Via Forbes : 21 Ways To Improve Your Résumé
Your résumé needs to get through the applicant tracking system and then get selected by the recruiter or HR person doing the initial screening. When your résumé finally makes into someone’s hands, it typically gets just a 15 second glance according Human Resources and hiring managers. 15 Seconds! You have got to garner their interest fast or you are sunk. For Baby Boomers with a lot of experience you can easily make mistakes that keep your résumé lost in cyberspace or never reaching the hiring manager’s eyes. I’ve written over 5,000 résumés and hired hundreds of people personally so I’ve seen most of the errors job hunters make that torpedo their résumé.
Your résumé can be a door opener, or a career stopper. These 21 tips come from hiring managers.
- Emphasize RESULTS! Employers stressed that results achieved matter the most. Lace your résumé with the accomplishments and outcomes you’ve delivered in past positions. Show the impact you had and your productivity by including details concerning money earned, or time or dollars saved. Use numbers to reflect, how much, how many, and percentage of gain or reduction. Innovations matter. List all new products, services, design, processes or system improvements you’ve made.
- Use KEYWORDS! Many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) in making their initial résumé selection. Thus keywords are vital to being found. Review the jobs you’ve done and note the key industry buzz words and vital work tasks. Your résumé keywords should include your skills, competencies, relevant credentials. Essentially, keywords should be words that, at a glance, will show the hiring manager that you are a good fit for the job.
- Focus the résumé. It’s imperative to use a job title for the career objective to identify the name of the job being applied for. It’s most effective to create a different résumé for each different job title (i.e., one résumé for Project Manager, another for Engineer) and only incorporate the information pertinent to doing that stated job. Avoid crowding your résumé with any non-related information.
- Be concise. No long job descriptions. Say exactly what you mean, using the smallest number of words to make the point. State only the specific qualifications you have to best perform the job advertised, employers say they quickly eliminate any broad scope or generalized résumés submitted.
- Limit Résumé to TWO pages. Employers stated that they are primarily interested in worked done in the last 5-7 years no matter what level position the candidate applied for. Cover in detail the major job duties performed noting results achieved. Be a skillful editor, deleting experience over 20 years old or anything not relevant or helpful to your securing a particular position and at the level you seek.
- Use a bullet style format. Employers can gather more info faster and prefer the bullets layout over the paragraph style format.
- Add a Summary of Qualifications section. Employers read this first. Encapsulate your most marketable skills and experience into four to six sentences so this section is a mini-verbal business card that details what you are bringing to the new employer.
- Note your skillset first. Look through employers’ job ads to uncover the major work tasks they require. Work tasks are what recruiters and HR folks search for first, so put these in your opening sentence under work experience.
- Don’t hide graduation years. Mature workers worry that employers will discard their résumé if they look too old. Yet most employers want a grad date so they can verify you actually did graduate. Over 30% of people lie about a degree they never earned on their résumé. Therefore, more employers are verifying backgrounds before hiring.
- Make it visually appealing. Keep the formatting of your résumé readable, sharp and professional. Make sure there is adequate white space between points. Use a clean easy to read font like Arial with a preferred font size of 12. Save it as a PDF to preserve the formatting.
- Do not lie or embellish! A new survey from Career Builder of more than 2,500 hiring managers found that 75% have HR managers have caught applicants lying on their résumé. This red flag in almost all cases eliminated hiring the candidate from that particular position. The most common fib seems to be embellishing skills or capabilities and taking liberties when describing the scope of their responsibilities. Some people even claimed to be employed by companies they never really worked for. Be warned. Employers are doing extensive background checks these days and they often uncover your lies during interviews and reference checks. State your skills, qualifications, education, and experience as positively as possible without misstating the truth.
- Clarify a Job title. If your job responsibilities are not adequately described by your company’s job title, then alter that title and indicate your responsibilities with a title in more appropriate terms i.e. IT Systems Analyst, instead of Tech lll.
- Use action verbs. Start each sentence with a descriptive action verb — such as directed, organized, established, created, planned, etc. They add power to your sentences. And, never use “I” on the résumé. Action verbs and short impact sentences gather more attention.
