Resume & Career Advice

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 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.

August 11, 2010

Top Companies to Work For

Top Companies: Want to Know the Company That Performs Best?

Check out 2010’s top companies as rated by Fortune Magazine.

The latest list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine has been released. Topping it are SAS, Edward Jones, Wegmans, Google, Nugget market, Dreamworks Animation, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm and Camden Property. The results make for an ideal checklist for any applicant; but more importantly, they inform job seekers of what to look for in an employer.

So what does a “best company” have? Among those that made it to the list, an obvious answer is how the company continues to grow. Google, for instance, which ranked fourth from Fortune’s list, is on a continuous hunt for new employees this year, with demand reaching thousands; while the Boston Consulting Group, which is on rank eight, is famous for offering superior incomes and benefits to its employees so that even new consultants get as much as $184,000. These companies are doing very well in the market, and it reflects on what opportunities they provide. Another important characteristic is the growth that a company offers their employees, including the professional and the personal. In DreamWorks Animation, which ranks sixth on the list, the animators enjoy an atmosphere of creativity and openness, instead of pressure and strict deadlines; and in SAS, which occupies the topmost spot on the list, employees enjoy perks such as accessible and top-of-the-line services in health, child care, and recreational centers – to name a few. Finally, one observes the best companies to work for are those that genuinely care about their employees. 94-year old Wegman’s Food Markets, which ranks third, never let its employees undergo layoff. Similarly, Edward Jones, which is at top two, had never laid off any of its tens of thousands of employees – even during the recession . Fortune’s list has spoken: the best companies to work for are those that truly value their employees.

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.

June 7, 2010

Reinventing Yourself During the Recession

Losing a job is relatively a more difficult experience for someone who has been employed almost all his life. Recessions do not distinguish among people and, unfortunately, even the person with the highest credentials may be left jobless just as easily as any other else. But if there’s one good thing about economic crisis, it’s the fact that people learn to think of innovative and great ways to deal with the negative consequences. Learn how one of our writers coped with unemployment by totally reinventing herself. Below is her narrative.

Here I am, writing Web copy and immersing myself in the intricacies of keywords and Search Engine Optimization – all without pay while my work is evaluated by a lady young enough to be my daughter. Unlike some of my well-meaning friends who were aghast at this turn of events caused by our economic crisis, I see this as a step towards self-reinvention, not demotion.

I continue to send online resumes during my off-hours. Evenings, I still make time to network with former bosses and colleagues to get job leads and promote that I’m once again out on the market. But this half-day internship in this start-up online magazine actually helps me learn the latest trends about online media. Doing them hands-on by myself polishes my skills. An education in itself, it’s something I would have relegated to my staff in my old job as editor-in-chief of a now defunct business newspaper.

This non-paying stint is my first big break in months. Constant rejections after three months of steadfast application have been discouraging. To remove the stress, I’d swap notes and share leads with other unemployed friends. I’d go to the public library and bone up on the latest resume-writing techniques and job interview tips. To relax, I borrow and read books, since my depleted savings and welfare checks have forced me to cancel my gym membership and cable TV. Another inexpensive way I use to cope with stress is jogging around the block every morning.

The internship also has removed my bouts of unemployment depression and given me hope. Once the economy rebounds, my new online abilities combined with my editorial management experience will give me stronger leverage in my next job interview. My resume will show that, while others were lounging at home, I was actually doing something productive in-between jobs!

This testimonial and in a certain degree, a success story, emphasizes the need to reinvent one’s self during a crisis to keep focus on certain career goals. It is truly noteworthy that a person caught in a bind by difficult circumstances must not give up and throw in the towel. As all other endeavors we could possibly face, it is best to look for ways to take negative things in a positive light.

Blog at