I founded ResumeOK in 2011, with the goal of helping people increase their chances to get a better job. I am a career and online marketing expert that has reviewed and written thousands of resumes. During my career, I have found certain patterns that make a resume successful, and I’m sharing all my insights in the samples that you can find on ResumeOK. My work has been published by reputable publications such as BusinessInsider, FoxNews, SmartRecruiters, Business.com, HuffPost, ZipRecruiter, SnagAJob. If you need help with your resume, or just want to say “hi”, send me an email. Read more about us here .
Women are often conflicted on whether to disclose a Maternity Leave on their resume. This is because it can leave a significant unemployment gap in their “Work Experience” section.
It is not uncommon for resumes to have gaps. However, if the period on unemployment is more than 3 months, it can raise a red flag for the Hiring Manager.
The standard Maternity Leave benefit covers 3 months. In many countries, the benefit is mandated by law. A woman who applies for Maternity Leave can apply it during the month of the pregnancy and the first 2 months after giving birth to take care of the newborn baby.
Because motherhood is a life-changing event, it can have implications for a woman’s career as well. The new mother may decide to extend her leave beyond 3 months for a number of reasons.
The baby could have special needs. In a dual-income household, the mother may not have anyone to care for the baby while she is at work. The mother may be undergoing post-partum depression and needs treatment as well. She may also decide to become a stay-at-home mom, especially if she has more than 1 child.
In situations as these, the mother could have an unemployment gap that extends past 3 months. The gap may even cover a period of 1 year or more. When she finally decides to apply for a job, the extended gap may be a deal breaker for some companies.
We will show you how to address a Maternity Leave on your resume. Our approach may even enhance your chances of landing the job!
Should You Disclose Your Maternity Leave On A Resume?
In a word, “Yes”.
As we mentioned earlier, a Maternity Leave is mandated into law in many countries. Your employer is obligated to grant you a Maternity Leave upon request provided you are able to fulfill requirements covered by the law.
Thus, recruiters know you are merely exercising your right to avail of the benefit. They will not take it against you for taking a Maternity Leave. They have probably come across others who were in the same situation. The Hiring Manager may have experienced it herself!
However, If you don’t disclose it on your resume, the recruiter will have no idea of the real reason behind the prolonged unemployment gap. You would not want the person reading your resume to play a guessing game.
5 Best Tips On How To Approach Maternity Leave
Generally, an unemployment gap on the resume is a disadvantage. If you were competing for a job position with another candidate who has a seamless work history, the gap could be the difference maker.
However, that does not have to be the case. You just have to be upfront and honest with the recruiter on the unemployment gap.
The person who reads your resume will be your first point-of-contact. You will not be able to explain the gap in person. Thus, you should let your resume do the talking for you.
Here are 5 tips on how to approach your Maternity Leave so you can put it on your resume:
1. Change Your Mindset
So you took a Maternity Leave? You’re not alone. All over the world, women are filing for maternity leaves every single day. And don’t forget the men! Many countries also offer Paternity Leave in order for the husband to assist the wife with the pregnancy and share child-rearing duties.
A Maternity Leave is not a bad thing. It is not destructive to your career. A company cannot fire you for taking a leave of absence because you have to bear a child. Therefore, there is no reason to hide it from your resume.
2. Shift the Focus Toward Your New Skill Sets
Hiring managers are more interested in what you did during your Maternity Leave. They want to know if you stayed productive and focused on your career.
Yes, being a mother can be a full-time job. For the first few months, sleep becomes more of a luxury than a necessity. However, that does not mean you cannot learn new skill sets.
For example, you can sign up for online courses that are complementary to your present skill sets. If you are a website designer, you can sign up for courses in Digital Marketing or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which will enhance your overall value proposition.
3. Tell a Story
You can nip your fears on the Maternity Leave dilemma in the bud simply by telling a story. Everybody loves a good story, even recruiters!
The best section on your resume to tell a story is the resume objective. There are several good reasons for this:
The resume objective is found on the top third of your resume. You can be assured the recruiter will come across your objective statement.
The resume objective functions as your voice on the resume. Think of it as your formal introduction to the company.
The resume objective is a short section. It should consist of no more than 4 sentences. Make every one of those sentences count.
In the next section, we will show you how to write a resume objective that will clear up the issue on your Maternity Leave. This is a must-read! Our technique can increase your chances of landing the job.
4. Include Freelance Work
If you did freelance work during your Maternity Leave – great! Being a stay-at-home mom does not mean you can’t be a work-at-home mom.
There are many mothers who have developed a financially-rewarding career as freelance workers or telecommuters. Not only will freelance work contribute to the family household, but it will keep you sharp and busy. Companies will always appreciate people who are hard-working and industrious.
5. Capitalize on Your Network
Perhaps the easiest way to get a job after an extended leave is to include a referral with your resume. Capitalize on your network and ask for job referrals from your contacts list.
You can cite the name of the person who referred you to the company in your cover letter. If your contact is a known associate to the company, the referral may be all you need to jump the line and get the job interview.
Of course, even with the help of a referral, you should still disclose the Maternity Leave on your resume. You cannot take chances. There is always the possibility that the referral will not exert any influence on the recruitment process.
How To Include Your Maternity Leave On A Resume
Numerous studies have been done to show how recruiters are able to review hundreds of resumes every day. Recruiters don’t read resumes. Rather, they can them. The entire process takes around 6 to 10 seconds.
As mentioned in the previous section, you can be assured the recruiter will go through the top third of your resume which consists of the following sections:
These 3 sections also come before Work Experience which means you can precede the unemployment gap by presenting Maternity Leave in your objective statement and strengths sections.
For reasons discussed earlier, the resume objective is the perfect section to present your Maternity Leave in a story-telling format.
Here is an example of a good objective statement that addresses the issue of Maternity Leave:
Professional Web Designer with 10 years of experience building and managing websites for some of the best digital ad agencies including SkyHy Digital and FutureVerse Technologies; I am interested in becoming a web development manager in your company. In June 2016, I took a Maternity Leave to give birth to my son. I decided to take 2017 and 2018 off to embark on the most honorable career that of a mother because the first 2 years is the best time for the child to imbibe the best values. Likewise, I used the period to learn additional skills that would enhance my overall value to your company. I became certified in Digital Marketing and I am presently halfway in completing my course in SEO; both skills are both required in your job position.
From here, you can shift the focus toward your newly acquired skills in the Strengths section:
Professional Web Designer with 10 years experience
Bachelor of Science – Computer Information Systems; 2017
Certified expert in Adobe Dreamweaver, WebFlow, Adobe Photoshop, and UI Cloud
Certified Digital Marketer – Simplilearn; January to November 2017
Search Engine Optimization – Simplilearn; June 2018 to present
Dedicated and committed to my chosen career
Highly-focused on providing the best results for my clients
Detail-oriented and meticulous in my approach to work
Conducts herself in a professional manner in and out of the office
The objective statement gives the recruiter an idea of who the applicant is as a person. It will also set up the information provided in the Strengths section. As you can see, the inclusive dates of the applicant’s certification courses can help cover the unemployment gap.
By the time the recruiter reviews her Work Experience, he/she will know exactly what happened during the period of unemployment after the Maternity Leave had expired.
Let’s assume the company grants you a job interview. The Hiring Manager sees the gap and asks you about it. If you disclose the Maternity Leave, the Hiring Manager will understand.
However, he/she may think, “Why didn’t she disclose it on her resume?” In fact, the Interviewer may ask you the question during the interview, “Why didn’t you disclose your Maternity Leave on your resume?”
Companies want to hire people they can trust. Although it takes years to build trust, a resume can give the recruiter a glimpse of the kind of person that you are.
If you hid the Maternity Leave from your resume, what other “secrets” would you hide from the employer?
Companies are putting more emphasis on soft skills – the personality attributes that define your character and approach to work.
When you disclose issues such as Maternity Leave on your resume, it presents you as a person who is trustworthy, transparent, and accountable. These are 3 very powerful attributes that can shift the decision of the recruiter to your favor.
You will successfully clarify the unemployment gap and keep the recruiter from playing the guessing game on your resume.
Therefore, it would be in your best interest to address the Maternity Leave situation head-on. Put all the questions to rest. Address the Maternity Leave on your resume.
Getting the interview means you did a great job polishing your resume. If you left the interview grinning ear-to-ear that must mean you prepared well and aced all of the questions. You’re thinking, “Now, the waiting begins.” Meanwhile, the candidate who was interviewed before you is busy preparing a follow-up email that he plans to send within 24 hours.
Before the Hiring Manager can make the final decision, he gets to read the candidate’s email. The Hiring Manager is impressed with the candidate’s candor and his willingness to go the extra mile to get the job. The phone call is made; only it is not to you.
Why You Should Write A Follow-Up Email After An Interview
Job seekers dedicate time fine-tuning their resumes and practicing their responses to interview questions that they forget the third component in the process: sending a follow-up email after an interview.
As the term implies, the purpose of the follow-up email is to check up on the status of your application after the job interview. Essentially, its purpose is to find out if you got the job or to inquire what the next steps are.
Why is the follow-up email so important?
First, it could validate the soft skills that you listed in the resume or discussed during the interview. Soft skills refer to the personality attributes that best define your approach to the job.
You may have listed these soft skills in your resume:
Great interpersonal skills; ability to establish strong and purposeful relationships within the organization.
Excellent communication skills; able to articulate thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a constructive manner.
Meticulous and highly-detail oriented; covers all the bases in order to minimize the risk of committing mistakes.
All of these positive attributes are validated by the follow-up email. The Hiring Manager will see that you are the “real deal”; there is substance behind your pronouncements.
Second, not everyone, if any at all, will send a follow-up email to the Hiring Manager. Many job seekers are constrained by their fears, doubts, and unsubstantiated beliefs.
They think sending a follow-up email after an interview is a bad idea. For some reason, they believe the Hiring Manager might find the email “desperate”, “pretentious” or “pessimistic”.
The truth is, hiring managers love receiving follow-up and thank you emails. In a survey of more than 300 hiring managers, a whopping 80% responded that a follow-up email after an interview increases your chances of getting hired.
In contrast, only 25% of job applicants take the time to send a follow-up or thank you email to the Hiring Manager after the interview.
So while 75% of your competitors are just waiting beside their phone after the interview, take the next step and stay ahead of the pack by sending a follow-up email.
When To Send The Follow-Up Email
According to a survey conducted by the staffing agency, Robert Half International, 81% of 1,000 hiring managers responded that they want to receive the follow-up email within 2 weeks after the job interview.
Sending your follow-up email within 2 weeks is a good guideline to follow. However, the Hiring Manager could have shared a timeline for a decision with you during the interview.
For example, if the Hiring Manager informed you that a decision would be made within 3 to 5 days, it would be best to send the follow-up email much earlier.
Should you send the email a few hours after the interview?
A better idea would be to send a thank you email. This is different from a follow-up email in terms of content and intent. With a thank you email, you are merely showing your appreciation for being considered for the job.
Here’s an example of a thank you email:
Thank you for the interview yesterday. To be considered for the job is a great honor.
If you have any further questions or need clarification on the information I shared during yesterday’s interview, please do not hesitate to ask.
Again, thank you for the opportunity and for the wonderful conversation.
A thank you email should be short and direct to the point. The tone is also slightly informal in that you refer to the recipient via his first name. Remember that the thank you email is simply a gesture of appreciation and goodwill.
As we will show you in the next section, the form and content of a follow-up email are much different.
How To Write A Follow-Up Email After An Interview
Another reason why you should send a follow-up email is that you can use it as your final push for the job.
Think of the email as a follow-up sales pitch. It is an opportunity to highlight your value proposition and impress upon the Hiring Manager that you are the best person for the job.
Therefore, it is important to use an enthusiastic tone when writing the email. If you included attributes such as results-oriented, positive disposition, and highly-engaged in your resume, let them shine through in your follow-up email.
Step 1 – The Email Subject Line
The email subject line will determine whether your email gets opened or not. Make sure the follow-up email is addressed to the person who interviewed you.
The best email subject line is direct and complete in details.
Subject: Interview for Research Assistant 28 January Thursday 2 pm
If the company emailed you the invitation for the job interview and you responded, you should send the follow-up through the thread.
This way, your follow-up will have a greater chance of being opened. The details of the thread will also make it easier for the Hiring Manager to remember who you are.
Step 2 – The Content of Your Follow-Up Email
The content of your follow-up email should likewise be short and concise. However, there are details that you should include:
Similar to the thank you email, greet the recipient with his/her first name.
State your intention right away – to follow up on your job application.
Always indicate the specific job title, the date and time of the interview.
Reiterate that you are interested in the job position.
Include one discussion point during the interview which you believe was the most compelling and generated the highest level of engagement.
Conclude by reiterating your appreciation for the interview and the opportunity.
Before sending out the email, proof-read its content. Run it through a grammar and spell-checking software. When you are 100% confident of your email, click “Send”.
Here’s an example of a follow-up email:
My name is Adrian Winslow and this email is intended to follow up on the status of my job application for the position of Research Assistant. You interviewed me last 28 January, Thursday at 2 pm.
I wish to reiterate that I am firmly interested in the position. Our discussion during the interview about the importance of incorporating Behavioral Psychology in market analysis was exciting and intriguing.
In this regard, I hope to be given the opportunity to learn from your company and contribute to the continued success of XYZ Company.
Kindly advise of the next steps. If you need any clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Are you surprised by how short a follow-up email is? If you feel compelled to write a longer one – don’t! There are 2 things that you have to remember.
First, this is an email. No one wants to read through a long, drawn-out email. This is especially true for people who work in Human Resources who probably receive hundreds of emails every day. As busy individuals, they would want to clear out their inbox as soon as possible.
Second, this is a follow-up. It is understood that as a follow-up, the meat and potatoes of the matter have already been discussed. Therefore, it should be brief.
Conclusion – Dealing With The “What Ifs” After You’ve Sent A Follow-Up Email
The “What Ifs” are the possible scenarios that could have taken place after you’ve sent your follow-up email. In the first place, once you’ve clicked “Send”, the anxiety of waiting begins.
Dealing with the What Ifs will not make the waiting period any easier. Here are a few tips on what to do if any of the following scenarios happen.
Scenario 1 – The Company Responds That They Have No News Yet
This is the usual case. Selecting the best candidate from the list is not always an easy task. What you need to do is to send a short email that will keep the conversation – and hopefully, their interest – going.
Here’s an example of a quick email response:
Thank you for the update! It is much appreciated.
Can you advise on the best time to follow up? I understand it is not easy to hire the best person for this job.
I just don’t want to follow up too often and take away too much of your valuable time.
Scenario 2 – No Response
Not hearing from the Hiring Manager could be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences. However, don’t press the panic button just yet.
First, you should respect the time and responsibilities of the Hiring Manager. He/she could just be too busy to respond to your email right away.
Second, give the Hiring Manager at least 2 days for the courtesy of a response. If after 2 days, you have not received a response to your follow-up email, send a short reminder:
Just checking in to see if you were able to read my last email and if there are updates regarding my job application.
I know you are a busy man. Kindly provide me an update when you have the chance.
If you still haven’t heard anything from the company after sending this email, remain patient. Sending a follow-up email is a great way to establish communication but frequent follow-ups may be counter-productive.
Assuming you have job interviews from other companies lined up, by all means, push through with them.
In a tight job market, opportunities are hard to come by. So keep knocking on doors until someone finally lets you in.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]
When writing a resume, you have to cover all the bases. Every section can influence the recruiter’s decision to invite you to a job interview. All key information must be provided and written in complete detail. You have to run a spelling and grammar check because these types of mistakes are unforgivable with recruiters. If everything appears in order, don’t submit your resume yet. Are you sure you used the best font size and style for your resume?
Why Your Choice Of Font Size And Style For Your Resume Matters
Recruiters are very busy people. Every day they go through hundreds of resumes. It can be a very tiring job. However, they carry on with their duties because they are tasked to find the best available talent for the company.
Consequently, recruiters have become very efficient in reviewing resumes. While it is important to have the key details on your resume, a recruiter will not read them with a fine tooth comb.
Instead, a recruiter will scan through your resume. He/she will look for keywords, specific skills, numbers, figures, and other details that are pertinent to the job position. In all, it may take the recruiter only 6 to 8 seconds to review your resume.
During this time, your resume should already make a strong impression. If it fails to do so, your resume may find its way to the 201 File.
For this reason, your choice of font size and style for your resume matters.
Choose a font style that is too sophisticated, and it may put off the recruiter or discourage him/her from looking for the important details. Choose a font style that is too small, and your resume will become a difficult read.
And let’s not forget the ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems.
An ATS is a software program that is used by Human Resources to pre-qualify resumes. It does this by tracking keywords and other relevant details.
Applicant Tracking Systems function better when analyzing basic or standard formatting styles than the fancier, more sophisticated fonts. It will have an easier time reading font styles like Arial, Times New Roman, Cambria, and Calibri than Pacifico, Caveat, and Comic Sans.
Therefore, in order to move forward in the hiring process, you should always use the best font size and style for your resume.
How To Choose The Best Font Size And Style For Your Resume
If you’re still with us, great! It shows you are really serious about submitting the best and most competitive resume to any prospective employer.
If you’re having second thoughts, keep in mind that recruiters for the biggest companies in the world take the candidate’s choice of font size and style seriously.
Steven Davis, who works as a Career Coach at JP Morgan which is one of the biggest banking institutions in the United States, believes that choosing the wrong font style and size will discourage the recruiter and guarantee your resume is “toast”.
Knowing the right font size and style is not a difficult process. For the most part, it comes down to common sense. To have a better understanding of what we mean, before you choose a font style and size, put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter.
What would you like to see?
1. Prioritize Font Visibility
Empathize with the recruiter. Make his/her job easier by using a font style that is easy to read. The font size should be large enough that the letters are very visible to the recruiter.
Remember, you should make an impression during the first 6 to 8 seconds. If your resume font is so small that the recruiter spends 6 to 8 seconds squinting and straining to read your resume, your resume may be on its way to the filing cabinet.
What is a good size for a font? It would depend on the font style. For example, a size 14 Calibri would be nearly as big as a size 12 Arial. Generally, the best font size would average from 10 to 12.
2. Keep It Simple
There is a saying in design that goes, “There is beauty in simplicity”. The saying can likewise be applied to your resume. Keep the look of your resume simple and professional.
Given the significance and importance of submitting the best resume to a prospective employer, it is easy to get carried away with the bells and whistles.
You want to emphasize certain details and information on your resume. However, you might end up overusing word processing tools such as bold, italics, and underline.
You may be tempted to mix in font styles and sizes. For example, you might use size 14 Helvetica in boldface for your sub-heading and size 12 Courgette for your details.
The short answer is: “No”.
Keep it simple and professional-looking. The recruiter will thank you for it.
3. Do A Sight Test
If you want to be sure of your choice of font style and size, do a sight test. After you’ve completed the draft of your resume, print out a hard copy. Look at it. Ask yourself if it is easy to read.
To be sure, ask someone whose opinion you trust. It will not hurt to take a small survey among a few friends and family. Tabulate the results and take note of their comments and suggestions as well.
The purpose of the sight test is purely visual. You just want to know for sure if the style and size of font that you chose have made your resume easier to read and friendlier to the eyes.
4. Size Matters With Your Resume
You might be thinking of reducing the size of the font from 12 to 8 in order to fit more information. Always remember that quality precedes quantity in resume-writing.
Unless your experience exceeds 10 years, keep your resume down to one page. Don’t be tempted to add to the pages especially if the content is not relevant to the job position you are applying to.
9 Best Font Styles To Use For Your Resume
There are a lot of font styles to choose from. However, choosing the right one for your resume is not rocket science. As we explained in the previous section, go with the most basic and simple style that will make your resume look professional.
We’ve taken away the guesswork for you and have made the selection process easier. Here are 9 of the best font styles that you can use for your resume:
You may have noticed that Calibri is now the default font style of MS Word replacing Times New Roman. It is also the preferred font style of the aforementioned Steven Davis.
Calibri is a good choice because it reads well on a resume. This font style makes your resume look clean and more organized. It belongs to the sans serif group of fonts. “Sans Serif” means without a tail.
2. Gil Sans
Gill Sans is a font style that was designed in the 1920s and has its origins in the United Kingdom. It has withstood the test of time and remains one of your best choices of font style.
The design of Gill Sans was intended to give it a modern but classic look. The letters appear sharp and have great spacing to give it amazing clarity on a resume. This font style reads very well on a computer monitor.
Georgia is a good example of a style from the serif family of fonts. Serif is a group of font styles that showcase a tail. It gives the font a more elegant, stylish, and sharper look compared to the simpler and blockier sans serif fonts.
Georgia is often referred to as “Times New Roman 2.0”. For a long time, Times New Roman was The Font. Every applicant and his brother or sister used Times New Roman on his/her resume. It was so popular that recruiters eventually got tired of it.
The difference between Georgia and Times New Roman is that the font style was designed to look better on a computer screen. That was one of the biggest drawbacks on Times New Roman.
Cambria is a sans serif font and is considered by many recruiters as the more elegant version of the Calibri. In fact, the Cambria was created in 2016, the year broadband technology made the Internet more accessible.
The biggest strength of the Cambria is that it reads very well on a computer screen. In this day and age of computers, more recruiters view resumes on a screen than a hard copy.
Garamond is a serif font that is also a nice alternative to Times New Roman. It has a more polished and elegant look and unlike the aforementioned Times New Roman is not overused.
Earlier we discussed the importance of keeping your resume down to one page. If you want more detail in your resume and still keep it down to one page, Garamond is the ideal font style for you.
It is compact enough to allow you to fit in more words on your resume. However, you will not compromise readability because of the spacing between letters.
Lato is a serif font that was originally designed as a “Corporate Font”. The idea behind Lato is to create a font style that would give corporate communication options without sacrificing functionality.
The drawback with Lato is that it may not be available in most versions of MS Word. You will have to download it for free at Google Fonts.
The Helvetica is considered by many typographers as the “greatest font style of all time”. So great, in fact, that a self-titled movie was made about the Helvetica!
What makes the Helvetica great?
Designers love the font’s clean lines and exceptional level of readability. Another bit of Helvetica trivia is that many of the most iconic logos use this font style – BMW, American Airlines, and Microsoft – to name a few.
If you want to get into an industry that requires a great deal of artistic expression such as fashion, photography, and graphic design, choose Didot on your resume.
Didot is a serif font that has been given a more upscale and modernized look perhaps due to its origins which are rooted in Paris, France. It has a delicate and softer look compared to other serif fonts which means it comes out well in boldface.
Thus, if you plan to use 2 types of font styles, Didot will be most effective as the font for your headings.
9. Trebuchet MS
Trebuchet is to Arial what Garamond is to Times New Roman. It gives job seekers a more modern and elegant version of a sans serif font that projects very clearly on a monitor.
We mentioned some popular font styles in our article but they are not featured in the list.
So what happened to Times New Roman and Arial?
For years, these 2 font styles were the most popularly used fonts on resumes. Times New Roman was the default font of MS Word until 2016. The truth is, these 2 font styles became a victim of their own popularity.
Recruiters simply thought the Times New Roman and Arial were overused and abused by job seekers. We mentioned how hard the job of a recruiter is – pouring through hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. They just had enough of it!
Besides, if you want to stand out from the rest, you should be different. If everyone was using Times New Roman, you should use another font style that would make the recruiter take notice while keeping the resume professional-looking.
An internship is a program that is offered by a company to potential employees. It can also be viewed as an opportunity that is presented by a employer to individuals who plan to work for their company. In most cases, an internship does not involve remuneration for services rendered by the intern.
However, many employers consider an internship as a form of work experience. It can help entry-level applicants such as fresh graduates compete for jobs that are available in the market. This is the reason why you should put your internship on a resume.
Why You Should Put An Internship On A Resume
In a competitive job market, you need every advantage you can get. Having an internship on your resume gives you a fighting chance versus applicants who have acquired work experience.
Make no mistake about it. Unless “No Work Experience Necessary” or “Entry Level Applicants Only” is stated on the job post, employers will always prefer to hire someone with work experience.
An internship will close the gap between you and more experienced applicants. At the very least, an internship may spell the difference between a paycheck and another day at the unemployment line.
Should you still put an internship on a resume if you already have work experience?
Although its value may not be as much compared to someone who has no experience, an internship will show the Hiring Manager your level of dedication, commitment, and focus to your career.
Who Should Put An Internship On A Resume?
As mentioned, an internship on a resume will greatly benefit job seekers who do not have work experience. Number one on this list is the fresh college graduate.
The Fresh Graduate
Many universities understand the competitiveness of the job market. Unless the student has an exemplary academic record, it would be difficult for them to vie for jobs when compared to the more experienced applicants.
Thus, a good number of universities have taken the initiative to develop internship programs for their students.
For example, a university may reach out to a company and propose an internship agreement for their students. If interested, the company can design an internship program that will meet their business needs as well as the requirements of the course curriculum.
Upon completion of the program, the company may exercise its option to hire some of the interns to fill out specific positions. In this case, the internship is a sustainable arrangement that provides a win-win solution for both the company and the university.
Whether you are eventually hired or not, include the internship experience on your resume. The best way to capitalize on the benefits of the internship program is to apply to companies in the same industry.
This is because the skills and experience you have gained will be relevant and easily transferable to the potential employer.
People Who Are Switching To A New Career
Are you planning to switch to a new career? It will give your job application a boost if you include an internship on your resume.
When a Hiring Manager reads a resume, the first question that comes to his/her mind is:
Unless you can establish relevancy between the requirements of the new job and the set of responsibilities from your previous employment, the details of your work experience will hardly matter.
For example, a person who is transitioning from a career selling pharmaceuticals to a position in private banking will have a hard time convincing the recruiter to consider his/her application unless proof of competency in some key aspects of banking work can be presented.
If the job seeker joined a summer internship program in a bank during his/her time in college, the experience should be included on the resume.
What if the candidate did not join an internship program while in college? Find one that is relevant to the position and sign up!
Don’t let age get in the way of your internship program. Just because you are eight to 10 years removed from college does not mean you cannot be an intern. On the side of the employer, the job market can be tight on talent.
If the company comes across a potential employee, he/she will be more than welcome to sign up for the internship program regardless of age. For a business, offering an internship program is a cost-effective way to recruit talent.
So if the company you are interested in working for offers an internship program, you should sign up and take part in it.
How To Put An Internship On A Resume
Recruitment officers go through hundreds of resumes every day. They will not have time to thoroughly review a resume. The most experienced ones have a system in place which keeps the qualifying process fast and efficient.
Studies have shown that on average, a recruiter only needs 6 seconds to qualify an applicant from his/her resume.
Therefore, before putting your internship on a resume, there are 3 things you have to consider:
How to Describe Your Internship
How to Present Your Internship
Where to Place Your Internship
Review Your Internship Experience
As we discussed in the previous section, for your internship to become effective, you must establish its relevance to the job position you are applying for.
You must take the time to review your scope of work during the internship and identify the tasks that were similar or relevant to the job position you are applying for.
Consequently, you should review the details indicated on the job post. Find out what the required skills are and if you are confident enough in your ability to provide them according to the standards of the company.
For example, as a fresh college graduate, you want to apply for the position of Credit Analyst at a local bank. However, your internship program was at the quality control department of a manufacturing company.
First, take note of the required skills in the job post. Let’s assume the required skills are as follows:
Knowledge of spreadsheet programs such as Excel and QuickBooks.
Exemplary mathematical skills.
Excellent analytical skills.
Quick but firm decision-maker
Dedicated and committed to accomplishing tasks.
Next, do an accounting of the skills you acquired, the training you received, and the experiences you gained during your internship in the manufacturing company. Identify and summarize the skills, responsibilities, and experiences that are transferable and useful for the job of a Credit Analyst:
Knowing how to use MS Excel is almost always a sure thing. MS Excel is the most basic of all spreadsheet programs. You don’t have to be in banking to find great value in this software.
Popular QA programs include tools such as Compliance Quest and The Lean Machine which function similar to spreadsheet programs.
As a QA intern, you had to learn the various product standards of the company and ensure these were applied to all finished output. This requires thorough analysis and critical thinking.
You should have an eye for detail and a high level of focus to screen products for quality control.
If your internship experience is not related to the job you are applying for, don’t throw in the towel. Take the time to evaluate your internship experience and find common points of reference that are relevant to the job position.
Use the Right Structure for Your Internship
Since many companies consider an internship like work experience, you should present it in the same manner on your resume.
Create a special heading for the section such as “Internship Program”.
Identify the name of the company you interned at.
Use the same title or designation that the company gave you.
Indicate the inclusive period of the internship.
List down 5 to 8 duties or responsibilities that were assigned to you.
Again, these duties and responsibilities should be relevant to the job position you are applying for. In our previous example, the right structure for your internship details will be as follows:
Pinnacle Semiconductors Manufacturing Corporation Intern – Quality Assurance Division 01 June 2018 to 31 December 2018
Duties and Duties and Responsibilities
Worked closely with the QA supervisor and officers in identifying and qualifying completed output of semiconductor units.
Cross-referenced completed semiconductor units with specific product details outlined in the company’s standards and guidelines.
Assessed and analyzed the quality of output in order to establish the equilibrium point of the current production schedule.
Updated the company’s proprietary spreadsheet program.
Prepared detailed reports using the Lean Machine software program for distribution and discussion with the operations and inventory management groups.
Apply Strategy on the Location of the Internship On Your Resume
The location of your internship details on your resume will depend on your situation.
If you are a fresh graduate, you should place the section on Internship before “Education”:
If you are transitioning or changing careers, you should place the internship section right after “Work Experience”:
The idea is to make sure the details of your Internship is presented in a way that strengthens your claim to the job and helps the recruiter find the answer to the question:
“Why should we hire you?”
A resume isn’t just any ordinary document. It is your first point-of-contact with the employer. As the old saying goes, “First impressions last”. To get that all-important interview, your resume must make a good impression with the recruiter.
The challenge becomes greater if you have no work experience. For this reason, you must always put thought, strategy, and purpose behind your resume. Do not submit any run-of-the-mill resume to a company. You need to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Take the time to work on your internship experience. Done properly, it could put your foot inside the interview door.
When Human Resources pens a job post, it makes sure all the requirements for the position are clearly stated. It is part of their pre-screening procedure. This is why before writing your resume, you should always review the job post. Highlighting the relevant skills in your resume will help you get the interview.
Thus, if you get the interview, it would be safe to assume that the company has recognized you as a candidate who is potentially qualified for the job. In fact, during the interview, the Hiring Manager may ask you questions that dig deeper into your knowledge about the job position.
The Interviewer may bring in a top-level manager from the department to ask you questions about specific aspects of the job. Situational questions may be thrown in to assess your decision-making skills and leadership abilities.
Then, once all of the job-related questions appears to have settled down, the Interviewer throws you a curveball:
“Do you have any questions about the job position?”
Why The Interviewer Asks “Do You Have Questions About The Job Position?”
The short answer would be “No”.
Giving the “No” answer may send the message that you are willing to wholeheartedly accept the conditions of the job position without question. You are telling the Interviewer that you are ready to work right now.
On the flip side, it may lead the Interviewer to conclude that you possess some of these undesirable attributes:
Lack of Interest
Lack of Dedication
It may effectively end the interview but “No” may also mean you won’t get the job.
Many candidates get stumped by this question because they did not prepare for it. For the reason that they are sitting in the interview chair while others have found their way into the 201 File, they assume the company has found them “qualified”.
So why ask questions about the job position?
Qualifying the technical and fundamental competencies of the candidate is just one purpose of the interview.
The Interviewer wants to see if you have any type of apprehensions about the job.
Are you concerned about the pay for the job? This is not the time to ask about it. You may think you are being truthful, but asking about the pay shows the Interviewer what your priorities are.
It may be misconstrued as a lack of respect on the organization’s ability to manage its business. The apprehensions that are being alluded to by the question are related to the nature of the job:
Working Conditions – Is the job in a manufacturing plant where toxic substances are present? Will I be assigned to a location where the crime rate is notoriously high? Will I be stationed in a country where social and cultural differences are very pronounced? What are the safety parameters?
Level of Expectations – Are my skills, experiences, and certifications enough to effectively manage the duties and responsibilities of the job? Will the company fund the procurement of additional certifications? What are the company’s benchmarks for the job?
Personnel – Will I work with other people? Will I get involved in the scope of work of my teammates? What is the hierarchy or organizational flow of the team?
The Interviewer wants to know how much you know about the company, its development plans, and the reasons for hiring someone for the position.
An accountant is a key position in a company. However, the application of an accountant’s skills varies from one industry to another. For example, in the food business, an accountant will be asked to monitor food costs while in the healthcare industry, an accountant may be hired to review insurance claims.
A job position has various applications depending on the industry and the needs of the company. By asking you “Do you have any questions about the job position”, the Interviewer wants to know if you are clear with your expected role in the position.
May I clarify your duties and responsibilities?
Will I be collaborating with certain individuals, agencies, and other third-party groups?
Will I be coordinating with key people and decision-makers in the company?
What is the timeline for the first project?
The Interviewer wants to gauge your level of interest for the job.
Generally, a person who has questions about the job position appears more interested in the position than someone who just says “No”. Of course, the questions should have substance. An experienced interviewer will know from the get-go if your questions are legit or just fluff.
When coming up with your questions, it would be a good idea to frame them in such a way that it would elicit feedback and an extended discussion. If your question is framed as one that only requires a “Yes” or “No” answer, it will not be as impressive.
The best questions are the ones that likewise challenge the Interviewer to dig deep and come up with the best answers.
If you find the Interviewer saying, “That’s a good question. Let me get John from IT on the line. He would be the most qualified person to give you the right answer”, then you are on the right track!
10 Ways To Answer The Question: “Do You Have Any Questions About The Job Position?”
Administrative/ Clerical Job Position
“I’m pretty confident that my current skills will enable me to do my job well. However, is there a specific software program that the company uses for organizing tasks, filing documents, and other administrative duties? Do you use proprietary software and would you provide training for this?”
Top-Level Management Job Position
“My only concern is the high turnover rate of your employees. Would you consider this a top priority? It seems to me that based on your earlier disclosure on performance reports, attrition continues to play a significant factor. Is there a process in place that measures employee ROI? I have experience in setting up Process Improvement Systems and may be able to contribute in this area.”
Marketing Job Position
“How committed is the company in investing resources for Digital Marketing? The reason I ask this is according to the latest financial disclosure, while the total amount of expenditures for marketing increased year-to-year, it was actually lower in terms of percentage of annual sales. Will the company increase its percentage allocation to marketing? And if so, would it favor digital over traditional marketing?”
Retail Job Position
“Is the company planning to increase its digital presence? I have only seen the company’s social media pages but there is no website. Several brick-and-mortar retailers have shut down as they refused to transition toward e-Commerce. Or is the company in the middle of planning for its first e-Commerce site?”
Sales Job Position
“I am very pleased and appreciative of the fact that my application is being considered for the sales job position. What caught my attention during the interview was that my predecessor was on the job for a very short time. Would you know what difficulties or struggles he faced when he was managing the territory?”
Research Job Position
“As I mentioned in our interview, my strengths in technical analysis are in Wave Theory and Fibonacci. I know your research team is amazing with Oscillating systems and moving averages. Would you by any chance provide training in these methods of technical analysis? I think that would help out in identifying entry and exit points.”
Entry-Level Job Position
“If I should get this job, it will be a tremendous milestone! I would just like to know what the usual career path is. As I discussed in our interview, my objective would be to find a position in Key Accounts. Am I on the right track assuming I am fortunate enough to land the job position?”
Teaching Job Position
“As a public institution, the school is facing the threat of budget cuts considering the fact that the government is in a deficit. What do you perceive will be the challenges teachers will face in lieu of these anticipated budget cuts in education?”
