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Via The Ladders : Learning Ladders: So what is a good resume, anyway?

Is your resume a bio or a marketing tool? One thing is for sure – it’s the first impression you’ll make. So how is great resume building achieved easily?

Would you describe your resume as an example of good resume building?

Or would you say: “What difference does that make if I’m talented and experienced?”

OK — maybe the best way to answer that is to put it another way:

Is working hard, developing my skills, and targeting my experience important?

So the answer is yes and no:

  • Yes — if success is your goal, building a great resume and getting it out there is compulsory.
  • No — if you don’t like being told what to do (or something!).

And if we’re getting into philosophical questions, let’s focus on the Ladders philosophy:

“Your resume is a professional advertisement, targeted toward your future boss,
with the goal of landing an interview for a job that you can succeed in.”
–Ladders 2019 RESUME GUIDE, Marc Cenedella

So our advice and help with resume building is based on 15 years of hard won experience covering millions of resumes.

Likewise, we’re thought-leaders who have conducted resume/recruiter studies with staggering results.

So here’s how your resume breaks down:

– Its goal is to go out and get you that job.
– And it’s usually the first part of you out of the gate.
– Hence it’s the first big impression you get to make.

Is good resume building easy?

Recruiters for high-end companies study member resumes on Ladders with the sole purpose of finding high-end talent to fill open positions that pay well for it.

Think about that.

And yet many people think of resumes as personal bios, filled with job descriptions that could have come directly from a job description for that position – often covering many self-serving pages.

So what does that tell a potential employer about what you actually achieved in that role? And what you are offering your potential new employer? In effect, that’s what resume building is.

And with that said, here’s some of what we do to help you:

  • Create free information describing how to optimize resumes.
  • Provide a free online resume review that gives expert results in under 35 seconds.
  • Encourage the use of our free professionals’ resume template.

Because your resume is probably the very best example of what we call investing in advantage.

And above all, a good resume goes out there on your behalf and sells you.

So why sell yourself short?

We’re rooting for you.

Via Devex : How to find and leverage volunteer and internship opportunities

It is almost impossible to land a job in global development without some relevant work experience. This can be one of the biggest challenges for recent graduates and professionals transitioning from other sectors who lack that development-specific experience.

Internships and volunteering work can be a great way to get over this hurdle. In addition to bulking up your resume, these experiences can help you figure out where your interests fit within the sector, said Kate Warren, executive vice president at Devex.

Here are three key things to think about as you look for ways to gain experience in the sector.

Consider the type of work

In seeking out internship and volunteering experience, it’s important to look for opportunities that can provide you with “really substantive, hands-on experience,” Warren said.

Some internships involve a lot of administrative tasks, she explained, which can be valuable as many entry-level jobs in the sector are administrative. However, Warren recommended looking for opportunities to work in the field or on technical projects, adding that these experiences can allow you to build on your existing knowledge and will be more impressive to employers.

Be selective when it comes to looking for volunteering work too, Warren recommended. While there are a lot of opportunities to give back through volunteering, these won’t necessarily use your skills and expertise in a way that demonstrates a growth and value add to an employer, she explained.

Prepare your pitch

In recent years, the sector has seen a trend toward paid internship opportunities and, as a result, organizations are thinking more strategically about how they structure these programs, Warren explained.

However, this may mean fewer intern positions are created, and with smaller organizations already less likely to have formal intern programs, don’t just stick to those positions that are advertised, Warren said. Instead, she recommended reaching out directly to department heads or staff to see where there might be opportunities for you to contribute.

The key is to highlight what you can bring to their organization, she explained. You should be prepared to tell them how your research project could align with their work, or how you could help them put together a marketing or fundraising plan, for example.

Showing organizations how you can contribute to their mission through project-based work will make them more likely to bring you on board, she added.

Focus on growing your networks

Make sure you are not just focused on the work at hand but also the networking advantages that come with these experiences, Warren said.

“Be really intentional about building that network during an internship or volunteer experience, whether it’s the people that you are working with in an organization, or stakeholders,“ she said.

Working in development often involves partnering with other organizations, funders, or donors and you should consider all of them as part of your growing network, Warren added. This network will be valuable when it comes to looking for referrals, references, or setting up informational interviews.

Via Forbes : Valuable Career Advice These Business Leaders Would Give Their Younger Selves

Every year around this time, I can consistently expect three things to happen: my seasonal allergies begin to flare up, my DVR gets locked into NBA playoffs and my LinkedIn inbox starts getting flooded with messages from college students who are nearing graduation and want career advice. In this article, we’ll focus on the third one.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 3 million college students will earn their degree at the end of this school year and most will prepare to enter the workforce. How do we ensure this generation is armed with the guidance they need?

The LinkedIn messages I receive usually involve questions about how to navigate the job market. What is a reasonable and appropriate entry-level role? How do I find a good mentor? Should I prioritize a job with a flashy title over a job I would love doing? How long should I stay in that role before looking for the next opportunity?

