Nancy Muenzmay earned a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University in 1973. So she’s a teacher, right? No. School principal? Uh, no. School board member? Well, she ran for school board, but didn’t win a seat. Today, Nancy is working her dream job as director of business-incubator programs at Lake-Sumter State College. She’s also co-owner of Striking Effects Promotions, an embroidery, screenprinting and awards company in Mount Dora.
Nancy took a roundabout path to the job of her dreams. She worked as reading specialist for Orange County schools, bookkeeper and supervisor in Seattle, senior financial analyst for Red Lobster, director of planning for Tupperware and English correspondent for an art gallery in Japan.
Lesson No. 1 for those of you still searching for the job of your dreams: It’s probably not behind door No. 1.
Landing the job of your dreams is all about being persistent and adaptable … and recognizing your calling when it comes in sight.
“I love utilizing all the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired throughout my career — my education, finance background, networking capability and business owner experience — to provide local businesses with the necessary tools and resources to be successful,” Nancy said.
For most people, it takes time to find the job you’re supposed to be doing, the one that makes you feeling like you’re truly making a difference. Of course, you have to know yourself, and what you’re looking for. Following the tips presented here will help identify and land the job of your dreams.
Nancy offers these three important tips for people in the workforce:
When you know why you feel satisfied, you’ll look forward to going back to work the next day and your job will become your passion. And when you’re passionate about your job, it doesn’t feel like you’re even working.
While it’s easy to become stuck in a routine or comfort zone, the only way you’ll truly grow is by seeking new opportunities to improve and expand your skills.
Don’t be afraid about switching careers. You may have two or three careers before you find what you’re truly passionate about.
Writing an effective resume
So, how do you go about landing your dream job? Begin by creating a resume to make a great first impression.
You’ve likely been told there is a specific format to follow when writing a resume – name and contact information at the top, followed by a job objective, your education and a chronological listing of your previous places of employment.
Forget that outdated formula. Merely outlining your work experience isn’t always the best way to sell yourself.
“First and foremost, your time is extremely limited,” said Gustavo Henriquez, who teaches resume writing at CareerSource Central Florida in Leesburg. “You have to make a splash quickly or else they’re going to move on to the next resume. A skills-based resume will help you make an immediate positive impression and show you are relevant.”
HOW DO YOU MAKE A SKILLS-BASED RESUME? HENRIQUEZ OFFERS THESE TIPS:
• Don’t write your job objective in the beginning. Employers don’t want to hear that. Instead, use that space to write a three- to five-sentence profile summary about your job skills. It should be key word rich — meaning you tailor your words to the specific job you’re applying for to gain attention. Carefully read the job description beforehand and know what the employer is looking for. You are addressing their needs in this section.
• List your previous jobs. Use bullet points because it’s pleasing to the eye.
• When talking about specific achievements, begin each sentence with action verbs. Action verbs such as ‘managed,’ ‘analyzed’ or ‘developed’ pack more of a punch and allow your statements to be concise. Remember, time is limited.
• Ideally, a resume should be one page. However, it can be two pages because you certainly do not want to sell yourself short.
Advantages Of A Skills-Based Resume
1) FOR PEOPLE WITH EMPLOYMENT GAPS
“By successfully listing the skills you’ve acquired, you may wow the employer enough in the beginning that your employment gaps are not as important,” Henriquez says. “But if you have been out of work, make sure to have a section about ongoing professional development so you can demonstrate that you’ve acquired new skills or developed additional knowledge.”
2) FOR PEOPLE JUST ENTERING THE WORKFORCE
“These people obviously won’t have an extensive work history, but they still may have enough skills to make them viable candidates for the job.”
Don’t Oversell Yourself
Greg Nelson has served as president of United Southern Bank for 25 years. He never enjoys reading resumes of people trying to emulate Donald Trump. “My first thought is, ‘If he is this good, then why is he looking for a job?’ Never go way overboard on your accolades and accomplishments.”
Horrible Resume Bloopers
Nah, I don’t think so.
Planned new corporate facility at $3 million over budget.
