Resume & Career Advice

February 28, 2011

How to Start Writing a Résumé from Scratch

Resume Writing From Scratch

Does it take you this much to build a resume from scratch?

Sam, not his real name, was a top sales and marketing executive in a high performing financial services company. He was delivering sales way above the majority of his colleagues. He was on top of his game when all of a sudden the financial crisis happened. The company was dissolved and the next thing he knew, he was out looking for a job. Being the sales and marketing professional that he is, selling himself through a resume shouldn’t be a problem— however, it was. Sam never made a résumé his entire life. Believe it or not, many people, even those with years of professional experience, do not own a résumé. Sam found out that writing a résumé from scratch is a difficult task.

One of the most important matters to remember when writing a resume is the target industry or position. In order to draft an effective résumé, the résumé writer should be able to use industry or field-specific jargons that would increase the probability of the prospective employers’ recognition of the applicant’s capability or compatibility to the position or at least the industry/field. Another important consideration should be assessment of professional strengths and skills. These core strengths should imply that the applicant has the qualifications best fit for the position.

Perhaps the most important and essential part of writing a résumé from scratch is the listing down of the two most common parts of a résumé— education and professional experience. List down the names of the companies, inclusive dates of employment, and relevant job descriptions including accomplishments achieved during the term of employment. This must be written chronologically. Not all employment experience though should be expounded in the résumé. Only relevant employment or work experiences with similar tasks must have longer job descriptions.

Résumé writing can be very difficult, even for marketing experts like Sam. Remember, it is never a sign of professional weakness to ask professional help when drafting a resume, especially drafting résumé from scratch.

January 31, 2011

Finding and Quitting: 2010 Career Lessons

Career Lessons

Which of the many career lessons of 2010 should you carry on to 2011?

It was the low and the high times, the best and the worst. Series of events happened that with all its varieties, certain lessons have to be learned and remembered in order for us to move forward. The year 2010 has just left us, but what are certain insights that remain?

Lessons for the profession are important to remember and the events regarding career in 2010 will allow us to reflect on what could be done in the new year. Below are news related to career in the past year with valuable lessons to treasure.

•   Mothers who are considering working while having an infant child isn’t such bad idea after all. In July last year, a Columbia University study indicates that mothers or parents basically should not feel guilty having to work while attending to children since it does not have any effects on their performance. Now that seems to be such great news especially when parents have to find a career in order to meet the demands of their children’s needs.

•   Choosing a career carefully is also one of the greatest lessons of all times. In a survey of The Conference Board research group, 45% of the Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs. Relative reasons would include their loss of interest about the job, the stagnant income due to rising inflation and the towering cost of health insurance adds to their burden of having very low take home pay. Showing low interest for a job can be a lesson to job seekers on finding the right career; but the two latter reasons can also be a call for ways on how the economy should be improved so that labor trend can be considered as stable.

•   Relative to the unsatisfied Americans with their job, quitting can be an option but it is also notable that finding a new one is very important. A Business Insider survey says 57% of their 225 participants have quit a job and have still not found another one in the past two years. This is actually depressing especially that today’s economy is experiencing a tough time. As we face 2011, we are faced with the challenge on either staying with our unhappy jobs or just quit.

January 17, 2011

Writing a Résumé for Jobs in the Healthcare Industry

Health Care Jobs

Are you ready for a healthcare job this 2011?

Reliable job-watch and career websites seem to agree that the Healthcare Industry will prove to be an industry of most number of and best employment opportunities in the year 2011. According to AOL Jobs, the top 10 most secure jobs in 2011 are: (1) nurse, (2) physical therapist, (3) pharmacist, (4) physician and surgeon, (5) computer systems analyst and administrator, (6) computer software engineer, (7) biomedical and environmental engineer, (8) accountant, auditor and financial advisor, (9) veterinarian, and 10) lawyer, paralegal and legal assistant. Ranked top are healthcare related jobs. The U.S. News Money Career says that “Healthcare continues to offer excellent opportunities for job seekers, and not only positions that require a medical degree. Occupations that call for fewer years of study and offer more moderate salaries are also in demand”— what could these news mean? Healthcare jobs are in demand this year.

To land a healthcare job requires a résumé that is formatted towards the healthcare industry. Generic résumés will NOT be of much help. It is highly important for an applicant to identify which healthcare job he or she is applying for. Knowing the specific position to apply for is like the guiding line on how to construct the résumé. A doctor’s résumé should not sound like a résumé of a nurse.