Finance/ Accounting Job Position
“Will I split time overseeing the records at the warehouse? Or will I coordinate with Purchasing Manager and the Inventory Manager on the transmission of all records and documents? I am fine with both arrangements. I would just like to know so I look ahead and prepare mechanisms that will protect confidential information.”
Restaurant Manager Job Position
“Are you considering having the restaurant available for bookings and reservations? I understand that as of last year, the catering service was launched as the new stream of revenue. I surveyed the dining area and have taken note the possibility of re-arranging some spaces for parties. As a Restaurant Manager, one of my duties was to book events for the restaurant. I can help you plan and coordinate events.”
Getting an interview is a big step toward landing the job position. Every question that you answer to the satisfaction of the Interviewer brings you closer to your goal. Don’t leave anything to chance. Prepare as well as you possibly can before the interview.
Role-playing is a good idea. Pretend you are the Interviewer. What kind of questions would you like to ask yourself to prove to the Interviewer you are the best candidate for the job?
For sure, the question “Do you have any questions about the job position” will be on your list.
When you are on the unemployment line – the handshake and the contract that comes along with it – are all you want. However, the grass is not always greener on the other side. The job you set your sights on may not turn out to be what you expected. Your moment of clarity can happen within a month, a week, or even a day. If you want to know how to quit a job you just started – read on!
Do You Really Want To Quit? Give Your Decision Some Serious Thought
Once you tender your resignation, there is no looking back. Career decisions can be life-changing. Emotions will run high the moment you realize this job – the one you beat other candidates to get – is not for you.
Don’t get caught up in the moment. Give your emotions time to simmer down so you can think clearly through your situation.
Consider Possible Reasons for Staying
On a piece of paper, create two columns. Label the left column “Pros” and list down all the possible reasons for staying. Label the right column “Cons” and list down all the factors that make you want to quit.
This isn’t a numbers game. It should not matter if one column has more items than another. After all, if you just started the job, there may not be enough substance behind your reasons to quit or stay.
Instead, this is an exercise of self-introspection. The idea is to reconcile your fears of staying with your prospects for future career growth:
“Are my fears or reasons for quitting valid only in the short-term?”
“Can I hope to have an immediate resolution to my issues with the job if I discuss them with my boss or supervisor?”
“Will this decision to quit impact on my ability to get a new job right away?”
“Is the job market tight? Will I be able to land a job within a month?”
Be honest with your answers. It would be a good idea to do some research on the company and the industry. The weekend would be the perfect time to think your decision through.
Review Your Employment Contract/ Employees’ Handbook
It is the right of every employee to resign from his/her job. No employer will stop you from leaving the company. However, there are rules and regulations that oversee employee resignation.
In addition to the provisions that are mandated by the local government and labor agencies, your employer may have its own set of guidelines. Thus, it is a good idea to review your employment contract or employees’ handbook before finalizing your decision to resign.
Your employer may have guidelines that cover the following areas of the resignation process:
Grace Period of Resignation
When and Whom to Submit Your Resignation Letter
Schedule of the Exit Interview
Turnover of Company Materials – keys, I.D., and documents
Endorsement or Proper Turnover of Outstanding Work
Payment for Days Worked
Keep in mind that you are still under contract. In some cases, there are industry-specific conditions. An example would be a provision that prohibited you from working for a competitor for a period of 6 months to 2 years.
Some employers may have included a “safety device” in your contract. This safety device is added to protect the interest of the company.
An example of a safety device would be one that requires you to reimburse the company the full cost of the training should the resignation take effect within 3 months.
Get Advice from One Trusted Source
A good way to find clarity in your decision would be to get advice from one trusted source. Even if you have more than one person in mind, it is best to just talk to a single person. This way, you lessen the chance of getting conflicting advice.
Who are usually the best sources for career advice?
Your former boss or supervisor
A long-time mentor
A trusted friend
One of your college professors or adviser
Sometimes you see more clearly through the eyes of another. This is because your confidante will filter your reasons for quitting through an unbiased and objective filter.
Be Considerate and Give Your Employer Proper Notice
Your decision to resign will not only impact on your career. Likewise, it may have negative repercussions for your employer especially if you were hired to fill an key role in the company.
Companies factor in a grace period that covers an employee’s resignation. Basically, your resignation cannot take effect right away. In principle, the grace period gives the company enough time to recruit, select, and train a replacement for you.
Although the grace period is included in the employment contract or the employees’ handbook, it is not set in stone. Usually, the prescribed grace period will take 15 to 30 days.
However, it is not unusual for the employer to forego the grace period especially if the position is not important or if a replacement can immediately be found.
Resign In a Professional Manner
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your reasons for quitting a job you just started, resign in a professional manner. Observe proper decorum when discussing your decision with your boss or immediate supervisor.
Here are 3 useful tips on how to resign like a professional:
Resign in Person
For sure you will feel embarassed about leaving a company that just hired you. However, resigning in person will help you save face. In fact, your boss will admire you for it because it is a sign of professional courtesy.
Follow Company Protocol
Companies have a set protocol for filing resignations. Each company’s resignations will differ from one another. Some may ask you to submit a written submission to your immediate supervisor first. Others may ask you to speak with Human Resources before submitting a written resignation.
The bottom-line is: Always follow company protocol. It shows respect for the company’s rules and regulations. At the same time, it will speed up the resignation process.
Don’t Burn Bridges – Leave on a Good Note
As the saying goes, “It’s a small world”. One day, your path may cross again with your boss or supervisor. At the time, you may need his/her assistance.
When you resign, don’t burn your bridges with the company and leave on a good note. Don’t write a deeply personal and overly emotional resignation letter that spews venom and vitriol.
Forget the personal stuff. Once you’ve left the office, those bad experiences will just be part of your history.
You should also keep in mind that you may need a recommendation from your boss for your new job. Similarly, your prospective employer may contact your previous employer to do a character check.
You would want your previous employer to give your prospective employer nothing but glowing reviews.
Finish Strong – Don’t Slack Off
If you still have pending work to complete, give it your best! Don’t slack off and give only 50% effort. Finish strong and make sure all pending work is completed according to the company’s standards.
What should you do if the grace period has passed but the pending works have not been completed yet?
Offer to stay until such time that all pending jobs have been completed and approved. However, set a realistic timetable with your boss or immediate supervisor.
Offer to assist the replacement for a few hours every week until the job is completed to the satisfaction of your previous employer.
If possible and acceptable, propose to spend a few hours per day to work on the project from your home until it is finished.
Keep an Open Mind
For the same reason that it is your right to resign, it is also your boss’ right to ask you to stay. There are many plausible reasons for your boss to try and convince you not to resign:
Your boss has an immediate remedy for your situation.
The company cannot find a replacement right away.
The project is currently ongoing and cannot be delayed.
Even if you have decided to resign, keep an open mind. It always pays to work toward arriving at a win-win situation. If the problem can be rectified by your boss and you can get assurances, staying onboard the company may be the best decision you can make.
If you are thinking about quitting a job you just started, don’t be embarrassed or feel ashamed. You are not the only one.
Countless other newly-hired employees have found themselves staring at a pile of papers and thinking, “This is not what I signed up for.” There are also people whose first thought once they got home from their first day at work was, “I hate my job.”
The key takeaway from a resignation is that your decision does not only have implications on your career. It will have repercussions on your employer and if you have a family, they too will be affected.
Give resignation some serious thought before finally drafting that letter. If you submit the letter with a clear mind and conscience, it will not mark the end of a career but the beginning of a new one.
You can’t help but smile on your seat. The sweat on your brow and your palms that formed before the interview started have dried up. A thought balloon forms in your head: “Dry in time for the ‘Welcome aboard the company’ handshake.”
So far, so good!
“One more question before we end the interview.”
…like a bolt of lightning from the heavens, it strikes without warning, without hesitation, without prejudice…
“Why do you want to work for us?”
You begin to open your mouth, ready to fire out an answer. Then nothing. For some reason, you cannot articulate a semblance of an answer and verbalize it. Seems like an easy enough question but your brain refuses to process and formulate a response.
Like many others before you, you’ve been stumped by The Question.
Looks like you’ll need to dry those hands again – if ever you get the “Welcome aboard the company!” handshake.
Why Do Interviewers Ask “Why Do You Want To Work For Us?”
These are just some of the popular – and printable – ways job candidates have described their reaction to that question.
How you should not answer would be as follows:
“Of course, I want to work for you. I need a job so I can pay my bills, have a career, and a life. And you did place a job post, right? So I applied. You liked my resume, called me up, and here I am. If it wasn’t you, another company would have called me up. Why? Because I also applied to their job post. Obviously, if you hired me now, I wouldn’t pay attention to any offer that comes my way.”
At the very least, the interviewer will admire you for your honesty. However, don’t hold your breath on landing the job.
The answer is so obvious and simple to such a silly and stupid question that many interviewees do not prepare for it. The question has caught them off-guard. They have overlooked and underestimated the possibility of the question being asked that they do not have a ready response.
Here’s the thing, just because the question seems obvious does not mean you should give an answer that is likewise, obvious.
The question is not simple. It definitely is not silly or stupid. Interviewers are experienced and well-trained in what they do. There are a good number of reasons why the job interviewer will ask you “Why do you want to work for us?”
The question is very specific: “Why our company? Why not the other companies that posted job ads for the same position in the industry?”
The job interviewer wants to know how well you know the company: “What do you know about our company? Have you done any research? Are you aware of the company’s current projects in the pipeline?”
The question is intended to dig deep in your skill set: “Which skill sets do you have that you feel will help the company reach its goals?”
The job interviewer wants to know the person behind the resume: “What are your long-term career goals? How does the company fit in your plans?”
Therefore, in order to answer the question, “Why do you want to work for us?”, you have to go through deeper layers of questioning from the job interviewer. In order for your answer to be satisfactory, it should incorporate appropriate responses to the other questions.
Now before you get your brow and palms sweaty again, finding the right way to answer the question is not as difficult as it may seem. We said the question was not simple. We didn’t say it was difficult!
The key is to find the best way to construct your answer. And the best way to do that is to break down the question.
Breaking Down The Question: Steps To Finding The Answers
The question, “Why do you want to work for us?” can be broken down into 2 questions that you need to answer:
1. “What do you like about our company?”
There are many reasons why you would choose to apply to some companies and not others.
Hint: “Its close to my house” and “The company pays high salaries” may be true but they won’t get you points.
Instead, come up with reasons that highlight your knowledge of the company and the industry. For example:
Company’s position and reputation as the leader in the industry.
Accomplishments, career achievements, and general reputation of the company’s founders and key decision-makers.
Depth and understanding of the company’s products, services, and game-changing innovations in the industry.
Knowledge of the company’s reputation of providing excellent training for its personnel.
Knowledge or understanding of the company’s culture; having the ability to identify and align oneself with the organization’s core values, vision, and purpose.
This question focuses on your knowledge of the prospective employer. It is intended to be a segue or an attempt to tie in with your answer in the next question.
2. “Why are you interested in the position?”
Now the ball is back in your court. You have to do a deep-dive or some introspection.
Why did you apply for this job?
What do you know of the position?
Do you have the requisite skills to guarantee the company results?
Are you 100% confident in your ability to effectively manage the demands of the position?
Another way to approach this answer is to ask yourself, “Will this job get me out of bed every morning?” And if so, “Why?”
When a company posts a job ad, it is looking to fill a position that plays a key role. You should frame your answer in a way that shows the Interviewer how you can help the company achieve its needs, goals, and objectives.
Present a summary of your relevant hard skills.
Discuss your experiences in managing the same or similar responsibilities.
Pinpoint current issues that the company is facing and how you could use your relevant skills to find solutions.
This question focuses on your personal brand: your UVP or Unique Value Proposition. You should reconcile your answer to this question with your answer to the first question. Tell the Interviewer why your skill sets, attributes, experience, and expertise make you the ideal fit for the position.
Thus, in order to arrive at the most effective answers, you must do research. Learn as much as you can about the company or prospective employer.
Here are some of the best sources of information:
Company social media pages
Community or industry websites including job search platforms and chat forums
Your connections who are in the same industry
Sure it will take time to do comprehensive research. However, the information you get will help you construct the best answers for the question.
10 Best Ways To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work For Us”
“I have been following your company since I was a student in college because my family and I have been using your products for years. It has maintained consistency in product quality over the years. My thought was such consistency was a result of maintaining the best people over the years. This was confirmed in your website which showed many of your top managers have been with you their entire career. I wish to establish my roots with your company and build my profession from here.”
“Your law firm specializes in tax audits, insurance fraud, and family law cases all of which as you have read in my resume, I have extensive experience in. My background is in accounting but I have done insurance work and under my previous employer, undertaken sponsored courses in tax and family law. I have assisted our attorneys in research, preparing depositions, and interviewing case individuals which are a requirement in your office. Likewise, I have excellent skills in transcription which I believe could speed up the processing issues discussed in your Facebook live chat forum last month.”
“I would like to learn more about the foreign exchange market. The idea of trillions of dollars worth of currencies trading on a daily basis has always interested me. Your company holds one of the largest portfolios in FCDUs. I hope to broaden my knowledge on how currencies are traded and their impact on global trade and business.”
“I came across a post on your Facebook page that your hospital needed more RNs for its ER. First of all, I am certified and licensed as an RN in the state. Second, I understand from the post that this position is not popular among RNs because long hours are more frequent. However, dedication to our patients is at the core of Nursing. I trust that you will find my experience, knowledge, and attributes are ideal for the position.”
“When I read your job post, I was thrilled that your company was looking for a Marketing Manager who could direct a video-focused campaign. This is right up my alley because video marketing is one of my strongest competencies as a certified Digital Marketer. I love the company’s content on social media. Reading through them triggered video-based ideas on content that I can conceptualize using programs such as Viewbix, Wideo, and perhaps even Slidely.”
“Sam Arena and George Sandoval who used to work as personal trainers here are good friends of mine. They had great things to say about your gym particularly your preference for using strength-based programs for weight loss instead of traditional cardio. Strength training is my specialty. I am certified by the NSCA. I am confident my knowledge and experience in the subject will greatly benefit your clients and the gym.”
“I admire the Glenville High School’s holistic approach in education. It’s not just about being book smart. They have to be exposed to the real world. The outreach program which the school has sponsored the past year gives the kids excellent exposure and keeps them socially involved in the community. It gives them a practical way of harnessing the tools that the school has provided them. I would very much love to be given the opportunity to contribute to your programs.”
“I became immediately interested in working for your company when I read in the job post the types of content that you need. Long and short form blogs, email and website copy, product reviews, and technical papers. These are my strongest points as a content writer. As required by your post, everything will be keyword optimized, well-researched, and referenced accordingly.”
“I’ve always wanted to work for Matterson and Associates. I’ve admired the projects the firm has built since I was a college student majoring in Architecture. My favorites were Trident Tower, the Paramount, and the amazing Sunset View Apartments at downtown. At the very least, working for your firm will be a great learning experience. Although I remain confident that I will be able to contribute to your future projects.”
“Gillespie is an institution in the restaurant industry. Like many, I love your food but I’ve also kept track of the growth of the restaurant over the years. I have eaten at the Mercato, Longville, Ayala, and Brentwood outlets. You have put up more than 50 outlets and have continued to maintain the excellent quality of the food and its service. I would be honored to be given the opportunity to manage the Longville branch, grow as a manager, and contribute to your success.”
If you want to get the job, you have to change your mindset. It’s not just about you. There are 2 parties in the job hiring process: you and the employer/company. While you know your goals, objectives, skills, and value proposition by heart, the same should be said about your prospective employer.
Human Resources are not just interested in hiring the right people for the job. They want to hire the right-fit people for the job. The term “the best talent in the industry” does not only pertain to technical and fundamental skills.
Companies want people who are right-fit or those who best fit their organizational culture. Technical and fundamental proficiencies fall under hard skills. In addition to hard skills, Hiring Managers are also evaluating soft skills – the behavioral attributes that best define a candidate’s personality or approach to work.
Hard skills can be learned. However, soft skills are the materials that comprise the person since birth. A person’s behavioral attributes are a product of his/her social circles and life experiences.
A company can hire the person with the highest achievements in education and in his/her professional career. Consequently, if the person has a destructive personality, he/she will be detrimental to the entire organization by infecting the culture with contradictory values.
As you have read, the question “Why do you want to work with us?” seeks to uncover the deeper layers of the job candidate.
The answer is not just about having a job, which is obvious. The job interviewer will not want to hear that. On average, there are 250 applicants for every job that is advertised. All of them need a job. There is one difference, however.
The job interviewer wants to know your motivation behind the job.
How much do you want it?
What are you willing to do to get it?
Why should the company hire you and not another one from the 249 other applicants?
Companies by definition are “living entities”. It has a personality; a set of values that are encapsulated by the company’s founders, directors, and key officers. A company has its own achievements, plans, and schedules to help it accomplish those specific goals and objectives.
That is why a “one size fits all” approach does not work. You have to treat each prospective employer differently by customizing or personalizing your approach to getting the job.
The job interview is not just the Interviewer learning key information about you. It is also the interviewer finding out what you know of the company.
Landing that job can be very competitive. You need every advantage you can get. Many candidates think the process is over after the job interview. The ones who get hired take it one step further. While the rest are waiting on the phone, they are writing a thank you letter to the recruiter.
What Is An After-Interview Thank You Letter?
The interview brings you a step closer to getting the job. It gives you the platform to state your claim as the best candidate for the position. The same can be said for the other candidates. Sending an after-interview thank you letter could nudge you a step ahead of the rest.
An after-interview thank you letter is a short note that expresses your appreciation to the recruiter for considering you for the job. Why is this important and how will sending a thank you letter work to your advantage?
Recruiters conduct several job interviews every day. Their minds are overloaded with information. A recruiter will take down notes but it will be hard to keep track of the stand-out candidates. Sending a thank you letter will help put you top-of-mind.
Even if you felt good after the job interview, it doesn’t mean the recruiter felt the same way. You will not know for sure that you did well until you get a formal job offer.
For this reason, you should not be complacent and assume you got the job. An after-interview thank you letter will punctuate your job interview on a positive note. At the very least, the recruiter will remember you for your courtesy.
How Should You Send The After-Interview Thank You Letter?
Before the Internet became a way of life, thank you letters were sent via regular mail. Today, you can send your thank you letter as an email. And it is perfectly fine. The great thing about emailing your thank you letter is that the recruiter will get it right away.
Why is the timing important?
The company may want the position filled out as soon as possible. You should make that final positive impression before the hiring decision is made.
If you want to be assured, send a quick thank you card to the office of the recruiter. A handwritten note on a store-bought thank you card will do just fine.
When it comes to the thank you letter, the message matters more than where you got the card from. A handwritten message is a personal statement. It can be perceived as a sincere gesture. Just make sure your handwriting is legible.
The email thank you letter will have more detailed content. This should be sent within 24 hours after the job interview.
Is sending two thank you letters overkill?
No, because you simply want to make sure the recruiter knows the interview was highly appreciated. Secondly, there is the risk of your thank you letter landing in the spam folder. Finally, sending two letters shows how polite and courteous you are.
What if you went through a series of interviews?
It is not unusual for candidates to go through a series of interviews in one day. If this happens, send a thank you letter to each and every one of them. Ask for a business card so you can get their contact details.
You can send them multiple thank you letters as we suggested earlier. However, make sure the letters are unique and distinct. Don’t use the same message for everyone.
What To Include In An After-Interview Thank You Letter
Another benefit of a thank you letter is that it shows the employer how much you want the job.
In ways, the thank you letter is like a follow up to a sales proposal. Remember that your resume is your marketing tool. It got you the job interview where you pitched your main selling points: your skills and attributes.
When you are following up on a sales proposal to a prospect, you would:
Express your appreciation to the prospect for taking the time to listen to your sales pitch;
Reiterate your interest in making the prospect a customer;
Sum up the key selling points and how these would benefit the prospect.
Similarly, when writing your thank you letter, it should include the following:
A statement expressing appreciation for the interview;
A statement reiterating your interest in the job;
Your top skills and how they could contribute to the company’s success.
The objective of the thank you letter is to generate recall from the recruiter. When he/ she reads the letter, it should spring up your name. There are a few more strategies you can use to trigger quick recall:
Address a key topic of discussion from the interview. If you were not able to answer it as thoroughly as possible, the thank you letter will give you the opportunity to do so. However, keep it as brief as possible. Just state 1 or 2 salient points.
Comment on a topic that was not raised during the interview. A good example would be to comment on how your soft skills would make you the perfect fit for the company’s culture.
Briefly touch on a shared interest. For example, if you and the interviewer share a love for red wine, you could sign off with a statement that reads: “Good luck on finding that Montoya Cabernet from Napa Valley.”
You don’t have to use these three strategies in your thank you letter. Choose 1 or 2 tips that will help leave a good, lasting impression on your interview.
Do’s And Don’ts When Writing A Thank You Letter
A thank you letter may be small in size but when done properly, carries big value for your application. Even though it is considered more as a “note” than a letter, you should still put thought and purpose when writing it.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to remember when writing a thank you letter:
Do’s for writing a thank you letter after an interview
1. Content must be relevant to the job
Recall the job interview. Try to remember discussion points which touched on how your skills could fit the company’s goals and objectives. Was there a question asked where you wished you could have given a more detailed answer?
For example, the recruiter may have discussed the company’s latest projects. Pinpoint the project and identify which skills are relevant and could contribute to its success.
2. Keep it short but concise
Think of your thank you letter more as a note. It has detail but it should not be as comprehensive as the cover letter. Your purpose is to generate recall from the recruiter. Here are some tips on how to keep it short but concise:
Get to the point right away; no need for long setups.
Keep your sentences to 15 to 20 words.
Keep the letter to 2 to 3 paragraphs, 3 to 4 sentences each.
3. Always lead off with a professional subject line
The subject line should state the reason why you are sending the letter. Start off with the words “Thank You” then you can either include your name, the details of the job or both.
Here are a few examples of subject lines you can use:
Thank You – Robert Trower
Thank You – Purchasing Manager Interview
Thank You – Robert Trower, Purchasing Manager Interview
Thank You – Purchasing Manager Interview, Robert Trower
4. Address it to the interviewer by using his/her last name with the correct title
As a note, some candidates may feel it is perfectly fine to address the thank you letter by using the interviewer’s first name. For example: “Dear Joanne”.
While this casual approach is acceptable, it is better to remain formal throughout the letter and address it with the interviewer’s last name and correct title. For example: “Dear Ms. Reynolds”.
5. Proofread as often as you can
Finding spelling and grammar errors are like finding a strand of hair in your soup. It is off-putting and the recruiter may never come back to you. Before sending out your thank you letter, proofread it carefully.
Don’ts for writing a thank you letter after an interview
1. Don’t mistake casual for cute
It may be casual but don’t get cute with the thank you letter. Don’t add emojis or use abbreviations such as “LOL” or “IMHO”.
2. Don’t sound desperate for the job
The thank you letter is a push, not a plea. Stick to a position of strength. Highlight your strong points. Write it from their perspective: how your skills can help the company.
Don’t try to appeal to their humanity by writing the following:
“I need the job to support my family”
“This is my last chance to have a career”
“I will do whatever the company asks me to do”
3. Don’t assume you already have the job
There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Statements like these will make you sound arrogant:
“I look forward to having coffee with you soon. First cup’s on me!”
“I hope they’ll have my corner office ready in time.”
“Stockholders should see company shares coming up real soon.”
Examples Of After-Interview Thank You Letters
Now let’s put everything we’ve learned together.
Here are two examples of thank you letters. The first one can be used as a handwritten note.
Example 1 – Handwritten Thank You Letter/Note
Dear Ms. Reynolds,
Thank you for granting the job interview!
Our discussion inspired me to pursue my goal of becoming your company’s new Purchasing Manager.
Should the company feel I deserve the opportunity, I hope my experience and expertise can help address the issue of variances with the Maine locations.
Again, thank you for the time.
Example 2 – Email Thank You Letter
Subject: Purchasing Manager Job – Robert Trower
Dear Ms. Reynolds.
Please allow me the opportunity to once again extend my sincere appreciation for being granted the interview yesterday. I reiterate my desire of being considered for the position of Purchasing Manager.
During my 5 year tenure as PM for Klondike Food Concepts, we experienced a similar problem with variances. To address the situation, we added an informal audit and random inventory count within the month. Then used the POS cash count as a reference.
Should my application merit consideration from The Crown Group of Restaurants, I hope to contribute my skills and experience to the continued success of the company.
Thank you and best regards,
The thank you letter can be your secret weapon for getting the job. While others think their work is done after the job interview, the thank you letter will put you a step ahead of them. It may be short in content, but the message could add value to your application.
A recruiter may conduct several interviews on any given day. Their minds are overloaded with information. If the race is tight, you need every advantage you can get to stay ahead of the competition. A well-thought-out thank you letter will put you top of mind with the recruiter.
The thank you letter is your final push for the position. Use it to trigger recall on your top skills and relevant work experiences. Bring up a discussion point and offer solutions.
Likewise, you can use the thank you letter to plug holes in your interview. If you feel there were questions you could have given better answers to, the thank you letter will be your chance to address them.
Timing is the key to getting maximum benefits from your thank you letter. The employer might decide on whom to hire within a few days. Don’t take chances and submit a handwritten note right after you leave the interview.
You can leave the note with the recruiter’s secretary or the reception area. Make sure it is addressed to the recruiter. If you went through multiple interviews, send a personalized thank you letter to every one of them.
Within 24 hours of the job interview, email a more comprehensive thank you letter to the recruiter. The content should not depart too far from the previous thank you letter but carry a bit more detail.
Finally, even if the tone of the thank you letter is casual, keep it formal. Use the last name of the recruiter along with his/her correct title. For your email, always write a professional subject line.
It may take time to write something as short as a thank you letter, but it will be time well spent.
Human Resources may want to validate the information in your resume. To do this, they may request for references. The list of references includes the names of people HR may contact to verify your skills and accomplishments. They may contact only one person or everyone on the list. Therefore, it is important that the people you cite as references can guarantee your qualifications.
Should You Put References On Your Resume?
If the job post specifically asks for references, then add a separate page for the list. Otherwise, there is no need to include references in your resume.
HR officers do not spend a lot of time on a resume. They will only scan for information that is required for the job. Keep in mind that the purpose of the resume is to get you to the interview stage. Hence, the space on your resume should be reserved for work experience, additional skills, and certifications.
The list of references is usually requested toward the end of the hiring process. For the reason that, at this point, there would be fewer candidates to qualify. Furthermore, it is part of HR’s job to verify all the information you shared in the resume and the interview.
Another reason why it is not a good idea to put references in your resume is that you may be identified as an older candidate. This is because adding references was a standard feature in resumes 30 years ago. In contrast, including references is no longer practiced by many companies today.
Finally, adding references poses a risk for the applicant. Even if they agree to be referenced, there remains a possibility they won’t vouch for your credentials. Second, what if your references have a poor reputation in the industry? Third, if you are currently employed, you obviously cannot include a reference from your present employer. This will make your list of references weaker.
Companies may have specific instructions on how to present your references. Unless otherwise stated in the job post, put your references on a separate sheet.
How To List References On A Resume
When you have completed your resume, put your list of references in a sheet called “Professional References Page”.
What information should be included in your Professional References Page?
Name of Company
Relation to Reference
It is better to leave out the addresses of your references for two reasons. First, hiring managers will not reach out to your references via regular mail. Second, your references may not want to openly share personal information.
For “Relation to Reference”, include a short summary about your association with the reference. If he/she was your manager or supervisor, indicate your position in the company. You should also state how long you have known the reference.
Here is an example of how an entry in the Professional References Page would look like:
Relation to Reference – Sales Agent; Robert was my immediate sales supervisor from 2015 to 2017.
How many references should you present on your list?
Once HR has narrowed down its list of candidates, they would want to move on to the final stage of the process which is to hire the employee. HR will not spend time contacting every name on your list of references. Therefore unless it is otherwise stated in the job post, limit your number of references to 2 to 3 people.
The number of names is not as important as the quality of the references. You have to be sure that the people selected as references will contribute to your job search.
How To Choose The Best Professional References
You can’t include every person who is willing to put in a good word for your job application. The most important criterion for selecting references is relevance. The people you include in the list should be relevant to the job you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for the position of Software Engineer, a reference who works as an Events Coordinator will not be relevant for the job. However, a reference who works as the Chief Internet Security Officer of Microsoft would be an excellent choice. Therefore you have to target the best references for your list.
Here are 3 tips on how to choose the best references:
Former Managers/ Supervisors – Former managers and supervisors from work are always good choices as references. They know what it’s like working with you. Managers can vouch for your skills and abilities. Supervisors can validate your accomplishments. Prioritize managers and supervisors from your most recent employer.
Professionals in the Industry – Professionals are people who have been in the industry for a long time. They could be licensed and have built a good reputation.If you’re part of an organization, you would know a good number of professionals in your industry. Include professionals whom you have collaborated and have a good relationship with.
Former Associates or Clients – You may have maintained contact with former associates or clients from work.Associates may be suppliers or contractors who were hired by your previous employer. Clients could be those of your employer or ones you handled on your own time.
Associates can vouch for what it’s like working with you. Clients can give testimony on your skill level.
Should you include family members in your reference list even if they are relevant to the job?
Hiring managers may not put much weight on family members as references because it could be seen as self-serving. It is expected that they will give you a glowing recommendation. Hence, it would be better to choose references who are not related to you.
How To Request For A Reference
Before writing down a name on your list, make sure he/she has agreed to become a reference. Give details on the person who might call them:
Name of Company
Name of Person or Designation
The position you applied for
Lastly, give them an idea of when to expect the call. The usual practice in recruitment is to contact references the same week as the job interview.
Listing a person as a reference without permission could be detrimental to your job application. First of all, it shows lack of courtesy to the person. Second, he/she will not be prepared and may give a response that is not well thought-out.
How do you ask someone to become a reference?
Call – If you know the person quite well, it will be fine to ask permission over the phone. Invite them for coffee if they are not busy to make it more personal.If it’s been over six months since you last talked, remind them of who you are and what you worked on together. Then give a short rundown of what you are currently doing.
A personal phone call is ideal for references from work like managers, supervisors or associates. Once you have received their permission to use their names as references, confirm the arrangement via email.
Email – Email is also an acceptable way to get permission. It is less intrusive and less immediate. Don’t just send an email that says, “I will use you as a reference in my job application.” Give the person more details.Always start out your email with good tidings. Let them know what you have been doing, why you are applying for the job and what you are asking them to do.
Lastly, don’t be presumptuous. They may not agree on becoming a reference for reasons all their own.
Above all, whether your request is accepted or declined, always thank the person for his/her time.
References can boost your job application in a big way. Great feedback will help validate your skills, abilities and the achievements stated in your resume. Likewise, for the company, they can be assured of hiring the best person for the job.
Think of your list of references as your ace in the hole. If you show all your cards, there is nothing left to swing the game to your advantage.
Keep them face down until the proper opportunity presents itself. This opportunity will arise after the job interview. Therefore, it would be best not to include your references in your resume.
Do not even write “references available upon request”. Your resume is a valuable real estate. It should only contain information that will help you get the job.
Keep your references in a separate list. Submit it only upon request of HR.
Furthermore, choose your references wisely. You only have three names to put on your list. Make those names count. They should be relevant to the position you are applying for and qualified to vouch for your skills and experience.
Lastly, always ask permission before putting a name on your reference list. It is not a good idea to assume a person will agree just because you know him/her. As a sign of professional courtesy, get their approval first. Once they have agreed to become a reference, give them the necessary information about the call.
Hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time reviewing resumes. They receive hundreds of applications every day. They go through as many candidates as possible. Recruiters will look for skills and experiences that are needed for the job. Therefore if you want to get noticed right away, you should include a summary of qualifications on your resume.
What Is A Qualifications Summary?
The resume is your marketing tool. Its content should spark the interest of the recruiter. When writing one, you should be thinking, “What would make the company want to hire me?”
Thus, a qualifications summary should outline your most attractive selling points. Its purpose is to show you as the best candidate for the job. For this reason, choose qualifications that cover all the bases.
What bases are we talking about?
Strongest skill sets for the job;
Achievements at work;
Contributions to the company’s success;
Awards and citations received
Citations in media;
Problem- solving skills;
Ability to manage projects;
Ability to produce results
The qualifications summary is placed near the top of the resume. Recruiters will see it right away. It must be short but concise. The details are presented in bullet point format for easier reading. Hence, choose your best qualifications that can be fitted into 5 to 6 bullet points.
Likewise, review the job ad. Get an idea of which skills to include in your summary.
When Human Resources (HR) write job ads, they post the skills required for the job. In addition to hard skills, they may include soft skills, minimum work experience, and certifications.
Take note of the details stated in the job post. Find out if you have these skills. If you do, put them in your summary list. Doing so will show that you are qualified for the job. Furthermore, the company will note that you read the ad in detail.
Do You Need A Qualifications Summary On Your Resume?
Your resume is a valuable real estate. The content you put must raise its value. Therefore, you have to think of the best way to present your skills.
One question that comes to mind is whether applicants should use a qualifications summary or a career objective.
They both highlight your most qualifications. The key difference lies in how these sections are written.
A career objective focuses on “why” the applicant wants this job. The qualifications summary shows the employer “what” skills and experiences he/she brings on-board the company.
For the reason that it is focused on the needs of the company, a qualifications summary should be on your resume.
Here are 3 benefits of having a qualifications summary on your resume:
The summary brings your strongest skill set and greatest career achievements front and center. It is located near the top of the resume where it will surely be seen by the recruiter. Inform them know what you can do for them.
Help you pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Companies use ATS to identify keywords targeted for the job. This is done as a pre-qualifying measure to speed up the selection process. Review the job ad. The details on the ad are those keywords.Because of this reason, you should include those details in your summary. They will help you pass the ATS.
As we mentioned earlier, the qualifications summary will make the recruiter’s job easier. It will push the person reviewing your resume to give it attention and focus.
However, despite these benefits, the summary may not be for everyone.
Who Should Put A Qualifications Summary On The Resume?
The qualifications summary will greatly benefit applicants with vast experience and varied skill sets. These are the applicants who have more than 5 years experience in the industry. They also gained skills throughout the years.
People applying for jobs that require certifications will also benefit from putting a summary on the resume:
A Software Developer with an Expert Level certification from Microsoft will have an advantage over someone who doesn’t.
An accountant with a CPA will have better- paying job offers than an applicant who doesn’t have certification.
Office Assistant applicants with longer work experience and more knowledge of popular computer software will get more attention.
How about fresh graduates?
Yes, the qualifications summary will benefit the graduate if he/she has impressive credentials from school. The summary should showcase:
Honors and achievements;
Achievements in the student council;
GPA higher than 3.5.
Consequently, applicants with no experience and few achievements will not benefit from having a summary.
On the contrary, it may even affect your chances of getting the interview. It will draw focus on your weak points and flaws. You will be better off with a career objective.
The career objective will let you share your story with the recruiter. Within 4 sentences, explain your career choice and why you want to apply for the job.
What Is The Difference Between Qualifications Summary And Work Experience?
Before we discuss the types of resume qualification examples, let’s distinguish it from work experience.
Many applicants get confused between the two because they have a similar look and feel. However, each one plays a different role in your resume.
As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of the summary is to present you as the best candidate among all applicants. It is placed near the top of the resume where it can be seen right away. Therefore you need to select your top skills and abilities for the summary.
In contrast, your work experience is a summary of your duties. It has more details on your previous job. This way, the recruiter will get a better idea of the type of work you did in your previous employment.
While the qualifications summary can be written in any order, work experience is usually presented in reverse chronological format.
Thus, a well-written summary can encourage the recruiter to review your work experience. Consequently, a poor one may discourage him/her altogether.
Resume Qualification Summary Examples
We’ve provided you three examples of a qualification summary for a resume. These are for management-level, rank- and- file applicants and graduates.
Research Assistant I Dedicated – Detail Oriented – Hard Working
Bachelor of Science, Economics; 3.77 GPA.
