before you present in front of the interview board 

1.  If you're the person the company wants to hire, they won't forget you if you don't call every day.

 

2.  Make the person at the front desk your ally. The boss values her opinion, and she can seal your fate with a roll of her eyes or the turn of her thumb.

 

3.  Job search is an awesome task, and even though your self-esteem could stand a boost from a friend, save the hand holding for a coffee break after the interview. If you can't survive an interview on your own, the boss may wonder how you'll ever make it through an eight-hour day. Significant others, children and pets should stay at home.

 

4.  It is Friday, and the rest of the world wears jeans and T-shirts. No, it is not okay for you to go casual. Get the dress-for-success suit out of the cleaners and shine your shoes. Wait until you get the job offer and then maybe you can relax your dress code when you know the new company's standards.

 

5.  This is a sure-fire way to delude yourself that you're actually doing something to get a job. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than obtaining employment in this random fashion.

 

6.  Of course you're interested in how much money you'll make and when you can take a vacation, but save those questions until you are offered the job. Eagerness for a position is a good thing, but greed for money, vacation time and benefits is not.

 

7.  Yes, I know the career books tell you to disregard official gatekeepers. But why antagonize them? Be smart and use the dual approach of contacting the department head and the human resources department. When you're looking for a job, you need friends, not enemies.

 

8.  If you want to land the right job with people to whom you can relate, and with a boss that understands your capabilities, "tests" can actually help you find the perfect fit. Look at tests as tools to communicate your strengths. Companies really want to hire people who will be happy and grow with their company. Tests are not meant to exclude so much as they are designed to identify the right person for the right job. A test may actually help you avoid getting into a situation you may regret!

 

9. Research the company with whom you are interviewing. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than a candidate that knows about the company. It shows that you have initiative.

 

10.  Get there on time. The importance of punctuality cannot be stressed enough. Plan to arrive about 15 minutes early. It shows your regard for the interviewer's time. If you have to wait, use the time to go over your notes.

 

11.  It shows that you cared enough about the interviewer and the company to present yourself in a professional manner. In today's work place, most companies do not have a strict code. So if you are one who hates pantyhose or a shirt and tie, relax. This may be the only time you have to do so.

 

12.  Practice makes perfect. All the information that you would have obtained about successful interviewing would be wasted if you do not practice. You can know all the questions the interviewer will ask but if you do not practice, it would be as if you did not. Have a friend go over the questions with you until you are able to answer them promptly without suffering.

 

13.  Give the interviewer a firm handshake, even if the interviewer is a woman and you are a man. Nobody like a limp handshake but by the same token do not take the person's hand either. While shaking, introduce yourself keeping eye contact at all times.

 

14.  Nothing is worse than an interviewee who looks depressed or indifferent. Would you want to work with someone who is always depressed?

 

15.  You are confident about yourself and your capabilities. Relay that. Do not stare out of the window or fiddle with your pencil. The interviewer is talking to you or you to him. Be attentive.

 

16.  Do not mumble your words. It portrays a lack of confidence.

 

17.  If he makes a joke, smile to acknowledge that he made one, even if it was not funny.

 

18.  Never be late for an interview Answer promptly and intelligently. However, when asked yes or no questions, elaborate.

 

19.  For salary requirements put negotiable, unless specified not to do so. Then put the salary range for your profession with your experience.  Even if he does not ask you “Do you have any questions," ask him anyway.

 

20.  Be sure to thank the interviewer for his time It may be obvious to some that most of the things you should not do are the opposite of what you should. However, some people need reinforcing.

 

21.  If an employer asks, “Do you know about…" and you do not, say “No”. If you say yes, the next question is almost always "Tell me about it."

 

22.  Chew gum during the interview. It's tacky and inappropriate. I would recommend that you do not before the interview either. You may forget to remove it.

 

23.  Do not smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette.

 

24.  Don't ever refuse a job offer until you have had the time to think about it. It may be the only one you get.

 

25.  Make sure your answers are short and to the point.

 

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Effective Methods for Job Hunting

Methods

Success Rate

1. Asking for job leads from family, friends, associates and acquaintances.

33%

2. Applying directly to an employer in person, whether or not they are known to have a vacancy.

47%

3.Calling employers from employer listings (yellow pages, directories, etc.) and asking if they are hiring.

75%

4. Creative approach to job hunting or career change (clear personal professional goals, focus, and determination/ endurance).

86%

 

(Adapted from What Color is Your Parachute? 2000; Richard Nelson Bolles; 10 Speed Press)

  

          

Job Search Strategies

 

In sales and marketing the goal is to get your product name in front of the consumer as much as possible. In fact, the general rule is to expose the consumer to your name seven times and the consumer will remember it. And since we buy what is familiar to us, the more comfortable and familiar we are with a company name, the more likely we are to purchase it – consciously or unconsciously.

 

Apply this same methodology to your job search. Get your name, face and/or resume in front of a potential employer seven times and you will significantly increase your likelihood of being hired. You might ask: "How do I do that without becoming obnoxious?" 