I always try my best to respond and customize advice for people who contact me about readiness for the professional real world. However, since tailored advice isn’t always feasible for a large audience, I went searching for some general, yet less obvious, suggestions that could benefit a broader audience.

Building on the ideas I provided last year, I wanted to expand the knowledge pool and get advice from some smart and successful people in my network who have some unique words of wisdom to share. I asked what career advice they would offer to their younger selves or family members and the insightfulness of responses was invaluable.

Here’s what they told me about picking the right career path, finding the right mentor and getting in the right mindset to land the career of your dreams:

Lawrence Cole, head of mid-market lead gen sales, U.S. Northwest at Google, said this:

“Be mindful about the roles you take and the scope and level of responsibility they expose you to. Early exposure to seniority and the strategic systems of a business will pay off mid-career and beyond in the level of responsibility that organizations are willing to give you. The sooner you are able to check boxes such as leading teams, managing other managers, managing large budgets, creating a big vision and mobilizing a large team of people to execute it, the better.”

David Belden, executive talent partner at Andreessen Horowitz, suggested this:

“Meet with people who have the job that you want and ask them for advice on how to get to a role like theirs in the future. This is of course a great learning opportunity, but also has the potential to spark an informal mentee-mentor relationship, which can be invaluable to career development.”

Navid Zolfaghari, vice president of sales at Branch Metrics, provided this perspective:

“Regardless of how skilled or talented you are, you won’t be successful if you don’t produce. Learn to love what you do, outwork everyone, and have a growth mindset.”

Jeanne DeWitt, head of North American revenue and growth at Stripe, shared this advice:

“Always work for someone you can learn from. And, understand the difference between a mentor and a sponsor — if you don’t have someone in the organization actively supporting the acceleration of your career (a sponsor), you’re heading down a longer road.”

Rashaun Williams, general partner of the MVP All-Star Fund, offered the following:

“I wish I was more focused on being excellent and an expert at my current job instead of focusing on the job I wanted but didn’t have. Also, don’t make important decisions solely based on your emotions. How you “feel” changes minute by minute. Consider your spirit, mind, physical comforts AND emotions when making big decisions.”

Angela Benton, entrepreneur and founder of NewME Accelerator, said this:

“Don’t stress about not having it all figured out. Social media can make us think that we’re the only one not “trending up and to the right.” Focus intently on where you are at now and use this as leverage while everyone else is focused on projecting where they want to be rather than where they actually are.”

Michael Espada, senior global commercial manager at Sims Recycling Solutions, provided this perspective:

“If you find a good boss early on, support them completely and ride the coattails to the top. Eventually, you will know when to step out into visibility and your boss will likely help you do that.”

Did any of these words of advice resonate with you? If you are among the millions of students nearing graduation or you are simply undergoing a career change, my hope is that you can leverage these wide-ranging nuggets of advice to improve your job prospects.

One of the core tenets of success is being able to learn from the lessons and failures of others. These accomplished business leaders all have undoubtedly experienced their fair share of professional ups and downs, so any shared advice should be viewed by you as an available shortcut on your path for personal success.

Via Practice Business : Combatting sexism in the workplace

It’s 2019 but, sadly, gender inequality and sexism are still rife in the workplace and women must work together to eliminate the epidemic of discrimination, says entrepreneur Rita Trehan. She offers some useful strategies which women – and men – can use to help achieve genuine gender equality.

This is an edited version of an article which first appeared in Elite Business Magazine.

Institutional sexism has, unfortunately, plagued workplaces all over the world since the conception of business itself. While sexism exists everywhere, this doesn’t mean that policies and regulations exist in an inherently sexist way – but that work cultures and attitudes have a similarly detrimental effect for women.

Working towards ending workplace discrimination needn’t be intimidating. In fact, with a few like-minded employees and some simple steps, moving towards it could be easier than you think.

Empower female members of staff

It’s common practice for female employees to assume that sexism applies to them as individuals. It’s important to remind them that, as wrong as this is, this is, historically, how it’s always been and not necessarily a reflection of their capabilities.

It’s common practice for female employees to assume that sexism applies to them as individuals.

Thankfully, the boys’ club mentality that has monopolised many industries is showing signs of dying out, but more work needs to be done to start levelling out the playing field. Ensuring that management, mentors and leaders give female colleagues the opportunity to reach their potential, and the ability to voice their opinions, will make a monumental difference in redressing the balance and creating a more comfortable environment for everyone.

Most female professionals would admit that their greatest critic is usually themselves and that, accompanied by the difficult environment the workplace can provide, it can be hard to thrive. Helping them to hold their own in the office is an invaluable weapon in the fight against institutional sexism. Being able to stick to their guns and articulating a solid argument can help them work towards being considered an equal.

