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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.”

Via Business Insider  : A head recruiter at Amazon says the biggest mistake people make on their résumés comes down to their job title

  • Your résumé is a recruiter’s first impression of you during the job search.
  • Celeste Joy Diaz, a recruiting manager at Amazon, said not explaining your job accomplishments clearly is one key way to alienate recruiters from the outset.
  • Instead, use hard numbers to demonstrate how you succeeded in previous roles.

Celeste Joy Diaz, the recruiting manager for university programs at Amazon, said her team doesn’t like to talk about “red flags.”

But there is one big thing that can irk recruiters like Diaz during the application process: namedropping your place of employment, without explaining what you did there.

“Titles are great, but we want to understand what was the project you owned, what was the scope of a project, and what did you accomplish,” Diaz told Business Insider.

Simply stating in your résumé that you worked at Google, The New York Times, or some other name-brand company is impressive, but it doesn’t really communicate what you did with that opportunity.

That doesn’t just apply to recruiters at Amazon, either. Career experts across the board have named lack of explanation as one of the biggest mistakes that applicants make in their résumés.

“Lack of measurements and results in the file is my biggest résumé pet peeve,”executive résumé writer and career strategistAdrienne Tom previously told Business Insider. “Without any measurements of success, the file is lacking proof of skill.”

So, expand upon what you did in that job that brought value – whether that’s an amount of revenue you produced, projects you led, or how you excelled in your monthly goals. Including the numbers that back up your success is key, Tina Nicolai, executive career coach and founder of Résumé Writers’ Ink, previously told Business Insider.

Be as specific as possible. Write, “Helped grow revenue by 500% to $1 million in 12 month period by doing X” instead of “Helped grow revenue,” Nicolai said.

“Employers need numbers to be able to fully evaluate the scope of your bandwidth,” Nicolai said. “No position is exempt from measuring results. And metrics help employers determine if a person is capable of leading a team, managing clients, or growing the business.”

This extends to job interviews as well, Diaz said. She recommended discussing your previous roles with other people, so you can practice giving concrete examples of your achievements and explaining what your job meant beyond the title and the company.

“People might not take the time to think about the impact of the work they’ve done,” Diaz said. “I want to understand scope of impact more than just job titles.”

Via The Ladders : 4 ways to slash your resume down to one page

Slicing off bits of your resume in order to keep it to one page can be so tough. When you’ve accomplished a lot in your career, it can be difficult to pick what to remove — so here’s what to cut out.

Say goodbye to super-old positions

It’s just not worth keeping them around.

Kim Isaacs, a resume expert for Monster and founder of Advanced Career Systems, writes on Monster’s website that you should “eliminate old experience.”

“Employers are most interested in what you did recently. If you have a long career history, focus on the last 10 to 15 years. If your early career is important to your current goal, briefly mention the experience without including details. For example: Early Career: ABC Company — City, State — Assistant Store Manager and Clerk, 1980-1985,” she writes.

Watch your wording

This can make a big difference.

Lily Zhang, Manager of Graduate Student Professional Development at the MIT Media Lab, writes in The Muse that you should “shorten bullets.”

“Your bullet points are really the meat of your resume. This is where you actually talk about your experience. To ensure that people actually read them, absolutely do not let them trail on to a third line. Two lines max, but preferably one,” she writes. “To decide between one or two lines, use your space efficiently. If your bullet is one line, plus a little bit that dangles onto the next, find a way to condense your language down. Ultimately, you’re going for a dangler-free resume.”

Don’t include this line — it’s unnecessary

Pay close attention to this advice.

Alison Doyle, an author, career expert and founder and CEO of CareerToolBelt.com, writes in The Balance that you should “skip the references.”

“It’s not necessary to say ‘references available upon request’ on your resume. It’s understood that you will provide references, if required, as part of the job application process,” she writes.

Choose the right examples

This is key.

Marcelle Yeager, president of Career Valet and co-founder of ServingTalent, writes in U.S. News & World Report that you should “filter out responsibilities.”

“Employers can likely find almost exact replicas of your job descriptions by doing a Google search for your job titles. It’s your responsibility to tell them more of your story and what you are capable of,” she writes. “Replace your laundry list of duties with specific examples and the impact of your work. This is what is going to get you noticed.”

Via LifeHacker : The Most Efficient Way to Keep Your Resume Up to Date

Looking for a job is difficult under the best of circumstances, and it gets considerably more so when you’re not prepared. Optimistically, we stick with a gig for a while even if we don’t love it, neglecting to keep our resumes and other materials prepped if an opportunity comes up that we want to jump at.

If you want to (or must) move on, here are some tips for keeping your resume organized and up-to-date for when it’s go time.

Don’t Wait to Update

The subreddit r/LifeProTips is usually a font of helpful, no-duh info on life, but one post that rose to the top from u/hey_im_allison this week embodies the spirit of accepting a new job while preparing for the next. They write:

When you get a new job save the description and requirements from the application and use it to later add the job to your resume

When the day comes, you’ll be able to explain exactly what you were doing to your next employer. In fact, just add it to your resume ASAP, followed by the current date, a dash, and a blank space for the date you leave.

In response, u/chaoticnuetral added that it’s good to have your specific job description on hand because it makes it easier to negotiate your salary if future duties are added. They also quoted Quora on the definition of assigned duties:

The more concretely your job role is defined, the less out of that scope they can reasonably expect you to operate

If they are changing your job function substantially away from the original description, it’s a lateral transfer or a promotion, and it needs formal recognition

If you are working extra time, you need extra pay

If you are working at a higher pay grade, you should (minimally) get a title bump, and a promise of a salary review in the near future (set a concrete date no more than three months out! They need your work product on tax day!)

