Five Best Bets for a Career Change Resume

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Associate Consultant, Boston, MA
Trading Analyst / Trader, Los Angeles, CA
Business Analyst, San Jose, CA
Financial Analyst, Chicago, IL

More jobs we think you’ll like…

With the economy soured, many industries have simply dried up in terms of growth. For example, construction, automotive, and mortgage services have taken big hits over the past two years. People in these industries have not only seen their own jobs disappear, but most of the other jobs in their industries have evaporated as well. As a result, they often face an unexpected requirement of a career change. But how do you take experience from one industry and translate it into another? Here are some career change resume best bets.

1. Shift Your Paradigm.

Consider Joe. He’s been in construction all his life, moving from laborer all the way up to construction supervisor. He’s never considered a different career until now. Construction work in his area came to a screeching halt eighteen months ago. Nothing is happening in construction in his area and he’s unable to relocate due to family concerns. He knows he must make a career change but he doesn’t know what that change may be.

If you’ve been in the same career field for twenty years like Joe, your career field has become ingrained in your identity. Joe thinks of himself as a “construction guy”. He must start thinking of himself in a different light and translate that to his career marketing documents – his resume and cover letter. When Joe talks to people in his network, he cannot present himself as a construction professional looking to do something else. He must make that career transition mentally before he will make progress in his job search. That mental shift must also come before he constructs his career change resume. Joe found working with an employment specialist helpful because it gave him the necessary objectivity to see his career in a new light.

2. Know Where You’re Going.

Joe wasn’t sure what else he could do besides construction. As a result, he sought some career exploration assistance to help him find a new career direction. He wanted to pursue something that would offer him opportunities, interesting work, and financial reward (like a paycheck!). There were many resources available to Joe, many at no cost, which could direct him. Workforce development centers often offer counseling and job retraining options. Do a little research to see what is available in your area.

Once Joe determined where he wanted to go next in his career, his resume could be built to support that goal. The goal must come first, though. It is impossible to write an effective career change resume if the new goal is a mystery. A great resume is written with a goal in mind; the strategy of information selection and organization must support that goal throughout the entire resume.

Not only should a general goal be developed (such as home inspection for Joe) but details surrounding requirements of the new goal should be researched and understood. Will new training be required? What is the outlook for the new career field? Does it look favorable for the future? What skills are needed for the new job? Knowing all this information at the beginning will help you outline a plan for reaching your goal and give you a beginning strategy for creation of your career change resume. You will understand what skills you need to pull from your background and bring into your new resume.

3. Know Where You’ve Been.

If you’ve been in your job for a long time, it is likely you’ve not prepared a resume in years. You may not have thought about your experience and skills in terms of value to a different industry. When faced with a career change, it is very important to capture the scope of work you’ve done in the past and ways you have contributed, excelled, and succeeded.

A career change resume starts with an in-depth look at your past career history. The more information you or your resume writer has at hand, the better. Information selection will be important in constructing the career change resume. General information about job roles is not always helpful. For example, Joe noted he had experience working with zoning variances. That was pretty general. Upon questioning, Joe further explained he had to present project plans multiple times at municipal council meetings, meet with city engineers, and create PowerPoint slide shows to illustrate physical aspects of projects. Those details provided a lot more information about specific skills such as presentation, negotiation, and contract management which could be helpful in the career change resume.

4. Understand Your Assets.

Skills such as presentation and negotiation were not skills Joe fully realized he possessed until he started examining his background. He had simply thought of his experience as “zoning variance” knowledge. Breaking down his generalities with the help of his writer showed him specific skills he could take to his next career field. You can do the same thing. Think of what you do in general terms and then break that down into specific skills. Some of those skills will be transferrable and some won’t apply. First, you have to understand the skills you have and be fully cognizant of them. Only then can you start to construct a resume that will highlight those transferrable skills that make you qualified for the new career direction.

