Tag Archives: tips

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?

1.       Check Your Spelling and Grammar

When a job is especially competitive, employers simply don’t have the time to give each and every resume an in-depth analysis. As a result, they’re looking for reasons to throw out some resumes and narrow the talent pool. If your potential employer is a stickler for spelling or grammar and you make a small mistake, it could cost you the job.

Make sure any bullets under your current position use the present tense, and any past positions use past tense. After all, you aren’t still in charge of anything at a past position, right? Do use action words, but don’t use them as multiple bullets under one position. Repetition of the same words over and over can make it seem as if there wasn’t any variety in your responsibilities.

2.       Stick with the Basics

Although a lovingly crafted resume with fancy formatting and a recent headshot might look great, that isn’t what most employers are looking for. They want to know about your experience, not your design skills (unless you’re applying for a design position, of course). You don’t want your formatting to distract from your accomplishments.

In addition, the majority of resumes you send out online will be analyzed by computers first and people second. A heavily formatted resume is difficult for computers to read. So make it straightforward and legible, for both your human recruiter and your robot analyzer. And when a computer autofills an application based on your uploaded resume, make sure to review the result. If it looks strange on your screen, it will look strange on a potential employer’s screen as well.

3.       Tailor Your Resume for the Job

Your resume should change depending on where you are in your career and what job you are applying for. If you’re just now joining the workforce , it’s understandable that you won’t have as much to put on your resume. However, never leave a resume section blank. Add any information regarding the organizations you’ve been in, as well as any community involvement and awards you’ve received. Your education should go toward the top.

However, once you’ve been in the workplace for a while, your education (while still important) is secondary to your professional accomplishments. In general, start out with your name and mission statement, and follow up with your positions. Under each position, bullet what your responsibilities were. Next, put in any community involvement and awards. Leave education for last, followed by technical skills.

Make a master resume document including everything you’ve ever done, and copy/paste from it as required by each position. If it’s a writing position, you’ll want to include any writing experience. However, if it’s a programming position, your freelance writing stint might not be quite as important.

4.       Join LinkedIn

Regardless of whether your desired position requires a college degree or not, we recommend getting a LinkedIn account. Your LinkedIn profile is a recruiting resource that is always available. Even if you aren’t actively pushing your resume, having an updated LinkedIn profile ensures potential employers can find you. It also gives them something professional to find when they run an online search on you.

Have any resume tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below!

17 Tips for an Outstanding New Year

ThinkstockPhotos-614739734The new year has officially begun, which means it’s time to make sure you’re focused on your goals for the year. Since this is the 17th year of this century, here are 17 tips to help you have an outstanding year:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. If you put off the things you need to accomplish, you may realize 2018 is right around the corner before you’ve even started.
  2. Invest in your wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for a job, or you’re already part of the workforce, owning a quality outfit can set you apart from the competition. Consider investing in a suit for interviews, or durable shoes for the workplace.
  3. Learn a new skill. It’s never too late to learn something new, and there are countless ways to add to your skillset. Think of the skills you’d like to learn, then take advantage of the Internet’s many educational resources.
  4. Clean up your social media profiles. When’s the last time you looked back at your Facebook or Twitter posts and photos from years ago? Chances are, there may be photos, statuses, or tags that don’t paint you in the best light. And since potential employers often look at your social media accounts when considering you for a job, be sure to represent yourself in the most professional way possible.
  5. Learn from your co-workers. There may be times when your company could benefit from allowing you to cross-train or shadow someone on the job. Consider asking your supervisor for the opportunity to learn from others.
  6. Take a class. Many communities offer courses in subjects like computer programs, marketing tips, and interview techniques. Check out opportunities available in your area, and sign up for a class today.
  7. Join a professional organization. Depending on your career path, there may be a professional organization you can join. These organizations are designed to help you network and further your skills, and they’re also a great addition to your resume.
  8. Create a LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, what are you waiting for? There are thousands of recruiters on LinkedIn right now, and they may be looking for candidates just like you!
  9. Gather your references. Maintaining an updated list of references is a good practice, even if you’re not actively job searching. Since you meet new people every day and relationships often change, ensure that your list is up-to-date before you need to use it.
  10. Send a thank-you note. If you are in the job search process, you know it’s important to send a thank-you note after an interview. But, what if you’re not currently looking? You can still send notes of appreciation to those who make a difference to you. Consider sending a thank-you note to your supervisor, an old friend, or a co-worker who helped you on a project. Everybody likes to feel appreciated.
  11. Make a plan for stress relief. Sometimes, stress is unavoidable. But, you can take steps to lessen the impact stress has on you. Think of ways that help you manage stress when it hits. Maybe it’s meditation, yoga, or exercise. Perhaps reading is relaxing for you. Find what helps you through tough times before they happen.
  12. Do something for yourself. Life moves quickly, and everyone has busy days. In all of that busyness, you may find that you haven’t taken any time for yourself. Stop for a moment and do something just for you. Go for a walk, buy yourself a coffee, read a book, or watch a movie.
  13. Get active. We all know how important exercise is to our overall health, but many of us can’t find the time to make it a priority. Even if you sit at a desk all day, there are still ways to be active. Try simple desk exercises, or go for a walk on your lunch break.
  14. Give back. Volunteering is great for so many reasons. First and foremost, it’s an excellent way to give back to your community and help those in need. It makes you feel good, helps you meet new people, and network. Often, you can learn a new skill, and of course, volunteering looks great on your resume. Find causes that matter to you and explore how to volunteer your time this year.
  15. Become a planner. Some people are planners, others are more spontaneous. Whether or not you like to structure your day beforehand, make it a habit to get your plans on paper. If you have goals you want to accomplish, write them in your calendar. Jot down important appointments, and keep track of your successful days so you can look back at them later.
  16. Start a budget. The term “budget” often comes with a negative association, but the truth is, being financially responsible is important to your success. Having funds available in an emergency is essential, and you can start on that path today. Review all of your debts and payments, calculate how much you need to save to reach financial goals or start an emergency fund, and begin the process of saving.
  17. Become (or find) a mentor. If you’re new to the workforce, you may feel overwhelmed. There’s certainly a lot to learn. Thankfully, there are millions of others who have gone before you, and it’s easy to find a mentor who can guide you on your career path. Likewise, if you’re experienced in a certain subject, you may seek out mentees to take under your wing.

