En Route: A Career Blog

ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Thu, 15 Jan 2015 18:24:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Mistakes to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile http://www.resumeedge.com/mistakes-avoid-linkedin-profile/ http://www.resumeedge.com/mistakes-avoid-linkedin-profile/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 14:44:17 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4957 I’ve heard that in 2015 most hires will be found on LinkedIn or via employee referrals. Since LinkedIn is such an important piece in the hiring puzzle, don’t let silly mistakes be the reason you weren’t sought out and hired for your dream job. Profile Photo: I’ll be honest—if someone doesn’t have a profile picture, I...

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I’ve heard that in 2015 most hires will be found on LinkedIn or via employee referrals. Since LinkedIn is such an important piece in the hiring puzzle, don’t let silly mistakes be the reason you weren’t sought out and hired for your dream job.

Profile Photo: I’ll be honest—if someone doesn’t have a profile picture, I wonder why. Too lazy? Too shy? Many recruiters won’t even contact you without a photo, so make sure it’s updated photo professional!

Privacy Settings: If you’re on the hunt for a new position, you probably don’t want the entire world, or your current company, to be aware. Make sure that you have updated your settings, so others won’t see notifications and keep your search quiet.

Quality or Quantity: With LinkedIn, it’s important to have quality connections over quantity. LinkedIn is the place for people to connect so they can further their careers. Before connecting or accepting a connection, you should ask yourself if this person can help you in your search or, in some cases, would it possibly hurt your cause instead. If you’re not sure, do the research and decide if they will benefit your career plans.

Stellar Summary: Don’t skip the summary! Your summary is a brief synopsis of you, and should help you sell yourself and give you the edge over other candidates with similar backgrounds. Be creative and find ways to make others want to hire you!

Keep it up-to-date and add new skills: I hate when I reach out to a candidate to only find out that they haven’t worked at their most recent company listed for years. What that says to me is that you’re lazy and you really don’t care about your career or finding ways to leverage yourself.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: It’s never a good idea to lie on LinkedIn or your resume. The truth will be uncovered and it’s best to be honest from the get-go and not lie your way to an offer. This will only hurt you in the end, so don’t inflate the truth and be proud of what you have “actually” achieved.

Status Updates: Stay consistent on your LinkedIn activities, but don’t go overboard. Staying active will help in your relationship building and growing strong connections.

These are a few of the important mistakes you should avoid; by no means is this list all-encompassing. Stayed tuned for my next blog, where I discuss additional best practices. In the meantime, make sure that you’re not guilty of any of the above.

 

 

 

 

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How to Write Ridiculously Persuasive Cover Letters http://www.resumeedge.com/write-ridiculously-persuasive-cover-letters/ http://www.resumeedge.com/write-ridiculously-persuasive-cover-letters/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 23:57:30 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4952 A cover letter should tell a story in which the candidate is presented as an impact player—that is, someone a hiring manager wants to have on their team. Effective resumes and cover letters are most persuasive when they paint a clear picture of the candidate’s accomplishments and successes. Berkley Law tells its students and alumni...

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A cover letter should tell a story in which the candidate is presented as an impact player—that is, someone a hiring manager wants to have on their team.

Effective resumes and cover letters are most persuasive when they paint a clear picture of the candidate’s accomplishments and successes.

Berkley Law tells its students and alumni that a “cover letter is as important as your resume because it is often read first and plays a vital role in your quest for an interview.”

A cover letter that only focuses on the duties and responsibilities that an individual has had rarely wins interviews. Princeton University counsels its students that “a well-written cover letter introduces your resume and directs your reader’s attention to specific areas of your background.”

A cover letter with two or three carefully worded examples of when the candidate has excelled, backed up with qualitative or quantitative information, is often all that is needed for a corporate recruiter or headhunter to take a closer look at a candidate’s resume.

Many candidates struggle to figure out what examples of earlier career accomplishments to include.

A 2009 article on Examiner.com reported on a Microsoft corporate careers blog post that provided advice that remains highly relevant and helps point the way. The way to write a great cover letter is to communicate MSA “Made, Saved and Achieved” history, which is defined as “Made the company money, sales, etc.; Saved the company money, time, etc.” and “Achieved (awards, recognition, etc.) personally”

One strategic way to include MSAs in a cover letter is to have one bullet point for a Made statement, one for a Saved statement and one for an Achieved statement. Meaning one example in each area and to keep each statement to no longer than two lines. The MSA section should come in between the introductory paragraph and the closing paragraph and should be the bulk of the cover letter. Long introductions and long conclusions are not a good idea.

