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Starting in middle school, helping you figure out what you’re going to do for the rest of your life becomes one of the goals of your teachers. Sure, you’re only 13 years old. But, your job is something that’s hammered into your head from early on.

So, you go through high school, and maybe you take some specific courses about psychology or anatomy.

Then college rolls around. Or, maybe you prefer to skip college.

Whatever your choice, your career may not have turned out what you thought it would be. People change, and it’s OK to realize that what you wanted to do in college or during your early years may not be what you want to do for the rest of your life.

If you’re caught in this conundrum, ease up.

It’s possible to switch careers and find something that you’re truly passionate about! To help you out, there’s a host of personality and career-oriented tests you can take.

Even if you haven’t worked a job yet, you can still take these tests. You may be surprised by what you find!

1. The Self-Directed Search

Options are excellent in life. And having options in your career to do what you want is a dream come true.

The Self-Directed Search offers plenty of options. Instead of the traditional questions and answers, this test asks you questions and then sorts you into certain categories.

For example, you’re sorted into three categories based on the way you respond to questions. You may be sorted into the artistic, realistic and social category. Each category has a selection of jobs that matches how you answered the questions.

This isn’t your typical career and personality test. It’s worth trying out if you want to take a test that will give you options you may not get while taking the others.

2. Who Am I?

This is another unique approach to personality tests. While it does focus more on your personality and less on your career, the ‘Who Am I?’ test will show you things about yourself you may not have known. It’s a fun structure that resembles DNA.

The test works in a simple fashion. You are given a series of pictures and you pick the one that most relates to you. While this may sound elementary, it’s a unique strategy that is sure to both teach you and put a smile on your face.

3. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

This is the big boy. It’s used in a ton of companies across the board. Yes, this is the test where companies give you questions that determine your personality type and tell them how great of a worker you’ll be.

It can seem daunting, but this test is fairly accurate. And it doesn’t focus on superficial scenarios. The test delves deep into not only how you act, but also what motivates you to work that way. It’s a deeply layered test that you’ll probably take at some point in your life.

You can take the MBTI assessment with a certified administrator, or take a free version online.  

4. Pymetrics

Imagine walking into a job interview. You sit down, and an HR associate walks into the room. They say you’re taking a test called the Pymetrics test.

You’re a little confused, but you’re put at ease when they tell you it’s a personality test that helps determine your work habits. Then, as you start taking the test, you are confronted with mind games that test your problem-solving skills.

This could be quite surprising to you, but this is what the Pymetrics test is all about.

A series of mind games and puzzles awaits you. It’s a unique approach to personality tests and job tests that shakes up the formula of answering questions about your character.

5. Career Strengths Test

Focusing more on your career skills, this test has a lot to offer. Instead of boring questions about work habits, this test dives deep into how strong you are in a variety of job-related areas.

Leadership, inductive reasoning and structural visualization are all facets in which you’ll be measured. After you’ve taken the test, you’ll see which skills you excel in.

Once you get the results, a host of jobs will pop up that include all the major skills in which you’ve excelled. It’s a great test that may even surprise you with the skills you never knew you had.

6. The Big Five Personality Test

Do you work well with others? If you’ve ever thought about this skill and want to know how well you execute it, then this personality test is for you.

The Big Five Personality Test focuses on how you work and how well you communicate with others. While it’s a tightly focused test, its results shouldn’t be scoffed at. It gives you insight into whether you should be in a job that has you communicating with others all the time or a loner that gets the job done by yourself.

Either way, this is a fantastic personality/career test.

7. Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator

The RHETI can easily be confused with Myers-Briggs, but it’s a different test that looks at which archetype you are.

Once you answer the questions, you may fall into a variety of categories. You may be classified as a reformer, an enthusiast or even an achiever.

One of the cool things this test tells you is how you work with co-workers. Better yet, it shows you how to improve in certain areas where you may have scored low.

Overall, this test offers a lot. It’s one of the only tests that tries to help you improve areas that you score low in.

8. MAPP Career Assessment Test

Besides the Myers-Briggs Indicator, the MAPP Career Assessment is the next biggest job and personality test you can take.

It encompasses a broad range of results, ranging from your preferences at how to complete tasks to reasoning. It’s a huge test, but one that is well worth taking.

As with most of the tests on this list, it gives you a handful of job categories you would be excellent in. It’s a superb test to take, and the results will help you hone in on what types of jobs you should apply for.

For most people, the right career is hard to find. However, these tests can help you find out what types of jobs you should be looking for. If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money and a little bit of time, these tests will help you find not only the right career, but also the job that will make you happy.

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 8 Best Career Assessment and Personality Tests to Help You Find the Right 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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Whether you’re applying for a scholarship, a place on a master’s course or a full-fledged job, you need to provide relevant information to sell yourself to those choosing the best candidate.

The best way to do so is to create a killer resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that describes you, your experience and all you’ve achieved thus far.

How do you know which type of document to produce, though?

