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The Internet has become one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of job
seekers or career changers. Find out how to use it most effectively.
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Choosing a Career
Figure out what makes you tick. Ask yourself these questions:
What holds my interest?
What do I do well?
What kind of personality do I have?
What's really important to me?
Think of times when you've enjoyed and excelled at a job, internship, class, or
aspect of your personal life.
Learn about your career options. Rarely do you have the opportunity to take a
class in college that shows you what the work world is like. You have to take
the initiative to explore it yourself.
Sort out your preferences, You might learn you don't want to be in a corporate
environment: That rules out investment banking. Or you might find that your
interest in art wouldn't sustain a career, so you cross those types of jobs off
your list. Whatever it is that you learn about yourself, you're making important
discoveries that will help you choose a good career when the time comes.
Most importantly, keep it all in perspective. Remember that you don't have to
live forever with any career decision you make now. Most people change careers
several times over their lives, so the thing you choose to do right after
college will most likely not be your career forty or fifty years from now -
unless you want it to be. So don't put too much pressure on yourself to make the
perfect decision. And always keep your eyes open.
Keys to Job Hunting Success
To get what you want you have to know what you want. Employers are turned off by
job seekers that sound unfocused, vague and scattered. You don't have to zero in
on one overly narrow job target, but you do need to have a clearly defined
picture of what you're looking for.
Instead of having a variety of unrelated career goals, take some time to assess
who you are and what you want. Define some basic criteria you're looking for in
a job, such as the skills you'd like to use or develop and the type of work
environment you want. When you know what you're aiming for, you'll come across
as a more impressive candidate and will find that your search is easier.
Make sure you are:
realistic about your qualifications
confident in yourself and your experience
willing to take a proactive approach to your search instead of passively
expecting a job to land in your lap and not internalizing rejection (Keep it all
in perspective and don't take rejection personally.)
In some professions, jobs are listed online or in the newspaper, while jobs in
other professions are just about impossible to find through any way other than
word of mouth (i.e., networking). You need to research to find out how best to
seek employment in your chosen field.
The way you follow up on resumes you send out, calls you make and interviews you
go on can make or break your search. Job offers often go to applicants who take
the initiative to make just one more phone call to express interest in the
position and to reiterate their qualifications. You see, offers don't always go
to the person who is most qualified, but to the person who is on the other end
of the phone line or at the top of the email list. Some employers tend to have a
sort of "bird-in-the-hand" mentality.
So, the main rule of following through is to keep at it -- persistence is key.
The other important rule is follow through with courtesy (it never pays to
harass people). You don't need to call every day, but maybe you could call once
And if you feel at a loss during any part of your job search, don't be afraid to
rely on good old common sense.
Ideally, you want your job search to take as little time and energy as possible,
while yielding optimal results. Sound impossible? It's not. Especially if you
use the Web to its full potential. This article describes the kinds of career
information you can find online and how to use it.
Using the Web to Succeed in your Job Search
The Ideal Job Search
The most successful job search is a multi-faceted one. You greatly increase your
chances of finding the right job and getting hired by expanding your
professional network, researching companies, and targeting organizations that
are a good fit for your skills, interests and experience. Happily, in today's
world, much of this work can be done on the Web.
Having your own computer and Internet access means you can conduct a good deal
of your job search on your own schedule and in the comfort of your own home.
Most businesses have their own sites which provide basic background information,
a glimpse into the corporate culture, job opportunities, contact information and
more. Use the Web to target the companies you want to work for. Hopefully,
you'll find an applicable job posting. If not, find out who to contact in your
chosen field. It's all about networking
Since the Internet is a massive network, what better place to do your
networking? After all, networking is the single most effective means of finding
a job. Whether it's advice you seek, networking and informational interview
opportunities, or you want to respond to an internship ad or job posting, people
around the world are available online. Because of the Web's interactive nature,
you can contact everyone from career professionals and placement offices to
fellow job seekers and even employment support groups.
Do's & Don'ts for Resume Success
Use Smart Subject Lines
With the increase in spam and emails containing viruses, it's best to use a
descriptive subject line that compels hiring managers to read your email.
Give your most impressive accomplishments prominence by placing them before
other, less impressive achievements. Review your list of accomplishments and
rank them in order of importance and relevance to your career goal. Employers
skimming your resume will see your strongest accomplishments first.
Be Careful with Capitalization
Did you know it's incorrect to capitalize job titles on your resume, unless
you're using it as part of a header or at the beginning of a sentence? For
example, "promoted to sales manager after demonstrating top-ranked performance"
is the correct format.
Use Proper Salutations
When corresponding with employers, use the traditional salutation if the name is
known (for example, "Dear Ms. Jones"). It's always best to address cover letters
to a specific person, but if you cannot obtain a name, use "Dear Hiring
Manager." Avoid "Dear Sir or Madam" and "To Whom it May Concern" -- both
salutations are outdated.
Stay in the Now
If your resume contains a long work history, keep in mind that employers are
most interested in your recent experience.
Don't try to save money by printing your resume on cheap copy paper instead of
good quality stock. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and coffee stains. Use
the spellcheck feature on your word processor and ask a friend to review the
resume to find mistakes you might have missed.
If your career warrants a two-page resume, then go ahead and create a document
that reflects the full range of your experience and accomplishments. Don't
reduce the type size to such a degree that your resume becomes difficult to
Don't include the reasons you are no longer working at each job listed on your
resume. The phrases "Company sold," "Boss was an idiot" and "Left to make more
money" have no place on your resume.
Don't mail out your resume to every ad in the Saturday newspaper. If you are not
even remotely qualified for a position, don't apply. Read the ads, determine if
you have the right credentials and save the wear and tear on your printer.
Add In Unwanted Attachments
When you send out your resume, don't include copies of transcripts, letters of
recommendation or awards, unless you are specifically asked to do so. If you are
called in for an interview, you may bring these extra materials along in your
briefcase for show-and-tell.
Personal information does not belong on a resume in North America. Don't include
information on your marital status, age, race, family or hobbies.
So what makes a good impression on a wily recruiter like Scott?
"Someone who's well-prepared all around," she says. "They've dressed
appropriately for the interview. They arrived on time or even a few minutes
early. They've done some research on the company, and they have a list of
questions they want to ask. They understand why they're here. They're articulate
and prepared in general."
And besides a sundress and Birkenstocks, what can kill an interview before it
gets started? "The worst mistake someone can make for an interview is being
late," Scott says. "Honestly, I don't care what the traffic was. There's
absolutely no excuse for that -- ever. I will frequently just not interview
someone who is late."
� Monster 2006