Being clear on what your job description is is good for when you have performance reviews, think you deserve a different title, or are looking for other employment and need a concrete list of your specific qualifications. But yes, about that resume…

Keep It Current

So, you added your new job to the resume, but you’re there a year, then two. Then BAM, all of a sudden layoffs come around. Does that old job description still reflect what you ended up doing the last 24 months? According to u/KungFuHamster, you should be checking in on your resume more regularly than a Tamagotchi:

Keep a work journal. Every major accomplishment should be noted. Best practice is to update it every day before you leave or you’ll forget.

  • Reacting well in a crisis situation
  • Finishing a project or a major milestone in a project
  • Learning something new that makes you better at your job
  • Adding new responsibilities, job titles, new people you oversee
  • Lessons learned
  • Improved standards

But, they add, be sure not to violate any company security policies in place about protected information, on the off-chance you work at the Pentagon or something.

Make It Your Own

You are copy-pasting for ease of reference, but before sending that resume, it’s recommended that you try to adjust the language, at least by u/DuffinDagels, who claims to be a recruiter that sees a lot of resumes:

As a recruiter, I’d say be careful with making your resume read too much like a job description. Recruiters and employers want to see what you have achieved and accomplished in your job. Not just a list of responsibilities that can be pretty standard. Your resume should be personal and sell YOU.

Make things a bit more personal, but also remember that you often have a cover letter for that, too. Try to take what your job responsibilities are and put into words how you fulfilled them or accomplished measurable results in your time at a company. It’s the accomplishments, not the requirements that people notice. But that copy-paste serves as a good backbone to start with.

Stay Organized

With all this copy-pasting, updating, journaling, and adjustment, things can get wild pretty quickly. Which brings us to a different post from u/rlc327 two months ago. They recommended keeping a “separate master resume” that you can return to and adjust. It should include all of your previous work experience:

When sending out a resume for application, duplicate the file and remove anything that may be irrelevant to the position. You never know when some past experience might become relevant again, and you don’t want to forget about it.

And if you want to HAM, u/dannyisagirl says they keep a spreadsheet similar to the journaling recommended above, but mostly to help them through interviews:

To add to this, I actually keeps a spreadsheet with other information that might not be put on a resume. Things like the full dates that I worked there, actual titles I held, actual duties vs ‘resume duties’ (a list of keywords that could work while remaining honest/accurate), pay rate, managers/superiors/good co-workers names and full titles, physical addresses and phone numbers, the real reason why that is no longer my job.

Not nearly all of it is always necessary nor will a good chunk of it ever actually be seen by an employer, but it can help jog a number of memories as well as help you think of better spins on negative experiences. Especially if you’re a nervous babbler like me.

Now, go forth and get new jobs that you’ll be ready to leave immediately!

Via Task & Purpose : Why You Have To Edit Your Resume Every Time You Apply

Have you been working hard to update your resume? Have you made sure to translate all of those military acronyms? Do you think you have it ready to send out to every company and every job in which you have interest?

Well, think again.

Your resume should be different for every role to which you apply.

There are a lot of tips on good resume writing. They’ll tell you how long it should be; how many bullet points each section should have; what font to use; whether or not to put the date of when you graduated, etc…

But the first step in writing a good resume is reading the job description.

A job description is full of clues as to what the company is seeking in an ideal candidate. Those clues are in the company description, the position summary, the list of responsibilities and they are certainly in the requirements section. Before you even think about hitting that “apply” button, take the time to make sure that your resume clearly shows that you are the ideal candidate, not for any job, but for each job that you apply to.

Does the word “data” appear in the job description seven times? If so, your resume should have the word “data” in it as well indicating your specific experience with data. Does the role require three or more years of “project management” experience? Then a recruiter needs to see these specific words and the amount of years of experience on your resume. Does the role require “people management” experience? Then make sure that your resume highlights what you’ve done in this area.

You may have called it “statistics” or “operations planning” while you were in service – but if the company is seeking data and project management, then those are the words that a recruiter is seeking as well. You may assume that listing your rank on your resume makes it clear that you managed people, but it’s important to make no assumptions and clearly articulate all of your skills in the same language used in the job description.

The same holds true for a cover letter – you should write a new cover letter for each submission. The cover letter should have information that is not in your resume. Maybe you want to explain some time off or a “gap,” in your resume; or explain a part of your service and how it relates to the role you’re applying for; or maybe you want to explain that you’re planning to relocate to the location of this position and will not require relocation assistance to do so – a cover letter is the place to do just that.

But make sure that you read it over and over, checking for grammatical errors and correct spelling. And always check the name of the company and name of the addressee before you submit it. Candidates have been declined for starting a cover letter with “I’ve always wanted to work at Company A” but sending it to Company B. The last thing you want is to have a great resume and get declined because your cover letter shows poor written communication skills.

All of this becomes more important when you consider the role of technology in recruiting. Many companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems to filter out resumes in the selection process, eliminating and selecting resumes based on keywords in the document. If you can’t get pass the automated computer check, then it is even harder to get your resume to the next level and in front of a recruiter who will actually read your resume and cover letter.

Before you hit apply, also take a few more minutes to review the company website, as well as sites like Glassdoor to get more information on the company. What is the company’s mission statement? Does the company mission align with your views? Are there key words there that you could incorporate into your resume? This is your chance to make a first impression, so take your time and get it right – let this company know that you are focused on this role and their company by being thoughtful in your resume and you’ll increase your chances of getting selected for the next step in the hiring process.

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