Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Resume Issue: Our Top Resume Advice

Resume_yellowOver the years on Movin’ On Up, we’ve offered a lot of advice to job seekers and those new to the career world. And oftentimes, we choose to write about resumes, because they’re a very important element in landing your next job. Your resume is usually the first impression and can make or break your chances at landing that dream job. So, we’ve compiled a list of our top resume-related articles to help you set yourself apart.

30 Power Words to Power Up Your Resume and Boost Your Job Search
When you’re looking for a job, it’s important to make sure your resume stands out among the sea of other applicants. One way to help you get noticed is by enhancing your resume with words that pack a punch. Using words that convey work ethic, positive attitude, and communication skills can help your resume stand out for the right reasons. Powering up the vocabulary in your resume may be just the thing your job search needs, so check out these 30 power words to boost your resume and job search.

3 Times When a Functional Resume is Your Best Bet
Sure, everyone would love to get their foot in the door of a company so they can personally introduce themselves. But in reality, it’s just not always possible. Instead, you have to find a way to get ahead of the competition without actually meeting a hiring manager. And, one of the best ways to do that is with your resume. With so many styles of resumes out there, it’s important to find the right one to complement your work history and skill sets. Sometimes, that right choice is a functional resume. Here are three times when a functional resume is your best bet.

Creating an Organic Resume
When you think of “organic,” you probably think of food. If something is labeled organic, it simply means there are no added ingredients, artificial chemicals, or hormones. And, just like organic food doesn’t have any additives, neither should your resume. It’s important to make sure your resume has exactly what the hiring manager wants to see, so cut the additives, highlight a few skills, and format your resume for a great presentation. By applying some simple organic concepts to your resume, you can help yourself stand out to hiring managers.

Lucky Words for Your Resume
A hiring manager will look over a resume for only six seconds on average. If they don’t see something that stands out, you may not end up landing an interview. Employers are not only looking for skills on your resume, but also for certifications, degrees, job titles, and company names. So, be sure to use keywords that highlight your experience, personality, and abilities. If you want a better chance at landing that next job interview, consider using some of these lucky words in your resume.

5 Resume Resolutions to Keep in 2014
It doesn’t have to be a new year to start making goals and sticking to them. If one of your goals is to get a new job, explore a new career path, or land a promotion, it’s important to focus on the smaller steps that will lead to your goal. Keeping your resume updated, making sure your references are accurate, and checking your resume and cover letter for grammar mistakes are a few of the ways you can help ensure your big picture goal stays on track. And, at the halfway point in the calendar year, there’s no better time to make your resolutions a reality. So, check out these 5 resume resolutions to keep in 2014.

Making sure you have an effective, clean, and practical resume can help you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters who will decide whether or not you’ll get an interview. So, keep these tips in mind when you create your resume to increase your chances of landing that next big interview.

What tips do you have for creating a strong, effective resume? Share with us in the comments section below!

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

Poll: What Do You Feel Like You Gained Out of Your Summer Internship?


Summer internships are a great way for college students and recent grads to get some real-world experience before heading back to school or entering the workforce. Young adults from various majors and backgrounds clamor over openings at various companies. For our July question of the month, we want to know what you feel like you gained from your summer internship. Let us know by voting in our poll!

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

Brand It Blue Day Provided More Than 55,000 Meals

On Saturday, June 14, in communities across North America, Express Employment Professionals offices came together to serve and give back as part of the second annual Brand It Blue Day.

More than 200 Express offices, from California to North Carolina to Canada joined with 1,000 volunteers to provide more than 55,000 meals for those in need. If you were able to be a part of this amazing effort in any way, thank you for your support and hard work.

As we recently shared, volunteering and serving with a local nonprofit or charity can help you find your next job. But giving back to your community doesn’t just impact your job search. Research shows volunteering is connected to an increase in well-being and lowered depression, both of which are often impacted by the loss of a job.

Helping others, whether it’s through serving alongside a group of volunteers on a Saturday morning, or by doing pro-bono work from your home for a nonprofit, has a positive impact on your attitude on life and hopes for your future. The London School of Economics conducted a study that found the more people volunteered, the happier they felt.

We hope that Brand It Blue Day gave you an opportunity to serve in your community,  increase your happiness, and possibly, make some new connections that will help you soon find a new job. If you didn’t have a chance to join Express for this year’s event, make sure to check back with your local office for information about Brand It Blue Day 2015 and how you can be involved.

Check out some of the photos from Brand It Blue Day events from across North America!

