25 Tips for Getting Your Resume Noticed

  1. Don’t Put Everything on There
    Your resume should not have every work experience you’ve ever had listed on it. Think of your resume not as a comprehensive list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience). Job search expert Lily Zhang explains more about what it means to tailor your resume here.
  2. But Keep a Master List of All Jobs
    Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a resume outline or master resume on your computer where you keep any information you’ve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when you’re crafting each resume, it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.
  3. Put the Best Stuff “Above the Fold”
    In marketing speak, “above the fold” refers to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper (or, in the digital age, before you scroll down on a website), but basically it’s your first impression of a document. In resume speak, it means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first—and what will serve as a hook for someone to keep on reading. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences first—and then check out these five other marketing tricks to get your resume noticed.
  4. Ditch the Objective Statement
    According to Zhang, the only occasion when an objective section makes sense is when you’re making a huge career change and need to explain from the get-go why your experience doesn’t match up with the position you’re applying to. In every other case? Consider whether a summary statement would be right for you—or just nix it altogether to save space and focus on making the rest of your resume stellar.
  5. Keep it (Reverse) Chronological
    There are lots of different ways to organize the information on your resume—like the functional resume or combination resume—but the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) is still your best bet. Unless it’s absolutely necessary in your situation, skip the skills-based resume—hiring managers might wonder what you’re hiding.
  6. Keep it to a Page
    The two- (or more!) page resume is a hotly debated topic, but the bottom line is this—you want the information here to be concise, and making yourself keep it to one page is a good way to force yourself to do this. If you truly have enough relevant and important experience, training, and credentials to showcase on more than one page of your resume, then go for it. But if you can tell the same story in less space? Do. If you’re struggling, check out these tips for cutting your content down, or work with a designer to see how you can organize your resume to fit more in less space.
  7. Consider an Online Supplement
    Can’t figure out how to tell your whole story on one page, or want to be able to include some visual examples of your work? Instead of trying to have your resume cover everything, cover the most important details on that document, and then include a link to your personal website, where you can dive more into what makes you the ideal candidate.

Formatting

  1. Keep it Simple
    We’ll talk about getting creative in order to stand out in a minute. But the most basic principle of good resume formatting and design? Keep it simple. Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Make your resume easy on hiring managers’ eyes by using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page. You can use a different font or typeface for your name, your resume headers, and the companies for which you’ve worked, but keep it simple and keep it consistent. No matter what resume format you choose, your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager. That being said, you should feel free to…
  2. Carefully Stand Out
    Really want your resume stand out from the sea of Times New Roman? Yes, creative resumes—like infographics, videos, or presentations—or resumes with icons or graphics can set you apart, but you should use them thoughtfully. If you’re applying through an ATS, keep to the standard formatting without any bells and whistles so the computer can read it effectively. If you’re applying to a more traditional company, don’t get too crazy, but feel free to add some tasteful design elements or a little color to make it pop. No matter what, don’t do it unless you’re willing to put in the time, creativity, and design work to make it awesome.
  3. Make Your Contact Info Prominent
    You don’t need to include your address on your resume anymore (really!), but you do need to make sure to include a phone number and professional email address (not your work address!) as well as other places the hiring manager can find you on the web, like your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle. (Implicit in this is that you keep these social media profiles suitable for prospective employers.)
  4. Design for Skimmability
    You’ve heard before that hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time on each individual resume. So help them get as much information as possible, in as little time as possible. These 12 small formatting changes will make a huge difference.
  5. Get Help From a Professional
    Know that design skills aren’t your strong suit but want your resume to look stunning? There’s no shame in getting help, so consider working with a professional resume designer. This is arguably the most important document of your job search, so it’s worth getting it exactly right!

Work Experience

  1. Keep it Recent, Keep it Relevant
    As a rule, you should only show the most recent 10-15 years of your career history and only include the experience relevant to the positions to which you are applying. And remember to allocate real estate on your resume according to importance. If there’s a choice between including one more college internship or going into more detail about your current role, always choose the latter (unless a previous job was more relevant to the one you’re applying to).
  2. No Relevant Experience? No Worries!
    Don’t panic if you don’t have any experience that fits the bill. Instead, Zhang explains, focus your resume on your relevant and transferrable skills along with any related side or academic projects, and then make sure to pair it with a strong cover letter telling the narrative of why you’re ideal for the job.
  3. Curate Your Bullet Points
    No matter how long you’ve been in a job, or how much you’ve accomplished there, you shouldn’t have more than five or six bullets in a given section. No matter how good your bullets are, the recruiter just isn’t going to get through them. Check out these tips for writing impressive bullet points.
  4. Bring it Down a Level
    You may be tempted to throw in tons of industry jargon so you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but ultimately you want your resume to be understandable to the average person. Remember that the first person who sees your resume might be a recruiter, an assistant, or even a high-level executive—and you want to be sure that it is readable, relevant, and interesting to all of them.
  5. Give ’Em the Numbers
    Use as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can in your bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you really allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you needed to achieve them. Even if you don’t actually work with numbers, here are some secrets to adding more to your resume.
  6. Take it One Step Further
    People hire performers, so you want to show that you didn’t just do stuff, but that you got stuff done! As you look at your bullet points, think about how you can take each statement one step further and add in what the benefit was to your boss or your company. By doing this, you clearly communicate not only what you’re capable of, but also the direct benefit the employer will receive by hiring you. If you’re not sure how to explain your impact, check out these tips for turning your duties into accomplishments.
  7. Show—Don’t Tell—Your Soft Skills
    Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords, fast. But being a “strong leader” or an “effective communicator” are important characteristics you want to get across. Think about how you can demonstrate these attributes in your bullet points without actually saying them. Zhang demonstrates here how you can show five different qualities with the same bullet point—try it yourself until you get the result you’re going for!
  8. Don’t Neglect Non-Traditional Work
    There’s no law that says you can only put full-time or paid work on your resume. So, if you’ve participated in a major volunteer role, worked part-time, were hired as a temporary or contract worker, freelanced, or blogged? Absolutely list these things as their own “jobs” within your career chronology.
  9. Mix Up Your Word Use
    If every bullet in your resume starts with “Responsible for,” readers will get bored very quickly. Use our handy list of better verbs to mix it up!
  10. Use Keywords
    Use keywords in your resume: Scan the job description, see what words are used most often, and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points. Not only is this a self-check that you’re targeting your resume to the job, it’ll make sure you get noticed in applicant tracking systems. Stuck on which words to include? Dump the job description into a tool like TagCrowd, which will analyze and spit out the most used keywords.
  11. Avoid Empty Words
    What words shouldn’t you include? Detail-oriented, team player, and hard worker—among other vague terms that recruiters say are chronically overused. We bet there’s a better way to describe how awesome you are.

