Category Archives: Resume Cover Letter

Career Breakout: Standing Out From the Crowd

In response to a common concern, Dianne Irene, college instructor, business owner, professional writer, and career expert, offers the following:

“More and more people are graduating with degrees. How can I stand out from the crowd when I have the same education as many others?”

Education is important, but remember that there are other factors to consider when marketing yourself for a position to a company. Considerations include experience, soft skills, attitude, overall presence, and how well you are prepared. Let’s break down the elements forming your total package.

Career Tip: Think of yourself a complete package of information and performance.

Experience

Experience represents a facet of your assets offering great benefits to a company. True enough, there are still some specializations that value experience over education, but don’t get discouraged if you lack years of industry-specific training. Rather than giving up, highlight your education and experience as a sign of your success with a certain skill or practice. The employer will then know you can indeed perform this skill again.

If you lack experience in a certain area, creating opportunities for your portfolio can be easier than some realize. For instance, internships allow you to practice skills and they can be completed in a short amount of time. Some internship opportunities are measured in hours or a matter of weeks. Also, volunteer work is a great way to practice skills AND put into practice soft skills that are essential to being a part of a team.

Soft Skills

Remember the last time you dealt with a business where the representative lacked soft skills. This probably left you with a negative feeling and may have also left a poor impression on that particular company. To ensure a positive impression, always conduct yourself in a professional manner.

Career Tip: Pay attention to the small details about others that you are interacting with. Watch their facial expressions, their body language, and the tone of their voice.

Attitude

A great attitude does have an effect on those who are exposed to it. Projecting a positive attitude is an essential part of presenting yourself to a company. Maintaining a positive attitude will also allow you to make yourself available to more opportunities.

Presence

Make sure that the obvious parts of how you present yourself are in order. Your hair and clothing should be professional and not distracting. However, you will want to remember the less obvious parts of your presence. Be sure to make eye contact, stand in good posture, and do not forget to smile at the appropriate times.

Preparation

Being prepared for your introduction to a company can be the difference between standing out from other candidates and blending in. When a company is required to interview many candidates, you will want to be memorable.

Do your research on the company. Know who the key people are and what the company has accomplished in the last 5 years. Be sure to research some of the areas of growth potential for the market that your company of interest is in.

Career Tip: If you are up to date on technology, market trends, and company culture then you will have the edge needed to make a memorable impression.

Conclusion

Remember that you are a complete package with many dimensions. Just having a strong education background will not be enough to compete in today’s highly competitive market. You will need to hone in on all of the aspects of what makes a great employee. Highlight your strengths and consider sharpening the things you lack before trying to make that first impression that may last an entire career.

Dianne, thank you for your career insight. The high level of knowledge is appreciated and will be taken advantage of by many of our readers. We look forward to more.

For additional information or assistance in any career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email us directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com. Cutting edge single topic career workbooks and complete career lifecycle books are available at our website (www.edu-cs.com) or visit us at Amazon.com (search Danny at ECS).

Contributed by Dianne Irene

Writing Tips: Banishing Writer’s Block

Stuck staring at a blank page? Dr. Kathryn Broyles, Ph.D., Program Director of General Studies at American Public University/American Military University, shares techniques on how to transform the stare into a stellar document.

It’s 2:00 am. Crumpled paper covers your table; your pen is leaking onto the placemat, and cups of coffee, all at various stages of full surround you. Your eyes are bleary, your hair disheveled and despite your best efforts at super-caffeinated, latte-reinforced creativity, the blinking cursor on your lap-top has you hypnotized. You seem unable to make your fingers move it across the keyboard– or the cursor across the page—unable to compose the brilliant argument you’d hoped to as to why you should be given this job….

What do you do? How do you get past writer’s block? How do you get started on that cover letter, resume, or personal statement that may just change your life?

Tip #1NEVER stare at a blank piece of paper or a blinking cursor.

