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Improve your resume

Via USA Today : Ask HR: When should I take past internships off my resume?

Question: I’m currently looking for my next job opportunity. Because I’ve been at my company for most of my professional career, I still have internships on my resume. At what point should I remove internship experiences from my resume? Are there any exceptions? – Anonymous

Johnny C. Taylor Jr.: There are no hard-and-fast rules about removing internships, or any other jobs for that matter, from a resume. However, I can share some general guidelines.

If the internship took place 10 or more years ago, don’t include it unless you gained knowledge and skills or completed assignments that would be interesting to a prospective employer. On the other hand, internships completed five years ago or less should probably remain on your resume.

If you worked as an intern between five and 10 years ago, use your best judgment. If you believe it will help you land your next job, include it.

However, if you have a lot of experience and your internship doesn’t correlate to the job you’re applying for, leave it off. It could detract from your overall resume.

The exception is if you worked as an intern for a famous employer or in a niche field, like the sports industry. In those cases, I’d suggest keeping an internship on your resume because the experience could help you stand out.

Additionally, internships can serve as supplemental experience if you do not meet the required years of experience for a desired job.

Lastly, if you have five or more years of professional experience, start focusing on gaining certifications in your industry or with your profession association. This will show a prospective employer you are continuing to grow in your career and not relying on early academic experience. Certifications also show you have the most current knowledge in your field.

Internships are valuable in helping you to identify a career and prepare for it. But, as you gain professional work experience, they become less important. As a result, your resume will evolve over time.

Via The Ladders : Refresh your resume in 5 steps (while employed)

Print out your resume and get your red pen ready. A hard copy lets you see details you might otherwise pass over.

It never hurts to freshen up your resume with new achievements and an eye toward the future of your career, especially while employed. Shifting technology makes what to include on your resume even more tricky. Do you include an objective? What about your LinkedIn profile? How do you make your resume less boring?

Print out your resume and get your red pen ready. A hard copy lets you see details you might otherwise pass over. Here’s what you need to do to liven your resume up:

1. Keep the format simple

Oddly formatted resumes are the bane of hiring managers’ existences. The creative colors, spacing, and various fonts become an eyesore, making you stand out in a different way than what you intended. Saving the file as a PDF keeps the data from warping when opened in different software.

Keep the format simple and intuitive for others to navigate. A sans serif font is easiest on the eyes, and don’t go crazy with bold, italicizing and underlining. Balance white space with content. Information on your resume should be quick and easy to locate, not give you a headache.

Save the creative design for the creatives. If you’re a designer or creative, consider designing an infographic resume to let your resume showcase your skills in a sensible and helpful way. Your resume should easy to peruse and relevant to the job role and industry.

2. Make cuts

You’d be surprised about what you don’t need in a resume. You won’t be surprised, though, to know that managers are skimming for required details that categorize you according to assumption rather than talent. Try these tips:

  • If you’re not a new graduate, eliminate the year of graduation. Cutting the date lets them measure your merit while adding up years.
  • Take out “References available upon request.” That’s obvious.
  • Delete soft skills. Save job intricacies for the interview, and list the measurable achievements.
  • Leave out high school and college accomplishments if it was years ago. Focus on now.
  • Goodbye, Objective section! That detail is for your cover letter.
  • Consider deleting your address. Most of the time, that’s added to a database as you apply, or is filled out during paperwork. Some managers may assume you can’t handle the commute. A telephone and email address is enough.

3. Add links

Include relevant social media and professional links in your resume. Does your industry require you to network and recruit new business and professionals? Does your role deal with marketing or influencing, especially as an industry expert?

Conveniently link hiring managers right to the information they need in one resource. List your Twitter, LinkedIn, blog and new digital publications. Use hyperlinks with relevant text, instead of lengthy URLs, and only use when appropriate.

4. Engage with active verbs

Resumes are polluted with passive word choices, especially when it comes to overused verbs. You don’t want your resume to sound like a life coach giving a TED talk while jumping out of a plane. However, your resume showcases your talents and how you performed within your job role. Your word choices can disempower you. Use active verbs.

Be precise, accurate and engage with compelling verb choices. Ditch these terms: “led,” “helped,” “handled,” “worked” and “responsible for.” Imagine your verbs as the pull back on an arrow before hitting the target — the force and energy required to snag the job. Avoid clichés, such as “go-getter.”

Did you lead a project? Try “chaired,” “headed,” “executed” or “coordinated.” Had a vision come to life? Try “devised,” “launched,” “pioneered” or “spearheaded.” Save the company budget? Try “diagnosed,” “deducted,” “consolidated” or “conserved.” Active verbs don’t have to be flashy to catch attention.

5. Use keywords to your advantage

Technology has made the hiring process easier for management, by allowing software to scan resumes for details that match the job description. Use keywords to your advantage by placing them, where relevant, in your resume.

Do you have a copy of your job description? Look up alternative names for your role (or desired role), and analyze what keywords are used. Don’t lie and don’t copy the job description word for word. Yet, realize that your resume isn’t likely getting a first pass by a human being. Don’t leave out specific software, years of experience and desired qualifications that are listed if you have those.

You’ll also find specific language with strong word choices unique to that industry and described in ways you may have not considered. Your cover letter and interview will also benefit from this knowledge. This strategy is particularly helpful when analyzing job descriptions for a role that you wish to grow into as your career develops. Start tailoring your resume now!

Trends in what makes a proper resume shift on the whims of manager preferences, but a little common sense maintains certain rules. Simplicity is key, even in an age of developing technology. Focus on precision, hard numbers and active voice when sharing your achievements on your resume. Just a few changes will refresh your resume and give it the pep needed to reach for your career goals.

