Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free MMO's

Looking for a bit of relaxation from the stress of looking for a job , then check out my list of Free MMOs

Monday, July 26, 2010

Resume Social

An old writers trick to improve your writing skills is to join a writers group where you can share your writing and receive immediate feedback on your writing. Well I have found a site that offers something comparable to a writers group for resumes: Resume Social 

On Resume Social you can upload your resume and receive feedback from other users and hopefully you will receive constructive criticism so that you can improve your resume. The key word is constructive criticisms , just like any website with a comment section, comments can degenerate into immature name calling and an evaluation of mothers. But   usually there are nuggets of gold, for those willing to put themselves out there. 

You can also browse the resumes of people in your industry to help you get inspiration on how to improve your own resumes. Lets face it, not all of us are blessed with the creative gene. Even for the blessed, taking a browse won't hurt. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leveraging Your Education In Your Resume

As a new graduate, you have spent a long time and a kingly sum on your education, so you owe it to yourself to highlight your education effectively. Listing your degree and the institution  you received your degree from maybe adequate, but not necessarily the most effective way to highlight your education.

List specific courses that you have taken that apply to the industry you are trying to enter. For example if you are trying to enter the finance industry as a trader and you have a commerce degree with a concentration in finance , then list related finance courses you have taken. They could be classes in investments, options, derivatives and risk management.

Make sure to include information that will highlight your educational assets, such as a double major, honors and/or scholarships. You may want to include your grades along with your course work if you have received exceptional grades in your studies. If you do decide to include your grades, write them out as a percentage. Percentages are easily understood and are universally understandable.

Don’t list all the courses you have taken, that would take up to much real estate on your resume. Continuing the finance example, you may want to leave out the human resource, marketing and other unrelated elective classes. One possible exception is if you are marketing yourself as a person who is an expert in more than one field. For example a finance student with a keen sense of marketing. But even then, be selective about which courses to included in your resume.  

If your main selling point is your education, then position your educational information in a prime location, such as the very top or the center of your resume. Don’t simply follow a template and place your educational information willy nilly, consider where your education information would be the most impactful. 

You want to highlight your strengths and deemphasize your weaknesses. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hidden Job Positions

Uploading your resume on a few online job boards and constantly scanning Craigslist cannot be considered a comprehensive job search. There are many different avenues for looking for job openings and if you want to increase the chance of being hired, then utilize as many avenues as you can.

Create a list of companies that you are interested in and visit their websites, usually they will have a section on their front page called Careers or something similar. The Careers webpage usually gives detail instructions on applying for a position at the company. They will usually also provide information on current job openings. By visiting the Careers page of companies your interested in, you may be able to access job openings that many others have overlooked. The Career page may be located in the Corporate Info section of the webpage.

Trade organizations and Professional directories can also provide leads to hidden job postings. Trade organizations and Professional directories can provide you with a wealth of contact information. These contacts can be to people who are directly responsible for the hiring of its firm. This allows you to bypass the usually gate keeps of the firm, such as a secretaries. You may want to contact these people directly, remember to be polite and to be direct about your intentions.

Usually Trade Organizations will hold a few gatherings over the year, find out when the next one will be and attend the gathering. These gatherings can be charity functions or professional workshops, but whatever they may be, attend them because they will provide you with networking opportunities with people in the industry. Building a list of contacts is key and will give you an edge in your job search.

When you’re looking for a job, be creative and try to look for hidden job openings. The more well hidden a job opening is, the fewer the people will apply to them and that means less competition for the job. If you just look at popular online job boards and Craigslist for job openings, you will face tremendous competition for job openings. Expand the scope of your job search for better quality job leads.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Creating a Cultural Specific Resume

Globalization has created a smaller world and many job seekers are seeking job opportunities outside of their country, but if you don’t adapt your resume to your target foreign country, it can spell disaster for your overseas career. When you are spell checking your resume, consider the fact that different countries have different ways of spelling the same English word. For example, Canadians spells it colour, while Americans spell it color. Both are correct, but if you are applying for a job in Canada, colour is the correct spelling.

