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Being stuck in a career that you hate can be soul destroying, especially when you have no idea what you’d like to do instead. The weight of expectation, fear, and indecision can lead you to make a rash decision about a change in career that, ultimately, leaves you just as unsatisfied.

When it comes to making a career change there are common mistakes that people make. Being aware of them and considering a different path to change can save you from making a career decision that you’ll live to regret. Here are three common mistakes career changers make and how to avoid them.

1. Rushing into things

When you are doing a job that makes you miserable, it is tempting to want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this makes you vulnerable to jumping into any old role that is put in front of you in the hope that it will make you less unhappy.

If you can manage it, staying put for now could give you the breathing space you need to discover what you truly want. Is it really the career that you hate, or simply the company you work for? If it is the career that’s not working for you, have you truly considered what you’d like to do instead?

2. Trying to solve the problem by thinking

For many of us – especially knowledge workers – our first port of call for solving a problem is to think it through until we come up with a viable solution. Making lists of alternative jobs, weighing up pros and cons, and researching logical pathways to change often seem like the most natural first step.

The problem with going about things in this way is that we are limited by our current worldview. Without experiencing new things it’s impossible for us to see beyond what we know today.

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Instead of trying to analyze our way into finding a new career path, we must act it. Before throwing yourself into a job search, consider how you could dip your toe into alternative career paths without going the whole hog. Volunteer somewhere that you find interesting, shadow a friend who works in a different field or take an evening class or Open University course in a subject that piques your curiosity.

3. Relying solely on current skills and experience

For career changers, it can be disheartening to trawl through job advert after job advert only to find that your CV is full of gaps. There are bound to be people already working in the sector you are interested in who have more experience and are more qualified on paper.

Too often, this leads us to stay put in a job that makes us unhappy for fear of rejection. But it doesn’t have to be this way; if you can show potential employers your true worth by presenting your whole self to them, they are more likely to overlook any holes in your resume.

Again, this is where action trumps thinking. Getting yourself in front of people through volunteering, shadowing or retraining will allow them to see you for your potential, not simply for who you are on paper.

Changing your career can be a daunting prospect, but with some small actions and a little patience, it is possible to discover your true calling. Instead of worrying about your next role, take some time to try new things, meet new people and expand your horizons before taking the leap. You never know what you might discover about yourself.

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When it comes to writing a resume, you should be strategic about the words you use. You need to avoid the most overused phrases and instead use other more creative alternatives.

Phrases that you should avoid using in your resume 1. Team-player

This is the most overused phrase. You should find a way to demonstrate that you are a team player indeed. If you have collaborated with other people before to achieve a goal, then that is what you should write on the resume instead of that vague phrase. And you should be detailed about what you achieved in that teamwork.

2. Good communication skills

‘Communication skills’ is a broad field. This is why writing that phrase can make the recruiter lose interest in you. If you have used communication skills to contribute to something or you have created a presentation or press release, then that is what you should specify on your resume.

3. Proven track record

Instead of writing that phrase, prove it. Explain what you did to attain that track record and be specific and make sure to quantify your impact. “I brought twenty new clients which led to a fifty thousand profit in 2010” is more impressive than the phrase “I have proven track record”. It will also make your resume stand out from the rest.

4. Problem solver

Problem solvers have preferred hence the reason why everyone states this phrase on their resume. There is a better way to express this. Reveal to your recruiter the issue that you solved. Whether you fixed a problem with a client, optimized a troubled schedule or solved a dispute at work, let your recruiter know and you must be specific in order to stand out.

5. Helped in some task

You may not have been the lead on a certain project but using the word “helped” ruins your resume. You need to mention what you did. Whether you prepared a sales report or an inventory, indicate that on your resume and avoid the word “helped”.

6. Firm work ethics

Firm work ethics sounds awesome but there are so many people using that cliché. You need to better your resume by indicating how you are able to go an extra mile. If you met a very strict deadline or took lessons to improve your skills, then that is what you should mention on your resume. Let the recruiter know what makes you the employee with firm work ethics.

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7. Bottom line focused

This is another phrase which is used very often and currently, it is meaningless. You need to demonstrate what you did that contributed to the bottom line of your workplace. You must also quantify this skill by listing the amount of time, money, and resources you added or saved.

8. Responsible for this and that

Every person is responsible for something at work, whether they are a CEO or a janitor. This phrase should be avoided and instead, you should mention the position that you held at work and the things that you did to make the company successful. This will make your resume more powerful and more exact.

9. Self-motivated

You are only trying to tell the recruiter that you are not a slacker that clocks out at three daily. Unfortunately, this phrase will not put your point across. Look for a way to prove that you are indeed self-motivated. If you overhauled a damaged inventory system or came up with a unique way of expanding your sales, then that is what you should indicate on the resume. A self-motivated person is able to come up with creative ways of improving what they have been given.

10. Used to fast-paced environment

A fast paced working environment is where people do a lot of work for little money. You should be specific. For instance, analyze your busiest day at your previous job. Identify the things that you accomplished and how you adapted to the obstacles that you encountered. Having that achievement on your resume will prove that you can easily adapt whenever you get challenged.

11. Results Driven

Most resumes begin with “results driven”. The problem here is that during job search, you do not want to sound like everybody else. To stand out from the rest of job seekers, you should try other phrases like “performance-driven”.

