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Resumes

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.

Specialize

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.

Via The Ladders : How to write a job-winning resume, with tips from a professional resume writer

To avoid the lengthy job-hunting process, your resume needs to have the ‘wow’ factor. It needs to hook the employer and make them want to know more.

Looking for a new job is a full-time job on its own.

It can be a drawn-out process and weeks of automated email responses saying you have been unsuccessful.

You’ll ask yourself questions like: Why? Didn’t I meet all the criteria? Where did I fall short?

And usually, more often than not, you get generic feedback, if at all.

It takes a lot of careful selection to put together a tailored resume to give you the best chances at landing an interview, and even then, you might not be shortlisted.

Your resume could be letting you down.

To avoid the lengthy job-hunting process, your resume needs to have the ‘wow’ factor. It needs to hook the employer and make them want to know more about you.

Follow my CRABS (Chunkability, Relevance, Accuracy, Brevity, Scannable) approach for writing a job-winning resume.

CHUNKABILITY

Is your resume concise and easy to read?

Too often resumes read like a person’s life story with every single detail, every job held and every responsibility.

Are there areas that are repeated or saying the same thing in a different way that could be combined or condensed?

If your work history is across different industries or skills-based, can you combine certain roles into sections with sub-headings to make it easier to navigate?

RELEVANCE

Does your resume tick off the key selection criteria?

Look at the position description and job advertisement and identify the keywords and values the employer is looking for.

Cross-check your resume to ensure it contains these keywords and demonstrates how well you deliver in these areas through your major achievements.

Go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb keeping these criteria in mind and if the content doesn’t address it you need to cull, cull, cull.

There is no point wasting words on irrelevant details that add no value – make sure your resume is a marketing tool to sell you. Relevance is key.

ACCURACY

Be accurate when quantifying your major achievements and avoid generic statements.

If you can quantify results it adds credibility and ensures that it is unique to you, and not a copy and paste job.

Spell check. Need I say more? It is a simple step but often forgotten, yet it’s a big indicator of laziness and lack of attention to detail. So many capable candidates fail to do this, and their resume goes straight into the bin.

Limit the use of abbreviations because not everyone will know what they stand for.

Lastly, ask yourself who will be reading your resume – will it be the technical specialist, a human resources manager or recruiter? – and always tailor it to your audience.

BREVITY

Make sure you use targeted statements.

Too many resumes are unnecessarily filled with waffle and words like ‘however’, ‘key responsibilities’, ‘as well as’.

If you read a sentence and you can remove those filler words and the sentence still makes sense, then delete them. You will have more impact if you can be as succinct as possible.

Keep your resume up to three pages long (possibly four for senior roles) and include no more than the past 10 years of experience.

SCANNABLE

Formatting plays a key role, so making your resume scannable is key.

Make use of dot points, as recruiters love them, and use an easy-to-read font such as Arial size 12.

Add testimonials that highlight your strengths and reflect on key criteria for the role you’re applying for – just be sure to seek permission to include them first.

REFRESH THAT RESUME

These tips offer a great starting point to help write your job-winning resume and to get you thinking about your resume from recruiter’s perspective.

Your resume is all about giving a high-level snapshot of who you are, your skills and experience, and how you can add value to a company.

Be sure to demonstrate what you contributed in your previous roles in your achievements section and let the CRABS approach guide you in your writing.

All the best in your job search.

Via Clearance Jobs : How to Move Your Resume to the Front of the Pile

Summertime is usually when many people are on the move. School is out and it’s the perfect time to change jobs if that is your plan. There is time to move and the kids can settle in before the new school year starts. Also, college grads are (should be) out on the hunt for a new job so they can put their new found knowledge to use…. and pay off those student loans! However, none of this matters if your resume is outdated and boring. If you are in the market for a new job or just starting to consider a job change, it is imperative to take a look at your resume and find ways to update it and make it shine.

PUT THE GOOD STUFF UP FRONT AND CENTER

When newspapers print stories, they put the best/juiciest/most newsworthy “above the fold.” Above the fold meaning front and center, the only thing people see at first glance is above the fold. Recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes every day and I assume their job can get pretty monotonous. Much like newspapers, your resume needs to put the juiciest stuff above the metaphorical fold (please don’t fold your resume). Recruiters generally only consider the first 1/3 (“above the fold”) of your resume’s first page. That is it – mere seconds of an eye scan is all you get for a first impression. If your resume does not intrigue the recruiter within that first 1/3 of your resume, consider it toast, a wadded up basketball for their trash can hoop!

