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Career Planning. Keys to moving forward . Presented by Human Resource Services February 2011. Objectives. Where to start Cover letters- simple but effective Resumes- the 20 second look References Preparing for your interview Resources. Where to start. Local papers, search engines

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Career Planning

Keys to moving forward

Presented by

Human Resource Services

February 2011


  • Where to start

  • Cover letters- simple but effective

  • Resumes- the 20 second look

  • References

  • Preparing for your interview

  • Resources

Where to start
Where to start

  • Local papers, search engines

    • HRS/ End of Employment/Job Resources

  • Attend a job fair

  • Temp agency

  • Net-work-it

    • Facebook

    • LinkedIn

    • Twitter

    • Friends or family working for companies you are interested in

    • Social groups and Professional Organizations

  • Monitor your favorite companies employment pages

  • Tailor your qualifications to each job posting
    Tailor your qualifications to each job posting

    • Requirements of the position

      • Demonstrate how you meet each one

  • Preferred qualifications

    • Call attention to any of the preferred qualification you have

  • Adjust your resume for each position to which you apply.

  • Do you really meet the minimums?

    • Be realistic and don’t waste time

    • Quality vs. quantity

  • How should you apply?

  • Be sure to submit all required application materials.

  • The little things really do matter
    The little things really do matter.

    • If your email address is [email protected]

    • If your out going voicemail sings, plays music, has the voice of a 2 year old that is not audible to anyone except her parents

    • If you have an online profile with pictures, statements or language that does not represent you professionally….

    • Other little things to consider spelling, formatting, no pictures or artwork on resumes (yes, people do this!)

    Make some changes

    Cover letters
    Cover letters

    • Should a cover letter always be included?

      • Bad sign if not included

    • What if the ad does not provide the name of the hiring manager?

      • Call and ask.

      • Send it to the department manager.

        • Dear Marketing Manager

    • Use a generic salutation such as

      • Dear Hiring Manager

      • Dear Search Committee

    Cover letters a few tips
    Cover letters- a few tips

    • Write in a business letter format and have a neat, professional look.

    • The first paragraph of the letter explains the purpose and generates interest.

    • The body of the letter focuses on what the writer can offer and not what the writer wants.

    • The style of the letter can be conversational but still businesslike. You don’t need to use a lot of jargon or cumbersome sentences.

    Cover letter samples
    Cover letter samples

    • A sample template

    • Example 1

    • Example 2


    • Resumes typically get a 10-20 second review by the hiring manager.

    • There are three main types of resumes:

      • Chronological

      • Functional

      • Chronological-Functional combination

    Resume chronological
    Resume - Chronological

    • Chronological listing of positions you’ve held in order, starting with the most recent

    • Key elements:

      • Job Title: List your most recent job first, and include a brief description of your job title, and years you’ve worked there.

        • Human Resources Services Employee Recognition Program Assistant

      • Primary Duties: Describe your primary duties. Move relevant duties to the top.

        • Assisted in the planning, coordination and execution of employee recognition events and activities.

      • Accomplishments: List your accomplishments and quantify your achievements

        • Developed and maintained database system for tracking employee years of service for over 5,000 employees across all four WSU campus sites

    Resume chronological1
    Resume – Chronological

    • Advantages

      • Demonstrates stability

      • Demonstrates career growth

      • Showcases qualifications and strengths

    • Disadvantages

      • Gaps in employment are clearly visible

      • Frequent job changes are easily identified

      • No job history for entry level position seekers

    Resume functional
    Resume - Functional

    • This format allows you to highlight your selected skills

    • Key Elements:

      • Summary statement: A one or two sentence overview of your abilities and work history

        • To obtain a full time position with ABC company where I can utilize my excellence customer service and sales skills.

      • Job functions: List areas of expertise and provide one or two examples of quantifiable accomplishments

        • Management

          • Led successful team of five sales agents exceeding sales goals for three consecutive years.

      • Job history: company, job title, years of service

    Resume functional1
    Resume - Functional

    • Advantages

      • De-emphasize dates

      • Promote skills

      • Recency of skills is unclear

      • Beneficial for changing careers or entry level

      • Easily fits a lot of information on one page

    • Disadvantages

      • Formats other than the chronological format raise questions

      • Recency of skills is unclear

      • Stability and career growth not as evident

    Resume combination
    Resume - Combination

    • In this format your skills are listed prominently at the top of the page followed by a full chronological listing

      • Summary statement: A one or two sentence overview of your abilities and work history

      • Job functions: List areas of expertise and provide one or two examples of quantifiable accomplishments

      • Job history: Full history including company, job duties and years of service

    Resume combination1
    Resume - Combination

    • Advantages:

      • De-emphasize dates

      • Promote skills

      • Can demonstrate stability

      • Can demonstrate career growth

    • Disadvantages:

      • Formats other than the chronological format may raise questions


    • Provide as many references as requested on a separate page.

      • Ensure you have updated information and submit all requested information

  • Give your references a heads up.

  • References should be able to speak to your previous job performance


    • What if my supervisor and I didn’t have a great relationship?

      • Using negative language may reflect poorly on you

      • Use a positive statement such as

        • “My supervisor was the most demanding person I ever worked for but I learned a lot and value the opportunities I was given.”

  • What will WSU-HRS say?

    • Without a signed consent form, HRS will only verify information provided

    • With a signed release form, HRS will verify all requested information. (start date, end date, title, salary)

  • Interviewing the process
    Interviewing – The process

    • There may be a series of interviews

    • There may be a panel of interviewers

    • There may be one-on-one time with the decision maker

    Interviewing preparation
    Interviewing - Preparation

    • Learn as much as you can about the company and where the position fits

    • Practice- practice – practice!

      • Review interview questions your responses

      • Recruitment ToolKit/Evaluation & Interviewing

  • If you are unfamiliar with where the interview is, consider a dry run

  • Request a full position description and be very familiar with the contents

  • Prepare a few questions for the interviewer

  • Interviewing tips for success
    Interviewing – Tips for Success

    • To Do:

      • Dress professionally

      • Be honest

      • Be confident (see preparation)

      • Listen to the questions and answer what was asked

      • Collect your thoughts before responding when asked a tough question

      • Ask any questions you have

      • Send thank you note or email as soon as possible

    • Use Caution:

      • Dressing casually

      • Perfume/cologne or other scents

      • Failing to use active listening skills resulting in not answering the question

      • Body language

      • Humor

      • Slang

    After the interview a few tips
    After the interview- a few tips

    • Send a Thank You note

    • Follow-up

    • Create packets for each position

    • Keep moving forward


    • One on one coaching at the Center for Advising and Career Development (CACD)

      • CACD offers resume and interviewing assistance to employees

      • Online resources

        • CACD/CurrentStudents/Resources

  • Human Resources Services

    • Recruitment ToolKit/Evaluation & Interviewing

    • Skill Soft

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