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Writing an Effective Resume: Your Questions

May 2, 2011

Your Questions on Writing an Effective Resumé…

What are “red flags” when I should start a job search?

By Judy Robbins

Today, people commonly change jobs several times over the course of their careers. They are simply unable to predict the future of a changing job market or industry.

Be proactive and prepare for the unforeseen by keeping your resumé up to date. If you don’t currently have a resumé, make creating one a priority.

If writing this important career document is beyond your interest or scope, consider hiring a qualified resumé writer. Define your career goal, know your worth in the job market, and refine your resumé to best reflect you. You will then be ready to jump on an unexpected opportunity or counteract an unwanted job loss.


Possible reasons for a job search:

  • You want to make more money.
  • You are bored with your job.
  • You want to change careers.
  • You are getting passed over for promotion.
  • The job outlook in your field is bleak.
  • You are experiencing job burnout.
  • The stress level in your job is too great.
  • You lost your job through downsizing or were let go.
  • You were laid off or are afraid you will be.

How do I write a great resumé targeted to the job I want?

Research companies and job descriptions:

  • You will find career information from the U.S. Department of Labor and basic job information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Outlook Occupational Handbook
  • To identify hot industries and occupations search America’s Job Bank and America’s Career InfoNet. You can go directly to company websites that interest you and research your target job descriptions. While there, get names, mailing addresses, emails, and phone numbers of company hiring managers to contact directly (not human resources). You may also call and get this information from a receptionist if it’s not on the web site.
  • Write out your chosen job target in a clear, brief statement describing your job objective. You may not want to use this statement on your resumé but it will be a working statement for you to focus on. You can add the objective statement to your cover letter that you will tailor for each job opening.

Read Inspiring and Helpful Books:

  • What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press, 2010 Edition
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love, Preparing for The New Normal, by Dan Miller, B&H Publishing, 2010 Edition
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1996 Edition
  • Swim With the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive, by Harvey Mackay, Ballantine Books, 1988

Upcoming post describes details you need for an effective resumé.

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