Resume & Career Advice

May 16, 2011

Establishing Professional Online Identity

Employment: Professional Online Identity

Can your professional online identity get you hired?

The internet is a very powerful tool for communication, commerce and even for marketing oneself for employment. However, one must be aware that internet is both professionally constructive and destructive depending on how a person uses the internet and whether or not he or she practices discretion and moral ethics in his or her online activities. The modern day practice of Human Resource executives, who are tasked with doing background check as part of the recruitment process, includes checking an applicant’s online identity. When applying, one should keep in mind that the internet may make or break future employment. There are many ways to establish a professional online identity that would serve as a good reference to a person’s character, professionally and personally. These are:

1. Discretion and prudent use of networking sites. Popular networking sites such as myspace, multiply, twitter, friendster and facebook have become so prevalent that almost all people with internet access have at least account on at least one of the mentioned sites. These sites are very much trendy and fun, however, self-restriction and prudence must be practice in posting photos, blogs and comments. Photos wherein an applicant is drunk or nude and comments that are racist and insensitive are not the way to establish professional identity online.

2. One good practice is to join professional forums where one can air professional opinions and polite exchange of thoughts and ideas. Presence of these will imply that the person is intelligent. Another similar approach is development of an intelligent, prudent blog or contributing to online publications.

3. Make an online portfolio or a web-based resume that can be easily searched by employers and that can easily be referred to when hiring and recruitment are urgent. The trick is to develop as professional looking web-based resume that uses language excellently and that could market personal and professional strengths.

Advertisements

March 21, 2011

What You Should Know About Character References

Character Reference Letter

What’s there to know about character references?

You should know by now not to put “References Available Upon Request” in your resume.What you should do instead is write down your references on a separate sheet of paper, which you can hand out to prospective employers if and when they ask. But that’s not all there is to it.

More often than not, hiring managers would specifically ask you for work references—in which case, your list should include former supervisors, managers, colleagues, business acquaintances, or clients (if you own a business). For fresh graduates, your character references could be your teachers, professors, or academic advisors. Also, you may want to consider members from an organization you belong to, or someone of good standing in your neighborhood or community. Anyone who isn’t a member of your family would do. And although it should be a given, considering that more than one in four people falsify their references, it seems prudent advice to list real people with their actual job titles!

The important thing is for your references to be able—and willing—to put in a good word for you. They should be able to attest to your qualities, skills or abilities, whether you’re punctual, diligent, or an expert in spreadsheets. As such, make sure that you contact them beforehand, and ask permission to include them in your list of references. Don’t forget to ask them how they prefer to be contacted—through email, phone, or snail mail.

Sometimes, your references, especially the busy ones, might find it too time-consuming to write a character reference letter (as they sometimes might be asked to do), or they might not be sure what to say when someone calls them. You could offer a draft of what you would want them to say, or even just a list of your achievements to refresh their memories.

Finally, make sure that you maintain the accuracy of the information on your list of references. In fact, even if you’re not applying for a job (yet), it doesn’t hurt to keep yourself updated about your professional contacts. After all, with LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking sites, it takes little more than a click to connect with them. Just make sure it’s not a fake account!

February 21, 2011

How to Level Up Your Job Search

Job Search

What does it take to level up a job search?

Writing a resume is a big part of the job hunting experience, but it is, by no means, the only part. There are other things that need to be done before you land your dream job—and it’s not just sending your resume to thirty companies and hoping for the best.

1. Contact your references. Now, this should be a given, but it is often overlooked. When an interviewer asks you for your references, you should be prepared with their details, and your references should know that you’re listing them as such.

2. Update your profiles. If you are like most jobseekers today, you have a LinkedIn account and membership in more than a few job search engines. If you don’t, then you’re missing out on a lot. Your networks could be the key to getting the job you want.

3. Create your own website. It neither takes nor costs much to put up your own site. It brings tremendous benefits in showing your prospective employers how you’re keeping abreast with technological advancements. Plus, it’s a venue to show off your skills, talents, and achievements that do not make the precious real estate that your resume is.

4. Research about the companies you’re interested in. You’ll never know when you’ll get a call—which is basically an impromptu interview. Of course, it’s better to research about the company before applying, but particularly in job boards, where employers can view your resume without your knowledge, it would be beneficial to know a little bit about the companies that are currently hiring.

5. Practice the interview. You may not be scheduled for one yet, but instead of cramming for an interview that is scheduled the following day, practice your pitch beforehand. Ensure that you know the overused buzzwords from the industry keywords.

Just because you’ve written an excellent resume does not guarantee that you’ll get the job. Follow these tips and level up your job search in no time.

August 16, 2010

Five Things You Should Never Include In Your Resume

In Resume Writing, Less Could Mean More

What points should you leave out so that your resume gets noticed?

Writing a resume would seem pretty straightforward: Who you are, what school you went to, what you’ve done.  Still, there are certain details that would seem like a bed in the living room if they appeared in your resume.  Here is a quick list to distinguish the clothes cabinets from the couches.

1.    Your resume is your marketing tool, and just like any other tool, it can function without the word “Tool” inscribed on it.  Your potential employers know that it is a resume.  You don’t have to put the word “Resume” on top.  Would you want your F-150 with “This is a truck” painted on its doors?  I thought so.

2.    In writing a resume, avoid including information that is too personal.  Details such as your date of birth, marital status, religious or political affiliation, race or ethnic group, and number of children are better left out.  Putting your Social Security number is also a bad idea, while your vital statistics–including your height, weight, and health information–are not too vital when applying for that management job.  The bottom line is, whether or not discrimination still exists, those just don’t belong in your resume.  Further, unless you’re applying for a modeling, movie or TV gig, your resume should not include your picture.  In fact, even in those cases, it would be better to put your photos in a separate portfolio.

3.    While it might be interesting to know that you’ve once caught a White Sturgeon while on vacation or that you can play Flight of the Bumblebee in your spare time, don’t let your hobbies occupy the precious real estate that your resume is.  They’re better suited for small talk during the interview

4.    Salary information is another thing that is best discussed during or after the job interview.  This includes your previous and preferred salary.  Instead of placing salary information on your resume, you can talk about it in person, where you can use it as a bargaining chip.  By the way, detailing in your resume why you quit your previous jobs is also a no-no.

5.    Lastly, it is no longer required to insert the address and phone numbers of your references in your resume.  However, neither is there a need to put “References available upon request” at the bottom.  It’s taken for granted that you will provide your references if and when the hiring manager asks for them.  You may, however, want to print your references on a separate sheet of paper, so that you can easily hand it out when asked.

In the end, the clincher in determining what to put in resumes can be summed up in one word: relevance.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.