Archive for the ‘Write A Resume’ Category
In this economy, it’s absolutely essential to stand out among the hundreds of people who may be applying for the same position. Your resume can be what makes or breaks you, so it’s important to keep it up-to-date with the information employers want and need.
The last time you created a resume, chances are you were looking at a simple one-page document highlighting your work experience and education. This won’t cut it anymore. In addition to a resume document, you should also be embracing online networks like LinkedIn. This site allows you to present to a prospective employer not just your resume, but also portfolio examples of your work and recommendations from previous employers and coworkers with just a click. Since you will most likely be submitting your resume as an email attachment, make sure to include live links so that the person reviewing your resume can quickly move to your online profile.
2. Include all your information.
Remember the old rule about fitting all your information onto one page? That rule no longer holds true. Today’s worker likely has many years of experience, and you don’t want to sell yourself short. A resume of two to three pages is perfectly acceptable and often even necessary. Because the first page is the one that will be seen first, make sure that one has the most important information relevant to the job to which you are applying.
3. Watch your words.
Another piece of outdated resume advice is to use certain words such as “team player” and “problem solver” to describe yourself. Unfortunately, these days everyone else is also using those descriptives. Recently LinkedIn published a list of the most over-used words and phrases in resumes. The list includes such favorites as:
– Extensive experience
– Proven track record
– Fast paced
Rather than using such generic and vague terms, describe actual projects and results you have been involved in. If you can describe how much money you saved the company, even better.
4. Make a good first impression.
Like it or not, your resume is still going to be judged by the way it looks. It should look clean and professional, and should also imply that you know your way around a word-processing program. Most importantly, there should be no spelling or grammatical errors. A single spelling error is all it takes for your resume to be filed in the trash can. It might be helpful to have a professional resume service create your resume for you, as long as they follow the current rules. You may want to provide them with the information you want included and request that they simply design the document.
5. Create your brand.
What is your top skill? This is your brand. Don’t use phrases like “objective” or “summary” in your resume. Instead, boldly declare your skills, whether you are a “finance director” or a “marketing specialist.” Proudly state your name and your brand to help prospective employers quickly identify you. With the deluge of resumes that job openings often bring, the person looking them over may not have time to do more than quickly scan many of them. Make yours stand out and catch the eye of the person who is making the decisions that may determine your future.
The part of the hiring process known as the interview is something that scares most people to death. It doesn’t have to if you have thought of prospective questions before hand and prepared yourself accordingly and also thought of some questions you may have for the interviewer.
Here is a brief list. We kept it brief because the list could be four pages long if we so desired, however you would not read it and it would be very frightening. So we pared it down to the most likely ones:
- How would you describe yourself?
- To be successful in this career, what do you think it takes?
- Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your long-term goals and objectives?
- What major problem have you handled recently? Did you resolve it? How?
- What characteristics do you think make a manager successful?
- Why did you apply to our company?
- How do you approach critical assignments?
- If you had to think on your feet to solve a difficult situation, what would you do?
- Why were you fired?
- What steps do you take before making an important decision?
- Name the most difficult assignment you had and how you finished it.
- What kind of supervisor do you prefer?
As you can see, the questions are open-ended, not allowing for a simple yes or no answer. The more you talk, the more the hiring authority learns about you. That’s why you need to be prepared before you utter one word. Each answer must be crafted carefully to maximize your chances of being hired. You can become more prepared for interview questions and answers by looking online there are several great interview resources like Resumeindex.com and Monster.com
A friend of mine who was looking to change careers asked me last week for some ideas of tailoring his resume to expedite his search. Here’s what I told him, and this advice is for you too. Here are two examples but there are many; always keep in mind whether you are in sales or management this applies; “sales are sales”; if you know how to sell the product is incidental. Same is true of management. A personal friend of mine worked in management in six or seven different companies, all different products. If you understand people, “management is management”, only the product changes. If you are a machinist and run a lathe; you can be easily trained to run a mill or drill-press.
If you are seeking a job in a new area, you should first identify and describe any previous work experience in the best light possible while identifying the most relevant duties performed. Job descriptions are no longer seen as helpful ways for employers to evaluate potential employers, and many of them are looking for accomplishment-focused phrases and results-oriented statements. So tailor your resumes toward this.
Using Action Verbs in Resumes
Use action verbs. These are words that are used specifically in resumes to accurately and succinctly indicate what a job applicant accomplished in their last position. These phrases begin with an action word such as designed, sold or instructed and leave out unnecessary words such as the, a and also. The phrases sound crisp and leave the distinct impression that you have been active.
The best action verbs depend on the specific job duties you performed, but some example action verbs could include: billed, wrote, supervised, managed, analyzed, directed, trained, planned, taught, developed, maintained, organized, initiated or produced. When you write your resume you should pick one verb for each line and then elaborate.
Accomplishments to Mention on a Resume
If you haven’t had to look for a job for several years – you may have a difficult time figuring out which of their past accomplishments are best to focus on when choosing the action words for their resumes.
These questions may help when trying to determine which verbs are best to describe the results of each pertinent job duty:
- Did I improve efficiency – how?
- How did I perform the job better than expected?
- Did I implement anything new that benefited the organization?
- Did I receive any awards or special recognition as a result of past performance?
Tips When Changing Careers
Researching the new field or profiling the specific job the applicant is looking for is the most important aspect of changing careers. The more knowledge you have about the company the better your chance to market your existing skills. By using the Internet, research has never been easier. Employers are impressed by applicants who have taken the time to find out about their businesses.