12. Successful

This word is also overused. Everyone wants to show how successful they have been so that the recruiters can think highly of them. The word successful can be replaced by other words like “award-winning”, “top performer” or “best in class”.

13. Dependable and dedicated

These words are so boring. You need to spice up your resume with other creative words like “quality-driven”, “high-potential” or “dynamic”.

14. Self-starter

If you are not a self-starter, you should not be looking for a job. Every job seeker should be ready to work without being pushed. Writing on your resume that you are a self-starter indicates that you do not have any meaningful information or you are not qualified for the job. You need to write real examples that prove that you can go an extra mile.


There is no employer that wants to see reiterated job descriptions. They want to know what you can do to improve your previous job.

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From students to today’s young CEOs, many people across the globe benefit from e-learning, as they have a more direct experience with the new ways and technologies. Online learning will give them a domain to learn in a way different from orthodox schooling, and an ability to gain knowledge through innovative means.

In the United States alone, two-thirds of companies are actively going through changes so that their employees get trained via online courses. They use this practice because their employees turn out to be more prepared and more focused on all the challenges businesses stumble upon.

Knowledge sharing platform Zeqr created an infographic that shares some of the most intriguing facts about e-learning and how it helps people explore new ways of providing education, not only for the students of today but for the people of tomorrow. Technology has been advancing every year, and education, with its importance, should benefit from that.

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E-Learning initiatives are by far the best answers around, and with the emergence of this reshaping of learning forms, we believe e-learning will soon take over all schools, colleges, and businesses, as well!

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The personal statement section is one of the more critical parts of your resume and as such merits close attention.

It needs to convey relevant information (who you are, specific skills and applicable experience, career objectives) concisely and in a professional manner. It is also your first opportunity to make a strong positive impression on the hiring manager. As such, this is one of those sections that should be particularly targeted to the job ad you’re responding to.

A targeted personal statement references the specific and relevant skills, qualifications or experience that were detailed in the job description. It is not good enough to use a generalized personal statement as you run the risk of offering an average job application. Each statement should be tweaked to reflect the skills and attributes your prospective employer is looking for.

Your personal statement tells your story

Writing a concise personal statement can be overwhelming. You have to ensure you come across professional and intelligent and prove you are the right person for the job.

Much depends on this initial introduction. You also have to work within certain parameters such as a limited word count. Yet there is a great reward for a well-written personal statement. Here’s how to do it:

Your opening should be strong and clear

Get straight to the facts: who you are and the years of experience you have relevant to the position. You have the choice of writing in either the first or third person, just be consistent throughout your summary.


I am a recent marketing graduate with 3 years’ experience assisting with clients’ social media campaigns for a marketing consultancy agency.

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Emphasize the strength of your candidacy with proof

Following your introduction should be an overview of desired skills and key achievements that strengthen your application and showcase you as a suitable candidate.

Be careful of using clichéd language, overused buzzwords such as ‘dynamic’ or ‘extensive experience’ or presenting vague information. Ensure that you don’t just list the sought-after skills but provide evidence such as results achieved, or awards received.


In my role as a marketing assistant at Dynamic Media, my analytical skills were put to good use in using metric tools such as Google Analytics to manage the improvement of web traffic. I achieved a decrease in the expenditure of seven clients’ social media marketing campaigns by as much as 20%.

What are your future career goals?

By providing the HR manager with an idea of what goals you want to achieve career-wise you can demonstrate your motivation to succeed in the advertised role.


I am looking for a career-building opportunity that will allow me to further develop my marketing skills for a future in marketing management.

Top tips to craft the perfect attention-grabbing personal statement

Once you have drafted your personal statement according to the structure suggested above, review and edit numerous times as necessary until it reads faultlessly. Here are some top tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your personal statement between 150-200 words.
  • Avoid presenting information in one dense paragraph. Use reader-friendly techniques such as short paragraphs and subheads.
  • Include strong action words such as ‘initiated’ ‘established’ ‘led’ ‘devised’ to strengthen your writing. Other words to use if relevant are: ‘outperformed’, ‘increased’ ‘decreased’ ‘reduced’ ‘coordinated’ and ‘awarded’.
  • Remember common grammar rules when using proper and common nouns. Names of organizations and job titles are proper nouns and require a capital letter.

Paying attention to detail is critical in a successful job application. Start with a compelling personal statement that is tailored to each job ad you’re responding to. Proofread your personal statement to ensure there is consistency, it is error-free and conveys a high level of professionalism. You then present a convincing argument that you’re an engaging candidate who has a high level of interest in securing the position and serving the company’s interests.

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When you’re job searching at an executive level, it’s probable that you’ll interact with executive recruiters at some point, as many companies hiring at the senior level use search firms to help them find the top talent needed to fill important positions.

While executive recruiters can help place you with a company, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, they are working for the company that hired them, and their number one priority is satisfying their client. To do this, they need to find the best, qualified person for the job who has the most likely chance of working out long-term.

Recruiters often receive or seek out the resumes of many qualified job seekers, and when you’re in a competitive industry, finding a way to stand out may seem intimidating. The best thing you can do is make it as easy as possible for recruiters to want to work with you, and accomplishing this starts with making their jobs as easy for them as you can.

