How to Find a Job in an Economic Downturn Prepared by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. THE RESUME Most job seekers put too much emphasis on the resume, believing that a good resume will, by itself, be enough to land a job. However, a resume alone will not get you a job. It may not even open any doors. In fact, most employers use resumes to eliminate candidates for a job. The resume shouldprovide enough information to interest the employer in interviewing you. While it is no substitute for an interview, your resume should be prepared in such a manner that it will stand on its own and provide enough information about you to enable an employer to make an intelligent evaluation. Remember, all candidates being considered look alike. Your resume needs to present your accomplishments andcapabilities in a way that makes you stand out over the competition and catches the employer’s attention. Ignore those who say a resume should be no more than a page. It is true that employers are busy people and are bombarded with hundreds of resumes. Because of this, your resume should be prepared with ease of reading in mind and should provide details that can be easily perceived by the reader.However, that does not mean keeping your resume to one page if you have a lot more to tell the employer about yourself. You want to communicate all of your accomplishments and why you are qualified for a job. Neither your interests nor the employer’s are served by the typically short resume, because it does not provide enough information for the employer to make a fair hiring decision. Do not stateindividual goals or career objectives. if you do, the prospective employer is likely to get the impression that you are more interested in yourself than you are in the company. That can be reason enough to remove you from consideration for the job, even before a full evaluation of your credentials takes place. Be specific, avoid vague statements. Include a description of your accomplishments foreach employer, setting them out in statements easily read. Provide as many facts and figures as necessary to substantiate achievements. It is important that everything included is factual. Do not send your resume to employers. Most people assume the way to get a job is to comb through the help wanted ads and online job sites and send resumes to companies. However, the most successful strategy is totalk face-to-face with employers to learn about job opportunities. Talking to the employer first is always more advantageous than sending your resume blindly. You do not know what the employer is looking for and most times your resume will screen you out of the process. You have a much better chance of screening yourself in by talking to the employer and crafting your verbal “resume” to highlightaccomplishments that are most relevant to the particular interviewer’s needs.
BUILDING AND USING CONTACTS It is not what you know, it is who you know. This adage is true to some extent. In the case of finding a job, the more appropriate wording would be, “First, it is who you know, then it is what you know.” Very few people find employment solely by knowing the right people. The right peoplecan help you get in the door, but it is still proving to the employer that your personality, skills, experience, intelligence, etc. match the company’s culture, needs and desires. Advertise your job loss. If knowing the right people helps to get your foot in the door, then it is essential that the right people know you are seeking a job. An unfortunate obstacle to job search success is pride. Toooften people are embarrassed to tell anyone about their job loss, but this secrecy will not provide any job leads. The minute you lose your job or decide you want to change jobs, start telling everyone you know that you are looking. Begin with friends, family and neighbors. Talk to former co-workers and even casual business acquaintances you may have dealt with in your position. Share your plight...
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