5. Establish a Clear Focus.

When a hiring manager reads your new resume, you don’t want him/her to be confused about your goal or qualifications. Many people make the mistake of producing a general resume when making a career change. They assume the hiring manager can connect the dots and understand their goals. That’s not the case. A career change resume needs to spell it out. It needs to establish the goal and then clearly show skills and experience from the past that support that goal. The resume must show how the needed skills exist, how they’ve been used to excel in the past, and make it clear the job seeker has “what it takes” to do the job.

Career changes can be scary, but in the long run most people say they were good change, offering opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. If you are facing a career change, look at your experience very critically. Get objective viewpoints on your plans. Understand you have value to industries outside your traditional career path. And finally, look at the career change as a new beginning, rather than an ending. A positive attitude will carry through into your resume and you will enjoy better job search success overall.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Job Search Realities in a Tight Market

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

job-search-realitiesInvestment Associate, New York, NY
Product Manager, Los Angeles, CA
Analyst Intern – Private Equity, Chicago, IL
Strategic Consulting Analyst, Cambridge, UK
Portfolio Analyst, San Francisco, CA

More jobs we think you’ll like…

The rapidly changing economic conditions are having a profound impact on the job market. If you are one of the thousands of professionals who are unemployed or who are facing unemployment in the near future, there are some Realities you need to face. Job search is never easy and it is getting tougher every day. Unemployment is one of the most stressful events in life but it can be overcome with the right attitude, the right tools, and the right plan.

Buy Side vs. Sell Side

This sounds strange but the job market is just that – a market. You have buyers and sellers. Buyers are employers who are seeking to “purchase” the talents of human capital assets to add to their operation. Sellers are job seekers who are seeking to “sell” their experience and skills to employers who need it. Most people don’t like to think of it that way because it seems impersonal but that’s a Reality.

In a tight economic market, there are more sellers (job seekers) than buyers (employers seeking to hire). Just like a person who is hesitant to invest or spend money during market instability, employers are hesitant to hire during wobbly economic times. Many consumers will hold off on buying that new car or that new large screen plasma TV they’ve been thinking about. Likewise, employers hold off on hiring. They make do with the current employee base or even start thinking of cutting back.

The easiest and fastest ways for companies to cut costs is to cut the work force. Layoffs are a Reality of bad economic times. Stock prices fall and layoffs occur. Sometimes it is a gradual reduction in force where they work it through retirement buyouts, severance packages, and hiring freezes. With a dramatic change in company financial status, drastic and sudden reductions in force can occur. The first thing to get hit in cutbacks is always the workforce.

The Fear Monster

Those sudden layoffs are scary for everyone in the company, even those who make it past the axe without getting slashed. Tension abounds. Fear prowls the hallways. One of the best weapons against fear is information. Lack of information breeds wild assumptions and leads to more uncertainty. Everyone should try to stay as informed as possible about actual events and conditions.

Another weapon against fear is preparation. The worst position you can be in during bad economic times is standing flat-footed with a deer-in-the-headlights posture. Be ready. In relation to job search, that means you need to have a great, up-to-date resume and understand how modern job search works. You need to have a personal network that is kept warm at all times and not simply dragged out of the closet when you need it. You need to be open to opportunities and new directions and be able to evaluate them closely. Be realistic about your current situation. If you are in an industry that is going to get hit hard by a recession, start looking at alternative career paths that are more stable. Be more flexible in the type of work you are willing to consider.

When you are prepared with all the tools you need for a job search, a layoff is not so scary. Even if a layoff does not affect you, having your resume ready makes you prepared for unexpected opportunities that come your way.

Selling in a Glut Market

So you have over twenty years experience and a great track record of success? That’s good but many, many other people have the same background. They are your competition and they are angling for the same job openings you are targeting. Like Coke and Pepsi, there is often very little difference between candidates so how do employers decide whom to interview and whom to exclude from consideration? They decide based on the resume. It’s a job search Reality – employers include candidates based on their resumes. If your resume is not aggressively selling your skills to the buyer (the employer), you will be excluded from consideration and not be called for an interview.

