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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted November 06, 2008 by

Job Hunting: 3 Tips for Successful Interviewing

It can be a nerve-wrecking prospect to think about your impending job interview. What will you say? How will you dress? What if the interviewer asks questions for which you don’t know the answers? These are all questions you may run through your mind before ever meeting the prospective employer.
But while interviews can be intimidating, they don’t have to be feared – especially if you come equipped with the right knowledge. So let’s look at three tips that can help you place the job you want in the palm of your hands.
Tip #1: Conduct Practice Q&A Sessions
Before you ever set foot on the property of your prospective employer, it is important that you mentally prepare for the challenge you’re up against. Being that you’ve never interviewed before, it may seem impossible to prepare for the unknown. But luckily for you, there are bound to be some individuals in your life who have been on job interviews. So give them a job of helping you prepare.
A good way to start your preparation is by first conducting some research on the company you are interested in working for. After you’ve learned the company’s overall mission, what they look for in employees, and most importantly, what they want in the hiring position, you can give this information to your helper. Then he or she can compose interview questions, have you show up for the mock interview in full attire, and ask the questions so that you can begin to feel comfortable with the process.
Tip #2: Dress for Success
This is probably one of the more important aspects of interviewing for any position, no matter how casual you think it might be. The prospective employer wants to confirm how serious you are about the job, something that is partially accomplished by dressing up in business attire for the interview.
While this may seem to be common sense to some, there are many newcomers to the world of interviewing who show up wearing khaki pants or low-cut tops. So if you already knew that wearing a business suit (clean with no wrinkles) is the way to go, good job. But if you were just about to walk out of the door in your T-shirt and khakis, you may want to go change your clothes.
Tip #3: Speak from the Heart
Starting off in your practice Q&A session, and eventually transitioning into your actual interview, it is important that you place personal value on your decision to apply for the job. If you go into the interview thinking that you won’t like the job, the interviewer might sense the apprehension and pass you up for the position. However, if you come in genuinely enthusiastic about the position, it will be much easier for you to find the right words to express that enthusiasm.
If you follow these three tips, you’ll be that much closer to securing the job of your dreams. So practice, practice, practice with your Q&A session, go buy a suit that makes you feel comfortable, and go to the interview with great passion. You’ll see that your budding confidence in your interviewing skills will skyrocket in time for your very first interview.
About the Author:
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you need a resume writer, compare the top companies in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.

Posted October 30, 2008 by

New Millennium Job Seeking Formats

Though we are well into the new millennium, we are still being surprised by innovative technologies that surface almost everyday. And many of them transfer very effectively into the work world, affording us opportunities to restructure the way we conduct job searches.
This means it is a good idea to learn some of the new ways to seek jobs. That way, you can keep up with, and even surpass your competition.
Web Portfolios and Video Resumes
Web portfolios are becoming popular vehicles for obtaining employment because they offer easy-to-read, attractive, electronic versions of your resume. They are especially useful for candidates working in web design, writing or artwork; however, anyone can take advantage of them. Typically, they showcase screenshots of designs, links to a working page, and a description of the work being displayed. There are websites dedicated to helping individuals create them in order to post the work and send links to employers.
Video resumes, while not as popular or highly-accepted by recruiters, are another way for job candidates to spice up what was once simply a dull piece of paper. Posted on sites like YouTube, candidates use these resumes to verbally list their skills, talents and capabilities. After creating the video, they send the link to potential employers. However, before you decide to take this route however, conduct research to make sure this type of resume is acceptable in your field.

