Tag: job search advice (page 1 of 2)

4 Tips for Crafting a Resume that Shines

In our last article we discussed the biggest do’s for writing a cover letter that allows you, the job seeker, to lead with your best foot forward. As a follow-up, we’ll share the various ways you can craft a resume that shines. Your resume is often times a one-page document that is supposed to convey to your future employer that you are the perfect fit for the job that they are needing to fill. Talk about pressure! However, crafting a great resume is not as daunting as it seems. Hopefully the following tips help facilitate a little more confidence for you to pitch your skills and objectives to your future employer.

Use Action Words

Always use strong action words, such as created, drove, facilitated, etc­­., at the beginning of a bullet. These strong words allow you to seem like a stronger candidate by showing action and involvement. For example, if you worked in a retail setting for several years, instead of saying, “I helped sell products,” try saying, “Drove sales to meet the store’s goals by xxx%.” You see how that simple leading word conveys an overall more confident and active tone?

Tailor Your Past Work Experiences to Match Your Future Employment Goals

While it is great that you may have had a lot of work experience, it is always better to look at what your employer is listing in the job requirements. Look at your most recent job history and decide what experiences might help sell you as a better candidate. Is your company looking for someone with strong communication skills? Find a way to convey that your past employment has equipped you with the tools needed to excel in this new position. Taking time to do this also allows you as the applicant to feel a stronger sense of confidence in applying for the position. It allows you to have a sense of certainty that you really do possess the skills that this employer needs and is looking for. Automatically your mind set will shift and you will be writing your resume in a better state of mind.

Step Outside of the Usual Format

When thinking in terms of the actual formatting for your resume, do not be afraid to shake it up a little bit. Depending on what field you are trying to get into will ultimately determine how outside of the box you can get with your resume. While sometimes formatting guidelines can be helpful in showing us what to put on an actual resume, it is not always beneficial for us to copy and paste our information into these formats. This creates little interest for the eye when an employer is flipping through stacks of resumes. As long as your resume does appear to be cluttered, sometimes switching up shades of paper and ink can allow your employer to make a mental note of your resume much more effortlessly.

Keep it Snappy

While it is important to accurately convey your awesome talents, it is important to be wise in your word choice so you do not overwhelm the reviewer of your resume. You can say a lot in a few words that have been intentionally selected. Another word of advice is to make sure you are using select terms correctly as improper word usage can create an entirely different meaning to what you are sharing.

A resume is just another piece to the puzzle that needs to be put in place before sending it out unfinished to potential employers. Your cover letter is your first impression; but your resume acts as your selling point. Take one or two of these tips and keep them in mind before you send off your resume. Happy resume building to you!

Three Do’s For Crafting A Great Cover Letter

Perhaps the most daunting task in the job search process, besides the actual interview, is making your skills come together on paper and translate to your future employer what an awesome asset you could be for their team. Making sure that you are able to share your skills with an employer will be a big bonus for you in the hiring process, as a polished cover letter will ultimately make you a more appealing candidate. The cover letter is more often than not the first point of contact that your future employer may have with you. It is important to demonstrate your interest in the specific position, and draw an employer into looking further into you as a candidate. Below are three major do’s that you should take into consideration when thinking about crafting a polished cover letter.

Do Tie in Specific Skills That You Possess from the Open Job Description

While you may not possess every skill that was listed in the job description, chances are you do have several different skills that fit the job description. Focus on explaining how the skills you do possess would allow you to be a great asset to the employer’s current team. One thing to keep aware of is making sure you don’t draw attention to the skills you don’t feel that you possess. You should think of your cover letter as a first impression, it is important that you hone in on what you can do and not what you don’t know how to do yet.

Do Highlight What You Can Do for the Company

Of course any job is a great opportunity for resume building, but in your cover letter you should focus your efforts on honing in on what an awesome asset you could be for this new team. While it is important to express your interest in gaining the experience, but make sure you are crafting your words around what you can do for them.

Do Keep it Short and to the Point

While a blank page is sometimes intimidating, it can be difficult to not fill up a page with fluff. The truth is that a hiring manager will most likely read no more than one page cover letter. The typical rule of thumb is to try and keep your cover letter brief and under one page long. Choose your words carefully and purposefully.

Writing your cover is your first impression, incorporating these tips can make for a really powerful cover letter that is sure to make you stand out amongst the crowd and do you justice as a potential employee.

3 Career Resolutions for 2017

It’s a new year and you’re likely looking ahead at a blank canvas and thinking about the things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. While you may have set resolutions for your personal life, January is also a good time to consider your professional goals and think about the things you want to achieve in your career. Whether you are currently in a position or are still searching for the right opportunity, there are always chances to improve and prepare. Take a look at these three simple and attainable career resolutions to follow in 2017.