Penny-wise but Pound-foolish

Many job seekers get caught flat-footed and are unprepared for a sudden loss of employment. Many make that worse by puttering along for weeks using an ineffective resume that doesn’t generate interviews. They waste time and opportunities while their funds dwindle until they are in desperate straits with very few options. They come to a realization that they must have a great resume in order to compete in the glut market but they can no longer afford to get help from a professional. The Reality is if they had just invested in a new resume before they were laid off or if they had taken immediate action and started the whole job search process with a great resume, they could have avoided being stuck in a no-win situation.

Job Search Technology

The hiring process and technology are irreversibly enmeshed together. Online job boards, resume databases, intelligent hiring technology, web-based interviewing, and online applications are NOT going to fade away. The paper resume mailed through the postal service or faxed is NOT coming back. Face this Reality now and deal with it. The use of technology in hiring and job search is here to stay and those who learn to adapt will thrive. Those who stubbornly refuse to learn how to use the tools and understand how hiring is done in today’s world, or who live in a state of denial about the use of technology in hiring will fall by the wayside.

Take Action

When facing a job search, you must take action. Learn about how to job search in today’s market. Get the best tools available (resume and cover letter). Be aggressive and proactive rather than reactive and passive. Work your network. Understand the system and how companies hire. Face the facts that it will take longer and be more challenging than the last time you changed jobs. Savvy job seekers know when it is smart to invest in professional help to reach their job search goals. A professional resume writer or coach can help guide you through the market and help you find success.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Good Employees Avoid Bad Habits – A List of Common Workplace Faux Pas (Part 2)


Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Principal Consultant, Nationwide
Associate – Private Equity Firm, Bay Area, CA
Business Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Equity Trader, Washington, DC

More jobs we think you’ll like…

Hey you! Nail-biter! Stop talking with your mouth full of food! It’s time for Doostang’s second installment of bad workplace habits to avoid. That’s right – last time we conquered potty mouths, online game addictions, Negative Nancies, and fashion disasters. Confused? Check it out and go for a little refresher read if you’re already spewing obscenities or showing up to work in scrubs (except for you, Doc). And, if we didn’t give you enough to focus on last go-around, we’re slapping your wrist just a few more times with the following career-saving precautions. Onward!

The Early Bird Catches the Worm; The Late Bird…Gets Fired

Ok, maybe it doesn’t go quite like that. But it’s safe to assume that if you’re chronically late, you may find yourself packing your work life into a cardboard box before you hit the road for the very last time. Whether you work on the clock or have a more informal standing date with the office, it’s imperative to show up to work on time. Failure to do so implies laziness. Employers will feel hesitant to rely on you if you are inconsistent or don’t seem to care. It’s ok if you get held up from time to time – just be sure to make the proper phone calls to the individuals whose schedules you will affect, so that they can plan accordingly. Your start time is a commitment, one you should hold yourself to if you want to excel in a company.

procrastinationThere’s No Time Like The Present!

Got a big project to work on? Work on it now! Don’t let it loom over you like a dark cloud. Ever notice how sometimes the mere notion of a certain task can be just as bad – or worse – than the task itself? The longer you continue putting it off, the more you draw it out. Since anticipation intensifies the pain, cut it out of the equation. Turn that assignment in early and get it off your hands (and score bonus points with the boss). Another drawback to waiting it out is that you may miscalculate and run into unforeseen obstacles that you failed to work into your timeline – and then you’re really hosed, because then you’re submitting late work…and we all know what happens to that late bird…

“When I Want Your Opinion I’ll Give it to You”

…A wise man once said. We hearken back to individuality here: in the same manner that a dress code eclipses uniqueness, so too does the unspoken rule that sometimes you just need to sit down and shut up. This plays itself out in multiple ways.

