Tag Archives: Résumés

Deck the Halls with a Resume Revamp

‘Tis the season, after all!

Boughs of holly are great, but a stellar resume makes for the ultimate holiday decoration. What better way to celebrate the season than with a shiny resume revamp? If you find yourself with a bit of downtime as this month draws to a close, take a look at your resume and see if there’s anything you might want to change. 2021 is fast approaching, and you want to be prepared! Here are a few yuletide-inspired tips for wrapping your resume just right.

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Should You Lie on Your Resume?

Is it worth your pants catching fire?

Applying to job after job and getting rejected over and over is awful. It stinks to go through all the trouble of submitting countless applications and then not even getting a single interview. And if you aren’t getting interviews, it’s easy to blame your resume. There must be something wrong with your experience or your educational background. Otherwise, they’d at least let you come in for an interview. It would be so easy to just change a few numbers around or add a position that didn’t exactly exist. They’d never know, right?

Wrong. As noted by Dave Davis, CEO and hiring manager at digital analytics agency Redfly in an article put out by Monster.com, “Hiring managers were not born yesterday. A single question is enough to catch you out on a lie. It causes an embarrassment and an awkward situation for everyone in the room.” Interviewing is all about making a good impression, and getting an interview isn’t worth it if a lie ends up ruining your reputation. Here are a few other reasons lying isn’t worth it. (more…)

Unique Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Alright, so you have the resume basics down. You used descriptive words, formatted everything beautifully, added certifications relevant to the job you want, and avoided the typical resume pitfalls.

And you got interviews because of it. But you still want to take your resume one step further. Here’s what you can do to really put your resume over the top.

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Get Your Dream Job with These Online Resources

We’re living in a technological age. These days if you can think it, there’s probably a website for it.

So why not embrace that technology and employ these tools in your job search journey? A recent Forbes article listed several of these online job-search power boosters. Here are our favorites, as well as a suggestion of our own.

Resume Help

Ever felt like your resume lacked a certain something? Resumake and Resume.io exist to make that a non-issue. The sites are full of templates that come pre-arranged, so you don’t have to worry about typefaces or whether to bold or underline something.

Both sites offer free and paid options. All you have to do is select a template and then input your information. The app will do the rest, and you’ll end up with a resume you’re proud of.

And if you’re looking for great words to use in your resume, check out one of the blogs in our resume writing series:

Keep Track of Where You Applied

When you’re job search efforts are on fire, the number of positions you’ve applied to can really pile up. Multiple applications can make it difficult to remember what you’ve applied for and who you’ve applied with. And nothing’s more awkward than a phone interview where you don’t even remember what you applied for.

Get rid of those issues with Rake, what Forbes describes as a “personal job tracker.” It’s available both as an app for your phone and as a chrome extension (for use with the Google Chrome web browser). All you have to do is click and the job description gets saved to the app. And you don’t have to pay a dime.

And applying with Express solves this problem as well. One application with us gets sent out to multiple local businesses. And it’s free.

Interview Prep

We all dread getting an interview question we don’t know the answer to.

It could be anything from “what are your top five strengths and weaknesses?” to “what about our company interests you?”

Sure, you could make flashcards and study them before the interview. But what if you lose one, don’t prepare for it, and that’s the question you end up being asked in an interview?

Cram is a site that allows you to do just what it states: cram information as fast as possible.

You can create online flashcards or use others already prepared by savvy jobseekers.

And it’s free!

Job Genius

Job Genius is Express Employment Professionals’ educational job program and web series. We cover everything from the job market forecast and job opportunities, to the resumes, the interview process, and more. It’s stuff we learned from jobseekers just like you. And since we put nearly 550,000 people to work each year, we know what works and what doesn’t. And it’s free, too!

Do you have any favorite online job resources? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

What to Do When You Really Are Overqualified

Your interview felt perfect. You knew all the answers and your resume was shining with experience. But you didn’t get the job. They said you were “overqualified.” It wasn’t an excuse. They meant it. You really and truly were overqualified.

Think you may be overqualified for the jobs you’re applying for? Here are our top tips to help you ace your next interview regardless.

Make Sure You Want It

Before doing anything else, you need to figure out whether you actually want this job or not. There are two main reasons companies turn away overqualified applicants. The first is lack of funds. They don’t have enough money set aside to pay what your experience is worth. The second is that you could be a flight risk. A late career change may be seen as a risky hire. They don’t want your time at the company to be a short detour from your main career path.

So before even applying to a position you’re overqualified for, decide why you want the job. Is it because you’re ready for a career change? If so, make sure you realize it could mean a pay cut. What matters is where you are in your life now. What you want now. Not your past salary or education. And be prepared stay at this job for at least a few years. If this is what you want, you need to commit.

Leverage Your Network

Now that you know you truly want this, it’s time to let your network know. If your potential interviewers are skeptical of whether you actually want the job or not, it’s time to bring in backup. They are more likely to trust a mutual acquaintance over a faceless applicant.

