Who's Right to Write Your Resume Sage Advice for Smart Job Seekers
The typical job hunter will face a whole array of experts eager to help you look for a job - and experts include resume writers. Is there anything a job seeker can do to make sure that the writer you choose will do a good job? Is it possible to determine what you will find behind the listings of such services? One bit of advice that will save you headaches is do not make any payments to a service until you have actually talked to the person who will be doing your resume.
There is much more a job seeker can do than choosing and buying a service randomly. Making the right choice, however, requires knowledge, diligence and some patience. Here are a few tips gathered from eleven years of experience as a professional writer on what to avoid and what to focus on if you are interested in getting professional assistance in preparing your resume.
A search on the Internet gives a dizzying array of choices. Two very common scams involve resumes guaranteed to work and resume service evaluation sites. There is no one that can guarantee a resume will work and if someone tells you that, run away!
The most common resumes guaranteed sites have requirements that no job seeker can fulfill in order to qualify for the refund and extra payment. They require your job search to be conducted by Certified Mail which would cost several hundred dollars for the typical job seeker. Some require fax receipts (very few companies take faxes anymore). These instructions are often not made clear until someone attempts the refund. Ironically, the sites might say they have never had to give refunds. That is because no one ever qualified.
Resume service evaluation sites take a different tact. One has multiple websites under different names and "evaluates" them objectively. In other words, no matter which one you pick, they are essentially the same company. The other, is a "non profit" evaluation. They rate their own company at 97% and all the others much less. Both these strategies lead a job seeker to think they are making a good choice, when in fact they are being manipulated. Now that you are informed, you can now make a smart choice.
Before starting a search for a service to help with a resume, you should know what you want: writing and advice, or simple typing. 24 hour resumes often offer "resume services" but what they usually do is simply format what has already been written. Often, because reformatting does not require language skills, your draft is sent overseas (India, The Philippines, Eastern Europe) where the work is done. Professionalism in this industry begins with understanding that the key to an outstanding resume is content, organization and the marketing strategy behind it. This requires expertise and this is what you pay for when hiring a writer.
To determine whether a resume service is just formatting, ask if you can speak to the person actually doing the writing. If the answer is anything less than an immediate and unqualified "Yes," move on to the next listing. "There are resume writing services in every state and metropolitan area," says Simon Williams, director of http://www.betterjobsearch.com. "We list more than 700 writers in the U.S. Some people drive further to job interviews than they are willing to drive to meet with a writer. The difference is that you visit a resume writer only twice (once to order and once to pick up), but you drive to work every day. Invest some time in getting off on the right foot. A 30-mile trip could save a month of job search time."
Once you have located a resume writing service, make an appointment for a free initial consultation. This - unless you eventually decide to hire the writer for the job - leaves one free from any financial obligation. Meeting the writer should be an important part of the search, because a personal meeting can offer the opportunity of having a thorough look at the following issues.
First, find out whether the resume writer has real writing experience. Try to ascertain that the writer's expert status is derived directly from writing resumes. Some experts present their exposure to human resources as their primary source of credential, but be aware of the fact that there is a night-and-day difference between writing resumes and reading resumes. Should you avoid hiring someone with a human resource background? Absolutely not! It's just hard to find a direct connection between human resource management experience and the ability to write effective resumes.
In a resume writer's office examine samples. Look for a persuasive quality. Anybody in any business knows: persuasion sells. No matter how shy and timid someone is when it comes to career accomplishments, with the client's help, a good resume writer should be able to find ways to describe skills and accomplishments in a convincing way.
Persuasion, though, also means proper organization of the text, as well as an appropriate design and a clever marketing strategy. Ask the writer to explain how this strategy relates to the choice of design and organization used with the samples.
See whether the writer is someone who can foster a good working relationship. Preparing a resume is a collaborative and cooperative effort: a good writer, who is always a good listener, will match his or her resume expertise with a your unequalled understanding of your own skills and abilities. In selecting the resume writer one can cooperate with, also consider that the writer should never try to talk a client into doing something with which they are uncomfortable. Rely on instincts, and find a comfortable fit.
"It's very common for people to come to me after they have engaged services on the Internet," says Dan Franklin, M.A. Senior Writer at A Better Resume Service in Chicago. "Unfortunately, when there is a problem, long-distance purchasers have no recourse. For example, what if someone doesn’t return your calls or fails to deliver? You're not going to get in your car and drive 500 miles. A local writer provides a better service because of personal responsibility and a desire to maintain a positive reputation in the community."
Make sure that future updating is available. Writers will charge you for these changes, but it is a fraction of what you paid for the original resume. It is also an inexpensive way to be sure your resume keeps up with the latest trends. Well established resume services with long track records are more likely to be in business when it's time to update your resume.
When it comes to prices, it's important to understand that professional services charge professional fees, and as a general rule, you get what you pay for. However, you cannot assume that spending more necessarily gets you a better resume. One of the best organizations I know of has fees ranging from $100 to $350 for services from editing to writing. One thing you can be sure of is that the lowest price is rarely a bargain in the long run. There can be a high long-term cost of looking for work with the cheapest resume you can buy. The cheapest services usually contract work out overseas, although - as I indicated - they rarely will tell you. All in all, consider this when making a decision about the price you are willing to pay: would you rather spend less and spend weeks sitting out in the cold, or spend a little more and quickly achieve your goal?
Finally, consider something that will leave both you and a professional writer satisfied after you made your choice: trust the resume writer you have hired. It's perfectly natural to seek out friends, relatives and significant others for feedback and approval on your new resume. However, keep in mind that people who are not in this business are often wellsprings of misinformation concerning job search strategy and resume writing.