Research Assistant; College of Economics; 2015 to 2017.
Experienced with STATA, SAS and SPSS programs.
Worked with a team of 5 research assistants.
Awarded 2017 Best Thesis “The Informal Sector as a Measure of Poverty”.
As you have seen, these are all attention- grabbing strong points. The skills you put on your resume should impress the recruiter. They should make him/her set your resume aside for the interview.
If you want to know how to arrange your list, go back to the job ad. See how the requirements are shown.
For example, If experience is listed as the priority requirement and you have the tenure, put it first on your summary.
The qualifications summary can be a powerful tool to get you the interview. It is your chance to showcase your strong selling points right off the bat. Recruiters love it because the summary makes the job easier. A well- written summary will give the recruiter a reason to explore your resume further.
People with experience will benefit from having a summary of the resume. It will allow you to present the skills and knowledge acquired through the years. Recruiters will immediately notice what you can bring to the company. It will answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
Similarly, graduates can use the summary to their advantage. They should state awards and citations. Likewise, they should include internships and volunteer work.
If your employment tenure is short and if you have not achieved much, go with the career objective. Also, don’t confuse the list of qualifications with your scope of work. The summary is not as detailed. The scope of work outlines what you did in your previous job.
Take your time writing the summary. Your objective is to appear as well-rounded as possible. Refer to the job post. Get an idea of the required skills. Choose experiences and achievements that best define your career.
To put one foot inside the interview door, you need a solid resume, and more importantly a good resume objective. A frequent questions recruiters ask is:
“Why should we hire you?”
To answer that question, you need to know how to write an objective statement that can sum up all the strongest points of your resume within a few sentences. Above all, it will tell the Hiring Manager why the company should hire you.
A good resume objective has to follow three important steps:
Keep it short, and succinct
Add a value proposition
Prove that you are the best fit candidate
What Is A Resume Objective?
A career objective or resume objective is a short, targeted statement that presents your value proposition to the company. Furthermore, it identifies the skills, abilities, experiences and defining attributes which make you the best fit candidate for the job.
Let’s break down 3 key points that define a good resume objective:
Short, targeted statement – A good resume objective is a concise summary that gives the Hiring Manager a good idea of who you are. Even more, it describes your purpose for the application and what you offer to the company. You can write an effective objective statement in 3 to 4 sentences.
Value Proposition – The resume is your marketing tool; it contains information that could increase your value or worth to the prospective employer.It answers the question, “What can you do for our company?”The resume personifies your brand. Finally, the objective statement is the vehicle that best delivers its message to the Hiring Manager.
Best Fit Candidate – Companies are no longer just looking for candidates that have high education degrees. Having bright academic performance or longest and most awarded tenures are not that important.They want people who can fit the organizational culture. The resume objective is your opportunity to complement your skills and abilities. Even more, describe your experiences with the strongest attributes that define your approach to work.
The purpose of the objective statement is to pique the interest of the person reviewing your resume.
For the moment, the statements are mere “claims”. These have to be validated by your work experience, educational attainment, and summary of skills. You want to encourage him/her to explore the rest of its contents further.
When And Why You Should Use A Resume Objective
Some people may tell you the resume objective is no longer relevant; that it’s a waste of time because no one will bother to read it.
We beg to differ.
In the first place, it is located at the top third of the resume, usually below Contact Information. You can be assured, the recruiter will come across your resume objective.
Second, the objective statement is your voice on the resume. It’s your formal introduction to the company. Think of it as extending a handshake to the recruiter. Do you think the recruiter will refuse to shake your hand?
This is your opportunity to tell the prospective company why they should hire you. And if you compose a statement that brilliantly outlines your value proposition in 3 to 4 sentences, the recruiter will certainly read through your resume.
Having a good resume objective is also important for those who are planning a change in career.
What do you think would happen if a company put out a job ad for a Digital Marketer and a resume with “Five years experience in accounting and operations analysis” comes on the recruiter’s desk?
If it didn’t have an objective statement, the Human Resources officer might think the resume was sent to him/her by mistake. As a result, the resume may be placed under file.
The objective statement should explain why the applicant decided on the change of career. Consequently, it would shed light on his/her lack of experience and the relevant qualifications.
For people who are planning a career change, the resume objective gives the platform to share your story with the company. It will set the context for your application. Furthermore, it will maintain course for the Hiring Manager to find out why they should hire you over other candidates.
Here’s an important tip: If you want to add more impact to your objective statement, include a cover letter with your resume. A cover letter will lend support to your resume objective by providing more details on the information indicated.
Resume Objective Vs. Resume Summary: Is There A Difference?
It’s easy to get confused between the two because they are short summaries of what you can do. However, with the resume summary, you are emphasizing the strongest points. These relate directly to the requirements of the job.
For example, let’s assume you have 10 years experience working as the Information Technology Manager of a commercial bank. You plan to apply for the same position at a universal bank. A resume summary may be more effective than a resume objective.
How To Write A Good Resume Objective
Employment statistics show that a job ad attracts an average of 250 applicants. Unless specified that the company is hiring multiple candidates for one position, your immediate challenge is to beat 249 competitors. You need every advantage you can get to stay ahead of the competition.
A good resume objective can be a game changer if it is properly conceptualized, well-written and presented. Many job seekers fail to land the position because they did not include an objective statement. Or even if they did, it was haphazardly done.
So how do you write a great objective for a resume that will catch the eye of Human Resources?
Keep It Short – As we mentioned earlier, the resume objective should not take more than 3 to 4 sentences. It’s a short section that will have a huge impact on your application if written properly.That’s why you need to put in more time and effort when writing your resume objective. You have to present your strongest qualifications in such a short paragraph. Always think of being concise.
Customize Your Objective Statement – Are you applying for 3 jobs? Then prepare 3 distinct and original objective statements. Don’t submit the same one to every company you apply for.Hiring managers have developed an intuition that can tell if you submitted a run-of-the-mill resume objective. Make sure your statements are customized to the job and the company you are applying for.
Highlight Your Value Proposition – The company has 249 other applicants for the job. You need the job more than the company needs you.When writing, think of how you can be of benefit to the company not how the company can benefit you. Tell them what you can do or what you can offer that will help the company accomplish its goals and objectives.
Use the Right Verbs – Action words make your resume read more dynamic. Using the right verbs will give your resume more energy and further highlight your personality.For example, if you’re applying for a managerial position, verbs like collaborated, coordinated, designated, developed, built, evaluated, analyzed, managed and organized are highly effective.
Include Relevant Work Experience – If you’re switching careers, use the resume objective to indicate work experience that is related or utilized skills that are transferable to the position.
Now let’s apply these 5 tips to create effective objective statements to different types of resumes:
A professional is an applicant who has work experience of at least 2 years. There are various reasons why someone who has accumulated good tenure would look for new work.
It could be for the same job but different company. The applicant may be interested in trying out for the job opening in the same company because it would represent a promotion. He/she may want a change in career.
Regardless of the reason, the guidelines for writing an objective statement remain the same:
Lead off with your work experience and a short rundown of your scope of responsibilities;
State your strongest hard skills (related to the job) and identify at least 2 soft skills (personality attributes) that best describe your approach to work;
Indicate your technical and fundamental qualifications. These can include highest educational attainment, certificates, licenses and other forms of specialized training.
For example, you are applying for the position of Lead Securities Analyst, your resume objective could read as follows:
Trader and Securities Analyst with more than 10 years experience trading equities, currencies, and commodities; preparing market reports and analyses, conducting research and representing the company during live television feed. Hard-working, dedicated with an unquenchable thirst for learning; I hope to contribute my knowledge in various forms of analyses: Elliott Wave Theory, Dow Theory, Fibonacci Ratios and economic fundamentals to the continued success of ABC Trading’s clients. Master’s Degree in a Business holder, licensed SEC trader and certified technical analyst.
Why is this resume objective effective?
At 79 words, it remains compact and concise but has all the details that would attract interest from investment companies. The indicated soft skills: hard-working, dedicated and an unquenchable thirst for learning, nicely complements the hard skills.
Hiring managers who come across this level of technical skill will think you need to be hard-working, dedicated and enjoy learning new methods of analysis to invest so much time and effort in becoming a well-rounded trader.
The summary of technical qualifications will also set the candidate apart from applicants who cannot match the level of educational attainment and additional certifications.
Entry Level or Fresh College Graduate Resume Objective
If you have no work experience or if you just graduated from college, you will be looking for entry level type jobs.
The competition for entry-level jobs is quite high. Thousands of people graduate from college every year. Like you, they will be looking for their first paycheck. Without actual work experience, the battle now shifts to who has the best skills and qualifications.
As an entry-level worker or fresh college graduate, your approach to writing your resume objective is different from that of a professional:
Indicate your degree; the college course you finished and include any relatable experience.For example, if you’re applying for the position of Market Researcher, relatable experiences would include: getting a summer apprenticeship at an equities firm doing research work or helping your college professor conduct research during your spare time in school.
Share your most identifiable and proven traits and how they can help the company achieve its goals and objectives.
Identify the behavioral attributes that best describe you as a person.
Going back to our example in this section, let’s see how a fresh college graduate would parlay his skills and experiences to land an entry-level job as a Market Researcher:
Fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with cumulative 1-year experience working as a Research Assistant for Professor Harold P. Jones at the Department of Industrial Economics. I remain confident that my academic background and acquired practical skills in research will greatly benefit Trend Equity’s Market Research Department. Passionate, meticulous and committed to delivering accurate and top quality research and project papers for your company on a consistent level.
This resume objective works for a fresh college graduate or someone who is looking for an entry-level position because it puts your strongest credentials front and center.
In the absence of work experience, graduating from a related course on a complete four-year program is a big plus. Companies prefer hiring candidates who have a college degree for three reasons:
They have a solid background and firm understanding of the fundamental skills required for the job.
College graduates have experience working with other people, have taken turns as project managers during group work and can take instruction.
Companies will spend less money and time getting the college graduate ready for the job compared to a candidate who has an Associate Degree or a high school level education.
High School Student Resume Objective
High school students looking for work can apply for entry-level jobs, apprenticeships, and internships. These are experiences that will eventually build up your resume and help you land a better job once you complete your college education.
Your strongest and most probable traits or accomplishments.
The position that you are applying for or the role you want to fill.
The attributes or personality traits that make you the best fit candidate for the company.
Here’s a sample resume objective for a high school student who wants to apply for the job of Office Assistant:
Highly-organized, a hardworking and self-motivated student with a running GPA of 3.77 and proficient in various software programs such as MS Office, Evernote, DropBox, and Asana. Seeking to become the new Office Assistant for McElroy and Sons Trading Company. My dedication and professional work ethic will be assets that can help your company achieve its goals.
What office wouldn’t want to hire this high school kid? He/she has an impressive grade point average and can run software programs that are important for office administration.
Everything that was mentioned in the objective statement can be proven in the resume and its attachments. At the very least, with a great resume objective like this, the applicant can remain confident that the recruiter will review the rest of the application.
Career Change Resume Objective
The challenge when writing a resume objective to support a career change is to relate the previous experience with the requirements and qualifications of the new job.
It’s not unusual for people to decide on a career change after accumulating years of service to an employer. He/she may have had an epiphany during work; an “aha” moment that made them realize they have another calling in life.
Keep these two tips in mind when writing a resume objective for a career change:
Relevant information on your current job: designation, years of experience and transferable skills and experiences.
The name of the company you are applying to and how your skills and experiences will benefit them.
Here’s an example of a resume objective crafted for a person who wants to change careers from a Marketing Officer to an Insurance Agent:
Highly accomplished and results-driven Marketing Officer with more than 5 years experience wants to leverage background in achieving targeted sales quotas, research and ability to productively manage teams for a successful career as an Insurance Agent for DeVille and Carlos Insurance Brokers.
The resume objective is good because it clearly relates how his present set of skills, experiences, and competencies will relate to a new career as an Insurance Agent. It will definitely interest the Hiring Manager who would surely want to find out what the applicant has accomplished as a Marketing Officer.
Common Mistakes In Writing A Resume Objective
Now that you know how to write a good resume objective, you should also learn what mistakes to avoid when preparing one.
1. The Default Objective Statement
Some job seekers don’t want to spend much time and effort when preparing their resumes. They want to save time and file out as many applications as they can to prospective employers.
So they come up with “fill-in-the-blanks” resumes where they just have to plug in the details and the objective statements are the same.
All the time they saved will lead up to more months in the unemployment line.
Never submit the same resume to different employers. You should customize it to fit the needs of the employer as stated in the job post. As we mentioned earlier, the objective statement is your voice on the resume. Let it ring loud and clear specifications for the Hiring Manager.
2. The Spotlight Resume Objective
This is a resume objective where the spotlight is solely on the applicant and what he/she wants out of the employer. Nothing is stated that would tell Human Resources how hiring the applicant would help the company achieve its goals.
Here’s an example of how a Spotlight resume objective would look like:
College graduate with high academic achievements; multi-awarded and well-experienced in the field of sales seeks a position where my million dollar generating abilities can open up opportunities for top management and a six-figure salary.
Human resources may be intrigued by the applicant but the objective statement carries no value for the company. It only serves the interest of the applicant and will most likely find its way in the file shredder.
3. The Clueless Applicant
The Clueless Applicant is a resume objective is a vague statement of what he/she can offer the company. The person reviewing it will have no idea who the applicant is and what value he/she can bring to the table if hired:
Seeking a long-term, high paying job in any opening with your company. I have the skills and abilities you need to continue your success in the industry.
What job are you referring to? What skills and abilities do you have?
There’s just nothing here. The recruiter will simply out this resume away and proceed to the next one.
4. The Filibustering Congressman
Congressmen are notorious for filibustering or talking endlessly on the floor to prevent a vote or a bill from being passed. Some resume objectives make hiring managers feel they are reading a transcription of a Congressman’s filibustering:
Highly experienced, proven and results-oriented Project Manager who has worked in various industries including but not limited to: manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and food processing since 1970 and since that time has amassed a wealth of knowledge that challenges the experiences and expertise of my previous employers’ own set of experiences and expertise on both the technical and fundamental aspects of the business……
We won’t even continue the example because the first sentence alone is 63 words with no signs of a period coming anytime soon.
When it comes to the resume objective, size doesn’t matter. Keep it short but concise, usable and relevant.
5. The Space Filler
This may be the worst type of resume objective to write because it offers absolutely no value to the company. It combines key features of the previous four other mistakes. The Space Filler is the reason why some recruiters have grown weary of the objective statement:
My goal is to land a position with a company that fits my degree, skills, and abilities. When given the opportunity, I will show you that the high salary I plan to ask and negotiate will be worth every dollar and cent. It would be best to conclude the applicant search right now because I am very confident that hiring me will take your company to the next level.
No mention of experience and skills, abilities to offer. It’s one thing to be confident and another to come across as arrogant. This type of resume objective reads more like an infomercial than a value proposition. Unfortunately for the applicant, hiring managers won’t be buying what he/she is saying.
Conclusion on what makes a resume objective good
We’ve shown that a good resumresume objective done right can be a potential deal maker for your application. It is the only section in the resume where you can give the Hiring Manager a glimpse of your personality and a rundown of the skills you bring to the company.
The key is to put thought, strategy, and purpose behind your objective statement. Imagine that you are meeting the Hiring Manager for the first time. You are given 10 seconds to tell him/her why the company should hire you.
Project your voice unto the resume objective. What would you tell the person out to hire you? What are your strengths? What makes you different from everyone else?
If you have 20 qualifications, choose the three that stand out and are relevant to the position. They don’t have to be related to the technical aspects of the job. The best approach would be to dedicate one line for experience or achievements for new graduates, another for skills and the third for ideal personality attributes.
Remember the purpose of the objective statement is to get the recruiter interested enough to explore the rest of your resume. It should clearly communicate your value to the employer. If you would like to read more about resume objectives and summaries, check our samples.
A resume is the portrait of the job applicant’s work and academic profile. If we consider 2 job applicants: it should be noted that both follow different career ambition & growth paths, even when they are applying for the same job. One of the essential things is to build a resume that is unique and one that allows the employer to take a peek in your candidature. A resume cannot be unnecessarily lengthy but at the same time it should not lack insight.
Here are 5 tips you should consider to make your resume stand out in front of the crowd.
In a way, 2 or more candidates can be competing for a job at any given time. Essentially, the job applicants are in competition with each other to win the job at a better salary and designation. Hence, each candidate is trying to prove uniqueness! We should try to answer the questions mentioned below to bring out the uniqueness in our resume.
Why should the employer hire me? The employer will hire you for your skills and the ability to develop professionally. In other words: Soft Skills and Hard Skills. Skills could be highlighted as strengths in the resume. In addition, your career objective can also have a brief description of the skills that you have. So for instance, your employer may consider your profile because you have done a certain project in the past using a specific software, or because you are conversant with the Spanish language.Now, that we have noted the hard skills, let us look at the soft skills. Your ability to develop and contribute in a team of amiable subordinates will decide if you can perform in a fast-paced and vibrant work environment. This is usually a ‘given’ but it is best to highlight your experience of team work as it does add value to your candidature. If you are a great team player and if you like working in teams, then you don’t want to appear as an individual contributor.
Does the C.V. talk about my skills adequately? There are a couple of things which can be considered to answer this question. Firstly, any experience can turn out to be valuable to your profile. For example: a 3 month internship experience with an organization should not be ignored just because it is a small duration experience. Secondly, it is also necessary to mention about the level of your expertise. A case would be your knowledge of German is of intermediate level.
What is irrelevant about my C.V.? Please don’t mention unnecessary things! If you are applying for a sales job, the interviewer does not need to know about how good are you with taking care of the elderly? However, this piece of information that you are good care-taker of the elderly could be important, if you have applied for the job of a steward or air hostess.
Why do you want to work with a specific employer? There is no objective answer to this question because more so, it is a question that is asked to know about the applicant’s awareness and general knowledge. For instance: you don’t walk in for an interview without doing any research about the company background or even worse – forgetting the name of the company. In the resume document, it is good to mention your knowledge about the industry in the ‘career objective section’.One thing you could mention is: “I aspire to begin my career by working for a mid-sized knowledge management company to gain better career growth prospects”.You do not necessarily get high level of appreciation by the employer for mentioning this perspective, but it certainly shows that ‘you know what you are doing’.Is there ‘too much’ or ‘too less’ that I can offer the employer? You should also check, if you are over-qualified or under-qualified for the job. In case, you have PhD level of knowledge in the employer’s industry, but the employer needs someone with graduate degree knowledge, then it would be ideal to mention in the cover letter a line or two to back you up. It could be something like this: “I look forward to grow as a specialist in the insurance industry by leveraging on my high specialized knowledge in the field of P&C insurance”.
2. Learning from the job description
A job description contains specific keywords about the required candidature for the job. For example, the keywords for a Data Scientist profile would be: Data science, big data, data mining, statistics, predictive modeling, machine learning, statistical modeling, regression, SQL. Keywords describe the intended profile of the candidate and the skills required for the job. Keywords make a particular type of job or candidature searchable on the Internet. The job applicant should ideally make a note of these keywords and study them before the interview. It is also good to mention some of the keywords in the cover letter and resume but it should not look like you have tried to copy the job description.
3. Applying a consistent structure
It is important to apply a consistent structure to your resume document. A structure is inclusive of grammatical and formatting elements such as: word spacing, font size, highlighting elements – underline, bold, italic; use of table, text box and so on. A small example of consistency: if you are using Times New Roman, Bold, Size 12 Font for Headings in the resume for writing the title ‘Career Objective’ then it should be followed for all titles such as ‘Education’, ‘Job Details’ and so on.
4. Value-addition through validation of performance
The job applicant should remember to validate skills, experience and professional qualifications with use of a certification logo, name of the degree and ex-employer testimonials. Employer testimonial letters can be presented at a later stage that is during the interview. You cannot use the CPCU (Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter) qualification in the insurance industry unless you are fully certified as a CPCU by the institute.
It is considered as an achievement when you receive a competitive certification. But you should know the exact protocol before writing a qualification name on the resume. You should not over-use a logo or certification name. It is okay to mention it once.
5. Remember the purpose of writing a resume
A resume connotes the candidate’s prima facie market value in the industry in terms of quality of expertise, experience and salary. In other words, the resume is a preliminary measure of your competence. Hence, it is essential to know the purpose of writing a resume.
An employer can gauge the following from your resume:
Your ability to plan your career.
The career path that you intend to pursue.
Your level of clarity about the career path.
The correctness of the decisions taken by you regarding the educational qualifications and job experience pursued by you.
This article was written by Yohana Petrovic, a writer and blogger. She has 10 years` experience in educating and now she is a proofreader at http://globalessays.org/. You can reach her on Facebook: Yohana Petrovic or on Twitter: @YohanaPetrovic
The work experience section is the meat and potatoes of your resume. It can make or break your application. A well-written, informative and expertly organized summary of your work history will generate interest and compel the Hiring Manager to get you that all-important job interview.
But writing a solid resume work experience can be a problem for both entry-level employees and those with more than 10 years under their belt.
The best way to figure out your approach in writing this section is to ask yourself two questions:
“What does the Hiring Manager want to see in my resume?”
“What information would convince the company to hire me?”
The answer to the first question can be summed up in one word: Growth.
Certainly, you have acquired skills, gained experience and matured in the course of managing different sets of responsibilities throughout your career. Recruiters and those who work in Human Resources want to see how far you have developed as a paid professional as well as get a sense of your level of drive and ambition.
For example, if you are applying for the position of Client Relations Manager in a company that provides customer support services, Human Resources would want to gauge the following skills from your work experience section:
Have you done Supervisory work?
How many years did you work as Supervisor?
How long did it take you to get promoted to Supervisor?
How many people did you manage as a Supervisor?
What benchmarks were used by the company to grade your performance and what were your scores?
For the second question, you will have to do some research and it should start with the job post itself.
In addition to the designation, job posts will also contain information on the following:
The purpose of the job;
Skills and qualifications needed for the job;
Minimum work experience.
Take note of these details which are normally phrased with popular keywords. Conduct an accounting of your overall work history and identify those experiences which fit the job description in the post.
If you will transmit a copy of your resume via email, make sure these keywords are included in the work description. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which uses keyword recognition to prequalify applications.
You should also visit the company’s website and social media pages. Find out their core values, mission vision, corporate history, the people behind the company, their achievements, latest developments and involvement in socio-civic activities.
Try to gain an understanding of who the company is in the same that the company will try to get an idea of you who are from your resume. By getting a firm understanding of the potential employer’s culture, you will be able to structure a resume which can read like a perfect fit for the company.
Once you have an idea of how to approach the composition of your resume, attention should now shift to what to put in it.
What Should You Include in Your Work Experience?
Recruiters go through volumes of applications every day. It will not be possible to get the stack of resumes moving if they were to scrutinize every one of them with a fine tooth comb. The most experienced people in Human Resources only scan resumes.
But whether the study that recruiters spend only six seconds scanning a resume is accurate or not, one thing is for certain. Most of their time will be spent zeroing in on the details of your work experience.
It may seem like a dichotomous situation, but you have to keep your work experience concise without sparing the important details.
What details are these?
Name of Company
City and State
Inclusive dates of employment
Scope of Work/ Responsibilities
As we mentioned earlier, identifying which experiences to include could present a problem for both entry level and seasoned employee.
Let’s break down the process of writing the work experience for both these types of applicants:
1. Entry Level Employee
If you have very little to zero work experience; even for on-the-job training, include every single type of activity that would be considered proof of practical application of desired skills.
It may seem like a tall order but given time, effort and introspection you might be surprised how closely related seemingly distinct jobs are.
In the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Will Smith’s character Chris Gardner sold bone density scanners. But his drive, persistence and ability to quickly solve a Rubik’s Cube were enough to convince the manager of one of the city’s biggest brokerage firms to give him an internship as a stockbroker.
You should have a good balance of hard and soft skills in your resume. Hard skills are quantifiable abilities that include technical and fundamental competencies you acquired through formal instruction. Soft skills are the behavioral or personality attributes you developed from various life experiences.
The cultural or organizational fit is a big thing for companies these days. More corporate headhunters are shifting their focus on candidates with the ideal behavioral profile than just having the required competencies.
As business conditions become more volatile and unpredictable, companies are looking for potential leaders who can foresee change, develop flexible business strategies and make quick decisions.
Again, go back to the job post and take note of the skills required for the job. Review your skill set and identify which ones are relevant or transferable to the position. When composing your work experience, use the keywords that were in the job post.
2. Highly Experienced Employee
For the highly experienced employee, the problem is the opposite. When your work history is vast, you have to be strategic in selecting which experience should go on your resume.
This can be quite a challenge for those who have worked for more than 10 years. The job post and your research on the company should be your main reference points in identifying the most relevant experiences.
You may have heard or come across the advice that resume length should only be limited to one page. If your experience exceeds 10 years, it will be difficult to stick to one page without the risk of foregoing key information.
As a general guideline, the ratio is one page for every 10 years experience. But that is not a strict rule. Content should remain your number one priority. Make sure you have all the important details included in your work experience even if it takes multiple pages to get it done.
If removing some experiences creates gaps, you can still include them by presenting these in a truncated format.
Other work experiences include telemarketing work at High Touch Business Solutions (2017 to 2016) and bartending work at Chili’s Bar and Grill (1997 to 1998).
How to Write the Best Job Descriptions
Even when it comes to resume writing, content is king. The rules of effective content writing apply to composing job descriptions which means what you share must be
People enjoy reading great content and recruiters are no exception. Having lengthy work experience does not give you the license to ramble or rant when describing your various job responsibilities.
As mentioned in the previous section the challenge is to keep your job description concise and to the point without compromising important details.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts on how to write the best job description:
1. Don’t Write a Lengthy Description of Every Position You Handled – A day in the life of a Hiring Manager can be very tedious. The last thing they would want is to go through a lengthy description of the job position before going through the scope of responsibilities.
Hiring managers are experienced enough to know what your previous employment entailed. They just want to see what you did and how you contributed to the success of your employer. Forget all the fluff and go straight to the good stuff.
2. Do Integrate the Right Keywords – Recruiters rely heavily on keywords to accurately scan a resume. Make their job easier by integrating the keywords that were used in the job post. It will also improve your chances of being considered for the interview because it gives the resume a more customized feel which is always a plus for recruiters.
3. Do Utilize PAR – The best way to compose your accomplishments is to view them from the Problem Results Action or PAR standpoint.
This means to structure the accomplishment by stating first the problem you had to resolve, followed by the course of action you took then finally the outcome or how your decision benefited the company.
4. Do Substantiate Your Accomplishments – It is never enough to just state your accomplishments. You should substantiate it with facts, figures and other relevant statistics. Otherwise, hiring managers will just take it with face value.
5. Don’t Lie! – When it comes to your resume, there is no benefit to lying. “White lies”, “sugar coating the truth” or “bending the truth a bit” all mean the same thing: Lying!
Don’t take the chance that the person reviewing your resume will not bother to validate your figures or accomplishments. In the age of digital and the Internet, it is very easy to uncover the truth.
6. Do Place the Outcome Front and Center – Going back to #3 “Utilize PAR”, you could present your accomplishments by framing the outcome as the solution to the problem.
Improved profitability by 32% despite sluggish sales by outsourcing non-core functions to third party service providers which streamlined operating costs by 88% within 6 months.
7. Do Organize with Bullet Points – In order to keep details concise and to the point, keep your sentences short. And the best way to present them in an organized manner is with the use of bullet points.
You don’t have to write down a litany of responsibilities and achievements. Select 5 to 6 key tasks and add 1 to 2 significant accomplishments.
8. Do Use the Appropriate Verbs – Used properly in a resume, verbs can become “power words” and have an influence on how the reader views or reacts to its contents.
Choose the right verbs and they will highlight your abilities and potential contributions to the employer. Choose the wrong verbs and they can make you the same as everyone else.
Last but certainly not the least, don’t forget to run a grammar and spelling check on your work experience and the entire resume. Wrong grammar and misspelled words are unacceptable and are indicative of an irresponsible attitude.
Two Common Problems Faced When Writing Work Experience
Human Resource personnel will tell you the two most common problems applicant face when writing their work experience are:
Unemployment gaps are common especially when job markets have been tight. Life can also throw you a curveball. Your career could be coming along splendidly until something unexpected happens such as:
Illness in the Family
Death in the Family
Hiring managers are more understanding than you think. Some of them may have been in the same situation and thus are more sympathetic. If the unemployment gap exceeds six months, you should preempt the issue by disclosing it in the resume objective.
The resume objective functions as your formal introduction to the recruiter. This is the ideal section to share your story. There is no use trying to hide an unemployment gap especially if it opens up a glaring void in your work history.
Use the resume objective to inform the Hiring Manager why you went through a long period of unemployment.
The problem of age discrimination affects those with long and extensive work experience. Some companies may think your values will not fit the organization especially if most of the founders and top managers are quite young. Your age may lead the company to think you could have pending health and fitness issues.
As we advised in the section “How to Write the Best Job Descriptions” focus on including relevant work experiences. Those that are not related to the position you are applying for may be discarded or if you wish present in a truncated format as we showed you in “What Should You Include in Your Work Experience?”.
As you have just read, writing a solid work experience for your resume is not that difficult.
The most important thing to remember is to write it specifically for the company you are applying to. Each employer has different demands, needs, history, and culture. It is not just the content of your resume that will make a difference but also its tone.
We go back to our advice that you should always customize your resume. No one in Human Resources will appreciate a generic looking and sounding resume especially when it comes to your work experience.
If you are planning to apply for the job of Restaurant Manager that needs someone with marketing and customer service skills, do not present your work experience in this manner:
Restaurant Manager; Big Belly Burgers and Shakes
June 2015 to present
Responsible for store marketing.
Handled customer service for the restaurant.
Upsold value meals.
Responded to customer complaints.
These job descriptions do not say much if anything at all. You should present a more substantive description of your duties that will qualify you as a candidate for serious marketing and customer service skills:
Restaurant Manager; Big Belly Burgers and Shakes
June 2015 to present
Collaborated with head office marketing department to conceptualize traditional strategies such as flyer distribution, streamer and poster installation, press releases in combination with digitized strategies including social media marketing, content creation, video production and online promotions.
Campaign strategy to combine traditional with Internet-based strategies increased system-wide sales by 47%.
Tasked to manage customer support services which include in-store channels, social media moderation, website chat support and email support.
Within the first 3 months of the revamped customer support program, turnaround time (TAT) improved to 24 hours, conflict resolution was addressed 99% and “Excellent” customer approval ratings increased by 84%.
You can see right away the difference in substance and content. The Hiring Manager will always appreciate the candidate who puts in more thought and effort in his or her resume than someone who thinks all job applications are the same.
Was this article useful? That’s just one of the many great articles we have on ResumeOK. Here are several other tips that should help you land a better job:
The standard format of a resume normally includes the following headings: “Personal Information”, “Work Experience”, “Educational Attainment” and “Hobbies and Interests”. If you don’t have a section dedicated to skills for a resume, you will have difficulty selling your value proposition to the Hiring Manager. A “Skills” section would definitely push your resume further than “Hobbies and Interests”.
Your skills are a summary of what you can do for the potential employer if you were offered the job right now. For most job seekers, this section presents a challenge because they are not sure what to put on a resume in the skills and abilities sections.
Before we discuss what should be included in your list of skills for your resume, let us differentiate two very important types of skills that employers always look for: hard skills and soft skills.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?
Hard skills are your quantifiable abilities. These are skills that can be acquired through formal learning, seminars, certification programs, specialized courses, apprenticeships and in-house training.
If you were applying for a job as a Legal Assistant, you should have the following hard skills:
Soft skills refer to your attributes; the behavioral qualities that best define your personality and approach to work. Unlike hard skills, this type of skill is hard to quantify. However, some companies use psychological tests, group work, and online programs to measure and verify soft skills.
Going back to our example, as a Legal Assistant, the list of desired soft skills would most likely include the following:
Which type of skill should you emphasize on your resume?
There are some quarters that believe soft skills are more important because hard skills can be taught or learned. A person’s set of soft skills is a product of his work and life experiences.
The best approach would be to find out the nature of the job. If you are required to deal with people on a daily basis as in customer service work, then it may be advisable to tilt the balance more toward soft skills. But if the job is highly technical in nature, such as that of a Cyber Security Specialist, the Hiring Manager may place a higher premium on the candidate’s hard skills.
How to Decide What to Put for Skills on a Resume
Over the years, you have acquired a multitude of skills from your experiences at school, work and your own volition. But diversity may not always work to your favor. Some skills may be relevant while others are not. The question which has most job applicants stumped is “What skills should I put in my resume?”
1. Identify and List Down Your Various Skills
The first step is to identify your various hard and soft skills and list them down on a piece of paper or on a spreadsheet. Next, grade your proficiency level in each hard skill.
You have to be very honest in your assessment because your skill ranking will help you determine the types of jobs you should apply for. Once you’ve graded your proficiency level, arrange the hard skills from highest to lowest.
As mentioned earlier, assessing soft skills is much more difficult. It will take more introspection and deeper evaluation to determine which soft skills you can confidently call your own.
Try to recall challenging experiences from your past and pinpoint the key attributes which helped you resolve or overcome the situations. Similar to hard skills, arrange these soft skills according to your level of confidence in having them.
Keep in mind the Hiring Manager may ask you to take behavioral profiling tests. You have to be honest when assessing your soft skills.
2. Review the Job Post and Look for Clues
When HR departments compose job posts, it always includes a summary of skills that are needed for the job. If you are interested in applying for a specific job, review the post carefully and take note of the list of skill requirements.
Find out if any of the skills identified on the job post are on your personal list. The skills that appear on both lists should be placed front and center in your resume. Remember that the company may be using Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS which identifies keywords to prequalify candidates for the job.
What happens if you don’t possess any of the required skills? First of all, don’t panic! It’s not the end of your application. Recall your previous experiences at work and think of incidents or situations whereby you displayed similar skills.
For example the job requires a candidate with at least 2 years experience in project management and you don’t have this qualification in your work history. However, you did volunteer work for a local organization and was asked to manage a 3 month campaign to raise $15,000 for a children’s charity foundation.
It may not have been for 2 years but if you could show that you were successful in accomplishing the campaign goal, the Hiring Manager at the very least, would take note of your potential. This is why it is very important to include details in your resume.
3. Customize Your Skills to Fit the Position
Hiring managers and recruiters do not spend a lot of time going through a resume. Studies have shown that on average, they may only scan your resume for no more than 6 seconds. In that short amount of time, they are actively looking for keywords and specific skill sets that are integral to the job position.
When writing your resume, you should always customize your skills to fit the position. As discussed in the preceding section, reviewing the job post and identifying skill requirements is a good place to start. But you should look for other definitive reference points.
For example, visit the company’s website. Review their “About Us” page and see if your soft skills or attributes are aligned with the company’s core values. Go over their “Latest News” page and take note of the company’s current developments.
Are they launching a new product, system or innovation? Are they involved in a number of socio-civic projects? How involved is the company in developing its own people?
You should also check their social media pages and take note if they are frequently citing specific hard and soft skills that are sought after by the company. Ask yourself if you have any of these hard and soft skills.
In other words, try to learn as much as you can about the company. Try to internalize company culture and build an understanding on who they are and what they represent.
Valuable Tips on How to Beef Up Your Top Skills for a Resume
According to statistics, every job post attracts an average of 118 applicants. Of these 118 applicants, 23% or 27 candidates will be invited for an interview. Chances are most of these applicants have indicated similar skills listed in their resume.
How can your resume skill set stand out from the rest of the competition? Here are 3 valuable tips you can use to beef up your top skills for a resume:
1. Choose Only Relevant Skills
As we pointed out in the previous section, you have to review the job post and note down the skills identified by the company as relevant and integral for the position.
For example, if you are applying for the position of Web Developer, the following skill set would be relevant:
Certified expert in 5 programming languages: Java Script, Python, C++, PHP and CSS.
