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Dec 1 16

What is the Right Length for My Resume?

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

You’ve read different online recommendations, you’ve read through your friend’s one-page resume, and scanned your colleague’s three-page resume. Next, it’s time to write your resume. And, you start to wonder…how long should my resume be? Is there a ‘right’ length? How long is too long? Or, is it an absolute necessity to have a one-page document?

This is one of the most common questions that I receive from my clients. And, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all response. I’ve seen it all—I’ve received less than one paragraph from a client and I’ve received an eight-page document that outlines all jobs from 1975 through today. Neither of those works for today’s job market. So, here’s the advice I give to my clients and several guidelines that can be used as you put together your own resume.

Tip #1 – Be concise. Don’t think that a two-page document means that you are a better candidate or that outlining your job history for the last 30 years is the right way to accomplish this task. Instead, think about what is important to the potential employer and how you can get the point across in a clear and concise manner.

Tip #2 – Think one page per 10 years of experience. If you have worked for 20+ years, it’s crazy to think that you can highlight your skill-sets and work history within one page. Or, if you have a lot of community engagement that may be important to the job opportunity and need to point it out, then do it. A two-page document is fine for those that have a great deal of work history.

Tip #3 – Three pages and more is only okay if you are in education or medical professions. Sometimes people think that longer is better and makes them appear more important—it doesn’t. In the field of education (i.e. college professor) or medical professions (i.e. doctor), a CV is often required and can be three pages or beyond. These documents call for publications listings, internships, presentations, and even more. If you aren’t in one of these fields, then avoid anything longer than a two-page resume.

Tip #4 – Don’t include irrelevant information. Did you letter in a sport during high school? Was that 25 years ago? Or, were you the 4-H club president in 1985? Here’s a hint: no one cares. I know that sound harsh, but it’s the truth. If it’s not relevant—leave it off the resume.

Tip #5 – Don’t include long blocks of information. Whether your resume is one page or two pages, keep in mind that most people don’t like to read long paragraphs of information. Instead, include concise and targeted bullet points—they can even be phrases and not complete sentences. My recommendation is not to create a bullet point that is longer than two lines.

Still don’t know exactly which information should and should not be included in your new resume? We can help! Click here to contact us today – we offer free resume reviews!

Check out these other offerings that can help you…

Free Download: Cover Letter Tips Checklist That Gets INTERVIEWS! Click HERE!

Free Resume Download: TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE!

Nov 21 16

How to Highlight Early Work Experience on Your Resume (Without Appearing ‘Old’)

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Let’s say you are a 40+ year old professional that has tremendous work history, valuable experience, wonderful skill-sets, and outstanding achievements. The challenge…some of those great work experiences happened more than 15 or 20 years ago. Why is this even an issue? Because – typically we only include the last 10-15 years of work history.

Many of my clients wonder why we only include this ‘recent’ job history. In general, your recent job experiences tend to be the most relevant to today’s job market. When the position is older, it often means that technology used, processes involved, and methods for completing tasks are completely different today. But, if you are in a field such as sales or management—while the processes may have changed—the nature of the business has stayed the same. Building relationships are key, mentoring and coaching team members is important, and communicating effectively will make you a super-star.

So, what’s the solution to including both recent and earlier information—without appearing ancient to the hiring manager? In this instance, I often break work history into two separate sections. One is called Recent Professional History or Professional Experience. That covers this most recent period of the last 10-15 years. Then, I’ll include a separate section (broken up by an actual heading) that is called Earlier Career History or Previous Work History. The trick? The history that is older does NOT get any dates associated with it. That way, we are including those highlights and achievements without drawing attention to the fact that it may have been 20 years ago.

Keep in mind that you most recent job history should be the longest and each job (as it goes back in time) tends to get less space on your resume. Once again, this goes to the idea that older information probably isn’t as relevant as your current position may be to your future job opportunity.

Dates can be tricky when it comes to your resume and it’s important to think about the perception of your application as it winds its way through the company’s applicant tracking system and human resources department.

Do you still have questions about your resume? Wondering how it stacks-up when compared to today’s hiring standards? Contact us today for a free resume review!

And, if you want our Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW, download it here!

Nov 18 16

Feather Communications Named a Top 100 Career Website

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications, a Colfax-based business, has been named one of the Top 100 Career Websites and Blogs by Feedspot.