Let’s talk about what would be considered juicy resume items. Make sure your name (hopefully this is obvious), email address, personal home address, and phone number are displayed prominently at the top of the resume. Please spell your name right, and put down the right phone number. If your email address is harleydude_1978, don’t use that email, it is not professional. Jim.Smith@gmail.com is much better, and much cleaner looking (that goes for you, too, “princess_hottie19@hotmail.com”). If you have a government security clearance, this might be the juiciest bit. Put your clearance level and status at the top right under your contact info, include the year of your last adjudication.

Anything left to fill up the “above the fold” portion of your resume needs to be filled with eye catching skills, certifications and awards. This is the time where humility needs to be thrown aside, this is your time to shine.

CUT THE CLUTTER, LOSE THE COLORS

The worst thing you can do to your resume is clutter it with useless information. Personal information has no place on a good, professional resume. If you are using 10 different fonts, the recruiter will trash your resume faster than you can say “Wingdings!” Avoid over using bold fonts, italics and different styles altogether. A good resume font to use is Times New Roman, this is a professional and clean font.

Lastly, please, please, do not use colors on your resume at all. A family member recently sent me their resume for help with formatting because they weren’t getting any bites from job posting submissions. Upon opening, I immediately knew why. Their name at the top of the page in probably 48 font, was blue, and their address and contact info was green. Colors in a resume are so distracting. Let your skills and experience catch their eye, not colors. Additionally, avoid using graphics, emojis or other animations on your resume. If your recruiter or hiring manager wants a picture of you, they will ask, do not include one unless asked to.

KEEP RELEVANT EXPERIENCE AND DITCH THE REST

If you are applying to be a software developer, a recruiter does not care if you had a paper route when you were 14. That kind of experience should be on your very last page at the very bottom, or removed completely. There is relevant experience and irrelevant experience. Let me break it down for you:

Relevant Experience (Keep It):

  • Military service (No matter how long ago it was).
  • Volunteer experience (Shows you are well rounded).
  • Education, degrees, certificates, training.
  • Internships.
  • Awards and recognitions.
  • Detailed responsibilities and descriptions of your current and past job roles.

Irrelevant Experience (Ditch it):

  • Jobs when you were a kid.
  • Items unrelated to the job you are applying for (Applying for IT job, puts down detailed info on bar tender job in college…just no!).
  • Social media handles, URLs (Keep it private, social media can be damaging).
  • Personal information (How many kids, wife’s name, favorite hobbies, descriptions of pets, social security number – I’ve seen it, that’s why I’m putting it here).
  • Nicknames.

GET YOUR RESUME REVIEWED (AND BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON)

The resume you present to a recruiter or hiring manager is your first and only first impression you get. You do not get a second chance at a first impression. People will judge you and your ability to fill their open positions based on what is on that little piece of paper. Make it count, get it reviewed by multiple people. Get your significant other or a family member to review your resume, they are invested in you and will want you to put your best on display. But also, always find someone to review your resume that does not know you personally. There are websites where you can upload your resume for review and edit tips.

Lastly, find someone you know in the career field you are trying to get into, or with the job you want, and have them review it for technical accuracy. By getting your resume reviewed you can ensure that you will present the best finished product to the pool of candidate resumes. If you follow these steps, you can be confident that your resume will stand out and rise to the top of the pile.

Via CNBC : This is the most impressive resume I’ve ever seen—based on my 20 years of hiring and interviewing

I’ve received thousands of resumes throughout my entire career — and believe me, I’ve seen them all: Too long, too short, too boring, too many typos, too hard to read and every layout imaginable.

To be completely honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of resumes. Heck, I even wrote a book about all the things that are more important than the resume. Yes, you do need one, but what most experts don’t tell you is that resumes only account for 10% of the hiring decision.

That said, it would take a lot to wow a tough critic like myself. A few years ago, however, I was surprised to find a resume that actually managed to impress me.

