Thursday, October 10, 2013

Notes on Employment Messages

Writing Employment Messages

The purpose of a resume is to list all your skills and abilities.

A good resume will get you the job you want.

Your resume will always be read carefully and thoroughly.

The more good information you present about yourself in your resume, the better, so stuff your resume with every positive detail you can think of.

If you want a really good resume, have it prepared by a resume service.
The purpose of a resume is to kindle employer interest and generate an interview

All a resume can do is get you in the door.

In most cases, your resume needs to make a positive impression within 30 or 45 second; only then will someone read int in detail.

Moreover, it may be screened by a computer looking for keywords first--and if it doesn’t contain the right keywords, a human being may never see it.

You have the skills needed to prepare an effective resume, so prepare it yourself--unless the position is especially high level or specialized. Even then, you should check carefully before using a service. 

Writing an Effective Resume
A.    Plan your resume.
-        Analyze your purpose and audience, carefully to make sure your message meets employers needs.
-        Gather pertinent information about your target companies.
-        Select the best medium by researching the preferences of each employer.
-        Organize your resume around your strengths, choosing the chronological, functional, or combination structure.  (Be careful about using the functional structure.)

B.    Write your resume.
-        Keep your resume honest.
-        Adapt your resume to your audience to highlight the qualifications each employer is looking for.
-        Use powerful language to convey your name and contact information, career objective or summary of qualifications, education, work experience, skills, work or school accomplishments, and personal activities and achievements.

C.    Complete your resume.
-        Revise your resume until it is clear, concise, and compelling.
-        Produce your resume in all formats you might need: traditional printed resume in all the formats you might need: traditional printed resume, scannable, plain-text file, Microsoft Word file, HTML format, or PDF.
-        Proofread you resume to make sure it is absolutely perfect.
-        Distribute your resume using the means that cash employer prefers.

Planning Your Resume
  • Analyzing Your Purpose and Audience – When you view your resume as a persuasive business message, it’s easier to decide what should and shouldn’t be in it.
  • Gathering Pertinent Information
  • Selecting the Best Medium
  • Organizing Your Resume Around Your Strengths – the key to organizing a resume is aligning your personal strengths with both the general and specific qualities that your target employers are looking for.
  • The most successful resume convey seven qualities that employers seek: They demonstrate you (1) think in terms of results, (2) know how to get things done, (3) are well rounded, (4) show signs of career progress and professional development, (5) have personal standards of excellence, (6) are flexible and willing to try new things, and (7) communicate effectively.
  •  Although you may want to include a little information in all categories, you’ll naturally want to emphasize the information that does the best job aligning your career objectives with the needs of your target employers—and that does so without misinterpreting the facts. Do you have something in your history that might trigger an employer’s red flag? Here are some common problems and some quick suggestions for overcoming them:
Frequent Job Changes
If you have a number of short-term hobs of a similar type, such as independent and temporary assignments, try to group them under a single heading. Also past job positions were eliminated as a result of layoffs or mergers, find a subtle way to convey that information, (if not in your resume, then in your cover letter). Reasonable employers understand that many otherwise stable employees have been force to job hop in recent years. 
Gaps in History
Mention relevant experience and education you gained during employment gaps, such as volunteer or community work.
Mention-related volunteer work. List relevant course work and internships. If appropriate for the position, offer hiring incentives such as “willing to work nights and weekends.”
Tone down your resume, focusing exclusively on the experience and skills that relate to the position.
Long-term Employment with one company
Itemize each position held at the firm show “interior mobility” and increased responsibilities.
Job termination for cause
Be honest with interviews. Show that you’re a hardworking employee and counter their concerns with proof, such as recommendations and examples of completed projects. 
Criminal record
You don’t necessarily need to disclose a criminal record or time spent incarcerated on your resume, but you may e asked about it on job application forms. Laws regarding what employers may ask may vary, but if you are asked the question applies to you, you must answer truthfully, or risk being terminated later if the employer finds out. Use the interview process to explain any mitigating circumstances and to emphasize your rehabilitation and commitment to being a law-abiding, trustworthy employee.
Organizational Approaches
-        In the chronological resume, the work experience section dominates, and is placed immediately after the name and address and optional objective. You develop this section by listing your jobs sequentially in reverse order, beginning with the most recent position and working backward toward earlier jobs. Under each listing, describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, giving the most space to the most recent position. If you are just graduating from college and have limited professional experience, you can vary this chronological approach by putting your educational qualifications before your experience.   
-        The functional resume, sometimes called a skills resume, emphasizes your skills and capabilities, identifying employers and academic experience in subordinate sections. This pattern stresses individual areas of competence rather than job history.
-        The functional resume is often used by people with limited or spotty employment history, but many employers are suspicious of this format.
-        The combination resume includes the best features of the chronological and functional approaches. One approach is to group your strengths in skills cluster and then list your experience chronologically. Be aware that the combination format is not as commonly used as the chronological format, and it has two major disadvantages: (1) it tends to be longer than the chronological resume, (2) and it can be repetitious if you have to list your accomplishments.

Writing Your Resume
-        Until employers meet you in person, your resume is often the only information they have about you, so make sure the information it contains is clear and compelling.
-        Keeping Your Resume Honest
-        Resume fraud has reached epidemic proportions, but employers fighting back with more rigorous screening techniques.
-        Adapting Your Resume to Your Audience
-        Translate your past accomplishments into a compelling picture of what you can do for employers in the future. In other words, employers are certainly interested in what you’ve done for other organizations in the past, but they’re more interested in what you can do for them in the future.