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, founder of Feather Communications, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and provides resume-writing services to clients throughout the United States. “I’m thrilled that my website is included in this list and truly enjoy providing ideas and feedback to job seekers,” Rothbauer-Wanish said. As part of her website, she features a regular blog offering implementable tips that range from formatting resumes to how to write a cover letter.

Job-searching has changed dramatically within the last 10 years and today’s job seekers need to understand how to apply via online systems, which key words to implement, and the best ways to market themselves. “My favorite part of writing resumes is helping someone to identify their strengths and putting that information into a document that helps them move forward with their career,” Rothbauer-Wanish said.

Tips from Feather Communications have been featured on CareerSidekick, MSN, Monster, Recruiter, MFG Jobs, and the Management Resource Association websites. “I absolutely love what I do and I am passionate about helping people market themselves to land their dream jobs,” she concluded.

Check out the full list of the Top 100 Career Websites and Blogs HERE!

Oct 10 16

Three Ways Your Cover Letter is Hurting Your Chance for a New Job

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

For many people, sending a resume is one thing. Then, when you read the job posting and it asks for a cover letter, you just kind of put one together and hope for the best. Rather than doing this, it’s better to take some time on this document. Putting time in on the front-end will save you time and effort for each future job opportunity. However, even though you think you have a top-notch cover letter, here are three cover letter mistakes that I consistently see from clients that really hurt their chances of landing that job interview.

Your cover letter format is different than your resume format. The fonts are different, headings don’t match, and the consistency just isn’t there. When the formats don’t align, it looks like you are not consistent with anything. This is your first impression and shows that you don’t have an attention to details. Instead, copy and paste your heading from the resume to the cover letter file and ensure fonts, colors (if used), and formatting is the same. This shows cohesion, organization, and alignment with your documents.

(Want more tips? Download our TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!)

You addressed the cover letter “To Whom It May Concern.” I like to think of this as the ultimate deal-breaker. If you can’t take the time to find out the appropriate contact person or even just say, “Dear Human Resources Manager,” then you are not worth calling in for an interview. That may sound harsh, but hiring managers need to find an easy way to weed people out and this is one of the easiest. To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir or Madam are old-fashioned and tired phrases that shouldn’t be used in today’s job market.

Every paragraph starts with the word “I.” After you write your cover letter, quickly scan the left margin and count the number of times you used the word “I.” If it’s more than twice, then you need to rewrite some of the verbiage. Remember—it’s all about the employer—not you. By starting with the word “I,” you are making it about yourself. Use the you-attitude and think of what you can do for the company and how your skills will help them. Mention things like “your company,” “your needs,” “your unique vision,” etc.

Remember that the cover letter is one of the first items that an HR leader reads. Make a great first impression so they are interested enough to keep reading and find out more about your skill-set and how you can successfully impact the organization.

We are currently offering a $9 SPECIAL to anyone that wants to go ahead with the All-in-One Resume Kit. This is typically reserved for those that download my Top 5 Resume Tips; however, for a limited time, I’m offering this package (which includes a resume template and notes) for only $9. Click here if you are interested!

Oct 5 16

Quantifying Your Information on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

So, it’s time to make your resume and you are already dreading it. In fact, the thought of just pasting your job descriptions underneath each job listing crosses your mind. After all, don’t they just need to know what you DID at each position? That should do it, right? WRONG. I can’t say it enough—WRONG. Your job description is not special and there are millions of them just like it out there. You need to QUANTIFY your information and tell them what you ACCOMPLISHED.

The question I often get from clients revolves around how to quantify this information. This can be an easy or difficult step, depending on your role and industry. If you are a salesperson, it could mean saying, “Increased sales by 53% during the first 6 months, resulting in $100K in additional sales.” This shows a percentage, timeline, and the result.

(Want more tips? Download our TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!)

Now, let’s say that you are a teacher. The information can be a little more challenging. In that case, you could say, “Managed a classroom of 25-30 students, teaching concepts related to math, science, and reading.” At the very minimum, you are showing the number of students and it is quantifiable information.

Why is this important? Readers are instantly drawn to numbers. If your mind sees a large block of text, your eyes will immediately go to a dollar sign, number, or other quantifiable information. So, think in terms of how many people you supervise, how many years you have worked with a client, the number of accounts you manage, or the sales increase you have overseen.

Consider the following: “Boosted sales significantly during tenure, earning several awards.” That’s great, but it’s not specific. Instead, think of things in these terms, “Boosted sales by 60% over two-years, earning Salesperson of the Year (out of 30 representatives) for 2015.” Although both describe the same thing, the second sentence is much more impressive.