Education

  1. Experience First, Education Second
    Unless you’re a recent graduate, put your education after your experience. Chances are, your last couple of jobs are more important and relevant to you getting the job than where you went to college.
  2. Also Keep it Reverse Chronological
    Usually, you should lay down your educational background by listing the most recent or advanced degree first, working in reverse chronological order. But if older coursework is more specific to the job, list that first to grab the reviewer’s attention.
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10 Cover Letter Mistakes – Which Ones To Avoid At All Cost If You Want That Job!

When you decide to launch a job search, chances are one of the first things you’ll do is write or update your resume. But what about your cover letter? Before a hiring manager even glances at your resume, he or she will assess your cover letter and form an impression of you and your qualifications. A well-written cover letter can earn you a call for an interview, so it’s important to take this document seriously.

As you know, cover letters are not an option—they are absolutely required. If you choose to write your own, there are plenty of online resources available. If you need help, hire a professional.

Following are some cover letter mistakes to avoid:

  1. Failing to personalize. Avoid saying, “Dear Sir or Madam” and take the initiative to find out the appropriate hiring manager’s name. Often a quick phone call to the company can help you fill in the blanks. Including this information shows that you’re resourceful and truly interested in the job.
  2. Starting off weak. Your opening paragraph should capture the reader’s attention. So, rather than simply saying, “I am applying for the receptionist position posted at AnytownPaper.com,” follow up with, “Your need for an experienced professional is a good match for my five years of experience in publishing and extensive background as a receptionist.“ If you’ve been referred to the hiring manager, be sure to point out the mutual contact in your lead. This may encourage the person to read further.
  3. Making it too short/long. E-mailed cover letters should be included within the body of the e-mail and be limited to 3-5 short paragraphs.
  4. Being generic. Don’t send the same cover letter to all companies. Take the time to do some basic research about prospective employers so you can customize each cover letter to the position available. If you make the effort, you’ll already be ahead of half your competition.
  5. Rehashing the resume. Instead, focus on aspects of your background that relate directly to the job opportunity and note any relevant accomplishments, training, classes or certifications. Show your passion for the job. The cover letter also allows you to explain anything that might be unclear or questionable on your resume, such as a gap in employment or change in career paths.
  6. Underselling your talents. Give hiring managers a compelling reason to call you in for an interview. Instead of saying you have strong communication skills, provide examples: “I recently led a training session on a new database application and received significant praise for my ability to relay complex information to a non-tech-oriented audience.”
  7. Trying to be witty or humorous. This can backfire, so it’s best to stick with a business letter format, even with e-mailed cover letters. A professional yet conversational tone and salutations such as “Mr.” and “Ms.” will help you be taken seriously.
  8. Focusing too much on yourself. While you want to sell your qualifications, don’t forget to explain how you would add value to the company. If your cover letter is dominated with “I,” chances are you need to focus more of your content on the prospective employer.
  9. Omitting contact information. It’s easy for cover letters and resumes to become separated, so make sure hiring managers can reach you should they only have your cover letter. Close your letter by mentioning that you’ll call the individual soon to follow up and include a current phone number and e-mail address where you can be reached should the person want to contact you first.
  10. Failing to proofread. As qualified as you may be for the opening, you’re likely to fall out of contention if your cover letter is full of typos, misspellings and grammatical errors. Ask friends and family to review your document to make sure there are no mistakes.

The cover letter is your chance to give employers a sense of who you are and what you can do for their organizations, encouraging readers to look at your resume. Remember that appearances count, so make sure your cover letter is in a simple font, uses appropriate paragraph breaks and is easy to read. The right impression will allow you to move on in the hiring process!

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The One Thing You Should Do To Set Your Resume Apart

I work with many highly qualified candidates and help them improve their resume package, and there is one thing I tell all my clients they should do to maximize their chance of a response:

Follow up with a phone call or email to every job you apply to.

That’s it. One week after you apply, call or email both the HR person and hiring manager. A call is probably best, and since you will most likely get their voice mail anyway, go ahead and leave a message! A CONCISE and TO-THE-POINT message. Let them hear your enthusiasm and ssy:

Your name
the position you applied for
why you are a great candidate for the position. Specifically, why you are interested in the job and why you would bring value to the company.
This is a solid tactic that will set you part from the applicants who DIDN’T call to follow up, it will show that you are aggressive and can take the initiative–ie qualities that most hiring managers want to hire!

