If you have a job-search question that would be of interest to all job-seekers, we would like to know it. 98% of all questions are answered within 24 hours. My question is...
Q: I just lost my job, what is the first thing I need to do?
A: Most candidates would immediately think of "resume" as the answer. A new resume is not the first order of the day; you need to first determine what you want to do in your next job and if that job is available on the job market. This will prevent you from wasting a lot of time. Once you decide, you can go about putting together your collateral materials.
Q. Someone told me I should keep my resume down to one page. What is the proper length of a good resume?
A: A one-page resume is a good idea but it is very difficult to write and include all that you want to say. In the United States, most people expect a two-page resume. In Canada, resumes of several pages are acceptable. In France and Great Britain, a two-page resume is the norm. What is more important is what is in your resume. Learn how to write a good resume and test it on close friends before you go public.
Q. What is most important in preparing for an interview?
A: You should know yourself. This means you need to fully understand all your skills, be able to reply sensibly to the inquiry to tell someone about yourself, and know your accomplishments so that you can use them to demonstrate your skills. No skills = no sale.
Q. How important is the Internet to the job-seeker?
A: The Internet can be a very valuable tool for the following:
1. To learn about companies and do research. Refer to our list of favorite sites.
2. To learn what jobs are available. The Internet works best for technical and hard-to-fill positions. Higher level positions are usually found through networking and executive recruiters. Refer to our list of favorite job-search sites and recruiters.
3. To research companies and jobs out of your area.
4. To learn more about the job-search process.
5. To use e-mail to communicate with your network, companies and recruiters.
Recommendation: Do not go on the Internet when you can be out networking and meeting people. The Internet is open 24 hours a day.
Q: I have been looking for a job for some time and cannot locate an opportunity for me. What am I doing wrong?
A: You could be looking for a job that does not exist. Before going out on the job market, check to see that you are looking for a job that is in demand considering your age, experience, training, gender and salary level. A good way to check is to call human resources departments and recruiters and ask what kind of positions they are trying to fill. If your position is no longer in demand, you need to use transferable skills to look at other types of work. You may have to go back to school for more training.
Q: I have heard that the Internet is loaded with jobs and that I can e-mail my resume directly to a company or recruiter. How is this done?
A: To communicate your resume by e-mail, you should create an ASCII (text) file of your resume with a word processor. Copy the text version and paste it into the text of your e-mail message from your clipboard. This is more desirable than making it an attachment to your e-mail which gives your receiver more work to do. Test how well your resume arrives by e-mailing it to yourself. You may need to edit your text version. Do not be concerned with how many pages the resume comes out in e-mail. Be sure to briefly introduce your resume before including it in your message.
Q: What can I do about reducing job-search stress?
A: Job-search stress can be eased if you take time to map out your campaign before you begin. First and foremost, understand what job search means in today's market. If this is new to you or you have been away from a job search, we recommend that you obtain a copy of Super-Job-Search ®. This manual will guide you step-by-step through your own self-directed outplacement program. Knowledge is power. The more you understand what you are doing, the easier and less stressful it becomes.
Q: I am afraid that I am in a dead-end career. How do I explore new career opportunities?
A: One look in your Sunday classified section will tell you what jobs are in demand and the names of leading employers in your area. You can also call friendly recruiters and ask them what jobs they are trying to fill. You then need to look at your interests, transferable skills and experience. This will give you insight as to what additional training you will need and where you can expect to start in a new career. You should try to meet people who are already successful in this field with a prepared list of questions. With this information, you will be in a better position to make decisions. Do not be afraid to step back momentarily in salary to get started in something new. Look at it as the cost of acquiring a new learning curve. You are never too old to make a successful career change.
Q. I am interested in an international position. What should I do to explore this further?
A: International jobs can be exciting. You need to pick your country of interest. Hopefully, you will know how to speak the language. Before you go too far, it is recommended that you make at least one trip as a tourist to see if you like the country and its people. While on such a trip, you can seek out people from your own country working there and get first-hand experiences. If you are looking within the Common Market from another Common Market country, getting work permits will not be difficult. Otherwise, getting work and resident permits may present problems. This can be explored during your first visit. Use the Internet to learn about jobs and gather information about companies. You should also obtain foreign newspapers and read their local news while exploring the classifieds. All the other elements of a good job search apply.
Q: How important are job-search references?
A: Very. It is imperative that you put together a list of people who can vouch for the accomplishments you publish in your resume. References can do more to keep people out than get them hired. When recruiters or companies check your references, it is because they are serious about hiring you. One so-so or cool reference can kill your candidacy. If you burned any bridges in the past that might say negative things about you, now is the time to correct the situation. You may have to swallow your pride, but it may mean success or failure. Keep your references up-to-date as to who may be calling them and for what kind of position.