Archive / May, 2014

How to Make Great First Impression

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When you are job searching, you want to be prepared from all angles. Once you apply for a job, the microscope zooms in and you must be prepared to be examined. Putting your best foot forward when you are being so closely inspected involves more than presenting an error-free resume and wearing a nice smile. Here are the three pieces that fit together to shape how employers see you. Are you lacking in any of these areas?

On paper (your cover letter and resume)

The first impression almost any employer will have of you is in your cover letter and resume. Most employers read cover letters, which are intended to set the tone for your resume and let the reader know why you are interested in the position. Resist the urge to make your cover letter boring (i.e. “I’m applying for the manager position. I am organized and task-oriented…”). You want to grab the reader’s attention so use exciting, illustrative language.

Your resume should be the perfect balance of concise and descriptive. It should give them enough results-focused information to make them interested in learning more about you. Both your resume and cover letter should be personalized to each job to which you are applying. Hiring managers can tell if you are blindly sending these documents out to any old job posting you come across.

Online (your cyber reputation)

There is a good chance you will be looked up online (or “Googled”) within the process of your job search. Recruiters, hiring managers, potential bosses and supervisors – they all want to check you out. What is it they will find? A good place to start is by Googling yourself. Cleaning up any unsavory information you find on your personal blog or website would be a good idea. Also be sure to update your social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace). Drunken party pics and lewd language – everyone can see this stuff! Most importantly, establish a solid professional networking identity through LinkedIn. This is now the “go-to” networking resource for professionals. If Facebook is your Saturday night, LinkedIn is your Monday morning. As such, it should be taken more seriously.

Not only should each of these online portals be free of any questionable information about you, they should also reflect your dedication to your career. For example, don’t just create a LinkedIn profile and leave it sparse; that communicates that you don’t have follow-through. Develop it into your online repertoire and make connections! There is online help to get starting, or you can use a professional resume writing service that offers LinkedIn profile development services.

In person (your professional image and attitude)

Once you get past the resume screening and put through the online “wringer”, you must pass the live test: the interview. This is where it is essential that your professional image and attitude are sharp and professional. What are your appearance and attitude currently communicating? Do you show up to interviews in wrinkled khakis or a too-tight miniskirt? Are you conveying arrogance or passiveness? These are all problems that can equate to saying, “I’m not right for this company or this position.”

You want to use your attire and demeanor to communicate what you really want to say: “I am a perfect fit for this company and position, and you should hire me right away!!” Send the right message by dressing appropriately and cleanly. Your attitude should mirror your appearance: confident, personable, and above all, professional. There are also many resources online for helping you to maximize your image and attitude to present the best “you.”

While most people just focus on their resume or interview etiquette, it is important that all angles are covered to ensure you present yourself in the most optimal light possible. By fitting these three pieces together you help eliminate any holes that might hurt your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Let professionals do the job

When you are job hunting, your resume is your most powerful weapon to get back on your feet. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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Learning from Bad Interviews

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We’ve all had that awful job interview which we don’t even want to remember because we feel too ashamed of ourselves. However, forgetting them will not do you any good. It’s good to do an autopsy to discover what you need to know and / or work on to improve your skills in these situations.

Here are some tips on becoming more comfortable and at ease:

1) Interview often. Practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the more it’s like staying on your bike. And if you do happen to fall, it’ll be a lot easier to get back on again.

2) Dig into the interview and autopsy it. What did you do well? What did you do wrong? What did you expect? What happened that was unexpected? Did you feel prepared or totally unready?

3) Write down all the questions you can remember AFTER the interview. By keeping a running list of real interview questions you’ve encountered, you can gain skill in knowing what might be coming your way the next time you meet an employer.

4) Do your research. Did the employer field a question to you that had something to do with the company? If you had done your research, confidence comes with knowledge and even buy you some time. Sometimes, even deflecting those questions with similar but different detailed information can help you wiggle out of tight spots.

5) What was your gut instinct about the interview? Trusting your intuition is important… if you are feeling not-so-great about an interview and your performance in there, there might have been something perhaps non-verbal that the interviewers were exuding that put you off. If you aren’t walking out pumped up and energized, is this really the right opportunity for you?

If you don’t take the time to truly examine how you performed in an interview, and don’t dissect the pieces that you did well versus the ones you had an epic fail on, you won’t learn about yourself nor will you learn what you can do better for next time. In your lifetime, you’ll have a lot more interviews than job offers, so mastering the knowledge of your strengths and weak points is incredibly important to your career… otherwise, what you don’t know will hurt you.

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview and negotiations, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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The 5 P’s of Job Hunting – Part 1

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You might have heard the 4 P’s of marketing, the 5 P’s of job hunting is just as important. Plan, prepare, practice, perform, and post mortem – learn how you can apply the steps correctly in this series of blog posts.

Step 1: Plan

Most people spend more time planning a one to two week vacation than they do planning their lifetime career. When planning for a vacation, you look at where you want to go, what your reason is for wanting to go to that particular place, how long it will take to get there, whether or not you want to take any side trips, what type of budget you will need, and what type of clothes you will need to take. You may also speak with people who have been there to find out a little more about the destination and activities or do some research on the internet or at the library or a travel agency.

It is important to do the same type of planning for a career. You need to take a look at where you want to go and how you are going to get there. You will need to look at: whether or not you need post-secondary education or some type of training. How long will it take you to get the skills you need? What is the best way to get these skills? What kind of money do you require for the life style you want? Think about whether or not you know anyone who is currently working in this field or if you know anyone who knows anyone working in this field. Where else can you go to find out more information?

If you are still in school, speak to a guidance counsellor and ask for information. You can also do informational interviews with people working in the field you are interested in. Another option is speaking with a career counsellor or doing some career tests.

