Update Your Resume With An Imaginary Job!

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Here's a little pick me up for those times when the job search just feels sucky. Open your resume and save as another file. I like to call them Play files. Imagine the job you’re going for, maybe it’s your dream job, the job you want right now or an open position you’ve found that you’re going to pursue. Using job boards and company websites can give you great job titles and descriptions.  At the start of your resume work history simply add the job title and paste the job description below. Re-format to fit the rest of the resume. Embellish each job duty as if you were responsible for it and totally rocked it. For instance:

Assistant Account Manager-Super Duper Ad Agency

  • Manage company web site with daily copy updates. Contributed new section highlighting company employees.

Add the rest.

Take a long look, imagine this is your new job and you’ve just updated your resume to include it. Sure this is a bit of fakery and it may seem silly but sometimes just  imagining your preferred outcome (and in this case actually viewing it) can help you reach that goal! Don’t give up!


The Ten-Minute Job Search

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate AfterSchool Career Workshops

Looking for a job doesn’t always have to be an all-day, um, job. There are things you can do in just a few minutes that will take the edge off the anxiety when you might not have time for a deeper commitment. Here are five things to choose from that you can do in ten minutes to keep your momentum going.

Photo Courtesy of Jon Jordan


Using Action Verbs To Dress Up Your Resume

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Once there was a little sentence that no one noticed. It was bland and boring and sort of sad. It lay on a resume just hoping to be noticed. People read it and then went on with their lives, never remembering what it said or even who wrote it. It was a lonely little sentence and when it finally admitted it needed help (for admitting you need help is the first step) it went looking for an active verb or two to turn its life around.  It discovered an active verb list in the land of Internet and began to add them to itself.  It ventured out and invited more active verbs to join it.


Does Your Resume Bore Even You?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

How’s your resume? Have you read it, really read, it in the past month? If not, open it up and dust it off. A resume is a living document and should be reevaluated regularly. And if you're not getting the responses you expect from it this is definitely the time to examine the content.

Read it carefully and think about what you’ve learned in your job search since you created it, asking yourself these questions:


Mastering the Bad Interview

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

We’ve all read some great advice on how to ace an interview and get hired (if you're a hiring manager here are a couple of tips for you, too) but we sometimes make the mistake of thinking we’re interviewing in a perfect world. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible you’ll meet with someone who doesn’t actually know how to conduct an interview. 


Knowing Job Titles Makes You Look More Smarter

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

So what do you want to do with your life? You’ve just graduated from college or maybe you’re about to enter your final year. Hopefully (definitely) you’re working on a job search and reaching out to build your network. In a perfect world you know tons of people who can help you, you’re perfecting your communication skills and your resume reads like Tolstoy. Well maybe not Tolstoy because that would mean it’s really long and no one ever finishes it. But you get what I’m saying. The entry-level job world is out there waiting and so you gather your courage and apply for…? What? Do you know the job titles and duties of the positions you’re qualified for? No? Do you know the diff between a communications coordinator and a communications manager? A documents administrator and a documents liaison? I made those last two up but they probably exist somewhere. It’s tough to network and speak about yourself if you’re unfamiliar with what you’re qualified for or know the job titles that exist in your chosen profession. Just throwing a resume out there with a cover letter saying, “whatever you think I’m qualified for” is asking for an eye roll and the electronic version of oblivion. You are in charge of what you’re qualified for.


What do you want, an invitation?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

I am a procrastinator. I’ve been putting off writing this blog. No good reason, I love to write and since this is also my job I need to get off my tuchus and do this. But you see, I have a Facebook ad to put into play, I need to Tweet something of interest to our followers that won’t get lost in between the teeth whitening mom and the wingnut that thinks our President is from Venus. I have to get my son enrolled in school and vacuum my house. Actually that should be first.

So I get it. You’re in college and there are things you’d rather be doing than thinking about getting a job when they make you leave after graduation. Especially now when things are just crappy for college grads.

But a job search can’t start too soon. And if you think that means just looking for posted job openings you should come and join us in 2010. The vast majority of entry-level jobs aren’t posted.  A job posting costs the employer money so they’re reserved for upper level positions that are harder to fill. And that means it’s time to buckle down and do your homework. Don’t you hate that cliché? But it’s absolutely true. You will have to build a network, learn everything you can about companies in the city you choose to live in, figure out where the jobs are and learn to speak about yourself in a way that makes people want to help you. Oh yeah and then there’s that pesky resume and cover letter, interview skills, follow up, offer negotiation and you’re thinking about taking a nap now aren’t you? Can’t blame you there. But all of those things I just typed are things your competition isn’t doing. They’re sitting and surfing for openings on Monster.com and wondering why no one is calling them back. So think of this as working without a job. You wouldn’t go to work and complain that you have to work would you? Would you accept a job and then tell your new boss you’ll come in when you get around to it? Don’t wait to work at getting work. No one performs well when they’re panicked. At least not for long and certainly not at their best.

So get off your tuchus and get to work.


Oh the resume!

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Oh the resume! That 100K bit of information that can lead to an interview or lead to nowhere. It’s a confounding document, there are disasters lurking in the margins, disinterest in the bullet points and some more time in your parent’s basement in the objective statement. You’re not sure if an employer will care if you were an Eagle Scout, delivered pizzas or are a champion Scrabble player. It can be terrifying to hit “Send” and know it’s now out of your hands.
But you are so capable of delivering a confident document; you just don’t know it yet. An entry-level resume can be viewed as the easiest record of your qualifications that you’ll ever compose. A smart employer (and you DO want to work for a smart employer) knows that you are unformed and untested. They look forward to hiring entry-level talent as a way to get the best and brightest combined with the high energy that a new graduate can bring. Therefore your first obligation to your resume is to emphasize what you’ve learned so far, how it prepares you to move into the working world and what you’re looking forward to as you do. A potential employer will appreciate a concise assessment of all of this; don’t make them work to find out who you are, they don’t like to do that. Ever.
Whatever you list, whether it’s the curriculum you studied, internships, summer or full-time jobs or volunteer efforts don’t just put them as bullets points of history. What did you learn? Don’t just say, “answered phones, took orders, joined the PR club” How did each of these experiences move you forward? Did they inspire you in any way?

Try this:
You worked at Target for a summer, you want to put down:
• Worked cash register
• Stocked shelves
• Worked at returns desk


What you might say:
I learned the importance of customer service by going above and beyond my job duties to make sure they were satisfied. I gained patience and empathy while working at the returns desk and became proficient at company policy.

You can make your resume much more attractive just by staying away from merely stating your duties or memberships. You’re probably not aware of how you benefited from your experiences but if you think hard about each item you’re listing you’ll find a way to make it a positive outcome.

Here again:
• Member of Public Relations Society of America.


What you might say:
• As a two year member of my PRSA chapter I headed our charity fundraiser, recruited volunteers and we exceeded our goals. It was a positive experience and made me aware of my leadership qualities.

Or if you just went to meetings, paid attention and took something away from your membership you can still say:
• Member of PRSA-attended meetings consistently and gained insight into industry organizations and their goal of continued professional development.

See? You can expand your education and experiences to make yourself much more appealing and interesting simply because through these experiences you HAVE become much more appealing and interesting. Don’t sell yourself short!