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Texas Job Hunters Can Do Better Without Health Insurance Worries

Aug 27, 2007
Residents of Texas -- particularly in the big cities of Dallas, Houston and Austin -- and especially those with skills in demand, may be among the most marketable employees in the country. Yet, for some, moving to another job gives cause for pause, for reasons that may be unrelated to the job they're eyeing.

Rather, it has to do with benefits in general, and specifically health insurance benefits. With health insurance costs rising at a rate that's forcing small companies to limit or even eliminate their employer-provided health care insurance altogether, workers dissatisfied with one job may be reluctant to make the switch if the place they're jumping to doesn't provide a soft landing.

How serious a problem is it? While the magnitude of this stifling of mobility may be difficult to ascertain, a survey by Hewitt Associates, an HR consultancy, identified health care coverage as the most important benefit, bigger by a two-to-one factor than compensation. The survey also underscored the issue of health care coverage in the decision-making process, with two out of three saying coverage was a primary factor.

There's hope for those who are concerned, but recruiters also say those who are looking for new opportunities would do well to polish up their resume. Here's some of their best resume tips:

- Make it perfect: Recruiters expect a resume to be grammatically perfect, the implication being that someone who hasn't taken the time to polish the document may treat their work with the same degree of precision.

- Be specific: The objective is to communicate what the prospective employee has accomplished. The choice may be between someone who has "worked with employees in a restaurant setting" and someone who has "recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.".

- Customize for the job being sought: Recruiters aren't as likely to single out a resume designed to appeal to all employers as they are one that's written specifically for them. It's more work, but employers expect a prospective employee to clearly show how and why they fit the position.

- Outline what you've accomplished: Employers care more about what someone has accomplished than they do about the job description included. Adding statements that reflect the accomplishments achieved in your various positions.

- Not too long or short: There are no hard-and-fast rules governing the length of a resume, but often commonsense rules. Would you want to read a five-page resume? Maybe, if the requirements were very specific or under exceptional circumstances, but if two pages will tell the story, that may be "just right."

- It's not "all about you": Your objective statement should be both specific and, more importantly, speak to the interests of the prospective employer, not just what's in it for you.

- Action!: Using action verbs will help bring a resume to life.

- Is something missing?: Some job seekers may be tempted to leave out jobs that simply earned money during school. Recruiters say the soft skills gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) may be more important to employers than once thought.

- Simple is better: A resume that's wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts is more likely to distract or annoy than top impress. If it's hard on the eyes, revise.

- Check again: Simple things like having the correct contact information is vital to the effectiveness of a resume. Double-check everything.

Ready to move into a new job? Considering individual health insurance instead of a new employer's group plan may be a more cost-effective option.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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