Guide To Rethinking Resumes

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By Richard N. Bolles

The first resume book from the What Color Is Your Parachute? career guru Richard Bolles.

Resumes get an average of eight seconds of attention before going in the trash—or getting on the shortlist. That’s just one of the findings reported here, as legendary career expert Richard N. Bolles presents new research about resumes in a guide that summarizes everything job-hunters and career-changers need to know about this essential tool.

This timely resource features the latest research on important resume topics such as keywords, soft skills, scanning software, social media, and online posting. Bolles argues that on the basis of what we now know, we need to rethink what a resume is—and how it should be written. He details the words that must be avoided, and the words that must be used, on a resume that wins you interviews.

This slim volume distills a huge amount of information down to its very essence. Armed with tips and shortcuts based on the author’s decades of experience, you can craft a resume and cover letter that will stand out to your dream employers—and increase your chances of getting interviews and landing jobs.

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The 21st Century Job Search

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By Bruce Hurwitz

Bruce Hurwitz has never been afraid of controversy, nor is he hesitant to admit when he is wrong. Accordingly, in The 21st Century Job Search, he revisits his previous comments on such things as wearing large engagement rings to job interviews, his short-lived position as a career coach at a New York university, and coping with discrimination, topics which raised some eyebrows when he originally wrote about them on LinkedIn.

In the book you will learn:

  • How to prepare for an effective job search;
  • How to research prospective employers;
  • How to handle your Internet presence;
  • How to utilize LinkedIn to build your brand and attract employers;
  • How to effectively network – especially if you are shy;
  • How to prepare for surprises;
  • How to correctly read job descriptions to avoid frustration;
  • What really happens to, and how to write, effective cover letters;
  • What really happens to, and how to write, effective resumes;
  • How to properly prepare for phone, video and in-person interviews;
  • What questions to ask, and how to answers questions you will be asked, in interviews;
  • How to follow-up after an interview;
  • About legal and illegal discrimination; and
  • About negotiating, offer letters and resigning.

Hurwitz also tackles the “tough” issues of dealing with a “resume gap,” raising health issues, and how to turn having been a stay-at-home parent or caregiver into an attraction for employers.

But he does not simply tell readers what to do, when possible, he shows them. There is a script, especially for the shy, for effective networking and follow up. Additionally, readers will find sample letters for networking, expressing interest in a company, applying for jobs, thanking interviewers and, his personal favorite, the rejection letter.

While in the book he gives particular advice to veterans, college students, “older” candidates, the long-term unemployed, stay-at-home parents, and caregivers about how to minimize rejection and reduce frustration, and effectively cope with the different stages of a job search, the book is for any job seeker regardless of their circumstances.

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Land Your Dream Job Anywhere

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By Mac Prichard

Job hunting is not an innate ability; no one is born with the magical power to land a great job. It is a learned skill that anyone can master with practice. Unfortunately, most people are never taught how to look for a job. High school and college teach us the technical skills to use in our career, but we are never taught the nuts-and-bolts of how to conduct a strategic job search. Instead, we are left mostly to rely on trial and error. That’s the reason this book exists—to outline a proven job-search strategy that actually works. You’ll find a process that results in a faster, less-frustrating job search—one that maximizes your chances of finding a job you love

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A Time-Tested Model For Job Search Success

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By Gordon Walter

Simple and straightforward, the following basic job search model works over and over again.  This is not to minimize the fact that effectively looking for a job is hard work.  But the steps to getting there can be boiled-down to the following:

·         Be motivated.  Ensure attitude is positive and upbeat (even if you do not feel that way).

·         Seek assistance.  Be proactive and do not hesitate to ask for help from family, friends or a job search professional.

·         Select appropriate job search approach.  There are many good ones out there, and many work just fine.  The secret is to pick one and get started.

·         Assess skills and identify core competencies.  The Internet or your local library are replete with many fine resources that are available to help with this.   Other good sources can be found at the Career Center website of a university or your local community college.

·         Develop job search plan.  Establish a budgeted amount of time for job search activity, set some goals and when they will be accomplished.

·         Conduct research on jobs, employers, and communities.  Thanks to the Internet, there is a huge amount of information available concerning employers.  GlassDoor.com is a helpful resource on a number of topics, including employer pay, benefits and employment practices.

·         Prepare due diligence to ensure effectively written applications, resumes and letters.  Spend the time NOW to prepare resume, cover letter templates and other correspondence.  Insure they are PERFECT, and ready to send if potential employer suddenly says “send me a resume.”