Calling your writer a couple of days later with changes suggested by your English teacher, your friend the human resource staffer, or someone who just got hired is not the best way to react to such pieces of advice. Your writer has many years of experience and has spent many hours putting together your resume. Your writer's decisions should be considered more relevant than a comment made on the first glance. If you are determined to suggest some change, give your writer a chance to explain why your resume was written in a certain way.
If you have the qualifications and the drive to do the job, a professional writer can increase the chance that in reasonable time you'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications and drive at a personal interview.
To find a local resume writer you can trust, click on the link below.
By Mike Mara The end of the year isn't only a great season feast with
family or shop for gifts for your loved ones; it's also a good time to find
yourself a new job. Instead of putting off the job search until after the New
Year, why not get a leg up on the competition?
With all of the excitement that goes on around the holiday
season, some people may feel that the best approach would be to put their job
hunt on the back burner until January. During the last two months of the year,
December especially, the number of people applying for jobs is at its lowest
“Holiday celebrations will ease competition in the job
market, keeping hobby job seekers and those less determined busy,” says Bill
Potter, Director of www.betterjobsearch.com,
a national employment site.
While the lack of competition certainly plays a significant
role in one's ability to find a job in December, employers themselves can be an
important factor as well. Some experts indicate that employers are well aware
of people's disinterest in searching for employment during the holidays. So if
an employer runs a job ad during December, they have a good reason for doing
“If a company needs someone to replace a secretary retiring
next April, it isn’t going to search in December, when people are more likely
to sing carols than read job ads,” says Potter. “The openings in December are
all emergency openings, whereas during the rest of the year, it's hard to judge
advertisers' seriousness by merely reading an ad.”
An employer's budget can also play an important role in the
company posting an ad for a position near the end of the year. Some companies
whose fiscal year begins January 1st may have worked additional
positions into their budgets for the upcoming year, positions they would like
to have filled by the end of the current year if possible. So, while applying
in December may seem like jumping too far ahead, for the employer it may be
just in time.
Job seekers have to keep in mind that it’s not just the
holiday season for them but for employers as well. Since many companies begin
to wind down nearing the end of the fourth quarter, those looking for
employment can use this to their advantage by getting the ball rolling on their
search in November.
“If you put off your search until after the New Year, the
averages suggest that it could easily be anywhere between April and June before
you've found employment,” says Tom Cox, Writer/Manager at A Better Resume
Service in Chicago.
So, instead of putting 'finding a job' on your list of New
Year's Resolutions, why not jump-start your search right after Thanksgiving?
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Before the Interview: Do Your Homework by Leslie Fischer
Regardless of the level of the position a company wants to fill, its motivation will always be this: to hire someone who will save them time and money. Your goal is to make your services so attractive that the firm has no choice but to hire you in order to save time and money. If you can demonstrate this, you will be in demand. Such a demonstration should always be based on a research of the company’s needs.
Information about companies can be obtained in a number of ways.
Large or well-known companies are usually accessible through on-line or library research. Your target company, however, may not be large enough or public enough. Even in this case, there are quite a few ways to orient yourself to the company’s needs, if you are determined and persistent. There are two basic methods which can help you approach the company in a smart way: networking and informational interviewing.
Networking can work on a number of levels. If you know someone at the company, talk to her about her job, the corporate environment and the way the company operates. It’s surprising how much someone at even the least powerful levels of the corporate structure knows about the workings of a firm. If the person works for a department different from the one you would like to work for, she can still be valuable source of information, providing you with a perspective on the company that you may not have considered. Remember, most people with a little encouragement love to talk about themselves and their jobs. Personal contacts are some of the most valuable sources in locating openings.
Another, more complex research strategy is the informational interview/sales call. You should be tactful when applying this method. You may contact the interviewer by telephone if you have an acquaintance in common. When calling, make sure you don’t bring up questions like how much different positions pay and what benefits the company offers. If you have no contact at the company, it’s better to request 10 minutes of the interviewer’s time in a brief letter accompanied by your resume. In the letter, it’s important to stress that you are seeking information and not a position at this time. You may also give the interviewer an agenda for your brief meeting, indicating the type of information you are seeking. When writing the letter, always put yourself in the place of the recipient of your letter: Are you asking for information that is confidential? Outside of the person’s area of expertise? Trivial information that you should be able to obtain through other sources, such as the library? You will realize that not everyone is willing to meet with you; however, you can increase the number of positive responses through keeping the reader’s interests in mind.
A week after you send your letter, follow up with a telephone call requesting an interview. If you are granted an interview, arm yourself with as much knowledge from other sources as you can beforehand. This will save limited interview time and make your discussion more fruitful. Regardless of how successful you think your interview was, always send a thank you note to the interviewer who spent time to help you.
1-773-resumes.com is a resume writing and coaching service in Chicago, Illinois. We provide a valuable service to those looking for a career change. The first priority of 1-773-resumes.com is you and the type of career you are actively seeking. We produce quality resumes and cover letters that speak to the needs of the employers you are trying to meet.
How to Land That Job
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A Better Resume Service, Inc.
Career Planning, Development & Strategies
134 N. LaSalle, #1915
Chicago, Illinois 60602
You can secure the job you want. It's out there somewhere, waiting for your
personal blend of talents and training. Yet, today's successful job search
requires more of you than simply filling out an application or two and
waiting for results. Even Help Wanted ads only announce 15-20% of the jobs
available; frequently the best jobs are never advertised. The current job
market is more competitive than ever, and the successful candidate
undertakes a carefully planned and executed job search strategy to acquire
the position which best utilizes his or her abilities and provides the
opportunity for advancement.
