En Route: A Career Blog

ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:47:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Grow Your Social Media Presence http://www.resumeedge.com/9-seeds-grow-social-media-presence/ http://www.resumeedge.com/9-seeds-grow-social-media-presence/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:47:08 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4911 Your social media presence can help you connect and land a new position, and also help you grow your business. How do you get a great social media presence? Here are the top 9 ways.   Share: Share and repost contents from other people’s social media pages, making sure to tag them. You can also...

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Your social media presence can help you connect and land a new position, and also help you grow your business. How do you get a great social media presence? Here are the top 9 ways.

 

  1. Share: Share and repost contents from other people’s social media pages, making sure to tag them. You can also comment and engage with them.

 

  1. Share Your Profiles: Share your social media handles with everyone you meet. This helps grow your network and spreads your information to a larger audience.

 

  1. Post Often and Regularly: Posting on a regular basis ensures that your posts are being seen by your connections. Between the amount of people others follow and complicated algorithms that dictate content – not every post is seen.

 

  1. Use Hashtags: Using hashtags on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter will help make you a part of the conversation, and help others find your content.

 

  1. Keep It Current: If you have switched companies or even roles at your current organization, keep your information up to date. People may use it for a job connection, or recruiters could use it to search for you.

 

  1. Track and Measure: Track the time of day you post and measure that against engagement, so that you can ensure you’re posting at optimal times.

 

  1. Ask Questions: Asking questions engages your audience Examples include “What do you think the #1 trend in hiring will be in 2015?” or “Do you spend more time on your Facebook or Twitter and why?”

 

  1. Have A Goal: Make sure you have an end goal that you’re trying to achieve. Make a plan and know who you need to connect with to make it happen, along with the content that will net the best results.

 

  1. Link Your Profiles: Link your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to your website, so people can easily find more information about you.

 

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The Importance of a Good LinkedIn Profile http://www.resumeedge.com/importance-good-linkedin-profile/ http://www.resumeedge.com/importance-good-linkedin-profile/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:14:37 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4905 Would you network with incomplete business cards or share a resume with little to no information? No, probably not. Similarly, it is vital to create a good LinkedIn profile that includes pertinent information and demonstrates your ability to market your skills! There are over 332 million registered members in over 200 countries and professionals are...

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Would you network with incomplete business cards or share a resume with little to no information? No, probably not. Similarly, it is vital to create a good LinkedIn profile that includes pertinent information and demonstrates your ability to market your skills! There are over 332 million registered members in over 200 countries and professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two members per second.

How does your LinkedIn profile strength compare amongst the crowd? LinkedIn provides several powerful tools to help you analyze the impact of your profile. There are several features in the ‘profile view settings’ that will help you understand just how good your profile may be. LinkedIn also suggests ways to generate more views, stand out from the crowd, and increase your connections by enhancing various aspects of your profile.

A good LinkedIn profile is just another aspect of developing strong job search materials and can be compared to perfecting your resume or cover letter. Most recruiters can’t perform an online Google search for your resume or cover letter. Those documents typically remain private on your desktop until you choose to share them. Your LinkedIn profile, however, is out there on the Internet for all 332 million users to see! This ease of access to information makes it all the more important to have a good profile. In some cases, it may be a recruiter’s first impression of you. It is not uncommon for recruiters to look up your virtual presence during the interview process. As a job-seeker, you want to utilize LinkedIn to its fullest during your job search and ensure you are creating the best possible first impression.

Go above and beyond with your profile. Create a stellar summary that explains who you are, yet brings a touch of personalization or creativity to tell your story. LinkedIn Insights provides some stunningly good examples of profile summaries. Aside from having a strong summary, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to share information you weren’t sure if you should include or didn’t have space for on your resume. Consider including additional categories such as volunteering/causes, projects, or courses which you might otherwise omit from your resume. Recruiters still value this information and it helps to show a different side of you as a professional and person.

At the end of the day, your profile is just one among the 332 million and is out there for the world to see—so make sure it stands out because you never know who will stumble upon it!

