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Improve your resume

Via USA Today : Career advice: 7 key resume tips from hiring managers

Putting together a strong resume can be tricky.

No one knows this better than hiring managers, who see job candidates make a lot of the same mistakes on their resumes over and over again. So who better to let you know what errors to avoid when making your own resume than the people in charge of hiring? Here are 7 tips from hiring managers that will ensure you avoid the biggest resume blunders.

1. Tell the truth.

There’s an old assumption that everyone lies a little on their resumes. Don’t buy into that cliché, and rise above this silly misstep that’s sure to catch up with you. Lying about your experience on your resume can land you in a job that simply is not for you…or worse yet, lead to quite a bit of embarrassment if the hiring manager uncovers a lie. Don’t end up embarrassed or out of your depth because you stretched the truth on your resume.

2. Take care of the details.

Hiring managers pay close attention to the tiny little parts of every resume section. Misspellings or grammatical errors on a resume are red flags that a potential employee might also make sloppy mistakes on the job. Be equally careful when composing emails when following up on your resume and in your cover letter.

3. Skip the objective.

The objective is a classic resume element. It’s where you state your ultimate career goal. The thing is, your career goal will often have absolutely nothing to do with the particular position for which you’re actually applying. The resume space you set aside for your objective can be put to better use, so it’s probably wisest just to eliminate it altogether. It’s a bit outdated and no hiring manager is ever going to miss it or knock you down a peg if it’s not there.

4. Get (and list) relevant experience.

Being well-educated may be crucial to get a particular job, but hiring managers also want to know that you’ve actually held down a job before. Recent graduates often make the error of thinking their educational accomplishments are enough, and fail to include work experience on their resumes. Never leave out work experience, even if you have to list menial part-time jobs, unpaid internships, or volunteer work on your resume.

5. Don’t forget your accomplishments.

Hiring managers want to know where you’ve worked in the past, but that’s not enough to provide a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished. So for each work experience entry, also note what you accomplished or how you were outstanding in that particular job. Be brief, but specific.

6. Don’t trumpet your strengths.

Are you a strong leader or a “people person?” Good for you! But save descriptions of yourself for your interview. There shouldn’t be anything but your work experience, accomplishments, degrees earned, and contact information on your resume.

7. Don’t forget the cover letter.

OK, so you have a ton of relevant work experience, you’ve earned a higher education degree, and your accomplishments are many and marvelous. Your resume is impeccable. But simply shipping off a resume in response to a job opportunity won’t get you the job—no matter how fabulous your resume is. You also need to submit a cover letter. This is where you can allow a bit more of your personality to shine through and explain why your experiences, education, and accomplishments are relevant to the particular job for which you are applying. Treat your cover letter with all the care you put into your resume, avoiding the misspellings, grammar errors, untruths and other common mistakes that could make you seem like a less-than-ideal candidate.

Via MarketWatch : How to improve your ‘Google resume’

If you’re job hunting, you may be thinking the first thing you need to do is put together your résumé. That used to be true before the internet. But these days, the new résumé is called Google.

What an employer finds out about you simply by googling your name helps determine whether you get hired. And you’ve got to clean up what the employer finds before the company or nonprofit finds it.

There are four things you can do about this to boost your chances of getting hired: you can edit, fill in, expand and add to your Google résumé. I’ll provide details shortly.

Why employers reject job hunters

Almost all (91%) of U.S. employers have visited a job-hunter’s profile on social networks and more than 69% of employers have rejected some applicants on the basis of what they found. Things that can get you rejected: bad grammar or gross misspelling on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile; anything indicating you lied on your résumé; any badmouthing of previous employers; any signs of racism, prejudice or screwy opinions about stuff; anything indicating alcohol or drug abuse and any — to put it delicately — inappropriate content.

What is sometimes forgotten is that this works both ways.

Sometimes (68% of the time), an employer will offer someone a job because it liked what Google turned up about the person. Things like the creativity or professionalism you demonstrate online; your expressing yourself extremely well online; the employer’s overall impression of your personality online; the wide range of interests you exhibit online and evidence online that you get along well and communicate well with other people.

4 ways to improve your Google resume

So, now, here are my four tips for improving your Google résumé to help get hired:

1. Edit your Google resume

Make a list of adjectives you’d like employers to think of when they consider hiring you. Then google yourself and see what the search engine pulls up. Also, go over any pages you’ve put up on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube and remove anything you posted there — or allowed others to post — that contradicts the impression you would like to make.

If you don’t know how to remove an item from a particular site, type or speak the following into a search engine like Google: “How to remove an item from [Facebook]” or whatever.