Humans are social creatures. We need interaction and conversation. Even in the solitary task of writing, we need to be in a conversation with ourselves and with the words on the page. So rather than shutting down that conversation with the blank stare of a blank page, get the conversation started! Begin in the middle, even at the end if you have to. Write anything, but write. You might even begin simply by writing that you don’t know what to write about– but the secret to getting past a block and getting words on the page is that you simply have to begin.

Once there is text, some text, any text, on the page, you’ll find that a whole different part of you can begin to interact, begin to have a conversation (in your head and on the page); essentially, you can begin to write. In fact, you’re already writing!

Tip #2DON’T censor yourself until it’s time to revise and edit.

Now that you’ve gotten words on the page, some words, any words. Now that you’ve begun the theoretical conversation with yourself, the page, and the future readers of your text, don’t shut down the flow of words with worry. Don’t worry about whether this is the best way to say that, whether you have any dangling modifiers or comma splices, whether you sound smart enough, or overqualified. Simply write. Write and write, addressing issue after issue that may be relevant to the task at hand.

It’s much easier to come back to a wordy rough draft later, to cull the best parts and delete the appalling. But don’t stop your initial flow of words to do it. Don’t censor yourself. Once you have everything down you might possible want to say, THEN you can become your own worst critic, but not before.

Tip #3Take advantage of relational thinking and logic.

You likely have much to offer a future employer. You’re more than likely qualified for the job you’re after and have a genuine interest in doing well in such a position. That’s why applying to it attracted you in the first place. To communicate most effectively with any reading audience, however, you want to provide illustrations and examples that support your claims. In this case, you’re claiming to be qualified! So, how do you prove it? What evidence can you offer?

If writer’s block has you struggling to come up with ideas, tap into the natural, relational order of an interesting conversation. Remember last week when you asked Joe what he had planned for the weekend and he mentioned going out with the kids for pizza and that led to a conversation on your favorite pizza toppings and on to an argument about who in town has the best pizza and then on to the time in high school when you ate 15 slices in one sitting, and that fact that now you gain 15 pounds just smelling good pizza, and boy, is staying fit while you grow older a challenge?

A conversation about the weekend somehow became a discussion of middle aged strategies for weight loss? It did! And it did so quite logically. You and Joe related one idea to the next, weaving your way through a fascinating conversation.  Use this same kind of idea relating to help you head in new directions on the page, working to pull out from your memory and into your writing all the great examples and illustrations you need to help you craft the perfect application documents and make the fullest case for why you should be hired.

It may sound simple, but honestly, the best way to get past writer’s block is to get writing! And use these three tips to help.

Thanks Kathryn, your advice is greatly appreciated as many of us, especially those writing career documents, blank-out, become frustrated, and give up before beginning. For those interested in learning more about American Public University/American Military University, where they are expanding access to higher education with more than 100 affordable degrees and certificates to prepare students for service and leadership in a diverse and global society, visit their website at www.apus.edu.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @DannyatECS

Career Breakout: Follow Up IS REQUIRED

The following comment and question was presented by Brent Musell several days. Hope it helps and good luck with your search.

“I’ve been sending out resumes but not getting any feedback. I’m wondering if I should also send a follow-up letter and what needs to be said. What do you suggest?”

I get asked this question all the time by job seekers who fear they’re being impatient with their potential employer. Following up after an interview is a given, but should you follow up after sending a resume? It depends… do you want the job?

Jokes aside, research has found that it is truly beneficial to follow up after applying for a position. According to the Findings of a 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day, “Follow-up is essential. Up to 40% of job seekers who follow-up after sending a resume to a hiring manager secure an interview.”

Think about this from the standpoint of the employer. Many hiring managers try to weed out the resume ‘spray and pray’ candidates from those that are truly interested in the position with the company. Following up is a great way to show that hiring manager you’re genuine.