A good rule-of-thumb is to always think about the result. When writing a bullet point on your resume, you should always be thinking how that benefited the company or client. If you frame your phrases in terms of answering the question, “So what?”—you will be on the right track.

While the resume describes you, it’s not about you once you decide to conduct a job search. It’s about how you can help the potential employer. WHY should they hire you? The more quantifiable information you can include, the more you will look like an impressive candidate that they have to call for an interview. Be specific, include details, and show them what you have ACCOMPLISHED—not just your job duties.

We are currently offering a $9 SPECIAL to anyone that wants to go ahead with the All-in-One Resume Kit. This is typically reserved for those that download my Top 5 Resume Tips; however, for a limited time, I’m offering this package (which includes a resume template and notes) for only $9. Click here if you are interested!

Sep 26 16

Four Ways to Find a New Job

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

We all know the value of job sites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster. However, sometimes it can feel like you are one of hundreds or thousands of people sending your resume into the abyss of online job searches. And, sometimes, that is the truth. For many people, going online and finding these potential positions is time-consuming, frustrating, and overwhelming. Here are four other ways to discover job opportunities that may fit better with your desired career opportunity.

1. Networking. Did you know that most jobs are found because of word-of-mouth? That’s right—the old saying that ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ is true. Tell people that you are looking for a change or new opportunity. The more people that know, the better your chances of finding a new job. However, if you are a ‘covert’ job seeker (someone that is keeping the job search fairly quiet), be careful who knows this information and only tell those that are trustworthy and can keep your confidence.

2. Chambers of commerce and economic development corporations. The purpose of these organizations is to cultivate business success in the community. Typically, organizational personnel may know of job openings or upcoming openings before they are advertised. Chambers of commerce want to see their members succeed and finding good employees leads to profits and stability. Check the websites of these organizations, or connect with someone that works there so you can be one of the first to know of new jobs.

3. Company websites. Let’s say that you want to target a specific company for a new position. Instead of checking large job sites, go directly to the company website. Often, they will have a specific page for job openings and the information will be current. And, these are typically posted prior to going to the larger websites.

4. Connect with a placement agency. In the past, these agencies were viewed as a place to get temporary workers and ‘a body’ to fulfill a job. However, that is no longer the case. Organizations such as Manpower, Flex Staff, and Express Employment Professionals find mid-level and upper-level management opportunities in a variety of fields. And, as an individual, you do not pay for the service—the companies that need the employees pay the temporary agency. If you can align yourself with a professional at one of these organizations, they will find a position that fits your skill-set.

The moral of the story is to NOT limit yourself to online job sites. Think of other ways you can connect to job opportunities beyond just the job posting. Most importantly—if possible—build these relationships prior to needing them. That means creating a networking circle, knowing your local business development organizations, and connecting with agencies that can help you in your job search.

Check out our Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW – it’s a free download!

Sep 20 16

Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Resume Writer

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you start to think about your upcoming job search and future interviews, your thoughts may turn to the first step in the process—your resume. Have you ever wondered if it may be easier for someone else to write this document? Did you know that it is difficult for many of us to write our own resumes? During this part of your job search journey, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring someone to write your resume.

Reason #1 – It’s been 10+ years since you have written your last resume. Maybe your previous resume is from your career class in college or you just ‘threw’ one together quickly when a connection had a job opportunity for you. Do you know how much job searching has changed in the last 10 years? With Applicant Tracking Systems and key words, it’s more important than ever that you have the right format and the right content to make it through scanning software. And, if that’s not enough, it still needs to be functional and ‘look nice’ for HR professionals.

Reason #2 – You don’t like talking about yourself. If there was ever a time to put your strengths on display – this is that time. Because I have worked with clients for 8+ years, I know that most of us are challenged when asked about our strengths or achievements. Working with a resume writer will allow you to draw out those aspects and that writer will be able to put it into words. Psychologically, this makes it easier for you to discuss your positive qualities—when someone else is writing about them. (Guess what – we have a Top 5 Resume Tips to Get the Interview download if you are really stuck – click HERE to get it)

Reason #3 – You are switching industries. So, you’ve worked as an accountant for 20 years and now you have decided to go into sales (extreme example here, but you get the point). It’s going to be vital that you draw out those transferable skills that can be utilized in your new desired role. Resume writers are trained to put this information in the best possible light while still showing you are a good candidate for the position.

