5 Forgotten Keys to Resume Success

While Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are vital and key words are a necessity in today’s job search, many job seekers often forget the basics when it comes to developing a new resume. Check out the information below to ensure you are not forgetting these items that are vital to your job searching success.

Tip #1 – Create a professional email address. Even though your college email address may still work, if you are seeking a new job opportunity, it is important to step into that professional space. Don’t use an email address that is not appropriate and eliminate the email address that you may have used for 20+ years. Instead, open a Gmail email account that you SOLELY use for job searching.

Tip #2 – Use your name in your file name. Use your name when naming your file. For example, I would name my resume document as Heather.RothbauerWanish.Resume. Do NOT just call your document “resume.” You want to ensure that your document stands out and can be easily found when the HR director is searching for potential interviewees.

Tip #3 – Match your resume and cover letter. If you are sending a cover letter, be SURE to use the same heading and formatting on both documents. This makes it appear more professional and also ensures all information is cohesive if the information becomes separated.

Tip #4 – Explain large gaps. Years ago, if someone had gaps in his or her job history, we tried to “hide” it and emphasize the continuous information. The truth is, people have gaps in their work lives for all types of reasons. Provide a short explanation to showcase that this was a purposeful leave.

Tip #5 – Balance text and white space. It is important that you include achievements, accomplishments, and responsibilities. At the same time, we want to verify that we don’t have text crowding the margins and that there is enough white space to make the document easier to read.

If you are still concerned about your resume, contact me today for a free resume review!

5 Tips for Rejecting a Job Offer

You THINK you have found your dream job and perhaps even enjoyed meeting the company personnel and thought the interview went well. Then, you receive a job offer and find out one of the following: the job isn’t what you thought it was, the pay doesn’t match your needs, or the position requires way too much travel for your current situation. Now, you have to reject the job offer – read below for five tips on how to correctly do so.

Tip #1 – Actually reject the offer. Sometimes people are so worried about saying “no” that they do nothing. This is definitely NOT the correct course of action. You have to follow-through with the entire hiring process, even if you decide you do not want the position.

Tip #2 – Put it in writing. Send an email and document the rejection of the offer. It’s important that there is a record of declining the position. And, if you would like to, you can also send a hard copy via mail.

Tip #3 – Use the “I appreciate you” sandwich. This looks like the following: thank the company and personnel for the time spent interviewing you and for considering you for the open position (positive). Then, state that you have decided to decline the offer (negative). Finally, end the documentation with another thank you and appreciation statement (positive). This allows you to have the order of thank you—bad news—thank you.

Tip #4 – Be concise. While it is important to state the rejection, it’s not necessary to elaborate on WHY you are declining the offer. Keep it simple and concise. If you feel that a ‘reason’ is a necessity, then just state that circumstances have changed or that the position isn’t the right fit at this time.

Tip #5 – Maintain open communication. It’s vital that you preserve this potential relationship. After all, the company may decide to re-offer the position in the future and offer you more money or exactly what you need to make a move. Do you want to be considered at that point? If so, then be sure that you are always professional and never bad-mouth the employer.

Finally, remember that just because one opportunity doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be positive about your job search and use that past experience as you move forward. There is something about knowing even more people and understanding more companies that allows you to build your network and enhance communication within your field. Use that information to your advantage and keep going—you WILL find the appropriate position if you don’t stop looking.

Ready to make a career move and not sure how your resume will work in today’s job market? Contact me today for a free resume review!

5 Tips for Listing Education on Your Resume

Obviously, as you create your new resume, it will be important that you include your educational background and those things that you learned in a formalized setting. However, it is also vital that you think strategically about where to list that information and how to list that on your document. Keep reading for 5 tips on how to position your education for maximum results.

Tip #1 – List education after your professional history. Most often, your experience outweighs your educational background. The ONLY time I switch the order—putting education first—is when someone JUST graduated from college and has zero professional experience.

Tip #2 – Do not list dates with your education. At some point, putting an older date on your education will potentially cause age discrimination. And, honestly, there is no reason to list the date. Sometimes companies will ask for a transcript during the application process; if they do, then they will see the date at that point.

Tip #3 – Use the proper names of your degrees. For example, if it is a Bachelor degree, be sure to specify if it was a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. And, add the information regarding your major and minor.

