Does Your Resume Send the Right Message?

 

What message do hiring managers get when they read your resume?  Without realizing it, you may be sending mixed messages.  Aligning your job search with your current goals is a part of the resume-writing process many people don’t even stop to consider.  As a result, resumes can sabotage your job search due to a presentation of mixed skills and conflicting messages about your goals.  Be honest with yourself – what are your job search goals? Are you looking for more creative opportunities? A career switch? More money?  What’s most important to you right now?

Whether you are aware of it or not, your resume communicates your feelings about the job search, present situation, and future goals.  “Uncertainty” may be the strongest message hiring managers will get from your resume – a message not likely to instill confidence.  In fact, such “confusion” will probably land your resume in the “slush pile” where it will not be read at all.  However, careful analysis and simple organizational “tweaks” can make all the difference in getting your resume read and transform potential deficits into strengths.

Clear Job Goals – Where’s the Money or Self-Fulfillment?

Consider some basic questions about your job search.  Are you asking “where’s the money”?  Are you feeling unfulfilled and perhaps even unappreciated in your current career situation?  Do you long for a change in your career or are you seeking more flexibility in your schedule?  Do you have dreams of what you would really like to be doing but feel “stuck” just earning a living?

As a society, work expectations have changed drastically over the last couple of decades.  It is assumed most people will have a minimum of 7 different positions throughout their work-lives. Realistically, it is probably twice as many – although that reality doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. What it actually represents is the culmination of the slow mentality shift away from “corporation as caretaker” that used to be part of a life-long career.

That change can give you greater flexibility, but with freedom comes responsibility – as the saying goes. Your responsibility is to figure out what you want for yourself – it’s never too late to decide what you want to be when you grow up (smile).  Crucially, if you have not figured out what is most important to you in your search right now, your resume is likely to reflect that indecision.  Take a few minutes and think about what you really want to do and then identify what you can do at this point in your career search.

Diverse Job Experience

Now, let’s get down to looking at your work experience.  How consistent has your work history been?  Do your positions demonstrate a clear progression of increasing responsibility or seem more like a “mash-up” of seemingly unrelated job experiences?  The latter description can certainly work against you if not carefully crafted into a cohesive resume.  These diverse experiences can become strengths and increase your value to an employer if “packaged correctly”.  Diversity can be an asset in today’s complex work environment.  If you are able to “connect the dots” for the employer by presenting a common thread that includes your passion for excellence, curiosity, and drive to make things happen, you can immediately move to the top of that pile of resumes on the hiring manager’s desk.

A varied work history – whether across industries or simply a number of different positions within the same field – doesn’t have to become an obstacle to the perfect job.  A bit of planning can help determine optimal presentation at this point in your career.

 

Transfer of Skills

A practical place to begin is with skills that can easily translate as strengths across industries.  Common examples include communication, leadership skills, and strategic planning.  You can start by thinking about how these “transferable skills” have been part of previous roles.  Those are areas to emphasize as that common thread mentioned earlier – think about your strengths and make those skills the core of your resume and job search.  Once you have done that, it is similar to decorating a family tree around the holidays – the ornaments in our analogy become those unique accomplishments you want proudly displayed in each specific position, while the “common thread” holds everything together.

Provide structure for your job search by presenting a resume to potential employers that sends the right message. Clarifying the purpose of the resume at this point in your life will present a cohesive “package” to hiring managers.  An authentic representation will land the job because of the consistent clear message about your strengths and skills.

Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Overcoming the “Under-Qualified” Stigma

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It’s happened to everyone: you come across a job description for a position that’s right up your alley. The job is interesting and looks like something that you are completely capable of and excited to do. And then your eyes wander to the “Qualifications” section… You don’t have a Masters degree, 5+ years of experience, or a Series 7 license. So what do you do? Scrap it and move on? If you’re lacking many of the key qualifications that appear mandatory, then indeed you’re probably better off allocating your time and effort applying elsewhere. But if you’re only a few qualifications away from that ideal candidate description, you might be selling yourself short if you give up before even trying. Read on for a list of tips on overcoming the “under-qualified candidate” stigma.

