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Job Hunting: Here's a Few Tips to Help

Resumes
Write your resume to have these elements:
A. Complete contact information including email and cell phone or pager number
B. Summary section OR keywords of skills and tools known
C. Past experiences with most recent employer first
D. Section on education, special courses taken, and military service
E. Honors, awards, and activities/associations with professional societies
Have a spouse or trusted friend and former co-worker or manager critique your profile. Consider the comments and update your resume accordingly. For more concise help, see "Resume Writing 101: Guidelines For Completing, Revising, And Using Your Resume"

References
Three to six professional references who know your work and work habits. Past supervisors, team leaders or project managers are best. Co-workers are ok if you can not use a present manager. Check with all your references periodically for permission to use their names and to obtain current contact information. Do not assume all your references are "good references"; ask your reference what they will say about you in response to typical reference check questions: would they hire you again, what is your best work habit, your worst work habit, how would they rate you on a scale of 1-to-10 for getting along with others, would they consider you a productive employee on a scale of 1-to-10.

Letters of Recommendation
Obtain letters of recommendation from your manager at your most recent employers. Offer these recommendation letters to all prospective employers before you are asked. This is a powerful sales tool since someone else is saying you're worth hiring.

Follow Up Phone Calls and Letters
It is critical to show interest in the position and to start the process of having the company get to know you. This is also true when approaching staffing and placement agencies; they need opportunities to learn about you and, from time to time, if you are still available.

Be Professional and Respectful at All Times
Whenever speaking with company representatives either on the phone or in interviews, treat that person as a hiring manager--they probably can and will influence a hiring decision on you.

Update Your Software Skills During Down Times
Companies such as AutoDesk, SolidWorks, ANSYS and others allow the unemployed access to free software for limited time periods (usually 6 months) to learn their programs by self study. Inquire at their websites and at authorized local dealers for assistance. Software certification programs may also be available for free or at reduced rates through the software company for those wanting to update their software skills.

Unemployed at Graduation?
In poor job markets, the best approach is to enroll in graduate school. This allows you to continue working on your career even though you are unable to land a suitable position. It may also help to improve your track record since GPAs from a BS program are less important if you have attained an advanced degree.

Work Toward Certifications
Certifications in IT and engineering show continuous professional advancement. And that's something employers value. Work towards certifications and licensures at every opportunity. Fields such as IT and engineering require extra time (usually at least two hours per day) spent on reading and studying new techniques and technologies just to stay current. Attaining certifications is positive proof that you are on the technology track.

Plan to Spend at Least Six Hours a Day On Your Job Search
Approach a job search as a full time job and work at least 6 hours a day at marketing and selling yourself. Anything less will not lead to a new position in a timely manner. Many items must be done to land that new position...resume updates and multiple resume versions, writing introduction letters, research into industry companies and unadvertised openings, networking, finding and utilizing advertised job services, reading and practicing interviewing techniques, education to update skills, acquiring new certifications, contacting and arranging references, and of course, talking and writing to hiring managers.

Tarpoff Moore's president and owner has written the following articles providing additional in-depth help:
"Tips and Tricks for Launching a Successful Job Search"
and
"Professional Advancement Through Off-Hours Research and Teaching "

 

 


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