A Career College and Job-Search Advice Column
Dr. Randall Hansen a nationally recognized career expert is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home of The Career Doctor.
If you have any college career or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Hansen writes this column on a biweekly basis.
Note: Readers can find other columns from this year in Current Year Archives of The Career Doctor Q&A.
In This Issue (07/16/04):
- Waiting by the phone for job offer
- Researching potential career in dermatology
- Identifying and demonstrating analytical skills
- Clarifying multiple jobs for same employer on resume
|Q:|| Christina writes: I had an interview in the middle of June and it went very well. I left the interview with the employer telling me that he and the company would miss a great opportunity if they don’t hire me.
I had contact with the employer at the end of June and was told that my background check is clear references checked out fine and my application is waiting for a stamp of approval.
My question is that since then I have not heard anything yet as of early July’ I’m wondering if a follow-up is necessary or should I just wait for the employer to contact me. What is your advice?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I want everyone reading this column to make a solemn promise to me’ when you are next in the middle of a job-search you will ALWAYS follow-up with the prospective employer. Employers want to hire go-getters people who have an interest and desire to work for them and that’s what following-up does — it shows the employer you want to work for that company. Job-seekers must be proactive in your job-search not reactive waiting for the employer to contact you.
So Christina if I were you I would immediately jump on the telephone and call the hiring manager and simply state that you wanted to call and check in and see if there was anything else he — or the company — needed from you. I personally would be a bit more aggressive and add anything they needed from me in order to finalize the job offer but that’s just me.
Follow-up after job interviews is essential and it always starts with a thank-you note or letter. You also have to make periodic contact with the hiring manager. Now don’t start calling everyday or once an hour as happened to me when I was a hiring manager years ago because then you’ll be flagged as someone desperate or psychotic’ but once a week is certainly reasonable.
But do not panic because you have not heard back yet’ many employers have really stretched the hiring process over the last few years — partly to be sure they have found the best candidate and not overlooked anyone and partly due to budgetary issues.
Perhaps the section with the most tools for job-seekers if you need help with any aspect of interviewing – before during or after is this section of Quintessential Careers: Guide to Job Interviewing Resources.
|Q:||Alicia writes: Hi! I was just curious as to what I would need to major in to become a dermatologist. I would really appreciate this information! Thanks and have a great day!|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: According to the America Board of Dermatology a dermatologist is a physician who is trained to evaluate and manage pediatric and adult patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin hair nails and adjacent mucous membranes. Dermatologists also manage cosmetic disorders of the skin including hair loss scars and the skin changes associated with aging.
According to an October 2001 article in the Archives of Dermatology the current supply of dermatologists only slightly exceeds the current published demand. The annual salary for dermatologists ranges from $126000 to $259000
Because a dermatologist is a physician becoming a dermatologist requires many years of education. You should major in science in college — biology chemistry biochemistry etc. — ideally your school has a pre-med major. To make yourself more attractive to medical schools consider adding an additional major or taking additional courses in other areas.
Medical school will generally take about four more years. Graduation from an approved medical school will result in the title Medical Doctor (MD). After medical school you’ll need to complete another five years in the dermatology division of a university including three years of residency. Completion of the qualifying licensing examinations is required to practice medicine. Licensure by a regional licensing authority is required.
I don’t exactly know where you are now – in high school or college. If you are still in high school you should consider soaking up as much math and science as possible. If you’re in college meet with the director of the pre-med program.
Finally to further your knowledge and understanding of the profession I would suggest conducting a few informational interviews as well as shadowing one or more dermatologists. Start with your family’s dermatologist — and then ask him or her for the names of a few other colleagues. You might also consider volunteering at local hospital or assisted living facility.
Resources that can help you in your quest:
|Q:|| Carol writes: I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and did quite well in my classes however the job market is not very good right now and there is rarely any entry level positions. Although I do have some experience in basic bookkeeping and general ledger postings it doesn’t seem like that is enough. In all of my interviews I do fine when it comes to transferable skills as I am an assistant bank manager and have leadership and organizational skills. However when it comes to the question "Name some areas in which you used analytical skills" I seem to come to a halt and start stumbling.
I would really appreciate any feedback that you could give me on this issue since it seems to be a major drawback in my interviews. I have been to 7 interviews this summer and have heard nothing not even a letter of denial!!
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I’m not sure what types of jobs you are currently interviewing for but I am guessing they are accounting-related rather than banking. If that’s the case I think it really is critical for you to get a handle on your analytical skills and experiences because I believe these employers may be asking the question as a way to determine your true interest in accounting since you did not go into the field after you graduated college.
Job interviewing success is strongly determined by pre-interview preparation. So before you go on any more job interviews please sit down and make an inventory of all your analytical skills and experiences. You’ll need to not only say you have the skills but also demonstrate you have them. Once you have this general set down your next step will be to match your skills and experiences to the qualifications an employer seeks in the job description. Nothing works better in job interviews than using the employer’s own words to describe your experience – it makes you seem like the perfect fit.
To be certain my hunch is correct you could also contact one or more of the people you interviewed with and ask them if they would be willing to give you some honest feedback on your interviewing performance. Not only will this exercise be helpful for future interviews you may impress one or more of them enough that they will consider you again for future openings.
Finally as I repeat this advice yet again you CANNOT just sit and wait by the phone expecting employers to call you. You must first send thank you notes after each interview and then you must follow-up with phone calls to the employer to show your continuing interest and enthusiasm for the job and the employer.
|Q:||Amy writes: I am writing my first resume and I am using your web site for information in doing so. I have 7 years of experience and 3 employers on this resume. At my first job I was there for 5 years and had 3 positions while I was there. I know my whole date of employment with that employer but I don’t know the exact dates that I went from 1 position to another. I only have estimated dates. How do I put estimated dates on a resume? I have been looking at sample resumes and I haven’t seen any with my situation. All of this will make my resume about 1.5 pages. Is that too long? I tried to cram it on 1 page but the only way was to crowd it and put the type as small as 9 pt. and it was hard too read at 9 pt. Please give me your feedback.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: First kudos for thinking ahead and perfecting your resume before you jump back into the job market. A resume of more than one page is fine for someone with seven years of experience. A one-page resume that uses non-existent page margins or tiny type will just not get read.
As for content. First remember that it’s perfectly fine to develop a generalized resume but once you identify prospective jobs and employers you’ll want to customize your resume using the employer’s words and highlighting the experience they seek.
In terms of describing your experience with your first employer you have two choices. In the first approach you list all three positions within the same company using the company as an umbrella. In the second approach which is favored by my partner Katharine Hansen you list each job separately which gives more weight to each position. I also tend to favor the second approach. And if you are unsure of your dates or exactly how to list them contact the human resources department of the company thus the dates on your resume will match their records in case a prospective employer calls to check.
Finally some general resume rules to remember:
For more tips on resume-writing including samples go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Resume and CV Resources for Job-Seekers.