The Career Club

a blog providing support & information on career building

Posts Tagged ‘Interview

Job Hunting Errors

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Since the economic downfall, I’ve been critiquing almost triple the resumes and conducting one on one counseling than the year before. I’ve also been scheduling several trainings on more campuses then ever before. It still completely boggles my mind the lack of education many of our students receive when it comes to the basics of looking for a job.

In this tight job market, employers are being very selective then before. Candidates need to be well aware of any habits or mistakes that could be the reasons they are not being hired. Years ago I came across an article by Costello, Erdian & Company thats to the point on the top job hunting errors. Here are the top 10 job hunting errors:

1. Poor Resume: The resume is used as a quick screening device by  most employeers. If it doesn’t strike them as outstanding, your chances of an interview may be nil. The resume should describe education and experience in a concise, well-written format. More importantly, it should emphasize accomplishments, over duties and responsibilities.

Create a quality resume using one of the following templates:
Functional Resume Template
Chronological Resume Template

2. Failure to Network: Friends, acquaintances and people you know should be sought out and their information be used in developing job leads.

3. Limiting Job Sources: Classified ads, employment agencies and other sources are often overlooked. Use all possible methods to learn of appropriate jobs.

4. Unplanned Approach: Pre-printed cover letters, quick and unimaginative phone calls and short non responsive resumes save time for the candidate but turn off employers who feel they will take short cuts in carrying out job responsibilities.

Write a simple but personized cover letter using the following template:
Simple Cover Letter Template

5. Too Short Work Week: For the unemployed, the job search should be a 40 hour per week proposition. You don’t get a job by only using part of your free time.

6. Inadequate Interview Preparation: Each situation is a separate challenge and requries unique preparation. Responses must be timely, flexible and address the specific needs of the employer.

7.  Poor Interviewselling  Techniques: A “give and take” honest relationship must be established during the interview. Candidate should exchange information while listening attentively, selling themselves and demonstrating enthusiasm for the job and the company.

Learn more about interviews by clicking here and here.

8. Restricted Job Search: Restrictions on geographical locations, commuting time, parking facilities, size and type of employer, and other personal matters should be secondary to the overall merit of an opportunity. Financial and professional pressures may also change your outlook later and make the opportunity more feasible. Remember that you can always decline a job offer if it is judged to be unattractive or a better one develops.

9. Negative Attitude: Candidates who “have all the answers criticize their managers, second guess employers” are seldom invited for second interviews. Negative attitudes toward prior jobs are seen as predictors of future performances.

10. Poor Physical Appearance: While there is no need to look like a movie star, candidates who do not demonstrate self-respect by creating a positive image are usually judged to be unacceptable.

Source:
Costello, Erdian, & Company
a national outplacement counseling and human resources consulting firm
as posted on University of Wisconsin’s Career Center
Website

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What’s Your Objective?

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In every resume I’ve critiqued at least in the last month, I noticed one thing in common: everyone of them had a nice lengthy objective. I have a lengthy problem with that… here’s why.

What’s an objective? An objective is basically one’s intentions towards something, a goal to accomplish. With that understanding, it is very important that you do relay to your potential employer what your intentions and goals are in your career and in working with that company.

So why do I have a problem with it being in your resume? Well on your resume, you are listing your education, qualifications, work history and skills. An objective is written out in a good 3-5 sentence paragraph. That’s why it should not be on your resume! So where does it go?

On your cover letter!

Your cover letter is a personalized letter to the hiring personnel that introduces your resume. In your cover letter, you are to discuss what makes you best for the position in question, what your objectives are and how you can be reached after they review your resume. It’s simply an opening statement, a good 3-5 sentence paragraph about your objectives and qualifications. Then a closer with your contact information. Very simple, very basic.

Click here for a sample cover letter.

Why don’t you want to go on about your great achievements or expanded skills? You need to leave something for the interview. You list your skills and any relevant achievements and awards but your cover letter gets them to read your resume. Your resume, gets them to set up an interview with you.

So, what’s your objective?

Written by Ms. Hala

3 June 2009 at 5:22 am