Develop One New Skill

Select One Skill to Develop

You cannot realistically acquire all of the skills and experiences required while searching for a new job. However, select one specific skill you are lacking, and make an effort to develop that skill.

For example, if you lack knowledge in a particular computer program, but it is a requirement for your dream job, sign up for a free or inexpensive online course that will help you develop that skill.

If you cannot find an online course that fits your needs, look to your local public library, adult education program, or community college to see if any of these institutions offers free or inexpensive courses on such topics.

The new skill will allow you to sharpen your resume while also allowing you to shine in an interview.

Are you Prepared to dominate your job search?

Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner.

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Job Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Read More on Forbes

Resume and LinkedIn

Does your resume match your LinkedIn? While your resume may very well be a ‘condensed’ version of your LinkedIn (so that it fits on one or two pages), for positions that do show up in both places, be sure that details such as a job title, dates of employment, and key responsibilities are consistent across both platforms.

Use your LinkedIn profile as a resume: It’s easy to save your profile as a PDF file. Once you’ve saved it, you can print out a copy to review.

  • Click the …More icon in the top section of your profile, to the right of the photo and to the left of the Edit icon.
  • Select Save to PDF from the drop-down menu, and your profile will be saved to your computer. You can open it, then print.

Interview Tips for Seattle Candidates

Develop a Connection with the Interviewer

In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection to your interviewer.

Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. (If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. And, listen very carefully during introductions. If you’re prone to forgetting names, jot it down somewhere discreet, like in small letters at the bottom of your notepad.)

 Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like, and who seem to be a good fit for the company culture.

What do you really want to do?

What would you do with your time if money wasn’t a factor? Whose career are you completely jealous of? Figure out what your passion is and what it is that you’re really good at—your core values are key. And don’t just think about it…actively go out and seek the answers. Far too often I find people marinating versus engaging in some sort of action… Go to networking events and ask people to explain their jobs to you. Peruse LinkedIn and find people whose careers you admire. So often, we get so caught up at jobs we stay at just to pay the bills, or because we feel certain pressures to follow a certain path, that we lose sight of what we really want to do and what we’re really good at.

Let us at Career Paths guide you in finding the job that is right for you.

Seattle Job Search Tips

Remember That Your Resume (and LinkedIn Profile) Is Not a Tattoo

Yes, your new resume is lovely. Your LinkedIn profile, breathtaking. However, if they don’t position you as a direct match for a particular role that you’re gunning for, don’t be afraid to modify wording, switch around key terms, and swap bullet points in and out. Your resume is not a tattoo, nor is your LinkedIn profile. Treat them as living, breathing documents throughout your job search (and career).

Tip

If you’re a covert job seeker, remember to turn off your activity broadcasts (within privacy and settings) when you make edits to your LinkedIn profile. If your current boss or colleagues are connected to you on LinkedIn, they may get suspicious about all the frequent changes.

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Multiple ways to apply for jobs

Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications

You want that job search to last and last? Well, then continue to rely solely on submitting online applications. You want to accelerate this bad boy? Don’t stop once you apply online for that position. Start finding and then endearing yourself to people working at that company of interest. Schedule informational interviews with would-be peers. Approach an internal recruiter and ask a few questions. Get on the radar of the very people who might influence you getting an interview.

Tip

By lining up with people on the inside of the companies at which you want to work, you will instantly set yourself apart. Decision makers interview people who come recommended or by way of a personal referral before they start sorting through the blob of resumes that arrives by way of the ATS.

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Pointers to improve your resume in Bellevue

It’s deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, whether you’re writing your first resume or revising it for a mid-career job search. Check out this resume guide to the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors

Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.”

2. Lack of Specifics

Employers need to understand what you’ve done and accomplished. For example:

A. Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
B. Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.

Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but the details and specifics in example B will more likely grab an employer’s attention.

3. Attempting One Size Fits All

Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.

4. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments

It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:

  • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
  • Worked with children in a day-care setting.
  • Updated departmental files.

Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:

  • Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
  • Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
  • Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.

5. Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short

Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing resume length. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.

That doesn’t mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.

6. A Bad Objective

Employers do read your resume objective, but too often they plow through vague pufferies like, “Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.” Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: “A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits.”

7. No Action Verbs

Avoid using phrases like “responsible for.” Instead, use action verbs: “Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 4,000 students and staff.”

8. Leaving Off Important Information

You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you’ve taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you’ve gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

9. Visually Too Busy

If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.

10. Incorrect Contact Information

I once worked with a student whose resume seemed incredibly strong, but he wasn’t getting any bites from employers. So one day, I jokingly asked him if the phone number he’d listed on his resume was correct. It wasn’t. Once he changed it, he started getting the calls he’d been expecting. Moral of the story: Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details — sooner rather than later.

 

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Are you an Obvious Fit? Redmond Job Seeker

Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit

When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very likely that your resume will first be screened by an applicant tracking system and then (assuming you make this first cut) move onto human eyeballs. The first human eyeballs that review your resume are often those of a lower level HR person or recruiter, who may or may not understand all of the nuances of that job for which you’re applying.

Thus, it behooves you to make it very simple for both the computer and the human to quickly connect their “Here’s what we’re looking for” to your “Here’s what you can walk through our doors and deliver.”

Tip

Study the job description and any available information you have on the position. Are you mirroring the words and phrases in the job description? Are you showcasing your strengths in the areas that seem to be of paramount importance to this role? Line it up. Line it up.