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ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:46:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 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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How to Handle Job Interview Rejection http://www.resumeedge.com/handle-job-interview-rejection/ http://www.resumeedge.com/handle-job-interview-rejection/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:40:01 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4829 The worst part of the job search is obviously the rejection. Nothing hurts more than investing your time and energy into a interview and feeling really positive about it, only to receive the dreaded rejection letter or maybe you don’t hear anything at all.  How do you overcome this? Here are some tips to help you...

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The worst part of the job search is obviously the rejection. Nothing hurts more than investing your time and energy into a interview and feeling really positive about it, only to receive the dreaded rejection letter or maybe you don’t hear anything at all.  How do you overcome this? Here are some tips to help you make it through the worst part of the interview process.

Keep applying: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Just because you think you have found the right fit and you are 100% positive that you will get the job offer, nothing hurts worse than being rejected and not having any other options to fall back on. Even if you receive an offer, you can always keep interviewing and make sure you have weighed all your options.

Don’t give up: It’s so important to keep going and never give up! I see people begin to feel like they have no worth. They don’t understand why they keep getting rejected, as they have appeared more qualified than the people who won the job. If that’s the case, it might be time to meet with an interview coach and make sure that’s not the reason you’re missing out. Remain positive and know that you’re opportunity will come.

Remain active: The best thing you can do is remain active by working out and eating healthy. If you start giving up hope on the job search, you can start giving up hope on other aspects of your life, too. Try walking or running to keep yourself motivated. I don’t know about you, but if I’m feeling down on my luck and I take a walk on a gorgeous day and listen to a little Katy Perry (Roar) I feel like I can conquer the world!

The key is to never give up hope, remain positive and take all of the rejection letters and fuel that into your fire and win the job. Your time will come and you will get the offer; just don’t give up and network, network—it’s so very important!

 

 

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Five Resume Tips for Baby Boomers http://www.resumeedge.com/five-resume-tips-baby-boomers/ http://www.resumeedge.com/five-resume-tips-baby-boomers/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 16:18:49 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4822 The job market has changed, and there are a few special strategies that might help baby boomers in this new market. The youngest of the 78 million baby boomers are now over 50 years old. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many millions more will continue to work for decades. Preconceptions about boomers’...

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The job market has changed, and there are a few special strategies that might help baby boomers in this new market.

The youngest of the 78 million baby boomers are now over 50 years old. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011 and many millions more will continue to work for decades.

Preconceptions about boomers’ limited knowledge and comfort with social and digital media are a reality that many candidates need to be prepared to dispel.

These are just a few of the obstacles baby boomers must overcome which can be attacked proactively with a well-written resume.

1) Unless you are a C-level candidate or in a specialized position (attorney, accountant) it is a best practice to limit the career history you include on your resume to 10 or 15 years. That’s not to say that your resume needs to be one page; two page resumes are absolutely acceptable for experienced professionals.

2) If you retired early and now want to return to work, consider using a term such as “personal sabbatical” to cover the time you were retired and detail your travel, volunteer work, and independent study.

3) Double check that you have included on your resume the training programs and/or classes you’ve taken that will highlight that you’ve kept your skills and technical knowledge current.

4) Avoid outdated expressions, clichés and overblown language in your resume and cover letter. Likewise, remove any obsolete technology skills you’ve listed or any outdated industry or occupational terms. Review your resume against multiple job postings in your industry and make certain what the current terms now being used are. Leave out the “References available upon request” line, as it is no longer necessary.

5) Make sure you are using a current resume format. For instance, resumes that are all in one size font and contain underlined or bolded sections may look like they were written by an older candidate that does not have solid MS Word skills.

A final tip: Be sure to review what your LinkedIn profile says about you and that it matches up against your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers will analyze your LinkedIn information and you do not want anything to conflict. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, build one before you start your next job search.

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Great Advice From Recruiters to Help you in the Job Interview http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:46:07 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4817 I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake. Did you receive my application? You applied to the...

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I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake.

  1. Did you receive my application?

You applied to the position but haven’t heard anything from the recruiter. Do you call them? When? These recruiters almost all agreed you should give it at least a week before sending an email. Give them time to go through the applicants before inquiring about your application. They all prefer email as oftentimes they are working on so many positions they aren’t always prepare to give an answer when someone calls. Email gives them a chance to do the research and not feel as pressured.

