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Let your Resume Speak Volumes for that Next Big Job
Before you even get through the door of any job interview, there is already one document that has done the talking for you ? your resume. A good resume can mean the difference between getting the call of the interview and waiting by phone, and a well written, thoughtful resume can make you stand out over and above other applications with similar skills and work experience. Let your resume give you the edge on that next big job by following a few simple tips.
When you sit down to write your resume, you need to plan it out before you start typing. There are two main formats for a resume: the chronological format, in which you simply list your job history, starting with your most recent or current job and moving backwards, and the functional format, in which you highlight your skills and experience rather than specific jobs and specific employers. The chronological format is definitely the most common, and many employers prefer this kind of resume, but choose the format this is going to show off your skills in the best light. If your work history is a choppy and a chronological format resume would only draw attention to that, use the functional format. The key is to choose the format that will give you the best chance of getting noticed for the job and to stick with the format throughout your resume.
No matter which resume format you choose to use, the top of your resume should always include your name, contact information and work objectives. Name and contact information is pretty straight forward, although experts do recommend that if you have a ?gender neutral? name that you include a helpful ?Mr.? or ?Ms? to clear up any confusion. Your work objectives should be your career goals. For instance, if you want to manage a small team of sales people, then say that, so your potential employers know that you are moving in a certain direction with your career and not simply apply for jobs willy-nilly.
After your work objective comes your work experience. List your jobs in reverse chronological order. Instead of simply creating a bullet pointed list your work related tasks, look for a way to frame all of your responsibilities so that they sound like you showed leadership and problem solving capabilities. For instance, if you were in charge of keeping the expensive accounts in order, say that you were in charge of troubleshooting monthly expense account records, saving the company hundreds of dollars every month.
If you have a few blips in your work history, be clear about what you were doing in the downtime. If you were raising children, traveling, or in school, say that you were. If you weren?t really doing anything, put as positive a spin on things as you can without lying. Never leave gaps in your work history unaddressed on your resume.
After your work history, it is time to list your education credentials. If you didn?t finish a degree, say how much college work you completed and highlight any coursework relevant to the job. If your college degree or post grad work is in progress, say when you expect to be finished. This is another place where gaps matter. If there is a gap in your education history, again say what you were doing in that time, referring back to your work history where appropriate. You can overcome these gaps as long as you don?t pretend that they don?t exist.
Round out your resume by listing any awards and professional memberships you may hold. Don?t get into your hobbies unless they are specifically related to the position for which you are applying. Personal details like religion and race have no place on your resume and you are not required to disclose your age. Instead, let your experience do the talking.
To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.
Networking Know-How: How to Get Through to the Busiest of People When you are job hunting, sometimes the most frustrating part is just getting your foot through the door to let the right people know that you are out there and available for work. Companies can be like members-only clubs; they tend to be a little distrustful of cold callers and most executives advise their assistants to run interference for them on the phone so they do not get stuck having a protracted conversation with someone they just aren?t interested in doing business with. The thing is that to get an interview, these people can be the very same people you need to talk to. How do you get these busy people to clear some time off in their busy schedule to speak to you? First things first ? you have to get the right attitude. If you want busy people to make time to talk to you, you have to present yourself in a way that makes them feel like you are worth the time investment. The trick here is that you have to do this by phone, and often, you have to first convince an operator or personal assistant that your call is one worth putting through to the boss. Your phone etiquette and vocal confidence will be the key here. Consider you basic phone manners first. Instead of launching right into what you want, respond to the greeting of the person who answers the phone with a hello of your own. Animate your voice and always remember that simply saying ?please? and ?thank you? can go a long way. Be the kind of caller that you would want to talk to if your job was answering the phone all day. People will respond to your positive attitude with a positive attitude of their own. Next, consider your confidence level on the phone. Do you tend to get tongue-tied and stumble over your words? That kind of delivery from you will set all the warning bells ringing on the other end of the phone, and you will find the person with whom you wish to speak always ?out of the office.? Instead, work on sounding like you are confident that it is a forgone conclusion that you will get to speak that busy person you want to talk to. Be confident that what you have to say is something that is worth hearing. It may help to write out a framework of what you will say and practice a few times so you sound relaxed and composed when you make that call. Once your attitude is right to make the call, you can then employ a few tricks of the trade for getting through to those busy people. Instead of giving away too much up front, start your call by asking if the person with whom you need to speak is in. If the answer is yes, then you can remove on potential ?excuse? for not putting your call through. If your call can?t be taken at that time, skip the message. Let the PA or operator know that you will call back again. That way you have a legitimate reason to keep calling. Of course, you might have to keep calling and calling, and that assistant might start knowing the sound of your voice. If you keep speaking to the same person, it?s time to open up with some person details. Let them know your name, why you?re calling, and if someone referred you, who that person is. Developing that personal relationship can help you get your call through to the boss. Last but not least, don?t give up. Busy people are, well, busy, and not necessarily avoiding your call. Persistence pays off, so keep on calling until you get through.
Ghost Writer: Who Uses Them and Why (ghost writer) A ghost writer is someone who is hired to write for another person under their name. In most cases ghostwriters do the work while the hiring person gets the credit. The use of a ghost writer is huge business. People in virtually every aspect of life could use a ghost writer. A ghost writer will need the ability to become the person they are writing for. The writer has to be able to use their mannerisms, their words, and their way of speaking. The writing must read like they are coming from the person themselves. Being a ghost writer means that you give absolutely all rights to the credited author. You will need to decide if it is worth it for someone else to take credit for your work. There will be confidentiality clauses in your ghost writing contracts. They will state something to the effect of legal action will be against you if the writing is reproduced by you in any way shape or form. There are many reasons why a person would use a ghost writer. Celebrities and public figures use ghost writers to write their biographies and memoirs. Ghost writers are hired to make celebrities sound as interesting and compelling as possible. Their purpose is to pen the stories into best selling books. Motivational speakers may use ghost writers to write self help books. Just because they are great speakers does not mean they can pen the words on paper. Or they just may simply not have the time. There are many types of ghost writing opportunities available. Non fiction writing would be your biographies, autobiographies, how to books, and memoirs. A ghost writer?s role in non fiction could range from the very minimal to the most complex. They may be given an almost complete manuscript and asked to add some finishing touches. Or they may have to start at the bottom collecting research and following the project through until publication. Accomplished fiction writers may use ghost writers to carry on a series of books after the author has passed or to carry out the series while they work on new ventures. The Author may have an established pen name that they use a ghost writer for while they write under the real name. Ghost writers are often used for scripts and screen plays. They are hired to finish and polish the writings of the authors. High school and college students will hire ghost writers to write their entrance essays, thesis, and term papers. Although this may seem unethical, it is legal. The writing and selling of the paper is perfectly legal. It is when the student turns the paper in as his or her own writing that it turns into an illegal action. The political venue for ghost writers is to correspond to the letters that they receive. Official will review the letters before being sent. A political speech writer is often considered a ghost writer. But others will argue this since it is public knowledge that political officials do not write their own speeches. In order to succeed as a ghost writer you must have excellent writing skills and often be able to take on the personality of the credited author. You must also be a great sales person in order to sell your service and be able to prove that you are the best possible choice for them to use you in their endeavors. Making the decision if ghost writing is right for you may be a difficult one. It is often hard for writers to give up all rights to their work.