Some final tips:

Berkley Law suggests that proofing is vital and explains that cover letters “should be clear, brief, and written in a business letter style, without any typographical errors.”

Examiner.com further recommends that job seekers “review your resume…Are you just listing “stuff” you did? Or, are you incorporating specifics that entice an employer to want to know more about you?”

Harvard Law encourages candidates to“go into detail about your background and skills instead of reiterating what is already on your resume (and), do not begin every sentence with “I (verb).”

 

 

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Clues the interview didn’t go as planned http://www.resumeedge.com/five-clues-interview-didnt-go-planned/ http://www.resumeedge.com/five-clues-interview-didnt-go-planned/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:44:59 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4944 You just left the interview and you’re getting the sense that it didn’t go as well as you thought. If you’re feeling that way, it’s probably a good sign that it might not have. Here are some clues that you didn’t land the next interview. Time is cut short: The recruiter said to plan on...

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You just left the interview and you’re getting the sense that it didn’t go as well as you thought. If you’re feeling that way, it’s probably a good sign that it might not have. Here are some clues that you didn’t land the next interview.

Time is cut short: The recruiter said to plan on being there for at least an hour and you’re leaving the office after 30 minutes. This is a big clue that the interviewer felt that you weren’t the right fit, which typically they can sense after just a few questions.

Next Steps: When you asked about next steps in the process, they were vague and didn’t really have an answer. This is a good indication that they know they aren’t moving forward with you and didn’t want to let you know you’re receiving a rejection letter.

Questions: When they asked if you had any questions and you responded “no” they will feel that you’re just not into the role and you might as well scratch this job off the list.

What you can offer: You spent the interview talking about what you wanted from the company and not what you can offer them. You want to sell your skills and make them picture you in the organization and not just spend a lot of time asking what they can do for you or all the vacation time you need. Yes, it needs to be a fit for both of you, but you need to make them see what you can accomplish and how you will be an asset if hired.

Research: Do your research! I don’t know how many times I have rejected a candidate because they hadn’t done the research. You should know about the company and why you’re interested in working for them. This should also be a selling point as to why you are a fit based off of the research you have done.

These are just a few clues that you might want to replay the interview in your mind. I’m not saying that in fact you won’t hear back, but there’s a good chance you won’t. Plan to keep applying and make sure you’re better prepared for the next one.

 

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Tips to Write a Student Resume http://www.resumeedge.com/tips-write-student-resume/ http://www.resumeedge.com/tips-write-student-resume/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:10:15 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4941 Whether you are embarking on your first semester in college or preparing for graduation, now is the time to think about crafting a well-written resume. Like those with strong work histories, students should also focus on the skills and abilities they bring to a potential employer—including their accomplishments. Students might look at different accomplishments than...

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Whether you are embarking on your first semester in college or preparing for graduation, now is the time to think about crafting a well-written resume.

Like those with strong work histories, students should also focus on the skills and abilities they bring to a potential employer—including their accomplishments. Students might look at different accomplishments than those who have saved their company a certain amount of money or those who have increased revenue, but they will demonstrate how well someone can perform a particular task.

Students should exploit opportunities to be active outside of the classroom in pursuits that support their career goals. For students employed, whether as an intern or as a server in a local restaurant, they should still treat each day as an opportunity to improve team work skills, leadership capabilities, and project management talents. Whenever possible, students should ask for more responsibility or special projects.

Likewise, students who volunteer in any capacity should look for opportunities to lead projects, to tackle problems even if they appear to be small, and to be a productive team member. Non-paid experience can be just as valuable as paid experiences; the key is to make the most of the task at hand.

It is wise to make notes about significant projects, leadership experiences, and unique challenges faced from time to time. These notes can be the foundation of a resume by providing information on situations, challenges, projects, and tasks; the actions taken to complete the projects or overcome problems; and the results of those actions.

Remember that a resume is not a stagnant document and it should be updated as you move through your academic career. If you need help to develop a winning resume, contact a Certified Professional resume Writer.

