How to Show Employers You Are the Perfect Fit!

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Retail Market Analyst, New York, NY
Financial Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Vice President of Sales, Boston, MA
Financial Analyst Intern, New York, NY

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Observing others in the job search process may make it seem as though everyone else has all the luck in making the right contacts and easily landing a coveted position.  Upon closer inspection, you can just as readily identify many small steps that may help you become one of the elite, landing plum positions in a competitive market. Review the steps below to adopt approaches to carry your job search beyond mere chance and show employers you are the perfect fit!

Clearly Communicate Your Strengths.

Paint a picture of your talents for the employer.  How do you fit into the team?  What talents do you bring to critical projects?  Make a clear connection between your previous accomplishments and potential contributions for the prospective employer and they will understand why you are clearly the best candidate.

Be Assertive and Confident.

Approach companies of interest and inquire regarding openings even if none are listed.  Everyone is aware of the “hidden job market” online, however long before the Internet that same market existed in the minds of hiring managers and CEOs. Letting your interest in a company drive your efforts by initiating contact with key personnel will set you apart from the large pool of candidates.

Keep Good Records.

You certainly don’t want to embarrass yourself by following up with the same person more than once.  This organizational strategy also helps you remember important names and keep track of any personnel movement within and across organizations.  In addition to helping with the current job search, think of each of these individuals as part of your network over the long haul.

Outline Your Job Search Plan.

The spreadsheet of contacts, conversations, and resumes submitted will provide one part of the record while new prospects can make up a separate portion of your plan outlining goals.  By listing each aspect of your plan, not only will you create a comprehensive record of your job search, but you will also feel more in control of the endless string of tasks associated with the typical search. Making the search feel more manageable can help you monitor your stress and energy levels throughout the process.

Know Your Limitations.

Seek professional assistance for parts of the job search that are not strengths for you. It may seem that you cannot afford to spend the money right now, but perhaps you cannot afford not to do so.  If the job search has become so daunting or has drained your resources to such a degree that you feel devoid of ideas about the next step, then you definitely need to seek professional help. Feeling depleted of energy and ideas is a clear indication that you need a fresh perspective to help you create momentum for yourself in the search process.

Re-package Your Skills.

Researching industries similar to your experience or those with comparable positions may help you expand your targeted job search in a productive way.  You maintain the efficiency of targeting while identifying additional opportunities for yourself with a little creative thinking.  Certain skills transfer across industries, such as management, marketing, and sales.  Perhaps you have a solid track record in these basic areas or can describe your contributions to an employee morale campaign as part of your personnel management skills.

As you can see, the road to success is often paved with small steps. By building your confidence with clear goals, a strong organizational system, and key support, you can chart your own path to success. The solid image potential employers see will help you land that job!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, 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 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang News January 3: Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Manager of Finance, Boston, MA
Marketing Associate, Austin, TX
Investment Analyst, Hong Kong
Analyst (July 2011), New York, NY
Investment Banker, Columbus, OH

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It’s one thing to contemplate what resolutions you’d like to pursue for the New Year. It’s another to put together a plan of action for achieving what you set out to do. We’re all notorious for promising to ourselves that we’ll do something and then letting our goals fall by the wayside. Oftentimes, this isn’t because of a lack of drive or tenacity, but rather, the lack of a viable plan of action. So consider these tips when putting together your game plan for 2011:

Be Specific

When setting goals, make sure to frame them specifically. What exactly do you want to achieve and how are you going to measure it? If you can’t say exactly what success looks like, you’re less likely to attain it and more likely to make excuses for yourself.

Put It in Writing

Make your goals official by putting them in writing. Once you do this, you’ve created a tangible document that you have to hold yourself to. Doing this will make reaching your goals seem like a more formal exercise, and will give you something to turn back to for a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish.

Document Your Journey

Similarly, it’s helpful to record your progress as you strive to reach your goals. Doing so keeps you on task and lets you know if you need to work harder. If you’re feeling disheartened, you can browse through the progress you’ve made to remind yourself that success is possible.

