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Improve your resume

Via EdSurge : Lean In and Stand Out: The Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Writing

We live in the era of the Internet and video but most of us will still need one time-honored asset when we start to look for a new job: the resume. Your resume is a snapshot of what you have done professionally. And potential hirers will look at it as a clue for what kind of work you can do for them. So let’s dig in. Here are four tips for an eye-catching resume that will have hiring managers putting your name on the top of their “to call” list.

DO: Personalize Every Resume You Send

You’ve spent countless hours scanning dozens–if not hundreds–of job posts and have finally found the position that you’ve been dreaming of. You press “Apply now” and send your three-month old resume with a cover letter to jobs@companyname.com.

Sorry but that is a mistake. I repeat. That. Is. A. Mistake. A hiring manager doesn’t want a generic resume. Sending a generic resume is an immediate red flag that suggests you’re not interested in the role enough to put forth extra effort or that you don’t understand enough about the role or the company to personalize it. Or both.

You don’t need to rewrite your resume from top to bottom each time you apply for a role. But you should consider a handful of the key requirements that each job description lists and incorporate into your resume how you can deliver these skills.

For example, say the company that you’re interested in describes the ideal candidate as someone who has a “go-getter attitude and takes initiative without constant guidance.” You could then adjust a bullet point of your current job to emphasize the work that you’ve done that demonstrates taking initiative.

Insider tip #1: If you’re emailing your resume as an attachment, make sure that you’ve named your document appropriately. First, last, company and date is your best bet. (Our fav is: firstname_lastname_company_year) It proves that you didn’t just blast email a generic resume when sending it along to a hiring manager.

Insider tip #2: Do have a generic resume for jobs fairs or to add to your jobseeker profile. Just make sure you’re clear about what kind of role you’re seeking!

DO: Quantify Your Work

Especially if you’re an educator eager to break into edtech, show what you know. Did you rapidly improve test scores during your time as an 8th grade math teacher? Give them the numbers. You’ll be able to speak to your results and also show that you can pull insights from your data. Reading “Increased test scores by 14% year over year” is far more impressive than “Managed a class of 28 students.”

DON’T: Drone On, But Do PROD

Here, then, is your resume-writing acronym: PROD. Your resume should be personalized for the hiring manager, easy to read, organized, and have quality details about what makes you an ideal candidate. A hiring manager would much rather have those core elements in a simple, cleanly presented fashion than a beautifully designed resume that lacks information.

Insider tip #3: Use a spell checker. There is no faster way to have your resume moved to the “Trash” folder than to misspell words or have poor grammar.

DON’T: Your Online Profile and Resume Do Not Need To Be Twins

Your resume and LinkedIn profile do not need to be twins. In fact, think of these as two ways of telling a story—an opportunity to give hiring managers a broader portrait of your skills and experience. They are both tools for you to market yourself as a great fit. What’s your dream role? Are you looking to expand as a Curriculum Designer? Make sure that your LinkedIn profile spotlights relevant accomplishments such as your experience in building strong lesson plans or doing long-term academic planning.

Via WPRO : 9 Trends to Follow for a Successful Resume

It’s important to keep up with trends in resume writing. You’re expected to do research and be knowledgeable about this, because no employer has the time to scan through a 10 page resume nowadays.

Many of people use a resume writing service but, some people like to strive on and figure things out for themselves. If you are one of those people, here are some of the latest trends to help you.