Composing Your Resume
-        Draft your resume using short, crisp phrases butyl around strong verbs and nouns. Avoid using the word I, which can sound both self-involved and repetitious by the time you outline all you skills and accomplishments. Instead, start your phrases with strong action verbs such as these:
Set up

Phrase your accomplishments using active statements.
Instead of This
Write Active Statements That Show Results
Responsible for developing a new filing system
Developed a new filing system that reduced paperwork by 50 percent
I was in charge of customer complaints and all ordering problems
Handled all customer complaints and resolved all product order discrepancies
I won a trip to Europe for opening the most new customer accounts in my department
Generated the highest number of new customer accounts in my department
Member of special campus to resolve student problems with existing cafeteria assignments
Assisted in implementing new campus dining program that balances student wishes with cafeteria capacity

Name and Contact Information
-        Be sure to provide complete and accurate contact information; mistakes in this section of the resume are surprisingly common.
-        Your name and contact information constitute the heading of your resume, so include the following:
-        Name
-        Physical Address (both permanent and temporary if you’re likely to move during the hob search process.
-        E-mail address
-        Get a professional-sounding e-mail address for business correspondence (such as, if you don’t already have one.
-        Phone number(s)
-        The URL of your personal webpage or e-portfolio (if you have one)

Introductory Statement
You can put one of three things here:
-        Career objective
-        Qualifications summary 
-        Career summary

-        If you are early in your career, your education is probably your strongest selling point.
-        Work, Experience, Skills, and Accomplishments –When you describe past job responsibilities, identify the skills and knowledge that you can apply to a future job. Devote the most space to jobs that are related to your target position.
-        You can include personal accomplishments that indicate special skills or qualities that are relevant to the jobs you’re seeking.

5687 Crosswoods Drive, Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Home: (703) 987-886 Office: (703) 549-6624

Experienced international accountant and financial analyst with proven leadership planning, negotiating, and intercultural communication skills. Demonstrated ability to improve process efficiency and reduce operating costs.



Special Skills
3/2006 to present

10/2001 to 3/2005




Staff accountant/Financial Analyst
Inter-American Imports: Alexandria, Virginia
  • Prepare accounting reports for wholesale giftware importer ($15 million sales).
  • Audit financial transactions with suppliers in 12 Latin American countries.
  • Verify Sarbanes-Oxley process and reporting standards
  •  Serve as project and team leader
  • Created a computerized model to adjust accounts for fluctuations in currency exchange rates
  • Negotiated joint-venture agreements with major suppliers in Mexico and Colombia.
  • Implemented electronic funds transfer for vendor disbursements, improving cash flow and eliminating payable clerk position

Staff Accountant
Monsanto Agricultural Chemicals: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Handled budgeting, billing, and credit processing functions for the Mexico City branch
  • Audited travel & entertainment expenses for Monsanto’s 30-member Latin American sales force
  • Helped launch an online system to automate all accounting functions, improving reporting accuracy by 65%

Master of Business Administration with emphasis in international business
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Master of Business Administration Accounting
University of Texas, Austin, Texas 

Fluent in Spanish and German
Extensive business contacts in Latin America

Proficient with a wide range of financial software and systems, including Excel, Access, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP Business One

Brands himself as a management candidate with this title for his qualifications summary—and also subtly expresses his career objective.

Succinctly summarizes his qualifications for an international accounting management job; an employer can “get” who he is in a matter of seconds.

Uses side headings to make major sections easy to find.

Presents specific skills and accomplishments in easy-to-skim bullet format.

Doesn’t go into detail about education because he has been out of college for almost a decade.

Highlights a few special skills, focusing on talents that employers value in this position.

Writing Application Letters
-        Open letter by capturing the reader’s attention in a businesslike way.
-        Use specific language to clearly state you interests and objectives
-        Build interest and desire in your potential contribution by presenting your key qualifications for the job like your education, experience, and personal qualities to the job requirements.

I completed three college course in business communication, earning an A in each house, and have worked for the past year at Imperial Construction.
Using the skills gained from three semester of college training in business communication, I developed a collection system for Imperial Construction that reduced annual bad-debt losses by 25 percent. Emphasizing a win-win scenario for the company and its clients with incentives for on-time payment, the system was also credited with improving customer satisfaction.

-        Outline salary requirements only if the organization has requested that you provide them.
-        Request an interview at a time and place that is convention for the reader.
-        Make it easy to comply with your request by providing your complete contact information and good times to reach you.
-        Adapt your style for culture variations, if required.


June 16, 2009

Ms. Patricia Downings
Store Manager
840 South Oak
Town Falls, IA 50126

Dear Ms. Downing:

You want retail clerks and managers who are accurate, enthusiastic, and experienced. You want someone who cares about customer service, who understands merchandising, and who can work with others to get the job done. When you are ready to hire a manager trainee or a clerk who is willing to work toward promotion, please consider me for the job.

Working as a clerk and then as an assistant manager in a large department store has taught me how to anticipate customer problems and deliver the type of service that keeps customers coming back. Moreover, my recent BA degree in retailing, which encompassed such courses such as retailing marketing, management, and business information systems, will provide your store with a well-rounded associate. (Please refer to my enclosed resume for more information.) You’ll find that I am interested in every facet of retailing, eager to take on responsibility, and willing to continue learning thought my career.

I understand that Wal-Mart prefers to promote its managers from within the company, and I would be pleased to start with an entry-level position until I gain the necessary experience. Do you have any associate positions opening up soon? Could we discuss my qualifications? I will phone you early next Wednesday to arrange a meeting at your convenience.


Glenda Johns

Gains attention in the first paragraph by speaking directly to the reader’s needs.

Points out personal qualities that aren’t specifically stated in her resume.

Builds the reader’s interest by demonstrating knowledge of the company’s policy regarding promotion.

Focuses on the reader and displays the “you” attitude, even though the last paragraph uses the word “I.”

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