The RESUME, which presents your career history and professional
accomplishments in words, is a vital sales tool in a search for a better
career opportunity. A professionally prepared resume is written to present
your background and qualifications in a manner that will make a favorable
and lasting impression. It will enable you to gain the competitive edge
throughout your job search.
In today's business world, resumes save countless hours (and money) for
both you and the employer. You can capture the attention of many
prospective employers each day by mail. Send your resume to companies in
which you are interested (most companies are always looking for good people
and spend thousands of dollars in recruiting costs each year).
Answer advertisements, many of which your resume will fit exactly ... Send
resumes to Employment Agencies and Search Firms ... and give copies to your
business associates and friends to build a solid job search network.
In addition, your professional resume may be of significant use before,
during, and after permanent employment, e.g: job hunting, company resumes,
technical certifications, personal loans, etc. ... Be sure to maintain an
updated resume reflecting your current achievements and qualifications.
The Self Marketing Campaign
After the Interview 8
Career Insurance Policy 9
The Resume is the most vital tool in the search for a new and better career
opportunity. Employers usually receive hundreds of applications for a
single position. Therefore, It is obvious that an attractive, well-written,
and aggressive resume will separate you from the goats and open doors that
otherwise remain closed.
So what do employers want to see? There are numerous myths regarding
employer desires, and the subject is somewhat like politics: you'll get a
different opinion from everyone you talk to! The answer, then, becomes
clear: Design a resume that will please most employers most of the time.
AAPSI Resume Services, and the A Better Resume Group has carefully
researched this issue through employers and professional recruiters, and is
pleased to offer you these basic guidelines:
*Length is not the question. If it takes two pages, or in some
cases even three, to sell you effectively,USE THEM! The job market
is highly competitive, and the more relevant information you can
provide, the better your chances are for landing an interview. If you
have to delete important facts just to keep your resume to one page,
you're selling yourself short!
* Employers want important facts to be readily available. You have
an average of 10 SECONDS to capture the employer's attention. A
summary of qualifications, placed immediately after a specific,
concise objective, is the best way to get the attention you deserve.
The summary should include, in a half-page or less, exactly what
you have to offer in the way of experience and education. In this way, you
can get to the qualified file in a minimum amount of time. An
employer won't have to read your entire resume to discover your
* After the employer selects the applicants with appropriate
qualifications, he or she will want more detail to determine
who he wants to interview. Emphasis should be placed on
accomplishments - a proven track record will show the employer what
makes you special, and help to answer his #1 question: What can you do for
* A list of your experience and education is a very important part
of your resume; it tells the employer about your career progression
and longevity, as well as basic responsibilities and
professional training. This information must be both honest and
diplomatic; lies will come back to haunt you, but carefully deleted or de-
emphasized information will ensure the largest number of
interviews so you have the opportunity to sell yourself in person.
* Objectivity is critical with respect to resume preparation.
Whenever possible, enlist the aid of a professional resume
service, or at the very least, that of a business acquaintance
with hiring authority. They can assume an objective stance. If you
try to tackle the project by yourself, you'll discover you can't see the
forest because of the trees.
Undoubtedly, the most popular job search method involves waiting for the
Sunday newspaper classified ads, and sending out one or two resumes a week.
However, these advertised positions account for ONLY 15-20% of the total
So, what is a person to do? First you need to find out where you would like
to work, and send them a resume. If your resume crosses the right person's
desk - at the right time - you may well get an interview even if the
position they need to fill hasn't been advertised yet.
Therefore, the best way to become employed is to find yourself an employer,
submit a resume (either in person or by mail), and follow-up with that
employer on a regular basis. In this way, you'll be considered for openings
before they're advertised, simultaneously indicating to the employer that
This section of our Job Search Kit is designed to help you develop job
leads and initiate an aggressive self-marketing campaign.
HOW TO GET STARTED
It is essential that you spend some time researching which firms need a
person with your qualifications, and those for which you would like to
work. There are numerous methods readily available to you for this purpose.
* Free employment services, such as those operated by the State Job
Service, Local, State and Federal Civil Service Personnel
Offices, and Non-Profit Job-Banks.
* The Yellow Pages.
* Chambers of Commerce. Most chambers publish a list of the largest
employers in their area.
*Daily newspapers' business sections. Read the financial/ business
sections to determine what companies are new to the area, or those
planning to expand.
* Industry trade publications. Most of these carry regular
Help-Wanted ads, or publish annual directory issues that will be
very useful to you.
* The Wall Street Journal, particularly the Tuesday editions, for
the classified Help- Wanted ads, as well as information about
expanding organizations. The National Business Employment Weekly,
published by the Journal, carries all the Help-
Wanted ads from the four regional editions of the Journal.
* Friends and relatives. Tell everyone you know that you're looking
for a job. Networking is often the most effective means to find a
* School Placement Offices. If you are about to graduate, or are a
graduate of a college or technical school, inquire at the career
placement office. Many schools and often their alumni
associations, offer job information as a free service.
*The Public Library. The reference librarian can direct you to
several publications, industrial/commercial directories, lists of
associations and the like which will be quite helpful to you.
The proper use of these materials, will give you an excellent mailing list,
which should reflect your particular preferences, the companies you would
like to work for, geographical area and other considerations of importance
Here is a partial listing of some important job-search references. These
will furnish you with names, addresses and telephone numbers of companies,
and most importantly, the names and titles, of key personnel who have
Dun and Bradstreet Reference Book of Corporate Management
Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Director, and Executives
State and City Commercial & Industrial Directories
Industry Trade Associations - All major industries and business have one.
Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
Moody's Handbook of Common Stocks
The Value Line Investment Survey
Rand McNally Bankers International Directory
Fortune Magazine - Annual Supplement listing the 100 largest corporations
Forbes Magazine - Annual List of 2500 corporations
American Management Association - various publications
The Literary Marketplace
MC Rae's Blue Book
Standard Rate and Data Service
United States Government Organizational Manual
Creating your own job search list is an arduous, time-consuming task, but
the results are invaluable. Using your list to BROADCAST your availability
is often the quickest route to employment, other than knowing someone who
can place or hire you or having an inside track to a position - often
known as the brother-in-law method.
HOW TO APPLY
Whenever possible, present your resume in person. Unfortunately, this is
not always possible, especially when you are attempting to relocate to
another area or engaged in a very broad job search. In either case, you are
likely to encounter the need for the following items:
The Cover Letter or Letter of Application. It is standard protocol to
submit a cover letter when mailing your resume . One may also be used in
cases when you are applying in person, but are not able to get past the
secretary in the personnel department. It is acceptable
to use a generic cover letter for cold calling (when you want your name
placed in a file marked CANDIDATES FOR FUTURE OPENINGS) BUT IT IS
ESSENTIAL TO WRITE A SPECIFIC
COVER LETTER FOR KNOWN, SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITIES. Regardless of which type
you submit, several things must be kept in mind:
1) Whenever possible, direct your letter to a specific individual.
2) Typewritten letters are far more impressive and professional than hand
3) The cover letter is designed to tease the employer into reading your
resume, and therefore should be brief.
4) Make sure there are no typographical or spelling errors.
The cover letter should contain three main paragraphs, consisting of the
A) Opening paragraph: Explain how or from whom you learned of the
opportunity, and identify the specific position you are seeking.
B) Summary of Skills: Briefly tell the employer what makes you qualified
for the position you are seeking.
C) Closing paragraph: Make a direct request for an interview, and indicate
the enclosure of your resume.
The Application Form: Many employers request that you complete one, even if
you are submitting a resume. You will usually fill-in the application form
at the employer's place of business, so have all the necessary information
on hand. Complete the application in ink and write legibly. Fill out the
application completely. Do submit your resume with your application, as it
will present a more distinctive and aggressive picture of you and your
HOW TO FOLLOW UP
In today's highly competitive employment market, the person who achieves
the highest level of recognition and communicated a hungry attitude has the
best chance for employment. Diligent follow-up is one of the most effective
ways to draw attention to yourself, as less than 1 in 300 people take time
to do so. You should use a follow-up letter in these instances:
1) To verify receipt of your resume and repeat a question for an interview.
2) To update your application file with current information, or a new resume.
3) As a thank you for the interview, and to reaffirm your interest in the
* Follow-up after Submission of your Resume: If you've mailed or
presented a resume, and haven't heard anything for two or three
weeks, submit this letter as reminder.
"Since I have not heard from you, I would like to insure
your receipt of my resume by sending an additional copy."
This is a great way to let the employer know you're very interested in
working for him without being too pushy. Keep good records of your mailing
campaign, so you know when to send this letter.
* Follow-up After Interview or the Thank You Letter:
Remember, less than 1 in 300 applicants do this, so your letter
is certain to get some extra attention. Take good notes during the
interview, noting items which seemed of special concern to the
employer. Use these notes when you write your letter - it lets the
employer know you were paying attention. Take this opportunity to mention
special qualifications you forgot to discuss during the
interview, and to reiterate your interest in the position.
OTHER NECESSARY SELF-MARKETING TOOLS
* The Reference Sheet: Very often employers will request
references. Even if they
don't, it makes a great close to an interview:
"Thank you for seeing me Mrs. Jones, and please feel free
to verify my qualifications with my references."
References do not belong on your resume. Use this valuable space to talk
Also, your references should not be contacted until mutual interest has
* Salary History: Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil. When the
employer requests a salary history, you must submit one, or risk
losing an interview because you couldn't follow instructions.
Obviously, you don't want this information on your resume because
it may limit your salary potential.
* Personalized Letterhead: There is no better way to maintain a
professional look. All your cover letters, follow-ups, etc., should
be on the same letterhead for uniform of appearance.
PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW
Dressing for success: This cannot be over-emphasized. After your resume,
the way you present yourself is the next item which determines the
employer's opinion of you. If you are dressed inappropriately, no matter
how well you handle yourself, you are at an extreme disadvantage. If you
are applying for a professional or public-contact person, you must wear a
suit and tie, or a conservative dress/business suit. It is well worth your
money to invest in an interview outfit. Never wear jeans, even for a
production or laborer's position. Although a suit or dress might be
slightly overdone in these cases, you should certainly wear dress slacks
and a dress shirt or skirt and sweater combination.
PREPARING FOR TYPICAL QUESTIONS
Have answers to these questions in your mind before the interview:
1) Tell me a little about yourself. The employer is not asking where you
were born, he wants to know about your interests, goals, and background. In
many interviews these are often the first questions asked.
2) How much do you expect to be paid? If this question is asked early in
the interview, reply; "If you don't mind, I'd like to learn more about the
responsibilities of the position first." You then have the whole interview
to sell yourself before you tell him or her what you're worth. When you do
address the question, start high. In this way you effectively communicate
your self-confidence and leave room for negotiation.
3) Why should I hire you for this job? A self-confident reply is important
here. Don't use cliche phrases like "I learn quickly." or "I get along
well with others." Be specific and don't be afraid to brag a little: "In
my last position, I was able to increase sales in my territory by 30% - in
less than one year! I am confident I can do the same for your company."
4) Why did you leave your last job? Whatever the reasons (better salary,
less travel, long commute, etc.) don't criticize your former employer or
indicate you had 'personality conflicts'.
5) Why are you interested in this company? Do your homework and learn a
little about the organization beforehand.
