Sunday, March 27, 2011

Get More Out of Your Resume with Advice from SET Personal Marketing

Your resume is one of the most important aspects to your job search. From the first impression to the first ideas an employer formulates about you, the resume is your introduction and your first chance at getting a foot in the door.

The truth is, however, resumes are difficult. Formatting, proofreading, designing, there's probably nothing more tedious than spending a weekend coming up with a resume, much less three -- which is what we recommend that you have. But if your resume hasn't been getting you results, maybe it's time for you to revisit your resume because the results will pay off. SET Personal Marketing shows you how!

First Resume: Introductions, Quick Meetings, Networking
Your first and primary resume is just one page. Say it again: one page. The thing to keep in mind is resumes aren't an obituary detailing every job and aspect of your employment history. Rather, they're an advertisement for what you can do for a company in the future. Don't list everything you've ever accomplished. Instead highlight your best accomplishments, skills and abilities. Show a company how your experience translates into potential success for them. Use this light, one-page resume for any networking opportunities, any time you answer an advertisement by mail or for preemptively reaching out to employers you want to work for.

Second Resume: Interviews, Follow-up Conversations
This is the resume that gives you and your experience the breathing room you probably wanted in your first resume. But still keep in mind that this is again more about promoting what you can do than what you did. However, give extended examples and greater details about how you might have improved a situation, a process or position. Bring this resume with you to interviews or other places where introductions have already been made and you wish to further demonstrate what you can bring to the table.

Third Resume: Internet and Digital Networking
Possibly more important than any other resume, your electronic resume is tailored to answer ads you encounter on the Internet or connections you make online. While this resume should follow the same rules as the first, primary resume mentioned earlier, the important thing to keep in mind is that this resume should be loaded up with keywords, as many employers are using technology that scans resumes for specific words. Even more effective in addition to this is creating a website where your resume is easily downloaded and viewable, and then you can include the URL on emails to employers. It shows that you're embracing technology and capable of using it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SET Personal Marketing Offers 6 Uncommon Approaches to an Uncommon Job Market

Not getting replies or responses in your job search? Well, don't get frustrated instead! It's common to let irritation and disappointment get the best of you when you're unemployed, but you have to stay positive. Here, SET Personal Marketing gives you these 6 uncommon job search approaches to try so you can get back in the game and get ahead. 

1.  Get Active; Don’t Just Do What Everyone Else Does Answering advertisements and going to recruiters are passive approaches. All you’re doing is throwing your hat in the ring with hundreds of other job seekers. The odds are high. Why limit yourself to them?

Instead, take the initiative. Contact employers who have not advertised, but are most likely to need your talents. Jobs are often filled by referrals, networking, recruiting from competitor firms or a letter hitting the desk of a decision maker at just the right time. It could be yours, but simply applying to advertisements isn’t enough.

2.  Make Enough Contacts

How many you need will vary. But whether it is answering ads or contacting employers, you need to beat the high odds by making a lot of contacts. Only one person will get hired out of 300 candidates and only two or three out of 100 employers will have a need at the moment you contact them.   

3.  Get Creative in Your Networking

Instead of just asking a few friends to let you know if they hear of anything, get creative. Develop ideas about how you can make contributions to employers, especially in light of trends in their industry. Then identify key people in companies in the industry, and write them, letting them know you’d appreciate feedback from a knowledgeable source as to whether your ideas would be beneficial.

Follow up with a phone call, and when you do, even if they don’t think much of what you proposed, you’ve added to your network! You can thank them and ask if there is anyone else they’d advise you to talk with or any actions they’d recommend.   

4.  Pay Attention to Events

When you read business news, ask yourself, might this signal an opportunity for me? Research companies making progress or changes and send a short note mentioning the event to a decision maker in the company with your résumé attached. It makes a positive impression and you might get in the door for an emerging job before there is any competition.

What kind of events? Almost anything – new products, new contracts, expansions, reorganizations, relocations, leases signed, profit increases or even problems can be a sign of a job in the formative stages.   

