Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the June 18, 2001 issue of QuintZine.
Yet another victim of the decline of the dot-coms may be casual attire in the workplace, Business Week reported recently. After dot-coms inspired casual dress all over the business world, some companies are now rethinking their dress codes and reverting to more professional attire. One survey also showed that 34 percent of executives felt that casual dressers were starting to go too far and that “business casual” had devolved into “weekend casual.” The casual attire backlash is yet another reason to call a company before an interview to make sure your interview attire will be in step with the employer’s standards. And remember that it’s always better to err on the side of conservatism.
This Q Tip courtesy of Diana C. LeGere president of Executive Final Copy and employment coordinator for Greenbacks Bringing Hope Foundation in Salt Lake City, UT.
- Be sure your resume indicates a clear career progression. Even if you use a functional resume format that de-emphasizes dates, you can include a bare-bones work history that shows how your career has progressed.
- Include keywords that relate to the specific job you’re applying for.
- Generally speaking, unless you’re in a very creative field, stay away from brightly colored resume papers and highly unusual presentations. The HR person can more easily glean key information if your resume is in a more conventional format.
- An HR manager who hires for entry-level office services and all levels of administrative assistants notes that key areas for employer scrutiny are years of experience in a related field and software or equipment proficiencies.
- An HR manager who receives 50-150 e-mailed resumes daily is annoyed by the scattershot approach of jobseekers who answer ads for jobs they’re not remotely qualified for. Don’t irritate employers by sending out your resume willy-nilly hoping the blanket coverage will result in interviews. Instead, target carefully, and apply only for jobs for which you’re truly qualified and interested in.
- Focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities. Employers know the responsibilities of the jobs they hire for; they want to know what you’ve done above and beyond those duties.
- Tailor your resume, and especially your cover letter, to the specific job you’re applying for. Tell how you qualify for THAT job. Some HR people who claim they don’t even read cover letters list this lack of specificity as the reason they ignore the letters. Says Karen Geney of Hemophilia of Georgia: “I’m looking for someone who took the time to read our ad and to tailor a letter to our requirements.”
Creelman concludes that “We [recruiters] all seem to face the same problem of overload. We need to get relevant information quickly. Job candidates do themselves a favor by tailoring the resume and cover letter and making sure the key points are easy to see.”
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