NEW YEAR, NEW RESUME: Whether you’re out of work or browsing for new opportunities, keeping your resume fresh and available in the right online locations could help jump-start job leads, career experts say.
They offer advice, both old standards and new tips, that incorporate the power of social networking:
_ Tailor your resume to individual companies and positions as much as possible. The Internet today offers jobseekers immense opportunity for corporate research, said Tim Schoonover, chairman of OI Partners, a leadership coaching and career consulting firm. Take advantage of the business information on Web sites such as Hoover’s Online and use the data to focus your resume when applying or networking.
_ Maintain a presence on LinkedIn, a corporate social networking site. List your job experiences and accomplishments there, just as you would on a resume. Schoonover recommended that you add the Web address of your profile to the contact-information portion of your paper resume. He also said that, just as colleagues can write you a recommendation on LinkedIn, you can add a short endorsement from a co-worker or manager under your contact information.
_ Make sure your resume isn’t just a list of job descriptions and responsibilities. It needs to show how you “add value” to your company,” said Ali Chambers, a vice president of ClearRock, an outplacement firm in Boston. Your resume needs to tell potential employers your accomplishments and how you helped improve your company, she said — your results, not your duties. Schoonover said a visual representation of your accomplishments, such as a graph of sales increases under your management, can be an unexpected way to make your resume stand out. George Herrmann, an executive with Right Management, cautions that a graph or graphic that isn’t extremely well done can be gimmicky. “Shy away from that unless you’re trying to show off your skills” in graphic design or presentations, he said.
_ Make sure recruiters see your resume. If you post your resume on a jobs board, “update” it once a week, Chambers said. Even if you just press edit and save without making any changes, that helps prompt some online job sites to circulate your resume anew, making it more likely to be seen by potential hirers.
Herrmann added that it’s important to update your profiles and resume at least once a year, even if you’re content in your position. A refreshed resume could catch a hirer’s eye, and the act of updating itself is good for working on your career goals.
_ Industry-specific sites, often those associated with professional organizations, are the best place to post a resume online, said Chambers and Schoonover.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT HEALTH: Americans tend to think they are healthy and that they’ll live at least as long as their parents did, a recent survey says.
Almost half (47 percent) of Americans said they expect to live longer than their parents did, while 36 percent expected to reach an age similar to that of their parents. One in 10 said they foresee a shorter life, however.
The biggest chunk (34 percent) expected to live until 81 to 90 years. Meanwhile, 22 percent thought they would live to be 71 to 80, and 17 percent expected to see an age of 91 to 100.
The oldest group surveyed had the highest life expectancy. Of those 65 and above, 41 percent expected to live until 81 to 90, while another 24 percent expected to reach an age between 91 to 100. In the total population, only 17 percent expected to live that long.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say life expectancy in the U.S. is 77.7 years.
Americans also see themselves as fitter than national statistics suggest. While the CDC said two-thirds of non-institutionalized U.S. adults were overweight or obese, the study found that only 39 percent of those surveyed called themselves overweight. Women (44 percent) were likelier than men (34 percent) to say they were overweight.
Royal Philips Electronics NV, based in the Netherlands, commissioned the survey of 1,503 U.S. adults. It was conducted over the phone from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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