Tag: resume

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!

Is LinkedIn Really That Important?

I first heard about LinkedIn while I was sitting in a classroom listening to my Professor discuss the importance of networking, and he briefly covered LinkedIn. Just as briefly as he touched on the subject of LinkedIn as a networking tool, I forgot about it. Knowing what I do about the tool now, I now know that was a mistake.

It is no secret that Social Media platforms are increasingly becoming the way we connect with one another. We share birthdays, vacations and thoughts with the click of a mouse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So if the Internet really is the place we are connecting, why are more people not using LinkedIn? According to a study shared on http://business.linkedin.com, the top recruiters for business are “60% more engaged with LinkedIn recruiting tools than the average recruiter”.1 If this is where employers are looking to hire, we should all run, not walk, to either fill out a profile, or improve upon that neglected profile that may be out of date

You’re probably thinking, “I have a profile. This does not apply to me.” While it is true that having a LinkedIn profile is half the battle, using the profile effectively will win the war. In a Forbes article I recently read, the importance of actively using your profile is discussed with the simple explanation that it’s not uncommon for a recruiter to look at your LinkedIn profile to determine whether or not to reach out to you.2

This behavior isn’t a unique scenario, as many recruiters will often review your LinkedIn profile to discover additional work-related information. Whether it is in our personal lives, or a job search, we turn to the internet as a reliable source of information and to seek out everything from restaurant reviews to career information.

Ultimately, networking tools like LinkedIn can help you connect with friends, colleagues and more. Not only can you track connections and stay in touch with professionals in your field, you can consistently form new ones and expand your network. In today’s hyper connected world, you never know who could help you land your dream job.



1. “The Ultimate List of Hiring Statistics”; Business.LinkedIn.com

2. “Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn at Your Peril”; Forbes.com

When You Ring Your Bell, Someone Will Come

High_five_while_rock_climbing-1080x450The following guest blog is from Joshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES, and founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.

(This article first appeared in the Indian publication me.inc.)

Sometimes it doesn’t feel right to mention your accomplishments. Or you know someone who brags and it bugs you. You need to find a happy medium to get ahead.

It’s 2006, I just graduated with my MBA and started my first big corporate job. I have my little cubicle and a handful of important sales accounts to manage. In many ways, I feel like the small fish in a big pond, so I mostly keep to myself. But pretty soon, I land a few big deals. Actually, for someone who’d just started, I am doing rather well.

One day, my boss calls me into his office. I open the door dread what is going to happen. I sit down on the hardwood chair and hold my breath. What he says to me has stuck with me ever since. He says, “There are over 50,000 people working at this company. You’ve been rather successful. But you won’t go anywhere hiding under your desk. From now on, I want to hear you talking about your wins with the team. Ring your bell. Is that clear?”

Since that conversation, I’ve moved to several jobs and even started a few of my own businesses. Each time, I hear his voice telling me to ring my bell. Let people know what I am capable of and how my skills can help them.

But I’m sure you have the friend who does nothing else but talk about themselves. I do. They don’t stay friends for long though. So I’m not telling you to brag. I’m not telling you to be self-obsessed. But when the opportunity comes to speak honestly about yourself, take it. Otherwise, how else are potential employers going to know what makes you unique?

How to ring your bell on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, there are three key areas, your photo, your headline and your summary. Many people leave their summary blank because writing about yourself can be too difficult. Or, some people write these long biographies in their summary.

The Ladders, a popular US based job board did a study and found that recruiters spend about eight seconds on average on each online profile. They look at the image to see if it’s professional. They look at the headline to see if it matches any of the jobs they are recruiting for. And the remaining five seconds are spent on the summary.

The summary is where you can ring your bell. After all, personal branding is about what makes you uniquely qualified for the position you want. In your summary, answer the question, What Makes You the Best at What You Do?

For many, this can be an impossible question. We’re conditioned from an early age to not brag. If we bragged as kids, our parents told us to stop. Or maybe we held back in fear of alienating our friends. For me, I had friends who bragged and I vowed to not be as annoying as them.

