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Workshop on how to present yourself in paper and in person


  • 1. March 30, 2009 Ilana T Levitt, MA, Med, NCC, Career Consultant [email_address] (908) 812-2245
    • Presenting Yourself on Paper and in Person
    • Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews
  • 2. Commitment To A Goal (or goals)
    • If you dont know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else
    • Career Planning is an oxymoron but you can commit to general interests, skills, values and goals
  • 3. Preparing a Resume
    • Functional or Chronological or both?
    • Include:
    • Addressing Issues Like:
    • Gaps in employment
    • Career changes
    • Frequent job changes
    • re-entry into the job market after years of non-paid work
  • 4. Why is a resume so important?
    • It is your chance to land an interview.
    • To a potential employer, your resume is an indicator of the quality and caliber of work youll produce if they hire you. A quality resume is worth the effort and investment.
    • Interview questions are often based, at least in part, on the resume. You can help guide your interviews toward your strengths and accomplishments.
    • The process of building your resume helps you clarify your goals and identify areas for improvement. It also helps you acknowledge and articulate your strengths and accomplishments.
  • 5. Remember the four Cs of resume writing:
    • CLEAR
    • Paint the picture for the employer using powerful action verbs, detailed descriptions, numbers and results
    • Use concise language. Eliminate all extraneous words. Articles such as the and a should be avoided, along with I, my, me or our. Also leave out conjunctions, such as and," whenever possible.
    • Be sure to abbreviate, punctuate, and line up your text consistently. For example, if you write Brooklyn, New York in the education section, be sure you dont write Brooklyn, NY in the experience section.
    • Pay close attention to grammatical and spelling errors. There is no excuse for a single mistake on your resume. Have others proofreadthe more proofreading, the better.
    • Remember that everything on your resume is fair game for an interview. Make sure all of the information you are providing is correct at the time you send it out.
  • 6. Summary/Profile Section
    • The summary/profile section is a powerful option for introducing your resume because it helps show the employer that you possess the qualities and skills for which they are looking. The purpose of this section is to direct the readers attention immediately to the specific combination of skills and qualifications they require. You can pull items from throughout all of your experiences and present them neatly together at the top of your resume to make a strong first impression.
    • Think carefully and identify skills, experiences, qualities, and interests that you have that would be of interest to the employer. Be guided carefully by the language and specifics of the job posting and/or description. In this section, you can include computer and language skills in the bottom two lines. Remember, experience includes paid, unpaid, and extracurricular work. If you choose to use a summary/profile section, do not use an objective statement.
  • 7. Example of Profile
    • Example in application for position of Administrative Assistant at an arts organization
    • Two years relevant experience in artistic and administrative areas
    • Strong interest in working in collaborative art education environment
    • Self-motivated, flexible, good sense of humor
    • PC/Mac, Microsoft Outlook, desktop publishing software
    • Intermediate Spanish
  • 8. Action Verbs
    • Every bullet should start with an action verb followed by a description, check out for full listing.
  • 9. Include PARS statements
    • P: What PROBLEM did you have to solve?
    • A: What ACTION did you take to solve it?
    • R: What RESULT did you get?
    • S: What skill did you use?
  • 10. Overview: Resume Should include:
    • Profile
    • Functional Section: Skills/Accomplishments (can be called Highlighted Skills, Core Competencies, Highlights of Accomplishments)
    • Chronological Section
    • Education
    • Additional Information: Include Associations, languages, community work, athletic or other information that stays within work relevance
  • 11. What is a cover letter?
    • A cover letter is your first written communication with the employer. It expresses your interest in the position and the organization, as well as highlights your relevant skills, experience and qualities. It always accompanies your rsum when you are applying for a position, even if it is not specifically called for.
  • 12. Getting Started
    • To begin the cover letter writing process you MUST collect these pieces of
    • information:
    • 1. The full name and title of the person to whom you will write, the
    • organizations name, and full address.
    • 2. The title of the position.
    • 3. The name of the person who referred you, website address, newspaper and
    • date of newspaper issue, or other information regarding how you know
    • about the position.
    • 4. Information that impresses you about the company. The best cover letters
    • demonstrate your familiarity and interest in the organization. You can
    • research the organization by reviewing company literature, newspapers, or
    • web sites.
    • 5. Your specific training, skills, achievements, and qualifications as they apply
    • to the position.
    • A way to express your enthusiasm
  • 13. Why dont employers advertise?
    • No open vacancy yet
    • Time consuming to define vacancy
    • Want to avoid mountains of resumes
    • Best candidates are from word of mouth
    • An interview is a conversation with a representative from a potential employer. The employer is looking to find out more about your experience and personality and how you may fit with his/her organization. This is an opportunity for you to market yourself and your abilities, as well as find out if you feel the organization suits your needs.
  • 15. Important Questions to Consider
    • What are three important things that you want an interviewer to know about you?
    • Why do you want to work in the field you have chosen?
    • State three questions that you hope an interviewer does NOT ask you.
    • How would you respond to these questions?
  • 16. Communication Skills
    • Practice your communication skills before an interview. Here are few key things to try and remember:
    • Avoid inarticulate filler words and phrases, such as um, uh, like and you know.
    • Use correct grammar and strong vocabulary.
    • Get comfortable talking about yourself as the main topic! This will take practice.
    • People are sometimes shy or less inclined to talk about themselves, but if you do not sell yourself, who will?
    • Practice stating your selling points with emphasis and enthusiasm.
    • Practice relaxation techniques.
    • Practice in the mirror and with others
  • 17. Know the Organization
    • Thoroughly review the companys website.
    • Conduct internet searches to find other company or industry-related articles and
    • information. (Check out: or Google the company).
    • Call the organization and find out how you can get a copy of annual reports and
    • recruiting literature.
    • For larger employers, get information from web sites such as
    • If you are unable to locate information (sometimes the case for smaller
    • organizations), call the employer and ask them to send you information on the company.


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