But before you do that, look at your resume and see if you notice any of these major mistakes. You might be cutting yourself off from success without even knowing it.
You were at a job for six months or less and it ended. Maybe you quit, maybe you were let go, but now you have to figure out if it’s worth putting on your resume.
Some employers see a short-term job as a big question mark on your resume. Are you a job hopper? Are you a problem employee? You need to be ready to answer those questions. If you aren’t, it might be better to leave it off your resume.
But how do you figure out whether you should put that short-term job on your resume? Ask yourself the following questions.
Ah, Valentine’s Day. The birds are singing, couples are walking hand in hand, and love is in the air. But your resume is sitting at home alone, sad, and lonely on this most romantic of holidays. You’re their only hope. It’s time to schedule an update date with your resume!
And if you’re looking for a gift that will really make your resume shine, have we got a deal for you: our best resume tip blogs, all absolutely free!
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…)
Scare off the competition with your newly expanded vocabulary
Ghosts and ghouls are garish and ghastly. Zombies are zealous in their pursuit of brains. And warlocks are wild in their suspiciously suspect spellcasting.
But there is one creature more frightening, foul, and fatal than all the rest:
Only a select few enjoy resume-writing. For the rest of us, the onerous activity can seem like an exercise in futility, akin to trying to melt a witch wearing a water-resistant wetsuit.
You must get your foot in the door to score a job, and, unless you’re a zombie with the ability to throw your actual foot through the literal door, you’ll need a tip-top resume to get past the scanning robots and secure an interview.
Here are the tastiest words to make sure you don’t get eaten by the competition.
Words That Show You Take Initiative
You want to show your potential employer you didn’t twiddle your thumbs and do the bare minimum in your previous positions. Use these words to show you’re eerily experienced, and that you originated new and complex programs:
- Launched (a new project, blog, program, team activity, regular event, etc).
Words That Show You Are Results-Driven
Employers want results. Would you hire a ghost that scared “a bunch” of people or a ghoul that increased the individuals frightened by 72% within 2 years? Be specific with the following words:
- Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. (Again, be specific!)
- Dollars and cents; as exact as you can get
- Increased good thing (gross margin, sales, customer satisfaction) by ___%.
- Decreased bad things (customer complaints, workplace accidents, etc.) by ___ %.
Words That Show You Are a Team Leader
A true werewolf king is the leader of his pack. But that doesn’t mean he needs to repeat the word “led” five hundred times on his resume. Instead of saying you “led” a team, show you went above and beyond with these words:
And that’s it! Now that you have plenty of words in your resume pumpkin, you’re ready to turn it into a ferociously fresh job search jack-o’-lantern. So, get carving!
Any other “boo-tiful” words you’ve found effective in getting your resume noticed? Let us know in the comments below!
From top to bottom: out with the old, in with the new
For college seniors, graduation is right around the corner. For the rest of us, a change in weather might inspire a change of career. Regardless of the reason, spring is a great time to modify your resume to get rid of anything that isn’t working. Plenty of people clean out their houses this time of year; why not spiff up your resume?
Mop Up Your Address and Contact Information
Starting at the top, we have your name, address, phone number, and email. These are the first things your potential employer is going to see, so make sure they’re updated! Nobody will contact you if your contact information is wrong. And you most definitely don’t want your college or previous address on there. Companies want to know that you’re in their area and ready to work (unless you plan on relocating, which should be noted in your cover letter).
Clear the Cobwebs Off Your Experiences
Do you have anything new to add to your experiences? An outdated resume is an easy way to reject a candidate. If you still have your high school fast food experience on your resume, now might be a good time to remove it (unless it’s one of the few experiences you have, of course). Keep everything to one page. And if your work experience is lacking, don’t be afraid to put down involvement in charities or professional groups.
Verb tense matters. If you still have your last job listed with verbs in the present tense (oversees, leads, conducts, etc.), change those to the past tense (oversaw, lead, conducted, etc.) And if your current job duties are listed with verbs in the past tense, change those to the present tense. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a big pet peeve among the HR community.
If you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, consider a revamp of the way you present your experiences. Change boring words like “did” and “saw” to action verbs like “presented” and “oversaw.” Have peers and professionals review your resume to make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.
