job seekers: job search tips

Here are some helpful tips on everything from cover letters to interviews.

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resume tips

In the first 20 seconds, your resume will only be glanced at, not read. Your resume needs to stand out above the others if you want it to get attention. Following is a checklist of things to consider.

  • Customize your resume for the job that you are seeking.
  • Keep it condensed, one page or two maximum, depending upon your level of experience.
  • At the top of your resume, put your name, address, home phone number, mobile/cell phone number and email address. Position this information so it takes up a maximum of three lines instead of six.
  • Start with a summary of your overall experience and skills and keep these to one or two bullets using key search words. Call this heading “Professional Work Summary” or “Work History Summary”.
  • Define your duties and responsibilities as accomplishments and/or as benefits. Don’t use “responsible for...” You need to sell yourself. Your resume is you, and you are the product that the buyer/reader just can’t live without!
  • List your “Professional Work Experience or Work History” in chronological order, most recent first. Provide your title/position, previous employer, city/state and the start and end dates. (Use the word “present” instead of an end date if currently employed.)
  • It’s best not to go back more than ten years on your employment history unless it’s relevant to the job.
  • Under the previous employer/company, give a brief description of the product or service of the business. This gives the reader an idea of the type of industries where you have worked.
  • List your skills. If you are bilingual, indicate this as a skill with the language(s) you speak. Call this heading “Skills.”
  • List your education in highest degree order. Provide the type of degree or certification, the institution name, the city/state, and your major. Depending on the type of job you’re seeking, you should also put your minor and your GPA. Call this heading “Education.” Usually you don’t go back any further than three to five years, and then you would not provide the dates at all.
  • List your professional awards and honors under the education heading.
  • “References Available Upon Request”, isn’t needed! List your references on a separate page, bring them with you to the interview and provide them if requested. (Make sure this page is on the same paper and in the same font, etc. as your resume).
  • The appearance should be happy faces or weird fonts or sizes. Use a bullet format consistently throughout your resume.
  • List out your professional memberships. Call this heading “Professional Affiliations.”
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Don’t rely on Spell Check! It must be free from errors.
  • Create your resume in various formats, especially to send it electronically. Types of versions are: print, text-based (ASCII), Rich Text (RTF), Portable Document Format (PDF), and Web-based (HTML).

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