 

 

 

 

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The Strong Interest Inventory http://www.resumeedge.com/strong-interest-inventory/ http://www.resumeedge.com/strong-interest-inventory/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:45:11 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4895 It’s extremely important to find out what makes you tick and to know your strengths and weaknesses. This will not only help you during interviews but also guide you in the right career direction. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is typically the assessment you take in college or high school, but what is the Strong Interest Inventory®...

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It’s extremely important to find out what makes you tick and to know your strengths and weaknesses. This will not only help you during interviews but also guide you in the right career direction. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is typically the assessment you take in college or high school, but what is the Strong Interest Inventory® (SII)?

What is the SSI? The SSI is a self-reported questionnaire which measures your interests in a range of various occupations, educational subjects, leisure activities and the type of work you enjoy. The SSI was designed to help guide people to make education and career plans.

What are the benefits?

  • Help guide your career by understanding your interests.
  • Become aware of work environments that you would enjoy and thrive in.
  • Make better choices for education and training.
  • Understand your leadership preferences (i.e., Can you manage a team? Do you prefer to work in a group or on your own?)

What makes the SSI popular? The SSI’s results help you determine a career path, link your interests to career paths, and help you determine hobbies you might enjoy.

Tips for taking the SSI: Remember that there aren’t wrong or right answers; choose your answer in terms of how much you like or dislike that activity. You don’t want to analyze anything, but instead just go with your first thought. You’re not testing what you’re able to do, but instead what your interests are.

What to keep in mind: The results should be read by a counselor who can determine your scores. You must remember this assessment isn’t telling you what job you should do, but instead is able to identify patterns in your likes and dislikes and show how the patterns compare with people in a variety of occupations. This measures your interests, not your abilities, so don’t assume just because it said you will like this that you 100% able to do it.

For more information on the SSI and to understand the theories behind it visit https://www.cpp.com/products/strong/index.aspx.

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Making Your Degree Pay http://www.resumeedge.com/making-degree-pay/ http://www.resumeedge.com/making-degree-pay/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:46:50 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4882 Finally. You have your degree. You are ready to go to work. There is only one thing stopping you—lack of experience. How can you develop a high payoff resume and target the job you want with limited to zero work experience? Remember this key point: experience does not have to be paid experience. To make...

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Finally. You have your degree. You are ready to go to work. There is only one thing stopping you—lack of experience. How can you develop a high payoff resume and target the job you want with limited to zero work experience?

Remember this key point: experience does not have to be paid experience. To make the strongest impression on the hiring manager, however, your experience must be relevant.

Ask yourself the following questions—have you:

– Chaired or co-chaired any committees in organizations related to your career path?

– Performed any community service work or volunteer work in areas related to your future profession?

– Delivered presentations to peers or helped with a special event within your chosen area of study?

– Entered or placed in any contests relative to your degree program?

– Participated in student chapters of professional organizations directly involved in your career field?

If you are an accounting major seeking a position at a public accounting firm, and held the role of Treasurer for your Sorority, then that is relevant experience. You will want to include this experience on your resume. If you collaborated on a classroom Forensic and Investigative Accounting project to showcase your group’s knowledge of cyber-crime, then that is experience. You will want to include this experience on your resume.

List these roles just like you would any other actual job, including the titles and dates. To eliminate potential misunderstanding, you will want to use factual, performance-based titles. Example:

Acme University, Accounting Department

Project Lead (Graduate Student), 3/2014 to 9/2014.

You will also want to change the typical Professional Experience heading to Related Experience or something similar since you have not actually held a professional role. Even with non-paid roles, you will want to include accomplishments along with a general description of your responsibilities.

LinkedIn enables you to give greater details on your academic experience, which you can certainly use to your benefit as you describe the coursework and academic achievements you accomplished while earning your degree. This also enables you to drop in additional keywords and phrases, which may prove beneficial in your job search.

