Help give your existing career a boost
This economy may not be the best time to look for a new career. Maybe you thought about changing jobs and even took a look online at different job search engines, but decided that you should stay in your current career path. This doesn’t mean you can’t do some things to make yourself more satisfied, challenged, or advanced in your career.
Improving your resume requires thought
Making your resume more relevant to the industry you are in or more dynamic for your internal use at your company could be a planned strategic move. Even though you may have resume examples from people who have recently been hired, adding content to your own resume may include additional training, education, or experience in the workplace. Have a discussion with your current manager to make sure you’re creating a resume for your next move in the organization based on the skills needed to secure that job.
Nothing beats personal connections
Networking to find a job can be done very effectively within your current career if you know where to do it and what to do. Lots of people who have mastered having multiple career choices used networking to achieve that flexibility. Consider your current internal and external network in your area of expertise or industry. Are you limiting your contacts and exposure to help your existing career by staying in one particular interest area? Evaluate what groups you could join that offer opportunities to increase your professional development in communication, self-confidence, or other soft skills you want to improve in order to increase success in your current career.
Take it to the next level
Sure, your boss’ job looks glamorous. He gets to call the shots, give people rewards, fire people who are slackers, who wouldn’t want that control? If you are positioning yourself for a promotion, there are certain skills and plans that will get you there faster without alienating your co-workers. Asking for additional responsibility and jumping in when others don’t want to could be the start that allows you a great example to use in the job interview for that next move ahead.
Work smarter and be happier
Even if you are planning on staying in your current role for awhile, there are strategies you can apply to be happier and more satisfied in your day to day work. Boredom only occurs when workers don’t get to take control and make positive changes. Identifying how you can contribute your skills in the organization outside of your current role may be one way to change up your daily activities and make you a more valuable asset to the organization too.
- Is it worth it to pay for a resume writing template?
The better question is “What am I paying for?” Most innocent web surfers in a time crunch to create a resume will rely on their search engine of choice to find a place that will develop a professional, impactful document that represents them in the workplace. Unfortunately, more often than not, these surfers will find a resume writing template that a tech team like The Social Network built to get a few bucks out of each uninformed user.
Evaluating if it’s worth the cost
The word ‘template’ implies that one size could fit several people. Depending on your industry, there may be a certain format or standard of content expected by hiring managers. If that is the case, then a template might work for you. The next point to evaluate is where did the template come from? Getting a template from Word or a random website won’t fit your industry. Finding one through a professional network or a job board site in your field would be a better decision.
How much do you want to spend? Research what the cost of using a resume writer would be. What if you worked with a professional who assisted you with content for a competitive edge, would you be willing to pay more, and if so, how much? Evaluating both options will allow you to make an educated decision.
Examine the alternatives
Using the web to find a quick fix template because you didn’t plan ahead and need a resume right away can be avoided. Even if you love your job right now and can’t imagine looking for another one, having your resume up to date is a smart move. People and projects could change in your work life and keeping the document that represents your skills and background current is important.
Planning avoids panic
Updating your resume on a regular basis can be a very positive experience. You get a chance to revisit successes you’ve had, work you have produced, and value you provided to the organization. It’s also an opportunity to document activities and projects you have participated in outside of work such as clubs or professional networks or volunteering. Adding content to your resume regularly will eliminate the panic in searching for a resume writing template on the web at the last minute.
Your resume is your calling card
The first introduction to a prospective employer is your resume. Shouldn’t that first meeting involve some strategy and planning? If you were going to meet your future significant other, wouldn’t you give some thought about what to wear, what you were going to talk about, and where you would want to meet? Preparing your resume should be given at least that much consideration, so a resume writing template may be a fast way to get the job done but may not be the most successful way.
- I need a fast and easy resume before my interview tomorrow morning (helpyourcareer.org)
- You’re Capable, But Your Resume Says Otherwise (personaaffairs.wordpress.com)
- Your boss may give you the best career advice
Whether you are happy in your current job or not, take time to listen to what career advice your boss is giving you. It may not be as obvious as “You should find a new job.” or “If you did X, you would increase your chances for a raise or promotion.” Managers are sending employees signals everyday about what they should do differently, better, or not at all. These messages should be guidance on when to take action. Sometimes the action will be what you were planning to do anyway, and sometimes the action is going to be based on a wakeup call from what you really heard.