Job Blogging and Social Networking

Along with creating video resumes and web portfolios come two more vehicles of online job seeking: job blogging and social networking. You are probably familiar with the concept of social networking by now if you have a Myspace of Facebook page. On both websites you can either communicate with your friends or set up a page that lends itself to your professional side. But social networks now do even more. They also allow you to get on message boards where recruiters often frequent, and network with other individuals in your field.
Since some recruiters take the extra steps to locate candidates via the Internet, it’s not a bad idea to also set up your own blog that tracks your job search and markets your skills. Just ensure that if you’re trying to have a professional online presence, you either don’t create or make “private” any profiles listed under your full name that may be inappropriate for business. For more information on how to blog responsibly, you can visit EFF.com
The Behavioral Interview
While not technology-based, the behavioral interview is becoming a popular format employers are using to gather more information about job candidates. The interview is handled in person like the traditional interview; however differences lie in the types of questions being asked. For instance, instead of being asked “What are your strengths and weaknesses as an employee?” you might be asked “What is a specific example of an occasion where you were called upon to solve a problem? And how did you solve it?” The latter questions explore exact behaviors in specific situations, and give more insight into your day-to-day abilities.
Staying on top of what’s going on in the world of job seeking is very important. So try to find out more. You’ll be surprised by the exposure and access to opportunities you’ll acquire.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you need a resume writer, compare the top ones in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.

Posted October 23, 2008 by

Protecting Yourself from Work-from-Home Scams

As the Internet becomes more popular, there are increasing opportunities to not only become employed by this medium, but also work from home while doing so. However, not every online opportunity is trustworthy. There are tons of scam artists ready to take advantage of the naïve.
This is not to say that there aren’t any legitimate work-from-home jobs. You just have to learn how to catch the signs of a scam artist. So before you begin your search for an at-home job, let’s explore the ways you can protect yourself from being scammed.
Don’t Give Out Too Much Personal Information
Handing out personal information over the Internet has always been a no-no. And the same goes for applying for jobs. There will be many scammers out there asking for social security information, date of birth, and more. But don’t give out anything until you’re sure you’re communicating with a legitimate company.
Also, you’ll want to be careful not to hand out your credit card information. This is especially true if an “employer” is asking you to pay for supplies or other information before they will accept you for a position. Legitimate companies or opportunities will treat you no differently than those that can be found in an office. In other words, you should not be asked to pay money in order to obtain a position. So be careful before you disclose anything too personal about yourself until the nameless, faceless entity on the other side of your computer is represented by a legitimate person or business.
Conduct a Thorough Background Check
Background checks are particularly important when searching for employment online. Again, you cannot see the representative on the other end of the computer and therefore should take extra measures to ensure the opportunity is real. One way you can get this done is by asking for a list of other employees or contractors that have worked for them to get more insight into who this company is.
Also, you can take advantage of websites that are dedicated to catching scam artists, such as ScamBusters.org. And you can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a company is legitimate. However, it will be more difficult to catch online scammers in this way because they don’t have to register as a business in order to act as one.
Use Your Common Sense
One thing you have on your side when searching for a job is common sense. It may take a while to develop online common sense, but it will come. This way, if an individual or company claims that you can make $5,000 a week stuffing envelopes from home, you’ll know it’s probably too good to be true. The same goes for unsolicited emails saying that someone has found a job for you. In time, you’ll automatically delete them and know you’ve probably been placed on a 3rd party mailing list with thousands of others who have been offered the same “job.”
Finding a legitimate work-from-home job opportunity can be very rewarding. However, to avoid getting caught up in the scams, try to conduct plenty of research and use your common sense. This way, you can avoid the nonsense and get straight to finding your perfect at-home job.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. In need of a resume writer? Compare the top ones in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.

Posted August 28, 2008 by

Three Common Resume Questions Answered

How many times have you found yourself in the midst of writing your resume when you realized that there were some questions you simply had to have answered before you could move forward? Everyone has probably been in this predicament at least once during a resume-writing experience.
Of course, there are some questions that are more frequently asked than others. So before you put your fingers back on the keyboard, let’s take a moment to explore some of the more commonly asked questions regarding resumes.

How Do I Write a Great Objective?

