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8 Winning Resume Tips

Most job seekers are concern that there resume is either too short or too long. I get a lot of questions at my webinars about the perfect length for a resume. The quick answer is that there is no ideal length. Your resume should be as long as necessary to sell yourself to the hiring managers. Instead of focusing on the length of your resume, I would advise you to concentrate on the content of your resume. Below are 8 resume tips about the length and content of your resume.

 Tip 1

If you are fresh out of college and trying to find your place in your chosen profession, then you need to keep your resume to one page. Use this one page to highlight your education and any internships you may have been a part of during school.

Tip 2

For the person that has many years of experience especially in middle to upper management you can have a resume as long as you like. But remember people in the position of offering you a job do not have time to read 8 or 9 pages, so try and still keep it reasonable, while still demonstrating what you can offer.

Tip 3

If you decide to go with a longer resume make sure that your most impressive skills and accomplishments appear on the first page. When someone is scanning your resume, they will not dig deeper if the first page does not catch their eye.

Tip 4

When there is a large amount of resumes to go through, the human resources person is not going to read every one. So make sure the most important information is easy to find. Make sure to use bold faced section titles, and proofread everything one or two times to make sure there are no errors. Your resume is most likely only going to be skimmed so you do not want it eliminated because of a typing error.

Tip 5

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are writing their resume is that they want to include everything. There is a point where what you did 20 years ago may not be that important today. So you should take any old experience off your resume unless it is relevant to the position your are applying.

Tip 6

The newest rend in resume writing is to have the shortest possible resume. This means that information such as hobbies is no longer necessary in order to have a complete resume. Also personal information such as date of birth or marital status are questions that can no longer be asked in an interview.

Tip 7

One of the easiest ways to trim your resume is to shorten job descriptions. Unless you held a very unique position, most potential employers are not interested in everything you did as a manager. Instead replace this information with accomplishments. For example; saved company $200,000 by creating an inventory control procedure.

Tip 8

Think of your resume like every word is not only important, but each extra word costs you money. Take out phrases like, “responsible for,” this will help to shorten what you have.

5 Things That Should Not Be In Your Resume

As the economy is still weak, many people are still losing their jobs and not being able to find another really quick. So when looking for a job in this weak economy, you must know how to represent yourself in a very strong light. Though your positivity can decrease after not being called back for an interview. You can change all that on your own. Your resume honestly says a lot about you and can be what is standing between you and that interview for that new job you want. Having a great resume is very important for landing any job. It has to simply state your professional background. But there are things that you should never include in your resume.

Don’t have a crazy or relatively outlandish objective. Keep it simple, state what you want to do with your life without being overly confident. The objective statement is the part of a resume that can either make or break a deal. So always keep it highly professional, no matter what type of job you are seeking. Irrelevant job experience is also another thing that you can leave of your new resume. So keep it simple and relevant to this particular job and you will more than likely get a call back for an interview.

Any type of novelty achievements you may have received over the years, do not need to go in your resume. Don’t include things such as eating contests you’ve won or if you were prom queen or best smile. These things may make you proud and happy, but they don’t really showcase your skills. Those things don’t really matter much in the professional world. So always keep your resume professional and neat.

Having spelling and grammar errors should not be included in your resume either. It may change the hiring manager’s outlook on the whole resume. Too many spelling errors may make your potential boss think you may be sloppy or not care about the quality of your work. So always proofread and use spellchecker and if you can then get a friend or family member to check it over as well.

If your resume is visually unappealing it may affect your chances of getting called back for that interview as well. Always lay your resume out in a very professional manner. If your resume is sloppy and disorganized then they may feel as if you are disorganized as well. And they may also think you have problems properly setting up documents and spreadsheets.

Also never include too much information, don’t lists paragraphs about how you enjoy spending your summers. A resume is suppose to highlight your attributes and strong points that would make you good for a particular job. If you include too much information the hiring manager may feel as if you love to talk about yourself. So just highlight your experiences and skills that make you the best suitable potential employee.

Once you have revised and tailored your resume using those points, then you are more than likely to get a call back. Landing the interview and impressing the hiring manager will assure you have a great chance at getting the job.

How to Get Your Resume Past Resume Screening Software

Nowadays, employers have the ability to weed out applicants and find the perfect employee in record time, thanks to software screening. Software screening has the ability to make the hiring process run smoothly for the employer and can save a job seeker valuable time.