Designed, programmed and managed over 350 websites in the last 5 years.
52% of websites built were of the e-commerce variety.
Integrated SEO and digital marketing with web design services; 92% of clients who availed of program increased annual sales revenues by an average of 81%.
Analytical; carefully reviews each stage of the web development process.
Meticulous; subjects websites to numerous testing methods before declaring it fit for turnover.
Results- Oriented; stays onboard with the client for at least 3 months from turnover of website to make sure it is running smoothly with no technical issues.
If you won the “Capcom Streetfighter” competition 5 years in a row or set the world record in eating chicken wings in 1 hour, it would be best to leave these skills out of your resume.
2. Quantify Your Skills
As you can see from our example skills for resume above, the applicant quantified his skills by including figures. Quantifying your skill set adds more substance to your overall value proposition.
A candidate who can quantify his or her skills with data has a big advantage over someone who just writes
Don’t just pull out numbers from thin air. The figures that you will use must be truthful and can be validated. If you get invited for an interview, you should bring charts, data and other empirical data to show you did not present manufactured figures.
When it comes to quantifying soft skills, since this is rather subjective, present situations which best call these attributes into play.
3. Use Bullet Points
Your best job skills for a resume would not be able to maximize their full power if you don’t take a strategic approach in presenting them to the Hiring Manager.
Always keep in mind that hiring managers do not spend a lot of time perusing a resume. They have a system of scanning its contents whereby they can easily identify the applicant’s strong points.
Thus when writing down your job skills take the time to strategize and figure out the best way to organize them in your resume. Hiring managers appreciate the use of bullet points because it makes it easier to read through your list of qualifications.
Here are 4 valuable tips to keep in mind when using bullet points to organize your work skills for a resume:
Make sure all the skills you plan to list down are related to the job requirement.
Start out with your strongest skill; the one that the job posting identifies as a prerequisite for the position.
Arrange your skills in order of importance and relevance.
Always include figures and numbers that validate your accomplishments.
As you have read from our sample skills for a resume, the applicant started out with his certifications for different software development programs. Then he proceeded to itemize his achievements before indicating he expanded his services to include SEO and digital marketing. Finally, he concluded his resume skill set by summarizing the attributes that best describe his work ethic.
List of the Best Skills to Put on a Resume per Job Category:
You can find below a list of the best skills you can put on your resume depending on the type of job you are applying for. As we stated, you should always use the job post as the primary reference but the sample skills listed below are generally sought after in these occupations:
Computer Programs and Applications – MS Office, DropBox, SalesForce
Competencies – 60wpm Typing Speed, 90%+ Transcription Accuracy, Content Writing, can operate basic office equipment, Filing and Documentation
Attributes – Pleasant Disposition, Disciplined, Professional, Resourceful, Courteous, Earnest Learner
Your resume skills will differentiate you from the candidates applying for the same job. It is possible that nearly every applicant will share the same skills as you. Thus you should always take the time to plan and strategize your approach to presenting your resume skills before putting them to paper. How you present them could be the key that gets you inside the interview door.
If you are in the process of writing your resume, start with creating a good objective and career summary. In this article, we have prepared more than 50 resume objectives and summaries for some of the most popular job positions, and you can use them for free for inspiration. The resume serves the purpose of landing you the all- important first interview. It is your personal marketing collateral; the resume should be designed with the idea of selling your qualifications and skills to the recruiter.
What Is A Resume Summary?
A resume summary is a short statement which highlights key points in your qualifications. Recruiters only scan the content of a resume so having a summary becomes crucial in getting their attention right away.
Essentially, the summary answers the question, “Why should your company hire me?” A well crafted summary can help build your brand with prospective employers.
It should go without saying that a summary should be kept short but concise. However, many job seekers get carried away with the details that the summary ends up becoming extensive. It’s all about highlighting the key points; the features in your qualifications that are relevant to the position available.
What Is A Resume Objective?
A resume objective is a statement or summary of your goals for employment. For recruiters, the resume objective gives them the impression that the applicant clearly knows what he or she want in a job.
The problem with most applicants is that they craft the resume objective with an inward perspective. The objectives are written from the standpoint of “what the company can do for me”. This approach is very presumptuous and will put off many recruiters.
A better approach would be to write the resume objective from the vantage point of “what I can do for the company.” It would be best to conduct research on the prospective employer and draw up a list of objectives that are aligned with theirs.
Generally, the more specific your objectives the greater the chances of being considered by the recruiter.
Here are three tips when making your resume objectives:
Identify the position your want at the start
Identify the skill sets and abilities you have that will interest the recruiter
Keep it short
Resume Summary Or Resume Objective? Which One Is For Me?
The resume summary and resume objective serve the purpose of saving you valuable time. Recruiters will appreciate having short statements or bullet points to validate their interest on what you have to offer.
The more important question should be: Which section is more important for me; resume summary or resume objective?
A good rule of thumb to consider is to focus on the resume objective if you fall under any of these categories:
First- time job applicant; about to enter the job market.
You’ve been unemployed for some time and have decided to re- enter the job market.
You’ve decided to shift gears and change careers; you want to attract interest.
The summary and objective effectively communicates your value to the employer and delivers this in the fastest time possible.
Resume Objective Examples
Here are 25 different objective examples you can use for your resume. Look at the job position that’s closest to yours.
Sales position where I can highlight my skills in communicating with people, align their needs with the products and services and challenge myself in helping the company exceed its monthly targets.
Head Writing position so I can share my thoughts, ideas and world views with readers; engage freely with those who were compelled to action by my content and thereby further enhance the visibility of the publication.
Payroll Officer position where my strengths in maintaining attention to detail, meticulous review of work and adherence to quality control measures will ensure efficient administration of payroll to the company’s employees.
Digital Marketing Manager
Lead Digital Marketing Manager position where I can share my expertise in campaign management; introduce creative new ways to optimize online marketing tools and help clients achieve unprecedented growth in sales.
Computer Graphics Artist
3D Animator position so I can showcase my talent and creativity in developing highly imaginative, thought provoking characters and share my passion for the arts which taken collective will produce world- class animation for the company and its clients.
Administration Officer position where I can contribute my skills in organization and experience in benefits management to further strengthen the foundation of the company.
IT Consultant position that will enable me to utilize my technical and fundamental competencies in computer programming, local area networking, website development and contribute more efficient operational frameworks for the company.
Human Resources Management position where I can contribute my expertise in behavioral management, organizational psychology and human relations and establish a highly productive work culture for the company.
Fitness Training Manager position that will enable me to introduce the latest cutting- edge training methodologies and systems and develop a team that would help the gym’s many clients achieve their health and fitness goals.
Executive Secretary position where I can help top management and key executives of the company have more productive schedules by managing and attending to non- essential tasks and activities.
Head of Equities Research position where I can provide my expertise and share advanced knowledge in different areas of technical trading and fundamentals and offer the many investors of the company sound strategies and trading recommendations.
Restaurant Manager position where I can use my background in culinary science, people management skills and capitalize on my empathetic nature to help the restaurant create the best dining experience for its customers.
Contact Center Agent
Outbound Sales position which covers international markets so I can put to use my multilingual skills; I can speak Spanish and French, and help companies expand the scope of their products and services.
Head of Research and Development position that will enable me to introduce newer and more efficient methodologies in research and systems to consistently update the information data base of the company.
Teaching position in the high school level where my background in Behavioral Psychology and counseling will optimize the school’s learning systems and methods of instruction for the benefit of students.
Healthcare Assistant for the Aged and Disabled that will enable me to fulfill my advocacy to help the elderly and disadvantaged in society live comfortable and functional lives.
Retail/ Sales Management
Retail Sales Manager position where I can use my skills in communication, salesmanship, people- management and ability to pinpoint what customers need to help the company achieve consistently high growth in sales.
Customer Service Representative
A position in Customer Service where my organizational and communication skills and natural ability to help people find resolution to pressing issues will contribute to the company’s efforts to retain markets.
Head Trans- Editor position; my primary objective is to manage a team of transcribers and maintain the highest level of accuracy and precision in transcribing audio files while consistently attaining the required Turn Around Time for the submission of all transcribed files.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO Professional for a digital marketing organization where my skills and expertise in optimization will push the company’s website up the search rankings and all published content would be highly patronized by the target audience.
Social Media Marketer position so I can contribute to the company’s efforts to generate awareness on its products and services as well as enhance their online presence through the medium of social media.
Business Analyst position where I can highlight my abilities to conduct research, review, analyze and present sound recommendations and courses of action for the purpose of improving the company’s current level of performance.
Receptionist position where I can contribute my skills in communication, organization and my empathetic nature can ensure clients a great experience in the establishment.
Business Development Manager position where I believe my passion for growing business and unwavering resolve to face and overcome new challenges will immediately contribute to the success of the organization.
Project Manager position where my ability to manage people, organize tasks and ensure timely delivery of projects will guarantee the company achieves consistently profitable performance.
Resume Summary Examples
Below you’ll find 25 different resume summary examples for some of the most popular jobs in US. If your job is different, simply use them as a template and change them according to your job position.
Digital Marketing Manager
10+ years experience as Digital Marketer. Managed many high- profile clients such as DELL, Yahoo, American Express, McDonald’s as well as the campaigns of renowned politicians. 2 years experience as a web designer/ developer, 3 years experience as an SEO professional, spearheaded the award winning multi- media ad campaign for Coca Cola. Excellent skills in communication, writing and highly proficient in social media marketing.
Client Services Director
More than 15 years experience in the field of business development in various industries: finance, telecommunications, health care services and hotel and restaurant. Successfully managed large portfolios of key accounts for the purpose of building new networks and optimizing existing client base. Part of the pioneer team that built the ground-breaking 4G network of the ABG Company in ASEAN.
Customer Support Officer
Five years experience in the customer service industry. Managed customer support services for companies engaged in the following industries: insurance, finance, online retail, business consultancy and hotel and restaurant. Experienced with B2B and B2C customers and has worked with international clients. Multi-lingual and proficient in English, Spanish, Chinese and Italian.
Extensive 15 year experience creating engaging, relevant and unique content for many of today’s most popular websites such as Huffington Post, Business Insider and Mashable. Cited as one of the most influential bloggers in “Business and Finance” in 2015 by YYZ Blogging Community. Holds a Doctorate in English from CDE University and has authored 15 e-books in various subjects.
Executive Administrative Assistant with 10+ years experience working in various industries. Prominent clients include DELL, Coca Cola, United Health Group and many politicians particularly during campaign season. Wonderful people skills; can extract productive results from the team. Great ability to manage pressure; maintains consistency in meeting deadlines. High level of proficiency in English; certified in MS Office with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Vast experience in the sales industry managing accounts in different fields of expertise: direct sales, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and telecommunications. For 10 years, managed sales distribution for the challenging provincial network of P&G consumer goods and services and achieved phenomenal 181% growth rate which was the turnaround for the department. 100% accuracy rating in meeting sales targets and objectives on a timely manner. Vibrant and naturally engaging personality who can easily bridge differences between client and consumer.
More than 20 years experience in conducting market research for various industries including finance, research, marketing, business psychology, health and fitness. Has conducted seminars and symposia on a number of researched material and since 2017 has been the equities analyst representative for YYZ Stock Brokers. Dedicated, hard- working and committed to meeting all challenges in order to help clients uncover facts and general truths.
Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years experience managing the books and financial records and rendering advice to some of the top 500 corporations. In 2015 successfully reduced overhead spending of XYZ Savings and Loans which was affected by the global collapse of the equities market. Has authored 10 books on finance and taxation. Meticulous and detail- oriented, firmly believes strategy follows numbers.
Licensed securities trader who worked as an equities trader for BMA and Associates for 10 years. From there, successfully transitioned to a career as a Portfolio Fund Manager for Citysec Global Investments. For the past 10 years, his portfolio has been generating an annual yield of 9%; one of the highest performing in Citysec. Certified trainer for Elliott Wave Theory, Dow Theory and Fibonacci Ratios. Highly proficient in RSI, Stochastics and Moving Averages.
Certified by the most respected organizations in fitness training: ISSA, ACE and NSCA. More than 15 years experience training every day people to achieve their dreams. More than 10 years experience coaching teams and individuals win their sporting event. Has written 10 e-books on different health and fitness topics such as sport psychology, diet programs and supplements. Passionate about living the health and fitness lifestyle
15+ years experience working as Executive Chef in many prestigious hotels and restaurants such as Hotel Du Louvre, Bistrot Victoires in Paris and Lindenhofkeller in Switzerland. Apprenticed under Chef Joel Rubochon for five years. Studied in L’ Academie de Cuisine. Specialty is Modern French Cuisine. Highly disciplined, meticulous and committed to creating the best food experience for customers.
Five years working in the high- pressure world of sales and five years consistently delivering results for clients. Worked in insurance, consumer goods and supplements industries. Managed many B2B and B2C clients including Coca Cola, Whole Foods and Del Rosario Insurance Brokers. Enjoys the challenge of exceeding targets and surpassing expectations. Great communication and organizational skills. Fluent in English, Spanish and Chinese.
More than 10 years experience working as a Personal Secretary for high level executives in various industries. Great organizational and communication skills. Highly proficient and certified in MS Office. Ability to develop and manage CRM for different sales organizations. Five years experience in social media management.
Cumulative 15 years working the field of IT. Designed and developed websites in a private capacity for many B2B and B2C clients. Trained and certified in Python, Java and C+. Worked as Dialer Manager for Convergys and improved connect rate by 400%. Involved in creating training materials for contact center IT framework management. Innovative and solutions oriented.
Worked in Dubai for 15 years as Chief Electrical Engineer including five years at Burj Khalifa. Previous engagement was with Emaar and Nakheel. Certified and licensed Electrical Engineer. Graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Practical thinker, solutions- oriented and dedicated to ensuring the safety of all structures and facilities.
10 years experience developing software applications for companies from various industries. These include fast food retail, logistics, transportation and health and fitness. Certified in Java and C+. Team- oriented and understands the importance of the value chain in software development. Details oriented; conducts extensive research to deliver results and customer based solutions.
Worked for 10 years in the Emergency Room as Resident Doctor before specializing as a General Practitioner. Manages clinics situated in two general hospitals. Apprenticed in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. Great communication skills with remarkable ability to manage patient crisis situations. Establishes great working relationships with hospital staff.
Managed the Human Resources department of Convergys for 10 years. Introduced the concept of Resource Process Outsourcing or RPO to address the high turnover rate and alarming employment disengagement level of Convergys. Succeeded in lowering turnover rate by 120% and decreased disengagement level to 15% which is below global market percentile of 70%. Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources from University of Michigan.
Worked as Head Trainer for Acquire360 a contact center facility which employs 1,500 agents, 300 supervisors and 150 Project Managers. Created the training syllabus and course outline which has been regularly updated for the past 15 years of service. Manages a team of 120 lead trainers and assistant trainers. Graduated with a Degree in Psychology at Stanford University. People oriented and believed people are the core of every organization’s success.
10 years experience as a Content Writer for many popular websites such as Huffington Post, Business Insider and Mashable. Topics of expertise include business and finance, health and fitness and life hacks. Part of the pioneer team for tycoon.com which won Best Business and Finance Blog in 2015 in the prestigious Bloggys Award. Graduate degree holder in English Literature. Background in SEO, keywords research and social media marketing.
10 years as a professional web designer for ABC Web Design Services. Conceptualized, executed and oversaw the website design for YYZ Group of Companies which won 7 awards at the 2015 CSS Design Awards including Best Overall Design. Background in C+, Python and Java Programming Languages. 5 years experience in SEO. Creative; likes to think outside the box, great ability to translate impressions into design.
Background includes work as Clinical Psychologist for DEF General Hospital for 5 years plus 15+ years private practice specializing in Behavioral Therapy. For the past 5 years has been studying and implementing Behavioral Psychology in Corporate Organizations to address employment disengagement. Succeeded in improving employee productivity in LGU Manufacturing by 104% over a two – year period.
Worked as Head Nurse for WYZ General Hospital for 10 years from 2015 to 2016. Transitioned to work for LED Personal Care Professionals as a Personal Care Worker for the elderly from 2016 to 2015. Patient, great ability to work with the elderly. Diligent, well- organized and efficient in overseeing the daily routine of patients.
15 years working as Petroleum Engineer at Woodside Petroleum including 10 years as Chief Petroleum Engineer. Previous experience includes 5 years as Petroleum Engineer in Gulf Mining at Dubai. Part of the pioneer group that jump started mineral- based businesses in Oman. Graduate in Extractive Metallurgy from Penn State University.
For 10 years was the Lead Architect for ABi Architects. Assigned in Europe by the company from 2016 to 2016 to oversee its development projects in London, Scotland and Austria. Hired by IBI Group in Canada from 2016 to 2015 to supervise design and implementation of its projects in Sussex. Graduate Degree in Architecture from Cornell University.
There are numerous reasons why we work. Some of us do it as a passion, while others just try to make a difference in the community. What we all have in common is the necessity to sustain ourselves and our families. After all, money is what pays the bills. Everybody wants a job, but our ultimate goal is a salary that can fulfill our needs. In this article, I will give you some tips on how you can negotiate your salary during the job interview and how you can ask for a pay raise.
Many career experts often advise people not to open a discussion on this topic with their employer. Below are a few strategies that will help you get the salary you deserve.
1. Study the company
Before going to the job interview, you need to study everything about the company, and what their previous employees have to say about them. You can find complaints or opinions by doing some simple searches on Google. Here are some key phrases you can use (replace “company” with your employer’s name):
I worked for company
Even if the company you applied for doesn’t have a website, by spending some time doing your research, you can learn more about their previous employees, their budget and activity.
2. Should I talk about money during the first job interview?
The quick answer is “No”. Candidates should not talk about money during the initial interview. Instead, make the interviewer understand what are your most important accomplishments and how you can help the company grow by benefiting from your skills and knowledge. They need to be committed to needing you, before focusing on your needs.
3. How should I answer the salary question?
While you should never insist on this topic during the first interview, there comes a point when both parties want to know if they are on the same boat.
Before giving your answer to the question, you need to understand everything about the job position. If it involves travel, overtime or some specific skills, these factors will require a higher payroll. Sometimes these details are revealed during the 2nd interview.
The best answer for you to give would be: “I would like to learn more about the job requirements and company’s expectations, before discussing my salary requirements.”
If they insist and force you to give a specific number, you have two options:
Ask what is the company’s budget for this position
Give a rough estimate salary expectation, and mention that you will negotiate more after learning everything about the job position and requirements.
4. Know how much you’re worth
Of course, you have to be prepared to enter the wage negotiation. Treat the interview like it’s a pitch for a project or some services you are offering. Always highlight your most important skills and your accomplishments.
Do a search on LinkedIn for similar roles and get a salary range for your position. This should be your salary at minimum.
With LinkedIn, you can find people that work for the company. Check those with similar positions and look at their responsibilities.
5. Sell yourself and negotiate the salary
For any job position, there are at least a few hundred other candidates. During the job interview, you must demonstrate what value you can add to the company, and why you are the right person for this job.
If you are multi-skilled and you can contribute in various departments, this will help the company save money by hiring additional individuals.
Once the company understands that they need you, it’s time to negotiate your salary. Listen to their offer and ask about further compensation elements such as vacation days, trainings, bonuses or promotions.
Be confident and don’t answer right away. You are in control of the conversation now.
Whether you are looking to get your first job, or just trying to get a better one, finding a job is not always an easy task. In this article, I will show you some tips on how to write a professional resume and how to approach the job interview.
As you have already chosen your career, now the idea is to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. How do you do that? Before your start searching and applying for jobs, you have to write a resume that will grab attention. Your resume is the first contact with the employer, and it has to be perfect and straight to the point.
Writing the perfect resume
Your resume should help the employer understand who you are, where you come from and what are your best skills. These are some tips you should consider when writing a resume:
Never lie in your resume and always be honest.
Write the most relevant experience. Even if you have had numerous jobs before, only write the most important ones, and the ones where you had the best achievements. The last three positions, five at most, should be enough.
Always write a career objective. It should be a one or two sentences about your career expectations for the coming years. This will make the employer understand what kind of person you are, and how ambitious are your plans.
Keep it simple, clean and to the point. Employers are busy and don’t have time to read a story about your life. Highlight the most important achievements and skills you have.
The way your resume looks is just as important as how it reads. You can check our resume templates to get an idea of how a resume should be written. Use bold and italic only for your name and contact information.
Proofread your resume and make sure there are no grammar mistakes inside.
Prepare for the job interview
Just because you were invited for a job interview, it doesn’t mean you will get the job. To increase your chances of getting hired, you have to do your homework and be ready to handle the tough interview questions.
Do your research and study the company that called you. Sometimes, interviewers might ask, if you know about them. The last thing they want to hear from you is that you don’t. Prove that you have done your research and know everything about the company.
Most of the time, job interviews start with a common question “Tell me about yourself”. Before going to the interview, prepare a one or two minutes pitch, where you can talk about your experience, background, accomplishments, and why you want to work for their company. The interviewer doesn’t want to know about your childhood or high school experience. Once again, keep it simple and short.
Memorize your pitch and don’t stutter when talking about yourself. Make sure you don’t sound like a robot though.
A resume is not just a document that chronicles your work experience, educational history, skill sets and accomplishments. It is a tool that when undertaken with strategy and a sense of purpose will best present your qualifications to match those required of the job opening. To increase your chances of your job application to be successful, you have to choose the best resume formats that are suitable for your case.
Thus your approach to writing your resume must combine composition with creativity and marketing.
An effective resume isn’t just about submitting one which uses the appropriate font, correct margins and doesn’t have grammatical errors and misspelled words. While those are important factors, they are not enough to get you to the next stage which is the job interview.
Because recruiters literally spend only a few seconds on every resume that lands on their desk, you need to craft yours in such a way that the most vital pieces of information are front and centre. To do this, you must choose the right format for your resume.
In this post we’ll explore the 3 most common resume formats.
Choose The Best Resume Format
The biggest mistake people make when they write a resume is assuming there is a set format. So they take a cookie- cutter approach by following the same formula as everyone else. They believe that by submitting a resume that looks and feels like the rest, the recruiter should have no reason not to review it.
In the first place, when you submit a resume your objective should be to make yours stand out from the crowd. For every job opening that a company posts, it will receive at least 250 applications. Why would you want to be in the middle of the mix? Your resume should help you climb to the top of the pile!
Second, people have different reasons for applying to a job post. Some are looking for their first job. Some want a complete change in career. Some are coming back to the job market after an extended time away from work. Some feel the job post offers better career opportunities.
Finally, everyone has a unique life experience and this provides each applicant with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
If the job post requires a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, minimum 5 years experience working for a universal bank and the ability to speak fluent French, do you think every single applicant would have all of these qualities?
Those that do would be well- advised to put these qualifications front and center in their resume. The top third of your resume is a crucial area. If there is no relevant information at this point, your resume could find its way under file or worse, in the trash can.
Can you imagine if you could speak fluent French and you just kept this bit of information in the back end seemingly camouflaged with the rest of your qualifications?
This is the reason why you need to choose the correct format: it will allow you to highlight your strengths, conceal your weaknesses and most of all, bring your purpose to the frontend of your resume.
The correct resume format will make the recruiter’s job easier and exponentially improve your chances of getting that sought- after interview.
The correct resume format will make the recruiter’s job easier and exponentially improve your chances of getting that sought- after interview.
Resume Format Types
There are 3 types of resume format to choose from. Each one has distinct advantages over the other when it comes to presenting the strong points of your resume.
Keep in mind that recruiters read resumes from a different filter. Don’t write one that looks good for you. It should be written with the recruiter in mind.
If you have been unemployed for more than 6 months, you would not want that gap highlighted for the recruiter. Although recruiters know the difficulties of landing a job especially during a sluggish economy, why take the risk where there are ways to showcase the positives in your resume? Recruiters are individuals with different experiences and perspectives. Some may take those extended gaps against your application. Thus, if you have a gap, you have to draw the recruiter’s attention to the positive elements of your resume right away.
The question you should ask yourself is, “How do I grab the attention of the recruiter within the first few seconds?”
This is the reason why you should never send the same resume to every potential employer. You have to tailor- fit or customize it according to the specific job requirements and the needs of the company.
And a big part of customization is the resume format.
So how do you know which resume format to choose?
We will go into a detailed discussion on the 3 resume formats by dedicating a section for each of them. At the end of the discussion, you will have a better idea on which format to use and how to apply its principles on your resume.
1. Reverse Chronological Resume Format
The reverse- chronological format is often referred to as the traditional format for writing a resume. You probably thought reverse- chronological was the only way to structure a resume which is why you are reading this article right now.
With the reverse- chronological format, the details of your work and educational history are written starting from the most recent experience then moving backward.
Recruiters prefer the reverse- chronological format because it’s easy for them to follow your history and at the same time quickly exposes gaps in your history. It is also applicable to all industries.
Chances are, prior to reading this article, you were writing your resume using this format.
But is it the correct format for you?
This format is ideal if you fall under the following conditions:
You want to highlight vertical progression in your career.
You are fresh out of college.
You have uninterrupted employment history.
You want to apply for a job in a similar field.
You’ve worked with blue chip companies
You’re a candidate for senior or executive management position.
You plan to contract the services of an international recruiter.
You are returning to the work force but in the same industry.
You came from military service and plan to segue to private life.
The reverse- chronological format is a great way to tell your story. You know the power of story- telling in content delivery. A well- crafted narrative places the reader in your shoes and compels him or her to follow the rest of your journey.
In a resume, that reader is the recruiter. Writing a resume is also subject to the same rules of writing great content: it must be relevant, engaging and unique. Keeping these qualities in mind when you write your resume will surely grab the attention of the recruiter.
The reverse- chronological format will not be the correct format to use if you fall under the following conditions:
You have multiple gaps in your work history.
You have been unemployed for more than 6 months.
You are planning to find work in an entirely new industry.
You change jobs very often.
Your work history does not show vertical progress.
Under these conditions, using the reverse- chronological format will only highlight the weak points and hide the strong points in your resume.
The Structure Of The Reverse Chronological Resume Format
Recruiters spend only seconds scanning a resume. The Heading is the first section they will look at. This is why you have to make sure all the important information is available right away. These details include:
With the reverse- chronological format, there are 3 ways to write your resume introduction:
1. Qualifications Summary
Ideal if you are applying for a job in a similar or different industry.
Places emphasis on a skill set that is relevant to the job or position.
Use no more than 6 bullet points to highlight your most impressive accomplishments.
Project Management Skills:
Managed a team of 5 individuals of various competencies such as web design, web development, social media marketing, SEO and content writing to plan, implement and oversee a comprehensive digital marketing campaign. Within the first 6 months, the team generate 150% more followers, 230% greater engagement, 474% increase in indexed pages and 600% improvement in sales conversions.
Most Significant Achievement:
Overhauled the inbound marketing campaign of YYZ Company which had been incurring losses the past year and turned it around to generate 1,400% sales growth; an acknowledged record in the industry.
2. Career Objective
Written to target a specific position.
References the goals of the company.
Uses no more than 2-3 sentences to create the statement.
Financial Analyst with more than 6 years experience in the equities market conducting research, preparing reports and providing investment advice while maintaining integrity, precision and accuracy of data. MBA degree holder from New York University with a 4.0 GPA. Looking to leverage experience, expertise and proficiencies to land a Key Accounts Manager position in ABC Equities Holdings.
3. Professional Profile
It does not target a specific position.
You can use this approach when submitting your application to an online job site.
Combines elements of the Qualifications Summary and Career Objective.
Financial Analyst with more than 6 years experience in the equities market conducting research, preparing reports and providing investment advice while maintaining integrity, precision and accuracy of data.
Authored 2 publications, “How to Win in a Down Market” and “Using Numbers to Create Winning Investment Strategies”.
Represented YYZ Equities in various investment- related shows on TV, radio and podcasts.
MBA degree holder from New York University with a 4.0 GPA.
III. Work Experience
The centrepiece of your resume is the work experience section. A recruiter’s decision to award you an interview with the Hiring Manager could very well depend on how your work experience is composed.
The common mistake of job seekers when writing their work experience is to present it according to the tasks assigned or scope of responsibilities performed. Your purpose should be to highlight the accomplishments you made in your previous employment.
Because recruiters will only scan through these accomplishments, you should present them as bullet points.
But it is not enough to simply arrange them as bullet points. If you want your accomplishments to have more impact, here are 3 ways you can get the spotlight to shine even brighter on them:
1. Use Power Words
Power words are those that present you as a dynamic participant or active initiator of the tasks entrusted to you. Verbs such as “worked” and “responsible with” have been so overused that they have lost their power or luster with recruiters.
Among the best power words you can use are as follows:
Power words are not limited to verbs. There are descriptive words or adjectives that can inject more power and influence to your resume. These are words that reference soft skills that are sought after by the potential employer.
While hard skills refer to specific competencies or work- related proficiencies, soft skills are attributes or key personality traits that tell the company you could be an ideal fit to their organization.
The most in- demand soft skills include:
Analytical Decision- Maker
When choosing descriptive power words, make sure these are the soft skills you have and can be validated by actual experiences.
2. The PAR Method
The PAR Method stands for:
P- Problem; identify a problem or situation at work A – Action; course of action taken to address the problem R – Results; the outcome of the course of action
Here’s an example:
Problem: Raise $10,000 for the child welfare foundation Action: Organize a fund raising concert Results: Generated $15,258 from the proceeds of the concert
Using the PAR Method, the accomplishment will appear on the resume as follows:
Organized a fund raising concert for the child welfare foundation and generated $15,258 which far exceeded the target amount of $10,000.
3. Quantifiable Results
A stated accomplishment that is not substantiated by numbers, figures or statistics would lack impact and may not even create a positive impression. Worse, your claim may be considered “hearsay” by the recruiter.
Again we go back to the power of storytelling. A good story provides details. It must not lead to further questions such as:
How did the company benefit?
What was the end result?
Did your course of action introduce improvements over the previous administration?
How did your decision impact the performance of your team?
What was the effect on the bottom line?
Let’s take a look at 2 examples:
Managed a sales department.
Directed a department composed of 20 sales people to maximize opportunities at Essex General County and within 8 months, surpassed the sales total of the previous year by 217%.
Example A only provided very general information that had no substance. It does not show the recruiter what the applicant did when given a particular task.
On the other hand, Example B clearly explained what the applicant had to do and defined the accomplishment from the endeavor. Between these 2 applicants, Example B would be more impressive to the recruiter.
IV. Educational Attainment
Unless you are a fresh college graduate, you do not have to put too much detail in your educational history when using the reverse chronological format. It is important to make sure the following information is clearly indicated:
Name of your university
Location of your university
Type of degree
Regarding your Grade Point Average or GPA, you should include it only if it is higher than 3.0.
Also, if you are a fresh graduate, educational attainment should come before work or professional experience.
In this section, highlight skills that are relevant to the job requirement. Include details on certifications or additional trainings received that were intended to improve your proficiency level in these relevant skills.
Earlier we discussed the difference between hard skills and soft skills. You could make an accounting of your various hard and soft skills.
For example, if you were applying for a position of Systems Manager your skills section would look like:
1. Hard Skills:
2. Soft Skills:
If you did everything as discussed in “Work Experience”, these skills would have been validated already.
The section on Interests often elicits debate on whether it should be included or not. The benefit of having a section on Interests is that it gives the recruiter an idea of who you are outside the confines of work.
The only reminder is to include only interests that would be considered generally appropriate.
For example; cooking, travel and music are acceptable interests. Mosh-pit dancing, collecting lint and stalking celebrities are not.
Functional Resume Format
People used to think getting a college education was all you need to land the job of your dreams. Go to school, graduate, find a job then retire after 40 years in the company.
Times have changed. It’s no longer a realistic expectation to find a job and build a career until the day you retire. If the job market is uncertain, career planning is unstable. Studies have shown that college graduates go through 3 to 5 jobs in their first decade of employment.
Recruiters are keenly aware of this statistic. They know many applicants will have gaps in their resume. However, as the applicant you don’t know how the recruiter will view those gaps.
If your resume does not present continuous employment, the reverse chronological format will work against you. It will draw attention to the red flags in your resume.
Given that recruiters spend limited time on your resume, your immediate course of action should be to highlight the strengths and skills that are relevant to the position.
This is the advantage of using the functional resume format. It conceals potential weak points and brings your strengths front and center.
Here are other scenarios that should benefit by using the functional resume format:
You are in the process or re-entering the work force after a leave of more than 6 months.
You have frequently changed jobs.
You are planning to transition to a new career.
You want to highlight relevant and transferable skills to the job position.
You have reason to believe the recruiter may not find you an ideal fit for the company.
You are transitioning from a career in the military to private employment.
You believe you’re overqualified for the job you are seeking.
You are a fresh graduate and have no relevant work experience.
It should be noted that recruiters tend to frown on the functional resume format for the following reasons:
After perusing through resumes that use the reverse- chronological format, having to come across those written in the functional resume format can be confusing and disconcerting.
Recruiters may think it was done deliberately by the applicant to “hide” specific work experiences.
Regardless of the disadvantages of the functional resume format, if your work experience appears spotty, you will better off using it than the reverse- chronological format. After all, there is no way for you to know how a recruiter thinks. It’s best to focus only on things that you can control.
The Structure Of The Functional Resume Format
The guidelines for Heading are the same as those for reverse- chronological. It must contain the same information. You could however, opt for a larger font size such as 20-24 instead of 12 to 14 to create a more prominent heading. Think of it as giving a firmer handshake to the recruiter!
II. Qualification Summary
If you think your employment history will not impress because of periods of prolonged employment, the Qualifications Summary, as we discussed in the Resume Introduction section of the reverse chronological format is the best way to start your narrative.
Using this format will allow you to place your 6 most significant achievements near the top third section of the resume. It may help frame the recruiter’s mind to identify your narrative and set the tone for the next sections.
When writing your Qualifications Summary, as we presented in the section on reverse- chronological format, do not forget to validate your achievements with accurate facts, figures or statistics.
III. Relevant Skills
If work experience is the most crucial section in the reverse- chronological format, Relevant Skills is the meat and potatoes for the functional format. This is where you plan to hit the home run.
Since your employment history may be nothing to crow about, you have to draw interest to the skills that are relevant to the job position.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when summarizing your relevant skills:
Choose no more than 3 relevant skills.
Highlight 2 to 4 accomplishments or valuable information on each skill.
Write them in bullet point format.
For example, you want to apply for a position as a Corporate Trainer but you’ve been unemployed for 8 months. Your last job was as a Team Leader in a popular fast- food restaurant.
You could present your relevant skills as follows:
Personnel Training/ Orientation
Managed training of new recruits; average of 15 service crew every month.
Presided over orientation of service crew on new policies, menu specials and marketing programs on a monthly basis.
Authored company manual on store operations and personnel management training.
Introduced improvements in personnel training programs which resulted in 150% increase in favorable feedback from customers.
Restructured the queuing system which improved the order taking time by 50%.
Developed the idea for a virtual customer dropbox where customers and personnel can collectively suggest ideas on store and service improvements. The idea helped increase customer engagement levels by 400%.
Conducted team building programs which contributed to the reduction of attrition rates from 160% to 27%.
Instituted reforms for career-building and success planning programs that helped improve morale and lower employment turnover rate by 55%.
As you can see, even if the industries are widely differentiated, by stating the 3 relevant skills and substantiating these with figures, they become transferrable skills to the new career.
IV. Work Experience
People become unemployed for various reasons. It’s not only because of cut- backs, recessions or resignations. Sometimes situations arise where unemployment becomes an option. These situations include:
Taking care of an ill parent.
Assuming parental duties while the spouse maintains a regular job.
Decision to take advance studies full- time.
Decision to take extended time off or vacation.
Recruiters are well aware of the different causes of unemployment. But it does not mean you should reveal these reasons in your resume. Even if the reason is valid, the recruiter may consider it a red flag and look at you as a high- risk candidate.
