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.

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.

Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If this is the case, then insanity is rampant amongst job seekers today.

Are you frustrated that no one is responding to the dozens of resumes you are submitting online? Do you find yourself discouraged at attending career fairs only to be told to apply online and then nothing happen? Not only is this unsuccessful practice a form of insanity, but the frustration will lead you to insanity as well.

Get off of this hamster wheel. The job search process is frustrating enough. There is too much in life you can’t control, so focus what you can control. If something is not working in regards to your job search strategy, then change it. Here are a few quick tips to increase an effective job search process.

  1. Talk with a career coach: Career Coaches have the experience. These experts know the job search process across industry and functional area of business. They know the pulse of business today and work to guide job seekers towards the goal of finding employment. Visit www.careerealism.com for a solid list of professional career coaches.
  2. NETWORK: I can just imagine all of the eye rolls are reading my recommendation to network. Simply put, networking is the key to finding employment. Remember that applying for positions online is only a piece of the process. It is not THE process. Too many job seekers spend their time only applying online. If this is your approach, you are missing the most important step which is to connect with real human beings. Humans hire; systems track candidates.
  3. 3. Build a solid and professional online presence. Your LinkedIn profile should be a comprehensive marketing story of your past successes and future abilities. You should have a strong presence on Twitter making sure you are following industry professionals and employers of interest. Use Hashtags to search for conferences in your field in which you cannot attend. Get involved and be seen. To learn the very best tips on social networking, please read Miriam Salpeter’s book “Social Networking for Career Success”.

I recently read that job seekers should stop focusing on pushing our resumes for a successful job search and instead draw people to you. The former is how you put yourself on that job search hamster wheel. You will keep running in place without getting anywhere near your goal. Get off the hamster wheel and stop the insanity in your job search and career management. Stop doing the same thing and expect different results.

Original post on:  http://www.careerwizardsinc.com/blog/ 

 
One of the reasons job seekers dislike writing resumes is because they dread writing an objective statement.  Job seekers worry that the statement will be too specific or too broad.   So, what do most job seekers write as an objective statement? Most sound just like this: “Seeking a challenging position that will utilize my skills and abilities and give me the experience I need for a future career.”   Frankly, this type of statement is a waste of precious resume real estate.

My advice, delete that meaningless objective statement.  Objective statements focus on what the job seeker wants.  The job search by its very nature is about marketing your services to a company in need of someone with your specific skills and abilities.  The first thing to do when you create your personal marketing campaign is to determine your unique value proposition.  Once you have identified your value proposition, the next step is to create a complete marketing portfolio with your value proposition as the continual message.  This is what creates your personal brand.

Your resume is a snapshot of your personal brand that communicates what you have to offer to prospective employers.  Have you ever seen a marketing document that focuses on what the seller wants?  Absolutely not!  Effective marketing focuses on what the buyer needs and wants.  The employer is the buyer that has outlined their needs for a certain position.  Every word on a resume must promote the value that a potential employee can bring to the position and employer.

Objective statements have no place on a resume because they don’t market the features and benefits of hiring you, the candidate.  A buyer-focused resume opens with a profile statement that summarizes the value you bring to an organization.  Instead of an objective statement, write a profile of your skills or a summary of your qualifications.  Profile or summary statements communicate the value or solution you bring to the equation.  They’re employer-focused statements designed to grab the attention of hiring managers.

Employers want to know what types of positions you are seeking, and a well-written skills profile will promote the value you bring to the employer while at the same time communicating exactly what position or career path you are seeking.  For example, a well-written skills profile might read “Financial professional with nine years of experience in valuations, financial modeling and analysis.”

The next time you start to write an objective statement, stop and write an introduction to your resume that is something that the employer wants to read.  Ask yourself, what does the employer need from an ideal job candidate?  Do not let a traditional and meaningless objective statement kill your resume.

Original post on www.careerwizardsinc.com/blog

Anymore, editing resumes is only a small portion of what I do.  Instead, I teach students how to write a resume the right way in the first place.  Over 80% of the resumes that I am asked to edit must be completely rewritten due to five common resume mistakes.  Some of these mistakes used to be acceptable resume writing practices, but times have changed and if you want to be competitive in today’s job market, you must change with the times.

