Resume & Career Advice

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.

December 20, 2010

Why You Need an Updated Resume to Start the Year Right

Updated Resume for the New Year

Have you already updated your resume in case you need to submit one this new year?

For many people, a new year represents a fresh start: a new look, new gadgets, new relationships, new attitudes. Many companies also follow this lead and take the opportunity to reexamine their goals, restate their objectives, reorganize their structure or reevaluate their workforce.

In line with these, it is not uncommon for hiring managers to revisit their files to look at the people who applied but were not hired. Who knows? These people could fill positions that have since been opened. Perhaps they could bring more value to the company, or they could replace people who left or plan to leave. The good news is that one of those people could be you.

With the escalating reliance of companies on online resume databases, it is prudent for a jobseeker to update their resumes. Ask yourself: What have I done since I last submitted or updated my resume? What certifications have I received or projects completed since then? Aside from what is currently in my resume, what other skill have I gained or improved on that would be valuable to employers? Write them down before you forget the impressive details.

Now, the assumption in answering these questions would be that you actually achieved something after you last edited your resume. If this isn’t the case, all the more would you need to update it. Your objective, if you have one in your resume, is expected to change after a period of inactivity. After six months of not getting that “supervisory position in an established organization that would utilize [your] skills,” now what? Sticking to a formula that isn’t getting results doesn’t seem to be the best way to go.

Also, even if you do not have an online resume (and I recommend that you make one) you should update yours, if only to prepare for the steady increase in job opportunities that a revitalizing (or revitalized, depending on whom you ask) economy presents. The bottom line is we’re definitely better than we were during the recession, and this could mean, among other things, more jobs and more applicants. Get a head start by improving your resume or seeking the advice of a professional resume writer.

Complete the “new you” today by updating your resume to start the year right!

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 1, 2010

Resume Writing: Targeted vs. General Resumes

Targeted vs. General Resume Writing

Should you a write a targeted or a general resume?

Job applications can be likened to marketing. As an applicant, you try to sell your skills to potential customers – the employers. But, before you get the chance to “sales talk” with these customers, you first need to present a product catalogue – your resume.

Resume writing has evolved dramatically over the years. Gone are the days when applicants tend to have those same generic-looking resume that overly state their past experiences. Employers now prefer simpler resumes that speak about the specific qualities and competencies of applicants. These resumes are regarded as “targeted”.

A targeted resume has numerous advantages as compared to generic ones. First, it highlights those competencies that are highly relevant to the job specification. In this time of specialized job responsibilities, highlighting these competencies increase an applicant’s chance of getting a feedback from an employer for the reason that they help hiring managers to easily sort out qualified candidates from those who are not. On the other hand, a general resume can be cluttered with too much and at times irrelevant information, there is a tendency for hiring managers to miss out the information they need. Moreover, a targeted resume can speak about an applicant’s seriousness towards the job he or she is applying for since it shows the effort of tailor fitting the resume just for that specific position. A generic resume, on the other hand, might give an impression that the applicant might just be trying out his or her luck about that certain job opening.

Just like in marketing in which a product needs to be in focus, a targeted resume helps an applicant to position himself for the job and showcases his unique selling points to prospective employers.

October 25, 2010

Managing Stress at Work

Work Stress Relief

Will a stress test show that you’re working at your best?

Imagine yourself as a young professional trying your best to climb the career ladder by working long hours, taking in new projects and missing out on those fun family weekends. But despite these efforts, you feel that your immediate supervisor fails to notice your relevance in the company.

Stress at work is commonplace. It affects everyone. From rank-and-file staff to top executives, all experience stress in different points of their professional lives. But stress should never be the reason for someone to buffer and bank off all those career plans. While stress is inevitable, there are a couple of ways to manage it.

The simplest way to handle stress is to organize your surroundings. At office, you can arrange the papers and other office stuff at your desk. Organizing a workspace serves as a constant reminder that you are in control of everything despite how the situation may appear bad. Another easy way to cope with stress is to find way to break the ice. You can crack jokes with your officemates during break times or share any funny stories with them. Finding humor at a stressful situation defocuses the mind from work and mirrors your ability to look for the brighter side. But the easiest way to cope with stress is to talk about it with friends and trusted workmates. By sharing stories about the challenges of life (and work), people around you will develop a special bond with you that will surely ease the burden of the odds ahead.

