Your resume is your ambassador to a positive new chapter

Job lay-off? Firing? Downsizing? Company going out of business? Whatever they're calling it, you, too, may find yourself pulling your resume out of hiding and buying a roll of first class stamps. Before you begin printing, folding, stuffing and stamping, think about some options. If you want to stress many different skills, don't depend on one resume to do the trick. Create several different versions of your resume. Take the time to emphasize one area in your former position. In other words, if in a particular area you excelled, highlight those duties and accomplishments.

Treat your resume as your ambassador. Your resume will speak for you. Make it reader-friendly and full of your positive accomplishments. Like an ambassador, it deserves dignity, not desperation; don't send it all over town to places and people you really don't have an interest in.

Try sending your resume to a few, select employers who are not advertising for a job opening. Carefully choose a few companies that may have been the competition in your former job. Hopefully, they will admire your work by reputation and they might be flattered that you thought of them. If they don't have an opening at the moment, this will inspire them to think of you in the future.

Always write a strong cover letter. This part of your resume packet could be more important than your resume. It is an opportunity to explain more in depth how your skills and accomplishments can translate into the applied-for position. Make sure to show your enthusiasm in the cover letter.

Are you willing to relocate? Now may be the time to seek employment in another area of the country ... or the world! This will open a lot more doors and will make you much more employable.

Think about new possibilities. If you have sent your resume to many organizations and have received no response, it is time to consider another direction. Try applying for a different field that could use your skills.

Use networking and contacts. Ask your friends and family if they know about any job openings. Do they know of any upcoming opportunities? Get in touch with old colleagues again. You can reconnect and ask for their advice. If your college professors remember you, call them too. They may be able to assist you. Professors often have contacts in the business community.

Is it time for a career change? Your job loss might be an opportunity to pursue another career.

There are many self-test books on the market that can help you determine your other career skills. A career counselor can also help you with options. Talk to people who have changed their careers. Discover if your skills would fit well into a new field. If you can afford to take some exploratory courses, do so. Even if you are already qualified, more training can help polish your skills and help get you involved in a new career. You might find a job lead from a class instructor.

Consider your job transition time as an impetus for the next positive chapter in your life.

Jane Boucher is an author and professional speaker with offices in Reno. Reach her at 853-0226 or


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