These are just 17 of the many ways to help make your new year outstanding. Get started today and good luck in 2017!

What additional tips do you have for starting the year off right? Share with us in the comments section below!

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

 

Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Holiday Job

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Holiday hiring is here, and many people have been or will be working a seasonal job this year. While some of those workers will use these jobs as a way to bring extra income, many hope that this will be their jumping off point into full-time work.

If you’re one of those workers wanting your holiday job to become permanent, there are a few things you should know to set yourself up for success. (more…)

4 Tips for Finding Seasonal Work This Year

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The holiday gift-buying rush is upon us, and with it comes a perfect opportunity to find a seasonal job to bring in a little extra money.

Consumers spent more than $626.1 billion dollars during the winter holidays in 2015-2016, according to the National Retail Foundation, continuing an upward trend since 2008. In 2014, employers hired more than 700,000 employees to help offset the holiday rush, creating an almost 6% increase in employment during that time.

So what’s the best way to go about searching for a seasonal job? Follow the four tips below to get a jump start on your competition.

Look in the Right Places

Large retailers, such as Walmart and Target, offer the best opportunities for seasonal workers because of the variety of products they offer. But don’t neglect other niches outside of retail. Shipping companies also experience a large increase in volume during the holidays, allowing for several contract positions.

Beat the Competition

Start pounding the pavement now to look for that seasonal job. Companies are already planning for holiday hiring, and it pays to get on their radar early. You might also consider using a staffing company, such as Express Employment Professionals, as they often work with client companies that hire extra holiday help.

Be Prepared

When shopping around for jobs, be prepared to interview or fill out an application on the spot. Bring a pen, copies of your resume, proof of citizenship, and contact information for your professional references. Don’t forget to block off plenty of time to talk with a supervisor if you get the chance.

Be Flexible

Seasonal workers must be flexible to accommodate for extended store hours, and you don’t want to knock yourself out of the game by demanding a specific schedule.

Do you plan to look for seasonal work this holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Five Tips for Your Career Future

habits_better_leader_webIn his 2010 New York Times Bestseller, “Linchpin,” Seth Godin proposes that the future of work will look dramatically different. He uses the term linchpin to describe the type of workers who will be needed and thrive as the workforce and businesses adjust to new technologies and trends.

“Linchpins are the essential building blocks of tomorrow’s high-value organizations. They don’t bring capital or expensive machinery, nor do they blindly follow instructions and merely contribute labor,” Godin says. “Linchpins are indispensable, the driving force of our future.”

With that in mind, it’s important that every worker consider the goals they want for their career.

Think About What You Want

As you sit down and begin to think about your future, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Is it owning your own business or becoming a leader in the company where you work right now? Maybe it involves making a hobby your full-time job.

