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With increasing competition for entry-level jobs, the pressure of student loans, and the excitement of getting your first job, it can be tempting to fire a shotgun blast of resumes out into the world, and accept the first offer that comes your way. Related: 10 Rules For Starting Your New Job On The Right Foot But wouldn’t it suck if after all that effort you wound up getting a job you despised within a month of being there? Then you’re back to square 1, or worse yet… you decide to stick it out for a while, and wind up having a stress-induced quarter-life crisis to rival the Justin Biebers of the world… What if you put down the shotgun, and instead grabbed a sniper rifle? You load it up, survey the scene carefully and intentionally, and wisely choose the best target available… firing only once, and making a perfect shot. Most likely, everyone you know is relying on the shotgun approach… but you can be a sniper, and snag your dream job with an awesome company. Here’s how…

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Are you an entry-level job seeker looking to get out there and find your first position? Related: 3 Common LinkedIn Mistakes Job Seekers Make Making your first attempt marks the beginning of quite an adventure as you look to meet your goal of entering the workforce. As a newbie, it is easy to make a few mistakes here and there that could slow your ability to find work.

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June 2015 officially marked the third year I’ve worked full-time for CAREEREALISM Media. I’ve had lots of success here - I spearheaded my very first content campaign, I wrote my very first ebook, and - with the knowledge I acquired from this job - I wrote an article on LinkedIn that received over 600,000 views. It’s been a crazy, awesome ride (to say the least). RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! In honor of my third work anniversary, I’ve gathered the three most important lessons my boss taught me about success. Here they are:

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This week a recent college graduate sent me her resume, along with this question: “How can I update my objective statement to fit this specific job?” While I appreciated her recognizing the need to customize her resume for each specific application, the best way to update a resume's objective statement is to delete it altogether. Even if you’re looking for entry-level work, the very fact you’re applying for a particular job indicates your objective is to acquire that job. Using your cover letter to explain why you desire this specific job will generally help your case, but adding an objective statement saying you want the job only wastes space on your resume. Worse still, many hiring managers say one of their pet peeves is receiving resumes with objective statements that have nothing to do with the position for which they’re hiring! For instance, someone submitting a resume for an educational nonprofit that says their objective is to be an optometrist. If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, your experience will generally make logical sense in connection to the jobs for which you apply. If you’re changing careers or looking for entry-level work, the content of your resume may be less directly relevant. Resist the temptation to tell the employer what you want. Instead, use that valuable space to summarize what you bring to the table as a candidate. Not only is this a much more effective strategy for getting your resume into the coveted interview stack, but it makes the application process much easier for you as a job seeker. Objective statements get people into trouble whenever they don’t match a job description exactly—which requires the job seeker to tweak his or her objective each time they submit a resume. On the other hand, a summary statement capturing your essence as a candidate is something you can carry from resume to resume—as well as onto other media such as your LinkedIn profile or professional blog. As you may have guessed, my response to the recent college grad was to lose her objective statement and simply sell her relevant skills. This strategy is effective no matter how long you’ve been in the workforce!

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