- No abbreviations or acronyms. Spell out names of schools, cities, business terms, abbreviations, and titles completely, as employers may not recognize the exactly what the letters stand for.
- Use the correct tense. In all your sentences, use past tense words since they imply that you “have done it” before. Employers focus on past results even if you are still currently performing the duty at your job, write the résumé using the past tense only.
- Skip tables. Do not use a table to list competencies, skill sets or job descriptions. Most of the electronic applicant tracking systems that employers use can’t read them and so tables copy as blank sections.
- Avoid graphics. Artistic designs, color inks, emojis, and photos should be avoided. Most electronic résumé software can not read designs, or color ink correctly and often eliminate or change anything they see that is not text.
- Don’t advertise negative information. The résumé is the wrong place to advertise that you were laid off, fired, or had an extended illness. Never state why you left a position; simply list the dates of employment.
- PROOFREAD! Careful read and make your résumé flawless. No spelling errors, mistakes or typos. Many HR managers reported they do not hire offenders. Don’t trust computer spell checkers since a correctly spelled word like “sea” would go unnoticed by your computer but would be incorrectly read if you meant to say “see.”
- Cover your bases. Use your networking abilities and LinkedIn connections to find the employer you are targeting for a specific job and use the connections to email them a copy of your résumé.
- No tag lines. Employers know you’ll provide references if they request them, therefore it is not necessary to put “References upon request” at the end of your résumé.
FINAL TEST — Are employers calling? Is your résumé getting results with employers calling on appropriate jobs you are actually qualified to perform? No over qualified calls or underqualified options. If not, start editing and rewriting to improve your résumé so it is the best possible advertisement about you and your skills.
Via NBC News : How to update and edit your own resume (and land the job)
According to Glassdoor, recruiters and hiring managers scan resumes for a whopping 6 seconds before moving onto the next. Here’s how to make sure yours stands out.
Job hunting can be daunting — whether you’re doing it because you desperately need to or because you want to move up in your career. The first thing you’ll need to do is update your resume, but that can also be dispiriting, because getting in the door hangs on how well you do it.
“People are often so busy doing their jobs they don’t make time to track their responsibilities, their accomplishments and wins, or their updated skill sets,” says Maggie Mistal, career coach and former host of “Making a Living with Maggie” on SIRIUS XM. “After time passes, it becomes harder and harder to update a resume and LinkedIn profile. They don’t know what to say, or might be reluctant to toot their own horns. Some are even intimidated by having to represent themselves in a few pages of information. Many also fear they won’t stack up to the competition,” she says.
If you so happen to share these fears at the moment, fear not. We asked both Mistal and Sarah Stoddard, career trends expert at Glassdoor, to share their best resume tweaking tips with us.
Dig deep to define the “why?”
In her coaching, Mistal uses something called Soul Search to gauge her client’s motivators, purpose and preferences in terms of what career possibilities would make a great fit for them. “If you want to stand out, you’ll need to highlight where you’re going and why this particular job at this particular company is a great fit. Knowing your core genius helps you craft and negotiate opportunities so you know not just what job you’re going after, but why you’re a great fit. You make it about more than just a job you’re going after but about your personal mission, or about a genuine interest, that aligns with helping the company further its goals.”
Statements are optional
If you’ve been doing the same kind of thing for a while, adding a career objective statement to your resume is likely unnecessary. But for anyone re-entering the workforce or making a career pivot, a career objective statement (a brief descriptive paragraph that describes your professional goals that falls before your credentials) can be a great way to help recruiters and hiring managers understand your long-term career goals and provide additional context before they dive into your resume, says Stoddard. If you decide to craft one, it should be short, to-the-point, and customized for each job opportunity. Most importantly, it should always address what you’re trying to accomplish professionally.
