Saturday, October 29, 2011

Job Search Methods
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Finding a job can take months of time and effort. But you can speed the process by using many methods to find job openings. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that people who use many job search methods find jobs faster than people who use only one or two.

Personal contacts. Many jobs are never advertised. People get them by talking to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, former coworkers, and others who know of an opening. Be sure to tell people that you are looking for a job because the people you know may be some of the most effective resources for your search. To develop new contacts, join student, community, or professional organizations.

School career planning and placement offices. High school and college placement services help their students and alumni find jobs. Some invite recruiters to use their facilities for interviews or career fairs. They also may have lists of open jobs. Most also offer career counseling, career testing, and job search advice. Some have career resource libraries; host workshops on job search strategy, resume writing, letter writing, and effective interviewing; critique drafts of resumes; conduct mock interviews; and sponsor job fairs.

Employers. Directly contacting employers is one of the most successful means of job hunting. Through library and Internet research, develop a list of potential employers in your desired career field. Then call these employers and check their Web sites for job openings. Web sites and business directories can tell you how to apply for a position or whom to contact. Even if no open positions are posted, do not hesitate to contact the employer: You never know when a job might become available.

Consider asking for an informational interview with people working in the career you want to learn more about. Ask them how they got started, what they like and dislike about the work, what type of qualifications are necessary for the job, and what type of personality succeeds in that position. In addition to giving you career information, they may be able to put you in contact with other employers who may be hiring, and they can keep you in mind if a position opens up.

Classified ads. The "Help Wanted" ads in newspapers and the Internet list numerous jobs, and many people find work by responding to these ads. But when using classified ads, keep the following in mind:
  •  Follow all leads to find a job; do not rely solely on the classifieds.
  • Answer ads promptly, because openings may be filled quickly, even before the ad stops appearing in the paper.
  • Read the ads every day, particularly the Sunday edition, which usually includes the most listings.
  • Keep a record of all ads to which you have responded, including the specific skills, educational background, and personal qualifications required for the position. You may want to follow up on your initial inquiry.
Internet resources. The Internet includes many job hunting Web sites with job listings. Some job boards provide National listings of all kinds; others are local. Some relate to a specific type of work; others are general. To find good prospects, begin with an Internet search using keywords related to the job you want. Also look for the Web sites of related professional associations.

Also consider checking Internet forums, also called message boards. These are online discussion groups where anyone may post and read messages. Use forums specific to your profession or to career-related topics to post questions or messages and to read about the job searches or career experiences of other people. Although these message boards may seem helpful, carefully evaluate all advice before acting; it can be difficult to determine the reliability of information posted on message boards
In online job databases, remember that job listings may be posted by field or discipline, so begin your search using keywords. Many Web sites allow job seekers to post their resumes online for free.

Professional associations. Many professions have associations that offer employment information, including career planning, educational programs, job listings, and job placement. Information can be obtained directly from most professional associations through the Internet, by telephone, or by mail. Associations usually require that you be a member to use these services.

Labor unions. Labor unions provide various employment services to members and potential members, including apprenticeship programs that teach a specific trade or skill. Contact the appropriate labor union or State apprenticeship council for more information.
State employment service offices. The State employment service, sometimes called the Job Service, operates in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Local offices, found nationwide, help job seekers to find jobs and help employers to find qualified workers at no cost to either. To find the office nearest you, look in the State government telephone listings under "Job Service" or "Employment."

Job matching and referral. At the State employment service office, an interviewer will determine if you are "job ready" or if you need help from counseling and testing services to assess your occupational aptitudes and interests and to help you choose and prepare for a career. After you are job ready, you may examine available job listings and select openings that interest you. A staff member can then describe the job openings in detail and arrange for interviews with prospective employers.

Services for special groups. By law, veterans are entitled to priority job placement at State employment service centers. If you are a veteran, a veterans’ employment representative can inform you of available assistance and help you to deal with problems.

State employment service offices also refer people to opportunities available under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. Educational and career services and referrals are provided to employers and job seekers, including adults, dislocated workers, and youth. These programs help to prepare people to participate in the State's workforce, increase their employment and earnings potential, improve their educational and occupational skills, and reduce their dependency on welfare.

Federal Government. Information on obtaining a position with the Federal Government is available from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) through USAJOBS, the Federal Government’s official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724-1850, (866) 204-2858, or TDD (978) 461-8404. These numbers are not all toll free, and telephone charges may result.

Community agencies. Many nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions and vocational rehabilitation agencies, offer counseling, career development, and job placement services, generally targeted to a particular group, such as women, youths, minorities, ex-offenders, or older workers.

Private employment agencies and career consultants. Private agencies can save you time and they will contact employers who otherwise might be difficult to locate. Such agencies may be called recruiters, head hunters, or employment placement agencies. These agencies may charge for their services. Most operate on a commission basis, charging a percentage of the first-year salary paid to a successful applicant. You or the hiring company will pay the fee. Find out the exact cost and who is responsible for paying associated fees before using the service. When determining if the service is worth the cost, consider any guarantees that the agency offers.

Internships. Many people find jobs with business and organizations with whom they have interned or volunteered. Look for internships and volunteer opportunities on job boards, school career centers, and company and association Web sites, but also check community service organizations and volunteer opportunity databases. Some internships and long-term volunteer positions come with stipends and all provide experience and the chance to meet employers and other good networking contacts.

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Friday, October 28, 2011

Job Listings on the Web
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.

