The employment market has changed radically; how you find your next job can now be in your control. It is challenging and requires effort; however, there are assignments waiting to be filled. A more precise resume can make the difference in the length of your search. NOTE: CE Publications specializes in the Contract Staffing Industry. If you are not familiar with that, you might be interested in reading An Introduction to Contract Staffing. This article, however, is beneficial to most applicants.
Your resume is your paramount resource to place you in front of contract staffing firms, working peers, hiring departments, or family and neighbors who might know someone who knows someone, and of course on the web. Resumes allow you to release detailed information you otherwise couldn't. They can be passed on to almost anyone involved in today's job market. Resumes should contain:
Begin at the top with Basic Information such as your name, job title, contact information including email and cell phone, education, clearances, and certifications. Who you are shows them your potential right up front. Age is NOT and should not become an issue. It is actually illegal for the companies to discriminate. Simply avoid listing birth and graduation dates.
Since we are not proponents of cover letters, your Summary paragraph will function nicely as an overview to highlight areas of expertise, projects, computer skills, etc. Complete sentences are not necessary. Pull the reader in to focus on what you can do for them with clear and concise wording. Every company wants to do well, and they know specific employees make that happen.
Why you are a good match is important if your skill-set contains hard to locate or unusual areas of expertise, or if you know of a particular company's needs. Potential employers may not articulate all their requirements, or may not think they even need you. It is your written word usage that could change those perceptions.
Employment history or how you became the best candidate is your actual work experience section in reverse chronological order (most recent listed first). Each listing must be factual and loaded with information. To you it might not seem terribly important, but with the retooling of America, you may have the past necessary skills to bring a manufacturing or technical area up to production once again. Your employment record should contain dates and company names for the past 10 to 15 years. Additional experience could be grouped together under a title of prior experience. You know yourself better than anyone else. Accentuate your strengths.
Additional employment considerations: For those of you new to the job market or perhaps to a new skill or re-trained area, you must give them a reason to hire you. Perhaps you may be someone who truly wants to work for a specific company: have you thought about offering to work at a reduced wage for a thirty day trial with an evaluation at the end of that time? Why is this particular company important to you? This could also be included in your Summary section. List your educational experiences, recent training, internships, perhaps prior history that shows your abilities in areas such as teamwork, additional computer skills, problem solving, peer mentoring, projects in class study. Volunteer positions may also serve as work experience.
Although we recommend listing no references on your resume, the tagline References are available upon request is perfectly acceptable. This protects your references from sales calls as well as the release of their personal information to the masses. Keep that information readily available as they are usually part of the interview process.
When and where you can perform your job skills has new meaning today.
Firstly, your availability is important. Most companies are looking to hire immediately. If you are not available, please do not say you are and become a no show.
Secondly, many are able to work from home; some of you have travel limitations for whatever reason; there may not be work space available at the company; perhaps you can go anywhere anytime (usually pays more money). The employer might have not thought of someone truly working from home, but could perhaps adapt. Let this information become part of your resume only if you feel it is necessary at this point.
Finally, even though you think you would never relocate, most of us could make that work. You do not want to eliminate conversation that could result in that dream assignment for you. There is always time to mention specifics during the interviewing or negotiating process following the initial resume contact. You could miss the opportunity if you limit yourself with your major selling tool: your resume. Our Guide to Resume Writing contains more detailed information as well as a Sample Resume.