Published On: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016

Job Search Resources: Before You Apply

There’s good news for job seekers. Businesses in Massachusetts are hiring, which makes it a great time to look for a new job.

Whether you’re unemployed or looking to take your career to the next level, searching for a new job can be challenging and frustrating. But a little research and planning will put you on the path to success. The Job Search Resources blog series will help you identify a career field, polish your resume, and find your next job. The first part of the series covers what to do before you launch your job search.

Create a Career Plan

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) and the Department of Career Services (DCS) provide resources for job seekers through a network of 32 One-Stop Career Centers. A great first step to an effective job search is to create a career plan. Here’s how:

Write a Winning Resume

Once you’ve settled on a career path, it’s time to make a resume that will help you stand out from the crowd. Check out this handy resume tip sheet, or stop by your local career center for advice and workshops. Here are some good starting points:

  • Start Strong — Grab employers’ attention with a summary that quickly communicates who you are and what you offer. According to DCS’s resume writing guide, hiring managers typically spend 30 seconds or less reviewing your resume.
  • Sell Yourself — Use action words and concrete examples to show how your work benefitted your employer, whether it was saving money or finishing a big project ahead of deadline.
  • Keep It SimpleOrganize your resume so it’s easy for a potential employer to scan and pick out key information. It should be no more than one page, with short sentences and paragraphs. You should list only your previous three to five jobs. Proofread it carefully for typos.
  • Use Keywords — Once you start applying for jobs, customize your resume for each application. Using keywords that are in the job description tells the employer you have the right skills.

With a career plan and resume, you’re ready for the next step — searching for a new job. Stay tuned for the next post in this series to learn about job search strategies.

Do you have questions about writing a great resume? Ask us! Comment below or tweet @MassGov.

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