1. You find yourself at a company meeting. Unless this happens to be an open discussion forum, it’s advisable not to chime in every other PowerPoint slide.

2. Your boss decides to do something one way. Your wisdom and expertise establishes you the authority on matters, inspiring you to inform him of a better way. But unless your superior is at risk of putting the company in peril, unsolicited advice can very often spell out insubordination.

3. Even the largest corporations are receptive to employee feedback, but if you disagree with a company policy on principle rather than effectiveness, no one wants to hear about it. Your employer’s mission statement is your mantra from nine to five. Remember if you’re not the Big Guy in the office, you don’t run the show.

trophy2On Your Superhuman Abilities:

While you may rightly deserve praise for every glorious feat you perform in the office, the simple truth is that no one is going to give it to you every single time. That said, when you actively claim credit for everything you do, you may aggravate your coworkers or your boss. Performing well is your job, and no one is going to give you a gold star for every small personal victory. Be content to quietly accept praise when it is given, and your employer will appreciate you all the more. Equally as important, remember to share credit with others when it is due, and your coworkers will be gracious. When you try to one up the people working around you (or appear to do so by drawing unnecessary attention to your good deeds) you sow the seeds for resentment in the minds and hearts of your office buddies.

Our devotion of two blog entries to bad workplace habits may convey a certain pessimism in humankind of the career ilk. But of course here at Doostang we know that avoiding common workplace slipups boils down to common sense. As long as you’re a hard worker and pleasant to be around, you’ve got most of it down. Just remember not to interrupt when someone’s talking!

Much love,

The Doostang Team

Doostang Top Jobs This Week: Jan 18-24

top-jobsDoostang‘s Premium service gives you exclusive access to thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more.

Looking to get ahead in your job search? Here are this week’s top Premium jobs currently posted on Doostang.

Senior Hedge Fund Analyst, New York, NY
Multi-strategy hedge fund seeks senior analyst to originate & evaluate ideas and assume primary research responsibilities.

Business Analyst, Bay Area, CA
Consumer electronics shopping and review leader seeks Business Analyst for its Marketing & Ad-Operations team.

Financial Analyst, Dallas, TX
Global independent investment bank seeks Financial Analyst for a summer internship.

Event Coordinator, Los Angeles, CA
World’s premier and most diversified sports, entertainment and media company seeking an Event Coordinator to organize events in the southern California area.

International Equity REIT Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
Prominent real estate investment firm seeks International Equity REIT Analyst.

Healthcare Analyst, Chicago, IL
Chicago advisory services firm is currently hiring Analysts and Associate Consultants.

Associate/Senior Associate, San Francisco, CA
Global leader in life sciences with principal activities in Private Equity/ Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media seeks Associate/Senior Associate.

Good luck!

The Doostang Team

Doostang Success – From Blue Chips to Startups.

Princeton 2005

“Look no further, Doostang Premium should be the number one tool in your job-seeking arsenal. Whether urgently seeking a job or considering your next career move, Doostang brings together the best of the networking world with that of highly targeted job postings from some of the best blue chips and startups.”

Want to be the next Doostang Success story? Start applying to those jobs and see where that takes you!

Here’s a small sample of the exceptional jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Junior Research Associate – Wall Street’s Premier Sell-Side Research Firm, New York, NY
Junior Business Analyst – Live Interactive Video Broadcast Start-Up, Bay Area, CA
Investment Banking Analyst – Top-Tier Investment Banking Firm, Denver, CO
New Media Specialist – Top-level Charitable Organization, Boston, MA
Associate Analyst – Fast Growing Proprietary Trading Company, Chicago, IL

More jobs we think you’ll like…

Happy Job Searching!

The Doostang Team

If you’re interested in sharing your Doostang success story, contact Kat at

Earn Money while You Search for a Job!

