Month: June 2016

5 Common Mistakes on Resumes and Cover Letters

Your resume is your personal marketing document. Most of the time it’s the only document a recruiter and hiring manager have in front of them when deciding if you move to the next step in the hiring process.

If you’ve made any of the following mistakes there’s a good chance you’re not going to get the call for the interview.

Mistake # 1 Poor Grammar and Misspelled Words

Recruiters and hiring managers know that not everyone is a wordsmith. If you have one or two incorrectly spelled words you’ll probably still be considered. If your resume is filled with a lot of misspelled words you’ll be screened out of the process. Numerous misspelled words or poor grammar could signal a lack of attention to detail.

How to Avoid: Use the spell check and grammar check tools. Read your resume out loud. Reading out loud will help to identify any odd sounding sentences.

Mistake # 2 Forgetting to Save Edits

You’ve put a lot of effort into editing your resume and finally it’s ready to go. There’s just one problem. You forgot to save all the tracked changes. I’m not talking about one or two minor changes. What I’m talking about is an entire document saved with edits still showing. Submitting a resume like this could also signal you’re someone who lacks attention to detail.

How to Avoid: Before hitting that submit button on the application, check to make sure you’re sending the proper resume.

Mistake # 3 Including the Wrong Company Name or Person’s Name in the Cover Letter

Addressing your cover letter to the wrong person or including the wrong company name will get you screened out of the process right away.

How to Avoid: Proofread your cover letter to make sure you have the correct names. Then, before hitting the submit button recheck the documents you’ve attached to your application and make sure they contain the correct information.

Mistake # 4 Ten Page Resumes

If your resume is a novel, it won’t get read. Writing a long resume could signal that you have a difficult time getting to the point. We live in a society where there is so much information we don’t have time to read everything. You need to make sure that you sell yourself but that doesn’t mean you have to include every detail about every job.

How to Avoid: Read the responsibilities of the job description and then include on your resume only that work experience as it relates to those job responsibilities. If you have a lot of jobs, I encourage candidates to list the experience for their five most recent positions and then list only the company name, job title, and dates worked for any remaining jobs.

Mistake # 5 No Contact Information

If a company doesn’t have the ability to get in touch with you guess what, you’re not going to get the job. Make it easy for a recruiter and hiring manager to reach you. Recruiters may not take the time to try and find your contact information if they have plenty of resumes to review.

How to Avoid: Include your full address, email and phone number on your resume. Your cover letter should contain your phone number and email address.

The goal when submitting your resume is to get an interview. If you have any of the mistakes listed above, you have a higher probability of getting screened out of the process.

Don’t miss out on what could have been the best job ever.

Proofread your resume and then make sure you’re uploading the correct documents. A few extra minutes on the front end could just land you the job of your dreams.

Best of Luck!

On the Job Tips For Teens

working

Congratulations you’ve landed the job! Now it’s time to get to work. Keep in mind that the way you behave on the job can greatly affect you’re keeping the job and getting your next job.

Following are some tips to help you succeed!

 

To Be Early Is To Be On Time!

Employers appreciate and notice when employees show up early to work. Showing up early shows your enthusiasm for the job. This doesn’t mean you need to show up an hour early. Showing up at least fifteen minutes early will allow you to stash your lunch and complete any morning tasks so that you can begin working promptly. If you’re going to be late and you know it, let your boss know ahead of time. Don’t make it a habit of being late.  If you’re stuck in traffic and know you’re going to be late call your boss and let them know. Leave for work earlier the next day or take a different route. Also, if you and some friends head to lunch, be sure to report back to work on time.

Don’t Gossip!

It’s your first day on the job and after lunch one of your team members approaches you and starts complaining to you about your boss. Should you join in to make a friend? NO!

Gossip drags you down and doesn’t serve any good purpose. You don’t have any idea what might have happened between your co-worker and your boss and there’s always two sides to a story. So if your co-worker starts complaining about another co-worker or your boss, either stay silent or let them know you would appreciate it if they didn’t talk to you about these issues.