Learn new skills.

Whether it’s a free webinar, an industry conference or a multi-week training course, take every opportunity you can to continue learning. This not only allows you to add continuing education to your resume, but also exposes you to situational examples and case studies that activate creative thinking functions that may be helpful in your own line of business. There are countless online resources like Coursera, CodeAcadamy and Lynda that can help polish your current skills or add a new area of knowledge to your resume.

Update your resume.

Regardless of whether you are searching for a job or not, it’s a good idea to keep your resume updated with your most current positions, job responsibilities, skills, achievements and any certifications you may have received. After all, your resume acts as an overview of your career and professional brand – you never know when someone may ask to see it or when a job opportunity may become available that you are interested in. Be sure to update your resume on LinkedIn, as well!

Network, network, network.

Even if you aren’t actively searching for a job, it never hurts to establish connections. There’s always the chance you may meet someone who can assist you with your current job or who may know of an ideal opportunity for you–even if it is a year from now! Make a plan to network with other professionals in your industry throughout the coming year and stick to it. Research relevant industry associations and find a local chapter to join, attend learning luncheons and grab business cards of the people you meet, and expand your LinkedIn connections. It’s all about who you know!

Think you don’t have time for professional development? It doesn’t have to be difficult! Having small, simple goals is a great way to put your best foot forward in your career or in the job search. There’s no time to waste, so let’s start the year off right!

5 Characteristics of a Top Employee

In a highly competitive job market, it’s hard to know exactly what employers are looking for in a star employee. Of course, becoming a desirable asset to a company is what everyone strives for. It sounds relatively easy right? Do well in the interview, land the job of your dreams and live in employed bliss forever. Unfortunately, the real struggle often begins after the interview when you begin your new role. Molding to the preferences of your new employer, therefore enabling you to do well and advance in your career, isn’t always as simple as it seems.

So how do you stand out as a new employee? Below are five key characteristics that employers look for, not only in the hiring process, but also in a long-term employee.

  1. Good work ethic

Don’t get hung up on the idea that you are new to the company. Everyone is new at some point (yes, even that super successful CEO). Employers take notice and value someone that is willing to learn new things and work hard at doing so. In the end, having a willingness to work hard will overcompensate for your lack of experience. Just remember, skills can be taught but a work ethic cannot.

  1. Ambition

Having that “can-do” attitude is not only what employers look for in the interview, but also what they look for on the job. Employers want someone that is willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities, without the fear of making a mistake. On your downtime, look for ways to improve, read industry blogs and continue to be innovative. The employees that do are the ones who end up making great strides for the company – and landing those highly sought after promotions.

  1. Leadership

Despite your “newbie” status, displaying confidence and a willingness to help others can get you far in the eyes of your new employer. Make the decision to get involved in your company, make suggestions and share your ideas, even if you are uncertain. These qualities are the formula for a great leader!

  1. Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are vital in establishing trust with your employer. Your demeanor, interactions with co-workers and clients, as well as your performance all play a role in establishing yourself as trustworthy. Just remember that you now represent your company and poor choices can ultimately make or break your time there.

  1. Team Player

Whether you work from home or in a large office, it’s inevitable that you will have to work with others and is therefore important to be a team player. When making the decision on whether or not to hire, the employer must consider how you will fit with the existing team so it is important to come into the company ready and willing to work cohesively with others. After all, there is no “I” in team!

Regardless of where you are in your career, possessing these five traits can be a step in the right direction for not only the job you have now, but also any position you may hold in the future. Remember, anything about a product or service can be learned, but having a good work ethic cannot.

Treat Your Job Search Like a 9-5 Job

Great employment opportunities are available, but you have to be willing to do the work to find them. Listen to Mike Bazinet, Grifols’ Director of Recruiting, as he shares tips for staying constantly engaged on job boards.

For more job seekers tips and advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook!

Is Your Brand the Ultimate Narcissism?

The following guest post is from Joshua WaldmanJoshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.


You're AwesomeMy grandmother, who is 86 this year, always told me, “humility was for people who could afford it” and when I was 10, I “couldn’t afford it.” She wanted me to be more confident, brag a little bit. I’m sure she was just a proud grandma, and I love her for it.

Now, and only after years of corporate experience, do I finally understand what she meant.

Of the many cold hard facts of the work-world, one of them is, “You have to ring your own bell.”