Of course, it’s not as simple as contacting the company and saying, “Hey, I’m interested!” There are certain guidelines you need to consider before following up, lest you want to accomplish the opposite (annoying the company):

  • Think of the method you used to apply for the position. Some companies use online applications and resume submission services. Others are more informal, requiring you to directly speak with the hiring manager first. Remember this level of formality before crafting your actual letter.
  • There’s a fine line between sounding confident and sounding desperate. Assert that you are interested in the position because you feel you would best fit their needs, not because you really need or want the job.
  • Limit your follow up to one occasion (two if the application process is lengthy). Remember, your goal is to remind the employer about your application without annoying them.

Career tip: You always want to come off sounding confident and qualified.

With that said, let’s go over some of the tools you have at your disposal:

Phone Calls seem like an obvious choice based upon the immediate response time but it’s not always that simple. First, it’s not always easy to find the phone number of the hiring manager; what’s more, you may not even be able to get a hold of them because of their busy schedule. Repeated attempts to reach may frustrate the individual and make you appear desperate. If you choose this method, make one call and leave a message—that’s it.

E-Mails are quick and easy, requiring little effort on both your part and the employer’s part. The employer can read it at any time and your follow up will not be “live”, so to speak. However, this is also the problem with e-mails; they don’t really demand any attention at all and may become lost in an employer’s Inbox (look at your own Inbox for a frame of reference).

Career tip: If you email, capture their attention with a strong subject line such as “Interested in (position title)” or “Application follow-up” that let’s the employer know not to mark the message as spam or delete it.

Hard copy letters are the most popular and the most effective. In the shoes of the potential employer who receives an average of 50 applications, setting yourself above the pack can be accomplished with a quick, formal, typed letter. Going a step further, the hiring manager (typically) will take your hard copy letter and staple it to your application, giving you a second look to impress.

No doubt you’re wondering about content…

Content and tone sets the stage and will determine success or failure. It’s not enough to simply say you’re following up after submitting your resume. What you write or say is just as important as the act itself. One constant is you should keep it short—best not to use up too much of the employer’s time. Typically two or three paragraphs will do but much depends on the job position and what you bring to the table.

Besides stating your purpose, you always want to leave your contact information, should they need to contact your further. In the case of e-mails, it’s not always easy to determine a candidates name from the message itself.

For phone calls, you especially want to keep the conversation short to avoid a ramble. Something along the lines of, “This is _____ calling. I recently applied for the _____ position in (company’s name and department). I’m calling to make sure you received the resume I submitted. I’m interested in this position, so I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.”

Always remember to format your letter or e-mail properly. Standard business letter format is appreciated by almost everyone. For phone calls, write a script or dialogue and practice it until it sounds natural and not rehearsed.

For serious job seekers, I encourage you to visit www.edu-cs.com for additional information and career/professional development products, books, and resources specializing in your success.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services
www.edu-cs.com

New Year / New Attitude

With the coming of a new year we can finally say that things are going to get a little better. But then again, economists and job trend analysts are about as fickle as the weather. Fortunately, each one of us has the power to develop professionally no matter what storms may come. As a career coach, an author of over a dozen career books and single-target workbooks, and a seasoned hiring manager/CEO, I can honestly state that most career progressions and/or new employee hiring is directly related to the candidate’s attitude being projected.

What does this mean for YOU? Glad you asked…

In today’s tight employment market, companies are seeking candidates who can carry more than the typical eight-hour load. You heard it, today is all about “what can you do for the company, now!” Herein resides the foundation of this article: selling YOUR knowledge, skills, and abilities in a confident and progressive manner. Easier said than done? Not really.

Quite bluntly, attitude and perception (the way others see and define you) are directly related and is a powerful tool to construct or destroy relationships, personal and professional. Taking it to back to the New Year and a new (or improved) career, the manner in which the package (YOU) is presented weighs heavily on the result.

One thing we should make initially clear to candidates lacking a great deal of career-related experience, rarely do the interview, job, and/or promotion go to the most qualified… more often than not; offers go to the individual with the right attitude.

How to enhance perception positively depends on how you package and distribute attitude. Let’s take a quick look at three mediums career seekers use and how attitude influences perception.

