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No experience is a wasted experience. If you’re starting a new career or switching into one, you might think that you don’t have any relevant experience to include in your resume…well think again!

Even if you don’t have any professional experience in the new field you’re looking to enter, you can always frame your education to showcase your skills.

Many projects students work on during college or certificate programs resemble real-world problems and can be used to show your potential employer how you could add value to their company.

Here are a few questions that can help you brainstorm:

What projects did you work on?

Is there any project that’s relevant for the field you’re looking to enter? Maybe a project that is similar to a task that you would be doing during the job you’re applying for?

If there aren’t any, you can make up one yourself! Imagine a problem that a company might have and create a case study for how you would solve it.

What did you learn from the project?

Did you gain any new skills?

Did it reveal anything about your strengths?

Did you improve your proficiency in any programs you used while working on it?

What did you accomplish?

What was the goal you set for yourself at the beginning of the project? Did you reach it? It could be making a profit, winning a competition, getting a good grade, or just improving a soft/technical skill.

Once you’ve found the right projects you would like to include in your resume, list them under the Education section of your resume as Relevant Coursework.

Here are a few examples of what they might look like:

“Company Website Project”, General Assembly

  • Created a fully-interactive website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Paid high attention to the visual layout and made sure that the site was responsive and accessible.
  • Worked in a team of five and helped allocate responsibilities in order to work in the most efficient way.

“Song Restructuring”, The Music School

  • Processed a given song using a new and different concept.
  • Rearranging the rhythm, structure, and harmony to fit the new style.
  • Used Sibelius to communicate music scores clearly.

“Spring Advertising Campaign”, Creative Advertising School

  • Outlined a multi-platform advertising campaign strategy for a retail client with a fixed 3-month budget.
  • Used Photoshop and InDesign to create print advertisements and banner ads in different dimensions.
  • Sketched and presented a storyboard for a 30-second television spot.

Additionally, if you have any tangible outcomes of a project — such as a website, design, or photos — attach them to your resume to share with your potential employer.

Adding additional context to your resume can show employers that you have the skills necessary to get the job done, and help you stand out from other applicants.

The post How to Showcase Your Education as Experience in Your Resume appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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There are three basic types of resume formats: reverse chronological, functional and hybrid.

Each of them plays a different role, and highlights different skills & abilities. It’s up to you to decide which one will present you as the best candidate for the particular job for which you’re sending your resume.

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

This is the most common resume format in the world. It highlights your skills and experience by listing your most recent job first, then the rest of your experience and education fall into line behind.  

Reverse chronological resumes can be used by anyone. The format is neat and organized, and it is easy to add and subtract experience from the document. However, this format might not be the best choice if you have gaps in your work history.

It’s hard to hide periods when you were out of work. In addition, because this format is so universal, you’ll have to do something extra so you stand out from other candidates applying for the same job. This is where Resumonk can be of great help. It’ll help you create an eye catching and a well formatted resume easily.

Here is an example of a reverse chronological resume created using the Concrete template on Resumonk –

Functional (Skills Based) Resume Format

When creating a functional resume, ignore the rules of the reverse chronological format and place all your skills and abilities at the top of the page. Hopefully, you’ll choose the skills that best represent what you’ll need for the job you are applying for, but, if you want to highlight all your skills, that’s up to you.

These skills usually will fall under various categories, which can include Supervisory Skills, Customer Service Skills, Technical Skills and beyond — whatever best highlights your capabilities will be the headers you want to highlight.

Under those headers, give further details that provide evidence of your abilities. These can be listed as bullet points, making your resume easier for an employer to scan to find desirable skills and experience.

Even with a functional resume, you’ll still need to list your work experience and the places you were previously employed. For gaps in your work history, there are various ways to explain why you weren’t working — full-time student, full-time parent, traveling — and you’ll need to determine which one best fits your circumstance.

Keep in mind that being too specific or too vague could make you a less-than-ideal potential employee for an employer.

One downside of using the functional resume format is that it isn’t conventional, so not all employers or resume robots will be able to scan the document to see if you’re qualified for the position. Even though this format highlights your skills, it doesn’t show where and how you gained those skills, so it’s possible an employer may feel like you are hiding something from them.

