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Kill the career history rÃ©sumÃ©s. “Describe the results of your activities. That’s what employers are paying for,â€ Conway says. Instead of chronological rÃ©sumÃ©s that list job titles and tasks, functional rÃ©sumÃ©s describe the impact of each activity, says Joe Watson, author of Without Excuses (Macmillan; $24.95) and CEO of Strategic Hire, a Reston, Virginia-based executive search firm. He explains, “Quantify your work: I led the team that delivered this many days ahead of schedule, this much under budget.â€
Get ready to sell. After you’ve successfully outlined your skills and talents on paper, you have to be confident in delivering your story–liken it to a sales pitch for a great product, Watson says. “Some tend to be reluctant to do this because they don’t want to be seen as bragging,â€ he says. “But telling people that you took a business from zero to 15% is not bragging. It is giving them information to make an educated decision about you.â€
Build your network. “Networking is a big part of how people get jobs,â€ Rosner offers. “I’ve had a recruiter say to me, ‘When I post a job on a Website or [in a] newspaper, it means I’ve failed. I should have been able to fill that position through my network.’â€
A great way to develop your list of contacts is to conduct informational interviews. These are face-to-face meetings, usually 15 to 30 minutes long, with senior level executives in a particular industry solely for the purpose of gaining industry insight and gathering information on trends. “It’s a non-threatening, non-needy way to get on people’s radar,â€ Conway says. “I’ve had several clients that have gotten jobs through doing informational interviews. If you don’t leave with a job, you leave with five more contacts.â€
Additional Resources to Equip You for the Job Hunt
Click: Ten Truths For Building Extraordinary Relationships By George C. Fraser (Amazon; $16.47).
For building a networking game plan.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009 By Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press; $18.95).
Offers guidance on how to change your career and/or industry.
The Power To Get In By Michael A. Boylan (Macmillan; $14.95).
Offers guidance on how to land and prepare for informational interviews.
The Employment & Career Channel
A clearing house for job hunt advice from recruiters and coaches, cover letter and resume writing tools, and insights on career management.
Originally published in the November 2008 issue.
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