Tag: resume tips

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!

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 Resume and Interviewing Tips for People Over 55

The following post is being shared with permission from our friends at Easter Seals. View the original post on EasterSeals.com.

Senior Female WorkingThere’s no such thing as an ideal age for retirement.

Just look at today’s workforce. In the next decade, over 71 million Americans will be 65 years of age and older, and many don’t plan to retire anytime soon. In fact, employment among those over 55 has increased significantly in recent years.

So what exactly does this mean for those of you who are over 55 and actively looking for employment? Well, it’s good news. It means it’s not too late to land your ideal job. The following resume and interviewing tips can help, in addition to the many resources from Easter Seals for Baby Boomers looking for jobs:

Hard Work Pays Off 
Employers seek candidates who love what they do and will keep at it until they solve the problem and get the job done. So it’s not hard to believe that someone with a history of strong work ethic makes for an ideal candidate for the job. Recent studies show that employees over the age of 49 scored higher in being a vital part of organizations (69%), “hardworking” (73%) and a “team player” (56%), as opposed to their younger counterparts. Keep in mind that organizations have a void that they are looking to fill, so be sure to show that you possess all of the above qualities on your resume and during the interview. And if you find that you need help putting together a great resume, Easter Seals has plenty of job-hunting resources to help you along the way.

Adaptability Is Key
Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are open to new ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, seasoned employees over the age of 55 have developed a reputation for being the total opposite. An Ernst and Young survey shows that employees over the age of 50 are “not viewed as the ‘best’ generation in areas such as being adaptable.” But, don’t worry. You can change that. During the interview, let the employer know that you are willing to think outside the box. Besides, this job could be totally different than any other position you’ve ever held throughout your career, and you never know where the role might lead.

Loyalty Goes a Long Way
Who doesn’t love a loyal worker? Employers look for candidates with a strong devotion to the company. A great way to show that you possess this quality is through your employment history. Emphasize the length of time you’ve spent with previous organizations on your resume. Many people don’t realize how costly turnover is. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that it can cost as much as 50% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. Workers older than 55 remain at the same organization THREE times longer than 25 to 34-year-olds. You certainly don’t have to include anything that reveals your age, but seeing history of longevity in the workplace is certainly not a bad thing. Besides, showing a sense of loyalty to an organization lets the employer know that you aren’t a liability in the long-run.

Self-Confidence Looks Great on You
Look at it this way: if you don’t believe in yourself, in your unique mix of skills, education, and abilities, why should a prospective employer? Be confident in yourself and what you can offer employers. Allow your age to work in your favor. Did you know that by 2019 29% of the population will be 55? Employers need older workers who can relate to their clientele. There’s a good possibility that there are younger candidates applying for the same position, but they may not have the experience. In fact, you should always remember that your work experience is actually an asset. The interview is no time to be modest. Be willing to share your work experiences and accomplishments with the employer.

Learning Is Thriving
If you remember nothing else, keep in mind that no matter how old you are, you should always be willing to learn a new skill or technique. Organizations are constantly changing and evolving, so it’s wise to show an openness to grow and learn with that change. During the interview, go out of your way to show that you are open to new ideas and practices. Acquiring a new job is a great way to push your personal limits.

More importantly, keep in mind that everyone brings a unique set of skills and experience to the workplace. As a seasoned employee, younger coworkers could benefit from your knowledge and experience, but there is still plenty for you to learn from your younger counterparts as well.

You can find a new job, and we’re here to help!

Explore Easter Seals Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for additional employment resources.

Learn more about Easter Seals employment and training services today.

How to Write an ATS-Friendly Resume

Have you ever wondered what happens to your resume when you apply for a job online? What you may not realize is that before your resume is scanned by human eyes, it is likely run through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) first, to prove relevancy to the position you are applying for. An ATS is a software application that acts as an applicant database and assists employers with a number of tasks during the recruiting process.

When your resume is submitted, it is sent through a parser which is a program that scans for keywords and breaks down information, such as your contact information, education and work experience. When the recruiter searches the ATS for specific keywords, the resumes relevant to the search are then displayed and scored. Those scoring among the highest are more likely to be called in for an interview.

With nearly 100% of large companies (and 50% of mid-size companies) using this technology1, it is vital that your resume is crafted in an ATS-friendly manner. But how do you go about doing so? Take a look at these helpful tips for developing an ATS-friendly resume:

  • Use the correct file extension – If you have the option to upload your resume during the apply process, make sure that your file is a .doc or .pdf to ensure it’s compatible and readable by the ATS. If the file cannot be read, it is immediately dropped from the system.
  • Use basic font style – When typing your resume, stick with basic font families such as Calibri, Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, Helvetica, etc., as they are more easily read by the ATS and frankly, more professional. Sorry, no Comic Sans!
  • Use proper font size – Using a proper font size can also prevent the risk of a scanning error. While it may seem tempting to use a larger font size in order to take up more room on the page, try to stick with a 10-12 point font.
  • Use basic, text-only formatting – When most of us think about creating a professional resume, we assume someone will be looking reviewing it in the original format. When the resume goes into the ATS, only the text is pulled. Adding pictures, graphics or borders could cause scanning errors and risks it being overlooked by the recruiter.
  • Carefully place contact info – While it may seem most logical to put your contact information at the top, not everyone does so. The parser tends to look for this information at the top of the resume, so why not help things along and put it in this designated area?
  • Use strategic keywords – When the ATS scans your resume, it is looking for keywords to categorize. Be sure to use keywords pertaining to your skills and language that matches that of the job description.

Ever heard the saying “less is more”? This phrase most definitely applies to your electronic resume. For best results, keep it simple. On the other hand, if you are sending resumes in the mail or are taking copies into an interview, feel free to make them more visually appealing. Want more resume and interview tips? Check out our Job Seeker Advice, Tips and How-Tos Pinterest board featuring videos with guidance directly from recruiters! Or, find you next job on http://jobs.jobs.

Sources:

1 CyberCoders; http://blog.cybercoders.com/post/50427882762/cybercoders-infographic-is-your-resume-ats-proof

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