As you progress in your career and gain paid, professional experience, you will want to remove these volunteer and/or student roles from your resume. This strategy is primarily to bridge the gap between your academic life and your first real-world work experience. After that, you are off and running—ready to enjoy the payoff from your hard-earned degree.

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Tory Johnson on Success, Motherhood, and Creating Your Dream Job http://www.resumeedge.com/tory-johnson-success-motherhood-creating-dream-job/ http://www.resumeedge.com/tory-johnson-success-motherhood-creating-dream-job/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:39:17 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4878 Tory Johnson helps women make great things happen. She is the founder and CEO of Women For Hire, a weekly contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America, and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Shift. As the founder of two multi-million dollar career-focused businesses—Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle—Tory Johnson serves...

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Tory Johnson helps women make great things happen. She is the founder and CEO of Women For Hire, a weekly contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America, and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Shift.

As the founder of two multi-million dollar career-focused businesses—Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle—Tory Johnson serves as an inspiration to women all over the world. It’s almost hard to believe that she was inspired to begin her entrepreneurial journey following a painful firing. Today, Tory makes regular appearances on Good Morning America, she’s a contributing editor for Success magazine, and her recently released book The Shift is a New York Times bestseller. Tory recently took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to chat about her career path and how she created her own dream job.

Michelle: From your time in the corporate world, you certainly know what it’s like to be comfortable in your career rather than being fulfilled. How do you motivate people in that situation to take a brave step toward a career that they are in love with? How do you inspire women to have it all?

Tory: I had golden handcuffs. I was making a lot of money and I hated what I was doing. That’s a classic challenge that too many people face. I realized I was too young to be stuck in something that wasn’t right. I was willing to make a short-term sacrifice for long-term satisfaction. I didn’t wait until I had money saved up, because I knew that day would never come. Instead I simply took the plunge and bet on myself. I had three months to make my own business work or I’d have to go back and get another job, which was enough motivation to just figure it out. Only you know when the timing is right. But waiting to dot every i and cross every t usually means the delays will linger forever.

Michelle: When looking for a job in a new industry, where do you feel it’s most important to invest your time and effort — on who you know, or what you know?

Tory: In job searching, who you know will always be the easier path to get in front of decision makers, but what you know is why you’ll ultimately be hired. It’s the perfect combo of both that you want. Don’t assume that if you have no connections that you’re doomed, and similarly, don’t assume that if you’re lacking a key skill that your chances are shot. Use what you have — whatever it is… contacts and credentials — to get what you want.

Michelle: I’d love another perspective on a topic I recently wrote about. What are your thoughts on determining your worth? Do you think women tend to undervalue their economic worth? How do you know when you should move on from your job to be appreciated?

Tory: Don’t confuse being “appreciated” for being paid what you’re worth. Some people look for validation, pats on the back, lots of kudos and applause. Others just want a big paycheck and couldn’t care less about compliments. Define what matters most to you — we want to be compensated fairly AND appreciated… but they don’t always go hand in hand. Ask people directly what they make. Ask your HR department or your manager where you’re paid on the scale for your position. Use online salary calculators. Sometimes longevity is held against you. You need to get a competitive offer or jump around in order to get a big increase in pay. We’re usually underpaid when we don’t deliver enough value to our employer or when we don’t speak up to tout our worth.  

Michelle: From being unexpectedly fired from your PR job to starting a business as a young mother of twins, you’ve overcome obstacles in your career. How were you able to remain positive and achieve your goals when others may have settled for an unfulfilling career?

Tory: I don’t waste too much time wallowing in my tears! Nobody cares… there’s too much to do. I’m the primary breadwinner in my family, by choice, so being negative isn’t an option. A negative mind will never ever lead to a positive career. Too many people count on me that being down or holding grudges simply doesn’t work. It’s really that simple.

Michelle: From your own experience, do you have any advice for working mothers trying to advance their careers and raise their children? Do you think there is a trick to finding a balance?

