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Archive for May, 2010

Listing Hobbies & Interests on Your Resume – Should You Or Shouldn’t You?

I frequently come across resumes that include a section for “hobbies and interests” or something similar. Many people think it’s necessary to include something like this, however I can assure you that it’s probably best to avoid doing so. There is a limited amount of space for content on your resume and just a small amount of time for the reader to look over your information. That being said, you should use it strictly to highlight your professional qualifications and achievements, not your personal hobbies and interests.

Hiring managers are looking to see how you can specifically help them and their companies, not whether you enjoy skiing or bike riding. This sort of information is often times seen as “fluff” – in other words, irrelevant information that is used solely to take up space on a resume to make it seem longer. If you’re concerned about your resume looking too short, there are lots of ways to increase the content without having to lists your hobbies and interests. Think about substituting them for something more work-related, like a section for your professional qualifications or computer-related skills. Or maybe try adding some achievements onto your professional experience section.

While I feel I make a strong point against listing these on your resume, people are always going to be adamant about using them. So, if you absolutely must include your hobbies and interests, try to at least make them pertain to the job you are applying for. Do any of your hobbies involve using your leadership skills, for example? Do they show a pattern of long-term commitment? The most important thing to remember is to keep the content on your resume professionally relevant.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

Laura is the Marketing Coordinator for RedStarResume, a business that provides resume and cover letter writing services for students, graduates and young professionals.

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10 Tips to staying positive while looking for a job

May 26, 2010 1 comment

Don’t let the media and the news put you down. No matter how bad they say it is companies are always looking to hire the best available staff. If you have the right skills and passion, there will be a job waiting for right around the corner. You just need to remain upbeat and positive. Below is a list of things you need to do in order to help you through the job search process…

Keep a routine: Don’t get into the bad habits of waking up late, sleeping in the afternoons or procrastinating around the house. Get up at your normal time, eat properly and get some exercise (walking is free)!

Volunteering at a church, hospital, homeless shelter or non-profit organization will open your eyes to people who are less off than you and give you a sense of contribution. There is no greater reward than helping people who are less fortunate than us.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry: Don’t let yourself fall behind just because you’re not working. The best approach is to learn more about your particular industry. This way you will be ahead of your competition when it comes time to interview.

Explore potential new careers: It’s never too late to try to learn a foreign language or a new piece of computer software. I remember working with a senior archaeologist of 10 years experience who came to me wanting a change in his life direction. After 6 months of learning Spanish and then travelling through Spain for another 6 months, the senior archaeologist is now a junior English/Spanish translator!

Positive Thinking: Do not focus on the negatives – you need to be able to bounce back. Concentrate on the skills and knowledge you have. Sitting around saying “what if” all the time is only going to further depress you.

Support Group: You may feel as though you’re the only person in your situation without a job, but guess what – you’re not. Reach out to people for support. There are many groups that provide excellent assistance in the areas of resume writing, interviewing, and job hunting. Aside from the secular groups, there are also many faith groups ready to offer you a supporting hand. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Let people help you change your life.

Avoid negative people! Negative thinking is of no value to you. You need to be around positive people and people who can have a positive impact on your life.

Network: maintain contacts and stay in touch with people. Make sure you network with positive people!! Again, avoid negativity. Negative thinking does nothing to help your situation.

Last but not least – manage your expectations. Not every job you apply for will be a success. Don’t be put off by this. Instead, concentrate on the positives and look at what you achieve each day. For example, you could have applied to 3 great jobs, connected with 2 people who are great resources or maybe you found a course or book that will help to improve your skills.

Don’t give up! Jobs don’t find you, you find them!

© RedStarResume Publications

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To view all “Tips from the Pros” Check out our website www.redstarresume.com

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Intern, Travel, Volunteer – What are the best ways for students to spend their summers?

Internship:
Internships provide opportunities for students to gain experience in their chosen fields, determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or earn school credit. Although you may feel that graduation is still a long way off, if you can gain experience in your chosen area, you will help to reduce the challenge of interviewing post-graduation without any real work experience. Remember there are at least 3 summers as a college student. If you can make use of at least one of them it will put you in a good position when your time comes to graduate.

• Travelling:
Travel and experience the world! Broaden your mind and experience different cultures and traditions. From the beaches of Australia to the jungles of Brazil, the memories you gain while travelling are priceless and you just never know who you’re going to meet along the way. Go see the world while you can – you have the rest of your life to work!

• Volunteering:
Volunteer your time for free. This could include working for free for a company related to your field of interest or sacrificing your time to help others (there’s no better feeling than helping those less fortunate than ourselves). In the long-term, volunteering looks great on your resume, and it could open doors for future opportunity. Remember to network. This is by far the most important advice to give a student.

• Combine travelling and working:
Find a job or internship in a foreign country. Perhaps learn a new language. You never know the opportunities that can present themselves.

Spend time with your family and friends

Get some exercise, stay healthy and active!

Whatever you decide, just make sure you have fun and enjoy yourself.

© RedStarResume Publications

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RedStarResume

To view all “Tips from the Pros” Check out our website www.redstarresume.com

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