Your Story in 30 Seconds | The Importance of a Concise Resume

How many times have you heard that you need to make your resume stand out? It is easy to be tempted to put your whole past in your resume. You just need to make sure you are covering your basis, right? However, that’s the opposite of what you want to do. On average, an employer will review your resume for less than 30-seconds. Here are three ways to make sure your resume is concise while still highlighting your story.

#1 | Use the Job Description as a Checklist

An employer uses a job description to communicate specific requirements and desired skills. Therefore, it is important that you are using that same language in your resume. You should be going through each line of the requirements and make sure you are highlighting that skillset or a relevant transferable skill in at least one place (ideally multiple places) on your resume.

#2 | Think Last 10 Years

Having a hard time deciding how far to go back with your employment or what to specifically highlight? Think about your last 10 years of experience. However, relevant information/experience is always the most important, so you can adjust as needed. It’s also always important to highlight education even if it has been longer than 10 years.

#3 | Use Strategic Section Headers

Use the job description to highlight specific experiences or skill sets that you know the employer will be looking for. As an example, if you are applying for a management position, consider having a header of “Leadership Experience” or “Management Experience”, to catch the employer’s eye. Be sure to order your sections by what is most relevant to the position. For someone just entering the job market that may be your “Education” section, and for someone who has a few years under their belt that may be your “Professional Experience” section.

Looking for more help concisely telling your story. I’d love to chat – click HERE now!

5 Tips for Updating Your Resume During COVID-19

The past few months have been challenging for most employees and workplaces. In fact, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and many people are on unemployment while they wait to see if and when their jobs will be back to “normal.” This is a time—whether or not you have lost your job or are still working—when it may be a good idea to review your resume. Here are some tips for update your document TODAY.

Tip #1: Say what happened. If you are on furlough due to COVID-19 or have been laid-off due to this situation, then make a line item on your resume that says you were placed on furlough or the company closed. Because everyone has been affected by the pandemic, it is okay to mention it on your resume.

Tip #2: Now is a great time to change directions. If you have always wanted to make a career transition or try a different industry, then now is the time to rework your resume toward that goal. In fact, all industries will be changing how they operate, so there may be more opportunities in your intended target industry.

Tip #3: Focus on transferrable skills. Let’s face it: you may have to switch directions or take a job that isn’t in your traditional goals; use what you have done in the past to ensure you are aligning it to future jobs. Discuss your cross-functional teamwork abilities, critical decision making, creative problem solving, and communication skills.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to state facts. You are NOT bragging when you talk about your accomplishments or achievements. Think of yourself as a reporter who is stating facts and discussing what happened. This is NOT the time to be demure or to worry about being boastful.

Tip #5: Start looking NOW. While many companies are in a hiring freeze, do not wait to look for new opportunities. If everyone looks for new jobs at the same time, there will be a LOT of competition. Keep your eyes open now and make sure that you are always available for new jobs.

As you move forward during or after COVID-19, make sure that you are aware of the challenges while still remaining hopeful and positive for the future. There ARE things you can do RIGHT NOW to change your resume FOR THE BETTER!

Salary Negotiation for Your First Job

Click to access our Top 5 Resume Tips for New Professionals!

Less than 40% of job candidates negotiate their salary. Why? People often feel uncomfortable with the process or do not want to give off the impression of feeling pushy or greedy to a potential new employer. Break through this stigma by following these four simple rules.

#1 | Do Your Research

Many first-time and experienced job seekers don’t negotiate their salary because they don’t know what salary to ask for when seeking out a new position. Make sure to do your research ahead of time to know the industry, position, and location averages. Check out websites such as www.glassdoor.com or www.salary.com to start.

#2 | Adjust to Cost of Living

A technical writer in New York City is going to be paid more than a technical writer in Decorah, Iowa even with the same amount of experience. This is because of the cost of living differences. Be sure to create a hypothetical budget for yourself in the places you are interviewing and research the prices of things such as rent, utilities, and groceries. You should take into account these numbers when determining your needed salary.

