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Job Search Strategies

Part One: 10 Rules for Writing a Dynamic Resume
Part Two: Network Your Way to Your New Job
Plus the Best Use of the Internet

Part Three: Effective Interviewing and Negotiating

  1. Use a qualifications profile not an objective … the latter definitely dates a resume and is inappropriate—instead, use a targeted cover letter to match qualifications and experience to requirements of position and, in the letter, articulate specific goal. But rather than stating “Qualifications Profile” or “Summary” at the top of the resume, use targeted keywords or state “Candidate: Position Title.”
  2. Present specific, quantifiable accomplishments (CAR approach: Challenge – Action – Results) create "stories" for use both in the resume and in interviewing. Be sure to use numbers and outcomes to present the value you delivered.
  3. Frontload the resume with keywords—if replying to online or classified listings, cull keywords that match your skills and attributes. Couple keywords with accomplishments to drive home "signature strengths."
  4. Don't create an obituary-style resume, which is listing only "tasks, duties, and responsibilities"—in fact, avoid those words. Instead, provide predictors of success, allowing reader to clearly see transferability of your skillset to their challenges.
  5. Never use the words "I" or "my" in a resume … write in resume-ese, not complete sentences. Drop articles of speech, the "the's," "an's," and "a's."
  6. One or two pages? Whatever is needed to best sell your story—succinctly and saliently! Unless this is an academic or medical CV, don’t exceed two pages.
  7. Avoid over-use of bullets (the "laundry list" look), but don't be too text-heavy or "densely written" either … a mix of succinct narrative with selective bullets is the best way to go.
  8. Ensure good use of white space and make resume visually appealing and clear Use a readable font no smaller than 11 point for content. Don't mix too many typographic features—be selective when using bold, italics, and underscore features. Do adjust spacing (called leading) between lines and between paragraphs. Suggested fonts to use: Calibri, Tahoma, Verdana, Cambria, Arial, and Garamond (but select just one).
  9. Proofread, proofread, and proofread again. Don't rely on spell-check. Have a trusted friend (with good English skills) double-check your work.
  10. For paper presentation, select a high-quality, cotton fiber watermarked resume paper—32-pound weight is desirable—in an understated-but-elegant off-white. For electronic presentation, create a PDF and a text format of your resume as well as a Microsoft Word version.

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