Emphasize Your Skills

Ok, so maybe you don’t hit every bullet point with your qualifications. But don’t give up hope just yet. For many positions, the “Qualifications” section is merely a list of attributes of the ideal candidate. This doesn’t mean that they’re unwilling to consider someone who meets only some of the requirements. So instead of dwelling on what you haven’t done, focus on what you’re great at. Many skills that you acquire throughout school, volunteer work, or another job are transferable to other positions, and can be used to replace any prerequisites that you might not meet. Highlight these skills or experiences in your cover letter, and explain how they will help you excel in that specific job. One important caveat: don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you’re completely unqualified for – for example, if you’re looking at a position for an Associate Attorney at a top law firm, you better have a law degree.

Go the Extra Mile

If you come up short on knowledge or experience, emphasize to an employer that you are willing to work harder than any other candidate to brush up on your skills and become well versed in the subject matter. Don’t underestimate the value that hiring managers place on a strong work ethic. Include in your resume and cover letter examples of your ability to learn quickly. If you possess many of the other qualities of the ideal candidate, you may find that your enthusiasm to learn and contribute may very well land you the position.

Network

Networking is a great way to gain introductions into a company. Networking can also help you establish someone on the inside as an individual who can vouch for you. When you come across that tricky job description, mention to your contact that you’re planning on applying, and explain why. Be honest, and address any points that might weaken your application. Companies want to hire individuals they can trust. If someone with a good history at the company is able to put in a good word for you, it will further bolster that company’s confidence in bringing you on.

Volunteer or Intern

If you find that no matter how you try to spin it, you just can’t land the position you want based on your qualifications, offer to volunteer your services for free. This isn’t to say that you should ever allow a company or an individual to take advantage of you. But if you volunteer or intern for a company, you’ll gain valuable experience that you can parlay into a future opportunity at the company. Get in, work hard, and show them that they need you. Even if doing so doesn’t lead to another prospect within that company, you’ll gain important knowledge and skills that will qualify you for a position similar to the job you had hoped for at the outset.

It’s easy to look at a job description, think, “There’s someone out there who’s better,” and quickly abandon the effort. But have a little faith in yourself – play to your strengths and commit to working even harder than the next guy, and you may find yourself more qualified than you think. So take a chance – you’ve got nothing to lose – and you may find yourself one step closer to your dream job!

All the best,
The Doostang Team

How to Handle Resume Gaps


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Job seekers often assume that in order to score the perfect job, one has to be the perfect candidate.  That the right mix of education, titles, and skills is needed in order to land the career of their dreams.  So when faced with resume gaps, an individual may rightly feel disheartened.  But continuous employment is not the be-all, end-all to nabbing a great job, especially in these times.  It is important, however, to know how to treat employment gaps on your resume, in your cover letter, and in your interview.

The Functional Format

One way to gloss over gaps on your CV is to create a functional resume.  This focuses on your skills and achievements, rather than on specific dates.  There are certainly other advantages to formatting your resume this way as well, as it allows you to pinpoint exactly what it is that you bring to the table.  The trick here is to tailor it to the specific job that you are applying for.

List Your Achievements

Another way to downplay a gap in employment is to highlight your accomplishments on your resume.  While you may not have continuous experience, various honors will convey that you have quality experience, and that you have been recognized as having done an outstanding job.

Include Extracurricular Experience

Hiring mangers understand that qualified candidates may have gaps in employment.  What they want to avoid, however, is a candidate who is qualified but who lacks work ethic.  What did you do while you were out of a job?  Did you volunteer or become an active member of an organization?  Even though you weren’t necessarily paid for your extracurricular activities, it’s perfectly okay to list them.  Highlight your transferable skills here, and focus on how you can apply them to the position you are currently seeking.

Explain Your Reasons

It also works well to just come out and explain why you have a resume gap and what you did to fill your time.  Don’t be afraid to address the matter in a cover letter or an interview.  Hiring managers will respect your willingness to be forthright about periods of unemployment, and will be interested to learn about the creative, productive ways in which you were able to spend your time instead.

In a time where everyone’s looking for an edge, an employment  gap can seem like a major setback.  But if you know how to strategically position yourself and your experience, a hiring manager will be much more interested in what you have done, rather than what you haven’t.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Tips for Graduates with the “Wrong” Degree

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Many of us graduated college with a degree that we were passionate about, only to discover that our area of study was difficult to apply to the job market.  Perhaps you majored in Philosophy or Creative Writing, leaving you to feel a bit hopeless when applying to jobs in the Finance or Technology sector.  But there are always exceptions to the rule, as well as steps you can take to turn yourself into a great candidate.  Read ahead:

Gain Experience

Sure, it’s great to come in armed with the proper knowledge right out of college, but as many will tell you, real world experience is actually more valuable than book smarts.  If you’re gunning for a job that’s out of the realm of your college degree, find ways to gain experience in that field.  This may mean taking a lower level position or an internship (which you may be able to parlay into a career), or even volunteering.

