Saturday, February 26, 2005

Items To Include In A Portfolio

I attended a job search seminar last year, and one of the topics we discussed was having a portfolio. I’m not going to go into the reasons for developing a portfolio; rather, I’m just going to list the items you would typically include:

  • copies of your resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • copy of high school/college diploma
  • copies of other certificates
  • high school/college transcript
  • examples of work, which for me might include
    • documentation
    • printouts of GUI (graphical user interface)
    • web pages
    • ”best posts” from my blogs

Varied Work Background

Greetings from the library. I've been going back through my entire work history of about 15 years, and I've discovered that I've worked for nearly 40 different organizations (full-time, part-time, self-employed, consulting, co-op). Here are the types of organizations I've worked for:

Newspaper delivery
Food service
Defense contractor
City government
Government agency
Civil engineering
Political science
Information services
Financial services
Temporary employment services
Human resources services
I guess this means that I present a varied background to a potential employer, doesn't it?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Looking for a better job? Add Access to your resume!

I just happened to see this in Microsoft Access 2003's Help Contents. I thought it might help to at least bookmark this page for later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Six Tricks to a Clutter-Free Resume


In the world of job searching, bigger, flashier, more colorful and louder isn't always better. While some people feel the need to use elaborate fonts, bright paper, or graphics and animation in hopes of getting attention, it is often wiser to take a minimalist approach to your resume.

One of the biggest reasons why simple is often safer in today's job market is technology. Applicant tracking systems help HR managers sift through the numerous resumes they receive. This means that the first person who reads your resume may not be a person, but rather a computer, and that your paper resume will be scanned in and turned into an electronic file that is viewed by a computer system. Because it is sent through a scanner, your resume needs to be clear, concise and free from distracting characteristics. Plus, more and more companies are using online applications and requesting candidates to paste in resumes on company Web sites, or use online job sites to find candidates.

Having a simple resume is not just about scanning systems and electronic submissions. It also means carefully selecting which information to keep and which to cut. If you want to make sure your resume is clean, to the point and highlights your most important qualities in the most effective way, consider the following tips:

  1. Forget the fancy fonts. Yes, it is certainly fun to write your annual family letter in a quirky lettering. But when it comes to your resume, a boring font is always better. Stick to the classics, like Times New Roman or Arial. These fonts are typically read well by electronic scanners and most e-mail systems, as well as human eyes.
  2. Don't overdo the underlining, bolding and italics. Some people feel like everything on their resume needs to be highlighted in one way or another. But electronic scanners get easily tripped up by underlined words and italics. It might not be possible to have your resume be completely italic free, but too much of a good thing can be distracting to any kind of reader.
  3. Include old information sparingly. Have you been out of college for more than 10 years? If so, you can probably get rid of the section on your resume that highlights your G.P.A. Are you still including all of your past jobs, which make your resume three pages long? Did you start your professional life in a completely different career, one that is now irrelevant to your current job? If so, it's time to cut information that no longer belongs.

    When you first start out, there is a reason you include all of your work experience. But the more experience you gain, the more selective you can be on what to include. No, you do not need to tell potential employers that you were a bartender in college. Some jobs just don't apply!
  4. Leave out personal information. Unless your hobbies are directly relevant to your job, they should be taken out of your resume. The same goes for travel experience, marital status or the fact that you sing in the church choir. When you write your resume, try to think like the employer and include only the information that is going to matter to the company or the position you are seeking.
  5. Write in sound bites, not paragraphs. A resume is not supposed to read like a novel. Your information should be presented in brief, concise
    statements that include strong action words. A resume should never be written in complete sentences or have statements that begin with "I." A reader needs to be able to glance at your resume quickly and know what your strengths and experiences are. Don't make him or her muddle through a lot of extraneous words to get to the good stuff.
  6. Keep the look professional. These days, printed resumes are usually needed only for an interview. Like the fun fonts, fluorescent, patterned or textured paper is better suited to invitations and personal letters than resumes. Choose professional, plain paper and black ink. Leave graphics and shading out, too. Make sure the hiring manager knows what he or she is receiving. You don't want your resume to be thrown out because someone thought it was junk mail!
Your resume has an important job to do. It must convince an employer that you are worth talking to, that you are better than the rest and that you can do the job – all in about 15 seconds. Make those 15 seconds really count with a resume that sends the right message right away!

Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

Doing as a full-time job (

Best wishes to Jason Kottke in his endeavor! I would love to write a blog for a living!

Doing as a full-time job (

Working in Teams: Higher Productivity or Bigger Headache

Working in Teams: Higher Productivity or Bigger Headache
New Software Application Empowers Teamwork

"Today, as we face higher demands to produce bigger, more innovative IT products, teams that utilize the gifts and talents of each one of its members will have higher success, happier employees and a lot less headaches."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Reapplying for a Job After Rejection: Persistence Can Pay Off

Reapplying for a Job After Rejection: Persistence Can Pay Off

by Caroline Levchuck

Did you interview with more than one person? Were you referred to the company through a friend or a member of your network? Contact anyone you know or with whom you had a rapport and pick their brains about the company, additional opportunities and what you could have done to improve your performance or skills.

Work to incorporate these folks into your network by finding ways to help them with their careers and professional development. Pass along a pertinent article or business contact. Invite them to lunch or another social-yet-professional event on occasion. Keep in contact with each on a consistent yet not-too-frequent basis. Make sure they're all aware of your abilities and aspirations. If they're not, ask them to review your resume. This will ensure that they'll think of you when they hear of appropriate openings at the company.

Source: MyYahoo! Daily Tip from HotJobs, republished here because no permalink exists.