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Hiring Trends for the New Year http://www.resumeedge.com/hiring-trends-new-year/ http://www.resumeedge.com/hiring-trends-new-year/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:56:13 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4924 With the end of the year fast approaching, you might be wondering what hiring trends we can expect in 2015. I met with some local recruiters to find out what they think will be the top five trends to get hired next year. Referrals: In 2014, this remained the top way recruiters found qualified candidates....

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With the end of the year fast approaching, you might be wondering what hiring trends we can expect in 2015. I met with some local recruiters to find out what they think will be the top five trends to get hired next year.
Referrals: In 2014, this remained the top way recruiters found qualified candidates. When an employee refers a candidate, they typically send over someone who is qualified for the position as they feel the referral is a direct reflection on them and want them to be successful. I recently read that in 2014, over 63% of new hires were referrals, so networking continues to be hugely important.

LinkedIn: In 2015, LinkedIn will continue to play a crucial role in hiring. It’s more important than ever to have a LinkedIn profile, as many employers say if the candidate doesn’t have a social presence they will be overlooked. Make sure you have a profile and that it is up to date!

Unposted Positions: As a recruiter, there are many times jobs go unposted as we do a lot of “candidate hunting.” Recruiters search for candidates by way of social media, networking, or referrals, and a job is actually not posted until the candidate has already been identified and hired. We’ll see a big increase of this next year.

Keywords: Keywords have been an important part of the process for a while now, due to recruiters using applicant tracking systems, scanning resumes, or viewing LinkedIn profiles. Make sure you include all of your skills and embed keywords in your social media profiles so employers are able to track you down. When applying to a position make sure you have used keywords from the actual job posting within your resume as well.

More Mobile: We will see a huge increase in mobile recruitment in 2015. This will be more of a trend for the candidate, as many employers have optimized their job sites making it easier for the candidates to apply via smartphone or tablet.

As you can see it will be very important to have a social media presence and network like crazy! And make sure you’re matching keywords to catch the eye of a recruiter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Strategies for Winning at Video Job Interviews http://www.resumeedge.com/strategies-winning-video-job-interviews/ http://www.resumeedge.com/strategies-winning-video-job-interviews/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 14:59:07 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4919 It’s hard to argue that any two actors portrayed the potential awkwardness of video interviews than Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in their 2013 hit comedy movie The Internship. Whether you get invited to an online, video, Skype, virtual, or web interview, they all amount to the same thing. If you haven’t been asked yet...

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It’s hard to argue that any two actors portrayed the potential awkwardness of video interviews than Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in their 2013 hit comedy movie The Internship. Whether you get invited to an online, video, Skype, virtual, or web interview, they all amount to the same thing. If you haven’t been asked yet to interview online chances are that you will be soon. One survey found that 48% of 477 top companies utilize online interviews. A 2013 survey “found that 18 percent of candidates have had a video interview in the past year, more than double from only a year prior.”

The Basics

The strategy for a video interview is very similar to what ResumeEdge recommends for phone interviewing.

  • -Schedule the interview for a quiet time and place.
  • -Have the right resume at hand.
  • -Dress right, like you would for an in person interview, and put yourself in the best setting.
  • -Prepare your notes.
  • -Research the company.
  • -Know your calendar in case the interviewer wants to schedule a follow-up.
  • -Plan your closing.

Video Interview Guidelines

Here is some specific advice and guidelines for how to prepare for and have success with online interviewing:

  • Download Skype and practice with it several times with different friends or colleagues. Make sure you ask them how the sound is and if the background behind you is clean and neat.
  • Purchase a microphone. Make sure you have a strong and dependable online connection.
  • Some experts recommend using a home office or dining room rather than a bedroom. Do not sit with a window behind you because it will affect the lighting.Double check for background noise, mobile and land line phone settings and other distractions before the interview.
  • Look at the camera rather than the computer monitor and lean forward in order to show your interest.
  • Brush your teeth. A reminder for women: Double check your make-up and how it looks on an online camera.

A Final Tip

As with an in-person interview, remember that you can put your best foot forward by being prompt: be on your computer and logged on several minutes before the scheduled interview time.

And if you haven’t watched the interview scene with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson from The Internship, go ahead and look for it online; you’ll get a good laugh. And who doesn’t need a good laugh?

 

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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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