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5 Must Have Tools for Your Job SearchCareer Gurus

1 – Resume/CV

2 – Cover Letter

3 – Business Card

4  - Social Media Profile

5 – Brand Attitude

Resume Overview:

Employers spend on average around 10 – 20 seconds on each resume. Sending an employer your resume is the only contact you will have with them unless they decide they want to speak with you. In any case t

hat piece of paper is the only introduction you have and will determine how far you get in the process. You will want to make a great first impression and improve your chances of getting those opportunities. It is pretty easy if you consider some of my proven shortcut suggestions, your chances will increase.

How to build Personal Branding into your IT resume?

Tip 1: Understand Your Brand

Branding Power Winner

Brand people wins in today's job competition

Tip 2: Create Your Brand

Tip 3: Believe in Your Brand

Tip 4: Sell Your Brand

Tip 5: Update Your Brand

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20 things you should know about your resume layout:

Highlight important information such as your name, personal brand statement and section headings with bold and larger font size.

Use at least 10 point font size for the smallest text on your resume, (Use at least 12 point for any font in the Times family).

Identify personal interests that are pertinent to the job objective. This should be omitted if space is limited.

Don’t use the header function of your MS Word resume. When viewed on a computer screen, text in the header looks much lighter than the text in the body of the page. Not good! considering it contains the most important information, ex: your name and contact information.

Focus on responsibilities, accomplishments, and not duties. Emphasize with each employer section what skills were needed, how that improved the company and what was accomplished in terms of ($ saved; # reports; > revenue, etc.).

Organize your resume according to the specific job classification. Ex: Information technology employees should emphasize technical skills while civil engineers should emphasize construction projects.

Avoid using resume style templates such as Microsoft Word templates.

Career change resumes should emphasize associated skills and not past job titles and experience.

Don’t list your work experience beyond 6 – 10 years and 3 – 4 pages. You could have age discrimination problems and lose the interest of the employer.

Use bullet lines format with each specific employer responsibilities description, accomplishments and skills list.

Always include the month/year dates of employment with each employer. Be smart to illustrate the employment gabs.

Always select descriptive keywords for the skills and job responsibilities: managed, designed, implemented, lead, documented, improved, etc.

Proper sentence structure is a must. Have someone proof read your resume and use Microsoft word or any word processor that tags grammar errors. Don’t forget to spell check with your word processor or dictionary software.

Don’t put references on your resume. Unnecessary calls will annoy your references. You want control over what references are called and when, making sure they are available before give them to employers.

Avoid long rambling sentences. Be creative when describing your work experience and don’t repeat the same phrasing. Enrich your resume with targeted job keyword.

Get the sentence tense correct when describing past and present work experience.

Do not add a lot of personal information. Keep it to your interests and career related.

Don’t use your personal email as a contact. Have an email account with your proper name. Hotmail and Gmail work however the best solution is a paid email account where filtering wont occur at a company firewall. Professional Email example: mohammed@brandmycareer.com

Make sure your resume format is standard. The standard Microsoft Word 2003 and PDF formats should work with most employers. Microsoft Word 2007 documents must be saved as a Word 2003 file. Older versions of Microsoft Word can not read the newer 2007 format.

Keywords are industry specific jargon that communicates a message about your qualifications, accomplishments, credentials or responsibilities. Keywords are action-driven and should demonstrate your value to the company. It is must have in the resume.

Cover Letter Overview:

Q: Define Cover Letter?

A: Cover Letter is an introduction of you to a total stranger.

This total stranger may be your next employer. Its important that your cover letter  be compelling, personable and crispy. It also needs to be specifically related to the position for which you are applying for.

“Over 80% of recruiters surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management said cover letters are a “necessity.”

20 things you should know about your cover letter layout:

You MUST customize each letter toward the specific hiring authority, company and opportunity.

Don’t write a generic cover letter, writing a generic cover letter is similar to telling a salesperson you want a laptop that have tracking system in case its stolen, and then he/she starts telling you all about the laptop’s biometric access. Yes, it’s a great feature but it’s not what you want. So do you care? I don’t think so.

The letter should be no longer than one page so it is important to feature only the strongest points in your cover letter.

Read the the ad of the job 3-4-5 times, the ad is the company telling you exactly what they want. Tolerate your experience to match their needs.

Pick three important aspects of the ad’s job requirements and give an example of each from your career. Lead with their words, not your synonyms.

Keep your paragraphs to 6 lines max. More than that is too much text for the eye to follow and rather than read or skimmed, your words are skipped.

Focus on your achievements, you need to catch reader’s attention, if you fill the letter just with text  and no buzz  keywords then the trash where your letter and resume will reside.

