Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Job Search, Résumé, and Cover Letters

The Job Search, Résumé, and Cover Letters
"If your résumé isn't a winner, it's a killer"-Joyce Kennedy (career author)

The following should be considered in finding a perfect career for you:

Analyze what you like and dislike
·               Do I enjoy working with people, data or things?
·               How important are salary, benefits, and job stability?
·               How important are working environment, colleagues, and job stimulation?  Would I rather work for a large or small company?
·               Must I work in a specific city, geographical area or climate?           
·               Am I looking for security, travel opportunities, money, power, or prestige?
·               What do I consider to be the perfect job, boss, and coworkers?

Evaluate your qualifications
            Employers want to know what assets you have to offer them. The following questions will prepare the foundation of you resume. Remember, though, that employers seek more than just an empty assurances; they want proof of your qualifications.
·               What skills have I acquired in school, on the job, or through other activities? How can I demonstrate these skills?
·               Do I work well with people? What evidence can I offer from extracurricular activities, clubs, and jobs?
·               Am I a leader, self-starter, or manager? What examples can I suggest?
·               Do I learn quickly? Am I creative? How can I demonstrate these characteristics?
·               Do I communicate well in speech and in writing? How can I verify these talents?
·               Do I speak, write, or understand another language?
·               Do I have up-to date computer skills? What evidence can I offer?

Know your field
·                     Trying out a career by actually working in it or in an allied area is the best way to learn about that profession.
·                     Increasing internship made relevant working experience an important part of the competitive job market.
·                     Inquire about the needed skills, required courses, benefits, working conditions, future trends, entry requirements, job availability, duties, and salary range.

Learn to network
·                     To locate jobs in the "hidden" market, tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Develop contacts, and learn how to get started.
·                     Contact companies you are interested in, even if you know they have no current opening. You can do this by writing an unsolicited letter and include your resume

(an excerpt from Mary Ellen Guffey's Essential of Business Communication)

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