2. Fill in your Google resume

On sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, fill out your profile completely. Leave no part blank unless you have a very good reason. Most important, be sure to keep the profile up-to-date. There is nothing that makes you look less professional than having an obviously outdated profile.

Make your LinkedIn profile page really stand out when employers go browsing. Here are some hints on how to do it:

A photo is mandatory. Surveys have shown that not having your photo listed in your LinkedIn profile is a turnoff for most employers. The likelihood that your LinkedIn profile will get viewed increases 11 times if you include a photo. Make it a shot just of your head and shoulders, make it sharply focused and well lit, dress up for it and smile.

In the section called Job Title, if you aren’t searching for a career change and like what you’ve been doing but the title you have doesn’t contain the words a hiring manager would use to search for someone who does what you do, put in a slash mark and then add the title he or she would use. If you’re looking for a change, after listing your current job title, enter a slash and add the industry you want to find a job in so an employer’s search engine will pick you up.

In describing your past jobs or experience, don’t just make a list of tasks or achievements. LinkedIn gives you enough space to tell a story, so tell a story. Summarize some major achievement in that job and then tell a story of how you did it and what the measurable results were. List your skills: you increase the likelihood that your LinkedIn profile will be looked at by 13 times if you do.

In the Summary section, be sure to state whatever you think gives you a competitive advantage in your field.

Under Specialties, list every keyword you can think of that would lead a search engine to find you for the job you want.

Add links to any website you feel would help you stand out — for instance, your blog, if you have one and it’s solely devoted to your area of expertise and your Twitter account, if you’ve only been posting tweets that manifest your expertise in your field.

Join one or more LinkedIn groups related to your expertise. Post sparingly but regularly when the people in it are discussing something you’re an expert on. You want to get a name and reputation in your field.

3. Expand your Google resume

There are several ways to expand your presence on the internet:

Forums: Professional sites like LinkedIn have forums, or groups, organized by subject matter. Look through the directory of those groups or forums, choose one or two related to your industry or interests and, after signing up, speak up regularly when you have something to say that will quietly demonstrate you are an expert in your chosen subject area.

Blogs: Start a blog if you don’t already have one, and update it regularly. If you don’t know how to blog, there are helpful sites like Blogger.com that give you detailed instructions. If you have a blog but it roams in terms of subject matter, start a new one that is more narrowly preoccupied with your particular area of expertise.

Twitter: The advantage of Twitter is that it has hashtags and Google is indexing all those tags and tweets. Figure out which hashtags employers are likely to look for when they want to find someone with your expertise and experience.

4. Add to your Google resume

It will take any employer or HR department some time to sift through all the stuff about you that may appear when it does a Google search. You would help them by summarizing and organizing the pertinent information about yourself. You can do this by composing an old-type résumé and post it on the internet (where Google will find it).

“What Color Is Your Parachute: 2018” has detailed advice on the best way to craft a résumé. If you need additional guidance, search Google for the topic “keywords on an electronic résumé” or “examples of résumés” or “how to write a résumé.” This will turn up free resources and advice as well as professional résumé writers.

A final tip: Where you post your résumé makes all the difference in the world. If employers post their vacancy on a job board like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, they typically have to look through 219 résumés from job hunters who respond before they find someone to interview and hire. If they post the vacancy on the employer’s website, they typically have to look through just 33.

However, if the job hunter takes the initiative to find a specific job rather than waiting to find a vacancy by, say, typing the name of that job into a search engine and then sending résumés to any companies whose name turns up, employers only have to look through 32 applications before finding someone to hire. If the job hunter takes even more initiative, chooses a company where he or she would like to work and gets a referral from an employee within that company, employers have to look through only 10 such candidates before finding someone to interview and hire.

Via Information Nigeria : Checkout 5 Common Mistakes Made In Resume Writing

These are common errors made by people when putting together that resume for the purpose of securing jobs.

There are many reasons why people generally find it tasking to get job offers or invitations for interviews. One of such reasons is the fact that they make unforgivable mistakes when writing their resumes.

Resumes are extremely important documents that should be written with the utmost detail and attention to avoid mistakes. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 5 common mistakes made in resume writing.

Ignoring Keywords

We’re in the information and technology age, as a result, nowadays most resumes are reviewed electronically before they are seen by human eyes. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to keywords when writing your resume. For a good number of organizations or HR consultancy firms, the first round of culling resumes happens through keyword spotting with a hiring software, and if certain keywords are missing from your resume, it is unlikely to make it past the first round.

Be sure to use keywords related to the industry you are interested in when writing your resume; use keywords in your job description; be sure to use keywords repeatedly from time to time (but try not to overdo it); and basically just ensure you include exact keywords in your resume and recognize their place in your industry.