Your Co-worker Isn’t Pulling Their Weight!

You’re the new kid on the block. So your co-worker has decided to let you do his/her job in addition to yours. Now your work performance is suffering because you can’t get your job done and you don’t want to cause trouble. What do you do?

Try talking to your co-worker. It’s always better to work out a problem first before going to your boss. Let your co-worker know that you really want to help out as much as you can, but that your boss expects you to get your job done and you’re having a hard time doing both jobs. Ask if your co-worker is having trouble doing their job. If they are, suggest that your co-worker talk to your boss about getting some help. Most of the time a simple conversation will fix the problem.

If after you’ve spoken to your co-worker and the problem persists, it’s perfectly acceptable to talk to your boss. You’re not getting anyone into trouble. Remember you have a job to do and you don’t want your work performance to suffer. Your boss is there for you to talk to about anything related to work. Your boss wants you to succeed as much as you do.

Ask Questions!

Like anything new, it’s takes time to learn the job. If you don’t understand, ask questions. There’s no sense being stressed because you don’t know how to do something. Take notes when you’re being trained and refer back to them.  Sometimes it might be hard to remember everything you’re being shown on the first day.

Also, after a few days on the job ask your boss how you’re doing. It’s nice to get feedback to see if there’s anything you need to do differently, or better. Asking about your performance shows your boss that you’re really trying to do a good job.

 

Keep in mind that your boss will hopefully become a future reference for your work performance. It’s little things like attention to detail while doing your job, remembering what you’re supposed to do, and keeping your boss informed that will leave a good and lasting impression.

 

 

Interviewing Tips for Teens

interview dateYou’ve filled out all the applications and dropped off your resume and finally you get a call from an employer wanting to interview you.

Now the real work begins of selling the employer on why you’re the best person for the job.

Following are some tips how to make sure you get the job:

 

 

Read the job description before the interview.

If the employer posted a job description for the position they are looking to fill, make sure you read and understand the job requirement/responsibilities. Write down some examples of experiences you’ve already had where you’ve performed that job requirement, or something similar to it so you can share your experience with the person interviewing you.

For example, what if one of the job requirements is to greet customers. Think about some of the experiences you’ve had that might be applicable. You might have been a greeter at your church, served as a mentor for other students visiting your school, or worked at a class function greeting parents.

If there isn’t a job description, normally the interviewer will first explain the job requirements before they start asking questions. This will give you the opportunity to come up with examples of your experiences.

Practice answering interview questions ahead of time.

Following are links to examples of the most common interview questions:

Monster 100 most common interview questions

Career One Stop most common interview questions

Whatever you do when you’re asked why you want the job don’t respond by saying your parents wanted you to go to work. Come up with an answer like you want to start saving for college, or buy a car.

Look the part.

You only get once to make a first impression. So dress the part. Normally, for young men, you’ll want to wear khakis and a polo shirt ,and ladies, you’ll either want to wear a dress or casual pants and top.  Make sure your hair is combed.

Other tips.

Take extra copies of your resume with you.

Take something to write on and write with. You’ll want to take notes as the employer tells you about the job, the hours, and the pay.

Ask questions. If the employer doesn’t tell you about the hours and pay, ask. Make sure you understand the location of the job. Make sure you understand the job responsibilities.

When you get ready to leave, thank the employer for his/her time. Ask when you will hear back from them.

 

Preparing ahead of time will not only help reduce your nerves but will show your future employer that you are responsible and that you have done your homework!

(Tomorrow I’ll talk about behavior on the job.)

Summer Jobs for Teens

summer jobIf you’re old enough to work, consider getting a summer job. There are a number of employers willing to hire teens for the summer.

Summer jobs can be fun and a good way for you to start figuring out your LIKES and SKILLS. In addition, working will allow you to meet new friends, learn new responsibilities and earn some extra spending cash to save for a new car or start that fund for college.