If you are out of school, contact an employment agency to speak with a counsellor or do some personal research at the library as well as networking and making good use of your contacts.

Step 2: Prepare

Preparing for your job search involves doing a thorough personal inventory to determine your transferable and adaptive skills. Learning more about your skills prepares you so that you will be able to tell an employer the skills you have that match the job that you would like to have. This takes time. It may involve completing a questionnaire or sitting and writing down all the things you have done over the years. This is not simply listing your job description, as most people do more than what is listed on the job description, it also involves activities that you do at home.

Most of us take our skills for granted. We are so used to doing certain tasks that we do not recognize that not everyone can do what we are doing. We also do not always recognize the skills we are using in our daily activities – problem solving, decision making, driving, fixing appliances, preparing food, personal counseling. People may express amazement or be impressed by something that we take for granted. Listen to what they are saying. This is a strong skill for you and may be developed into a career goal.

Once you have reviewed your skills, you can work on developing a 30-second summary of these skills, also known as an “elevator speech”, which can be used during a telephone contact, in your cover letter, in an interview, or when talking to friends about your job search.

Preparing also means doing research on companies you might like to work for. This research may be done at the library, through personal contact, informational interviews, reading newspaper articles, or an informal visit or tour.

The development of a targeted resume is another crucial step. A targeted resume is one which highlights specific skills to demonstrate your suitability to an employer. It provides details of your work experiences which match the skills they might require. A cover letter should also be prepared for a targeted employer.

Another part of preparation is reviewing potential interview questions and determining the type of information you want to provide or you may be expected to provide to an employer. Following this, you need to practice speaking about yourself in order to be comfortable in presenting yourself to an employer.

People often think about getting a resume prepared, and maybe a cover letter in response to a job ad, but then they forget about preparing for the interview. Although a good resume and cover letter can get you in the door, the interview is what gets you the job.

Once you finish planning and preparing, you are ready for the next steps. Wait for the next blog posts!

One Important Thing to Research on before the Interview

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Among many things you need to research on before going to the interview, salary is one of the most important things to research on.

Never settle for the initial salary offered by an employer.

Think of it like this….an employer is attempting to hire their help at the lowest possible rate. This saves them money and keeps their costs down. The problem is, if every job seeker does not put in the time to research the average wages for the given position, they risk the possibility of accepting a salary or hourly wage that is too low. Over a number of years in the position, this negatively affects the candidate’s earning potential.

When a company comes in with a low number, give them a counter-offer, along with research to back it up.

In a situation in which the prospective employee has concrete information to back up their counter-offer, the employer will likely accept it. Hiring companies understand the value of their help, and want to hire qualified workers to fill their needs. In fact, it can actually cost an employer money for each day they do not fill critical positions.

Employees make money for employers.

Every job available represents a new opportunity for both candidates and companies. The company chooses to hire, because they realize the new employee will generate or save their company a certain amount of money. The employee needs to earn a reasonable wage for the service being performed. Candidates should never walk in to an interview with the attitude they are more valuable than any other job seeker on the market, nor should they have the illusion their pay should be higher than the area average.

Use resources to obtain factual information.

Job seekers may obtain accurate compensation information for both their local area, as well as national averages by searching salary averages through Google.

Get that interview call with the help of Style Resumes

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. For fresh graduates, sometimes crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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5 Job Hunting Fatal Mistakes to Avoid

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If you are an inexperienced job hunter or if you have been following the wrong advices, it is very easy to make mistakes, and then you wonder why nobody has bothered to call you for an interview.

Here are some mistakes you must be avoiding.

Sending out generic emails to people you do not know

When people receive emails from those they do not know – it is ‘spam’. They do not know you and so why should they care – well they do not usually care about you or what you are after. If you are sending out masses of emails into the cyber abyss – people reading and receiving these can tell. It’s generic, impersonal and usually highly annoying to the reader. Why on earth should they help you – they do not know you – and you have not taken the time to get to know them! Imagine you are a top manager somewhere going about your day job… – then – you get hundreds and hundreds of emails from people asking for a job. So – unsurprisingly this approach is a big waste of time. Targeted emails/letters – which have been thought through and worked through – is a different story and probably best left for a separate blog.

Adding anyone you can find to your LinkedIn

When business professionals receive several invitations on LinkedIn from people whom they do not know, they would not accept such invitations. Adding randoms is not a good idea! Getting a reply at all is very lucky. What will usually happen is: They will hit the ‘I don’t know this user’ button, which means you will never be able to contact that person again. If it is done several times – LinkedIn will stop you from being able to openly contact people – until you start being ‘good’ and sensible again.

Sending your CV to anyone you can get your hands on

You barely even know this person and you suddenly send him your generic CV and cover letter. There might be a chance that he has a job or know someone, but there is very slim chance he would help if he’s just had a random CV pushed in his face. It is annoying.

Applying to all the ads you can find

Too many jobseekers are doing this. They sit for hours at a day going through jobsites and applying for all the roles they can find. They don’t have something specific they’re after. They also sit by the phone waiting for the recruitment agencies to ring, but they don’t.

Well, spending hours of your time applying for everything under the sun without any focus or way to distinguish yourself from the crowd will get you nowhere. It will make you tired and frustrated perhaps but the likelihood of getting any of those millions of jobs you applied for is low.

Relying on recruitment agencies or headhunters

You cannot rely on the agencies of headhunters to magic up a job for you. It does not work like that. They are sitting on literally hundreds of thousands of CVs at any one time. Their CV database is huge. You are a number to them and they will only contact you if you happen to fit one of their roles. Given there are thousands of candidates for them to choose from – you cannot leave this as your only or main route to finding a job.

It is time to get professional help

When you are looking for job, your resume and cover letter are your most powerful weapons to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume and cover letter is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume and cover letter get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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