·         Network for information, advice and referrals.  It is an undeniable fact that most people who get jobs get them as a result of networking.  It can be hard work, but resist the temptation to sit at a computer cranking out resumes to job boards, and spend the MAJORITY of your time in networking activity.

·         Develop winning job interview skills.  Consult with job search websites or contact a skilled professional.  Some employers have honed the selection process to a high art, and you need to be ready updated on what to say, not say, and contemporary thinking on the best interviewing protocols.  The higher a job is on the organization chart, the more complex a hiring process can be.

Motivated * Assistance * Approach * Core Competencies * Research * Due Diligence * Network * Interview Skills

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5 Tips for Job Interviewing Success

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By Marie Magdala Roker

Anyone who is a job seeker knows that looking for a new job or career is a job in itself. Once you have completed the laborious task of writing your resume and submitting it to various companies, you now have to pass the screen test to get the job. Interviews are the gateway to landing your ideal job. These five tips will help you get own your way to making that job yours.

Tip 1.  Be Confident – Your first impression is your only impression.  Nothing is worse than a limp handshake, slumped shoulders, poor eye contact or poor communication skills. A potential employer can tell immediately if you are the man or woman for this job by your body language. Although aggressiveness is a turn-off, being passive gives the indication that you are not sure of yourself or your qualifications. Keep eye contact when answering questions or when the interviewer is speaking directly to you. Smile occasionally to show your interest and enthusiasm. Keeping a steady gaze on the interviewer can be disturbing to an interviewer. Look away occasionally. Lean forward to show that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying. Speak in a concise and clear voice. If you have problems annunciating certain words, don’t try to use them on an interview. If this is difficult for you, practice with a mirror and pay attention to your facial expressions.

Other interview killers: Slouching in a chair, Crossing your arms, Playing with your hair or jewelry, Leaning back in chair

Tip 2. Act As If You are what you believe.  Act as if you had the job. What would you do if you had this position? How would you act? How would a person in this position act and speak? What are your responsibilities in this position? What is a typical day like for you in this job? Change your attitude towards yourself and your strengths. If you start thinking that you won’t get the job, you will do small unnoticeable things to sabotage your chances. Great free resource: www.confidenceworld.com.

Tip 3Know The Company/Know the business.  I once sat on a couple of interviews where the interviewees did not do any research on the company. This sends a message that you are looking for any job, not this specific job. Once you’re interview is scheduled, get on the net and start finding out everything you can about the company. A good place to start is www.hoovers.com, which gives you industry information, top competitors, names of CEO, etc. If you’d like to know what current or former employees have to say about the company, try www.wetfeet.com. Beware of disgruntled postings. Call the company headquarters and ask for the marketing department to get specific information. Weave your research into the interview by stating. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that your company is thinking about XYZ. This lets the interviewer know that you have taken the time to know more about the company. You can ask questions about something you read, but don’t challenge them or you’ll come across as a know-it-all.

Tip 4.  Be Prepared – Know what to say.  Most interviewers ask the same standard questions about your strengths, weaknesses, former employers, work history. If you are being interviewed by several people, this might be a good cop, bad cop situation. Pay attention to who is playing bad cop, they are looking for signs of weakness and dishonesty. To be well prepared, before the interview, write out all your accomplishments, both personal and professional. List your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest, it’s easier to remember the truth than it is a lie. Extra Tip: Write out situations in which you have demonstrated: leadership skills, determination, stress management, creativity, and flexibility. Be prepared to answer the question: Why do you want this job? If you’re not sure, reevaluate your decision. If you arrive a few minutes early, review what you wrote in the waiting room before the interview. Great list of interview questions: http://www.indiana.edu/~libpers/interview.html

Tip 5.  Ask For The Job – You get what you ask for.  The most important step in the interviewing process is one most people miss. ASK FOR THE JOB! Most interviewers are waiting for that closure. If you have done everything exceptionally well during the interviewing process, but have not asked for the job, you’ve just wasted an interview. Asking for the job shows the potential employer that you are assertive, confident and right for the job. It might feel uncomfortable, but this is your only chance to ask for something you really want. Make sure your voice is firm and you make eye contact. Think of it as your closing argument, you’ve got to win over the jury. You should also ask the interviewer if he or she thinks you are right for the job. Even if they tell you something unpleasant, think of it as a lesson learned. However, do yourself a favor and ask for the job. You deserve it!

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10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resume

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By Charles Purdy, Monster.com Senior Editor*

Your resume needs an update — that is, if your resume is like that of most people, it’s not as good as it could be.  The problem is language:  Most resumes are a thicket of deadwood words and phrases — empty cliches, annoying jargon and recycled buzzwords.  Recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers see these terms over and over again, and it makes them sad.

