Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Job Search

Let us see some of the changes you can make to get that job faster.

Small Changes to Your Resume Can Make a Big Difference

Sometimes during a job search you reach a point where you must ask,why am I not getting calls from decent companies for interviews? Aftersending out tons of resumes with little or no response, you need toreevaluate your position and try to make some changes.

Sometimes minimal changes to your resume and cover letter will have adrastic effect on the number of calls you are receiving. A good firststep is to search the internet for free sample resumes for the type ofposition you are looking for and see what people are putting on theirresume.

What to Change?

One you decide to make changes, you need to look at your resumeobjectively and ask yourself if you think it is a decent resume. Whatdo you like or dislike about it? Does it represent you as a smart,go-getter that can get the job done? Or does it look dry and boring?Ask yourself why anyone else would want to look at it twice if youthink it is boring.

Once you start to see areas for improvement, start making changes. Thebiggest area where most people can use changes in is the format.Approximately 75% of people who are looking for jobs still use theindented, basic style resume that looks like their grandfather put ittogether.
Change the format and use tables instead of indentions.Widen the margins to get more on a page. Overall, just make it lookgood when you hold it up and glance at it.Another area that many people need some help in is the organization oftheir resume. Long gone are the days were you need to put a careerobjective at the top of your resume that says you are looking for afast-paced job in an exciting industry.
Guess what?
Everyone knows youare looking for a job. Instead of putting in a career objective, putin a professional profile and write a short paragraph about yourself.

Modern Resumes

You also no longer need to add the last line that says referencesprovided upon request. Everyone you send your resume to knows you willprovide references when they ask for them. There is no need to restatethat. Instead, save that room and add a section to your resume ofadditional skills or civic and volunteer activities.

Finally, add some buzzwords or power words that draw attention to allthe things you have accomplished throughout your work history. Thesepower words include: facilitated, managed, administered, developed andthe list goes on and on. You can generally get an idea of the buzzwords by viewing sample resumes on the job boards.

Ultimately, you need to look at your resume objectively and decide tomake some changes to make you appear more appealing to prospectiveemployers. Once you decide to make a change, go ahead and change andstart sending out your new resume. Keep tweaking your resume until youget it right and you will start seeing the calls roll in. Don't justsit around and wait for something to happen. Go ahead and make thechanges and you will reap the reward.

Are You Ready For The Telephone Interview?

Donï't allow yourself to be intimidated by the telephone interview. Youcan sail through it easily. The phone interview is often a prelude toa face-to-face meeting and is frequently used by employers,recruiters, and headhunters to select a pool of highly qualifiedcandidates for more in-depth discussions. The preparation, conduct,method of handling questions, and even your body language are aslikely to impact the outcome as if you were sitting in the office ofthe hiring manager. Following are some useful guidelines.

1. Schedule the interview so that there is enough time to dohomework and prepare. Reschedule surprise interviews. Tell the callerthat you have a conflict and arrange a mutually convenient time thatallows you at least 24 hours to organize and plan for the discussion.Make sure to get the name and title of the person with whom you willbe speaking.

2. You should be in a quiet area where there are no distractions.That means making sure there are no disturbances. Barking dogs, cryingchildren, background stereo or TV, or any other type of noise ordisruption is unprofessional. Make sure your family knows you cannotbe bothered. If alerted by your call waiting service, ignore it � anddon�t forget to shut off your cell phone. If it is not possible toeliminate disturbances, then arrange to take the call from a locationoutside of your home or office.

3. Keep pen and paper handy to jot down an address, phone number,or the spelling of a name. It is our recommendation that you do nottake notes while being interviewed. Note taking creates uncomfortablepauses in the dialog and you will invariably miss part of what isbeing said. Write any notes at the conclusion of the interview whilethe information is still fresh in your mind.

4. Dress professionally. It will make a difference. How you feelabout yourself is almost always conveyed in a phone discussion. Assumethe same dress and professional demeanor as if your conversation wasactually in an in-person meeting. Your attitude will be more positiveand you will be more confident.

5. The things you will need to have at hand: a copy of theadvertisement to which you responded, a copy of your resume and coverletter, a copy of a two-three minute well rehearsed statement thatsummarizes your educational and professional background, a listing ofyour skills and major achievements, and a list of questions to ask theinterviewer. Remember that the interview is a forum to exchangeinformation and develop mutual interest in an enduring relationship.It makes sense to be prepared.