6) What is your greatest weakness? Turn your weaknesses into strengths: "I
find it very difficult to give up responsibility, so I frequently spend
time doing the job myself."
Other questions to consider
What are your future vocational plans?
Are you willing to travel and/or relocate?
Why do you think you would like this job?
Tell me the most positive thing about you.
How do you spend your spare time?
Why have you held so many jobs?
Please explain these gaps in your employment history.
Why do you think you'd like to work for our company?
Have you ever had your driver's license revoked?
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
What hours do you want to work: what about overtime?
Are you still employed?
Describe the best boss you ever had - and the worst - give your
What are the business accomplishments of which you are most proud?
Can you work effectively with members of the opposite sex?
Are there questions you want to ask me?
Prepare and practice a few sentences addressing one or more of these
topics. It will make your interview easier by increasing your
AT THE INTERVIEW
* Never take anyone with you to the interview.
* Don't smoke or chew gum.
* Don't be overly concerned that you are somewhat nervous about
the interview. The employer understands this and will usually
attempt to put you at ease.
* Let the employer control the interview. Your answers should be
frank and brief.
* Never leave the interview without asking for the job! Even if
you are not sure that you want it, you always want the offer.
Many employers will not offer a job to someone who doesn't ask for
* Start off the interview with a firm handshake, a pleasant
smile and a positive, confident attitude.
* Listen attentively and look the interviewer directly in the eye.
Sit up straight, but also try to relax.
* Speak clearly, using good grammar and a friendly tone. Never
murmur a simple "yes" or "no".
* Be positive and enthusiastic. Don't bad-mouth your previous
employer. Show an interest in the job and the company. Remember
this is a personality contest, the best person at getting the job
will win over the best person for the job.
* Ask pertinent questions: What are the job duties? Who do you
What other departments do you work closely with? Who are the
other employees you work/coordinate with? What are the career
growth and advancement opportunities? What are the firm's short and
long term growth plans?
* Tune into the interviewer. If the interviewer's attention drifts,
shift the conversation to something more interesting. Where
there is a gleam of interest, play on it.
* Bridging/Conversation Control: Answer the question asked and then
make a relevant link to your experience. Example: "Have you ever
handled a million dollar account?" - "No, but I did handle the
most successful direct mail campaign in my company's history. It
increased sales 7%. Let me tell you about it."
When the interview is drawing to a close, hand the interviewer your
references, suggest that they be checked as quickly as possible, so you can
start as soon as possible. DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT ASKING FOR THE JOB.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Before you leave the office, be sure to get the correct title and spelling
of the interviewer's name. Ask when a decision will be made; will another
interview be necessary, and with whom?
Go immediately to the nearest place with a clean table and handwrite a
short thank-you note on your personal stationary. Emphasize your strengths
by relating them directly to a specific question asked by the interviewer.
TACTFULLY - Ask for the job again. Finish by stating you will telephone on
a specific time and date, to keep up with developments. Thank the
interviewer, again, for the time spent with you.
SAMPLE BODY-COPY FOR HANDWRITTEN THANK-YOU LETTER
"Thank you for the time you spent with me today. I found our
conversation to be informative and enjoyable
As we discussed, my comprehensive experience in tax accounting,
will certainly broaden and improve the quality of your accounting
department, and eliminate the need for expensive outside accounting
I will be a real asset to your firm, and I am very interested in
joining the XYZ company, as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I will telephone you on
date and time to hear your decision."
If a second interview is set-up, get the name and title of the person whom
you will meet. By this time the company is fairly sure you have the
technical expertise and competence required. Probably this interview will
focus on the specifics and /or personality traits. Each organization has a
corporate culture, and not everyone interviewed will fit the specific
environment. This also gives you a chance to conclude whether this is the
job, work-place environment, and career opportunity for you. If you still
want the job, ask for it again.
Just because you've had a successful interview doesn't mean you should stop
looking for better work opportunities. Even if this is your dream job, you
may find something even more perfect, or you may not be selected for a
position. Keep your job search strategy working for you.
If you are not selected, ask the interviewer if he knows of any upcoming
opportunities at other firms that you can contact. You will be surprised at
the assistance you get in this situation.
Learn from your mistakes! Don't waste time brooding over job offers that
don't come through. Instead, focus on what you might have done to enhance
your chances of being hired. Did you look as good as you are capable of
looking when you interviewed? Did you do enough research on the company?
Were you adequately prepared for the questions you were asked in the
interview? The more honest you can be with yourself, when you answer these
questions, the better chance, the next time out, you won't make the same
Keep your sense of humor. You are a superior person. A job search can cause
you to question your own worth. Relax, laugh at yourself occasionally, and
enjoy the opportunity to learn more about other organizations and
Keep Active! Your ultimate goal when you are searching for a job is, of
course, being hired. The best approach to this ultimate goal is to
establish a series of interim goals, and in particular, to set up as many
interviews for yourself as possible. The basic idea is to keep as many
irons in the fire as you can, so that if the job falls through, you have
other possibilities to fall back on Whatever you do, don't take anything
for granted. No job is yours until the offer is made - you accept it and
you begin working in your new job!
CAREER INSURANCE POLICY
Keep an ongoing file of all your accomplishments.
A well formulated accomplishment consists to two parts:
1) What you did
(not the steps you took or the methods you used, these can be brought out
in the interview.
2) What benefit RESULTED to/for your company/employer.
Effective Results must be quantified - either in terms of percent or
dollars or both.
The first part 1 is the action, the second part 2 is the result or
benefit. The result/benefit must be stated in the most tangible terms
possible to clearly convey the value of an accomplishment to an employer.
Minimum dollar benefits should be at least twice your annual salary.