Wouldn’t you rather make them happy?  It’s time to start raking out your resume, starting with these (and similar) terms.

1. “Salary negotiable.”  Yes, they know.  If you’re wasting a precious line of your resume on this term, it looks as though you’re padding — that you’ve run out of things to talk about.  If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual.  (Still, don’t put that on your resume either.)

2. “References available by request.”  See the preceding comment about unnecessary terms.

3. “Responsible for ______.”  Reading this term, the recruiter can almost picture the C-average, uninspired employee mechanically fulfilling his job requirements — no more, no less.  Having been responsible for something isn’t something you did — it’s something that happened to you.  Turn phrases like “responsible for” into “managed,” “led” or other decisive, strong verbs.

4. “Experience working in ______.”  Again, experience is something that happens to you — not something you achieve.  Describe your background in terms of achievements.

5. “Problem-solving skills.”  You know who else has problem-solving skills? Monkeys.  Dogs.  On your resume, stick to skills that require a human.

6. “Detail-oriented.”  So, you pay attention to details.  Well, so does everyone else.  Don’t you have something unique to tell the hiring manager?  Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.

7. “Hardworking.”  Have you ever heard the term “show — don’t tell?”  This is where that might apply.  Anyone can call himself a hard worker.  It’s a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer.

8. “Team player.”  See the preceding comment about showing instead of telling.  There are very few jobs that don’t involve working with someone else.  If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume.  Talk about the kinds of teams you worked on, and how you succeeded.

9. “Proactive.”  This is a completely deflated buzzword. Again, show rather than tell.

10. “Objective.”  This term isn’t always verboten, but you should use it carefully.  If your objective is to get the job you’ve applied for, there’s no need to spell that out on your resume with its own heading.  A resume objective is usually better replaced by a career summary describing your background, achievements and what you have to offer an employer.  An exception might be if you haven’t applied for a specific job and don’t have a lot of experience that speaks to the position you’d like to achieve.

* Used with permission

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Cracking the Coding Interview

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Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best. I’ve coached and interviewed hundreds of software engineers. The result is this book.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies, so that you can be as prepared as possible. WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems.
  • A walk-through of how to derive each solution, so that you can learn how to get there yourself.
  • Hints on how to solve each of the 189 questions, just like what you would get in a real interview.
  • Five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, so that you can solve questions you haven’t seen.
  • Extensive coverage of essential topics, such as big O time, data structures, and core algorithms.
  • A behind the scenes look at how top companies like Google and Facebook hire developers.
  • Techniques to prepare for and ace the soft side of the interview: behavioral questions.
  • For interviewers and companies: details on what makes a good interview question and hiring process

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Interviewing Basics

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By Duncan Gotobed

Let’s face it successful interviewing is much more than just giving the right answers to questions. As with most things, preparation is the key to success. Without proper preparation, you will go into an interview as if you were driving a car blindfolded and on the wrong side of the road.

Plan your travel route.  The last thing you want to do is get lost or be late for an interview, so plan your travel route ahead of time. Find out where the interview will take place and decide how you will get there (car, bus, taxi, etc.), then conduct a “trial run” using that mode of transportation. Factor in any other possible complications such as road construction or rush hour traffic do determine how long it will take you to get to the interview.

Once you know how long it takes to get there and you have factored in other issues such as traffic, add at least 15 minutes to the amount of time you think it will take. This extra bit of “insurance” means you will be better able to deal with unforeseen events and last minute issues.

Get to know the organization.  Potential employers want to know that you are interested enough in their organization to learn a bit about it before an interview. Conducting research to learn about an organization also demonstrates that you are proactive, forward thinking, and willing to put in extra effort to be better prepared.

The internet is an excellent tool for researching an organization, as are marketing brochures and annual reports from the organization. Ask around to your friends and professional contacts to find out if anyone has any experience with or knowledge of the company. Some experts also recommend that you check the electronic archives of the local newspaper to see what, if anything has been written about the company over the previous twelve months or so.

Plan your approach.  Once you get to the interview you will have to “sell” yourself. The interviewer will be evaluating you on the answers you give to questions, of course, but also on many other things that you might not think about, so plan for these in advance.

Dress the part.  The way you are dressed and how you enter the interview room have a huge effect on the first impression you make. Select an outfit that is appropriate for the culture of the organization (conservative, modern, casual, etc.) and practice walking into the interview room with confidence and a smile.

Plan and practice your answers to likely questions, especially those behavioral-based questions that are so popular right now. Here are a couple of example questions:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to deal with an angry customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake

The key to successfully answering these questions is to cover three key things – the situation, the action you took, and the result you achieved.  Keep your stories short and factual, and even practice them in advance so that you become fluent when talking about them.