Get familiar with labor laws:

The  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets wage, hour and safety requirements for minors working under the age of 18 in jobs covered by the statutes. Generally, the FLSA sets 14 as the minimum age to begin work and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16. Each state also has its own laws relating to the employment of minors.

Most employers know the laws because there are stiff penalties for breaking them, but it’s still good to be aware of how many hours you can work and what the minimum wage is in your state.

How to find a job:

There are the likely places to look for a job like a golf course, restaurant, pizza joint, fast food, swimming pool, tourist attractions, hotels, and even a grocery store. The best way to find out if someone is hiring is walk in and ask.

Don’t forget about summer camps. Most counselors at camps are teenagers. Just type in ‘summer camp jobs’ as the search string and you’ll bring up hundreds of opportunities.

Following are links to job programs sponsored by government agencies.

AmeriCorps
Youth Conservation Corps
Job Corps

Babysitting can be another good summer job. If you are going to babysit, be sure to take a Red Cross first aid class so you’ll know how to handle an emergency should one arise.

Pet care, lawn care, running errands for busy people are other possible jobs.

Browse for jobs using these job boards:

Snag A Job for teens
Hire Teen
YMCA jobs
Summerjobs.com

How to apply:

Most places will have you complete an employment application. This is a form that will ask you the following information:

Name
Address
Education
Work Experience (Note: If this is your first job, go ahead and say so. Be sure to list any babysitting, lawn care, or other similar jobs.)
References (Note: These are names of people who can say good things about you. They can be a previous boss, co-worker, or teacher. Don’t list names of friends, relatives, or your parents.)

If you get the job, you’ll need to have a social security number. If you don’t have one, click here for instructions on how to obtain one.

How to build a resume:

Some employers will have you complete an employment application AND will ask for a resume.

A resume is a document that lists your education, employment history, awards, accomplishments and your computer skills.

Click High School Resume for an example and to download a resume template.

Finding a job can take a little time and effort. So be patient and persistent and you’ll find a job in no time.

 

(Tomorrow’s post will tackle what to do when you get the interview for the job.)

Treasure Hunting to Build Skills

treasure hunt

Looking for something fun and different to do for the summer?

Try a treasure hunt!

1. Hide/Find a Book

Book Crossing provides a fun way for you to find and share books. First, register your book and get a specific identifying number and then complete one of the on-line labels and attach it to your book. Then you have a few different options to share the book. The controlled way to share your book is to give it away to a friend or stranger. You can release your book into the wild by leaving it anywhere it is likely to be picked up such as a coffee shop, bus station, shopping mall, etc. Be creative and come up with your own idea for sharing your book. Maybe start a book club, book ring, or book box. Once your book has been released and another reader picks it up, the reader goes on-line, inputs the identifying number and then provides journal entries related to your book.

Currently over seven million books are registered and are traveling in over 130 different countries.

2. Geocaching

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting activity where people use a GPS device to find hidden containers. Inside the containers are little trinkets and a logbook. Treasure hunters encouraged to take one of the trinkets and/or leave something behind. Once you log that you’ve found the container, you return everything to its hiding place for the next treasure hunter to find and then go on-line and share your experience.

3. Letterboxing

Letterboxing is a treasure hunt where you search for hidden boxes. Each box contains a log book and a unique rubber stamp many of which have been hand carved. Treasure hunters, armed with ink pads and note pads locate the hidden boxes and swap stamps. Treasure hunters stamp their note pads with the stamp inside the box and then leave behind their personal identifying stamp in the log book that’s provided.

Currently there are over 90,000 letter boxes hidden around North America.

4. Links  to Treasuring Hunting ideas

32 Scavenger Hunting activities
How to Make a Treasure Hunt
Treasure Hunting Ideas
Metal Detecting ideas

Treasure hunting is a good way to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem by giving them a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention it’s just plain fun!

Happy Hunting!