6. Practice your presentation with a relative or friend, or infront of a mirror. Smile, it impacts your attitude. Speak clearly anddirectly into the phone but dont rush answers. Your sincerity, toneof voice, and method of delivery will substantially impact how you areperceived. Listen carefully to what the interviewer says and if youdont fully understand a question, then ask for a clarification. Thetechnique of rephrasing or repeating a question, may allow time tobetter formulate your response. It is absolutely ok to say, I think Ineed a moment to get my thoughts together. Answer yes or no questionswith a direct response and then follow with any necessaryamplification. Dont ramble or become long-winded. Dont interrupt theinterviewer. Focus your questions on the issues that appear to be mostimportant to them, the tools or training they provide, and what isexpected of you not on compensation or benefits. Try to avoidsilence. Silence for more than a few seconds can be awkward andunpleasant for everyone. If it appears that the interviewer is unsureof what to ask or say next, be prepared with your own questions.

7. Donï't discuss compensation. If the interviewer asks about yourcurrent salary or desired income, indicate that you will be happy todeal with those questions in an in-person meeting once mutual interesthas been established. Then inquire what salary range has been budgetedfor the position. If the job requires relocation, it is important toknow the compensation range so additional time is not wasted pursuinga job in which you have no interest.

8. Finally thank the person for the interview, show enthusiasmabout pursuing the opportunity, and ask about the next step in theprocess. Write a thank you note the same day. Follow up with a phonecall within two or three days to ask questions that have surfacedsince the interview and reinforce your desire to secure an in-personmeeting.

Using Recruiters: How To Get A Step Ahead Of The Crowd

When there is an opening to fill, a company has four basic approachesat their disposal:

* Advertise the position on Internet job sites
* Network
* Probe the Internet for viable candidates
* Use recruiters

When a companyadvertises an opening on an Internet job site, theyreceive hundreds of resumes. It simply is too long of a process andfinancially prohibitive to review every resume and move through eachstep of the interviewing and selection process to fill the opening.Since decision-makers know other decision-makers, a hiring managersnetwork can be quite extensive. In time, good candidates can belocated. The problem with this approach is that the hiring manager maysimply be too busy to engage in the time and human interactionrequired to make this happen.

Employers and recruiters utilizing keyword searches scour the jobsites in search of candidates to fill job openings. A major segment ofthese openings are unadvertised. When you post your resumes to a jobsite, you gain visibility, indirectly, into the hidden job market, andhave access to a greater number of jobs.

On the downside, since most people searching will post their resume toa number of different sites, the number of potentially viablecandidates for any one particular position is huge. Employers havealso frequently found major discrepancies between candidates and theirresumes. The fine line between reality and the realm of imaginationbecomes razor-thin for creative resume writers.

Screening and reviewing hundreds of resumes for accuracy and positionviability, is time-consuming. If the job also requires a certain typeof personality, which doesn�t materialize at the interview, more timeis wasted. For this reason, more and more employers turn to recruitersfor a more efficient hiring process. A recruiter will conductexhaustive screening procedures as part of their candidate searchprocess. They will charge a fee to the employer for this service, butit is worth it in terms of time and effort.

One of the best ways to capitalize on a recruiters mission is to postyour resume to the career sites. Using keyword searches, recruiterswill find you as long as your resume comes up a match. While this maynot seem like a very strong proactive approach, it is by far the mostsensible.

Recruiters do not work for you; they work for employers. They are inbusiness to help companies find people, not the other way around.Attempting to contact a recruiter regarding a particular job will onlylead to disappointment. Do not be surprised or put off if your callsand emails are not returned. Their allegiance is to their client, theemployer who is paying their bill.Having said that, it may be advantageous for you to present yourselfto recruiters as a potential fee-paying client once you have beenconverted from candidate status. If, for example, you are a middlemanager or decision-maker, this point can be easily made. You can alsoname-drop a referral to meet with a recruiter. Recruiters stronglyfavor these types of candidates. In a letter to a recruiterspecializing in your field, make a case for yourself in the strongestand most specific way possible.Recruiters play a tough game yet serve a valuable purpose. They do notwork for you, yet you can formulate an approach for working with them.By utilizing recruiters in your overall job search efforts, you willfind yourself a step or two ahead of the crowd.