Use Your Career Journal To Update Your Resume And Find A Job

One of the first things you can do to make your career journal work for you is to use it to update your current resume. While some of the things that you have written in your career journal may not be appropriate for your resume there is still a lot of good information at your disposal that you can use. The main things that you want to focus on in your resume include your objective, your summary profile and the results that you achieve for each of your previous employers. If you have been keeping your career journal updated this should be an easy task.

Let’s get started by looking at your objective statement. A common mistake that people make when writing their objective is to make it all about themselves. Your objective should focus instead on what the employer needs and not what you want. When writing your objective you should state how your education, skills and work experience will directly benefit your potential employer. For example, does your current objective reflect your ability to make the company money, save the company money or improve the productivity of the company. If not, you should take some time looking through your career journal to determine which of these three areas represent your greatest strength.

The second thing that you want to work on is your summary profile. Your summary profile should highlight key achievements obtained during the course of your work history. Ideally, these should be quantified statements. Using numbers when writing about your achievements is very powerful and paints a picture in the mind of the employer in terms of what you could potentially do for their company if hired. When writing your summary profile be sure to use bullet points and active versus passive wording. Your summary profile will be one of the first things that an employer sees when reviewing your resume so it is important that you gauge their interest early on so they will be inspired to continue reading.

The third thing you want to do is to ensure that the rest of the language used in your resume supports the information given in your summary profile. When writing about your job responsibilities you should write about the results you achieve while performing that responsibility and not simply list them as so many people do. Generally, employers already know what responsibilities are entailed in a particular position. So, just as with your summary profile you will want to use statements that quantified which focus on your results. I like to call them impact statements. For each job that you have held you will want to state what impact your work performance had on the role or position to which you were assigned.

Let’s summarize what we have covered. First, you will want to draw information from your career journal that can be used to update your resume. Secondly, when updating your resume you will want to focus on your objective, your summary profile and the results that you achieved for each of your previously held positions. Then you will want to use active wording throughout the resume, bullet points and quantify each statement. As a result, by applying the information contained in your career journal to your new resume you will find that the number of career opportunities available to you will be greatly increased.

Career Change Over 40 – Your 6 Step Plan

Career decisions, especially when they involve career change can be difficult and career change over 40 is no exception. This is the first in a series of articles to help you find the right career and is an overview of a 6 step plan to help you change career over 40. Each step will be discussed in more detail in a further article.

Step #1 Assess Your Current Situation

When you first started out in your teens or twenties, you had a clean slate on which you design your career. But now that you have reached mid life, you have a wealth of new experiences which relate specifically to the workplace. You also have gained many skills and general life experiences since you left school or college and these will also be relevant in your new career choice.

Step #2 Choose Your Ideal Work Location

Think about where you would like to work. You can start out with general ideas about location and refine this when you have finished step 3. So do you want to work in the city or the countryside, inside or out, at home or abroad? Or would you like a job which involves moving around? Would this be within a small neighbourhood or travelling to different parts of the country or would you like to be going abroad periodically?

Step #3 Decide What You Want To Do

Based on all of your work and general life experiences so far, you can write a description of the ideal job you would like to have. This will include the aspects of your current or previous jobs which you would like to continue and particular skills you want to go on using and developing. Include new skills you would like to learn.

Step #4 Research

Have a look for jobs and careers which match the things you most want to do. So if you are a teacher and want a new career which involves some travelling and perhaps the chance to learn a new language, you might start by searching for alternative jobs for teachers. Once you have a list of possibilities, you could search for jobs abroad and see if you can match up your search results.

Or if you have enjoyed bringing up you children and play a musical instrument, you could search for jobs with children and music.

Be creative with your search terms, combine several different skills and see what you come up with.

Go to government run career websites and look through jobs which fit in with your ideas. You can look at broad fields such as education or medicine or technology and you will find a great range of possibilities, plus job descriptions and details of training, pay and prospects.

Step #5 Putting It All Together

This is where you put what you want next to the careers you have found and sift through the results. There will be some careers which don’t hold any appeal and others which may not work for practical reasons. But if you have done a thorough search, you should have come up with several possible options.

Once you have narrowed the field to two or three alternatives, do some further in-depth research. Go to websites of companies which work in these fields and find out as much as you can. If possible, talk to people who are already involved in these careers so that you can get a clearer picture of what is involved.

Another possibility is to go and talk to a careers advisor or visit a careers library and read books specifically written for those wishing to enter the career.

Step #6 Create Your Action Plan and Take Action

Write a detailed plan which lists all the steps you have to take to reach your goal, how you plan to finance any training and how you will fit all these changes into your life. You may need to discuss this with members of your family as it could mean significant changes for them too.