Category Archives: Job Hunting Articles of Interest

How to Write a Resume for a Federal Job

By:  Barbara Safani

Published by:  AOL Jobs

For those of  you interested in employment with the federal government, don’t miss this insightful article by Ms. Safani with many tips on writing an acceptable resume for this huge sector.

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“What Not to Say in a Job Interview”


Here’s a very informative and interesting article to help your interviewing skills.

“What Not to Say in a Job Interview”

By:  Kelly Eggers, Fins Finance

I think you will find it useful information.  Just click the link.

Cheers, John



How to Measure Your Achievements

By: Joyce Lain Kennedy, Tribune Media Services

Dear Joyce: You advise readers to “quantity” on their resume what they do.  I’m a call center employee working from home. I can’t quantify.  I answer customers’ questions and resolve their issues. Now what? — M.T.

Actually, you may be able to state impressive measurable performance indicators. Don’t say your job is to answer customer calls, take information, type into a computer and send e-files to a distribution center.  Your reason for being is to answer customer questions and resolve issues. How many customers are satisfied each day because you answered their questions?  How many issues do you resolve daily?

Almost everyone can quantify their work using direct output measurement. Examples are: sales per month; number of people protected with flue shots; number of invoices processed for company revenue; percentage of expenses cut this year over last; number of accounting statements issued on time.

If you simply cannot find a direct measure, use indirect measures: as a plant worker, mention your rate of attendance and punctuality (97 percent attendance, 99 percent on time); as an administrative assistant, you completed clerical projects 100 percent on deadline.

A manager has more leeway to discuss cost-benefit ratios as performance indicators. A recruiter, for example, could calculate performance by dividing recruiting costs by the number of employees hired.

If getting a raise, rather than a resume, is your aim and you can’t come up with quantifiers, create your own measurement graphic. Show a spectrum of skills, starting with those you had when you started and skills you have now. An upward line shows how far you’ve progressed.

Measurements are persuasive in both job search and seeking reward for your good work.

A Good Resume Reflects Focus and Growth

By:  Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Associates (by permission)

Q.  My resume has gotten rather lengthy over the past few years.  I would like the help of a resume writing professional.  Any recommendations?  What can I expect to be charged?

A.  Revising resumes can be challenging.  For a professional with 15 years experience, a two-page is appropriate.  A recent college graduate should plan on one page.  Three pages or more can be acceptable for PhD’s, academics, and researchers.

You may decide to use a resume writer. But there are questions to be answered.  First, identify the target audience and target role.  What do you need to highlight?  Your goal is to make areas stand out that compel hiring managers to bring you in.

Next, edit older roles.  Start at the bottom of the experience section.  Review each line with a “So what? Will it matter to the hiring manager?”  Make sure you show growth in each job, a diversity of areas of success, and quantify as much as possible.  Follow this process with each position.  Your most recent job should have the greatest detail.

Your education also needs to be edited.  Unless you were number one in your class, no GPS’s are needed, other than at entry level positions.  Edit civic and voluntary activity for what they reveal about you.

A summary offers more information than an objective.  At the screening stage, employers are interested in how they can use your skills.

After you go through your resume, you may decide to work with a professional. ….. Ask for references. You can expect to pay $80 to $150 per hour, or $500 to $750 for packages that include resume writing and production.

Advice to Consider when Job Hunting

By:  Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, Inc.

1.  Apply to one or more temporary agencies.  One of the best ways to keep working, even while looking for a permanent position, is to take a temp position.  There are temporary agencies for almost all kinds of workers, and depending on your location, you may find more than one that hires out people with your skills.

2.  Identify at least five prospective employers.  Conduct a search (via the phone book, Chamber of Commerce, Google, etc.) for prospective employers who hire job-seekers with your skills.  You should start locally, but understand you may need to expand your search to other locations.