Identify Smaller Goals

Far easier than tackling one giant goal is taking on multiple smaller ones that lead up to that ultimate objective – think of this as taking baby steps. Figure out what your first step needs to be, and then plan out all the successive steps you will need to take in order to complete your larger plan.

Find an Accountability Partner

Resolutions are easier to tackle when someone else is doing so alongside you. Keep each other on task and talk through obstacles you encounter. If you also focus on being there for your friend, you are less likely to let yourself down.

Change Your Plan of Attack

If something isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to change your approach or to readjust your mini-goals.

Reward Yourself

The reward shouldn’t just come when you’ve reached your final goal. Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way. You’ll feel more enthusiastic about the journey, and reaching small milestones is something you should be proud of anyway. Identifying resolutions is admirable in its own right, and is a first step in and of itself. Follow the helpful tips above, and you should be better equipped to sustain your momentum!

Happy New Year,
The Doostang Team

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Four Ways Your Resume Should Show Off a Career Progression

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

M&A Research Analyst, New York, NY
Associate Analytical Scientist, Cambridge, MA
Investment Analyst, Chicago, IL
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Whether you’ve worked for the same employer your entire career or lost count of the number of resignation letters you’ve signed, demonstrating how you evolved as a professional is key to a winning resume presentation.

Prospective employers find career progression very important. What better way to showcase your potential for future professional growth than exhibiting your capability of successfully doing so in the past? It also proves you have possessed ambition and drive throughout your career. Even more significantly, it can clearly convey the depth and breadth of your experience to lend you a valuable edge in today’s highly competitive job market.

That’s why exemplary format is imperative to maximize career progression on your resume presentation. Maybe you’ve worked 20 years in 20 different companies, or you may have invested 20 years with the same company. In either scenario, your career progression is easily demonstrated on your resume using the following four strategies:

1. Emphasize Titles

If you’ve spent considerable time at one company but held multiple titles, do not make the mistake of lumping everything under one heading for that company. Unfortunately, by mixing and matching duties of different titles in one master description, the progression gets muddled.

Be sure to let those promotions work for you! After all, you worked hard to get them, so they certainly deserve to draw attention. Instead of organizing your experience by company, do so by title. In this manner, you will be able to approach each role by giving it its own identity and importance on your resume.

2. Focus on New Responsibilities

Even if you leave a company for another in what would be considered a lateral move, you can demonstrate the progression in your career by showing how you increased task ownership in the subsequent capacity.

Rather than repeating duties used to describe your previous role, be sure your resume description for each progressive role clearly shows new tasks taken on when you advanced. No matter how similar responsibilities may seem, your experience for each time period is sure to be unique.

3. Recount Accomplishments

No matter what your title was, reach back into your memory and pull out at least three of your most valuable achievements for each role. It’s great to have old performance evaluations handy, but even if you don’t, a little brainstorming can help jog even the worst memory. Consider the following:

* In what successful projects did you play a key role?

* What were the main objectives you set out to achieve?

* Are there metrics you can cite to show measurable accomplishments?

* Did you form any strategic relationships that proved valuable to the organization?

* What awards did you win?

* Were you selected to serve on any special committees or to head any teams?

* How did you contribute to supporting the goals of the department or organization as a whole?

This doesn’t have to be done in one shot, either. Take a week to think about it, and jot down some notes for each role you’ve held as each detail comes to you. You will likely be surprised how much you’ve actually achieved!

4. Highlight Newly Acquired Skills

The next step in your career journey will build upon the skills and knowledge you possess today. With this in mind, think about how each past position expanded upon your abilities. What new skills did you use? What new knowledge did you apply? If you completed any specialized training, be sure to include it as well.



Regardless of how many companies one has worked for, every career is marked by numerous stops along the way. Career progression is what will most effectively illustrate your ability to make a valuable contribution in the future, which is why it is such a vital element to your overall resume strategy.