Make sure to highlight pertinent professional skills that are required in the healthcare professional. These professional skills and strengths should also be termed in the jargon highly accepted and used within the healthcare industry. Examples of strengths that must be highlighted are: Knowledge of medical terminologies; Nursing Aptitude— Neonatal, Medical Surgical, OR and ER. Use jargons according to relevance. Present background and work experiences that are relevant to positioned being applied for.

For those who are applying for entry-level positions, they should supply educational information first, especially if there are healthcare related, before presenting non-industry related work experience. Entry-level applicants and career changers/shifters may find it very challenging to identify their strengths and experiences that would allow good transition towards the healthcare industry. Professional help is always a good option.

January 10, 2011

How to Increase Your Value While Unemployed


Do you know your best options when facing unemployment?

As tempting as sitting on the couch, watching soap opera reruns and eating microwave popcorn while waiting for calls from prospective employers might be, they’re surely not the best bet to get you out of unemployment.  In fact, your unemployment status might just be the best time for you to increase your value to employers.

The average American stays unemployed for 33 weeks, and unless you do something about it, you could just add “and counting” to that.  When you submit a resume,that eight-month period when you don’t have a job is eye-catching—but not in a good way.  Make sure that that time of inactivity is anything but.

For one, try to find part time or freelance work. Nearly thirty million others do it, so it’s not about the lack of part time jobs.  But even if you are unable to find one, you can also sign up for numerous volunteer work and activities.  Especially when relevant to your skills and qualifications, part time jobs and volunteer work could actually be more than time-passers and resume space-fillers; they could actually convince employers that you want to be productive, and would thus be a valuable employee.

During your “extended vacation” from work, you could also enroll in a few classes or take certain courses that would improve your knowledge. Depending on your industry, there also are certifications and affiliations that would help you advance in your career.  You will probably be hard-pressed to spend on these, but simply consider them investments for your future.  If you are strapped on cash, you could rummage through the web for tutorials to improve your skills.  Take advantage of the time by improving something as simple as your Excel skills, your typing speed, or something else you wouldn’t have time for if you had a full time job.

Also, don’t allow your time off to render yourself obsolete. Keep up with the current trends in the field you belong in by reading industry news, visiting websites, subscribing to blog feeds, or writing blogs yourself.  You wouldn’t want to go to your first interview in almost a year, armed with outdated keywords that would give away your time in the living room.

Finally, use your time unemployed by reconnecting with your networks. Aside from getting news about the prom queen or hearing how your college roommate is doing, you could use your connections to get a job.  After all, eighty percent of jobs are found through networking.  Relying on job postings alone will not remove you from the 9.8%.

In the end, always remember that just because you’re unemployed, doesn’t mean you should be inactive.

November 29, 2010

Getting the Most of Job Opportunities for Teens

Teenage Jobs

How easy are job opportunities for teens?

If you’re a teenager with little to no work experience, finding a job—and in the process, attempting to beat out college students, retirees and just about every other older person in your city—is strenuous. These tips will help you make it a less stressful journey.

1. Determine what kind of job you want.
At any given point in time—whether the country is in a recession or not—people have always needed someone to wait on tables, flip burgers, operate the cashier, sell merchandise, or just to assist more experienced professionals. Therefore, there will always be job openings. The question is whether it’s right for you, and if you’re the right person for the job. Decide what field you would like to work in—one you would enjoy—to make sure you don’t end up going through the process again in two months. Browse for job advertisements and look at the required credentials. Before applying, find out if your schedule and qualifications are suitable for the position. This would make your job search a lot easier.

2. Prepare the paperwork.
Most jobs that hire teens do not require a resume. A well-written resume, however, will help you stand out from the crowd. Also, check the job postings if the employer has particular requirements, like a social security card, driver’s license, passport, work permit, or a high school transcript or diploma. Also, don’t forget to bring a pen (and a spare one) to the interview. Little things can show your preparedness.

3. Utilize your networks.
Along with the other paperwork, print out your references so you can provide them when asked. Just make sure you inform them in advance. Further, your parents or relatives might know some people from certain companies and could put in a good word for you. They could refer you to a hiring manager or someone else from the inside. You could also ask friends and acquaintances if the organizations they are working for have any openings. You might as well have some use for your 1,000 friends on Facebook.