This is why in the functional resume format, relevant skills comes before work experience. The purpose is to pre-empt the gaps in employment history. The recruiter will immediately take note that you used the time away from work to improve on certain skills or gain other valuable experience.
And that is the key to closing these employment gaps. Regardless of the reason for your unemployment, you must always find ways to keep productive and stay busy:
Become a freelancer or telecommuter.
Do volunteer work.
Take part- time jobs.
Take up a new course.
Get certified in a hard skill.
You can turn an unfortunate situation into a potential deal- maker by simply finding ways of coping with it. A recruiter can easily connect the dots between the skills you acquired and the employment gap.
Here’s another way you can conceal the employment gap. Notice how work experience was presented:
Technical Analyst Benchmark Global Solutions Inc. 2015 – 2016
Prepared all technical analysis reports that were distributed to more than 300 publications nationwide.
Attended to the training of new research team members in Dow Theory and Elliott Wave Theory.
Authored 4 training and research manuals.
Published 2 books on technical trading, “Using Ratios for a Winning Strategy” and “Riding the Elliott Wave of Success”.
Head Research RJS Securities 2016 – 2015
Spearheaded more than 350 research expeditions at over 100 countries.
Managed a research department of 120 personnel.
Authored 12 operating and systems manuals for the company.
As you can see, the applicant did not indicate the inclusive months. He could have been unemployed for more than 6 months in 2015.
Is this being deceptive or resourceful? Either way, the applicant was not lying in his resume. He just withheld information that is not implicitly required.
V. Educational Attainment
The guidelines for educational attainment remain unchanged. Include the same information as you would in a reverse- chronological format. Highlight achievements or accomplishments that are relevant to the job description.
For example, if you are applying for project management and you chaired a school organization, you should emphasize this and include your landmark achievements as leader.
The Interests section could serve a stronger purpose in a functional resume format because it could position you as someone who is right- fit for the company.
Research on the company and find out more about their values, working culture, socio-civic endeavor. Do an accounting of your interests and assess which ones fit with those of the company’s.
Hybrid Or Combination Resume Format
The combination format is exactly what it is. It combines elements of the reverse- chronological and the functional formats; a hybrid format, if you will.
Does this mean, the combination format is the most effective of the three because it has the best of both worlds?
Like the other formats, the combination has its advantages and disadvantages.
You should use it if your situation falls under these conditions:
You want to highlight a relevant skill set.
You want to make the move to an entirely different industry.
You have an assortment of transferable skills.
You are re-entering the work force after a prolonged absence.
You are considered a “Master” at what you do.
As you can see, the hybrid shares common situations with the reverse- chronological and the functional. However, what stands out is the final condition where you are widely recognized as a “Master”, a key resource person or an expert in your job.
In a competitive job market, you can use the combination format to put the spotlight on your expertise and create more distance between you and your competitors.
Do not use the combination or hybrid format if your situation falls under these conditions:
You are an entry level candidate or a fresh graduate.
You plan to emphasize your educational attainment.
You do not possess skills that are relevant to the job.
The structure of the combination format is the same as the functional format but there are very distinct differences in the content of its key sections such as the Resume Introduction, Skills and Professional History.
The Structure of the Combination or Hybrid Resume Format
The required information for the combination is the same as those for the reverse chronological and functional formats. However, there is more to be expected. Make sure your LinkedIn profile has been updated and it would be to your advantage given your level of expertise and experience to have a personal website.
II. Resume Introduction
Since the purpose of the combination format is to drive attention to your skills and proficiencies, your resume introduction could be one of these 2 options:
Professional Profile – This is a synopsis of the skills and proficiencies from your previous employment.
Qualifications Summary – This summarizes the achievements or accomplishments you made from your previous employment.
You can review the samples on these 2 options in section on the reverse- chronological format.
III. Relevant Skills
Even if you do not have gaps in your work history or if the period of employment is shorter than 6 months, in the combination format, the Relevant Skills section remains positioned ahead of Professional Experience.
Again, the purpose is to bring your skills dead center in the resume. It will further add substance to your extensive work history and create a greater impression on the recruiter.
Since this is perhaps the most crucial section when using the combination format, you must know the correct approach in writing and organizing your skills.
Here are 3 important things to keep in mind when creating your skills section:
1. Keep it Relevant
The recruiter only wants to see the skills that are relevant to the job or position.
For example, if you are applying for the position of IT Manager, you skill section should look like this:
Certified, SQL Programmer
Certified, Java Programmer
Certified, HTML Programmer
Certified, C++ Programmer
Systems Management, 5 years experience
Other IT-related accomplishments such as “DOTA Champion 2015-2017” are not related to the job and will only be nuisance information for the recruiter.
2. Quantify Your Skills
Anytime you can validate information in your resume, go for it. Numbers and statistics add credibility to your claims. It’s not just in work experience and educational attainment but also in skills.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a Medical Transcriptionist instead of presenting your skills as:
You should write it down as follows:
Fast typist at 80 wpm
98% accuracy rating in transcription work
Graded level 10 in English proficiency
Attach certifications whenever available. Whatever you can provide to support or substantiate your claims would be an advantage for your application.
3. Use Bullet Points
Recruiters don’t have the time to read through your skill set. They want to know right away what you can offer their company and find out once and for all why hiring you will be the best decision they can make.
Summarize these skills into bullet point format. But make sure these are organized according to competencies.
Proficient in MS Word
Fast typing skills; 80 wpm
Bilingual; English and Level 7 in Spanish
Fluent in conversational Spanish
Proficient in MS Word
Bilingual; English and Level 7 in Spanish
Fast typing skills; 80 wpm
Fluent in conversational Spanish
When summarizing your skills, these should be well- organized. Example B is clearly disorganized. The recruiter’s train of thought would be derailed from processing information related on MS Word to language skills.
IV. Professional Experience
The content is pretty much the same as with the 2 other formats. But we should emphasize that if you have extensive work experience of 10 years or more, to leave out those that are not relevant to the job or position.
For example, if you are eyeing a position as Lead Auditor but you were a Personal Trainer for the first 2 years, you don’t have to include this experience in your resume. It has no relevance to the position and will only serve to distract the attention of the recruiter.
Keep this section short. Focus on your accomplishments but you don’t have to be extensive because at this point, you are already far deep into your career.
This bears less significance given your level of tenure and experience. It would be up to you if you want to include this or not. But given that you are perceived as an authority in the industry, this type of information may only distract the recruiter.
Which Resume Format Is Best For You?
As you have read, the resume is not just a document that you need to submit to comply with the requirements of a job. If you view the resume that way, it will lack the impact necessary to make a difference among the rest of the applicants.
A resume should be approached with thought, purpose and strategy. It is not something that you should rush into. Take your time. You have to evaluate your current situation, determine your purpose for applying for the job and undertake proper research.
Do an accounting of your experiences at work and your academic achievements. Conduct a deep dive into your hard and soft skill sets. Find out which ones are relevant, usable and transferable to the available position.
It should never be written as a “one size fits all” approach.
Once you done an assessment of what you can offer to the company, it should become very clear which resume format would best serve your interest.
Have you ever wondered why some job posts require a resume and others a CV? If not, then like most people you may have assumed the resume and resume are one and the same. Thus it may come as a surprise to you that each document has a distinct purpose and specific characteristics that differentiate it from the other.
Failure to understand these differences could have an impact on your chances of landing the job. So what is the difference between a resume and A Resume? Let’s start by explaining what is a resume and a CV.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a concise summary of your experiences and achievements in work, education and acquired skills in direct relation to a job or position that you are trying to acquire.
It is generally considered to be a short document; many submit only single page resumes although those with more than 10 years experience may need 2 or more pages.
The content of your resume should never remain the same. If you are planning to submit a resume to 3 companies from different industries, the content of each document must be tailored to fit the specific requirements of the respective job post.
What is a CV?
A resume or Curriculum Vitae is a highly- detailed document that chronicles your accomplishments in work, school and in other endeavors related to the field of specialization or the academia.
Although there are CV’s that can be completed within a single page, the most effective ones are those that cover multiple pages. It is not out of the ordinary for potential employers to review a resume that is more than 10 pages long.
The content of the resume does not change unless you have acquired new experiences, skills and certifications or made accomplishments relevant to your industry.
3 Main Differences and Similarities Between the Resume and the CV
Based on the descriptions of a resume and a CV, their 3 main differences can be identified as follows:
1. Length – The resume as a summary is shorter in length and is usually submitted as a 1-page document. By contrast, a resume is a highly-detailed account of your life experiences up to the time of submission. A resume is like a living document; it will continue to grow in length as you gain more experience and build up on your expertise.
2. Purpose – The purpose of the resume is to tailor your qualifications and experiences according to the specific requirements of the job position. With the CV, it is used for positions that need high levels of achievements in the academia. A resume is the primary document required for teaching positions and research.
3. Lay Out – The layout of the resume is flexible. Although the reverse- chronological format is the most widely accepted, you could switch to functional or combination formats if warranted. The layout of the resume is static. It will not change at all.
Despite these 3 main differences, both the resume and the resume share a few characteristics:
1. Structure – Both the resume and resume must be readable and structured in a professional manner. You would best be advised to maintain a simple but more focused look to either document:
Use only appropriate font styles such as Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica and Arial.
Use font size 12 to 14.
Keep a single space margin between lines.
Maintain a 1” margin all around; use “Print Preview” to be sure format is printable.
Left Aligned is preferred
2. Clear Specifications
Companies may demand specific formats or templates to be followed. This is especially true for CV’s. Before writing your resume or CV, thoroughly review the post and check if there is a template to be used.
Also, you should substantiate accomplishments in work, school and in related activities with facts and figures. For the CV, you must be thorough when providing details on publications you made. Provide links, dates and other information relevant to your body of work.
Finally, it should not be identified as a similarity because it should go without saying. But before submitting your resume or CV, always review and double- check for grammatical errors and misspelled words.
Have your resume or resume do through online programs that check for errors in grammar and spelling. Go the extra step by having a trusted friend or associate review it for an honest assessment and evaluation.
It is simply not acceptable for recruiters if you submit a resume or CV that has glaring flaws and mistakes.
Structure of the Resume
A typical resume will have the following sections as part of its structure:
Header – Information should include complete name, city, state, e-mail address and online information such as your URL for LinkedIn or personal website.
Objective Summary – A short narrative that gives the recruiter an idea of your character and your potential contributions to the company.
Work Experience – As mentioned, reverse- chronological format or starting out from your most recent employment moving backwards is preferred. But if your work history has gaps in excess of 6 months, you could switch to the functional format. If you are targeting a career change, the combination format would work best.
Educational Attainment – Again, reverse- chronological format works best with this section. Highlight achievements, accomplishments, certificates and citations received in college or from higher institutions.
Skills and Abilities – Identify and showcase your skills and abilities that are relevant to the job.
Interests – A short summary of your life outside work. Done properly, this section could help state your case as right- fit for the organization.
When writing your resume, make sure you are using the correct keywords or phrases. You can identify these keywords from the job post itself or by visiting the website of the company.
Structure of the CV
A resume will have the following sections form its structure:
Header – Same information as the resume.
Areas of Interest – A summary of your various academic interests.
Education – Itemize the degrees you have earned including those currently in progress such as a Master’s or Doctorate. You should also indicate the titles of dissertations you have made.
Grants, Honors and Awards – Complete rundown of all citations and forms of recognitions you have received during your career and at the academe.
Publications and Presentations – Complete list of all the publications and presentations you have made at school and at work. If you have amassed a large volume of work, create a separate category each for publications and presentations.
Work Experience – Unlike the resume, your work experience in the resume should be more encompassing. Include your experiences in teaching, laboratory and field work. You can even add volunteer work and leadership experiences.
Professional Affiliations or Scholastic Memberships – Summarize the groups and organizations you are a member of that are relevant to the industry of your field of specialization. Highlight the years when you chaired an organizational body or carried out special missions.
References – Include the names of people who can vouch for your character, quality of work, former or current clients and others that can give favorable testimony.
Unlike a resume, the use of keywords, buzzwords or phrases is not important in the CV. Your focus when writing you resume is detail. Organizations that ask for CV’s are looking for people with the credentials, experiences and expertise to meet the demands and responsibilities of the position.
If a recruiter only allocates 6 seconds to view your resume, the employer will certainly take more time in evaluating a CV.
When to Use a Resume or a CV
It’s not difficult to know if you have to submit a resume or a CV. In the first place, the job post would most likely indicate which one you need. If the details indicated in the job post are not clear, take the time to call the company and get clarification.
Your use of a resume or a resume could also depend on the country or location of the job. In the United States and North America, the resume is the standard document for application.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand you should submit CV’s because resumes are never used at all. You can even download a European Union resume format to be sure.
Meanwhile in Australia, India and South Africa the terms resume and resume are interchangeable. Perhaps the best way to differentiate them is by purpose. Resumes are the document of choice if you are seeking employment in private corporations but the resume is more appropriate if you want to work for the public sector.
Should You Have a CV?
Chances are there are more of you who have written a resume than a CV. But there is no harm in creating a CV. Remember that the content of the resume grows as you acquire more experience and knowledge. You would not want to scramble in writing one when the time comes that a potential employer requests it over a resume.
Start working on your resume and store it as a document file. Update it as needed. At the very least, you can use it as a reference point for your resume.
The resume is a marketing tool that could determine your next career. The decision of the recruiter to bring you further along the process and invite you for the all- important interview hinges on the information contained in the resume.
Job applicants often find themselves in a quandary; should they opt for a short resume or a long resume? While a short one page resume is easier to make, it will not offer you the opportunities to differentiate your value proposition from the other candidates as a long resume would.
Pros of using a long resume
1. You Don’t Miss Out on the Important Details
“How much time will the hiring manager spend on my resume? Will he or she scan my resume in 6 seconds?”
The truth is you won’t ever know how much time the hiring manager spent on your resume. Despite the eye-tracking study conducted by TheLadders, hiring managers have their own nuances when it comes to reviewing resumes. You have no control over it, so don’t worry about it.
Focus on your biggest concern: How do I get the hiring manager interested in what I have to offer? The answer to that question lies in the content of your resume.
You cannot afford to take the risk and subject your details to a process of elimination. Just like a delicate operation, you might sever an artery that would bleed out your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
2. Provides Better Continuity for Your Story
A longer resume allows you to craft better content for each key section. You will have more opportunity to weave your story into the resume and create continuity. You can lead the hiring manager further along your story as he or she goes through your resume.
If you were successful in launching your story at the Header, it will be easy for the hiring manager to establish continuity simply by noting keywords at each section. Continuity of a compelling storyline could potentially distinguish you from the rest of the competition.
3. Improves Your Chances of Getting Hired
We mentioned in Chapter 1 that many hiring managers use tracking software in the recruitment process. These are called Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS which helps hiring managers track work- specific keywords.
In electronic formats, resume length is immaterial. The length of the resume will not be a factor for an ATS. It will rapidly track keywords if the resume is one page long or four pages long.
As a matter of fact, a longer resume will improve your chances of getting hired because you can pack in more experience and more relevant keywords.
Statistically, only 26% of hiring managers use ATS. Still this is an advantage that will put you ahead of the rest who prefer short form resumes. In a competitive job market, you will need every advantage you can get.
4. Wide Open Spaces Mean Better Structure
When you have extensive work experience and a long list of relevant accomplishments, having more than one page to work with gives you the benefit of space.
Not just space but wide open spaces that will make it easier to compose a well- structured resume with clear, concise and compelling content. You can expand its sections to include the following:
Additional Education and Training
These are pieces of information that are crucial in building your brand and supporting your value proposition.
As a rule, focus on the last 10 to 12 years of work experience. Remember the acronym CCAR when composing your work experience:
C – Context; Your title and scope of responsibilities.
C – Challenge; The problem presented by the organization for your resolution.
A – Action; The course or courses of action you implemented to resolve the challenge.
R – Result; The outcome of the course of action and how it impacted the performance of the organization.
This type of format will keep your work experience concise without foregoing the important details.
5. Better Readability and Organization
With a longer resume you will not be pressured to keep everything to a minimum. And this includes the particulars of the resume such as:
To make your resume more readable, you can open up the spacing between lines and use good sized font such as 12 or 13 for Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.
Hiring Managers do not want to strain their eyes scanning a resume that uses size 8 or 9 font, tight spacing and margins.
Cons of using a long resume
1. Recruiters Only Scan Resumes
With hundreds of resumes to go through every day, hiring managers will tend to scan only usable content in a resume. They will not go through your resume with a fine- toothed comb unless its content grabs their attention.
There is a possibility all of the content you put in your resume may not be read at all. This is especially true later in the day when the focus and energy of the hiring manager starts to wane.
2. More Info is Not Necessarily Better
When composing your resume, always keep in mind the relevance of the information you are sharing.
Even when you have more than 20 years experience as an executive, you should give serious thought on the details you want to highlight. There is such a thing as information overload.
Identifying the experiences you should emphasize is not an easy task. You may wish to consider the assistance of a professional resume writer on how to effectively phrase your experiences.
3. Risk of Overlooking Important Information
If you focused a great deal of your attention on work experience, it is possible other key sections such as Educational Attainment would be found after the second or third page.
Assuming the job requires a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, a long resume might make it difficult to find for some hiring managers if Educational Attainment is located on the last page of your resume.
A good way to look at your resume is that it is a “work in progress”; it details your history up to the most current period of your life.
Thus, recruiters do not expect a fresh graduate who has not even cashed- in his first paycheck to submit a multiple page resume. In the same manner, recruiters know an executive with more than 20 years of experience and varied list of accomplishments would be hard pressed to condense an entire history into a one page resume.
The length of your resume should never influence its content. Always keep in mind that content is the primary driver of your resume.
Writing a resume can seem like a daunting task. Your career could hinge on how you craft and compose the most important pages of your life. But like all challenges, all you need is a plan.
Here are valuable tips and tricks to consider when writing your resume:
1. Find Your Resume Format
The type of resume format you choose can influence your chances of landing that all-important job interview. There are 3 types of resume format. The one you select should fit your purpose, current work experience and employment status.
Chronological Resume Format:
People who have established tenure in an industry and are looking for a job in a similar field.
Those who are starting out or are in mid-level in their career.
Those with little to no gaps in their employment history.
Easier to follow for recruiters.
Effectively presents your progression.
Functional Resume Format:
People with significant gaps in their career or work history.
Those who are targeting a specific position and plan to highlight relevant experiences and skills.
Those who are just entering the job market and want to emphasize skills.
Shifts focus away from resume deficiencies.
Allows you to validate your qualifications through skills and relevant experiences.
Work Experience or Skills
Combination Resume Format:
People who are planning a career change.
Those who are highly- respected or considered a “master” in their field or industry.
Allow you to highlight strengths and talents that are relevant to the position.
Presents a clear and organized format to weave your story line.
2. Set up the “Look” of Your Resume
When writing your resume, always think of making it easy for the recruiter or hiring manager to read. Being a recruiter is not an easy job. They go through over a hundred resumes every day. A well-structured and readable resume is like a breath of fresh air for a recruiter. It will definitely put you a step ahead of others.
Readability should be your primary consideration when it comes to choosing font styles. It should present itself clearly on the computer screen or when printed on paper.
Avoid using fonts that are categorized as “Serif” because these have been known to cause problems with scanning software. The accepted font styles for resumes are as follows:
Times New Roman
Each font style will appear differently based on font size. Again, think of readability. Generally, anything smaller than 11 may not be readable.
Margins and Spacing
When setting up the margins and spacing of your resume, keep in mind the recruiter may want to print or scan a hard copy. The last thing you would want is to have important content cut out. It may ruin the continuity of your story line.
The rule of thumb is to keep your margins at one-inch on all sides. A minimum of single spacing between lines is acceptable for recruiters.
One of the biggest oversight job seekers make is the type of paper used for resumes. The type of paper you use will create an impression on your level of professionalism.
Although resumes are popularly e-mailed, it is always a good idea to have a hard copy available.
Here are tips on choosing the right quality of paper:
Weight – Use paper that is rated at 24 pounds. This is perfect for laser printing than the flimsier 20 pounds which is more ideal for copying.
Color – White
Size – 8 ½ x 11
Use Bold Face to highlight sub-headings, categories and important references in your resume. Bold Face creates emphasis and helps distinguish one category from another.
3. Develop Your Resume Structure
A strategic and purposeful structure will help organize information and create a well- focused resume.
Here are the key sections in your resume and how to optimize their benefits:
Hiring managers are perpetually on the clock. The last thing you would want is for the hiring manager to play detective on your resume. The purpose of the Header is to immediately identify the applicant behind the resume.
Here are some tips on how to make the Header stand out:
Indicate your full name.
Include your city, zip code and state.
Hyperlink your e-mail.
Hyperlink your LinkedIn account.
Hyperlink your personal branding website if available.
Instead of the conventional Objective Statement, write a short bio. The bio could also take the place of the Resume Summary Statement.
Highlight your relevant experiences and include all the important details including fact, figures, statistics and personalities.
Skills and Abilities
Create a summary of your skills and abilities but highlight the ones that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
In addition to college education, indicate if you completed higher learning or studied related courses.
4. Resume Writing Trends to Consider
Here is a summary of trends on resume writing that have developed over the last few years. You do not have to apply these recommendations on your resume. Review each trend and consider which ones would add more value to your branded proposition.
For years, neuroscientists have conducted studies on how color affects consumer decisions. Certain behaviors are associated with specific colors and it could also have an effect on your resume.
Research has shown that sentence length has an effect on comprehension. At 14 words, readers comprehended 90% of the information. But at 43 words, comprehension dropped to 10%. There is an obvious inverse relationship between sentence length and level of comprehension. Keep your sentences to no more than 20 words.
Employers are encouraged by a candidate’s ability to contribute to their previous employers’ bottom line. If you spearheaded a project or instituted reforms that enhanced the financial position of the company, you should highlight the specific experience and include the dollar amount or percentage improvement.
The Value of LinkedIn
For job seekers, LinkedIn is the most important social network to set up an account at. Many recruiters require applicants to grant access to their LinkedIn profile. The free version LinkedIn already offers a multitude of benefits that it will not be necessary to get the paid premium membership.
5. Common Resume Writing Mistakes to Avoid
Although these are “common” people still regularly make them. Do not rush through your resume and review them as many times as possible to make sure these mistakes are not there:
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
These errors are almost unforgivable and will definitely throw off the recruiter.
One Size Fits All
Blanketing your resume across a wide spectrum of industries may be an efficient way of getting things done but it will also make you appear lazy, uncaring and irresponsible.
The Resume Rant
An effectively structured and well- thought out resume will get your message across. But one that is poorly organized and rambled will make your resume as incoherent as a social media rant.
The resume is not the document to reveal your salary range as it will make you appear presumptuous. Compensation is best discussed during the interview.
Recruiters will appreciate the thought process, time and effort that go behind the creation of a resume. When crafting the document that could get you the interview, you should not let time become a factor.
It is perfectly fine to go through several draft revisions until you are confident of its form, length, aesthetics, structure and content. Ask a trusted friend or associate; preferably one with experience in recruitment, for his or her opinion. Remember that once you submit your resume, there is no getting it back. The resume will be tasked to get you the interview.
Landing the job you’ve had your sights on is a step- by- step process. The first step in finding a job is to get noticed, evaluated and scheduled for the all- important job interview. All of this could take place 10 to 30 seconds from the time the recruiter opens your resume.
If you know how to write a resume that grabs the attention of the recruiter, then you should already be preparing for the interview. The following article will show you how to make a good resume, but do consider that it’s very long.
But sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Even if you thought you wrote and submitted the greatest resume of your life, you may be setting yourself up for a big letdown. What you think is your best may not get you invited for the job interview.
This is because the effectiveness of a resume is not based on what you think but what the recruiter thinks. It is not merely a piece of paper that details your work experience, educational attainment and skills; those are just component parts that make a resume.
What matters is how you bring those component parts together and craft a resume that compels the recruiter to take action; that is, to schedule you for an interview. Every resume that you send out requires thought, strategy and purpose because companies and their recruiters view applicants from different filters.
Ask any recruiter and most of them will tell you they’ve come across more poorly written resumes than well- written ones. This is because applicants are formulaic when it comes to resume writing.
The job market can get very competitive. Every day thousands of people are sending out their resumes. Some are hoping to get their first job while others are trying to transition to a new career. Whatever the motivations are, job hunting remains first and foremost a competition. If you want to stay ahead of everyone else, you need every advantage you can get. The good news is you are already off to a good start by coming to us.
We will show you how to write a resume that will get the job done and send you to the interview. If you want to familiarise yourself with the correct way of resumes, don’t forget that we have over 500 resume samples on our website.
1. What Is A Resume?
Let’s start out by telling you what a resume is not:
It is not a litany of your accomplishments
It is not a summary of your work experiences
It is not a formality prior to job appointment
If you believe a resume is any of these, then it is time to change your way of thinking.
A resume is a marketing tool that seeks to highlight the experiences, skills and accomplishments relevant to the job or designation. As a marketing tool, it has to deliver its message with pinpoint accuracy to its intended audience: the recruiter.
Think of the job market as a collection of different products. Each product is advertising its own unique value proposition to the recruiter. The product whose message resonates clearly and loudly with the recruited will be selected for the interview.
Immediate is the keyword. Recruiters do not spend a lot of time on a resume. They receive hundreds of resumes every day and they need to be efficient in their approach to their job.
According to a ground- breaking study by The Ladders, a recruiter spends only 6 seconds scanning a resume. In that limited amount of time, the recruiter is looking for very specific information. Many utilize keywords to fast- track the qualification process.
If the recruiter cannot find what he or she is looking for in the top third of your resume, it will be game over. You will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to make a resume that gets it done in 6 seconds.
In marketing the rule is essentially the same.
Studies show consumers have a shorter attention span than a gold fish. If your content cannot deliver the message in 8 seconds, it will be ignored by its intended audience.
Your resume must be able to capture your unique value proposition and represent it in such a manner that it immediately grabs the attention and interest of the recruiter.
This objective remains the same whether you are writing a resume for the first time or if you want to write a resume for a job in a new field.
Unless you are well- connected with the owner of the company and he or she has guaranteed you a position within the organization, then perhaps you don’t need a resume.
But what happens if:
The contact period of your job ends?
The owner decides to sell the company?
You decide the job isn’t for you and you want another career?
At some point in time, you will eventually need one. Thus you should know how to make a resume. And not just a run- of- the- mill, by- the- numbers resume. It should be one that will put one foot inside the interviewer’s door.
Learning how to create a resume is important because times have changed. Businesses are no longer just looking for candidates with the most glowing achievements and decorated work history.
In fact, companies are looking outside the traditional technical and fundamental competencies required in a job and are focusing on the personality that fits the job.
“Company culture” has been a by- word the last few years. Employers are looking for people who can contribute to the success of the company by helping to propagate its culture.
Company culture in a nutshell is the company’s personality; the collective of values, beliefs and practices that influence the decisions it makes every single day. They want to know if you’ll fit into their culture and that usually takes place during the interview.
However, a well-written, purposeful resume can give the recruiter an early indication that you might just fit in. That’s why your resume should not just be a piece of paper; it must be able to communicate with the recruiter.
How will you know how to communicate with the recruiter? The same way you would try to identify your target market: Learn more about the company.
What is their main enterprise?
Who are the people behind the company?
What are the latest developments?
What are their core values?
What is their company culture like?
Who is the Head Recruiter?
You have to do a fair amount of research to know more about your target employer. This help you frame you mind in developing your approach to writing the resume.
Technology also plays a significant role in the recruitment process. The use of Automatic Tracking Systems or ATS has allowed recruiters to scan and pre-qualify resumes faster.
ATS works by analyzing your resume for specific keywords. It will then base its score on how well your resume matches with a list of keywords provided by the company you hope to land the interview with.
In marketing, keywords play an important role in having your content found. It doesn’t matter if you wrote a perfectly crafted blog or article. Without the right keywords and in the correct ratios, it may never see the light of a computer monitor.
We have clearly articulated why you should view the resume as a marketing tool. By using the correct resume writing format, the recruiter will be able to identify the right keywords and information right off the bat and get you on your way to the job interview.
2. How To Craft The Look Of Your Resume
In order to create a resume that stands out, you must not only focus on the content but you should also pay attention to the aesthetics. But your resume must stand out for the right reasons not because it sticks out like a Hawaiian shirt in a black tie event.
Your resume is the first point of contact with the recruiter. Without even reading its contents, an experienced recruiter can gauge who you are or what you are like by the look of your resume.
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, when writing a resume for the first time or for your next job, you should only focus on making it look professional.
Some of you may think the “Professional Look” is subjective. So let us simplify it:
The resume must be easy to read
Its orientation, format and design should not put off the recruiter
It’s look must not detract from the content
Keep in mind that the recruiter only has 10 to 30 seconds to go through your resume. You would not want the recruiter to spend those precious seconds squinting, adjusting the light or cleaning his or her glasses just to get a better read on your resume.
If you want your resume to stand out visually, keep its overall look simple. Here are some useful tips on how to craft the look of your resume:
Let’s get this out of the way. Never under any circumstances use these font styles:
Comic Sans MS
These font styles are difficult to read and do not convey professionalism.
Recruiters are only giving you 10 to 30 seconds of their time; why will they take you seriously with these font styles?
The best fonts to use are as follows:
These are some of the most preferred font styles by recruiters. They’re easy to read, simple in design and look professional.
You might be asking, “Where’s Times New Roman?”
Times New Roman remains a popular choice among resume writers but it did not make it into this list because of one reason: It is overused.
There’s nothing new about Times New Roman; you may be perceived as boring and uninspiring. The recruiter may think you play it safe and are averse to exploring possibilities outside your comfort zone.
Although Times New Roman is an accepted font among recruiters, it might be a better decision to use another font style. Helvetica is frequently regarded as the best choice for resume font styling. Recruiters find its design as honest, simple and uncompromising.
With font size, your focus remains readability but at the same time you have to consider its proportion to the entire page. You would not want to submit a 4- page resume that could have been whittled down to 2- pages had you selected a 12 Calibri instead of a 14 Calibri.
Font sizes are also not proportionately the same. Some font styles such as Arial are naturally larger and bolder than Calibri.
There are some word processing programs that allow you to change font sizes by half points. The idea however, is to make your resume readable without sacrificing legibility or adding unnecessary volume.
As a general rule to follow, font styles with sizes 10 to 12 are the best to use in your resume.
You may want to send a hard copy of your resume to a potential employer. The best format for printing would be to keep your margins at 1” on all sides of the paper.
You would not want valuable information cut out because of faulty margins. 1” margins all around will also give your resume a cleaner look. It adds better symmetry and balance to the look of your resume.
Spacing and Alignment
The standard for work- related documents is single spacing. The text must not appear cramped up; a blank space must clearly be visible between lines.
The ideal line spacing would also depend on the font style. Calibri and Cambria work well with single spacing but not Helvetica. You may need to adjust your line spacing to 1.5 if you plan to use Helvetica.
As for the alignment of the resume, you have 2 choices: Left Aligned or Justified.
Left Aligned is often recommended because it supposedly follows the reading orientation of the recruiter. However, Justified gives your resume a cleaner and more organized look.
It may be wiser to use Left Aligned because there is a functional basis for it rather than cosmetic which is the case for Justified.
Type of Paper
For printing, always use off- white, ivory or bright white paper and stay with the standard dimensions of 8.5” x 11” paper. Buy the highest quality paper you can afford and it should be compatible with a laser or ink jet printer.
How the recruiter perceives your resume from a visual standpoint could determine where you will end up in the recruitment process. Don’t take chances by trying to be creative with the design of your resume. It’s not about you; it’s about the recruiter.
You can never go wrong with the classics or with simplicity. When writing a resume for the first time or for a new career, always keep your resume professional- looking, simple and easy on the eyes.
3. How To Structure Your Resume
How you present your resume will depend on its purpose. Before we discuss the different resume formats, it would be best to first understand the basic structure of a resume.
The simplest way to describe the basic structure of a resume is that it is composed of sections or categories which highlight your varied qualifications. These sections are as follows:
This section contains all the pertinent information that the recruiter wants to see.
Some applicants give incomplete information which is a definite red flag for the recruiter. If your information list is not complete, the recruiter may move on to the next applicant.
What sort of information is the recruiter looking for?
Social Media Accounts
URLs to Personal Website or Blog Page
Should you include your address?
With the availability of e-mail, indicating your residential address is no longer necessary. You may write down the name of your city, state and zip code if you wish to include your address.
With regards to social media, recruiters are partial to LinkedIn and Twitter. But 26% of recruiters do check Facebook accounts. Make sure to clean out your social media accounts of potentially damaging posts before submitting your resume.
Having a personal website or blog page is a smart idea. It is an effective way of developing your personal brand. Similar to your social media accounts, make sure content in your website will not discourage recruiters from pursuing your application.
Objective or Resume Summary
An objective summary details your employment goals with the company you are applying at. A resume summary is a short but compelling introduction that showcases your skill set and value offering to the company.
Which one should you choose?
Use an objective summary if you are:
Entry Level Applicant
A Professional who is targeting a specific position
Use a resume summary if you are:
An experienced applicant
Changing employment within the same industry
Applying for a job that requires your specific skill set
Not many applicants realize how important this section is. Recruiters want to get an immediate idea of who you are.
This is where you should apply a narrative to set in motion a story about who you are. An example of a narrative applied to an objective summary would be as follows:
Experienced Cook desirous to become Sous Chef of a high-end, fine- dining restaurant. Worked my way up from dishwasher, prep crew, stock man, fry man, grill man to line cook in a casual diner while fulfilling obligations at home and in culinary school. Student in the ways of the kitchen and in life; I am always ready and willing to learn and grow.
The objective or resume summary falls in the top third of your resume. It is part of the 10 to 30 second time period recruiters use to scan resumes.
Experience normally appears as the first section in the body of a resume.
This is regarded as the “meat and potatoes” of your resume; the substance that lends credibility to the objective or resume summary.
Content is king especially when it comes to establishing your work experience. The last thing you would want is to mess up valuable information by presenting your resume in a position that does not highlight or do justice to your qualifications.
So how should you present work experience?
Present your work history in reverse chronological order; that is, from the latest occupation and moving backward. The recruiter wants to know right away what your current capabilities are.
Under every work experience entry, include no more than six bullet points on your scope of responsibilities.
Here’s where more thought and purpose are needed: Write each bullet point to tailor fit the requirements of the position you are applying for.
Include your most notable and relevant achievements.
Do not forget facts and figures! You have to validate your achievements.
Stay in line with the narrative that you started out with your objective statement or resume summary.
Applying these principles to our earlier narrative, an effective write up of work experience would read like this:
Line Cook Rosie’s Diner 2017 to Present
Tasked to expedite all restaurant orders according to the sequence they came in.
Primary objective was to reduce waiting time from 20 minutes to 15 minutes without compromising quality of food and service.
Secondary objective was to improve turnover by 20% from 100 to 120 customers per hour.
The end result was an increase in average hourly sales during peak hours from $2,000 to $2,350.
Reduced rate of returned orders from 10% to 2%.
During my time as Line Cook, Rosie’s was awarded “Best Casual Diner Restaurant” for 3 consecutive years.
Should you include non- traditional work such as freelance work in your resume experience?
Yes but for only 2 reasons:
It is related to the position
You have gaps in formal employment
Otherwise, non- traditional work that is unrelated may only serve to detract the recruiter’s attention to the important content of your resume.
Similar to work experience, your educational attainment must likewise be presented in reverse chronological order.
If you completed college, important details to include are as follows:
Type of degree
Your college major
Name of university
Awards and achievements you received
You do not have to indicate your Grade Point Average or GPA unless it is higher than 3.5. After all, the GPA should already be indicated in your school records.