Want to make some extra cash while searching for a job? Join the Doostang Partners Program and Doostang will pay you to send us great jobs.

The program is in its 8th month, and with over $25,000 already paid out to our current 34 partners, there’s so much to gain by joining. One of our partners – Sam – has already made over $10,000!

Interested in becoming a Partner? Here’s how it works:

1. You send jobs (finance, consulting, marketing, legal, biz dev) to us at We post these jobs. Users upgrade to premium after clicking through your jobs.
  • You get $10 for every upgrade
  • $10 is added to the Partner Pool
2. There is no limit to how many upgrades a job can get. If John sends in 1 job and gets 8 upgrades from it, he’ll receive $80 and $80 goes into the Partner Pool.
  • There’s also no limit to the Partner Pool. It’s uncapped, so as long as your jobs are converting, the pool is growing!
3. The pools run in roughly 2 week cycles.

4. The pool is divided between the first, second and third place finishers.
  • First place gets 60%, second place gets 30% and third place gets 10%.
  • The last pool was $1,420!

Email if you have any questions or want additional details.

Five Tips to Land a Job Faster

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

land-job-fasterPrivate Equity Analyst, New York, NY
Sales & Marketing Intern, Los Angeles, CA
Investment Associate, Washington, DC
Director – Strategic Partnerships, Boston, MA
Portfolio Management Associate, Bay Area, CA

More jobs we think you’ll like…

Does it seem like it is taking longer to find a new job these days? By keeping a positive attitude and taking aggressive steps, you really can find your next position more quickly. Here are five tips to jump start your job search and help you land a new job faster!

1. Consider your job search a full-time job.

If you are unemployed, finding your next job IS your job. Work it like you were getting paid to job search because, in essence, you are! For every week you are unemployed, you LOSE several hundred or even thousands of dollars depending on your target salary. You can avoid that loss by keeping your job search as short as possible. Get up in the morning at your normal time, shower, dress, and get in your home office or at your kitchen table and get busy.

Talk to people as part of your “job search job”, just as you would in a normal work environment. Do not allow yourself to become isolated. Utilize online networking. Research local opportunities to get out and get in touch with real people either through free classes, volunteering, or civic organizations. Your “out of office” activities do not necessarily have to be job-related as long as they bring you into contact with people. Job search has always been a person-to-person activity; technology has just changed the methods a bit. Don’t spend eight hours in front of your computer and expect things to happen without actually talking to a real person!

2. Invest in yourself first.

Many people wait until they are completely out of funds to consider investing in their job searches. Of course, by then, it’s too late! When you lose your job, treat it like a natural disaster and think “what are my priorities?” Two of the first things you should do— invest in a great interview suit (if you don’t have one), and start spending wisely on your career-marketing activities.

Have your resume and cover letter prepared by a highly experienced and knowledgeable resume firm. Your resume and cover letter will be your “marketing brochure” and will be crucial to opening doors. They really should be top-notch so don’t skimp on them. A great resume writer can be a valuable asset to you in your job search. If you invest in yourself and your career first rather than last, your job search will be shortened simply by the aggressive approach you have taken!

3. Use technology to your advantage.

Technology is a tool that can compound your job search efforts exponentially. Use it wisely! The Internet is a bottomless goldmine of information ranging from networking on sites like LinkedIn to finding salary information or company details. Job boards have a search agent you can set to snag new job advertisements and send them directly to your email. Newspapers are online so you can research local markets from across the country or across the world! Keeping organized in your job search is a huge challenge that technology can help you conquer. Set up an Excel spreadsheet to track job ads you answer. Create a contacts database in Access, Outlook, ACT! or OpenOffice.

4. Cast a wide net.

Job search is a numbers game. The wider your net, the more leads you will snag. The more leads you have, the more opportunities you will have. Be sure to set your job search agent keywords to pull as many job leads as possible. Get in contact with dozens of recruiters. Don’t stop at networking with the ten people you know well. Make contact with EVERYONE you know and get to know new people, too. Directly target hundreds of companies, regardless of whether they are advertising open positions or not.

