web analytics

Improve your resume

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 Fox Business : 10 Tips for Better Resumes and Cover Letters

Applying for a job gets more competitive every year. People entering the job market for the first time are often so overwhelmed with the whole process that they make common mistakes when writing their resumes and cover letters. Worse, hiring managers are often just as overwhelmed as applicants, which means that they’re just looking for reasons to toss out resumes so that they can sort the applicants as quickly and productively Opens a New Window. as possible. These tips for resumes and cover letters explain how to increase the chances that your resume makes it past that brutal first pass, gets taken seriously, and helps you advance to the interview stage.

What Are Cover Letters and Resumes?

Opens a New Window. It sounds like an obvious question, but it’s worth taking a step back to think about it for a moment. Resumes and cover letters aren’t just meaningless paperwork hoops you have to jump through; at least, good ones aren’t. Resumes and cover letters are your primary job application and personal marketing materials. They don’t get you the job, but they show that you are qualified for an interview. They may be accompanied by other materials, too, such as a formal application, a portfolio, or other work samples; but, at their base, they should convince prospective employers that you’re worth meeting.

Your Cover Letter

Your cover letters, sometimes called a covering letter, is the formal introduction to you and your job application. Think of it like an email introducing yourself that pulls the hiring manager in to want to know more about you. A cover letter briefly summarizes:

  • who you are,
  • why you’re interested in the position,
  • what makes you qualified for the job, and
  • why they should hire you.

A great cover letter explicitly shows why and how you’re one of the top candidates for the position. It isn’t an exhaustive explanation of every single one of your achievements. It should satisfy the hiring team’s questions about whether you’re qualified and leave them interested to learn more about you.

Your Resume

Your resume, also called a curriculum vitae or CV, is a more formal summary of you as a candidate, typically written with bullet points and fragments. The purpose of a resume is to highlight your most applicable and impressive experiences that are relevant to the open position. It is not a complete history of every job and responsibility you’ve ever had.

How Do Employers Use Your Materials?

To write a great cover letter and resume, you have to understand how the employer uses them.

The number one thing to know is that the hiring committee reads your cover letter and resume more than once and in different ways. The first time, they skim it looking for keywords. Skimming can be done by a human being or an automated system. Applicant tracking systems can scan your resume looking for keywords to determine whether you meet the requirements for the position. If you don’t, you could be rejected on the spot. In other words, not only must you have the qualifications, but your cover letter and resume have to also show them in a way that a computer can read or a person will pick up when skimming.

The second time a hiring manager or committee reads your materials, they might pay attention to what you’ve written and how you’ve phrased it. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency, and the degree of formality count. The right level of formality depends on the industry and company culture. Or, they might still be skimming, depending on how busy they are.

So, plan for people to read closely in case they do, but set yourself up for success if they skim. Use clear headings, succinct bullet points, and short declarative statements. You’re not writing a novel. You’re creating documents that qualify you for an interview.

Tips for Resumes and Cover Letters

These tips will increase your chances that someone sees your resume and cover letter and that you get an interview.

1. Follow the Standards of Your Industry

If any advice about resumes and cover letters violates the customs of your industry, throw it away. For example, you’ll hear that it’s perfectly acceptable to change the job titles you’ve held if changing them makes them more accurate and understandable. However, that is not at all the case for people who work for the US federal government or the military. They have precise job titles and rankings that they cannot alter. If you’re unsure, ask a mentor or experienced people in your industry.

2. Keep It Short

A resume is one page. A cover letter is a few short paragraphs. Three paragraphs, or around 400 words, is ideal. Four paragraphs might work, but remember that your reader is busy! They want to know do you qualify for an interview or not. Tell them that, and show them how. Get to the point. The next tip has some explicit guidance on how to do it.

3. Use Keywords

Given the rule of thumb that you have one page for a resume and three paragraphs for a cover letter, every word must count. Here’s a huge secret about job applications: They come with a cheat sheet. The cheat sheet is the job description. It gives you all the keywords you need.

