Category Archives: Resumes
Job Search Tips from the Pros – Source: disability.blog
By Guest Blogger Paula Reuben Vieillet, President and Founder of Employment Options Inc.
When it comes to job hunting, it is often best to consult the professionals. Job and career counselors are certified specialists in their field and know from experience, with their own clientele, what works best and what does not. They also know the nuances of different stages of the job hunt and different industries.
Not everyone can afford a career counselor or has access to free job placement services. Therefore, I asked my job counselors, who helped more than 400 people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) return to work last year, about their best suggestions for getting a job.
Every one of them began with “Preparation is the key to success!” So take these tips to bring out the best qualities you have to offer an employer!
You put so much thought into what should go on your resume—from your best, most impressive accomplishments down to the perfect, classy-but-modern font.
But to make sure all that effort is put to good use, it’s just as important to pay attention to what shouldn’t be on there. From overused buzzwords that make you look just like everyone else to “creative” touches that do more harm than good, there are plenty of resume elements that annoy—and even turn off—recruiters. And because we want your resume at the top of the pile, we’ve pulled them all together in one complete guide.
For the best chances of landing that interview, grab your resume and make sure it’s free and clear of these 45 things.
They’ll make your resume stand out — but not in a good way.
By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer
When you’re putting your resume together, you want to look professional, present the best image possible and find ways to stand out. There are several common words and phrases that many people think fit the bill, but aren’t as great as they seem. In fact, they make hiring managers and recruiters cringe.
Here are eight words and phrases you should eliminate from your resume.
This term is one of the worst, HR experts say. “People use this term in lieu of telling giving me specifics,” says Liz D’Aloia, founder of HR Virtuoso.
Career consultant and data analyst Carl Forrest agrees, adding that the term itself is nebulous and doesn’t say anything. “It implies that the reader should just take your claim at face-value.”
Both D’Aloia and Forrest recommend focusing on specifics instead. “Give me a brief summary of the project that demonstrated your strong drive for results, how you achieved them, and most importantly, metrics so I understand the scale and impact of the results,” D’Aloia says. “This should be one of those stories that you want to share when I interview you.”
High technical aptitude
This phrase is especially grating on a marketing resume, says Wes Lieser, marketing recruiter at Versique Search and Consulting. “It’s just not something that needs to be said. It actually makes me assume that you don’t fully understand what you are doing. This is comparable to a baseball pitcher telling someone that he or she can throw a baseball. It goes without saying.” Instead, talk about the specific programs and applications you excel at using.
Ninja, rockstar and other quirky titles
You may see words like “ninja” or “rockstar” in a hiring ad, but if you don’t, definitely don’t use them in your resume. It makes you sound pretentious, says Josh Goldstein, co-founder of Underdog.io. “It demonstrates that the person doesn’t get it and probably lacks creativity. Instead of saying you’re good at something, show it.”
“Assisted” is one that workforce development consultant Frank Grossman doesn’t like. “If you assisted with something, there’s something you actually did. For example, if you ‘assisted in
keeping the facility clean,’ what did you do to assist? Did you clean the kitchen? Did you sanitize 24 restrooms before opening each morning? If one of your accomplishments was to ‘assist the CEO,’ what did you do for her? Did you make her travel reservations, write her press releases, fly her jet or drive her car?” Use specifics to describe your experience.
Strong work ethic
This is the one phrase Kimberli Taylor hates. As the office manager for Conover & Grebe, she is the first person to read through resumes when the firm is hiring, and “strong work ethic” will not impress her. “I hate this because it is not a skill or an asset. It is an expectation of any employee. Listing it as a skill tells me that the candidate believes work ethic is optional for some jobs.” Frequently “strong work ethic” is simply a space-filler on resumes for people with no other skills to list.
Disruptive, cutting-edge and other trendy adjectives
Stick to plain English when describing your accomplishments, says Dennis Tupper, corporate recruiter at Eliassen Group. “Do not try to impress the recruiter or hiring manager with words like ‘disruptive,’ ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘ground-breaking.’ You are not reinventing the wheel, but chances are you are accomplishing some great things. Keep it simple.”
