Monday, August 22, 2005

Origin of the Resume

Ever wonder how resumes got started? Today’s resume began in feudal England as a letter of introduction from a Lord or Head of the local Guild when a man traveled to another part of the Kingdom. It evolved to the Curriculum Vitae and finally to what we know today as a resume.

Curriculum Vitae is Latin for “course of ones life”. It comes from the Romans who invaded old Britain in 54BC and after the breakup of the Roman Empire and independence of
Britain, was brought into the vocabulary as an individual’s introduction.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Time Savers for the Job Hunter

Looking for a job can be a full time job! It can be particularly challenging to find the time to conduct a quality search when you are currently employed. If you begin your search in an organized fashion, you'll not only save time but also be able to more quickly locate information that may be critical to the interview process.

Here are some ideas to help you manage your job search:

  • Get organized. Set up folders in your email client to sort the information you send out as well as the information you receive. If you organize folders by date it is easy to go back for follow ups. Use a notebook for notes you take during phone interviews and information you collect during an interview. Separate each company with dividers and it will make it easy to refer back to the information.

  • Set a time of day to check mail and do follow ups. If you’re actively job searching and waiting for interview information, you may need to do this several times during the day.

  • Set up bookmarks. Organize your bookmarks in folders such as job boards, reference sites, company sites, etc. This will make it quicker to check sites you want to visit frequently to see if there are updates.

  • Make use of automation tools. Many job boards allow you to set up an automatic “agent” that will email you new results that fit your criteria. This is much quicker than searching each site every day.

  • Use sites that search for you. There are several sites that compile lists of jobs on the Internet and email you the results. Some of these include and

Good luck with your job search!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Networking Tips

Making and keeping business contacts is an important asset in your career, not just when you are looking for a job.

Here are a few quick ideas to assist you with networking:

  • Check for local business groups and job seeker groups for face-to-face meetings. Many churches offer these services or have information on groups in the area.

  • Don’t overlook online sources for networking. There are numerous free sites on the Internet, such as LinkedIn, that can be great resources for getting right to the hiring managers and decision makers.

  • Remember it’s a two-way street. See what you can do to help the other party.

  • Don’t forget to thank every contact, even if they weren’t able to help you this time.

  • Get contact information and keep in touch.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is it time to ask for a raise?

After the economic difficulties of the last few years, many individuals remain “under” employed. If you’re thinking about looking for a job only because you feel you are underpaid, rather than leaving an opportunity you otherwise enjoy, now may be the time to ask for a raise.

It is important to plan your request so that you stand the best chance of getting the raise you want and deserve. Here are some points to consider:

  • Do your homework on your company’s compensation plan. Make sure you know your company’s policies on raises including any maximum amount and specific times when raises are given.

  • Do your research on your supervisor’s expectations. How is your performance measured? Have you had a recent performance evaluation?

  • Make a list of your achievements. Especially consider any of your efforts that have resulted in an addition to your company’s bottom line.

  • Know what the competitor’s make. Research salary information to see if other companies are paying more for a similar position.

  • Ask for the raise. Remember to be professional and businesslike. Being prepared with the reasons and justifications for your raise, point out the specific contributions you have made. Be prepared to state how much of a raise you should be given.

  • If you don’t get the raise now, ask when you might be reconsidered and if you need to do anything additional to make the answer a “yes” next time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Preparing for an Interview by Researching

Prior to your interview, find out specific facts about the company: where its branches are located, what its products are, what its growth has been, and what its growth potential is for the future. Take a look at their recent press releases and find out information about their indusry and their competitors. It's hard to do too much research.

One of the easiest places to start is by checking the company's home page. Some publications and websites (available in the public library or on the Internet) providing this kind of information are:

• Company Annual Reports
• Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers
• Moody's Manuals
• Fitch Corporation Manuals
• MacRae's Bluebook
• Standard and Poor's Corporation Records
• Poor's Register of Directors and Executives
• Dun & Bradstreet Reference Book
SEC's database of corporate 10k statements
American Society of Association Professionals
Professional Associations

Spending some time learning about the company so that you can ask informed questions can make the difference between an average interview and a great one!
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