Using this format allows you to highlight your skills to show that you’re the best candidate for the job and allows employers to see those skills upfront. However, there are arguments that you should never use this format because a variety of employers won’t even review them.

Here is an example of the functional resume format created using Resumonk’s Slim template:

Hybrid Resume Format

The hybrid format combines the reverse chronological and functional formats. This format benefits applicants who already have a lot of work experience and want to highlight their experience and expertise. When formatting your hybrid resume, it’s important to have a section that summarizes your qualifications and your professional profile.

Your professional profile should briefly explain the skills you acquired through your previous work experience, while your qualification summary shows your accomplishments by applying those skills. The exact layout of how these sections look will be up to you, but keep in mind what the employer might be looking for and tailor your resume to what you think they would like to see.

The benefits of a hybrid resume are that it gives employers the traditional layout of a reverse chronological format with the bonus of more information that highlights your skills and experiences. It may even allow the resume robots to easily scan the information in your resume and not reject it outright.

This type of format, like the reverse chronological format, can work for a variety of different applicants in a variety of fields. However, since every field is different and has their own nuances and expectations, find out which type of resume the employer prefers and tailor your resume to their specifications.

Deciding what type of resume format to use when applying for jobs will depend on what information you are trying to highlight and the expectations of the industry you are applying for. Getting past the initial scan is the most important first step, so make sure your resume gives you the advantage to be read more in-depth.

The post Resume Formats Guide: Reverse Chronological vs. Functional (Skills Based) vs. Hybrid appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview. You’re one step closer to getting your dream job. 

No doubt you’d start preparing for the interview questions that might be asked from you.

But the interview is also a chance for you to get to the know more about the company and the role for which you’ve applied.

Asking questions about the company, the hiring manager and the position also shows you’re serious about getting a feel for what working for the organization is like. It proves you’ve taken time to picture yourself in the position, and that you’re serious about finding out whether it’s the right fit for you.

It leaves a strong impression with the interviewers and often can make the vital difference when it comes to selection between two equally skilled applicants.

Let’s take a look at a few of the best questions you should ask at the end of the interview.

1. What are the day-to-day tasks for this job?

While you’ve probably already familiarized yourself with the job description, it probably didn’t get specific about what the day-to-day responsibilities will be for the position. There are likely to be smaller tasks involved in your workday that won’t be listed in the job description.

Asking about day-to-day expectations for the job can give you a better idea of if you’ll truly enjoy the work.

While the job description in the listing may seem like a great match for your skill set, you may actually end up spending a lot of your time talking on the phone or answering emails, rather than doing work that challenges you. If this isn’t something you’re interested in, you’ll want to know before you accept the position.

2. What are your expectations for the job over the next month, six months and year?

Everyone will have different expectations for the career they’re about to start. Maybe you’re looking for a company where you can advance quickly through the ranks, or you’re in search of long-term job security. While these may be your expectations, you want to be sure they align with the expectations of the company.

During the interview process, talk with the hiring manager about what their expectations are for the first month on the job. Then, see if those expectations will change over the first six months.

Finally, find out what they’re hoping to have accomplished after one year. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into can ensure you’ll be happy with the position if you accept the job.

3. What can you tell me about the company culture?

Company culture is extremely important for happiness in the workplace. If the culture of the company doesn’t fit your needs, or you don’t feel comfortable in the environment, you aren’t going to be happy with the job.

Ask the hiring manager to briefly describe what the culture is like. This includes everything from how the office is laid out, to how employees interact with one another, to dress code.

Because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the office if you’re hired, you want to make sure the culture fits your needs.

4. Where do you see the company in five years?

Whether you’re interviewing with a small startup or a well-known brand, you want to understand the direction the company is moving in the next few years.

While the hiring manager may not have all the answers to the decisions upper management is making for the company, they should have some insight to the company’s long-term business goals.

When deciding whether or not a job is right for you, you want to think long-term.

Whether or not you think you’ll still be with the company in five years, you probably are looking for a position you can grow with. That’s why it’s valuable to understand leadership’s vision for the future success of the business.

5. What challenges and opportunities do you see facing the company or department?

No matter the job you’re interviewing for, there will be certain challenges and opportunities facing you, your team and the company as a whole.

Understanding whether these challenges are something you can manage before getting involved can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unhappy with the career choice you’ve made.

