Jun 26, 2014

May the Job Search Force be with You - Job Interview-Wise

Unless you were born on Planet Hoth in the stomach of a Tauntaun, and lived there your entire life, and then died there, you've heard of The Force (no irony intended - okay, maybe a little was intended).  Anyway, you know - The Force - from which Luke Skywalker (among many other Jedi's, and Sith for that matter) were able to wield lightsabers, conduct mind tricks and open locked doors.  In this article, I want to focus on the latter of those three:  Opening locked doors.

Specifically, I'm speaking of opening the locked doors of job interviews.  Wouldn't it be grand to have The Force when it comes to job interview door opening?  I mean, seriously, how many muggles (oops, crossing multi-billion dollar sci-fi conglomeration boundaries - let me back-up), er, non-jedi's are able to open a job interview door wide open, much less get our foot in the door.  If you're a muggle...er, non-jedi, read on...

I will share with you three strategies that I have learned that immensely aid in opening that door.  Here goes:

1. Make sure job industry-relevant keywords and key-phrases are included in your resume.  These days, in the marvel-of-a-technological world we live in most companies (Read ALL Fortune 1,000 companies, and a vast majority of what would be considered as mid-level companies) utilize resume scanning technology.  If you even want to have a chance to enter into a discussion with someone in that company, include relevant keywords and key-phrases.

2. Acquire referrals.  What I mean here is that you utilize your family, friends and acquaintances.  Use word-of-mouth to get your foot in the door for a job interview.  If you do by chance have family owning a certain business - your chance of getting an interview for the position you are looking for is that much better.  Don't be too proud and pull a Walter White - utilize your available resources and get that job!

3. Utilize the Golden Rule.  I know, sounds a bit lame and ultra non-business, but hear me out.  What I have learned in business and life is this:  You will be treated as you have treated others.  Therefore, if you were rejected at a job interview, be gracious.  I have heard examples of numbers of clients who have acquired a job, even when they didn't nab the first interview.  However, they were they were grateful for the opportunity, and pleasant to the interviewer and... guess what - they got a call-back within a day.

The point is, you never know what all of your efforts will accomplish in attaining a job interview.  However, these three points will definitely head you in the right direction.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or thoughts concerning resumes.

Also, I welcome ideas and thoughts for future articles.  Let me know, and thanks for reading.


Jun 23, 2014

Job Search Blues

Are you having the "Job Search Blues"?  Don't be shy or too proud to admit it.  This job market is tough (and I should know, I work with hundreds of job seekers each year trying to get their individual dream job).

So... If you are honest enough to admit that you have the "Job Search Blues" - here are some pointers to get you through:

1. Make sure your resume (and accordingly your job search plan) are targeted enough and effectively.  There is nothing that will kill a job search quicker than a "shotgun" approach to the job search.  You need to have that "rifle" focus.  Don't get too general - be direct, targeted and focused.

2. Ask for help, and encouragement.  A kind word of support or encouragement will go a long way.  Actual, honest help will go even further.  Both are essential for your job search.  Although it is more than possible without, support throughout your job search will make the process and time period that much easier and less stressful.  Never be too proud to ask for help, or encouragement.

3. "Never, never, never give up."  I know, I plagiarized a bit (more than kudos to Sir Winston Churchill) this quote, but the message stands for all time - don't give up your job search, no matter what!  And, besides, the more you try and keep pushing through your job search, the more practice you will acquire, and the more effective you will be at it.  

So, if you have the "Job Search Blues," - check and double check your resume and job search strategy, garner support and assistance, and never, ever give up.  If you work on these points in full, you will be on your way out of the blues, and into the funky dance music (or whatever music comes up in your mind when you get hired - maybe angels singing?) that much faster.

As always, let me know if you need any help or assistance in your job search, and good luck!

Contact Jesse at:

Jul 12, 2011

5 Things Hirers Are Looking For In Your Resume

After asking scores of employers, business owners, recruiters, hirers and human resources directors around the nation for their thoughts on resumes, here are the five most common and critical elements mentioned as necessary before they even consider scheduling an interview.

1. Zero grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors – It’s true. Hirers, recruiters and employers still find errors in many of the resumes they receive. This is in fact the most common complaint they unanimously give. Grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors will lead your resume into the garbage bin; no matter how qualified you may be for the position. So do yourself and potential employers a favor: double check your resume for errors before submitting it.

2. Conservative and easy-to-follow layout – Don’t be tempted by the “hip is better” age we live in to make your resume too flashy, colorful and full of “bells and whistles.” It will only leave the impression of unprofessionalism and amateurishness with the reader, thus leaving you without a job.

3. The truth and nothing but the truth Don’t try to be sneaky and shade the truth in your favor just so you can manipulate yourself into a specific job position. It probably won’t work – and if it does, and the truth is found out, you’ll be immediately fired. Companies don’t take the risk of hiring dishonest employees.

4. Your achievements – Hirers, employers, recruiters, human resources directors – they’re all looking for an employee who will perform the duties at the job position available with skill, competence and results-producing performance. And when they look over a resume, the first and most important thing they are looking for are achievements and accomplishments. Sadly, most job applicants don’t offer them anything but a list of where they worked and where they were educated, totally neglecting their achievements. Next time, sell yourself to the hirer by adding your top career achievements to your resume. (And make sure the achievements align well with the job you’re applying for.)