Website, Job Banks, Listings

America's Job Bank

College Recruiter
Green Careers Guide
HigherEd Jobs

LinkedIn Student and Recent Grad Job Portal
Nation Job

Net Temps
School Spring
Paralegal Jobs from LexisNexis

Comprehensive Sites

Local U.S. Job Opportunities  (Riley Guide)


Federal Jobs

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On-line Resume Banks, Should You Do It?
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Should you use resume databases? The main considerations is the time it takes to enter your information.
  • On the one hand, people in a wide variety of career fields attract good job leads this way (it's not just the techies' world anymore).
  • On the other hand, many resume databases have specialized forms through which you must painstakingly enter your information. Others allow you to upload an ASCII-formatted (plain text) version of your resume - but unless you know what you're doing, your resume may appear misaligned or almost unreadable to the viewer.
Cost - Most resume databases are free (if you find a database that charges a fee, and you are considering using it, ask for information on number of searches the database receives before paying any fee; the number of resumes on the system; etc.).

Specialized vs. general resume banks - The large commercial resume databases are easy to locate. BUT - in many fields, the smaller, career-specific databases are more effective (seek out the Web sites of the professional organizations in your career field, or ask other professionals for recommendations).

Learn to use keywords. IF your resume does not contain at least some of the keywords that employers are using to search the database, then your resume will be skipped by the computer, even if you have all of the experience and skills required by the job. Click here to learn more about keywords.

Don't depend solely on resume databases. Maybe they will help in your job search, and maybe not. But your best bet is to proactively network with professionals in your targeted career field, and use a wide variety of other job search strategies.


Marketing surveys - many resume databases include marketing surveys on their Web sites, often integrating them into the forms used to post your resume. If you start seeing questions about your age, your gender or how you heard about their Web site, you are responding to a marketing survey. You may even be asked about your race or nationality. Skip all these questions. If the Web site is set up so that you must respond to them in order to proceed with your resume submission, ditch that Web site (there are plenty of others that won't make you respond to those questions).

Upgrades for a fee - some resume databases now offer you an "upgrade" for your resume, charging a fee so that your resume is in front of others who do not pay the fee. I recommend not using these databases - why should you pay extra when any good resume database system will allow your great resume with great keywords to stand out?

Co-branding agreements - some employment sites on the Web have joined forces with one or more other Web sites. When you post your resume to one site, you might be sharing that resume with up to fifteen other databases. Always read the privacy agreement at any Web site where you're considering posting your resume.

Cover letters - don't submit a cover letter with a resume you send to an online resume database. Cover letters are discarded from most of the employment databases that accept resumes.

  • -  topics include "Descriptions of Major Resume Banks," "Should You or Shouldn't You? Evaluating Resume Banks," and "Let's Get Electronic: Why Employers Use Resume Banks."
  • - Great advice, well-ogranized. Also, links to select resume databases.
  • - enter your resume on this site, and the site posts your resume to multiple major job sites. NOTE: There is a fee of $59.95 for this service.

The Problems:
  1. If you are currently employed, your current employer may be searching for your resume on the Internet (many employers do this).
  2. Your resume is pirated by other databases and by recruiters, and it may float around the Web for months or even years.
  3. Identity thieves may use the personal information in your resume to establish credit in your name or to post inflammatory messages to the Internet.
The Solutions:
  1. Don't put your full name or address on a resume you post to an Internet resume database. But remember that potential employers need some way of getting in touch with you, so list an e-mail address.
  2. As a general rule, only post your resume to databases that offer password protection, which limits viewers to legitimate employers. Otherwise, anybody can view your resume.
  3. Many employers and recruiters still prefer to contact you by phone, so if you don't include a phone number, you may be overlooked.
  4. Reports are circulating that identity thieves have been placing fake job postings on online job boards in an attempt to trick job seekers into giving out personal information. The perpetrators then contact those job seekers who have replied and ask for personal information, such as social security numbers and bank account information, supposedly for the human resources department. Never give out social security numbers or bank account information to someone over the phone or via email or the Internet.
  5. Set up a separate e-mail account to receive correspondence from employers. This way, when you are done with your current job search, you can simply close out the e-mail account, rather than continue to receive messages from recruiters and employers for months or even years to come.
  6. If you are currently employed and don't want your employer to know you are job-hunting, don't list your current company name on your resume. Instead, list the industry. ( recommends this strategy.)
  7. If you want to be as safe as possible, don't post your resume onto Usenet (otherwise known as "newsgroups" or "bulletin boards"), and don't post to resume databases that are not password protected. Only legitimate employers are allowed access to most password-protected resume databases.
  8. Put a date on your resume. Your resume may float around in cyberspace for months or years after you have found a job, bouncing from one resume database to another, while you receive unwanted phone calls or e-mails.
  9. If you have a Web site that includes your resume, you may want to protect it with a password, which you then only give out to the employers you choose. Be sure to sign up for a Web-hosting service that offers password protection.
Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have you Considered Working for Temp Agencies?
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Many people find excellent, full-time, long-term positions through their temp jobs. Temping allows you to make a livable salary while you size up the company or the industry prior to making a commitment.

Many temp agencies now specialize in particular career fields, and a new trend, "executive temping," has emerged in the last few years, allowing people with established career credentials to make a good income while filling temporary roles.

  1. Call the agency to see if they need someone with your skills. Don't email them a resume unless they ask you to.
  2. Register with more than one agency. Though you may end up working for one agency exclusively, you don't know which agency will start calling with jobs.
  3. Dress and act professionally when you appear for an interview with the agency or for a job. Most agencies will test you out with a short-term job of a day or several days. If you show up, are prompt, well-dressed and learn quickly, chances are they will place you in jobs regularly or in a longer-term temp placement. (Some temp placements can be as long as three to six months.) 
Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Before Your Interview... Practice, Practice, Practice.
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
You can make all the lists you want, but there’s no substitute for rehearsing how you’ll handle an interview. Ask your parent, sibling or friend to be the interviewer, and give him or her a list of questions to throw at you, especially the hard ones (see some examples below).

