The next step is to develop a presentation 'package' that will serve as your marketing tools to reach your occupational goals.
Presenting yourself well to employers means:
Learning to use these presentation tools by developing a marketing strategy will be discussed later on in the "Marketing Yourself" section. Right now we will focus on developing your self presentation skills.
A. Completing Job Applications
Applications are used by employers as a tool for finding additional information about who you are and for screening out applicants who do not demonstrate the qualifications they are looking for.
Your application is often the how the employer forms their first impression of you. If you show the employer that you have the skills and abilities they need, you will be invited in to discuss your qualifications in person.
Like everything else appearances count. Think of your application as an extension of yourself and an example of the kind of work you will do for the employer. Your applications should be:
Information Needed for Applications:
The next pages contain tips for completing applications, followed by sample applications-- both good and bad examples. Read through the tips, and see if you can figure out what is wrong or right about our examples.
How to Handle Difficult Questions
Problem questions may be addressed by writing "May discuss at time of interview"
Avoid writing "fired." Instead put:
If you have too little experience:
a. look at volunteer, hobby, chores, and other experiences.
b. use classroom and other educational and training experiences
B. Developing Resumes
A resume by definition is a one page, concise piece of self-advertising that is focused on a specific position or job objective.
The resume is designed as an enticement to an employer-- To give them enough information so they can see you have the basic qualifications for the position, and so they will want to meet with you to discuss your qualifications further in a job interview.
Your resume is a very individual document with it's own special uniqueness that presents your qualifications. Good resumes are well-organized with a focused employment objective.
- Objective (optional): a clear statement (usually 2-4 words) identifying the position you are seeking
- Education: list your most current degree/credential first. Include the month and year of graduation, the institution attended. You may list relevant courses.
- Honors: include GPA if 3.0 or higher, graduation with honors, awards, honor societies, dean's list, etc.
- Experience: include work-related activities. Describe not only job responsibilities, but what you created, accomplished, achieved, etc. (refer to handout on action verbs)
- Professional Development: include completion or plans on taking an exam in your field; i.e. CPA, Actuarial, Civil Engineering, etc.
- Special Skills: include skills applicable to your career field; i.e. computer language, fluency in foreign languages, public speaking, performing arts, etc.
- Activities/Interests: include those activities that demonstrate leadership abilities or cooperation in working with others.
- Disclosing a Disability: if you feel the employer would be very likely to hire someone with a disability such as, the government, then find a positive way of disclosing your disability. Ask yourself, "will disclosing support my goal of being hired?" Disclosure can be addressed either in your cover letter or on your resume. If there is any chance your disability will be viewed negatively, don't disclose it. In most situations, people should not disclose their disability at this time.
Do You Use a TDD??
For job seekers who use a TDD, or TT (Text Telephone), it is a personal decision whether or not you should put your TDD phone number on your resume.
If you use your TDD phone number on your resume, you should also include the number for the relay service in your state. This will help employers to be able to get in contact with you.
If you have activities or items on your resume that indicate you are deaf, have a speech impairment, or other disability-- such as attendance at a school for the deaf or involvement with clubs and/or organizations-- go ahead and use your TDD number with the relay service number.
However, some employers may not know how to use the relay service, or what that means. Even if they do, they may allow their fears or stereotypes to interfere and not make the effort to call a TDD number. So what can you do?
Many tasks have led to the acquirement of marketable skills. Consider the following experiences:
Think about the tasks listed above and how you might be able to state the task in a skill.
Developing a Rough Draft:
The first step to writing an effective resume is to develop a rough draft. Using the Resume Worksheet on the facing page, write in the information requested. While working, keep the following points in mind:
* Organized office files
* Maintained office books
* Handled cash using a cash register
Personal Data (Optional):
References: Available upon request (optional)
Clerical or Detail Skills
More Verbs for Accomplishments
Types of Resumes:
Employment is listed starting with the most current job and ending with the earliest. Dates follow the name of employer, job title, and a brief description of accomplishments and duties.