In fact, it was one of the best resumes I had ever seen in my 20 years of hiring and interviewing. It had no gimmicks, no Fortune 500 company listed and wasn’t folded into an origami airplane. Needless to say, I hired the candidate.

Here’s what made it stand out from the rest:

1. It was easy to read

This resume had plenty of white space and was two pages long, which is expected if you have more than 10 years of experience.

Everything was nicely organized: Line spacing was just right, company names in bold, titles italicized and job details arranged in bullet points. Oh, and not a single typo to be found.

I liked that the font was nothing fancy. Too many candidates waste time obsessing over which font to use. I won’t weigh in on Times New Roman versus Calibri, but I will say that it should always be simple and easy to read.

2. It told a story

This resume told a story about the candidate’s career journey. There were no information gaps (i.e., a missing summer). From top to bottom, there was a clear “before and after.” In just a few seconds, I was able to see a “staircase pattern” of the candidate’s career growth.

In other words, the chronological list of work history — in order of date, with the most recent position at the top — showed a clear progression of more senior roles and more advanced responsibilities.

3. It listed accomplishments, rather than just responsibilities

I’m not interested in reading what you copied and pasted from the original job description listing. What employers really want to know is whether you’re an above average candidate who’s capable of delivering quantifiable results — and this person did a great job of proving that they were.

It’s always better to highlight your responsibilities by detailing your most impressive accomplishments:

Examples:

  • Instead of “expanded operations to international markets,” say “expanded operations to eight new countries in Latin America.
  • Instead of “led marketing and sales team,” say “supervised marketing and sales team and achieved 15% annual growth vs. 0.5% budget.

4. It told the truth

There weren’t any discrepancies that raised red flags. Everything was believable and the numbers weren’t exaggerated.

Even better, the resume had links to the person’s LinkedIn page and professional website, which included a portfolio of their work. This made it easier for me to fact-check the resume, which in turn made the candidate seem like an honest person.

My advice? Tell the truth — period. A colleague once told me about someone who listed “convicted felon” on her resume. The candidate submitted her resume, then called the hiring manager and asked, “Would you hire an ex-convict?” After a series of questions and some due diligence, they offered her the job. And based on what I’ve heard, she ended up being an excellent hire.

While big accomplishments and recognizable company names will give you an advantage, make no mistake: Employers will do a reference check — and if they find out that you lied about something, it’s game over.

5. It didn’t have any cliché claims

There were no generic and high-level claims such as “creative,” “hard-working,” “results-driven,” “excellent communicator” or, my least favorite, “team player.”

Including any of these cliché terms will make your hiring manager roll their eyes in less than a second. Skip the cheesy adjectives and overused terms and go for action verbs instead.

Examples:

  • Instead of “excellent communicator,” say “presented at face-to-face client meetings and spoke at college recruiting events. ”
  • Instead of “highly creative,” say “designed and implemented new global application monitoring platform.”

6. It came through a recommendation

Not everyone will have a connection at their dream company, but knowing someone who can refer you is the most effective way to get an employer’s attention.

The fact that this resume came through a recommendation from a respected colleague played a significant role in getting me to open the PDF file. That, in addition to the few seconds I spent skimming it, was the one-two punch that made me want to know more about the candidate.

Blasting your resume everywhere won’t get you anywhere. I get sent dozens of resumes on the daily from people I don’t know, and the vast majority of them go unopened.

That might seem harsh, but here’s the truth: You should always go out of your way to get a warm introduction. If you don’t have a connection, do some research and find a friend of a friend who knows someone who has an “in.”

Then, ask your potential referral out for a coffee date. Once you’ve established a genuine relationship, tell them about the job opening you’re interested in and ask if they can recommend you. If you can make this happen, I guarantee your resume will get read.

Via Business News Daily : How to Age-Proof Your Resume

Writing a resume can be difficult for everyone, but for those 50 years of age or older, it can be even more difficult. Maybe they’ve been out of the workforce for some time, or they haven’t been able to keep up with the latest processes and technologies. The good news is that AARP and TopResume have partnered to help those in that age group.

“Resume writing is crucial as more and more older workers stay in the workforce, often looking for new jobs, or even new careers,” said Susan Weinstock, AARP vice president for financial resilience programs, in a press release about the collaboration. AARP now offers a resume advice and professional writing service to help baby boomers feel more comfortable applying and interviewing for new jobs.

