All Articles Tagged "resume"
New research from the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that employers are more concerned with a candidate’s ability to think critically and solve problems than with the particular major that the potential hire declared in school.
“Four out of 5 employers said each college graduate should have broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences, and 3 out of 4 would recommend a liberal education to their own children,” The Huffington Post reports. It’s worth noting that we couldn’t find a breakdown of the different industries represented by the research participants. For example, if there weren’t a lot of employers in a STEM industry, that could impact the results.
Spring 2013 is finally here, and this season is all about new and fresh takes on your home, business, career, and lifestyle. If the New Year’s resolution you set for yourself professionally did not pan out yet, don’t fret. The Spring season is the perfect time to get your job search in order for that brand new career path!
Revamp your job search with these ten tips this Spring, and get ready to “spring forward” your professional life.
When I first moved to New York, my life was the epitome of struggle. I was living in a two bedroom, mouse-ridden apartment with my cousin and a strange, attractive, but eccentric man who, as far as I could tell, only drank apple juice. Unemployed, I spent everyday in somebody’s library using the free wi-fi to look for a job.
There was a library in the Bronx that had a career counseling center and my cousin suggested we speak to someone. Honestly, I thought I was a bit above it. I’d seen career counselors in college and talked to enough professionals in my field to feel like I knew what I was doing. But often times when you don’t have a job, you inevitably find yourself doing things you once felt were beneath you, out of either boredom or desperation. So, there we were sitting in the career counselor’s office.
Even though, I wasn’t too keen on speaking to a counselor, she made me feel comfortable. She was one of those witty, old black ladies who never realized the Jheri curl phase had ended. With wire-rimmed glasses, fading lipstick and Delta Sigma Theta paraphernalia around her office, she seemed like a woman who had been around, seen a lot and didn’t have time to waste if you weren’t serious. Though she was clearly no nonsense, I could tell that she was genuinely interested in helping us. Before, my cousin and I had said a word, she asked us, in a moment of sheer clairvoyance, whether we were happy with our living situation. Though, it was nice to know that someone cared, I did not want complete strangers to know that we were living in squalor. We had to do something different. And if she was perceptive enough to know our struggle, perhaps she also knew where we could get jobs.
First, she asked what it was that I wanted to do. Then she asked to see my resume.
She didn’t like it…for several reasons. The header was too bold. Not professional. I needed to explain more succinctly and highlight the contributions I’d made at these various organizations. Take this off. Add that. Expand that. She had plenty of suggestions. Some I took with a grain of salt, some I implemented; but one really threw me off.
When she got down to the list of my college activities, she noticed that I’d included National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). She weighed her words carefully before saying, “Now, I don’t know how you’ll feel about this, but you might want to take this off. You don’t necessarily want people to know your race before you come in for an interview.” She went on to say that though she was very proud to be a Delta, she didn’t have it on her resume.
At first I was shocked. Then I tried to find a polite way to say there was no way in hell I was going to take that off my resume.
NABJ had meant far too much to me. In high school, my city’s local chapter had selected me to participate in a journalism workshop for high school students. When the piece I wrote won second place, I knew not only what I wanted to do with my life, but that I was good at it. In college, our chapter of NABJ was the very first student organization that welcomed me into its membership. They connected me to people and resources who made it possible for me to maintain my sanity in the highly competitive, immensely stressful, predominately white environment that was my university and the journalism school specifically. As I progressed in college, I decided to serve on our chapter’s executive board, devoting hundreds, if not thousands of hours, working for our members, the way the alumni had worked for me. Beyond the work I put in, members of NABJ became my family on campus. When I questioned, again, whether or not I was pursuing the right major, it was participating NABJ’s Student Projects at the National Convention that let me know that my passion had not changed and neither should my major. When I graduated from college, instead of kicking it at my parent’s house the whole summer, NABJ awarded me a paid internship at MSNBC. I said paid.
The organization had invested entirely too much in me for me to start acting ashamed now. And beyond that, I am black. Even if I hid that fact on my resume, when I walked my black behind in for the interview, the cat would be out the bag. Though many have tried, for centuries, to convince me otherwise, being black is an asset and not a liability. I wasn’t going to remove the blackness from my resume just like I wasn’t going to purchase a wig to cover my afro, as my mother had suggested. That’s a story for another day but the sentiment is the same. I wanted then and I always want to work for companies who not only know, but celebrate the fact that I’m a black woman.
