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Jul 29 15

Feather Communications Voted as one of the Top Career Websites for 2015

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Feather Communications’ website, www.feather-communications.com, has been voted as one of the Top Career Websites for 2015 by Career Igniter.

The top 45 websites were chosen, with representation mainly from the United States and additional sites from Denmark and the United Kingdom. Selection factors included level of usable information, how the site assists job seekers, and overall value related to resumes, career coaching, and employment advice. Various sources were used to compile a Career Igniter score for each website on the list. Sources included Alexa, Page Authority (PA), Domain Authority (DA), Klout Score, and the number of Twitter Followers.

“I’m honored to be a part of this listing and hope the information that we provide is helpful to job seekers while propelling them further ahead in their job search,” Rothbauer-Wanish said. “Those seeking new employment opportunities have many options when it comes to developing their resumes and I’m always excited to help clients polish their information to position themselves for today’s marketplace. The recognition from Career Igniter will help Feather Communications reach even more of those job seekers,” she concluded.

For more information on resume writing, please contact Feather Communications at 715-559-6378 or email heather@feather-communications.com.

Jun 17 15

Highlighting Your Value on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

If you are working on your resume, it is important to position yourself as if you were reading it from the employer perspective. Instead of thinking, “What can this job do for my career?” – think more about “What can I possibly bring to this employer?” It is the answers to the second question that will help you align your skill-set with the needs of the potential job opening.

First, include several job titles or skill-sets at the top of the resume (immediately after the heading). For an administrative position, the headings could be something similar to Customer Service Expert | Administrative Oversight | Office Management. If someone is in accounting, they may want to use a heading such as Accounts Payable and Receivable | Financial Management.

Next, be sure to include a career summary. This is a three to five line section at the top of your resume (immediately after the job titles and heading) that describes your career from a high overview perspective. This section should include key words from the advertisement, a list of some of your past experiences, and the diverse skill-sets that you can bring to the employer.

Then, include a section that discusses Core Competencies or Areas of Expertise. This section can be modified for each job opportunity and should include skills that are listed in the job posting. Items like Leadership, Communication, Detail-Orientation, Decision-Making, and Time Management skills can be included here. This section is critical to making it through the Applicant Tracking System or ATS. Many companies utilize this computerized scanning system to go through resumes and put them into a ‘yes’ pile or a ‘no’ pile. If you don’t have the appropriate key words listed on your document, you can say ‘goodbye’ to your chances of an interview.

Finally, under Work Experience or Professional History, ensure you can back-up your claims. Rather than stating you have marketing skills, state the dollar amount of the budget you managed. If you increased sales during your tenure with an organization, list the percentage that sales increased by each year. Quantitative information is a key to relaying the relevant information when applying for a new position.

The bottom line is to be as specific as possible with your information, ensure you read and re-read the job posting to verify you are using the right key words, and include all appropriate sections within your document. If you have any questions on what should or should not be included, feel free to contact us today!

May 29 15

Listing Dates on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Now that you have decided to update your resume, you need to ensure all the details are correct and appropriate for today’s job market. Once you gather the necessary information, including places of employment and achievements, it is not necessary to add date information to professional history, community involvement, and—maybe—education.

Tip #1 – In professional history, it is not necessarily to list the exact dates of employment. Instead, list only the month and year of employment start and end. For example, saying “January 2012 – February 2015” is appropriate.

Tip #2 – If you have changed jobs rather frequently and have only held positions for less than one year, then list only the years. For example, if you worked at a retail store from January through May 2015, then you could simply list “2015” as the date for this particular position.

Tip #3 – There is no need to list the date(s) associated with your education. Unless you have recently graduated (within the last six months to one year), the year you graduated shouldn’t be listed. At some point in your career, listing this information could lead to age discrimination and a missed employment opportunity.

Tip #4 – If your community involvement was in the past and you are still listing it for some reason, then be sure to just title the section “Previous Community Engagement” or “Past Community Involvement.” There is no need to make a list of years when the activities took place.

When compiling your resume, be sure to think about the dates you are listing and how those reflect your career history. Obviously, never misrepresent your information or lie about dates, as this information can be easily verified. If you are curious about how your resume ranks against others, send it to us for a free resume consultation – we would love to help you!

Apr 23 15

Why Volunteerism and Community Involvement is Important on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you are writing your resume, you have most likely listed your skill-set, your professional experience, work history, and education. However, did you also consider your volunteerism and community involvement initiatives? If you haven’t, now is the time to start thinking how these items can help you in your job search.

First, consider how you have chosen your volunteer activities. Most likely, you are working with organizations and events that align directly with your skills and qualifications. Although this isn’t paid work, it is still valuable experience that can be used to attract a potential employer.

Next, have you been unemployed for short or long time periods? If so, ramp up your volunteerism during this time and list it on your resume. For example, if you are in accounting or bookkeeping and currently serve as the treasurer for your church, consider adding this to your resume. If you are an event planner that has planned large-scale events for your child’s school, list this as well. And, remember that this experience can be listed under professional experience—just because it isn’t paid work doesn’t mean that it isn’t “professional” work.