But simply showing you’re ready to help the company become its best can leave the impression that hiring you would be a good investment.

6. What’s your favorite thing about working for the company?

Finding out the hiring manager’s personal favorite quality of the company is an interesting way to get a sense for the company’s brand.

Because many hiring managers anticipate a question like this, they’re going to share something they believe is a strong characteristic of the brand. Their answer can allow you to see what the company values and prioritizes.

7. What career path does someone in this role typically follow?

Although you’re looking to the near future when accepting a new job, you also want to consider how that decision will influence your long-term career plans.

If you know where you’d like to be in a few years, you want to be sure the decisions you’re making now will bring you closer to getting there.

You also want to understand what typical promotion path someone in this job follows. Asking this question can also give you a better idea of how the company promotes from within. If they have a typical path employees follow to move up the ladder, you can discuss it at this time.

However, if they don’t have a good answer, it may mean they don’t usually promote employees. This could be a red flag, depending on what you’re looking for long-term.

8. What qualities does someone need to have to be successful in this role?

Sometimes, a company will list important qualities and characteristics in their job description. However, this isn’t always the case, even though having the right qualities is incredibly important to knowing whether or not you will fit in a job.

This question allows you to see if you meet the expectations the hiring manager has for the position. It also gives you an idea of what qualities and characteristics the company values in their team members.

This can give you a better idea of the topics, stories or achievements you need to focus on to prove you’re a great fit for the position.

9. What are the next steps for the interview process?

Before you leave the interview, you want to know what to expect.

Each company will have their own process for following up with candidates after the interview process. While some will let you know either way, others will only contact individuals that they hope to see again. Knowing whether or not you should expect a message can relieve some stress and confusion on your end.

Asking this question also shows you’re excited to move forward in the hiring process. By asking about the timeline, including when you should hear back and when they hope to have someone start the job, it shows you’re ready to become part of the team.

Tips for Developing Proper End-of-Interview Questions

The questions you’ll ultimately end up asking your interviewer will depend on what you covered during the interview process. 

However, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing these questions.

First, you’ll want to prepare at least two questions to ask once the interview is done. However, you don’t want to have too many and risk causing the interview to run too long.

At maximum, you’ll want to have five questions to have answered once the interview is over. If you have more than these, try to find a way to get them answered during the interview instead of at the end.

You’ll also want to avoid answering yes-or-no questions. Open-ended questions allow for conversation, and will give you more information from the hiring manager.

Finally, try to avoid asking questions about salary this early in the process. While it is important, you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself. Discussing salary and benefits is usually one of the last things you and a hiring manager will talk about, so hold off until you’re further into the hiring process.

Before you go into any interview, take some time to research the company. Know as much as you can about the business, the job and what your expectations may be.

You don’t want to ask a question that makes you look unprepared.

Knowing what you need out of the job will help you develop end-of-interview questions that leave a lasting impression, and ensure you get to know whether or not the position meets your expectations. Use these nine questions as a jumping-off point for a successful conversation.

p.s. Resumonk helps you create a beautiful résumé & cover letter in minutes. Stand out from the crowd and multiply your chances of landing your dream job.

The post 9 Best Questions to Ask at the End of the Interview appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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One of the biggest struggles with getting a new job is getting noticed in the first place. If you’re only applying to jobs you find online, it could take you even longer to get an interview. Because there are dozens or even hundreds of applicants for each online posting, you have a lot of competition.

However, if you have a large network, finding a new job can be much easier. When you know someone on the inside, they can let you know of jobs before they open, or ensure your resume gets in front of the right person. With the right connections, you can find the job of your dreams much sooner.

Let’s take a look at a few different tips you should use to improve your professional relationships to get a new job.

1. Consider Your Entire Network

When you think about your professional network, you’re probably thinking primarily of past bosses, managers or coworkers. While this is a great place to start, they aren’t the only people you need to think of. Everyone you know — whether personally or professionally — can be someone you may want to connect with.

Are you thinking about family members or friends of friends as people who may be able to help you with your job search? If not, don’t overlook them.

In addition to your extended network, you never know who they may be willing to introduce you to. With these additional connections, you can get to know some incredibly important people in companies you’d love to work for.

Think about people from past jobs, friends or family members, as well as peers from high school or college.

