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Career Planning



At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:

6.37 Explain the need for a resume.
6.38 List the information included in a resume.
6.39 State the resources used to locate a lob.
6.40 Identify reasons why job applicants are not hired.
6.41 Compile information for a personal assessment inventory.

Most companies are hiring, even those that don't advertise vacant positions. As primary contractor on the space station crew habitat and lab module, Boeing Aerospace and Electronics In Huntsville, Alabama, currently employs 900 people, and that number is growing steadily. Rockwell International has more than 150 people working on the space shuttle and about 120 working on Space Station Freedom. General Dynamics Space Systems Division recently advertised openings in more than 50 career fields. If a firm is doing well, it hires steadily to replace departing employees. This turnover-hiring often is done from resumes on file.


The word resume is a French word. Your resume is like a snapshot, once developed it becomes a permanent reflection of you. Since it will more than likely precede you in all of your dealings with prospective employers, it must be the best image you can project. The competition for jobs is always keen, and your resume can determine whether you get an interview. So, to get your foot in the door, you must put your resume in the mail. For better or worse, this letter-sized sheet of typewritten paper is, in most cases, your only key to the interview. Therefore, it is imperative for the serious job seekers to know how to prepare the right resume, one which will stand out above the others.

There are standard rules for good resume writing which, although flexible enough to meet individual requirements, should be followed for best results. The point is, there is a wrong way and a right way to write a resume, and in such a vital activity as your career, you must give yourself every advantage. You must write a resume and cover (transmittal) letter that outline your qualifications clearly and forcefully.

Advertised jobs represent only a very small percentage of total available jobs. Figure 6-22 represents the many different ways you can learn about and get a lob. The direct-mail approach is one of the most effective ways to locate the hidden job market which comprises about 80 to 85 percent of available job openings, openings which are not advertised or made public.

Managers feel that flamboyant resumes often bring in overaggressive applicants. They also feel that soiled, sloppy resumes with misspellings and general disorganization often bring in people whose backgrounds and personalities match their resumes.

The appearance and format of your resume are almost as important as the information it contains. No matter how talented you are or how well you fit the job specifications, a physically unattractive resume or one with elaborate embellishments, multicolored inks, and intricate folds and on odd-sized paper can stop a potential interview in its tracks. Employers generally are looking for an individual who can fit into a structured position that has specific requirements such as experience, education, duties, and salary range.

The only size paper that is acceptable is 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Business people and file clerks are conditioned by tradition and experience to handle this size paper. It is perfectly permissible to have a resume reproduced on a copier.

Your first step in preparing a resume is to take a personal inventory. You may be a well-packaged product, but you consist of many parts and they have to be listed so that you know what to present to a buyer. An inventory fact sheet is absolutely necessary to have before you actually begin to make your resume. It will prevent your leaving out anything of importance and will help you build the resume in a clear, organized way.

It is essential that you have before you a complete and detailed summary of your education and experience. You should be aware of your aptitudes, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

An examination of different resumes will reveal that the information they contain are basically the same. Every resume, no matter what shape or format, must include certain pertinent Information, such as:

1. Personal Identification

Phone number

2. Title of position you are seeking or your career objective

3. Experience/Volunteer Work

Inclusive dates of your employment
Names and addresses of your employers
Job title
Description of your duties

4. Education

Name of high school or college
Dates of attendance
Degrees and honors achieved

5. Miscellaneous Information

Professional organizations and associations
Extracurricular activities

6. References (optional)

The following items should never be included:

Religion or church affiliation
National origin
Political preference
Previous salaries
Reasons for leaving previous positions
Anticipated salary
Opinions of previous employers
National origin
Political preferences
Previous salaries
Reasons for leaving previous positions

Preparing a resume requires you to dig Into your past. Putting the facts on paper requires you to think about them, and this often reveals hidden strengths and weaknesses that you might ordinarily not be aware of. A resume also helps you organize your presentation. While you are talking about yourself at an interview you can follow the chronology of the resume and avoid losing the continuity of your work experience. It also will help you remember dates and names.

General Dynamics reports that from 500 to 700 resumes are reviewed each week. At Rockwell, that number approaches l,00D during the spring and fall hiring seasons. Large aerospace companies hire hundreds, even thousands, of people each year.

For best results, Rockwell suggests that resumes be sent in September for the fall hiring cycle and in February for the spring cycle. Resumes and cover letters frequently become separated, so be sure all pertinent information (such as the position you are seeking, the date you will be available for employment, home and work phone numbers, and home address) is on your cover letter.


Interviewing techniques differ from one personnel department to another. Some personnel people Interview strictly by the book. They use the latest methods devised by psychologists sociologists, and human resources specialists. They conduct structured interviews working from an elaborate series of checklists and questions.

Poor personal appearance is frequently at the head of the list of negative factors that lead to a rejection of a job applicant (see figure 6-23), You can lose a job during the first three minutes of an interview. Different types of firms have different dress codes, but don't try to guess what they are for the interview. As a general rule, be traditional as opposed to fashionable. Dress conservatively for your first interview.

If you are not sure you are interested in the position or the company, act as if you are. Make your interviewer believe that he or she is offering a terrific opportunity. Leave every interviewer with the best impression you can. Executives tend to remember the interested and enthusiastic applicant.

Listed below are some of the questions you can expect to be asked in an interview:

1. What are your long-range and short-range goals, when and why did you establish these goals, and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
2. What specific goals, other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself in the next ten years?
3. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
4. What are the most important rewards you expect in your professional career?
5. What do you expect to be earning in five years?
6. Why did you select the career for which you are preparing?
7. Which is more important to you: the money or the type of job?
8. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
9. How would you describe yourself?
10. How do you think a friend or teacher who knows you well would describe you?
11. What satisfactions do you get from a job?
12. What kind of manager do you think you would make?
13. How do you determine or evaluate success?
14. In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
15. Describe the relationship that exists between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her.
16. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
17. If you were hiring a person for this position, what qualities would you look for?
18. Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
19. What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
20. In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
21. How do you work under pressure?
22. In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
23. How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation? Why?
24. Why did you seek a position with this company?
25. What do you know about our company?
26. Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
27. What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
28. Do you have a geographical preference? Why?
29. Will you relocate? Does relocation bother you?
30. Are you willing to travel?
31. Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?
32. Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our company is located?
33. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
34. What have you learned from your mistakes?
35. Are you uncomfortable with a group of people you have just met?
36. What are your hobbies?
37. Which do you rate higher in a job, challenge or stability?
38. Do you intend to continue your education?

If you are really interested in the position, write a note to your interviewer thanking him or her for the interview. The follow-up letter should be short and should contain the following statements:

1. You appreciate the interview time.
2. You are sure of your ability to do the job.
3. You hope that you are being considered for the job.

You need not write a long letter in an attempt to sell yourself or rehash the interview.



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Updated: March 12, 2004