Why It Helps To Review the Basics


Check out this book my husband bought me for Christmas!

(I decided not interpret it is as a commentary on the fact that he’s supporting me, as it was on my Amazon Wish List.)

Allison Hemming — founder of the Hired Guns — wrote Work It! as an antidote to the times…times in which an increasing amount of people are losing their jobs, or are at least worrying about the possibility.

While the majority of the content in her book is aimed at those in the full-time, corporate work force, I found that the lessons therein — especially as they pertained to resumes, networking, and correspondence — were applicable to anyone looking to make money.

And the number one lesson I learned from reading Work It!? It’s never too late to review the basics.

Other lessons learned:

Don’t be lazy about looking for work, as easy as the Internet makes this. Take advantage of targeted job alerts and industry job boards, but also check out trade associations and corporate alumni sites.

Revisit your resume. Especially if you’re still using the same old one-sheet you put together on your college graduation day. Using the tips in Work It!, I reformatted my resume, tweaked some of the phrasing, added some new info, and embraced the idea of a customized resume for every possible job, client, or employer.

Don’t let Internet-speak — or other forms of lazy writing — creep into your cover letters or other correspondence. I’ve always been pretty proud of my cover letters, but this section of the book reminded me that it doesn’t pay to cut corners on such things has finding the correct person to address your missive to. It also made me realize that my opening lines are not as snappy as they used to be. Hemming also has some great ideas for making your thank yous, and other follow-ups, stand out from the crowd’s.

– I’ve always struggled in interviews. I get nervous, so I talk to fast…stumble over some words…forget others…it’s a mess! Work It! contained a good primer on acing that interview, one I was all too happy to revisit.

There’s lots more, of course, but you get the picture. Be sure to check out this book if you want to get back to basics. Chances are, we all have an area or two we’ve gotten a bit lazy with.

Related: How To Write Your Way Into the Best Darn Jobs Ever, Work 2.0: The Deterioration of Professional Decorum

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