5.  Contact More Recruiters

Don’t limit yourself to just a few you know about or those who have advertised an opening.  The chance of one recruiter having a job right for you the moment you contact them is very small. As with ads, events and employer contacts, you can increase your chances for success by contacting dozens or hundreds.   

6.  Contact Growth Companies

Why?  Because they are adding people in many functions when other companies are not. 

Don’t worry if you are not in their industry. They are often in newer industries, and can’t find enough people with industry experience. So they are forced to look elsewhere for people with the right skills. Just be sure to sell yourself to them about how you will contribute and how the skills you’ve honed in other industries can work for them.

One quick way to identify growth firms: find out its SIC or NAICS Code, then go to the library and look up all the companies in your area who are listed under that code. A reference librarian will guide you.

For even more great updates from SET Personal Marketing, check out the new SET Personal Marketing Wordpress!

Think Ahead

So you've impressed an employer with your resume, but now comes the interview. You can't let your nerves get the best of you. The best way to go into an interview with the most confidence, is to plan ahead and quiz yourself with questions you think you may be asked. No interview is exactly like another, but some questions are bound to resurface depending on your profession. You might be taken by surprise by some questions, but there are others you should expect to be asked. Go into detail when explaining what you bring to the company with examples from your past. Use these work examples to show why you have all the necessary experience to add to the overall success of the business.

Be direct in the interview. The best way to do this is to think of questions before the interview and answer them in the most detailed explanation, without droning on. No doubt your new job will have stressful times. The interview is a way for your boss to see how you handle stress and being put on the spot. All the other pieces to the puzzle may be there for you to be a great addition to the organization, but there may be another candidate who gets the position because they were more prepared and confident in the interview.

So, to review the plan:

1. Think of questions you have been asked before in previous interviews. Find out from friends in the same line of work what they were asked.

2. Formulate what your answers to these questions are going to be.

3. Know there will be at least one question you didn’t plan on being asked, so when the time comes, you don’t feel completely sideswiped.

Going over your resume and talking about your skills will happen in the interview no matter what. The interview is the time for the boss to see who you are. They want to see what your personally is like and what you will bring to the feel of the business, not just the bottom line. Know that the interview is when you will seal the deal for your next career opportunity.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Success is all in the attitude

A positive attitude is what separates those who succeed from those who don't, simply because if you expect the worst then the worst is likely what you'll end up with. A bad attitude will force you to give up quicker, settle or stay in a situation where you don't want to be.

Here we offer some guidelines on how to keep that positive momentum going.

1. Establish positive beliefs. Keep reminding yourself of what you have accomplished, though at times it can be difficult. But you have done a lot of things and there's more that you're capable of doing. Make a list of the positive things, making it as comprehensive or as long as you want. It will reassure your positivity when it's put onto paper and can help you later when times get rough.

2. Trash the negative beliefs. Now that you've built up yourself with positive beliefs, the next step is to get rid of anything negative that might hold you back. Realistically look at everything that you are facing and realize that there are ways to overcome anything. Once you start seeing areas of opportunity, you'll notice ways in which you can take advantage of these areas and make a change.

3. Set the bar high. Our perceptions and expectations directly affect what comes to us. If you look at leaders in  any industry, you'll see that all of them do what they do with the highest expectations of their abilities and success. Learn from them.

4. Put your expectations in action. Recognize that there are going to be difficulties, but don't lose hope and positivity when engaging with potential employers and opportunities. Keep your momentum going at all times.

5. Exude positivity. Tell friends and mentors about your positive beliefs, as this will only further establish your commitment to success. Let ideas flow in your attitude, and understand that positivity is always a work in progress that will take work and time to develop. But people recognize positivity and are attracted to it. A firm handshake and a confident look in your eye can go a long way in being recognized by others for your potential.

6. Take action. Activity is the catalyst for success. Nothing happens without action and remaining active in everything that you do will only provide more and more energy for other aspects of your life. All successful people share this same attitude and energy.