  1. You do not have to list every school you attended. Resumes are removing all unnecessary information and in 2017 are even more summarized. List only schools that are most relevant to your application or those with the highest credentials.
  2. Show Accomplishments. Employers now want to see evidence of the experiences and skills that you list. Prove it to them with stories of success.
  3. LinkedIn Profile. Your LinkedIn profile could support and verify your resume. It’s conceivable to think that we won’t even apply for jobs in the future. Instead, employers will probably call you before you even know about the job. Setup a job alert on JobsInRI and we can serve you the jobs you want or might be interesting to you.
  4. Avoid the use of all caps in 2017. Using all caps has been unacceptable for quite a while. You don’t want to appear to be screaming throughout your entire resume.
  5. One page resume is the current trend. You need to be able to summarize your knowledge and abilities very well because managers and employers spend less than a minute on the first look at resumes You should be able to sum everything up thoroughly in this limited space. This is a skill you’ll need to master to keep your resume current. Don’t just use a small font.
  6. Companies may have their own resume format. Many details are sent online nowadays. Many companies now have online applications process that look and feel like a resume while others require you send along your resume as well. Instead of sending your own resume, they are simply capturing your data on their system.
  7. Applicant tracking software are more popular. You’ll need the ability to write a resume with specific keywords which will be picked up by the company’s ATS and screen you into a position to get interviewed. Don’t overly format your resume because systems can’t read them.
  8. Bullets and numbers will become a must. Say goodbye to paragraph style resumes. A resume today is almost impossible to write without the use of bullets and numbers. Look for employers to begin insisting on this for an easy point read.
  9. No more colorful fonts. Forget about trying to be super creative with your resume. A professional document is always written in black and the document should not be heavily formatted.

Because technology continues to move forward, everything will become more condensed inquiries through Make sure your profiles on social media and business networks are professional and up to date.

Having an online presence is very important. Your online presence should include professional information. An unprofessional online presence can make it appear that you are not keeping up with the times. If you are pursuing a position, know that anything about you that is online is fair game and could be used to filter you in or out. Remember, your online presence will soon become your resume.

Via Forbes : Ten Resume-Writing Rules You’re Allowed To Break Now

The world of job searching is changing fast! Resume-writing is changing, too.

We used to be bound by ancient resume-writing rules. We never found out who made up these rules or why everybody followed them. We were simply told “This is how you must write your resume!” and we obeyed.

Now things are different. It’s a story-telling world these days. You need to tell a story in your resume, too!

Otherwise you’ll look and sound exactly like every other job seeker. You’ll sound like every other battle drone in your resume if you fill it up with pointless phrases like “Results-oriented professional” and “Motivated self-starter.”

That kind of robot language has nothing to do with you! It diminishes you. You can put a human voice in your resume these days, and you must! That will bring your power across on the page.

Here are ten resume-writing rules you’re allowed to break in 2018:

1. The rule that says you can’t use the word “I” in your resume. Of course you can! It’s a branding document for you, after all!

2. The rule that says you must stick to boring jargon like “Met or exceeded all of my goals” (if you exceeded some of your goals, why not tell us about them — rather than pointing out that you had other goals you merely hit)?

Another disgusting zombietastic resume phrase is “Proven track record of success.” What does it mean? Is there such a thing as a proven track of record of failure? If you have a track record at all, isn’t it proven by definition? Ditch these painful holdovers from the Mad Men era and talk to us like a human being!

3. The rule that says you can’t tell stories in the Summary at the top of your resume. You can, and you should. Which of these two Summaries is more compelling?:

Summary One

Results-oriented PR Manager with a bottom-line orientation and proven track record of success.

Summary Two

I got hooked on PR when I was assigned to write business stories for my college newspaper. Since then I’ve helped my employers get exposure on CNN, the Wall Street Journal and a long list of other major media outlets.

4. The rule that says you must list the tasks and duties you performed at every past job. Who cares about your tasks and duties? Those are things anyone in the role would have done. Tell us what you achieved, specifically — in story-telling form!

5. The rule that says you must list every job you ever held on your resume. That’s out the window nowadays! Your resume is a branding document, not a legal document. Include the jobs you want to include on your resume and leave out the rest.

6. The rule that says you must stuff your resume with keywords. You would have to fill up your resume with keywords if you were intending to pitch it into a Black Hole automated recruiting system where only a keyword-searching algorithm would see it, but that is the worst way to get a new job. Try reaching out to your own hiring manager, instead — and tell your human story in your resume!