You may think this term makes you look like a productive, eager employee, but it doesn’t necessarily come across that way. “‘Self-starter’ is generic, and as an adult if we have to motivate you then you are probably not someone we want to bring into our organization,” Tupper says. Instead, list projects that show your leadership or initiative.
This is another term that should be thrown out, Tupper says.“We expect all people we hire to pay attention to detail,” he says. Again, find ways to show your skills in catching mistakes others miss or your extraordinary abilities to find problems in complex issues.
The format and contents of your resume says a lot about your age. Age discrimination is a fact of life in today’s job market. This goes both ways for the young and the old. I want to discuss the signs that you are over 50 years of age and, hopefully, get you past the initial gatekeepers who might think you are too old.
For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail. We put our home address right on the top. Fact is, there is no longer a need to put your home address on the resume anymore.
There are other reasons not to include your home address:
- Economic profiling
- Length of commute
- Personal safety
If the employer needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.
One sure sign that you are over 50 is to have a aol.com e-mail address, or even an e-mail address from your cable provider like rr.com on your resume.
Either sign up for a gmail address or get an e-mail forwarding service from:
- A professional society – I have had e-mail addresses from IEEE and ACM both technology associations
- Your Alumni Association – I have an e-mail address from my Northwestern Alumni Association
- Get your own domain – I have one client who acquired his full name as a domain name like MarcMiller.com
All of these options say something about your professional brand.
I always recommend using a separate e-mail address for your job search.
Home Phone Number
Who under 45 years of age still has a home phone? We ditched our home phone five years ago, and I am quite a bit older than 45. If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number. Put the Google Voice number on your resume as your cell number. You can set it up so that it will ring on multiple phones (both home and cell). It can be configured to transcribe the message, and then e-mail and text you the transcription. Some of the transcriptions can be really funny. I had one recruiter leave me a message and her name was transcribed as stressed out waters.
Double Space After Period
I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.
Over the years, I have heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates.
Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant skills. I have seen many technical resumes that list every system, software program, and technology that the applicant has ever worked on.
I could list that I wrote MS-DOS control programs, wrote machine level code developing word processors, managed IBM mainframe computers, and lots of other obsolete technologies. Unless I was applying for a position that required these skills, all it tells the reader is I am over 50 years of age and maybe older.
Look at your resume—what does it say about your age? Show it to others and ask them what it says about you.
Age discrimination is a fact of life in the job market today. You do not want to be filtered out by the staff who are screening initial resumes and lose the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills.
Can I use an ordinary resume when applying for Federal jobs? Source: Federal Jobs Digest
Long and short, you can almost certainly use a resume. But don’t use your regular, private sector resume. You must submit a Federal resume.
In an effort to be more applicant-friendly, the Office of Personnel Management has largely eliminated standard application forms and declared its preference for resumes. For the rare Announcement for which this is not the case, the Agency will provide the form. If you can not find the form, call the contact number given in the Announcement. Read More
May 31, 2013, 10:02am CDT Updated: Jun 1, 2013, 5:02am CDT
The 4 most-pathetic job-search mistakes and 3 ways to avoid them
Do you find yourself saying, “There are no jobs, I can’t get an interview, and I’m not getting any responses”?
Time to take responsibility and change the way you are going about finding jobs. Time to cut the crap, and get a job!
The “crap” comes in two forms: one, the mistakes you make and, two, the excuses you give. Both of which are sabotaging your job search success. Career advisers see the same common mistakes when helping those looking for a job:
• Just submitting a standard resume that isn’t tailored to the job specifications (job description)
• Typos, grammatical errors
• Boring descriptions rather than keywords and “power verbs”
• Applying for the wrong jobs –random acts of application (RAA) or applying with no relevant skills or experience
Hiring managers want to find the best candidate. They truly are looking for a good fit and the best hire for the position they need to fill. If there is a job description, then they are sharing the “specifications” for that job; you need to show how you fit those specs through your application.
Put yourself in their shoes: They can receive hundreds of resumes for just one position. They know what they are looking for and it’s your job to punch them between the eyes with why you are the best candidate for them. That doesn’t always mean that you have the most years doing a similar job.
