Search Results for: resume tips

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

As the weather gets colder, heat up your resume

Interviewers and HR professionals go through hundreds of resumes a day. And that’s after computers have already gone through thousands more. If you really want to stand out, you need to add something extra to your resume. After all, you can’t make an impression without an interview.

We’ve previously provided you with the best words to use in your resume, and we’ve helped out with ways to maintain your resume over time. In this blog, we’ll focus on the little things you can do with your resume to truly stand out.

Get Past the Filter

In order for your resume to even be seen by a human being, you first have to get past the robots. No, this isn’t a science fiction story—we’re talking about the programs companies use to filter resumes.

These programs look for certain keywords and phrases that show how you match the job qualifications. A lot of that is industry jargon—words and phrases only those “in the know” would use. And guess where a lot of those words show up! Right in the job description. Find anything usable in the job description and pop it right back into your resume. Google is an invaluable resource for finding out more industry-specific words to use.

However, be careful of using too many keywords. If your keywords aren’t organically placed into the resume, they will look out of place once the resume makes it into human hands.  Instead of trying to pack your resume with as many keywords as possible, just make sure to choose the right keywords in the right places.

Cater Your Resume to the Job Description

Don’t stop at just customizing your resume for the industry. Make sure it answers each and every concern brought up by the job description. Make sure each bullet shows exactly how your individual work advanced the company as a whole.

You can accomplish this even if your prior work has not been in the same industry. Just re-frame your experiences with industry specific terms, and show how that experience would really help in this new job.

The only difficult part of all of this is answering requirements with bullet points. You obviously can’t just write out your answers like in grade school. You have to adapt them to the resume format. Look at a few different resume formats online, and choose the one that best matches your current needs.

Your Accomplishments

Companies want to know more than what you did. They want to know how what you did benefited the company as a whole. In other words, they want to know your accomplishments.

Quantify each accomplishment, noting how it led to an X% increase in efficiency or saved X amount of time on project. Use action verbs like oversaw, managed, led, etc.

Looking for more resume help? Let us know your questions in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Sizzling Hot Resume Tips

Tidy up resume_blogTake a break from the heat and update your resume.

If you’re not enjoying the sand and surf, why not take a few minutes to see if there are any changes you should make to your resume? A good cleaning every now and then (we recommend constant resume upkeep) is good for even the most storied of resumes. A look at our top resume advice couldn’t hurt either. So then, what can you do to spruce it up?

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Outperform With These 5 Resume Tips

5_Resume_Resolutions_Jan2014Everyone knows that your resume is an important part of landing an interview, and ultimately, a job. But, with so many qualified candidates going after the same jobs, how do you stand out? Take a look at these five resume tips to help you outperform the competition.

1. Customize
When you apply for a job, tailoring your resume to the specific qualifications can help you stand out and position yourself as an ideal candidate for the job. In order to tailor your resume, start by creating a master resume you can easily alter. Include all experience, skills, volunteer opportunities, and education you’ve obtained. When you apply to specific jobs, read the descriptions carefully and adapt your master resume accordingly. If the job you’re applying for requires customer service experience, highlight any experience you have and consider removing skills that don’t apply. According to the Huffington Post, “Focus all your information on what they want to see, not what you want them to see.”

2. Spell It Out
When possible, add details to the experience you list on your resume. For example, if you increased customer satisfaction by 35% in a previous job, state it on your resume. “I was responsible for customer interaction and increased satisfaction by 35%” speaks louder than simply mentioning that you worked with customers. According to Dan Ogden, principal of Omnibus Consulting, an executive search firm, “The resumes that stand out are the ones that show what the candidate did with the responsibilities they were given. Not just what they were responsible for, but what they achieved.”

3. Keep It Simple
According to Tony Beshara, author of Unbeatable Resumes, the average resume gets read in 10 seconds. In order to stand out, you must keep your resume simple and short. Avoid making your resume span more than two pages, and keep the content easy to read and understand. Beshara also suggests avoiding fancy layouts or special effects, and  recommends using Microsoft Word for formatting.

4. Proofread
It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to proofread your resume before sending it to a recruiter or heading to an interview. Your resume needs to be free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, or you may be counted out before you even have a chance. According to Monster.com, having a less-than-perfect resume may lead recruiters to draw the conclusion that you don’t care or don’t have the skills necessary to fill their position.

