Once you’ve considered what it is that you really like doing, think about creating your own job, uniquely suited to
your skills or interests. You would be much happier selling model railroads to hobby shops if you’re a model buff than you would be selling bathroom fixtures. Think about a niche that no one is filling, in an area that you know about or have worked in before. Then try to interest companies along those lines in your abilities. If they don’t have a job opening…but you can show them how hiring you can save them money, double their sales, or dramatically improve a money-losing department, you may wind up doing what you like, and getting paid for it!
The right resume is very important!
Early on in your job campaign, in fact the first thing before you start, is the preparation of a resume. Too few people know the proper way in which to set about this, or even that it is a desirable thing to have. But really, for any job but the most menial, it is almost a necessity. It is your representative when you apply for any position by mail, and it is a most useful aid to leave behind, as a summary and reminder, when you apply for a job in person.
Always orient your resume to your future, not your past. Of course, however, you must include your education, your past work experience, and any special honors, awards, prizes or other trophies you may have won. Most importantly, you must list your job objective. Keep in mind that any future employer wants to know what you can do for him; not what he can do for you. This means that he will evaluate your past experience in view of his own future needs, so you should do that too. A list of your responsibilities in your past job might not mean anything to your future employer if he’s in a different business, but your skills in managing people, or saving the company money, or
creating a new product or selling method might be the most important thing you could put on your resume-even if those things were not part of your past job but things you come up with on your own time!
You need not tell everything!
What if parts of your background might not look good on your resume? You have a gap of one year when you were unemployed, for example, that you don’t want your resume to include. There are several ways to deal with this, depending on how you want to orient your resume! If you want to stress your independence and go-getting ability, you might want to “invent” your own consulting firm, or neighborhood service company, or other business of your own that you “worked for” during that time gap. (But be prepared to have letterheads or business cards printed up to make this seem real, in case potential employers want proof.) Or if your uncle owns a company, ask him to give
you a reference stating what a valuable employee you were for him during that period.
Remember that the point of your resume is to present you in the best way possible, and unless you need to be bonded or get a security clearance for your new job, many companies don’t check job histories very thoroughly, except for perhaps your most recent one.
Looking your best
Just as you want to look your best on your job interview, so too your resume must look its best. A carefully laid-out, typeset resume, with the most important information about you set up in easy-to-read blocks of space, is like a gift to a personnel director. Remember that as many as a hundred people may be applying for the same position that you seek, and a favorable remembered resume gives you a headstart over the other applicants.
One point that I want to stress that is often omitted in manuals on the subject is that you should not let your local copy center or printer do the resumes on the cheapest lightest paper they have around, or have the original typed on an old beat-up manual typewriter. The presentation affects the reception given to your facts. Perhaps it should not, but, let’s face it, it does. That’s why manufacturers of consumer goods spend so much money on packaging! As the old proverb says, “Put your best foot forward!”