Used by those who have acquired a variety of skills and achievements through a number of experiences. Allows the applicant to highlight selected areas which most relate to the job being sought. Information is ranked from the most important to least important down the page. This ranking is based on knowledge of the job/employer.
Combines the functional/chronological format. Allows you to highlight major skills. Displays a continuous record of related work experience. This style usually lists functions/skills followed by a listing of employers and dates of employment.
For those seeking a position as an accountant. Usually follows the chronological format. The following data is of particular importance:
For applicants seeking a position in education (teachers, administrators, support services such as counselors, nurses, librarians). Includes specific information such as:
Emphasis on positions related to engineer, computer science, math and physics. The following information is sought:
Used by those seeking positions in artistic/entertainment fields. Follow guidelines for all resumes. Emphasis is on effective use of visual images and color.
Note: Never let devices/images become so large or powerful that they detract from your professional qualifications. Don't make your resume 'cute'‹ you want the company to take you seriously.
Using the list below, try to think of at least three people who would be good references for you. Start by choosing people from #1 if possible, then move to #2, and so on until you have three names.
Write their names on separate paper and fill in the following information:
NEVER USE A REFERENCE WITHOUT GETTING PRIOR PERMISSION!
Be sure to tell them what kind(s) of position(s) you are applying for, and how your relationship with them can assist you in getting the position. (For example: "This job requires budget management, so please be sure to tell them about how I did your bookkeeping").
* Using the word "RESUME" in heading. (It's a waste of space.)
* Listing references on the resume. (Wait for employer to request them.)
* Making handwritten corrections
* Putting a date on the resume
* Using a title (i.e. Dr., Mr., or Mrs.)
* Using a nickname or initials
* Using abbreviations or acronyms (spell it out)
* Using "I", instead of beginning with action verbs
* Using the category of "work experience", this can work against you if you have done mostly volunteer work. Use "Professional Experience" or "Related Experience"
Letters of Recommendation:
Letters of recommendation, also known as letters of reference, are letters written by your references to an employer about you and your skills. These letters are sometimes required when submitting resumes or applications for specific positions.
Often references will ask that you write a draft of the letter and give it to them to be typed onto their letterhead paper. While this is sometimes a difficult task, it gives you some control to ensure that your references discuss the points you want them to make. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires use of a specific computer program, you can be sure to mention the use of that program in the letter you write.
While there is no set format for a letter of recommendation, the following outline will be useful if you need to develop one for yourself. Remember to use strong, action oriented words to describe yourself. Use the list of Action Verbs to help you.
Paragraph one: Writing as if you are your reference, state your first and last name, how you two are aquatinted, and for how long.
Paragraph Two: This is where you discuss activities that demonstrate skills and abilities related to the job or career field you are interested in pursuing. Mention specific activities whenever possible.
Paragraph Three: Discuss your personal qualities, such as 'diligent', 'hard worker', 'quick learner,' etc. This is also where you state that you would be a valuable asset to any company.
** You should get a letter of recommendation from each internship or job that you leave under good circumstances (you were not fired).