All of these are great starting points for picking out the place you want to be, and taking the steps to get there. Don’t let questions about how you’ll get there enter your thought process just yet. Think big and audaciously right now, then you can move on to the next step.

Research

Now that you have an idea for where you want to be in your career, it’s time to do your due diligence and research what it will take for you to reach your goal.

If the future you see for your career involves a leadership role, find out the steps you need to take to make yourself a candidate for that position. Are there projects or tasks that you can take the lead on right now that will demonstrate your ability to lead? Spend time reading leadership books from authors like John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, and the previously mentioned Seth Godin.

Research will be the solid foundation upon which you build the career you envision for yourself.

Ask Around

While in your research phase, it’s important to spend time talking with friends, mentors, and anyone else you think can offer insight and advice as you work toward your future goal. Ask them to be honest about the struggles you may face so you will be prepared to take the next steps.

If your future career is going to take you into business ownership or a new industry, seek out people who have experience as an entrepreneur or who are currently in the field where you want to work. Their value to your success is beyond measure, so be patient with their schedules, but persistent and learn what they have to share.

Keep Learning

You’ve done the research and spent time with people who can offer wisdom and insight into the career future you want to achieve, now it’s time to keep learning. The saying “knowledge is power” is absolutely true, so now is not the time to stop learning everything you can to set yourself up for success.

This could involve more reading and discussions with experts, but it could also mean more education like taking classes or earning certifications.

If you’re thinking about transitioning into a new industry or advancing in your current profession, then courses and certifications are a great resource. Plus, many can be done completely online and at a relatively low cost.

The website Coursera.org offers online classes from top universities in a variety of topics, from business to computer science to learning a new language. Maybe you’d like to learn about coding, a skill that is becoming more and more valuable as businesses look for people with advanced computer skills. Sites like CodeAcademy, Udemy and Code Avengers offer free classes to learn how to code and build websites and apps.

Take the Step

Something you may not realize when you get to this point in the process is that you’ve already taken several steps in the right direction.

You may feel nervous or anxious about fully committing to the future you see for your career, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be 80% of the way complete. You’ve identified your goal, done your research, reached out to those who have the knowledge and insight you need, and continued or began learning the skills to be successful.

The next step is to fully commit to your future, to believe you have what it takes to achieve your goal.

What other tips would you offer to someone who’s thinking about their career’s future? Share them in the comments section below.

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.

5 Tips for New Grads in the Changing Workforce

recent_grads_first_jobs_webThe transition from college to the workplace brings many changes, but is also full of opportunity. With the five different generations in today’s workforce, it’s important to find your place in the workforce and establish yourself as a professional who can make a positive impression.

Whether you’ve landed your first job, or are on the hunt, here are five tips to help you find success in today’s ever-changing workforce.

1. Connect with other generations.
When you enter the workforce, you could encounter up to five different generations, each with their own view of the workplace. While you likely have your own, strong vision of how work should be done, it’s advantageous for you to learn from those you’re around. One good way to do this is through mentorship. Connect with a seasoned professional within your company and commit to meeting regularly.

2. Work on soft skills.
While experience and technical skills take time to develop, soft skills can be established immediately. Work on being a team player, listening, leadership, and other skills that can’t be gained from completing a college course or certification program.

3. Position yourself for future leadership.
As older generations retire, it’s important to position yourself to step into leadership roles that may open in their absence. Because of the skills gap, many employers will soon find themselves looking to younger generations to step up and take on more responsibility. So, early on in your career, start thinking of how you can prepare yourself for such roles. Take time to study your company’s current leadership, learn a new skill, find a mentor, or volunteer to help with projects. You can also take a look at the results from a recent Movin’ On Up poll to see how others are preparing for future leadership roles.

4. You control your career.
It’s important to realize that the future is in your hands. While you may end up at a company that is great about promoting employees’ professional growth, you must remember that at the end of the day, they have a business to run. Identify the strengths you bring to the table, capitalize on those, and do your best to make yourself invaluable to the company.

5. Be patient and flexible.
Keep in mind you are part of a generation accustomed to having information at your fingertips. The fast pace of technology can make it hard to wait, but know that as businesses strive to stay ahead of the changing technology, things won’t always move as quickly as you’d prefer. So, be patient and be flexible.  Realize that things will get done, but maybe not as quickly as you’d think. Part of that is generational, while another part is simply how businesses sometimes work.

Have other tips you’d like to suggest for new graduates? Let us know in the comment section below!

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