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Emergency Kit – phase 1

A couple of months ago now, one of my roommates introduced me to a company called Work 2 Future. (Thanks Ed!) Through them, I had the opportunity to take some free workshops and brush up on my job hunting skills. I met a bunch of other people at the workshops who are fellow job-seekers, and I promised that I’d write up my notes eventually for all of us to share. This entry is going to focus on resumes.

First, a few notes about motivation, and staying motivated as you search for a job in the current economy:

  • If you’re getting rejections – you’re in the game! Keep it up!
  • Physical activity can really help work off stress and frustration. (Network opportunities, too!)
  • Engaging in a weekly networking activity can help you stay motivated & generate leads.
  • Set yourself a goal for daily and weekly job postings applied to, and individuals reached out to.

As for writing a resume itself… there’s a lot to say. I’ll try to keep it as brief as I can. I’ll just highlight that the most important point I gleaned about writing a resume today, is that instead of talking about your personality traits, you should demonstrate them by showing things you’ve accomplished. This is a great way to spruce up your summary – by listing your best accomplishments.

So, on to my notes about that oh so dreaded object: The Resume

  • First impressions aren’t just important, they’re everything. Your resume is often the first impression a prospective employer has of you.
  • Remember to not just send in a resume. Follow up on the resume you’ve sent with a visit in person, or a phone call.
  • When determining your experience, remember that paying jobs are not the only ‘experience’ that counts. Volunteer work and other life experiences are also valid ‘experience’.
  • Turn your job experiences into ‘accomplishments’. Rather than saying, “Assisted customers with purchases,” say, “Assisted over 1,000 satisfied customers to find their needs.” (Well, whichever number applies for you!)
  • To avoid age discrimination, say “Over 10 years experience in the computer industry,” rather than, “25 years experience in the computer industry.”
  • Keep your resume short (2 pages or less!),¬† and easy to read (spacing, bullets, and judicious use of bolding are your friends!).
  • Don’t write job ‘descriptions’. Describe your accomplishments. Use action verbs, key words associated with your field, and conversation points.
  • Consider tailoring your resume to specific jobs that you want, altering your summary or which job experiences you include according to what the prospective employer is looking for.

We had a really great Instructor for the two resume workshops, by the name of Ivan Temes. I really enjoyed his hands-on approach to helping us improve our resumes, and the numerous experiences he shared with us. I can’t possibly list everything he shared with us, so if you’re in the area, I highly recommend signing up yourself!

I do have more to say about the workshops though! Tomorrow I’ll write about networking and share some of the many websites and organizations I found out about through the emergency kit series of workshops.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. SangVo | February 22, 2010 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much for shared the information to me.

  2. Matt | February 23, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    There is some really good hits and tips in there. Definitely worth reading and taking note of.

  3. Patrick | February 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to write this all down. Always need to be reminded about what we all discussed.

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  1. JMBL : Emergency Kit – phase 4 | February 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    [...] yourself¬† a fantastic resume, tailored to the job that you’re seeking. (see Emergency Kit – phase 1 & phase [...]

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