Your network can also help you find job opportunities. You might have a contact out there with a friend who would love to hire someone overqualified, but just doesn’t have the budget. You’re a perfect fit, but your contact won’t ever know it if you don’t tell them!

Tailor Your Resume

A resume is usually a chance to go all out. It’s a chance to shine, to list all of your accomplishments for the world to see. But when you’re overqualified, perhaps not all of those accomplishments are related to the position you’re applying for. It can be difficult for human resources to sift through a packed resume to find which accomplishments match up to the position.

A resume tells a story. It paints a picture of you as a potential employee. But if there are too many brush strokes, the end result might be a painting that’s too fancy for the room in which it’s being placed. Consider your words carefully, and customize your resume for the position. Focus on skills first, then accomplishments.

This is where staffing agencies can help. Recruiters are your advocates and personal brand ambassadors. Their insider knowledge allows them to highlight and promote your most marketable skills. As noted by Bettye Taylor, a recruiter from a local Express office, “a recruiter can sell the transferable skills where they will be noticed, versus those skills being glossed over when submitting a resume to a website.”

And retooling your resume can show real results. “Many times I’ve had candidates reconstruct their resume from a chronological one to a functional one, highlighting those top three to five transferable skills and functions, and then list accomplishments and achievements under those,” she says. “You won’t believe what a difference that makes.”

Be Honest

When it comes to the actual interview, be honest. Address the elephant in the room. Let the interviewer know why you’re interested in the position. If it’s because of a career change, let them know why you’re making that change. Tell them that you’re really in this for the long haul.

And be positive! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by thinking they’ll just tell you you’re overqualified. Interviewers want to see that you’re an actual human being they would enjoy working with. So be real!

Have you ever been rejected due to being “overqualified?” Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

What will Resumes of the Future Look Like? Take Our Poll!

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollA recent article in The Seattle Times suggests that the future of job seeking won’t just be resumes and portfolios, but might include badges too. The nonprofit group Mozilla is leading this emerging trend with the website OpenBadges, which allows job seekers to display and share digital badges that represent skills and qualifications they possess. Major organizations like Disney-Pixar and NASA have already partnered with OpenBadges to create and design custom badges for job seekers to use.

With emerging trends in the job market like OpenBadges, we’d like to know what you think future resumes will look like. Let us know by taking our poll or sounding off with your own ideas about future resumes in the comments section below.

3 Resume Elements to Land an Interview

Your resume is a critical part of the job search because it is often the one thing standing between you and an interview. Tailor your resume for each job you apply for, using your skills, experience, and education to show your qualifications for the position. Here are three basic sections to include on any resume.

Skills Summary
Carefully read the job description for the position you’re applying for, and compare the qualifications required for the job to the skills you possess. For each of your skills that match a requirement of the job, list that skill in bullet point format under the skills summary section of your resume. For example, if the position requires typing 50 words per minute and you have that skill, include “Accurately types 50 words per minute.”

If you’ve acquired any skills from participating in activities outside of work, from volunteering for example, include those skills in this section. But make sure they’re relevant and relate to the job or are listed in the job description. For instance, if one of your hobbies is photography, and the job you’re applying for requires that skill, include it in your bulleted list. Creating this list will clearly show employers the skills you’ve acquired from previous employment as well as your interests and how they match the position’s requirements.

Experience
This section of a resume gives you the opportunity to show where and how you’ve gained experience. Whether in past jobs, volunteer work, or school, this section enables you to showcase your talents and how you worked to create successful outcomes in real-life situations. Make sure any information you include in this section is relevant and relates to the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job that states multi-tasking as a requirement, and you previously worked as a customer service representative, you can write “Answered multiple phone-line system, handling 400 calls per day while greeting customers in person.”

If you’ve volunteered in the community and received valuable work experience, and your experiences match the job description, include this information on your resume. For instance, if you supervised a team or coordinated a fundraiser, listing these experiences will demonstrate that you have the ability and expertise to lead a group and orchestrate a project.

Education
List the highest level of education you’ve completed, including the school you attended and type of degree you received, but leave off the date of your graduation. Including the date will clue in employers to how old you are, and can open the door to age discrimination. The year you graduated is irrelevant in the workforce, so it’s not necessary to include it.

If you started a degree program, but didn’t finish it, or are currently enrolled in a program, consider including that information on your resume in addition to the highest degree you’ve received. Depending on how much of the program you’ve completed, and your reasons for not finishing it, it may be beneficial to show employers that you’ve worked toward continuing your education. For example, if you attended college for a few years but were unable to finish due to financial reasons, you want to include your college information along with your high school degree. Your resume may state, “High school diploma – City, State,” and “State University – City, State, completed 2 years of undergraduate coursework.”

Also, if you’ve attended any vocational or technical classes, seminars, or conferences that relate to the job you’re applying for and would help you in your new position, list them in this section to show that you continually work to develop your education and skills.

Take the time to create a well-written resume, and include important, relevant information to help you land an interview. Relate your skills, experiences, and education to the position you’re applying for and your resume will stand out among competitors to potential employers.