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Job Search Basics

5 Basic Cover Letter Questions Answered

What is a cover letter and why do you need one? Get the answers to these and other basic questions about this very important and misunderstood job seeker tool.  More »

3 Resume Writing Tips to Stand Out Among Hundreds

There's a saying that success means doing what others won't. And that's especially true when it comes to resume writing. Not to rattle your confidence, but it's common for employers to receive over a hundred resumes for a single job opening. Plenty of them aren't even from qualified candidates. But that still leaves a boatload of resumes. Follow these 3 simple resume rules to grab the employer's attention.  More »

3 Questions to Guide You Toward a Good Internship

If you're in college, recently graduated, or looking to do an internship as part of a midlife career change, here are three things you need to ask yourself about an internship opportunity.  More »

Basic Resume Formatting Rules

The overall look and feel of your resume may seem trivial compared to what your resume says, but it's not. Visual elements such as font type, size, and style, along with margins and indents, make a difference for first impressions. Here are a few guidelines for creating a resume that's readable and inviting.  More »

13 Cover Letter Do's and Don'ts

Cover letters can be the deciding factor between getting called for an interview or being passed up for another candidate who submitted something better. To make sure your cover letter helps you land the interview, keep these do's and don'ts in mind when you're writing.  More »

7 Resume Writing Tips for Your Education Section

These seven guidelines will help you determine how to complete the Education section of your resume. They'll help you decide what to include, what to leave out, and what to do about that school you attended but didn't graduate.  More »

New Grads: How to Prepare for Your First Interview

As a new college grad, do you know what to expect from your first job interview in the 9-5 working world? You're smart enough to know that it'll be a lot different than any job interviews you've had before, but just how different will it be? Find out in this post.  More »

Phone Interview Survival Tips

The phone interview (more aptly called a phone screen) is becoming more and more popular as the first step in the hiring process. If you haven't had one yet, you will, so it's essential to get yourself primed and ready before the phone rings.  More »

Your Guide to Job References

Let's talk about references. Do you even need them anymore? If so, who should they be? And when do you hand over your reference list to the employer? This post will answer those questions, and give you the long and short of what you need to know about employment references in today's job market.  More »

50 Action Words for Your Resume

One of the biggest complaints HR reps have about resumes is not enough action words! Every resume needs punch-packing, meaningful action words to impress readers. If yours is missing that punch, read this post and update your resume!  More »

What to Say in Your Cover Letter

No matter how much advice is out there, a lot of job seekers still seem baffled by the concept of using cover letters. They wonder if they really need a cover letter (yes); if it should just repeat what's in the resume (no); if it has to be customized for every job (yes), and how long it should be (1 page max). But the burning question, the one that really seems to gets people's knickers in a twist, is: What should I say in my cover letter?  More »

What You Need to Know Before You Sign a Job Offer

Get it in writing! You've probably heard the phrase many times. Whether it's an IOU, a business agreement, or a job offer, documenting something in writing helps ensure that it will protect all parties' interests and hold everyone to a commitment they have made or plan to make. That's why it's important for a job seeker to get the specifics of a job offer in writing before taking the job.  More »

Interview Question: Tell Me about a Time You Failed

There are times in our lives when certain events offer a heaping dose of humility. Maybe that humble moment was being laid off or fired from a job you thought seemed so secure. But humility can teach you valuable lessons, and it can help you in the job interview.  More »

The 3 Pillars of a Solid Job Search Strategy

Need a new job but don't know how or where to begin? Before you start networking or surfing the web for job postings, recognize these three pillars that can help you refine and perfect how you present yourself and your skills to potential employers: your resume, your web presence, and your interview skills.  More »

The Job Search Followup Guide You Can't Live Without

Job searching is time-consuming and tricky, but what can be even more complex is figuring out when the right time is to follow up on each action you take toward landing that next job. That's where a schedule comes in handy. Use these guidelines to take the guesswork out of finding the right time to contact employers after each step in your job search.  More »

Resume Writing for the Clueless II: Your Summary

If I could give the clueless job seeker only one piece of resume writing advice, it would be this: Start your resume with a summary of your best qualifications. Beginning the resume with this kind of short preview of your most impressive and relevant accomplishments, skills, and experience helps readers see within seconds how you fit their needs.  More »

Resume Writing for the Clueless: Contact Info

Educational institutions teach us lots of things that will (theoretically) help us succeed in our jobs. But they rarely teach us how to write a resume, which is what you need to get hired for those jobs. As a result, we have a lot of otherwise smart people who are pretty much clueless when it comes to resume writing. In this post, you'll find basic Dos and Don'ts for providing contact information (name, address, phone, email) at the top of your resume. (We'll cover other resume sections in upcoming posts.)  More »

Create an Attractive Resume Employers Will Notice

There are rules for resume writing that are pretty standard and widely accepted by professional resume writers and hiring managers. But what about resume format and style? Can employers really be so picky about appearance that they ignore how well-written and on target your experience and qualifications are?  More »

Writing a Resume When You Have No Experience

Getting a job can be hard for anyone, even a highly experienced professional who has successfully navigated several job changes. But it can be particularly challenging if you have no experience in the field you want to work in. If this describes you, this post provides you with resume tips and hope.  More »

Top 4 Body Blunders in the Job Interview

Despite what you may have assumed about the term body blunders, I'm not talking about passing gas - though you should try REALLY hard not to let that happen in an interview. I'm talking about your body language and the signals your movements send. Here's a short list of the biggest body blunders that could ruin your interview - no matter how skilled or qualified you are.  More »

What the Heck Is "Networking" and How Do I Do It?