4. Be persistent.
Finally, show your potential employers that you are determined to get the job. Ask for an interview in a cover letter, send a thank you note after and follow up your application. If a company you give your resume to says that they are not hiring, make sure to present yourself available if an opening comes.

November 22, 2010

Resume Writing with Zero Work Experience

Finding a Job With No Work Experience

Can you get a job with no work experience?

People have the mistaken notion that a resume should be made up mostly of work experience. This becomes a problem when someone without any work experience tries to write a resume to get his first job. With almost nothing to write, should he just list his education, address, and phone number, and hope he gets a call?

Creating a resume is like making an advertisement for yourself. If you’ve worked for a couple of big name companies, then those could be your best selling points. However, they are not the only details that would get an employer to buy. If you have no work experience, you could instead write something about your academic life. Put the clubs you’ve joined or led. If you took electives that relate to the job you’re applying for, then that would work too. You could also include your academic achievements or awards. If you are a member of the student council or have won competitions, you may list those as well.

Outside school, you might be involved in volunteer work or community groups, which you could also write in your resume. If you have completed certifications or trainings—especially those in connection with your potential job—then those would also be beneficial. If you maintain a blog or have put up a website, you could write that too. That doesn’t end there. You can even include certain abilities that relate to the job. Find out what the employer is looking for, and write in your resume how your character and qualities answer that call.

Nevertheless, your resume shouldn’t look like a jumbled list of everything you’ve done since you were thirteen. List down everything you can—following the suggestions above—and pick the “experiences” that relate most to the job you want. The fact that you were a hit on karaoke night would not exactly help you get the attention of potential employers. Determine which ones actually show that you’re the perfect fit for the person the company is looking for, and illustrate them in your resume using experiences that you might not have been paid for, but you have definitely learned something from. You may have no work experience, but these experiences would certainly work too.

November 17, 2010

Home Based Employment: Make Money From Home

Work From Home and Make Money Through Telecommuting.

Would you prefer to work and make money from home?

Barbara found herself at a loss for words when one Sunday morning, while having family break with her husband, 8 year-old daughter and 5 year-old son, her kids were asking what time she and her husband would go to work. “What time are you and Dad leaving for work Mommy?” Mary asked. “Mom is not going to work,” she replied. “Oh, we were excited to spend time with Michelle (the nanny) today,” shares Martin, “Why don’t you work today, so that Michelle could come?” “Don’t you like Mommy to be here?” Mary quickly answered. “We’re used to Michelle being here.” Barbara’s heart broke and new she had to stay home to win back her children’s heart.

A neighbor of Barbara’s neighbor Susan was having the same dilemma a couple of months back, but is now staying at home while still helping her husband earn their living. Barbara asked Susan how she does it. “Home based employment.” Susan explained. Although Barbara knew about home based employment, she did not know how promising and lucrative home-based employment can be. Home-base employment refers to income-generating activities that can be done at home— baking, flower arrangement, pottery and online services are only a few of these home base employment. Since baking cookies and pastries are no longer in demand, Susan suggested that Barbara to choose online work, which she can easily do while her children are in school or asleep.

There are a number of online home-base works that people can chose from—telemarketing, data entry, online writing, etc. Typing in online home-based employment will reveals thousands of job and income generating opportunities online. In fact, with the number of job opportunities in online home-based jobs, many professionals and students have online jobs as ‘sideline, part time jobs.’ There are many freelance data entry encoders, writers, transcriptionists, editors, researchers, telemarketers and many others. The benefits of this online home-based employment are the flexibility of time, low to zero financial capital and a promising daily, weekly and monthly income.

Barbara was glad to know that many mothers who do online home based work are earning good. Susan, an online writer, earns up to $10,000. Susan shares that in an online home- based employment, earning can depend on how much work and time one can dedicate on it. Barbara is now very successful in online home-based employment.

November 10, 2010

Projected Highest Paying Jobs for 2011

Employment Opportunities to watch out for in 2011

What types of employment opportunities do we have this 2011?

As 2011 is just around the corner, the Obama administration promises to focus on creating more jobs. The initial impulse is easy: go apply for a job. The hard part is determining what types of jobs to apply for.

People have many reasons why they apply for a particular job—from proximity to their families, to simplicity of the job responsibilities. However, one factor that is not often overlooked is the pay. Here are some of the projected highest-paying jobs for 2011.