Be a little pushy–it’s okay, you won’t offend anyone as long as you are POLITE, DIRECT, and PROFESSIONAL at all times.

God luck in your job search!

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Are you slacking in your job search?

It’s often advised that looking for work should be treated like a full-time job — that job-seekers should literally devote eight hours a day, five days a week to their job searches. While that may seem like a lot of time, some experts believe that — in today’s economy — it’s the only way to get hired.

According to Michael Farr, author of “The Quick Résumé & Cover Letter Book,” the average job seeker spends fewer than 15 hours a week looking for work. Although 15 hours may seem like a great deal of time, it’s quite minimal in comparison to the 25 hours or more that Farr recommends job seekers devote to their search for employment each week.

“The average length of unemployment varies from three or more months, with some being out of work far longer,” explains Farr. “There is a clear connection between how long it takes to find a job and the number of hours spent looking on a daily and weekly basis. The more time you spend on your job search each week, the less time you are likely to remain unemployed. Of course, using more effective job search methods also helps. Those who set aside a solid amount of time for their job search activities and use this time wisely generally secure jobs in half the average time; and they often get better jobs, too.”

Farr suggests that job seekers create a specific daily schedule that keeps them on task and accountable for how their job search progresses. Here is a sample schedule provided in his book.

7–8 a.m.

Get up, shower, dress and eat breakfast.

8–8:15 a.m.

Organize workspace, review schedule for interviews or follow-ups and update schedule.

8:15–9 a.m.

Review old leads for follow-up and develop new leads (want ads, Internet, networking lists and so on).

9–10 a.m.

Make networking or direct employer phone calls, establish Internet contacts and set up meetings and interviews.

10–10:15 a.m.

Take a break.

10:15–11 a.m.

Make more new calls and Internet contacts.

11–12 p.m.

Make follow-up calls and send e-mails as needed.

12–1 p.m.

Lunch break.

1–5 p.m.

Go on interviews and networking meetings, make cold contacts in the field and conduct research for pcoming interviews.

5–8 p.m.

Attend networking events.

How long do you spend on your job search each day?

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5 Reasons Why You Must Have a LinkedIn Profile

The ever-evolving social media world can be tough to keep up with, particularly when it comes to job hunting. There are numerous online platforms with countless tools and applications designed to connect individuals with those with similar interests.

However, many of these platforms and tools tend to be more focused on the “social” aspect of social media. One major exception is LinkedIn, which is often referred to as the professional social network. With more than 120 million users worldwide, LinkedIn certainly seems to have cornered the professional networking market.

Although popular, the average LinkedIn user is in their mid-40s, which has created a perception among many younger professionals and college students that it’s not for them. But in these tough times, job seekers—no matter their age—need every edge they can get.

A LinkedIn profile is a great way to:

1) Manage Your Professional Brand: Your online presence is typically the first impression with a recruiter or business contact. Recruiters will Google you, and you need to be in control of what they are going to find. LinkedIn profiles typically rank high in Google searches.

2) Organize Professional Relationships: LinkedIn is a great way to organize and manage professional relationships. Contacts you make during the job hunt and throughout your career may not necessarily make sense as Facebook friends. LinkedIn offers a platform for maintaining your professional network while keeping it separate from your personal life.

3) Gather and Display Recommendations: LinkedIn has a tool for requesting and posting recommendations from other users who have worked with you professionally. This allows you to build your credibility by harnessing the power of third-party endorsements. Remember, requesting a recommendation is also a great excuse for reaching out to former colleagues you may have lost touch with.

4) Become an Expert: The best way to gain credibility in a field is to become a go-to resource. LinkedIn offers a number of tools for helping professionals engage with peers to exchange information and ideas. For example: LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Answers, and LinkedIn Today are all great ways to reach out to colleagues and become part of the trending conversations in your field. These tools are a great way to learn the lingo of your field and become a virtual “insider.”

5) Attract Recruiters: Recruiters use LinkedIn. The job search isn’t always an active process, and hiring managers and recruiters use the tool to find candidates to fill openings. Pay attention to key words in your profile, and be sure to have them peppered throughout the following sections of your LinkedIn profile:

•Summary

•Specialties

•Skills

•Recommendations

In these challenging times every advantage helps. Whether you are a graduating college student or a transitioning professional, it’s never too early or too late to start!

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How To Change Your Career When You Have No Idea

“There are lots of things I’d like to do, but how do I know which one is right?”

“Is a change of career actually the answer or should I just try to make the most of my current job?”

“What if I put all my energy into trying something new and I don’t like it?”

Sound familiar?

In our quest for a more fulfilling career, uncertainty can be totally disabling, leaving you in a state of confusion and worry. Like wading through a swamp, it can be a frustrating and exhausting experience. So how can you manage your doubts and fears in a way which enables you to draw strength during uncertain times?

Sure, doing some planning around your career change is important, but it is equally important to recognize that there are some things that the best laid plans simply can’t pre-empt. Unlike the careers of our parents’ generation, which could be planned in a far more predictable and linear fashion, careers today are fast-changing and ever-evolving. It is predicted that today’s university students will have had ten to fourteen jobs by the age of 38. Many of these jobs will be jobs that don’t even exist today, let alone those that can be planned for. Given this reality, approaching your career change with a sense of adaptability and openness is a far better strategy than planning a linear sequence of events that could easily be disrupted. We live in a new world of ubiquity made possible by technology, and in this climate, the name of the game is adaptability.

