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Apr 26 18

Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Now that you have decided to rewrite your resume, you have the dreaded task of sitting down at the computer and pulling up either an ancient resume or starting with a blank document. Either way, you need to start thinking about your work experiences and what will be included in the Professional Experience section of your resume. Here are some tips to think outside of the normal work history that has been traditionally included in your past resume drafts.

Tip #1 – Yes, include your jobs, but not all of them. The first—and most obvious—things to include in professional experience section are your actual paid jobs. Start with your most recent job first and then go backwards to your earlier positions. Remember that you don’t have to go back more than 10-15 years with your job history. Not all of your past jobs are relevant towards your future career goals.

Tip #2 – Consider your volunteerism as professional experience. Just because it’s professional experience doesn’t have to mean that it is paid experience. If you are looking for an accounting position and currently serve as a bookkeeper for a community-based organization, then include that information in your professional experience. It most definitely counts.

Tip #3 – Discuss leadership roles in professional organizations. If you have worked with cross-functional team members, led a comprehensive project, or generated a large amount of funds for a non-profit organization, then include that, too. These are skill-sets that can be utilized in almost any job that you apply toward in the future.

Tip #4 – Include internships (if they are fairly recent). If you are a new college graduate, it is highly likely that you won’t have a great deal of professional experience that directly relates to your degree field. However, you probably have at least one internship that you secured during your time in college. Consider adding your internship experience as professional experience – just because it was early in your career doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.

Tip #5 – Focus on achievements. Perhaps one of the most important focuses in your professional history section should be on achievements and accomplishments. Whether it is your most recent job or your internship, think about the impact that you made with the organization and not just your responsibilities. Whenever possible, include information that discusses dollar amounts, percentages, and numbers—this always catches the reader’s eye.

Remember that your professional history needs to focus on the relevant information that matters to a future employer. It’s vital that you focus on achievements that demonstrate the success you brought to your previous employers. Still have questions about this section of your resume? Contact me today for a free resume review!

P.S. If you want MORE resume tips, download my FREE resume tips that GET THE INTERVIEW!

Mar 20 18

5 Ways to Get “Lucky” in Your Job Search

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Do you ever wonder how some people get so “lucky” with their job search? They just seem to find the right job at the right time and basically fall into the perfect opportunity. However, that is (most often) NOT the case. Behind the scenes, these job seekers have put in hard work, determination, and have been extremely organized during the job search. Read below for five ways to increase your “luck” while you look for a new job.

#1 – Keep your resume up-to-date. Sometimes, the ideal job may present itself and you have to be ready. If a recruiter contacts you and tells you about a job opening, do you really want to tell him or her that you can send a resume within a week? No! You should keep your resume updated and be able to send it within 24 hours. (Need resume tips? Download my FREE checklist!)

#2 – Maintain your LinkedIn profile. Organizations often seek out new employees via LinkedIn and you don’t want your profile to show only the bare bones of your work experience. If you have publications, projects, or work you can showcase on your profile, then do it. Make sure you have a picture uploaded, a catchy headline, and achievements that can quantify your work. (Connect with me HERE on LinkedIn – tell me you read this post!)

#3 – Clean up your social media profiles. While LinkedIn is your professional online presence, keep in mind that others (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) may show fun photos of your family and personal life; however, these photos can also give employers hesitation when reaching out to you.  Delete anything that doesn’t serve you well in your job search and be certain that anything you put on your social media channels is something that you feel comfortable with EVERYONE seeing.

#4 – Stay organized. Keep track of where and when you have applied for job opportunities. Follow-up with these companies if you don’t hear anything within 7-10 days. If you land an interview, follow-up immediately with a thank you email and then send a card in the mail. These little things can add up to a big impact if you DO THEM.

#5 – Tell (trusted) people you are on the job hunt. Reach out to your network and tell them you are open to a new opportunity. Use the rapport you have built within your industry and within professional associations to secure that new job. While you may have to keep your job search somewhat quiet, this is the time to use that network you have built to cultivate a job within your field.

The next time you think that someone just got “lucky” with his or her job search, think again. While you may see the end success, it is far more likely that the person has put in a great deal of work ahead of landing that new successful job.

