Resume Boot Camp

Santa Checks His List Twice; Have You Looked at Your Resume?

Don’t get coal in your job search stocking.

Interviews are scary. But if you have a great resume, interviewers better watch out, because a well-qualified applicant is coming to town.

A good resume does half of the work for you. Your interviewer will know your skills and accomplishments, so all you have to do in the formal interview is show that your personality and preferred workplace culture are in line with those of the company.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your resume for the new year. (more…)

Go-to Words to Get Your Resume Noticed

Retool your resume with these witty words

Your resume is the first thing HR looks at, and unfortunately, you don’t get a chance to talk to them or show them who you are as a person before the interview. All you have are the words on the page. Which is why it’s so important to make sure you use the right ones.

Resumes can be frustrating. You’re spending hours working on a document when you know that if you could just meet your interviewer, you’d land the job. But it’s something we all must deal with. It’s not possible to interview every single applicant, so companies need to have some way to narrow down the competition. That’s why they have software that picks out certain words as more pertinent to the job than others.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t get thrown out of consideration.

Employ Metrics-Focused Verbs

Your resume should be full of accomplishments. When you list what you’ve successfully done (number of reports sent, projects completed in a finite time-span, etc), use action verbs:

  • established
  • secured
  • maintained
  • created
  • reviewed
  • achieved
  • accomplished
  • produced
  • identified
  • pitched
  • successfully converted

Use Team Player Words

Instead of saying you’re a team player, show you directed a team and achieved results:

  • collaborated
  • coordinated
  • cooperated

Opt for Management Words

Instead of saying you “led” a team, show you went above and beyond with these words:

  • managed
  • directed
  • coached
  • oversaw

What NOT to Write

In addition to the words you should use, there are some words and concepts you’re better off staying away from.

  • Don’t use the wrong tense. If it’s your current job, use the present tense. If it’s about a previous job, use the past tense. Realize that not all words are going to be right for every situation. If you were never a team leader or a manager, you probably shouldn’t use something like “oversaw” or “orchestrated.” The perfect words will vary depending on your industry and position.
  • Don’t use mundane words like ‘did,’ ‘saw’ or ‘typed.’ Instead of focusing on something you can find in a job description, list out your accomplishments.
  • Don’t talk about soft skills, like being a “people person,” a “team player,” “responsible,” or “kind.” These qualities are expected of a qualified candidate. This type of information is more well-suited to a cover letter or interview.
  • Don’t mention that you “met deadlines.” Instead, you “achieved ___ in a deadline-driven environment.”
  • Don’t use the first person. It’s unprofessional and can be confusing for the HR person because first person refers to them as they read it.

Any other words you love to use in your resume? Questions about the perfect term for a given situation? Let us know in the comments below!

See Also: 

Lucky Words for Your Resume

 

 

 

Take the Luck Out of Resume-building

Top topics to consider when writing a resume

Lucky  ResumeYou send off a resume with a sigh, knowing it could be one of hundreds that pass in front of a hiring manager or HR representative. With odds like that, it can seem like getting an interview is down to the luck of the draw. Hopefully they’ll notice your killer font choice and professional formatting.

But what content needs to be included on a resume to make it truly stand out?

Experience

Employers always look for applicable experience for the job they’re trying to fill. That’s a given. So it’s important to highlight any experience that matches the job, even though you think it may not apply. For example, someone new to the job market who has experience in another field should think creatively about how time spent in other roles applies to the desired position. Mention any teamwork lessons learned from volunteering with a non-profit or leadership skills gained from work in a different field.

Soft Skills

This is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit in the business world. But what exactly does it mean?  Soft skills are the characteristics or attributes that allow you to effectively work with others.

Think of these as “people skills.” A professional attitude, ability to problem-solve in a group, leadership skills, etc. Instead of expertise with a certain software or tool, soft skills highlight an individual’s ability to thrive in a communal work environment.

There are many ways to highlight specific soft skills on a resume. When describing a previous position, note your ability to communicate with upper management about changes that helped with production. If problem solving is a major strength, provide an example of when you assisted an employer with a specific problem and describe the outcome.