On a more serious note, stress can be managed with proper mind-setting. You must be able to weigh the importance of your goals so that a mere stressful episode at work would not get in the way of your career plans. Moreover, you should be able to build a good working relationship with the people at your workplace. Such working relationship, aside from the fact that it embodies professionalism, can serve as a reason for you to keep on doing your job. After all, it is not actually the salary and the job that makes people stay, but rather, it is the bond with those people. In addition to this, a handful of friends at work can also help you with difficult tasks.

September 20, 2010

10 Reasons Why you are Dissatisfied with Your Job

Job Dissatisfaction

Is it time for a career change?

Are you constantly complaining about how “un-cool” your job is? Do you always find yourself wishing that you are doing something entirely different than what you do at work?  job dissatisfaction is no longer a totally striking issue these days. In fact, work-related researches would tell us that more and more people are becoming dissatisfied with their occupations. You may wonder, how is this so?

Job mismatch is the number one cause of job dissatisfaction. It seems that more and more companies are hiring wrong talents nowadays. Sometimes the training that you have received from the university is entirely different from what your company expects you to do. As a result, you end up hating your job. Your expectations may also be the cause of the problem. Before you were hired, you were excited about your workplace being professional, conducive and your job mates friendly and welcoming. You end up frustrating yourself if they do not meet your expectations once you are already working. Inability to deal with hot-headed clients, stressful deadlines and pressure-filled schedules are also reasons why people do not enjoy their work. Add it with your incapacity to work at your best because of your company not giving you the chance to grow professionally, and you wish you have not accepted the job in the first place. It can also be very loathsome when your values are compromised because of your bosses’ bad reputation and you have no other choice but to stay because there are no other jobs available. Lastly, failure of finding the balance between work and personal life can be very tiring and frustrating. If one feels that he cannot juggle matters of both aspects of life, he loses all his enthusiasm entirely.

Job satisfaction however is just a matter of mind-setting and attitude. Your attitude is your state of mind. How you feel about your job, your workmates, and the people you work for is entirely up to you. So no matter how tiring, how pressure-filled and how stressful your work is, how you view your job is what’s most important.

bosses’ bad reputation

July 26, 2010

Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

Workplace issues are inevitable. Dealing with them is crucial to and determines your job survival.

Got problems at work? Building a good perception of the cons might help – no matter how difficult.

Workplace challenges are largely unavoidable.  From the colleague who doesn’t dispose of his paper cups properly, to perceived unfairness in promotions, challenges will stay as long as people with different personalities and backgrounds are tasked to work together.  However, instead of shying away from challenges, or worse, wilting from the pressure–and it’s probably clichéd by now, but no less true–it is best to look at them as opportunities for growth and improvement.  The first step, therefore, in handling challenges in the workplace is seeing them as such: challenges to be overcome, and not problems to be anxious about.

If challenges are unavoidable, their manifestation is equally inevitable–stress.  Succumbing to stress is the initial checkpoint on the road to turning challenges into problems.  As much as possible, you should avoid being defeated by stress.  Know that if you’re bothered by something or someone at work, then anyone (or everyone) else might be dealing with the same pressure.  Before doing anything else, make sure you are not confrontational, and when you decide to talk to someone about the challenging situation (in a later step), try to catch him or her in a good mood.  It’s a simple rule to follow, but it works wonders.  After all, cooler heads eventually prevail.

The next thing to do is to find a way to resolve the concern.  Once again, the maxim holds true: Be part of the solution, not the problem (or the challenge, in this case).  It’s easy to go to the next step without trying to work out this one, but it really helps if you research ways on how the situation can be handled.  Be sure to know the company policies and procedures, and how they can be used in your case.  Being familiar with federal and state laws would also help in your endeavor.  Be prepared for the next step, armed with notes and knowledge of the situation.

Lastly, talk to your supervisor or employer about the challenge.  Letting someone higher up the ladder know about the situation practically ensures that something will be done about it.  Surely, your supervisor knows what’s best for you and the company.  By sticking to the facts and offering your recommendations, the meeting–and perhaps the resolution–would be swift.  Now, this would resolve most cases, but if it bears no fruit, or if your supervisor is the cause of the concern, your company handbook would most definitely have provisions on what to do–whether you have to talk to the next person up or to another department.

The main thing in resolving workplace challenges is to remain objective about the matter.  Work through the truisms we talked about, and you’d be on your way to resolving the situation.  It is only fitting that we end with a quote: “Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth…Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

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