JOB FAIR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS

Saw a lot of nice folks at the Rehoboth Beach Job Fair and found a lot of common questions and concerns from the attendees I spoke with.  I thought it would be helpful to share their concerns and some of my advice in the event any of my readers find it helpful:

How do I get noticed when the employer wants me to apply online?

The way to do this is follow up - especially important if the employer is asking for an online application that doesn't really allow you to shine!  You might have to do some digging to get contact information and names, but do anything you can to get a traditional cover letter submitted to follow up the application: In person, fax, email, snail mail, overnight mail - just do it!  Not many other applicants will be.... I guarantee it.

Am I not getting called for interviews because I didn't finish college?

I hear this so often - the answer is usually no! Unless you are interviewing and the employers are telling you I'd like to hire you, but you just don't have the degree/certification we are looking for - the answer IS no.  This doesn't mean you might not benefit from improving certain skills; if this is the case improve those certain skills. Otherwise if you have solid skills and work experience an employer for many industries is just not going to be concerned about the fact you didn't finish that last class or internship to get the actual degree!

Don't I have to have complete sentences?

No.  Don't use I or me on your resume - you don't need to have any sentences at all.  If you do then please use commas and periods appropriately.  Usually wording such as "Provide excellent service through anticipating customer needs" is appropriate.  It is most important that the wording you use is clear, concise, and sells you to employers.

I thought I was supposed to have a lot of white space! 

Sometimes you can have too much of anything.  If you have too much white space it tells the employer you don't have too much to include in your resume and he or she might not read further to find out.  Likewise, if you have too much white space you may not be including all of the good skills and abilities that will convince an employer to hire you.  Step back and look at your document overall - are the margins too wide?  the fonts too small?  are you double spacing?

I don't think my resume needs any changes - the librarian/ my brother/my wife helped me with it. 

I have NEVER reviewed a resume done by anyone (including another expert) that I thought couldn't be improved.  Resumes should be considered a fluid document and should reflect the needs of employers and the labor market.  Different people will also tend to notice or look for different things. Librarians, your brother, your wife and anyone else who is not an expert is very helpful, but not trained or experienced in developing a resume.

Another career expert has already reviewed my resume.

I reviewed several today that embarrassed me as a career expert - literally.  That having been said, different experts will have different opinions as well as different levels of expertise.  What they tell you may or may not be wrong and may be more a matter of preference. If you are not sure ask why!  If you don't agree - agree to disagree.  You are the customer and therefore are always right.  If you need to, consult another expert. I always provide a free consult. 

What is a functional resume?
I have to say, this was the topic de jour!  Almost everyone who thought their resume was possibly to blame for them not getting interviews was using a chronological resume when a functional resume would have made more sense in their situation. Many of the job fair attendees did not know there was any other than a Chronological resume (if this format is right for you make sure that your dates are reverse with most recent first unless your field dictates otherwise).

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Functional Resume

In general, a functional résumé will be best for online applications. This format highlights your skills and abilities so that employers can very quickly scan your résumé and decide to put you into the pile for consideration.

In general most employers only spend a few seconds reviewing the initial batch of résumé s received in response for an ad. Their goal at this point is to weed through the enormous stack of résumé s received and get it down to a manageable level.

The employer’s goal is exactly the opposite of yours, which is to be considered for the position for which you have just applied. In order to be kept in the pile for further review, it is imperative that your résumé allow the reader to quickly scan down the document to see that you have the general skills and abilities required to be considered for the job.

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For example if you are applying for a Customer Service Supervisor Job, you would likely include subheadings under the Skills and Abilities section that include: Customer Service, Administration, Sales and the like. Your Skills Section might look something like:

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Supervisory
 Supervise up to 15 workers, ensuring quality and quantity guidelines
 Schedule assignments according to skil and ability
 Monitor and document progress
 Redirect behavior/activity as needed

Customer Service
 Exceptional customer service and telephone operations; handle customer inquiries and phone directing to the appropriate sales staff
 Identify customer needs and present appropriate company product and services
 Ability to gain customer trust and provide exceptional follow-up, leading to increased repeat and referral business
 Excellent verbal and interpersonal skills
 Capable of determining customer needs

Administrative
 Knowledgeable in using computer to look up specific information
 Operate office equipment, fax, copier, computer, and multi-line telephones
 Daily logs of calls and work performed

If nothing else, the reader can quickly ascertain that you have 1) Supervisory, 2) Customer Service, and 3) Administrative Skills and will likely keep your résumé for further review.

Another advantage to the functional format is that it allows you to quickly reorder, add, or remove subsections according to the job for which you are applying. This makes it easy to tailor your résumé to the position to which you are responding.

Microsoft Office provides some free, simple and easily customizable templates you can use to get started.... If you need help just let me know!

I hope this helps!

What Job Fair Questions and Concerns do you have? Comment below or email me!