List your most impressive/relevant accomplishments first
According to Glassdoor, recruiters and hiring managers scan resumes for a whopping 6 seconds before moving onto the next. As this is no time at all to make an impression, be sure to list your most impressive credentials first to give yourself a fair shot at their consideration. Stoddard says your resume should always provide context, details and results to reflect why you’re the right person for the job. “By providing concrete examples of growth, such as specific percentages of dollar amounts, page views or revenue gains, you’ll make your potential clear to the hiring manager,” she says.
Don’t rush the writing
An all-too-common scenario: You’re just thinking about the kind of job you’d like to have when a listing just like it appears out of the ether — and your resume hasn’t been tweaked in a year. As tempting as it is to rush through a resume update, Stoddard says it’s better to take your time and do it right. “It’s easy to accidentally rush your resume, and recruiters commonly see spelling errors, incorrect verb tenses, personal pronouns and even alignment and spacing issues that can be a red flag to your potential employer,” says Stoddard. Before you hit send, be sure to ask a few trusted friends or colleagues to take a peek and give you feedback. “Having a friend review your resume is a great way to get a fresh take on structuring a particular bullet point, or rewording a sentence in order to take your resume to the next level,” she adds.
Be concise in your wording
Updating or tweaking your resume can easily lead to a (mental) war of the words. Is it better to pack in every detail of your responsibilities or keep things short and sweet? Stoddard says it’s best to err on the side of brevity. “Too many irrelevant or vague bullets can do more harm than good,” says Stoddard. “Keep your resume wording concise, your skills section short and only include the details that will make the most impact in a hiring decision.”
Use keywords carefully
When submitting your resume through an online portal, a bot scans it for keywords to sift for qualified candidates. So how can you stack the odds in your favor so your resume is seen by actual human eyes? “One solution is to read each job description to identify keywords the software could be looking for, usually in the section about required skills and experience,” says Stoddard. “If the keywords in the job description are applicable to you, include them in your customized resume before you apply.” That being said, try not to go overboard on the jargon. “Recruiters and applicant software can identify ‘keyword stuffing’ (overuse of keywords) which is why you always want to be honest when identifying and adding keywords that are relevant to your individual experience,” explains Stoddard.
Customize the cover letter, too
Mistal says she often reminds her clients to first mention what you like about a potential employer (and what makes the company a great fit) before mentioning what’s great about you (and what makes you a great fit for the job). “This approach draws in the hiring manager’s attention better than talking about yourself first and foremost,” she says.
Finally, if you’re looking to take the next step in your career but aren’t sure how to brand yourself, Mistal says to reach out to all of your friends and professional contacts to see if you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) and set up a time to learn about the company with the intent of using that information. “It helps to ask about what it takes to be successful and what they enjoy most about their work and the company,” Mistal says. “With these insights, you can reference that information in your cover letter and then curate the bullet points under the various positions on your resume to reflect that you have those qualities and would enjoy that environment.” Kind of like scanning for keywords, but with a hand to shake — and a good impression to make.
Via Ladders : Career change resume tips: effectively translating your skills (with examples)
Statistics show that working professionals change jobs an average of 12 times over the course of their work-life, spending five years or less in each position.
If you’re feeling that itch, you’re not alone. And it might even be a great time to try something entirely new and change your career field.
We’ve got a few tips on how to translate your skills on your career change resume to ensure a smooth transition as you embark on a new journey.
“Career changes are very common and have become more so in the last 10 to 15 years with the changing economy and jobs landscape,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, FlexJobs’ senior career specialist and career coach. “It’s something we work on often with clients, and one of the most important factors in making a successful career change is translating your best skills from your previous career so employers can understand that you’re a great fit, even if you’re coming from a different field.”
How to Translate Skills on Your Career Change Resume
Communicate using new career language.
Making a major career change means that communicating effectively in the language of your new chosen field is critical. Look over job descriptions and industry news to learn and mimic the keywords and jargon used in this industry. Using these words in your career change resume and cover letter will be imperative to show that you’re up to date and understand the ins and outs of the career field. This will also show the care and research you’ve taken when making this decision.
Focus on transferable skills.