18012 Main St. #120
Northridge, CA 91326
OBJECTIVE: Stock Broker Assistant EDUCATION: California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Arts: Economics Degree Anticipated Fall 199x RELATED COURSEWORK: * Calculus * Statistics * Accounting * Business Law * Economic Price Theory * Law & Economics * Microeconomics * Macroeconomics COMPUTER SKILLS: IBM/Compatibles: * WordPerfect 5.0, 5.1, & 6.0 * DOS 6.0 & 6.2 * Quatro Pro * Business Works * Lotus 1-2-3 * Windows EXPERIENCE: Assistant Manager 11/9x- United Artists, Granada Hills, California Present * Supervise and train new employees * Facilitate customer relations and monitor courtesy * Promote theater through area stores * Contact major studios regarding promo kits & merchandise * Order, cut and splice trailers to print * Purchase confection and janitorial supplies * Build movies for showing and tear for shipping * Maintain projectors to ensure film quality * Responsible for daily receipts balance and deposit moneys into safe * Compile and enter daily balance data into office computer system * Plan and supervise employees shifts * Develop and monitor employee schedules * Stock and display merchandise * Photographed district theaters for corporate headquarters 8/ 9x- Lab Assistant 9/9x Cancer Research Lab, California State University, Northridge * Observed and collected data for experimentation in polyfertilization process * Prepared salt water baths to wash Sea Urchins * Mixed solutions with lichens in which the Sea Urchins were placed * Fertilized the Sea Urchins ACTIVITIES: 19xx - Soccer Team, California State University, Northridge 19xx * Starting goal keeper 19xx - Genetics Club 19xx REFERENCES: Available Upon Request
Joseph Smoe16666 Downtown Street Granada Hills, CA 91344 (818) 368-0800 Objective Manager Trainee Qualifications and Skills
Staff Supervision and Training* Conduct Interviews and Hire Personnel * Train Incoming New Employees * Determine Staff Schedules based on Payroll Budget * Supervise Shifts to Ensure Sufficient Theater Coverage * Manage Disciplinary Actions Advertising and Promotions* Organize Promotional Events * Contact Outside Sources for Promotional and Display Items General Theater Operations* Responsible for Entire Theater Operation in the Manager's Absence * Balance Daily Receipts and Deposit Money into Safe * Compile and Enter Daily Balance Data into Office Computer System * Take Film Bookings * Develop Show time Schedule * Handle Customer Inquiries and Special Requests * Inventory Concessions and Purchase Needed Stock * Ensure Efficient Operation of Concession Stands Theater Maintenance and Equipment* Educate Employees on United Artists Safety Policies and Procedures * Monitor Theaters for Cleanliness and Potential Hazards * Order Janitorial Supplies * Build and Tear Prints for Showing and Shipping * Order and Attach Trailers to Print * Maintain Projectors and Related Equipment * Thread and Run Movies * Troubleshoot and Remedy Pacer System Relevant Experience United Artists Theatres Granada Hills, California 3/9x - Present Assistant Manager 5/9x - 3/9x Supervisor 6/8x - 5/9x Usher/Concession/Cashier Education California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Science: Management Degree Expected: December 199x Related Coursework * Business Law * Business Communications * Management * Financial Accounting * Managerial Accounting * Intermediate Price Theory * Microeconomics * Money & Banking * Marketing * Management Science * Macroeconomics * Calculus for Business Applications Honors/Activities Golden Key National Honor Society
Stella StarWilling to Relocate OBJECTIVE: Manager Trainee SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS:
LESLIE G. JOBSEEKER
1234 W. Sixth Street San Marino, CA 92345 (818) 555-2345
OBJECTIVE Entry-Level Staff Accountant EDUCATION B.S. Degree: Business Administration, June 19xx Option: Accounting California State University, Northridge Overall Grade Point Average -- 3.2 Accounting Grade Point Average -- 3.3 HONORS & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES * Dean's List * Supervisor/Preparer: Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program * Director of Tours: Accounting Association PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Enrolled in CPA Review Course. Will take May 19xx CPA Exam. COMPUTER SKILLS * LOTUS 1-2-3 * dBaselll * WordPerfect * 10 Key by touch EXPERIENCE Have consistently been employed 20-40 hours