If YOU are ready for a job search, contact me today – I’d love to help you reach your job goals!

Feb 22 18

Stop Making These 5 Resume Mistakes

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

At a recent networking event, someone asked me about the common mistakes that I see on resumes. Then, he asked me if it differs depending upon the industry. In all honesty, it doesn’t. My typical client is someone that is age 35 and older, hasn’t looked for a job in over 10 years and now has an opportunity to make a career move or is being forced to do so. No matter the circumstance, read below for the five most common resume mistakes that I see on a regular basis.

#1 – Including an objective. Just. Don’t. Do. It. No one cares about your objective. While that may sound harsh, it is the truth. The company cares about what you can do for THEM. How are you going to make their job EASIER? Stating that you are looking to “…grow your leadership abilities while enhancing their organization…” isn’t helping your cause.

#2 – No career summary. So, you have (maybe) skipped the objective, but still didn’t include a career summary. This is a necessity. Provide the company with a high-overview of you as a job candidate. It only needs to be a three to five-line summary that gives several skill-sets and aligns with key words in the job search. Please know that this is the FIRST part of the resume.

#3 – A missing skills section. If you don’t have a qualifications/skills/core competencies/areas of expertise section, you are missing out. And, more importantly, companies are missing out on YOU. This is THE place to utilize those key words used in the job posting. If you don’t tell a prospective employer about your skills, how will they have any idea what they are? Use short, succinct, bullet points to match as many key words as possible—as long as you can back it up during a job interview.

#4 – Including dates with education. Unless you graduated from college last Saturday, the year you graduated no longer matters. In fact, at some point, that information could start to hurt you and could potentially bring about age discrimination. And, if you are yet to graduate from college, put your estimated date of month and year of graduation on your resume.

#5 – Including OLD jobs. While I LOVED my job as bank teller in high school, that was more than 20+ years ago and is no longer relevant. You don’t need to include very single job that you have ever had on your resume. Think relevance over quantity of past job experiences.

If you are still unsure of what to include or exclude from your updated resume, contact me HERE and I will provide you with a free resume review!

P.S. If you are ready to make your changes NOW, go HERE and download my 7 Steps to Mastering Your Job Hunt!

Feb 6 18

5 Things to Remove from Your Resume Immediately

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As a job seekers, you are probably most concerned with what you SHOULD include on your resume – professional history, education, and achievements are at the top of that list. However, did you know there are certain things that you SHOULD NOT have on your resume? That’s right! Check out my list below to ensure you don’t have these items on your document.

#1 – An objective. Don’t include this tired and worn-out statement. After all, it probably says something similar to the fact that you want to be a role model for others, learn as you grow in the workplace, and be the world’s most perfect employee. In short, an objective doesn’t really tell the employer anything viable about you as a job candidate.

#2 – Jobs from 15 or 20 years ago. While I enjoyed working as a bank teller during high school, that job was over 20 years ago and it is not relevant to what I want to do in the future. Now, if I was applying to be a loan officer or the bank president, it may be worth mentioning. Other than that, it’s out-of-date and not important anymore. So, before you add that OLD job history to your document, consider if it is really relevant. And, if not, then eliminate it from your resume.

#3 – An unprofessional email address. If you graduated from college 10 years ago and you’re still using your alumni email address as the contact method, it’s time to get with the times. Or, if your email username is foxylady or greenbaypackersfan, consider opening a new email address strictly for your job search. Be professional and utilize your name (if possible) for your email address. And, NEVER use the email address from your current job – not only is it unprofessional, but you may be endangering your current job situation.

#4 –  References. While this used to be a tried-and-true ending to a resume, that is no longer the case. Typically, if references are asked for during the job search, you can supply them in a separate document. In addition, don’t include the line, “References Available Upon Request,” at the end of the document. Of course you have references available – and, your resume is a targeted document – don’t waste that valuable space on a line that doesn’t deliver further information.

#5 – Personal Information. While I’m sure your personal life is interesting, your resume is not the place to include those details. Frankly, your hobbies and interests are probably not going to land you a new job. And, although your family is fantastic, NEVER include those details. No one needs to know that you have been married for 10 years, divorced twice, or have 3 children—again, the job search is not the place for major life revelations.

