Posts Tagged ‘resume’

One of the first Korean sentences I learned was the proverb “시작이 반이다.” Roughly translated it means “The beginning is half.” The idea is that if you start something well, you’ve probably already gained the momentum to get you halfway through. Finally beginning the job search can be daunting, but I promise that if you give it your all from the beginning, you’ll be wondering why you waited at all.

It’s never too early to begin your job search. Whether you’re thinking about transitioning from your current career, still a student at university, and especially if you’re unemployed, it will never hurt to begin revising* your résumé and researching your field of interest. I know that if I drag my feet doing something, I might wait until the last-minute and stress myself out. I don’t know about you, but I hate being stressed out, so I began pushing myself to bite the bullet and basically just get over that initial hump. I’m not claiming that it will be smooth sailing from there on out, but once I started I was so motivated to continue and reach my goal that I almost felt like I couldn’t stop at times!

I began by giving my résumé a complete makeover. This was necessary because I hadn’t been on the job hunt for over two years, and to top that off, my résumé was tailored for an Asian country. (Not to mention some information required on my résumé for my job in Asia would be illegal for an American company to inquire about.)

Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy task, and even though I was pretty proud of my first draft, I have since found ways to improve upon it immensely. I started out by making a list of my experiences and writing down what I thought were note-worthy responsibilities and achievements. It helps to look online to find some examples, but like I mentioned, try not to get too attached to that résumé because chances are it’s going to change. One important thing to remember about your résumé is to make sure you have a summary section at the top, where you list your main accomplishments and specific skills.

I made a few mistakes at first for sure. One of my mistakes was throwing around too many basic phrases and keywords, without backing them up. Even though in my mind I was thinking, “Strong work ethic? Organized? Attention to detail? Yeah! That sounds exactly like me!” how would anyone just looking at your résumé really know that? Anyone can put a bunch of words on a paper and claim that they are true. Save your time and space and skip those basic phrases unless you have specific examples or accomplishments to back them up. Find the strengths in your experience and character and be sure to highlight those.

Another major mistake I made was once I “finished” my résumé and cover letter, (Yes, one cover letter. Yikes. That should tell you how many mistakes I actually was making!) I began to search and search for jobs. Once I found anything related to HR that I might be interested in, I applied. In my mind I was thinking, “Wow, I’m so productive; I just applied to 10 jobs today!” But the ratio of the number of jobs I was applying for to how many call backs I was getting was terrible. Basically, I was wasting my time and obviously doing something wrong.

That was the point when I decided to start putting a LOT more focus on educating myself, researching HR, networking with HR professionals, and asking a billion questions. I’m still in this phase, and honestly I feel like these are all excellent things to be doing, even after I get a job in HR.

My point is: don’t wait around for information and jobs to come flying into your lap. Unless you’re super lucky, it’s not going to happen. Your résumé is a good place to start. Just make sure you don’t stop there.

*I say “revising” and not “updating” your résumé because in addition to just adding your most current experiences and achievements, you should also be constantly trying to think of way to better showcase your skills and abilities, as well as tailoring your résumé to fit each position you are applying to.

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