Here are a few tips to help you get on track:

Respond to Communication Requests in an Efficient and Timely Manner

Initial communication is your first opportunity to demonstrate your punctuality, professionalism, and attentiveness. If a recruiter emails you, do your best to respond quickly and address every aspect of the email appropriately. Being detail-oriented is necessary no matter what industry you’re in, and you can subtly highlight this quality in your initial communication by tending to every point and question that a recruiter reaches out to you about.

The same is true for phone calls. If you miss a call from a recruiter, call back as soon as possible (at appropriate hours of course), and if they leave a voicemail, make a note of all of the main points of the message and address those in your call back.

Remember, prompt, thorough communication softly suggests that you’re reliable and are serious about the open position.

Send Documents in the Specified Format

Executive recruiters are extremely busy people who are juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. Because of this, they have to have their workflow ironed out in a way that will allow them to be the most efficient, and this sentiment extends to how they request documents.

For example, if a recruiter asks you to send your CV letter in a Word document PDF file, send it as requested instead of in an RFP file. This sounds simple enough, but many job seekers are applying for positions multiple places, and they send out mass amounts of resumes without noting the details of what each opening specifies.

Taking the small amount of time to change up the format is a small way of showing that you can follow instructions and that you respect their time and preferences, two things that matter tremendously in the business world.

Be Straightforward With Your Resume

Very few job seekers out there have pitch-perfect resumes. Experiencing employment gaps, suddenly leaving a company without notice, having low levels of experience in a sought-after industry all contribute to why job seekers occasionally bend the truth during the hiring process. In fact, a 2017 report showcased that 85% of employers noticed job applicants lying on their resumes.

While that percentage surely is overwhelming, the key takeaway point should be that the fibs were uncovered. Between reference checks, background checks, and interview screening, hiring professionals know how to read between the lines and get to the truth. Honesty is one of the most essential aspects of any relationship, professional or not, so if there is a cause for concern on your resume, it’s best to address it head-on with integrity.

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Sharpen Up Your Resume

If you’re using the same resume that you’ve been using for years, it may be time to spend some time refining and polishing it up. Recruiters are well-versed in quickly determining who they should call in for an interview, so it’s important to make sure you follow modern best practices and avoid the most common resume errors executive recruiters notice. To help you get started, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Starting your resume with an objective is no longer best practice. Instead, focus on creating a strong and captivating resume summary as well as a title that relates to the position you’re hoping to secure.
  • Be specific with your achievements and experience; vagueness doesn’t make a strong impact.
  • Edit thoroughly for typos.
  • Place your most relevant and recent work experience at the top of the first page of your resume. You want your qualifications to be instantly recognized.
  • Study the job description, and tailor your resume to best highlight how you’d be a solid match.
Show Up to Interviews On Time

Punctuality is an obvious requirement in the world of job searching, but showing up late does more than making a poor impression about your time management skills. An interview is your chance to shine and convince the recruiter that you have what it takes to be a solid addition to their client’s team. There is no guarantee that the recruiter you’re meeting with will be able to extend the duration of the interview if you show up late, so you could be minimizing the time that you have to truly sell yourself or ask any important, clarifying questions.

Of course, unexpected things happen, so do your best to leave earlier than necessary, and always give the recruiter a heads up if you’re going to be late.

Conduct Some Pre-Interview Company Research

Learning about the company a recruiter is seeking top talent for goes a long way. It shows you’re serious about the position, and it also will give you some solid talking points that will help make a strong impression. Taking the time to learn about the company’s culture, history, and purpose sends the message that you’re not trying to score any job you can get your hands on, but rather, you’re going after the specific job that you want.

Even better, use examples of your past experiences and relate those to how you could serve the current needs of the company-in-question. It’s easy to say that you could be an asset, but the more that you can specify how and why you plan to be of service, the more believable that statement will be.

Optimize Your Online Profiles

Sometimes you’ll be the one searching and applying for a job that a recruiter advertises, but other times, they’re searching for qualified applicants online. Because of this, it’s necessary to make sure that your professional online profiles are optimized enough that you can actually be found when someone searches for a position you may be interested in.

Include your job title on your LinkedIn (and any other professional platform you use) as often as possible. Place it in your profile title, in your summary, and anywhere else that would be appropriate. The more you optimize your profile around the key search terms that relate to your position, the more likely you’ll be found when a hiring professional is searching for a candidate.

Good Luck!

Job searching has a tendency to be draining and time-consuming, but hopefully, these tips help narrow down a few ways to make it easier to get the positive attention of any executive recruiters you come in contact with along your way. Like many areas in life, most of your success will come down to being courteous, considerate, professional, and prepared–good luck!