Assess the skills you currently possess and what skills your new career will require. Many of the skills you use in your current job can likely be used in your new career field—be sure to include these in your resume. Transferable skills will include your communication skills, leadership qualities, time management abilities, knowledge of software or technical programs, and others. Transferable skills are important to include in a career change resume and will help with any transition to a new role.
Gain experience through volunteering, freelancing, or job shadowing.
As you create a resume for your career change, you may find that you want to beef up sections that you’re lacking in specific areas. Consider volunteering, job shadowing, or freelancing in your new career area to gain valuable skills that you can add. It’s also an excellent way to take your new career out for a test drive while acquiring valuable experience.
Attending industry events or meetups, such as HubSpot User Groups, WordPress user groups, CreativeMornings, etc., can provide new connections and easy networking. Add this experience to show a potential employer that you’ve taken initiative to determine this is a suitable career for you.
Format your resume.
Depending on what career you’re switching to, you may need to format your resume differently. If you’re heading into a creative field, such as design or photography, a standard text-based resume may not cut it. Research what a common resume looks like in your new field of interest to inspire your own format. Likewise, if you don’t have a lot of experience in your new career, consider if you need to move your professional development and transferable skills to the top of your resume.
Change your resume headline.
A resume headline, or a resume title or summary of qualifications, is a one-line statement that quickly tells hiring managers what you’re all about. When you’re changing careers, it is important to update this information and make it fit the new role you’re seeking. For example, “Experienced marketing director with advanced SEO experience” won’t work if you’re now trying to land a web designer role. Pick out keywords related to your new role (in the case of our example, perhaps: HTML, CSS, creative, design, UX, Photoshop) and rewrite your resume headline. This attention-grabbing line will be an indicator to the hiring manager that you’re a good fit for the job.
Career Change Resume Examples
Below are excerpts from career change resumes to show how updating experience descriptions and using the right keywords can create a more targeted resume for your new career path. Note that these examples are excerpts, so they won’t convey all necessary qualifications for a persuasive submission package.
Career Change Resume Example 1: Writer transitioning to social media coordinator
This resume shines a spotlight on the parts of the writing job that relate to social media. It drops irrelevant tasks or procedures that don’t correlate to a social media position.
WRITER, Kansas University, 2010–2014
Responsible for researching, writing, and editing blog posts, white papers, product descriptions, and web copy. Meets tight deadlines. Uses WordPress for uploading and updating copy. Gathers quotes from sources as needed and writes compelling headlines.
Online Content Writer, 2010–2014
Writes copy optimized for web and social media accounts.
Articles are shared on company social media profiles to drive traffic.
Monitors performance of articles on social media.
Collaborates with social media manager to ensure content is informative and appealing.
Updates content based on social media engagement and feedback.
Career Change Resume Example 2: Military police officer transitioning to civilian administrative assistant role
This resume effectively gets rid of jargon that may not make sense for the new role. It also highlights the administrative-related tasks of their job to show that they have the skills needed.
PROTECTION LEVEL 1 (PL-1) AREA SUPERVISOR / VISITOR CONTROL CENTER CLERK
98th Security Forces Squadron (AF), Joint Base
1 Sep 2010–1 Sep 2011
Provides an immediate armed response to alarms involving Air Force Protection Level (PL) 1, 2, and 3 resources. Visitor Control Center Clerk; processed 850 personnel into the AECC and DBIDS systems.
Security and Law Enforcement / Active Duty Military – Air Force
Special Duty: VISITOR CONTROL CENTER CLERK, 2010–2011
Managed credential badge systems. Ensured controlled base entry: verified credentials, authorized base access, and performed diligent resource security. Gathered information from a variety of resources, including archives, files, manuals, Internet, and personnel. Prepared documents and created information databases in Microsoft office programs.
- Achieved 100% compliance with documentation protocols
- Processed 250+ customers per month
- Briefed 35+ managers
Career Change Resume Example 3: Financial advisor transitioning to outside sales
This resume added relevant sales keywords to their accomplishments and tasks to help draw the connection between their financial job and a sales job.
Senior Financial Advisor, Hathaway Branch Office, JP Maple Chase 6/2013–2/2015
Assisted clients working towards long-term financial goals by delivering personalized investment solutions. Managed financial portfolio of $2 million in private client assets.