It’s a common situation. You invest years in a career, and then wake up one day to realize that the joy you once felt for your work has completely left you. While you once thrived on the challenges of your role, you now feel bored, frustrated or fatigued. This feeling of a ‘false start’ can be frustrating and disheartening, but working through a process of finding the ‘right fit’ is an important part of successful career transition.

Sometimes you need to try different things on for size to know what you like and what turns you off.

Sometimes this might mean investing a number of years in a particular career before changing course, and sometimes it might mean trying a few different things in short bursts to try to hone your interests further. Regardless of your situation, there are valuable lessons to take from these experiences. Being able to identify what you don’t like is equally as valuable as learning what you do like, and can help you to narrow down your vision of where you’d really like to be with your career. In addition, chances are you will have gained a number of transferable skills that will be helpful to you in your next move.

As many of us know all too well, career change can often result from a situation that was thrust upon us. Not only do we live in a world of rising unemployment, redundancies, and whole industries collapsing (who would have thought five years ago that banking or the motor industries were anything but ‘safe’?), but we have to navigate the personal impacts these changing times have on us.

Losing your job or having your career options curtailed by industry changes can be a demoralising experience. But it can also offer us hope. Eighty-six per cent of career changers participating in a recent study said that adversity was a catalyst for them to find something meaningful and positive. Forced change and feelings of disillusionment, disappointment and anger provoked actions which ultimately enabled them to find much more meaningful vocations. Adversity brings with it valuable opportunities to discover who you really are and what is important to you. Make sure that you seize the opportunity to reposition yourself positively.

The power of coincidence should not be underestimated in the search for career success. Everyone has heard stories about people who managed to secure great jobs through the most unexpected opportunities. During his career change, a friend of mine was rejected from all 250 IT programming jobs he applied for. Yet shortly thereafter, a chance encounter with patrons in a restaurant where he was waiting tables led to their offer of a programming role with their company. He started his new career with them the next week, and has never been happier. One conversation gave him exactly what he was looking for. Staying positive, focused, and being careful to present yourself well in every interaction can yield unexpected benefits.

So remember, while uncertainty in how to approach your career change may leave you feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. There are plenty of others slogging through the Uncertainty Swamp with you. But by using uncertainty to your advantage, you can create a more fulfilling career for yourself. Embracing unexpected changes will leave you far better positioned to adapt quickly and successfully to an ever-changing world of work. Your previous career experience (your ‘false starts’) is a powerful lever in learning about what makes you tick and redefining your career. Above all, stay positive, focused and be sure to put your best foot forward. You never know when your energy and focus will lead you out of the swamp and through an open door.

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Here is Exactly What You Need to Do Immediately After You Get Laid Off

The Pragmatists’ Guide For What To Do The Day After You Get Laid Off

YES IT REALLY HAPPENED SO LET’S DEAL WITH IT. You got called in with the HR person and your boss most likely and were told you are being laid off. Maybe its part of a larger Reduction in Force, maybe not, but your tenure at the company is over. Here is a detailed, step-by-step guide for exactly what to do from the time of that meeting until you secure your next position. Follow these instructions to ensure you don’t miss any details that might make your transition to your next job more smooth, less painful. Keep that in mind—that this is simply a transitional period where you will find a new, better, more fulfilling career opportunity. Keep that mindset as you go through these steps outlined below. In this economy, being laid off is no cause for shame. Its not personal. The economy sucks, businesses are scared, and these things happen. Most likely it wasn’t your fault. So don’t take it personally, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

While no doubt that job loss can be highly stressful, especially in cases where the job loss was completely unexpected, especially if you have been employed at the company for a long time in most cases laid off workers have seen it coming for a long time—through the rumor mill or whatever. This guide is written assuming the job loss was some degree unexpected.

Don’t feel discouraged! It’s easy to feel out of sorts when the job search takes longer than you expect. But these days, a lot of people are in the same boat. It’s important to stay persistent though and to keep your spirits up when you’re on your hunt. Tomorrow may just be the day you land something.

Losing a job is a personal, frightening and traumatic experience. Although it’s difficult to know just what to do, protecting your career from ruin and your family from financial and emotional devastation should be first priority. Whether management meets with the employees to discuss possible work changes in the workforce, or it is simply the gossip mill at work, every employee should take heed. Unless a plant or company is closing, not all employees will face termination. It is human nature to deny the possibility that you could actually lose your job; however, it never hurts to be prepared just in case.

Losing your job may feel like the end of the world, but it is not. Recognize that anger and grief are a part of the process. Threatening your employer or losing your temper can only damage your case. Be smart; have a good plan of action and stick to it. Keep in mind that you did not fail your employer; your employer failed to raise enough revenue to support all of its employees.

First thing to do is Don’t Panic! Hopefully you have seen this coming to some extent and may have put some money away or taken other steps any sane person would take knowing a layoff is imminent So hopefully you have some savings. In most cases, you will have at least one more paycheck coming your way, and you may have severance, or unused vacation pay, whatever. If not anything else and in a worse case scenario, you wont starve for at least a couple weeks. You are probably eligible to collect unemployment, so you can count on that money coming in.

