Many job seekers dread creating a resume. Putting your education, experience and qualifications down on paper can be daunting. Deciding what to include can be a difficult decision. Many individuals draft one resume and use it over and over, no matter the job to which they are applying. Learning how to tailor your resume to specific job situations is an essential skill that can help you land the ideal job. Five easy steps can have you well on your way to creating the perfect resume.

Understand the business to which you are applying.

 If you are fresh out of school or are considering a change in career, you may not be familiar with how businesses in some industries function. Make sure to do research on a company before applying for a job. Read the profiles of similar businesses in the same industry. If a company lists executive or employee biographies on its website, be sure to read them. Understanding what a certain business needs and values will help you as you decide how to format your resume. Once you have a solid grasp on the business to which you are applying, review resume examples that are specific to that industry. These examples will serve as an excellent guide as you formulate your resume.

Know how to make the best of the amount of job experience you have.

 Job seekers who are entering a new field may find that they have years of job experience that is not pertinent to the position for which they are applying. In these situations, you should do your best to highlight your tenure in your previous job and note any accomplishments. These items will show that you are dedicated to your work and can achieve long-term goals.

If you are entering the workforce for the first time or have only worked intermittently, you may be worried that potential employers will view your lack of job history negatively. In order to combat this, list out volunteer activities and other accomplishments that show you can remain dedicated to one task or organization for more than a few months. Highlighting your academic achievements is a good way to demonstrate perseverance and dedication.

Spend time perusing stellar resumes.

You should review resumes from the specific industry to which you are applying in order to understand what conventions and standards are in use. You should also review resume examples to strengthen your sense of how to word various entries. Pay attention to what designs you find both visually engaging and easy to read. Note the types of information that jump out as important, and try to incorporate similar entries on your own resume.

Organize information logically.

This is no-brainer advice that many job candidates neglect when formulating resumes. If you are applying for a job that requires a certain level of education or special certifications, you should include these items right after your contact information and objective. Recruiters and human resources personnel tend to be very busy and may skim over your resume quickly. It is important that you provide essential information that qualifies you for a position quickly. Your qualifications will not matter if your resume is too cluttered to be read easily. 

Know what hobbies and interests are worth including.

Many resumes include an area to list hobbies and interests. If you are going to include this area on your resume, you must make it worth the while. Share about activities and hobbies that demonstrate a specialized skill. If you are applying to a small business, your passion for photography and graphic design might add extra value to your candidacy. Hobbies that require perseverance and dedication demonstrate to employers that you are able to complete challenging tasks. Be sure to review example resumes in your targeted job area to see if including such information is common practice.

Submitting a resume is usually the first step in the job application process. Your resume should be clean, clear and well-organized. Make sure that the style of your cover letter and resume are consistent. Use the same font and general graphic design. Keep resumes and cover letters concise. The ability to distill and present a wealth of information in a small package is always attractive to an employer.



Boost ButtonTo get anywhere with your job search you really do have to put it the time and graft. The age-old saying “no pain no gain” – it’s completely true. It’s easy to be lazy when you’re unemployed, but at the end of the day it will get you absolutely nowhere. If you want to get somewhere in life you really do have to put in maximum effort day in and day out with your job search until you eventually find something. Here are three essentials to landing a job:

#1 – Plan what you want to do.

The first step is to sit down for a few hours and just think, think, and think. You need to think about you; forget about what your family wants you to do for the moment (don’t ignore advice), and ask yourself, “What do I want to do? What am I good at?” Draw up mind maps, do whatever you need to do to narrow down your job search into a few career paths. For example, if you’re hobby is photography, look into various photography jobs and career opportunities. Then get on the internet and do some thorough research into those chosen paths, note down any specific qualifications or skills needed, etc. If certain qualifications are required, you need to decide whether you want to steer clear or do what’s necessary to achieve them. You really need to be realistic with yourself here. If you have next to nothing in terms of qualifications, you need to bare that in mind when thinking about what career paths to approach. Don’t put yourself down, just be realistic – it can save you a lot of time.

#2 – Searching for vacancies.

In this day and age the first obvious step for many job seekers is to hop on the internet and browse job search websites. Some of the leading sites are great; over time they’ve developed efficiently and can match you up to suitable vacancies varying from accountancy jobs to tree surgeons. But, it’s not the only way to look for openings.

Another saying that you may hear as a job seeker is, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This is a very true this statement. You really need to get yourself out there and be as social as possible; having a big group of friends will without doubt increase your chances of finding a job. Being a social person increases you confidence and interpersonal skills, this helps you meet new people and make new friendship bonds. Friends will always want to help you out when you’re unemployed. You need to ask everyone you know, having a big family helps, but not everyone is that fortunate.

