Okay. I assume you read Part One and have a resume written out. Books at the library can help you with formatting the thing so it looks professional. Just don’t try to” lift” work references from the book. Your prospective employer will find out. This is the computer age, for God sakes. Now take that wonderful resume print-out and read it from an employers prospective. You have jobs here and there, in a couple different lines of work. Gosh! Your health care worker/office clerk/computer geek resume is a mish-mash of experience. Yet, Mr./Ms. Employer wants dedication. Commitment. What to do?
You have to put your jack-of-all-trades cap on and retool your resume to focus on each individual industry that you are interested in. In you health care worker resume, put the spot light on what matters most for your prospective employer. Fill the page with volunteer work and show off your skill level.
Do the same with your office clerk and computer geek resumes. Now, take the extra step and make 2 more hybrid resumes: health care experience with office clerk experience and office clerk worker with a computer geek bent. Hybrid resumes are great when you are transitioning from one career to another.
You will have plenty of extra space on the focused resumes to put in all the tiny details that would set you apart from the pack. Think long and hard about these details. Gather all those “pat on the back” moments and breathe some life back into them. Add in what you know past employers have valued in you and don’t be modest about accomplishments, especially if you can throw in a numerical value (sales up 25%, increased inventory production by $3,000 a month, losses decreased 30%, etc).
In the references section, drop in “References available upon request” and, if you don’t have them yet, get some. They come from everyday places… church members, people who are helping you in your employment search, educators from classes that you have taken. Just be sure they have a clear speaking voice, can say something good about you and your character, will be clean and sober during business hours, etc.
Once you have your resumes ready, it is time to think about cover letters (will it never end!??! you ask.) Just use the same cut and paste formula like the resume, focusing on each employment skill. Oh, and this is where it gets easy. Those books in the library with cover letter formats (the real syrupy sounding kiss-up letters), you can actually copy whole paragraphs and count them as your own. Just make sure that what you copy applies to you. Plus, you can talk about something that is already in your resume (just re-word the baby, don’t want them to think you cut and pasted from the resume). Take your cues from the job postings ad and write a cover letter emphasising that you have the experience and skills that they need. Ta-da. Now you have a wonderful introduction package to present, either on-line or through snail mail, to your prospective employer.
What’s next? Getting ready for the dreaded interview! If you are prepared ahead of time and you really like (and are interested in) the jobs you have applied for, then the interview will not be so bad… I promise. See interview tips in Part Three.