#3 | Think Beyond Salary

When you accept a position, you are typically given more than just a paycheck. Reflect on what is most important to you and remember that you can ask to negotiate more than just the number on your paycheck. You could consider items such as vacation time, flexible work schedule, or professional development.

#4 | Practice & Be Ready

The best time to negotiate a salary is after you have the offer. This is so important that I am going to repeat it again. The best time to negotiate a salary is AFTER you have the offer. At that point, the ball is in your court. You know that the employer wants you. When an employer calls to offer you a job, DO NOT accept right away. Instead, show excitement and appreciation and ask if you can take a look at the offer and schedule a call to talk soon. Review the offer and determine your next strategy. If you decide to negotiate, be sure you can demonstrate your value proposition and why you are asking for something different.

So, go ahead. Take that chance. Negotiate your salary. Communicate your worth. We’ll be cheering for you!

Four Must-Haves for Your LinkedIn Profile

A LinkedIn profile is a must in today’s job searching world. With a majority of employers using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool to find candidates, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to have your information available 24/7. With having your information available at all hours of the day, you’ll want to consider these four tips when creating or updating your profile.

#1 | Completed Essentials

When an employer does an initial search for candidates, the three elements of your profile that initially show up are your name, your picture, and your headline. You want to be sure you have all of those items completed and customized to you. Make sure your picture is recent and high quality. Be sure your headline is something that is customized to your and your current situation. What do you do or what are you passionate about? What are you searching for? What do you offer?

#2 | An Effective & Creative Summary

LinkedIn offers an “About” section on your profile. It is so important that you are completing your bio and making sure it is value-packed. Focus on your mission, your accomplishments, and your specialties. Check out this post on writing a brilliant bio here: https://feather-communications.com/blog/how-to-write-a-brilliant-bio-top-5-tips/.

#3 | Complete Your Experiences

You can add your work and volunteer experiences to your LinkedIn profile, but it is important you are not leaving it up to others to interpret your experiences. For each experience you list on your profile, add accomplishments and skills gained or developed. You can also add files or a URL to each of your experiences if you have examples of your work that you are able to share.

#4 | Make Use of the Accomplishments Section

One of the last sections of your LinkedIn profile is “Accomplishments”. There are many different items that you can add to this section such as organizations, courses, and awards. One of the most underutilized sections is “Projects”. This is a great place for items such as work projects, capstone projects, or even other course projects that may be relevant to your career.

Moving forward, come back to your LinkedIn profile regularly. Just like today’s recruiting trends, LinkedIn is always updating and innovating. The tips listed here are just the start of things to consider when crafting your profile. If you are still unsure of how to include certain information or how to communicate your value in your profile, I’d love to chat – click HERE now!

Crafting a Resume When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Experience

Starting your job search and feel like you’re not qualified for the positions you’re interested in? Young professionals often don’t give themselves enough credit for the skills and accomplishments they possess. Reflect on these three tips to help you realize how great you really are!

Tip #1 | Lean on Projects

Have a relevant project from a class? Or maybe a project that let you expand your skills at your job that is relevant for your next opportunity? Highlight these experiences with bullet points that show your capabilities and accomplishments. You can put these projects in a “Relevant Projects” or “Select Projects” section on your resume.

Tip #2 | Highlight Essential Skills

Feel like you have those jobs that just aren’t relevant to your career? It is all about how you talk about them. Instead of focusing on responsibilities and duties, focus on those essential transferable skills. Need help crafting powerful statements that highlight your essential skills?

Tip #3 | Relevant Experience Doesn’t Always Mean Paid

Similar to projects, remember that volunteer experience is important to highlight on your resume if it is relevant to the job. When it comes to listing these experiences, remember that you cannot assume that the employer knows just by the title that it is a relevant experience. Paint a picture through your statements of how you’ve gained relevant skills through every experience.

When applying for jobs, remember that there is always going to be a learning curve with every new position. Be kind to yourself and remember to reflect on how you align with each job posting. Looking for more direction to make sure your resume highlights your strengths and abilities? I’d love to chat – click HERE now!