by DAVID MACFADDEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS
A couple generations ago most employers didn’t ask for paperwork when you approached them for a job. If they liked how you looked and how you came across in a brief conversation, you could be hired on the spot.
Once resumés entered the picture they became the standard tool for job applicants. At first they just covered the bare basics: contact info, work history and some educational background. It didn’t matter whether you were applying to be a choreographer or a morgue attendant; everyone got the same resumé.
Today’s resumé needs to show employers what you can do for their company rather than what you’ve done for somebody else. Job titles and generic lists of duties are less valued than concrete statements explaining how you’ve demonstrated those skills and abilities.
Moreover, today’s employers aren’t going to automatically make the connection between your work history as a receptionist and your current goal to work as a boilermaker. You need to fill in the blanks, showing how your abilities and experience will benefit them rather than talking about past jobs that do not speak to their needs.
When reviewing resumés, I always wince when I read job objectives that are too vague or too broad. These are usually written by applicants who, when you ask what kind of work they’re looking for, answer “Any-thing!” – and conduct their job search in a similarly random manner.
To be effective, a job search needs to be targeted. This means not only convincing the employer you have the skills and know-how to do the specific job, but also focusing your efforts on the employers you’re most interested in working for, and where you have the best chance of landing a job.
Ideally, the occupational and training research you did to prepare for this stage – talking to employers, trainers, school advisers, etc. – will have kick-started your list of places to apply. You can expand this list through further networking and browsing in Yellow Pages directories or online counterparts.
©Postmedia News. Article appears on www.working.com.
From Next June/2012