Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Regular Appearance on LOVETALK with Babz Rawls Ivy Today on Blog Talk Radio

Greetings everyone,

It's that time again! I'm back for part two of my job search series on LoveTalk Radio program with the fabulous Lovebabz (Babz Rawls-Ivy). If you're looking for tips and truly useful strategies for your job search, then tune in tomorrow, Tuesday November 29 at 10am (pst). Just click the LoveTalk Radio link above and it will take you right to the program. If you miss it, then check back here later in the day for the podcast. 


Now, what do you do when you've just lost your job, or you know a layoff is coming? First, do your best NOT TO PANIC. You may have plenty of reason to. But please do your best not to give in to that energy. 

Dust off your resume and take a good hard look at it. Then ask someone you trust, and whose opinion you value, to turn their critical eye on it as well.

First, you need a firm and clear picture of your unique skills and strengths. No, I don't mean your proficiency with Word, your prowess with PowerPoint, or your exceptional communication skills. These skills are essential functions to just about any job now days - that's how employers see it. So look at your career experience, the things you did day to day, and create a list of job specific functions and activities of which you excelled (or not), then think of how best to highlight them. Now you may come up with a list of 20 things, and that's great! However you are to only focus on the best/top 3-5 or 5-7 things. You want to do your best to shine, not overwhelm the person on the other end of your resume. 

Second, decide your resume format : Traditional/Chronological or Skills based. There are tons of creative ways to put a resume together, but unless you know what you're doing, you'd better stick to these two basics. For many reasons, I'm a big fan of the skills based format. It's very flexible and forgiving. It allows you to say quite a bit without really saying much at all. And this comes in handy under so many circumstances, which is why this will be my focus when discussing resumes.

So what is a Skill Based resume format? It's where the focus is concentrated on what you do, have done, and can do - your skills and experience! Not so much where and when you did it all and in what order. Like I said earlier, this format is very forgiving as well, especially to those who've jump around, and does a few things in terms of de-emphasizing the gap(s). At the top of the skills based resume you have a bullet list and below that, instead of your traditional chronological listings, you can drill down further and get more specific about your skills. For example, you could have a heading called 'Project Management' and then bullet your accomplishments below. It gets the person on the other end of your resume reading about your strengths almost immediately. Whereas if, as a hiring manager, the first thing you see is three different employers in three years, you may automatically put a resume like that in the "NO" pile. 

So, take some time to really think about your work experiences and the skills you've acquired over your career. If you find you're having 'writers block', or feel the contributions you've made may not have amounted to much, then come back next week for the third installment. I'll be touching on some things that may be keeping you from creating a great resume, asking you to ask yourself some clarifying questions to help with this process, as well as giving away the secrets all hiring hotshots hate to see on a resume! 

Can't wait til next week? Then please email me with any questions, I'm here for you!

As always, please be well.

~ Angela