Robin Schlinger on November 2nd, 2013

Your job search might alert you to opportunities far from your hometown. While you are willing to relocate, many companies are hesitant to interview, let alone hire, out-of-state applicants.

If you want to relocate out-of-state or away from your hometown, realize many companies will not pay for relocation in the current economic environment unless they cannot find a local candidate. Here are a few techniques you can use to increase your chances for an out-of-state job:

  • Find a mailbox company (or a friend) with an address perceived as within the commuting distance for the job. Also, get a phone number (use Skype or Google Voice) to get a phone number that is in the area code where the job is.
  • In the cover letter, mention although you are currently working in another city, you have begun the transition to the new location. This is true if you have established an address and phone number in the new city.
  • I do not recommend that your resume list name, email address and phone number only. That bare-bones information can get you eliminated from the application, since the company will assume you are hiding something.
  • In the cover letter or email that accompanies your resume mention that you are open to relocation. Even better, if you already have plans in place to move to the state, let the company know when you will be a resident.
  • The easier you make your relocation for the company involved, the more likely they will be to consider you. You may want to consider paying for your own transportation to the interview.

Of course, the most important consideration is your resume and cover letter highlight the skills, accomplishments and experience that companies in your target state are looking for.

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Rosa Elizabeth Vargas on October 3rd, 2013
Personal Brand

Does your personal brand need an update? A careerist said to me, “I need your help. I need to REBRAND my resume.”

Okay. So, I was expecting, “I need a resume like yesterday.” Perhaps, “What is resume branding?” But, an outright “rebrand” — well! If I wasn’t already sitting…

Why A Rebrand?

You see, this careerist had developed a strong brand; earned a reputation as a ‘department savior.’ The problem? Most of the job offers were coming from companies in need of an immediate and truly challenging rescue. (It is a logical result. Don’t you think?) The issue is this careerist no longer wishes to come in and organize mayhem.

Now, it is not this person is not willing to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and work hard. But that their most prominent qualifications, the brand that was exuding from resume shouted, “give me your poorest, most chaotic department, with little or no employees, and non-existing resources—I like that!” The solution? A rebrand.

The Complexity Of Branding

Many careerists in a quest to outdistance other job seekers work on developing a personal brand—and that is great. The mistake is sometimes a careerist will launch a personal branding campaign based on what they have been told repeatedly they are best at. What’s the problem with that? Many of us are often cast into roles that we do not ENJOY just because we are good at them.

Yes, perhaps, when we first begin our careers that is good enough. Nevertheless, as we grow, learn more about ourselves, discover through experience what we truly take pleasure in, we often desire personal fulfillment in conjunction with meeting our financial needs. Consequently, we need to reevaluate, and yes—REBRAND!

The Value Offer (Unique Value Proposition)

First, let’s be clear. In order to win that job, you must solve a problem for employers. (Yes. This is true.) Please know companies are looking for candidates because they need to solve a problem. So, if boarding a sinking ship, steering it, and hoisting it out of turbulent waters is what you enjoy—ahoy! But (pay close attention now), as an example, if you do not desire to save a department from flounder—what then is your value offer?

Perhaps taking the department to the next level? Offering higher returns? Guaranteeing more efficiency? Promising to train even better employees? Yes, you can present a solution to a challenge they have not yet faced. Think about the latter. How often have you purchased a product you originally didn’t know you needed but as it turns out it has made your life easier? Branding. Targeting. Marketing!

You and only you can answer the question of what your value offer is, but be assured you must offer value.

What This Means For You

You must pay close attention to what you are offering via your resume and brand. What you promote most prominently will attract those in need of just that. It is that simple. It is not just about outdistancing and differentiating yourself (although it is a key component of branding) but it is about attracting the right employer by targeting the right market and promoting the right brand.

Developing the right brand is a very complex self-analyzing process. You must be extremely cautious you do not promote an undesirable brand; coming into a department and sustaining things as they are is not a bankable or differentiating brand. Thus, you must evaluate and identify what you offer a corporation that provides them with an added value and concurrently position yourself to leverage the strengths you wish to implement in your daily work life.

What is your resume/brand saying about you? What is the value you are offering? And dare I ask you, what would make you happy?

