Some experts have job seekers freaking out over these 5 FAQs?

Here are just a few of the typical questions I hear, read and see on a regular basis. For the sake of brevity, the questions and answers here are composite samples of more in-depth issues.

Often job seekers are confused and mislead by conflicting or outdated information that is being spread around by self-proclaimed experts.

It is my strong belief that there is no one-size-fits-all way to address the complexities of each person’s individual situation. Therefore, readers are invited to add comments related to any or all of the following based on their personal experience.

Q: Do I really need to have an elevator pitch that says who I am, what I want and how I can help someone else?

A: Rather than worry about following some ridiculous formula that comes off totally unnatural and obnoxious, focus on being authentic when you introduce yourself to others. The idea is engage others and be remembered for being unique and interesting, not the person who spewed out a cheesy rehearsed speech.

Q: Does it matter if I include a cover letter when I apply for jobs?

A: Maybe. It is a well-known fact that many recruiters or first level screeners do not read cover letters. However, there are usually quite a few layers involved with the staffing process and it is practically impossible to know in advance the preferences or expectations the hiring decision makers might have. Worst case scenario, your impressively written cover letter might go unread. Best case, your cover letter gives you another opportunity to sell your value-proposition to the prospective employer.

Q: Should each bullet on my resume contain a problem, action, result (PAR)?

A: Coming up with PARs is a good way to identify and clarify accomplishments for resume content and interview preparation. Resume bullets should be relevant, edited-well to be concise as well as action/achievement and results-oriented. Most PAR statements are too lengthy, so if space is an issue, it would be best to stick with the action and result portion.

Q: Is it a good idea to differentiate myself with a video resume?

A: Videos are OK to supplement traditional career marketing materials, but not everyone will take the time to click the link, wait for the video to load and watch the content. Job seekers in certain professions might find videos more advantageous than others.

Q: Are employers likely to read and be impressed by my blog?

A: Probably not. Many job seekers are being told that they should blog about their area of expertise to get the attention of employers. While there is nothing wrong with blogging – especially if you are a good writer and have specialized knowledge to share. But, the chance that an employer will find it, read it and hire you because of it is rather slim.

Article by Kelly Blokdjik of TalentTalks
TalentTalks partners with job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies and compelling professional branding materials to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative and customized human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts job market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!


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