Tory: I’m no expert on balance. What works for me is being present wherever I am with whatever I’m doing. At dinner, that means talking to my family, not being glued to devices about work. In meetings, that means being focused on the topic in the room, not day dreaming about what I must do next or what I forgot to do earlier. It takes effort to be mindful and to be very present and give your all wherever you are. But it’s what has served me best. Also recognize that sometimes there are sacrifices. If you’re going to miss a school play because of a work commitment, ask to attend the dress rehearsals. There are tradeoffs.  Guilt is useless, so keep it at bay.

Michelle: What aspects of leadership do you think are different depending on gender? Is there a difference?

Tory: Women tend to be more nurturing and caring… less black and white. Men are less emotional and more black and white. But it’s all so stereotypical. I hate identifying people with generalities based on gender. Be the very best you — even if that requires extra work.

 

 

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Why Downplay Your Resume? http://www.resumeedge.com/downplay-resume/ http://www.resumeedge.com/downplay-resume/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:10:50 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4874 While some job seekers venture into the process like a seasoned diver—head first and ready to plunge right in—others prefer to take a more cautious approach and test the waters first. Some individuals know that they must begin circulating their resume either in paper form, electronic form, or through social media, but they want to...

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While some job seekers venture into the process like a seasoned diver—head first and ready to plunge right in—others prefer to take a more cautious approach and test the waters first. Some individuals know that they must begin circulating their resume either in paper form, electronic form, or through social media, but they want to just skim the surface without making a big splash. Perhaps they think that downplaying their resume is a good way to start. However, this approach is not going to lead them to their perfect job.

If your resume is the most commonly accepted marketing tool to present your skills and qualifications, why would you wish to reduce its importance and potential value? While your resume is not the only tool available for job seekers, it is still the primary method that employers use to screen and assess candidates for interviews. In the June 2014 issue of Forbes, contributor Elena Bajic explains the importance of the resume from her perspective as a recruiter. She says that resumes “remain the one tool that enables employers to quickly compare and contrast multiple candidates and zero in on prime ones, especially when it comes to business positions.”

For those who feel it is important to be cautious early in the job search process, preparation is an important first step. Take the time to compile, examine, and evaluate your work experience in terms of what you bring to a potential employer.

Equally important is presenting your accomplishments with quantified information. While focusing on job responsibilities is a good start, quantified accomplishments will set you apart from other applicants. If you have not considered how to communicate your accomplishments, take the time to write out short examples of projects on which you have worked or problems you resolved. Next, detail the actions you took to complete the projects or overcome the problem. Then, write down what happened as a result of your actions. Finally, use numbers, dollar amounts, or percentages to demonstrate the impact of your work.

The bottom line is that downplaying your resume—actively reducing the importance of the document that illustrates your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments—also downplays YOUR importance to a potential employer.

If you need more help, contact ResumeEdge to guide you through the resume writing process.

 

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Secrets to Writing a Great Cover Letter http://www.resumeedge.com/secrets-writing-great-cover-letter/ http://www.resumeedge.com/secrets-writing-great-cover-letter/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:21:09 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4858 The cover letter is a huge part of the interview process and every resume should have one. The cover letter is like the wrapping paper on a gift, and let’s be honest, we always open the best looking gift first. Here are some tips to help you create a winning cover letter and make the...

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The cover letter is a huge part of the interview process and every resume should have one. The cover letter is like the wrapping paper on a gift, and let’s be honest, we always open the best looking gift first. Here are some tips to help you create a winning cover letter and make the reader want to know more.

Show them you’ve done your research: Tell them about the interesting facts you’ve learned and what really impressed you about the company.

Company values: Address how your values align with the company’s.

It’s not a resume: A cover letter isn’t a resume, so it shouldn’t say the same thing. The cover letter is the piece in which you sell yourself, making the manager want to read about your qualifications and skills.

Don’t oversell yourself: While the cover letter is a time to sell yourself, you also shouldn’t come off too cocky or too sure of yourself, as this can give a very bad impression.

Why you’re a benefit: Talk about the benefits you’ll bring to the organization as well as what you could achieve for them. They want to picture what you’re able to accomplish for them, and not what they can do for you.