per week while attending college. ACCOUNTING INTERN (20-40 hours per week) June 19xx to present John Jones, CPA, Los Angeles, CA * Work on audits with staff. * Prepare State and Federal tax returns. * Review and adjust clients' general ledgers. * Prepare sales and quarterly payroll tax reports. BOOKKEEPER (20 hours per week) September 19xx -- May 19xx Watkins Heating Company, Woodland Hills, CA * Promoted to Head Bookkeeper after six months. * Responsible for accounts payable, receivable and payroll. * Trained and supervised assistant bookkeeper. SALES ASSOCIATE (40 hours per week) Summer 19xx May Company, Canoga Park, CA * Operated cash register and balanced daily receipts. * Priced, stocked and displayed merchandise. * Provided customer service. INTERESTS Golf, tennis, sailing and music
Jill ApplicantBilingual: Spanish 325 Oak Avenue (818) 555-5678 (work) Northridge, CA 91330 (818) 555-1234 (home) Education/Credentials California State University, Northridge: Special Education Specialist Credential, Learning Disabled, June 19xx California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Clear B.A. Liberal Studies, January 19xx Related Experience Spring Student Teacher, l9xx Los Angeles Unified School District Instructed 7th-9th grade Learning Disabled students in a special day class
program. Developed a class schedule and lesson plans which used a variety
of assessment strategies. Worked closely with parents and implemented a
behavioral reinforcement system for each student. Introduced a special unit
on survival skills. Spring Student Teacher, l9xx Los Angeles Unified School District Instructed 4th grade students in a team teaching situation which included
bilingual and gifted students. Developed a highly motivational reading
center. Gold Rush social studies unit, math games, and a multicultural and
self-awareness unit. Directed students in a Spanish dance presentation and
sign language performance for the student body. 19xx Teacher Aide - Special Education, to Los Angeles Unified School District 19xx Assisted the teacher and supervised students with various disabilities on the
playground and in the classroom. 565 substitute hours in EH. Tutor/Recreation Leader, Sheraton Convalescent Home, Brentwood, CA Supervised recreational activities and Bible study for disabled youth and
elderly patients. Assisted stroke patients weekly with speech exercises and
writing skills. Recreation Leader/Counselor, Hollygrove Orphanage, Reseda, CA Worked with educationally handicapped, emotionally disturbed and battered
and abused children. Performed the duties of a house parent, tutored one-
on-one and organized recreational activities for summer. Camp Counselor, ACAMPAR, Stonesville, CA Camping Program for the Disabled. Assisted physically disabled children
with their physical needs, provided supervision during recreational and craft
activities. Counselor, Children's Correspondence Joni and Friends, Inc., Northridge, CA Assisted in writing letters to children having problems concerning physical
disabilities, personal or family needs. Interests Traveling, outdoor activities, arts and crafts, illustrating children's books
and educational resources. References Placement file available upon request.
Robert G. Jobseeker U.S. Citizen
1841 Dream Street * Northridge, CA 91326 * (818) 885-xxxx Objective Entry-Level Software Engineering Position Languages * C/C++ * Ada * FORTRAN * Assembly * Pascal * COBOL Systems * UNIX * VAX * MS-DOS * Sun 3/60 * Novell Education Bachelor of Science: Computer Science January 19xx California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Major Courses Data Base Design Software Engineering Operating Systems Lab Introduction to A.l. Computer Graphics Lab Numerical Analysis Digital Systems Lab Robotics Lab Honors Graduation with honors: Cum Laude GPA: 3.6/4.0 Extensive Academic Honors Special Projects * 700-line Inventory/POS system in FoxBase + (Group Project Leader) * 1200-line O.S. shell/file system in C, 1000 lines C++ under UNIX System V * Robot Workspace Translation system in AML, VAL on IBM 7565, PUMA robots Computer Experience Network Administrator June 19xx -- February 19xx Computer Center: Systems Group -- CSUN Set up Novell file servers from the box to a finished laboratory situation: * Server hardware, OS, accounts * IBM-PC software installation, maintenance, updates * USER training, troubleshooting, documentation User Support Specialist September 19xx -- June 19xx Computer Center: User Services Group -- CSUN * Installed, maintained & troubleshot IBM-compatible applications software. * Assisted internal & instructional users with applications and programming on Cyber, VAX, PRIME, AT&T3b5, PDP-11 and IBM PC & PS/2. * Trained users & troubleshot software & hardware (terminals, printers, PCs) by telephone and in person. Wrote tutorials. Programmer June 19xx -- January 19xx PC-SOFTEACH Computer Consulting, Burbank, CA Additional Experience Assistant Manager, Fayva Shoe Store, Valencia, CA 5/9x - 12/9x Sales Associate, Miller's Outpost, Valencia, CA 6/9x - 5/9x References Available Upon Request