  1. Figure out your budget.

This requires an honest look at what you have saved,, what is a must have, and what is a “nice-to-have.” Depending on a number of factors, including your skills, your city, demand for workers in your industry, it may be awhile before you land your next position

• Are you entitled to severance? If so, how much?

• Will you receive payment for unused vacation days? If not, you should schedule them as soon as possible.

• How long will you be entitled to health coverage? And at what cost?

• Likewise, can you maintain your insurance policy? If so, at what rate?

• What’s involved in transferring, borrowing or withdrawing your 401(k) funds?

• Are you entitled to unemployment compensation? If so, what documentation do you need?

You’re not going to starve tomorrow, and hopefully your negotiations went well and you’ll have at least some scratch coming your way. Take a few days for yourself. If you’re anything like I was, for the next week, your mind will be aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention. So use the next few days to compose yourself. Take some time for self-reflection, meditation, and getting completely stinko. Look back over your time with the jerks who just threw you out on the street. Analyze what you did well and what you did poorly. Look at the mistakes you made during your tenure there. Examine how you handled yourself during the layoff period. Think about what you would change and what you would do the same. Learn from your mistakes. Store all of these conclusions away for the future – they can only help you grow in your career and as a person.

How Long Will It Take You to Get Back to Work

You may need three months to get an entry-level position, but landing an executive spot may require a six- to twelve-month search. In fact, one popular rule of thumb suggests you should expect to search one to two months for every $10,000 in salary you want (a $50,000 job could mean a five- to ten-month hunt). Employers are taking their time. In past years, they were willing to fast-track hiring before competitors could snatch up the best candidates. But now employers scrutinize applicants in several rounds of interviews before investing money and manpower to train them.

When I was laid off at the end of September 2008, I was worried and confused about what to do. I didn’t know if I should tell potential employers that I had been laid off, or if I should try to keep that fact concealed. I decided that I would only divulge that information if asked. However, at this point (late 2012) there is no reason not to tell people you’ve been laid off. With the economy in the proverbial commode, and unemployment hovering around 9%, layoffs are to be expected and don’t really reflect poorly upon you. However, there is a silver lining to this economic downturn: with all the layoffs there is now a great support network for people who’ve been laid off. There are literally thousands of people out there blogging and tweeting about what it’s like to be laid off and what to do if it happens to you. Get connected to that network – they may be helpful in finding your next job.

By this time, you should be ready to start back up with your job search

“You’ll find out who your true friends are when you search for a job. Your true friends will tell you about every opportunity employment they find. Use them.”

  1. Polish Up Your Resume.

Keep these few tips in mind when you update that killer resume:

Only include relevant and significant achievements.
Don’t ramble, keep things concise.
Use numbers and statistics if possible, they are powerful indicators
Describe those things that make you different.
Hire a professional resume writer–it’s money well spent and probably tax-deductible.
Present your accomplishments in a positive light, but don’t lie!
Detailed information on creating a powerful resume is beyond the scope of this article, but there are literally millions of resources out there devoted to just these topics. Tap into those resources. Use your network to let people know you were laid off and are seeking a job. Get on the Facebook, the Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Start talking to headhunters – let them do the work for you. Don’t give up. It’s tough, but it’s completely manageable if you break your tasks into small, manageable chunks.

Sometimes a paper résumé is just so 20th-century. Thanks to hosting sites like visualcv.com, coroflot.com, and carbonmade.com, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to create a digital résumé or e-portfolio. And you control access, unlike with a personal website. Start with your résumé, then add supporting information-examples of your work, sales charts, published articles, letters of recommendation, images, or videos.

  1. Work your network.

If you’ve got great relationships with your colleagues and ex-colleagues, you may have a leg up with your job search. Get in touch with them through social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn.com. This is one more reason why it’s important to stay in good terms with your work chums. Contact your former bosses and co-workers and let them know you are available.

Write a thank-you note to your former boss. It can’t hurt, and if your boss hears of openings elsewhere, you’re now that much more likely to get the referral.

Submit your resume directly to the target companies where you’d like to work (via their website, public email address, snail mail and/or drop it off in person).

  1. Send your resume directly to the recruiters or hiring managers at your target companies (via LinkedIn), referencing any specific positions which interest you.
  2. Join some LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your career path. LinkedIn now has a Groups Search Engine to make this process very simple. Use the Discussion and Job boards to network with your fellow group members. They may know of a relevant opening that’s perfect for you.
  3. Network, network, network – LinkedIn is a wonderful resource. Link up with as many former coworkers as possible and ask them if they know of any relevant openings or contacts who might be able to assist you with your search. Recent grads, be sure to leverage the power of your alumni network, either through the university or via LinkedIn networking. Most alums love to help out fellow grads from their Alma mater!
  4. Post your resume everywhere possible (Monster, Dice, HotJobs, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, etc.), confidentially if you prefer. There’s no shame in it and it gets your info out to your target audience (recruiters and hiring managers).
  5. Consider working with external recruiters – they’re free to you since it’s the company that pays if/when they hire you. (Don’t know any agency recruiters? Find them via LinkedIn.)
  6. Leverage Social Media. In addition to LinkedIn, be sure to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to establish yourself as an expert in your space / profession / industry. Follow recruiters, hiring managers and employees at your target company. Build a following and network with your followers. Go to your pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc., and let people know you are available for new projects. While you’re at it, proactively send out notes to your trusted associates that you are looking for work.

Notify your references, including past employers, that you’re job hunting.

• Update your resume, quantifying your accomplishments whenever possible (e.g. exceeded sales goal by 18%).