Additionally, even connections you have on social media or mutual friends can be a great way to get started finding a new job. Don’t rule out a connection just because it doesn’t stem from a perfectly professional relationship.

2. Know What You’re Looking for

Once you have an idea of the kinds of people you may be able to connect with, you need to know what you’re looking for. When you ultimately reach out to members of your network, you don’t want to ask for just any job. You need to know exactly what you’re qualified for, why you’re a good fit and how that person can help you achieve your goals.

Take a moment to consider what the best outcome for your connections would be. Whether you’re looking for an internship or just an introduction to a hiring manager, knowing your expectations beforehand can save you from some uncomfortable conversations. Being clear about what you’re looking for ahead of time can also show you’re thinking seriously about your career change.

You may have different needs depending on who you’re reaching out to. If you’re going to connect with the CEO of a company, you may have an easier time asking for an interview.

However, if your connection is lower down the totem pole, you probably will need to ask for something a bit smaller, such as an introduction. Make sure your requests are reasonable based on the individual in your network.

3. Reach out to Your References

If you’re going to use your network to get a new job, you should start where it makes the most sense. Before you reach out to someone you only moderately know, connect with the people who already know you well.

Your professional references are a great place to start.

Because your references have already agreed to talk you up if you’re ever in need, they already know your skills well. They believe you’re capable and want to help you succeed. This means they’ll be more motivated to help you find the job of your dreams if they are able. Even if they cannot directly help you find a new job, they may be able to introduce you to others who can.

Reach out to your references to let them know you’re looking for a new job. Let them know exactly the kind of job you’re looking for, what industry you’d like to be in and the location of the position you need.

You’ll also want to double-check that they’re still willing to serve as your references, so let them know they may be contacted by a hiring manager.

4. Focus on the Relationship Behind the Connection

When you’re looking to get a new job through your network, you usually can’t just call someone up and ask them to hire you. If you ask for too much right off the bat, the individual you’re contacting may not be willing to help you out.

Instead of acting like they owe you the assistance, focus on building a solid relationship with them.

For the most part, people like to help others. However, it can be a major turn-off if it feels like you’re expecting something to be handed to you. If you approach your network with a genuine question and respectfully ask for help or advice, they are more likely to help you out.

You’ll want to consider the relationship you have with the individual before you reach out. While it’s OK to connect with individuals you don’t know well, you may need to focus some more time establishing a connection before you ask them for professional assistance.

If you’re going to reach out to someone you only met once or twice, a simple question or request for advice is the way to go.

On the other hand, someone you’ve known personally for many years may be willing to pass along an email address or phone number of a hiring manager at their company.

5. Make Your Request Specific

At this point, you should already know what you’re looking for out of your connection. As we mentioned before, you don’t want to just ask for a job or for help getting a new job. After all, your network is probably pretty busy. They don’t have time to create the necessary connections for you.

Instead of simply letting your network know you’re on the hunt for a new job, you want to ask them for specific advice.

Whether that’s help applying to a position or an introduction to someone important in their office, you want to show you’ve done your homework and you’re prepared to put in the work.

When you initially reach out to a member of your network, make it clear what you’re looking for. While you don’t need to jump right into the conversation letting them know you’re looking for help, also don’t expect them to understand that on their own.

Be clear and direct, but still authentic and considerate, whenever you connect with a network member.

6. Keep the Connection Going

Don’t make a habit of reaching out and never following up.

If the individual doesn’t immediately reach back out, it may simply be because you caught them at a bad time or they didn’t see your message. While you may immediately want to write them off and assume they’re not willing to help, you don’t want to end the conversation there.

Give them some time and then reach back out. Remember, the process of networking can take some time.

If you expect your network to reach immediately help you find a job, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Instead, foster the relationship and do what you can to be accommodating. After all, you are asking them to take out time from their schedule to help you find a new job.

Whether or not that individual can help you, you’ll want to maintain the relationship. Don’t immediately disappear if they say they don’t know what they can do for you. Instead, thank them for their time and let them know that you’re available if they ever need any help from you. Also, ask them kindly if they would be willing to think of you in the future if they hear of anything.

Using your network can be one of the best ways to get a new job. However, you can’t expect your network to do all the work for you. While they may be able to help you get your foot in the door, they probably aren’t going to turn around and just give you a job.

