Tag Archives: job posting

Resume Essentials, Part One

Best practice approaches to career marketing are in a state of constant flux (due to technological advances and the sort), but there remain proven fundamentals which should not be neglected as you seek to heighten your professional standing.

No matter what strategy you subscribe to, when it comes to creating effective cover letters and resumes, consider the following:

  • Place yourself in the employer’s shoes. Simply stated, research the desired position AND the company under consideration. Once you determine what the company is truly seeking (the posting simply touches the surface of candidate expectations so you must delve several layers deeper), target your material to confirm how you are capable of satisfying the need. For those unable to gather a great deal of information, check out www.ONETOnline.org, this free site is a great tool to learn about industry occupation    expectations, responsibilities, and salaries.
  • Incorporate keywords into all documents. Once position and company expectations are known, introduce specific terms from the posting into your resume and cover letter. Don’t smother your documents with terms though as the reader won’t appreciate it. By the way, merging keywords will help you get through an ATS filter and also demonstrates functional knowledge and expertise… and that’s a good thing.
  • Take advantage of being recognized for outstanding performance. To your advantage, much of the competition applying for the same job as you neglects to let others share insight as to the value they offer. Think of it this way, if former supervisors, professors, colleagues, and/or customers  praise your performance, what does that say (and prove) about your work and team ethic? In case you are wondering, quotes can be taken from professional networking sites such as LinkedIn… just don’t use more than one quote per page.
  • Cover letters ARE worth the effort. True enough, some hiring managers don’t read cover letters or request on with the application, but others give cover letters serious attention. Since one rarely knows what hiring managers are looking for, ALWAYS send along a cover letter. While constructing your cover letter, be sure and use the same header as your resume. Keeping consistency shows an attention to detail and many hiring managers look for detail. Regarding content, highlight information that      will draw in the reader by showcasing how you stand out from the competition.
  • Keep it quick. There appears to be an indirect relationship between technology speed and reader attention; as electronic gadget speed increases, reader attention decreases. As a result, most career experts agree that a typical resume is scanned by a hiring manager for less than ten seconds, leaving you no time for idle, misplaced, or irrelevant information. To give you the advantage, place the most important information within the  top third of the resume, making sure you include keywords and immediate      value or contributions you bring. For those with an added or unique value (for example, bilingual, secret service clearance, and/or knowledge in a related industry skill), be sure and share this with the reader.

With a global applicant pool exceeding hundreds fighting for a single position, the need for you to prepare and deliver an effective marketing strategy has never been greater. For those willing to invest in themselves by way of diligence, the future can be quite bright.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

Are you interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters? I can show you the best strategies for a successful interview, how to take advantage of social/professional networking, and ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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