Also consider if the words that you are using in your resume have the same meaning in the foreign country you are targeting. Say Football to an American and they will be thinking about the Super Bowl, say Football to the rest of the world and they will be thinking about where the next World Cup will be hosted. You don’t want your resume lost in translation. If you have a contact in the foreign country you are targeting, have them read your resume over to make sure your resume is easily understandable and culturally relevant. 

Football ? or Football ?

Each country will have their own colloquialisms and slangs, so make an effort to have somebody in the foreign country targeting read over your resume. Just think of all the sexual slang and colloquialisms that exist in North American culture, but that would be oblivious to a foreigner. Don’t ruin your first impression with potential employers, double check your resume with a local.

Make sure that your previous work experience is easily understood by your foreign employers. Different countries may have different job titles for the job positions that you previously had. You may want to list the responsibilities and the importance of your previous job to give foreign employers a better idea of your work experience.

Team based working environment is common in modern companies, so foreign companies will be examining if you can fit in and adapt to their foreign employees. By creating a cultural sensitive resume, you will show foreign employers that you have done your homework and are willing to adapt to the new working enviroment, this will give you a leg up when you’re looking for international opportunities .

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Logos in Resumes

Humans are visual creatures, so adding a small, tasteful logo will draw the interest of your employer and encourage them to read on. When considering what type of logo or small graphics to incorporate into your resume, think what type of images are synonymous with your industry. For teachers it maybe an image of a book, for scientist it maybe an image of a beaker. Try to choose classy images and stay away from images that are too bold or big, it will distract readers from the content of your resume.

If you are part of a trade organization or have a certain professional designation, consider using their logos to add professionalism to your resume. Using a trade organization logo will show employers that you are in the loop for your industry. Professional designation logos will reinforce your competencies in employer’s minds. Make sure you have permission and that you are actually part of the trade organization or have the professional designation which your logo comes from. Lies will always come back to haunt you.

If you are not part of a trade organization or do not possess a professional designation, then you may want to choose a small graphical image to increase the visual appeal of your resume. A small graphical image can add flair to your resume if done correctly. Choose a tasteful image that does not invite controversy. Remember, graphics in a resume are meant to enhance your resume, they are not meant to be the main focal point of your resume. Choose an image that is understated and relevant to your industry.

Logos and small graphical images can help your resume stand out from most resumes, since most resumes are text only. Choose carefully and you will be rewarded with a visually striking resume.   

Monday, July 12, 2010

Resume Letterheads

You don’t want your perspective employer to scour your entire resume in order to find information on how to contact you for a job interview. Make it easy for your employers to find your contact information, create a letter head. A letter head contains all your contact information in an easy to read and locate block. It would contain your name, phone number, email and your mailing address. Creating a letterhead for your resume will allow employers to easily locate all your contact information that he/she needs to contact you.

While email is quickly becoming the standard way that employers contact perspective job applicants, the telephone is probably the most common point of contact. Include your cell phone number, home phone number and voice mail. Voice mail is common in many telephone packages and if you don’t have voice mail, seriously consider getting it, because there are many scenarios when picking up a phone call may be inappropriate. Don’t bank on the fact employers will give you a second chance and call back .Create a classy voice mail message, avoid novelty voice mail messages as it may project the wrong image to your employer.  

Having an email address in the modern economy is a must, because it’s the preferred mode of communication for many firms. Most email addresses are free so there is no excuse for not having one. You may want to create a new email address just for you professional life. The benefit of doing so is that you can have a professional email address, instead of your default address that you circulate in your social life. Simply using your first and last name will be more than sufficient. Avoid the use of your current employers email address.

By including all commonly use contact points in an easy to read block, you are making it easy for employers to contact you. Easy is the key word, if an employer prefers to use email and you don’t include your email address, most employers will simply pass on you instead of going out of their way to contact you.  Letterheads may seem trivial, but tackling the fundamentals will serve us better then deploying many fancy tricks in creating a successful resume.