Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don’t Look for a Job

by Jeri Hird Dutcher, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

You have your bright, shiny new ResumeEdge resume. What are you going to do with it? If your answer is, “look for a job,” consider this: You need to be looking for a company.

When you look for a job, you’re taking a chance that it’s with a company that offers no advancement or chance to improve your skills. You may find a job you love to do in a culture that doesn’t fit you at all. You may enjoy the tasks of your job but find the people impossible to work with. To avoid those pitfalls, don’t answer ads for jobs.

Instead, determine the company and or person for whom you’d like to work.

Warning: This means homework.

First, decide what is important to you:
· Do you need a company to be family friendly?
· Is your main goal a high salary?
· Is diversity an issue?
· Is skills development important?
· How much creativity do you need to be able to use?
· How much do you want to be challenged?
· How much job security do you need?
· Do you need recognition of your accomplishments?
· Are titles and status important?
· Is working with certain people or certain types of people important to you?
· Is the size or reputation of the company important to you?
· Need the company be “green?”

Then, find out as much as you can about companies and people in your industry. Match your values to the company and people you would be working with:
· What are the opportunities for advancement?
· Do they demand 24/7 availability?
· What is their training budget for your department? Do they spend it? On training?
· What is the turnover rate at the company?
· What do employees at your career level say about working there?
· How often do they promote people from within?
· Do they have hiring programs for minorities and women?
· What is their management style?
· How does the company perform compared with its competitors?

When you’ve found your answers, compare them and decide which two or three companies rate highest in matching your values and needs. Focus your search on these companies.

This homework also prepares you nicely for an informational interview. (See How to Work a Resume). You’ll be able to impress the hiring manager with how much you already know about the company, its culture and background.

Jeri Hird Dutcher is a Certified Professional Resume Writer from Minnesota with a BA in English and concentration in writing. She started writing resumes professionally in 1987 and enjoys writing all types of resumes. Her background includes journalism, higher education, public relations and freelance editing. Request Jeri for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (dutcher) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

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