There are ways to handle each of these. If you know what they are before you’re in the “hot seat,” you’ll be more confident going into the interview. You will also benefit from having thought about the answers, and you may be able to apply them to questions that you didn’t anticipate.

If you get a question that you can’t answer, simply say you don’t know. Then say the question is something to which you would like to give more thought and that you are willing to learn what it takes. Again, an employer will respect someone who is honest and open about his or her limitations.

Here are some sample interview questions:
  • What were your responsibilities at your last job (or at school, if this is your first job)?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • Which was most/least rewarding?
  • What was the biggest accomplishment/failure in this position?
  • What was it like working for your supervisor? What were his or her strengths and shortcomings?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • What have you been doing since your last job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What motivates you?
  • How do you prioritize tasks?
  • Do you prefer to work by yourself or within a group?
  • Describe your ideal job.
  • Describe your ideal work environment.
  • Discuss a situation where you had to resolve a conflict.
  • Discuss a situation where you had to demonstrate teamwork/leadership skills.
  • Describe a situation where you failed.
  • Describe a situation where you set a goal and met it.
Body language is another thing to be aware of. If you have a video or web camera, use it for the practice; otherwise a mirror will do, or get feedback from your parent, sibling or friend. Hand and arm movements shouldn’t be too large. Don’t fiddle, shake your leg or tap your fingers. This is unprofessional and may distract your potential employer. Your posture should be relaxed, but alert. Don’t slouch; if you look bored in the interview, then the interviewer will assume that you’d be bored in the job, too. Communicate interest and energy. Be yourself. Your potential employer knows that you’re nervous, but try not to make it so obvious that it becomes a distraction.
Sample interview questions:
Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Monday, October 24, 2011

Think Before Your Next Job Interview...How Much Do You Know About Yourself?
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
During an interview your job is to sell yourself, so you need to know your skills well enough to do this effectively. Once you figure that out, you can apply those insights to the needs of your target company. Connecting your skills with the company’s needs successfully is the best way to get hired. But above all else, be authentic. If an employer doesn’t perceive that you have a sincere interest in working at his or her organization, he or she can’t be sure that you will be committed to the success of the company.

Keep in mind that during an interview you’re “selling” your skills and yourself as a person. First: your skills. An easy way to determine your skills is to list your accomplishments and then think of which skills it took to do them. Did baby-sitting require psychological sensitivity? Did selling kitchen knives require skills of persuasion? Did playing school sports and maintaining a high GPA require strong time-management skills? Review your list and refine your skills into a “package” you can explain easily in a minute or two.

In the midst of addressing your skills, don’t forget to sell yourself as a person. Most organizations want honest, smart, friendly, motivated and responsible employees. Do you deal well with people? Are you smart and conscientious? Self-motivated? Did you, for example, show determination to get back on the slopes after you broke your leg skiing? Again, after you make your list, refine it so you can explain your personal assets in a minute or two. It’s also wise to keep in mind that everything you say is part of the interview, even if you end up at lunch or another casual setting.

Remember that an interview is also your chance to ask questions about the job and the company you would be working for. This is how you figure out if you really want to work there. Once you know what’s important to you in a job, ask about it!

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Before You Interview... Know the Company (or Agency)!
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Government agencies and private companies like candidates who know what they want from a job. They are also impressed with someone who has done some research before arriving at the interview. Make the effort to look into the organization you’re interested in, and you’ll find yourself ahead of the competition.

You can find out about large organizations in several ways. To get a sense of how the organization you’re interested in sees itself, go to their corporate website and read about the company’s history and plans for the future.

Company websites sometimes have employee photos or blogs, both of which will give you some idea of the company culture. You can also read the company’s brochures and annual reports if they’ve been made publicly available. No matter the size of the company or agency, you can do a web search for the organization’s name and read any articles that may have mentioned the company – you may find that the organization was recently involved in a charitable event – or a lawsuit.

You may also be interested to find out what other people think about the organization you’re interested in. These days, most organizations are rated and reviewed by web users in some way, and these opinions can be found online. Just be wary about what you’re reading because anyone can post an opinion, whether it’s an accurate representation or not. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (, an organization that helps people find trustworthy businesses and charities, may be able to tell you if the organization you’re interested in is a member or not.

As you do this research, make note of the organization’s purpose, products or services, chief executive officer’s name and any recent news or company developments. Use your notes to develop questions of your own and take them with you to the interview.

More about Researching Companies:
Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Saturday, October 22, 2011

If You Are Unemployed...Have You Considered Volunteering?
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.

Why Volunteer?

The common denominator for all volunteer work – from tutoring kids to building homes to recording for the blind or delivering meals to homebound people – is that it is unpaid.

So why would you want to devote big chunks of time to a job that doesn’t pay you anything? Because not only can volunteer work be fulfilling, it can give you the opportunity to learn new skills, gain much-needed experience and make some lasting contacts. Even volunteering part-time – like on nights and weekends – can show a potential employer your drive and ambition.

For recent high school graduates, volunteer work can be the deciding factor that puts you ahead of those who have only held minimum-wage jobs. Volunteer work shows future employers that you’re a caring, committed person. It also gives you time to learn and develop a sense of self, a characteristic future employers look for. Being around experienced people who will be patient with you, answer your questions and let you succeed and fail without judgment is a huge career-building opportunity.