- Increased assets under management by 30%
- Converted 15% of assets into fee-based accounts
Senior Financial Advisor, JP Maple Chase 6/2013–2/2015
Sold financial products within the Hathaway territory. Managed a $2 million portfolio.
- Sales: Increased portfolio value by 30% by fostering trust-based relationships
- Lead conversion: Rated top 5% for converting leads into revenue-generating customers
- Territory management: Captured and maintained 95% of territory sales accounts through effective sales techniques—cold calls, marketing, surveys, networking, and presentations
Perfecting Your Career Change Resume
You’re in good company if you’re looking to change careers. Use these resume career change tips to make the transition as smooth as possible, and be sure to check out FlexJobs’ listings to help you find your next career path. Furthermore, we offer personalized career coaching through our team of in-house experts.
Via The Ladders : From appetizer to dessert: How to create a tastier, menu-like resume
Have you ever noticed that the best menus tell a story and draw you in until you must taste that dish? What if there was a secret formula to help imbue your resume with some tantalizing copy to make potential recruiters salivate?
While there isn’t an exact science to crafting a tastier resume, there are some notable tactics used in the restaurant industry to keep people reading and ordering and coming back for more.
Show them what you want them to see
Some of us update our resumes without ever taking time to see it with fresh eyes. One of the more intriguing concepts food professionals shared was the idea of “menu engineering.” It’s a fancy way of saying that you study both out of pocket and hoped for returns on investment and then present the dishes in a way that highly encourages diners to buy what you tell them to, albeit in a more subtle way.
A menu, like a resume, is a sales document. It’s okay to realize that for all intents and purposes your resume is almost a mini catalog of your best work.
Pick a theme
Much like a highly targeted resume, “a menu has to be reflective of the business theme” according to Chanel Hayes, Executive Chef at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. In her opinion the biggest mistake you can make? “way too many options to choose from.” Try to fine-tune your resume to highlight the parts of previous jobs that will lead you to the career you want next, even if it means paring down what you ultimately mention.
Make it visually appealing
According to an article in The Atlantic a few years back, before IHOP debuted a new menu back in 2012 they did a lot of consumer research and testing. They also ended up launching 3 basic prototypes that all shared a similar trait. As reported in the article, the menu relied heavily on “color-coding—a feature meant, in part, to draw the eye toward certain food offerings and categories.”
If there’s something on your resume you want people to read, consider adding a playful use of color to highlight your career highpoint. Another visual trick used in the IHOP menu was a grouping system by category. If you’re not sure that you want to list your career in chronological order since it might show your age, consider grouping by similar industries or job titles.
Share your provenance
Like a fine wine or olive oil, your professional terroir tells people how you came up in the business world. In discussing what appeals to modern consumers, Pat Cobe, Senior Editor, Restaurant Business explained that “customers today like descriptions, which can include the source of the ingredients (farm, orchard, ranch, etc), the method of preparation.”
While you never want to embellish any of your history or skills, you can show off a little if you became fluent in Cantonese after living in Hong Kong for a year.
Use limited creative license
One of the biggest no-no’s in resume writing is adding experience you don’t actually have. Cobe said that many restaurants use “adjectives that imply indulgence even if it’s a healthy dish. This adds to menu transparency, a major demand among consumers.”
Even if you can’t lie about your experience, you can season it with words that show off what you do know how to do and why it’s an appealing trait.
Write to sell, manage clutter
“Know your target demographic and make sure your cuisine is something that will sell in the area” shares Anne Lanute, Senior Lead Instructor, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. But she warns not to onto “signature items simply because you love them. If it ain’t selling, get it off the menu!”
Taking the menu metaphor a step further, Lanute says that “a successful menu is clear of clutter and drives business in your intended direction.” Same with a successful resume, keep it clutter-free and structure your words with intention.
Keep it short and sweet
Resumes are usually limited to a single page for a reason. On menus, Cobe says “descriptions should not be too lengthy or flowery; concise and informative with some tempting language works best. Present your facts but embellish them very slightly and only as needed.