5. Follow up, follow up, follow up.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. A client reported the other day he finally got the job he was targeting because he wouldn’t go away. He followed up and kept in touch through email, follow-up letters, and phone calls. He maintained contact on a regular basis until they granted him an interview. He got the job! While completing all his new-hire paperwork, the HR manager said she had put him on the interview list simply due to his tenacity over other qualified candidates. In fact, there were other candidates who were more qualified “on paper” but he showed a positive attitude and a never-give-up character. His “squeakiness” paid off!

Job search is a process involving several factors – communication, marketing, organization, and information. Job seekers who work the process diligently receive better results and enjoy shorter job searches. Wisely investing in career marketing early improves results as well. There is nothing more expensive than unemployment! Working smart to generate leads and opportunities pays off! Use these five tips to work smart, generate leads, and seize opportunities to land a great job faster.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Good Employees Avoid Bad Habits – A List of Common Workplace Faux Pas (Part 1)

Investment Banking Analyst – Technology, San Francisco, CA
Marketing Analyst, Boston, MA
Principal – Private Equity, Los Angeles, CA
Copywriter/Proofreader, New York, NY
Junior Consultant, London, UK

More jobs we think you’ll like…

A habit can be difficult to break; and, depending on the context, can make or break you. While some habits are assets in certain situations – such as always having an opinion or sticking out from the crowd – they can sometimes play to your detriment. Thus, equally important as changing some behavioral patterns is knowing when to tweak them just a little bit. And because people in the workforce tend to be an unruly bunch, Doostang is making this one a “two-parter” to ensure we cover all the bases. Read on for a list of our first installment of common bad workplace habits to avoid.

swearingWash that Mouth out with Soap!

When in doubt: keep it clean. And even when not in doubt:…keep it clean. (This one tends to resonate strongest with the recent grad crowd.) Swearing in the workplace is unprofessional, and you never know whom you’re going to offend. Your best bet is to speak in a manner that would befit your grandmother. If the old lady’s got a sailor mouth on her, find some other cute little granny to do right by. Try to avoid speech tics such as “like”, “um”, or “ya know”. Colloquialisms like “what up”, “yo”, or “later” shouldn’t be used right out of the gate. Finally, Kathy at reception isn’t “dude”, and your boss isn’t your “bro”.

Game Over

Hopefully we can all agree that your job is more important than a new high score. So please, for your own sake, log off of “Mafia Wars”, close the Minesweeper window, turn off whatever game it is that tickles your fancy and eats up your time. It’s ok to play a quick game to de-stress from time to time, but if all you can think about is racking up points on your online Bejeweled account, you have bigger problems…because your online activity probably isn’t going to fly with your boss. On a similar note, avoid excessive online chatting or checking your personal email account every five minutes. All these distractions will still be there when your shift ends. But during your working hours, your priority should be work.

Stay Positive!

Even if your job leaves you wanting to punch a wall, try not to complain about it all the time. People have a low tolerance for whiners in the office, so keep it to yourself or find someone else to vent to. If you see a problem, come up with a way to fix it instead of grumbling about it or pawning it off on someone else to boot. Others will admire, feed off of, and promote your positive energy. And, at the end of the day, they’ll be more likely to want to keep you around.

Dress to the Nines

The dress code: perhaps you feel that this doesn’t apply to you because you are an individual.

But dress codes exist for a reason – to uphold professionalism in the workplace. Stepping outside of the bounds may feel cool or liberating, but it can convey to your coworkers that you don’t care, or that you’re simply a slob. Companies vary on their policies regarding work attire, so it’s generally a good idea to dress more conservatively until you have a good idea of what the expectations are.

Habits don’t disappear overnight. It takes time and dedication to change a pattern of behavior, so be patient! And stay tuned for yet another list of faux pas to conquer.