How to Find Opportunities

Your local newspaper often lists volunteer opportunities in print or on its website. You might also read about an organization doing work you admire and conduct an online search to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available. Friends and family can also be a great resource, and, since they know you, they may have some great ideas tailored to your interests. Religious organizations often have volunteer efforts underway, so they may be a great place to start.

There are many websites dedicated to matching willing volunteers with opportunities. The sites below are the best current resources.

Volunteer matching system as well as plenty of sound advice to read before looking for a volunteer job

Information from 17,000 nonprofit organizations in over 100 countries

Search opportunities by state, agency and ZIP Code

Search local volunteer activities and career nonprofit opportunities

A national database of volunteer opportunities

What to Look For in a Volunteer Program

There are no hard and fast rules around what makes a good volunteer program, but it helps to set realistic time frames, goals, expectations and to understand your own motivation for getting involved. Here is what to consider when deciding on a volunteer opportunity.

Your schedule: How much time are you willing and able to commit? Consider your class and study schedule, travel time to and from an organization and whether you’ll need to work a paying job simultaneously.

Your goals: What would you like to accomplish and learn? Do you need this experience to help you explore career paths and skills? Perhaps there are certain kinds of people you’d like to work with (e.g., children, teens or the elderly) or a type of project you’d like to participate in (e.g., fundraising, teaching or nursing).

Your motivation: Many people are motivated simply by the desire to do good things for others. This is very noble, but if you’re looking for work experience, you might be disappointed if you’re asked to scrub a pantry, play cards with senior citizens or address envelopes. You need to be clear about what you’re willing to do.

Your skills: Be honest with yourself. You might want to work in a hospital but lack the training to provide patient care. Will you be satisfied doing less skilled work in the same environment? Just the chance to watch professionals work can be interesting and educational.

Once you’ve determined what you want out of the experience, you can find an opportunity that delivers what you’re looking for. When you find a listing that sounds good, schedule a call with the volunteer coordinator. Some useful things to ask include the following:
  • What kind of support structure is available for volunteers?
  • Who will supervise or guide the volunteer work?
  • Will any training be provided?
  • Are there any skill requirements?
  • What are the hours? What exactly will I be doing?
  • Is any special clothing or equipment required? If so, who pays for it?
  • What types of people have enjoyed this experience in the past?
  • Do you have any current volunteers I can talk to?
You may have to call more than once, as many organizations are staffed solely by volunteers, and schedules may be unpredictable. But if you do your research and pick the right opportunity, the skills and experiences you gained while volunteering will stick with you long after you’ve moved on.

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Friday, October 21, 2011

If You're not Working... Why Not Consider an Internship?
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Internships are a great way to get firsthand experience in an industry before you decide on making it a career. An internship helps you learn about the day-to-day reality of an industry and can help you determine what you want from your career before committing to 40 hours a week. Unlike a regular position, internships last for a limited period of time, often a summer or a school semester. Internships can be a full-time position or just a few hours a day. They can be paid, unpaid or may count as class credit. No matter the compensation, the main focus is on learning and gaining experience.
  • Why Do an Internship?
  • Finding the Right Internship
  • What to Look for in an Internship

Why Do an Internship?

Why not? You wouldn’t want to jump into a career without knowing if it’s for you or not? Internships give you experience in an industry, and they can also help you decide what you want and don’t want from a job. Taking on an internship will give you a look inside the professional world and better prepare you for it.
Likewise, many companies use internships to meet and recruit new talent, essentially giving them a trial run before making a permanent hire. They can be a great opportunity to network and meet people within an industry.

Finding the Right Internship

Internships are not difficult to find. The hardest part is often determining what you want from the program. First, you need to figure out what industry you’re most interested in. Once you have an idea of what you would like to try, use that information to help frame your search.

If you have a guidance counselor or class dean at your school, ask him or her for advice. If you don’t have an academic advisor, check your school’s message boards, job placement center, academic websites and alumni connections.

Once you’ve tapped into those outlets, another good resource is the Internet. There are many websites devoted specifically to finding an internship. Check out some of the listings below to start your search. These are some basic sites that will help you narrow down your options. It’s always a good idea to ask the people around you if they know of any opportunities or have advice for where to find an internship.

What to Look For in an Internship

It’s important to do some research before starting an internship. Once you find a program that fits the criteria you’re looking for, it’s important to look at the structure of the program. Here are some important questions to ask:
  • Who would manage me?
  • How many hours a week will I be expected or able to work?
  • How flexible is this position? Will the schedule work around school?
  • For what would I be responsible?
  • What will I receive in return?
  • Is there financial compensation or is this an unpaid internship?
  • Will I be involved in actual projects?
  • Are there exercises geared toward interns?
It can be useful to talk to other people who have been through the same program. If there’s an internship coordinator, ask him or her if there is a past participant willing to discuss the experience. He or she can give you candid insight into the opportunity.

You should also do an online search for information about the company offering the internship. This could help you gauge what working there might be like and alert you to any problems in the company’s organization. You want to find a program that fits your time schedule, personality and career goals. There are a lot of options for you to choose from, so do your research carefully, and you’re sure to find the one that will be rewarding.