5. Let Social Media Help
While a traditional resume is printed on paper, today’s social media advancements are making it easier than ever before to get noticed. When you update your traditional resume, you should also make sure your social profile is up to date. Joshua Janicek, director of talent acquisition for the advertising agency Arnold Worldwide, says job seekers need to build a personal brand to compete for the jobs they want. According to Joshua, LinkedIn is the place to start. “LinkedIn is the standard and the core platform for recruiters looking for talent,” he said. Include your volunteer experience, interests, and educational background to give recruiters a better picture of who you are and what you can bring to their company.

How does your resume outperform the competition? Share your tips in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Resume Tips To Help You Get Lucky

Lucky_Resume_March2014When you’re trying to catch a potential employer’s eye, your resume has to stand out from the crowd. It has to have something extra, a little bit of magic that no other resume has. But, sometimes magic is hard to come by, and it can be difficult to find ways to make your resume distinct. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are seven tactics to add some luck to your job search.

Give Your Resume a Pinch
Less is more, so cut unnecessary content, eliminate meaningless phrases, and shape it to fit each job opening in order to get noticed.

Find the Pot o’ Gold with the Right Style
What you bring to the job is unique, which means you need to pick the resume style that best matches your work history, skills, and qualifications.

Show What You Have to Offer
Apply some eloquence to that meaningless objective statement and shift the focus to what you’ll bring to the job.

Make Your Competition Green With Envy
Your work history is the core of your resume, so make sure it’s strong and sculpted for the most attractive resume possible.

Treat Your References Like 4-Leaf Clovers
If you say “references available upon request” in your resume, make sure you have great references prepped and ready to vouch for you.

Follow the Rainbow to the Perfect Format
Do your research to ensure you know which electronic resume format – Word or PDF – works best for you and the job opening.

Check for Overlooked Shamrocks
Hiring managers expect a resume to contain certain elements, so give it one final look to ensure nothing’s missing.

Getting lucky in your job search starts with taking the time to fix up your resume so it can work it’s magic. After all, employers will never know what an amazing job candidate you are if your resume doesn’t grab their attention.

What have you done to make your resume stand out?  Share your own tips for building a golden resume in the comments section below.

12 Résumé Tips to Get You Hired

resume to hiredYour résumé is your introduction to a prospective employee. What it says, or doesn’t say, will be a major factor in whether you land an interview – the first step to getting the job.

To craft a résumé that highlights your strengths and sells your skills, check out the tips below.

1. Tailor your résumé to fit the job description. By rephrasing a few key words and phrases, your résumé will showcase why you’re the right candidate for the job.

2. Find out the hiring manager’s name and send your résumé directly to him or her, instead of just sending it to a generic company e-mail or mailing address.

3. Include specifics such as how big a budget you managed or what percent you increased sales.

4. Use descriptive verbs like “streamlined,” “accelerated” and “oversaw.”

5. Don’t list the reasons you left past jobs. This can be discussed in an interview, if necessary.

6. Be consistent. If you list contact information for one of your past employers, do so for all of them. If you capitalize some job titles, capitalize them all.

7. Don’t use the words “I,” “me” or “myself.” Instead, just start each sentence with a verb. For example, “Oversaw the work of 15 CNAs in a long-term care facility.”

8. Keep your formatting simple. Excess bold, italics or underlining is distracting.

9. If you provide an e-mail address, make sure it sounds professional and isn’t something like hotstuff4ever@email.com.

10. Don’t oversell yourself. Only list skills and training you actually possess.

11. Proofread. Typos and grammatical errors make your résumé look sloppy and may land your résumé in the trash. Mistyping your contact information can also prevent an employer from being able to get a hold of you.

12. Include a cover letter with your résumé. Making the extra effort to create a brief cover letter can do a lot to help your résumé stand out.

A well thought out résumé always makes a better impression than one that is thrown together at the last minute. So, if you really want to grab an employer’s attention, take the time to create a solid résumé.

How do you try to make your résumé stand out? What are some of your struggles in creating a résumé?

Additional Resources:

Resume and Cover Letter Articles

National Punctuation Day: Tips for Resume Grammar

national_punctuation_day_webIf you’re searching for a job, you’ve likely spent a lot of time creating a resume that shines and sets you up as a prime candidate.

The last thing you want is to ruin that sparkling resume with poor grammar or misspelled words. In order to stand out to hiring managers and beat the job search competition, it’s important to have a well-crafted, well-written resume.

