If you need to find your dream job before moving on to a better opportunity, you need to go back to bed and take up where you left off: dreaming. Careers, like relationships, are bred over time and rarely are created out of kismet.
My name is Ella Kallish and I am a career marketing specialist. I can help you define and successfully market your professional talents and skills to achieve better opportunity. When you are ready to look for opportunity, you will need to ask and answer a few important questions about yourself first: Who am I? What do I want? and How do I get there?
While these questions seem simple, their answers will provide the building blocks of a successful search. The creation of a resume is your cornerstone. It should speak to your work experience, skills, achievements, education and extracurricular and or professional organization achievements.
Your jobs, promotions and professional reputation often depend on the success or failure of your written and oral communication skills. One of the most important written tools in your professional life will be your resume. Consider the following six planning steps when constructing your resume:
- Define Purpose
- Know who your audience will be
- Choose the messages you want to convey
- Collect accurate and exact facts (dates of employment, etc)
- Outline and organize your message. The order in which you present your ideas is often as important as the ideas themselves. Disorganized writing reflects disorganized illogical thought processes or careless preparation. (Herta A. Murphy & Herbert W. Hildebrandt, "Effective Business Communications." McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1991)
- Edit message – proofread
To deliver a clear and winning message in a resume, you will need to structure, edit, revise and proofread a few times. Make sure that you are consistent in the format and word usage presented throughout your resume by following the Six C's of business communication principles:
- Completeness: Check for the five W's – who, what, where, when and why and also how.
- Conciseness: Shorten or omit wordy expressions, include only relevant statements and avoid unnecessary repetition. Example: "I was responsible for the development of an analysis group that supported sales and marketing" vs. "Developed an analysis group to support marketing and sales." Prune irrelevant words and get to the point. Drop bridge words like "a," "I," "and," "the," "it" and "also."
- Consideration: Think of your reader. Speak about your accomplishments and contributions – stay away from "we" where possible – a company is hiring you, not your group. Apply integrity and ethics when constructing information.
- Clarity: Be clear, choose words that construct effective sentences and paragraphs. Remember, complete messages save time and move the process along more quickly. Also, briefly define the business for which you work to establish context of your experience for reader.
- Concreteness: Use action verbs in stating achievements. Example: "Was part of a group" vs. "Led a group." Other common action verbs are: developed, directed, edited, implemented, transformed, published, analyzed, created. Compose strong sentences and choose vivid, image-building words.
- Correctness: Use the right level of language, include only accurate facts, words and figures. Use parallel structures; make sure that you are consistent in the format and word usage presented throughout your resume. Apply integrity and ethics when constructing information.
The Six C's sounds like a lot to consider, but consider this: In a competitive job market, the deciding factor between you or an equally skilled competitor getting the opportunity may very well come down to how well you have presented yourself.
Work on this exercise: Write or rewrite your resume and send it to me for review! You may e-mail me at: email@example.com.
I told my boss two weeks ago that I was resigning my position after I was given a verbal offer from a new company. Today was my last day at work, but I still don't have a definitive start date. What should I do?
– Out Of Work
Dear Out Of Work,
Well, it's a little late to close the barn door after the horse is out of the stables – but for the rest of my readers: NEVER give notice until you have an offer in writing from your new employer. This offer letter is legal and binding and cannot be canceled or pulled unless it was entered into fraudulently by you or was contingent on reference checks that ultimately did not prove acceptable. My advice to you is to contact the human resource director of your prospective employer and let them know that you are now out of work based on their offer and you need a formal start date faxed or e-mailed to you immediately.
If they do not offer you a start date within one week's time from your call (always follow up with a written letter recapping your conversation and snail mail it to them certified, return receipt requested), consult a human resource or corporate attorney. It is important to present your attorney with all written correspondence exchanged between the prospective employer and yourself (hopefully you have saved e-mail exchanges, faxes, letters and so on); this will help to establish a "meeting of the minds" or intent of parties involved. Good luck and let me know what happens.
Written by Ella Kallish
All rights reserved
Additional information on Ella Kallish may be found at www.ellakallish.com