Justin Thompson, CareerBuilder Writer
1)Résumés in 2012: What's old, what's new?
It seems everyone has an opinion on what a résumé should contain, how many pages it should be and how it should be formatted. So as we enter into a new year, what are the universally agreed-upon elements that are in, and which ones are now passé? Here are some of the best practices when it comes to crafting your résumé in 2012:
Stop trying to make "objective statements" happen
The days of including a career objective and/or professional summary are over. It's a waste of valuable space. Instead, just address this with a sentence in your cover letter about how the position you're applying for fits into your overall career plan. Get to business by starting with accomplishments and facts that are relevant to the job posting.
Use numbers and proof of what you've done. "Increased sales by 35 percent through client profiling campaign" is better than "Increased sales in my region." Stop putting generic tasks down, and instead, get creative in portraying what you did in your role or how you brought forth new ideas for products, processes, efficiency, etc. The more you can quantify your efforts with actual numbers or data, the better positioned you'll be.
Cover letters are back
Like the "two page versus one page" debate, the subject of cover letters is heated. While some recruiters say they don't bother looking at them, others say some job seekers have grown lazy and won't take the time to write one or tailor one specifically to the company to which they are applying. It's a perfect opportunity to sell yourself, and it's where you can infuse personality into your application. But once you craft a terrific cover letter, don't just push it out to every job prospect. Take the extra few minutes to tailor it to why you want that specific job at that specific company and why your skills would benefit the overall organization if hired.
Keywords are your friend
If a recruiter or manager can put your résumé side-by-side with the job requirements and check off the same keywords, you've made his life so much easier. Instead of using a lot of useless jargon on your résumé, pay attention to the keywords in the job posting. Be sure to use them in your résumé and cover letter, because even applicant tracking systems are based on keyword searches. Just as you use keywords to search for jobs, employers are using keywords to find your résumé.
Get creative with quick response codes
Young professionals are using QR codes -- bar codes that can be scanned by smartphones to download or link to information -- on the back of business cards and on their résumé to link to online portfolios. As you network and attend career fairs, you're able to pass out business cards with the QR code that can link recruiters and other contacts to either your portfolio or LinkedIn profile so they can instantly connect with you.
Wow with visual résumés
More people are using tools to help illustrate their work history through sites such as Vizualize.me. These sites offer tools to help individuals present the information on their résumés in a unique way that stands out. Just remember that you still need a traditional format to hand out or attach to make it easy for saving in company databases.
Give video a chance
In this tough economy, job seekers are going to creative lengths to get their name, talents and personality in front of employers, like this résumé video for a Google position. If you're going to create something like this, make sure you're providing substance or showing off your soft skills within the video instead of just doing something flashy to get the recruiter's attention.
Social media are here to stay
If you're not using social media to promote yourself, you're missing out. Just as employers use multiple avenues to push out job postings, you as a job seeker need to use all the channels available to you to put yourself in front of recruiters. Using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn as a means to give updates on your career or connect with other professionals gives your résumé legs and can make you more memorable as a candidate. But since companies are screening candidates through social media, make sure your online profiles are either professional facing or locked for outside viewing.
Justin Thompson is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
With the world wide economy only slowly-very slowly improving, I can only hope and pray that this will help at least one person get a new or better job. But then again, if not that then, maybe this-->
5 To Boost Ways Your Earnings PotentialBy Kristina Cowan
If you’re in the mood to make more money, you’re in luck. There are a variety of tacks you can take, experts say, to advance your earnings and enhance your overall worth in the workplace.
- Be a business of one. Mindset is critical, said J.T. O’Donnell, founder and president of Careerealism.com, who urges workers to stop thinking as if they are employees working for employers, and to instead think of themselves as “businesses of one” serving clients. As a business of one, you know the additional value you bring to a company and develop a plan for making or saving the company money, explained O’Donnell, who’s based in the Boston area. This demonstrates that you understand what it takes to run the business and you’re not just seeking a raise.
- Continue your education. Whether it’s a master’s degree or a certification, more education can mean more money. Cheryl Palmer, president of Call to Career, said certifications are becoming more common in many fields, from finance to human resources. Likewise, advanced degrees are more frequently prerequisites for management positions than they were in years gone by. Palmer said she sees many job listings that specify a master’s degree
- Pick up a part-time gig. Take on work related to your career — or unrelated, said Roy Cohen, a New York career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” For example, if you work in publishing, ask your employer for permission to freelance for other clients, he said. Or pursue something unrelated to your full-time job. Cohen noted that his barber supplements his income by working as a breakfast waiter at a hotel restaurant, and then darts off to the barber shop for a full day of work. Hobbies or interests such as gardening, real estate, travel or fitness can lead to side jobs at nurseries, as real-estate or travel agents, or at local gyms.
- Look up. Examine the job description for the position ahead of yours, and make sure you have what it takes to perform that job, explained Alexandra Levit, a business/workplace author and speaker based in the Chicago area. Note the skills and contributions required of that position, and fill in the missing gaps in your experience, she says. You may have to go outside your organization to get such experience, according to Levit, by volunteering or joining a board, where you can take the lead on projects or initiatives. “Get yourself at a point where you can do the job of the person at the next level so it’s a no-brainer … that you are qualified to do it,” Levit said.
- Find and mind a mentor. Cohen suggested identifying a mentor who can help you understand how you’re viewed within the company. This relationship could give you an edge in presenting yourself more effectively and ultimately increasing your earning power. “I would pick someone outside of (your) department who has history in the organization and who seems very calm — who has been there, done that, and is at a senior-enough level to have a more global perspective on events, initiatives and people,” he explained.
I have been around for 50 years now. There are a few things that I have learned the hard way. 1) That no matter how bad that I thought my life was, there is always someone who is having it even worse. 2) There is only one thing that feels even better than the Pride that comes from a job--Done Well, and that is having enough money to donate to charity.
After all, I have been unemployed, in need of assistance; and underemployed, not broke enough to need assistance, but too broke to give very much at all. Both states, I can honestly say--Suck!