Resume Tips for Applying to a Job When You’re Overqualified

At some point during your career, you may be applying for a job and you will discover that you are considered overqualified. It may be a job that you would LOVE to secure, but you are concerned that if you include your backgrounds, skills, education, and work history, the potential employer will no give you a second-look because you may be too bored, want too much money, or don’t really want the position.

Tip #1 –  Don’t include advanced degrees on your resume if they aren’t relevant. In the past, I worked with a client who had a law degree, but his entire professional career had been spent in sales and that’s where he wanted to remain. So, we only mentioned his undergraduate degree and focused on his sales and marketing skills—leaving off the fact that he was a lawyer.

Tip #2 – Choose the job history that aligns with the future job opportunity. If you have worked for 15 or 20 years, you likely may have older positions that aren’t relatable to the future of your career. Instead, only include the positions that are in-line with your career direction and use a heading that says Selected Professional Experience or Relevant Work History.

Tip #3 – Be specific with your skills. Instead of touting high-level skills that have nothing to do with your goals, eliminate these and really concentrate on the key words and qualifications that are listed in the job posting. By changing your skills and career summary each time you send your resume, you are also much more likely to get through Applicant Tracking Systems.

Tip #4 – Use a career summary that highlights why you are the right person for the job and why this job may be for you. Mention your passion for the field or a past accomplishment that directly aligns with this job opening. Show them why you are the right person for the position and why they should call you for an interview.

Remember, if you are already applying for a job and sending a resume, the company should understand that you are interested in the opportunity. However, it also doesn’t hurt to ensure that your resume aligns with that perception, too.

If you still have questions, please contact me today and I can review your resume – I look forward to  hearing from you!

3 Ways to Easily Modify Your Resume

You may have heard that you need to customize your resume each time you send it to a potential job opportunity. And, to a certain extent, that is true. As you write your new document, you need to ensure you are including as many key words as possible. These are the words that are prominent in the job posting and outline the skills, abilities, and qualifications needed for a new job. But, how can you easily do this so you don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ each time you submit a resume?

#1 – The job titles at the top of the resume. This should be the first section that someone reads when they review your document. If you are in sales, it may say something similar to: Sales Leader | Marketing Professional | Account Manager. These can either be past job titles you have held or a set of skills that you have honed through your career experience. If you choose to list skill-sets, you could say: Sales Leadership | Project Marketing | Account Management.

#2 – The career summary. Immediately following the titles or heading on the resume will be the career summary. This will be a high-overview of you—the job candidate. Typically, the career summary will be approximately three to five lines and will start with several adjectives. So, you may say something like: “Dynamic, proactive, and team-oriented sales professional…etc.” By placing these adjectives at the forefront of the career summary, you can easily change those three adjectives to match words used in the job posting.

#3 – The areas of expertise. The third section on your resume highlights short, succinct, and crystal-clear skills that directly align with key words in your desired position. This is the easiest and most obvious place to change words each time you send the document. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend cutting and pasting the entire job description; however, be smart and choose your words wisely to be directly in-line with the advertisement.

While you can certainly change other verbiage in your resume, these are the three easiest places to quickly modify your document and still get in-line with the job posting. By doing this, you don’t have to start-over each time you apply to a different opportunity.

If you still have resume questions, download my Top 5 Resume Tips to GET THE INTERVIEW. Or, email me your resume (for a free review!) to heather@feather-communications.com.

3 Hard Truths About Your Resume

As you begin writing your resume, you may be inclined to include too much or too little information, go back to far in your job history, or not properly highlight your skills and qualifications. Most people do not enjoy writing about themselves and find writing a resume a daunting task. Instead of wondering WHAT information to include, I encourage you to think about WHY you include certain information. In fact, most of the time, we need to consider these HARD TRUTHS about your OLD resume. (Click HERE to contact me for a FREE resume review!)

#1 – Get rid of the objective. The truth is, your objective is painfully obvious. In fact, you wouldn’t be sending a resume if you didn’t want a new job. So, your ultimate objective is to secure an interview for a new job opportunity. So, instead of putting an objective on your resume—which takes up valuable space at the top of your document—use that area to make a short career summary that allows you to hit upon the key words used in the job posting.

#2 – Don’t include every single job. The hard truth is that NO ONE wants to hear about you flipping burgers in high school or working as a bank teller 25+ years ago. The ONLY time that information is relevant is if you are now applying for a similar position. Otherwise, this information doesn’t pertain to today’s job environment and just dilutes your resume with old information.

#3 – Be careful with dates. Don’t include dates on your education—unless you graduated a couple of weeks ago and have zero work history. Otherwise, the date you graduated from high school or college is not relevant. In addition, include the last 10-15 years of job history and—if you feel the need to include older information—then include it in a section of earlier work history with no dates.

Finally, each time you consider adding a section, responsibility, or achievement, think, “Who cares?”  and “Does this matter to THIS job opportunity?” If the answer is that it won’t matter in the long run, then don’t include it. Instead, think of your resume as a clean, concise, and focused document that allows you to highlight your strengths and forgets the rest.

Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

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!

5 Ways to Get “Lucky” in Your Job Search

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!