Tag Archives: Résumés

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.

Use Your Military Experience to Find a Job

As tens of thousands of our brave men and women return home from defending our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, and abroad, they face a staggering 11.7% unemployment rate for veterans. While the job market is improving, there is still a shortage of jobs to cover the rising workload. They have little time to train anyone, so the ideal new hire is someone who has done the exact job in a similar organization.

There is a pressing need for employers to hire these veterans and for their families become integral parts of our economy. Veterans have unique qualities that employers desire, which can give them an advantage in the job search. The problem is getting that message across. Here are some ways vets can use their military experience to become one of the most sought-after candidates in the workplace.

Unique Skills, Unique Environment
Veterans generally have a strong code of ethics. They’ve gone through detailed background checks and character evaluations to even join the armed forces. Now is the chance to utilize military ethics to market a vet job seeker as trustworthy and able to handle high-level, classified information, which can make them an asset to employers.

Veterans come from a culture and workplace that focuses on action and reliability. They have been trained to finish what they say they’ll do in the established time frame. The ability to finish projects in a timely manner is highly sought after in the private sector.

Speak in Civilian Terms
Veterans are a highly skilled and educated group of people. At any length of service, veterans have had hands-on training and education on technical and leadership skills. The problem many veterans face when looking for a job is getting employers to understand the value of their military experience.

The key is to put military terms, jargon, and information into something employers understand and desire. Look at interested companies and openings and research their needs and requirements. Then, tailor the résumé and interview answers to satisfy them. If vets need help explaining their skills, military.com has an excellent tool to translate military experience into civilian terminology.

Less is More
War is ugly. With many veterans coming back from dangerous combat zones, they have stories and experiences of the most admirable pursuits of a soldier. Unfortunately, those kinds of references can make employers uncomfortable and possibly squeamish. It’s best to tone down or remove references of the battlefield when explaining applicable skills from combat.

The office is also a much different environment than that of the military. The military has a strict line of authority and behavioral policies. The civilian workplace varies from employer to employer and is full of different personalities, cultures, and styles. While the “find the problem, fix-it, and move on” attitude of the military is a quality employers seek, fellow employees may be intimidated with military office culture. It’s best for veterans to find an employer that best fits their working style and attitude.

Put Your Résumé Through Civilian Boot Camp
Movin’ On Up has a Résumé Boot Camp to help job seekers make sure their résumé is most effective. Veterans looking to get back in the workplace should put their résumé through a strict regimen of civilian review. If veterans have an industry in mind, they should ask professionals to evaluate their résumé and find out what skills and experience employers in the industry are looking for. Not only will their résumé improve, but it will also give them a chance to network.

Those brave men and women who served our country shouldn’t have to feel frustrated and excluded from finding a job, settling back down, and enjoying the freedoms they fought to defend. As a veteran, what are some ways you’ve used your military experience to help your job search?

Master Résumé Writing in Three Easy Steps

MasterResumes_July2011_web Writing your résumé is one of the first and most difficult steps you will take in your job search. One of the toughest challenges in résumé writing is condensing all you want to say into a few, short sentences. But, in order to approach the task like the best of the résumé professionals, you’ll need to rethink the goals and rules of a résumé.

Don’t Focus on Your Responsibilities
A résumé is not your life story. The only thing you should include on your résumé is achievements. Think of it this way, anyone can do their job, but only a small percentage of the population can do their job well.

The best way to showcase that you did your job well is from your achievements. Strive to make your achievements quantifiable, meaning they can be measured. Your accomplishments should be specific to your former position but also valuable to your new employer.

It’s hard to see you were a “good team player” on your résumé unless you can say you “joined an under-performing team and helped that team beat production delivery dates by two weeks.”

Don’t feel pressure to put anything other than achievements on your résumé. Think of anything that isn’t an achievement as a waste of space. Because you don’t know what a hiring manager will look at first – and if you have 10 great achievements and three previous job descriptions, the hiring manager may only read those three lines and toss your résumé. Think big and remove non-achievement statements.

Think of Your Résumé as a Marketing Document
Your résumé doesn’t need to be a historical statement but, rather, a marketing document. The best marketing documents show the product in the very best light, which means using objective tactics to make you look great.

Here’s an example: You join a retail store that just launched a new product. The product, being new, has a multitude of problems and the company is forced to hire someone to handle customer questions and calls. You start fielding the calls, work quite a bit of overtime, and eventually increase customer service satisfaction by 10%.

When writing the résumé, market your ability to perform customer service, be flexible during company crises, and increase customer satisfaction. Notice how much more effective that is than simply saying you “answered phones for a retail company?”

Remember, marketing requires some creativity and thought. Although it is important to quantify your success, be sure not to exaggerate or lie during this process. You are marketable enough without needing to stretch the truth.

Don’t Give Everything Away
The point of a résumé is to get someone to call you. Although you want to show your best on a résumé, you don’t want to show it all.

Hopefully, your résumé is not the only chance you’ll have to sell yourself to a hiring manager. During an interview, you will have a much more in-depth opportunity to highlight your strengths, achievements, and goals.