Try not to repeat the same information they will read on your resume.

Use CAR wherever its possible, you need a specific example or two and you need it with results. Think of a Challenge you faced and describe the Actions you took and the valuable Results you have done.

The basic format for the header looks like:

June 5, 2009
Mr. Cristiano Ronaldo
1212 Stadium
Somewhere, NY 11110

The content of your cover letter should include the following:

Addressed To:

Dear Mr./Ms. [The person name],

When possible, your letter should be addressed directly to the person making the hiring decision. If you are unable to obtain that person’s name,  you can address it to a high-level executive in your area of interest. If you are answering a blind ad, you should address it to a HR manager.

You should avoid using “To Whom This May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Make sure that all names and positions are accurate and properly spelled. Make a phone call to the personnel department and verify all names, titles, contact address and departments.

The content of the first paragraph should state the reason for your letter and the specific position you are applying for. Indicate briefly how you heard about the position.

The content of the second paragraph should indicate why you are interested in the position, the company, its products or services and what you can do for that employer! If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic background makes you a qualified candidate for the position.

The content of the third paragraph should refer the reader to the enclosed resume which summarizes your qualifications, training, experience and the most important, your accomplishments.

The content of the final paragraph should indicate your desire for an interview and your flexibility on time and place. Repeat your contact information at the end of the letter. Make it easy to contact you.

The content of  the closing paragraph preferred to be simple and professional and don’t forget to personally sign each letter you send whether by hand or electronic.

Finally, close your letter with a statement which will encourage a response. One example would be stating that you will call on a certain date to set up your interview. If you take this approach, make sure you follow up on that exact date. Make them feel that you are interested in the opportunity.

A Brand Cover letter is the one that point out specific achievements or unique qualifications that differentiate you from others applying for the opportunity.

5 things you should know about your business card:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, CEO, or a consultant, everyone should have their own business card.

1 – Include the essentials. This means your name, title, company name,  logo, address, phone number, e-mail and website.

2 – A business card can make or break a client’s first impression of you or your company so keep the design simple design and the information clear and concise.

3 – Business success depends on showing potential customers that you’re different and better than your competitor. Make sure you invest in the best business card design you can afford else your card will end in the trash.

4- Paper quality, color, personal brand statement, ink and size are the foundation factors for having a brand business card.

5 – Get your business contact information printed on something that people that will remind them of you and your services or products whenever they look at such as coffee cup, pen, notepad, etc. Let your business card have GREATER Impact.

5 things you should know about your social media:

Take the advantage of social media NOW before it’s too late.

1 – Tell people who you are. Be visible!

2 – Use a professional vanity URL along with professional personal photo.

3 – Don’t create multiple social media profiles if cant maintain them.

4- Your website/blog/product is dead if you don’t market it though social media networks.

5 – Use your profile to create values for others.

5 things you should know about your brand attitude:

1 – The attitude of your brand is something that draws others to it, or puts them off.

2 – Promoting right attitude can distinguishing you as an employee or potential employee to employers.

3 – Developing your own unique brand attitude is considered not a luxury but an essential for future success so build for success.

4- DO something and develop a habit by which people can learn and benefit. Make it your favorite attitude.

5 – Reflect all positive work towards your social media networks, community and friends.

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20 things you should know about your career:

1 – Trusting co-workers can be bad for your career.

2 – Remember that hiring managers are googling you and an unsavory post on any of your networking sites may come back to haunt you.

3 – The mistakes you make are sometimes more valuable than the things you did exactly right. Admit your mistakes.

4 – Be nice to the administrative assistants; they are the key to everything because they keep the world turning.

5 – You never really get to rest. A career is about always building, always moving forward.

6 – No one will believe in you more than you.

7 – Office gossip can be positively deadly.

8 – Try to never skip Lunch. You do not earn points for working through it and it helps you stay sane.

9 – Networking is not just a buzzword: it’s the most valuable thing you can do for your career.

10 – Stay away from those who say “You Can’t”.

11 – Don’t burn your bridges behind you. You may need a reference or two eventually.

12 – Keep track of your accomplishments; no one else is obligated to do that for you.

13 – Education and training mean something. Invest in them always.

14 – The more people who support you and your ideas, the more successful you will be.

15 – Think of ways to present yourself that will set you apart from all other job candidates. Sell your talents as lifetime values to future employers, and show them you are a profit generator.

16 – Learning to look busy is a valuable survival skill.

17 – Learn from your past interviews and experiences. Develop a plan to improve your job offers ratio.

18 – If you heard something interesting from another networker/co-worker who spoke before you, re-emphasize it.

19 – The fastest way to get a job is to become a great networker.

20 – Finally, netWORK, netWORK, or no WORK!

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