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A homonym is a word that sounds roughly the same as another word but is very different in meaning. We’ve already covered the importance of using the spell-check function when completing all job search documents, and the use of grammar, word choice, and apply to the written as well as the spoken word.  Here are some commonly confused homonyms that sound the same but are often confused when writing:

  • Amount, Number & Quantity. Amount is used for things you can’t measure. Number is a specific quantity of a plural something.  Quantity is used for things that can be measured.  Examples:
    1. “There was a large amount of humor in his speech.”
    2. “Only a small number of fish remained alive in the aquarium.”
    3. “The quantity of honey remaining in the jar is significant.”
  • Adverse and Averse. Adverse means to be against; antagonistic, harmful, or unfavorable, such as being in an adversarial position. Averse means to avoid.  Examples:
    1. “The storm had an adverse effect on completing the harvest.”
    2. “My investment style is one of being risk-averse.”
  • Affect & Effect. These two words can trip up even the best of writers. Pronounced almost the same, the difference is in the first letter. Make sure you know the difference between this set of homonyms.  Examples:
    1. “My business networking efforts directly affect the company’s performance for the quarter.”
    1. “The effect of my networking efforts helped the company raise double the amount of funds over the previous year.”
  • Compliment & Complement. Compliment means point out something favorable, while complement means to add to or improve.  Examples:
    1. “I want to compliment you on your excellent work on this project.”
    2. “Your skill set and Susan’s seem to complement one another.”
  • Discreet & Discrete. Discreet means cautious, while discrete means separate.  Examples:
    1. “We are discreet in the manner in which we handle confidential documents.”
    2. “The company has a discrete method for identifying sales leads.”
  • Elicit & Illicit. Elicit means to ask for or request, while illicit means something illegal.  Examples:
    1. “Your request at the staff meeting seemed to elicit a lot of comments.”
    2. “Harry could get arrested for his illicit activities.”
  • Farther & Further. Modern usage has been so blurred on these that many use the two words interchangeablyFarther describes a physical distance while further describes a figurative degree, extent, or amount.  Examples:
    1. “I traveled 6 miles farther today than yesterday.”
    2. “There have been no further developments since we last spoke.”
  • Imply & Infer. The person speaking or writing implies (hint at something but doesn’t state it directly) while listeners infer (deduce meaning for what was said or written).  Examples:
    1. “I’m don’t want to imply that Steve is opposed to your ideas.”
    2. “From what was said, I infer Steve is opposed to my ideas.”
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  • Inquire & Enquire. The two words are almost interchangeable. Enquire carries a broad but less formal sense of asking, while inquire is more formal.  Examples:
    1. “May I enquire how your health is doing since you got over the flu?”
    2. “The police are conducting an inquiry into what I did and didn’t know.”
  • Insure, Ensure & Assure. All three words share in the concept of making something sure.  Insure generally means to guard, protect, or compensate against loss. Ensure means to do or possess what is necessary for success.  Assure means to promise something with confidence.  Examples:
    1. “State Farm will insure us against any loss we might suffer as a result.”
    2. “I will ensure that every step is taken to complete the job by Friday.”
    3. “Let me assure you that you will be happy with your choice.”
  • Its & It’s. These three letters put together can form one word or two words simply by the break of an apostrophe. Its is possessive, while it’s is a contraction of it is.  Examples:
    1. “Increased its department size by 50 percent.”
    2. “It is [or It’s] the first product of its kind to enter the market.”
  • Precede & Proceed. Precede is to go before or be in front of.  Proceed is to move forward or ahead. Examples:
    1. “Susan preceded you and arrived first.”
    2. “Susan, you may proceed with handing out the tests.”
  • Principal & Principle. Principal means first or of high importance, while principle means fundamental or a belief.  Examples:
    1. “This provision is of principal importance to the negotiation.”
    2. “The principle of fairness is what will be used to evaluate the proposals.”
  • Than & Then. Than is used to express difference, while then means a time or followed by.  Both sound the same. Take care in your writing to distinguish which is the proper word to use.   Examples:
    1. “Increased sales by more than 50% in the second year of the product’s launch.”
    2. “Started in an entry level position and then advanced to a managerial position in two years.”
  • Their, There, & They’re. Their is a possessive (his, her, and their).  There is a place.  They’re is a contraction of they are.  Examples:
    1. “Secured their standing on the market by… ”
    2. “There are 100 employees at the company.”
    3. “They are [or they’re] the top three marketers of… ”
  • To, Two, & Too.  To is a preposition that often means destination.  Two is a number.  Too means also or in addition to.   Examples:
    1. “I am going to meet with an interviewer.”
    2. “I will be meeting with two interviewers today.”
    3. “I will be meeting with a second interviewer, too.”
  • Verses & Versus. Verses refer to a song, poem or Bible passages.  Versus places two things in opposition.  Examples:
    1. “I wrote the first verse to the song.”
    2. “My project lead to savings of 60 percent, versus the potential loss of… ”
  • Who’s & Whose.  Who’s is a contraction of who is or who has.  Whose is the possessive of who.   Examples:
    1. “Who’s got change for a ten dollar bill? Who’s upset that I don’t have change?”
    2. “Whose signature is on the letter?”
  • Your, Yore & You’re. Your is a possessive, like his, her and their.  Yore is something that happened a long time ago.  You’re is a contraction of you and are.  Examples:
    1.  “I am interested in your job posting on… ”
    2. “Let me tell you a tale of yore…”
    3. “You are [or you’re] going to see a link below to my writing samples.”

English is one of the world’s most challenging languages because of words that sound the same, or have multiple but unrelated meanings.  There are a number of other commonly confused words to be aware of in your job search, such as “principal” or “principle” and “incite” or “insight.”  Your ability to write a professional and error-free cover letter, blog and résumé is a reason for an employer to want to follow up with you. Even if you have the specific qualifications to meet what the employer is looking for, poor proofreading of your documents can disqualify you.