Until next time,
The Doostang Team

New Year’s Guide to the Job Search – 5 Steps to Landing a New Job


A New Year marks the beginning of a new and improved you. It also marks the beginning of a new job search season, meaning it’s time to leave your old job-seeking ways behind and embrace the new, more organized, more prepared you – someone who lands a new job with ease.

So here at Doostang we composed a check-off list of vital job application steps for all job seekers to consider. Make sure you have these 5 steps down and you’ll be fulfilling that “New Job in the New Year” resolution in no time.

1. It All Starts with the Resume

The first step to securing an interview (and hopefully a job) is having a superb resume. Begin by proofreading your resume for any grammatical and spelling errors, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What’s more important is that the skills and experiences you’re listing are relevant to the specific job you’re applying for, so that the hiring manager can be convinced that you’re capable of doing the job he or she is hiring for. That means every resume you send out needs to be tailored to the position you’re trying to get.

You may think your resume is top notch, but getting a second (and third, and fourth) opinion never hurts, so get some input from your friends as well. And if you want to be absolutely sure in the quality of your resume, get feedback from an expert and get a professional resume critique.

If you need more in-depth guidance on resume-writing, you can find our collection of resume tips and advice here.

2. Always Include a Cover Letter

Every resume you send out should be accompanied by a cover letter. And just as you would personalize a resume, a cover letter should also be custom-tailored to the job you’re applying for. This is your chance to expand on your resume and prove to the person reading that you have the skills necessary to do the job they’re hiring for.

Keep the length under one page and take the time to proofread, as spelling errors can quickly disqualify you from the race. And make sure you’re not making any of these deadly cover letter errors.

3. Pick Up the Phone

Phone interviews are commonly used as the preliminary step to weed out unqualified candidates, so chances are your first actual conversation with the company will be over the phone. This step should not be taken lightly, so do your research ahead of time and be as prepared as you would be for an actual in-person interview.

Use the fact that the interviewer can’t see you to your advantage and have your materials in front of you – your resume, company info, questions for the interviewer, and whatever else will aid you in that initial conversation.

Always answer with a professional greeting. “This is John Smith speaking” will impress your potential employers much more than a puzzled “Hello?” The same goes for your answering machine, so while you’re in the process of applying to jobs, replace that quirky voice-mail you recorded back in high school with a professional-sounding message.

Another tip – stand up while you’re speaking on the phone. Your voice will project louder, making you sound more energetic and positive.

4. Questions Questions Questions

Although there’s no way to know for sure what you will be asked in any given interview, there are ways to make sure you’re as ready as you can be. Be prepared to go over your resume and explain every point in detail – that’s almost a given in any interview.

Examples speak volumes, so have some stories ready that highlight your achievements. When you’re asked a seemingly random question about how you handle challenges or your work style, use a relevant back-up story as a supporting point – your interviewer will be impressed.

Keep in mind – what the hiring manager is really trying to find out is (1) do you understand what the job entails? and (2) can you actually do the job? Prove to them that both of these are true and you’ll can be sure you left a positive impression.

And make sure you have a set of questions ready to ask as well. Remember you’re interviewing the company too, so use the chance to see if the job is a good fit for you.

5. Giving Thanks (And a Reason to Hire You)

The Thank You Note is the final step to securing that job. It’s not just your chance to be polite and thank the interviewers for their time (please do) but also your chance to remind everyone you’ve interviewed with why you’re perfect for the role and seal the positive impression you’ve made on them.

As with everything else, make sure to personalize your note and reference some of the things you and the interviewer talked about so that he or she can easily remember who you are.

For a more thorough look into what you should include in your Thank You Note, you can read all the details here.

So once you’re ready to apply to that fantastic job on Doostang, go down this list and make sure you have every step down. When you’ve mastered all the steps in the process, you should have no trouble fulfilling the career portion of your New Year’s resolutions.