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding a Job
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
When it comes to finding a job, a lot has changed in the last five years. The Internet has reshaped the way we find jobs by offering such varied resources as job sites, search engines and social networks. However, many of the tried-and-true job-finding techniques still work. Here, we can help you find your new job by combining the latest in online resources with some classic strategies.
  • Reach Out to People You Know
  • Check Out Job Listings
  • Set Up Social Networks
  • Speak with a Recruiter

Reach Out to People You Know

With at least 60 percent of job seekers finding employment through networking, one of the best ways to land your first job, or any job for that matter, is to be referred by someone you know. So tell your family, friends and neighbors what interests you and what kind of job you’re looking for.
If you know people who are in your career field of interest, ask them how they started out. Make sure to write down any names, phone numbers or information that might help you in your search. Also, remember to make note of who gave you referrals so you can thank them later.
Be sure to follow up with everyone. Try to set up meetings with people in your career field of interest, even if you’re simply asking for information. During the meeting, be honest and be yourself; the rest will come. And don’t forget to thank anyone who helps you, even for the smallest of favors. Developing and maintaining these relationships is known as networking. It’s a powerful tool, and it works.

Check Out Job Listings

Job listings are everywhere: online, in newspapers, in trade magazines and even on the bulletin board of your local coffee shop. Look at them all! Not only will it give you a good sense of what’s out there, but it will open your eyes to opportunities you might not have considered otherwise.
Your town’s newspaper can also be an indispensable resource for the local job market. Search the classified ads in the Sunday edition or find the newspaper’s website and do a search by job type. If you find something that catches your eye, do exactly what the ad instructs you to do – whether it’s calling for an interview appointment or sending a résumé and cover letter.
The Internet may be your greatest job resource. There are now hundreds of sites, ranging in scope from local to national, that focus on career planning and job searching. To find them, search for words like “entry-level jobs,” “internships,” “volunteering,” “first job” or a word or phrase (like engineering, veterinary school or photography) indicating the kind of job for which you are searching.
Here are a few starter sites:

Set Up Social Networks

You’re probably familiar with MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, but did you know certain social networks could help you get a job? Offering a fresh way for people to make new contacts, social networks have become an extremely helpful resource for job hunters and employers alike. You can use social networks to make inside connections that will help you learn about jobs you won’t find in traditional postings.

Start by creating a profile that summarizes your academic accomplishments and career goals on a career-focused social network. Then build your network by connecting with friends, teachers, neighbors and former colleagues (if you have already had a job). Your network will consist of your connections, your connections’ connections and all the people they know. So reach out to as many people as you can. The more connections you make, the more friends-of-a-friend you can meet, and the better your chances of finding a contact that can fill you in on or set you up with a career opportunity.

This might seem obvious, but it’s wise to “clean up” your social networking profiles. Most employers search the web for information on candidates, and you don’t want them to see something that sheds an unflattering light on you. Anything that you wouldn’t want your parents or teachers to see is probably something you also don’t want future employers to see, whether it’s a picture, video, offensive language or other inappropriate content.

Some helpful career-specific social networking sites are:

Speak with a Recruiter

Depending on what stage you’re at in your career and what kind of field you want to get into, you may want to employ the help of a recruiter. Formerly known as “headhunters,” recruiters work with companies and organizations to help them find new employees – and to find you a job. Some recruiters work only with seasoned professionals, but there are recruiting agencies that place employees at all levels. Fields that often use recruiters to find new employees include accounting, marketing and legal and financial services.
Using a recruiter costs you nothing, since the hiring company pays the fee. Recruiters can provide you with information on unadvertised jobs and can tap into their lengthy contact list on your behalf. Plus, they will save you time since they do most of the legwork.
Some helpful websites for locating recruiters are:
A lot of elements go into finding a job: Networking, résumés, cover letters and research. And when it comes to finding (and hopefully landing) the right job for you, you want to make sure you’re addressing every aspect of a thorough job search.

Dreamfedjob is a blog that highlights the newfangled ways we are custom-blending careers in the private and civil service, and shares tips for doing it better. Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Job Seeker's Checklist
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Online searches are much more efficient and successful when you take these steps to prepare before you start:

Create a professional email account
The username on the account should be simple and generic. Offensive usernames such as those with drug/alcohol references or those with sexual innuendos should not be used. Also, if your current email account receives excessive amounts of mail, create a new account that will only receive work-related mail. This will ensure that you don't miss an important message from a potential employer. Check the account daily.

Write a resume and cover letter
Many online job applications require applicants to attach a resume in order to complete the application process. While resumes and cover letters should be tailored to each specific job, having a "template" to work from makes this process quick and easy.

Update your voice mail/answering machine
The message should be brief and professional. Music or extended messages should be replaced. If you do not have voice mail or an answering machine, be sure to provide a phone number where potential employers can leave a message.

Coach household members on phone etiquette
Be sure that everyone answering your phone is well-trained in proper phone etiquette. Have a pencil and notepad next to the phone for messages.

Locate or replace important documents
Once you are selected, the hiring process can go quickly. Locate or replace your social security card, birth certificate, and legal photo ID.

Contact 3 references
Never use a reference without his/her permission. Notifying your references that you are looking for work also serves as a form of networking. They just may have some leads to jobs that meet your skills and interests.

Google yourself
Employers often do a Google search of job candidates prior to offering them a job. If you have a Facebook or MySpace account or any other web page, be sure that the information that it contains is something that you would feel comfortable having a potential employer viewing.

Compile a list of information needed for a job application
By having job titles, contact information, dates of employment, and other pertinent information at your fingertips, you can make filling out online applications quick and painless.

Create a journal
Visiting job sites, posting resumes, and applying online often requires applicants to create multiple usernames and passwords. Major companies post numerous jobs that can only be distinguished by keeping track of individual job numbers. By compiling a record of important job information, you'll be more in control of your job hunt.

Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Power of Action Verbs
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Incorporating verbiage in your resume that fully and accurately describes your accomplishments is important in order to make your resume rise to the top. You want to make sure the employer understands your contributions to your past and present employers over the period covered in your employment history.  Let your resume set the stage for a discussion about what you achieved and how you achieved it. Using action verbs can make it easier for you to address each of your job experiences and elements and make the information clearer and more concise for your future employer. Below are tips and examples of action verbs you might use for capturing accomplishments associated with your past work experience.

Tips for Federal Resumes
  • Use clear, concise statements written in the first person, active voice. Put the "action" verb and the "doer" of the action at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Avoid using passive verb forms often found at the end of long sentences.
  • Avoid using - they - them - plan - agencies - organizations - or other such "generic words" without first specifying who or what you are writing about.
  • Avoid bureaucratic buzzwords.
  • Spell out acronyms the first time they are used on a page, but avoid using them excessively.
  • Use words that highlight how you accomplished your job and how you contributed to the team/organizational effort.
  • Avoid statements that describe your personal beliefs or philosophies; focus on specific challenges and results achieved through your actions and/or leadership.
  • Quantify and provide examples as evidence of your accomplishments.
  • Avoid repeated use of the same example.
  • Include recent education and training that enhanced your skills.
  • Include special assignments (e.g., details, task forces, committees).
Examples of action verbs
Action verbs are provided below, using the standard performance elements as categories because they apply to all DCIPS employees. These categories can also aid in identifying action verbs supportive of individual SMART objectives.

Accountability for Results
Administer, Adopt, Advise, Analyze, Anticipate, Appraise, Approve, Arrange, Assemble, Assign, Assume, Assure, Authorize, Calculate, Circulate, Clean, Clear, Collaborate, Collect, Compile, Concur, Conduct, Confer, Consolidate, Construct, Consult, Control, Coordinate, Correlate, Correspond, Debug, Delegate, Deliver, Design, Determine, Develop, Devise, Direct, Discuss, Dispose, Disseminate, Distribute, Draft., Endorse, Establish, Estimate, Evaluate, Execute, Exercise, Exert, Expedite, Formulate, Furnish, Implement, Improve, Initiate, Inspect, Install, Interpret, Investigate, Issue, Maintain, Monitor, Notify, Operate, Participate, Perform, Place, Plan, Practice, Prepare, Proceed, Process, Promote, Propose, Provide, Recommend, Repair, Represent, Report, Research, Review, Revise, Schedule, Secure, Select, Sign, Sort, Specify, Stimulate, Submit, Supervise, Train, Transcribe, Verify, Write.
Address, Advertise, Arbitrate, Arrange, Articulate, Author, Clarify, Collaborate, Communicate, Compose, Condense, Confer, Consult, Contact, Convey, Convince, Correspond, Debate, Define, Develop, Direct, Discuss, Draft, Edit, Elicit, Enlist, Explain, Express, Formulate, Furnish, Incorporate, Influence, Interact, Interpret, Interview, Involve, Join, Judge, Lecture, Listen, Market, Mediate, Moderate, Negotiate, Observe, Outline, Participate, Persuade, Present, Promote, Propose, Publicize, Reconcile, Recruit, Refer, Reinforce, Report, Resolve, Respond, Solicit, Specify, Speak, Suggest, Summarize, Synthesize, Translate, Write.
Critical Thinking
Act, Adapt, Begin, Combine, Compose, Conceptualize, Condense, Create, Customize, Design, Develop, Direct, Display, Draw, Entertain, Establish, Fashion, Formulate, Find, Illustrate, Initiate, Institute, Integrate, Introduce, Invent, Model, Modify, Originate, Perform, Plan, Revise, Revitalize, Shape, Solve.
Engagement and Collaboration
Add, Advise, Aid, Anticipate, Arrange, Assess, Assist, Attend, Create, Counsel, Construct, Contribute, Deliver, Demonstrate , Design, Develop, Discover, Elaborate, Encourage , Export, Facilitate, Find, Help, Improve, Generate, Guide, Lead, Mediate, Motivate, Organize, Represent, Start, Serve, Unify, Unite.
Personal Leadership and Integrity
Administer, Analyze, Appoint, Approve, Assign, Attain, Authorize, Chair, Consider, Consolidate, Contract, Control, Convert, Coordinate, Decide, Delegate, Develop, Direct, Eliminate, Emphasize, Enforce, Enhance, Establish, Execute, Generate, Handle, Head, Hire, Host, Improve, Incorporate, Increase, Initiate, Inspect, Institute, Lead, Manage, Merge, Motivate, Navigate, Organize, Originate, Overhaul, Oversee, Plan, Preside, Prioritize, Produce, Recommend, Reorganize, Replace, Restore, Review, Schedule, Secure, Select, Streamline, Strengthen, Supervise, Terminate.
Managerial Proficiency
Achieve, Administer, Analyze, Appoint, Approve, Assign, Attain, Authorize, Chair, Conceive, Consider, Consolidate, Contract, Control, Convert, Coordinate, Decide, Delegate, Develop, Direct, Eliminate, Emphasize, Encourage, Enforce, Enhance, Establish, Evaluate, Execute, Improve, Generate, Handle, Head, Hire, Host, Implement, Improve, Incorporate, Increase, Initiate, Inspect, Inspire, Institute, Launch, Lead, Manage, Merge, Motivate. Navigate, Organize, Originate, Overhaul, Oversee, Plan, Preside, Prioritize, Produce, Recommend, Reevaluate, Reject, Reorganize, Replace, Report, Restore, Review, Schedule, Secure, Select, Streamline, Strengthen, Supervise, Terminate, Unite.
Technical Expertise
 Activate, Adapt, Alter, Analyze, Apply, Approve, Arrange, Assemble, Build, Calculate, Catalogue, Clarify, Classify, Collect, Compare, Compute, Compile, Conduct, Conserve, Construct, Convert, Critique, Debug, Describe, Design, Detect, Determine, Develop, Diagnose, Dispatch, Edit, Engineer, Evaluate, Examine, Execute, Experiment, Explore, Extract, Fabricate, Formulate, Fortify, Gather, Generate, Implement, Inspect, Install, Interview, Invent, Investigate, Locate, List, Maintain, Measure, Monitor, Observe, Operate, Organize, Overhaul, Prepare, Print, Program, Process, Proofread, Rectify, Record, Reduce, Regulate, Remodel, Repair, Replace, Research, Restore, Retrieve, Review, Search, Screen, Solve, Specify, Specialize, Standardize, Streamline, Study, Summarize, Survey, Systematize, Upgrade, Utilize.
Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Monday, October 17, 2011