Olive Brand Express Office
Olive Branch Express Office
Grand Rapids Express Office
Grand Rapids Express Office
El Paso Express Office
El Paso Express Office
Raleigh Express Office
Raleigh Express Office

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

Five Painless Ways to Save Money While Job Hunting

SaveMoney_June2014_webWe’ve all been there – looking for a job, lacking a paycheck, and searching to find ways to cut back on spending. That’s why Movin’ On Up has compiled a list of five simple and painless ways to save money while you continue your job hunt. These money saving tips will not only help your pocketbook, but will assist you in your job search as well.

Money Saving Tip #1: Dress for Success Without Breaking the Bank
It’s not a secret that dressing for the job you want, and not the job that you have (or don’t) is one of the most touted tips for success. This can be hard to accomplish on a tight budget, but it’s important to look your best when going to an interview. If you don’t feel your current wardrobe is suitable for a first impression with your potential new boss, check with a friend to see if they would be willing to lend you an outfit. Another way to solve this problem would be checking local secondhand or consignment stores, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or online stores like eBay. Browsing through these shops for the beginnings of a professional wardrobe can yield some unexpected and worthwhile results.

Money Saving Tip #2: Avoid Eating Out
Eating out often is not easy on your wallet. Instead of going out to dine, take a trip to the grocery store and buy ingredients for meals you can prepare throughout the week. There are multiple websites at your disposal for recipe ideas that are fast and low-cost. For example, at, you can sign up and receive a free printable dinner plan for a month of easy weeknight meals for busy families. For similar meal plans, just use your preferred search engine to look for inexpensive meal options.

Money Saving Tip #3: Strategically Plan Your Search
When on the hunt for a job, it’s easy to simply drive around aimlessly and hope you come across a place you’d like to work. Instead of using this approach, hop online the night before and choose a specific section of your city or town to travel to. Visit different sections on different days and you can strategically visit every part of your city without driving back and forth past the same business repeatedly. This method will save you money spent on gas, which we all know can be a drain on your pocketbook.

Money Saving Tip #4: Build Your Resume for Free
Volunteering and continuing your education aren’t just ways to feel good about yourself; they are also valuable opportunities for adding skills and experience to your resume. Check with your local Regional Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, and various other non-profit centers for volunteer openings in your area. This can also prove to be an effective networking opportunity and a place to meet future employers, so don’t forget to work hard and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. For education, check out Duolingo to learn a new language, learn to code at Code Academy, or even learn about web development at W3 Schools. These specific skill sets are at very high demand and can be learned for free over the web.

Money Saving Tip #5: Write off Your Job Hunting Expenses
Many of your job searching expenses are tax deductible, including resume preparation fees and traveling expenses. Check out for a list of four ways to deduct job hunting expenses. Of course, make sure to also go to the IRS website for a complete list of details and restrictions.

A vast majority of job seekers are learning ways to cut costs. And, implementing these five simple tips can put you on the fast track for not only a fuller bank account, but a job as well.

Do you have any other tips for cutting back on spending? Have you had success with any of these techniques for saving money and getting a job? Let us know in the comments below!

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

Safety Month 2014: Two Communication Tools

SafetyMonth_June2014_webJune is National Safety Month, and this year the theme from The National Safety Council is “Safety: it takes all of us.” The message is focused on continuous risk reduction.  With that in mind, this is a good time to focus on working as a team to improve safety.

How do our actions impact our co-workers’ safety? How can we inspire or inform our co-workers in working safely? A commitment to continuous risk reduction means asking these questions, speaking up, and working together to take care of safety issues in the workplace. Here are two communication opportunities you can participate in to promote a safe workplace.

  1. Communicating About Near Miss Incidents
    Near miss reporting is a way to recognize hazards before they lead to an injury. A near miss is something that could have led to an accident, but the person was “lucky” not to have been in the wrong place. By reporting near misses and communicating with your co-workers, you can begin to eliminate risks. If everyone understands the preventative goal behind discussing these incidents with one another, this communication strategy can be a good way to prevent future accidents.
  2. Mentor Others
    Another way to continue this year’s theme of “Safety: it takes all of us” in the workplace is by being a mentor.  If you have a group who has learned to look at near misses and take care of risks, have an ongoing plan to share what that group has learned with the team and new employees.  Assign mentor employees to watch new employees perform risky activities, and explain the history of safe practices. Promote everyone’s participation in the group’s safety culture. In the end, the development of this culture of recognizing and eliminating hazards together is the strongest way to continuously reduce the risks associated with the workplace.

