Tag Archives: Résumés

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.