TJF Career Coaching

Helping You Market Yourself into a Better Job

Category: Job Search

Making the Most of Career Fairs

 

Young professional accepting business card from team at job fair

By: Tiffany J. Franklin

Have a career fair coming up? These events are a great way to connect with many employers in one day and learn about a host of opportunities. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

  • Check the event website to confirm the date, time, parking, admission requirements, and dress code. It’s usually business professional, so be sure to dry clean your best suit.
  • Update and proofread your resume. Do you have a 1-2 page version that is flawless? If you are applying to companies from a few different industries, have versions tailored to each one. Get a portfolio (leather notebook with a tablet and pocket where you can keep your resumes) to look as professional as possible.
  • Look up the companies attending and determine which ones interest you the most. Learn about these companies using their website/LinkedIn page and formulate questions based on what you learned. You want to avoid walking up to a company and saying “What do you do?” Instead, be able to articulate why they interest you and that you’d like to learn more.
  • If the fair has an app, use it ahead of time to see company location and map out a strategy of which companies you absolutely want to see if your time is limited.
  • Have your elevator speech/pitch ready – 30 seconds about yourself as it pertains to that field and a line about why that particular company. Practice your handshake and making eye contact. You may only get 2 minutes if there’s a line, so be prepared to make the most of it.
  • After speaking with each recruiter, take a moment to step aside and jot notes about what you talked about and then send a thank you email that day if you have their contact info.

Without proper preparation, career fairs can be overwhelming, but taking a few hours to do research ahead of time can make all the difference. Good luck!

Tiffany Franklin is an executive career coach who works with clients of all levels with resume overhauls, cover letters, LinkedIn updates, mock interviews, and career exploration. Connect at www.linkedin.com/in/tiffanyjfranklin.

Photo credit: asiseeit/iStockPhoto.com

 

 

How to Write a Cover Letter Recruiters Will Read

job application series

By Tiffany J. Franklin

Cover letters are one of the pieces of the job search that many job seekers would rather skip. In fact, some will only apply to positions that don’t require them and will say they’ve heard recruiters don’t read them.

In my experience, about half of recruiters see the cover letter as a valuable tool to learn more about a candidate and the other half don’t bother with them. The thing is, you never know which camp the recruiter reading your application falls into, so you may as well hedge your bets and have a great one. After all, a cover letter is really a marketing piece that allows you to make a strong case (backed up by examples) for why this company should hire you. During my recruiting days, I thought they were helpful when I had to decide between two candidates with similar skills – it indicated which candidate was willing to go the extra mile in the application process.

Here are a few tips for how to tackle that first cover letter.

1) At the top, include your address and the date

2) Address the letter to an actual person, not a generic “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you can’t find the contact name, Google “LinkedIn Company Name Recruiter” for ideas. Include contact name, title, company name, and address.

3) Opening Paragraph (I LOVE YOU) – Mention position title, requisition number if listed, why you want the company (see mission statement, About Us page), and a sentence stating why you are qualified to contribute to their team.

4) Middle Paragraphs (YOU LOVE ME) – This is the part where you pick 3-4 examples from your experience and bring your resume to life. Through success stories, you demonstrate your ability to do this job and highlight your transferrable skills. These examples should speak to the key skills mentioned in the job description. It may list 50 different qualifiers, but usually these can be grouped into a few primary categories.

5) Closing Paragraph (LET’S TALK) – Restate your interest and summarize key qualifiers, how to reach you (contact info), that you’ll be available for an interview, and thank them for the consideration.

The first letter may take a little longer to complete, but it’s worth the time investment and you can recycle a large percentage for similar jobs. Just be sure to tailor the I Love You part to each company and use examples best suited to each job description.
Tiffany Franklin is an executive career coach who works with clients of all levels with resume overhauls, cover letters, LinkedIn updates, mock interviews, and career exploration. Learn more and connect at www.linkedin.com/in/tiffanyjfranklin or Tiffany@tjfcareercoach.com.

Photo Credit: peepo/iStockphoto.com

Which Style of Resume is Right for You?

Tiffany J. Franklin, M.S. Ed.

iStock_000005359598XSmall - resume

Resumes are the building block of all job searches, so the format you choose is critical for the success of your search. Here are the three styles and when to use them.
1. Reverse Chronological

This is the most common and lists your most recent experience first. It includes bullet points under each job describing your duties and most importantly, your accomplishments. It’s best to use this style when applying for jobs related to your most recent positions and it’s great for showing how you’ve grown in your career.

2. Skills Based (Functional)

This type lists skill areas related to a job and bullet points under each that demonstrate when you have utilized that skill. At the bottom, there is a listing of your positions and companies without details under each. This one can be disorienting for a recruiter (like being lost without Google maps) because it does not provide context under each job. I’ve heard recruiting colleagues wonder if candidates using this style were trying to hide job hopping or a negative experience with their last employer.

3. Hybrid

This is a combination of the two above and uses the best of each. After the Career Summary, add a section called Key Skills and choose 3 skills that you can tell are most important from the target job description. For each skill, write a few bullets starting with strong action verbs that demonstrate your past success with that skill and quantify (if possible) to show the scope of your impact. These bullets can be pulled from any job you have had and mention the company and job title in the bullet. The resume proceeds like the reverse chronological one after this section, but with abbreviated descriptions under each job. This format is great for people with broad experience who want to highlight a few key areas. It’s also useful for those making a career transition and often preferred by the executive clients I’ve coached. If you have had many jobs or a bad experience at your last one, this can be helpful as well.
There are many choices when it comes to formatting your resume. Which of these will help you most effectively tell your story?

Tiffany Franklin is an executive career coach who works with clients of all levels with resume overhauls, cover letters, LinkedIn updates, mock interviews, and career exploration. 

To learn how Tiffany Franklin can take your job search to the next level, email tiffany@tjfcareercoach.com or connect – www.linkedin.com/in/tiffanyjfranklin/

Be sure to check out Tiffany’s other career site for Radiologic Technologists: www.radiologytechniciancareers.com.

Photo credit: peepo/iStockphoto.com

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