Research

Some individuals lament over their lack of familiarity with a particular subject matter, and consequently rule out jobs before they even consider applying.  But there is nothing to stop you from learning the ins and outs of a particular field on your own – familiarize yourself with the industry, keep up with relevant literature and current events, and teach yourself some pertinent skills.  This kind of self-education will make you more qualified and display great initiative on your part.

Transferable Skills

Don’t dismiss the importance of transferable skills in helping you land your dream job.  There are many skills that transfer nicely from industry to industry, and you should identify yours and make sure to highlight them on your resume. Companies love diversity, and candidates that garnered desirable skills in new and different ways are often far more attractive than the cookie-cutter applicants that companies receive day in and day out.

Network

You’ve heard that it’s much easier to get a job if you know someone on the inside.  One of the reasons this is so important is because this person can vouch for you and cover questions that may arise in regards to your knowledge or experience.  Though you may not have the right educational background for a job, there are probably reasons why you can do the job as well as (or even better than) other qualified candidates – reasons that, unfortunately, may never come up on your resume or cover letter.  If you know someone in the right industry who is aware of this fact, they can advocate on your behalf and inform the company about your talents and qualifications.

Not everyone has the foresight at 18 to know exactly what they want to do with their life and to properly pick a major that will catapult their career.  And some of us stuck more to what captivated our attention than to what seemed practical.  But if you play it right, your unorthodox degree can become a great asset for you in the job search.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Update Your Job Search Strategies

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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Making a change in jobs can be challenging at any time in your career, but may feel even more daunting for those who have been with a particular company for a relatively long time. Putting together an effective job search and resume can be difficult for workers who may not have been out in the job market recently. A few strategic tips can help you position yourself as a viable candidate while reducing potential vulnerability to ageism.

Use dates and years of experience judiciously.

It is not necessary to include dates of graduation, professional training, or membership in professional associations. Simply listing these credentials is acceptable. It is not in your best interest to describe your vast experience in terms of 25 or 30 years of experience.  Consider describing experience with adjectives such as “broad”, “deep”, or “expansive” instead. Simply put, try not to call attention to your age, but rather your skills and expertise.

Limit the length of your work history.

Most hiring managers are only interested in the last 10 to 15 years of your experience. You may feel great pride in accomplishments early in your career, but highlighting your status as “rookie of the year” from 1987 is more likely to hurt than help your job search. Including points such as these could brand you as outdated, which may quickly end your consideration for employment.

Tailor the cover letter.

Individualize the cover letter by using the name of the hiring manager or contact person.  This may require time online to identify the person to whom you address the letter. An effective cover letter serves dual purposes: enticing the reader to learn more about you and listing your qualifications. By leading with a specific name you personalize the cover letter and show that you have done your homework.

Update the cover letter.

Review current business letter formats, for both written and electronic communication. Following the styles from your first typing or computer class will identify you as outdated. Email should also be formal and include traditional greetings and a signature with all your contact information. For example:

Name
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile
(can be an asset if you have set one up)

Also be certain to include an appropriate Subject Line, such as:

Sales Management Position
Human Resource Manager Application
Financial Analyst Position – Your Name

If you are uncertain about the appearance of your email, send a test version to a friend, family member, or separate account of your own. If you choose to send a test email to another email account of yours, be certain not to send to an existing work-related account. Most company email is considered open to viewing by upper management. Using company resources for a job search is not good form.

Emphasize diverse experience.

A practical outcome of experience is the accumulation of many transferable skills. Related skills and experiences that distinguish you from other candidates can be included in the cover letter and in the summary section of your resume. Connect the dots for the reader by showing exactly which skills will benefit the potential employer, rather than just stating you have “transferable skills”. You can also highlight your ability to be flexible and adaptable – a team player – as you describe these additional skill areas.

Avoid early salary discussions.

Experienced workers have a reputation for being more “expensive”, so it is important to be cautious in any requests for salary expectations. If required, you may respond by stating your flexibility or describing salary expectations as within normal market range.

Mobilize your network.

With broad experience, you have probably built a solid network of contacts. Now is the time to reach out to those contacts to explore knowledge about openings and let people know you are looking. Think about professional organizations, alumnae groups, or local civic groups.

