Saturday, April 26, 2014

Resumes that Increase Interview Opportunities

Looking for a new job or wanting to change jobs? Here are some tips for preparing a resume that will get you noticed:
  • Use a heading that includes your name (typed in bold and capitals), address, phone number (where you can be reached easily), and a professional-sounding email address.
  • Limit the resume to one or two pages--employers do not have time to read through several pages no matter how much experience you have.
  • Use a current style--check one of the many resume books or find a sample online.
  • Add a summary of your skills and accomplishments in two or three sentences at the top of your resume in place of a job objective.
  • List your work experiences chronologically backwards, highlighting accomplishments instead of just listing tasks. Limit work experience to the last ten years. Do not include irrelevant work experience.
  • Make sure your achievements stand out--you don't want them to be overlooked.
  • Show that you can deliver results and solve problems--demonstrate your skills through examples.
  • Use numbers, dollars, and percentages where possible.
  • Customize the resume to the specific ad you are answering or to the position you want.
  • Make your resume internet friendly by eliminating bullets, underlines, and fancy fonts.
  • Eliminate personal information such as health and marital status.
  • Proofread carefully and then have someone else proofread for you.
Once you polish your resume, send it out to as many places as possible. It cannot do the job if it is not circulated.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet Deadlines

Since it is tax day, I thought I would give some tips for meeting deadlines. One of the biggest obstacles to meeting deadlines is procrastination. It is one thing to know you have to do something, but it is another thing entirely to motivate yourself to do it. If you are not passionate about doing the task (and I assume you are not passionate about doing your taxes), you will have a difficult finishing the task on deadline.

Here are questions to ask yourself when you have a deadline looming:
  • Can I break down this task into smaller parts?
  • What will I gain by putting off this task?
  • What will I gain by completing this task?
  • What will happen if I miss the deadline for this task?
  • What would make me take action on this task?
  • What one step can I take to start this task? (Oftentimes getting started is the hardest step.)
  • Can anyone help me with the task? (If so, solicit his or her help.)
  • Can anyone else cheer me on?
  • How will I feel when this task is completed?
Actions to take include:
  • Find a reason to get excited about doing the task. (This can even be as simple as rewarding yourself in some way when the task is completed.)
  • Create a to-do list and set priorities.
  • Schedule important work first.
  • Take a step toward completing the task and then take another one.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Do something; get started.
  • Find a way to push yourself to complete the task.