Archive for Resume/Cover Letters

ResumeWe always hear we need to sell ourselves on our resume, of course, without being dishonest. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, are changing careers, or have been in school without working for a few years-what are some of the experiences you can use to enhance your resume and fill those gaps where you lack traditional work experience. Here is a quick list of possibilities. Instead of experience you can list:

1. Sports team memberships – Yes I had a client at a presentation say she did this with great success. *She played a leadership role on the team. That makes a difference. If you played a leadership role, add that higher up on your resume under a category called Leadership Positions and Activities for example. List the role you played there. If you did not play a leadership role, leave it at the bottom under Volunteer Work and Activities or leave it off completely.

2. Internships – Yes they count, even if they are informal for example if you worked at a friend’s office for free for a few months. Only include them if they are relevant of course but if they are, list them and specify a) what you learned, and b) the results you provided while there.

3. Volunteer work – This can be included, again, as long as it’s relevant. Reference the location, length of time and specific duties focusing on results and achievements.

4. Classes – If you have just completed your MBA for example and attended full time so did not work, list the relevant coursework at the top of your resume in your Professional Profile section. Mention is was a course and, if there was a specific project you were involved in that is relevant, for example a corporate case study, be sure to include that as well! It’s about showing relevant experience or knowledge, however you came by that experience. Focus on results here as well. Was there a report you provided to the organization, what did they do with that report and your results or suggestions? For example did they adjust their marketing efforts based on your project recommendations? Be specific here, use numbers to quantify whenever possible.

5. Involvement in organizations on campus or otherwise – Again, only if you were in some kind of leadership position and utilized skills that would be relevant. Did you serve on your child’s class committee for fundraising and raise a certain amount of money? If you were just the class parent with no specific relevant results, leave it off. Each listing on your resume has to demonstrate relevant skills. Relevancy is critical.

Hallie Crawford
Career 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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Check out my latest YouTube video as I discuss a very interesting job coach article about a study revealing what recruiters look at on your resume. Watch this video where I reveal what you can learn from it and how to improve your resume as a result, to improve your job search efforts.One hint: Make your job title as clear as possible. For example if your official title is somewhat generic and doesn’t fully explain what you do or did, add verbiage to it that explains it right after you list the title, even if it wasn’t your “official” title so they can clearly and quickly see what you were responsible for.

You can read the article here

Hallie Crawford
Job Coach 

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www.halliecrawford.com – Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coach, shares three stories from working with clients who have had great success in filling the gaps in their resume using a career assessment and more. Learn how to beef up your resume even when you’re lacking work experience and transitioning into a new career.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

ResumeHere is a very helpful article that our certified resume writer, Jasmine Marchong, shared with me recently about being a polite pest during your job search… (I’m telling our clients this all the time by the way, be a pest, just be professional and polite about it!) We’re doing this as a Q&A format again to help you think outside the box using your resume as a tool for your search. Read the article here.

Hallie: How can you be a polite pest specifically with your resume, meaning – what do you think about sending your resume in to a job application in a different way than usual, like via snail mail?

Jasmine: Finding all avenues to apply for a position is most definitely recommended as it provides more opportunities for the employer to notice you. Similar to the advice given in this article, you want to do something different from the masses that shows your persistence,  determination, and initiative. Use your network to find someone on the inside or a colleague to submit your resume with a recommendation on your behalf, or try connecting using LinkedIn, or attend mutual professional events and take advantage of the opportunities available. There are many ways you can make a connection and it’s up to to you to step outside the box and capitalize in on those opportunities.

Hallie: What do you think of the use of social resumes these days?

Jasmine: Given the advance in technology and advantages/disadvantages an online visibility can present, I highly recommend each person own their online identity and use the tools available to help develop and advance their presence. Keeping in mind that employers conduct web searches to find and eliminate potential and new talent, the last thing you want is incriminating info that can negatively impact your career and future.  Here’s an article that provides some great advice.

Hallie: They talk at the end of the article about following up on a job application as a way to demonstrate you have effective communication skills? How can your resume enhance that image of you being an effective communicator as well?