Consider these tips if you’re going to reach out to your network for a new position. Always remember you’re asking for their help, so be kind and accommodating — and don’t act like they owe it to you.  

p.s. Resumonk helps you create a beautiful résumé & cover letter in minutes. Stand out from the crowd and multiply your chances of landing your dream job.

The post How to Network Your Way to a New Job appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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Employers sometimes ask for letters of recommendation from people who know the applicants. Recommendation letters can be requested as part of the initial application package or as the last step in vetting a job candidate.

Organizations that ask for letters of recommendation usually ask for two or three such letters, in order to get a better feel for the candidate and make sure they’re a good fit for the company. 

Gather Information to Write the Letter

If you’re approached by someone to write a letter of recommendation, the first step is to gather information about the position she is looking for.

Ask for a copy of the job posting. If she wants a more general letter of recommendation, ask for the type of job they are looking for.

You need to have the specific job posting or knowledge of the type of job the person is looking for because the most successful recommendation letters will make a clear link between the capabilities, skills and qualities the job-seeker has demonstrated previously and those required in the open position.

Good recommendation letters are not vague and general. They specifically pinpoint what the person has done well with an eye toward what they can continue to do well.

You should also request a copy of the job-seeker’s resume. If you weren’t the immediate past supervisor, you need to know how her career has developed. She may be highlighting areas that are quite different from what she performed for you.

You may have supervised the job-seeker as an associate in social media, for example. Her duties were monitoring analytics, reviewing competitor sites and developing content. If she has since been promoted in analytics, she may be focusing on that area. You would want, ideally, to have a specific example or examples of how she performed in analytics, in addition to comments about her qualities and skills.

If you have access to relevant performance appraisals, they can be helpful in developing the letter, as they will have reference to the top achievements, skills and qualities of the job-seeker.

What to Cover

Recommendation letters should cover the following information:

  • How you know the person: Open by briefly mentioning in what capacity you know the person. State your specific title, the job-seeker’s specific title at the time and the inclusive years she worked for you.
  • The job-seeker’s skills and capabilities: State the skills demonstrated and the capabilities you saw. Were they adept at crunching data? Did they demonstrate multitasking ability?
  • Specific examples: Once you’ve covered the skills and capabilities, give at least one specific example of an achievement they accomplished. This needs to related explicitly or implicitly to the job they are seeking.
  • The job-seeker’s qualities: Mention specific qualities the job-seeker demonstrated. This can range from engagement to being a good team player.
  • Reference to whether you’d hire the person again: If you would hire the person again, mention it. It’s valuable information for prospective employers.
  • Your contact information: The interviewing organization may want to get in touch with you to discuss the letter more fully. Provide complete current contact information.
Format Specifics

A recommendation letter should be roughly three to four paragraphs long. The standard is roughly one page.

Any shorter, and it could be perceived as a sign that you didn’t know the job-seeker that well or didn’t have sufficient positive information.

It is a formal business document. It should be printed on the letterhead of your current company and dated, and you should sign it.

Use a standard business font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. The margins should be 1 inch at the sides and the bottom.

If you were asked to send it electronically, PDF the copy on your letterhead and submit it per the instructions specified, either by the job-seeker or by information on the job posting.

What to Do if You Can’t Give a Positive Recommendation

At times, you may be asked for a recommendation letter and you feel that you can’t write a positive recommendation. The reasons may range from you didn’t work closely with the person or issues with their performance.

It’s best to tell the person tactfully that you aren’t the best person to write a recommendation letter for them. Suggest that they contact someone who can speak more fully about their work performance.

Sample Recommendation Letter

Let’s see the recommendation letter advice in action. Here is a sample, utilizing all the information above:

July 6, 2017

Jon Donaldson
Vice President, Social Media
Your Company
456 New Media Circle
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Dear Mr. Donaldson,

I am writing to recommend Ashley Jones for the position of Social Media Manager at Your Company.  

Ashley and I worked together at The Former Company. I was the Social Media Manager at The Former Company from 2012 to 2016. Ashley, as Social Media Associate, reported directly to me within a team of four people.

I enjoyed working with Ashley and feel she would be a valuable asset to your team. She is creative, thorough and dependable. She is a proactive problem-solver fully aware of the changing social media landscape. Even then, Ashley was able to think strategically about how our social media campaigns could remain ahead of competitors.