Career advice that encourages you
It’s great when your boss acknowledges that you have done something well and gives you props in front of your co-workers. Are you listening for when your boss encourages you in less dramatic ways? You may be getting career advice from comments like “I can really see you doing X job in the future.” or “Your skills in this area are valuable to us.” What should you do with information like that?
First, show appreciation to your boss. He is giving you silent signals that your value and place in the organization is solid. When the comments are directed with some tone about the future, try and ask how you can position yourself for that next role. Identify what you have done to be valuable with those skills. Plan steps to increase those skills further, share them with more individuals in the organization, and ultimately leverage your abilities into the next position you want to have.
Career advice that discourages you
Not every piece of career advice is necessarily going to be something you want to hear. Sometimes you won’t be a fit for the position – the job has changed, the boss has changed, the company direction has changed, or maybe all three. When you hear “Training is going to be a key component of the company moving forward.” Or “Some of the team isn’t going to be able to succeed in the new department.”, understand whether there is an underlying message your boss wants you to hear. If you have expressed frustration or lack of desire to get additional training, then the first comment is a gentle nudge for you to start looking for a new job.
It’s not you, it’s the company
Sometimes this is correct. Depending on your industry, the job you do, and the structure of your current employer, you may be better off moving to a different organization. If the industry is changing, and you don’t want to adapt, you may need to consider getting training in a new area or transferring your skills into a new industry.
Understand the skills you can provide another company
Transferable skills is a phrase that is used in companies to identify people who have not gotten skills in that specific industry, but are ready to provide skills to a comparable industry. Whether your boss tells you that you are ready to move to another position within the company, or you should move to another company, you should listen and take the cues. Get the training you need, start positioning yourself for the next move, or identify how you can work yourself into the next job that provides value with your skills.
- Five tips to using a salary calculator effectively
Using a salary calculator can be a good way to evaluate your current worth in your industry and geography. It can help you have a discussion with a current employer about a possible pay increase or move into your next role in the organization. During the job search process, a salary calculator could help you determine what and how to negotiate for in a job offer. Whatever your reason is for using this type of tool, there are some key tips to make sure you don’t get inaccurate or inflated information.
Find a salary calculator from a source that you trust
There are salary calculator tools on almost every job search website available. If you prefer using CareerBuilder®, then CB Salary® may be the best option for you. Try to find a website that will have a significant number of jobs in your field first. Since the salary calculator information will be sourced from the actual postings on that site in most cases, this is an important first step.
Next, play around with the tool to see what you need to input to really get relevant data back. Some of the salary calculators will only narrow the information down to the job level if you pay for the report. Others have very vague job descriptions for you to read in order to tailor the output to jobs you may actually be applying for. Go through the steps and evaluate if the information you will get is going to be too vague or right on target for your objective.
Understand the functionality of the salary calculator
Similar to how you should effectively use a job search engine, the salary calculator will only be able to give you output that is relevant if you put accurate information in. Garbage in, garbage out. You may think that putting a large city in for your geography will give you the best information, but if you live 150 miles away and don’t plan on moving, your numerical output will not be accurate. Entering the most detailed information will allow the tool to give you the best output.
Use the salary calculator for your current job first
Or the job you had last. The reason to do this is to establish how accurate the tool is compared to information you know. Select a job description that will be most closely aligned to your current, or previous, job. Check the output to see if there is a large variance in the output and what you know to be true from your experience. Once you have done this, you can then adjust any information for other jobs you enter to get the most accurate output.
Print out every page on the salary calculator
This is a crucial part of the process of using a salary calculator. It doesn’t matter whether you will be using the output for a job offer negotiation, salary increase discussion, or just to stay informed about current trends in your industry. You need to keep a written record of the geography, job description, and any other information you inputted to truly determine the value of the information the salary calculator gives you.