9500 Tolouse Ave. #316 Northridge, California 91348 (818) 992-2345 CAREER OBJECTIVE Graphic Designer SPECIALIZED SKILLS Well versed in artistic designs. Creative abilities in conceptualization, corporate identity, and logo design. COMPUTER SKILLS *Macintosh Literate: Graphic Programs: * Adobe Illustrator * Quark Express * Adobe Photoshop Word Processing: * MicroSoft Word 5.0 Spreadsheets: * Microsoft Excel 4.0 Network Experience: * Turbogopher * AppleShare * IBM PC Compatible Literate: * WordPerfect 5.1 * Lotus 1-2-3 * Windows EDUCATION June 19XX California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Arts: General CAREER EXPERIENCE May 19XX - Design Specialist September 19XX Empire Berol USA, Orange County, CA Created layouts for catalogs and other promotional materials. Separated graphics to prepare for press.
MICHAEL K. FLANAHAN
Assisted departments with creative designs pertinent
to their production needs, including box covers and
product inserts. July 19XX Sales Manager September 19XX Robinson's, Woodland Hills, CA Developed client base in men swear department specializing
in formal wear. Assisted with employee training and sales
promotions. Lead department in annual sales revenue of
more than $250,000. LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES September 19XX Coordinated publicity team, then designed and created June 19XX billboards and flyers for Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. REFERENCES & PORTFOLIO Available Upon Request
Date Name of Contact Person Title Company Name Street Address City, State, Zip Dear (Contact Person): Opening Paragraph: Name the job for which you are applying. Tell how you
learned about it. Mention the name of the person (if any) who referred you to the
organization and vacancy -- preferably a colleague of the contact person.
Body Paragraph(s): Critical content section. Emphasize skills or abilities you
have that relate to the job for which you are applying. If you have had relevant work
experience or related education , be sure to point it out, but do not reiterate your entire
resume. Explain why you are interested in working for this employer and specify your
reasons for desiring this type of work. Be sure to communicate confidence. Remember
that the reader will view your letter as an example of your writing skills.
Closing Paragraph: Push for an interview. You may refer the reader to your
enclosed resume and whatever media you are using to illustrate your training, interests and
experience. Assert yourself by telling the contact person you will call him/her on a
designated date, or within a specified time period, to set up an interview. Alternatively,
state that you are available for a personal interview at his/her convenience.
Sincerely, Your name typed Your address Your Phone number Enclosure(s)
12345 Highland St. #230 Northridge, CA 91326 (818)366-6666
February 2, 1995 Herbert Singer, Director Greater Medical Group Human Resources Department 11111 Septima Blvd. Mission Hills, CA 93333 Dear Mr. Singer I am writing to apply for your Accounts Manager position currently advertised in The
Career Center at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Enclosed is my resume
for your review. This is a position that would fit well with my education, interests, and
Through my coursework as an Economics major at CSUN I have developed an
understanding of statistical analysis, as well as excellent research and report writing skills.
In addition, I am familiar with the use of most office equipment and office procedures. At
home, I complete all class assignments on an IBM PC compatible with Windows, and can
learn new programs quickly and efficiently. Both the United Artists Theater and my
personal computer afford me the opportunity to develop and maintain databases.