Tip #4 – Use partial college credits to your advantage. I work with many individuals who attended college but didn’t graduate for a multitude of reasons. If that is the case, you can still list relevant coursework, number of credits earned, or the type of degree you were seeking.

Tip #5 – Workshops and continuing classes can be included in education. If you don’t have a college degree, but you received certificates or attended seminars, you can use that to show that you are a continuous learner and don’t settle for the status quo.

The  education section is a significant part of your resume; just remember that it is important to show that you are an employee who also desires to learn more about your industry and is ready, willing, and able to undergo additional training. This is also a gentle reminder to keep track of the trainings, workshops, and seminars that you attend so you can list them on your future resume.

Still confused about how to position yourself on your updated document? Contact me today for a free resume review!

How to Sell Yourself on Your Resume

For most people, it can be awkward and strange to write about yourself, especially when you are highlighting your best qualities and trying to ‘sell’ yourself to land that next job opportunity. But, the truth is, you MUST do it correctly if you expect to get a call for an interview. More importantly, you need to stop thinking that it is bragging or being boastful. If what you are writing is true, there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about writing it in words.

Tip #1 – Change your mindset. Instead of thinking about what YOU consider to be your strengths, think about how your co-workers would describe you or what your boss would say about you. If you have kept your past performance appraisals and reviews, pull those out and review the information. Chances are, your employer has said good things about you; this can put you in the correct mindset as you are starting to craft your document.

Tip #2 – Focus on your accomplishments. Instead of just looking at your job description (which probably sounds a bit boring and dry), think about what you have contributed to the workplace and why that matters. Use quantitative information—including numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages—to show the IMPACT you have made at the organization.

Tip #3 – Do your research. Review the job posting and the potential employer. Be sure that you are making your resume in-line with their verbiage, tone, and organization. It’s vital that you align with the key words in the job posting and understand the culture of the company.

Tip #4 – Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t just put one or two lines underneath each job description and then think that is enough. Instead, really think about what you did at each position and make sure that you are adequately representing your achievements in these roles.

Tip #5 – Identify transferable skills and strengths. Often, people are changing industries and find it challenging to discover how what they have done in the past translates to the future jobs. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will most likely find that working with cross-functional team members, overseeing projects, and collaborating with vendors may be skills utilized in both positions.

Finally, whether or not you know it, you are selling yourself all of the time. Building a resume is no different – it’s just selling yourself in words. If you are still concerned that your resume isn’t impactful enough or isn’t ready for today’s job market, contact me today for a free resume review!

5 Things that Your Resume Writer Needs to Know

When working with a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), it’s important that you know the information that is needed for an accurate, targeted, and focused resume for today’s marketplace. Please read below to discover the exact information that is needed to create a document that secures interviews.

Basic Information. If you are planning to stay  in the same geographic area, then you should include your physical address. However, if you are moving, then put your anticipated address on the document. In addition, be sure that you have a generic email (preferably Gmail), a cell phone number, and a LinkedIn address that allows you to be contacted easily.

Your achievements. Rather than focusing on your past job descriptions, focus on your accomplishments and achievements; those items that set you apart from other potential candidates. If there is any way that you can include quantitative information that includes numbers and percentages, please do so. If there are any employee numbers or dollar amounts that can be included in your new document, then be sure to address this information.

Official Job Titles and Past Employment. Rather than knowing all of your job information for your entire career, it is MOST important that you know the last 10-12 years of employment history. That includes where you worked, your official job titles, and the dates associated with those opportunities.

Education Information. Even if you don’t have an “official” college, degree, it’s vital that you know of any continuing education, extra workshops, and seminars that you have attended. Even though some things may not be considered “traditional” education, it’s important to show that you ar focused on continuous learning and bettering your skills.

Skills and Qualifications. While it may be challenging to identify your top strengths, it’s important to decide which of those key skills you want to bring forward as your assets and skill-sets. Please remember that it is important to identify those qualifications that are transferable and easily applicable to multiple departments.

Finally, you must think of your resume as a document that draws attention and secures an interview. Rather than telling your entire story, it should generate enough of an interest to create interest and focus on why you may be the correct person for the position.

If you would like a free resume review—no matter how old your resume may be—please contact me today! I would love to provide you with free resume tips that will lead you to a new job opportunity!