Best Tips for Getting a Federal Job
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Career Planning
  • What do you want to do? Where?
  • Research

  • Yourself: Interests/Skills/Work Values/Personality.
  • Jobs: (Match your) Interests/Skills/Work Values/Personality.
  • Salaries. Education. Company. Position.
  • How can you research?

  • Internet, reading, people.

  • Is your resume getting interview calls? Target each resume to match all key words in that job ad.
  • Apply directly to open positions with a targeted resume, versus posting a generic resume online.
  • Use generic resume for networking and job fairs.
  • If you're military, translate military jargon to civilian terms.
  • Follow-up after submitting resume with a phone call and after an interview with a thank you note.
  • Dreamfedjob staff reviews resumes. (email us for an appointment.)*

Job Search
  • Network!
  • Develop a 15-Second Summary. Tell everyone!

  • What/Where
  • Years experience
  • Relevant education/training
  • Search job websites using a job title and location.
  • Use multiple search techniques, State Employment Office, staffing agencies, job fairs,
  • employer panels.

  • Ensure references are positive, and contact information is current.
  • Dress for success.
  • 30-Second Summary:

  • Years experience
  • Relevant education/training
  • Top 3 skills (Think of examples.)
  • Be enthusiastic!
  • “What do you know about our company?”
  • “Why should I hire you?”
  • Ask them:

  • “What’s their ideal candidate?”
  • “What’s the next step?”
  • Ask for the job!
  • Are you getting offers? If not, schedule a mock interview with a friend.

10 Federal Job Search Strategies
  • Networking
  • Contacting Potential Employers
  • Newspaper
  • Internet
  • Recruiters/Headhunters
  • State Employment Commissions
  • Job Fairs
  • Staffing/Temporary Agencies
  • Volunteering
  • Register with
10 Federal Career Strategy Tips
  • Watch for opportunities—timing and mobility may be critical factors in advancing.
  • Volunteer for special projects—serve on committees, task force(s), and panels.
  • Embrace challenge and risk as an opportunity to learn.
  • Manage and embrace change—envision the future.
  • Continue developing professional expertise.
  • Request feedback on your performance from your supervisor or an employee you trust.
  • Set your own goals and utilize training, and job opportunities, as the means to achieve them.
  • Continue your education.
  • Network with professionals in your filed; attend conferences, luncheons, and seminars.
  • Update your application for federal employment to include your specific achievements and abilities—sell yourself.
Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Job Application
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Whether you are applying for a government job or a private job, employment applications are an important part of the hiring process. Some employers require an application as the first step, while others will want one later. Some employers never want an application but do ask for a cover letter and a resume and others will want all three. The employment application is a chance for you sell your qualifications and show that you meet the job requirements.

Methods of ApplicationWhile there are many ways to apply for a job, each employer is very specific about how and even when to apply. Some job postings have time deadlines; if you miss that date, you will not be considered. The most important thing to remember is: Follow directions carefully and use only the method the employer requests!
  • Apply online at job sites
  • Apply online at the company website
  • Apply using email
  • Apply using paper application, resume, and cover letter
  • Apply in person
Necessary Employment Information
It is important to fill in every blank on an employment application. If a section does not apply to you, write /I N/ A" (not applicable) in the blank.
  • Desired Position Information: *Job Title *Hours/Days available to work *Date you can start
  • Personal information: *Name * Address *City, State, Zip Code *Phone Number *Social Security Number *Proof of Eligibility to Work in the US *Work Permit, if necessary
  • Employment History: *Name, Address, Phone Number of Past Employers *Supervisor's Name *Date of Employment *Salary *Reason for Leaving
  • Education: *Schools/Colleges Attended *Major *Degree/Diploma *Graduation Date *Certificate and Date * License and Date
  • References (provide 3): *Name * Job Title *Company *Address *Phone Number

Helpful Tips
Your application creates an impression about you. Take your time, be careful, and make it your best effort. Be upbeat and optimistic in presenting yourself and always be honest. False information can be a reason for dismissal. Avoid any negative information especially personal, legal, or financial problems. Do not volunteer more information than the employer is seeking.
  • Read the entire application before you begin to write.
  • Follow directions carefully.
  • Write clearly and neatly, using blue or black ink.
  • Provide all requested information.
  • Proofread the job application before turning it in.
  • List your most recent job first.
  • List your most recent education first, including vocational schools and training programs.
References do not have to be professional or work related but these are more valuable. If you are still in school, use a teacher as a reference; if you volunteer, use a member of the organization. Ask each person in advance for permission to use his/her name as a reference. Be sure to sign and date the application.