As the Social Media Associate, Ashley developed a Pinterest campaign for The Former Company. We had no presence on Pinterest at the time. Ashley developed and presented an impressive campaign idea to senior management and executed upon it. Our sales leads generated from Pinterest hit 12 percent in the first year of Ashley’s campaign. Her ideas were a major part of its success.

Along with her creative and execution talent, Ashley is an excellent collaborator and team player. Her colleagues enjoy working with her.

I would hire her again without hesitation.

I warmly recommend Ashley for your team at Your Company. She would be an asset to any social media department.

Please contact me at 223-678-9101 if you would like more information or to discuss Ashley’s experience further.

Sincerely,

Former Supervisor

Recommendation letters mention capabilities, skills and qualities the job-seeker demonstrated in the past, both generally and with specific examples. Use the sample above as a general template for the type of responses recommendation letters give.

Hopefully, the person you are writing the letter for will land the job of their dreams. You can be proud knowing you played a part in their successful job hunt.

p.s. Resumonk helps you create a beautiful résumé & cover letter in minutes. Stand out from the crowd and multiply your chances of landing your dream job.

The post How to Write a Letter of Recommendation appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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Being stuck in a job that doesn’t allow you to reach your full potential can cause a lot of unwanted stress and uncertainty for many people. We’re here to remind you that you aren’t stuck, and it’s totally possible to switch into a different industry, field or position.

Maybe you’ve lost interest in your current profession, or maybe you’ve discovered a new interest in another field. No matter the reason, deciding to switch careers is life-changing. To be successful at whatever it is you choose to do, you need to make the change the right way.

If you’re considering a career change but don’t know where to start, follow these 12 steps:

1. Discover What You Truly Enjoy

The last thing you want is to go through the process of switching careers just to get into an industry you don’t like.

List your likes, dislikes, values and interests. Identify exactly what it is about your current job that’s making you want to leave — and make sure to avoid career paths that could have the same obstacles.

For some people, this could be the toughest step. Figuring out what you truly enjoy and are passionate about after ignoring it for years isn’t a simple task.

Ask yourself, “What do I get excited about doing?” or “What’s something I spend my free time thinking about or doing?” Choose a career related to your answers to those questions.  

2. List Careers That Satisfy Your Passions

Once you’ve keyed in on some of your passions and interests, search for careers that would encompass those things.

For example, if you spend a lot of your time thinking about or hanging out with your dog, consider a career that has to do with animals.

The important part about this step is keeping your skills in mind, as well. Just because you like dogs doesn’t mean you have the expertise or skills required to be a veterinarian.

However, if your skills include marketing, writing and designing, you could consider working as a marketing specialist for an animal protection agency or dog kennel.

The trick is to combine your skills with your passion to create your ideal position, and go from there.  

3. Research the Careers That Made Your List

Once you’ve come up with your list of dream careers, start researching. The bigger the industry change you’re making, the more research you should do. If you want to make a worthwhile, informed decision, this might be the most important step.

Think about the years of research and education you had before going into your current position — can you imagine how difficult it would’ve been to adjust without all that information?

Set yourself up for success by learning as much as you can before you start applying to jobs.

4. Make the Decision  

You’ve brainstormed your interests, listed careers that relate to them and researched them all — now it’s time to decide.

Making a decision is important because it will frame the way the rest of your career change process goes. You need to pinpoint a specific industry or career you’re trying to break into in order to achieve that goal.

5. Develop an Action Plan

Once you’ve decided on the path you’re going to take next, develop a specific plan with measurable goals, action items and a timeline.

There are probably new skills you need to learn, professionals you should meet and work to wrap up at your current job. You might even have a few personal goals you’d like to work on while making this shift.

Leaping from career to career isn’t a casual move — you don’t want to take it lightly. The more detailed your plan is, the better chance you’ll have at finding your dream job quickly.

6. Adjust Your Personal Brand

When you hand someone your business card or invite them to check out your online portfolio, they should be able to tell which industry you belong to now — not your past field.

This step includes adjusting your resume, cover letter and portfolio as much as possible so potential employers know you’re all in. When you edit your own professional brand to be more related to the new industry, they’ll see your dedication in that aspect.

