The recession may be over, but job seekers still need advice on how to land that perfect position.
Terri Carpenter, a career counselor with job training agency SETA/Sacramento Works, answers reader questions this week as one of our "Ask the Experts" writers.
To see more of her advice or to post your own jobhunting questions, go to: www.sacbee.com/ask. You can also see advice on taxes, investing, wills/trusts and personal finances.
I have been doing banking and finance work for the last 13 years in the Bay Area. We are buying a home in Elk Grove. Since I am not from the area, what is the best way to get my résumé out to local banks, credit unions or financial companies?
Go to a major job search site, such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, and post your résumé so employers can search for you by keyword when they have openings.
Secondly, you should be applying for banking and finance jobs in the Sacramento area. Get a copy of the Sacramento Business Journal's Book of Lists, which shows all the banks and credit unions in the Sacramento area, including their contact information. Check their websites for possible openings or to find out whom to contact for an informational interview.
Lastly, join LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com) to set up a profile and post your résumé. Use it to find all the local banks with open positions. LinkedIn also has a targeted job section, which recently listed more than 43 banking job openings in Sacramento.
I recently retired after teaching 22 years in the same school. I would like to apply for part-time jobs, but need to create a résumé. As I held my most recent job for 22 years, is prior employment applicable? For example, I worked as a manager in a trendy store on Union Square, but that was 30 years ago. Would I include it if applying for retail work now?
Instead of a chronological history of your past employment, I would develop a "functional résumé," which focuses on your skills, abilities and qualifications. It shows your past experience and qualifications without referencing an employer that you worked for decades ago. You can easily change this résumé for different industries by using bullet points indicating your experience and skills.
It's especially helpful for those who've been out of the workforce or have gaps in their employment, whether for illness, child care or job loss.
I've been out of the job market for several years due to illness, but want to get back in the game. I'm a software developer and have kept my skills up to date.
How can I jump back into the market? What type of job am I more likely to land: permanent or contract work? Since my résumé is out-of-date, what should I include? Do past accomplishments count for anything?
The first thing I suggest is updating your résumé using the "functional" format where you focus on your qualifications, skills, abilities and experience. (See answer above.)
Contract work is definitely the trend in the software development industry. Most software development firms like to hire contractors for specific projects, which gives them the ability to check your skill sets and see if you are a good fit for their firm. Employers often retain the contract employee in a permanent position.
Most local software development companies are using LinkedIn for candidate searches. I recommend creating a LinkedIn profile, where you can post your résumé.
Also, join any of LinkedIn's software development/programming groups. Many employers use the groups to look for potential candidates. Additionally, LinkedIn has a jobs directory, where tech companies often post openings. Many software firms say they prefer to use LinkedIn over traditional job boards because they can find better quality candidates.
Compiled by Claudia Buck