Informational Interviews: Defined as an informal discussion with the intent of gaining job information from an individual in your field of interest.

  • Proper attitude is upbeat, confident, respectful of the advice and time given, well      researched—asking relevant questions, and always professional.
  • Improper attitude can be defined by being pushy (asking for a job), irrelevant, sloppy, not  timely (being late or overextending), entitled, and non-appreciative.Under this example (and I’ve had plenty of both), attitude guides reaction and ultimate consequence… but you know this.

Career Documents (resume and cover letter): Defined as the primary medium used to formally exchange information related to a specific position.

  • Proper attitude is displayed by keeping information relevant, error-free, confident      (quantifying accomplishments), proper spacing (plenty of white space but not too much), and written professionally.
  • Improper attitude  is defined by taking a lazy road (using templates or self-propagating formats), using illegible fonts (or too small), filled with errors (could be an automatic deal-breaker), and is passive by nature.Under this example, a hiring manager gets a “gut” feeling as to the type      of person the author is. In other words, displaying improper techniques rings bells of keep away, even if you happen to be the most qualified candidate.

Formal Interview: Recognized to be the place where qualifications are confirmed. Most importantly, this is the setting defining how you “fit in” with the company.

Taken from experience, face-to-face attitude and perception never meant so much as during a formal interview. Naturally if the first two elements discussed above are out of sync, a formal interview will never be offered.

  • Proper attitude:  timely, respectful, firm handshake, asking the right questions  (well-researched), listening and responding directly to each question, behaving in a courteous manner, responding professionally, recognizing all parties involved (including the receptionist), and sending a handwritten follow up to be sent via snail mail.
  • Improper attitude is reflected by being late, loud, disrespectful, diverting questions,      sounding rehearsed, lacking eye contact, offering a limp handshake, not researching the company, being distracted, reeking of smoke, not offering any solid examples as to how you will create an immediate value, and oozing of arrogance.If you are currently employed, the importance of perception cannot go understated. To encourage promotions and/or job stability, take advantage and express the right attitude hour in and hour out. With downsizing and shrinking budgets, peers, managers, corporate executives all are eager to fill positions with individuals recognized as problem solvers. Candidate attitudes and the perception of others play a huge factor in shaping career success, an often ignored fact held by many.

    The New Year promises to be one of continued adjustment, personally and professionally. Irrelevant of your circumstance, the manner in which you expresses attitude directly correlates to the picture viewed by others. Now is a perfect time to reflect on this year’s goals, develop a plan to achieve each objective, and reinforce the value of a positive attitude. If you have not bought into the fact that attitude and perception is the foundation of success, try it for three months and prove me wrong. Consider yourself as being double dared. Interested in purchasing Education Career Services career resources, books, and workbooks, visit our website or Amazon.com (search Danny Huffman at education career services).

    Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
    www.educationcareerservices.com
    Twitter: @dannyatecs

Job Posting 102: The Sequel

Based upon several questions from Job Posting 101, the following essay was born. For those readers feeling lost, check out the original essay and if three minutes flat, you will be driving steady.

How long should a cover letter typically be?

According to the National Resume Writers Association and the Professional Resume Writers Association, a cover letter should be in the four to five paragraph range.

The opening paragraph should be an introduction, including what you are applying for and a brief summary as to why you are a good candidate.

Second and third paragraph must support your claim to be the right candidate—in other words, explain by giving detailed accomplishments which can be directly tied to the posting. Without any doubt, now is the time to personalize the cover letter by paralleling your skills and contributions to the company. This means a little research on your part but well worth the effort.

Finally, the last paragraph is the call to action. Summarize why you are the right candidate and encourage the next move, an interview. In total, your cover letter should not be over a page and will typically take ¾ of the page.

I never include a cover letter as I don’t feel I am a strong writer, and fear that it would hurt me rather than help me.