A job search takes time and career transitions rarely happen as quickly as you would like. Hanging in there while opportunities develop may be the hardest part of the search. Using strategies that make you less vulnerable to negative perceptions from hiring managers helps position you to move more quickly through the search process to a new 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!

Who Makes a Good Professional Reference?

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Employers place a lot of value on references, because these provide both an insight into how well you work with other people, as well as a subjective perspective on who you are.  While a resume is something that you can spend time tweaking and perfecting on your own, a reference isn’t entirely in your control, and is therefore more honest in some respects.  For this reason, it’s crucial that when you are deciding whom to ask for a reference, you choose someone who will not only sing your praises, but who will also be able to speak intelligently about you and give hiring managers a more complete picture of who you are and how you work.  Here are some individuals you should consider:

Your Current Employer

Few people will have a better understanding of how well you work for someone than your current employer.  Hiring managers like to speak to referrers who have a current, realistic take on the candidate being reviewed, and so they will take a lot of stock in what your current boss has to say.  Before you list this person as a reference, however, make sure that you have discussed with them your plans to find another position – otherwise you could find yourself in some hot water.

A Past Employer

A past employer is also a good person to turn to, especially if you haven’t worked too closely with your current employer.  It’s especially helpful if you had a particularly close relationship with your previous boss, and if they can provide a more valuable insight into who you are.  Depending on how much time has passed, it’s probably a good idea to refresh this person’s memory by summarizing some of the highlights from your working relationship, as well as to update them on some of your current professional endeavors.

Your Professor

Many individuals just entering the working world will turn to professors to vouch for them, and this is just as acceptable as asking an employer to refer you.  A professor will have a solid idea of your work ethic, your ability to collaborate with others, and your overall intelligence.  He or she will likely focus on the transferable skills that you possess, which you can utilize in the workplace.

A Coworker

If you feel that you cannot turn to an employer for a good reference, consider asking someone you work with.  A coworker can speak to how well you work in a team; they can also discuss your ability to take the lead on certain projects or help others with their work.

A Customer

Depending on your line of work, another individual to consider as a potential reference is a satisfied customer with whom you have worked closely.  This person can speak about your professionalism, your ability to get the job done in a timely manner, and your communication skills.  A customer who is willing to go out of their way to provide a good reference speaks volumes about your character and working style.

These are just a few of the many individuals whom you can ask for a reference.  Other examples include business contacts, teammates, family friends, and more.  Any person who is able to speak about your work ethic, leadership skills,  ability to learn, value as a team member, and so on, is a possible reference.  Just make sure that you ask them before you start giving away their contact information to hiring managers!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

How to Show Employers You Are the Perfect Fit!

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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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!

Doostang News November 1: Time to Consider Those Transferable Skills!

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Being able to identify and highlight your transferable skills is crucial in transitioning to another industry, or even to another job.  Not every job is the same, and hiring managers may not entirely relate to the tasks you list on your resume.  But if you can fit your talents into one of these five main categories, you’ll present a resume that is much more to the point:

Human Relations

This category relates to any sort of interpersonal skills you use to deal with people in the workplace.  Think listening, sensitivity, cooperation, empathy, or motivation.  Chances are that if you worked with people at any point during your last job, you’ll bring some of these skills to the table.

Communication

Communication is all about effectively conveying knowledge and ideas to others.  It also has a lot to do with how well you receive information from others.  Are you a great writer, speaker, or listener?  Can you negotiate, persuade others, pick up on nonverbal cues?  If so, then you are likely a great communicator.

Research and Planning

This is just what it sounds like – the ability to seek out information and to formulate new ideas for the future.  Any time you come up with new proposals, find an alternate solution, solve a problem, define a need, or set a goal, you are engaging in research and planning.

Organization, Management, and Leadership

This one is all about rallying your troops and leading them into battle.  A good leader will coordinate plans of action, initiate new tasks, delegate responsibilities, teach, and manage conflict.

Work Survival/Professionalism

This last category includes all of the day-to-day skills that get you through the workday and promote an effective working environment.  Skills such as showing up to work on time, meeting goals, paying attention to detail, and organizing fit into this category.