• Register with employment agencies and/or search firms. (Ask in advance if they charge for their services).

• Say yes to every interview, even if it isn’t the job you want. It’s good practice.

• Familiarize yourself with the companies you’re interviewing with. Being prepared will go a long way with prospective employers.

• Follow up on your interviews with a thank-you e-mail or note.

  1. If you’re not local and all else fails, move first and then look for a job. (That’s what I had to do… Back in the day, no one would seriously consider me until I had a local address on my resume).
  2. Leverage online job resources.

This one is pretty obvious…. I’ve found many jobs online — either by contacting recruiters in my area or by making inquiries at particular job boards and job sites. Depending on the type of work you do, certain sites may work out better for you than others, as far as generating job leads. Pounding the pavement for work has been trumped by pounding the keyboard. But with 50,000 career-related sites to click on, where’s a wage earner to start?Some well rated sites include:

  1. Seek support.
    Some people may feel uncomfortable sharing their job loss with their families. Ever hear of those laid off folks who continue the charade of getting up to “go to work”, hiding the fact that they’ve lost their jobs to their families? Well, if instead you decide to seek out support and share your predicament with others, the better your chances of finding a replacement job, as others may pitch in to help you with your search. Plus, it usually feels better (at least it is for me) when people are commiserating with you over your situation.
  2. Go to start-up fairs

Wherever people are pitching new businesses, be there. They’re all hiring. If not now, then soon.

  1. Get project work

You may not have a daily gig, but you still have your skills, and there are people who need them. Head over to a project marketplace like oDesk or eLance and pick up some work.

  1. Learn some new skills

No, I don’t mean to learn Rails if you’re a Java guy. That’s obvious. I mean cooking, rock climbing, riding a motorcycle–something that you didn’t have the time to do while you were a FTE.

  1. Answer some questions

Scan Twitter for people asking questions in your areas of expertise, hang out in message boards on things you know stuff about. You’ll see what’s going on in the industry, you might be able to help people out (always worthwhile), and you might also land a tip for a gig.

  1. Take some time off

Next, take some time off – real time off. The kind of time off where you block out anything related to work, resumes, job skills, networking or synergy. I can’t state this enough: use this time to completely unwind. Just because you were laid off doesn’t mean you can’t have a mini-vacation, as long as you’ve got the funds – and even if you’re low on funds, there’s always unemployment – courtesy of your former employer and the gubment. Catch up with friends you’ve been too busy for. Do some non-work related things you’ve been meaning to get done. Finish reading How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Invest a little and travel to a seaside town in Mexico, even if it’s just a few days. Mexico is easy to get to, it might be cheaper to live there, and lying on a beach is certainly not a bad way to contemplate what you want to do with the rest of your career. At the very least, you’ll see people who get by on a lot less than we make.

  1. Volunteer

“It can build new skills (like leadership), a new portfolio. Someone capable of making their kid’s Boy Scout troop turn a profit suddenly looks a lot more proactive than the schlub who catches up on reruns while waiting for Craigslist to pay off.”

  1. Start your own company

If you have some savings and can afford to work for peanuts (or less), it’s a great time to start a company. Without the annoying distraction of a booming economy, you can focus on providing a service or solve a problem you know people will have again when the economy loosens up. There is still funding, even, for early-stage companies. What should you build? We leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Blog

First thing I’d do is pick up the blogging pace. Start writing about things you know and the areas you want to establish your expertise in. Don’t have a blog? Go to WordPress.com.

  1. Go to conferences. Local ones are cheap, but even ones out of town are affordable if you can use frequent flyer miles and get a discounted conference fee.
  2. Go to events. There are probably all kinds of industry association events—formal and informal—in your area. I would go to as many of these as I could and start getting to know people. Offer to speak, take tickets, whatever. Be involved.
  3. Write a book. You’ve got some time, make you name by writing about what you know. You’d be surprised what writing a book will do for you as far as employment goes. It immediately establishes you as an expert.
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Here Is A List of the Top 10 Career Search Websites

One of the most common ways today’s job seekers uncover employment opportunities is by using online sources. There are hundreds of job boards, both generic and niche, as well as aggregators, social media channels, networking groups and staffing company websites to choose from. The good news is they provide plenty of listings. The bad news is you can be easily overwhelmed by so many options. How can you find the best job search websites for you?

We think we can help. Here are 10 of what are generally considered the best job search websites around, arranged in alphabetical order. There are many others, of course, but this list should give you a good starting point for your next job hunt:

CareerBuilder — No list of best job search websites would be complete without this entry. CareerBuilder is one of the biggest job boards, and its robust search function allows you to filter by several criteria, including location, degree required and pay range. CareerBuilder partners with news media around the country and collects job listings from them. It also provides career advice and resources for candidates.

Indeed — A huge aggregator of postings from across the Web, this site consolidates listings from many job boards in one place. It also compiles information from various company career pages and allows you to search locally or globally.

Job.com — This large site offers weekly job alerts, job search advice, a resume builder and, of course, job postings. It also allows you to upload your resume for hiring managers and recruiters to search.

TheLadders — This site focuses on job openings for upper-level executives and professionals who are aiming for the management suite.

LinkedIn — This top networking site enables you to find jobs through your extended network. Additionally, you can join groups, participate in conversations and follow companies you find interesting and relevant to your job search.

LinkUp — LinkUp is one of the best job search websites because it features job postings from more than 40,000 large and small company sites across the U.S. LinkUp is well-known for quickly removing expired posts, keeping fake posts from cluttering up their search results and providing mobile tools so you can search on the go.

