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 Other than that, it’s out-of-date and not important anymore.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.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!
I’ve been working with a variety of job seekers since 2008—including over 2,000 clients that range from truck drivers, mid-level managers, production supervisors to college professors, lawyers, and educational professionals. No matter the profession, there are certain items that MUST be included in the resume and several things that MUST be avoided. Read further to discover the resume mistakes to avoid for today’s job market.
Mistake #1 – Listing an Objective. An objective focuses on what YOU want. And, frankly, the employer is strictly focused on what the company NEEDS. That means an objective is pointless and only takes up space that could be used for a career summary or personal summary.
Mistake #2 – Regurgitating your job descriptions. Did you know that there are a LOT of people with the same past job descriptions as you? Sorry to break the news, but there may be a great deal of people that have had past job experiences. What don’t they have? Your accomplishments and achievements. Focus on the numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts that you can weave into the big picture.
Mistake #3 – Including too much or too little information. It may be tempting to keep to your resume to one-page only or to only include your most recent position. However, a good rule-of-thumb is to include the last 10-15 years of experience (not every single job you have ever held!). Think relevance over quantity. And, at some point, putting jobs on your resume from 1985 will start to hurt you and can (potentially) cause age discrimination.
Mistake #4 – Being afraid to “brag.” Many people think that they may be bragging on their resumes if they truly list all that they have accomplished. I am here to tell you that others are doing so—why aren’t YOU? Think about it. If others are putting their best information and achievements out there, then why aren’t you doing the same thing? It’s NOT bragging if you are simply stating a fact.
Mistake #5 – Getting too fancy. While we all like things that look “pretty,” it’s important to remember that Applicant Tracking Systems and human resources professionals like simplicity and getting-to-the-point. Don’t mix and match fonts, along with design elements, and different colors. These things only subtract from the good elements that are inherent in your document.
Here’s the scoop: the more focused, simple, and informative your finished resume can be, the closer you will be to a job interview and your dream job. If you are unsure what information to include or exclude, then and I can provide you with a free resume review!
You may have wondered whether or not you actually NEED a cover letter. After all, some job openings ask for them and some don’t. Are they even read anymore? And, do you need to bother? My answer to clients is a resounding YES. After all, I’ve never heard of someone NOT getting an interview opportunity because they sent a cover letter and they went above-and-beyond the requirements. So, what should you do to make sure you cover letter stands out and isn’t thrown in the trash? Read below for my 5 must-have ingredients to create an impactful cover letter.
#1 – Focus on the employer in the FIRST paragraph. Instead of starting out stating why you want the job and where you want your future career to go, you need to demonstrate why you can make an impact with the organization and HOW that will help them. They need YOU to solve THEIR problems.
#2 – Start giving the readers some skill-sets that will help in the open position. Even then, you need to keep the “you” attitude and focus on the employer. For example, say something like, “Your organization is ready for someone that can build ongoing partnerships, establish contracts, and work closely with external partners – these are all skills I’ve honed while working with ABC Company.” See what we did there? Rather than saying something like, “My skills include….” – we have turned it so the focus is—once again—on the company.
#3 – Use three or four bullet points in the middle of the letter. Don’t use one-word bullets and don’t list your skills. INSTEAD, focus on two or three past achievements or accomplishments that align with the job opportunity. This means that you focus on how many clients you landed within 90 days, the number of employees you supervised, the dollar amount of the account you secured, etc. Use numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts whenever possible.
#4 – Be positive and CONFIDENT throughout the letter. It’s vital that you don’t say thinks like “I think,” or “I feel,” or “I’m almost positive.” Instead, say things like, “I know,” “I’m certain,” or “I am positive.” Don’t think of it as bragging—think of it as stating a fact that you are AWESOME at your job and KNOW how to get things done.
#5 – End with “I’m excited to hear from you,” or something similar. Don’t mention that you will call in three days or that you “hope” to hear from the hiring manager. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow-up with the organization, but you don’t have to use your cover letter space to do so.
And, for those that still may think you don’t need a cover letter. Wouldn’t you rather be prepared and NOT need it versus need it and NOT have it? Finally, I always tell my clients that they can certainly use the verbiage (or at least some of it) for an email to the hiring manager or in an online application system.
So…it’s been 5, 10, or even 15+ years since you’ve looked for a new job? You can probably just re-use your old resume, right? Or—at the very least—just re-hash the information and make it look good for today’s audience, right? The answer is a resounding NO! In fact, it’s vital that you change (at the minimum) these five things to ensure your resume is ready for the second-half of 2017.
Change #1 – Keep it simple. Don’t get “cute” with Comic Sons and other laughable Word fonts. Don’t add funny graphics and a lot of charts. The simpler you can keep it—the better. Many companies utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan incoming resumes for key word matches. If you don’t have a simple and easy-to-read format, you may be OUT of contention before the interviews even begin. When you want to get fancy—remember that simplicity wins most often.
Change #2 – Cut the excess and irrelevant information. While you may think it is awesome that you were a bank teller at age 16 (I was that person!), it is mostly irrelevant to the jobs you are seeking now. You don’t have to include EVERY single job that you have ever had since you joined the workforce. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to only include the last 10-15 years of professional history.
Change #3 – Showcase your accomplishments. Don’t post a complete job description of your past opportunities. Guess what? A lot of other people have similar job descriptions to you. Instead, focus on your accomplishments. Showcase what you DID for the companies – include percentage, dollar amounts, and percentages whenever possible to demonstrate your success.
Change #4 – Eliminate the objective—please! If you haven’t had a resume for 10+ years, chances are that your old document may include an objective. Your objective is not important today. Think about what YOU can for the company. Focus on their needs and figure out a way to fulfill them.
Change #5 – Change your file name. Be sure that your resume stands out. Call it “John Smith Resume” or something similar so that your name is included. Don’t title it with the company name—many others do that—instead, be sure to include your first and last name so that you are remembered during the job search.
It’s vital that you take the time to create an effective resume—this is the first step in the job search process. Remember to stick to the truth, remain concentrated on your strengths, and develop your resume to align to the key words in the job posting. If you can complete these tasks, you will be well on-your-way to your next job opportunity!