Even if you’re applying to a job from a field in which you have no experience, there’s always a way to pull from what you do know or have done on the past, and make it relevant to the unfamiliar.  So the next time you apply for a job or draft a resume, bear in mind these transferable skills and show them what you’ve got!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang News July 26: How Transferable Skills Acquired in the Classroom can be Valuable to Your Resume

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One of the challenges recent graduates often face is that they have very little work experience.  They leave college armed with all the knowledge and enthusiasm vital to the workplace, but have a much harder time filling up their resume.  The solution?  Focus on transferable skills acquired from the classroom that can be applied to the workplace:

Communication

Classrooms are rife with opportunities for communication.  Any time students collaborate on a project, share their views on an article, or review and peer edit papers, they are engaging in prime communication skills that are ideally suited for the workplace.

Meeting Deadlines

Deadlines are one of the main tenets of college education, and though many college students spend a good chunk of their academic careers procrastinating, the ability to ultimately get things done on time is a sign of a valuable employee.

Multi-tasking

Students may not feel it, but they are excellent multi-taskers.  Any individual who can juggle several classes, sports, activities, and a social life is a person who can bring an equal sense of balance to their busy life in the workplace.

Research

It often seems that the majority of what a student does in college is research.  All of those long hours spent in the library prepare you for research you may have to do on the job.  More than this, the research skills of a recent graduate are probably much more fresh than those of a seasoned employee who hasn’t stepped into the reference section of a library in years.

Adaptability

College years are some of the most shifting, unpredictable years of an individual’s life.  First, that person is uprooted from their home, then they are placed into a foreign environment with many unfamiliar people and are left to fend for themselves, often for the first time in their lives.  Someone who is able to successfully make it out of this situation unscathed can certainly take on the corporate world, learn to adapt to a new office environment and work with peers.


While listing the transferable skills that you acquired at college may not seem as convincing as listing job experience on a resume, hiring managers understand that you are young and haven’t had as much time out in the workforce.  Moreover, they also know that college, in and of itself, is practically a full-time job.  Always remember to focus on what you know and what you’re good at, and take pride in the fact that as an individual new to the working world, you have a fresh, creative, unbiased outlook on the market because that is often what a company is looking for.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Bottoms Up to Branding

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

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Do you remember the Cheers theme song lyrics? The lyrics go like this:

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And they are always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

You get extra points if you can read that without singing the tune under your breath. The point is there are lots of people out there struggling in the employment market, trying to get their name to the top of the list – trying to get recognized and establish a relationship with an employer. It can be quite an effort and it does take all you’ve got. Job seekers need to be working smart and have a strategy. Here are some tips for working your job search branding efforts to the max:

Be Selective

If you are targeting a company and you submit your resume for several different positions at that company, you are only shooting yourself in the foot. The applicant tracking systems companies use will show the hiring manager if a job seeker has applied for multiple jobs and that is an immediate turnoff. Don’t carpet bomb your resume to a company. Make sure you are an excellent fit for a position and go after that position – not anything that is even partially in the ballpark.

Be Specialized

Employers are not hiring generalists. When positions come open, they have very specific skill sets and employers are seeking candidates who fit those parameters very, very closely. Right now, you have to have experience doing the job to get the job. Even if you have done similar things in related positions before and have the transferable skills, you won’t get very far when up against candidates who have the exact experience and qualifications required. This might not be the best time to make a career change but rather consider a lateral move instead and bide your time.

Be Consistent

One of the secrets to a successful job search is to be consistent in your contact with employers and recruiters. Establish a follow-up routine and stick to it. Your goal is to establish name recognition in the mind of the recruiter or hiring manager. You want everyone to know your name so you pop to mind when an opportunity comes up.

Be the Best

Branding is not an effort to be launched when you are unemployed; it’s too late then. To effectively brand yourself, you need to make it part of your career development. Strive to be the best at what you do, win recognition for your performance, and work to establish your reputation within your industry as THE person who knows how to do something. If you are an engineer, be the expert in some aspect of your field. If you are in customer service, establish a reputation for being the person to handle certain types of issues. Branding is something you build out, not build up.

Be Connected

People hire people. Technology has made processes of hiring run faster, but with technology has come volume which presents a whole new set of problems. When you get down to brass tacks, it is still a person deciding to hire a person. Applicant tracking systems, skills evaluation, and other technology only manages the process up to that point. Some of the most important requirements for a job cannot be evaluated, tested, or outlined in a resume – they are assessed face to face. Work to build and maintain a very strong professional network of connections that is both broad and deep. It is your most valuable asset next to your reputation.

To further your career, find a great job, and build your career, everyone needs to know your name – colleagues, vendors, customers, and most importantly prospective employers. You have to pay attention to your career branding and your reputation. Work to build them. Nurture them. And when you need them, you will see a great return on the investment of your time.

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!