Search Results for: resume

Scary-Cool Words for Your Resume

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:

Your resume.

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:

  • Redesigned
  • Revamped
  • Launched (a new project, blog, program, team activity, regular event, etc).
  • Established
  • Introduced
  • Pioneered
  • Spearheaded

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:

  • Generated
  • Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. (Again, be specific!)
  • Dollars and cents; as exact as you can get
  • Improved
  • 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:

  • Managed
  • Directed
  • Coached
  • Oversaw
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Supervised
  • Cultivated
  • United

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!

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Resume

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:

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

Sizzling Hot Resume Tips

Have any other questions about revamping your resume? Let us know in the comments below!

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

 

 

 

Don’t Let Your Resume Freeze

Melt the ice away with these helpful blogs!

Resumes are tough. They’re only a series of words on a page, but they’re the deciding factor on whether you get in the door for a job interview. If you start to improve your resume now, you’re more likely to succeed in the new year.

Here are a few of our past blogs jam-packed with resume renovation goodness you can use this holiday season.

30 Resume Power Words and Lucky Words for Your Resume

If your only way in the door is a series of words, then every word better count, right? Specific results-driven vocabulary can enhance your resume and help employers see that you have the soft skills they’re looking for.

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

Your resume needs to be uniquely tailored for whatever job you’re applying for—it should show why you’re right for the job, not just what you’ve done in the past. If you build your resume with these tips, you’ll hit the important points recruiters look for.

Creating an Organic Resume

Since there are only so many hours in a day, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that recruiters only spend about six seconds on each resume. If you have too much fluff and not enough substance, you’ll lose your reader fast. So cut out the less important information and focus on your experiences and hard facts. Formatting is also important. If it isn’t easy to read, nobody will go through the trouble of reading it.

Sizzling Hot Resume Tips

You can turn your resume into a warm cup of job search cheer with these hot tips. Take a break from the holiday bustle and review your resume. How is your spelling and grammar? Are your job descriptions both informative and concise?

Which is Better—Chronological or Functional Resume?

Still feel like there’s something off with your resume? Not sure that you’re really getting your point across? You may want to consider a functional resume. A chronological resume is perfect for a conventional career (you’ve gone from job to job with little downtime, and everything has been in the same industry), while a functional resume allows you to showcase your soft skills and experiences, rather than a string of continuous employment.

Not sure which soft skills to highlight? Check out this video on soft skills.

We’re happy to gift you answers for the holidays—just write your questions in the comments section below!

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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Kick-Start Your Resume with Community Service

Serve others and boost your resume at the same time

BrandItBlueDay2014On Saturday, June 10, Express Employment Professionals offices across North America will gather together for Brand It Blue Day to help fill community food banks and pantries. The event is a day of service aimed to help in the fight against hunger, and you’re invited to join in.

Wondering why you might want to participate in something like this? Apart from the obvious reason of helping those who really need it, there are professional advantages as well.

1. Help Others

As noted by Feeding America®, 43.1 million people (13.5% of the U.S. population) were in poverty in 2015.  About 42.2 million lived in food-insecure households. That means over 13 million children went to bed hungry at some point that year.

Summer is the worst time for child hunger, as the school meal program ends for most kids. In 2013, more than 21.5 million children received free or reduced-price meals through their school programs and only 2.5 million of those children took part in summer food service programs. Volunteering allows you to make a real difference and help those kids get three meals a day.

2. Enhance Your Resume

Being involved in the community also shows potential employers that you have interests and goals outside of work. In other words, volunteering could help you land your next job.

As noted by Fortune, a 2016 Deloitte study of 2,506 U.S. hiring managers found that 82% of interviewers held a preference for applicants with volunteer experience. 92% said such activities built leadership skills. This was in sharp contrast to the mere 32% of applicants that mentioned unpaid volunteer work on their resumes. So, at the very least, add volunteer experience to your resume to help make you stand out above other applicants.

But why do employers find volunteer work so attractive? 85% of the interviewers found that skills-based activities, including those used during volunteer work, increased candidate communication skills, while 88% felt it built “strong character.” For those whose volunteer work didn’t use their professional skills, those numbers decreased slightly to 77% and 84%, respectively.

What else can volunteer work do for your resume? It provides an opportunity to master more skills. Take lessons learned in the workplace or college and develop those skills in rea-life situations. Maybe you’ve written mock strategic plans for a promotions management class, but never had a chance to put them into action. Or perhaps you film weddings for a living, but want to expand to other events.

3. Network

Networking can be challenging, especially when you’re at an event where everybody else is there to network as well. These events can be helpful, but they can be tiring.

Community service allows you to network in a much more organic way. Everyone is serving the same cause—nobody expects the newbie to walk in with a killer smile and an even more killer resume. If you work hard and make a good impression on others, they may pass on future job opportunities or serve as reference contacts.

In addition, continued nonprofit work for a particular cause lets you build a reputation in that area, allowing for future networking opportunities further down the road. You can also see how an organization functions and interact with people from all levels of the organization. If you’re interested in a nonprofit career, even better—these could be future co-workers after all.

Brand It Blue Day

If you’re looking for a cause to work with, consider Express’ Brand it Blue Day on Saturday, June 10! Check out the nearest participating Express office today.

In 2016, more than 235 Express offices and 1,000 volunteers from California to North Carolina to Canada came together at local food banks and pantries across North America to help fight hunger. Over the past four years, Express offices donated 300,000 meals to nonprofit organizations across North America through their efforts on Brand It Blue Day.

Has community service helped your career? Let us know how in the comments below!