Via LifeHacker : How To Punch Up Your Resume With ‘Action Verbs’ [Infographic]

There’s no shortage of resume tips on the internet, but word selection is one area that’s often overlooked. Believe it or not, your verb choices can have a serious impact on how your resume is received by prospective hirers – even if the listed skills and achievements remain otherwise unchanged.

This infographic from Eapplicants lists 22 action verbs that have been proven to strengthen resumes, along with a multitude of extra tips.

The tips in this infographic purport to make your resume one in a million. Hyperbole aside, it does contain some solid advice covering all aspects of your resume or CV, including page layout, font choice, best skills to focus on, proofreading and the aforementioned action words. If your resume could use a spit and polish, try implementing some of the below tips.

Via Forbes : Resume Rules: Why There Is No Such Thing

There is a copious amount of content published about resumes each day. Yet, not everything you read is true or beneficial. When it comes to writing a strong, interview-winning resume, I caution job-seekers to qualify advice carefully. Avoid being led down rabbit holes warning you about strict resume “rules” that promise instant results. Honestly, there are no rules in resume writing — just best practices and guidelines.

Over the past dozen years as an executive resume writer for business leaders all over the world, I’ve seen the resume evolve and advance dramatically. Once a simple chronology of work experience printed on paper and hand-delivered, the resume has become a strategic document that must be eye-catching and system-abiding. This personal marketing tool will be scanned, screened and meticulously evaluated by various hiring authorities.

Yet, developing a resume that gets you noticed does not require a standardized approach. Here’s why:

1. You are unique. Therefore, your resume must be, too.

No two job-seekers are alike. Each comes to the table with unique experiences and a select arsenal of skills and expertise. What matters to employers the most is “What can you do for me?” That’s it. Standardizing your resume into select templates, formats or strategies can restrict information-sharing and prevent the reader from deciphering true value.

Write your resume with your audience top of mind. If your industry is more formal (think accounting or finance), try a more reserved format that positions your value offering without any distractions. On the other hand, if your industry is more visual (perhaps artistic design or social media marketing), you may want to employ a format that demonstrates a bit more personality and flair.

2. Solid substance trumps page length.

What works best: one page or two — maybe even three? The answer is whatever length is appropriate to get key content across. If you are reading suggestions of very specific page lengths, question the reasoning before producing.

Today’s modern resumes often go through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which don’t discern length. These systems are programmed to search for related keywords and key phrases. Summarizing a detailed career history onto just one page could work against you.

In addition to ATS, actual human readers want facts, details and proof of ability. A simple summary of work history can’t possibly give employers enough context and rich results to spur them into interviewing you, especially if your career spans 15 or more years. Yet, extremely lengthy resumes don’t work well, either, as they fatigue readers.

So, instead of focusing on some silly page requirement, think about quality of content versus quantity. Distill details down to what matters most, and let value dictate length.

3. Different application avenues call for different types of applications.

Perhaps the most relevant reasons that resume rules are limiting are the diverse ways modern job-seekers search for, and apply for, jobs. Online applications remain popular, albeit trying. More productive avenues now include direct applications, networking and referrals. Some of these avenues involve human resume readers; some don’t.

To ensure a resume is easily reviewed and approved by both people and computer screeners, unique strategies are required. Each type of resume screener has distinct ways to parse details, skim content and qualify career facts. Therefore, ATS-compliant resumes are needed for online applications and a human-reader-ready format must be considered for direct distribution. If you aren’t sure what format would work best, a certified resume writer can partner with you to create a customized strategy.

Following strict resume rules can be limiting or damaging. If you want increased success in your job search, qualify resume advice carefully and create a resume that best addresses your distinct value, job target, career history, employment barriers and industry. Unnecessary confinements won’t help your resume rise to the top.

Via CNBC : Even CEOs struggle with resume writing—but this one simple question can help

Crafting the perfect resume is a daunting task even for CEOs and C-suite execs. Like many applicants, they also struggle with aptly describing their prior work experience and explaining what they bring to a new employer, says executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx.

Getting this description right can be critical. Employers need to understand what you’ll bring to an organization and how you compare to other applicants.

An effective way to tackle this section of the resume, says Smith-Proulx, is by answering this simple question: “What’s my legacy?”

Posing this question as you re-read every bullet point and resume blurb can help you focus on the mark you have made at each company — and know if your description tells that story.

Perhaps, you were great at building consensus, spotting new market opportunities or leading a team. Whatever the case may be, your resume should explicitly state how you effected change and the reader should understand how your workplace changed with you in it. Be descriptive. Use numbers. “Really show those achievements through metrics,” says Smith-Proulx.

To highlight your past results, try this three-step formula that’s recommended by Google recruiters: “Accomplished X, as measured by Y, by doing Z.”

For example, if you have a technical job, don’t just list the tools or platforms you worked on. Explain the ways you made things better, saying things like: “I improved server query response time by 15 percent by restructuring our API.”

You can also describe the situation before you took ownership of a project, to really drive home your impact. For instance, you might say “Launched our company’s Instagram presence, growing followers from 1 to 300,000 in just one year.”

If you’re applying to a new job while a project is still in motion, Smith-Proulx advises mentioning the expected result.

“It could be as simple as, ‘if we pursue these projected markets, we [forecast] this revenue,'” she explains. “Show that you’re putting things in place that will have actionable results when executed.”

Finally, although popular convention is to list work experience in reverse chronological order, Smith-Proulx warns her execs not to follow this format. Instead, “start with the coolest most impactful jobs,” she says. “Don’t bury the good.”

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