Archive for Resume/Cover Letters

Clients ask us these questions all the time: Should my resume be 1 or 2 pages, or longer? (Academic resumes tend to be much more than 2 pages). Do people even read my resume? Do I include all my experience? What about objective statements, are those still pertinent?

We wanted to share a wonderful article that address those questions and should give you an idea that there is not set format for resumes, however some rules of thumbs you should think about! Search our blog as well for resume advice from Jasmine regarding how to best work with a resume writer and how to be a polite pest using your resume to get your foot in the door. Here’s the resume myths article: Major Resume Myths

Thank you to one of our resume experts Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.

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We wrote about a similar topic a few posts ago and there’s another great article we wanted to share about optimizing your resume with keywords, but also where to place them and how to determine what to include. This is a must for your resume in this technically savvy day and age!

Add to your job search strategy list – before you apply to each position – conduct keyword research and apply those words to your resume. This will help ensure that it gets noticed! Click here to read the article.

Thank you to one of our resume experts Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.

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Career coaching clients ask us all the time about the software companies use to filter through resumes online and how to get past it to get the interview in their job search. They don’t want to get booted out of the process in this first stage if they feel qualified for the job, just because they may not know the keywords the company will use to filter. It’s an understandable concern and something critical to consider not just on your resume but on your Linkedin profile as well (In the summary, expertise and experience section as well as the header. Be careful though – don’t clump them all together, it will appear too obvious and won’t read well.) Employers and headhunters will search for people with your brand of talent using specific keywords as well. So, it’s critical to consider this article for both – as well as your cover letter.

Take a look at this straightforward resume article for more information, especially the “How do I find the right keywords” section. Add to your list of ways to find them – 1) Job boards like indeed.com but also industry specific job boards. The latter can really give you specific ideas about keywords to use in your search for your dream job because you’ll only see job openings specific to the industry you are interested in. 2) Also add to your list sites like glassdoor.com where you can search for specific job titles (also salary). This is so you know what to use in your job descriptions on your resume because job titles can vary across companies. Read the article here: http://www.iseek.org/jobs/resume-keywords.html

Thank you to Jasmine Marchong, one of our resume writers, for her help with this article. We hope this is helpful to you! The career coaches at HallieCrawford.com.

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ResumeIf you’re looking for a job, but not getting the interviews you want, your resume may be the reason. “Oh, but my resume is just fine,” you think to yourself. But is it really?

Many people write their own resumes. The danger of doing so is that you may not know what employers want to see, you may not give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments, and you may not use wise formatting. For example, does your resume have the following categories?

• Summary,
• Professional Experience,
• Volunteer Experience,
• Awards,
• Publications,
• Presentations,
• Registrations,
• Licenses,
• Certifications,
• Skills,
• Leadership
• Training,
• Education.

You may not need every category, but if you have information that fits these categories, list it. If you only list your jobs, you are short-changing yourself by not providing an overall view of your relevant abilities. One client whose resume I updated stated, “I didn’t even know some of the things I’ve done that mattered until I was questioned.” Another stated, “What a confidence builder to see my resume and realize how much I’ve done!”

Your resume has to be as competitive as others applying for the same job since your resume is your means for obtaining an interview. If you want to stand out from your competition, have a professional create or update your resume for you. That way, you don’t have to worry about tooting your own horn – the professional will be glad to toot it for you!

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Certified Career Coaches

P.S.  Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

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ResumeRead the following bullet point describing a secretary’s duties and form a picture in your mind:

  • Answer telephones, file, and word process.

Do you have a picture of this person’s level of responsibility in your mind? 

Now, read the following bullet points quantifying the same duties:

  • Answer as many as 25 customer service calls per day.
  • Maintain and update filing system of over 4,000 accounts.
  • Word process all correspondence for 8 managers.

Did the picture in your mind change substantially?