So, if you are ready to take your career to the next level and don’t know where to start, you should consider hiring a professional resume writer. At the very least, check into them and see what various writers can offer that you can’t do yourself. Best wishes as you move forward!

P.S. Did you know that we offer 5 free resume reviews each week? Click HERE to send your resume to us—we’ll get back to you within 3 days with some suggestions!

Aug 24 16

Selling Yourself on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Why is it that most of us cringe when we have to write our resumes? We have a difficult time writing about ourselves, talking about our skills, and defining our value for a potential employer. Most of us—especially women—are challenged when asked about our strengths or what we can bring to a new company. Rather than have a cohesive response, we stammer, stumble, and struggle to find a response. Read below to find tips and ideas for taking the ‘ick’ factor out of selling yourself on your resume.

Quality over quantity. When it comes to your resume, you may think more is better. While it is important to list multiple skill-sets and competencies, it’s also vital that you don’t over-exaggerate and set yourself up as a ‘jack-of-all-trades.’ Choose what you think are your top three to five strengths and build from there. It’s better to be masterful in a couple of areas and really show the employer what you have accomplished by utilizing those skills
Examples and accomplishments. It’s one thing to list a bunch of skills and hope that one of them is what the employer is searching for in its next employee. But, it’s another thing to SHOW the employer how these skills have impacted previous employers. You’re great at sales. Big deal—so are a lot of people. But, if you say that you boosted sales by 52% within two months—now that’s saying something. The new sales training you developed cut attrition by 87% within one-year—now that’s vital information and SHOWS what you can do as an employee.
Ask for others’ opinions or check your LinkedIn profile for endorsements. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to think of our own strengths because we don’t want to be conceited or stuck-up. Instead, think of it this way…what would your last boss say about you? How would your co-workers describe you? What are the skills you have been endorsed for on LinkedIn? This is an easier way for many of us to highlight our capabilities.
Client testimonials or letters of recommendation. Do you have wonderful emails from past clients or letters of recommendation from an old job? Are they just sitting in your email InBox or stuffed in a file? What good does that do? Zilch. Rather than ‘saving’ these—share them. Ask if a snippet of the client’s testimonial can be used on your resume. Include just the important part and use first names only. This section on the resume—an Endorsements or Testimonials section—is a great way to end the document and shows a third-party endorsement.

Here is the thing—looking for a new job is a competition. You can’t be afraid to sell yourself, toot your own horn, and highlight your skills. If you don’t, I can guarantee you that someone else applying for that position is doing exactly that right now. Still unsure of how to get started on your new resume? Email us today for a free resume consultation.

New Download Available: TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market. Click HERE to access the free download NOW!

Aug 18 16

TOP 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW in Today’s Competitive Job Market

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

I’m THRILLED to offer a new FREE download to job seekers!

If you want THE job, you first need to get the interview. And these days, an impactful, up-to-date resume is a REQUIREMENT for getting the interview!

Are you ready to make your blah, outdated (or non-existent!) resume so impressive you’ll want to hire yourself? You don’t need to exaggerate or pretend you’re someone else. In fact, I’ll show you how to turn your experience and workplace longevity into an ADVANTAGE.

If you are READY to create a dynamic, eye-catching, and fantastic resume that actually GETS RESULTS, then click here for our free download!

Two of the tips are Lose the Objective and Discuss Achievements. Want MORE? Our download can be accessed HERE for free!

Aug 17 16

Feather Communications Owner Included in Recruiter.com E-Book

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications owner and Certified Professional Resume Writer, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, has been included in the latest e-book by Recruiter.com, titled, Get Hired: 130+ Tips for Job Seekers from the Experts.

According to Recruiter.com, the average job search takes approximately six weeks. Few, if any job seekers, have time for lengthy job searches. The new e-book offering covers topics from cover letters and resumes to interview tips and job fair techniques. “I’m excited to be included among these top career experts and continually focus on providing tips that are easily-implemented and actionable,” Rothbauer-Wanish said.

Rothbauer-Wanish’s tip for the e-book is based on following-up after a job fair. “Job seekers need to take it upon themselves to follow up with potential connections from job fairs and networking. Many people overlook this important step and it can be the difference between being called in for an interview versus completely forgotten after the event,” she explained.

Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, has been working with job seekers since 2008 to develop forward-thinking, eye-catching, and dynamic resumes for today’s marketplace. Her tips have been featured on MSN, Monster, Recruiter, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Management Resource Association websites. “I absolutely love what I do and I am passionate about helping people market themselves to land their dream jobs,” she concluded.