For many, the objective is the most abstract and challenging portion of the resume to write. You may find yourself asking questions like “what does the employer want to know?” and “how can I describe myself in just one sentence?” during the process. But don’t let these issues deter you from continuing on, because in actuality, it is not hard to create a succinct objective that will entice the employer to read on.
First, take note that objectives can be more than one sentence long. Depending on your level of experience, you may want to include up to three sentences describing who you are and what career plans you have that fall neatly in line with the employer’s goals. Within the 1-3 sentences, you want to express your strengths, abilities and qualifications in your field, and how they match the specific employer’s goals. However, try to avoid using the word “I” in this section as it creates a self-centered image, something that can quickly result in your resume hitting the bottom of the stack.
What if I Haven’t Worked in a While?
If you haven’t worked for several years, or even several months, you may feel a little bit nervous about explaining your employment gap. But don’t worry; if you truly feel you’re qualified for the job, you can express this in a number of ways.
One is by using a functional resume style (as opposed to chronological) that focuses less on timelines and more on skills. Also, you can roll up all of your non-work experience, including volunteering, community involvement, consulting, or even your continuing education, to highlight the skills you’ve acquired over the years. If your gaps are a little smaller, you can make them less obvious by not noting months on your resume. In the end, you want to showcase your knowledge of industry trends, so be creative in explaining how this knowledge can enhance the position you’re applying for.
Should I Include References?
Typically, the rule for references is this: if they don’t ask for them, don’t provide them. However, if they do it’s a good idea to create a separate sheet just for them. On that sheet, you can include the references’ names, phone numbers, and their locations, as well as your personal/professional relationships. But before you add references be sure to contact them so they are prepared to offer information about you.
Writing a resume can be an exciting process if you remember that your hard work can result in a great job. So take the time to ask more questions about the writing process. You’ll find that the more you ask, the more likely you are to create a standout resume that may just secure the job you want.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted August 22, 2008 by

Resume Builders and other Writing Software

Writing a resume can be a tedious task. There’s so much information to include and organize (employment history, skills, education, career highlights, awards, etc.) that the process can easily overwhelm you if you let it.
Luckily, there are now tons of resources available that make resume writing much easier. In particular, online resume builders and downloadable writing software can do more than samples and templates ever could in guiding you through the writing process. So if you’re looking for assistance in writing a resume, you may want to look into using an online or downloadable resume builder.
What is an Online Resume Builder?
An online resume builder is a tool that offers user-friendly, step-by-step guidance for writing resumes. Usually providing assistance through a wizard, you are asked questions about your career and background to help you create a resume specific to your field. The reason resume builders are so popular is that many help you sort out problems like determining whether to choose between a chronological, functional or hybrid style. Also, most offer spell check tools and other writing tips to help keep you on track.
Most effective online resume builders come with a price tag attached; you usually can expect to pay a one-time fee of anywhere from $10 to $15 to create one resume. And if you want to go back to edit existing resumes or create more, you may have to pay a monthly fee – but for that monthly fee you are likely to get extras like the ability to apply for existing jobs, post your resumes online, and even create cover letters and follow-up letters.
Resume Writing Software Packages
In addition to using online resume building services, you can download software packages that work similarly to help you write and edit your resume. Many of them, once downloaded, offer the same types of job-searching tools and help with resume distribution that the online resume builders offer.
In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between the resume software package and the online resume builder except that one you download to your hard drive and the other you have to visit the website to work from. And most fall into the $20 to $50 price range, which is not bad for the service you’re receiving.

Don’t Forget the Essentials

While the resume builders are great at helping you organize and write clean, error-free resumes, you still want to remember resume-writing essentials like conducting research on the company, and using action words instead of duty-oriented phrases during the writing process. Though the resume building website or software can give you writing tips, it cannot do the extra work for you that will heighten your chances of getting called in for an interview, so keep this in mind throughout the writing process.
Using a resume builder or downloadable writing program is a quick and easy way to create a professional resume. So the next time you need to write yours – and you’re short on time and money – you might want to try one out. The added expertise and guidance may be just what you need to increase your chances of landing your next great job.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you’re in need of a resume builder or other career and employment software, go to
http://www.resumelines.com/career-resources/resume-ebooks.html