I can hear some of you chuckling already. I’m sure you had a kindly boss, like I did, who might have seen your potential and wanted to motivate you. Maybe she or he was just giving you career advice as a mentor, or advisor.

Whatever the case might be, my lesson was clear: don’t be afraid to brag a little bit. After all, no one in this 60,000-person organization was going to look for me under the carpet or hiding in my cubicle.

Perhaps you feel that way when writing your résumé. I know I did. I thought, “Wow, that’s one hell of a claim to make. It was our team who brought in the sale, not just me.”

But my HR side said, “yes, that’s true, but you can’t afford not to ring your own bell.”

I watched the movie Julie and Julia the other day and something occurred to me. The story is about a sad government secretary who embarks on a mission to cook all of Julia Child’s 540 French recipes in 364 days, and blog about it, each day. After awhile, she becomes completely self-obsessed. Soon her marriage is in jeopardy and she wallows even deeper into narcissism.

But then, her idol Julia Child inspires her to take a second look at how she is treating those around her.

As the Dalai Lama said, the more you focus on yourself, the more miserable you will be.

So what is all this talk about “Brand-You”? Isn’t that just the epitome of unhappiness?

I believe there is a delicate balance, a middle way, between how much we ring our own bell and how much we focus on giving. After all, we don’t live in a vacuum.

As we build our brands online, writing articles, taking the voice of authority, commenting critically on blogs or LinkedIn Groups, remember — we may not be good enough to be humble, but a bell that rings too loud gets silenced.

Ready to make promote your personal brand for a new career? Visit My.jobs today!

Using Social Media in Your Job Search

There are several ways a job seeker can use social media to supplement the application process. In this video tip, you’ll hear a specific example that you can immediately incorporate into your next job application process!

Key Takeaways:

  • After you apply, write down the job requisition number.
  • Then, use sites like LinkedIn to reach out to the recruiting team or hiring manager for the role you’re interested, and reference the role for which you applied.

Get more advice from other Help Wanted blogs or check out our job seeker focused Pinterest board. Ready to look for your next job? Visit My.jobs and search over a million opportunities.


Completing Your My.jobs Profile for Increased Employer Visibility

If you aren’t familiar with it by now, My.jobs is a new resource from DirectEmployers Association that assists job seekers in finding open positions from verified employers around the world. We recently shared a post on how to set up a saved search on My.jobs in order to have job openings of interest sent directly to your email inbox, but this post will focus on the importance of fully completing your profile upon registration. Remember, the more information you share about yourself, the more employers can learn as they consider you for employment.

While you may have reservations about sharing your information, it is important to know that My.jobs has been awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal signifying that its privacy policy and practices have been reviewed for compliance in regards to the collection and use of job seeker’s personal information.

So, what information is included in the establishment of a My.jobs profile? Information that you should absolutely plan to share includes: name, email address, employment history, education and other preferred methods of contacting you. You also have the opportunity to include additional information that may apply to you, such as:

  • Secondary Email Address
  • Military Service
  • Website
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Volunteer History
  • Summary

Enhancing your profile to include this information may be especially useful to employers who are looking for candidates with a web portfolio, certifications, or a military background. Just think of your profile as a virtual resume!

Once you interact with a company’s jobs, the employer can view your profile. As you search and click on opportunities of interest, it’s like tapping that employer on the shoulder and letting them know you’re interested. You can also view a company-specific page on the network, such as REI.jobs to make your profile accessible by that organization.

Think your profile is complete? On the right side of your profile you will find a helpful tool bar that tracks the completion of your profile (by percentage), based on the information that you have provided. Be as thorough as you can to improve your visibility and attractiveness to employers, but remember to be truthful. Embellishing on your education, employment history and achievements is never a good idea; the truth will come out eventually!

What are you waiting for? Create a profile today and start your career search on My.jobs – the right place for you!

How Shane Barker Landed the Coolest Job Ever, With Social Media and No Resume

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is recognized as one of the nations top authorities in Social Media Career Advancement. To learn Joshua’s secret strategies for shortening the online job search and getting the right job right away, watch his exclusive video training here to learn How To Use Social Media Find a Job. The following is a guest post from Josh.

Joshua originally published this article on the Huffington Post:

I found Shane Barker on Twitter one day when he shared a blog post with me called, “San Francisco 49ers Social Media: Why Hire Shane Barker?” Pretty bold, Shane! I had to find out who this guy was.

But first, let me note: Shane does several things right on his blog, if you notice. He isn’t shy about sharing his street credibility. He’s a Klout 1 percent influencer — check. He’s rated on Angie’s List — check. He’s a #1 ranked social media consultant according to ProScore (which I’ve never heard of but who cares) — check.