3.  Find and apply to at least one job opening, everyday.  Using all the tools available to you – local job ads, industry-specific job boards, geographic-specific job boards, and general job boards – locate and apply to at least one job opening.

4.  Reach out to family and friends about potential job leads.  Even if you feel you have done this step already, make it a point to contact people in your network about any new job leads.  Ask the closest people to you to contact their family and friends to truly utilize the power of this tool.

5.  Schedule a meeting with a career expert.  If you’re having a hard time finding a new job, you may have a problem with your job-hunting tactics that you will never be able to identify without the assistance of a career expert.  Job-seekers have numerous choices – from local One-Stop Career Centers (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor) to local colleges and universities (especially your alma mater) to professional career coaches.

6.  Find additional people to add to your network.  Because networking is the most powerful job-search tool available to job-seekers, the more people you can add to your network of contacts, the more job leads you’ll uncover.

7.  Revise, revamp, and improve your resume.  Your resume is your most important job-search tool, and based on our experiences, just about every job-seeker has room for improvement in crafting a resume that will help you obtain job interviews.

8.  Sharpen your interviewing skills.  The job interview is your chance to shine – to sell your unique mix of experience, education / training, and skills to the hiring manager(s).  If you are going on first interviews, but never getting invited back, your interviewing style may be flawed.  Two of the most common flaws for job-seekers is failing to anticipate potential interview questions and not developing strategic responses to those questions.

9.  Apply to jobs that match your skill sets.  Don’t waste your time and energy applying to every job you see.  Apply to jobs that match your skills, experience, and training.

10. Follow-up all pending job applications.  Take the time today to contact all the employers with whom you have applied or had interviews.  Most employers view follow-up as showing interest and desire for the job, so do not be afraid to not only follow-up today, but again next week after (unless the employer tells you not to bother).

11. Read job requirements carefully.  Find out what you must do to apply for any position.  Consider the following: is there a specific website to apply on?  Do I have to email my resume or cover letter?  Do I need to apply in person?  Will they accept phone calls if I have a question?  Do I need to have my driving record, background, or credit reviewed to be considered for the position?  Again, look carefully at each description, knowing what you need to complete or send will allow your application to move forward in the process.

Blogging Your Way to a Good Job

By Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of the syndicated “Careers Now” column.  She’s been an expert in employment for nearly four decades. Her work is distributed by Tribune Media Services.

Larry Hughes used a channel leading to employment that hasn’t been tested by most professional and managerial job seekers: blogging. Previously, he directed publicity at HarperCollins, a major book publisher. When his division folded, Hughes was cut loose.

Taking action. In a down economy, his strategy was launching his blog to publicize himself into a new position. As he explained:

“Competition for jobs (was) fierce.  I knew I had to do something beyond sending out resumes, searching job sites, pressing for interviews, and the things you do looking for a job. I decided to publicize myself.”

Success. The idea: keep his talents in front of the publishing industry.  Result: Hughes is starting a new job; associate director of publicity for Free Press, part of book-publishing giant Simon & Schuster.

Evaluation. Were blogging and self-promotion responsible for his new job? “Hard to say,” Hughes recalls:

“It finally came about the way it often does.  A friend alerted me to an opening and connected me to the appropriate party. Still, I believe that publicity I generated played a part, even if subliminal. No one said, ‘I saw you on CNN.  I’d like to hire you.’ But I think that if someone in the industry was looking to fill a position, and my name came up, they would say: ‘Yeah — I’ve heard of him.’ ”

Shortcut. You want to reach out in job-finding directions but don’t have time for your own blog;  contribute occasional postings to blogs other maintain.

Even more efficient is to find someone blogging for a company where you want to work.  Make comments on that person’s blog.

Career coach Fred Whelan ( says: “People who blog appreciate responses. Doing so raises your profile with that person. You may develop an inside contact who will let you know of unadvertised jobs and get your resume to the hiring.”

[note: while Larry was creative, old fashioned Networking was the ultimate job source.  John]