I told her I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that and shortly after, made the decision that I no longer needed her services.
And about two months later, black me with my black resume got a temp job at a “white” company and then later a job at a black one.
What do you think about removing indicators of race from your resume?
The “traditions” of the standard interview are going far past the original suit-and-tie, firm handshake in-person meeting. With more jobs becoming available on other coasts across the country and around the world, many applicants are being considered and interviewed in various ways, from over-the-phone conversations to teleconferences dedicated to evaluating candidacy for a position.
If you are unfamiliar with the phone interview, don’t let this hiring technique cost you your dream job. Leave the baby with the grandparents for the day, get prepared accordingly, dress your best and ace your phone interview easily with these 10 tips.
With an economy that has more job seekers then jobs, Americans are bound to run into competition with each other for an available opportunity. Job seekers come from various employment backgrounds,have different experiences, and are at different ages. But there’s one thing all seekers have in common? The resume.
Depending on who you ask, a resume is highlights your job experience or hides what you can truly do as an employee. Either way, hiring managers take the resume seriously, and can help or hinder your efforts to score the job they have available.
Still, your resume only gets a couple of seconds of a hiring manager’s time. Make sure to avoid these common mistakes, and you might get a second look-over for the job!
With a greater number of college students finishing up credits or gaining extra certifications in their fields of study at major colleges and universities, many expect to graduate in December instead of May. There are marked advantages of graduating during the winter months.
Graduates accepting their diploma after the Fall semester optimize their chances of landing a job, conducting their search during the off-season versus the busy summer job market that many May graduates can expect to experience. According to a Fox Business news article, the competition for jobs are less stiff for a December graduate, putting the market squarely in the job seeker’s favor.
“[It] can make them more attractive job candidates since they are available to start right away, while their peers may have to wait until after May,” says Christine Gaiser for Fox Business online.
Graduating during a time where there are few other graduates makes a prospective job candidate more noticeable. December may also be the best time for a job seeker to “reinvigorate” their hunt for a job. Graduating at the end of a calendar year puts your job search at the beginning of many companies’ fiscal year, where budgets make way for new positions. Of course, this is based on the prospective job field and their specific calendar. ”There is more hiring in January than December, but the thing about a job search is that it’s a process so you should start… before that,” comments Rob Saam for CNN Money.
Graduating in December could also open up the possibility to travel abroad, prepare for graduate school the following year, or secure an internship for the Spring semester that could possibly lead to an career at its completion, while other college students are just graduating in May.
A December 2012 graduate should already have started preparing for the reality and challenges of post-graduate life. Whether you have or not, here a few ways our next round of graduates can get a jump start on the “real world” beginning 2013:
Start the Job Hunt Now
Begin getting applications out for jobs in your field, giving you time to go through the application process, refine your resume, and interview for multiple positions. This is the optimum time to do so without panicking over an income.
Comb Over Your Resume
While finishing up your education, this is the perfect time to use your spare time away from the books to go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure you have a clear and concise format that outlines all of your relevant experience, as well as a broad knowledge of other skills that will help you secure a job. Hit the job market running!
Use All Available Resources At Your University or College
While in college, many students do not take advantage of the resources available to them. Use this last semester to talk to professors about recommendations and providing references. Use the writing center to refine your cover letter and CV. And gain more relevant hands-on experience in your college atmosphere, like leadership or networking opportunities, to prepare you to be competitive in the job market. You paid for your college education, so let it work for you!
Decide Your Next Move After Graduation Carefully
Whether it’s relocating, studying abroad, preparing for graduate school or preparing for your career, take this time to outline your next moves after graduation. Come up with a short-term plan that outlines the next year to three years of your life and what route makes more sense to you. Make sure the plan you decide is the right one for your personal situation, and not just a way to avoid the pressures of facing the job market head on. If you prepare ahead of time in the right ways, you will be a sought-after candidate, coming out on top at the beginning of the year!
Blair Bedford is a media professional and freelance writer/contributor based out of NYC. Follow Blair B. on Twitter @BlairsPadandPen.
These days, the first step towards getting your foot in the door is making it past the “applicant tracking system,” or ATS, that HR pros are using to flush out the best resumes from a mountain of candidates. Notice how we said the best “resumes” rather than the best “candidates.” These computer systems are using a number of scanning tricks to pick and choose people who move on to the next round. On paper, at least, they’re the most qualified of the bunch.