But remember that there is a difference between bragging and telling someone honestly what makes you so good. I recall my grandmother’s words to me, since I was such a quiet kid, “Honey, you’re not good enough to be so modest”.

Here is an exercise to follow if you find yourself stuck.

Think of a time in your career that you were the most successful. It could be any time, at a job, in life, with friends, etc. Recall what happened as vividly as possible. Then ask yourself, “what did I do to make this a success”? What role did I play in the event’s successful outcome?

Here’s an example.

My client Stef couldn’t articulate what she is the best at. So she recalled a time when she helped a local chapter of a charity she belongs to go from ranking 150 to 15 in the country, for charitable donations.

I asked her what role she played in this. And her answer became the center of her personal brand. She said, “I had a goal of taking my chapter to number 1. I know we had the resources but lacked the organization. So I put together a plan and delegated the right people to execute the right parts of it. I held weekly status calls to keep them accountable, since they were just volunteers. Pretty soon, all of them were making their own decisions, without me. I was very proud.”

She took a failing volunteer organization and through sharing her vision and plan, turned it around completely. I would say that this is a skill many organizations would love to have.

Bell ringing on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter and Facebook, unlike LinkedIn, focus more on posts than on profiles, mirroring an actual networking situation.

If you rang your bell on every post, people would feel that you are indeed bragging. Consider the 80|10|10 rule for online postings.

80% of your posts should be conversational, including questions, observations, photos, quotes, and other original content.

10% of your posts should be reactions to other people, including comments, retweets, likes and interruptions.

10% of your posts can be self-promotional, including personal branding statements, statements about what you are looking for, something you accomplished or something nice someone else said about you.

Some guidelines for bell ringers

If you noticed from Stef’s story, it wasn’t really about her. It was about what she accomplished with her unique skills. The difference between bragging and telling someone what makes you the best is focus.

Here are some guidelines you can use to avoid bragging and do more bell ringing:

  1. Focus on how your skills accomplished something greater than yourself

  2. Have a story to back up your claims of greatness

  3. Be just as willing to talk about what other people did to help when asked

  4. Know when to ring your bell and when to stop

  5. Bell ringing is always about a promise of how you can do something similar for someone else, it adds value

Job-Searching-with-Social-Media-for-Dummies-2nd-edition-Joshua-Waldman

Ring your bell to me

I’d love to hear what makes you the best at what you do. Are you feeling weird about sharing your successes? Do you have an annoying bragging friend? Feel free to share yours on the online version of this magazine. Or find me on Twitter or Facebook at:

@Joshuawaldman

http://facebook.com/careerenlightenment.com

Ready to “ring your bell” and the new year with a new job? Visit My.jobs today and search over 1 million jobs!

6 Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to the job search, the first step is typically to create a resume. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy task and many are left to wonder, “Where do I even start?” Using a template found online or on your word processing software will give you an idea of layout and what information to include, but there are still a number of resume faux pas that could result in you missing out on an interview. Listed below are a few of the most common resume mistakes, so you can be sure to avoid them.

Having spelling/grammatical errors.
There is no quicker way to make yourself seem under-qualified than by having spelling or grammatical errors in your resume. Whether accidental or not, this is a serious misstep that often leads employers to put your resume on the bottom of the stack. Be sure to not only use the “spell check” function, but also review the document yourself. You may even want to go one step further and have a friend or relative look it over as well. It may seem like overkill, but it is always better to be safe rather than sorry!

Including too much information.
Imagine how many resumes a recruiter must look at! Your resume should provide a good base of information, providing the employer with just enough to establish if you are a potentially good fit for the open position. The rest of your story can be portrayed in the interview. Stick with the basics: objective, education, experience, and contact information. You may want to add any certifications or association affiliations as well, but this is up to you and varies based on your specific experience.

