Adding a new job to your New Year's resolutions this year? Forty-three percent of U.S. workers surveyed by CareerBuilder.com say they plan to pursue new employment opportunities in 2005. Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder.com's Vice President of Human Resources, offers the following DOs and DON'Ts for landing that next great position:
Don't let extra holiday portions slow you down. Traditionally, January is a peak month for job search with the post-holiday rush. Waiting until the fruitcake is finished can work against you.
Do get a jump on the competition. Many companies still actively recruit over the holidays to gear up for the coming year. Send in your resume today to be first on their list to call.
Don't tell your life story in your resume. No one cares about your 6th grade paper route. Move on.
Do stick to the Cliffs Notes. You have a matter of seconds to sell yourself. Highlight key skills and, more important, accomplishments in bulleted points. Quantify results when possible.
Don't bore your audience. Starting off your cover letter the same ole way everyone does -- i.e., "I am writing to apply for the job of ... ," -- is a sure-fire snoozer.
Do make yourself unforgettable. Begin your cover letter with a bold question or bold statement that speaks to your strengths. Example: "How can your department triple sales in less than six months? Hire someone who has done it."
Don't talk about fight club -- Don't go into an interview bad-mouthing your previous company, supervisor or co-workers. You will most likely be pegged a whiner.
Do strap a lightbulb to your head -- Focus on the positive. Show enthusiasm for your previous job and the one at hand and come in with ideas. Example: If you're in public relations, prepare ideas for media campaigns the company can implement.
Don't bug 'em. Enthusiasm is one thing. Desperation is another -- and employers can tell the difference. If you want to make sure you don't get the job, contact them repeatedly.
Do file a restraining order against yourself. Find out when the hiring decision will be made and ask about next steps. Follow up with a phone call one week later or on a designated day. If there is no decision at that time, ask when it would be appropriate for you to follow up again.
For more tips and advice, visit the Advice & Resources section at http://www.careerbuilder.com/ .
*comScore Media Metrix, October 2004. The CareerBuilder Network is a custom aggregation of CareerBuilder.com traffic as well as job search traffic to career centers CareerBuilder powers for partner sites such as Tribune Company, Gannett, Knight Ridder and others.
CareerBuilder.com is the nation's leading online job network with more than 15 million unique visitors and over 600,000 jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
Media Contact: Jennifer Sullivan (773) 527-1164
CONTACT: Media, Jennifer Sullivan of CareerBuilder.com, +1-773-527-1164,
Web site: http://www.careerbuilder.com/