Posted August 14, 2008 by

Executive Resume Writing: Get the Top-Level Job You Deserve

Securing a top-level job (executive, senior manager or senior professional) may seem like an impossible task, especially if this is your first time applying for one. But if you feel that you’re ready to take that next step in your career, you can certainly get the job you want – you’ll just have to put in the necessary work by creating a great resume.
Undoubtedly, a resume for an executive-level job is different from one for a lower-level position. So before you send off your application for the position you’re eyeing, you should take some time to develop strategies that can help you write a standout executive resume. Here are some ideas to get you started …
Use an Executive Profile
While you may be used to using an objective as an introduction to your resume, for executive jobs it is a good idea to create an executive profile. It serves a similar purpose in explaining why you’re applying for the position, but also goes one step further to summarize your key qualifications.
The executive profile is typically much longer than an objective, sometimes spanning up to a half of a page. In the profile, you can highlight 4-6 specific skills or qualifications that are each followed by examples of these skills. For instance, one qualification may be that you’re “effective and wholly accountable in high-profile executive roles.” Beneath this qualification you can note the reasons why this is true. By doing this you’ll be able to highlight your standout abilities without forcing the employer to sift through the resume to find them.
Show Them You’re a Complete Package
As an executive you are expected to showcase leadership and strong decision-making skills at all times. You need to prove you are a visionary who can help the company grow. Also, you must have integrity, charisma, and the ability to communicate with individuals at all levels in the company. In other words, you should be the complete package.
A good way to express that you are is by creating an achievement-oriented resume that focuses on specific instances at your previous employers that show off some or all of the above criteria. You may have taken a chance on a retail product that others were unsure of, but your risk-taking made the company record profits. Or you may have masterminded and implemented a new team to manage internal conflicts that was so successful that turnover decreased by 30 percent. Whatever details you choose to highlight when summarizing your experiences at previous employers, you should also tailor them to match what the specific employer is looking for in an applicant.
Believe You Belong There
It may seem a bit intimidating to take steps toward higher-level positions, but fortunately for you no one starts at the top – you are not the first to try this. So see yourself in that great job, making confident decisions, and catapulting the company into a new stratosphere. Your positive attitude will serve you immensely in writing your resume as well as interviewing.
Submitting your executive resume is only the start of your journey in securing a top-level job. But by creating a very thorough, very informative, and very professional one, you can at least know that your dreams are that much closer to being realized.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted August 07, 2008 by

Writing Resumes for Federal Jobs

So you’re looking to land your first Federal job and are just about to start working on your resume. Stop right there. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), you should know that applying for Federal employment is different than the private sector.
Federal guidelines require that you provide very specific and detailed information to apply for a job by way of the OF-612 form or Federal resume (along with a KSA). Since the Federal resume carries the greatest influence of the two, let’s take a look at ways to create one that will help you get the job you want.
What You Need to Know
When applying for a Federal job, there are certain details that you must provide in order to be considered by a recruiter. They include job information (announcement number, title and grade), personal information (full name, address, phone, social security number, and country of citizenship), veteran’s preference or reinstatement eligibility (if applicable), education (chronological listing of high school and colleges with degree types, dates of acquisitions, major subjects, GPAs and total credits earned), and extensive work experience (with previous salaries included).
When detailing your work experience, you should keep the specific position you’re applying for in mind. The Federal government is strict about ensuring that applicants’ skills match the listed qualifications. So go into as much detail as possible regarding how you are qualified. This process will get you that much closer to getting hired.
Don’t Forget Your KSA
The KSA is also known as Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and is a series of statements written in a narrative format that you must include with your Federal resume. It is written in first person and is meant to showcase in greater detail how you are qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Jobs that require a KSA will usually list between three and five statements in the posting that you need to provide answers for. You want your answers to be as thorough as possible by disclosing your knowledge, skills or abilities that relate to each statement, as well as when, how and why you acquired them giving concrete examples. In other words, use up to a page to sell yourself for this position with each answer. Don’t make your KSA a carbon copy of your resume – make it original. And don’t forget to type your full name and sign it before sending it off.
Adding the Extras
As mentioned previously, acquiring a Federal job requires putting in some extra effort, which includes disclosing any information that will help showcase your ability to perform. If you have additional work experience that relates to the position, provide plenty of details (including salary info and who to contact to learn more about your work experience). Also, remember to list any software, training courses, certificates, professional memberships, or awards that might help tip the scale in your favor.
Knowing the rules of writing a Federal resume can get your foot in the door. But taking extra steps to focus specifically on the job position, and include a thorough KSA will get you one step closer to securing a great Federal job.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted July 31, 2008 by

The Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a resume and curriculum vitae? In college, you may have heard about them both, yet since graduating, you probably have heard less about the CV and more about the resume.
Though the CV may not be as well-known as the resume, it is a very relevant job seeking tool depending on your field. So before you prepare for your first – or next – career, let’s take a look at the differences between the resume and CV to help you determine which one is best for you.
The Major Differences
The purpose of both the resume and CV are similar: to provide insight into your qualifications as a potential employee. However, there are some major differences between them. A resume is a brief synopsis (one or two pages) of your professional strengths, typically including standard sections such as your objective (or executive summary), educational background, work history and additional skills. The CV goes into more depth in each section, and even looks at teaching and research you’ve conducted, works you’ve published, and major presentations. However, because this information is not relevant in many professions, the CV is usually used by those looking for academic, research, scientific, or medical positions that require a more comprehensive look at the applicant.
Writing Your CV
Your main goal when writing your CV should be to focus on all of your professional involvement from college onward. Luckily, with a CV you have no suggested page limits to worry about, so you can let loose on all of your accomplishments.
Much of your CV will look like a resume (name, address, contact info at the top, employment history, educational background, training and awards); however, you can also include sections that cover detailed professional skills, certifications, professional memberships, and even individuals you’ve mentored. The more skills and accomplishments you have, the more sections you can create to highlight them. Just make sure to keep them all organized and easy to find. Also, try to tailor your CV to each job you apply for (i.e. highlight more research accomplishments in research-driven positions). Placing your last name and page number at the top of each page is also recommended.
The Successful Resume
Though you may already be familiar with how to create a successful resume, you can always use more great tips to catch the attention of the hiring employer. For example, it is good to use action-oriented statements to describe your skills. So instead of saying, “Duties included assisting manager with documentation and organization of studies,” you might say, “Documented and developed electronic filing system for 10 studies on internal company growth conducted by the manager of organizational development, which were made accessible to the public via the company’s website.” Also, you’ll want to include keywords, like “pharma” or “tradeshows” that can showcase your knowledge of your field. And don’t forget to research the company you’re applying for to help match your skills to their mission.
Whether you’re using the resume or CV to fulfill your job seeking goals, it is important to maintain focus on your purpose, which is to market your skills and abilities. By doing so, you can move yourself that much closer to your desired position in the field you love.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted July 17, 2008 by