Safety Month is every June in the U.S., and serves as an annual reminder to focus on safety prevention and best practices. For more tips on staying safe at work, check out our special section of the Movin’ On Up Blog.

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

Six Resume Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

SixResumeMistakes_June2014_webWith so many people vying for jobs, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you don’t get called for an interview or selected for the position by every employer who receives your resume. However, if you notice a trend of being rejected for positions that you were truly a good fit for, you need to ask yourself this question: “Is my resume effective?”

A resume serves one purpose – to help get you get an interview. If it’s not fulfilling that purpose, then it stinks. In a survey of hiring managers last year, CareerBuilder learned of some resumes that were obviously bad, including a resume written like a text, one consisting of a single sentence, another linking online video gaming to leadership experience, and a resume written in the Star Trek language of Klingon. Although your resume may not be like these extreme examples, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
It can be difficult to critique your own work, and sometimes you just don’t know what employers want to see on your resume. So here are the most common resume mistakes that result in employers dismissing the applicant, according to CareerBuilder’s research.

Mistake #1: Typos
There is absolutely no reason for a resume to have grammar, spelling, or formatting mistakes. More than 50% of the hiring managers said that typos meant an automatic no.

Mistake #2: Too Generic
Nearly 40% of employers said they tossed resumes that weren’t personalized for that specific position.

Mistake #3: Lack of Skills
It’s not that the applicants weren’t skilled; those skills just weren’t listed in the resume, which meant 35% of the employers dismissed them right away.

Mistake #4: No Originality
Resumes that reflect the skills and experiences listed in the job posting are good. However, resumes that match the job listing word-for-word aren’t recommended. One out of three hiring managers cited it as a reason to reject candidates.

Mistake #5: Unprofessional Email
Employers expect a certain level of professionalism from their employees, and when the email address listed on the resume is unprofessional, 31% said no thank you.

Mistake #6: Missing Dates
More than a quarter of the managers dismissed candidates who failed to specify exact dates of employment within their resumes.

It’s easy to assume that resumes really aren’t that big of a deal anymore. But as Matt Tarpey, a career adviser with CareerBuilder, told Forbes, “Even as technology has advanced and changed the way job seekers find open positions, the resume remains an integral part of the hiring process.” If your resume contains any of these mistakes, it may be holding you back from the position and career you want. Make the effort to learn how to improve your resume, and then take the time to shape it up. It will give you a greater chance for potential employers to call you in for an interview.

Has your resume kept you from getting interviews? What have you done to help make your resume stand out among the rest? Let us know in the comments section below!

Written by Ashlie Turley

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

Survey Reveals Three Things to do in Your Job Search

3ThingsToDoInJobSearch_June2013_webRecently, Express Employment Professionals surveyed the unemployed in both the U.S. and Canada to uncover current job search activity and the mindset of the unemployed. More than 1,500 unemployed adults in both the U.S. and Canada were surveyed by Harris Poll, revealing what the jobless are doing to find work. From this research, we want to offer our Movin’ on Up readers three pieces of advice to improve your job search.

  1. Work Full-Time on Your Job Search
    Looking for a job is a job in itself, and Sean Harry, writer for Careeralism, recommends your job search should take up about 30 hours per week. In our recent survey, 36% of unemployed Americans and 32% of unemployed Canadians spent five hours or fewer a week looking for work. Don’t just think about searching job boards online and sending in applications. Invest time into networking and building contacts within companies where you want to work. Jacquelyn Smith recently shared in a Forbes article that 80% of available jobs are never advertised. In this case, networking and personal connections are key.
  2. Keep Your Search Wide
    For some job seekers, finding a job in your current location may be more difficult than if you considered moving. However, in our survey of the unemployed, 37% of Canadians and 44% of Americans are “not at all willing” to move to a new city/town for a job. If possible, consider employment opportunities outside your current area as a way to increase your opportunities.
  3. Be Open To Learning
    64% of U.S. respondents and 51% of Canadian respondents “have no plans to go back to school to make themselves more marketable.” While the cost of education could be a deterrent, job seekers can explore vocational and apprenticeship programs as an affordable way to gain new skills.

Staying positive during your job search can be hard, so consider seeking help by applying through a staffing company such as Express Employment Professionals. Just 24% of the unemployed in the U.S. and 31% of unemployed Canadians are using an employment agency/temporary staffing agency to find work.
What job search activities do you find to be most effective? Share with us in the comments section below.

This research on the unemployed is part of an ongoing series by Express on the state of employment, and who gets hired and why. To learn more, visit America Employed and Canada Employed.

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