Difficult Questions

1. What are your salary requirements? It is best to respond with "Open" or "Negotiable" even if a wage is posted. If you feel pressured to name a dollar amount, then give a range (between this and that) so you have room to negotiate.

2. Why did you leave your last job? Avoid terms like "Fired", "Quit", "Illness" or "Personal Reasons". These could screen you out of consideration for the job. Instead indicate that it was time for a change. Consider using positive phrases like "looking for more responsibility" or "wanting a more challenging position."
3. What position are you applying for? Never leave this question blank or reply "Any" or "Open." If the job is advertised or you are looking for a specific position, write the job title. If you do not know the actual job title, use the department name. If you are interested in more than one job, fill out an additional application for each position.
Illegal Questions
Some applications may contain questions that are tricky or even illegal. These include questions about age, sex, disabilities, health, marital status, children, race and criminal convictions. You must decide how you will respond. Generally, if the question does not raise a problem, answer it. If it does, you may want to use N/A or a dash. Keep in mind that too many nonresponses may screen you out of consideration for the job.

Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Federal Hiring Process... Explained.
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by Amin Huffington
Dreamfedjob - Turning unemployed into employed.
Your First Federal Job
The first rule about applying for a federal job is to make sure you have current information. I encourage you not to rely on information provided by others, because oftentimes they entered federal service under entirely different rules and practices than apply today, or they may not have the same preferences and entitlements as you. You want to ensure you're working with the most current information available, so do check with reliable sources, including this web site.

The first thing you want to do is learn what vacancies or potential vacancies are "out there." Most federal agencies are required by law to post notices of vacancies for positions lasting 60 days or more, for which they will consider anyone outside of the agency's current workforce. Some agencies are not required to list their positions as described above. These agencies include "Excepted Agencies" such as the FBI, CIA, and others whose rules are not the same as the majority of what is often termed "the competitive civil service."

To learn about employment opportunities with these agencies, contact their individual websites. Most are usually found under a very easily determined address, such as (the Environmental Protection Agency).

Once you determine what's available, you need to identify the vacancies that interest you. You can view the vacancy announcement, see the qualifications required, and, in many cases, apply online. Just be sure to thoroughly follow the instructions listed on each vacancy announcement, as they will vary depending upon the agency, and their primary method of receiving application materials might be different from previous federal jobs for which you have applied.

Sometimes additional information is needed in order for the agency to process your application. Examples include: transcripts, DD 214, VA Form 15, questionnaires, etc. Read the instructions very carefully. Some agencies extend you the courtesy of contacting you to let you know what forms they require that you did not submit, but most do not. Information not submitted can result in your application not being evaluated, in which case you will not be considered for the position. Sometimes an agency provides contact information for the vacancy announcement. If you have questions, you can call or e-mail the contact person.

In addition to regular "competitive" positions, there are a number of special authorities, which allow agencies to hire individuals that fit special circumstances. This includes certain kinds of veterans: those who are recovered from a mental disability; those who have a severe physical disability; people whose undergraduate grade point average (GPA) is 3.5 or better; and others. You may qualify for special authorities pertaining to veterans, but don't rule out the other authorities! When you apply for a specific position, and your application is forwarded, your eligibility for special hiring authorities will be noted.

Almost all federal jobs require "examination" of one kind or another. Very few positions require "paper and pencil" tests these days, but some important ones (many in law enforcement, for example) do. Other jobs examine through an evaluation of your education and experience or demonstration that you possess certain knowledge, skills, abilities, or competencies associated with the position to be filled.

Typical Steps in Federal Recruitment
Whether applying for a permanent or non-permanent position, it helps to know that federal agencies use most, if not all, of the following steps during the hiring process:
  • Job Analysis: This process happens before you, the potential candidate, get involved. The hiring manager or supervisor describes the work to be done, and determines the knowledge, skills, abilities, or competencies required to do that work.
  • Public Notice or Vacancy Announcement: The agency gets the word out about its current or potential openings. They also include the dates that that applications will be accepted. Please note: If you are a 10-point preference eligible, you can file an application after an announcement closes. You should contact the agency that announced the position for further information.
  • Screening Applications: The agency human resources specialist, or, in some cases, an automated "expert" system, evaluates your application against the position's qualification requirements and determines your eligibility, and in some cases, your ranking, relative to other candidates.
  • Referral: The human resources office issues a list of qualified candidates to the selecting official. In some cases, positions are required to be filled from among the top three individuals with the highest score. This is not true for all jobs, but you may hear reference to "The Rule of Three." This is a legal requirement and, when indicated, agencies must follow this rule.
  • Interview: Most agencies conduct interviews of top candidates. Not all do. The interview can take place in person or by telephone.
  • Selection: A hiring manager may select from among a pool of qualified candidates. If you are selected, Congratulations! If you are not, you should keep applying for jobs that interest you. There is more than one opportunity for most well qualified people! If a selecting manager doesn't identify a good candidate on the first try, the process goes back to the recruiting phase.
  • Job Offer: An offer is made to the selected candidate, and if the candidate accepts, then a starting date is determined.
  • Probationary Period: The probationary period is the final part of the examining and hiring process. This is your opportunity to be sure you've made the right choice of employer, and the agency's opportunity to be sure you are a good match for the job. Most probationary periods last a year, but some agencies have longer or shorter probationary periods.
Please be aware that even in the best of circumstances, the federal hiring process can be lengthy. This is especially true for agencies that don't use an on-line system. Don't be discouraged! Most vacancy announcements list someone who can be contacted for additional information about a vacancy announcement, including the current status of the vacancy. Do reach out to them for an update.

Professionally written resumes now available through  For inquiries email us at