Polish Your References
Remember how you used that professor you loved as a reference because you performed well as a leader in the big capstone group project? That’s great to include if you’re graduating this year, but not so great if you’ve been working for five years. The references you choose should be not only relevant, but also timely.
Take the time to contact your references and make sure their phone number or email is up to date. While you’re at it, send thank-you letters to references you’ve provided in the past.
Dust Off Your Cover Letter
A cover letter provides a chance to show that you’re more than a number or words on a page. It is by no means extinct. You’re a person, with your own thoughts, values, and experience that show you’re the right person for the job.
Your cover letter should be a living document. That means changing it depending on the company you’re sending an application to. It’s great to have a standard cover letter, but use that as a base and adapt it to each new company. If you’ve been using the same cover letter for years, update it and remove unnecessary information (e.g. old experiences, outdated references, etc).
Vacuum Your Social Media
Social media may feel anonymous, but it’s not. Your face and name are there for all the world to see. Social media is the first place recruiters go after you’ve impressed them with your resume. If your page is full of activities that aren’t exactly work safe, you won’t look right for the job. Same goes for extensive posts about your political views.
Set your social pages to “private,” and create business pages where appropriate. If most of your Facebook and Twitter information is hidden, the recruiter will settle for your LinkedIn page. That’s what you want them to see—the professional version of yourself they need to hire.
For more on resume re-education:
Have any other questions about revamping your resume? Let us know in the comments below!
Make 2018 your year
The new year is a time for resolutions, both big and small. Maybe you’ve decided to spend more time with your kids, get to the gym more often, cook a new dish, or start a new hobby. And then there’s your biggest resolution of all—getting a new job.
The key to making good on resolutions is to have smaller resolutions that lead to your goals. For example, if your goal is just to “be healthier,” you probably aren’t going to achieve much. If you set smaller goals like cutting your diet by 500 calories, working out three times a week, etc., you’ll hit your goal in no time. The job search is no different.
Here are a few job search resolutions to ensure that you get that dream job in 2018.
Practice Writing Your Cover Letter
Cover letters aren’t required by all companies and industries, but bringing one to an interview (or submitting one with a resume) can be a gamechanger. A well-done cover letter shows how your skills and experience make you the perfect pick for the job. Physically visiting the business you’re applying to and dropping off a cover letter can be a great way to get noticed.
When you’re applying for jobs, ideally, you’ll want to cater each cover letter to the job you’re applying for. However, nothing is stopping you from basing each cover letter on a general cover letter for the industry you’re interested in. Now is the perfect time to start refining that letter.
A great cover letter shows two things: how what you’ve done is relevant to the position you’re applying for, and why you want to work for the company. Since you can’t focus on the latter in a general cover letter, focus on the former. Filter through your accomplishments and list your strongest ones. If you don’t have any experience in the industry, find experiences in your career that are relevant. Try to feature your soft skills as well.
And even if no one reads your cover letter, going through the process of writing it can clear your head and help you focus on what you’re really looking for in a new job.
Gain Skills or Learn More About Your Industry
One way to stand out to employers is to build up your skillset, whether that means going online to find free learning applications or gaining certifications in new technologies.
Really understanding your industry will grab the attention of hiring managers. One way to build that understanding is to start a personal blog where you write about new developments in the industry. Set goals for yourself, such as writing one or two blogs a week. After a few months, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge about your industry and a blog that showcases that knowledge.
Writing a blog is a great idea even if you aren’t a great writer. However, if you use spellcheck and Grammarly (there is a free edition), you might even become a better writer over time. And writing well is a skill that everyone can use.
And if you don’t have time for a blog? Subscribe to email newsletters about your industry. Industry blogs are good resources as well.
Ace Your Interviews
Obviously, you should want the job you’re applying for—otherwise there’s no point in interviewing. However, you should go into each interview having prepared in every conceivable manner. You should already know almost everything about the company and where you fit in.
Interviews can reveal more about the company and the culture. However, at the end of the day, learning about the company is not your end goal. You’re here to get a job. So do your homework.
Know the ins and outs of the job, know your skills, and prepare a list of questions ahead of time. This could be your only chance to show the company you’re the right person for the job.
Any questions about changing up your job search for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!