Use Your Resume to Help You Move up the Corporate Ladder

So, you’ve been working in the same position for several years and now feel the time is right to elevate your level of responsibility along with your title and salary. However, with this being your first time attempting to move into a more prominent role, you have no idea where to start.
Many people are in your position and also wonder what steps they should take to move up the corporate ladder. One thing you can do is stay on top of current trends and educational requirements in your field. But once you’ve fulfilled these tasks and are ready to apply for a job, you’ll need a great resume to get your foot in the door. Let’s look at some ways to create the right resume to match your accelerated career goals.
Try a Functional Resume Style
One recommended way to create a resume that appeals to higher-level recruiters and hiring managers is to shine a light on the skills you’ve acquired. You can get this done by using a functional resume format.
For example, if you were to use a functional format to describe your skills as an IT tech, instead of listing each job you’ve had year after year, you would focus on specific skills. By creating headings for each skill (ex. Software Development) you would be able to describe in detail all of the software you’ve developed for each company you’ve worked for. Using a functional resume in this way can help you expand on each skill you possess and show the employer your versatility as an employee.
Highlight Your Outside Achievements and Awards
Another great way to make your resume appeal to upper-level recruiters and hiring managers is by using a section to highlight anything you’ve achieved outside of your hired role. This works especially well if you focus on roles that have required you to act as a supervisor or manager of others.
For example, let’s say at your current company you have worked as a training coordinator for 5 years. However, in your spare time you founded and led a diversity awareness group that consisted of 10 volunteer employees. With this group, you used presentations and focus groups to demonstrate the need for diversity awareness in a work setting. By noting such a huge accomplishment on your resume, you show the hiring manager that you’re able to successfully develop and manage projects outside of your hired role.
Staying at Your Current Employer?
If you want to move up the corporate ladder while remaining at your current employer, it is a good idea to create a resume similar to one you would create for an outside employer. Why? Because it is very likely that the hiring manager won’t have any idea what you’ve accomplished on the job. But don’t feel bad about this duty as there are benefits to applying in-house, including being able to use respected employees for recommendations, and noting in-house training programs that are very relevant to the company.
Working your way up the corporate ladder can be an exciting ride – especially when you come equipped with the right tools. By showing up with a great resume and even better attitude, you’ll see in no time that your ride to the top will move smoother than you could ever imagine.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted July 10, 2008 by

Developing the Right Resume and Attitude for an Uncertain Economy

There is no doubt that our current economy is a little scary to say the least. Companies are laying off in mass numbers while gas, food, and energy costs are reaching record highs. It can be very difficult to maintain sanity in the midst of such uncertainty, let alone think about finding a job. But with responsibilities like bills and family always present, one must learn to keep pushing forward.
If you’re trying to find a job in our unsettling job market, you may feel less than excited about your prospects. However, you can find a job…and a good one at that. You just have to develop the right attitude, and an even better resume.
Make Yourself More Marketable
With layoffs on the rise, more people are competing for the same job. So in order to make yourself more marketable, you’ll need to perfect your resume. This means, no spelling or grammatical errors. You’ll also need to make sure your skills stand out above the rest.
One way you can do this is by conducting thorough research on the company and position to illustrate how you can enhance their goals. When describing your skills, try using action-oriented words like designed, marketed and researched, instead of phrases like “responsibilities included.” And also focus on specific achievements, like how much money you made at your previous company, and on which projects, to help employers assess your skill level.
Consider Economic Growths, Declines, and Specific Regions
Before you even apply for a job, it’s good to look at which business areas are growing, which are declining, and how your region is fairing economically. For example, a May 2008 Newsweek article reported that finance and accounting, engineering, technology and science are seeing growth, while construction, manufacturing, and automotive seem to be declining. In the same article, it noted that Midwest jobs may be on the decline due to its strong construction focus, while cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Dallas may see a rise due to their professional focus.
After you conduct your research, if you find your field isn’t negatively impacted by the economy, you may still want to conduct more research to learn details such as whether managers and administrators, or hourly employees, are keeping or losing jobs. And if things aren’t going so well in your industry, you might consider a slight career shift, such as moving from software development to hardware networking, or even switching cities. That is if the prospects for long-term employment seem more promising.
Maintain the Right Attitude
In this economy, it is important to keep a positive attitude about your career prospects. Because the fact of the matter is, if there is a job available, someone must eventually fill the role. So why couldn’t it be you? You are just as qualified for the job as you were before the economy worsened. So try not to let the economy’s current state negatively affect your job search.
Under stable conditions, getting on track career-wise requires strong determination. But in a weak economy, it takes more. So take time to perfect your resume, conduct extensive research on your field, and keep a positive attitude. You will see that despite the economy, you’ll be able to thrive.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.