Lastly, “get on your bike” and go. Go to job centers and CV posting. Employers will look at you in a new light when they realize you’re making an effort and will brand you as a “get up and go person.” Plan where you want to go and think outside the box. Don’t just go to the shopping center, there are loads of places you can go. Go back to your initial research and look into various companies that are accessible to you. Spend a week going round to these companies and you’ll increase your chances dramatically. By handing a CV over personally you have a much greater chance that someone who’s posted it online; you know they have it and have probably read it, whereas when you post it online you don’t know if they’ve even received it.

#3 – Work on self-improvement.

This is a huge factor. Although it’s wrong to judge someone on appearance, a lot of employers do. Regarding appearance: It’s your ability to brush up and look professional and presentable. Here are some examples:

  • It’s important you have tidy suit. Suits aren’t cheap, but a well-fitted suit will impress any interviewee. Even if an interview requires you to wear casual wear, it’s still advised you turn up in a suit in order to sell yourself to the maximum.
  • As well as a suit, it’s important to take pride in your hair. Learn how to wear your hair in a professional manner. You don’t need to strip yourself of your personality, but try to keep yourself looking tidy and clean cut. Being scruffy will get you nowhere, unless you’re a genius.

Work on you vocabulary and interpersonal skills, too (i.e. your conversation ability, telephone manner and e-mail structure). Here are some examples:

  • Get used to answering your phone promptly and avoid missing calls. You never know who it could be on the other end, if you’re applying for jobs regularly online you should have companies calling you at least three times a week. It’s important to have a pen and pad ready at all times to write down notes, for example addresses and interview times.
  • Practice speaking in a professional manner and try and make yourself sound happy, characteristic and professional. Being sharp is good, if you mumble and stutter on the phone you’ll get nowhere. A tip that always works it to smile while you’re on the phone, this will increase your confidence and although the person on the other end cannot see you they will know you’re smiling and conversation will be a lot easier and free flowing. If you’re not too confident as a person and you struggle with conversation, be as social as possible. Meet up with friends in your spare time and talk on the phone as much as possible.

Your e-mails are of great importance. It’s important to do some research to ensure you’re e-mails are structured correctly and formal. Always read over you message before you send it to ensure you don’t come across rude and to spot any silly spelling mistakes. With CV’s, take the same approach and get family/friends to check it and suggest improvements.

In recent times, it’s common employers will try and check you out on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. So keep a clean profile, don’t have any rude or offensive text or imagery, you could be creating a stereotype of yourself.

Follow these tips and you will lay the groundwork for a successful job search.

CAREEREALISM-Approved Business Partner, is a leading job search and career advice site. They currently have over 100,000 vacancies available across a huge variety of industries.

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A new report from office-space company Regus PLC says 64% of U.S. employees will be working the week between Christmas and New Year’s, with 56% actually coming into the office.

But is anyone really productive? According to the survey of more than 12,000 employees worldwide, just 39% of U.S. respondents say they expect workers to actually do much work.

I’m usually among that 56% that take a nearly-empty subway car to the half-empty office in the closing days of the year. My family lives nearby so any holiday get-togethers require little travel (or happen earlier in December, since I celebrate Hanukkah) and I don’t have to worry about entertaining kids who are off from school, so this was never a must-have vacation week for me.

Then again, it’s hard to report on stories when very few of my sources are answering their phones or responding to e-mail, since they actually are on vacation.

So why bother coming in? I actually crave those quiet days. Even if I’m not able to do much work, I can still be productive. I use this time to clear through my inbox, conquer my rather messy desk and complete other tasks for which I never seem to have time. That periodic organization allows me to be more productive once work starts to pick up.

This profession also makes it difficult to go off duty. I do manage to take vacations, but it’s a rare feat to go a whole week without something coming up at work. Even if there’s no breaking news on my beat – and there likely won’t be next week – I often have stories running while I’m away or right after I return.  In the past, I’ve discussed the logistics of a photo shoot from a Curacao airport, responded to edits from a Peruvian cybercafé and, most recently, talked to another reporter while celebrating Thanksgiving in rural Vermont.

So even when I’m off this Thursday and Friday to go grocery shopping, clean the house and otherwise prepare for a Christmas visit from my in-laws, I’ll still be at least a little bit on.

Readers, are you working through the end of the year? Do you expect to be productive?

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