Digital Footprint

An online presence is basically required for both individuals and businesses these days. But an unprofessional Facebook post or embarrassing Instagram pic can cost an applicant a job.

What does this have to do with resume-building? On a basic level, if your skill set involves writing or graphic work of any kind, a resume should include links to an online portfolio. If the application is for a social media position, you’ll want to include links to any personal or professional social media pages.

On a higher level, an applicant’s online presence is an invisible portion of her resume. A 2016 CareerBuilder survey showed that 60% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.  A quick Google search is the next step after approving a suitable resume. So give your online social life a thorough cleaning. If the position is in the business world, make sure to create or update a LinkedIn account as well. A professional applicant without LinkedIn is similar to a business without a website. It just looks bad.

The path toward a new career takes time and hard work

Luck doesn’t have anything to do with it. Which is why you need to leverage every possible strength. Think outside of the box and find the qualities that make you the best candidate for the job.

If you’re looking to expand your job search, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. If you have any questions about your job search, contact a local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Have any resume-building tips to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

It’s Time to Enhance Your Resume

JobGenius_webThe Job Genius program from Express Employment Professionals is an educational video series that offers insights on the job market and how to get a job. The video series includes information on writing your resume, finding job opportunities, interviewing, and more.

No matter how long you’ve been searching, you know the important role your resume plays in helping you land interviews and get noticed by employers. Your resume and job applications can make or break your chances of standing out from the competition, so it’s important to know how to display your experience, education, and skills effectively.

To help perfect your resume, check out the Job Genius video below for more information on documenting the skills employers want to see, using keywords that get you noticed, and more.

To check out other videos in this educational series, visit ExpressPros.com/JobGenius.

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

The Resume Issue: Our Top Resume Advice

Resume_yellowOver the years on Movin’ On Up, we’ve offered a lot of advice to job seekers and those new to the career world. And oftentimes, we choose to write about resumes, because they’re a very important element in landing your next job. Your resume is usually the first impression and can make or break your chances at landing that dream job. So, we’ve compiled a list of our top resume-related articles to help you set yourself apart.

30 Power Words to Power Up Your Resume and Boost Your Job Search
When you’re looking for a job, it’s important to make sure your resume stands out among the sea of other applicants. One way to help you get noticed is by enhancing your resume with words that pack a punch. Using words that convey work ethic, positive attitude, and communication skills can help your resume stand out for the right reasons. Powering up the vocabulary in your resume may be just the thing your job search needs, so check out these 30 power words to boost your resume and job search.

3 Times When a Functional Resume is Your Best Bet
Sure, everyone would love to get their foot in the door of a company so they can personally introduce themselves. But in reality, it’s just not always possible. Instead, you have to find a way to get ahead of the competition without actually meeting a hiring manager. And, one of the best ways to do that is with your resume. With so many styles of resumes out there, it’s important to find the right one to complement your work history and skill sets. Sometimes, that right choice is a functional resume. Here are three times when a functional resume is your best bet.

Creating an Organic Resume
When you think of “organic,” you probably think of food. If something is labeled organic, it simply means there are no added ingredients, artificial chemicals, or hormones. And, just like organic food doesn’t have any additives, neither should your resume. It’s important to make sure your resume has exactly what the hiring manager wants to see, so cut the additives, highlight a few skills, and format your resume for a great presentation. By applying some simple organic concepts to your resume, you can help yourself stand out to hiring managers.

Lucky Words for Your Resume
A hiring manager will look over a resume for only six seconds on average. If they don’t see something that stands out, you may not end up landing an interview. Employers are not only looking for skills on your resume, but also for certifications, degrees, job titles, and company names. So, be sure to use keywords that highlight your experience, personality, and abilities. If you want a better chance at landing that next job interview, consider using some of these lucky words in your resume.