 

1. Call and introduce yourself to a networking contact. 

 

2. Send a letter with your resume to this individual. Ask for an appointment to meet and further discuss your qualifications. 

 

3. Call to follow-up. Verify that your information was received. Make an appointment to meet and discuss how you might fit into the company’s current or future needs. 

 

4. Within 48 hours of the meeting, write a thank you letter for the meeting and reiterate why you think the company could benefit from hiring you. 

 

5. Within a week, send an interesting article that relates to something you discussed with a quick handwritten note: "Thought you would find this interesting." 

 

6. Attend a professional or social event where you accidentally-on-purpose bump into your contact.

 

7. Use your imagination: you are close to ‘familiarity’ now and should look for another opportunity to have contacts.

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Value of Your Resume

Remember that your resume is a marketing tool. Include information that will enhance your best qualities and eliminate potentially controversial information. Think of your resume and cover letter as paid advertising. For each of resume and cover letter you have 92 sq. in. per available page. On the average you will have 184 sq. in. to sell yourself and about 30 seconds to catch and keep the reader’s attention. If you are aiming for a salary of $30,000, each square inch of your materials is worth $163.00; if your goal is $50,000, each square inch is worth $271.00. This is premium advertising space – use it well.

 

Reminders for effective use of your resume and cover letter

1. Always keep a master copy of your resume in a safe place and on a backup diskette. Use a 'second master' to make copies.

 

2. Use neutral colour paper for letters and resume (white, beige or light grey).  Darker or brighter colours are difficult to read and are not considered professional. 

 

3. Proofread your letters (CHECK PROPER SPELLING OF NAMES) and show your letter to someone you trust before mailing it.  If you are embarrassed to show it to people who know you, you are probably not comfortable with what you said. 

 

4. SIGN YOUR LETTER! An unsigned letter shows a lack of attention to detail and makes the recipient feel like this is just another computer print-out. 

 

 

5. Put a paper clip on all your pieces of paper -- do not staple it.  This is a more professional presentation. 

 

6. Type the address onto the envelope or a label, matching it identically to the address on the letter -- no variations. 

 

7. Keep a copy of your letter, so you can remember exactly what you said and when you promised to make the follow-up call. 

 

8. Make the follow-up call! Don't let your mind chatter talk you out of it.  If you promised to call and then don't, it looks VERY BAD!  

 

9.  Be sure to follow-up with a post interview letter. 

 

10. Always stay true to your goal and maintain your humour during the job search process. Be bold and directed, without being pushy or inconsiderate.

  

The Three paragraph Cover Letter formula

In the first paragraph let the reader knows how you learned about the position (especially if you were referred by a person known to the employer) and briefly why it interests you.  Refer the reader to your resume as a source of more information, and let them know that you would appreciate their taking a few moments to review it.

Use the second paragraph to tell a story.  Create a parallel between something you have done which is very similar to what you would do if hired for this position.  Keep the story to three to five sentences.  Be clear and concise, avoid jargon.

Be certain that your third paragraph gets to the point -- getting the interview!  State your intentions to call and speak with the recipient to answer any questions they may have about your qualifications or to arrange an in-person interview.  Remember to thank the reader for their time and leave them with the impression that when you call, you will be respectful of their time and you will be worth talking to.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR BOSS

When you take a long time, you're slow.
When your boss takes a long time, he's thorough.

When you don't do it, you're lazy.
When your boss doesn't do it, he's too busy.

When you make a mistake, you're an idiot.
When your boss makes a mistake, he's only human.

When doing something without being told, you're overstepping your authority.
When your boss does the same thing, that's initiative.

When you take a stand, you're being pig-headed.
When your boss does it, he's being firm.

When you overlooked a rule of etiquette, you're being rude.
When your boss skips a few rules, he's being original.

When you please your boss, you're ****-creeping.
When your boss pleases his boss, he's being co-operative.

When you're out of the office, you're wandering around.
When your boss is out of the office, he's on business.

When you're on a day off sick, you're always sick.
When your boss has a day off sick, he must be very ill.

When you apply for leave, you must be going for an interview.
When your boss applies for leave, it's because he's overworked.

Keep in your mind that your BOSS is ALWAYS right, right?

 

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Give Your Goals an Update

 Are you a goal setter or a goal avoider? Some people write goals for everything and find great joy in achieving them in order to cross them off the list. And others never seem to get around to writing down their goals because they don’t know what to write. 

 

The best part about goals is that if you write them, they are in your handwriting and you can erase them, add to them, or edit them. Your goals are for you – not for anyone else.

 

Goal setting and achieving, however, is an art form and takes practice to really use goals effectively in your life. To practice writing goals means taking a chance and learning from your failures. For example, if you don’t meet your goal of getting a new job by June 1, 2009, this does not mean you should stop the process and it does not mean that you failed. If you keep steadily moving toward your goal of finding new work, you will eventually meet your goal. You simply need to be willing to maintain your focus in the face of obstacles and few obvious results.