AOL Jobs has pulled together a few tips to help you get past this first digital stage of the application process. At the top of the list, they suggest using appropriate keywords. How do you determine the right keywords? They’re in the job description. If you’re applying for a managerial position at an insurance company, be sure to include the words “manager” and “insurance” in your resume. They don’t necessarily have to be at the same company, but your resume should reflect that you have the desired experience somewhere in your background.
As a matter of fact, you should include those most important words in your cover letter as well. ICYMI, here are a few tips to make that portion of the application even better.
Another piece of good advice: “Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.” AOL makes the point that experienced employees sometimes have a hard time convincing potential employers that they’re capable of learning new tricks. Also worth keeping in mind is the fact that, unfortunately, more companies are working with fewer employees these days. It’s possible, if not probable, that you’ll be asked to step in when a colleague is out of the office on vacation or maternity leave. Or called upon to step in if there’s an abrupt job vacancy. Using your resume to demonstrate that you can roll with the punches is a positive.
Finally, the article advises that candidates “highlight results.”
“When you create bullet points that draw direct connections between what you did and what the employer wants you to do, it will be easier for the reader to envision you in the job,” the article says. Another way of putting it, and a great tip that we once heard from a college employment center specialist, is to use “action words.” Verbs describe what you did and what you’re doing; the work that you’re accomplishing. Someone who gets things done is someone that employers want around.
Separately but related, AOL Jobs also has a story outlining the things that a modern resume does and doesn’t need. We’d like to call special attention to the “Objective,” something that no resume should have. Every “objective” says the same thing and says it poorly: You want a good job that will help you build the career of your dreams. That’s obvious and there’s no need to re-state the obvious. We have never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever read a worthwhile “objective” so just avoid it altogether.
Oh, the dreaded cover letter. You’ve polished your resume, got your secondary materials (writing samples, portfolio, etc) polished and ready to go, and now you’ve got to write this opening essay that says… what?
The point of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the company that you’re applying to. Your resume will go into detail about your experience. Your cover letter should give the reader a sense of who you are and what you’ll contribute to the company.
SavvySugar has got seven tips for perfecting your cover letter. Here are a few tips that stand out to us:
Don’t send a generic letter. Create a unique letter for each job application. Every company is different so your approach should also be different.
Give the reader a glimpse of your personality. Again, your skills will be laid out on the resume. Use your cover letter to show your sunny personality, your determination, and other character traits that a company will also value. At the same time, focus on how those traits will benefit your prospective employer. They want to know what they get out of having you around.
Don’t write a novel. An overly-long cover letter is guaranteed to be one that won’t get read. Edit yourself for grammar and length. SavvySugar suggests four paragraphs, ample space to make a good case for yourself.
To this list, we’d add three things:
Have fresh eyes look at your letter. After staring at something you’ve written for a while, you stop seeing the ways it can be improved. Typos might even get past you. Walk away from the letter and come back to take one more look.
Enlist a friend’s help. If your writing skills are a little lacking, ask a friend with a better way with words to take a look at your letter before sending it.
Don’t use an “overly salesy opener.” This piece of advice comes by way of U.S. News & World Report and it’s a good one. Starting your letter with some variation of “I’m the best thing since sliced bread” is a turn-off. Why are you so great? Let the rest of your letter answer that question.
It could get difficult: applying for job after job, checking phone messages and emails waiting for the right HR person to contact you and going to interviews to no avail. It’s frustrating and the struggling job market isn’t making it any easier, as the 8.1% national unemployment rate looms over America. You might be one of the 5.1 million long-term unemployed Americans who are getting restless with the job search, but with that restlessness comes neglect, something that might push your job prospects back.
Whether you are looking for a career change or applying to jobs for the first time, it is easy to forget the little details of the job hunt. Make sure you are not forgetting these little but important pieces of the job search process.
The news hit today that Sony Corp. is set to get rid of 10,000 workers in a major overhaul of the company, seeking to take it out of the red and into the black. Much of the employee scale-backs will come from Sony’s television business, according to reports, and roughly half of the job cuts will stem from recent deals, including the company’s sale of a chemicals company and the new joint operation with Hitachi and Toshiba.
With news like this comes that oh-so-familiar and scary feeling of: Is my job next? Here are three signs a layoff may be coming and how you can be prepared to quickly rebound.
For the complete story, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
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