Jasmine: Statistics indicate employers spend 10-15 seconds maximum (and sometimes even less) reviewing potential resumes to determine the candidate’s fit. Having a clear, concise resume that quickly communicates your value proposition is important to getting you noticed and in the door. The employer is not going to read a lengthy, wordy resume. In fact, you need to get the point, identify what you bring to the table and validate this with measurable results. This type of resume shows your ability to communicate clearly and given the correct application, should induce action.

Hallie Crawford and Jasmine Marchong
Certified Career Coaches

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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ResumeI was talking to my career book editor, Anne, the other day. As a professional writer she has helped many people with their resume writing over the years. We were working on the portion of my book (coming in early 2014, I’m very excited!) regarding resume advice and we were brainstorming tips that you don’t hear every day regarding your resume update.

One of her suggestions, was after you have edited your resume and you have the final draft, read it once more, backwards. This will enable you to capture any mistakes in spelling and punctuation that you may have missed because you have been looking at it for so many hours!

So take one last look, have others read it as well of course, but take a few minutes to read your resume backwards line by line in case you have missed something small. Thanks Anne, great advice!

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta 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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I was thrilled to be featured on the local NBC evening news last night with Brenda Wood, her regular 11 at 7 segment. AT&T has 900 open positions currently in Atlanta, good news! I wanted to share a few of the pieces of advice we talked about regarding how to stand out in your job search, what to include in your resume and how to handle social media when you’re searching these days.

1) If you’re applying for a job, like the positions at AT&T, what can you do to make yourself stand out?

Know your brand and how to articulate it! Practice in the mirror before a networking event. Know your competition, review the LinkedIn profiles of others in your industry to understand how you stand out and what your unique selling points are.

Resumes are pretty these days. It’s not just a text document with your work history. People are using text boxes, light shading and other formatting tools to enable a recruiter or employer to quickly scan their resume and determine right away why they are qualified for the job!

Keywords, make sure you use keywords that are relevant to your industry in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile. This will enable employers searching online for prospective employees to find you quickly and easily.

2) An updated resume is a must when you’re looking for work. What are some key points people need to include?

Have a summary of qualifications at the top. You can call it a professional profile, summary of qualifications or executive profile whatever you feel is most appropriate. But tell them right up front why you are qualified for their job.

Put a link to your LinkedIn profile at the top in the contact information section.

Focus on results and accomplishments, and your resume is not the kitchen sink. Only include items that are relevant to the position. Adding things that are not diffuses your message.

3) In the day and age of social media, how does it play into an applicant’s favor, or is it a disadvantage?

Google yourself! The employer will. You want to know what they will see. Clean up what you can if there is anything you would rather not be visible.

Review your Facebook profile if you post often to ensure everything that should stay personal remains that way. Use LinkedIn and other networking sites to your advantage to expand your network, identify contacts for informational interviews and land a job. Some employers are reporting that up to 80% of their recruiting efforts are conducted through LinkedIn. Social media can be a good thing for your search, just use it wisely.

Hallie Crawford
Ideal Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

Laptop workMost people will say no, they are not updating their resume continuously. Nine times out of ten when I’m working with a new client, they say their resume is out of date. Some have not even looked at it in years! I understand that, and what happens when our resume writer, Jasmine Marchong, begins to work on their resume, they have trouble remembering the key accomplishments they want to include over the years.

It takes more time to dig through your memory banks or performance reviews than it would to simply update your resume every six to twelve months. We liked this article about what to include in your update, Performance Appraisal Time? Update Your Resume at the Same Time. A great time to update your resume is before your performance review so that you can use it as the catalyst to get you going.

A couple of other things to keep in mind as well:

1. Update your LinkedIn profile at the same time!

2. Keep a master resume with all of your work experience and accomplishments.

This will make it easier when it’s time to start a new job search. You can simply copy and paste the relevant material into each new resume to apply for jobs.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

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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Check out my latest video as I talk about the critical things you need to consider to decide whether a social resume is right for you and how to approach using them. The article I reference in the video is here: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20130216-goodbye-paper-hello-social-resume.ece

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

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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.