Saturday, August 27, 2011


Once you have prepared a resume that shows your skills and abilities, the next step is to bring it to the attention of those who are responsible for hiring. Remember that posting your resume on one or more job-boards is not enough. You have to find and actively approach employer organizations to find a suitable job.
The major sources for locating suitable job openings include: targeting companies of special interest; networking through business and personal contacts; approaching search firms and employment agencies; replying to ads in newspapers and trade publications; finding job postings on the Internet job boards and employer websites; attending job fairs; and resume posting on the Internet. If possible, identify unique sources of job leads that other candidates may not be using. For example, venture capital firms can be an excellent source of job leads as they have in-depth knowledge of hiring needs within industries in which they invest.
Targeting companies of special interest and networking are the two most effective methods of finding suitable jobs. However, even these two methods will not always result in a successful job search. You need to use three to four sources to locate suitable job openings. The candidates who rely upon just one or two of the available sources to find job openings are likely to be disappointed. There is no one source for job openings that will always lead to a successful job search.
Your objective in contacting potential employers is to get job interviews. Therefore, you should try to determine what sources are resulting in more job interviews and give more attention to such sources. On the other hand, you should continue to use more than one source for locating job openings.
You have to find the job openings for which you are qualified and that meet your requirements. You can find such job postings on the Internet job boards and employer websites; ads in newspapers and trade journals; and websites of executive search firms. In addition, you need to look for unadvertised jobs by targeting companies of special interest and through networking.
Here is a suggestion to help you improve your effectiveness in contacting potential employers. Whenever an e-mail address is given in the job posting, send your resume by e-mail and include a cover note highlighting how you match the job requirements. In addition, follow-up the e-mailed resume by sending a hard copy of the resume and a tailor-made cover letter. This will enable you to get a well prepared and formatted resume and cover letter in the employer’s hands, and give you an edge as most other candidates will just e-mail their resumes. Another suggestion is to follow-up by phone. You should make a follow-up phone call, within a week after sending a resume, to confirm that the resume was received and to try to schedule an appointment for an interview. This is also an opportunity to get the full job description and other information about the hiring company.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


A resume is a statement of what you have achieved in the past and your capability for future accomplishments. Every person is unique, and a resume must demonstrate the unique capabilities you possess.
The purpose of a resume is to get invited for job interviews. It is a marketing communication designed to win interviews. Your resume should demonstrate how you will be able to benefit your future employer. What you have done in the past is a good guide as to what you will do in the future. Your experience level and the type of job you are seeking will determine the type of resume you need. Someone who is just entering the workforce should focus more on educational background as compared to another candidate who has substantial work experience, and therefore, should focus on work accomplishments.
A well prepared and tailor-made cover letter is a tool to draw attention to the most relevant information in the resume. Think of it as a requirement when you send a resume. Many recruiters do not even read a resume that comes without a cover letter. A cover letter confirms that you have read the job posting, understand the requirements, and are really interested. It is an opportunity for you to link your experience with the advertised job, and to provide any information specifically requested in the job posting that might not be included in your resume such as, job location preferences and availability date.
You must have a copy of the job description or a summary of the qualifications required before you can draft a targeted cover letter. This is usually included in the job posting and the newspaper ads. You should read this a couple of times to be sure that your own skills and qualifications match what the job requires. It is a good sign when you find that your qualifications match most of the requirements because it means you are a strong candidate for the position. Next, you should underline the primary responsibilities indicated in the job posting, and write down the strongest qualifications you possess to match what the job requires.
Some job postings instruct candidates to apply via e-mail. The strategy for preparing an electronic cover letter is the same as for preparing a cover letter to be sent by regular mail. You need to demonstrate how your qualifications meet each requirement listed in the job posting. There are some elements that differentiate e-mail cover letters. The e-mail cover letters should be very concise. While you need to provide all the information you would include in a printed cover letter, you have to do that in fewer words and less space in the e-mail. Make sure to list only those qualifications and experiences that match the job requirements. Your e-mail is a selling document, and you have to make it highly effective. You should state the purpose of your e-mail in the subject line. This subject line should be attractive enough to cause the recipient to open your e-mail message. Remember to include your resume as an attachment with the e-mail message.