Make no mistake about it, the better prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel in your interview

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.  Duncan Gotobed makes it easy for you to get your next job and hit the ground running. Learn more great ways to enhance your employability. Visit Top Briefings.com today to access a range of e-briefings that can help you become more successful.

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Behavioral Interviewing Questions

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By R.J. Sullivan  

Behavioral interviewing uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behavior.  It is the best interviewing method to avoid gut feelings, stereotypes and biases.  

The focus on behaviors will allow you to choose the best candidate for the job.

Behavioral interviewing is the most effective way to hire a qualified employee. It takes gut feelings, stereotypes and biases out of the process and allows you to look at candidates in more scientific terms. The process is called behavioral because it uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behaviors. The process sounds easy but it takes practice and persistence. You need to know the exact behaviors that are critical for the job you are interviewing for and then you need to prepare questions that will illicit the responses you need to analyze the candidates behaviors. When you ask behavioral interviewing questions it is imperative that you probe and allow the candidate time and silence to answer the questions.

  1. Give me an example of a time you where you had a particularly difficult customer and how you handled the situation.
  2. Describe for me a situation where you didn’t agree with a company policy and learned to work within the confines of that policy.
  3. Give me an example of a time when you were given instructions by your manager that you didn’t agree with and how you handled the situation.
  4. Tell me about a time when you had conflict with a co-worker and how you were able to resolve that conflict.
  5. Give me an example of a time when you provided extraordinary service and please be specific with the steps you took to achieve this result.
  6. Describe for me a time when you didn’t understand how to complete a task and what you did to finish the work.
  7. Tell me about a time that you had to use creativity to solve a problem at work.
  8. Tell me about a time when you were not feeling well or in a bad mood and had to motivate yourself at work.
  9. Describe for me a time that you had a co-worker with a bad attitude and how you handled that situation.
  10. Give me an example of a time you made a mistake when working with a customer and how you handled the situation.

Remember to research the behaviors needed for the position you are interviewing for and prepare your questions carefully. Also, use silence and probe further so you can get the information needed to make an informed hiring decision. Behavioral interviewing will take the gut feelings, stereotypes and biases that we all have out of the equation and you will make better hiring decisions.

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Phone Interviewing Quiz

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Most interviewing processes start and stop with the phone interview. In our opinion this is the most important interview. Not only because if you fail here the process stops, but mainly because it sets the stage for the in-person interview if you do well. Have a great phone interview and the mindset of the person bringing you in for the face-to-face interview is already positive, they believe you must be qualified, and you are starting out in a strong position.

Here is a quick quiz to see if you are ready to, “Win The Phone Interview.” Answer these in your mind, not fair if you already read the book or downloaded the free chapter. (Answers below)

  1. List all three factors that can be measured during a phone interview. Must list all three.
  2. How long should you talk before re-engaging the interviewer?
  3. Is the format for answering a question different than a face-to-face? If so, what is different?
  4. Is there a possible benefit from not answering the phone? If yes, what is it?
  5. What is the only purpose of a phone interview?

If you can answer all of these, then you are aware of how different the phone interview is from the in-person interview. If you can’t answer all of them then you should consider doing your homework. It is possible you’ve missed an opportunity because you were weeded out during a phone interview.

To help you, we have a number of completely FREE resources to make sure you know how to win the phone interview.

  1. Our chapter on “Winning the Phone Interview” from our job search workbook is free to download. It answers all these questions and more.
  2. We just posted a 1 hour audio file from our radio show focused completely on the phone interview.
  3. There are also a number of other blog entries dedicated to the phone interview for you to read.
  4. Our Linkedin discussion group is a great forum to discuss any issues you have regarding your job search.
  5. Our monthly Candidate Open Forum tele-conference has been one of our most successful methods to discuss all job search related topics. These forums fill up in less than a day. Click here for the next date and time.

Please consider taking advantage of these. They are all free tools you can use to ensure you not only win the phone interview, but win the job.

Help your friends and family know how they can win a phone interview by sharing this with them.

Please let us know how you did on the quiz. Did you really know all of the answers?

Answers:

  1. Energy level, technical abilities and communication skills
  2. 1 minute.
  3. Yes, since it shorter and you can’t read their body language it is very important that your answers are succinct and impactful.
  4. The hiring manager leaves a message sayingArticle Search, This is the VP of HR from ABC company. I’m calling about X opening and would like to speak with you.” Now you can do some basic research on the company.
  5. To screen you in or screen you out.

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The Place for help with Job Interviewing and all aspects of the job search process