No one enjoys sitting through an entire interview only to find out that the employer wants to hire someone who can travel at least three months out of the year, and you specifically checked no on your application that you were not willing to travel.

It takes time to screen through each application and an employer’s time is often limited. Employers can get bombarded with hundreds of applications and who has time to read through all of them. That is why software screening has become so important. It does the foot work for employers, it makes hiring an applicant easier than ever before.

These programs are designed to search the applications and/or resumes for particular keywords. For instance it might search all incoming applications for the words: bachelor’s degree, flexible, 10-key experience, Microsoft Word, etc. The employer can program what they want and the software program will match those keywords up with their stacks of applications, and narrow down the top ten applicants.

It sounds wonderful and it makes a lot of sense. The programs not only narrow down applicants using optimal keywords, but they also offer online tests that help to measure an applicant’s skills. These software programs can also provide online personality assessments, do behavioral assessments and even offer a managerial assessment.

The advantages are endless, but there are also a few disadvantages to online screening. This screening process can only measure concrete information, it doesn’t measure everything.

You’ve heard of individuals who are great test takers, but not quite as good once they’ve been hired. There is something to be said about the human element. There are some personalities that do not come through on paper or on line, as they do in person. Some individuals might not have the experience firsthand, however they might poses a magnificent “can do” attitude and are able to adapt quickly.

Since these software programs are not flawless, there are a few things that an applicant can do to work this to their advantage. The first thing an applicant should do when searching for a job, is to carefully scan the job description to see if it is a good match. If it sounds like the job might be a perfect fit, then here is your chance to sell yourself.

If the job description indicates that the employer is looking for a candidate with a specific skill or skills, and you have those skills, include those in your resume. If you resume doesn’t already list them by name go in and add them. Don’t assume that the employer knows that just because you are a carpenter that you know how to use a jigsaw and don’t assume they know that you are a whiz with the jigsaw, if you have a certification in that area now is the time to flaunt it. If the job description says they are looking for ‘that’, make certain your resume reflect ‘that’.

Next, be prepared to allow a few extra minutes when you are going on line to submit your resume, if the company asks for you to take a quick personality test or managerial test, you’ll score better if you are not rushing through it.

Remember the software program is looking for concrete information. The better prepared for these online software programs that you are will help to ensure that you will get that face to face interview.

Between having a great resume that sends you to the top, and having an award winning attitude when you show up for your interview, no matter the outcome you will definitely shine.

Face it, it is a tough market out there, but if you are serious about finding a job and you are persistent, you will eventually find something that you love. Take software screening seriously and use it to your advantage.

4 Things You Can Do to Make Your Resume Stand Out

1. Tailor your resume to the job description

When you tailor your resume to the job description, you have a better chance of securing the position you are vying for. Tailoring your resume to the job description means listing your experience and other bullet points on your resume that directly relate to the job you are looking to get. For instance, if you are looking to get a job in the computer industry, don’t list your experience in the restaurant industry. It is not relevant and will not help you get your desired position. List skills and other things that are within the job description you are applying for, if necessary, create a different resume for each job application; this will ensure you the ultimate success in your job search.

2. List your achievements

There are many things that will make an employer want to hire you and showcasing your achievements is the easiest and best way to paint yourself in a good light to a prospective employer or company. Your achievements are what contribute to you being a good employee and an employer wants to see these achievements stated as clearly as possible listed on your resume. There is no need to point out anything that puts you in a negative light for a prospective employer. Listing your achievements, such as awards, certificates, degrees, and other things similar will make you the most viable candidate for the job.

3. Use action verbs and phrases

The reality is that employers read countless resumes when searching for the right employee. You want to make sure your resume stands out among the rest. One of the most beneficial ways to make your resume stand out is by utilizing action verbs and phrases on your resume. Use action verbs such as; applied, encouraged, verified, and taught. Use action verbs and phrases as much as possible in your resume to make your resume have a more interesting readability to prospective employers. Along with keeping the interest of employers reading your resume, using action verbs and phrases will make you seem like a more active and interesting employee in general.

