The Job Search

June 6, 2008

Good Luck Deluding someone into hiring you

Tomorrow is my first official job interview since my graduation. The interviews I’ve been on thus far have been either informational or with head hunters. I was actually quite surprised that head hunters would be interested in representing me, as I am not a top executive – quite the opposite, a recent graduate.

To begin the hunt, I tried the usual job search sites: workopolis, monster, media job search. I despise online searching, mainly because these sites are bombarded with spam-jobs. The spam-job classics include: The Scam, “Get paid fast, work from home;” The Bullshit “No experience necessary;” The Bait and Switch – a sales position avoiding the word “sales” instead using words like “Account Executive” and “Public Relations;” and last but not least, The Bills – remeniscent of light posts and construction platforms plastered with posters of upcoming events (and any other random thing that may find itself in a newspaper’s classified section). I wish I could filter the online searches to include options such as “post no bills” (which, by the way, Monster is the worst for).

The next step in my search had me join all associations relating to my field. I became an active member of both CPRS and IABC, and I attended seminars to learn about the industry and to network. Seminar attendance is proving to be far more valuable than the networking itself; the network is great, my networking needs work.

Then I connected with a headhunter whom I met at a seminar. She honestly directed me on how to make my resume more powerful, gave me a list of all the agencies in Toronto and, most importantly, gave me a snippet of her invaluable wisdom.

Her resume tip highlights are as follows:

  • Include quick company summary/highlights blurb if you have worked for a company that is not well known. ** common sense note: for consistency reasons, if you add a company summary for one company, do it for all**
  • Tailor your resume to the job description by bolding important words, if necessary, and using the same words when they apply
  • The most important aspect of your job experience should be the first point. Work downwards from there. For communicators, media relations gets the first point, followed by internal relations, event planning, computers skills, etc.
  • Skip a regular “skills” section (as everyone’s looks the same and has the same empty buzz-words). Instead, opt for “Computer Skills” and let your potential employer know which programs you can use.

The jury is still out about whether to add your part-time job (if unrelated to position applying for), hobbies, interests, skills, and other “filler” unrelated to the current position applying for. But this is where I am on the fence…

 Is a resume supposed to highlight what makes one qualified for this position, without the B.S. “filler” of “…Hobbies include collecting stamps…” and overused buzz words??

OR

Is a resume most powerful when it stands apart from the crowd, delivering a message that one is not only qualified, but also has interests… interests which could be the same as the person holding the tedious task of sifting through those redundant resumes??

That is the question I pose: Resumes, with or without personality?

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2 Responses to “The Job Search”

  1. segan123 Says:

    I’ve heard that in general, you should avoid using your hobbies in a resume, purely because an employer can interpret your personal activities in any number of ways. Be careful if you include them – certain things may say you’re lazy, a little odd, etc.

    – Segan


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