Tag Archives: resume

EXCLUSIVE INSIDER INFORMATION: HOW TO SCORE AN INTERVIEW AND GET YOUR RESUME NOTICED!

If you’re looking for a job, you’re well aware that the competition is fierce. With so many applicants competing for a single job, standing out from the crowd is a daunting task. You may be the most qualified, best educated, highly trained, hardest working people-person to ever apply for the position. But if you don’t catch the eye of the hiring manager, he or she may never know what a fantastic employee you would be.

“Sometimes it can seem like there’s no rhyme or reason for why an applicant does not get an interview, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. And clearly, the most important thing to do is to submit a formal application in the first place,” said Bob Funk, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Express Employment Professionals. “As our survey also shows, cleverness can pay off. Be careful though, as not every hiring manager wants a resume in a gift box. But in a crowded field, creativity can make the difference.”

Express surveyed nearly 400 businesses to help you learn how applicants secure job interviews, some of the cleverest ways job seekers submit applications, and why some applicants do not get interviews. Read on for insider information that just may give you the winning edge in your job search.

Getting the Interview
Hiring decision makers in our survey were asked, “What are the best ways for an applicant to get a job interview with your company?” Overwhelmingly, the top response was simply, “applying and submitting a resume” offered by 23% of respondents.  Another 12% said a referral was the top way to secure an interview. “Apply online” was the third most popular method recommended by our experts with 10%. Finally, 8% of respondents recommend making a phone call.

Get Creative
In past articles, we’ve shared tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd. But some job applicants take things a step further. We asked our business leaders to describe a clever way in which someone submitted a resume. Here’s a list of the most memorable and creative.

  • A binder with a portfolio of projects
  • A PowerPoint presentation with audio and video
  • A YouTube video
  • A resume folded into a paper airplane
  • A gift package containing the resume

Other respondents mentioned an applicant walking in as a customer before revealing their interest in a job. Another manager received a call recommending someone for the job—only to find out the caller was recommending herself.

Interview Deal Breakers
On the flip side, survey respondents were asked, “What are the main reasons an applicant does not get a job interview with your company?” “Lack of experience” topped the list at 16%, followed closely by “lack of skills/qualifications” at 15%.

If your sights are set on a particular job or career path, explore ways to get the training necessary to be considered a qualified applicant. Do some research to find out what it will take to get where you want to be and investigate entry level jobs that are good stepping stones on your career path. You may not be where you’d like to be today, but with effort and determination, you will get there!

Have you ever tried a unique way to get an interview or get your resume noticed? How did it go?

Share your experience in the comments section!

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

 

 

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.

How Many Resumes Does it Take to Make a Hire?

Express Employment Professionals recently asked 390 businesses in the United States and Canada how many resumes and interviews does it take for employers to fill one job. The results may surprise you as businesses spend more time than you think to make one hire.

Depending on the industry, business leaders report that candidate searches can involve reviewing as many as 16 resumes and up to five interviews. Finding the right person for the job is an important task, and businesses say they go through an intensive search process.

Even for general labor jobs, businesses say they review up to 15 resumes and conduct four interviews. This increases for administrative and professional roles, and does not include drafting and placing advertisements for job openings, recruiting, conducting reference checks, and any required testing or other screening.


Stand Out As a Candidate
The job search is competitive, and there are several ways you can stand out from the competition. Movin’ On Up has numerous articles that can help you with your resume. One of the most popular resume articles takes a look at the chronological resume versus the functional resume. You have roughly 10 seconds to grab the attention of a hiring manager and knowing the advantages of these types of resumes can go a long way in helping you land an interview.

Dress for the Job You Want
You’ve passed up some of the competition and made it to the next step. However, when you’re in the interview process, make sure you dress the part for the job you want and ask thought-provoking questions. Plus, remember to follow up by writing your interviewer a thank-you note.

Soft Skills Vitally Important
Employers often struggle with finding the right person for the job and culture. There are soft skills that hiring managers often look for such as communication, teamwork, and time management. Soft skills are vital to helping you fit in with the company culture and working with others. Here are 10 actions you can take to help develop your soft skills as you enter the workforce.
If you’ve recently made it to the top of a hiring manager’s list, tell us how you approached your job search that helped you stand out from the competition in the comments section below.

Ask a Recruiter: Using Volunteerism on Your Resume

ask_a_recruiterListing volunteer efforts on your resume can seem a little tricky. And, some may wonder if it’s even worth it? We know there’s a lot to learn, and we want to help by answering your questions. Our very own industry experts at Express Employment Professionals have offered up helpful answers right here on the Movin’ On Up blog.

Question: How do recruiters view volunteer experience on a resume? 

Answer: Recruiters are people, just like everyone else. To that end, each recruiter will probably view previous volunteer work in their own unique way. At the end of the day, most recruiters are paid by clients to find the best candidate based on skill sets that are defined by the client. If the skill sets are very specific, and experience crucial, volunteer experience most likely will play a small role in the recruiter’s decision to present a candidate or not. That being said, it’s still important to include.

In my experience, volunteerism can take center stage in other places during the hiring process. First, it can be a differentiator between yourself and another equally qualified candidate. Adding volunteer service tends to show how well-rounded a candidate is, or illustrates that they share time and abilities outside of the office. Often, for recruiters, making a great placement is about a culture fit or soft-skills fit, not solely based on past work titles. Volunteerism is a great way of illustrating your soft-skills to a recruiter or a hiring manager.

Additionally, if you are just entering the marketplace (think no experience or little experience) or you are changing seats in the marketplace (new industry, new specialized area, etc.), volunteerism can be a great way to show that even though you don’t have experience in a certain role or industry, you have picked up transferable skills while being a solid community member and giving back your time.

