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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tips for your Job Search - Part 1

Filling Application Forms

Job applications are legal documents, so it is vital that information provided here is backed up with documentation at the interview. Companies do carry out background checks, so false details will disqualify your application immediately. CV-liar detectives are the rage in the US already!

Resume Do's & Don’t's
  • If you already have a few years working experience, listing “Objective” and “Education” at the top of your resume is no longer appropriate. For mid-career professionals, the effective format is to start with a brief overview (one or two sentences) of your professional strengths - for example, project management, leadership or communication skills. This allows the employer to have a good idea of how you can contribute in your new position professionally.

  • You have job or position hopped more than a few times. So you decide to list the companies and positions but leave out the dates. Think again. It is likely that your resume is sorted chronologically. The conspicuous lack of dates will cause recruiters to be suspicious. A better solution is to reformat your resume to emphasize your strong points and de-emphasize your weaknesses by avoiding a chronological format.

  • It is wise not to include the sordid details of why you left your last job. Even if you were fired unjustly, it's better to reflect the positive aspects of your prior positions than dwell on the negative. Employers tend to see how you feedback on your previous employers as a reflection of your potential relationship with your next one. If it is at all necessary, some situations can be best explained in person (if you are asked during an interview).

  • You are in such a hurry to find a new job that you rush through your resume and send it out to the first batch of job ads found online. Even if you are trying to make today's deadline, don't let yourself get sloppy. Achieving the deadline won't make up for the fact that your application resume is unprofessional and full of errors. You'll be sure to make a BAD impression, and that’s what you are trying to avoid. So it pays to complete your resume carefully.

  • You have listed your responsibilities under each job title, but what will separate you from the crowd? A great resume should include your achievements and your company's accomplishments in which you were actively involved. For instance, if you brought 20 new clients that increased the company's sales by $300,000, include that in your resume. Don't be afraid to toot your horn a little, but be honest.

  • Only your mom would read through every job you have had since you still had braces. Prospective employers want to know only the relevant experience you've had in the past decade, and they want to know it fast. Highlight the most recent and appropriate jobs into a strong and brief resume. Not only will your resume appear more decisive, but it will be more memorable. KISS - Keep It Short & Sweet!

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