Excerpt from My Interview with Kathleen Brady, author of “Get a Job!”

I wanted to share a short excerpt from my conversation with Kathleen Brady who is an author and Principal of CareerPlanners. She has been in the career field for 25 years in various capacities. She has a wealth of knowledge and is truly passionate about her work.

Our conversation lasted 40 minutes filled with tips and career wisdom that you can apply to your job search immediately. Go over to The Voice of Job Seekers blog to enjoy the conversation in its entirety.

Tech Career Advice is Universal to Most Careers

I recently interviewed Forough Ghahramani, DeVry University Professor, for The Voice of Job Seekers blog. She offered some great advice for job seekers in the tech field that applies to most careers. There are several components that she pointed out when I asked her how 2013 graduates should be preparing for their job search:

” * Develop a network of contacts (professors, friends, parents of friends, friends of parents, family, and neighbors, etc.)

o Inform people know that you are about to graduate and are looking for a job before you actually graduate

o Create a professional social media profile (i.e. LinkedIn)

o Look into professional organization memberships

o Good networking is about building solid, trusted relationships that are long-term, not short-term

* Develop and market your brand: what are your key differentiators, how do you want people to perceive you

* Think ahead – create a 3-5-year plan

You can view the entire interview on both The Voice of Job Seekers blog and DeVry University’s Know How blog!

 

Carer Lesson from Seinfield

No career direction is detrimental to…well, your career.  You have to target a career, and a direction, to achieve career happiness. Besides, wouldn’t you rather pursue a career you like rather than the first opportunity you get?

Take a lesson from Seinfeld. George’s intent to get a job he doesn’t know what he wants to do. But this is the most critical step in discovering your career journey before you write a resume.

 

This is the most critical step of your journey.

Be The Voice on Your Resume

Is it your voice on your résumé, or is it someone you wish to emulate? Someone else wrote your résumé? Cool. But is it you?

Elaborate and flowery words that are not in your vocabulary will be a disservice to you. Can you articulate the résumé you, your spouse, or friend wrote?

I like presenting clients a draft to make sure it sounds the client. I am constantly talking through with the client about their experience, ensuring translation, and accuracy. It takes time, thought, research, trial and error, dictionaries, thesauruses, grammar references, performance reviews, and accommodation letters. There is more, but all of the work must reflect, walk, and talk like the owner of the résumé.

Here are ways that your voice can stand out:

  1. Be unique. Whenever possible, allow your accomplishments to demonstrate the professional you are, not slang or jargon.
  2. Provide volume, but don’t scream. There are occasions for bold fonts and caps, but never an egregiously use them to stand out.
  3. Write clear and concise sentences. Job seekers using 30 or more words and lose the resume’s essence and the reader. Shorter than 30 words in most sentences are sufficient to communicate anything.
  4. Say the write thing. Use correct spelling and remain mindful of vocabulary use. We no what were talking about, rite?

Proofread more than twice, then allow others to help. You want your voice to sound the best. Need help? Please, contact me.

30 for 30 Suggestions to Keep Your Resume In Top Fiscal and Physical Condition in 2012

 

 

There are hundreds of posts around the web that can cover a lot of ground for resume tips. I am offering a few to help jump start your job search for 2012

1. Great networking conversations will result in updating your résumé if you had a great conversation. Think about it

2. Grammar, spelling, font consistency, and correct alignment is the bare minimum to perfection

3. Take off the address and zip code

4. Forwarding a paper résumé is rarely requested, but if you must, then use  resume paper  (non-white, and not too pretty)

5. Understand the words and its meaning you use. Know the difference in using assured, insured, and ensured

6. One resume, one job. Second job, needs customized resume

7. One résumé, one phone number, one email address

8. E-mail addresses should use your name: markdyson@competitiveresumes.net not moonshine@gmail.com

9. Use active verbs when describing your job duties (i.e. tackled, orchestrated, executed). A thesaurus is a writer’s best friend

10. Try not to use an active verb more than once

11. Show that you are a perpetual learner. Include your training and continuing education classes

12. Don’t write when you feel anxious, desperate, or too emotional. Find clarity, then come back and write. It’s normal, but manageable

13. Keep several versions of your résumé active and circulating (i.e. one management, one non-management, one career changing)

14. Correct and proper preposition usage is essential such as “…before meeting (before the meeting)…”

15. Use Dropbox to keep copies of your résumé

16. Irrelevant job and experience will only inspire unwanted and useless scrutiny. Build around relevant facts

17. Your résumé, your voice, and your vernacular

18. What problems did you solve? What measures prove your claims?

19. The bold, italics, and underline functions have very rare use when writing resumes. Refrain from using them unless you are listing publications, movies, and news articles you created

20. Avoid clichés. Stay away from vague job descriptions (e.g. Team player, excellent verbal skills, experienced working in a fast paced environment)

21. Leave off “References upon Request” off of your résumé. It is often asked for when filling out an application

22. Awards are great. Team awards are great. Special cash awards everyone in the company received is not that special

23.  Use a “Core Competencies” or “Key Competencies” section between your Summary and Professional Experience section. These are specific skills related to your prospective job

24. Don’t inundate your résumé with acronyms without defining the term once in full

25. Don’t lie or hype your résumé. Stick to the facts, results that you can demonstrate and describe

26. Highlight your accomplishments, results, and impact (Measures that use % and $)

27. Max 2 pages for private/civilian industry and 4 pages (or more at times) for federal

28. Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Then, let someone else proofread, like an English major

29.  Exclude the passive voice, include active voice (use the online tool polishmywriting.com for help with this)

30. Make sure your résumé speaks the language of your industry. Don’t fake, it will show during your interview, if not before then

31. It is your marketing document, not a flyer, nor an obituary

32. Unload unnecessary words such as all, ultimately, and every. Use quantitative results instead

33. Establish value, not vanity. Better to show that you are excellent, dynamic, and great than saying it. What did you change, fix, or resolve?

34. Consider that others want this job as much as you. They are the competition! Your résumé must stand out by its content, not by fonts and features alone.

35. Keywords are necessary and effective when sprinkled, not poured

36. Write a short description and  get to the point, but avoid commentary. Just the facts.

Although I gave you several bonus suggestions, you can still add a few in the comment section. Or maybe you hate one or more suggestions I listed, let me know!

 

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