You can consider creating a functional or skills-based resume using Resumonk. Highlight what transferable skills you have learnt in your previous profession and how they apply to the new industry.

7. Start Networking in Your Desired Field

In any career field, it’s not only about what you know, it’s also about who you know.

Start attending networking events for your industry and meeting as many people as you can. Introduce yourself and say you’re starting to break into the field now.

This is a great opportunity to ask seasoned professionals for their tips or advice on how to get into the industry and be successful — people love talking about themselves, their stories and their success, so they’ll remember you for asking.

8. Update Your Training

As you learn more about your new field, you might discover you need to significantly broaden your horizons.

Start slowly, taking only a course or two at a time. Not only will this be difficult to juggle with your current position, but it’ll also help you confirm you’re truly interested in the field.

If it’s not required to get a job in the field, you might not feel the need to get a new degree or certification for your career switch — that’s OK. Taking a few courses could be enough to give you the jump start you need and catch you up to people who’ve been in the field for years.

9. Find a Mentor

While you’re making this transition, you’re going to be stressed and uncertain at times. A mentor can help keep you on track and remind you of the bigger picture.

They don’t have to be an incredibly successful, rich or powerful person to be an adequate guide for you during this time. However, it certainly wouldn’t hurt if they’re experienced in your new industry.

10. Begin the Job Hunt

Recall all those skills you learned about job hunting during your senior year of college. Dig out your cover letter templates, interviewing tips and negotiation strategies.

Remember the importance of researching companies thoroughly before applying, interviewing and especially before accepting a position.

It’s also important to remember that the job hunt is truly a hunt — it’s not going to happen overnight. Try not to think about it too much and trust that the right position for you will come along.

11. Continue Learning About Your New Field

To keep yourself distracted while you wait to hear back from the seemingly endless amount of applications you’ve filled out, keep learning about your new career.

As we mentioned earlier, knowledge is power when it comes to breaking into a new industry. The more you know going into your new job, the less you’ll have to adjust to on that first day.

12. Lose the Ego — You’re Back at Square One

Back to the bottom of the totem pole you go! Don’t be above taking entry-level positions just because you’ve been a working professional for 10 years — or more.

You’re just starting out in this industry, so you’re most likely going to have to start at the bottom, especially if it’s a big switch from your previous position.

Be flexible, eager and willing to begin again.

Your New Career Awaits

Making a career change is not an easy feat. It takes a lot of strength, courage, willpower and determination to pull off. Use this guide to help you along the way, no matter how big of an industry change you’re making.

When the stress creeps up on you, just take a breath and remind yourself that good things come to those who hustle.

p.s. Resumonk helps you create a beautiful résumé & cover letter in minutes. Stand out from the crowd and multiply your chances of landing your dream job.

The post The 12-Step Plan to a Successful Career Change appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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There are ways to boost your LinkedIn profile so you can network with more people.

We live in an age where being social on the internet is incredibly common — for some careers, it’s even expected.

More than likely, you have numerous social accounts, from Facebook to Instagram and everything in between. You probably also have a LinkedIn account.

While all of these social sites have their purpose and ways to connect with others, it’s important to remember that they don’t all function the same.

LinkedIn is supposed to be your professional site, where you connect with business associates and look for jobs. Like Facebook, you can post on LinkedIn but remember to keep it professional.

Unlike Facebook, you probably don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. You probably visit it sporadically, when you’re looking for a job or adding a new professional contact you’ve met at a meeting or conference. You may not always be looking for a new job, but that doesn’t mean your dream job isn’t out there looking for you.

By keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date, potential employers can find you, and it allows you to grow your personal brand.

Below are nine tips to help you get your LinkedIn profile in shape and ready for action:

1. Keep Your Profile Up to Date and ‘Active’

As life gets busy, it’s easy to let your profile slip through the cracks — especially if you aren’t actively looking for a new job. However, if you are using the site as a way to connect with other professionals, ensure those people know what you do and how good you are it.

– Make sure that the industry you work in is correct, as well as your location. By keeping these current, it will help people find you.

– Creating a professional headline is what entices people to click on your profile and learn more about you. While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a headline that highlights your current job position, you can also be creative. Do you have an accomplishment or award you’d like to highlight? This could be the place. Or list traits that would show up in a search. Whatever you decide, make sure it is something that makes people want to learn more about you.