You know how everybody always says networking is the best way to get a job? Well, I have a dirty little secret: For the longest time, I had no idea what networking was. People would say, networking just means relationship-building. OK. But what does that mean, exactly? When I finally grasped the concept, I realized I'd been doing it all along. In fact, the essence of networking is so simple I can summarize it in two words: Being. Friendly.  More »

Never Go to a Job Interview Without These 10 Things

In a perfect world, you could act like Goldilocks in your job interviews, trying different options until everything was just right. If your chair was too hard, or your interviewer was a twit, you could switch to a better one. Unfortunately, that's a fairy tale. You're pretty much stuck with the chair or the interviewers you're given. You can't control everything, but you can control how prepared you are and what you take with you. Here are 10 must-have and 7 nice-to-have items that the well-prepared job seeker should carry to the interview...  More »

Dumbass Mistakes New Grads Make in Interviews

In a recent CareerBuilder poll, more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals were asked to identify the biggest mistakes new college graduates make during the application and interview process. Based on the percentage of respondents who gave each answer, these are the top 8 dumbass moves among new grads  More »

Job Search Virgin's Guide to Finding New Jobs Online

Are you a job search virgin, trying to get hired for the very first time? Or maybe you're a born-again virgin; you've been around the job search block plenty of times ... just not in this decade. Even if you fancy yourself to be quite the skillful job searcher, you might find these shortcuts useful when you search for jobs online.  More »

How to Email Your Cover Letter the Right Way

The topic for this post came straight from a former co-worker who recently went through the whole job-search process. She wanted to know what the best subject line for an email in response to a job ad is, and if you should attach the cover letter to the email or copy and paste it into the body. I did the research, and here are the answers.  More »

7 Phrases You Should Never Have on Your Resume

When I was a teenager, the comedy of George Carlin, who died this week, was a godsend that could brighten the worst of days. To honor his controversial 7 Words You Can Never Say on TV, here's a list of seven words and phrases you shouldn't include on your resume. Chances are this list won't serve as the basis for a Supreme Court case, as George's did.  More »

Top 3 Resume Formats: Which One Is Right for You?

Quick! Name the top three resume formats in use today and who should use which one! OK. Just kidding. If you knew the answer, there'd be no reason for this post. If you're trying to create a resume on your own, or simply want to know the difference between Chronological, Functional, and Hybrid resumes, then this post is for you.  More »

Stay Cool on the Hot Seat: 2 Tough Interview Questions

Certain interview questions are enough to unnerve the most prepared job candidate. Two that come to mind are: What do you think is your greatest weakness? and What do you like least about your current (or most recent) job? They may seem like ridiculous questions, but you have to answer them because being evasive could cost you a chance at landing a great career opportunity.  More »

5 Ways to Cover Your Web Tracks

You've heard the warning before: If you want something to be private, don't post it online. In the age of social networking, ignoring that warning could prove disastrous. It's no secret anymore that recruiters and hiring managers use the Internet to filter candidates before they even make initial contact. If you're on the hunt for a new job, follow these five tips to cover your own web tracks.  More »

The 5 'Must Knows' of Job Interview Preparation

You've impressed an employer with your resume and they called you to schedule an interview. You're ecstatic. Now, it's time to get over the ecstasy and start preparing for the interview. How do you prepare properly? Follow our five must knows of interview preparation.  More »

4 Easy Steps to a Powerful Resume Objective

Despite its name, your resume Objective is not supposed to state your objective. At least not exclusively. Like every other part of your resume, the Objective should demonstrate the value you can bring to the employer. Here's an easy four-step system for building an impressive Objective that will contribute to your real objective of getting an interview and getting hired.  More »

5 Ways to Screw Up Your Cover Letter Greeting

You probably think the greeting of your cover letter (the Dear... line) is pretty simple. After all, it has only four little parts: the Dear, the Title, the Last Name, and the Colon [:]. How can you screw that up? Ah, we have our ways. In fact, there are at least five common mistakes people make in their cover letter greetings.  More »

Top 10 Things to NOT Put in a Resume

With apologies to David Letterman, here's a list of top 10 things you should not put in a resume, along with possible responses from employers - well, more likely kept to themselves.  More »
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