Hire Ground Chat: Preparing Your Resume

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• Resume` examples from Department Of Labor

Newsteam: Good morning! Our live chat with Karen Quesnel, a professional resume writer with the Connecticut Department Of Labor, will begin shortly before 9 a.m.

Have questions about preparing your resume? Send them in at any time.

[Comment From Candi:] I have a "new" resume that has gotten me some interviews but not as many as I hoped. Is it better to have more than one resume? Monday February 7, 2011 8:51

Karen Quesnel: Hi Candi -- yes, it's very important to customize your resume each time you apply for something... especially if you can qualify for more than one type of job target. You should tailor your resume to the employer you are applying to - if you're responding to a job posting, make sure you match your qualifications to their requirements. Monday February 7, 2011 8:53

[Comment From Bruce: ] Are paid services like Ladders, Career builder, etc worth it? Monday February 7, 2011 8:54

Karen Quesnel: Hi Bruce --- well, perhaps - but have you tried the no-cost resume services at the Department of Labor/CTWorks office? CTWorks offers resume workshops, free resume critique from a Certified Professional Resume Writer... we have Career Worksheets to help you develop your resume (identify those all-important key words!) - also, you might want to take advantage of free resume critique assistance at one of the Department of Labor job fairs - you can find the list of job fairs on our website www.ct.gov/dol. Monday February 7, 2011 8:57

[Comment From Beth: ] After several years in a specialized area of healthcare, I am looking to make a career change. How might I best approach writing my resume. Monday February 7, 2011 8:57

Karen Quesnel: Hi Beth - your question isn't an easy one to answer without specifics... you may want to visit one of the CTWorks offices and ask for a critique. In short, you will need to showcase your transferable skills - make sure your target is specific and do a good job of matching your qualifications to their requirements. I'm not sure what change you're thinking of making, but I would suggest doing a national job search - use a national site like indeed.com or monster - and read through many, many postings from all over to get a sense of what skills that position is requiring --- and then make sure that you have matched your skills to those requirements in the top 1/3 of your resume. Also - you'll want to use a specific objective too - but I would definitely see if you can meet with someone to discuss the specifics of your situation. Good luck! Monday February 7, 2011 9:02

[Comment From mary banks: ] why is it so hard to get a job when you are older I am 53 graduated with an A.S. in human services and will continue with B.S. degree but cannot find a job in my field is it because of my age I also type 60-65 wpm what is the deal? Monday February 7, 2011 9:03

Karen Quesnel: Oh Mary, I wish I had an answer for you. As you know, you are hardly alone! You might want to check our website www.ct.gov/dol under "jobseeker services" for our Free Workshops --- a number of our CTWorks offices offer a workshop called "Over 40 & Looking for Work." - You'll learn some strategies on how to effectively market your experience, among other great tips. This is really a tough job market - so you will need to make sure you have the best resume you can have to pique an employers interest, and terrific interviewing skills! Good luck... Monday February 7, 2011 9:07

Karen Quesnel: Hi Natasha - yes, Fox61 will be making them available online very soon... Monday February 7, 2011 9:07

[Comment From Natasha: ] Hi Karen, I liked the templates that were used today. Is there anyway we could view them online? Monday February 7, 2011 9:08

[Comment From jenny and the bets: ] should i put a 'mission statement' on my resume? isn't the mission to, you know, get a job? Monday February 7, 2011 9:08

Karen Quesnel: Well, not a mission statement... the employer knows you're seeking a position. You want to have an objective, or a profile, a summary of qualifications - something that tells the reader what you have to offer - NOT what you are seeking for yourself. You want that objective to speak to your skills, and not be self-focused (i.e. "Seeking a position in customer service that offers opportunity for growth and advancement" - that's self-focused). Check out the Fox61 website - they will be posting the examples I discussed this morning. Monday February 7, 2011 9:11

[Comment From Ted: ] When encountering a variety of employers for instance at a job fair, it seem a resume should be vague so as not to focus on one job position the employer(s) might have, but rather on character strengths, accomplishments, etc. Are there other highlights that should be included to get the emplyers attention? Thank you for your response. Monday February 7, 2011 9:12

Karen Quesnel: Hi Ted - well, honestly, vague is never a good strategy, even at a job fair... although I completely understand why it might be tempting to make that "one size fits all" resume. First, if you can find out what employers will be at the job fair and decide who you will visit and what you will be applying for. Then, make sure you have different resumes for different job targets. A pain, I know... but it will be worth it. You don't have much time to capture the employer's attention - they'll decide if your resume is worth reading in 10 - 30 seconds. So if you need 4 different resumes, then get them ready! You'll be glad you did... Monday February 7, 2011 9:14