Happy New Year!
The Doostang Team

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Land a New Job

land-a-jobWith this year coming to an end, it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions. And if you’re looking for a new job in the new year, here at Doostang we composed a list of job search resolutions all job seekers should take to heart.

1. I Will Apply to More Jobs

This is logical – the more job applications you submit, the greater the chances that someone will actually review your resume, invite you for an interview, and offer you the spot. Creating simple rules for yourself, such as “I will apply to at least 3 jobs a day” or “I will average 15 job applications a week” is the first step, so start spending more time on Doostang.

2. I Will Focus on the Jobs that Matter

Don’t just amp up the quantity of job applications, do it strategically. Don’t apply for positions you’re blatantly underqualified for, and – this goes without saying – don’t apply for positions you’re not interested in, just to fill your daily quota. The less time you waste applying to jobs that are out of your league, the more time you will have to focus on the opportunities that really matter.

3. I Will Perfect My Resume

You may think you’ve perfected your resume already, but is it really at its full potential? Doubtful. Remember that your review is bound to be biased and try to look at your resume from the perspective of someone who’s never met you. Can a stranger get a good reading of what you can bring to the table? Can they tell what you actually did at your last job? Are all the jobs and responsibilities you have listed relevant?

4. I Will Have Someone Else Review My Resume

A fresh, outside perspective can shed light on things you may have missed in your review, so ask a friend to go over your resume with you. Or better yet, get a professional resume critique and you can be sure nothing gets overlooked.

5. I Will Personalize Every Application

Make sure you personalize your materials to the job you’re applying for. No need to make massive changes to your resume every time, but it is important that the experiences and skills you’re listing are highly relevant. Make a separate list of all of your accomplishments and responsibilities. For every job you’re applying for, go down the list and pick the most relevant ones – those are what needs to go on your resume, the rest you can leave out.

6. I Will Write a Cover Letter for Every Job

Always include a cover letter with every resume you send out. It will give you a better chance to elaborate on your experiences and skills as they relate to the position you’re applying for. And as with resumes, make sure each cover letter is targetted to the job you’re applying for.

7. I Will Come Prepared to Every Interview

Do the research before every interview and get as much detail about the company and the position you’re applying for as possible. Try to figure out ahead of time what kind of person the employer wants to hire for the spot, then show the interviewer that you possess the desired skills.

8. I Will Have Better Answers for the Interviewer

Odds are your interviewer will ask you to elaborate on your employment history. Prepare this summary ahead of time and make sure it supports and enhances everything you’ve listed on your resume. When answering questions, give concrete examples that prove your point. Take some time to think of stories that illustrate some of your strengths: an example of you skillfully handling conflict, a story that shows that you’re a dedicated worker, and so on. Write these down and study them before your interviews, so that when you are, in fact, asked if you’re a team player, you can not only answer affirmatively but have a supporting story ready as well.

9. I Will Prepare Questions for the Interviewer

Don’t forget to have a list of insightful questions ready for your interviewer. Ask things that show that you’ve done your research and are eager to know more. Perhaps the most important question to ask is what problem the employer is trying to solve by hiring someone for this spot. Once you find out what the challenges are, show the interviewer how you’re the right person for the task. And remember, this is also your chance to get more details about the position and see if it’s a good fit for you.

10. I Will Always Write a Thank You Note

This is a vital but sadly, often overlooked step in the application process. A Thank You note is your final chance to make your mark on the interviewer, so don’t take this step lightly. Try to send it within 24 hours of your interview and reference some of the things you’ve discussed during the interview so that the interviewer can easily recall who you are. And of course, use the Thank You note to remind the interviewer why you’re right for the job and what you can bring to the company.

And there you have it job seekers, if you take these 10 Doostang resolutions seriously and make them your own, job search in the new year should be a breeze. Good luck!

Wishing you much career success in the new year,
The Doostang Team!