 

Goals are meant to be guideposts - general targets - and they require the author to have a wide interpretation for success. Being able to say you achieved a goal often means being willing for the result to look very differently than you initially intended. When you state a goal, you do not usually have enough information to be able to accurately predict exactly what the result will look, sound, and feel like. 

 

Many job seekers start by defining the “ideal job” as either “not anything like the one I have” or “just like the one I have.” First of all, this is too vague to be able to measure. Secondly, after exploring some options and more clearly identifying personal desires and needs the picture of “the ideal job” changes.

 

So, to meet the goal of finding a new job by June 1, 2009, the job seeker must be willing to state the goal in such a way that s/he can find employment that is appropriate for who s/he will be at the end of the process.

 

For example: “I will be in a new position by June 1, 2009 that uses my strengths and challenges me to expand into new professional territory.” Or “I will be in a new position by September 1, 2009 that provides me with a strong balance of professional challenge and time for my family." 

 

Both of these offer a wide girth of interpretation and can be refined to include minimum salary/compensation, commute distance, hours, responsibilities, etc. None of those refinements, however, should be too tight that they cut off possibilities.

 

Furthermore, if you are new to writing and achieving goals, you may not achieve this goal 100% in your next position. It may take more attempts and more positions before you get all of those elements in place. The important piece is to keep moving toward your goal.

 

The next level of effectively writing goals is to recognize when a goal is no longer appropriate for you. For example, if you had a goal in your 20s to have a lifestyle “free of responsibility” and you are now in your late 30s wondering why you are still renting an apartment and your manager won’t give you that promotion – it may be time to change your idea of “the good life.” If you set a goal, achieve it, and then discover that you no longer really want that result, make a new goal for yourself.  We are complex beings who are ever changing in a complex world.  To expect that our goals or we stay static is to adhere to the belief that the world is flat and that the Sun revolves around earth.

 

The main objective in setting goals is to experiment. Start small and build on your successes. Be willing to review yourself periodically and update your goals. Don’t let the appearance of “not meeting your goals” stop you from continuing to press forward toward your objective.

 

Six tips on Career Development for Employers within their employees.

 

Here are some guidelines for getting the most out of your human investments.


1.  WALK THE HALLS: Senior management meetings are not the right place to glean the career aspirations of your staff. "My organization is five deep. If I waited for the chain of command, I would never get the information I do by just asking people about their careers," says Samantra Sengupta, CIO of the Scotts Co. "I walk the halls a lot and sit down with people at all levels to understand their needs and desires." Based in part on staff feedback, Sengupta decided to split what was solely a managerial career path into three separate paths: traditional management, heavy technical competency with light management and architecture with no management responsibilities. The paths carry similar compensation plans but allow each person to do what he does best. Before you walk the halls, make sure you clearly understand how much flexibility HR will allow when setting up a new career development program, cautions Sengupta. "If you encourage people on your staff to give you a data dump about their career, they may believe that you will act on their wishes," he says. "You have to know what you can and cannot do before you initiate the discussion."


2.  CREATE AN INTEGRATED JOB MODEL: When Jim Burdiss became CIO of Smurfit-Stone in January 2002, there were few titles on his staff other than "systems analyst." So he put Keith Fehd, director of applications development and support, in charge of developing a program that would define paths for progression along four distinct disciplines: applications, infrastructure, business operations and management. "The program is successful because it integrates job titles with salaries, skill requirements, merit increases and our annual review process," says Burdiss. "We now have a much clearer view into the skills of our organization, and our people truly understand their growth potential."


3.  LAUNCH A PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN: Just like any major initiative, a new career development program needs a timely and effective communication plan. "It took us 14 months to build our integrated model," says Smurfit-Stone's Fehd. "If we had publicized it early or not well enough, we would have raised expectations or created uncertainty about a pretty sensitive subject."

 

4.  PROMOTE LEADERS CAREFULLY: Successful project leaders do not necessarily make great managers, says Linda Brigance, CIO of FedEx Asia Pacific. "People tend to look at great projects and want to promote their leaders," she says. "But we need to pay close attention to how their leadership skills translate in tougher situations. Are they as successful at guiding and motivating their teammates when the going gets-tough?"


5.  INCORPORATE BUSINESS TRAINING: Burdiss at Smurfit-Stone hired an outside consultant to design a "Business 101" course specifically for the IT team. With sections on the supply chain, supply and demand planning, marketing, budgeting and financials, the business course has gone a long way toward helping the IT people at Smurfit-Stone understand the business they support.


6.  USE CROSS-TRAINING:  When Barbara Kunkel, CIO of Nixon Peabody, is out of the office, one of her direct reports is acting CIO. Her managers regularly facilitate department meetings, entry-level technical support specialists team up with seasoned staff, and office services employees’ intern in the IT department during the summer months. "Cross-training is a great career development tool," says Kunkel. "But it needs to be a planned activity with clearly thought-out goals, and it should provide workers with continued job enrichment opportunities once they return to their routine duties."

 

                                                             

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