Here’s how to identify keywords and use them to write your resume and cover letter.

1. Create a text document into which you copy and paste the job description.

2. Comb through the job description and look for required skills and attributes of the ideal candidate. Put these words in bold.

3. Identify all the bolded words that truly apply to you and your experiences (no fudging the truth here). Highlight them.

4. Write a few short, declarative, and accurate statements that use those keywords to describe your qualities, talents, and past work. For example, “I have a bachelor of arts in computer science.” “I have one year of experience working as a design intern.”

These statements become the foundation of your cover letter. From there, write a concise introduction and conclusion (they might also use some of your sentences from step four), and smooth out the transitions between the statements. If you ever struggle to write a transition, just start a new paragraph.

Keep the cover letter short, about 400 words. Get to the point, hit the key ideas, show that you qualify, and conclude quickly. Don’t worry about writing anything unique in your conclusion. Use something standard: “I appreciate your time and hope we can discuss the opportunity more in an interview. Sincerely,…”

For the resume, focus again on including the words you highlighted. Use them throughout your resume. If the job description repeats certain words, make sure they also appear more than once in your materials.

4. Show Passion

Cover letters and resumes qualify you for an interview, but dozens of other candidates might also qualify. What can you do to separate your application from others?

Showing passion for the company, industry, or position certainly helps, and you can do it in the cover letter. How do you squeeze that in when you’re already maximizing every word to prove that you’re an eligible candidate?

Your opening line may be the single best place to express passion. In one sentence, can you say something about yourself and why you want the job? Be careful, as there’s a fine line between passion and fandom, and a fan doesn’t necessarily make a great employee. It’s also really hard to not sound hokey. Another option is to put a section on your resume that shows an independent pursuit of something related to the job, such as recreational classes or personal projects.

5. Use Clear Language

Whether an automated system or a human being scans your resume, the language pops when it’s clear and universally understood. It’s okay to take a job title that’s unclear (such as “lead marketing coordinator”) and turn it into one that’s more universally understood (like “marketing manager”).

Resume writing can feel repetitive, especially in the verbs you use for bullet points. Change them up when it makes sense, but don’t worry too much about repeating verbs. The substance is more important.

6. Emphasize Relevant Information

You are a whole person with many talents and experiences. The hiring team doesn’t need to know about them all when they review your resume and cover letter, however. They only want to know about the ones that show you’re qualified for the job.

Let’s say you had a job where you were the writer, editor, and producer of content. Now, you’re applying for jobs as an editor. On your resume, the bullet points about your previous job should emphasize the editing portion of that job. Yes, you did write and produce content, but that’s not what’s most relevant. A resume doesn’t need to tell what you spent the most time on at a job or what was important to the previous employer. It needs to show what experiences you have that are relevant to the new potential employer.

So focus on the parts that are relevant to the new job. You can certainly add a bullet point about other skills and experiences you have from the previous position, as long as the relevant parts appear more prominently.

7. Don’t Use Images

Do not use images on your resume or cover letter, unless it’s appropriate for your industry or the country where you’re applying for a job. In some countries, it’s standard to put a passport-style photo of yourself on a resume. In the US, however, doing so can get you rejected before anyone even looks at your qualifications. Applicant tracking systems can be set up to automatically reject applications that contain images. It’s for a good reason.

A headshot can show your gender expression, age, race, and other traits about you that employers can use to discriminate against you. In other words, it opens them up to a potential lawsuit. If they have a policy that rejects applications containing images, then the problem never comes up.

Exceptions apply, of course. If the job requires you to be on camera, for example, the employer might ask for a headshot or link to a reel showing clips of your on-camera experience. Even then, only send the materials they request. Don’t volunteer anything extra.

8. Use Simple Formatting

Applicant-tracking systems use automated processes to scan your resume. In addition to looking for keywords, they’ve been trained to read headers, job titles, dates, and bullet points. Robots don’t like background images, creative formatting, tables, and so forth. Format your resume plainly and use no more than three font styles.

