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|To identify and secure suitable employment can be a difficult task. Taking a systematic, resourceful approach can yield great results and help you beat the competition.
4 Step Search Strategy
|Step 1 - Marketing Yourself
Does your resume effectively market your skills, abilities and experience to date? Is your information organized in a concise, chronological manner? The main sections of your resume should include:
1. Contact Information - Your name, address, telephone numbers (home, cell, pager, etc.), email address, and URL if applicable. Make it easy for people to contact you.
2. Objective - (optional) - Direct the reader to the type of work you are looking for i.e. contract or permanent and the type of positions that you are interested in.
3. Profile (optional) - If written well, it can help market your strengths for the position at hand. This portion can be tailored accordingly: years of experience, specific experience as required, domain knowledge, and applicable skills, attributes, and/or accomplishments.
4. Summary of Skills - This part is not tailored; it represents your overall skills and experience. Grouping and organization of information is very important in this section. Best to brainstorm all the different skills and experiences you have acquired and then to categorize them.
5. Work Experience - Most effective, arrange in chronological order beginning with latest to earliest. Organize similar types of responsibilities together; starting with the most important. Detail is good as today's job titles can be quite non-descriptive and misleading.
6. Education - Your highest education (university, college, trade school, high school, etc.) and professional programs/training completed. If you have training on an annual basis - group information by type of training.
7. Hobbies/Interests/Affiliations/Memberships (optional) - Identify which applies to you - any hobbies or extracurricular activities you enjoy? If you are member of an industry organization or have a particular interest, list them. Provide as much or as little information as you like - go with your comfort level.
8. References - "Available Upon Request" or list them depending on your preference. Best to contact your references in advance to make sure they are willing to be your reference and that they remember you and your work. Let them know your situation and the type of positions you will be applying for and to expect calls or emails.
Note: A cover letter (optional) is not an essay; it should be a concise intro about your specific and/or transferable skills/experience/interest as required by the position of interest. Normally, the Profile section will be sufficient. Follow submission guideline: provide a cover letter when asked for one.
Step 2 - Researching Opportunities
Identify employers through employment ads, referrals, networking seminars organized by industry groups, job finding clubs organized by the government, career fairs, online marketing (post your resume), and recruitment firms. By registering with us, you are one step ahead of your competition.
Step 3 - Following Up
With the growing number of applicants, employers will only contact successful candidates for interviews. If you do not get a response, you can email, fax or send mail to the company. The choice should correspond to how you were asked to submit your details. Choose a method that will allow you to confirm: 1) receipt of information 2) status of opening and 3) feedback/status of your application.
Step 4 - Interviewing & Closing
Once contacted for an interview, ask about the format (name of interviewers, one-on-one or panel interview, duration, test component, etc.). Research the company's services, products, history, etc. Know how to market your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. Look sharp - put on your formal business attire and bring along your resume, portfolio and list of references. Try to relax, have good eye contact, and be aware of your interest level. It might be a good idea to follow up with an email or thank you card - a personal touch.