August 3, 2011
Whether you lack relevant work experience for a potential position or basically lack work experience at all, you can still create a successful job search marketing campaign. The key is to focus on your transferable skills.
Experience, obviously, is what immediately catches the attention of potential employers. Without a doubt, you will not be hired unless you can do a give job, but the person hired must also possess other qualities such as leadership, problem solving and initiative to name a few.
The foundation for a great financial analyst is the ability to ANALYZE. You may have not experience in finance, but if you are able to prove your ability to successfully analyze data then you are promoting the ultimate value an employer seeks if interviewing candidates for this type position. This is called transferrable skills. Your job as a candidate is to prove your ability to deliver quality results not just complete tasks.
Undergraduate students typically spend a great deal of time with involvement in student organizations. Whether they are leaders or active members, there are a myriad of opportunities to showcase skills that can be highly valuable to potential employers. Team class projects are ideal for building skill sets such as leadership, verbal communications and problem solving.
When you are creating your job search campaign, focus on promoting everything you have in your past to prove your value. Employers hire based on your knowledge, skills, and experience. Even without relevant work experience, you can still promote your value and be competitive in the job market.
July 22, 2011
Most popular word pressing programs offer templates for several documents including resumes. My advice to anyone seeking to present a professional resume whether that be for a new job or application to an MBA or any graduate program is to refrain from using standardized templates. There are several professional resume services available with free templates to use which are all accepted by business today.
A word processing resume template screams amateur and is not taken seriously at the professional level of the job search. White space is important, but your resume should always be designed in relation to the types of positions and careers you are seeking. Your resume should be your masterpiece and be designed in a way that shares the most important information in the most effective way possible.
Professional resume writing organizations such as the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches has a robust database of resume writers with the most professional templates available. There are also several other associations to search as well. Take the value of your resume seriously and don’t look like an amateur. If your resume looks like an amateur, so will you as the job seeker.
July 5, 2011
Each year I receive numerous questions from returning students on how to add an internship to an already full-page resume. Students struggle with what to delete in order to fit the job description and accomplishments from their internship onto the page. How do they decide what to delete in order to add more information? Can they have a two-page resume?
If you only have a certain amount of space to demonstrate your value to a potential employer, you need to identify what information MUST be on your resume and not focus so much on what to delete. Too often, especially early in our careers, we work to add as much information as possible to our resumes to fill the page. Then, once we start getting substance to our portfolios we struggle with that to delete. Your goal is to have a resume that promotes the value you will offer potential employers. Can one have a two-page resume as an undergrad or graduate student? While some people will say some graduate students can certainly have a two-page resume, most still say keep it to one page. Regardless of the length, the purpose of a resume remains to be a document that grabs the attention of the reader to promote knowledge, skills and abilities.
After completing an internship, you should see that this experience is what needs to be on your resume as opposed to bullet points from previous jobs. You will start to distinguish between your work history and professional experience. Jobs that allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability and value towards your future career goals will take the place of jobs in which you answered the phone for a parent’s company or other part time jobs.
Each time you add something to your resume, decide whether this experience is better suited to market your ability in the future or just state what you did in the past. Your high school experiences helped you get into a great college or university; your college experiences help you land a great entry-level position.
Who likes writing objective statements? Who actually reads objective statements? My guess is that the answer to both of those questions is a NO! Objective statements are outdated and should not be used anymore.
So, you might be asking yourself, what do I write at the top of my resume to show an employer what I’m seeking? The answer is much more interesting to both write and read. Write a BRANDING STATEMENT!
When you purchase any product, you search for traits and qualities that meet your needs. Through a targeted marketing campaign, the seller showcases their product’s value. The value that a product can contribute is what the customer wants to read and subsequently buy. The same holds true for a resume.
Employers want to see how you can meet their needs. By writing a quality branding statement, you will not only articulate what you can do for a potential employer but will also state your goals if written effectively. A branding statement noting your proven ability to manage large-scale projects will interest employers seeking project managers. Your communication is focused on the customer or employer not yourself.
As a job seeker, your responsibility is to brand yourself as a solution to potential employer’s needs. Hiring managers are tasked with having the right resources to effectively produce positive results. Challenging opportunities within an organization where you can increase your responsibility and upward mobility will be the result of you being a valued contributor to that organization not the reason you are hired. Brand yourself as a solution in your resume introduction and employers will pay attention. Your objective will be met once you demonstrate you are the ideal brand for the organization.
June 10, 2011
While it has been close to two years since I opened a Twitter account, it has been about a year since I have been active on Twitter. I love Twitter! It is the fastest, most effective way I have found to browse information that interests me and connect with other professionals. Twitter has been an instrumental resource in elevating my passion and understanding of my profession to a whole new level. Thank you Twitter!
I must say, however, that one of the most difficult things for me to grasp about Twitter was the #hashtag. Trying to figure out what #FF means is a day I will not forget. I was so confused, but once I learned the concept and how to effectively use hashtags, I was off to the races. In my work, I have found two major areas in which hashtags have helped the most.
(1) Network and learn what is happening in your profession: Along with dozens of other attendees of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) National Conference last week, I tweeted what I learned from speakers and colleagues throughout the event using the #NACE11 hashtag. Twitter and the hashtag brought the conference to those who could not attend the event, and I found great use in the hashtag search in learning what others were hearing. This hashtag alone strengthened my connection with fellow Tweeters and those not attending. My grade for the #NACE11 hashtag is an A+!
(2) Join others in chats on the jobsearch: Some of the best trending hashtags for job seekers include: #career, #jobsearch, #jobseeker, #resume, #coverletters and the list goes on and on. However, you can also find the best job search discussions with hashtags for professional chats. Some of my favorite chats to follow include: #internchat, #tchat, #hfchat and #careerchat.
Using hashtags to get connected to conversations and information also helps you identify key people and organizations to follow. Professional activity with Twitter and the use of hashtags can have a positive domino effect in your professional development and increase your business network. Try it—you’ll like it. Trust me!