As the downward trend of jobs in the goods-producing sector continues, so does the rise in employment opportunities for service providers. It is therefore not surprising to see some of these jobs topping experts’ predictions of the best jobs for 2011.

Systems analysts and database administrators, for example, are expected to see an uptick in job vacancies with their accompanying great pay. They are among the fastest-growing occupations and are also high on the list of the top-paying jobs. Their fellow IT professionals, computer software engineers, similarly never go out of fashion, as the never-ending growth of the internet and technology persists. In fact, engineering seems to be a dependable field entering 2011: with the increasing attention paid to depleting natural resources and green energy, even the need for environmental engineers will likely be stable.

The medical field is still among the best, particularly physician assistants and nurses. These occupations may earn less than doctors (of which, surgeons are the highest paid), but are more in demand.

On the average, these jobs command a salary ranging from $60,000 to $70,000, and their growth is anticipated to be anywhere from 30% to 50%. Considering the average annual salary in the U.S. barely breaks $40,000, and that the predicted job growth in 2011 is at 3.5%, it seems that it does pay to know what you are getting into.

October 4, 2010

Current Employment Trends

Current Trends on Jobs in the U.S.

Do you know the current employment opportunities to tap?

The world has always been dynamic and so is employment. With the Internet age and the tools that empower it, a wide range of new jobs are now available with no need for the degrees of “higher learning” — you can even work while staying at home!

Home-based jobs allow retention in which working parents can perform their duties and childcare responsibilities. The increase in staff motivation is garnered through home-based job as it reduces the level of stress and sickness and lessens commuting time, thus yields to better productivity. Home-based jobs range from telecommuting, technical support, triage, telehealth, online tutoring, telemarketing, medical transcribing, etc. Current trends include high-paying job with low college degrees and extensive requirements. Even if you do not have extensive degrees you can still land a job! These jobs include photography (especially wedding photography wherein the pay is always handsome), tutoring (include arts and music), landscape design, real state, physical trainers, security designing, web design, service technicians, cooking, etc.  Such jobs do not need high educational degrees but gives you the chance of making more money! Green jobs have been on the line too, as it offers work in manufacturing, research and development as well as agriculture. These jobs not only open the door for numerous employment opportunities but also are very much noble for the sustainability of the ecological environment. Think about being on a job while helping transform the environment!

Whether you are looking for a high-paying job without a degree or opting to work while staying at home, the most important thing that you have to remember is that you have to possess the interest in something and that you are willing to work at it with your full potential. The will to learn and to work hard are the key factors that will enable you to be more successful in whatever field you choose. If you research well and are up-to-date with the current employment trends with the right attitude then you can surely hit it big time!

June 21, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful: An Update on the Economy

Filed under: Employment,Recession,Unemployment — chris2010 @ 10:25 AM
Tags: , , ,
Surviving the Recession

Are we now back on track?

There still remain a lot of things to complain about, but that doesn’t mean we can’t heave a collective sigh of relief.  If the 162,000 additional jobs ushered in by March is any indication, things are definitely getting better.  After two years of living under the worst depression since the 1930s, we can now perhaps say that life is good again: People are earning more and buying more cars, factories are being asked to produce more goods, and malls are reporting an increase in sales.  Canada looks just as promising.  With all the positive signs of a better economy, there are those who maintain that the recession is practically over.

The economy is indeed looking up, the problem is if it will stay that way.  Early in 2010, analysts feared a double dip: that the economy will get better before going bad again.  One economist particularly pointed at the second half of this year—when stimulus starts to fade—as the beginning of the second wave of recessions.  So, we may not see signs of falling now, but it could still happen.  In fact, even if we don’t get any worse, positive changes could be very gradual, at best.  We are still poorer now and have fewer jobs than earlier in the decade.  Times may be better, but are they really “good?”

Still, the beauty of an improving economy is it makes it easier for everyone to chip in, to do their part to further improve our situation.  White House Chief Economist Christina Romer decried people who “talk about unemployment remaining high for an extended period with resignation, rather than with a sense of urgency to find ways to address the problem.”  Which attitude are we going to adopt?

This vivid chart of US unemployment rates shows that we’re a long way from the good ol’ times.  But if nothing else, this present economy has given us a chance to help ourselves.  As part of the number of people who are either employed or unemployed, we can help.  We can find ways to address the problem.  Proving ourselves highly qualified for the jobs that employers are offering—even for those which they are not—is a good start.  Let’s help employers help us.

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