You are selling yourself as a wise investment of their interviewing time, by appropriately touting your background and qualifications.
The application process is not about you. It is about the person reading your application. Do not use it as a venue to ramble on about how brilliant you are, how you were awarded top recognition in things the reader doesn’t care about or, worse, how you are the “perfect” person for their job. Nobody is. Everybody has gaps in some areas and it would be wise to point them out as “opportunities to learn” — both in the application and in the interview.
Three Tips to Make a Difference with Your Job Application
1. Research Before Applying: You may find amazing insights about the company, the division, the department, the hiring manager and more by researching on the web. These insights will help you with the next tip.
2. Cut-the-Crap Cover Letter: If the job posting asks you to attach a Microsoft Word or PDF document, then you can include a cover letter in the same file (do not attach two separate document files). That cover letter should look like a formal one-page cover letter with your resume beginning on page 2. Your Cut-the-Crap Cover Letter will only talk about the main skills and experiences you have that correlate to the specifications of the job description. Do not simply re-state your resume. Do NOT say, “I am the best candidate for your position.” without telling them at least 3 reasons why.
3. Highlight Relevant Matches: In your resume, highlight skills and experiences they are looking for, based on the job description. You may even find that you left some important things off of your resume (skills, tasks, experiences) that this position needs. Don’t leave anything out, but don’t stretch the truth. Be 100% truthful!
Finding jobs in today’s economy is hard enough. However, if you change your application approach, stand out, and Cut the Crap, you will get a job. Good luck!
For more resources and information, go to http://danamanciagli.com
You were laid off from your executive job by a company that’s now six feet under. You’ve sent out 800 resumes, done one interview, received zero offers. You find yourself looking lower and lower on the totem pole and occasionally eyeing openings for line managers at the competitor that killed your former employer. If you must apply for a position for which you’re clearly overqualified, how do you actually land the job?
Withhold Your Resume
Here’s what not to do: Fire off a volley of resumes to human resources departments. “Sending a resume is simply a way to oblivion,” says Jeffrey Fox, author of Don’t Send a Resume. HR departments must quickly eliminate nearly all of the hundreds of resumes submitted for a single opening. At the first whiff of your extra qualifications, most screeners will stamp “no” on your application. “Resumes are read to be rejected,” Fox says. What’s the workaround for overqualified candidates? Go directly to the hiring manager to pitch your ability to excel in the open position. You can either call or write, but hold back your resume in the first round of communication with the employer.
Sell to the Employer’s Need
Once you’ve found out as much as you can about the company and the position, you’ve got to imagine how your qualifications mesh perfectly with the job requirements. “If you’re overqualified, you need to articulate how a handful of your skills will help that specific employer,” says Nick Corcodilos, author of Ask the Headhunter. At least at first, say nothing about higher-level skills that don’t pertain to the position at hand.
Use Emphasis to Shape Employer Perceptions
Sooner or later, you’ll probably have to send a resume. More than you ever have before, you’ll need to customize your one-page presentation of yourself. To de-emphasize those over-the-top elements of your professional background, “you can make some information more sparse, but you’ve got to be careful about misrepresenting yourself,” says Corcodilos.
How do you tread this fine line? One solution is to create a functional resume where relevant skills are pumped up in detail toward the top of the resume, while overly impressive titles are demoted to the bottom and given little ink. Strategic emphasis is integral to persuasion; omission of recent, important rungs in your career ladder is unethical deception.
Make a Virtue of Your Extra Qualifications
In the interview, if your prospective employer says that your extraordinary qualifications cast doubt on your candidacy, recast your past as an asset to your future at the company. Emphasize that “you’re getting somebody with the potential to move up,” says Frances Haynes, coauthor with Daniel Porot of 101 Toughest Interview Questions.
Draw Out Objections; Don’t Volunteer Them
Employers typically have the following objections to candidates with extra qualifications: You’ll get bored quickly; you won’t be satisfied with the salary; you’ll jump to another company as soon as you get a better offer. “Employers are pretty reticent to hire overqualified people, because they believe when the economy picks up, they’ll lose those people,” says Haynes.