Yeah, companies are salivating over prospective employees who “only” go a few million over budget.
I am a rabid typist.
You plan on bringing rabies into the office?
Say adios to your chances of being hired.
Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.
Sometimes hard work just isn’t worth it.
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
Congratulations, your resume landed you an interview. Now both your skills and personality will be assessed. It is essential that you know what employers are looking for.
We asked United Southern Bank Vice President of Human Resources Mary Kay Kahler, who has served in numerous capacities – including teller, loan secretary and branch manager – during a 35-year career. Here are her helpful hints for leaving a lasting impression during the interview process:
Dress appropriately: “How they present themselves tells me a lot. When they come in wearing wrinkled clothes and flip-flops, I know they’re not taking the process very seriously. That makes me wonder how much they really want the job.”
Display a warm, friendly attitude: “I’d hire a person with a good attitude and no banking experience before I’d hire a person with a bad attitude and years of banking experience. In banking, they’ll frequently be dealing with the public and must know how to successfully interact with other people.”
Don’t be insulting: “I cannot stand when I ask someone to describe their duties from their previous job, and they say something critical about their former employer. That definitely is a warning sign, and I instantly begin wondering how much trouble they would bring to our company.”
Money isn’t everything: “Another thing that irritates me is when people come in and immediately ask about the rate of pay instead of asking questions about the specific job they’re applying for. I get the impression that they’re only concerned about money.”
That’s just sick: “I interviewed one person who immediately asked me about sick time. I thought, ‘Does this person plan on getting sick?’”
Educate yourself: “One thing that impresses me most is when candidates have learned about our bank before the interview. That makes me think our bank is truly a place where they desire to work.”
Make eye contact: “When people are nervous and looking away from me, it makes me wonder how comfortable they’d feel being around customers. I want confident candidates who can relate to our customers and provide them with superior service.”
Be honest: “One question I ask all candidates is to talk about their biggest weakness. I respect when people answer that question honestly. We all have a weakness or two.”
Don’t lead the interview: “Sometimes applicants begin talking about themselves and do not allow me to lead the interview. That is annoying. You have to let the interviewer lead.”
Be respectful: “Once the interview is complete, I appreciate when applicants shake my hand and thank me for the interview. And when they follow-up, I know they’re interested in the job. But they shouldn’t call or email me every day because that comes across as being desperate.”
INTERVIEW BLOOPERS THAT LEFT HORRIBLE IMPRESSIONS ON HUMAN RESOURCE PROFESSIONALS
• One candidate brought a Walkman and said she could do the interview and listen to music at the same time.
BE(A)WARE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
You may have aced the job interview, but you probably had little idea Facebook may impede you from obtaining your dream job. Perhaps it was that picture of you passed out drunk at a party. Or maybe it was an extremely insensitive comment you made.
“When you’re applying for a job, you need to make sure your Facebook page is clean,” says Gustavo Henriquez of Career Source Central Florida. “Any comments or pictures that shed you in a negative light may come back and bite you.”
And you better believe employers are checking social media accounts of job applicants.
“Ninety-three percent of all recruiters are utilizing social media to screen prospective employees,” he says. “You definitely should polish up your Facebook account and any other forms of social media you’re using.”
According to Henriquez, here are some things you can do:
1) Steer clear of political views.
2) Watch your language. It will turn off a recruiter if every other word out of your mouth is a cuss word.
3) Be mindful of your grammar. Not being able to write complete sentences or spell simple words can be a turn-off.
4) Be wary of photos. Some photos that might be funny or cute to family members and friends might not be impressive to recruiters.
5) Don’t badmouth former employers. Recruiters will identify you as a troublemaker in the workplace.
6) Check your privacy settings. This lets recruiters know that you’re web-security savvy.
7) Don’t delete your Facebook account altogether or hide things that make you interesting. Recruiters enjoy having a peek into your personality.
8) Even if you land the job, you still need to be careful. Employees can still get fired based on things they say on social media.
percent of employers check your Facebook after reviewing an application.
percent of human resource officers have rejected job applications based on social media reviews.
percent of recruiters have hired a candidate based on his or her social media presence