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Easy Ways to Plan for Career Success

Debra Wheatman | CAREEREALISM

Here are some quick notes to help you on your way:

Résumés do not need to be limited to one page. Present a compelling story. There is no rule about paging. That might mean that your résumé is two pages. This is okay. A résumé works if it gets you the interviews. Period.

Do not add things like age, marital status or hobbies unless they are really unique. Your age and other personal details have nothing to do with your ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Hobbies like running and reading are not compelling. Many people enjoy those things. Did you run a marathon? Did you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? Things like that should be included. Otherwise, they will learn about you once you are an employee.

Your cover letter is an important component of your search. It is part of the résumé package, and you should definitely have one when applying. It is also an opportunity to highlight relevant things that might not be included in the résumé. Tailor it to meet the needs of a particular opening. You don’t need to rewrite the entire thing; however, it should not be boilerplate.

You cannot just post your résumé on job boards and expect the calls to come in. Looking for a position requires planning and careful networking. You must be a proactive job seeker. Speak to friends and friends of friends. Make use of social networking sites. Join traditional networking groups. Leave no stone unturned.

Follow up with a note after an in-person or phone interview. With the extensive use and immediacy of the Internet, people no longer take the time to draft handwritten notes. This can go a long way in making a memorable impression in the mind of a hiring manager. In the interest of expediency, you can also send an email.

Pursuing a new role? Plan accordingly; keep notes; develop your strategy; conduct the research; and use all of your tools to drive career success.

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