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August 2011

Be a job search turn-around specialist

It's hard to get away from it — the job market news is bleak. And the feature stories often headline a job seeker's hunt that's lasted six months, a year, even two years. “Oh, no,” you think. “Will that be MY story?”

Let's take a look at how you can make the best of this job market and turn things around.

  1. Rather than sending out 400 resumes in six weeks (as one true story revealed), be choosy — yes, even in this job market. Let's say your professional field is marketing and you're applying for a lower paying customer service position. Find at least 2-3 skills and responsibilities in that job description that appeal to you, that you can get excited about. Then build your case for that job in your personalized cover letter and in your resume.
  2. Customize your resume to fit the job you're targeting. Employers LOVE to see what they need rather than what you want. They will not have the time to sift through unrelated job duties. Use a headline across the top of your resume with three key job functions that are your trademark.
  3. Use a brief quote from a colleague or supervisor in your LinkedIn profile, your summary statement of your resume and/or one in your letter. What are you known for?
  4. Write a value statement about yourself and include it in your marketing messages, social networking sites, letter and/or the summary of your letter. What do you bring to the table?
  5. Get away from your computer! Spend a couple of hours in the public library each week and read up on everything in your field. Stay in-the-know. Include an appropriate piece of information in your cover letter in your opening paragraph.

Even though there aren't enough jobs to go around, you will increase your chances of getting an interview and a job offer by broadcasting your niche, your uniqueness, your passions.

See if you can't make that next feature your success story!

Kathleen Martinek, former UNCG alumni career counselor, has more than 15 years of experience in career development and corporate management.









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