If you only completed high school level education, simply state the following:
Name of High School
Address of High School (City and State only)
Awards and achievements you received
If you attended high school but did not finish, you should only indicate the following:
Name of High School
Address of High School (City and State only)
Inclusive years attended
What if you did not finish high school but completed a GED? You can write it like this:
GED High School Equivalency Diploma Hillsborough Adult Learning Center, California, 2015
Hillsborough High School Attended school from 2015 – 2017
If you want to know how to make a resume that stands out head and shoulders above the rest, then you should put serious thought on the presentation of your skills.
When composing your skills section, be aware that recruiters are looking for 2 important qualities:
Your skill sets cover the requirements of the job post
You have other skills that will offer greater value to the position
How you present your skills will have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your resume.
But first a few questions for you to ponder:
What do you mean by skills?
What kind of skills are companies looking for?
For sure you know what is meant by skills. These are the proficiencies and competencies that you have honed through specialized training over a period of time.
For example, if you want to become a software developer you would be studying different programs such as C++, Zoho Creator and GitHub. You would also include other skills such as market research, finance and project management.
But most companies are not only looking at skills specific to the job requirement. They are also looking for skills that fit with the organization’s work profile.
There are 2 types of skills:
Hard skills – These are the skills that pertain to your technical and fundamental qualifications.
Soft skills – These are the intangibles; the attributes that best describe who you are and how you work.
Examples of typical hard skills indicated in a resume:
Hsieh hardly cares about your hard skills, work history and educational achievements.
All he wants to know is:
“How lucky are you?”
The idea is to bring in a group of people in a Zappos with a positive attitude in life. Hsieh wants to hire only people whose personal values are aligned with their company values.
So does this mean you should put more focus on fine- tuning your soft skills?
No. What it does mean is that your soft skills can act as leverage for your hard skills should you end up in a tie- breaker with another candidate.
There are certain soft skills that are preferred by recruiters. But the most important thing to remember is to be honest with yourself. Do not put in a soft skill just because it is in demand with recruiters. Identify the soft skills that best define you.
Otherwise, you will veer away from your narrative.
It may seem inconsequential but believe it or not, identifying your interests can have an influence on how a recruiter will decide on your resume.
Why? There are 2 overlooked yet valuable advantages of including an “Interests” section:
Extra Set of Skills – Cooking, playing guitar and participating in Cross Fit may not be related to the job but it gives the recruiter an idea of what attributes are important for you outside work.
Leaves a Lasting Impression – The Interest section should be short but it could leave a lasting impression with the recruiter.
The interests section could bolster your claim to fit into the company’s culture.
How should you write the Interests section? As short and as concise as possible but with complete information.
Correct way to summarize your Interests section:
I enjoy cooking Mediterranean and French cuisine for my family. I also love playing jazz guitar and improving my numbers in Cross Fit.
Wrong way to write your interests:
Cooking, music and exercise.
So you might be thinking, “What about references?”
References are usually reserved during the interview. A recruiter will make decisions based on the content of your resume. He or she will not have the time to check out your references whether via phone or e-mail.
When should you include references?
If the job application specifically requests for them.
If they are relevant to the job position
Otherwise, leave them out of your resume. It will just be treated as unnecessary content.
4. Types Of Resume Formats
We’ve discussed in detail the different sections of a resume; what information to include and how to present them for maximum effectiveness.
But they do not have to be presented in the resume in the order we discussed them in the preceding section. With the exception of the Header, you could move around some of the sections to give certain strengths greater emphasis.
Without the risk of sounding like a broken record or looking like a buffering video, a recruiter only has 10 to 30 seconds to review your resume and make a decision. It’s not enough that you craft your resume for maximum effectiveness. But you should also format it for maximum exposure.
When deciding on how to arrange your resume, there are 3 types of resume formats that you should consider:
Reverse- Chronological Format
This is often referred to as the traditional format for a resume. In the preceding section where we discussed the different parts of a resume, the arrangement followed the Reverse- Chronological format.
Objective or Resume Statement
The Reverse – Chronological Format can be used under the following situations:
Highlight vertical progression in your career
Apply in a job in a similar field
Promote upward career mobility
Early stages in the career
Mid- level stages in the career
Highlight company loyalty; stayed in the same company or industry for years
Very few gaps; if any at all, in their employment history
But the Reverse-Chronological format is not advisable under the following situations:
Significant gaps in their employment history
In the middle of a career change
If you have had many jobs throughout your employment history
Recruiters tend to favor the Reverse Chronological Format because it’s easy to pinpoint a candidate’s career progression and experience within an industry.
Functional Resume Format
If the Reverse- Chronological format emphasizes your work history, the Functional format highlights your skills and abilities.
When using the Functional format, the sections of the resume should be arranged as follows:
Objective or Resume Statement
Skills and Abilities
The Functional format can be used under the following situations:
Frequent gaps in the employment history
Highlight a specific skill set or proficiency
Fresh graduates or those just entering the job market
It should not be used under the following situations:
If you plan to highlight vertical career progression
If you don’t have skills that are relevant to the job description
When recruiters see this format, they start assuming weaknesses in experience. Would that be a red flag and diminish your chances of landing an interview?
It would depend if your skills and abilities are in line with the requirements of the job and on how you presented your work experience.
Again, this is the advantage of starting out your resume with a narrative. A well- crafted story helps the recruiter anticipate the contents of your work experience.
For example, if you wrote in your objective statement that you want to resume a promising career prematurely cut short because you wanted to do volunteer work, it may turn negative connotation into positive feedback.
As you may have guessed, the Combination format borrows elements from both the Reverse Chronological and the Functional formats. The Combination format would look like this:
Objective or Resume Statement
Skills and Abilities
You can use the Combination format under the following situations:
Highlight a proficiency within a specific career
Change in career path
Expert level in the technical skill required for the job
Do not use the Combination format under the following situations:
Plan to highlight education attainment
Entry Level candidate
The Combination resume format works best for candidates who are acknowledged as Masters in their field of expertise.
Take your time in deciding the resume format to use. It will make a big difference in how the recruiter will perceive your resume and capabilities.
For the most part, you must have been advised to keep the length of your resume down to just one page. The study by The Ladders probably made this point more emphatic. After all, how much time would a recruiter need to peruse through a second, third or even a fourth page?
But times have changed. Even though recruiters may spend only 10 to 30 seconds scanning your resume, it does not mean they will stop on page 1 if the contents are quite enticing.
You have to remember the resume is the first and at least at this point, your only chance of moving on to the next stage which is the all important interview. Why be constrained by an unwritten rule on resume length and place your opportunity at risk by ignoring information that may clinch the deal for you?
As we stated earlier, an effective resume is not just about the content. It’s how you present content. If you start out with a compelling narrative as your objective statement, would the recruiter abandon the story line before he or she reaches its conclusion?
If you place more focus on length rather than overall content when you are writing your resume, you will be undermining your own chances of landing the interview.
Let’s put things into their proper perspective:
A resume is a career marketing tool. It is not an autobiography. The recruiter only wants to know details in your work and life experiences that are relevant to the job.The language you use in the resume should have only one purpose: to sell your qualifications to the recruiter. At the same time, don’t blow out your gasket. Save some information for the interview.
Yes, recruiters go through hundreds of resumes every day. They are human beings whose energy levels and focus may wane toward the end of the day. Who knows where your resume is in the stack set for the day’s evaluation?And that’s exactly the point. There are matters that are beyond your control. You should not base decisions on the structure or length of your resume based on probabilities. Instead you should think about the resume in terms of creating opportunities.Once your resume lands on the recruiter’s desk, that could be your life- changing opportunity.A well- written, well- thought out resume will be noticed, read and appreciated by a recruiter no matter the time of day.
So when should you use a short, one- page resume?
If you have less than 10 years of work experience
If you’re planning a radical change in career and your work experience at this point is not relevant to the job you are applying for.
If you’ve only handled one or two positions with your only employer.
The strongest argument for a one- page resume is that it is concise and less intimidating for a recruiter to review. However, you may short change yourself if you decide to leave out valuable information that may turn out relevant for your job search.
When should you use a two- page resume?
If you have 10 or more years of experience related to the job or position you are pursuing.
If the job requires specialized or highly technical skills that need detailed proof of qualification and certification.
If you’ve been constantly promoted by your previous employer and the job is related to the one you are pursuing.
Remember the points we discussed in Section two, “How to Craft the Look of Your Resume”.
The resume has to be readable and easy to navigate for the recruiter. Can you imagine if in your quest to keep your resume to just one page, you summarized 15 years of work experience using Helvetica font size 8, single spaced with only 0.5” margins all around?
The recruiter will remember you for the migraine you gave her.
You can still be concise and direct to the point with a two- page resume as long as you:
Use bullet points
Focus only on relevant experience
Include facts, figures and other numbers in your work achievements
Is there value in submitting a resume that extends past 2 pages?
You should not hesitate in submitting a resume that is 3 pages or longer:
If you’re a senior level manager or an executive with an exemplary work history and track record of leadership accomplishments.
If you belong in the academic or scientific field where you have to highlight your summary of publications, number of speaking engagements, professional courses designed and number of registered licenses or patents.
If your resume appears like it would extend past 2 pages, you could use an addendum after page 2. This will summarize the relevant details of your resume. The rest can be submitted upon request by the recruiter.
The final word on resume length:
Whether it is 6 seconds or 60 seconds, we can be sure of one thing: recruiters know how to go through resumes at light speed. But in their case, speed does not equate to carelessness.
Recruiters know exactly what they are looking for. They are trained and highly experienced professionals who have been evaluating resumes for years.
You on the other hand, are competing with hundreds of applicants quite possibly for the same job.
If the resume is your first point of contact, it may only be the only chance you’ll ever get to state your case to the recruiter.
Don’t take chances by leaving out important information just so you can subscribe to people’s advice that you should only keep your resume at one page. This is your career opportunity not theirs.
You should go for it!
Write down all the information you need to share with the recruiter. If you have more than 10 years work experience, one page will simply not do.
If you have moved up the corporate ladder in companies engaged in the same industry, one page will not be enough to do justice to your achievements.
If you are well- learned; highly educated and have gone through diverse trainings and seminars, you simply will not be able to summarize your competencies and proficiencies in one page.
The information that you present in your resume will determine whether you will receive that life- changing phone call or not.
6. Why You Should Customize Your Resume
The answer to the question “Why should you customize your resume?” comes down to one person: The Recruiter. Think about what the recruiter goes through every day on the job.
The recruiter has to sift through hundreds of resumes every hour. Recruiting is an important task for the company. He or she is the person designated for finding talent which could contribute to the fortunes of the company.
The responsibility is great because the recruiter could miss out on talent who could end up with a competitor.
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter who told Portland to draft Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan during the 1984 NBA Draft. Portland could have ended up with Jordan and Clyde Drexler on the same team. Instead Jordan went to Chicago and win 6 NBA titles while Bowie ended up injured the rest of his career.
The recruiter is beleaguered enough as it is. He or she could be sifting through resumes that all look and read alike. There is no message that resonates with the recruiter.
But the truth is, somewhere underneath that pile of unspectacular resumes could be incredible talent. There are hundreds of highly qualified applicants as there are hundreds of unqualified applicants. They end up in the same stack only because the good ones didn’t give their resume much thought.
The talented ones probably thought their work experience and educational attainment would be enough to get them to the next round. Instead the indifference to the importance of the resume has gotten them lumped up with everyone else.
When it comes to career- making decisions do not take any unnecessary chances. Cover all the bases while you have time to do so. Approach your resume with thought, purpose and strategy.
You should submit a resume that will make you stand out. Its content may be good enough to catch the attention of the recruiter but taken in its entirety, its message must resonate loud and clear.
This is why you should customize your resume. It must be crafted with the recruiter specifically in mind.
There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to resume distribution.
This is the approach where you send out copies of the same resume to as many recruiters and distribution channels as possible.
With Market Saturation, the belief is the more resumes you send out the greater the probability of landing an interview.
Think of how a shotgun finds its target. You aim at the general direction of the target and fire one shot. The shell explodes into several smaller bullets. Eventually one or a few will hit the target.
The problem with Market Saturation is that it will dilute your brand. By sending out the same resume to different recruiters, you are sending the market mixed signals on who you are and what you can do.
If you are currently employed, Market Saturation will put you at risk of your employer finding out of your future intentions. Depending on the provisions of your employment, it could have legal consequences that will not do your career any good.
Market Saturation may land you an interview but it may not be for the job you really want.
Unlike Market Saturation, Target Setting is a more measured approach. You are customizing the content of your resume to be specific to the needs of the employer or industry.
Instead of using a shotgun, you are delivering your resume like a sniper. You can be 1,000 meters away and still pick out your target. It will take time to set up but delivery will be deadly accurate.
Instead of filing out your resume to every possible resource out there, you become more selective of your conduits. For example, you would only focus on LinkedIn among all social media networks instead of utilizing communities in Facebook or Google Plus.
A creative person interested in a career in Graphic Design would send his resume to BeHance.net while a media- centric person who wants a career in journalism would best distribute his resume to MediaBistro.com.
Target Setting is also a more discreet approach. You have more control over the distribution of your resume. It will be less likely that your current employer would know what you are up to.
Target Setting is a better, more efficient approach because you have to customize or tailor fit your resume to suit the needs and demands of the recruiter and the company.
Always keep in mind that recruiters are individuals with unique character traits. They know what their company needs but have their own approach of meeting them.
What do you think would happen if you gave your parakeet a can of tuna and your cat a bowl of seeds? They’ll probably check it out but they won’t bite. Now switch things around. Give the seeds to the parakeet and the can of tuna to the cat. They’ll devour it with gusto!
If you are sending out the same resume to different employers, you will not be getting enough interviews. And if you’re thinking recruiting managers are sitting down on their jobs, again you are wrong.
It’s not because recruiters can’t find an amazing talent like you. It’s because you’re making it hard for them to find you.
By not customizing your resume to what the recruiter is looking for, you effectively camouflaged yourself with the rest of the pack.
Like a custom- made suit feels better than one that is bought off the rack, a tailor- made resume will fit the needs of the recruiter more precisely and accurately.
7. The Importance Of Action And Power Words
We’ve so far discussed the proper structure and format of an effective resume. Now let us get into the details.
We’ve mentioned how recruiters use keywords to help qualify candidates through their resumes. In the field of recruitment, keywords are words that are associated with the requirements of the job. These could be skills and attributes that are able to trigger cues in the recruiter.
Your choice of words can have influence on how your resume is perceived by the recruiter. The right choice of words can generate interest while ill- advised choices can send your resume to the filing section.
There are many action words that you could choose. They could be synonymous with each other but the overall effect on the recruitment would be different. The same could be said about power words.
These are words or phrases that are used to describe who you are; your abilities and potential contributions to the employer. Instead of elevating your profile as someone whom the company simply cannot do without, the wrong power words could make you the same as everyone else.
Again, let’s be reminded that recruiters will not spend a lot of time on your resume. The will only scan its contents; not peruse over it with a fine, tooth comb. Thus, your choice of words will be critical.
But are there specific words and phrases that you should not use on your resume?
In the survey, the following were listed as the best words you could use in your resume:
What would you say are the differences between these 2 sets of words?
The worst words you can use in your resume are those that sound cliché. Everyone has used them before that they’ve run its course. Recruiters find them tired, old and boring.
There’s nothing among these words that imply dynamism or innovation. It’s all old hat. Putting these into your resume will give the recruiter the impression you are the same as everyone else.
Worse, it may send the message you that you did not put much thought and effort in your resume.
What exactly do you mean by “best of breed”? The choice of words itself is questionable as “breed” is commonly used to refer to dogs.
And would you characterize someone as having “synergy”? On that note, what makes a person any of the following?
Results- driven: “What kind of results did you drive?”
Value added: “What value did you add?”
Strategic thinker: “What strategies did you come up with?”
If the phrase or word results in the recruiter having more questions than answers, consider your resume a lost cause. These overused words only serve to prop up your image.
But image without substance is nothing.
When time is limited, it only means one thing: Get to the point.
The best words to use in your resume are one- word terms that effectively describes who you are and what you can do. These words create the perfect segue to your accomplishments and achievements.
Words like “achieve”, “improve” and “negotiate” are great ones to choose when setting up useful information with complete data:
Within 2 years my department was able to achieve 118% growth in sales; the largest turnaround in the history of the company.
The implementation of the software program designed by my team was able to improve efficiency by 75% which resulted in a cost savings of $525,000 that was then used to fund upgrades in infrastructure.
In 2015, I was able to successfully negotiate the terms and conditions of a Build- Operate- Transfer program with Japan that would eventually increase net income of the company by 112% over the next 5 years.
Remember what we discussed in Section III “Basic Structure of the Resume”? When discussing your work experience, skills and achievements you must always include facts and figures. Without numbers, the information that you have provided will appear contrived.
These details are very important to ensure you land the interview. You have to be able to frame them or set up the delivery by using the correct action or power words.
The job of a recruiter is hard enough as it is. The last thing you would want is for the recruiter to stop and analyze what “Thought Leadership” means, its relevance to the job and how it applies to your qualifications.
As a matter of fact, if you leave words or phrases that will make the recruiter pause, there’s a good chance he or she will just move on to the next candidate.
8. What Not To Put In A Resume
An effective resume is an efficient resume as well. Given the fact that the next 10 to 30 seconds will determine the fate of your resume, you should only present information that is relevant and usable to the recruiter.
Leave out information that may only serve to distract, annoy or put off the recruiter.
When you only have a few seconds to make a solid first impression, you have to ensure every word in your resume counts. They must have purpose and function.
Here are examples of information and items that you should not put in your resume:
The word “Resume” – A professional recruiter has your document. He or she has been doing this type of work for years. Recruiters go through thousands or resumes every month; perhaps over a million in their own career. They certainly know what this piece of paper is just by looking at it.
Salary Information – Salaries should always be treated as a confidential matter. Putting this information in your resume will make you seem presumptuous. Salaries are best discussed during the interview.
Unnecessary Words – Fluff has no place in your resume. Always keep your information concise but complete. Once the point has been driven, move on to the next one.
Trash Talk – Regardless of how bad your previous employment turned out, the experience has no place in your resume. Never ever trash your former employer. Nothing good will come off it. It will leave the impression that you may be difficult to manage.
Unnecessary Personal Information – As much as possible, leave personal information limited to name, e-mail address, contact number and interests. The recruiter will not care about your religious denomination, political affiliation or sexual orientation.
Headshot – The headshot even when it is done by a professional photographer has grown outdated. Are you familiar with the saying, “The picture doesn’t do you justice”? Recruiters are averse to headshots because it may trigger false impressions. Unless you’re applying for a job as a fashion model or actor, leave the headshot out of your resume.
Irrelevant Work Experience – So you’re applying for a job as a Financial Analyst? Leave out the experience when you worked as a mascot in a fast food restaurant. It has no relevance to the work you are applying for and will only serve to distract the recruiter.
Unrelated Achievements – Breaking Joey Chestnut’s world record of eating 70 hotdogs at “Nathan’s Famous” is indeed an amazing achievement but it has no place in your resume. Neither is being named “Sorority Queen” 2 years in a row.
Strange Hobbies – Perhaps how one defines “strange” is a matter of perspective. But if you’re not sure “taking selfies with my cat” will be considered strange, stick to more acceptable hobbies such as music, running and cooking.
Attention- Grabbing Tactics – If you ask 10 recruiters, chances are at least half will tell you they’ve received perfume scented resumes. For whatever reason you may have thought about, your favorite scent will not get you the interview.
Last but certainly not the least, there is simply no excuse for having bad grammar and misspelled words in your resume. These oversights are crucial and in all likelihood, end your chances of being considered for the interview.
Start out your resume as a draft that goes through several stages of reviews and edits. As you approach the final version, ask someone you trust to review it. Having a new set of eyes will give you a different insight and perspective on your resume. He or she could even spot errors you missed out on.
Run your resume through a spell and grammar checking program such as Grammarly. You should never get complacent about your resume when it comes to grammar and spelling.
9. Top Tips On Resume Writing
At this point, you’ve gone through several valuable tips, tricks and techniques that were covered by more than 8000 words. That’s a lot of information to digest! Because you’ve showed patience and diligence, we’ve decided to include a summary to make it easier for you to tie everything together and understand how to write a good resume.
Here are our top 10 tips on resume writing:
Approach Your Resume with Thought and Purpose – A resume is first and foremost a marketing tool. Its objective is to get you to the next stage which is the interview.The job market can be very competitive. You could be fighting for the same position with a hundred other people. Your resume must be written and presented in such a way that it will distinguish you from everyone else.Take the time to do research on the companies you are applying for. Try to get information on what their company culture is like. Learn everything that you can about your prospective employer.Research will not just give you all the necessary information but it will put you in the right frame of mind when writing your resume.
Always Customize Your Resume – Target setting your resume takes more time and effort but all of this will be worth it when interviews start coming your way.You simply cannot go wrong by customizing your resume. It will deliver the message you want to convey to the recruiter of a specific job or industry.Not all recruiters are alike. They are unique individuals and every industry has its own culture and practices. Choice of keywords, action and power words are different. Expectations, language and standards are also different.Best of all, customizing your resume helps establish and protect your brand. In marketing, the key to effective branding is consistently clear messaging.
Start Out with a Narrative – Everyone loves a good story even recruiters. A narrative sets out the tone of your resume. It helps establish one of the most underrated yet potentially most important components of an effective resume: Your Character.Remember that as a marketing tool, your resume is a way of introducing yourself to the recruiter. In ways, a resume is like a one- way interview. This time, you have control over what you want to share with the recruiter. So you better make it interesting!A good narrative should start at the objective statement because it rolls out your resume. If your narrative is compelling enough, you should get the recruiter hooked to the rest of your story. At that point, forget the 6.25 second statistic. A good story is hard to put down!
Make Sure Your Resume is an Easy Read – We’ve established throughout the article how difficult the job of a recruiter can be. The last thing you would want is for your resume to be a burden to read.We also mentioned that recruiters only scan resumes. Whether it takes 6.25 seconds or 30 seconds, that is not a lot of time.Make your resume an easy read by following these basic tips:
Choose font styles that are appropriate and easy to read.
Size 12 or 14 font would be perfect.
Use single spacing between lines although a font style like Helvetica may require wider spacing.
Keep your margins at 1” all around. This allows for better printing.
Left aligned format is preferred although Justified is also acceptable
If you want to print out a hard copy of your resume, use 8.5” x 11” paper that is white or off- white and compatible with laser printing.
Provide Complete Details – A resume has 6 sections; with the exception of “Interests”, every section should have complete details. By “complete” we mean relevant and usable information to the recruiter.
Objective/ Resume Statement – Use a narrative format that best describes who you are; what you hope to achieve and contribute to the potential employer. The narrative should set the tone of your resume and must be supported by the other sections of the resume.
Work Experience – Follow the reverse- chronological format by starting out with the latest employment and moving backward. Use no more than 6 bullet points to highlight your accomplishments. Always substantiate these milestones with facts and figures.
Educational Attainment – Similar to Work Experience, use the reverse- chronological format. If you completed college, indicate your degree, name of university, inclusive academic period, honors and achievements.
Skills – Highlight the hard skills which are relevant to the job description. Assess and identify the soft skills or attributes you have that best qualify you for the job.
Interests – Sharing your interests outside work will give the recruiter a good idea of who you are as a person. Pick out no more than 3 interests but make sure these will not be thought of as “strange” by the recruiter.
Present Accurate Information – All of the information you provide in the resume must be updated and accurate.Before you write down the personal information in the Header section, update your online profiles in various channels especially LinkedIn.The facts and figures that you provide in Work Experience must be truthful. The same goes for the information in your Educational Attainment. The worst thing you can do is to lie in your resume.There is no coming back from falsifying information. You will be dead in the water and possibly blacklisted. There are no white lies or half truths in recruitment.
Don’t Be Concerned About Length – The debate on having a one- page or multi- page resume can be settled this way: If you have more than 10 years work experience, go ahead and use an extra page.There’s been too much attention given to length perhaps because of the reported amount of time recruiters spend reviewing resumes. But even in resumes, content is king.As long as you establish a compelling narrative and present all the information that is relevant to the job requirement, do not worry about the length of your resume.The bigger risk is leaving out pertinent information just to fit everything inside one page.
Submit a Professional Resume – An effective resume is simple and straightforward. Forget all of the fluff and unnecessary words.Don’t beat- around- the- bush and go straight to the point. Use action and power words that aptly describe what you want to state. Do not write content in a way that gives the recruiter reason to pause and think.
Write the Resume in Your Own Voice – When you come across an article written by Sir Richard Branson, do you find yourself reading it as if Sir Richard was narrating it inside your head?That’s because Sir Richard as well as other notable figures write content in their own voice.The same technique should be applied when writing your resume. This takes us back to the importance of the narrative. How you write your resume will reflect your character or personality.Even if the recruiter has not met you, the choice of tone, words, structure and phrasing will give him or her an idea of the kind of person you are.
Review Your Resume Before Submitting It – Mistakes happen but grammatical ones and spelling errors are unforgivable when it comes to the resume.Poor grammar and spelling leave a bad impression on the recruiter. There are no salvageable negatives. In the first place, you had all the time in the world to review, edit and fine tune the resume prior to submission.Use several drafts before making the final copy. Have a second and even a third set of eyes review your resume. Ask people you can trust to give you a second opinion.An effective way to review content is to read it out loud. Sometimes you can identify your mistakes better by listening instead of just reading your content.
10. Resume Hacks You Should Know About
When you’re competing for a job, you need every advantage you can get to your side. Sometimes it may not be enough just to write an effective resume. Here are 4 resume hacks you should do because your competition probably wouldn’t have thought of them!
Create a Personal Website – A personal website gives you the forum to present your overall value proposition.You can add a blog page where you can share your thoughts or a link to a portfolio of your previous projects. A personal website is a brilliant way to push your branding strategy and add more power to your resume.All you need to do is to include a link to your personal website. Recruiters are always intrigued by personal websites.
Clean Up Your Online Image – Although recruiters generally favor LinkedIn and Twitter, the truth is Facebook is a favorite fishing ground for information on your behavioral profile.People tend to let their guard down in Facebook. They become comfortable because they are interacting in a community where everyone knows who they really are. Posts and comments on Facebook are very organic. Although unlike Twitter, the user has time to edit or second guess posting an opinion.Don’t take chances that a recruiter may view your Facebook profile. Give it a look- over and delete posts that may be construed as offensive or off- putting.
Include a Cover Letter – Another area of much debate is whether you should send a cover letter or not. Some people will say the cover letter is dead; it is a waste of time and recruiters will not take the time to read it.Here’s a question for you: Why take the chance?What if the recruiter is the type who appreciates cover letters? The reason why some people say the cover letter has outlived its purpose is because candidates tend to submit formulaic cover letters.In the same way that you prepared your resume, you should also customize your cover letter. There is no debate on its length: a one- page cover letter will be effective.A well written cover letter is a great way to introduce your resume and start out the narrative.
Send a Personal Message – It may take awhile before you hear anything about your resume or if at all. There are some companies that send out letters while others merely stay silent.There is nothing wrong about following up. You can make a quick call or send a short but friendly worded e-mail such as:
Hi (Name of Recruiter),
Thank you for taking time to read this message.
I hope I am not being intrusive because I understand how busy a typical day must be like for you.
I would like to respectfully follow up on the status of my application which I submitted last (date of submission)
You can reply via this e-mail or if you wish, I can place a call to your office at your most convenient time and date.
And if the response is not favorable? Send another personal message:
Hi (Name of Recruiter),
Thank you for your prompt response.
It was unfortunate that my resume was not considered by the company. I understand and respect your company’s decision.
However, I would like to solicit your feedback on my resume. Experiences as these, while unfortunate remain valuable opportunities for learning.
I highly value your opinion and I hope you can take some time from your busy schedule to offer productive advice.
The best and most experienced recruiters will take the time to provide feedback. It may not be sent right away but trust that you will receive it.
The great thing about sending a personal message is that it leaves a strong and lasting impression on the recruiter. You have nothing to lose and everything to lose by sending a personal message.
We certainly hope our article has given you all the information and tools you need to craft the resume that will land you the job.
The fact remains that there are no set rules in writing a resume. What we’ve presented to you are guidelines to help you make an effective resume. But you can and should take liberties in applying them to meet your own goals and objectives.
Good luck on your next application! You are on your way to a new career!
It is not answering the question; rather it provides a subjective description of who you think you are.
Recruiting and hiring managers have seen it all before. They go through hundreds of resumes every day. Every person who applies for a position in the company says he or she is responsible, capable and confident.
If you put yourself behind the lens of the hiring manager, one question will pop in your head every time you go through the same litany of adjectives:
“Why should we believe you?”
The Monotony of Words
For years, hiring managers have privately lamented the death of the resume. It was not a statement of fact but largely voicing out their collective frustration on how the resume has become a by- the- numbers production.
If you go through the same descriptors, adjectives and phrases the resume does not become representative of the individual but a subset of the entire job market. Everyone is mass producing essentially the same resumes under different identities.
Resumes remain a valuable document to help you land the job. But it has to answer the important questions. It has to clearly communicate your message to the hiring manager on why they should hire you over everyone else.
Remember that your resume has to initiate conversation; it must communicate with the hiring manager and communication is a 2- way avenue:
Hiring Manager: “What made you think you are cut out for the job?”
You: “I’m responsible.”
Hiring Manager: “What can you do for the company?”
You: “I’m capable.”
Hiring Manager: “Why should we be interested in what you have to offer?”
You: “I’m confident.”
In this conversational thread, you are not telling the hiring manager what you can do or what you are capable of. You are merely giving self- serving answers that do not differentiate you from others.
When writing your resume keep that conversation going and provide the answers hiring managers are looking for.
4 Types of Words and Phrases You Should Not Use in Your Resume
Hiring managers are experienced enough to easily identify these 4 types of words which offer no value to your resume. In fact, it could send your resume to the trash bin.
If you think using buzzwords or industry jargon is a good way to impress the hiring manager, think again. Consider this buzzword- heavy phrase many hiring managers encounter in a sales resume:
Goal-oriented team player who consistently meets or exceeds established sales quotas.
All it shows the hiring manager is how highly you think of yourself.
“But what can you do for us?”
Let’s re-write the phrase to this:
Designed a scheduling system which reduced the hours spent by each sales team member on sales calls by 50% to help improve focus, presentation and thus improve total productivity by an additional 11 hours.
Clearly, the re-write tells the hiring manager what he or she wants to know.
2. Filler Words
These are words and phrases which are unnecessary in a resume because they can be repetitive or exaggerated.
For example, the following phrases are repetitive because the meaning is implied once you are required to state your duties and responsibilities:
“I was responsible for…”
I was tasked with…”
“I have extensive experience in…”
Go straight to the point and tell the hiring manager what your tasks and responsibilities were.
A phrase such as “I worked hard to…” or “I single-handedly resolved…” are exaggerations because the hiring manager has no direct knowledge of the degree of difficulty covering the specific tasks.
3. Unsubstantiated Words
These are claims often made on the resume but have no evidence to support their validity.
Here’s an example:
Created a software program designed to improve efficiency.
The hiring manager reads your claim but has no idea on its authenticity. Now if it were re-written to read as:
Created a software program which introduced scheduling shifts based on the net productive hours of every employee over an 8 hour period that led to an overall increase in output by 72% within the first 6 months of implementation.
By simply adding more depth to the statement, you have made a truly compelling and believable claim which will increase interest in your overall value proposition.
Lying in any shape, way or form is unacceptable. In a resume there are no half- truths or white lies. A lie is a lie.
Yet according to a 2015 survey, 56% of employers have identified lies in a resume.
If you worked in a company for 1 year and 4 months, not 2 years as stated in your resume, those “un-credited” may not be worth it if you are caught. There is no “rounding off” when it comes to work experience.
30 Words You Should Avoid Using In Your Resume
This is a short-list of words you should avoid using because these do not add value to your resume:
Capable – The hiring manager expects you to describe yourself as “capable”, why shouldn’t you? You are after all applying for a specific position.
Scalable – Candidates often use this word because it is standard business jargon but for hiring managers its meaning is vague at best.
Hard-Working – An overused, highly subjective word that could be perceived as an exaggeration.
Problem-Solver –It connotes dynamism but has a negative connotation to it. The implication might be your work history has been inundated with problems and you were asked to correct them.
Creative – An overused word that would work better if used as a phrase that implies application such as “worked with a team of creative people”.
Innovative – This word used to carry weight especially when technology became a significant contributor to business. Today, it is overused and so often re-hashed it only carries dead weight on your resume. Instead of using “innovative” use a phrase such as “introduced a contemporary approach”.
Motivated – Instead of using this as a singular descriptor, why not include it within a phrase to inform the hiring manager what you are motivated about? An example would be, “motivated to expand my learning horizons and competencies.”
Skilful – Redundant because everyone has skills. Your proficiency is subjective; unless you can substantiate it with facts and figures.
Communication Skills – Another example of a self- serving, unsubstantiated claim without any clear parameters to validate your case.
Highly Qualified – Similar to “capable”; it would only lead the hiring manager to ask “who isn’t?”
Results Focused – A strong claim that needs to be substantiated. Unless you have the statistics to back it up, you may end up embellishing your resume.
Effectual Leader – Self- serving, strongly worded phrase which reeks of nothing except a bold claim that needs facts based evidence. Can the hiring manager speak with your followers? Otherwise, the hiring manager will just think you like patting yourself in the back.
Energetic – How would you qualify one as energetic? It is a vague descriptor with a highly subjective meaning.
Confident – Shouldn’t everyone be confident especially when applying for a job? It does not differentiate you from anyone.
Professional – A descriptor that will only cause the hiring manager to roll his or her eyes and think, “That remains to be seen.”
Successfully – An adverb that begs proof of validity.
Team Player – This phrase has become cliché; everyone wants to call themselves team player but includes no proof to the claim.
Including but not limited to – Redundant; including means “not limited to”.
Responsible for – Highly repetitive and redundant when discussing your scope of work.
Entrepreneurial – If you plan to work within a corporate environment, be judicious when using this word because the connotation with entrepreneurs are “risk takers” and concerned only with their self- interests.
Best of Breed – Rated by many hiring managers as the most annoying term in a resume. Hiring managers want specific reasons and examples not general terms.
Detail oriented – Highly subjective and leaves you open to criticism if your own resume lacks detail.
Seasoned – Definitely not recommended for young candidates, this word conjures images of a much older person.
References available by request – An outdated and unnecessary term as you will be asked to submit references if you make it to the interview.
Ambitious – Self-serving adjective that can only be proven in real, hands-on experience.
Honest – This is a quality that is best proven not told.
Punctual – Punctuality is a characteristic that is expected of everyone who works.
Go-getter – Another highly annoying term for hiring managers; implies someone who acts before thinking.
Synergy – A word candidates like to use to sound technical but end up sounding vague.
Strategic Thinker – Another self-serving word which needs proof through actual experience.
There are other words and phrases that you are probably familiar with. What you need to keep in mind is that the resume as a career marketing tool needs to connect with the hiring manager right away.
Instead of focusing on the words that trigger familiarity with the hiring manager, you should try another approach. Find a way to bring the hiring manager behind your lens.
Your resume remains to be the most crucial weapon in your job-hunting arsenal. Sending an intelligently-crafted one can give you the best edge over your competitors. So before you send out your resume, make sure it is comprehensive and well thought out. Here is a checklist of the questions you need to ask yourself to get that perfect resume in order.
How long should my resume be?
This question depends on the experience level of an applicant. Entry-level job seekers, like fresh graduates, should stick to a single-page resume. A person with a job experience of five to ten years would be considered as a mid-level candidate. In this case, two pages would be acceptable. This allows ample space to include comprehensive details. Make sure to use all of the second page or at least three quarters of it to avoid the dead space. Too much space is a big no-no as it draws the attention of the recruiter. Only highly experienced applicants with over twenty years of background may use three or more pages.