Monster — This massive job site is aptly named because it includes one of the largest number of job listings of any website. It also allows you to upload your resume and offers networking boards, as well as a search alert service so you can get targeted posts delivered via email.

Robert Half — Why is our own site included in this list of best job search websites? Because, by visiting roberthalf.com, you can search thousands of job postings from the companies we work with around the world. Many of the opportunities we offer are exclusive to Robert Half and can’t be found elsewhere, online or off. We also offer job search and career advice, a robust library of workplace research and information about what it’s like to work for Robert Half.

SimplyHired — This search engine offers an email alerts service and lets you save your job searches. Candidates can sort their searches to focus on companies that hire veterans, have a high rate of diversity and abide by eco-friendly practices, among other criteria.

Us.jobs — This search site is particularly useful for those looking for state government jobs. It collects postings from state work agencies, as well as other company websites.

After exploring the above list of the best job search websites, you might consider registering with more than one site since each offers a slightly different experience and list of benefits. Good luck!

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Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances After A Layoff

Get A Handle on Your Financial Situation
Hopefully you’ve been able to stash enough cash in your emergency fund to last you through a downturn. Typically it’s been recommended that you have at least 6 months’ worth of expenses to tide you over. But these days, liquidity is king! If you want to be absolutely certain that your expenses are fully covered if you DO get laid off, then you’ll have to rethink how much cash you should hold. Where to put this money? Somewhere ultra safe, such as a high yield savings account.

  1. Do a budget. Download free budgeting forms. Be honest about your family’s must-haves—food, shelter, utilities, transportation, and basic clothing. If you have credit card debt, talk to your credtors to see what options you may have.
  2. Cut way back on your lifestyle. Home-cooked meals and library books should become the norm. Rent m ovies from the kiosk for a buck a night. Take advantage of public parks, low-cost museums

3.

  1. Get a part-time job. Yes, they are available. Do everything you can to still generate some income until you find a new full-time job.7. Diversify.

Diversification is not just for investments. It also pertains to income generation and wherever else you may be spending your time. If you’ve got other ways of making money other than through your job, you’ll be in much better shape when a recession hits. So if you’ve got talents and skills, or that perfect hobby you can parlay into a business, you may think about leveraging these things into money making ventures and alternative income streams.

Guide 6: Talk to the people you owe money to. Don’t ignore bills or you may lose what you already have. Immediately contact your creditors: the finance company, bank, credit union, and department stores. Make an appointment to explain your problem. Here are some solutions you and your creditors might work out:

• Make smaller payments that you can afford for a short period of time.

• Refinance your loan. You can make another contract for smaller payments over a longer period of time. The new payments will be smaller, but the overall cost for the loan will be larger.

If all else fails, consider a consolidation loan. You can take out one loan to pay off all your bills at once. Then you will have just one debt to pay off to just one creditor. Each payment will be smaller, but you will commit yourself for a longer period of time, usually at a higher total cost.

Don’t forget to work out a way to handle your monthly mortgage payments. If they are too high for you to pay, go to your lender and explain. Ask the officer in the mortgage-lending department to permit you to pay only the interest for a certain period of time. Or perhaps you can postpone one or two payments until you have pulled yourself out of your financial crises.

The important thing is that you talk with your creditors about your problem and come to an agreement about what you can do and keep from losing what you have.

• Don’t default on payments. Go to your creditors, explain your situation, and work with them to make adjustments.

• Be prepared to change your standard of living, at least temporarily, so you don’t have to give up essentials.

Hunker down and cut expenses.. coupons, reduce cable commit, Dish Network lets you do it ($5 change fee, which I think is reasonable), hopefully your provider will without a ridiculous change fee.

figure out healthcare–COBRA may be your only option

  1. Take pictures

Put your $1,500 dSLR to use by selling stock-art pictures of household objects to Fotolia, ShutterStock, iStockphoto, StockXpert, etc. “It’s cheap for people to buy images compared to the traditional stock (photo) market, but it can be lucrative over time because images sell over and over. I’ve made money without trying too hard. But quality standards are going up, so you can’t just upload any old crap. Brush up on your model releases.”

Virtual marketplace sites—like elance.com, odesk.com, and guru.com—link up freelancers who have specialized skills (like video editing, blog writing, or Web developing) with employers by having candidates bid for jobs. Grumblers complain that they’re competing with offshore workers who give lowball figures to win assignments.

Refuse to be unemployed. If you’re a programmer or IT professional, don’t think of yourself as unemployed, think of yourself as an independent contractor and go get some work. I loved the freedom of consulting the 18 months I did it. I didn’t like constantly scrambling for the next gig. You might enjoy it enough to just consult forever.

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14 Great Tips to Help You Find Your Next Job

Concerned about finding your next job? With the current challenges in the U.S. and global economy, it is certainly difficult for many to find a new position. However, don’t despair! Follow these tips to develop your own economic stimulus package to increase your chances of job search success.