To learn more, Google “commonly confused words” and follow the links!

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“We have plenty of openings. The problem is, we can’t get enough people with the right skills to fill them.”

Have you ever heard that one before? You spend hours scouring job boards for solid opportunities. Just when you think you’ve found a winner, you get stuck trying to figure out what the job ad is really asking for. After staring at it for far too long, you still have no idea what the company is after, nor do you understand the skills they really want an applicant to have.

But something still intrigues you about the opportunity. So you spend another hour (or more) wordsmithing your resume. And another hour (or more) goes by trying to keyword engineer it. That’s when you realize you are throwing good after bad. All you really want is a fair chance to communicate who you are and how you fit, plainly and naturally, without the charade.

New research published by LiveCareer in its 2018 Skills Gap Report shows that job seekers often do have many of the skills employers want. But the study also reveals a void between the skills job seekers say they are offering on their resumes and the skills employers say they require in their job advertisements.

And that’s the real skills gap that keeps good employers from finding good candidates like you.

The hard currency of the job market

LiveCareer analyzed several thousands of resumes and job ads across 12 separate occupations. All combined, those 12 occupations account for one-quarter of all occupational categories in the U.S. labor market.

Natural Language Processing was used to drill into the actual language job seekers and employers use to transact, at the very point where they start talking business. This is the hard currency used in the job market. The idea was to determine what the two sides say and mean with their job market language and whether there is a disconnect between the two. That represents the value of the currency. If there is any discrepancy in the value of the currency either uses, the end can only be a bad deal or no deal at all. That is, bad hire or no hire.

And that’s just what the study found. Neither jobseekers nor employers enter the market with the right amount of currency to make a fair exchange. On average, job ads list 21.8 different skills they require of candidates, while jobseekers include only 13 skills on their resumes.

It just gets worse when trying to sync up on value. Jobseekers match only 59 percent of hard skills and 62 percent of soft skills on their resumes compared with what employers list in their job ads. The skills with the biggest gaps were multitasking, retail industry knowledge, positive attitude, and physical demand.

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The study also found that employers value soft skills more highly than jobseekers realize. Soft skills typically make up between 25 to 50 percent of skills appearing in job ads. The highest value soft skills across all occupations were customer service and communication skills. 

Make digital business technology work for you

For many 2018 job seekers, the rise of digital business may cause some anxiety. But that same technology is also bringing about the digital job search, which actually gives job seekers more leverage than ever before. Think of technology as clearing you for the job, not keeping you out of one.

The first thing is to switch into the WIIFT mindset: What’s In It For Them? The resume is not about showing how good you are, but rather how good you are for the hiring organization. Everything on your resume must be oriented to their needs. You must show how your skills specifically address those needs, and how your job accomplishments bear that out.

Matching keywords will get you past the ATS, but matching your skills precisely to those listed in the job ad will really help you stand out. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Customize your resume according to the keywords and the skills listed in the job ad. If you lack experience in some key areas, try to customize in terms of leadership or other high-value soft skills that signal high potential
  • In instances when you don’t customize your resume, always attach a customized cover letter
  • Carefully review job ads that you think you might respond to, and mimic the language used in the ad in both the resume and cover letter
  • Always check your resume against the job ad to make sure you are not including too few skills
  • Highlight customer service and communications skills most relevant to the role, no matter what role you are seeking
  • Monitor skills listed in relevant job ads to help identify authentic gaps in your skill set.
Two key takeaways for the 2018 jobseeker

Technology always develops faster than workers can adapt, and so there will always be skills gaps. But like no other technology before it, digital business technology can help minimize negative effects on your marketability. Let your 2018 job search strategy be guided by two key takeaways:

  1. Be very precise in lining up your stated skill sets with employers’ stated requirements
  2. Take charge of finding and overcoming perceived skills gaps through training and professional development opportunities.

To learn more about how to build up your job market currency, and get the most value out of the digital age job search, visit the 2018 Skills Gap Report link at the beginning of the article. A PDF download of all of the report’s findings is available via the link.

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We’ve all heard of the specific skills that all CVS should boast: communicating well, working great in a term and being a good problem solver. These are pretty run-of-the-mill, you just know that your potential employer is bombarded with these terms every time they sift through the piles of applications!

If you want to stand out then think about using some less common ones to really add that extra oomph to your CV.


This is an attribute that should be more relevant than ever nowadays.  With social media and shortened attention spans, having the ability to focus can really benefit you in the workplace and in your hobbies.

In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, author Cal Newport highlights the benefits of focusing on more productive tasks! (Hint: not Facebook or Twitter.)

Newport highlights three golden reasons as to why focusing is such a valuable skill.   Firstly, those periods of concentrated effort allow you to produce more than usual.  Second, you’ll stand out because most people opt to do the easier work options (eg. checking e-mails) as opposed to big projects.  Lastly, it maximizes your skills and talents in a way that gives your work more meaning and gives you more satisfaction.  It’s a win/win!

Emotional Intelligence

Often overlooked, emotional intelligence is all about your ability to recognize and understand your emotions which is increasingly regarded as a major key to success.  Having emotional intelligence benefits you in a number of ways. One of the most obvious is how it helps you create better professional relationships.

