Archive for April, 2013

An exercise for your online job search

April 24, 2013

An exercise for your online job search

By Maria Deshler, A Plus Resumes 

This post is to provide you with one tip/exercise on something you can do to make your online job search successful.

Make a list of companies .

Make a list of the organizations you would like to work for. As you come across a new company you think you would like to work for, add it to your list. Once your list reaches 10 or so, then go to your computer or laptop and begin with the first company on the list. Search that company using google and type in their name. Almost all organizations these days have a company website.

As an example, let’s use Target. For purposes of this exercise, I have written down Target as one of the company’s I would like to work for. I type in their name in google. You will then see their website comes up first after you type in their name, and they have a link set up for their career section.  After you select their “careers” link, you can then select whether you are seeking corporate or hourly position, at the far left.  

Look through all the jobs.

It is a good idea at this point to look through all the jobs at the company, not just by keyword. Continuing to use Target as an example, If you search by location, and select Minnesota, then all the jobs in Minnesota will come up. For company’s other than Target, they may have it structured differently. You may select “all jobs” rather than by location. You may think to yourself it is too much work to go through all the jobs.  However, there are many reasons this is a good tactic.

For one thing, you may find positions or jobs which you would not have discovered if you would have focused your job search on just a couple items.  For example, if you were searching for a logistics specialist, but found a supply chain specialist or distribution manager, these jobs are both similar in nature, but the search terms are different. Also, what if you were just applying for a store manager position, but you discovered as you were going through the jobs, that there was a project manager position available that you were also interested in? In addition, you will also get an idea of the types of positions and careers which are most in demand in company’s these days.  There is also one other point to mention. Some organizations just list the positions they have available on their website, and in no other location on the Internet.

Once you find a position you are interested in, you can upload your resume (using Microsoft Word), fill out their application, then move on to the next company on your list. Once you have completed the list of 20, you can start creating a new list. This is a good exercise to keep you proactive in your job search.

Not to mention the fact that you will gain valuable experience in online job search and internet surfing.  Looking for a job on-line is interactive, it is something you have to “do”. It’s hard to explain it or tell you how to do it, you just have to jump right in!  

The more you work at it, the better you will get! I hope what I have mentioned here gets you started.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a successful job search!

The truth about resumes

April 17, 2013

At times, I get asked by my customers:

“Should a resume be one or two pages?”

You will find people providing you with different answers to this question. Some will say stay with one page. Some say two pages is best. The answer is that it depends on you. The number of pages a resume should be (1 or 2) is directly related to your circumstances. It is a personal result, and some people need one page, and some require 2 pages.

In other words, a college graduate with minimal work experience, would have a custom-designed one page resume. On the other hand, a senior manager, with over 30 years experience in the work force, would have a 2-page resume, with a strong career profile, and career highlights underneath, along with a chronological work history.

 

Here is another question I get asked:

“Do I need to include work that I have done in the 80’s? Is it true employers only look at the last 10 years of work history?”

Again, this depends on your circumstances. Let’s look at another example. For the last 20 years you have worked in the insurance industry, and have decided to make a career change back to IT/Networking. The only experience you had in networking was in the 80’s, where you worked for 7 years as a networking specialist. In this case, you would need to bring your experience as a networking specialist up the front of the resume.

On the other hand, if your main experience and achievements have occurred in the last 10 years, and you do not have anything worth mentioning beyond that, then of course you would not mention something way in the past.

A resume is not meant to include your entire work history, just what is needed.

The only truth about resumes, is whatever it takes to get you interviews! If it is getting you interviews and calls, then it is the right resume for you!

Happy job hunting.

Exercise: Start a “Job Journal” to discover what you should do!

April 17, 2013

At times, I have customers over 50 who are unsure what their career path should be. If this is you, the most important thing is to stay upbeat and don’t get discouraged, no matter what. Here is an exercise that I think will help you if you do it.

Get a fresh notebook and pen and prepare to write down every job you have had, or that you can remember, in your life. Let’s begin in high school. What was your first job in high school? Write it down. Write down how old you were and what you did. Write down how this job made you feel. As you progress, ask yourself these questions and write out the answers for each of the jobs you have held:

  1. What was the company name?
  2. What was your title?
  3. What did you do at your job?
  4. Did anyone compliment you for something you did? What was it?
  5. What did you like about this position?
  6. What didn’t you like about this position?
  7. How did you leave the position – Did you get laid off or terminated? Did you resign or leave the position? How did that make you feel?

You can make it as long as you like, and if there are grammar and spelling mistakes, don’t worry! The only person that will see this is you. Be VERY honest about what you feel, there is no right or wrong answer. Just write it down. Again, this exercise is only for you.

Once you have written down a chronology of all the jobs you remember, go back and read what you have written. Underline, or make a note, of all the things that are common about the jobs that you have liked. For example, You may have written,

“My first job was at (company name) when I was 16. I was a clerk and helped the customers at the front. The thing I loved about that job was the cash handling.”

Then later, you may have written, “My first job in my 30’s was working temporary at a company in downtown Minneapolis. I am not sure what company this was, since I was working temporary, but I remember I was creating purchase orders and doing matching. I loved this part. I also had to tally checks, and I used the 10-key to add them up.  I loved this also. The day went by fast.”

In these two sentences, we notice that the person liked money handling early in his or her career, and accounts payable later in her career. Perhaps an accounting position would be a path to pursue!

Similarly, make a note of the items you did not like in your career. For example: “My last job was as an office manager for xyz company. I worked their for over 7 years. I put together budgets and reports for my supervisor, and managed 8 employees. I liked doing the budgets, but did not like supervising people.” Here we see, that supervising people is not something this person likes to do! 

Once you have completed this exercise, you should have two columns: Things you like to do in a job and things you do not, which should point you in the right direction and path to take for your job search.

Happy job hunting!