5. Zero blandness – A well-written, power-packed, organized, easy-to-follow, achievement-focused resume is the key to winning the heart of the hiring decision-maker. Use active and powerful – as opposed to passive – words and phrases. Bring attention to what you accomplished for other companies and what you can achieve for your next employer. Draw the reader in from the very start of your resume straight to the phone call for an interview.

May 3, 2011

One Page, Two Pages or More?

It's one of the most common questions I am asked when it comes to resumes: How long should a resume be? Is one page still "in"? Are two-pagers more effective? Does it matter? And then there is always the question: Is it really a no-no to make my resume more than two pages?

I am going to attempt to answer this question here once and for all. Are you ready for the answer? Here it is: It depends. There, I will now end my shortest article ever, akin to a Twitter tweet.

Just joking - I'll explain what I mean here briefly and elaborate on some details. A good rule of thumb when it comes to resumes is this: There are no hard and fast rules. By this I mean that a resume should reflect you effectively, accurately and powerfully - and how can something set in stone with hard and fast rules give you justice? My point exactly.

Okay - I know you are dying for some rules (or else why would you be reading this?). So here goes. Student or entry level job seekers (someone just entering the professional job market or with 3 or less years of experience within that market), as a rule, should keep their resume to one page. The reason for this is because those with little work experience won't have a need (in most cases) for two pages to contain their experiences. Here's another hard and fast rule: Resumes should never include "fluff." Focus on your top talents, skills and training within an entry level resume, and that should usually stay within the bounds of one page easily. There may be exceptions, like I said, such as doctorate resumes within the medical or academic fields. But as a rule, when an entry, keep it on one.

Now, let's briefly consider the "over two pages" discussion. Again - a hard and fast rule is that resumes should never include fluff. With this in mind, also remember that your resume should not include everything about you or your work experience or your training / education or your skills. It should only focus on and include the top information - information that will get you an interview. You can (and should) elaborate on any additional information at the interview.

Again, there are certain examples where more than two pages are necessary. Highly intellectual, scientific and academic careers - which often include many publications, presentations and affiliations - may need to stretch to four or five pages to include all the necessary information. It just depends.

In conclusion, here is a good rule of thumb when determining your resume's length. Do you feel like you are trying to make it fit to a certain length of pages? Or squeezing it shorter? Whatever you do, make it natural (although there will always be some minor stretching or squeezing to fit the resume to an exact finish on the page you end with). Keep it yourself, focus on the best you have to offer and it'll work out great.


Want an individual estimate of what you need page-wise? Contact my professional resume service and email me your resume.

Apr 27, 2011

Administrative Professionals: Have a Great Day!

Today my trusty ol' faithful day planner reminded (or educated, I'm not really sure if this was new or old, forgotten knowledge) that today is Administrative Professionals Day. If you are one, pat yourself on the back. I know it's tough to oversee the operations of an office environment, keep supplies stocked, schedule morale-improving events and decipher hand-written, coded notes from executives which you are to transform into pleasant- and professional-looking letters, reports or PowerPoint presentations. If I could, I would give you all a raise, because I'm sure you deserve it.

Being, however, that I don't have that power or ability, I'll provide you with the next best thing - and perhaps more valuable: How to nab and keep a good administrative position.

1. Pick a company.

As with any other job that you are searching for, after you have a target position (in this case office or executive administration), proactively choose your company. This is very important when it comes to an administrative career - because your duties and responsibilities could be very different.

For example, perhaps one option is a shipping company. You may be working with accounting, bookkeeping, scheduling, data management, etc. Another may be executive assistance. This may entail scheduling, communication, coordination, report writing, etc. Practically two different jobs. So make sure to choose your company.

2. Target your resume toward individual company(ies).

Make sure to not just send out the same resume to every job opening available. Tweak it as needed. Remember keywords, and especially update the cover letter as needed. Individualize each resume you send out - and see for yourself the difference it makes.

3. Once you're in the job you want, keep it by doing everything you can to make your direct boss look good.

In today's business world of "survival of the fittest," this can seem naive at best, and suicidal at worst. But it will - in 95% of cases that I have seen (and I have seen a lot) - help you keep your job (and even work you toward promotions). If your boss wants you to bend over backwards to "save his skin" so to speak, or gives you tasks that he should really be doing - do them - and with a smile.

For example, I have been working with a nice lady that is seeking to apply within her company for a higher position. And the biggest advantage she has is because she had a "yes, sir" attitude when her superior asked her to perform certain detailed, difficult tasks that he should have been doing. Now she has essential know-how for the position she is applying for, something no one else has in her same position because she worked hard to make her boss look good. Now she is looking good in her job search.

In conclusion, it is a tough market out there, especially for administrative professionals. There are a lot of you, and only so many positions. However, apply these points, and you will have a hugely better chance at collecting and keeping that administrative position you have always wanted.


For more help in your job search, visit my professional resume service and request some of the services we offer. I'm always glad to help!
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