Being Too Lengthy

If you’re an average working class professional with less than half a decade of experience, it’s only appropriate for you to condense your resume down to a page or two pages at most. When writing your resume, regardless of your years of experience or professional level, ensure you use words diligently and avoid being unnecessarily verbose. No hiring manager has the time to sift through ‘ramblings’ in your resume to get to the vital information needed to get you past the screening phase.

As a result, you need to pay attention to your words and use them responsibly when writing your resume. Additionally, you can ask a family, friend or close contact with some experience in the area of resume writing to help review your resume and advise you on the parts that need to cut out, rephrased or paraphrased.

Being Vague or Unclear

When hiring managers review you resume, one of the most important things that they are concerned with are your quantitative tasks and accomplishments. It can be detrimental to you to be vague about these when writing your resume. Even when putting descriptions about your former positions, you need to be specific with the details of what you accomplished in these positions. Try to put descriptions in your resume in terms of what you have accomplished, rather than simply listing titles and describing everyday tasks.

Typographical and Grammatical Errors

This should be avoided at all cost because it makes the applicant seem careless and irresponsible, or worse, ignorant about correct grammatical terms and structuring. It sets a precedent for employers or hiring managers to draw very unflattering conclusions about your attitude and verbal, writing and grammatical skills. Your resume, therefore, needs to be grammatically perfect; and one way to achieve this is to go over it multiple times after writing it to correct errors. You can also give it to a friend, family or close contact with relevant experience to go over it and help correct errors.

Cutting the Meat Out of Your Resume

The fact that you resume shouldn’t be too wordy, doesn’t mean it should be lacking relevant information. Be wise about the way you write your resume, and avoid cutting things short unnecessarily because you are trying to conform by all means to the one page standard.

Just try as much as possible to give concise summaries of important information, but please don’t leave out important information because you are ‘trying to avoid being too wordy’.

Via U.S. News : Here’s the Right Way to Format Your Resume

Learn the basics of creating a resume from scratch.

The hardest part of writing an effective resume is figuring out the content – how to talk about your achievements in ways that tie to what an employer is looking for. But people also do an awful lot of agonizing about the smaller details of a resume – things like format, length and even font choices.

Let’s put those worries to rest. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about how to format a resume.

Is there a basic resume format that works for most people?

In general, your resume should have the following sections in the following order:

  • Name and contact info
  • Work history, listed in reverse chronological order (for each job, list your title, the employer’s name, the dates you worked there and a bulleted list of achievements)
  • Education

Some people also include a short profile or summary section before their work history. This is optional, but has increased in popularity in recent years. The idea is to provide an overall framing for your candidacy.

Some people also find it useful to include sections for volunteer work or special skills. Again, this is optional, but in some cases it may strengthen your candidacy.

Does it ever make sense to use a functional resume rather than a chronological one?

Functional resumes – which are focused on one long list of skills and accomplishments rather than connecting them to a chronological work listing – are widely disliked by employers, since they make it difficult to understand what the candidate’s work progression has been. Hiring managers also tend to assume that candidates using this format are trying to hide weak experience or significant work gaps. Since using this format is likely to start you out on the wrong foot with hiring managers, stick to the chronological format over the functional.

What belongs in the education section?

Generally your education section will be just a line or two. You should list any degrees you’ve attained since high school, and the college or university that granted them. You generally don’t need to go into detail about your coursework – just the degrees themselves are sufficient.

You might also list certificates or other forms of continuing education here, but be choosy about what you list. Anything listed in this section should be substantial, so you shouldn’t include, say, a list of 15 day-long seminars you attended or every conference in which you’ve participated.

Should you talk about your work experience using bullet points or paragraphs?

When you’re describing your work experience, always use bullet points. Hiring managers are skimming your resume, and big blocks of text are harder to absorb quickly than bullet points are. Plus, many hiring managers’ eyes will glaze over if your resume appears to be one long block of text. Save that for your cover letter.

What about length? Is it OK for resumes to be more than two pages?

The old one-page resume rule is dead, but that doesn’t mean you can throw out all the rules about length! Your resume still should not be more than two pages. If you’re a recent graduate, stick to one page.

If that feels painful to you, keep in mind that the longer your resume is, the less likely hiring managers are to see the parts you most want them to see. Most hiring managers spend just a few seconds scanning resumes initially; if your resume is several pages long, how many highlights will they really spot? Plus, a long resume can make you come across as unable to tell what information is important and what’s less important.

Should you stick to a plain, basic layout or can a creative resume design score you points?

