Viewing entries tagged Skills
One of the fun parts of my job is being able to participate on all the webinars. Today's webinar was with resume experts Dawn & Melissa from Relaunch Career Associates and focused on how to be hired as a part-time professional. As we discussed the current trends for an individual to find a job and how to organize his or her resume, I realized that some of my perceptions about a resume were stuck in the 80s. For example a one page resume is not necessarily the best length - the length of a resume is determined by years of experience, industry, and position. In addition the resume must demonstrate how the candidate fits into the company... it is the primary sales piece to be hired.
In order for the candidate to convey the message that the hiring manager hopes to read, the company must provide the right job description. So what does a job ad say about your company? Is it part of the sales tool to get the "right people on the bus*." Large companies often have a section on their websites which try to share what is like to work at the company and the company culture. My guess is that many smaller companies don't have that information on their website. I remember the first time I was asked what our company culture was. I think I rambled trying to explain it. How an individual will fit into the company culture is important for both the employer and the employee. Realizing how much job seekers are being encouraged to research a company and tailor both their resume and cover letter, makes me think of the job ad differently.
I recently traveled with a group of people for a meeting. At dinner one night, someone posed the question “if there were an ad in the paper (or online) and it was your ideal job, what would it be?” Money is not a consideration. The answers in this group ranged from living in the North End of Boston and cooking/learning from the chefs in the restaurants to being a commercial photographer to volunteering at Children’s Hospital. Two people said that they were in that job.
It was interesting to hear each person’s answer to the question and how similar or different it was to their current job. It is a good exercise to do to see if you are in the right field or type of job. If you are in a job search, it should be a starting point for your job search. What are you passionate about? Does it lend itself to a career (either full time or part-time)? What skills does it take? Is it industry specific? If you liked your previous position, was anything missing?
I love spreadsheets. I make a spreadsheet for everything!
If you have managed people for any length of time, then you have had a resignation. There are times when this might b e a good thing. You and the employee both know at some level that the relationship isn’t working for either and this is the right next step. Hopefully this is the exception, not the rule. Too often the resignation is from a reliable, high performing individual and comes at a busy time for the company.
If you run a small business like I do, then it is tough to be without an employee for long. The temptation is to post a position and spread the word that you need a person who can do the same tasks as the person who left. But is that the best course of action? Are your services and customers the same? Are you using exactly the same technology? What current employees are ready for a new challenge?
Contemplating a return to work after a period of time off? Re-entering the workforce takes time, energy and tactical planning.
- Self-Analysis: Consider your current circumstances. What sort of work arrangement will best suit your lifestyle and income or benefit needs?
- Get-Focused: What is the job market like in your geographic area? Is your industry of interest hiring? If you feel paralyzed by choices consider using the services of a career coach to get you on the right track. There are also many free books and webinars that can assist you to identify your major areas of interest and develop your roadmap to success.
- Update Your Skills: If you have had a gap in employment, whether by choice or as a result of a long term layoff you may need to refresh your skills. Look for opportunities to inexpensively update your skills. Great places to check out are local libraries, community colleges and Adult Learning Centers. It may even be a good time to enroll in school and start completely fresh. Take advantage of campus career centers and advisors to help you on your journey.
- Volunteer: This can provide diverse, up-to-date experience that can be included on your resume. Non-profit organizations provide the opportunity to contribute in a variety of ways, expand your knowledge base and support a worthy cause
- Temporary Employment: Short-term assignments can help to close the gap with related (or unrelated) work and help you to build your resume and transferrable skills. Communicate with the placement agency and let them know you are looking for a permanent arrangement. Even if it does not turn into a long-term position you are still building valuable contacts and references.
- Develop Your Confidence: If you cannot promote yourself than who can? Once you have defined your relaunch strategy, determined your goals and begin updating your skillset you have to get comfortable telling people that you are looking for work.
- Build A Professional Network: If you have not maintained contact with past colleagues it is a good time to reach out to them and begin to build new relationships with people from your chosen industry. Connect with people who know you, are familiar with your abilities and will speak positively about you. Studies have shown that most people are likely to get a job through someone they know.
- Take Your Networking to the Next Level: Use social media to your advantage- consider opening a free Linkedin.com account. You can build a professional profile, join groups in your industry and reach out to former colleagues. Get back up to date with the standards in your industry and have conversations about professional issues. A great way to do this is to join a professional association in your field.
- Be Prepared to Address Gaps: On your résumé, consider using a skills-based format that draws attention to your abilities rather than your employment timeline. Calculate how you will answer questions in an interview. Remember to focus on the positive and promote the many ways you have stayed current and are prepared for new challenges.
- Informational Interviewing: As you build your network one way to gather additional information is to request an informational interview. This provides a platform to learn more about your job of choice and the skills and qualifications hiring managers are looking for in applicants. This can help you to refine your roadmap for career success.
Remember, you cannot expect to pick up where you left off. Be prepared to re-build your skill set and reputation!