5 Resume Resolutions to Keep in 2014
It doesn’t have to be a new year to start making goals and sticking to them. If one of your goals is to get a new job, explore a new career path, or land a promotion, it’s important to focus on the smaller steps that will lead to your goal. Keeping your resume updated, making sure your references are accurate, and checking your resume and cover letter for grammar mistakes are a few of the ways you can help ensure your big picture goal stays on track. And, at the halfway point in the calendar year, there’s no better time to make your resolutions a reality. So, check out these 5 resume resolutions to keep in 2014.

Making sure you have an effective, clean, and practical resume can help you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters who will decide whether or not you’ll get an interview. So, keep these tips in mind when you create your resume to increase your chances of landing that next big interview.

What tips do you have for creating a strong, effective resume? Share with us in the comments section below!

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

Read This, Write That. Matching Your Resume to the Job Description

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By Ashley Turley

If you want to get noticed by potential employers, sending out your resume to anyone without tailoring it won’t cut it anymore. Not only are you now in competition with more job seekers, but chances are, your resume will first be filtered through a scanning program that will determine if an actual person will even see it. And, that means generic, cookie-cutter resumes are a thing of the past.

One of the best ways to differentiate and tailor your resume is to match it to the job description of each position you’re applying for. That doesn’t mean dropping in a few keywords here and there. You need to decipher what qualities an employer really wants and then show how you’ve demonstrated those qualities in the past. It’s especially important to do this with soft skills. Recent research from CareerBuilder showed that more than three-fourths of employers “believe that soft skills (less tangible skills associated with one’s personality) are just as important as hard skills (skills that are learned to perform a specific job function and can be measured).”

Describing how you have exemplified some of the soft skills listed in the job description can be difficult. So to help you get started, here are some of the most-sought-after soft skills identified by CareerBuilder and some examples of how you can actually show these intangibles on your resume.

Confident – Emphasize any leadership roles you’ve held, ranging from positions within formal workplace management or professional organizations, to group projects or committees.

Flexible – Point out your wide range of skills and your ability to interact with a variety of audiences, such as co-workers, vendors, customers, and the general public. You can also identify times you’ve been flexible with your time, such as working various shifts or participating in work-related activities on the weekends.

Organized – Prove you’re organized by citing how you’ve successfully juggled multiple priorities, simultaneously managed several projects, or integrated employee management into your existing workload.

Team-Oriented – Highlight some group projects you’ve been a part of, times you’ve worked with others outside your department, committees you’ve participated in, or your contribution to the achievement of a team goal.

Self-motivated – Draw attention to extra training or knowledge you’ve pursued, especially any that were motivated by your own desire to learn and not just a necessity for your job.

Positive Attitude – Demonstrate your positive attitude by pointing out the things you learned from even the most menial jobs, refraining from painting former employers in a negative light, and being optimistic in your objective statement, if you have one.

By taking the time to tailor your resume to each job description, you’ll get ahead of the competition, making it more likely you’ll get noticed and land an interview. You’ll show employers that you are perceptive, understand the job requirements, and are willing to put in extra effort. And, you’ll affirm early-on that the position, and the employer, are a good match for you.

Do you tailor your resume to each position you’re applying for? Which qualities and skills listed in the job description do you make sure to highlight in your resume? Join in the conversation by sharing in the comments section below.

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

The Shocking Truth Behind Résumés

resumelies_Jan2013_webMost people would agree that it’s still a tough job market out there. According to an article from CNN Money, for every one job opening there are three unemployed Americans, and that doesn’t even include upcoming graduates, the under-employed, and the currently employed individuals who may also be vying for the open positions. With all that competition there can be a lot of stress to impress employers.

That stress seems to be driving some job seekers to misrepresent themselves and their experience. The Economic Times recently published an infographic that highlights the results of a study about lying on resumes. And the findings paint a rather ugly picture. With over 80% of organizations reporting that they’ve caught candidates misrepresenting themselves, this should serve as a wake-up call for every job seeker to take another look at their resume and make sure they are portraying themselves accurately and honestly. You may be tempted to try and hide a work gap or a lack of education, but hiding or exaggerating facts on your resume, application, or during the interview can cost you the job. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it’s never a good idea.

Have you ever felt the need to misrepresent yourself on your resume or in an interview? Tell us what you did and how it worked out for you in the comments section below.