Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Only CARS Drive Job Search Success

 CARS are Clear Actionable Résumé Strategies

Typically, you scour the job boards looking for an opportunity that will take advantage of your skill set, you submit your résumé on-line, and then you wait.  And then you wait some more. And if you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones, you get called in for an interview. 

While sitting and waiting is indeed a job search strategy, it may not be the best strategy available.  The most effective job search strategies are both ‘Clear’ and ‘Actionable’.

Given that your ability to clearly and effectively communicate what you have to offer to potential employers is essential to landing an interview, it is critical that you make that communication flawless.

Your résumé is the lynchpin to all of your personal marketing collateral. There is no formula for maximizing the effectiveness of your résumé, however, there are some tips that you can implement today to avoid sabotaging your chances of securing your perfect job and/or career. 

For a list of Clear Actionable Résumé Strategies, read on:

  • SAVE/SEND your résumé on a .doc or a PDF format, NOT a .docx format  
  • Incorporate your name in the title of your saved résumé file
  • Resist the urge to use the HEADER/FOOTER feature that is available on most word processing software -[Imbed the information on the body of the résumé]
  • Do not embed tables in your .doc, however, tables are okay in PDF documents
  • Only include ONE phone number
  • Add abbreviations for the credentials you have earned next to your name
  • Use a personal e-mail address that incorporates your given name
  • NEVER use the e-mail address that has been assigned to you by an employer
  • Add a hyperlink to your e-mail address
  • Include your contact information on every page of the document
  • Include some sort of notation at the bottom of the page to indicate that there is more than page to the document
  • Add your LinkedIn profile to your contact information
  • Add a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile
  • Become more ‘social’ by adding relevant comments to the issues posted by your virtual friends
  • Post your résumé everywhere, if you are a passive job seeker, use the job board site tools that will allow you to hide your contact information
  • Review/ipdate the résumés you have posted on all available résumé/job boards on a regular basis
  • Have your résumé reviewed by a professional on an annual basis
  • Have a trusted friend review your social media presence and have them report on their findings
  • Ensure that all of the information found is accurate and consistent
  • Format the document so that it is both ATS [Applicant Tracking Software] and potential employer/reader friendly
  • Use standard fonts and use the same font in your cover letter
  • Select fonts sizes of between 11 and 12
  • Ensure that the format is consistent throughout the document
  • Use bolding, underlining, italicizing or CAPITALZING to make the headings, job titles, etc. to draw the reader’s attention
  • Check for spelling and grammar - Spiel cheque it knot yore fiend
  • Never include irrelevant or inappropriate information (i.e., age, race, weight, marital status, religion, health, date of birth, etc.)
  • Take the time to study the job description and customize both your résumé and cover letter for the particular opening
  • Replace the ‘OBJECTIVE STATEMENT” with the job title of the position you seek
  • Resist the urge to include all of your career experience if it was completed in the last millennium unless it is directly relevant to the position you seek
  • Quantify your results whenever possible, e.g. increased sales by X, managed teams of up to Y members
  • Incorporate powerful action verbs, (i.e., managed, supervised, organized, initiated, increased, doubled, implemented, etc.) whenever possible
  • Use industry specific jargon only when you want to secure a position in the same industry
  • NEVER lie, pad or embellish your accomplishments, or misrepresent yourself on paper or in person
  • Never use personal pronouns such as “I” or “My” in your résumé, however, using personal pronouns in your cover letter is acceptable and encouraged
  • Know that there is no ‘rule’ for how long a résumé be
  • Do not supply the names of references until you have reached the interview stage of the process
  • Do not list salary requirements until you have reached the interview stage of the process
  • Take the time to do find the name and direct e-mail address of the hiring manager
  • Before sending your  résumé anywhere, take the time to print it out to ensure that the page breaks and format line up properly
  • Follow up on all submissions
  • All social events are opportunities to network
  • Attend both ON and OFF line networking events

 “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden

No job search is complete without words of encouragement.  The original,  "Drive My Car" is a song primarily written by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon, and first released by The Beatles on the British version of the 1965 album,  "Rubber Soul".  This  ‘modified’ version, should be sung to the original tune of “Drive My Car”. Enjoy!

Asked a client what s/he wanted to be
S/he said baby, can't you see
I wanna be famous, a star in my field
But I need to do something in between

Baby you should use my CARS

Know that it will make you a star
Baby you should use my CARS
And then you will love me

I told that client that the prospects were good
S/he said baby, it's understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time

Baby, I should use your CARS
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby, I should use your CARS
And then I will love you

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah


Baby you should use my CARS

Know that it will make you a star
Baby you should use my CARS
And then you will love me

I told that client they can start right away

When s/he said listen, I got something to say
I got no cars and it's breaking my heart
But I've found a driver and that's a start

Baby, I should use your CARS

Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby, I should use your CARS
And then I will love you

Baby you should use my CARS
Yes , it will make you a star
Baby you should use my CARS
And then you will love me

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah
Beep beep'm beep beep yeah



Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca