Friday, February 26, 2016

Points To Remember Before Writing Your Resume

Searching for a job is not always easy, no matter what state the economy is in. And when you're on the hunt, your best weapon is your resume. This document must emphasize the best of your experience, education and skills and sell you to your future employer. It's a lot to ask, but it is possible to get your CV into fighting shape. Prior to writing, just remember the below mentioned 10 points.

1. It's Covered in Glitter -- Literally.
Yes, it has been done. In an effort to make your resume stand out, you may find that it gets thrown out. Less extreme attempts such as including image files or using non-traditional symbols or fonts should also be avoided. While it may be a nice break for a recruiter reading through hundreds of Times New Roman documents, you run the risk of the fonts or images not loading properly. And you can bet that busy recruiter isn't going to contact you for a simplified copy.

2. There Are References.
Listing your references on the resume is a definite no-no. References should always appear on a separate page, and should only be produced when asked for. Also, be sure to delete the "References: Available Upon Request" line. It's understood that you will, so save some space and your potential employer's time.

3. It's Written in Full Sentences.
The headhunter has likely received dozens if not hundreds of applications -- help them out! Your resume should be short and sweet and bulleted. You aren't writing a novel, you are trying to catch a skimming employer's eye and prove you are worth a second look -- and an interview.

4. There Are No Numbers.
One of the worst things you can do on a resume is be vague. Don't just list your accomplishments in a general way -- have the quantitative data to back it up. If you exceeded a goal, by how much did you exceed it? If you created and distributed company performance reports, how many did you do? Adding numbers concretizes your accomplishments and paints a better picture of what you actually did.
Also, make sure you are answering the "how" question. If you completed five projects this year instead of the expected four, how did you do it?

5. It Includes the Words "Duties" or "Responsibilities."
When you are writing your current or former job description, focus on your accomplishments, not what you had to do. As an alternative to "duties" or "responsibilities," flip your tasks into achievements. For example, instead of being "responsible for the sales team," consider "directed the sales team to beat their repeat client objective by 10%" -- remember that number thing!

6. It Lists an Objective.
For the most part, objectives sound insincere and, worse, can limit your options. Let your cover letter do the talking when it comes to why you want that particular job. And remember, each cover letter and resume should be individually tailored to a specific job posting -- not just a specific field. Taking an interest in the specifics of the job makes you look professional and focused and not like you are mass-emailing anyone who might hire you. Desperation is no more attractive to an employer than it is to a date.

7. It Contains Spelling or Grammatical Errors.
We all know to avoid this one. It makes you look sloppy and negates the part of your resume that proudly describes you as "detail-oriented." The best thing you can do for a resume is send it to a professional resume writer or a professional editor. If you are a student, your career center likely offers free resume counseling or at least free information to help you fine tune your CV before sending it out. At the very least, have a friend look it over and check for basic language errors -- spell check just doesn't cut it.

8. It Lists an Unprofessional Email Address.
In a world where email is free, and most of us have multiple addresses, make the effort to have a professional email address. Keep it simple -- using your name is best. Just make sure you leave the for personal use. One more tip? Don't use your current work email unless you are self-employed.

9. It Includes a Picture.
The ONLY time this is appropriate is if you are applying to be a model or an actor, and in both cases, a separate portfolio is preferable. Including a self-portrait could exclude you for not being serious and may make you appear unprofessional. Let your skills and experience speak for you.

10. It Is Too Personal.
Resumes should demonstrate how professional you are -- that means the anecdote about the time you met Britney Spears is not appropriate. That being said, let your personality come through in your resume by including volunteer experience or a (very) short section about your interests.

The Bottom Line
When times are tough, getting a job is a stressful undertaking. Don't sell yourself short. Instead, make sure your resume is the best example of you as a potential employee and before you know it, you'll be employed once again.

Remember, just keep it simple..

Friday, February 05, 2016

The Need For A Professional Resume Writer

In the midst of hundreds of resumes that any recruiter or employer receive for any given position, your resume needs to stand out from that crowd.

In other words, you must make the Recruitment Manager want to read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant.

 Now what makes a resume that focuses on achievements, so effective?

It can be said that most job seekers tend to list their responsibilities of their past and current positions without highlighting on their achievements. Although responsibilities are an important factor, the crux should be on achievements. If you are seeking a high-level position, it becomes even more necessary

In other words, you have to show proof of those results that you were able to achieve and that you would be able to repeat it should the future employer hire you.

Presentations and fancy dressed up resumes are just not enough. Of course, there are instances there when the odd one that has been selected just because of the fanciness, but these are only rare cases.

You must be in a position to describe how you have increased the company’s bottom line or managed any projects that lead to increase revenue and company savings. Of course then there is the case when you are able to show how you have restructured the organization, leading to increased employee morale and company profitability. Now the interviewer or resume reviewer must get the picture that you are capable to repeat these performances.

This is the kind of information that managers seek out amongst the clutter of resumes that they receive.

Another important aspect for an "accomplishment driven resume" is the resume format itself. Try not to mix your achievements and responsibilities together. In other words, you can write an overview of your responsibilities in a paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments with bullet points.

Basically, if everything looks the same, nothing will stand out.

By applying the above points, your potential employers would not only be able to see what you have achieved in the past, but what you could offer to them in the future as well.

Now that the achievement issue has been discussed, let’s get to the next step.

If you have been sending out your resume and not getting interviews, you can certainly blame your resume.

Without a good resume, companies virtually have no idea that you even exist - unless you are invited to an interview by the hiring authority, you may as well be invisible.

We live in a market economy and you must learn to market yourself effectively and aggressively or suffer in a 'go nowhere' job while your friends move on to new opportunities and brighter futures.

As a matter of fact, the primary job of your resume is to only open doors !

Now the question arises, whether you should write the resume yourself or hire a "professional resume writer".

There are chances that if you do the writing, that key elements could be missing and a jobseeker generally doesn't discover this until a good portion of time has been poured into the job search.

For example a job-search campaign can stretch out for weeks or months.

Let's look at some numbers that will determine whether a resume writing service is worth the investment.

First, the salary you are seeking, say $36,000.

Now, let's divide that number by 2,080 (based upon 8 hours per day, multiplied by 5 days and further multiplied by 52 weeks) and you will come up with $17.31 per hour (gross).

Every day, you will lose just over $138.45, and for every week, $692.30.

Let us say your job search takes 6 months, you will lose an estimated $18,000.

Compare these with the costs that you might have to shell out for hiring a “professional resume writer” and you will see that their charges come to only about (2) days of your expected salary.

Of course, then there are the ones, like me that you could get for less than a day's salary. Alternately, you could write it yourself, but then that requires a lot of research. Whenever, you do a research, you must remember to pay yourself as well...

Another grey area is the cover letter.

Since the cover letter is what most hiring managers read first, you have less than 10 seconds in which to make your reader want to put down your cover letter, pick up the phone and call you for a job interview. This 10 seconds makes or breaks you. It provides the information that hiring mangers use to make decisions on who gets called, interviewed, and hired.

It's your cover letter which decides that!

A cover letter with a concise format is easy to scan and shows respect for the reader's limited time.

Recruitment Managers don't have the time nor the inclination to sift through the hundreds of resumes they receive. If your resume is not available on the manager's desk at the correct time, with the correct format, the job assignment is going to go to the person whose resume and cover letter managed to get there first, even if you're the better person for the job.

Is this not better than waiting for an interview with your fingers crossed!

So, while resume preparation on your own is possible, there really is no substitute for letting a resume writer do it. Besides, if you are not getting any feedback on the resumes you have written, it is time you tried out a "professional resume writer".

Mainly because, it really doesn't pay to cut corners when it comes to your career.

If you still need more information, CONTACT ME, and perhaps we could discuss whether the fault lies with your resume.