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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 email@example.com for a free resume review!
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.
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!
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!