In a large budget or company, a small change in percents can be presented
with greater impact in dollars. Conversely, an accomplishment in a
smaller budget or
company, when small dollar amounts are involved, percents have greater
impact than dollars.
An accomplishment without a result/benefit is simply a skill.
In general, accomplishments will satisfy one or more of the
* You achieved more with less.
* You achieved the same with less.
* You made things easier.
* You accomplished something for the first time.
* You resolved panic situations with no adverse impacts on
schedules or production.
Be prepared for anything - Maintain a constantly updated resume.
Sharpen your communication skills: studies have shown a strong link between
success and communicating effectively with superiors, peers and
Keep records of people in your business and social networks.
BECOME INDISPENSABLE: employees who work a little harder, take on extra
projects help solve problems, and learn company operations and procedures
thoroughly are hard to replace!
Make your professional education a never-ending process - keeping
up-to-date is absolutely essential in today's rapidly changing business
Arm yourself with an alternative career: if your company - or the entire
industry - falls on hard times, and the job market is tight, a hobby or
sideline may be able to provide you with part or full time income.
Work at being pleasant and courteous.
Win the Job with a Great Interview
Your Chance to Make a Great Impression at the Job Interview:
By Erika Fink
You've got a great resume and your job search is in high gear.
With all this activity, it's easy to forget a simple fact: it is the
interview that eventually lands you the job. Experts say preparation for
the interview deserves at least as much attention as any other phase of
your job search.
"Few people understand that in reality, a job interview is a
personality contest between candidates, who essentially all qualify for the
job," says Leslie Fischer, President of Harvard Oaks Enterprises, a career
consulting firm in Chicago engaged in preparing people for job interviews.
Ms. Fischer, who has extensive experience in this field, offers some
easy-to-follow advice to people on how to give the best possible impression
at the interview.
- Wear a suit and a tie or a conservative dress if you apply for a
professional or a public contact position. Wear dress slacks and a dress
shirt or skirt and a sweater combination even if you will be interviewed
for a production or laborer's position. Don't forget that the interview is
a business negotiation between the candidate and the prospective employer.
- Be prompt.
- Don't smoke or chew gum.
- Don't be overly concerned about the fact that you are
nervous; human resource managers will usually try to warm you up.
- Give frank and brief answers, use good grammar and a
- Listen attentively and look the interviewer directly in
- Sit up straight, but try to relax.
According to Fischer, a job interview has its own choreography,
with carefully designed questions to explore the potentials and the
personality of a candidate. If cleverly answered, these questions offer
candidates plenty of opportunity to stress personal achievements and
positive personal traits.
"If you know what questions to expect, it will double your chances
to do well at the interview," says Fischer, who advises candidates to
prepare answers to the 6 most commons questions they are likely to be asked
during the interview.
1. Tell me about yourself. The employer is not asking where you
were born and how many sisters and brothers you have. Cite your interests,
describe your goals and your general background.
2. Why should I hire you for this job? Don't be shy. Be
self-confident and as precise as much as possible. Mention a specific
achievement in your career and assert that you can do something similar for
3. Why did you leave your previous job? Watch out! "Personality"
question. Don't criticize your former boss and do not mention personality
conflicts. The employer wants to check your loyalty and see whether you
are easy to get along with.
4. Why are you interested in working for us? Do your homework and
learn a little about the company. The best way to start is calling the
company's Public Relations Department and inquire about publications they
5. How much do you expect to be paid? This question deserves
study itself, but be reminded at this point that the interview is a
business negotiation: the first to speak is in the weaker position. If you
have to answer, start with a range that you would be comfortable with and
then negotiate further as the job offer unfolds.
6. Are there any questions you want to ask? This is a chance to
reinforce a good impression. Ask about the position: who you have to report
to, what the promotion opportunities are, etc. But be interested in the
company, too: the number of employees, its long and short term growth
Other questions may, of course, also emerge ranging from the ones
referring to employment gaps to an inquiry about one's attitude to
colleagues of the opposite sex. "Requirements often vary according to the
position, but it's not impossible to describe the ideal candidate," says
Fischer. "In terms of general characteristics, employers value candidates
who are enthusiastic and who demonstrate a high a level of personal
integrity." Another prerequisite is a genuine desire to be given the job.
"Therefore," says Fischer "don't miss the opportunity to ask for the job
explicitly at the end of the interview."
Is all this preparation worth the pain and time? Remember: it's
great to get an interview, but out there, there is something even better:
to get a job offer.
Questions Most Often Asked in Job Interviews
1. Why are you interested in this position?
The answer should reflect good preparation: clarification of your
goals, likes and dislikes, your job priorities, and your knowledge of
the organization and the parks and recreation field.
2. Tell me about your current and previous bosses. What kind of
people are they?
This question seeks to determine personality traits, maturity,
potential conflicts, and most important, the 'fit' with the hiring
manager. The guideline for answering this question is to be positive,
even if it hurts. If you think the Superintendent is a tyrant, say
instead, "our superintendent is an extremely strong leader. He's firm in
his handling of people and a demanding manager." With this question, your
prospective supervisor is trying to find out whether you are a loyal
employee. Be honest in your appraisal of the person in question, but
express all your thoughts in a manner that will be perceived as
showing your loyalty to the organization.
3. Has your job performance ever been appraises? How were you
assessed--the pluses and the minuses?
The interviewer is trying to get an idea of your honest. While no
applicant is expected to reveal major flaws or serious
shortcomings, everyone has some weaknesses, and failure to admit them
makes a negative impression. Be prepared with a "greatest
weakness" to confess, but make sure it's not one that will
disqualify you from the job you're interviewing for. Being a workaholic or
too meticulous are examples of "weaknesses."