Finally, consider how those community involvement activities may have added further connections to your circle. Did you know that many people find new job positions through personal connections rather than job advertisements? Use your volunteering time to also network with community leaders. You never know when someone at an event may hear about the perfect opportunity for you.

Contact us today for a free resume critique – we are ready and excited to work with you!

Apr 2 15

Three Ways to Include Testimonials on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you send your resume to a potential employer, you may be wondering how you can make your information stand out above other candidates’ resumes. We know that everyone has included qualifications, professional experience, and education. But, have you considered adding testimonials and endorsements to your resume? Read below for three ways to use this valuable information.

  1. Add testimonials from supervisors and managers – corresponding to each job position. If you did a great job as a Marketing Manager, then gather a written testimonial from the CEO and include that sentence underneath your Marketing Manager achievements.
  2. If you are looking to add an entire section to your resume and have three to five testimonials from various people and different employers, add a section titled “Testimonials” or “Endorsements.” This will show that you have multiple people that think you are a great candidate.
  3. Is your resume two pages, but you have a large gap or white space at the bottom of page two? Instead of leaving it blank, add one or two testimonials to this section. Not only does this show glowingly reviews of your work, it allows the reader to end with positive thoughts about your potential candidacy for the position.

When asking for testimonials, be sure to confirm that it is okay with the writer to use the information on your resume. And, only add those testimonials that actually say something. Don’t add a testimonial that says, “Great job!” Instead, add written reviews that are specific—something like, “Heather led 18 managers throughout a new program implementation, increasing sales by 32% during her tenure. We would absolutely welcome her back in any leadership role.”

Finally, remember to ASK for testimonials or written recommendations. These tiny marketing pieces can be utilized on your resume as another piece of your personal marketing puzzle.

We are always excited and honored to help today’s job seekers. If you have questions about resumes, cover letters, or interviewing techniques, contact us!

Mar 15 15

Three Things You Forgot to Include on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you start to piece together all of the information for your resume, you may become overwhelmed with dates of employment, responsibilities at each position, and achievements while working for others. However, keep in mind that a resume shouldn’t simply be a detailed list of your work history. Oftentimes, people forget to include additional information—information that can be critical to catching the eye of a potential employer.

Freelance or Contract Projects

According to a recent survey from Elance, over 53 million Americans provide freelancing in a variety of areas. Whether you worked as a writer, photographer, or project manager, these freelance and contract projects are important. Not only do they show a particular skill-set within an industry, it also demonstrates your ability to ‘jump in’ with an organization and provide the services they need—all at the right time, the right price, and the right place.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

What if you are attempting to re-enter an industry that you left many years ago? An employer may wonder what you were doing throughout those years. Many of my clients have their own business ‘on-the-side.’ Don’t forget to include this information in your resume. This type of work can show a hard-working nature, the ability to schedule time, coordinate employees, and build your own income. These are all transferable skills that can be utilized in future positions.

Continuing Education

No matter where you have worked, chances are that you have attended training within your company, at the industry level, or through a national association. If you do not have a college degree or advanced education, this section becomes vital to showcasing your desire to better yourself in your career. Include the names of the trainings, along with the organization that led the events.

Remember that your resume should demonstrate what is unique about you, the skill-sets that you have obtained, and how those experiences could positively impact your future workplace. Be sure to include the items listed above in addition to your career history.

Do you have a resume question or would you like a free resume review? Contact us today!

Mar 3 15

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

So, you’re about to send your resume out into the abyss that is known as today’s job search market. Rather than hope and cross your fingers that someone (maybe even a human being) will see your information, why not make your resume information stand out when you design the document. You can’t count on an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen your document and put it in the ‘yes’ pile without some thought going into the resume up-front.

First, have clear sections on your resume. The applicable sections can include a career summary, areas of expertise, professional experience, education, and community involvement. Be sure to space these sections apart and add some type of border to each dividing section, ensuring that the human eye or computer system can clearly see a new section.

Next, use quantifiable information whenever possible. Consider the difference between saying, “Successfully increased sales during tenure,” versus “Increased sales by 52—to $2 million—within a 5-month time frame.” The second statement has more impact because there is a percentage, time, and sales dollar amount included.

Finally, make your accomplishments stand out from the rest of the text. Consider using bold text and/or indenting the accomplishment or achievement statements, drawing attention to these and immediately capturing the eye of the reader.

Take time to plan your resume. Get it ready before you need it and put some thought into the accomplishments and style of your document. After all, this document represents you and is the one thing that a potential employer will base a decision on before they meet you? Does your resume live up to your expectations? If not, consider hiring a professional resume writer or contact us today for a free resume critique.