Thursday, Sept. 24, is National Punctuation Day, and in honor of this important day, we’ve compiled some tips on proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation to help you review your resume.

Don’t crowd your sentences with unnecessary words. Keep it short and simple. For instance, don’t write “I reorganized the billing process;” instead say, “Reorganized billing process.”

Don’t use pronouns, especially third person. Your name should be at the top of each resume page, so the recruiter knows the resume is talking about you. Start sentences with a verb, leaving out pronouns. Example: “In charge of billing software” as opposed to “I am in charge of billing software.”

Use active power verbs. Passive verbs weaken your accomplishments. Always use active power verbs. For example, write “managed a staff of five” instead of “did manage” or “was a manager of.”

Be tense-aware. If you describe the job you are currently in, use present tense. If you are describing jobs in the past, use past tense.

Break up your sentences. Keep sentences lean and clean, and avoid complex sentences. Don’t write a sentence like this:  “Managed a team of 15, who worked in various areas of a project like planning and fundraising, and instituted a new teambuilding program that, according to my employer, improved productivity by 50%.”

Instead, break up the sentences: “Managed a project team of 15. Instituted new teambuilding program that improved productivity by 50%. Led all aspects of project from planning to fundraising.”

Use your own words. Never copy and paste the job description.

Spelling counts. If you’re ever in doubt, turn to a dictionary. Utilize your computer’s spell-check and have a friend double-check your spelling. Also, make sure you have the recruiter’s name spelled correctly in your cover letter.

Read your resume aloud. Before you send your resume, read it aloud to yourself or a friend. This will help you identify bad verb tenses, odd phrases, or awkward sentences.

Celebrate National Punctuation Day by going over your resume and following these tips to make sure it’s clean and stands out.

What other tips do you have for grammar and spelling on a resume? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Five Tips for Getting Past Résumé Gaps

A reader recently asked a great question in response to our post about telling the truth on your résumé . She asked what to do when you have a spotty work history with many employment gaps but for good reason. We think this is a great question.


Employment gaps happen to a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Those who’ve been stay-at-home parents, had the opportunity to travel, attend school, serve as a volunteer, or be a care-giver for a loved one, often choose to return to the workforce after a period of time. Unfortunately, because employment gaps are typically associated with poor performing workers, employers tend to look negatively on all applicants whose résumés reflect a large period of time without work. This can make it tricky to get in the door for an interview and show that you’re a qualified candidate.


But, there are some résumé techniques you can use to highlight your capabilities and not the gaps.


1. Focus on skills. Using a skills-focused résumé can help you emphasize your qualifications over your work history. Try opening your résumé with your objective and then give bullet points with key skills or qualifications you possess and those you’ve attained while on hiatus instead of launching into your employment history.


2. Use a functional format. Instead of relating your work experience in a chronological format like a traditional résumé, use the functional style. This type of résumé groups experience not by chronological order but by relevance to the position at hand.


3. Highlight unpaid experience. If you served as a volunteer for a religious or civic organization during your employment gap, list the position you held along with the title “volunteer” and describe the transferable skills you used in that position to show that you have unpaid experience in the field you’re applying for.


4. Don’t fudge on the dates. It’s critical not to exaggerate or lie about the dates of employment you’ve held. It’s easy for employers to verify employment dates, and fudging the facts will only make matters worse.


5. Send a cover letter. It’s typically not appropriate to write “Stay-at-home-parent, June 2004-August 2007” on your résumé, but you can talk about your situation in a cover letter, if you feel comfortable doing so. Don’t get into the nitty gritty, and whatever you do, don’t complain about your situation. But you can explain your situation, highlighting how it pertains to the position at hand. For example, you could say that for three years you used time management, care-giving and financial skills by maintaining the family budget and caring for your child at home.


Be honest with prospective employers about the reasons you have a work gap, and keep in mind that if you’ve been busy with other pursuits while away from work, you’ve probably gained a variety of transferable skills that may make you a prime candidate. Your break from the work world may just make you the perfect candidate for the right employer. In fact, recruiters are beginning to look for returning workers with past experience to fill the void of Baby Boomers who are beginning to retire. Using these tips to highlight everything about you that makes you the right candidate can help you make sure recruiters look past the gaps and see what you have to offer as an employee instead.