Why you need a business card if you are unemployed….

Many times people wrongly assume that if they are unemployed or a recent graduate that they do not need a business card.  This is a very bad assumption.  If you are unemployed you should most definitely have a business card on you at all times.  You never know who you might meet that could lead you to a job.  A business card is, if nothing else, a big reminder on a tiny card.  Most people keep business cards and go through them periodically.

You want to provide people with your information and put yourself out there in the market. Mary Alice Franklin suggests putting your industry or degree on your card.  For instance: “International Relations” or “Automotive Repairs.”  If you have a specialized license or certification, include that (“Licensed Social Worker”) even if you haven’t had a job in that area yet.  All business cards should have:

-Name

-Email Address

-Phone number

-Degree or Industry

 

Additional items you could list:

Website URL (only if you have a professional website that relates to your field)

Job Title, if applicable

Address, if applicable

 

“Where can I get my business card?”

You can save money and buy the paper from an office supply store and print them yourself using Microsoft Office or a similar program.  If you want more professional cards, you can check out VistaPrint or other similar companies.

 

“Who should I give my cards to?”

Everyone!  Ok, maybe not everyone, but networking is the key.  If your friend says, “My uncle works in that industry, you should talk to him,” ask if you can give him your business card.  When you see an opportunity, don’t hesitate.  Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.  Always make sure you have plenty of cards on you when you go to any type of networking event, career fair or interview.

Good luck and happy printing those business cards.

How to Use Facebook to Land a Job

Many people believe that Facebook is only for connecting with people you went to high school with or checking out a potential date’s profile. But consider this: 18,400,000 people claim they found a job through Facebook. If you are not utilizing your Facebook network to find a job, you are missing out on opportunities. Below are some ways you can use Facebook to land a job:

  • If you’re not on Facebook already, create an account immediately. Be sure that your profile is personal, but appropriate. Potential employers can and will search for your profile and inappropriate pictures or wall posts can cost you an interview or job.
  • Connect with friends, family, and past co-workers. Since you can see other people’s employment history on their profile, check to see if anyone works at a company you are applying for and ask to be referred. There is also a website, InTheDoor.com, which will show you job openings at places where your Facebook friends work.
  • Periodically, post status updates about your job search, mentioning you are looking for a job and asking if anyone knows of any openings. Be careful not to spam your network. They will become annoyed and tune you out.
  • Join relevant Facebook groups and start networking. You can meet people in similar career fields who can offer tips to get you into that dream job.
  • “Like” company pages where you want to work. Become a part of the community by commenting, liking, or sharing their posts. When a position opens up at the company that you want to apply to, write a wall comment on their page and ask who you should email if you have a question.
  • Did you know companies actually post jobs on Facebook? They use the Marketplace application to post job ads. Search for them under the “Jobs” tab in the Marketplace app.

Don’t forget to like Whitman Associates on Facebook!

5 Skills You Should Have on Your Resume

Your resume is just as significant in landing you a job as your interview. The resume is an employers’ first impression of you, so you need to start thinking like an employer and consider the skills they are looking for in a candidate.

We’ve written before about tailoring your resume to suit the requirements in every job description, but this is a list of skills you should have on your resume, no matter the position. This list is taken from a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) that 244 employers took part in and was originally posted on ComeRecommended’s blog:

  1. Working on a team: Consider including relevant projects or contributions created by you and your fellow coworkers or classmates.
  2. Leadership: List a leadership position and accomplishments made from the position’s responsibilities
  3. Written communication: Incorporate relevant writing experience you have had in a position, whether it’s writing blog entries or journalistic articles. If your experiences have not allowed for much writing, consider starting your own blog.
  4. Problem solving: This is where you want to include quantitative data. Some examples to list include if you saved time or money by making a process more efficient, handling a crisis, or gaining more clients than last year.
  5. Strong work ethic: This can be conveyed from your resume if you list accomplishments rather than responsibilities or having a lot of past positions. It’s about the quality, not quantity, of work you have done.

Make Your Resume Resonate with Resunate.com

Last week, we posted a tip on how to read job ads and suggested tailoring your resume to be job-specific. Well now, we found a service that will tailor your resume for you! It’s called Resunate and here’s how it works.

To get started, you first have to create an account. Resunate has a free basic plan that allows you to upload and manually edit an unlimited number of resumes, but you can only use the job description Auto-Focus tool three times. There are also several premium plans that offer unlimited use of the auto-focus tool.

After setting up your account, you can upload your resume or import your LinkedIn profile. You then fill in any missing information and format your resume using one of several resume templates based on industry and experience level.

Once you are comfortable with the content and style of your resume, copy and paste a job description onto the site to get your JobFocus score. This is the score that tells you, on a scale of 1-10, how suited you are for that job. Now comes the fun part: the score will highlight which sections of your resume are relevant to the job and which can be edited or deleted. You can edit your resume manually or use the Auto-Focus tool, which will reorder bullet points and remove irrelevant information for you. Once you get your score as close to 10 as possible, you can download the resume and use it to apply or, if the hiring manager has provided an email address, you can send it straight from Resunate.

According to one study, resumes that are pre-screened with Resunate were two times more likely to be called back for an interview than a candidate’s original resume. Since Resunate offers a free plan, it’s worth investing your time in creating a sharper, job-specific resume to help you land that job.

 

How to Read a Job Ad

For many job seekers, the strategy in their job search is to apply to everything and anything. This method is not only very time-consuming and mentally draining, but also sets you up for a wave of rejection. Instead, Brazen Careerist suggests improving at reading job ads, which will help you sort through jobs quickly and focus on those opportunities that are right for you.

Here’s what they suggest:

Step one: Scan and filter

Ignore filler and scan quickly for significant keywords like education, experience and serious skills. If skimming an ad turns up a few interesting words that fit what you’re looking for, make sure you have the hard and fast requirements like years of experience, fluent French or a particular certification. Then, if necessary, read it carefully in full.

Step two: Read between the lines

To find out more about the jobs you’ve deemed interesting, “you need to be able to extract what hiring managers implicitly want,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Nishi. “This requires you to read between the lines of job ads.”

Nishi’s article goes on to offer a suggestion from USC professor Mathew Curtis: “Peruse other job ads from the same employer. This can give you a better sense of the tone of a company.”

Tone is important because it’s your first clue whether you’re a good fit for a company’s culture. Noticing tone will also help should you decide to apply, allowing you to tailor your response to match the mood, vocabulary and focus of the ad.

Step three: Do the dating profile test

To check whether you’ve really gotten a sense of the ad, think of it as akin to a dating profile, full of euphemisms designed to present the opportunity in the best light. Just like you’d mentally translate “free spirited” on Match.com to mean possibly unemployed, or “vivacious” to mean loud in public, it’s worth taking a moment to try to restate job ad jargon in everyday language.

Now that you’ve scanned through the filler, read between the lines, and discovered the tone of the company, you can tailor your resume and cover letter specifically for that position. This shows not only that you read the job ad thoroughly, but also that you are enthusiastic about the job. This is a much better alternative to sending a generic resume to hundreds of job with little or no response.