What should I include?
Contact Information – Your resume needs the details on how a hiring manager or an employer can contact you. This includes your name, permanent address, both home and cell phone numbers, and your email. It would also be helpful to register for an email if you don’t have one. These days, most companies prefer to process their hiring through electronic means. Not having one reduces your chances of getting that job. Here are the most important things to write in your resume.
How important is an objective?
Many have differing opinions on this issue. Some think that it’s just a waste of valuable space. There are some employers who like it, while there are some who don’t. Although this could be judgment call on the part of the applicant, it might actually be more beneficial to include one. An objective makes the employer see what exactly you are looking for. Knowing your goals can sometimes reveal what your interests are. Just make sure to keep your objectives specific, focused, and commensurate with the company’s own objectives. Bear in mind: they are mostly concerned of theirs than of yours. Vague and ambiguous objectives can sometimes turn off recruiters.
What if I have very little or no work experience at all?
You can use volunteer work, community activities, club memberships (for students), and internships. Extracurricular activities such as sports, youth groups, school organizations or church involvement are also good sources of experience. Even odd jobs like baby-sitting; lawn mowing or newspaper delivery can be used. Including your achievements in your education like honors or awards can also help you fill the dead space. Give a brief summary on how your involvement with these areas would boost your ability to the job. These are some other things you can do if your employer requires experience and you have very little.
What resume format should I use?
Here are the three main types of resume with guidelines on when you should use them:
-Chronological – A resume of a chronological format lists your previous work in a reversed order, with the most recent jobs coming first. This is the most accepted form of resume. About 80 percent of resumes are done in this format. Use this if your work experience is relevant to the position you are applying for.
-Functional – A functional places focus on your skills and abilities instead of your work history. This format is the best choice if your chronological work experience is a little incoherent to the position you are applying for. It highlights specific skill sets that the recruiter may easily see.
-Combination – As the name implies, this is a combination of the first two types. It includes both work experience and skills that are very specific to the job position. Experiences and skills that are not at all related to the job opening are not included. This format has the benefits of the first two types. Use it if both your work experience and skills are relevant to the position.
Should I include my internship experiences?
If you have very little work experience, then yes. As long the work gave you an opportunity to hone and improve whatever skills you have that you think are highly relevant to the job you are applying for. An applicant with a decent amount of work experience might want to skip it though. It would be unnecessary to include internships if you already have a good number of years to vouch for.
Who should be my preference/s?
In this case, look for somebody in your previous workplace who you got along with and ask them to be your reference. If you recently got fired, talk to the person who terminated you. Appeal to him and explain the importance of the job and ask him to be at least neutral and objective. If this is not an option, try using personal references. You can ask your relatives or former colleague. Your best bet would be to try former employers from older less recent jobs.
Do I need to include my soft skills?
Choosing a prospective employee is more than just checking the education or experience of a candidate. Soft skills, or what others call “emotional IQ,” can sometimes tell you if a prospect can do a job or not. These are the characteristics that make you more likable as a person. And whether you like it or not, likability is a big factor in the process of hiring.
Are there are any errors that I overlooked?
Proofread your work a number of times to avoid grammatical errors. You can also ask someone to check it as you can easily miss your own typos and other mistakes. A different set of eyes would be more likely to spot your errors. A good education and a reliable work experience may paint a good picture of you as an employee, but how you communicate is a more accurate representation of who you are. A resume that is full of spelling mistakes, typo and grammatical errors, and incorrectly-used words reveal an uneducated or a lazy individual. So devote a considerable amount of time proofreading and organizing it for better readability.
People make subjective opinions on what they see initially. Nothing wrong with that; it’s simply human nature to formulate conclusions based on visual content. When you walk inside a recruiter’s office, the hiring manager’s mind would immediately run through a series of generalizations based on what he or she sees.
However before you worry about what the hiring manager would think upon seeing you, the first area of concern is getting the invitation to walk through the recruiter’s door.
And that means what the hiring manager would think upon seeing your resume. Did you know that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume? In this post I’ll tell you how to get your resume noticed by using power words that attract attention.
Best Words To Use In A Resume
Recruiters go through volumes of resumes every day. Finding the right candidates for the job is not just a matter of using keywords and tracking programs.
Recruiters have developed a special intuition that helps them identify which resume speaks volumes and which ones say nothing at all. For recruiters reviewing a resume takes them through a conversation with the applicant that runs along these lines:
“Who are you?” “What made you think you’re cut out for the job?” “What can you do for the company?” “What have you done that merits consideration?” “Why should we be interested in what you have to offer?”
A conversation is two-way communication; it is standard question and answer where a response is expected for every query.
But many applicants send resumes that say the same thing.
They use the same action words; “I was responsible for”, “I was tasked to”,“I was assigned to”.
They leave out important details; facts, figures and key statistics to keep the resume compact, concise and contracted.
Unfortunately, these resumes are perceived as generic. Everyone has copied the formula and submitted the same format. When your resume says the same thing, it says nothing at all. It gives formulaic answers to the questions that recruiters ask.
There is no communication; no conversation because your resume speaks only 1 way.
The response from the recruiter would be swift:
“Off to the filing cabinet you go.”
Your resume is the first point of contact with the recruiter. It must make a powerful first impression by firing off succinct, definitive and compelling answers to the recruiter’s questions.
In short, your resume must initiate a conversation and create 2-way communication.
Unlike visual content, in the case of your resume it is your value proposition that influences initial impressions.
If you have only 6 seconds to create an impression with your resume, you should give more thought, strategy and purpose to your overall value proposition.
Write Your Resume Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition is what you bring to the table. It is a clear cut statement on what you have to offer the company that will merit consideration for hiring you.
Here are key elements of an effective value proposition:
It must be direct to the point.
Your proposition must present relevance and irrefutable value to the company.
It must be measurable.
Keep in mind that your resume is your career marketing tool. It should have the ability to sell what you have to offer. But your value proposition must be crafted as marketing copy without being perceived as hard sell. It should pull you in; not push your way through the recruiter.
Let’s take a look at these 2 examples:
“Business consultant for over 15 years. Managed key accounts and developed long term engagements through my expertise in Behavioral Leadership.”
“Business Consultant with over 15 years experience and chief proponent of Behavioral Leadership; I can help you navigate through economic uncertainty and profit while your competitors fall back. My clients from North America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe have generated an average ROI of 400% despite undergoing the most turbulent period in world history.”
Example A is a clear example of a generic value proposition. In fact, there is nothing in the statement that clearly defines value. The only response this type of statement will merit is, “So what?”
Example B goes for the hiring manager’s collar. It pulls you in and compels you to investigate further what the applicant is all about. The value proposition is well-defined:
It must be direct to the point – “Business Consultant with over 15 years experience and chief proponent of Behavioral Leadership.”
Your proposition must present relevance and irrefutable value to the company – “I can help you navigate through economic uncertainty and profit while your competitors fall back.”
It must be measurable – “My clients from North America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe have generated an average ROI of 400% despite undergoing the most turbulent period in world history.”
At the core of the power of a value proposition is its purpose. In Example B, the purpose is well-defined and placed front and center, “I can help you navigate through economic uncertainty and profit while your competitors fall back.”
This statement will serve notice to the hiring manager you have qualifications that may have value to the company:
Behavioral Leadership – “I have heard of this and how it has benefited companies that have right-fit issues and problems in organizational culture but I’m not sure how this works.”
Average ROI of 400% – “I’m interested to see the high and low end ROI and how these claims will be validated through irrefutable proof.”
As you can see, Example B’s value proposition initiated conversation; it created 2-way communication.
This brings us to another key component of your resume; one that should be seamlessly integrated with your value proposition, your branding strategy.
Why Brand Adds Value To Your Proposition
Let us assume the worst case situations for Example B:
There is no opening for a Business Consultant in the company.
Candidate has clients; how will this arrangement work out for the best interest of the company?
In either situation, if you were the hiring manager would you risk passing up an opportunity to find out how some companies managed to generate 400% ROI in what has been, yes, one of the most turbulent periods of the world’s history?
After all, the interview does not mean the candidate has been hired. It represents the next stage in the hiring process. If the candidate cannot substantiate the claims or convince you of his value to the company, you are not obligated him or her.
On the other hand, if the candidate does leave an impression and establish the need for his value proposition then the possibility of opening up a position or a consultancy agreement may be worth pursuing.
The branding strategy was delivered with the value proposition when the candidate stated, “Clients from North America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe have generated an average ROI of 400% despite undergoing the most turbulent period in world history.”
When you deliver content that expertly defines what you could do for the company, you have encouraged the hiring manager to get off the chair, walk toward the door and invite you to come in.
In marketing, your brand defines your product or service. Retailers spend millions of dollars developing, building and maintaining their brand.
In a competitive job market, your brand is your key differentiator. It distinguishes you from the rest of the field that is competing for the same position. If you want your resume to stand out, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to craft the best branded value proposition you could present to the recruiter.
How To Develop Your Brand
Branding is your way of communicating your capabilities to your market. In the case of your potential employer, your brand answers the question “What can you do for the company?”
Review your work experience and ask yourself what your strongest credentials are; if you were to pinpoint your core competence, what would this be?
Once you have identified your core competence, identify a specific experience which proves without a doubt your expertise in this area. The experience must be the best representative of your expertise and should be substantiated by figures.
The next step is to summarize this specific experience into a single statement. You have to be as detailed as possible. Identify the main subject whether it is a person, a country or a company. There must be an entity that you can associate or link the recipient of your expertise to. Otherwise, the hiring manager may only view your statement as nothing but fluff.
Remember the intent of the branded value proposition is to draw the interest of the hiring manager to move your application toward the next stage of the hiring process. You can present more proof of your expertise and accomplishments during the job interview, but land that interview first.
Finally, if you are confident with your brand statement, integrate it with your value proposition.
5 Key Elements Of A Resume That Helps You Get Noticed
Your resume is more than just a piece of paper. For recruiters, the resume says a lot about the character of the candidate. The most experienced recruiters can create a profile of the candidate simply by looking at the resume; not even perusing through it.
Recruiters appreciate the thought process, time and effort that go behind the creation of a resume. If you are the person who buys a resume template from the local bookstore or writes one using a formulaic approach, do not expect much from your lack of thought and effort.
An effective resume is one that contains substance. It must contain elements that encourage the recruiter to dig deeper into the content. It must present high impact value to the recruiter and differentiate your application from the rest.
Here are 5 key elements that your resume should have:
Value Proposition – “What I Offer Your Company”; Your value proposition establishes the need of your services to the prospective employer.
Branded Statement – “What I Can Do For Your Company”; Identifies your core competence or expertise that would be of great value to the prospective employer.
Supportive Facts and Figures – “Why I Can Be of Value to Your Company”; Highlights your willingness to back up and substantiate your brand. There is substance to your claims and if given the opportunity, you will present all evidences to support them thoroughly. Remember this: Figures monetize your brand.
Key Differentiators – “How I Can Be of Value to Your Company”; These differentiators distinguish you from everyone else. Include qualities, skills, experiences and trainings that are highly relevant to the value proposition.
Your Core Component – “Who I Am and Why I Fit into Your Company Culture”; There are more companies today that place greater importance on right-fit personalities over technical and fundamental competencies.
Exhibit A is Zappos. Founder Tony Hsieh does not hire people based on the strength of work experience and capabilities. He only wants to know how passionate the candidate is about online retail and shoes.
Your core component answers the question “Who Am I?” Companies want to know if you will fit their organizational culture. A simple one-line statement on what you are passionate about or what motivates you to succeed can speak volumes on your type of character.
If it seems that preparing a resume is a lot of work, it should be. This is after all, a competition.
In every competition, there will always be more losers than winners. Every time Michael Phelps won a gold medal in the Olympics, he generated 60 more losers.
If you want to win in competition, you must cover all the bases. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:
Draft your resume on paper. Studies have shown that writing on paper creates a stronger link with your mind and body. You can write with more purpose and intent.
Consult with the best minds. Contact your former employers or clients and ask for feedback on what they believe is your strongest asset.
Test your statements. Once you have completed a draft of your branded statement, run it by associates and people whose opinions you trust.
Test the strength of your resume. Once your resume is complete, you can test it via online software such as RezScore and Naukri Fast Forward. You should also ask for the opinion of a resource person with experience in recruitment.
The purpose of testing and consultation is to give you different perspectives on your resume. If you are viewing it from only your filter, you may not provide objective critique because there are biases you cannot overcome.
Eventually your resume will present a version that best represents your branded value proposition while maintaining your character and integrity.
When writing your resume, content should be of paramount importance. After all, the resume is your career marketing tool. Its purpose is to draw the interest of the recruiting officer and move your application further along the hiring process.
But recruitment officers go through hundreds of resumes every day. They do not have the time to scrutinize each and every resume that lands on their desk. In fact an eye-tracking study conducted by TheLadders showed that recruiters only spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing resumes.
How much content can a recruiter go through in 6 seconds? It must have taken you 6 seconds to get to this section of this chapter. Surely you cannot risk excluding important details from your work experience.
Considering the speed by which recruiters go through resumes and the importance of content, what then is the correct length of a resume?
Two Schools of Thought on Resume Length
1. Keep It Short
A short resume means it should be kept within one page. Those who advocate short resumes reference the eye-tracking study of TheLadders and argue recruiters only focus on the following key areas:
Previous Title/ Company
Previous Position/ Start and End Dates
Current Position/ Start and End Dates
Recruiters scan your resume using keywords. The process has become more efficient with the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which are software programs designed to help companies scan for specific keywords.
2. Don’t Scrimp on the Details
Trying to write your resume using a process of elimination would be like playing Russian roulette with your career.
For highly-experienced candidates it would be difficult to keep the resume within one page. Keep in mind that when recruiters scan your work experience they look at details such as:
Scope of work and responsibilities
Contributions to company’s success
Clients, companies and associates you did business with
Figures and other data that validate contributions
Career growth path within the organization
Even though recruiters use keywords or even tracking software, they want content that can be validated.
Whether recruiters only spend 6 seconds or 30 seconds on your resume, one thing remains very clear: You should not leave out important details.
Take a look at this entry under Work Experience:
“Responsible for managing the sales requirement of the Florida branch. Generated significant returns within a few months.”
If you were the recruiter, what information did you gain from reading this statement? Nothing. It does not include key information on the exact location of the branch, figures on actual returns or the number of months it took the candidate to achieve the sales requirement.
This otherwise valuable piece of information was rendered useless simply because the applicant purposely left out key details to accommodate a shorter and condensed resume.
Both schools of thought have valid points. The general consensus is to maintain great content but to keep it concise. The length of your resume should not be an issue as long as it is properly structured and emphasizes the key details of your qualifications.
Guidelines on the Length of Your Resume
Based on everything that has been discussed, it must be clear by now that the length of your resume should never influence its content. Content should always remain the primary driver of your resume.
This is especially true for senior executives who rose through the ranks and whose accomplishments may not be validated by only 1 page of content.
Laszlo Bock, Senior Adviser at Google has a clear cut way of determining the length of your resume: One page for every 10 years of work experience.
According to Bock a short, crisp resume highlights your ability to “synthesize, prioritize and convey the most important information about you.”
Bock’s rule seems doable for someone with 10 years experience. Certainly another candidate with 20 years experience would need another page.
The best approach would be to follow a set of guidelines when composing your resume. By following these guidelines you will be able to arrive at the appropriate length of your resume without compromising content:
Resume must be easy to read:
Use proper line spacing.
Stick to accepted font styles such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.
Use visible font sizes 12 to 14.
Write in short sentences.
Keep paragraphs short.
Resume must be well-structured:
Personal information must be clearly visible.
Work experience should be arranged starting from most recent employment.
Use bold face when necessary.
Use bullet points to summarize details.
Content is King:
Details must be relevant to job opening.
Highlight all the important skills and abilities; your resume must leave no doubt in the recruiter‘s mind that you are the one they are looking for.
Summarized details should answer the question, “What can you do for us?”
Do not include experiences that have no relevance or bearing with the job opening.
Perform keyword research and strategically place them in your resume. Keywords should be included in your personal info, work experience and skills section.
Avoid using technical terms; keep language simple and direct to the point.
Tell a story; let the recruiter go behind your lenses and see your story unfold through your own words.
Don’t leave out your accomplishments; if you are a frequent resource speaker or guest lecturer at a reputable university, you should include these details in your resume. If you need 5 pages to complete your resume, so be it.
Keep in mind the resume is the only document that stands between you and the job interview. There is always that possibility a recruiter will spend more than 6 seconds on your resume.
You also have no idea of the content of your competitor’s resume. The only factor you can control is the content of your own resume.
When writing your resume, quality and quantity should never be mutually exclusive of each other. A well-thought of resume can present high quality content regardless of its length.
It may not seem like it when you are preparing your resume from the safe confines of your room. But the job market can be a harsh, cruel place. Every day millions of job seekers worldwide send out their resumes through the Internet or on foot. And every day, millions of job seekers’ resumes are rejected or outright discarded.
You may not even receive word from the recruiter. Research conducted by recruitment specialists BeHiring showed that recruiters review a resume 200 seconds after it has landed on their table. In the 5 to 7 seconds it takes them to scan, more resumes are rejected than accepted.
How do you prevent your resume from being rejected? Here are the 10 most common reasons why resumes fail to land the interview.
1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
The study by BeHiring showed that it only takes one mistake in spelling or grammar for your resume to be rejected.
If you think recruiters are over-reacting to just one mistake in spelling or grammar, put yourself in their position. Would you invest thousands of dollars every month in someone who won’t even bother to spell or grammar-check his resume?
You have many options at your disposal to ensure the accuracy of your resume:
Review your resume through the different stages of preparation.
Run it through the spelling and grammar check of your program.
Have a trusted friend or associate review your resume.
To err is human but spelling and grammar mistakes are simply unacceptable for recruiters.
2. No Connection to Job Pursuit
The reason why cover letters remain relevant is because it connects your resume with the job you are pursuing. But the cover letter will not get you the interview; the resume will.
If your cover letter was able to establish the connection, your resume should validate it. As we discussed in Chapter 4, storytelling is an effective approach to stating your case. Weave your storyline throughout the resume beginning with the Header.
No matter how great your resume reads of how glowing the achievements are, if there is no connection to the job pursuit your application will be rejected.
3. Lack of Thought and Effort
For recruiters, reviewing resumes is second nature. They’ve developed an intuition for reading resumes that they can tell if you put enough thought and effort behind it by identifying visual cues.
You may want to keep your resume short and sweet but indicating your scope of responsibilities as “Designed Strategies” and “Conducted Research” will leave a sour taste.
Your resume should be customized for the job position you want and for the company.
As we discussed in Chapter 2, companies today that place greater importance on right-fit personalities over technical and fundamental competencies. How you compose your resume will give recruiters a firm perspective on whether you are right-fit with the organization or not.
4. Technical Gibberish
The purpose of the resume is to land you the interview. It should not be designed to impress the recruiter with technical jargon. There is a time and place to become technical and it is not in your resume.
It may be 7 seconds or it could be 7 minutes. But recruiters do not want to spend precious time deciphering your content. Speak in a language which everyday people can understand.
If the recruiter feels he or she has to open a dictionary to understand your resume, it may well end up in the trash bin.
5. Lack of Cohesion
Throughout this book, we have discussed the importance of structure; of having cohesion in your resume in order to support your branded value proposition. Structure gives your resume greater focus and firmly establishes your purpose.
Recruiters will spend most of their time on your work experience. They can easily spot loopholes and raise questions on your time line. This usually happens when there are gaps between tenure. Many job seekers are afraid of gaps but these are actually part of your story.
If you refer to Chapter 6, if there are gaps, use the Functional Resume Format where you can place Achievements or Accomplishments before Work Experience. A recruiter can see what you did during the period you were not employed.
You could have taken additional training courses, completed higher education or spent 1-2 years working as a freelancer.
Keep the recruiter in mind when you are writing your resume. It must keep the recruiter on the correct train of thought when following your content.
6. Unnecessary Information
Believe it or not, a recruiter can and will reject your resume at the Header.
If the recruiter sees your complete address and realize logistics may affect your availability for work or compromise your ability to carry out extra hours, your application will be declined.
Even if you somehow state that you are planning to move closer to the place of work, the first question on the recruiter’s mind would be, ”When and what is our assurance you would do that?”
You are not required to provide your full address. Your city, state and zip code should suffice.
Think of your resume as prime real estate. If you want it to appreciate in value, you should only put up relevant and important information.
7. You Were Caught Lying
Recruiters have their ways of unearthing the truth. They could see inconsistencies in your content, they may know people in the companies you identified in your work experience or it could be intuition. The thing is, you’ll never know.
Lying has no place in a resume. A “white lie” will not add value. A 3.6 GPA cannot be rounded off to 4.0. Paraphrasing your duties and responsibilities to make them look more important will not work because it will detract from the rest of your story line. Once you go off the rails, it will be hard to get back on track.
8. Lack of Accomplishments
Job responsibilities are not job accomplishments. Recruiters are more interested in what you were able to do than what you did.
Your accomplishments will answer these questions from Chapter 2:
“What made you think you’re cut out for the job?”
“What can you do for the company?”
“What have you done that merits consideration?”
“Why should we be interested in what you have to offer?”
Recruiters will look for the CCAR Equation from Chapter 5 in your work experience:
C – Context; Your title and scope of responsibilities.
C – Challenge; The problem presented by the organization for your resolution.
A – Action; The course or courses of action you implemented to resolve the challenge.
R – Result; The outcome of the course of action and how it impacted the performance of the organization.
Without specific instances, your work experience loses value.
9. Questionable Online Reputation
Social media gives people a false sense of entitlement. People become reckless with their content believing no one of consequence will be reading.
The same study by BeHiring showed that 68% of recruiters will look you up in social media specifically Facebook. Sure it is your private page and you should be allowed to post what you want. But so is drinking alcohol.
You should be responsible with what you do because there could be consequences to your actions.
Recruiters want to know “Who You Are”. Social media has given them an unfiltered view of your life outside the confines of work.
Think twice before you post content on social media when you’re active in the job market. In fact, you should clear out potentially damaging content before you start actively applying.
10. Inappropriate E-Mail Address
An e-mail is a prerequisite for every resume. But if your e-mail address is “[email protected]___” or “[email protected]_____”, it will bury your chances of getting considered.
In the BeHiring study, 76% of recruiters will reject your resume if your e-mail address is inappropriate.
Your e-mail address must be simple yet professional. Recruiters only want to see your name, your initials or variations that still validate your professional identity.
Take the time to create a professional e-mail address from Yahoo! or Gmail. It may be difficult to find an original e-mail address but stay with it. It will be time well spent.
It is not the end of the world if your resume is rejected. There are factors that you cannot control once you submit your resume.
Recruiters are people with unique preferences and expectations. You will not know how the recruiter will view or respond to your resume.
The job may already have been filled and the post was not recalled or updated.
You may have applied too late and the recruiter already sent the final list of candidates to the hiring manager.
The job opening may have been placed “on hold” without notice.
Job description may have been changed arbitrarily.
If you do not hear from the company, you can follow up to clear your mind. Regardless, review your resume and assess why you did not get the invitation from the recruiter.
You should only concern yourself with factors you can control and one of them is your resume.
You may think it is perfect but that is only your perspective and more often than not, you could be biased. Keep an open mind or ask assistance from a friend or associate who has recruitment experience.
Review the list of reasons provided in this chapter and see how you can implement revisions that will make your resume better. Your resume should remain dynamic; it should continually evolve and improve. You should view it as a work in progress.
To attach or not to attach a cover letter, that is the question. If you are not yet familiar with cover letters, check our previous article on what is a cover letter.
Cover letters used to be a mainstay among the list of job application requirements. But over the years it has lost its luster and significance because the job applicants themselves did not take it seriously.
It’s difficult enough to peruse through hundreds of resumes per day and decide who moves forward and who stays behind. Recruiters had to endure hundreds of crude, meaningless and uninspiring cover letters that looked like they were mass- produced from a sweat shop in China.
In time, a segment of recruiters declared the cover letter dead. In a 2015 survey by JobVite, 2/3 of 1,400 polled recruiters stated the cover letter is not an important factor when reviewing job applications.
You have nothing to lose by attaching a cover letter with your resume. As a matter of fact, you could lose more by not attaching a cover letter.
As we stated in Chapter 7, recruiters are people with unique preferences and expectations. You have no idea of how your recruiter will react to your cover letter or the lack thereof.
If other applicants attached a cover letter, a recruiter may perceive the absence of a cover letter as a sign of laziness or carelessness on your part.
In fact by foregoing the cover letter, you may miss out on 3 potential benefits:
Benefits of Sending a Cover Letter
1. Establishes Your Brand
A cover letter helps you position your brand with the recruiter. Its purpose is to create an impression in the mind of the recruiter that is unique, identifiable and desirable with your brand. It should distinguish you from the rest of the applicants.
A cover letter functions the same way an advertisement does for a product or service. The advertising company conceptualizes the ad to establish the product’s brand in the mind of the consumer. Its value proposition should define the product from its competitors.
2. Gives a Glimpse of Your Personality
In Chapter 2, we listed the top 5 elements that should be in your resume. The fifth element is “Your Core Component”; the values that make you who you are.
Companies today are well- attuned with organizational culture. There are employers who prioritize organizational right- fitness over technical and fundamental competencies.
If well- crafted and sincerely composed, your cover letter will give the recruiter an idea of your personality. Cover letters are a perfect launching pad to tell your story.
3. Puts Your Foot Inside the Door
Similar to the resume, recruiters will only scan your cover letter. Thus, the first paragraph is critical to its success. It should detail 2 important pieces of information:
Your contact or referral who told you of the job opening.
Your formal intent.
If you have a contact inside the company or a person who is influential with the decision makers such as their major client or associate, you could have one foot inside the door of the hiring manager.
This bit of information should be indicated in the first line of the first paragraph.
If you have no connection, lead off with your formal intent and then indicate how you found out about the job opening. Recruiters use this information to shore up their talent acquisition processes.
The most effective cover letters are the ones that are customized for the recipient.
Read up about the company; find out its history, key accomplishments, recent developments, advocacy and its key people. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be for you to create content that would resonate.
2. Capitalize on the First Paragraph
We already stated earlier in this chapter that if you want to maximize the benefit of the cover letter, the first paragraph is very important. You have to get the attention of the recruiter right away. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this:
a. Include the name of the referral or contact person relevant to or associated with the company.
b. Project your energy by starting out strong. Tell them right away what you can do and why you are the best person for the job.
c. Open with an attention grabbing statement that highlights your personal value but do not attempt to be funny. An example would be:
“I wish to bring 20 years of experience, expertise and effective management onboard this young, dynamic and rapidly- growing company.”
3. Keep it Short
The cover letter should be written with the purpose of introducing your resume.
It should be short but with enough detail to get the recruiter interested in exploring your resume. It must be kept succinct; the cover letter should set up expectations for the resume’s contents.
In other words, your resume must state your branded value proposition.
There is no argument here. The cover letter must be kept to just one page.
4. Keep in Touch
At the conclusion of the cover letter, advise the recruiter that you plan to get in touch. You should also inform the recruiter of the medium of communication; whether through phone call or e-mail.
Calling a recruiter is normal practice when you are job hunting. Recruiters understand it is part of their job to take in calls from applicants interested to know their status.
Is it presumptuous to call the recruiter? Would the recruiter find you bothersome? No. On the other hand, it would make you appear tenacious; a quality employers look for.
When should you not send a cover letter?
You should not send a cover letter if it is explicitly stated in the job post not to include one. Also there are some electronic submission systems whereby there is no accommodation for cover letter entries.
Otherwise, attach a cover letter. When you are competing for a job, you should not leave anything to chance. The worst thing that can happen is that the recruiter will simply ignore your cover letter. The benefits of attaching a cover letter with your resume are too significant to be ignored.
Do you want to learn how to structure your resume and make it tell a story that attracts the attention of the employer? In this post I’ll show you how to make your resume easy to read and help you get invited to the job interview.
“Tell me something about yourself.”
The hiring manager usually rolls out the interview with this question. Essentially when hiring managers review your resume, the response to this question is what they expect to uncover. Before you state what you can do for the company, you have to answer the underlying question about your resume:
“Who are you?”
Running off a series of words such as those summarized in the previous section will not give hiring managers an idea of who you are but what you are. Proponents of behavioral leadership believe that before you talk about “what” you are, you should let people know “who” you are.
“Who” lends substance to “What”; there is no “What” without knowing “Who”.
The hiring manager wants to know something about you.
So why not tell them a story?
Story telling is a powerful way of connecting with the reader; in this case the hiring manager, because it compels him or her to go behind your lens and have a glimpse of who you are.
How To Structure Your Resume
Story telling is an effective approach to compel the reader to find out more about you; it pulls people in.
Let’s look at 2 examples:
Hard working person who went up the ranks from service crew to team leader in a popular fast food chain.
This is a proto-typical descriptor of a candidate who says he or she rose up the ranks in a fast food restaurant. Hiring managers go through these statements all the time. It offers no value or content that will compel the hiring manager to want to know more about you.
Eldest in a family of five who decided to work at a young age; 18, to support my education and siblings. Started out as service crew for “United Steaks of America” restaurant. My experience preparing meals for my family allowed me to excel in the kitchen. I learned that making good food makes people feel good and this carried over to my passion for the job. When I come in for work, my goal is to make the customers happy by being good in what I do. Within 6 months, our sales had increased by 20% and food reviews averaged an “A” rating. Before I ended my first year, the restaurant promoted me to Head Line Cook.
This is a short 117 word story that shows the hiring manager a glimpse of the character of the person who wrote it. There is a back story involved that answers who the person is; why he works, what he can do and how he is able to do it. The person talks about his love for cooking and how it benefited the restaurant without explicitly stating he was solely responsible for the success.
If you want your resume to grab the attention of the hiring manager, you must allow the human being to come through those pages. It’s about establishing a connection; a point in your resume that will get the hiring manager excited about what you have to offer.
You cannot expect a hiring manager to get excited from reading that you are “best of breed” or a “team player”. Every person before you said basically the same things. Their resumes are either under file or inside the trash can.
Story telling doesn’t just pull the hiring manager toward your resume. It puts the hiring manager in your shoes or behind your lens as your story unfolds in your resume.
The Secret: Weave Your Story within the Resume
A fast food worker wants to be a corporate banker. A public school teacher dreams of working with the United Nations. A data entry specialist plans to transition to a career in digital advertising.
Are these all possible considering the wide, far- flung disparity in work experiences? Yes, the key is to establish the relationship within the resume. Think of it as a task equivalent to “connecting the dots”.
People who have dreams of achieving a goal have to start somewhere. Even if the field is not related, their commitment to accomplishing that goal will manifest in how they perform in their current job.
You have to establish this in your resume. Pick out incidents, experiences, tasks and responsibilities that are related to the job you are applying for. This way, the hiring manager will not think the idea of hiring someone with unrelated experiences will be so far-fetched.
Some job applicants insert a bio into a resume as their way of telling their story. A bio is an accepted practice in the hiring process. But what happens after the hiring manager has read your bio and proceeds to the rest of your resume? Will your bio carry over to the rest of its content?
A more effective approach is to weave your story within the resume. Find points of reference within each section of your resume that relates to your story. This way, you will establish continuity throughout the content.
The Resume Header
Your story begins at the header of your resume. This sets the context of your story; who you are and what you want to accomplish. Before writing your header, do some research on the company you plan to apply to. Find out what you can about their culture; advocacy, working environment, causes and ideologies about business and people.
Your choice of language will have a definite influence on how your story will be perceived by the hiring manager. You have to be very careful in how you structure your story because it may run contrary to what hiring managers are looking for. Always keep in mind of showing the hiring manager what you can do or are capable of doing for the company.
Let’s take a look at the case of Marie. She is a data entry specialist who wants to transition to a career in digital advertising. Data entry is a job that is highly structured and mechanical. How can Marie write her story in a way that her experience can carry over to the highly creative, no-boundaries world of digital advertising?
Working as a data entry specialist the past 2 years re-awakened my creative side because numbers do tell a story. I regularly mined numbers; looking for relationships between Big Data and industries. By establishing the connection, I am able to help businesses transform strategy and develop better products because they are able understand the needs and wants of their market more. Transformation is a cool way of helping people have a better world. I am looking for a career in digital advertising because it provides an outlet for creativity and leverages business as a way of transforming people’s lives.
Reading Marie’s story gives you a feel she is right in front of you with a cup of coffee in her hand. It is written in plain, simple language. She establishes the connection between the mechanical world of data entry and the creative world of digital advertising. The inclusion of the word “cool” is a great way to tap into the artistic, informal and creative culture of digital advertising.
Work Experience On A Resume
Hiring managers will place great emphasis on your work experience. This section will provide you the opportunity to continue your story.
Let’s check Marie’s Work Experience and see how she weaved her story line to continue her quest to land a job at a digital advertising company:
Pinnacle Performance Support Solutions; Inc Houston, Texas Data Entry Specialist 2017 to 2016
Pinnacle Performance provides administrative and back office support services to companies across the globe although its primary clientele is located in North America. I was assigned to consumer services and focused on clients operating in various segments of the retail market.
“Ground and Pound Burgers and BBQ”; the franchise needed data information on the market demographics which fit its customer profile. Mined data based on their sales revenues, surveys and current customer base. The purpose of the data was to design online and traditional marketing strategies.
“Big Home Appliances”; the company wanted data as a reference point for their inventory management system. The data I mined for them showed the demographic which regularly patronized their business and the category of furniture that was frequently purchased.
“The Sassy Shopper”; the chain requested for data that would help their re-branding strategies as the fashion apparel industry had become competitive. Surveys, product matrices and sales distribution became the bases for data mining. The result was to re-direct their brand toward the 18 to 34 age bracket; a segment composed of women building their careers.
In her work experience, Marie chose 3 key accounts which had needs similar to what digital advertising companies provide services for. The key accounts were from different industries and had different data requirements from Marie. A hiring manager from a digital advertising company can easily “connect the dots” and see how Marie fits into their business.
Validate Your Story Line
Earlier we discussed the power of personal branding in your value proposition. Your brand represents what you can do for the company. In Marie’s case, she has been propagating her brand by expertly weaving her story line throughout her resume.
She needs to validate her story line through her personal information and details. Hiring managers tend to prioritize candidates who work to maintain a strong online presence through social media particularly LinkedIn.
Before submitting her resume, Marie has to beef up her LinkedIn profile and update it to reflect her interest in digital advertising. There are many ways she can do this:
LinkedIn has a great platform for blogging. If Marie had serious intentions of switching careers, she should have published blogs related to the digital advertising industry.
She could update her resume by indicating she had been taking courses on graphic design and on other activities related to digital advertising.
She could post updates that she is attending seminars and workshops on the digital advertising industry.
The bottom-line is social media is a great platform to share the world what you are up to. Hiring managers will see you as someone who is committed to your goal of joining their company. And sometimes that is all the push they need to invite you for an interview.
In a quest to make our long-term career more competitive and productive, we are faced with various issues that stop us from sustaining our dream job. These issues include a shift in the department, getting master degree at 50, or even the thought of having a baby. The key here is to learn how to sustain your chosen path, and that often means viewing yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s perfectly fine to take occasional breaks in expanding your career. But once you’re back from your hiatus, here are some tips to follow, which will guarantee that career longevity you’ve always wanted.
1. I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career. What’s next?
In your career, there comes a time when you reach its peak, and you feel like there’s nothing left to explore. In such situation, you must redefine your goals, and come up with new ideas on how to achieve them in your current state. To do this, you’ll need to break them down into smaller ones, making them more manageable and easier to achieve. By plotting your goals into a timetable, you are given an idea of what to do next, and you’ll find the right means on how to execute them. Whether you achieve them before or after the designated time, a goal is still an achievement in its own right.