In most cases, you should stick to a plain, basic layout. The most important thing about your resume design is that it should be easy to scan and well-organized. Few hiring managers want to see unusual colors or innovative templates. The traditional resume layout may feel boring, but hiring managers know how to quickly find the information they want on it, and that’s to your advantage.

Does font choice matter?

Hiring managers won’t care about what font you use as long as you choose one that’s easy on the eyes. Your resume is not the place for a flowery cursive font or anything that’s going to make it difficult to skim quickly. Sample different fonts and pick one that you like and that’s easy to read. Georgia, Calibri, Arial and even old-school Times New Roman are all fine. (Really, a good litmus test for your resume font is that no one should be thinking about it. You want your content to stand out, not your font selection skills.)

And don’t forget that font size matters! Don’t choose a font size smaller than 11; anything else can be hard for some people to read.

Via LifeHacker : Five Resume Writing Tips To Land You That Dream Role

Crafting an excellent resume is an artform, but it shouldn’t be an art piece. There are hundreds of tips and tricks to crafting the perfect page (or two) that showcases who you are and why you’re perfect for the role. I’ve had a wide range of varied roles over the years, in retail, writing and science, and here are five resume tips that helped me land an interview.

A Successful Layout

The #1 tip you’re likely to find anywhere is to ‘always start with your name and contact details at the top’. That’s great, but what comes next? I’ve often been told the next best thing to fit on your resume is a summary statement about who you are and what you want to achieve, but often, especially if you’re coming straight out of high school or a university degree, you lack the experience, which makes this comes across as unnecessary filler that is purely there to cover holes.

The way a resume looks is incredibly important. Once you’re past the name and contact details, I’d suggest getting straight into the skills section. On the other hand, if you’re lacking in professional experience, then get straight into the education section. You can always bring in your achievements in past roles here and remember to use numbers – numbers are so easy to process and give an employer a much better sense of how you’re likely to contribute to their team.

Show Off Your Skills

This is a tip that changed the way I looked at resumes – instead of just listing the skills you’ve obtained in previous employment, list how long you’ve been using them. I’ve often created lists of skills that start with things like ‘ advanced knowledge of’ or ‘experienced in’ but this doesn’t give an employer or hiring manager of anything tangible. What is an ‘advanced knowledge’? Instead, create a list of bullet points that demonstrates the length of time you’ve been putting those skills to good use. If you’ve been using Microsoft Excel for 17 years, it’s definitely worth letting your prospective employer know.

Lead With Your Education If You Lack Experience

It feels like it’s becoming harder and harder to get an entry-level job, as more positions ask for experienced employees, so fresh out of a degree you might feel like you’re already a step behind. That shouldn’t be the case. If you lack professional experience, the best thing to do is lead with your education or degree and include bullet points about the kind of skills you picked up in that degree and how long you were using them for. The explains that your lack of experience is a result of the fact you were studying, but also demonstrates that you understand how your recent education can benefit your employer.

Use A Simple And Minimalist Resume Design

Get rid of that ‘trying-to-land-in-the-Louvre’ nonsense and just deliver a straight-forward, factual account of your skills and expertise. Keep the formatting consistent but draw the reader’s eyes to the most important parts of the document using headings and bullet points. If an employer gets the feeling that you’re efficient, just from reading your resume, you’re halfway there. It also might seem obvious, but keep everything in the document left-aligned and don’t plonk boxes of information haphazardly just because you think it looks pretty. Repetition is a killer, too. You want to keep this thing to one page, if possible.

Customise Your Resume To The Role You Want

Even though the process is time-consuming, you should always tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. These days, the benefits of cover letters are If you think your resume feels generic and you’re using it to apply for multiple roles – then prospective employers will be able to see that too. This also means you should get rid of any ‘filler’, any previous employment experience that is of no relevance to the role you’re applying for. In my experience, if you’ve had a varied employment history then it’s easiest if you save a few different versions of your resume for the types of jobs you’re chasing and chop-and-change skills and employment history as needed.

OR:

Don’t Use A Resume At All

This isn’t necessarily the best option for every line of work, but there are certain positions that will reward an entirely different approach to a job application. There’s a real strength to using video because it succinctly gets across the idea of who you are and what you’re about in a much more easily digestible way. Could you do it when applying for a role as a chemical engineer? Probably, but it’s not going to be worth it. It’s just good to keep in mind that, in 2017, employers don’t want to be hit with a wall of text and successive pages of bullet points. Send a short video instead. Front-load it so that it’s immediately interesting. Explain why you want the job and showcase why you’re the best fit for it.

Once you’ve got a successful resume and you’ve made it to the interview stage, then you’re playing a whole different ball game. You can check out our tips for interviews here.

Good luck!

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