Professional resume writers, recruiters and human resources professional have their work cut out for them. Every day they see resumes that fall short of the perfect reflection of a candidate's talent. In addition, as hard it is to get a job these days, no one wants to sabotage their career opportunities - either purposely or accidentally. Whether a resume blunder is the result of a careless error or intentional deception, the price of a lost career possibility is too high to pay. Take a look at the ten biggest mistakes that happen more often than they should:
Really good career advice can sometimes be hard to come by for job hunters. There are all sorts of professionals in the industry that are qualified to provide job counselling. It's also easy to find books that spell out general guidelines, give resume-writing tips and point you to where the best jobs are.
Yet there's another whole world of insider information shared by those in the human resources and recruiting business. Like any other group of colleagues, they tell stories about their own jobs when they get together. One of their favourite topics, the one the will usually only speak about confidentially, involves their experiences with the worst interview blunders.
Ask any human resources professional or recruiter how many resumes and cover letters they see each year. Many of them will tell you the number is in the thousands. That is an amazing amount of documents from prospective job candidates to go through. Some experts estimate that with that high a volume, the average resume and cover letter may be reviewed in less than one minute. If those estimates are correct, that gives each candidate approximately sixty seconds to pass the screening process.
If you're in the market for a new job or thinking of changing careers, that's good information to know. It gives you an idea of how to market yourself to potential employers and how much time you have to do it. Many job hunters spend weeks focusing on their resumes, and that is a good thing. The document has to be perfect to be effective. However, equal focus should be given to the cover letter. It is an entirely different type of document from the resume, but just as important.
The resume should be thought of as a factual documentation of your education, work history and skills. The cover letter, on the other hand, is a job hunter's marketing tool. It serves no other purpose other than to grab an employer’s attention and tell them why you are the best fit for their job and company. That's it.
When writing your own personal marketing piece, the cover letter, there are some general guidelines to follow that will help get you and your resume noticed. Here are nine suggestions for designing the perfect cover letter:
Be brief. The perfect cover letter should never be more than one page long. If it is, there’s too much information in it and it most likely won’t be read.
Remember the purpose of the cover letter. It should be written as an incentive for someone screening it. Your goal is to make them want to read your resume and learn more about you.
Customize every cover letter you write for each position. There is no such thing as an effective generic cover letter. It should be composed to match the description of the job for which you are applying.
Open your cover letter with a statement that will get a recruiter’s attention. Spend some writing different openings for your letter until you find one that you are comfortable with and is a reflection of your own unique style or talent.
In composing the body of the letter, don’t focus on what you’ve done in the past, place the focus on what you can do for the company. Save the employment history for your resume. The cover letter should be an action-oriented document.
Ask for an interview in the cover letter toward the last paragraph. Let an employer know when you are available and express your enthusiasm at the opportunity to tell them more about yourself. Generate excitement with your words so it makes someone want to pick up the telephone and call you immediately.
Be certain to include your contact information. That includes all telephone numbers, mail addresses and email addresses. You want to make yourself as easy to reach as possible.
Spell check and proof read your cover letter for inconsistencies and errors. Ask someone to look at it for you with a fresh set of eyes. A common mistake job hunters make is providing inconsistent information on the resume and cover letter. The dates and information should align perfectly.
Use plain white paper or professional stationery. Fluorescent coloured paper will stand out, but it won’t give you a professional image.
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One of the documents that should be included in every career portfolio is a list of three to five references. Those numbers may vary over the course of an entire career span, but that range a good place to start. The ideal list of references may be harder to build for the new job hunter because actual work experience is usually limited to non-career positions. Students may have to other option than relying on character references from former teachers or professors.
Job hunters that are completely new to the career market may want to use references from clergy members or other prominent members of their community. This is perfectly acceptable during the early career stages - as long as the reference comes from a person who can attest to their good character.
Landing an interview in today's competitive job market is quite an accomplishment. Some job hunters can spend months searching for the perfect position, sending out dozens of resumes and then waiting hopefully for a phone call.
As soon as the good news of an interview arrives, it is the right time to begin preparing for the event. Most job candidates work very hard to get to this stage, yet a surprising majority sabotage their chances for a successful interview. When a candidate walks into a job interview completely unprepared, the likelihood of getting the position decreases tremendously.
These top ten tips are guaranteed to help you leave a positive impression on any potential employer. Following all of them could end your long job search and launch the career you have always dreamed of having!
Here are the ten best interviewing that promise to convert an interview into a job offer:
Arrive on time. If necessary, go to the location of the interview a day or two before to make sure you know how to find the location and allow time for any delays. Punctuality is critical to making the right impression. Getting to the interview site 10-15 minutes before the appointment time will give you a few moments to review your answers to questions you might be asked and relax before the meeting.
It can be a very exciting time when a potential employer calls you in for an interview. It means you've probably worked hard on putting together the perfect resume and did a little homework on the company to which you're applying. Just as you begin to celebrate and congratulate yourself for your efforts, feelings of nervousness may arrive.
It's quite normal to feel anxious at the thought of an interview. There's a big step between getting through the interviewing process and actually securing a job offer. Even the most confident people experience pre-interview anxiety, especially when there's so much at stake.
When Facebook started in 2004, it was an instant hit. The website's membership was limited to Harvard University students only and over half of them soon became registered users. The popularity of the social networking site spread quickly and began accepting members from any Ivy League school. After undergoing several transformations, the site's membership base has grown rapidly in four years and is now open to anyone over the age of 13.
Creating a resume for the very first time can present many questions and challenges. There's a lot of advice available for the do-it-yourself resume writer, but much of it is targeted toward those with a little experience. If you have never written a resume before the task can seem overwhelming. Many people find themselves staring at a blank sheet of paper with only their name at the top. All the questions about what to put where and what to include or not include can be confusing.
Everyone in the job market, from new graduates to seasoned executives, knows the importance of a good resume. It offers human resources professionals and recruiters the first opportunity to look at a candidate’s credentials. When a potential employer is trying to fill a position with the most qualified person for the job, your resume may be the only representation they have of you and your skills.