Follow these tips when updating your resume

There are also things you can do on your own to boost your chances of landing a new job. Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, offered 13 tips to help older job seekers with their resume:

1. Focus on your recent experience. The further along you are in your career, the less relevant your earlier experience becomes. The last 10 to 15 years is really what matters, so focus on detailing those years of experience that are related to your job search. If you really want to add older work experience, add it to a section of your resume called “Career Note.”

2. Eliminate older dates. Not every position you’ve held needs to have the start and end dates listed on your resume. Remove the dates related to work experience, education and certifications if they don’t fall within that 10-to-15-year window.

3. Limit your resume to two pages. Recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reviewing each resume and application that comes across their desk before deciding if the candidate deserves further consideration. If you want your resume to be noticed by hiring managers, keep it short so they get the gist of your work history within that 10-second timeframe.

4. Avoid a “jack-of-all-trades” approach. Although you might have held multiple roles throughout your career, your resume should be tailored to support your current career objective rather than providing a general summary of your entire work history.

5. Optimize your resume with keywords. Improve the chances of your resume making it past the applicant tracking system and on to a human by adding keywords within your resume from the job description.

6. Upgrade your email address. Don’t give employers a reason to believe you aren’t tech savvy. Ditch your AOL or Hotmail email account for a free, professional-looking Gmail address that incorporates your name.

7. List your mobile phone number. Only list your cell phone number on your resume so that you answer the phone yourself in addition to controlling the voicemail message potential employers and recruiters hear.

8. Join the LinkedIn bandwagon. If you’ve avoided using LinkedIn in the past, now’s the time to create a profile that promotes your candidacy to employers. Once your profile is complete, customize your LinkedIn profile URL and add it to the top of your resume.

9. Showcase your technical proficiencies. Show employers that you’ve kept up with the latest tools and platforms related to your field by creating a small section toward the bottom of your resume that lists your technical proficiencies.

10. Customize your online application. Small tweaks to your resume can make a big difference in determining whether your online application reached a human being for review. After reviewing the job listing more closely, make small edits to customize your resume so that it clearly reflects your qualifications.

11. Ditch the objective statement. Avoid using a run-of-the-mill objective statement that’s full of fluff and focuses solely on your own wants and needs. Instead, replace it with your elevator pitch, which should be a brief paragraph summarizing your job goals and qualifications.

12. Aim for visual balance. How your resume is formatted is just as important as the information itself. Focus on leveraging a combination of short blurbs and bullet points to make it easy for the reader to quickly scan your resume and find the most important details that support your candidacy.

13. Focus on achievements, not tasks. At this point in your career, recruiters are less concerned with the tasks you’ve completed and more interested in learning what you’ve accomplished. Use bullet points to describe the results you’ve achieved and the major contributions you’ve made that benefited your employers.

“It may be unfair, but age discrimination is a real thing in today’s workforce and job search,” said Augustine. “Some employers are concerned that candidates of a certain age aren’t looking for a long-term gig because they’re close to retirement.”

People might not want to admit it, but there is a fear among businesses that they won’t get what they need from older applicants. Augustine added that one of those fears is that older workers aren’t tech savvy, or they are resistant to change, which might make them difficult to train and, ultimately, harder to work with.

“It’s important for 50-plus candidates to dispel these concerns on their resume and cover letter as well as during the interview process,” said Augustine.

Keep your skills sharp and relevant

One of the biggest fears of applicants age 50 and older (and employers) is that the skills those workers will come in with aren’t as up to date or necessary to get the job done. There are ways, though, to keep your skills sharp and develop new ones.

“Many free or low-cost online courses are available through sites such as edX, Coursera and Skillshare,” said Augustine. “If you prefer in-person training, seek out programs through your local library or college.”

Augustine also suggested, for those interested in improving technical skills, turning to AARP. AARP now offers free technology training in various markets around the country. It’s a good way to brush up on existing skills and learn completely new ones.

Updating your resume isn’t enjoyable, no matter what age you are. But it does get harder the older you get, an unfortunate reality of our society. Thanks to TopResume and AARP, steps are being taken to make the process less daunting and more successful.

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