By understanding what makes others tick and developing positive working relationships, you will also learn how to work better as a team.  Additionally, being able to understand your emotions and skills will help you problem solve with or without emotion at meetings.

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Attention to detail

Why is this important?  Well, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey, 40% of hiring managers spent less than 60 seconds looking at a resume.  That means if they spot one error in your resume then it’s more than likely that your application may get overlooked!

Attention to Detail is a great quality to add to your CV for a number of reasons.  It shows that you’re efficient – you don’t need to re-visit tasks in order to correct them.  It also means that you aren’t known to waste valuable time and resources which is vital for a company.

Another major advantage is clear and effective communication. (We all know how messy Chinese Whispers gets).  If the time isn’t put in to check over the initial message that by the time it reaches the destination, it could read as something entirely different.

 Openness to Feedback

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys criticism!  However, having the ability to learn from others and take on constructive feedback can really benefit you.  Being able to do this is critical if you want to develop professionally and personally.  It is an investment in yourself.

In Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen highlight some challenges when receiving feedback.  If someone is critical towards your work then it’s important to make sure that you’re not instantly defensive.

Instead, ask for specifics.  By doing so, you can get to the observations leading to their judgment and impress your co-workers when you both hear and incorporate their feedback!

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What Are Resume Keywords?

Job listings include the hard skills and competencies an applicant needs in order to be a great hire. These abilities become keywords used by recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify top candidates whether they’re skimming with their eyes or using software to filter applicants based on the resume keywords.

“The first thing I’m looking for is the hard skills that match the job description,” a technical recruiter told Jobscan.

Recruiters don’t carefully read resumes line by line. They take a cursory glance and only dig deeper if past job titles or resume keywords pique their interest. Having the right keywords is even more critical when technology enters the mix. Most companies (including 90% of Fortune 500) use software known as applicant tracking systems that can scan the content of a resume to make it searchable. Some systems even automatically filter and rank applicants. This means that a highly qualified applicant could slip through the cracks or get wrongly rejected if their resume isn’t optimized with the right keywords.

Top 500 Resume Keywords for 2018

Below is a list of the hard skills and keywords that appear most frequently in Jobscan‘s database of real job descriptions. These are the top resume keywords recruiters and hiring managers are looking for when vetting applicants.

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These examples demonstrate the types of keywords to include in your resume. To boost your chances of getting past an applicant tracking system and landing a job interview, be sure to tailor your resume keywords to the specific job for which you’re applying.

This list of keywords includes variations of the same words and phrases, for example, Microsoft Office (124), MS Office (137), and Microsoft Office Suite (324). This isn’t a mistake. The levels of sophistication vary between applicant tracking systems, but most cannot differentiate between synonyms, abbreviations, or similar skills. Rank higher in the applicant tracking system or a recruiter’s search results by matching your resume keywords to exactly what’s in the job description.