  1. Be prepared

Many of the recruiters say they want every candidate to bring a pen and paper to the interview and take notes. A few recruiters said if the candidate doesn’t bring anything to take notes with they wouldn’t move them to the next step.

  1. Ask questions

Recruiters agree that candidates should ask questions and make sure they are good questions. They like when candidates ask about the growth and numbers of the organization, which shows that the candidate is truly interested.

  1. Do research and I don’t just mean online

The recruiters said that anyone can research the company online but suggest that you go beyond that and talk to employees. Find out what it’s like to work there—network and ask questions!

  1. Sometimes it is what you know

Don’t feel that just because you’re friends with someone at the organization you’re getting the job. Often, candidates come in overly confident because they have friends or family working there. They said that’s a turn off and often times the candidate doesn’t have the experience needed, so they aren’t getting the job – no matter who you know.

Everyone agreed that you can never be too prepared. On the day of your interview, if you feel like you studied up way too much, you’ll do just fine. Don’t be too pushy, ask great questions and take notes in the interview and this will leave a great impression.

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Resume Formats—Which to Use? http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/ http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:54:29 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4810 It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?” While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are...

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It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?”

While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are commonly used.

The Reverse Chronological Resume

This format presents your work history from the present, then works backward. This is the most appropriate choice for most applicants. In addition, this is the format that most hiring managers and recruiters expect to see. The benefits are obvious: it’s logical in its presentation, and allows the reader to quickly scan your history. This works well for job seekers with a consistent work history in the same career field.

The Functional Resume

The functional resume allows you to present your work history by skill area, such as sales, administration, technical expertise, or consulting engagements. The functional areas should be chosen based on both your skills and qualifications, and the requirements listed in the job announcement. The bullets should be written in the same manner as a chronological format, with the action taken for a particular challenge, task, or project, and the quantified results. This format works well if you are making a major career change or if your skills were gained through a non-traditional work history. However, most interviewers will want to know when a particular skill was gained and used, so be prepared to answer those questions and provide a chronology.

The Combination Resume

Finally, the third commonly used format is the combination resume. Just as the name implies, this format combines the best of the chronological and functional formats. For example, you could compile your work history in reverse chronological order and use functional sub-headings within each job entry. However, this type of resume format should be tightly focused on the skills required in the job announcement or the document could easily become too long and unwieldy.

Focus first on the needs of the employer when you develop your bullets. Solidly written, quantified information that demonstrates how you can meet the employer’s talent gap will be more compelling than a beautifully formatted document filled with fluff. The format which is best for you and your situation will then be more obvious. If you need more help, contact a Certified Professional Resume Writer to guide you through the resume writing process.

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The Key Components of Your Resume http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/ http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:13:36 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4804 Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview. Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each...

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Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview.

Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each page of your resume.

  • Make sure to include your phone number with area code. Your voice message should be professional, without any ring backs or other novelties.
  • Provide your mailing address with zip code.
  • List your email address, and ensure that it’s professional, just first and last name, or a variation thereof.
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up to date.

Eye-catching summary statement: Your summary should make the reader want to keep reading. Often, the candidate writes a poor summary that tells the employer what they want from them. However, it should be about what the candidate can achieve for the employer.

Work experience: This includes

  • Positions held;
  • Name and location of the company;
  • Dates of employment (in years, not months)
  • And job responsibilities and skills.

Use the right skills: Read the job description and emphasis your skills and accomplishments with the desired skills of the position. How did you use the skills to improve the bottom line or increase profits? Use verbs and number to highlight these accomplishments. For example, “saved the company $150,000 by improving the bottom line.”

Keywords: It’s very important to match the keywords in your resume with the keywords from the job description. This ensures you don’t get rejected by the applicant tracking system for not having the right keywords.

Education section: The education section should be near or at the bottom of your resume, unless you’re a recent grad and this is your main qualification. The education section should include post-secondary school, with name and location, degree obtained and major.  Make sure to list the most recent education first.  Also make note to list any certificates or awards obtained or any professional development courses attended.

All of these components are so important, along with the obvious of your resume being free of spelling and grammar errors and having the right format. You should also have a great cover letter, which is sort of the wrapping on the gift and the recruiter can’t wait to tear open and see what’s inside. If you need help crafting one or both, there are resume writers to help you every step of the way.

 

 

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