On PartnerUp.com, a woman wrote for advice on how to get a clerical job. She’s having a difficult time getting interviews. One person suggested she start her own business. I built on that with my response:

If you can do lots of administrative work, check out being a Virtual Assistant. There’s an international association, www.ivaa.org, that has information about what a VA does, as well as a site that matches VAs with employers (www.virtualassistants.com).

The other option is that your resume needs some work. The key thing is to identify YOUR core value to an employer – what makes you stand out? What would you bring to an employer that no one else will? In other words, in a world where many people are applying for the same job, why should the employer choose you?

There are a number of other things to consider – are you highlighting your measurable accomplishments in your resume? Is your resume easy to read? Do your cover letters make the match between your skills/abilities and the employer’s needs? Do you let the employer know that you want to work for them and why? A little flattery can go a long way, especially now when employers have a choice about who to hire. Most would rather hire someone who is focused on meeting the company’s needs instead of their personal needs. Remember the cover letter is to get you on an interview, so it requires care and work.”

I suggested that she check out this blog for more information on how to structure a resume and cover letters.