If you have more questions about what to include and not include in your new resume, contact me today! I would LOVE to help you sift through the details and create a resume that aligns with your future career goals. Get started today – send your resume to heather@feather-communications.com for a free resume review!

Jan 9 18

How to Be Confident During Your Next Job Interview

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Picture this: you have been sending resumes to online job postings, meeting with networking connections to tell them you on the job hunt and you have finally landed an interview! In fact, it’s at a company that you would LOVE to work for and the job is perfectly suited for you. Then, panic sets in because you haven’t been on an interview for a LONG time and you get nervous—really nervous. Read through these tips below for some advice on how to appear confident during your upcoming interview.

Tip #1 – Do your homework. Research the company, its products, services, staff members, and mission statement. Do NOT show up to the interview and not know anything about the organization. In fact, a commonly asked interview question concerns you telling THEM what you know about their company. Don’t disappoint. And, with how easy it is to research a company on the Internet, you really have no excuse for not doing this easy step.

Tip #2 – Practice interview questions. Google a list of commonly-asked interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Conduct a mock interview with a trusted colleague or friend. (Contact me today for mock interview services) And, if you do this on your own, say your responses out-loud. Better yet, turn the camera on yourself and SEE how you respond to these questions. Often, how we think we sound is actually different than how it comes across to someone else.

Tip #3 – Don’t be squirmy. This may sound completely strange; however, when people get nervous, they fidget, play with their hair, dart their eyes in all directions, and generally squirm in their chairs. I tend to talk with my hands A LOT and probably do that even more when I’m nervous. To calm my nerves, I always bring a pen and a portfolio or paper with me. This grounds me and allows my hands to rest on something that doesn’t cause a distraction (just don’t play click-click-click with your pen).

Tip #4 – Breathe. Breathing comes naturally to all of us, right? Not true. When people are nervous, they tend to take short breaths and find themselves breathing shallowly. Take a few deep breaths upon arrival to your interview, take another deep breath before the first question, and be conscious of your breathing during the interview.

Tip #5 – Don’t be hard on yourself. Think positively and use every single interview as a learning experience. If—during the interview—you feel like you gave a less-than-stellar answer, don’t worry about it. You are probably dwelling on it more than the interviewers even noticed. And, even if this job opportunity doesn’t work out for you, you have gained even more experience as an interviewee and can learn from each one of them. Be certain that you are the CORRECT person for the job and explain how the company can be positioned better with YOU as a member of the team.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking. And, as I always tell my clients, if you aren’t nervous for an interview, I would almost think you weren’t really that interested. A little bit of nervousness can harness power within you and actually be a good thing – use that to your advantage.

Click HERE to access my Master Your Job Hunt email course – you’ll discover HOW to make an impact with your resume and land a new job faster!

Jan 2 18

Resume Tips for 2018

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

It’s the new year! And, for many people, that means evaluating your job situation and potentially looking for a new career path. Before you go through your file archives and send in your dusty, old, and outdated resume, consider making these five changes before blasting it out to job opportunities. (And, if you are looking to make changes NOW, check out our Master Your Job Hunt email course)

Tip #1 – Remove any sort of objective. Yes – you read that correctly. Now, I KNOW that if you last completed your resume 10+ years ago, you most likely have an objective on there and that is what you were taught do to. However, today that is replaced with a career summary. After all, if you are sending a resume, isn’t your objective clear? (It’s to get a new job!)

Tip #2 – Check your job history and consider relevance. I have worked with clients that want to keep their ENTIRE job history on the document. While I appreciate that each job probably had a learning lesson or helped you hone your skills, the fact that you worked at a bank in high school (by the way—that was my high school job) doesn’t really matter if that was 20+ years ago. Now, if you are applying to work at a bank, that may be a different story. If not, then consider if the job is even relevant anymore.

Tip #3 – Be concise. Do NOT include your entire job description. Hiring managers and recruiters merely glance at a resume for about five to seven seconds. Do you really think they are reading the entire thing? Here is a hint: NO—they aren’t reading it at all. They are skimming it. Don’t include extra fluff just for the sake of adding to the text. It won’t matter.