7. The rule that says you must list your past jobs in reverse chronological order with no explanation of why you moved from one job to the next. What hiring managers really want to understand is your path — so share it with them! Use the last bullet under each job to explain why you left, like this:

I built Acme’s first PR program, and got our CEO on national TV within six months.
Together with our Marketing team I built our public webinar series from 85 to 650 participants in one year.
I left Acme when the firm was bought by Angry Chocolates.
Now your hiring manager knows why you’re job hunting. Reducing uncertainty is your principal job as a resume writer!

8. The rule that says you must sound like a robot or a government manual in your resume. Forget that nonsense! Keep your resume conversational and human throughout if you want anyone to read it.

9. The rule that says you can’t include mini-references right in your resume. You can, and it’s a great idea! You can include quotes from your LinkedIn recommendations. Think about shopping online for products. Don’t the product reviews make a big difference in helping you decide which product to buy?

10. Finally, go ahead and break the old-fashioned resume-writing rule that says you must focus on numeric and measurable achievements in your resume. That’s ridiculous!

If you conceived and sold a huge, groundbreaking idea to your CEO, it doesn’t matter so much whether or not you stuck around long enough to see the idea implemented or to see its measurable results. You can still tell the story, whether you’ve got numbers to share or not!

Via Coloradoan : Tips to take your resume to a new level

My business writes more resumes at this time of year than at any other. My theory is that once the new year starts, career-progress hopefuls attempt to update their own documents, yet after a few weeks of trying, decide that working with a professional may ultimately get them better results, despite the $100 to $750 fee.

However, these tips can help you get professional results for a fraction of the cost:

Be clear on what you want your resume to accomplish. A successful resume is designed to help get you in the door for appealing opportunities. Having a defined career focus helps you prioritize which information it makes sense to include and highlight.

Simply documenting your work history isn’t enough to win the favor of hiring managers — they look at thousands of resumes, typically spending less than 10 seconds on each application. To move to the next step in their process, you need to quickly connect the dots for them about why you’re the right person for their position.

Also, as someone once said to me, “Who likes to read history?” Not many of us, so make your information concise and compelling.

Include the results of your efforts. How did you help your employers make money, save money, improve quality or improve their image? Be specific about this, and when possible, include metrics to help tell your story.

A resume screener uses a different portion of her brain when she encounters numerical digits, causing her to slow down and read your resume more carefully. That, plus digital results — percentage increases in profits, costs reduced, etc. — position you as more credible and effective.

Research eye-catching layouts online. Do a Google search of “effective resume formats” and select the Images tab to see hundreds of possible designs. Notice which draw your attention, and consider formatting yours similarly.

As a final step, ask a professional resume writer to buff yours up for you. In my business, we call this a polish, and in just 15 minutes an experienced resume specialist can take your resume from so-so to wow!

Via Forbes : Procrastinating On Your Resume? Five Steps To Writing A Resume Quickly And Easily

The first quarter of the year is a busy time for hiring, and if you want to jump on the job opportunities that come your way, you’ll need a resume. But the prospect of pulling together all the details of your background is daunting for many job seekers, especially if you haven’t updated your resume recently.

If you break down your resume into small, distinct tasks you can slay the resume monster in a few minutes a day. If you’ve been procrastinating on your resume and waiting to find that perfect time to get it done, here are five steps to writing a resume quickly and easily:

Create a formatted template without worrying about the content

One of the big problems with a resume is that it is structured in a very specific and unnatural way. Phrases need to be formatted with bold or italics. Margins need to be uniform. Some items need to be edited to fit in a single line on the page. Along with all the formatting, you’re keeping track of lots of content details — what is the proper name for my alma mater, what was my title five years ago, what were the exact dates I held that job? If you try to do this all at once, it will be a slow, confusing process, and you’ll be tempted to abandon mid-stream.