Cover letters must be included. Though you may not feel as you are a strong writer, nothing shows the reader interest like a cover letter which utilizes key words from the job posting and company research. Definitely have another proof your work; don’t rely on the spell checker. According to career management associations, over 35% of hiring managers will NOT review applications without an accompanying cover letter. The key is to highlight the value you bring as well as a positive attitude (yes, attitude is portrayed in cover letters by choice of words).

Think about the reader for a moment when writing your cover letter and resume. If you were looking for a qualified applicant, what would you look for? Once you have that, all you have to do is fill in the puzzle.

I am currently looking for a job and have been since November. My resume includes jobs that I have had for the past 10 years (about 5 to 6 jobs). I think they are all pertinent and keep them there because I want employers to ask me questions about them so that I can explain strong points and such.

You picked a difficult time to seek employment but nowadays, there are no easy times to be unemployed. Though many find a job within months or even weeks, the average time between jobs is roughly nine months. In other words, do not become discouraged with the delay. I know it is easy to lose confidence but I have a feeling the right position is just around the corner.

According the associations, dates of employment need not go beyond ten years (unless directly related to the position and is not open to age discrimination—in other words, do not go back to the 1960’s). There are formats one can use to highlight your knowledge, skills, and abilities without fear of age discrimination. A popular format, semi-functional, may be worth checking into. If you are not familiar with this format or need guidance, please let me know and will do my best to get you where you need to be.

Going through 5 or 6 jobs in a decade is not as bad as it used to be. In today’s volatile employment market, it is not uncommon. There are ways to incorporate accomplishments without highlighting each position. Let me know and we’ll learn a few techniques. Anyway, do not feel intimidated by having several positions over these years. Without knowing your specific situation, I am unable to offer a clear way to turn this into a positive… and there are ways.  

One of these jobs is a Disney job. I recently was told that I should remove it because it’s not only the oldest listing, but employers have been known not to hire people because they work at Disney. Have you heard this?

Disney is on the blacklist? Geepers, this is the first I heard of this. Then again, if you were the Tigger character who was accused of fondling patrons, you may want to omit such information. Then again, working at Disney can be a great experience too. Think about the customers going through the gates each day. Even without trying your client and problem resolution skills will have improved. All employers want employees who know how to handle client disputes, who know how to engage in corporate branding, and know how to remain positive even under the most extreme situations. In other words, work the Disney deal by highlighting the many core and transferable skills developed. As for Tigger, he total cool so I would hire him (or her?) on the spot… so if you know him personally and if he is looking for a writing gig, let me know.

I hope the response helped. I do encourage you to ask a few specific questions and will be glad to expand on a topic or format.

With this, I will call it a day and wish you the very best in your journey.

Dhuffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Author, publisher
Education Career Services, LLC

Responding to a Job Posting 101

A few weeks ago I placed a job posting for an editor/writer/researcher with the UCF Knight listing. Though UCF carries a solid academic program, the response to my job posting was a tad concerning. As a result, I spoke to several university career directors from across the United States and it appears to be an epidemic. No doubt you are wondering what has gone viral. 

Over the past few weeks I received close to 45 responses to a very specific posting. The next few minutes of reading is simply meant to be a learning experience and not intended to hurt any feelings.

1. Five candidates submitted a cover letter though the posting made it clear that a cover letter was required. For those sending resumes out, ALWAYS provide a cover letter. Those who do so, begin with an advantage. As a matter of record, according to the Professional Resume Writers Association, over 35% of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate if a cover letter is not submitted.

2. Keywords missing in action. I can count with one finger how many applicants actually took the time to incorporate keywords from the job posting into their cover letter and/or resume. Think about this for a moment and envision what a hiring manager would feel if the applicants do NOT use keywords from the posting or company web site. Nothing says lazy like lazy… are you feeling it?

3. Diluted job objective/summary. Most of the applicants did not have a summary letting me know why I should even consider them for the position. In other words, the vast majority of responses used the gun-shot approach. For those looking to impress a reader, showcase the immediate value you bring in the top section of the resume and support it through your cover letter.