4. Is your responsibility individual or are you part of a team effort?
The interviewer is trying to find out whether you exaggerated your
influence in performing tasks and achieving results. Your answer should
show a balance: "I did this independently; I served as a member of
the task force that did that." The employer is also looking for a team
5. Describe a time when you felt particularly ineffective, why you
felt so, what you did about it, and what the outcome was.
The interviewer is trying to identify traits the organization is
looking for in a job applicant and traits it hopes to avoid. Also
notice that this is a four part question. If the applicant fails to
answer parts 2, 3, or 4, it may indicate a short attention span and
poor detail orientation.
6. Describe a time when you felt particularly effective.
The interviewer is interested not so much in the activity itself as
how you describe it, and how you behave during the explanation. If
you say "I'm not sure what you want," this will be identified as a
"dependent trait," which could lead to elimination if the employer is
looking for someone who can work independently.
7. What are the most satisfying aspects of your present job? What are
the most frustrating?
The interviewer is trying to find out what makes you tick. Are you
results-oriented and pleased with the attainment of specific goals? Or
have you had "difficulty with interpersonal relations and personality
conflicts that have stymied efforts to reach objectives?" Never bring up
interpersonal conflicts because you won't find a job that doesn't
involve interacting with people.
8. What are the most important factors you require in a job? How
should it be structured to provide you satisfaction?
Your answers--freedom to operate, security, overall environment,
people, responsibilities, compensation, etc.--should all reflect how
well suited you are for the job.
9 Most people have some long-range goals and objectives. Where do
you want to be in 5-10 years?
The answer should reflect some degree of preparation and logic.
Don't tell the employer that with an English degree you'd eventually
like to be the accounting manager.
Resumes are Important!
The number one most powerful job search tool and how it can make you successful beyond your wildest dreams.
I'm sure there are exceptions somewhere, but so far, in over 10 years of taking note of this, everybody I have met who uses this job search tool to its potential becomes exceptionally successful, and everyone I know who ignores this tool, or downplays its importance, fails. Is it possible, that this tool is so powerful that it literally determines success or
The job search tool that I am talking about is the résumé. But not just an ordinary, poorly written résumé, I mean the Power Résumé®: the
résumé which grabs the reader by the lapels and gives him a good shake; the résumé which inevitably ends up on top of the pile. I cannot tell you how
important I belive this job search tool to be. But I can tell you some of the reasons why I believe in its great importance.
First of all, you cannot hope to have an employer treat you with respect if you show little or no respect for them by submitting a poorly written résumé. If you turn in inferior or mediocre materials, you have
already diminished yourself. You lose leverage and moral authority. But the powerful, exceptional résumé gains that controlling advantage over the
competition, over the interview process, over the interviewer and over everybody else. In a job search, a Power Résumé® equals personal power.
The tragic case of the sales manager who thought the résumé was a formality.
About a year ago, I spoke with a sales manager, who was making 65K and felt underpaid and underemployed. He learned of a position where he
could double his income. Through some encouraging telephone conversations,
he quickly became a leading candidate for the position and was granted a
personal interview. "Bring your résumé," they told him. Since he thought the job offer was a "done deal," he assumed their request for a résumé was
a mere formality. And since it was just a formality, he quickly threw something together the night before the interview. He walked into the interview, introduced himself and handed the interviewer, the VP of National Sales, his shabby, mediocre, last minute
résumé presentation. The interview was awesome. The interviewer said everything looked A-OK and he should expect the job offer as soon as he cleared it with a higher-up. The sales manager left the interview, clicking his heels, dreaming of his doubled salary, while leaving behind a shabby, mediocre résumé presentation, which was given to that "higher-up" who was not impressed. The job offer never came.
This sales manager either ignored or wasn't aware of an essential job search principle. A résumé has to be worthy of representing you when you are not present and should give the same clear message that you give in person. It should assist someone who wants to 'sell' you to someone else, this could be a friend, a recruiter, or, as in the case of this sales manager, an interviewer who needs to convince a higher-up to bring you on board.
The telling connection between an exceptional résumé and a good job candidate.
I belive that a job candidate who doesn't bother to put together a first-rate résumé presentation doesn't deserve an interview. That may sound harsh, and you may say that it doesn't matter what I think because
you are not submitting your résumé to me. That may be true, but the vast majority of employers feal the same way I do.
There is a link between the time, effort and professionalism a job candidate puts into his or her job search and the respect the employer will
have for the candidate. The résumé is the visible manifestation of your time, effort and professionalism. Job seekers reveal a great deal about themselves by the résumé presentation and that is why employers will use the résumé to determine whether or not to grant someone an interview. I have had the privilege to write the résumés of some very important people, even a few of you may have heard of. These include business leaders, politicians, entertainers and retiring professional athletes looking for their first 'real' job. Almost without exception these 'VIPs' are courteous, cooperative, personable, thoroughly professional individuals. They can get job interviews on their name and reputation alone. So why do they want a first rate résumé presentation?
Because it's the proper, professional thing to do. It is a sign of respect to the potential employer. These men and women understand that, and they
act accordingly. It's not a numbers game! It's not a numbers game! It's not a numbers game! Just recently, I pleaded with a friend not to do it, but he did it anyway. He sent out a mass mailing of his résumé --nine hundred in all. He purchased a mailing list of the kinds of businesses he was interested in, got his kids to slap labels and stamps on the envelopes and dropped the bundles into the mailbox and sat back and waited for the interview offers to roll in. What could be easier. He got one call. My friend made one of the most common errors in using résumés as a
job search tool. He assumed it's a numbers game. You know the school of thought which tells us if we throw enough mud against the wall some of it
will stick, therefore by that same rational, if you want to double your job interviews, all you do is double the number of résumés you send out? Right? Wrong! Applying this 'numbers game' principle to the job search is disastrous every time its tried, and it has resulted in much frustration and heartbreak. Unfortunately, it has even turned some people hostile
toward résumés. Stories like my friend's are all too common where people have sent out hundreds, even thousands of Résumés with little or no response.