Tip #4 – Remove any years that “date” you. Who knows when the possibility of age discrimination starts? It could be when you reach the age of 40, 50, or 60. But, why give anyone the opportunity to increase the chance of age discrimination? (Check out some tips for seasoned job seekers) Instead, use the dates for the last 10-15 years of job descriptions—if you include anything prior to that, remove the dates. And, remember that you do NOT have to include dates on your education.

Tip #5 – Have a trusted friend or colleague review your resume. This is probably the best tip I can give you. Did you know that our brains have a way of tricking your eyes and adding things that aren’t there? Or, your brain can even turn a misspelled word into a correctly spelled word? That’s right! What does that mean? It means that you are NOT the best proofreader of your own material. Get someone else to review it and provide you with feedback.

Ready for a new resume and a new job? Send me your resume and I’ll provide you with a free review within 48 hours!

Nov 13 17

7-Step Guide to Master Your Job Hunt

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

Haven’t looked for a job in quite some time? Even if it has only been a few years, things have changed. For most of my clients, they haven’t sought a new opportunity for at least 10 years – the last time they looked for a job, they mailed a resume or hand-delivered it. Those days are long-gone. Check out a summary of the 7 Steps to Master Your Job Hunt.

Step #1 – Summarize your history. Get organized and know that you should only include dates on your professional history from the last 10-12 years. If you want to include information prior to that, you can easily include it in a section titled “Earlier Career History” and DO NOT include the dates.

Step #2 – How to identify your strengths and goals. For most of my clients, this part is challenging. Most of us don’t sit around all day and think about our list of skills and talents. Instead, think of it this way: What would your co-workers say about you or how would they describe you? What did your boss write about you for your last performance review?

Step #3 – Today’s job search. Looking for a job today can be completely different than years ago. Job openings can easily be found online; however, understanding the information to include in your resume and application documents can be tricky. At the end of the day, it still may come down to who you know—the more people you know, the better odds of you finding a new job.

Step #4 – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and key words. When applying online, you MUST be sure that you are matching as many words from the job posting as possible. Pay attention to these words. Instead of having a person going through all of the resumes coming in, companies have a scanning software on the website that allows them to weed people out – NOT weed people in. This means that you have to be smart about the words that you include in your document.

Step #5 – Your new resume. Several of my top tips include developing a career summary, add a skills section, and focus on achievements. Your resume is your chance to shine – don’t be shy about discussing your accomplishments and how they can be translated to the next employer. When putting together your resume, it is vital that you focus on your strengths and how those strengths can make a positive impact on the future organization.

Step #6 – Networking and your job search. Even though you can find job openings online, it is still important that you network with people in-person. Attend a networking group in your area, check out your local chamber of commerce, build a relationships with a staffing agency, and ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. These tips only work if you work at them. A new job will (most likely) not fall into your lap.

Step #7 – Follow-up with contacts. If you meet someone, send them an email or call them to thank them for their time. When you have an interview, send a thank you note to that person. By following-up, you are showing your professionalism and put your name in front of the hiring managers and/or contacts once again.

If you are ready to Master Your Job Hunt, then click HERE to gain access to our email course. Throughout seven days, you will receive instructions, feedback, and ideas for gaining your next job opportunity. It’s a proven way for you to land your next interview and job opportunity quicker – click HERE today!

Sep 29 17

The 3 Items You MUST have on the Top of Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

It’s that time. You’ve experienced one of the following things: you were recently laid-off from your job, you can’t stand where you work and you’re ready for a new position, or you are having a (potential) mid-life crisis and just want something different. That means it’s time to dust off your old resume and start applying for those new opportunities. If you haven’t written your resume in a while, you may have no idea where to begin. Read further for three items that you HAVE to include in the top portion of your new document.

First: You need to have a heading or several job titles listed. These can be descriptors of yourself or potential titles of new jobs. For example, You could say something like Marketing Professional and Sales Leader or Business Leadership | Marketing Management | Sales Guidance. The idea is that the instant someone sees your resume, he or she will know exactly the skill-set you are offering and types of jobs you are seeking.