- Best places to find career information
There is A LOT of career information available these days. From free to a monthly subscription, career information comes in various styles, formats and lengths. Diving into the internet can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. By narrowing down your resources, you can pick out the best places to find career information.
The Internet and career information
Using the internet, more specifically Google®, to search for career information seems like the most logical option. It is right in front of you for most of the day, chances are, it’s free and the possibilities are endless. Narrow down your resources by industry. Searching for sales related career information on an education based site is not going to be very helpful. Identify a few credible websites that specialize in your industry if you choose to use the internet for career information.
Unfortunately, not all information on the internet is free. Be cautious of sites that make you pay to read or receive their career information whether it is via weekly e-mails, direct mail, or in a hard copy book or PDF format. There is plenty of free, credible career information available so paying for information seems unnecessary.
There are resources other than the internet?
Surprisingly, yes, there are other places you can find career information. You can use the internet to look them up, but other places include, networking events, career workshops, informal interviews or meetings, co-workers, etc. Hearing career information directly from the source – professionals in the industry, potential employers and other job seekers – may be more beneficial than Googling for hours.
The type of career information to look or listen for
Irrelevant career information is only going to fog your brain and confuse you when it comes to submitting your resume or interviewing. If you are able to schedule an informal interview with someone in the industry, ask for feedback in regards to the information you should share in a formal interview and the skills you have that you should highlight. If you are transitioning to a new industry or interviewing for the first time in a while, this feedback could be invaluable.
Basic career search information
Don’t overlook networking events just because they aren’t for job seekers or meant to help you find a job. You could meet someone who knows of a job opening within their company or take away important industry related career information that you could use as a talking point in an interview. The best places to find career information will depend on your industry but ultimately, the best source is someone in the industry themselves.
- Is there a place I can get a free resume online? (helpyourcareer.org)
- The Job Search Boot Camp Teaches Job Seekers the Advanced Techniques They Need to Find Jobs Faster in Today’s Market (prweb.com)
- TMI Executive Resources Advises Job Seekers on How to Prepare for a Job Search (prweb.com)
- Professional resume writer does not mean ‘English major’
Try searching for a professional resume writer on the internet and you will find a million options. The reality is that some of the people who are advertising themselves as resume writers would be more accurately described as professional writers or potential authors. Even though these individuals have gotten certified or approved through a process or affiliation, they may not be the best source for development of your resume.
Background checks aren’t only for employers
Your resume is the first time an employer gets to see the skills and background you have that are relevant to possible openings. Would you ask someone who has never been in your field or has no idea what your job responsibilities may be or hasn’t ever hired someone in that industry to make an introduction for you? Hiring a resume writer with experience in your area or a background that includes recruiting talent will put you at a strategic advantage.
Finding someone to upgrade your current resume with dynamic details that will motivate an employer to interview you can be a very good idea. Create a list of questions for the people you may hire. Determine what past clients they have had in your industry or with positions at your level of experience. You don’t necessarily need to contact past customers, but you should be able to feel confident the person isn’t using you as a guinea pig.
Writing skills are a benefit
There are a significant number of professional resume writers that are qualified to write a great resume. Some of them are English majors who got into a field and have experience in hiring people for the companies they worked for. Others are previous hiring managers who are committed to helping people succeed in representing themselves in the interview process. Either way, look for someone who can write direct and concise content about your ability to provide value to an organization.
Try not to start from scratch
Make the process easier by having a document started in Word with some bullet points about your work, volunteer, and organizational background. List your awards and honors as well as the recognition you have received and the criteria for receiving them. Include a description of jobs you may want to apply for so you can give the resume writer a perspective on the format of resume to write.
Get what you pay for
Evaluate what the resume writer is charging you based on the complexity of the document you need. Entry level resumes should not be the same cost as one for an executive. Ask the person ahead of time how many drafts you will be receiving before you are finished working with them. Identify the ways you will interact with the writer – email, phone, in person – and make sure that you can communicate with them.
- Employers can tell if you use a sample resume (helpyourcareer.org)
- The 5 Smartest Things People Can Do To Get Hired (prnewswire.com)
- Employers Either Love Or Hate These Creative Resumes (businessinsider.com)