Finally volunteerism is a great conversation starter. If you’re interviewing with a company that is civic minded, and you’re passionate about volunteer work, share that enthusiasm during the interview. Employers in today’s marketplace want employees who get excited about working toward a goal bigger than themselves, and that’s what volunteering is all about!

Question: What are some tips for listing volunteer experience on a resume?

Answer: Unless you are new to the marketplace and volunteer work is the majority of your experience, I believe it’s best to keep it simple. List the organization, dates you’ve been associated, and possibly one sentence about the work you’ve been doing with the organization. When you can work in lessons learned from volunteering during the interview itself, it’s more impactful than listing volunteer experience on the resume.

If you’re someone who has lots of volunteer experience, don’t feel like you need to share every organization you’ve been a part of! In most cases, being affiliated with 10 or more civic organizations won’t necessarily gain you any more street cred than listing two or three. Pick the organizations in which you’ve invested the most time in, or the two or three that you’ve most recently been affiliated with.

Thank you to Joe Paquette from Express for providing the above answers!

Do you have a question about the job search, hiring, or recruiting process? Now’s your chance to have your question answered by industry professionals who find, interview, and hire people every day. Ask your question in the comments section below and check back soon to read what our experts have to say!

How Recruiters Read Your Resume [Infographic]

When it comes to standing out from the job competition, your resume can make or break your chances of getting noticed. Since recruiters and hiring managers simply don’t have enough time to look at every resume they receive for job openings, it’s important to make sure yours is written in a way that catches their attention and is easy to read.

Check out this infographic from StandOutCV to learn more about what recruiters look for in your resume.

How_a_recruiter_reads_your_CV

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

What Giving Back Can Do for Your Career

Colors hands upVolunteering is a rewarding way to make a positive difference in the lives of others. And, the benefits of giving back are countless. The fact is giving back not only affects your community, but your professional life, as well. From enhancing your resume to establishing new connections to growing leadership skills and more, take a look at what giving back can do for your career.

Networking Opportunities
Volunteering brings you into contact with people you may have never crossed paths with otherwise. Thus, the opportunity to build your professional network is an important benefit of giving back. You will be working with people who are interested in the same causes as you. When you make connections like that, the relationships you build are likely to last longer and lead to job opportunities. Someone you meet volunteering could become your co-worker, boss, or mentor.

Leadership and Other Skills
You can gain invaluable experience through volunteering. First and foremost, you can develop leadership skills if you give your talents to the board of an organization. You can also become a better leader by heading up one of the volunteer projects in your community. Finding an opportunity to lead in these instances is a great transferable skill for the workplace.
Additionally, giving back to your community can help you work on skills like time management, communication, confidence, and teamwork, to name a few.

Better Job Performance
Experts at Glassdoor.com suggest that employees who spend time giving back to their communities often feel more fulfilled. Making a positive difference in someone’s life can help you feel content and translate into your work life, where you’re bound to also be more productive. Just be sure to choose a cause that you’re passionate about.

Resume Building
Aside from the skills you’ll get from volunteering, you can build your resume through giving back. One way to do that is to find a skills-based volunteer opportunity where you can use your expertise to make a difference. You can then include that experience on your resume, highlighting how it’s relevant to your career goals. Check out sites like Catchafire.com to get started.

More Attractive to Employers
All things considered, volunteering simply makes you more attractive to employers. Be sure to include it on your social networking sites, resume, or anywhere else a potential hiring manager might come across it. According to Forbes.com, “Employers like to hire people who can demonstrate they’re motivated and hard-working, even if they haven’t been getting paid for their efforts.”

How do you give back to your community? Let us know in the comment section below.

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

Time to Dust Off Your Resume

Tidy up resume_blogUpdating your resume can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. With the ideas below, we’ll help you keep your resume fresh and ready to use.

Remember, concise is key.
Most hiring managers spend less than one minute reviewing a resume and determining whether it’s worth reading. Keeping that in mind, you’ll want to keep your accomplishments brief. A laundry list of your individual job responsibilities is not what employers look for. Instead, try summarizing your role with a short statement, and list two to four bullet points about your most notable achievements. Remember, they can always ask you to go into further detail in the interview.

You also may have heard to keep your resume to one page. While that is still the general guideline, if you can’t keep it to one page, try to keep it close.

Set aside time.
The scariest part of dusting off your resume is how much time people think it will take. However, if you simply dedicate an hour once or twice a week to look at your resume, it’ll seem much more manageable. After that initial update, set a quarterly reminder to assess your resume and update any new skills or outdated information. This way, if you need to update your resume again in the future, it won’t be as intimidating.

Keep it current.
If you’re a seasoned professional, you likely have years of experience under your belt. However, it’s not necessary to include your entire career history. One of the best ways to keep it current is to remove experience prior to the year 2000.

Use keywords.
When cleaning up your resume for a job application, be sure to replace cliché words with job-related keywords. Adapt your resume to the job description for which you’re applying. Doing this will not only help you highlight unique traits, but it will also stand out to hiring managers looking for the perfect fit.

Enlist help.
After you’ve updated your resume, print it out and ask two to three trusted colleagues to proofread it for you. Ask them to look for potential spacing and grammatical errors, along with anything else they think may stand out negatively.

Do a final scrub.
After you’ve looked over it one last time, make sure your font is simple and easy to read. Stick with options like Times New Roman or Arial, and be sure the font is no smaller than size 10 and no larger than 12. A font that is too small or too fancy is distracting to hiring managers.

How long has it been since you’ve dusted off your resume? Have any tips to share about the process? Share with us in the comments section below!

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