Second: After the heading area, you HAVE to have a career summary. This takes place of the old and tired objective area. In the past, candidates would typically place a fluffy objective in that area that really didn’t provide any details on how the prospective employee was going to help the company. Instead, a career summary will provide a three-to-five line high-overview of the candidate and will utilize key words that align with the job opening.

Third: The last portion for the TOP of your document is a skills or areas of expertise section. This is the PERFECT place to highlight those abilities that directly correspond to the key words in the posting. It is VITAL that you match as many of these as possible so that you can get through the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) scanning software that is utilized on company websites.

Still not sure how to create a new resume? Email me at heather@feather-communications.com and I can offer you a free resume review.

If you want MORE resume tips, then download my free Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW.

Sep 12 17

3 Tips for Listing Education on Your Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

As you put your resume together, you know that it is vital that you put your education on the document. While it may seem like a simple task, the truth is that how and what you list with your education can make a big impact. This is especially true if the job requirements specifically ask for particular education requirements. Read through the following tips to ensure you are putting together the best possible education section on your document.

Tip #1 – Don’t add years. That is right. The year you graduated college is not important. And, at some point, the year you graduated may start to date you and open you to age discrimination. If you know someone graduated from college in 1988, you may automatically think that he or she is out-of-date when it comes to today’s workplace. So, why put that information out there?

Tip #2 – List your major and your minor. Don’t just say that you earned a “Bachelor of Arts” degree—instead, state that you earned a degree in Chemistry or Marketing with a minor in History or Public Relations. This is the type of information that will be most applicable to your future job. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to include all of the classes you took or your GPA. And, be sure to list the name of the college from which you earned your degree.

Tip #3 – Don’t list EVERYTHING associated with your education. What does this mean? This simply means that you don’t have to list all of the clubs, sororities, or organizations you were involved with during your college career. Now, if you only graduated from college three weeks ago and have ZERO professional experience, you may want to consider adding your extracurricular activities to emphasize collaboration, leadership, and a focus within your desired work area. Otherwise, if you were a member of a fraternity from 1988-1992, it’s probably not vital that it ends up on your resume.

Still not sure how to list your unique educational experience? Email me at heather@feather-communications.com and I can offer you a free resume review.

If you want MORE resume tips, then download my free Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW.

Sep 5 17

Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts for Your New Resume

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer

So – you have decided that it’s time for you to write your new resume. And, your next thought is how and what to update since the last time you worked on your resume maybe 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Then, you decide to go online and do a website search regarding resume tips and ideas for today. You become overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin. If you want an easy place to start, read on for three tips that will help you get started with your new document.

#1 – Do be specific. Don’t just write generalities from your job description when talking about your most recent position. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again – there are a LOT of people that have similar job descriptions. The difference is knowing the impact that you made at the organization. So, include HOW MANY accounts you managed, the NUMBER of employees supervised, and the DOLLAR AMOUNT you brought in for new sales.

#2 – Don’t be afraid to discuss your accomplishments. Many of my resume clients think of this as bragging and are worried that they are being too forward. Let’s get real for a minute—there may be 50 or 100+ people vying for the same job. By discussing your achievements, you are simply showing the potential employer what you can do for the company. It’s not bragging if you are stating a fact. And—I can guarantee that those other candidates are most definitely discussing their accomplishments—shouldn’t you be doing the same thing?

#3 – Do identify large gaps in your professional history. If you are a parent returning to work after 10 years or had to take 2 years off to care for an ailing parent, you should address this on your resume. If you choose not to do so, a potential employer may wonder what you were doing that entire time. You can easily say, “Spent 2014 – 2016 caring for an ailing relative,” or something similar to denote the timeline.

When working on a new resume, the amount of information online can be absolutely overwhelming if you are seeking advice and ideas for your new job-searching document. Instead, focus on what makes you unique and ask a trusted colleague or friend to review your resume and provide feedback. At the end of the day, the resume is YOURS and you need to feel comfortable sending the document to potential employers.

Are you still wondering if your resume makes the grade? Then, email me at heather@feather-communications.com and ask for a free resume review. Within 48 hours, I will send you an email offering tips and ideas to help you MOVE FORWARD with your job search!

P.S. If you want to know the secret to getting ahead with your job search, download my Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW today!