Your resume isn’t doing its job if it doesn’t tell an employer the story of your professional journey, so be sure to optimize your presentation to make your career progression shine.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, 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 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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5 Ways to Jump Start Your Job Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, San Francisco, CA
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You know the exact day you last worked. You know how many days, weeks, and months have passed since that day. The unknown is how many more days of unemployment lie ahead. You need a job search revival in the worst sort of way. Here are some tips to get a new handle on your job search and recapture a positive attitude.

Evaluate Your Goals

Has your industry collapsed? Maybe it is time to consider a career change or a change of your goals. Just because you’ve been a Widget Superintendent for 25 years, does not mean you should remain in that career path, especially if the widget industry has shrunk to nothing or completely moved overseas. If the jobs are not there, how can you get hired? It’s time for a change, even if unwelcome! While uncomfortable, change is often a good thing. It moves us out of our rut, gets us thinking in new directions, and gets us excited about the future. The hardest part is facing the fact that change is needed. Once you get past that, you can make progress.

A career change is best accomplished with a plan and flexibility. Big changes are best accomplished in small steps. Sit down and determine a logical, accomplishable career-change goal. Consider your interests, your resources, your availability and time frame. Make a list of what you will need to do to reach that goal. For example, you may need more education or different training. You may need to learn more about your target industry. Or you may need to expand your network to include more people who can help you reach your new goal.

Once you have outlined steps to your goal, determine what obstacles face you for each step. What could prevent you from accomplishing each step? For example, if you need to attain new training, what could hinder that effort? Perhaps it is finding a place for training or finding a way to pay for it. Once you identify your hurdles, brainstorm ways to overcome those hurdles. Nothing is insurmountable.

Try Something New

Albert Einstein said “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’ve been doing the same things in your job search for months and you are not receiving first interviews or job offers, maybe it’s time to do something differently! Change your methods or your tools! If you are getting interviews but no offers, you might need some interview practice. Whatever you have been doing, mix it up if it’s not working. Continuing in the same pattern is just silly and non-productive. Adapt to your environment rather than waiting for the environment to adapt to meet your needs.

Invest in Your Job Search

Money spent on improving your job search tools and activities is an investment in yourself. There are professionals out there with mountains of information, knowledge, and expertise that can help you in your job search. Think of them as a resource. Career coaches, career counselors, transition experts, resume writers, interview specialists – all have insight they have worked very hard to attain that can benefit you. You are wading through a situation with which you are very unfamiliar – unemployment – but which they make their profession. Get their advice and help and your return on investment will be more than you could hope for.

Get Involved

Long-term unemployment causes many people to withdraw from activities. Being out of work automatically removes you from your social circle at your place of employment. With the digitalization of job search, it’s possible to apply for jobs while sitting at home in your pajamas. Isolation is not a good thing when you are unemployed. Do something about it and get involved. Volunteer your time for a worthy cause. Not only does this pay off immediately by helping others while stimulating your brain, but it brings you into contact with more people with whom you can network. It also gives you an answer for that interview question “So, what have you been doing with your time since your last job?”

Campaign

Have you ever thought of a job search like a political campaign? Think about what candidates do during a political campaign. They go knock on doors. They meet with groups of people. They speak on different topics. They shake hands. They show up at events. They pursue media attention. They send out mailers and put up posters. They debate each other. All of these activities can be categorized as proactive outreach activities. Candidates don’t just throw up a website and sit at home hoping someone will vote for them. They go after the vote.

The same basic principle applies to your job search. Get out there and DO SOMETHING. Talk to people. Join groups. Get involved. All of these activities bring you into contact with other people and believe it or not – it is still PEOPLE who hire candidates. Whatever you do doesn’t even have to be job-related – just get out of the house and around other people. You will soon find that not only do you have a more positive attitude, but someone in your path will be in a position to open a door of opportunity for you.

Unemployment can be tough. Don’t make it tougher. Rather than being passive and reactive, be aggressive and proactive. If nothing is happening, MAKE something happen! You’ll be surprised at the results!

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, 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 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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