  1. Be patient, but have a plan. In a good economy, the average entry‐level job search can take from three to six months. In a poor economy, it takes even longer. There may be fewer opportunities available, and even if they have opportunities, employers may be cautious about filling them because of budget concerns. In addition, the hiring process can be lengthy because there are so many steps involved (the application process…the first interview…several follow‐up interviews…a background or reference check…the offer…the acceptance). Start early to develop your resume and explore opportunities!
  2. Take at least one step daily. It’s easy to kick back after graduation and hope a job will come to you. However, unless your parent owns a company, that tactic rarely works. Be proactive! Develop a list of job search goals. Get a calendar and write one task for each day of the business week, Monday through Friday. Include time to refine your resume, write application letters, attend professional meetings, meet with people, and follow up with employers.
  3. Identify your unique qualifications. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. He or she has a position to fill and is looking for a particular set of skills and/or experience. Take the time to research the position and organization, identify what sets you apart from other candidates, and include the information on your resume. Make certain the employer can see how your skills match the job requirements. If an employer can quickly scan your resume and determine if you’re a fit for the position, the document has done its job.
  4. Get out there. Pointing and clicking at your computer isn’t going to get you a job in this economy. Get out from behind your desk and connect with employers in person. Take advantage of every available opportunity, such as job fairs, campus interviews, and other networking events. A resume can’t tell your whole story to an employer so an in‐person meeting (no matter how brief) gives you an opportunity to provide details about your skills and experience. Show that you’re a professional (in attitude, appearance, and behavior), and let your personality shine. Employers tell us that face‐to‐face situations help them to confirm if a candidate will be a good fit for the job and organization.
  5. Be persistent. “Help Wanted” signs may be few and far between, but there are jobs out there-you may have to find them. Be persistent, follow up with employers that interest you, and be professional. In the current economy, you may need to apply for a broader variety of jobs, including jobs for which you may feel under‐qualified or over‐qualified. The key is to get your foot in the door, build your skills, network, and be ready for the economic upswing.
  6. Network, network, network. Since many jobs are never advertised, networking is one of the best ways to find employment. Of course, building a network means that you have to talk with people, whether you know them or not. Start with family members, friends, neighbors, co‐workers, and professors until you begin to feel more comfortable. Then attend professional organization meetings in your field and get involved so you can expand your network. Share your career interests, geographic preferences, and other pertinent information. Ask, “Who do you know that would know about finding a job in [list your field of interest]?” Eventually, one contact will lead to another, and another, and so on!
  7. Look for “hidden” jobs. The majority of opportunities are filled before they are announced publicly. Your challenge is to find out where those jobs exist. Use your network to inquire about opportunities and get some leads. Then target an organization and a department where you are interested in working. Research it through publications and people connected with the organization, such as vendors, customers, and employees. Identify the person (usually a manager) who makes hiring decisions for the department. Get yourself introduced, or make contact through email, a phone call, or a personalized letter. Inquire about current or upcoming opportunities. If you learn about a position, ask how to formally apply for it. In addition to the formal application, send a thank‐you letter to the manager and include your resume. Follow up each application with a telephone call to the recipient to make sure your application was received.
  8. Volunteer your time and skills. Even if you’re not working full‐time, you can continue to hone your skills and gain experience by volunteering. If you are actively engaged in community service or volunteer work, keep it up! If you aren’t, now is the time to get involved. In addition to contributing your time and talents to a worthy cause, you will meet people who may be good sources of job information. Most nonprofit organizations have a board of directors and volunteers that are accomplished and successful in their own careers. Tap into this network of individuals to obtain job search advice and identify possible opportunities.
  9. Consider temporary work. The role of an employment agency is to help employers successfully fill open positions by assessing and submitting the best candidates. In addition, the employment agency serves as an advocate for the candidates with whom they work. An agency recruiter works with you to review your resume, assess how professional and marketable you are, determine the level of your interviewing skills, and help you to represent yourself well in an interview. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee for this service; work only with employment agencies that charge a fee to employers, not job candidates. Ask other individuals to recommend reputable employment agencies that work with employers in your field of interest. Meet with a representative to ask questions that will help you determine if the agency can provide the quality services that
  10. Expand your search geographically. It may be scary moving to another location; however, the more willing you are to expand your search geographically, the more likely you are to increase the number of opportunities in your field. Some areas of the country have been hit less hard than others. Subscribe to the Sunday edition of a city’s newspaper or locate the online version to learn about advertised jobs, housing costs, and other information that will help you to determine the local job market. Access the chamber of commerce’s Website to become familiar with businesses and other organizations in the area that may be hiring. Contact real estate agencies to obtain information on the hiring climate and economy as well as get help in finding a new place to live.
  11. Consider recession‐proof industries. While some industries in the private sector are tightening their belts,
    others continue to remain stable. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, industries such as health care, government, education, and information technology continue to provide strong prospects. Research these industries to determine which positions will allow you to apply your skills and experiences.
  12. Log on. LinkedIn has become a valuable tool for learning about job opportunities, connecting with people in your profession, and learning about trends and opportunities in the field. You can be in contact with large numbers of people while determining how engaged you want to be, from just listening to the discussions to posting to the conversations.
  13. Clean up your profile. Your online image is just as important as your face‐to‐face image. When you invite people into your Facebook network, you are linking to their networks, the people they have in their networks, and so on. You never know what employers are checking the sites for information on you as a potential candidate so professionalism is critical. In addition, you should be selective about the people you invite into your network because what they say about you could impact whether you get a job or not.
  14. Keep a record. Since job hunting can take weeks or months, it is helpful to maintain a record. Keep track of the contact information for individuals in your network and prospective employers. Include deadlines, actions taken, and results. In addition, keep copies of job descriptions, applications submitted, and correspondence sent. Use a notebook, database, and/or calendar so your job search is organized and efficient. Review the information daily to determine if there are steps that need to be taken and to see how much you have accomplished.
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