I am a highly motivated self-starter who works well with others. I would like to meet with
you at your earliest convenience to discuss my qualifications in further detail, as well as the
contributions I can make to Greater Medical Group.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to meeting with you soon. Sincerely, Annabelle Applicant Enclosure: Resume
D. Interviewing Skills
Developing your interviewing skills is one of the most important self presentation skills you can develop. The interview is considered the most important step in the employment selection process.
During an interview, you have roughly between 45 - 60 minutes to convince the interviewer that you are not only qualified for the job, but you are the BEST person for the job.
1. Research the company.
- Ask for information about the organization and for a job description when the interview is set up, or go to the company and pick up the information.
- Find out the type of industry as well as what products or services the company is involved with.
3. Know the position, be prepared to explain why you are seeking this position.
4. Review the vacancy announcement, your resume, application, and cover letter. Make notes of your skills that match the job requirements.
5. Rehearse your interview by role-playing with a friend or practice alone in front of a mirror.
6. Dress for Success. If you use a wheelchair make sure it is clean and in good repair. The upholstery should not be ripped. If push gloves are used be sure to remove them prior to shaking hands.
7. Be sure to know where the interview is and allow enough time to get there. If you are unfamiliar with the area, you should go to the location the day before so you will not get lost the day of your interview and arrive late. Check to see if any special accommodations or assistance will be needed.
8. Know the three primary types of interviews:
- Non-directive interview: A flexible format which is more conservational and does not rely on questions in advance.
- Group interview: A panel format in which several of the company's staff members alternately ask questions of the applicant.
Tips to remember before, during and after the interview
If you have a visible disability, you should bring it up either prior to the interview or right at the start of the interview. State your disability as a matter of fact, do not apologize for it. For example:
"I happen to use a wheelchair. Is your building accessible?"
If you are making the call to disclose, do not leave a message regarding your disability.
If your disability is not visible, use the interview as your opportunity to sell your skills and ability to do the job. Disclose the disability in a casual yet confident manner close to the end of the interview or even at the time of the job offer.
Be sure to explain to the employer how your disability may or may not affect your ability to perform the required job duties, and what accommodations you will require to perform those essential functions.
Again, as much as possible keep the focus on your abilities to do the work and how the accommodation(s) remove barriers to doing the job, much like a special light for an artist or a table for an architect.
Know what accommodations you need, as well as where to get them and approximate costs. If you do not have the information, call:
Job Accommodation Network (800) 526-7234 Voice/TDD
The choice is yours to disclose and when, but keep in mind that if you do not disclose, you are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Despite legislation, discrimination does happen.
By law, an interviewer can only ask questions that relate to your ability to perform the essential functions of the job, however, some interviewers are not aware of what are illegal questions and may ask inappropriate questions.
If asked an illegal question, it is best not to alienate the interviewer by getting angry, but instead try to briefly answer the questions (if you feel comfortable doing so) and quickly relate to your ability to perform the work.
If asked: "I see you are in a wheelchair. What happen to you?" A good response would be, "although I am disabled, my wheelchair does not prevent me in any way in carrying out the requirements for this position. For example . . ."
Or if asked. "How do you plan on addressing your disability to clients?" A good response would be: "I donąt feel that would be an issue as I feel my skills to do the job for them would be the main issue which I would address."
Note: If you choose to file a discrimination complaint, you need to contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within six months of the information. Before filing, it is a good idea to discuss the situation with a lawyer, a school or rehabilitation counselor, or a representative from a community agency. These professionals may be able to help guide you and clarify the problem and possible solutions.
Employer call for an interview
Your call to disclose
Interview - the moment of meeting
Interview - preoffer
Interview - postoffer, preacceptance
** Disability issues are not usually discussed on these documents. For some government or disability related jobs, your disability may be an advantage.
F. Dressing Professionally
For the Interview:
On the Job:
Resources you can use to help you with dressing for success:
Guidelines for Men:
Guidelines for Women:
Does the Clothing Minimize My Disability? Some people with disabilities find they have problems with proportion, size and shape.
Clever use of color, line, and fabric can make the body appear different than it is...