– Keep your profile active by sharing high quality articles related to your industry as frequently as possible on your LinkedIn profile. Most of the websites have ‘Share’ buttons these days, and you can click on the LinkedIn share button to post that article directly on your profile.

Or you can choose to share the article from your LinkedIn account itself. You’ll see the share text box on the ‘Home’ tab after you sign-in to your LinkedIn account. Paste the URL of the article you’d like to share in this text box:

Remember ‘Activity’ is the first section that is shown on your LinkedIn profile. The kind of articles shared by you showcase your interests, knowledge and tell the viewer if you are up to speed with the latest happenings in your industry.

2. Use a Professional Photo

Yes, LinkedIn is a social site, but it’s a professional social site, so don’t put up photos of yourself with your pets or family or doing shots at the bar — these are better left to Facebook.  It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the right picture can lead to your profile getting more views

3. Personalize Your Page With a Background Photo

If your profile looks like everyone else’s profile, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle. By adding a background photo, you add a touch of personalization and make it stand out from the rest. Again, this needs to be something professional, but it can also show off your personality or highlight part of your profession.

4. Make Your Summary Shine

In a way, LinkedIn is an electronic version of your resume, but it can be leveraged as so much more. You have the ability to highlight more of your accomplishments here than you do on paper. Write in the first person on this page, and let your personality show through while you talk about what makes you good at your job.

When creating your summary, keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t add a lot of jargon and buzzwords. It shows a lack of creativity.
  • Watch out for grammar issues. Nothing looks more unprofessional than mistakes on your page.
  • Use keywords correctly. This will help others find you when conducting a search.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Get a Little Personal

Don’t get too personal, but let people know there is a person behind the business. Share some things you like to do in your free time or what you’re passionate about. If you work with charities or volunteer, add those to your profile — LinkedIn has sections for you to do this.

To add your volunteer experience to your profile, go to the Add New Profile section, which is on the right-hand side of your page.

Click on the down arrow to open a new menu that lists the various sections you can add and choose click on the plus sign next to Volunteer experience:

That will open a new menu that will allow you to add your experience to your page.

6. Add Media to Your Profile

LinkedIn offers you the ability to add media to your descriptions. It’s already been mentioned that a picture is worth a thousand words, so how many is a video worth? Or what about a document that highlights your achievements?

Adding media to your profile could make your profile stand out from others and increase the number of people viewing it. It allows you to showcase your creativity. I have added various posts that highlight my writing.

Here’s how to add media to your profile:

Decide which section you would like to add the media to — Summary, Experience or Education — then click on the pencil icon to get into the edit mode.

When the dialogue box pops up, the Media option will be at the bottom of the page. Click the box to add a link or upload a document.

To add a link, paste it into the dialogue box and then click Add.

7. Highlight Your Writing Ability

LinkedIn now offers the ability to write and publish on their platform.

Make sure the content is appropriate for what you are trying to highlight, but this gives you the opportunity to talk about your industry and what you do. You can also link a WordPress blog to your profile.

This is how the ‘Articles & Activity’ section shows up on your profile.

8. Join Groups

One of the best ways to find others who think like you do and who talk about the same subjects is to join groups. This allows you to make connections in your field and find out what others are up to. It will also help you create leads for your business.

Here’s how to find and join groups on LinkedIn:

At the top of your profile page is an icon called Work.

Click on the arrow to open the dropdown icon, then select Groups.

After clicking on the Groups icon, it will take you to a new page. Once there, click on the Discover button to see groups suggested for you based on your profile.

Once you find a group you’d like to join, request access by clicking on the “Ask to join” button.

9. Be Excited and Welcoming

The purpose of LinkedIn is for you to highlight your professional skills and network with like-minded people. As with any social group, it’s important to be nice to others and excited about being there. Your enthusiasm and excitement will draw in others and widen your professional network and business contacts. 

With so many social sites on the web, it can be difficult to get noticed and find others who share your interests and passions. Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date, interesting and discoverable by others will increase your chances of being found. It could also land you that dream job you’ve been looking for.

p.s. You can convert your LinkedIn profile to a beautiful resume quickly using Resumonk. 

The post 9 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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