Knowing this, only put your very best achievements on your résumé. Leave the hiring managers intrigued, with questions that still need to be answered. This is the perfect way to impress and snag that follow-up phone call.

Crafting the perfect résumé is not an overnight thing. Résumés should be updated and maintained throughout your career. Remember to focus on your greatest achievements, market yourself, and leave your audience wanting more, and you’ll be sure to land your next interview.

6 Ways to Advance Your Career in 60 Seconds or Less

Moving up the career ladder can sometimes seem like an impossible feat – more like climbing the highest mountain than reaching for the next step. But steps are exactly what it takes to get where you are going. With each step you take forward – even a little one – you’re that much closer to your goal. So, in honor of Career Development Month, here are seven steps you can take in 60 seconds or less to help you develop your career and move up the ladder.

1. Rehearse your elevator speech.
As the saying goes, practice does make perfect. So, take a minute to practice your elevator speech because you never know when you’re going to need a short, targeted message to grab the interest of a potential employer.

2. Get a professional e-mail address.
If you’re looking to advance your career in a new job, make sure you have a professional e-mail address to help your résumé make a great first impression to employers. You’ll be surprised by what a difference it makes.

3. Type out a quick e-mail to request a letter of reference from a past employer.
A glowing letter of recommendation is a must for job seekers. So, take just a moment to e-mail or call a past employer and request a letter of recommendation you can use in your job hunt. They can even post their reference on your LinkedIn page! 

4. Scan your résumé for typos.
Typos on a résumé are an absolute don’t. So, take the time to clean yours up by scanning your résumé for any errors before sending it out to potential employers. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to add some power words to give your résumé the punch it needs to get you noticed. 

5. Schedule a meeting to discuss a career path with your employer.
It may seem a little intimidating, but if you’re interested in climbing the ladder at your current company, schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss potential career path. It’s important to understand your options and to know what it will take to get you there. So, take the first step and get a meeting set up now.

6. Scan your Facebook page.
When you’re looking to advance your career with a new job, first impressions are everything. Many employers now search social media sites to find out what they can about potential applicants. So, if your Facebook page isn’t set to private or you don’t have a separate page for professional purposes, make sure you take a minute to scan your profile for any content or pictures that could be deemed unprofessional.  

There are lots of ways you can work to develop your career, whether it’s checking out some books on leadership at your local library or taking some classes at a local college. Get started today by taking a few quick steps forward, and you’ll be surprised how far you get.

How to Follow Up after an Interview with a Staffing Company

Staffing companies receive hundreds of applications and résumés each day from individuals looking for work. With so many job seekers vying for a staffing agency’s attention, it’s important you do what you can to assist staffing consultants in your job search. To increase your chances of landing a job, try these tips after interviewing with a staffing company to help you stay top of mind.

Call. First and foremost, staffing companies are there to help you find a job. Don’t be afraid to call after your interview to find out if there are any jobs available. Also, check with your staffing consultant to find out if they prefer a weekly or daily call for job inquiries.

Check. Depending on the staffing agency you choose, there may be certain guidelines to follow when inquiring about job openings. For example, some staffing companies may have a separate phone number for job opportunities, while others may post openings online. Check with your staffing consultant to ensure you know the process.

Update. If you have any changes to your personal information, résumé, job specifications, or qualifications, let your staffing consultant know so they can update your file. These changes could increase your chances of landing a job and help the staffing company market you to their clients.

Although finding you a job is their top priority, they can’t do it without your help. Stay in contact with your staffing agency by following these tips, and help the staffing company help land you the job you want.

Seeker or Sleeper: What’s Your Job Search Style

Have you ever thought about the differences between superstars and slouches? We usually think about separating the high achievers from the low performers on the job, but it pertains to job seekers as well.

The three indicators discussed in The Key Differences between Superstars and Slouches can also relate to the different styles of people searching for jobs.

First, people who find jobs understand that finding a job is a full-time position. They devote an 8-hour workday to the process. They wake up in the morning, get ready for the day, and start their job search bright and early. They filter through employment opportunities, compiling a list of prospective employers to submit their résumés to. They don’t allow past failures or a sluggish economy to get in the way of finding a job.

Second, successful job seekers usually are relentless in their job search process. They pound the pavement looking for employment opportunities wherever they can find them. They don’t limit their job search to certain hours of the day. After they submit applications and résumés, they follow up with phone calls to ensure that potential employers have received all necessary documents and request a time for an interview. They don’t wait around with fingers crossed.

Third, job getters are the ones who don’t make excuses for the lack of employment opportunities. They understand the obstacles that stand in their way. Whether it’s a down economy, a competitive job market, or a lack of qualifications inhibiting their job search success, they reevaluate the situation and determine solutions.

The job search process may take longer than would have a year ago, but there are still jobs available. The difference is the job seeker. Successful job seekers process these three key elements, and the sleepers, well um, they sleep. So, don’t give up and fall into a job search slumber.

Check out your local Express office today for help in the job search process.