4. Grammer. Ooops, I meant grammar. No matter what you do, always proofread before hitting send. Simply running a spell check sponsored by Word does not do the trick (another testament to laziness). Over half of the resumes were filled with grammar issues, misspelled words, constant use of first person (don’t get me started on that topic), and spacing concerns.

Needless to say, I did send positive replies to five potential candidates, requesting a 300 word sample of their writing skills. Naturally I gave them the topic. As of this evening, not one of the five have returned their writing sample. Once again, I am not impressed. Consequently, I am still looking for a writer/editor/researcher.

Though the above does not go beyond a surface conversation, the message is quite clear. For those responding to job listings, always engage in due diligence, research the company, examine the job posting, incorporate keywords from all sources, and produce a polished product designed specifically for the posting. I know it means a bit more work on your side, but it does offer great rewards.

If you have any questions or would like specific insight on a career-related topic, please let us know.

dhuffman
Author/Publisher
Education Career Services

Help or no help

Last week I received a call from an employed lady on the verge of being replaced by a mechanical employee. She is a trained medical code and her duties were being mechanized. Needless to say, she found my name and wanted professional career guidance.

Oddly enough, the first question asked was my charge. Okay, I’m sensitive to the fact that everyone is seeking a bargain, be it in product or service. My typical response: “I am too busy to do the work for you but will be glad to offer suggestions and walk you along as this journey unfolds.” My professional philosophy is straightforward, why pay me a bucket full of bucks if I can guide and develop the process so you can do the work? This kind of reminds me of the teaching a man (or woman) how to fish instead of simply serving a fish on the plate… perhaps you are familiar with the story?

Needless to say, my next step is to have the person on the other end of the phone send me a pdf of their material so we can discuss a strategy. Sounds like a good plan thus far? I thought so… but if this were the case, why do so few take that next step and send their material electronically? Could it be that when it comes to career management and the development of materials, very few people want to take part in their own marketing? Or perhaps could it be that the vast majority of employed (and unemployed) individuals out there are lazy?

I am tending to believe people are lazy. The medical coder referenced above was obviously displeased when I explained how I would be glad to help her along the path but would not do all the work. As a career coach and writer, I want the people I work with (and for) to take ownership and possess pride in the product. By playing an active role in the process, I believe this can be achieved.

By the end of the conversation with my medical coder, I was pushed to give her a price and told her my range varies between $250 to $2,000 (depending upon the complexity of the client and work involved). After her hesitation, I knew I would never hear from her again which disappoints me as I informed her I would not charge her for my time. Guess she wanted more than my time?

When it comes to career management, what are your beliefs? Trust me when I say very few people are gifted writers, in any genre. If you find yourself needing help with your career management materials or if you have interview questions, where do you find research or who do you call? How about a few tips?

DO NOT:

● rely on the Internet for resume samples
● use a template to create your resume or cover letter
● allow anyone else to take full control of the process

DO:

● ask for (and accept) guidance, three of my favorite spots to locate qualified writers and/or career coaches are the Career Management Alliance, the National Resume Writers Association, and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
● take an active role
● get help

Career Management is about taking control of your life and destiny. For those lazy ones out there, you can always give me a call and for the right price, no doubt we could work something out.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Education Career Services, LLC
dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com

Jon Stewart, President Obama, and had ENOUGH

Where do you get your news? I will be the first to admit it, my news source comes from only a few places; NPR, Jon Stewart, and a few career management associations. Odd sources one may say but one may say lots of things.

With this said, it would not be a surprise to know I watched President Obama last night on comedy central. Unfortunately, nothing new came out of this news… when is the right time to say ENOUGH of the rhetoric and the twisting of the facts.

During last night’s broadcast, the audience was informed about how the job market has been improving and how the economy has made positive stands over the past year. Come to think of it, the only message I heard last night was how the past 18 months have been good, not great, but good enough… here is the word enough once again.