Instead, lay out the formatted template first without any content. Create your major sections — Contact Information, Summary of Qualifications, Experience, Education, and Additional Information — with generic or even nonsense words as placeholders. This way, your mind doesn’t have to switch back and forth between formatting and details. You knock the format out of the way, take a nice break and come back at a later point to fill in the content. A quick Google search of “resume template” yields a long list of sites that offer various formats to choose from. Pick one that looks uncluttered so it’s easy to skim, and start there.

Write in normal sentences rather than resume speak

As you put the content together, do a first draft where you just get the information out of your memory and onto the page. For the Experience section, you will likely bang out a first draft faster if you write in normal sentences rather than resume speak (bullets with active verbs at the front and no subject). Another option is to record yourself as you describe your jobs and then transcribe your words onto the page (as a bonus, this is good for practicing interview response). The point is to get as many details out of the way as you recall them, and then edit after.

For other sections, such as Education, where you may need to check details (e.g., what is the exact phrasing of my degree and concentration), put your best recollection down all at once, and block out a later time to confirm the details. This way, you avoid switching back and forth between writing and editing.

Use job postings to identify keywords to include

Now that you have the unedited, smorgasbord of details filled out on your resume, take job postings which interest you and look for keywords in those postings that also appear in your resume. If there is no overlap, look for words in your first draft that you can switch out for the keywords in the job postings. These keywords also give an indication of what you want to highlight in your Summary of Qualifications.

The qualifications listed in the job postings will also give you ideas for what to include in your Additional Information section. If you have specific skills that are listed in the job qualifications (e.g., computer skills, certifications), list them word-for-word. If your target companies are looking for a particular expertise (e.g., knowledge of social media platforms) and you have gained this through volunteer or community service, describe these activities in a way that calls out the desired expertise (e.g., X-Town Community Center social media engagement manager).

Choose specific, active verbs to lead each bullet under experience

Now that your resume has all of the details in the right places and keywords that match your target jobs, you can edit the full sentences into bullets that describe your experience, leading with specific, active verbs. Avoid passive verbs, such as helped, contributed, participated, or assisted. These verbs just confirm that you were there, but they don’t explain what you did. For example, say you participated in the sales presentation to the company’s largest client. Did you write the presentation? Deliver it? Structure it? Research it? Follow up with client? All of the above? The ideal bullet will use one or more of these active verbs: Researched, structured and delivered sales presentation to company’s largest new client.

If your full-sentence draft has a lot more detail that you think is important, don’t feel like you have to share the details in the resume. The resume is an overview and a teaser — it should give the reader enough information that they see your potential and want to interview you. A resume on its own will not get you hired, so less is more. Less detail is accessible, easily skimmed, and easier to understand. Save the full story for your cover letter or interview.

Identify your most substantive responsibility or result in each role

When you draft your resume quickly, you ensure that you get information on the page before you forget it or censor yourself prematurely. It’s better to get it out there, and then edit it later. You can always rewrite the wording or decide to leave out that fourth example but at least you have a choice.

In addition to editing the content of each bullet, don’t forget to edit the order of the bullets. The way you remember something initially isn’t necessarily the best way to relay that story. For example, say you held a job where 90% of the work was most administrative busywork and only 10% of it was substantive project work that showcased your best efforts. As you describe that job, you may default to describing mostly the administrative part of the job. That’s how you remember it, and that’s how you spent the bulk of your time. However, you want to lead with that meaty 10% and spend most of your details on that aspect of the job. This is what your next employer cares about. Edit your resume to your future audience, not simply a rehash of the past.

Now that you have your resume nicely formatted, with keywords matching your job targets, and your experience laid out in an active and relevant way, show it around to close friends in different industries and roles, and see what they take away. Can they describe what you do in the way you want to be seen? Are there words or phrases that they don’t understand because you put in a company-specific acronym or other jargon that is confusing to outsiders? Does the resume make them want to learn more about you? Stress test your resume in real-life, but low-risk conditions before sharing it more broadly. This enables you to make those final edits that ensure your resume is easy to read, accessible to a variety of backgrounds, and engaging.