If the linear style of resumes no longer works for you, mix it up. “Most menus start with an appetizer section and move to dessert, but more modern menus may list dishes according to size, starting with small plates, large plates, and shareables. That’s a more modern approach. And since plant-forward eating is such a hot trend, a separate vegetable section also implies that a restaurant is on-trend.” To modernize your own resume, list your strongest skills first, then add the jobs or talents that make for good keywords. If you have a very specific talent, consider creating a special section for it.
Don’t let it go stale
Believe it or not, some words lose their potency. When creating menus “Delicious is a word to avoid. It’s lost its meaning and is very subjective,” Cobe said. Does it drive you to distraction when someone refers to themselves as a thought leader? Yeah. It probably bugs the recruiters too.
Via Exhale Lifestyle : 4 Tips To Make Sure Your Resume Lands in the ‘Yes’ Pile
Job hunting sucks. There, I said it. It’s a process that requires you to try to put your best stuff on display, with a high probability of rejection.
If you’ve reached the point where you are just blindly firing off applications to anything that looks promising, I get it, but in the long run, the best way to find the right fit is to spend a little more time, send out fewer resumes and tailor your pitch. (Unless you’re a freelancer, and you may want to think about ditching your resume altogether.)
It’s a candidate’s market. We’ve been hearing for months that the job market is great, that recruiters are desperate for candidates, and that, if you’ve ever considered changing jobs, now is the time.
Of course, what we hear in the news, and the actual experience of people out job hunting is quite different. Jobs rarely fall out of the sky like rain, even in a “good” job market. Whether the market is hot or cold, you still need to make sure you do the fundamentals right.
Let’s think about it from the recruiter’s perspective.
In a tight job market, when you post a job you get a giant pile of resumes, and 90 percent of them are super-qualified for the role.
In a candidate’s market, when there are more jobs than applicants, you still get a giant pile of resumes, but now only 10 percent are super-qualified for the role.
In theory, that should make the job easier, but in practice, talent acquisition experts will tell you that they still spend the same amount of time looking at each resume. The process doesn’t really change.
Here are four tips to make sure your resume lands in the yes pile.
Read the Job Description
I know, I know, I’m a skimmer, too. I look at job postings, skim down to the bottom to see if they posted a salary, slap together a generic cover letter, and click send. But, I know I shouldn’t. Rather than blasting your resume out in a generic way to every posting you see, take a few minutes and really read the posting. Notice whether the description focuses on any key areas or elements of experience. Look for ways that your background perfectly matches their needs. Highlight those so you can address them in your application.
When you read a job description, you’re also looking for red flags. Job postings that talk about “fanatic dedication” or “comfortable with rapidly changing priorities” should come right off the list. No matter how much you would like to get out of the frying pan, hopping into the fire is always a bad idea.
Customize Your Cover Letter and Your Resume
We all know we’re supposed to write a custom cover letter, and there are plenty of great online resources for how to do that. But, you may never have thought about customizing your resume. You don’t need to write a custom resume for every posting, but you may want to change the bullets under your current job to highlight the most relevant experience you have.
While entry-level jobs are often general, the further you go in your career, the more specialized you typically become. This can cross a variety of ways of working, from industry experience to specific software packages you know well, and beyond. In an ideal world, recruiters want to hire someone who can walk in the door and be productive right away.
When you take the time to scrutinize the posting, you’ll find names of processes, tools and other tidbits of experience. Don’t make recruiters search for that information, do the work for them and make it easy to find. Since these things may vary from posting to posting, you’ll need to take the time to make those changes specific to each role you apply to.
Be Unique … But, Not Too Unique
If you’ve ever watched audition episodes of shows like American Idol, you know that they are either really good or really bad. It’s great to be yourself, and to highlight the ways that you are a great fit for the job. It’s also appropriate to mention some things that make you different. But beware of going too far. Google “weird things on resumes,” and you’ll find lots of examples ranging from inappropriate to flat out bizarre. Don’t be that girl.