For creative fields such as graphic design Opens a New Window. , however, you will probably want to ignore this advice.

9. Don’t Rush to Hit Send

This next piece of advice—don’t rush to hit Send—makes me cringe because I’ve violated it so often, always regrettably. More times than I care to remember, I was so eager to apply for a job that I sent in my application as fast as possible, only later to realize my resume had a typo, or my cover letter had a painfully verbose paragraph. There’s always something I wish I had done differently.

Many job listings have a submission deadline. If the deadline isn’t today, you gain nothing by sending the application early. Hiring teams don’t look more favorably on applicants who submitted earlier than others. Some advice even has it that you’re better off waiting until closer to the deadline, and that applying too early may make you look desperate and hurt your chances.

Job listings that don’t have a submission deadline typically stay advertised for a minimum of two weeks, though six or eight weeks is probably more common. The point is, you can almost always hold off hitting Send, and you should.

Set your application and materials aside for a day. Let them simmer in your mind. Perhaps you’ll realize there’s something you want to change. If nothing else, it gives you another shot at proofreading your resume and cover letter with fresh eyes, or asking someone else for help with it. If there’s no one you trust to take a look, you could use software like to Grammarly Opens a New Window. to vet your documents.

10. There’s No Such Thing as ‘One’ Resume

Make a new resume and cover letter for every single job application. No successful job candidate has a resume. Specially tailor each one for each job opening. Assuming that you make it past the skimming stage of the resume evaluation stage, most hiring managers will appreciate documents that show that show that you are actually interested in the position they are trying to fill, not just any job.

Start with a resume template. Create a copy for every job application, and customize it from there. Label them in a way that gives you information about the position and employer.

When you send your resume, cover letter, and anything else the employer requests, pay attention to the file formats they request. If they don’t specify, send PDFs.

Optimized to Qualify

As competitive as the job market is, hiring remains a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming process for employers. Employers are motivated to find good candidates and fill open positions. You can help them by making your cover letter and resume line up with what they want to see (as long as you’re not stretching the truth to do so). The right candidates can be hard to find, but it’s easier when an optimized resume and cover letter stand out from the competition.

Via Business Tech : This is what the perfect CV looks like in 2019

Jobs website, Glassdoor, has released a new report looking at the perfect CV.

The CV is based on collected advice provided by recruitment experts and has been collated into a handy infographic to give you an easy-to-follow outline for a resume.

You can find a detailed explanation of each point below.

1. Design Matters: Don’t go overboard with intricately decorated templates. Look for sufficient white space, margins of at least .7 inches (approximately 1.7 centimetres), and a font size no smaller than 11 pt.

2. Be Reachable: Make it easy for recruiters to reach out to you by providing your contact info near the header.

3. Show Off Your Skills: Don’t make recruiters hunt for the most critical information on your resume – include a table of your key soft and hard skill sets up top. Make sure your highlighted skills show why you’re a good fit for the job — all the better if these are keywords from the job description.

4. List Your Experience: This section should include each company you’ve worked for, your title, the dates you worked there, and several bullet points that describe your key accomplishments and responsibilities.

5. Quantify Your Experience: Whenever you can use concrete data points — it helps provide recruiters with the scope and context of your work and demonstrates how you contributed to the bottom line.

6. Include Other Positions: Don’t be afraid to include positions that aren’t directly related to the one you’re applying for, especially if you have limited work experience. You can still use it to demonstrate the skills and qualities you want to be highlighted.

7. Get the Grade: Many jobs require degrees or certifications, so make sure to list yours. GPA (school grades) are optional but may be worth including if you’ve graduated recently with high marks.

8. The Extra Stuff: Add some colour to your resume with a short catch-all ‘Additional Experience’ section at the end. Include clubs/organizations, volunteer experience, awards you’ve won, and even interesting hobbies or activities.

9. Keep It Concise: Limit your resume to 1-2 pages at the most.

UA-43048024-1