  1. design
  2. operations
  3. technical
  4. training
  5. sales
  6. marketing
  7. reporting
  8. compliance
  9. strategy
  10. research
  11. analytical
  12. engineering
  13. policies
  14. budget
  15. finance
  16. project management
  17. health
  18. customer service
  19. documentation
  20. content
  21. presentation
  22. brand
  23. presentations
  24. safety
  25. certification
  26. accounting
  27. regulations
  28. metrics
  29. legal
  30. engagement
  31. database
  32. analytics
  33. distribution
  34. coaching
  35. testing
  36. vendors
  37. consulting
  38. writing
  39. contracts
  40. inventory
  41. retail
  42. healthcare
  43. regulatory
  44. scheduling
  45. construction
  46. logistics
  47. mobile
  48. C (programming language)
  49. correspondence
  50. controls
  51. human resources
  52. specifications
  53. recruitment
  54. procurement
  55. partnership
  56. partnerships
  57. management experience
  58. negotiation
  59. hardware
  60. programming
  61. agile
  62. forecasting
  63. advertising
  64. business development
  65. audit
  66. architecture
  67. supply chain
  68. governance
  69. staffing
  70. continuous improvement
  71. product development
  72. networking
  73. recruiting
  74. product management
  75. CRM
  76. SAP
  77. troubleshooting
  78. computer science
  79. budgeting
  80. electrical
  81. customer experience
  82. I-DEAS
  83. economics
  84. information technology
  85. transportation
  86. social media
  87. automation
  88. lifecycle
  89. filing
  90. modeling
  91. investigation
  92. SQL
  93. editing
  94. purchasing
  95. KPIs
  96. hospital
  97. forecasts
  98. acquisition
  99. expenses
  100. billing
  101. change management
  102. video
  103. invoices
  104. administrative support
  105. payments
  106. lean
  107. process improvement
  108. installation
  109. risk management
  110. transactions
  111. investigations
  112. payroll
  113. R (programming language)
  114. data analysis
  115. statistics
  116. coding
  117. protocols
  118. program management
  119. quality assurance
  120. windows
  121. banking
  122. outreach
  123. sourcing
  124. Microsoft Office
  125. merchandising
  126. business requirements
  127. drawings
  128. Salesforce
  129. documenting
  130. information systems
  131. nursing
  132. business administration
  133. consumers
  134. financial services
  135. legislation
  136. strategic planning
  137. MS Office
  138. counseling
  139. technical support
  140. frameworks
  141. performance management
  142. BI
  143. fashion
  144. HTML
  145. publications
  146. internship
  147. QA
  148. software development
  149. oracle
  150. Java
  151. teaching
  152. pharmaceutical
  153. ERP
  154. fulfillment
  155. positioning
  156. tax
  157. service delivery
  158. investigate
  159. editorial
  160. account management
  161. business process
  162. valid drivers license
  163. electronics
  164. PR
  165. public relations
  166. Javascript
  167. assembly
  168. digital marketing
  169. Linux
  170. Facebook
  171. spreadsheets
  172. recruit
  173. proposal
  174. SharePoint
  175. data entry
  176. hotel
  177. ordering
  178. branding
  179. life cycle
  180. real estate
  181. relationship management
  182. researching
  183. process improvements
  184. chemistry
  185. SaaS
  186. CAD
  187. sales experience
  188. mathematics
  189. customer-facing
  190. audio
  191. project management skills
  192. six sigma
  193. hospitality
  194. mechanical engineering
  195. auditing
  196. employee relations
  197. android
  198. security clearance
  199. licensing
  200. Adobe
  201. fundraising
  202. repairs
  203. ISO
  204. market research
  205. warehouse
  206. business strategy
  207. PMP
  208. data management
  209. quality control
  210. reconciliation
  211. CSS
  212. conversion
  213. business analysis
  214. financial analysis
  215. ecommerce
  216. business intelligence
  217. C++
  218. client service
  219. publishing
  220. supervising
  221. complex projects
  222. key performance indicators
  223. scrum
  224. Photoshop
  225. sports
  226. e-commerce
  227. journalism
  228. D (programming language)
  229. data collection
  230. higher education
  231. marketing programs
  232. financial management
  233. business plans
  234. user experience
  235. client relationships
  236. cloud
  237. analytical skills
  238. Cisco
  239. internal stakeholders
  240. product marketing
  241. regulatory requirements
  242. ITIL
  243. information security
  244. aviation
  245. supply chain management
  246. Python
  247. accounts payable
  248. industry experience
  249. AutoCAD
  250. purchase orders
  1. acquisitions
  2. TV
  3. instrumentation
  4. strategic direction
  5. law enforcement
  6. call center
  7. experiments
  8. technical skills
  9. human resource
  10. business cases
  11. build relationships
  12. invoicing
  13. support services
  14. marketing strategy
  15. operating systems
  16. biology
  17. start-up
  18. electrical engineering
  19. workflows
  20. routing
  21. non-profit
  22. marketing plans
  23. due diligence
  24. business management
  25. iPhone
  26. algorithms
  27. architectures
  28. reconcile
  29. dynamic environment
  30. external partners
  31. asset management
  32. Microsoft Word
  33. EMEA
  34. intranet
  35. SOPs
  36. SAS
  37. digital media
  38. prospecting
  39. financial reporting
  40. project delivery
  41. SEO
  42. operational excellence
  43. standard operating procedures
  44. C#
  45. technical knowledge
  46. on-call
  47. talent management
  48. stakeholder management
  49. tablets
  50. CMS
  51. analyze data
  52. financial statements
  53. Microsoft Office Suite
  54. fitness
  55. case management
  56. value proposition
  57. industry trends
  58. RFP
  59. broadcast
  60. portfolio management
  61. fabrication
  62. UX
  63. financial performance
  64. customer requirements
  65. psychology
  66. marketing materials
  67. resource management
  68. physics
  69. mortgage
  70. development activities
  71. end user
  72. business planning
  73. root cause
  74. analysis
  75. leadership development
  76. relationship building
  77. SDLC
  78. on-boarding
  79. quality standards
  80. regulatory compliance
  81. AWS
  82. KPI
  83. status reports
  84. product line
  85. drafting
  86. JIRA
  87. phone calls
  88. product knowledge
  89. business stakeholders
  90. technical issues
  91. admissions
  92. supervisory experience
  93. usability
  94. pharmacy
  95. commissioning
  96. project plan
  97. MS Excel
  98. FDA
  99. test plans
  100. variances
  101. UI
  102. financing
  103. travel arrangements
  104. internal customers
  105. medical device
  106. counsel
  107. inventory management
  108. performance metrics
  109. lighting
  110. outsourcing
  111. InDesign
  112. performance improvement
  113. management consulting
  114. graphic design
  115. transport
  116. information management
  117. .NET
  118. startup
  119. matrix
  120. front-end
  121. project planning
  122. business systems
  123. accounts receivable
  124. public health
  125. HRIS
  126. German
  127. instructional design
  128. in-store
  129. data center
  130. MATLAB
  131. employee engagement
  132. cost effective
  133. sales management
  134. API
  135. Adobe Creative Suite
  136. Twitter
  137. program development
  138. event planning
  139. cash flow
  140. strategic plans
  141. root cause
  142. vendor management
  143. trade shows
  144. hotels
  145. segmentation
  146. contract management
  147. GIS
  148. talent acquisition
  149. photography
  150. internal communications
  151. client services
  152. IBM
  153. financial reports
  154. product quality
  155. beverage
  156. strong analytical skills
  157. underwriting
  158. CPR
  159. mining
  160. sales goals
  161. chemicals
  162. deposits
  163. scripting
  164. migration
  165. software engineering
  166. MIS
  167. therapeutic
  168. general ledger
  169. Tableau
  170. MS Project
  171. standardization
  172. retention
  173. spelling
  174. media relations
  175. OS
  176. daily operations
  177. immigration
  178. product design
  179. ETL
  180. field sales
  181. driving record
  182. PeopleSoft
  183. benchmark
  184. quality management
  185. APIs
  186. test cases
  187. internal controls
  188. telecom
  189. business issues
  190. research projects
  191. data quality
  192. strategic initiatives
  193. office software
  194. CFA
  195. co-op
  196. big data
  197. journal entries
  198. VMware
  199. help desk
  200. statistical analysis
  201. datasets
  202. alliances
  203. SolidWorks
  204. prototype
  205. LAN
  206. SCI
  207. budget management
  208. Unix
  209. RFPs
  210. Flex
  211. GAAP
  212. experimental
  213. CPG
  214. information system
  215. customer facing
  216. process development
  217. web services
  218. international
  219. travel
  220. revenue growth
  221. software development life cycle
  222. operations management
  223. computer applications
  224. risk assessments
  225. sales operations
  226. raw materials
  227. internal audit
  228. physical security
  229. SQL server
  230. affiliate
  231. computer software
  232. manage projects
  233. business continuity
  234. litigation
  235. IT infrastructure
  236. cost reduction
  237. small business
  238. annual budget
  239. iOS
  240. HTML5
  241. real-time
  242. consulting experience
  243. circuits
  244. machine learning
  245. risk assessment
  246. DNS
  247. cross-functional team
  248. public policy
  249. analyzing data
  250. consulting services
BONUS: Top 50 Soft Skills for Executive Job Seekers

