|Careers & Employment Information|
Resumes and First impressions
Hunting for a position in a new career field? Trying to take your new education or skills and transform them into a job with a future?
I've spent the last few weeks working in a placement service trying to help people find that first "career" job; trying to help them make the transition from student to employee. I see the same mistakes over and over again. Here are a couple of things to be aware of as you search for that fresh start.
1. The Skim Rule - Understand that most recruiters will only take less than 30 seconds to skim a resume for further review. Are your skills and abilities described in such a way that they leap off the page. Large companies now use recruiting software to determine which resumes will be processed for further review. If your resume is inconsistent, uses incorrect terminology for the position you're applying for, or is cluttered you might not make the cut.
2. Spell check, spell check, spell check - Then review for proper grammar and usage. I can't tell you how many resumes are ignored each day because the grammar, spelling or word usage is improper. If you don't take the time to verify that the resume you're sending is correct, how careful will you be with your potential employer's information?
3. Acronyms and Jargon - Unless the jargon or acronym is standard in the industry try to avoid it. If the recruiter does not understand what you are referring too, then they are unlikely to continue reviewing the resume. Take the time to define and describe your acronyms, jargon or software functions.
4. Contact Phone Number - You've put your contact phone number on your resume. Is it actually a number you can be reached at? If you are using your cell phone will you be able to keep the service current and turned on? Will other people be answering the phone? Will they know how to take a message?
5. Voice Mail - Your cell phone and answering machine messages provide the ability to include music, speech clips and even real audio in your greeting. I know the temptation to play your favorite song or audio clip for you callers is great; however I suggest you resist. You want to give a potential employer a good first impression when they attempt to reach you to set up the initial interview. Your voice mail message should include your name, a brief message requesting information and an assurance that you will return the call. For example: "You have reached Carole Jones, I'm unable to answer the phone at this time, but if you will leave your name and number I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you."
6. The Application - Your resume can say anything you want to about yourself. A Resume is merely an ad to sell you to a potential employer. When you are asked to fill out an application you are creating a legal document. The application needs to be complete and honest. If the company uses any type of background check you can be disqualified from consideration because of inaccuracies on the application. It is never appropriate to refer to your resume on an application (i.e. SEE RESUME). Take the time to provide complete and accurate information.
7. References - Do the people you have listed for your reference know they are being used as a reference? Have you requested permission to use them as references in the past? Do you keep in touch with you references? Nothing leaves a bad impression like the potential employer trying to check references only to have the contact person confused or worse yet, unprepared to speak on your behalf. Always let your reference know if you have had a great interview and you think the potential employer will be checking references. While you're at it, make sure that the contact information you are providing is accurate and current. Nothing will disqualify you faster than the future employer's inability to verify your references or work history.
If you are interest in leadership theory and practices then you need to visit: http://www.righttolead.com. Carole Sue Jones is a contributing writer and thinker for our organization. In addition, as a leader you may be interested in http://www.myleadershipsuccess.com. If you are interested in help with your resume visit http://www.resumeredesign.com
Searching for Employment
Searching for a job can be a daunting and confusing task for anyone, whether he or she is just entering the job market, looking for a better job or find him or herself without a job after several years with one employer. A job search can be successful when the person looking for a job knows exactly what they should and should not do when looking for a new job. Once a person has located a job that they desire, the applicant needs to get their resume ready and avoid the most common mistakes that job seekers make while looking for a job.
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This is especially true when you consider the "isolated lab environment" most scientists and engineers are used to. Contrast this with the fact that an inventor's hopes and dreams will be riding on the invention and that you will be there every step of the way to help them achieve their goals. Obviously, a great deal of interviewing and excellent communication is required in order to adequately learn what was invented and write a patent application. Which brings us to the next point; patent practitioners must also have excellent writing skills. Drafting a quality patent application is tedious work that requires the absolute best in written communication. In addition, a strong background in either science or technology is a must. You will have to understand exactly what has been invented in order to write a quality patent application. Lastly, as a Patent Practitioner, you should possess a thirst for never-ending knowledge. You will be right on the cutting edge of research and development. You will constantly be exposed to new and exciting discoveries virtually before anyone else! The Dollars and Cents It's the million dollar question. What might you expect to make as a professional in the field of patent law? Well, the pay scale varies from $45,000 up to $250,000+ for Patent Practitioners and is determined by many factors (yes I realize that's quite a span). First, as we've already eluded, if you are a scientist or engineer without a law degree you will be classified as a Patent Agent after you pass the Patent Bar Exam. If you have a law degree and are already considered an attorney, you will be classified as a Patent Attorney upon passing the exam. As a Patent Attorney with the same level of experience as a Patent Agent, you will typically earn the higher income because in addition to writing and prosecuting patents, you may also help protect patents in a court of law. Second, your degree level will help determine your pay. If you have a Bachelor's degree in your particular area of expertise, you will typically make less than someone with a Master's or a PhD. Third, your experience level will make a difference. Your previous positions will count when factoring your salary. The number of years you have worked as an engineer or scientist will make a difference. The more experience you have, usually the more valuable you will be perceived by the company. The longer you have worked in the field of patent law, the higher your pay will be as well. Lastly, where you seek employment makes a difference in your pay. Law firms typically pay the most, whereas a Technology Transfer department at a University will usually pay the least. Furthermore, the state and city you apply for work in will also play a factor. Hot Commodity Businesses in the science and technology sectors regard patents as their lifeline. Therefore, gaining status as a registered Patent Practitioner can open many career doors for you. Since the fields of research and intellectual property are so intertwined, imagine the new career opportunities you would be presented with if you were trained in both areas. Furthermore, as a scientist or engineer, most of the qualifications necessary to achieve registration as a Patent Practitioner have usually already been met. It is likely that your only requirement may be to pass the Patent Bar Exam. It is a difficult hurdle, but in comparison to the time and money you already spent to become a scientist or an engineer, the time and money necessary to pass the Patent Bar Exam is reasonable. In today's unpredictable job market, expanding your skills makes sense, especially when this can be accomplished for a relatively low expense and little time. Compared to getting a degree, setting aside even a full year (although it can be completed in much less time) to learn about the patent prosecution process and take the Patent Bar Exam is very reasonable. Especially when you further consider the fact that it will open an entirely new career door for you. Whether you wish for a complete job change or the desire to become more marketable for technology based companies, gaining skills is always a smart move to make. Please review www.PatentBarStudy.com to learn more about the Patent Bar Exam and how you can jump-start your career as a Patent Practitioner.
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