Posts tagged ‘mistakes’

Important things you need to have on your resume

Sure it’s important to include your name, contact information, work history, education and key responsibilities.

The biggest mistake people make is leaving out their key differentiators.

What do employers really want to know about you? They want to know that you produce results.

  • What problems have you solved?
  • Did you serve as a project or team leader? Mentor to others?
  • Have you helped the company save money, improve efficiency or increase productivity?

And it doesn’t stop here. Anywhere that you can, you need to quantify and quality your achievements:

  • How many dollars did you save the company by your efforts?
  • How much in additional business did you bring in?
  • What was the percentage increase you brought about in productivity, safety, efficiency…?

In a tight job market, and as a young person just starting out in general, it’s important to include these extras to make you stand out in a sea of typical resumes and typical candidates.

April 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm 3 comments

Updating your resume after your first job

Making the transition from “recent graduate” to full-fledged “business professional” can be tough. The resume you have when you first get out of school may not have a lot of relevant job experience. Sure that part time job got you through school, but most employers aren’t really interested in your summer as a wedding caterer or camp counselor by the time you hit 25.

That being said, while you’re busy growing up and become a professional, your resume also needs to grow up. Here’s how you do it:

  1. If you haven’t already, get rid of anything highschool related. No one cares what your GPA was junior year or that you were captain of the math team. If you went to a prestigious high school (like many people in St. Louis), think about getting active in the alumni association and putting that in a Community Involvement section.
  2. Unless you had a very important leadership or employment role, you can probably remove most of your club or social involvement from college too. If you were a part of a Greek organization that may help for networking, get involved in the alumni association and put that in your Community Involvement section too.
  3. Move your education information down underneath your work experience. Now that you have job experience, that’s a lot more important that your liberal arts degree that everyone else has, too.
  4. Add an executive summary displaying your key skills and traits as well as your specific objectives for career development. Let’s face it, after graduation your objective literally translated to “please give me a job, any job.” Now that you’ve been out in the real world for a couple years, it’s important to know where you want to go next and what you’ll bring to your next employer.

To demonstrate the before and after of a resume makeover after a first job, check out Chris Mann’s new resume and his first resume out of school.

Still not sure how to make your resume mature with your career? E-mail me.

March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

Myths about job hunting in a recession

A lot of people I know are looking for jobs right now… and they’re doing a lot of things wrong. First of all, they’re giving up the job search before they even start – expecting that hiring freezes or their lack of a lots of experience/an MBA will keep them from being fired.

So many only look for jobs online – in yucky places like job boards (ala Careerbuilder, Yahoo! Jobs, or Monster). If you’re gonna be online – try networking. Or maybe even create your own content via Twitter or your own blog. Make friends with valuable contacts on LinkedIn and catch up with old friends, professors, colleagues and family members to let them know you’re looking for a job.

How about volunteering with some of your free time? Or studying up on the latest industry developments or seeking additional licenses or certifications relevant to your career development?

The worst thing you can do when you’re looking for a job is not look for a job AND not do anything productive with your time while you wait it out.

Have you started to buy-in to these 6 Myths About Job-Hunting in a Recession?

  1. No one is hiring
  2. The best place to find jobs is the Internet
  3. Avoid companies that are currently experiencing “hiring freezes”
  4. Expect a pay cut
  5. People aren’t hiring if you’re 55+ years old
  6. Advanced degrees guarantee you’ll get hired

March 18, 2009 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Advice on making a job switch in a tough market

Read Amy Hoover’s latest article “Salary and Title Expectations” on her Talent Zoo “Career Oxygen” blog for some great advice on how to make a job switch in a tough market.

I have a lot of friends that have been out of school for about 2 years now that are ready to make a move to a second job, but aren’t sure about what to do in an unstable market. Hoover’s article explains what to expect from the process, including moves that can help or hurt your career in the long term.

March 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Beating around the bush

Salary negotiation can be scary. And with the latest job market – where people are getting laid off left and right – it’s even scarier right  now.

Lots of people are being passed up for raises. Companies are in “hiring freezes” and often times the higher people are paid, the quicker they are to let go of you. It’s hard to tip-toe around numbers when it comes time for a job offer.

If you ever wondered what to do when someone asks you your salary requirements, please read this article by Penelope Trunk.

She does a great job of providing alternate responses to the dreaded question of “How much?”

January 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Top Interview Mistakes – Part 2

Continuing my series on the worst mistakes people make during interviews, here’s number #5 – Insufficient answers.

Did you know that 30 percent of hiring managers think that interviewees do not provide sufficient answers to questions during interviews? The best way to prevent insufficient answers in your own interviews is to prepare for difficult questions ahead of time.

Continue Reading June 4, 2008 at 4:38 am 1 comment

Top Interview Mistakes – Part 1

Twenty-nine percent of hiring managers said that interviewees do not ask good questions during interviews. I am not surprised to hear that this is a top complaint. When I first started interviewing for jobs, I would sit fairly still during the entire one-way conversation. I’d spit off answers to the interviewer’s questions and smile politely. Once they were finished with the third degree, they would ask that dreaded question, “So, do you have any questions for me?”

Ahh! Of course not. Well, I had one, “So are you going to hire me?”

Continue Reading June 4, 2008 at 3:57 am 3 comments