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!

Apr 14, 2011

How's Your Job Search Going?

Let me ask you a very personal, specific question: How is your job search going? On a scale of 1-10? What is it?

Now let me ask you another hard question. One you probably don't want to hear: How hard are you working on your job search? One a scale of 1-10? What is it?

As I "tweeted" on Twitter today, if you don't work 8-10 hours a day on your job search, you are kicking yourself in the foot. You aren't going to get as far as you would like. However, if you do put in the hours in diligent work and effort - job position scanning, emailing, phone chatting, interviewing, researching, talent evaluating - you will be rewarded greatly, even in this lackadaisical economy in America.

Now the question is: What should you be doing? As I briefly mentioned above, you need to be nailing down the position you fit best into, researching the companies you have an interest in working for, drafting emails and cover letters and post interview letters to hirers - in short: Doing everything you can to get the job you want.

In conclusion, don't sit back on your laurels as you are unemployed. When you don't have a job, that is the time to take pride in your ability to prove yourself as a diligent, hard, dedicated worker.

Don't think that job is going to come to you - take that job for yourself!


Need more detailed and specific job search help? Visit our professional resume service website.

Apr 5, 2011

Focus on Achievements

And we have a winner! Today's recipient of the job position you have been desiring is... _____. Fill in the blank. Okay, can I be a bit nosy? Was it you? No! Why not!?

Let me be frank with you. I have chatted with hirers, employers, recruiters, HR managers - from various companies spanning from IBM to General Electric to Home Depot to Uncle Joe's Ice Cream Stand. Let me share an important secret (well, it used to be a secret until now) with you: They don't want to see where you've worked or even what you've done - they want to see what you can do for them. Now, this may seem a bit complicated and you may wonder how to do this. I will tell you (for free, just in case you were wondering).

Too many resumes focus on past job history, duties, responsibilities, even projects. These are not in and by themselves bad. But your resume needs to be an eye-catcher. It needs to say something that screams, "You need to read me right now or else you will regret it." And why would they regret it? That's where your achievements come in.

Achievements in a resume can be anything from how you expanded market reach to how you increased customer satisfaction to improving office work efficiencies to growing sales to skyrocketing the company mailing list. And the list goes on...

Now here's another secret: The keys I've found to making your achievements reach out to the reader from the computer screen or watermarked resume paper page are (1) to set your best achievements apart from the rest of the text with bullets and (2) to include metrics with your achievements. Metrics - in case you're wondering - are measurements of your achievement success - including percentages, dollars, volume, scores and more. A good hint is to include numbers in your achievements. Numbers (along with % and $) stand out from the rest of the page of text. They will get noticed. And you will be happy they did.


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