Job posting: List specific credentials that match those in the job posting, so when your cover letter or resume is being scanned the keywords will catch their eye.

Keep it short: Your cover letter should only be around 3-4 paragraphs to get the point across. Anything more and you might lose the reader.

Proofread: Make sure you check your spelling and grammar for any errors.

The cover letter is the time to sell yourself and makes the reader want to know more. There are professional writers who can assist you with this and make sure to showcase your talents and help move you to the next step in the process.

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Six Resume Strategies Baby Boomers Need http://www.resumeedge.com/six-resume-strategies-baby-boomers-need/ http://www.resumeedge.com/six-resume-strategies-baby-boomers-need/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:57:46 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4856 Baby boomers stand out from other candidates because of the many common misconceptions recruiters and hiring managers often hold about them. They think boomers may command higher salaries, be overqualified, or be too old to interact well with younger colleagues. This may be true of some candidates but not for everyone. Baby boomers can benefit...

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Baby boomers stand out from other candidates because of the many common misconceptions recruiters and hiring managers often hold about them. They think boomers may command higher salaries, be overqualified, or be too old to interact well with younger colleagues. This may be true of some candidates but not for everyone.

Baby boomers can benefit from utilizing resume strategies and job hunting techniques that are specific to their situation. This means not just using a different style of resume from what they used earlier in their career but also different tactics.

  1. If you’re not applying for a management position, avoid spending too much time in your resume focusing on manager-level accomplishments and achievements.
  2. Use an “executive summary,” a “professional profile,” or an “executive profile” rather than an objective. An advantage of a profile is that it allows the job seeker to frame who they are. For example: “Successful sales manager with an MBA and a decade of outside sales experience…”
  3. Be careful not to list previous employers or colleges by their former names if they now have new names or if they were acquired. For example, both Bell Atlantic and GTE should now be listed as Verizon Communications.
  4. If older jobs are irrelevant to positions you’re applying for now, don’t include them at all. Stick to roles in your recent past that indicate talent and competence for the jobs you’re applying for today. If roles that were early in your career may specifically help you with landing an interview consider listing them with a short sentence in your summary. For example: “Early work history includes sales engineer experience with Lockheed Martin.”
  5. Wherever possible avoid dates that reveal age. Leave off your college graduation and/or military service dates. If trainings, certificates or licenses, etc. are more than a dozen years old, leave off the dates when you list them. Consider not listing a home phone number and just listing a mobile number and an email address. If you have an email address at aol.com or hotmail.com email, switch. Get yourself a professional email account using your first and last names on Gmail instead of something like kevinandkathy@aol.com.
  6. A concise and well-formatted resume can make you look years younger. For example: instead of multiple sentences under for each bullet point, try to use one line statement as often as you can and never use more than two lines.

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The Importance of Body Language During an Interview http://www.resumeedge.com/importance-body-language-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/importance-body-language-interview/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:18:37 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4848 I’ve talked to so many recruiters lately and they all share a common concern when it comes to candidates: they say many candidates lack good body language during the interview. Body language can send the wrong message, so don’t let this be the reason you’re not getting the job. Here are some tips to make...

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I’ve talked to so many recruiters lately and they all share a common concern when it comes to candidates: they say many candidates lack good body language during the interview. Body language can send the wrong message, so don’t let this be the reason you’re not getting the job. Here are some tips to make sure you’re projecting your best self:

Eye contact- Maintain good eye contact. Don’t let your eyes go astray and begin to wander. This makes it appear as if you’re not engaged in the conversation.

Good Posture-The best way to sit during an interview is neutral—sit tall and keep your spine straight.. Don’t lean, slouch or lean forward, as you will appear lazy.

Don’t cross those arms-Not only does this give the idea that you’re on the defense, but this makes it appear that the candidate has low power.

Try to calm your nerves-Interviews can rattle anyone’s nerves, but don’t let this come through in the interview. I’ve seen candidates bite their nails, click their pen, or even fiddle with their pants. All of these things become a distraction and can really irritate the interviewer.

