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Understanding the Background of Job Search before Starting It

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You do need to realize what a resume will and will not do:

  1. A resume, by itself, will not get you hired.

  2. At its best, a superior resume may help you get an interview.

  3. A resume is often used to screen you out, rather than help you find your way into an organization.

  4. If you use your resume in the traditional way-sending it to someone you don't know in a large organization-your resume is more likely to be ignored than read.
Before I begin to show you how to create a superior resume, it is essential that you understand how resumes are best used... and why this is so.

A Few Words on Looking For a Job

Most job seekers believe they need to send out many resumes to personnel departments to get a job. And some do get jobs in just this way. But times are changing! About 75 percent of all business organizations don't even have personnel offices. They are small organizations, where over seventy percent of all new jobs are being created.

So if you insist on sending out resumes to personnel departments, you are missing most of the available jobs, and much of the opportunity.

Even organizations that do have personnel departments are far more likely to "file" your resume than do anything helpful with it. They get entirely too many resumes to do otherwise. So they will give yours a quick look over and then put it away, in all probability, with the others, there to rest for eternity, or until someone throws it away.

In the unlikely event that your resume just happens to come in when an appropriate job opens up-for someone with just your experience and training - you might get an interview. But probably not, because it is more likely, that your resume was set aside, in the reject pile. Got rejected, even though, you could do the job. Because your resume was dull, or because, it was too long, or whatever the case may be.

The person who looked it over, along with the 25 (or 200) other resumes in the pile, had no idea of the dedicated person you are. They just had your resume. And it didn't catch their attention.

So What Are You To Do?

You, because you have read this (and have done all the activities), will have a superior resume. Your resume will stand out from all the others. And get you the attention you deserve. But you should also understand that most hiring is not done by a stranger hiring an applicant who is unknown to her or him. Hiring is generally done by people who know an applicant already. So your next employer will probably be someone you know. And one of the reasons you'll be hired is because they will know you and trust you. They will also believe that you can do the job and that you will do it reliably and well.

No resume can do this whole "getting hired" process for you. Not even the one I will show you how to create. Only you can do the real work of getting hired.

Some Job Search Tips

I will give you more job search tips throughout. But there are several important points for you to remember:

Someone You Know, And Who Likes You, Will Hire You
  1. You probably don't know them yet, nor do they know you. But you will meet during your search for a job. And you will like each other enough to work together.

  2. Which brings up an important fact that you should not ignore: most people get their jobs-as many as 40 percent of them-from leads provided by friends or relatives or acquaintances. Not from someone they don't know. So your task is to avoid, as much as possible, depending on strangers. Resumes sent to "Dear Mr./Ms. Personnel Department" will be treated just the way you treat the "Dear Occupant" mail you get. Like junk mail, they will be discarded, with few exceptions.
You Can Get To Know Almost Anyone

I was once told that you can get to almost anyone, even the President, through just three to six levels of personal contact. Just ask someone you know for the name of someone they know who knows the President. And so it is in the job search. The process is called networking. For example, ask each of your friends and relatives for the name of someone who might know of a job opening that requires a person with your skills. You will come to know more people than you could ever imagine. If you ask this same question of each person you are referred to, you will meet more people than you can count and one of them will hire you!

You Can Get To Know People Who Work In Large Organizations
  1. It's not difficult to get the name of the person in any organization who is most likely to hire someone like you. You can ask your friends and relatives if they know anyone who works there-or if they know someone else who might know. Or you can use the Yellow Pages to call the organization. And ask them, "Who is in charge of such and such?" In most cases, you can get right to them. Ask if you can come in to see them about any future job openings, even if none are open just now. Then send them your resume. And a thank you note for their precious time. Even if they can't see you now.

  2. It takes only a minute or so to make these personal contacts. And they can make all the difference.

  3. Always Be Honest

  4. Your resume does not need to mention that you eat crackers in bed. We all have things we don't tell strangers. But it is dishonest to say you can handle something you cannot or that you have done something you have not done. Too many job seekers think they have to overstate what they can do to get hired. And as a result, too many resumes are not believable.
Most employers will see right through an inflated resume. They won't hire a dishonest person. Nor would you. But some people do convince employers to hire them for jobs they can't do well. And, too often, they then lose the jobs. Or, even worse, they come to hate their jobs and themselves. So, while this is about creating delightfully readable resumes, it is also about getting a job. A job you can grow in. And enjoy.

"This Will Look Good On My Resume"

It's amazing how many people have used this reason for taking a certain job or training. We've all said it (and we've heard others say it) over and over again. It's as if we feel that everything we do in our work life must make our resume look good. But your resume should present a mirror image of your life (seen in the best possible light) rather than vice versa. And I'm now going to take you, step by step, through the construction of a superior-looking resume - a resume that will work wonders for you in your job hunt.
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