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Job Search - Tips and Guidelines

Today’s job market is a whirlwind of wonderfully skilled and qualified people, resumes and job leads that seem to go on into forever. The job market evolves and changes often, as does the skills required in certain careers; and as people themselves evolve and move to careers that fit their skills, abilities and lifestyle, a job search can sometimes become a full time job in itself! Anyone who has looked for a job has likely run the gamut of job search rituals. From poring over your resume to practicing interview etiquette, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left to do but offer a prayer to the gods and hope that someone gives you a call!




Resume Re-rewrite



You probably know your resume by heart. You want your resume to be a good showcase of your talents and abilities so each potential employer can see that you are the right person for the job. But then, so does everyone else. What can you truly do during your job search to get your resume on top of the pile- or even onto the right desk? First you need to slip into the shoes of the person who is doing the hiring. How many resumes do you think this person is seeing for the same position? Lots! So your best bet is to keep your resume and cover letter short and sweet! Too much information could mean you will get passed over simply because there isn’t enough time to read it all! It’s good that you were captain of your sports team in highschool or in charge of office supplies at your last job but the person doing the hiring is wondering what’s in it for them if they hire you. During your job search, study up on the requirements for the position you are applying for and adjust the skills on your resume to fit perfectly with the position. Do not exaggerate your skills. Simply use the skills that are there.





Avoid the Scams



Online job search sites are a blessing and a curse for those in the job search market. Where there is a wealth of information and opportunity available there are also the predators that look to take advantage of numerous hopefuls who are just trying to find employment. This can involve everything from ‘Work from Home!’ ruses that amount to nothing to actual phishing and identity theft. Avoid ‘cold call emails’ (emails from ‘companies’ that contact you even though you did not send them your resume) that ask you to click on a link taking you to another site and asking for personal information. Do your own investigation by entering the company’s name into your browser instead and visit their website. Contact the company and if they are still asking for personal information right off the bat- such as your social security number- step away. Predators also will send fake emails that look as though they come from legitimate job search sites asking for credit card information. Legitimate and reputable job search sites such as Monster will never send an email asking for that type of valuable information because they know this is how the scammers work.





Just the Facts: Researching a Potential Employer



It’s been said before and rightly so: knowledge is power. Companies spend lots of time and money on research and development to give them the competitive edge over their competition; and to make your job search a success, you should, too. The good news is, you don’t have to spend millions or an extensive amount of time just to find out what industry the company is in or the names of the senior executives (including the one in charge of hiring). Most of that information can be found on the company’s website. Do a little background reading on the company and find out who its big name clients are, for example, or even if it has had any financial or legal problems of late. Should you be given an interview, then it is a good idea to do get into a more detailed search about the company. When the prospective employer asks what you know about the company or the position, you’ll be able to give an intelligent answer. You will also be able to ask intelligent questions. Employers like that.




Keeping Yourself in the Loop



When up to 80% of jobs never get advertised because the positions are usually filled by ‘someone who knows someone’ who is currently in their own job search, you know networking is a great way to find a job. Even though it helps to an extent, you don’t necessarily have to sign up for a program that blasts your name through a network or attend every job search fair. Just talking to others is a reliable way to keep your job search going in the right direction. Giving the heads up to others as well when you find information that might be useful makes networking a two way street that will benefit you in the long run.



 CV Development !

The Curriculum Vitae or Résumé is an advertisement for the individual, whose objective is to show what you have to offer in a compact and easily-digestible form.

The principal purpose of a CV is to secure a job interview but it can also provide a useful structure for the said interview.

A good CV is your primary marketing tool.

 

 

Your CV is a sales document, you are the product and the employer is the consumer.  You are aiming to market yourself and your skills.

How to Produce a Winning CV?

Although there are some common formats, there is no set layout or order you have to follow. You should include relevant information in sufficient detail to provide evidence to support your application and choose a layout that works for you.  Remember, an employer is likely to be scanning your CV very quickly, so put your best stuff near the top of the CV to entice them to read on.

Common CV formats include chronological, skills-based and academic. Sample CVs are available on the website.  They exist to give you ideas about layout and style but should not be copied.   All styles of CV should include:

Personal and contact details:

Education:

Work experience/employment history:

Skills and experience :

 

 

Other interests

Referees

Key points to remember :

 

Detailed Analysis

The CV Problem

Major employers receive dozens of CVs every day by post, fax and e-mail.

Being largely unsolicited, most of these are not 'filtered' to match any specific vacancy.

To read every one 'from cover to cover' would be physically impossible so it is crucial for the employer to grasp the essence of what you have to offer within a few seconds.

If interest is aroused during the critical 'first pass', they are likely to read further.



Visible Reams of Support

The readability of the CV is very much related to length so it needs to be short but not obsessively so.

A 15-page CV defeats the reader at the outset and is likely to be discarded.

The fashionable one-page 'consultancy' CVs tend to hide more than they reveal making it difficult to 'get a handle' on what the candidate is all about.

Remember - The principal object is to present your experience effectively - Not to get it all on one page.

