Braving the Job Market: Standing out in a crowd of thousands

By Melanie Ruberti - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Mike Todd dressed for success in his suit and tie. After being laid off in February, he's starting over, looking for his next career.

"The first thing I did was get on the Internet, and start cruising through things like Monster, Career Builders, that sort of thing," he said. "I quickly made up a resume, and started to network."

It's what Julie Diebolt did too. Once a job recruiter, she now finds herself taking the advice she once gave out. "First and foremost, make a list of everyone you know that might could help you get a job," she explained. "So I have three lists. People that I needed to contact, businesses I needed to contact, and then what else can I do besides what I am doing right now."

Wachovia Recruiting Consultant, Amy Kollman, said getting in contact with as many people as you can, is your best source for finding a job. "Because what's going to happen in a small community like Savannah, is that you're going to find out from other people that there are jobs. And if you have a reputation for a strong work ethic, people will recommend you to people who are hiring," she said.

But to land an interview, you're going to need a strong resume. Mike and Julie are just two of the more than 7,000 people searching for new careers in Savannah and the surrounding areas.

Mike had to tweak his resume in order to make himself stand out. Instead of just listing his duties, he named his accomplishments. "Say in sales for instance, did you increase your customer base? Did you increase your sales? Was there a problem there you were creative in finding a solution to that worked very well? Did you save the company money?" he listed off.

But you want to keep your resume brief, usually to one page. Julie has experience in many different areas, so she created more than one. "I've done some teaching, so there's one that's suited for HR development type jobs. Then I have one that's suited towards employee relations, and one that's suited towards benefits, because I've done all three of those in human resources," she said.

Department of Labor Career Center Manager, Larry Yaughn, said they get requests from employers looking for new candidates everyday. It's the people with the strongest resumes who get the interviews, and eventually the jobs. "Have other people look at it. Have different eyes look at it," he explained. "And if you have friends who are supervisors, take it to them and ask, 'would you hire me based on this resume?'"

Amy agreed."I only have a couple of seconds as a recruiter to look at that resume. If you have spelling errors, if you've misspelled the name of the company you worked for. It seems so simple, but obviously that shows me you don't have a strong attention to detail and I'm going to go on to the next candidate."

It's the little things that could make all the difference, helping people like Mike and Julie get back into the workforce. "I'm pretty proud of what I've got on paper," exclaimed Mike.

It looks like those tips worked. Mike has an interview today with a company. Julie has one lined up for Wednesday.

Some other tips when writing your resume or interviewing for jobs:

  • Research the company your interviewing for, and ask questions.
  • Don't lie or exaggerate on your resume. Your potential employers will find out!
  • Clean up any My Space or Face Book pages you have. Make sure it's appropriate for prospective employers to look at. Also, have a professional voice mail message as well.
  • Keep a positive attitude when you speak with employers.
  • Don't give up! You never know when a position may open up. Be diligent about checking web sites and networking with people you know.

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