The best way to convey the level, depth, and breadth of your responsibilities to an interviewer is by quantifying each accomplishment. If you can’t think of a way to add a number to your responsibilities, then add a statement of why your duty is important.  For example:

  • Compile monthly report and submit to manager for use in company’s monthly financial forecasting.

Quantifying makes the difference in an acceptable resume and an outstanding one, so review your resume and quantify, quantify, quantify. If you need any help, just contact us. We’ll help your resume look exceptional!

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Certified Career Coaches

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

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ResumeHere is a great report recently from CareerBuilder.com regarding the language you can and can’t use in your resume. This was also reported on the Today Show March 13, 2014 with several good points. Some of the jargon people want to use on their resume means nothing or tells the reader nothing. How many times have you seen or read a resume and not understood what the words meant – or felt like they sounded like fluff? It happens too frequently. When you are writing or revising your resume be very careful to avoid jargon. Ask a friend or family member to review it for you.

Here are some of the terms to avoid:  Go-getter (27 percent), Think outside the box (26 percent), Synergy (22 percent). Great advice… show them the results you provide, demonstrate how you are a go-getter or how you work well in a team, don’t just use the jargon. Read more from this report here.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

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Resume AdviceWhat goes at the top of your resume? We get asked this question all the time from our resume review clients. The difficult thing with resumes is they can be very subjective. You can find a lot of differing advice regarding the same topic – how your resume should be laid out, whether a functional resume is acceptable instead of a chronological resume, and whether you should have an objective statement at the top. Don’t they know what your objective is? It’s to secure the position you’re applying for right? Here’s a better, lengthier explanation of what to place at the top of your resume, from one of our own resume experts, Jasmine Marchong:

Objective / Profile summary:

Starting your résumé with a short summary / combined objective statement is preferable. Although objective statements were typical in the past, it’s not necessarily recommended. Objectives typically indicate your wants, instead you need to look at your résumé from the employer’s perspective, i.e. what skills do you bring? What value do you have that I can utilize? Why should I even read the rest of this résumé? Your profile/summary summarizes your expertise or value proposition, sets the theme for your resume and the rest of the résumé should be a validation of this. See examples below:

FINANCIAL ANALYST 

DRIVEN, HIGHLY MOTIVATED PROFESSIONAL…An energetic quick study and enthusiastic learner, with a track record of delivering immediate results.

MULTI-TASKER & QUICK THINKER…Manage multiple departments and projects, with a proven ability to follow thru regardless of circumstances.

SELF STARTER & TEAM PLAYER…Eager to learn and master the tasks and tools needed to excel in each position.

The bottom line is, you need to tell them why you’re qualified for the position, up front – right away. Remember the space on your resume is valuable real estate you want and have to use wisely! Thank you Jasmine for your advice :)

Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.

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ResumeAs you know, potential employers rarely take the time to read resumes thoroughly. Statistics show that employers spend a max 10-15 seconds scanning a résumé to determine the candidate’s fit before they decide to keep or toss. Many factors in addition to experience come into play in making sure your résumé makes it to the “keep” pile. If you make these 4 mistakes, this will not happen so keep them in mind….

Four Major Mistakes: Most often the résumé is your first impression to an employer before they meet you. Mistakes imply an inattention to detail, sloppy work standards, and lack of pride in work quality. You do not want to give this impression, so take the time to read and reread your documents thoroughly to filter and mine out those mistakes. Mistakes can include:

A: Incorrect grammar- your résumé should be written in the first person implied. If you have “I” or “me” in your document, it is incorrect. 

B: Each sentence should start with an action verb.  

C: Use capitalization of words properly – be selective how you use it to emphasize info. Note: Exceptions to the rule include titles, company names, and section headings.

D: Inappropriate use of punctuation.

Hallie Crawford and Jasmine Marchong
Job Search Coaches

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.

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Our team of career coaches help people of all ages nurture their career, identify their ideal career path, and navigate their career transition. We offer group and individual coaching as well as self-directed learning products. Schedule a free phone consultation with Create Your Career Path today.