So why does the numbers game not work with résumés? Because the Power Résumés® gobble up all the interviews and don't leave any crumbs, that why. Take an average quality résumé and put it in a stack of one hundred résumés and do the math. If you start with the best résumé and work down,
you would have to interview 50 people before you got to the 'average' résumé. That's never going to happen. When employers review résumés, they
are looking for the one or two that 'jump out.' A good rule to never forget when preparing for a job search is that the average or mediocre résumés get ZERO interviews.
Commonly asked questions about résumés and their role in the job search. Everyday I get barraged by questions concerning résumés. I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions. Hopefully, these include yours.
Q: You talk about "Power Résumés®." What are the characteristics
of that type of résumé?
A: The subject of what is a superior résumé and what is the average résumé is very large. What some people mean by superior is that it looks nice and proper, the words are spelled right, and the watermark isn't upside down or backwards. That's fine, but you have to get beyond that and focus on results. A Power Résumé® should be as persuasive as you can possibly make it. It should be able to perform the toughest sales job in the world: make
cold calls on total strangers and get results. It must represent you when you are not present by giving the same clear message that you can give in person, including sending it ahead to secure an interview or leaving it behind after a successful interview. It should assist someone who wants to 'sell' you to someone else, this could be a friend, a recruiter, or an interviewer who needs to convince a higher-up to bring you on board.
My clients whose résumés are characterized by these high standards routinely get two to five interviews for every 10 résumés sent out.
Q: How much increase in pay should I expect?
A: Everyone, of course, is interested in return on investment. Qualified management level clients routinely report gains in their income
from $5,000 to $30,000 and our executive clients even more. Even if you invested just $200 and received a $1,000 raise, that's a 500% return on
Since most of our clients are motivated professionals, their success is no accident. A combination of a Power Résumé® and a motivated professional is so effective, it is scary. It is what the fast-track heavy hitters have been doing for years to blow the competition out of the water.
Q: I've seen your sample book and saw résumés which were two, three and even five pages long. I've been told that if résumés are more than one
page long, they will not get read. Who is going to read those long résumés?
A: I can't tell you how many times I have been asked that question by incredulous clients starting at a three page résumé.
The answer is: the people who will most likely offer you a job. Research shows that even the best written résumés in the world will often get nothing more than a passing glance as they are set set aside or
thrown away. They simply are not interested in your particular skills and abilities, or for other reasons, resistant to your message. Worrying about
whether this majority will read one page or any other given quality is a foolish exercise--who cares? Trying to trick or manipulate people into reading your résumé is extraordinarily difficult and of questionable value. Shortening your résumé to a length everybody will read is counterproductive. Instead, we need to focus our energies on the relative minority of the résumé recipients who will be interested in your message. As they say in the advertising industry: "write for the buyer, not the nonbuyer."
Once I fully understood that real prospective employers are hungry for information, I chose to concentrate on telling the seriously interested, qualified prospective employer everything he might possibly need to respond positively to a job candidate. The number of interviews and job offers my clients received skyrocketed. I have followed this principle for over eight years and am unwaveringly convinced of its validity. A money making message exclusively for the underpaid and the
underemployed. We employ the very best, most knowledgeable résumé writers in the industry today. Each writer averages more than 10 years experience. In the last twelve months our 24 writers/consultants have helped more than 12,000 job candidates produce résumés, which landed them better job offers. We believe we can do the
same for you.
Except for top executives, few people have Power Résumé® quality documents. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that many
people aren't aware of what a Power Résumé® can do to help them get the job they really want. Also, they may not know where to get a résumé of this
high quality. And finally, they think it's too expensive and they could never afford it. Well, Power Résumés® aren't cheap. Few things worthwhile are, but we have bent over backwards to make them more affordable to more people. Consider the value of everything you get as one of our Power Résumé®
clients. Your initial Power Résumé® needs assessment and consultation.
During the first meeting you sit down with a résumé professional and discuss in-depth what would be the best approach for marketing you to a potential employer. Presumably you know more about yourself than anyone else and our writers and consultants are masters at drawing out that key information in order to present it as powerfully as possible in a résumé
format. In addition to the basic employment and educational information, we concentrate on your assets and strengths--reasons employers should be
interested in you. We evaluate your skills and aptitudes in order to know what should be emphasized in your presentation. We review your tangible and intangible accomplishments--so you can present everything you did right for a previous employer. For an equivalent management or executive level outplacement assessment/consultation, you would pay at least $195 to $450.
Composing your Power Résumé®: Write, edit, design, layout and typeset your presentation.
Combining our writing skills and experience with our knowledge of the employment industry, marketing, advertising and copywriting, we produce your résumé presentation form scratch. We design and layout the résumé f o r proper emphasis and affect. For the top echelon professionally written management/executive level two page résumé, you spend $250 to $600. Composing the Power Résumé® cover letter.
When you mail or fax a résumé to a potential employer, you ordinarily include a letter of introduction. A professionally written universal one page cover letter runs from $35 to $125 (a targeted cover letter focusing on one employer, from $45 to $250 for each one. Proofreading, final editing, and printing of your Power Résumé and cover letter.
The résumé and cover letter are reviewed with the utmost care to make sure they are error free and the information is accurate. We accomplish any final editing, which is required and then repeat the
process. When we are absolutely sure that everything is in its final form, we print the copies on résumé grade stationary. Proofreading, editing and printing of these materials would cost you anywhere from $45 to $135.