Friday, March 23, 2012

Resumes, Cover Letters and References - Oh My!

Well-rounded executive with superior people skills

If you haven’t been in the job market in a while, you’re in for a rude awakening. Everything has changed. And I mean EVERYTHING. 

First you need to update the resume. What type of resume do you want? Oh yes, there are types now. Do you need a chronological resume or a functional resume? Can’t decide? Well then there’s the hybrid resume.  

Once you complete your resume you need to have an online presence. This is the digital age, remember? The days of mailing out your resume with cover letters are gone. If you’re not internet savvy – get savvy. Fast.  

LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster,… those are just a few of the places where you need to create a profile and post your resume. And each has its own quirks. Some only accept a text version of your resume - some change the formatting when you upload. Be prepared – this can take a while. 

And you’ll need to read up on the current lingo – Google will become your best friend and translator. Here are a few tidbits I found in job postings: 

·       Value added support (as opposed to useless support?)

·       Bias for Action (is inactivity an option?)

·       Appreciation of importance of a patient-centered mission (Really?)

·       Bachelor’s Degree “perferred” (not a fan of Spell-check?)

·       Comfort in a fast-moving environment with frequent changes in scope or direction of projects (Translation: Applicant must have ADHD)

And the Insurance companies will stalk you. Apparently, they are desperate for sales people because until you ask them at least three times not to contact you they will send daily emails and call weekly. When I informed the man on the phone that I am really not interested in a Sales position, he said “We don’t do sales. We identify a need and we fill it.” 

All righty… 

And jobs have new spiffy titles now. I read a posting for a Distribution Generalist for a Publishing company – sounded interesting until I read the job requirements and realized the position is actually a newspaper delivery person.  


That Manager position at Mr Happy's Café looked appealing. They were looking for an energetic, well rounded, organized person with People skills. But it doesn't pay that well... and there's something just wrong about a place that describes itself as "Your Daddy's Stripbar." 

I think I may have found my dream job though. This is even better than that Walmart Greeter.  I want to drive the train at the Mall.

All Aboard!!! I'd call it the Bear Express

Check out these wheels!

I could cruise slowly like a shark around the mall... sneak up behind some doofus on his cell phone and... 


I'd ring that big bell just to see him jump. Oh man, what fun. Whole lotta play value here.  

Well a girl can dream…

For those of you who are still searching for a job, here are a few tips: 

  • Be sure your email address is professional looking – “HotsieTotsie at Hotmail” may send the wrong message to a potential employer (Unless he’s Mr. Happy).
  • Adjust your privacy settings on Facebook. Those drunken half-naked pictures from your BFF’s bachelorette party won’t get you the job (Unless it’s at Mr. Happy’s Café). If you want to see what your online rep is, just Google yourself. You’d be surprised what comes up.
  • Keep track of all your logins and passwords. Not only do all of the job search sites have secure logins, but many companies use a digital application service that requires you to create a profile just to apply.
  • Be sure to have everything ready before you start the application process (resume, cover letter, references, etc). Take your time – but not too much time. Applying for jobs online sounds like it should be fast. Yeah, not so much. Some applications are 12-15 pages long and if you take too long, it times out. Everything lost, start over. (Scroll to the bottom of the application page – make use of the “save and complete later” button if you need to stop for any reason)
  • Don’t get discouraged if you get no reply. Most employers utilize a software program that scans resumes for key words – if yours doesn’t hit those keys, the resume drops into a black cyber hole (formerly known as the circular file). Count yourself lucky if you get auto replies.

 Most of all… keep your chin up and know you’re not alone.

Bear hugs to ya…

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for mentioning us in your post! We also have a Canadian site that you readers may find jobs on or you can follow our Canadian Twitter account: @CareerBuilderCA. Have a great day!