Using an unprofessional email address.
So maybe ‘superchick98@xyzmail.com’ isn’t the best email address to put on your resume. When you are searching for a job, it is best to keep personal separate from professional. Your best bet is to make an email address that is simply your name, for example ‘john.smith@xyzmail.com’. This prevents the employers from making any preconceptions about you before having the chance to consider your experience and what you could bring to the organization. Similarly, consider the message on your answering machine or voicemail in the event that you get called in for an interview and miss an employer’s call.

Not tailoring the resume to each specific job.
While you likely know to customize your cover letter to match each specific position you are applying for, it is also a good idea to tailor your resume accordingly. How? That pesky objective at the top should reflect the position you are trying to obtain. An overly commercial objective could also be a turnoff to employers so take the initiative and come up with something unique, using keywords and verbiage from the job description.

Featuring tasks rather than skills.
This step is especially important if you are switching fields or applying for a position that doesn’t exactly translate to your past experience. Rather than just explaining what your duties were, explain what skills you used to complete them. This tells the employers more about your abilities. For example, “Used written communication and design skills to create marketing collateral.” Written communication and design skills may come in handy for more than just the creation of marketing collateral if this is not a duty of the position you are applying for.

Lying.
You may feel the urge to lie on your resume, whether this means fudging dates of employment, fibbing about tasks and responsibilities, or even flat out lying about your education. While this may look good on paper, an employer will quickly realize that this isn’t true when your work ethic and knowledge don’t match up. This could land you in hot water and leave you with a tainted reputation. Be honest and an employer will see your worth and put you in a position that is right for you.

Want more resume advice? Check out our Job Seeker Advice YouTube channel and Pinterest board for some other helpful tidbits to help you secure a job in today’s competitive job market.

Using CareerOneStop Centers to Craft a Stellar Resume

One of the most crucial pieces to your job search is your resume. Without a proper resume that highlights your most valuable strengths, you may be overlooked as a candidate for a position. Join Bonnie Elsey, Director of Workforce Development for the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development, as she discusses how your nearby CareerOneStop Centers can help you compose your resume to show employers your most professional side.

Key takeaways:

  • CareerOneStop Centers offer job seeking training in areas such as using social media, writing a resume and interviewing.
  • Most prospective employers will only spend 10 seconds looking at your resume, so it needs to be solid.
  • Find a CareerOneStop near you by visiting careeronestop.org.

To see more interview tips, visit our Job Seeker Advice Pinterest board. Ready to start you job search? Visit US.jobs!

The Importance of Using Keywords and Tailoring Your Resume

Interview with John Whalin, United Airlines

One of the most important pieces of a job search is to have a resume tailored to the position you are searching for. John Whalin with United Airlines talks about how technology is driving employers to do keyword-based searching in their applicant tracking system. Learn how using ‘hot words’ of that company can help bring your resume to the forefront as a contender for the position.

The Help Wanted blog is brought to you by DirectEmployers, a non-profit association of global employers, which provides simple, sophisticated solutions for Human Resources and Recruitment.

Advice on How to Transition Your Military Skills into Civilian Skills

Interview with Matt Luther, CINTAS Corporation

Being able to transition your military skills into civilian skills can make a huge impact on your resume. If you are a veteran trying to reenter the civilian workforce, learn tips from Matt Luther with the CINTAS Corporation on how to prepare for upcoming interviews and highlight your military achievements.

The Help Wanted blog is brought to you by DirectEmployers, a non-profit association of global employers, which provides simple, sophisticated solutions for Human Resources and Recruitment.

Using your Resume to Get Your Foot in the Door and Showcase Your Skills

Interview with Eric Airola, J.B. Hunt Transport

Creating a resume to hand out or send to potential employers sounds basic but it’s an important and often overlooked step. Eric Airola with J.B. Hunt Transport offers his advice on how a stellar resume can help you get your foot in the door. Also, learn how a resume can help you showcase responsibilities and results from past jobs to help obtain the position you’re seeking.

The Help Wanted blog is brought to you by DirectEmployers, a non-profit association of global employers, which provides simple, sophisticated solutions for Human Resources and Recruitment.

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