Out of Sight…Out of Mind


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Your Own Kind of Resume


by Erin Kennedy

Most resume advice tells you to use the classic resume sections when writing a resume: a header with name and contact information, work history, additional skills and education. Keeping the resume uniform simple makes it an easy and quick read for hiring managers. But what if you have one of those “creative” arts careers where the traditional resume sections just do not highlight your skills and experience? This is where you need to know what the industry standards are for a resume.

For example, if you are a singer, it is not enough to list the groups, opera companies or choruses with which you sang. You should have a resume section labeled “Repertoire” or something similar to highlight the music pieces you have performed, the venue where you performed and under which conductor, if applicable, as well as city, state and dates of performance. In addition, you should also have a section on your resume dedicated to listing the voice teachers and vocal coaches with whom you have studied. All of this type of information is key information for all musicians, not just singers.

Apprenticeships or internships are another key piece of information on resumes for those who create things with their hands. Furniture makers, musical instrument makers and glassblowers are all examples of careers where the apprenticeship is important to the artist’s career. These experiential opportunities can last for years before an artist is considered competent in her field. Where you apprenticed may very well determine where you spend the remainder of your career.

Find out from mentors, friends or colleagues what needs to be on your resume if you have such a singular, creative career. Be thorough in what you list so that your reader can trace the development of your skills and career. If you are having someone else craft your resume for you, be sure that writer understands your resume needs and how they differ from a traditional resume.

Bottom-line is this: create your resume so it is uniquely YOU. While there are some basic guidelines necessary to adhere to (keywords needed for keyword-scanning machines), today’s resume are a little less strict then they were 10 years ago. Let your brand and authentic-ness shine throughout your resume and chances are, you’ll be just the kind of person they were looking for!

About the Author

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 12+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.

As a proud member of Career Directors International (CDI), National Resume Writers Association (NRWA), Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), and Career Thought Leaders (CTL), Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals. http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! www.whatsforwork.com

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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Why a cover letter is still needed


by Erin Kennedy

Cover Letter

Source: cache.lifehacker.com

Your resume is a snapshot of your education and career experience. It even gives your contact information, skills, interests and awards. So why do so many employers still ask for a cover letter? Think of it as your introduction to your reader, or an invitation to speak to them directly. Your cover letter serves as notice to an employer that you are applying for a specific position.

1st paragraph—Introduction. Take advantage of this “conversation” and list the position title you are applying for and any identifying position number in the opening paragraph. You can also mention here if you heard about the position through a colleague, friend, or someone who knows that person i.e. “Jenny Stone told me the position of Project Manager was still available and that my experience would be a perfect fit.”

2nd paragraph—Experience. The resume states your experience, so use the second paragraph to explain how your experience will help the employer. Summarize some of the successes you’ve had and how you can do these for them. Try not to create a duplicate of your resume here—that is boring and repetitious—but rather a brief synopsis. The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself as the right candidate, not the most boring candidate. List any requested information such as salary history or expectations here. Give a wide salary range to leave yourself some negotiation room should you land this position. You can also address why you want this position and how you stand out from any other candidates applying for it.

3rd paragraph—Summary. The third paragraph can briefly sum up important points, why you are ‘the one’ for them, and why they need to call you. State how you will be following up with the employer. If the ad you respond to tells you not to call, then don’t. Overzealous follow-up can land you on a recruiter’s black list. Be succinct in the last paragraph. You do not need to describe how you can be reached. That information is on the resume. You may want to add that you will be contacting them the following week so you will have some control over it and won’t be waiting by the phone for them to call.

Close out the letter with Sincerely and your full name. If you are sending a paper copy of your cover letter, be sure to sign it in the space between Sincerely and your typed name. You can email your cover letter as well. Copy and paste your content into the body of the cover letter and attach your resume to the email.

In this era of technology and instant information, employers still like the ‘old-fashioned’ introduction of you via cover letter as they will never go out of style.

About the Author

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 12+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.

As a proud member of Career Directors International (CDI), National Resume Writers Association (NRWA), Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), and Career Thought Leaders (CTL), Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals. http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com

Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! www.whatsforwork.com

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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Transitioning from Career to Stay-at-Home Mom


by Teri Hockett

Whew! Moms who stay at home… what a big decision you made, and I know it was not easy. There are many considerations when you are weighing the options of stepping out of the paid workforce; financial, emotional, and career to say the least. For me, the overriding issue was guilt!

I was struggling with all the guilt that comes with being a working mom. When I was at work I was feeling guilty about not being home with my children; when I was at home I was feeling guilty about not getting my work done, or letting my colleagues and boss down.

It seemed like my mind was never in the same place as my body. Instead of being able to really enjoy each moment, all I could focus on was what wasn’t getting done.

When the opportunity presented itself after the birth of my second child I jumped on it. My husband and I worked out the details and I was no longer working for pay. I had great plans in addition to being a full-time mom. I was going to organize the family photos, make play dates for the girls, have a regular workout schedule, coffee with friends, and keep the house clean.

Years later those pictures are still not organized, but I did relish every moment with my girls. We have many wonderful memories. I loved being able to walk them to and from school, and be there for homework with homemade cookies; it was picture-perfect.

After about ten years in this ideal situation I was ready to go back to work part-time. Now came the difficult part, trying to reconstruct my previous work life. Having gone thru the process, I discovered some things below that would of been good to know back then.

4 Tips Before and During the Transition

1. Take a Snap Shot

Write and/or update your resume as soon as you make the transition, while all the information is readily available. While things are fresh in your mind you want to think about your Problem Solution Results (PSRs); what were the problems that you were presented with at work, what solutions did you implement, and what were the results of your actions. It’s also ideal to capture your Statistical Measurable Results (SMRs) for each position that you have held.

2. Stay Connected

Stay in contact with colleagues, regardless if you’re working with them or not. Make sure to attend business seminars and conferences to stay current in your field/industry. Consider continuing your education as well.

3. Keep your Certifications

Find out what it takes to keep any certifications or licenses you currently hold. It will be easier to keep your certifications valid, compared to reinstating them. Plus, you will keep your knowledge current.

4. Capture Valuable Information

As a stay-at-home mom you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in a variety of activities. Such as:

  • Caring for an ill family member or aging parent.
  • Managing a home remodeling project.
  • Raising your children and running a household.
  • Volunteering: PTA, Cub Scout Leader, charities.

It’s all valuable information about you. You control whether or not this information appears on your resume. However the skills and experiences during your time off say something about you and help when you are ready to re-enter the workforce. Begin by creating a list of what you have done and the skills you have used, such as:

  • Organized information
  • Mentored or managed others
  • Oversaw a budget
  • Contracted with other companies

Think about how often you handled these activities and the value they contribute. You are now in possession of job-worthy skills that can be successfully translated into a new job opportunity. Throughout this process, update your resume. Whether or not you will ever return to the paid workforce is typically your decision (other times it is dictated by circumstances), but wouldn’t it be great if you were prepared.

What’s For Work? is here to help you prepare, by providing you a place to document your past work experience and capture what you are currently doing while it’s still fresh in your mind. Let us help you translate the value of your skills and experience to your profile and resume, so you’ll be ready down the road.

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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