Plus his blog is well designed, clean, and he contributes to it regularly. If the 49ers won’t take him, then it’s their loss! (But then something unexpected happened, keep reading…)

I’m a sucker for social media success stories and so, after reading about Shane, I decided to follow him and see where this whole thing got him. Were the 49ers going to hire Shane or was he going to fall on his face? I had to know!

Well, as it turned out, six months later, neither happened. Rather, he gets an email from a company he’s never heard of in Uzbekistan. Yep. Not joking.


Uzbekistan? Really?

Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan, Nodir Mirsidov founder of a company called Modera.co, an international start-up, that created an app (PickItApp) was in need of a talented social media manager.

Determined to find the right person, Modera started researching a number of different social media companies through all the popular social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Klout, etc.) along with in-depth, web-based research.

Narrowing the search down to 100 candidates and further thinning it down based upon geographic location, they proceeded with interviews to find the best fit for their company.


They Find Shane

Shane stood out amongst the best based solely on his social media presence. His online existence showed his willingness to take on challenges, have a positive outlook, and sincerely care about his network.


Let Me Say Those Again

  1. Willingness to take on a challenge = motivation
  2. Positive outlook = fit and personality
  3. Cares about his network = professionalism and visibility

His social profiles were active and contained original content that tied into his professional goals.

So Modera hired him as their social media marketing person.

Currently, he’s doing so well for the company that the other two co-founders, Marat Ibragimov and Sanjar Babadjanov, came to San Francisco to pursue Series A funding.

Shane, within a few months at a company he didn’t even know existed, became co-founder (and owes me a beer for following him on Twitter!). I’m sure he’s a 49ers fan still, but it’s their loss I tell you!


How This Affects You

When you put yourself out there you never know what might come your way. So, take a look at your profiles and assess it from an outside perspective. It’s not just about being “findable,” where so many people get fixated — it’s also about showing up to the table and communicating with your network.

What are you presenting to future employers with your online presence? Are you prepared for an unexpected call from Uzbekistan (figuratively of course!)?

Summer 2013 Jobs Outlook: 5 Tips for Soon-to-be Grads

Need Job Image

Source: Metro.us

In today’s job market, it is nearly impossible to find employment without a bachelor’s degree, and oftentimes without a master’s degree. Unfortunately, recent college grads may still have trouble securing a professional position. The good news is, according to a report released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for individuals having recently earned bachelor’s and advanced degrees is experiencing a downward trend—albeit still high as compared to pre-recession days1.

In an effort to find a job, grads have to get creative in their search and implement more aggressive tactics. If you are preparing to don a cap and gown and head out into the business world late this spring, take a few of these tips into consideration prior to your job search.

Get an Internship
While obtaining a permanent, full-time position would be the best-case scenario, it is smart to take any opportunity that you can get. Internships are a great way to gain experience, network, and get your foot in the door with a company. If you do a good job, you may end up being offered a full-time position in the end. In the very least, you will have real-world experience to bring to another company. Interested in an internship? Search and apply for one in your area of expertise at Internships.jobs.

Attend Career Fairs
Whether virtual, through your school, or a public event, career fairs are a beneficial means to finding employment. These free events should be included in your job searching agenda and are meant to connect you with potential employers, allowing you to showcase your skills and experience face-to-face interaction with recruiters.

Create an Online Portfolio
Depending on what line of work you hope to be in, you may find it beneficial to have a compilation of your work prepared for an employer to review. Compile research papers, projects and work samples, along with a resume and professional headshot, into a simple website. This is your brand and it should represent you well. Want a more simple solution? Beef up your LinkedIn profile and include your past experience, contact information and current employment objective.

Start Networking
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s all about who you know.” Well, that phrase couldn’t be truer. Networking and building connections is a task that begins in college and never truly ends throughout the duration of your career. Find networking events in your city and make plans to attend, create a LinkedIn profile, and start connecting. This is a great way to acquire interviews and foster professional relationships that could be useful in the future.

Reach Out to Your Existing Contacts
Go through all of the contacts you have acquired through past positions, career fairs, school events, and personal connections and reach out to see if they know of any open positions you may be a good fit for. You never know where there might be an unadvertised opportunity waiting for you.

The key is to be proactive and start your search sooner rather than later—don’t take the summer off. Take the initiative, show an employer why they should offer you a position, and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. Simply enjoy your last days as a college student and make plans to hit the ground running post-graduation!

Looking for tips on crafting a stellar resume? Get helpful tips and advice in this post regarding what employers want to see on a resume.

1 – Bureau of Labor Statistics; http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130405.htm

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