If you raise these issues early in the application process, you risk short-circuiting your candidacy. Instead, see what’s on the minds of your interviewers by asking open-ended questions such as these: “What else do you need to hear to be convinced that I’m the best fit for the job? Do you have any questions about my candidacy that I haven’t yet had the chance to answer?” Just make sure you’ve already ferreted out all the tough questions that your work history could possibly raise — and practiced answering them.
The Ultimate Issue
Finally, be prepared to answer one question that the interviewer may be too embarrassed to ask: Won’t it be humiliating for you to take a job that many people would consider beneath you? You can address this issue indirectly through the positive attitude you convey in everything you say about the available position and your fitness for it. “You have to be perceived as the kind of person who believes there is honor in every job,” says Haynes.
Many job seekers think that the holidays are a bad time to find a job so they back off on their job search efforts. There are actually 3 reasons that the holidays are a great time to start or continue your job search.
Reason 1: Be Ready Before Your Job Opportunity Knocks
The process of searching for a job is actually step 4 of a successful job search. Quoting Coach Wooden, “When opportunity knocks it’s too late to prepare.” Get prepared before your job opportunity knocks. Make sure you have addressed the first 3 steps and have all of your marketing materials ready to go.
Step 1 is Attitude. There are 2 aspects to having the right attitude. The first aspect of attitude is understanding and accepting that the job market has changed. If you thought, “I have found a job before, I can do it again” without understanding what you need to do differently, then you will have a hard time finding a job. Take this time to understand the new job market and revise your job search approach.
The second aspect of having a good attitude is giving yourself time and permission to process the loss or fear so it does not negatively impact your body language, word choice or the energy you need to do the job search. Don’t think you can fake it. Like leftovers in a refrigerator, emotions do not get better with time. Take them out and deal with them.
Step 2 is Aptitude which means knowing your product – YOU. Can you give a powerful, concise answer when the hiring authority asks “Why should we hire you over your competition?” Your search will be less successful and take longer if you have not taken the time to identify and document your prior accomplishments and developed a personal brand. Be sure you know your product and how you are unique from your competition.
Step 3 is Altitude which means identifying the criteria of company that is looking for someone with your skills and experience. Target a list of companies that fit that criterion. Do not take the passive approach, waiting for companies to post positions. Instead identify and go after the companies you want to work for and who are looking for someone just like you.
These 3 steps must be completed before updating your marketing materials of which your resume is the least used. Know what other items of marketing materials you need and how and when to use them.
Reason 2: Planning Ahead for 2013
Companies are ramping up hiring to have people in seats at the beginning of the year.Budgets of many companies and institutes start over at the beginning of the calendar year. Those budgets include additional headcount. Hiring managers want to fill those seats as soon as possible to help with the immense workload. Managers also want to hire before budgets are adjusted down. Use this time to network into the job opportunity before someone else does.
Reason 3: Stand Apart
While others are stepping back in their search, step forward.You have probably seen the skit in cartoons where a troop is standing in a line and the drill sergeant asks for someone to volunteer by stepping forward. All of the members of the troop except one step back making it look like the one guy stepped forward. In this case it is not good to be the one who did not step back. But in the job search you want to be the one who is not only not stepping back but who is still moving forward. When others are missing out on opportunities, be the one who is there when opportunity knocks.
Have a very happy holidays with your family and keep the job search moving forward.
MOBILE CAREER COACH – (TN Dept. of Labor)
“Building a pathway to careers across Tennessee”
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:15am-2:00pm
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111
FREE PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IN JOB SEARCHES
The Career Coach has computers, copy and fax machines available to job seekers. The computers aboard the Career Coach have Internet access and are equipped with Microsoft Office software. The computers have access to jobs available throughout the state. These jobs are categorized by industry.
You’d be surprised how many job seekers have gaps in employment. If you’re one of them, you need to know how to explain unemployment on your resume. Why? Because you want the employer or recruiter who’s reading your resume to feel okay about those gaps. Hey, maybe he’ll even be interested in learning more about them (in an interview)!
Click on the below link to read entire article.