Feb 25 15

Paid vs. Non-Paid Work Experience on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you make your new, up-to-date, and awesome resume, you start making a list of all of the things you have accomplished, the volunteerism you have contributed, and the job duties for all of your workplaces. Then, you begin to list your internships, community organizations, and church activities. Suddenly, you have a huge inventory of information and you have no idea how to include it. Does this sound familiar?

Before they contact me, many clients struggle with trying to figure out where to put this information on their resumes. How are you supposed to include both paid and unpaid work experience? Or, do you even need to do so? Should your internship experiences be broken out separately? Just because your work experience or volunteer experience was not paid doesn’t mean that it is not applicable to your job search. Please see below for three important reminders for adding both paid and non-paid experience on your resume.
Think relevance. The resume is not about you—it’s about what is important to a potential employer. For example, if you are seeking an accounting position and have worked at a workplace as a bookkeeper, also volunteered as your church treasurer, and had an accounting internship—all of that information is relevant. All of that information could potentially be included under your work experience.

Use your headings wisely. Instead of listing sections as “Paid Work Experiences” or “Internships,” name your section “Relevant Professional Experience.” This means that all information contained therein is relevant, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you were paid for it.

Unpaid work experience can be critical when you are switching industries. If you have been working within a particular industry for 10+ years and now want to switch to a different focus, unpaid work experience may be your ONLY experience. List this “Relevant Professional Experience” first and be sure to emphasize these skills.

Don’t be afraid to include your unpaid work experience, community involvement, and internship experiences directly in your professional history. Both paid and non-paid work experiences show that you are driven, have honed skills, and exhibited abilities that can be utilized in future positions. However, remember to only include that information which is both timely and relevant.

Do you have additional questions about your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile? Contact us today for a free resume critique – we would love to help your information shine!

Feb 20 15

Is a Professional Resume Writer Worth It?

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Sometimes, I will hear people say, “I can’t believe that you write resumes for a living. Don’t most people just write their own?” And, my answer is that, yes, many people choose to write their own resumes. However, did you also know that many people have difficulty writing and speaking positively about themselves? Please see below for the top three reasons why you should consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#1 – They will be able to extract information that you hadn’t even considered. A good resume writer knows how to ask questions, use the proper key words, and dig a little deeper to find the accomplishments at your past positions.

#2 – A professional resume writer is up-to-date on formats, technologies, and industry buzz words. Did you know that you should no longer use an objective on your resume? And, no one should use the word “I” within the document. If you aren’t sure what today’s trends are for resume writing, you may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer.

#3 – How much money are you losing while you sit and stare at your old resume? Figure out how much money it is costing you each day to not get started on your new, updated, and forward-thinking document. While hiring a professional resume writer may cost dollars up front, you will quickly find that the investment is worth it when you land your new job.

The bottom line is this—decide if you really have the time, know-how, and desire to craft your own resume. If not, this may be the time to hire out the process. And, if you want a resume writer that has gone through additional education, please be sure to hire a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Questions about the resume writing process? If so, please contact us at Feather Communications. And, remember that we ALWAYS offer free resume critiques – find out if your document is up-to-par with your competition. We look forward to hearing from you!

Jan 28 15

The Importance of Personal Networking During Your Job Search

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

While looking online for your next job opportunity, many people get frustrated, exhausted from the search, or fed-up with the long application process. In today’s economy, searching online for job openings is an important part of the process. However, it is not the ONLY aspect that you should consider while seeking the next move in your career. In fact, many people underestimate the importance of personal networking during the job search.

Recently, I worked with a client that had casually met with a business acquaintance and mentioned that she may be looking for a different opportunity. The person told her to send her resume and cover letter to her—just in case there was a potential fit with the organization. Guess what? Less than a month later, my client was contacted because they are creating a new position and she may be the perfect. The job is not advertised nor will it be posted online. It is only because of the personal networking that my client has a chance at moving ahead in her career.

If you are interested in building your career opportunities, build and utilize your personal network. If your job search is not a secret, tell people that you are actively searching. Be specific and let them know the types of positions you are seeking. If you are a “stealth job seeker,” then tell only one or two trusted individuals that you are actively looking for a job so they can remember your information when a job arises.

Next, be sure to schedule time for personal networking. Make it a priority within your schedule. Attend local Business After Hours events, sign up for a workshop within your field, or invite a trusted colleague to lunch. Write down your personal networking goals. For example, “Attend one networking meeting and invite Bob Smith for lunch during February.” Make your goals as concrete as possible and assess them at the end of each month.

Finally, be prepared. While you don’t want to be pushy, keep a copy of your resume and your personal business card with you at all times. When meeting with business acquaintances and colleagues and they ask for your information, you will have it readily available. This will show that you are prepared, organized, and eager for that next job opportunity.

As someone that has built my business from the ground-up and utilized in-person networking greatly to accomplish this, please email me with any personal networking questions: heather@feather-communications.com. And, if you are ready to move forward with your job search, please visit our website.