A report suggests that two-thirds of women in the UK suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’ at work. Such strong feelings of self-doubt and insecurity can make them feel as though they’re not worthy of their positions at work which, in turn, can deter women from going for more senior roles, with the result that gender balance within management is harder to achieve. Other than promotions, and climbing the ladder, combatting workplace insecurities can, of course, improve work performance, as well as giving female staff the confidence to trust their instincts and to pursue their ambitions.

A report suggests that two-thirds of women in the UK suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’ at work.

Encourage female staff to back each other

Implementing an informal networking group, and assisting women to find allies in the workplace, can help them become more confident and can also start to solve the issue of women being forced into the background – because it’s a lot harder to ignore five women than one! It certainly isn’t a quick fix but having professional support helps women to be heard in the workplace and can be beneficial for their wellbeing.

For instance, during the Obama administration, women within the White House would use their amplification strategy to ensure women were being heard in meetings and in group settings. If a woman offered an opinion or idea that went unnoticed, other women would echo it until it was acknowledged by the chair. This technique doesn’t need to be performed solely by women, male employees can also support this initiative. Just having someone who can help convey a message when it could get lost in a busy work environment can make all the difference.

Encourage diversity

Celebrating strong women in the workplace, and using them as role models, can help address the imbalance within institutions as well as allowing teams to lead by example. Capable, bold women in the workplace may feel like a novelty to some but, as the number of these role models increases, not only will more women shine but it will become the norm, as it should be already.

It doesn’t end with promoting more women to senior roles. Asking for feedback, or inviting staff to give their ideas on how to tackle the diversity problem, will highlight that there’s an issue and will encourage staff to think of creative initiatives to solve the problem.

Being transparent about wanting to make a change is essential for decision-makers. Remember that some people can be resistant to change, especially if ‘it’s always been that way’. Ask staff direct questions like ‘Why should we make a change and how can we make it?’ and witness their motivation to drive that change soar.

Call it out

Don’t be tempted to laugh along with any jokes that could considered discriminatory, or to ignore anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. These passive acts can often be just as bad as outright sexism. Encourage your staff to take direct action and discuss the issue with their colleagues in order to get them to realise why they’re wrong and/or to stop their behaviour. If the thought of confrontation is worrying to them, perhaps take the responsibility into your hands.

Just because workplace discrimination exists doesn’t mean that it has to. Everyone deserves a workplace to feel comfortable in – let’s help support each other to thrive in workplaces and help the workers reach their potential.

Via Thrive Global : How to keep your personal style when dressing business casual at work

Now more than ever, workplace dress codes have relaxed to suit a more casual style. Here’s how to achieve a professional look that’s still ‘you’.

We might not like to admit it, but how we dress at work plays a role in how we are perceived by our colleagues and clients. While dress codes have relaxed over the years, this has made the issue of “what to wear” much more complicated. Can you wear a sweater to work? What about sneakers?

Business casual has evolved to adjust to our new attitudes, meaning we can still put a professional foot forward but in a more comfortable and relaxed way. Here are a few ways to achieve this:

Oversized jumpers or sweater dresses

An oversized turtleneck jumper can look smart at work.

For women, oversized jumpers or sweaters and simple sweater dresses are a great option in a business casual workplace. Out of the office, you might wear a sweater with distressed jeans and sneakers. At work, you can style it with a skirt and leggings or black skinny jeans—pulled together with a pair of heeled boots. Try to avoid distressed jeans or clothing that is too revealing as this might be considered inappropriate for the office.

Fit for your shape

Where possible, opt for clothing that fits you correctly whether it’s meant to be worn fitted or loose. Tailor your business pants if they’re too long, and if wearing a cropped shirt be sure to have something on underneath or over the top. This helps you look more polished while still allowing you to feel comfortable.


The type of shoes you wear can set the tone of an outfit—sneakers or sport shoes might not be an issue in a more casual workplace, but business casual workplaces prefer footwear that is closer to office attire, for example boots, modest heels or loafers. If you’re really not into heels, you can still wear loafers, dress shoes or flats in a business casual setting.

Tasteful jewellery

Jewellery can be a great way to accessorise and personalise your outfits. A business casual workplace suits subtle jewellery like a small gold chain with a pendant or conservative earrings. Watches are also very much fine to wear at work. Avoid costume jewellery or anything too “loud” and bracelets that jangle or make noise are to be avoided also.

Tips for men

Dress shirts and trousers are an easy go-to for most men in a business setting. You may be able to wear collared polos depending on how flexible your workplace is with regards to dress. Business casual usually means smart but comfortable, so there’s no need to wear restrictive suits or a tie. You can wear comfortable leather dress shoes—as long as your shoes are in great condition it’s a safe bet.

While it might seem like a restriction on your freedom to wear what you like, pulling together a corporate image is important. As a representative of a business, you must appear capable (especially if you are dealing with clients or stakeholders) and your appearance plays a significant role in this.

Hopefully these tips can help you create a look you feel comfortable in, that also reflects the expectations of your workplace dress code.