Many of the hard skills above are also found on executive job descriptions, such as operationsbusiness developmentfinance, and strategy. At the executive level, a greater emphasis is placed on the soft skills that are developed and proven over the course of a career. Below are the top soft skills found in current C-suite job descriptions.

These soft skills are harder to define and can be difficult to use on a resume. Executives should sprinkle some of these top soft skills into their resume where applicable but might use them to greater effect when writing their LinkedIn profile. On a resume, it’s more important to provide measurable results and experience that illustrates these highly coveted skills.

For example, you don’t necessarily need to match the job description by including the term entrepreneurial (7) on your resume, but you should absolutely highlight any work you’ve done with startups. Alternatively, include details of a pet project you nurtured, a department you grew, or relevant training you completed.

  1. Leadership
  2. Vision
  3. Track Record
  4. Collaborate
  5. Communication Skills
  6. Competitive
  7. Entrepreneurial
  8. Integrity
  9. Hands-on
  10. Innovation
  11. Consistent
  12. Driven
  13. Flexible
  14. Impact
  15. Collaboration
  16. Collaborative
  17. Judgment
  18. Passion
  19. Accountable
  20. Dedicated
  21. Influence
  22. Work Ethic
  23. Creative
  24. Energetic
  25. Enthusiastic
  1. Interpersonal Skills
  2. Passionate
  3. Professionalism
  4. Proven Track Record
  5. Motivate
  6. Proactive
  7. Excellent Communication
  8. Mentoring
  9. Organized
  10. Problem-solving
  11. Strategic Thinking
  12. Collaboratively
  13. Communicate Effectively
  14. Fast-paced
  15. Attention To Detail
  16. Business Acumen
  17. Cost-effective
  18. Enthusiasm
  19. Entrepreneurial Spirit
  20. Financial Planning
  21. Follow Through
  22. Leadership Experience
  23. Motivated
  24. Multitask
  25. Provide Guidance

Written by Jon Shields, this article first appeared on Job Scan website on January 3, 2018.

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When you have landed your first ever job, you might feel like the hardest part is over, but you still have to handle those first days, weeks and months in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by new people who you need to impress. There are many potential pitfalls but also lots of opportunities to shine and to prove that the company did the right thing by hiring you.

But what are the best ways to do this? If only there was an instruction manual for getting through your first job’s early days with flying colors. Luckily, Budget Direct has come up with one and here are some of the top tips:

Have an elevator pitch ready

It wasn’t just your job interview where you needed to have a snappy elevator pitch about yourself. When you meet new people at your work, there isn’t the same obvious pressure to prove yourself worthy, but you will still want to make a good impression. Keep your elevator pitch to around 30 seconds and make sure you come across as enthusiastic and positive about being there.

Take feedback onboard

A new experience you’ll undoubtedly encounter in your first job is when your manager sits you down and gives you feedback on your performance so far. Hopefully, you’ll have worked hard and done well, but there might still be room for improvement, so you’ll need to react in a good way. Make sure you listen attentively, don’t react angrily no matter what is said and questions to help you move forward and build on the feedback.

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Ask for help

We’ve all been there. You’re sat at your desk or workstation with no idea what to do to resolve a problem, you’re embarrassed because you feel like people will judge you for needing help. But the worst thing you can do is let that fear paralyze you because it’s much less impressive to waste your employer’s time and money not achieving anything at all. Instead, give it a go and if you really are stuck, find someone who can help you.

You can see all of the tips in this illustrated guide from Budget Direct, which will get you ready to take on the world and get your career off to a flying start.

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