There is nothing wrong with a three or four page CV provided that page one generates enough interest to encourage further reading.

The crucial point is to include all of the essential details on the first page.

 

 


Professional CV Writing:

CVs with a certain style

Obviously, CVs should be neat and presentable but there is a balance to be struck between design and content.

Possession of the latest spiffy desk-top publishing package does not actually make you 'artistic' and most employers prefer candidates who are 'businesslike' rather than 'cool'.

With anything involving design, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and there is no 'ideal' layout for a CV - Indeed, a reasonable degree of individuality can make the document more-interesting.

As a good starting point, the document 'templates' available in MS-Word and other word processing software provide smart and professional-looking resume formats without excessive 'frills'.


Content

The Curriculum Vitae should ideally be a self-contained document including your contact information, a summary of your experience and full supporting details.

Some items, such as salary required, might well be included in a covering letter and agencies will often prefer to remove your contact information.

It is important to state what you are looking for in a positive manner - Some candidates are quite strident in stating what they don't want.

Nationality/Age/Sex Issues

Some politically-correct people consider that these items of information are 'not relevant' but the potential employer decides what is 'relevant'.

Despite claims of being 'negotiable', employers tend to have a fairly clear idea of what they want to pay and the term 'negotiable' realistically means plus or minus 10%.

Like it or not, most employers are quite fussy and have an ideal 'profile' in mind which thy use as their basis for filtering candidates 'on paper'.

Your CV should include any information which has a bearing on the decision to progress your application further.


Summary Justice

Prominently displayed on the first page of your CV should be a few paragraphs summarizing the 'essence' of what you have to offer and what you are seeking.

This statement is probably the most important item in the CV and needs to be written as 'tightly' as possible.

This is not the place for a detailed list of all software used or roles performed so just emphasize your main current skills and recent experience.

A useful technique is to write your 'first draft' and then eliminate as many words as possible without reducing information content.

Aim for a maximum 10 seconds reading time which is about 50 words.


Education


Apart from recent school and university leavers whose academic qualifications are their main selling point, general education is 'background' information which can be summarized towards the end of the CV along with 'hobbies' and 'interests'.

However, relevant professional education should be mentioned prominently on the first page.

For those working primarily in technical roles, the main skills should also be mentioned in the summary with the rest listed towards the end of the CV or within individual job descriptions.

It is particularly important to give a clear indication as to the 'level' of technical expertise so that time is not wasted on 'fruitless' interviews.


Employment Summary

Having read about your background in summary, most employers will still want to assess the 'depth' of your experience by considering the evidence of where and when it was gained.

It has now become fairly traditional to summarize jobs in reverse chronological order giving employer name, job title, start/finish dates and a brief description of duties.

The employer is primarily interested in the last 5 years or so and anything prior to that can be dealt with briefly, either job-by-job or summarized into a couple of paragraphs.

Many computer people seem to think that any non-IT background is 'irrelevant' but employers increasingly realize that technical skills need to be accompanied by an understanding of the 'business' problems to be solved.

So do let them know about your non-technical skills as well.


Other information

There are several less-important items which might be included in your resume such as hobbies, references and details of general education.

If you are an accomplished athlete or have an interesting hobby, for example, this might just give you an 'edge' with an employer on the basis of a common interest.

Similarly, if you went to a very well-known school or college, this might 'ring a bell' with some employers although we 'hoi polloi' should just stick to listing our main educational qualifications.

It is all a matter of balancing the value of the information against the space taken-up.


Let's get Digital

Most employers will be happy to receive your CV as an original copy through the post though this may well be discarded immediately if you are rejected for the current vacancy.

You didn't really think that they filed them neatly for future reference - did you?

Although fax transmissions are also generally acceptable, they can produce a variety of problems including lost pages and poor-quality copies which will not be so impressive as your 'pristine' original.

Recruitment Agencies, on the other hand, will want to keep your CV for long-term use in a form which is accessible, easy to update and in a fit state to be sent out.

Essentially, this means that they need it on a computer as a Word or text file rather than fax or scanned-in images which are not easily searchable or updateable.

As most CVs are now prepared on a computer, it is a simple matter to send copies on a floppy disk or by e-mail.
( Let 20,000 HR Managers and Recruiters see your resume.
We help you in posting your résumé to Job Recruiters all over Kashmir / India Abroad.
Submit Today )

e-mail is a great tool for keeping in touch with agencies.

It is cheaper than phone, fax or post and will transmit a pristine copy of your latest CV in seconds.

MS-Word documents are generally acceptable though a rich text (RTF) format gives more universal compatibility.

Useful Tip: Agencies get a lot of files named 'CV' - Try using your own name.



Final Polish

CV spelling mistakes stick out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.

Furthermore, typing errors with valid spelling will not be spotted by your WP spell-checker.

Because the author of any document tends to see 'what they expect to see', it is always beneficial to have the CV proof-read independently.

Finally, always keep your CV up-to-date so that you can respond instantly to job opportunities.


 Submit your Résumé ! it's FREE


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