Sunday, August 26, 2007

When Creating a Job Description

I came across this excerpt from a public relations manual from Dixie State University when looking for new ways to creating a job description.

Before beginning to write a job description determine the purpose of the position and the major outcomes that are desired with successful fulfillment of the job. Think of how the position fits into the larger picture of the goals of the College.

Describe the position first in terms of its major responsibilities, not incremental tasks. Tasks can be added for clarification. Eg. Responsible for receptionist duties such as answering the phones, greeting and assisting in-person customers, and sorting the mail. Each position generally has up to ten major responsibilities.

Expected outcomes and standards should be set forth while delineating the responsibilities. Consider the performance appraisal form and how an employee will be evaluated. A fair evaluation entails proper notification of expectations.

Eg. For receptionist duties: expect customers are treated courteously, efficiently and effectively, leaving their contact with the office satisfied that they have been served well.

Use the Job Description Form (HR1) to outline position responsibilities and skills required to successfully accomplish the job. The position is also defined by the grading job factors such as education and years of experience or technical experience required .

If you are creating a new job position, the description and grade must be first presented to the appropriate vice president or dean for approval and then is submitted to the Human Resources Department for assistance in College standardization and grade determination. The position and grade are presented to the College Council and President for approval.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FAQ: Cover Letters

Q: Do I really need a cover letter?

A: Everyone who sends out a resume does! Even if the cover letter never "came up" in conversation or was not mentioned in an advertisement, it is expected that write one to submit with your resume. A well-designed cover letter gives you another chance to emphasize what you have to contribute to the company or organization. Do not give your potential employer a second to entertain the thought: "But how can this person help US?" Your cover letter will answer that question for them.

Q: Should I just list all of the places that I have worked for in the past?

A: I would only list points that directly correspond with action items expressed in the job posting. For example, if the job posting states that they are looking for someone who has experience handling a sales volume of over 20k annually, than one of the things that you should mention in the cover letter that while you were with Company X, you handled accounts 25k and/or higher.

Q: Should I include salary requirements in the cover letter?

A: Include salary requirements in your cover letter only if requested to do so. and have great tools where you can research salaries in your area.

If you are still not comfortable with producing your own cover letter, you can always leave it up to the professionals. Check out my website, and I can produce a creative and professional cover letter that you can present with your resume.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FAQ: Resume Writing

Q: My resume is more than a page, should I leave out some of my past jobs in order to get my resume down to the recommended 1-page?

A: I would not recommend leaving out any position that would show potential employer your accomplishments and qualifications. In my experience of being a hiring manager, only those who are just returning to the workforce or a recent high school/college graduate submit a 1 page resume. If you have been gainfully employed for at least 10 years, it is not uncommon for your resume to be more than on page long.

Q: My objective is too long. What should I do about that?

A: Objectives on a resume take up space and detract from your resume. When a potential employer is glancing through hundreds of resumes, the last thing that they want to see is a paragraph of stifled text when are they really want to know about are your credentials.

Q: There are several “gaps” in my employment history. Should I say that I was employed during those times, even though I was not?

A: You should never mislead a potential employer about your qualifications and background. It could find a way to bite you in the end. Just because you were not employed, doesn’t mean that you were not using skills that a potential employer may be looking for. I would suggest consulting with a skills development officer or a resume writing service.


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Several years ago, I began assisting people and non-profit organizations with their resumes and other business/professional writings. Soon after, I launched my own small business assisting those who need help with business correspondence. Also, since I am a professional writer, and have been published in several print and online publication, I have expanded the business to offer editing, proof reading and re-writing services.

On this blog, you will find helpful hints concerning creative and professional writing along with ideas to help you succeed in life.

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