If the economy and employment situation is improving, why are we in such pain? Maybe it’s time our politicians get out of the election mode and get into the reality mode… just a thought. With this in mind, I did a bit of reading and crossed upon an article entitled the Outplacement Report.

If anyone is wondering about the word “Outplacement,” that’s a nice way to say terminated. According to the AIRS Outplacement Report, Sept. 27, 2010, things may not be as promising as the president you elected claims. Let’s take a stroll down a road called tomorrow’s terminated:

Sara Lee Corporation is scaling back its ancillary business units to focus on its core food and beverage business. The company, which as part of the plan is exiting its household and body care businesses, will eliminate 390 redundant jobs in Europe over the next several years.

University of California, Berkeley will eliminate approximately 200 jobs early next year to reduce expenses. The job cuts will be achieved through a combination of attrition, retirements, voluntary separations, and layoffs. UC Berkeley has already eliminated 600 jobs since last year.

Cessna Aircraft Company will cut another 700 jobs. The company seeks to restructure its processes and reduce costs in order to remain competitive.

Boston Medical Center is facing losses projected to reach $117 million, and will eliminate 119 positions. The layoffs include 44 nurses and 30 management staff.

Abbott Laboratories will cut approximately 3,000 jobs as it completes its acquisition of Solvay SA’s pharmaceutical unit. Most of the job cuts will take place in Europe and affect manufacturing, research and development, staff functions, and commercial operations.

FedEx will combine freight and less than-truckload operations starting in January. In the process, the company will eliminate 1,700 jobs and close approximately 100 facilities. FedEx is responding to quarterly earnings, which fell short of analysts’ estimates.

On this note, gonna call it a day as it’s time for another dose of news and Jon Stewart is about to begin… besides, I’ve had enough of the political ads promising change (does anyone out there really believe the talk?).

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Education Career Services, LLC
dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com
blog: http://www.careerbreakout.wordpress.com

Federal Job Access

Hard to believe how so much can change in only a few months. Needless to say, the summer months are just about a memory and now it is time to get back into the swing of career management. Hope you did not miss me too much (but a little is fine).

A few weeks ago I spent two days in a career management workshop with the career professionals from Central Florida Workforce. Their knowledge and passion to assist all individuals seeking career advice, guidance, and support is most impressive. With so much change in the Central Florida employment landscape, keeping up to date on methods, practices, and applications benefits everyone. With that said, I appreciate being allowed the opportunity to work with such a dedicated crew.
While on the subject of change, there are huge changes on the way regarding government hiring. According to a recent article from the Career Management Alliance, there will be between 300,000 to 400,000 new federal hires in the next few years. Much of the increase is because President Obama is pressing to hire less contract workers and more permanent employees (a direct shift from former President G. W. Bush). What does this mean to you? A heck of a lot!

Not only will the federal government be seeking a huge employee base, the application process is also getting much more user-friendly. We’ll talk about these details in the next few weeks but here’s a quick nibble:

  • Dramatic recruiting practice changes
  • Federal Resume just got simplified
  • KSA essay style application questions on the way out
  • Rule of three being eliminated
  • Decision-making on the fast track
  • Keeping applicants in the know

Yes, there are many changes making the federal job application process much easier. There are good points to this and some not so good. For example, with simpler access comes more job applicants. As opposed to under 50 applicants per job posting, expect to see this number multiplied. Additionally, without a set template resume format, hiring managers will have to relearn how to read applicant resumes. This can be a good thing for you if you create a skills-based resume.

For the vast majority, most resumes are NOT skills-based and follow a one-size fits all format. If this is your career management strategy, keep it turned into this channel and you will soon be on your way to learning how to turn your template-looking resume and cover letter into an aggressive (and effective) career marketing tool.

For those interested in learning more about the federal job market, I encourage you to visit www.usajobs.opm.gov. In the weeks to come, we will navigate this site and delve deeper into the federal job market… so don’t fret if you get a tad confused; we will work it out.

On this note, gonna call it a day,

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Education Career Services, LLC
dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com