  • 1. Passive Voice: Have you ever started a bullet point with “responsible for” “participated in” or “assisted with”?  At one time or another, every job seeker has probably written a bullet point in a passive voice.  What makes this a mistake is that passive does not sell, ACTION SELLS.  Without action, you cannot have results. When you sit down to write your bullet points begin the sentence using action words such as developed, introduced, accelerated, built, designed, etc. Using action words makes your resume more hard-hitting and compels the reader to keep reading.
  • 2. Quantifiable Results: I am amazed at the number of resumes that I see with bullet points that only state the tasks performed in a job with no mention of the accomplishments that followed. If your efforts resulted in increased revenue of 45%, make sure you include that valuable information in your resume. Your ability to communicate quantifiable accomplishments such as volume, percentages, and numbers will greatly differentiate you from the competition.  Prove your value wherever possible.  Failure to do so is a huge mistake.
  • 3. Objective Statements: My advice to job seekers is to omit an objective statement and replace it with a statement of purpose or summary statement. Objective statements typically focus on what the job seeker wants and not on what the company needs.  If well written, a statement of purpose or summary statement will promote the job seeker’s value, and as a result, what the job seeker wants.
  • 4. Personal Information: You may want the employer to know more about you, but the resume is not the place for personal information.  Honestly, this information should not be shared during the interview process at all.  Marital status, number of children, or place of birth bear no weight on your marketability for the position and may eliminate you as a potential candidate.
  • 5. Grammar: Let me start by saying that spelling and grammar mistakes are the most common reasons that hiring managers toss resumes into the trashcan. Rule number one to avoid these resume mistakes, never trust spell check.  For example, lead is a word, but it is an error if meant it in the past tense form of the word, which is led.  While spell check would not catch the error—a prospective employer will.  Another error often overlooked on resumes is properly capitalizing words. One of the most common places that I find these errors is the resume heading.  Yes, I said it, the heading.  If you live on Smith St. be sure that you do not type Smith st.

Your resume is the story of your career experiences and achievements.  Errors discount your value and minimize your ability to communicate the value you bring to a prospective employer.  Your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you.  Remember that old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression”.

Original post from www.careerwizards.com/blog

Typically, when we write a resume, we open a blank page in MS Word and start at the top with our personal information.  We add a few tabs and set the font, and then what?  If you write an objective and then list your work experience, this blog is perfect for you.  This approach to resume writing might sound common but is, in fact, the most ineffective way to marketing your skills and abilities.

Beginning a resume with an objective statement followed by a list of work experiences is a thing of the past.  This resume writing approach focuses only on facts and what the job seeker wants rather than what the employer needs.  Today’s marketplace requires job seekers to focus on marketing their unique value proposition to potential employers.  Think about it, the employer is the consumer, right? With that information in mind, consider what should drive the advertising message for this vital marketing document.

If  you really want to write an effective resume, my advice is to forget everything you have ever been taught about resume writing.  Don’t open a blank page and start writing because you will forget your audience every time with this approach.  Your first step should be to break down your past experiences.  For every work or leadership experience, list the duties, accomplishments, and skills that you demonstrated, along with a copy of the job description(s) for which you want to apply, and then compare the two.  Prove that you possess the skills and competencies that the employer needs in this position. Using these two documents, write a summary statement at the top of your resume that promotes a snapshot of the value you will bring to the job.

The best practice when writing a professional resume is to tell a successful story about the candidate.  When writing your own resume, don’t let resume buzz words get in the way of the action or “sizzle” of your story.  Phrases such as “responsible for, acted as, and participated in” diminish the impact of your message and will not inspire hiring authorities to read your resume.

Remember that the average time spent during the first pass of a resume is roughly 10-20 seconds.  Frankly, readers scan for relevance and focus on finding candidates to eliminate the first time through the stack as opposed to targeting the ideal candidates.

A resume needs to be a job seeker’s written masterpiece.  Resumes beginning with the typical “Seeking a challenging position that will utilize my skills and experience” will not merit a second look.  A professional opening to your resume will grab the attention of the reader and get right to the heart of the employer’s needs.   This is what brings the sizzle and steak together.

A resume that only contains bland facts displayed in a tasteless manner will usually be overlooked. Whereas a resume that addresses the needs and interests of prospective employers will result in invitations to interviews.

To learn more about how Career Wizards can help you develop a resume that focuses on the job you want and how you are qualified for it, visit us at http://www.careerwizardsinc.com. And please feel free to reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page. We look forward to hearing from you!