2. I’m pregnant!
As you traverse your career path, unexpected things happen – including pregnancy. Pregnant women are stuck in a class of two social ideals – the perfect parent VS the perfect employee. Here’s how you can handle both worlds.
· Be Professional and Find a Substitute
Soon, you’ll have to avail of your maternity leave including the package that comes with it. This is the time you will also have to consider on who is the right person to take over your job while you’re away. Assist your HR and boss in choosing the right employee to handle your task while you’re on break and they’ll thank you for your professionalism.
· Handle with Fatigue
Part of being pregnant is the emotional roller coaster that you’ll experience during the whole course of motherhood. It’s common to experience fatigue; but this shouldn’t be left unattended as it results to iron deficiency anemia. Change your diet with more red meat, seafood, and more greens. Set expectations to your officemates as well to avoid any misunderstandings.
3.How will I expand my limited circle?
Retaining your career also involves expanding your networks. With the advancement in technology, connecting to various industry leaders is easily done with the help of social media.
It’s a networking haven for all experts and successful individuals. You’ll get to interact with the big names in the industry and, if you’re lucky, you can even get tips on how they retain their success. Use it to your advantage
Apart from LinkedIn, many experts and CEO of big brands are also active Twitter member. In fact, their Twitter pages are more updated about what they think recently than their Facebook or LinkedIn page. You can find common grounds; and who knows, expand your connection faster. [one_half] The key here is that networking is relationship-building, and you build your circle by meeting other people. Along with dedication and hard work, these tips are proven ways to sustain and ensure longevity in a career path you’ve chosen. Also, your ability to recognize areas of weaknesses, reinforced with constructive changes, prove that you are a forward thinker in seeing the bigger picture. How do you plan to stretch your success?
This is a guest post from: Kyle Albert assists his friends in getting their dream job in this competitive economy. He mostly checks the blog section of How2Become to get the best tips for job hunters. Get to know him better on Twitter: @KyleAlbert9
You’ve taken the time to write your resume; edited it countless times and had it evaluated by reputable resource persons. You’ve cross-checked it against the lists we presented on common mistakes and causes of rejection. You are confident with its content and aesthetics.
Now if you want to find a job fast, your attention shifts to the next stage: Where to submit your resume.
Similar to its length, its destination point and mode of delivery are also subject to 2 schools of thought: Market Saturation and Target Setting.
With market saturation, you are hedging your chances on probabilities; it becomes a game of numbers. When you cast your net to a larger ocean of fish, you increase the probability of making a catch.
You believe there is no such thing as a bad place to post. Every post represents opportunity. The more recruiters or companies see your resume the higher the probability of being considered.
If you plan to saturate the market, use online services such as ResumeRabbit. The website can distribute your resume to 89 career web sites and community job boards.
Market Saturation carries the risk of diluting your brand. Recruiters can tell if your resume was customized or crafted from an assembly line. As discussed in Chapter 7, recruiters can view this as having lack of thought and effort. If you use resume distribution services, you will not be able to do follow ups via phone or e-mail.
With target setting, you customize your resume to a specific industry. It’s a case of casting a larger net into a smaller number of fishes to increase the probability of making a catch.
Target setting also allows you to be more discrete with your job search. By identifying which sites and services you use, you have a measure of control of who can see your resume.
This reduces the risk of your current employer finding out your plans of jumping ship. The consequences of being caught while under contract can be far- reaching.
Here are 15 of the best online sites to submit your resume. As you will see, there are unique advantages to each service. Some cater to specific industries. Review the offerings of the websites and assess which ones fit your objectives.
SimplyHired.com is a search engine for jobs and offers a quick and easy way to review a voluminous data base of listings. SimplyHired claims it has over 30 million unique visitors per month but its advantage over Indeed.com is that the recruiter can see the user’s LinkedIn connections to each job.
Search for jobs in your area by using your zip code on its local job search feature.
You can view job openings at your friends’ companies at Facebook.
You can find job postings from companies located around the world.
If you want to have an idea of how much the position you are applying for pays, use SimplyHired’s salary calculator.
Monster.com is one of the oldest online job boards. It offers listings in 50 countries from North America, Europe and Asia. Monster.com sells services to companies and recruiters looking to find suitable employment candidates.
There are separate sections for job seekers and potential employees.
You can block your resume from being seen by specific companies such as your current employer.
GlassDoor.com is a unique online jobsite. It provides insights on what it’s like working for other companies. If you want to get more information, you must fill out a questionnaire which includes details on your current job.
GlassDoor.com claims it has salary information on about 160,000 companies in its data base which were collected from 2.5 million user reports.
Features written reviews from former employees.
You can get inputs on interview questions.
You can find out if you have connections to targeted companies through your own network.
Idealist.org is the world’s largest online job board for non-profit work. It has reportedly around 1 million registered users. The site is funded by the support from various foundations, donations and fees charged to US based organizations who list at the site.
As we discussed in Chapter 7, gaps or lack of work experience can hinder your chances of moving along the hiring process. Jobsites such as Internships.com offer you to find opportunities to transition to new careers via internships.
Internships.com allow companies to post internships in order to access its membership data base. The site caters to the US market where there are a reported 60,000 postings from 25,000 companies distributed among 8,800 cities.
Features paid, unpaid, full and part- time internships.
“Who?” button allows you to see which one of your Facebook friends is connected to a targeted company.
This is the US government’s official site for available federal jobs. There are thousands of jobs listed from the Department of Defense to the Department of Transportation. You can apply directly onsite.
Provides information on eligibility and compensation.
You can find data on current benefits including vacation time, transportation subsidies, insurance and availability of child care.
The Wall Street Journal is a popular, well- circulated and respected publication. Its career site offers free content for people who are interested to find jobs and those who want to get ahead in their chosen occupations.
Career site includes a link to its financial jobs website, FINS which is now part of eFinancialCareers.
Includes a link to its “At Work” blog which features more career-relevant content.
Features links to other publications for additional content on job and career.
CareerBuilder is one of the most popular job sites and functions like a career aggregator. It collects job openings from newspaper placements which gives the site a new dimension unlike other aggregator sites that only focus on community billboards.
Scans resumes to match with potential employers.
Job seeker can visit the Home Page and see how many times interested companies have viewed his or her resume.
You can see search terms prospective employers used to find your resume.
“Quick Apply” button makes it easy to apply for a job from a desk top or mobile gadget.
MediaBistro is the best online jobsite for writers, journalists, bloggers, copywriters and editors. This jobsite hosts various seminars and in-person courses on topics such as social media, journalism and copy editing. These classes are conducted by professionals who are experts in the fields you are interested in.
Offers certification classes in magazine writing, digital project management and digital marketing.
Provides a freelance market place for those who want to start out on small projects.
Does not provide a social component; you cannot connect or follow anyone.
If you’re interested in jobs related to engineering, software development and anything tech- related, you should upload your resume to GitHub.
At GitHub, you can interact with developers and learn more about their projects, tools and techniques. GitHub has features that allow you to create a solid, professional-looking resume.
Programming tools are available for developers.
Provides a link to your GitHub profile.
In addition to these job sites, there are other avenues to take your resume.
First, consider your current network. Check your list of contacts in your e-mail and social media and identify those who are decision- makers, owners or influencers in their companies.
Give them a courtesy call and invite them for coffee or lunch. Inform them of your purpose so they can be prepared. If they say “yes”, there is a good probability they have an opening you can consider.
Second, get referrals. You can get referrals or recommendations from people in your network or from previous clients and associates. Identify clients whom you are 100% confident were happy with your performance. They will gladly help you filter your resume.
Third, attend networking conventions. Trade shows, job fairs and other networking events are great venues for finding potential employers. Always carry a calling card, a hard copy of your resume and your portfolio.
Fourth, talk to head hunting services. These companies have established linkages with many reputable clients worldwide. The fees can be expensive but they can help you customize your search for the ideal employer.
Take a dynamic approach to submitting your resume. There is more than one way to find a job. Just like you were creative and introspective in composing your resume, you should be strategic and purposeful in its distribution.
Are you like most people who are faced with a seemingly overwhelming thought of venturing into a new job? You try to imagine yourself in an entirely different work setting, slaving away to get your new duties done, and basically having a totally novel experience. If you’re exactly like these people, then you’re probably hesitating and holding off on leaving your current position and applying for a new one. You might be thinking that your present job isn’t so bad and that the new one might be more than you can handle. Doubts fill your mind, and as a result, you convince yourself that you don’t need to quit at all. But how do you know when it’s really time for a new job? Here are some telltales:
1. You can’t imagine a future with your present employer
At the job interview which got you into the company, you were asked what your plans for the future were and if that future included your present company. Now, years later, you need to ask yourself the same questions. Do you see yourself working for your current employer for another three, five, or ten years? Can you picture yourself growing further at your present job? Put some serious thought into these questions as your answers to these are critical in making the right decision. If you answer these questions in the negative, then it may be time for you to formulate another plan. After all, it is never too early to make plans if you wish to be working at some other place in the near future.
2 You can’t reach your full potential with your current job
You know that you can do better, accomplish more, and achieve greater levels of success, but your job just isn’t giving you an opportunity to make it all possible. It might be that your boss just passed you over for promotion, or it might be that the responsibilities being placed under your feet just aren’t challenging enough. If you feel that you won’t reach your full potential or that you don’t receive enough recognition for your amazing achievements, then perhaps it would be better to devote your time and skills working for another company.
3. You can’t seem to find any joy in what you’re doing
Sure, working isn’t all about fun. There will be days when you won’t be able to find a single thing to smile about, but if you constantly can’t take pleasure in anything about your job, then there’s something truly wrong. It might be that you just applied for this job because it was what you needed at the time to feed yourself and the people relying on you, but financial rewards can only go so far. If you’ve tried everything, such as switching to a lateral position in the same company to no avail, then it’s probably the right time to do some soul-searching. Find out what your real passion is, and look for a job that ignites it. When you’ve got that job, even the worst workday can seem like nothing.
People are naturally frightened by change. However, without it, you will always be where you are right now – stuck in a loathsome job. Take note of the signs. Determine whether it’s time to move on from your current position to a new one. Don’t let change impede you from taking that bold step.
There is no such thing as a well-drafted resume until you include a good list of references. Many job applicants make the mistake of submitting sloppily done references without realizing that it may also potentially ruin their chances of getting hired. Here are some great tips on preparing your references:
1.) Choose wisely from your prospects
This is the first step in making a great reference page. Start by making a list of your prospects. You may choose from your former or current managers, supervisors, colleagues, former professors, or clients. Most companies only look for three to five references, so narrow your choices wisely. Choose candidates from previous jobs who may be related to the current position you are applying for.
2.) Organize your contacts
Chances are, the hiring manager would contact the first name they see. It might smart to put first the ones you think you can most rely on.
3.) Use personal references when necessary
This is a common problem for people with inadequate work experience, especially new graduates. If you are a newbie to the market, you can always use personal references if you feel that it would be acceptable to do so. Personal references may include relatives, local religious leaders (might be a priest or minister in your church), classmates, coaches, and officers of civic or social organizations that you have joined.
4.) Give your references a copy of your resume
Providing a copy of your resume to your references can help in prepping them up for the call. By doing this, they can speak more knowledgeably about your skills, qualifications, experience and education. It may also help them remember the details of your previous job especially if it has been a long time since you have worked for/with them.
5.) Let your references know the job your applying for
Hiring managers are always looking for key skill sets specifically suitable for the job position. Letting your references know the job responsibilities or the position you are applying for can help them highlight the specific qualifications that the hiring managers might be looking for.
6.) Assist your references by providing guideline questions
You can also help prep up your references by leaving them with a few anticipated questions that may be asked during the call. You can use the following questions or even add additional questions that you see fit.
How long have we known each other?
What circumstances made me leave?
Do you remember any accomplishments in the time that I worked for you?
If yes, what are those accomplishments?
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
Do I get along with other employees?
How would you rate the quality of my work?
What can you say about my work ethic?
How did our relation end? Was it on a positive note?
Make sure to remind him/her to have a copy of these questions (with answers) at the time when you may receive a call from the hiring manager.
7.) Inform your references of the name of the person who may contact them
Once they hear the name of the person on the phone, it would immediately get their minds into the purpose of the call. This would easily let them anticipate the possible questions. Plus, they may know someone or a current employee in the company. That can be an additional help for you.
8.) Make sure that your reference will give a positive feedback about you
This is one of the most common mistakes of job applicants. The main purpose of the reference is to highlight the positive traits of the applicant. Always remember that even just a small hint of indifference from your reference can significantly jeopardize your chances of getting hired. In narrowing down your prospects, it might be helpful to remember that job position or titles always come second to the ability or willingness to speak persuasively about your merits.
9.) If a letter of recommendation is needed, give them plenty of time to prepare
Request for a recommendation letter at least five to six weeks before you might actually need it. You must realize that your references lead busy lives and might have a hectic schedule. Having them rush through their letters is the last thing you want. Always ask courteously when they might have the time to draft the letter.
10.) Focus on related projects
Try to remember if you did any particular assignment that is related to the job you are applying for. List it down and make an outline of points to expound on. Enumerate the different responsibilities of the project. Include this list in the guideline questions mentioned earlier and remind your reference to always have this within reach especially in times when the hiring manager would likely call.
11.) Include the most essential details
Don’t forget the essential details like the company name, title, position, department, and the phone number of your reference. It might also be helpful if you can add his/her email address in the page, considering that most of the processes concerning job applications are now done electronically. But before you do these, make sure you’ve asked permission. You can also include a sentence or two, explaining your relation or how you know the person. Check and recheck for any typo or missed information. Ensure that all the details you provided are accurate and up to date.
12.) Show your appreciation
Asking someone to be a reference is a big favor. Let them know that you appreciate the time and effort that they gave. When you make it a point to give your gratitude, they become more inclined to recommend you again in future job openings. It would also be nice to keep them posted on the progress of your application.
Your reference list is just as crucial in securing that job as all the other sections of your resume. Your reference page can make or break your chances of getting hired. Take utmost care in crafting and preparing your references and consider it as 50% of the resume itself.
You feel ecstatic every time you receive your paycheck, but that’s about it. The first few months might have been different because you were all excited about the opportunity you found yourself in, but now you just can’t seem to focus on your work anymore because you find it boring, meaningless, or even frustrating. The only positive thing you seem to like about the whole ordeal is that it helps pay the rent. Well, you have joined countless of workers around the world in the same dilemma of losing the needed drive for their jobs.
Staying motivated at work will definitely be a struggle especially when things don’t go as planned or when circumstances don’t work out the way you imagined it to transpire, like an unrecognized work achievement or an unfriendly work environment. However, you should always have motivators to keep you going. The ensuing recommendations will help you stay motivated for optimal job performance and a fulfilled work life.
1. Love your job.
You will never appreciate the day you spend in the workplace if you do not have the heart for what you are set to do. This is why you should have chosen a job that never subverts or relinquishes your passions. If you absolutely hate what you’re doing and who you are working for, it will not inspire you unless it challenges you.
Sometimes, love for work is slowly cultivated as time goes by. For instance, if you are entering a job that is not in line with your field of expertise, the experience you will earn will help you to gradually learn and even excel. You just have to accept everything as it is but avoid settling for less by doing your very best in everything you are tasked to do. Your efforts will surely pay off.
2. Be kept reminded of your goals.
You need to have a clear-cut understanding of what you need to accomplish. That is the only way that you will know how to approach it through the perfect means. A lot of employees continue with their work without thinking about the purpose of what they’re doing. This constrains them in seeing the overall picture and detaches them from the meaning of their efforts. However, avoid setting unrealistic goals. Extreme targets which you will never meet will make you feel defeated.
3. Set your own standards.
Your employer expects a lot from you, which is understandable because you would not have been hired if you weren’t fit for the job. This fact alone may lead you to stress and anxiety when faced with pressing situations that you may find difficult to handle. You spend sleepless nights on a project but you are unsure whether what you have accomplished is enough already. Sometimes, colleagues may even be your competitors in the work arena, adding up to the tension that you are going through. As hard as you try to stay motivated, you feel inferior and think that your best is still not enough, leading you to indifference and lack of desire for work.
However, there is no other person that you need to surpass except your very own self. Set your own standards for the quality of output that you are responsible for. Aim for topnotch but attainable ones. You will feel a sense of fulfillment whenever you meet them.
4. Have a plan.
A big task will be easier if subdivided into smaller and practical sets of tasks and actions. A plan will come in handy because it helps you keep track of your work progress and keep you on schedule. It will make you focus on your work because you know what you are supposed to do.
Incorporate deadlines to help you in establishing the time frame step by step. Keep it recorded in your memo entries so that you know where to concentrate your time and where to prioritize the placement of your efforts.
5. Reward yourself.
Even if your boss does not recognize the hard work you invested for the success of your endeavor, don’t let that hinder you from congratulating yourself. Accomplishing a task excellently entitles you to self-recognition. Reward yourself by doing what you desire to do such as dining in a fancy restaurant, shopping for a new dress, or treating your friends out for a drink. It will boost your self-esteem and make you invigorated for the next task.
6. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t skip on breakfast because it fuels you for a long and arduous day at work. You need to observe proper meal time no matter how busy you get. Make it a point to eat nutritious meals to gain the energy you require in performing your many tasks. An empty stomach is never a work stimulator.
Moreover, have adequate periods of rest and relaxation. You will not be able to replenish your vigor if you spend your free time without getting adequate sleep. Don’t disregard social functions such as joining parties and stuff but make sure you have just enough time for slumber. Lack of sleep will make you feel disoriented and not set you in the right work mode.
7. Lighten your perspective.
The right approach to stay motivated at work is to be optimistic all the way. Avoid delving on negativities because they will not do anything but bring you down. Think positive! No matter how difficult and stressful situations may get, you need to believe that you can overcome all of them in due time.
8. Have something to look forward to after work.
Whether it is the comfortable recesses of your own home, a movie you yearn to watch, a chapter of a book you are eager to read, or a dinner outside with your loved ones, having something to look forward to after work gives you some sense of motivation. It will effectively enable you to focus on the present task and get it over with. Just make sure that you don’t get all too excited about it that you can’t seem to put your mind at work anymore.
Having the right attitude is the key to staying motivated. Nothing should pull you away from your determination and commitment towards the job you have chosen. It all depends on you.
A resume gap is an extended period (or gap) of time unaccounted for on your resume. And post Great Recession, resume gaps are a common occurrence as many people do actually go years without being gainfully employed. But just because they are a common occurrence does not mean that they can be left unexplained. If you have a gap of one year or more on your resume between jobs, you can be that your potential employer will inquire about it. So if you are on this boat, how do you go about handling your extended period of unemployment? Well the easiest answer is to fill the gap.
Filling in the Gap
Instead of leaving a gap of extended unemployment, fill that gap with things that will increase your market value. You can fill that gap in by doing three things:
Part-time work, freelance work, or internships
Employers like people who like to learn and are go-getters. Taking part-time work, freelancing work, or extra classes shows an employer that you are trying to better yourself and willing to do whatever it takes to get things done and get a competitive edge. It is an admirable trait to continue to improve in the face of adversity (unemployment) and employers will recognize that.
How to Go About Filling the Gap
Above, we talked about the three ways to go about filling the resume gap: part-time, freelance or internship work, volunteering, and extra schooling. Let’s go over how to properly go about filling in your gap with each method:
Part-time Work, Freelance Work, or Internships
Picking up work here and there is important to stay afloat. However, make sure that the part-time work, freelance work, or internship is related in some shape or form. If you are trying to get into the computer engineering industry, part-time work as a waiter at Applebee’s does very little in getting you closer to a career in computer engineering. However, if you did some freelance programming or worked part-time for a game animation firm, that can go a very long way in advancing your career. Whatever you do, be sure to save all your work so you can show it to your potential employers. Also, keep in close touch with your bosses or clients as they will be the ones vouching for you later on down the line.
You may have a little more leeway in volunteering than you do with internships, freelance work, or part-time work. The fact that you are able to do work for free shows your altruistic nature. Employees love people with good hearts.
If you are taking classes, they should ideally be classes that will increase your knowledge in the area of work you are interested in. However, if that’s not the case, that’s okay too; employers like to see employees who strive to improve themselves, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the field. If you are worried about cost, don’t. There are many online courses that are either offered for free or cost less than $100. Many of these courses are offered by world-classes universities too. Check these courses out at sites like Udemy and Coursera.
If there’s one thing pop culture has taught us is that work is boring, and the only thing you can look forward to is the weekend. But if you wake up on Monday morning, already dreaming of Friday, you might end up missing out on both.
Your Job Can Be Fun If You Let It Be Fun
When we were kids, most of us hated doing chores. Partly because they were tiresome, but mostly because we knew we had to do them, and there was no way around it. It might be a good idea to try to take a step back, and look at your job from a different perspective. Try learning new things, or find different approaches to the same task. So, mix things up. You might discover that your job can be fun by finding new ways to do it.
Work Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore
As the old saying goes, finding something you love doing means you won’t have to work a day in your life. This piece of advice may sound witty, but we all know, in reality things rarely work out like that. But it’s equally silly to think that work has to be just a chore. Try looking for a relaxing and interesting job that offers a flexible work schedule, so you can get the most out of your workday without burning out. Or see how you can apply the things you’re passionate about in jobs which might not seem related at the first.
Get Stuff Done Today, So You Don’t Have To Do It Tomorrow
When you spend half of your workday dreaming about not being at work, you might end up neglecting your tasks. You might not even realize it. We might often find ourselves in front of the computer, just daydreaming, until we realize it’s been nearly five minutes, and we haven’t done anything productive. This might end up translating into overtime. Try staying focused on work tasks and boosting your productivity during the week to make the most out of your weekend.
It’s All in Your Head
Stress is probably the number one complaint of modern man. Pressure cannot be avoided. There are plenty of reasons one might feel pressured at the workplace, and this can often lead to stress. But, pressure can also be a powerful motivator, if you allow it to be. If you tend to focus on the negative aspects of your job, thinking that the only thing you can look forward to is the weekend, chances are your job is going to feel more stressful than it has to be.
Negativity Breeds Negativity
Chances are, if you tend to focus a lot on the negative aspects of your job, this negativity is going to come with you at home. It can lead to even more stress outside the workplace, and it can even affect your relationships with others. Avoiding negative thoughts isn’t necessary just to maximize your work potential. It’s necessary in order to stay sane. And if you make a habit of positive thinking, you might end up realizing your job wasn’t an actual problem in first place.
You’re Wasting Time and Potential
You might not have the most rewarding job in the world. Few of us do, but you still have to do it. By constantly trying to figure out how to put in the minimum amount of effort in your tasks, you are actually wasting your time. You can always find out surprising stuff about yourself if you just give it your all, even if it might not seem worth your time. You have no way of knowing what you are capable of if you never go out there and see.
Nothing Is Set In Stone
Jobs can change, workplaces can change, and people can change. If one place doesn’t work out for you, it’s not the end of the world. Figure out what it is you like and dislike about your job. Otherwise, you may not even realize when you’ve found the place that’s right for you. But if you really feel like you need a change, then go for it. Figuring stuff out is more than ok, as long as you’re doing it actively. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to the weekend, making plans, or occasionally drifting off at work. However, focusing exclusively on the end of the week makes you miss out on five more days of fun. Don’t cram your whole life into just two days.
Author Bio Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication. He is now a full-time writer and contributing editor at Blifaloo. Mike is passionate about everything related to personal growth and career-development.
A witty, hilarious joke graduates commonly hear during their ceremonial rite is, “Welcome to the world of depression and unemployment.” Like many other jokes, a percentage of it is based on truth. As a person embarks the tedious process of job seeking, he discovers a wide array of things including questioning oneself why the job was awarded to someone else. If you have been rejected, quit sulking, and start analyzing where you went wrong and what others have done right. Here are the possible points that you can assess yourself with.
1) Your résumé doesn’t match the job for which you applied.
Others may have gotten the job simply because they applied for the role that fits squarely with their degree, certifications, line of experience, and skill set. You must understand that sending 100 resumes to random employers for any open slot will not do the trick. Others get the job at one try, because they have painstakingly gone through all the job vacancies and pruned out the ones they know they do not have a chance at or those they know they will never be good at.
2) You sold yourself short.
Others get hired easily than you because they have sold themselves better than you did using their resume. Once a recruiter scavenges through thousands and thousands of submitted curriculum vitae, they will handpick a few that stand out among others in terms of format, presentability, and content. There are specific qualifications a recruiter has in mind as he goes through each of them; others get the job simply because they have tailored the resume to the specific role they applied for. If you used a “one-size-fits-all” resume, that explains why you didn’t get the job! Others understand that their resume is their bridge to build a relationship with the recruiter and to prove their worth. Take the time to carefully screen through every word you put in and weigh the consequences at every juncture.
3) There are inconsistencies between your claimed qualifications and your actual qualifications.
Others get hired easier because the gap between what they claim they possess and what they actually possess is little to zilch. Recruiters have gone through countless interviews that they easily sense exaggerations, understatements, and blunt lies. Others got hired more than you because they have proven during the actual encounter, that everything they claim they have is everything they bring at hand. That simple gesture of honesty in one’s resume, speaks not only of the qualifications you claim but of integrity at its finest.
4) You failed to leave a good, worth remembering impression during your interview.
True that others may not have as many impressive qualifications like you have, but understand that those who got hired successfully imprinted themselves and what they can do to the recruiter. Your recruiter does not know you. The better question at the end of it is, did you display confidence and assertiveness without having to sound arrogant? Did you display an in-depth character without having to try so hard? Did you display a clear set of goals for yourself and for the company you intend to be part of? Did you physically look like someone who can play the part? Others who got hired may have victoriously met the checklists of the recruiters as well as made sure they walked out of the interview room remembered.
In your next foray into the world of employment seeking, be confident and believe that this time around, you are better than the others because you have prepared.
“Could you repeat the question?” We’re all familiar with that sinking feeling. The interview was going well, you thought every answer was exactly what they wanted to hear and then came the curveball. That tough question that you didn’t prepare for and don’t have an answer to.
Tricky opening questions are a common occurrence in formal interviews. Designed to test your on-the-spot thinking, as well as your research and attention to detail before entering the interview. These questions are sometimes more important than any of the experiences or credentials on your application.
To ensure you ace your next high-stakes application, check out the best way to frame your response to these tough (and common!) job interview questions.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Perhaps the oldest trick in the book, and yet one of the select few questions that even established professionals tend to ignore. Often an opener to your interview, this is not an opportunity to meander through each point of your application – that’s what your resume is for. Take the time to highlight interests and activities that have shaped your personal and professional character. Always emphasise your most recent and relevant work experience. Above all? Remember this is just a warm up, save the best bits for later.
Why should we hire you?
This question isn’t only looking for the skills and attributes you can bring to the table, but also the research you’ve conducted into the company. Illustrate to your interviewer why you are the best-qualified candidate for their business in particular. What are the core values of the company? Identify these pillars and draw parallels to your own knowledge to reflect this.
Why is there a gap in your work history?
Sometimes you lose a job. Sometimes something happens in your family. Other times? Life just gets in the way. Whatever the reason for your absence from the workforce, be prepared to explain it – especially if it’s a significant time gap. See this question as an opportunity, not an accusation. This is a great time to bring up other side projects you’ve worked on in the meantime. A hobby, volunteer work or adult learning experience are strong places to start.
You have minimal experience, why are you a good fit?
A twist on an otherwise standard interview question. If you don’t have the recommended industry experience, or are fresh out of a junior position and looking to step up into a senior role, it’s time to capitalise on what you can offer. Explain your leading qualities and what approach you will take to bridge any skill gaps they can identify. Thinking about becoming a manager? Learn project management online. Want to think outside the box? A creative arts course could teach you a thing or two.
Explain this to a ten-year-old.
Take a complex subject and break it down, simplify the principle and demonstrate your complete understanding – to the point that the idea is no longer difficult, but easy enough for a child to understand. This question won’t appear in any every interview, but is certainly a curveball to look out for. Brush up on your understanding of their business model and the industry language before sitting down for your interview. This will fill any gaps in your knowledge and keep you confident.
Tell me about a time you struggled in leadership. How did you overcome this? Many professionals look back through their employment history and pinpoint exceptional examples of leadership, well worth of a mention at the interview. But what about a time where your leadership wasn’t exceptional? How did you turn the situation around? Answering this question well proves that you can acknowledge human error and endeavour to work flexibly, with an open mind and reflective attitude.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?
Perhaps you started up your own business. Maybe you went travelling solo for a year. Some roles require a higher level of tenacity and resilience, and this question frames the perfect time in your interview to demonstrate your ability to take risks. Grabbing an opportunity is the only way to learn how to pick yourself up after you’ve fallen down. Explain the times when you made a calculated risk, not only to show your determination in the face of failure, but also in finding real success.
Describe a time you didn’t agree.
A tricky question to answer in the moment because there are many times we don’t agree with our coworkers, but that doesn’t always mean we voice or act on this opinion. Remember this question is less about being in the right and more about taking the best approach to resolve a conflict. Did you confront the individual? Was a meeting held? Perhaps you reached a fair compromise or appealed to a higher management – either way, you will need to justify your decision. The resolution will always be more interesting to an interviewer than the original dispute.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas.
Creating the perfect resume for a particular job you want to get can be difficult. It requires knowledge of everything that could be of importance to the job provider or firm, and you’ll need to know how to arrange all the information so it appeals to the interviewer. In most cases, people simply mention things as they remember them, without organising the information. When information is untidy, and the resume looks uninteresting from the start, most interviewers will simply throw away the resume without going through it in detail. Here are 9 steps that you should follow if you want to create a resume that will catch the attention of the interviewer and increase the chances of you getting the job!
1. Take Some Notes
It might be a good idea to check other people’s resume’s in order to get an idea of how a successful resume looks like. Find a good one or check some resume samples and take notes. Write down everything that you notice that seems different and unique. Then, when you are done taking notes, use that information to make your resume shine! Don’t plagiarise; rather, change it up a bit. Make your resume unique and interesting!
2. Nail the Summary
The Summary Section is the part where you summarise everything about you in a few sentences. You shouldn’t go into too much detail here, and you should create it in a way that it’s attractive and exciting to read. Not too informal though because you want to get a job, not make the interviewer laugh. In the end, it’s important that all information (which you will go further into detail with later) is mentioned here.
3. Knock Out an Easy Section First
Choose a section that is the easiest for you to write and finish it first. You’ll feel more motivated and prepared for other sections by doing this. It’s a proven method in which people that write their resumes this way write resumes of higher quality. This also lowers the chances of procrastination because you’ll be more likely to start with an easy section than with a difficult one.
4. Focus on Your Top Skills and Skills
You’ll need to show them everything you’ve got if you want to land a job. You should mention your weaknesses as well but show your strengths and skills with pride! Chances are, one of your strengths or skills will line up perfectly with what the firm (or interviewer) is looking for. Be consistent and focus on everything positive about you. Just don’t brag too much because they won’t like it. It’s enough if you simply write everything and add examples on top of that.
5. Short and Sweet
The shorter and richer a resume are, the higher the chances of you getting hired are. Interviewers don’t like long resumes because they are simply too long. There’s a lot of unnecessary information that is unrelated to the job people are applying for. As long as you mention everything of importance in a short resume, your chances of getting hired increase by a big margin.
6. Highlight your Career Accomplishments
It’s crucial that you mention and highlight your career accomplishments. The firm that you are applying for work at will evaluate your work experience, and if it fits their requirements, you will have a much higher chance of being hired. They will also see how long you spent at each company and what kind of work you did so they won’t have to see everything themselves if you start working with them.
7. Personality Matter
Some companies don’t like certain personality traits. For example – One company might not like someone who is too observative about their environment because they don’t like workers that ask a lot of questions, while other companies might love this because it shows that the worker is trying to understand everything that is happening around them. When it comes to personality, be sure to write everything about yourself that could prove beneficial to the company. It all comes down to luck though so even if everything you mention is positive, you still might not get the job.
8. Include your Education and Get Help
While it’s much more important to list your work history and career accomplishments, it also should be noted that some companies prefer workers that have higher education. Even if it might not be a huge advantage, it’s still an advantage that you can have over other people that are in need of the job you are applying for.
9. Udemy Courses
A lot of people are looking for answers regarding Udemy courses. Udemy courses are a great way of learning something that you are passionate about. You can also get exclusive coupons for Udemy courses. Should you mention these courses in your resume? Short answer: Yes! Long answer: It’s a good thing to mention any Udemy courses that you took because it shows your motivation to learn something you are passionate about. Employers love this, and most of them will be interested in what you mention.
Having a clean and nicely organised resume can go a long way with employers. You should strive to make your resume as perfect as possible, as well as unique. Try to focus on important parts and sections which are most important in getting a job. Good luck!
Andy Bell is an internet marketer , blogger and automation geek. He has reviewed various email automation services and other software’s in his website.
Searching for a job can be a tedious and disheartening undertaking, and having to do it for a long period of time can be even more so. There are plenty of reasons why you may still be looking for a job right now despite submitting numerous applications and going on countless interviews. It could be a case of inadequate preparation for the challenges, a matter of presenting yourself in the wrong light, or a few other causes. Do you want to find out why your job hunt seems to be going nowhere? Then, check out the following reasons:
1) Your resume just doesn’t cut it.
Yes, your resume might be the reason behind the endless job search. To say that recruiters, especially those who work for large companies, get a lot of resumes is a huge understatement. As a result, they tend to skim each application over just a few minutes or so. While they’re doing this, they’ll be on the lookout for certain keywords and entries that will clue them in as to how qualified and “fit” for the position the applicant is. The resume you’ve been using all this time may just be fashioned after a template without the right touches that will jump out of the page and tell the recruiter that you’re absolutely right for the job. So before you continue on your job search, evaluate your resume, and make the necessary tweaks. The next company you submit your resume to may be your next employer.
2) You aren’t at your best during job interviews.
While most people know the value of proper interview attire, in my experience, there are still a few who don’t get it. They show up at the interview dressed as if it were any other day, donning casual T-shirts and even beat-up jeans. Sure, what you wear isn’t everything, but it can certainly help you project an image of professionalism. Your attire is one of the few aspects of the interview that you can totally control, so take advantage of the chance to impress your future employer. Of course, apart from the interview outfit, you should also be totally prepared for the questions the recruiter may throw at you. Think about and rehearse your responses to the most common interview questions way ahead of time. You should always be at your best inside and out for this most crucial step of the job hunt.
3) You may be asking too much or may be overqualified for the job.
Times are hard. You have to accept the possibility that the companies you are applying at may be offering lower than what you’re used to. This isn’t to say that you should completely demolish all your sense of self-worth when it comes to salaries. You just have to adjust your expectations and make them a bit more realistic. Another reason you may still be looking for a job is that you’re overqualified for the posts you’re applying for. Employers usually don’t hire people with tons of experience for an entry-level position; they don’t want to be constantly worrying about whether you’ll stay with the company once a better position in another firm comes up. If you’ve got tons of work experience backing you up and still aren’t able to find a job, then you might want to give consulting or starting your own business a shot.
4) Your job title is rapidly becoming endangered or extinct.
Over the years, a lot of job titles and industries have become irrelevant or have disappeared. Some titles have been rendered redundant by machines, while some have been endangered by the current economic conditions. Regardless of the specific reason, your job title might be responsible for your seemingly endless hunt for a job. It may be time to consider going back to school or picking up a new trade.
5) Your attitude is terrible.
The way you approach the entire process may have something to do with your failure to get a job. You may be feeling too depressed or too indignant over being laid off or fired from your previous post that it’s affecting your current search. You may also be pissing your interviewer with your arrogant responses or generally bad attitude. Pay close attention to how you approach everything and everyone, and apply the necessary changes.
There are many possible reasons why you are still looking for a job. So before you go on further, you should try to determine all the probable causes and do something about them. Your next dream job may be closer than you think.
ResumeOK inspires job seekers with ideas for their resumes. Millions of people have been inspired by our work and have successfully written resumes that got them well paid jobs.