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Robin Schlinger on April 17th, 2013

Resume TypeThe two main types of resumes are functional and chronological. A functional resume concentrates on your accomplishments and experience, with only the briefest reference to your job history. A chronological resume details your jobs in reverse chronological order, the most recent position first. But what type of resume works best? Which do I favor? Neither one!

The best modern resumes are a combination of functional and chronological. They start with a paragraph or list summarizing your main areas of accomplishment and your most valuable skills. Under that comes a detailed job listing, with information on your achievements in each position, in reverse chronological order.

A straight functional resume is often viewed by recruiters as a warning that you have something to hide: a large gap in employment, a history of moving from job to job, or an inability to hold onto any one job for very long. A straight chronological resume may force the recruiter to hunt for relevant experience and skills. The combination resume tells recruiters at a glance that you have the right skills and a stable, solid work history.

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J.T. & Dale on March 15th, 2013

Laid OffDear J.T. and Dale: I took a job as a sales assistant a few months ago. Yesterday, I was laid off because they are restructuring. Do I note that information on my resume or cover letter? What do I say? How do I explain it if I make it to interviews? — Nellie

Dale: It hurts me to say this, Nellie, but even in this economy, where layoffs are so common, it’s not unusual for a hiring manager to be suspicious of someone who is out of work. There is a lingering belief, perhaps not even conscious, that truly first-rate employees don’t get let go, or should have anticipated the problem and moved on.

So, if the facts support it, you would say in your cover letter that you were caught up in a major restructuring and that your entire division (or department) was eliminated. This makes it clear that the layoff truly had nothing to do with your work.

J.T.: On the other hand, Nellie, a layoff from a restructuring is a perfectly logical reason for you to be looking for work. So logical that I disagree with Dale; I doubt that hiring managers first reaction will be skepticism — most will accept the facts you give them. If ever there was a good time to offer a restructuring as an explanation, this is it. The key is to stay objective when describing your situation. On your resume, simply state that you were “laid off in a restructuring.”

That gives hiring managers all they need to know — although I wouldn’t argue with a sentence in the cover letter like the one Dale is suggesting. Then, when it comes to interviews, the key is to focus on what you want to do next. What skills do you want to leverage and how do you plan to save and/or make the company money. If you can articulate your value, hiring managers won’t be thinking about why you are laid off.

© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale at or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

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RedStarResume on March 14th, 2013

Summer JobsIdeally, the best thing you can do is try to find an internship which is related to your degree or passion. One of my favorite rockers, Ozzy Osbourne, worked in a slaughterhouse before rising to fame with Black Sabbath! This is the best way to gain real life experience as well as having something terrific to put on your resume.

For example, if you’re studying business then an Intern in a big financial bank would be fantastic and also good pay (but long hours!).

In reality, however, you have left finding an internship to the last moment and now you find yourself searching for a job that pays well without consuming your entire summer.

No matter what job you’re doing over the summer, never forget to network. Speak to people, ask questions, learn new skills, and most importantly, have fun.

And if you think you’re too good for a summer job, think again.

Some of the biggest stars in the world spent their summer mopping floors at a local Dairy Queen (Gwen Stefani) or saved up some extra cash as a paper boy (Tom Cruise). Matthew McConaughey found himself short of cash when travelling around Australia (before he was famous) and took a job on a farm moving chicken manure.

Top 20 Best Summer Jobs

  • Sales (The skills you learn in a sales job will help you for the rest of your life.)
  • Post office worker (Great pay!)
  • National Park services
  • Camp counselors (Not great pay but accommodation and food is free.)
  • Resort or country club (Get paid to live by the pool.)
  • Tour guide
  • Restaurant staff
  • Web design
  • Tutoring (Be your own boss – great pay!)
  • Telemarketing (Can you sell? Are you a talented speaker? Telemarketers may annoy you but the good ones can make a lot of money.)
  • Campus jobs/Working in the labs (Check out jobs area in your university.)
  • Construction worker
  • Valet
  • Pet and house sitting
  • Writing articles for sites that will pay you
  • Convention worker (Is the boat show in town?)
  • Landscaping
  • Lifeguards
  • Dog walker
  • Barista

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