[Comment From MJ: ] Hi Karen, Do you need to be on unemployment to use the services of CTWorks? Monday February 7, 2011 9:14

Karen Quesnel: Hi MJ - NO! No, not at all -- we have customers come in all the time for different reasons. Some are employed but looking for a different job - some are unemployed, some are new graduates... but no, you don't have to be on unemployment. Please stop into the CTWorks office and register - it's a quick registration process, and you'll get an on-the-spot orientation on all the services and resources available to you. Good luck! Monday February 7, 2011 9:16

[Comment From Candi: ] Can I send my resume and cover letter for your review and comment? Monday February 7, 2011 9:17

Karen Quesnel: Hi Candi - I think your best bet is to go to your local CTWorks office, register, and ask about having your resume critiqued. You can find our locations from the DOL website - www.ct.gov/dol - click on Directions and Office Information. Monday February 7, 2011 9:19

[Comment From Mike: ] Good Morning, My question is, how effective is networking sites like linkedin.com for job seekers? As I look thu the site, it seems to be more geared for the hiring companies and headhunters. any thoughts on this? Can you reccommend any other websites not commonly mentioned that are good for job seekers? Thank you, Mike Monday February 7, 2011 9:19

Karen Quesnel: Hi Mike - actually, networking sites are very effective! My colleague will be discussing that on tomorrow's segment on Fox61 - A very high percentage of employers use LinkedIn to look for qualified candidates. You definitely need a digital presence, and LinkedIn is professional and well known. I can't think of any other sites right now, but if you are on LinkedIn, make sure you take advantage of the groups features... join some of the groups... there are groups for your industry as well as groups that you may not have thought about, such as your alma mater, or professional organizations. All good opportunities for networking... you never know where those contacts will lead. Monday February 7, 2011 9:27

[Comment From Nancy: ] Karen, thank you for the helpful information. What would be the key items to include in the body of a cover letter? Monday February 7, 2011 9:30

Karen Quesnel: Well... in the first paragraph you should tell the employer what you are applying for and where you heard about the position (i.e. job posting in paper? job board? from a referral?) - Next, you want to list some of your qualifications - highlights to get them to read your resume. I was just told that the sample cover letter and resume samples are up on the website not - click on the "As Seen On" link. Basically - if you're looking at a job posting, make sure you're matching (or even exceeding) your qualifications to their requirements. Final paragraph - make sure you ask for the opportunity to discuss your qualifications further in an interview. Hopefully you can see the sample cover letter - that should help. And don't forget to send this cover letter & resume to a real person, if at all possible.... sometimes all it takes is a phone call to the company... Monday February 7, 2011 9:35

[Comment From patrick: ] is it important to have cover letters when applying for a jobs Monday February 7, 2011 9:35

Karen Quesnel: Yes! :) Absolutely - employers read cover letters - they do! Just like your resume, a cover letter is a marketing tool too - showcasing your value to an employer. We have cover letter workshops at our CTWorks offices - plus, there should be a sample up on the website now. Monday February 7, 2011 9:42

[Comment From CMV: ] Do you have to go into a CTWorks office to register or can you do it online? The office nearest me was closed and I would have to travel a ways to get to the office. Monday February 7, 2011 9:44

Karen Quesnel: Hi CMV - well, you would have to register in person at the CTWorks office. I'm not sure which office you are referring to - some of our offices are full service, while others have more limited hours. Which office did you visit? Monday February 7, 2011 9:46

[Comment From Leesa: ] Goodmorning Karen, Thank You for all of this information. I would like to view your sample cover letter. Where exactly on the this website is it? Monday February 7, 2011 9:54

Karen Quesnel: I understand it's on the chat page that we're on, on the bottom right (?) click on "As Seen On" Monday February 7, 2011 9:54

[Comment From Natasha: ] Thank you for posting the examples. It was a wonderful segment that I enjoyed. Monday February 7, 2011 9:55

Karen Quesnel: Thank you Natasha! There's been such a positive response to the segment so far, that Fox61 has asked me to come back on Friday... so stay tuned! I think we'll go over some of the nuts and bolts of resume development, and answer some viewer questions as well. If you have a specific question you can email your question to morningnews@ctnow.com. They will be selecting about 10 questions to answer on air. Monday February 7, 2011 9:59

Karen Quesnel: Thank you everyone for your questions! As I mentioned in the last post, I will be back on Friday to go over more specifics on resumes and cover letters. Also, please visit our website at www.ct.gov/dol and our job board - www.jobcentral.org/ct - you can post your resume online, search for jobs, set up automatic searches... and there are links to our career fairs, recruitment events and much more. Karen Monday February 7, 2011 10:02

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