4. Make sure your resume has a clean layout

Sometimes the smallest details are the most important. There are many resumes that have great content and perfect execution, but the layout is completely sloppy and hard to read. When you are preparing your resume for prospective employers, make sure you layout your resume in a very professional and easy to read fashion. Every section should have a heading and the layout should present you as a tidy, detail-oriented employee. Sometimes, there is no telling why certain employees get the job over another candidate, and more often than not, it has to do with the first impression clean layout of the resume that set them apart.

Optimizing Your Resume with Buzzwords

Most likely, when you apply for a position your application doesn’t go straight into the inbox of a recruiter; you’re added to a database of possibly hundreds of other applicants. The recruiter will then search through the database using strategic keywords to figure out which resumes are most likely to meet their needs. Their strategy is designed to get to the best candidates fastest, by selecting the criteria that matter to them, then evaluating candidates who are the most promising. You need a strategy to optimize your chances of appearing in the “promising” pile. We’ll focus here on the word choices and keywords that can help you move closer to your next job.

To optimize your resume’s keywords, it’s very useful to use similar words in the job description- of course, only if you are skilled in those areas and have the experience to show it. By leveraging the skills you already have that are also keywords in a job description, your resume is a step ahead of those who didn’t check for strategic vocabulary first. Also, make sure to include industry-specific wording. This step helps you to stand out in an electronic search, but also helps the recruiter think of you in terms of their ideal candidate. Don’t make them match your experience to her needs. Show that you’re already a match.

Never use passive verbs in your resume; if you led a specific part of a task or project, say exactly that. Don’t mention “assisting” or “aiding” the entire project when you can take control and responsibility of a certain area. Use these strong verbs to start off your bullet points, and make sure to state when an assignment was successful or not- never leave the reader wondering about the outcome.

Know thyself. Do you lead, plan, organize? Analyze, report, evaluate?  Represent, promote, advertise? Each of these groups of words begins to create a mental map of a set of prominent skills, which map better onto certain roles (managerial, quantitative, and communications respectively). This is of particular interest for people looking to switch industries. Focus on the verbs and wording of the field you want to be in, using your past experience to illustrate those skills.

For additional help, here are some lists of resume buzz words:  

http://www.resumebuzzwords.net/list-of-buzz-words.html

http://www.resume-help.org/resume_action_words.htm

This is a guest post contributed by the Ivy Exec Blog, an exclusive site where pre-screened, high caliber professionals find relevant job opportunities with leading companies.

How to Follow Up After Submitting Your Resume

Do you ever feel your resume that you sent out to a recruiter or potential employer just goes into a black hole? You wait patiently for an email response or a phone call with good news of how much they can’t wait to bring you onsite for an interview. Don’t hold your breath for that email or phone call because most of the times you will not hear back from them at all.

There is no way to know if your resume has been read. What you can do is ensure that it is reviewed. One of the best ways to ensure that someone looks at your resume is to follow up with them. Following up after sending your resume is a critical step that you should not overlook. Your chance of landing a job quickly will improve dramatically by following-up.

First of all, you need to have a way to keep a record of all your resume submissions otherwise it will be out of control. You have to be on top of the situation if you have submitted your resume to multiple places. So it is a good idea to have a system to monitor and track your job search progress. I use a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains all of the usual information including when I sent my resume and when I should follow up.

If you sent your resume today, you can follow-up with them the next day or up to a week later. This is a judgment call and you need to decide how many days are reasonable and appropriate. Every situation will be different so use your common sense. Also if the job posting clearly states to not call or email, you should respect their wish. In this situation, you have no choice but to wait for them to get back to you.

You can follow-up with an email, but I prefer calling the person directly assuming you have a contact at that place. Be aware that some places don’t like phone calls so you need to decide if this is appropriate. When I call, I want to speak to a person and not go into their voicemail. If the person is not there, I will call back at different times of the day. Or I will try to speak to a different person who can help me.

Once you get the right person on the phone, tell them briefly that you sent your resume on this date and you are calling to follow-up. The reason you are calling is to make sure that they received your resume. Assuming they have your resume, you can tell them that you are interested in the job and want to know what the next steps will be. You can also use this opportunity to highlight a few reasons why you are the right person for the job. This is your chance to distinguish yourself from other candidates who did not take the time to follow-up.

In conclusion, it is very important that you follow-up after submitting your resume. Following up will show the recruiter or employer that you are interested in the job. You will be surprised how few job seekers take this very important step. If you do it, you will stand out from the crowd. You will also be amazed at the results you can get by the simple act of following up.

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