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Your Job Search Campaign
Before You Start
Now that you have done the financial analysis, you are almost ready to start your campaign. But, before you start planning an airdrop of your resume, you need to step back and look a the product you will be marketing -- you.
In this section, take a good hard look at yourself, your skills, your desires, and your background. After all, you are selling yourself; you'd better know your product and all of its advantages. After this exercise, you'll put yourself down on paper in a way that is most appealing to prospective buyers, and compatible with most data entry systems, too.
When you start writing, remember this. We are all writers or we would not be in the business we are. However, writing a good, selling resume is really an art form, more like writing an advertisement that an news release or backgrounder. Here are a few general hints I've picked up that work.
As an old friend said when I was trying to sell an idea in the Pentagon, "You've gotta put your best apples on the top of the basket". Don't clutter the resume with detail, give 'em the best things you've done.
Forget what you have read about leading with an Objective. A Career Objective in your resume will cut you out of more jobs than it will get you. Consider this, the first person who is likely to see your resume is a low-pay clerk who is trying to screen people out. Anything in your resume that helps her/him do that will hurt you, unless your Objective exactly matches what they are looking for.
Think soundbite. After your name, address and phone/fax/e-mail, give them a crisp two or three sentence word picture of the wonderful asset you are. You have five seconds, or three inches of paper, to get and keep their attention ... make it count!
Think news story. Who? Name, address, contact info. What? Summary of you, followed by Special Skills and Accomplishments. Where/When? Quick list of work history, including dates and job titles.
Save education for last. Forget hobbies, family, interests, and the other things that the 1970's books tell you. Save them for the interview.
With that, go on to the next section, and get to know yourself.
People have many different ideas about what is most important in a job. First, look over the list below - print it out or draw a similar copy - and check the column which best describes your opinion about each item.
Then look over your list. In the last column, prioritize each item from
1 (high priority) to 16 (low priority).
Generally speaking, all skills divide into six clusters or families. To see which ones you are attracted to, try this exercise:
Below is an aerial view of a room in which a party is taking place.
At this party, people with the same or similar interests have all gathered
in the same area of the room as described below:
2. After fifteen minutes, everyone in the area you have chosen leaves for another party across town, except you. Of the groups that still remain, which area or group would you be drawn to the most the people you would most enjoy being with for the longest time? Write the letter for that area on your note pad.
3. After fifteen minutes, this group, too, leaves for another party, except you. Of the areas and groups which remain now, which one would you most enjoy being with for the longest time? Write the letter for that area on your note pad.
4. Now, underline the skills in each area that you like best. The underlined skills in the group(s) you have selected will indicate both the key skill sets you have, enjoy using and will probably want to "sell" to prospective employers.
Answer the following questions about your current or last job:
Do you use your age as an excuse for:
There are organizations that still do discriminate despite literally thousands of State, Federal and local laws and regulations. Even some of those employers who routinely espouse "EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT" practice discrimination.
The fact of the matter is, you cannot prevent subtle discrimination. But, would you want to work for an organization that ignores your skills and qualifications simply because you are a certain age ... or color ... or faith ... or because you were born in another geographic area?
When you are confronted with these situations, or feel that you may be, concentrate on selling yourself. Sell what you have to offer and don't worry about that which you cannot change.
Also, keep in mind that many employers value the maturity, experience, and skill level that only time can develop and age can provide.
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