Eye shifting-When asked a question, make eye contact with the interviewer. Studies show that those with shifting eyes are typically not telling the truth. You obviously want to come off as an honest candidate–who wants to hire a liar?

Avoid playing the “cross your legs game”- Nothing is more distracting then a candidate who keeps crossing and uncrossing their legs. It gives the appearance that you either need to use the restroom, or that you’re so uncomfortable that the interviewer wants to rush you through.

Enthusiasm- Smile and remain energetic, but try not to nod the interviewer to death; you’re not a bobble head doll, so don’t act like one.

Communicate with your mouth- A lot of people talk with their hands (and believe me, I often times look like I’m going to take flight with my hands). Do the best you can to avoid doing this and keep your hands placed in your lap.

It’s so very important to be aware of how you present non-verbally, and I suggest role playing and recording yourself, so you can figure out what needs improvement. Make sure to practice a good handshake as well and get feedback from others. Your first impression is a lasting impression, so make it a good one!

 

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An Insider Guide to Resume Writing- 5 Success Secrets http://www.resumeedge.com/insider-guide-resume-writing-5-success-secrets/ http://www.resumeedge.com/insider-guide-resume-writing-5-success-secrets/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:45:26 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4840 The accepted resume format that job seekers have been told to use for decades actually does very little to help most candidates. This old school format that is familiar to most job seekers looks like this: 1. Contact Information 2 .Objective 3. Work history 4. Education Professional affiliations or other information. What many candidates don’t...

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The accepted resume format that job seekers have been told to use for decades actually does very little to help most candidates.

This old school format that is familiar to most job seekers looks like this:

1. Contact Information

2 .Objective

3. Work history

4. Education Professional affiliations or other information.

What many candidates don’t realize is that this old school format doesn’t just make hiring managers and recruiters yawn; it also fails to convey the important information that companies really look for.

Here are five tips to optimizing your resume for today’s challenging job market:

1) Include a Header

Use the space under your contact information for a header. This is the billboard space on the resume and is a candidate’s best opportunity to brand themselves. The header is where you label yourself as a “Retail Manager” and below you can add a few key phrases. The hiring manager reads this part first and it effects how they see the rest of the resume. A “Retail Manager” may want to add phrases like “Big Box Electronics” or “Multi-Store Management” under their main header as subheadings.

2) Use a Summary, Not an Objective Statement

Objective statements are a thing of the past. One recruiter reveals that “putting an objective on your resume will do more damage than good as it immediately does one of two things in the eyes of a recruiter such as myself: It either: a) makes us mad or b) puts us to sleep.” Use a summary section instead to highlight the items in your background that make you a candidate they should hire. Make sure to consider what your LinkedIn profile says about you and that it matches up against your resume.

3) Avoid Symbols & Graphics

Applicant tracking systems (that human resources departments and staffing/recruiting firms utilize) often do not know how to read and process symbols and graphics. Avoid them. Applicant tracking systems are another reason to use a header and subheadings.

4) Don’t Over-share

As a general rule, there is no need to go back more than 10 years in your work history unless that would leave out something of key importance, and, in that case, an alternative format (such as a functional resume) might be a better choice. IT candidates and consultants are among the categories of job seekers that may want to consider a functional resume format.

5) Pick the Right Resume Format

Although a reverse chronological format gives little opportunity to make a case for your candidacy it is what most readers of resumes will expect to see. A way to improve on the format is to add a summary section and a bulleted list of key competencies or specialties. The reverse chronological format is most effective for job seekers with stable work histories. The format can be very effective in highlighting impressive recent employers and /or job titles.

Candidates with employment history gaps or who have had too many positions that do not demonstrate consistent growth in a given field may also want to consider a hybrid format or a functional resume format.

A Last Word

A resume works best when it paints a picture of accomplishments and successes rather than details the duties and responsibilities a candidate has had. If a resume tells a story in which the candidate is presented as an impact player than it is a successful resume that will win interviews.

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