To some, a resume and a CV may seem like interchangeable words. It turns out there are differences between the two documents, as well as differences in the types of places you’d send a resume versus a CV.

To make that decision clearer — and to make the creation of your resume or CV easier for you — here are the biggest differences between the two documents.

The Resume

A resume is the typical document required of job applicants in the United States and Canada. We’ll talk about other countries a bit further down in this article.

The resume is a summary of your work and educational experience. You’ll have to be strategic in creating your resume so it highlights all your best work, since the document is a summary — you can’t describe every single accomplishment you’ve had throughout your career. Don’t be afraid to cut and tailor your resume to every job you apply for, either.

Unless otherwise specified, you should assume that most hiring managers expect a resume. The world of academia is a different story — they might just expect a lengthier, in-depth CV instead — but more on that later.

What Does It Look Like?

Often, recruiters and HR managers receive several applications for one available job opening. They want to browse through resumes quickly to narrow down the pool to interview candidates. That’s why your resume shouldn’t be more than about two pages and comprise easy-to-scan bullet points that spotlight your greatest achievements.

In the few minutes someone spends glancing at your resume, you have to make sure they realize you stand apart from the crowd.

Your resume should always include work experience, especially experience most relevant to the position to which you’re applying. Ideally, your resume should be tailored to the field in which you want to work and the job you want to obtain. So, even if you were editor of your university’s newspaper, it may not be relevant when applying to teach science at the local high school.

You should always strive to add a summary at the top of your resume. It should be short, sweet and to the point. If anything, you can flesh out your expectations and highlight your greatest achievements in your cover letter — many employers require applicants to send both.

The Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum vitae means course of life in Latin, which is your first clue that a CV is quite a bit longer than a resume. This document is the most popular in the academic world, where aspiring researchers, master’s students and Ph.D. candidates can flesh out all their accomplishments.

More importantly — especially in the case of academics — the CV is a place for you to share all your educational accomplishments and publications. The latter is especially important for those aiming to rise in the ranks of higher education.

Publication gives your research and standing more clout. In short, an educational institution will love to take you on if you’ve proven your ability to get published, so you can get their name out there, too.

CVs made in pursuit of higher education should also include your teaching experience, previous degrees, any presentations you’ve given on your study area and, of course, the awards you’ve already received.

You’ll have plenty of space to flesh out all this information, and because the document is so long, you can likely create one CV that will apply to every application you submit — unlike the short-and-sweet resume.

Of course, the CV isn’t just used for students aspiring for higher-level degrees. CVs are the common job application document in many countries. They’re also used for those entering the field of medicine.

What Does It Look Like?

Anyone who has pursued a degree beyond a bachelor’s knows how much it takes and how much there is to talk about. That’s why CVs are typically longer than the quick, bullet-pointed resume. Even an entry-level CV can span two pages, and some more in-depth ones are pages long.

Like a resume, your CV should be blocked into categories. A good way to build your CV is to first brainstorm all of the accomplishments you want to include. Then, once you have them all written down, group them into categories.

You’ll want to make sure your CV includes all of your top academic accomplishments, such as:

  • Research completed
  • Teaching experience
  • Professional association memberships and licenses
  • Grants
  • Fellowships and scholarships
  • Awards
  • Publications
  • Presentations

Again, all of this will have to be ordered on your CV page to flow logically from one category to the next.

Don’t Forget the International Expectations

Not all job or educational applications come with a request specifically for a resume or a CV. If you’re applying abroad, it’s good to know where the former is expected, where the latter is expected and where the terms are more or less interchangeable.

If you want a job in the United States or Canada, chances are they’ll ask for a resume. The only time you would be expected to produce a lengthier CV would be if you’re applying for a research position or otherwise academic pursuit.

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and most of Europe, the CV reigns supreme. This is true of any position, academic or professional — those selecting candidates will want a fully detailed CV.

Then, of course, there are the wildcards. Places like Australia, South Africa and India use the terms resume and CV interchangeably, but there is one differentiation: The CV is often used for positions in the public sector, while the resume suffices for most private-sector jobs.

Is There Any Overlap?

These are the typical scenarios that would call for a resume or a CV. Of course, it’s not always black-and-white, and you might find yourself submitting a CV with your next job application or a resume for that post-grad scholarship you really want.

The most important thing to remember while writing your resume or CV is that you’re including the information your employer or educational institution wants to hear. You should always make sure your writing is clear, and the structure is logical. The look of the document should always be clean, too.

If you want to be extra cautious, prepare both a resume or CV prior to your job or fellowship search. It might take a bit more time to prepare both documents, but you’ll be happy to have them on hand when you apply and find one institution wants a resume, while the next wants the CV.

As always, don’t be shy about sharing your achievements, whether they’re professional or academic. You’ve worked hard to build that impressive CV or resume, so show it off — the right people will be sure to notice.

p.s. Resumonk helps you create an impressive résumé/CV in minutes. Check out these reviews on how it has helped thousands of people in achieving their professional goals. 

The post Resume vs Curriculum Vitae (CV): What’s the Difference? 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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Behavioral interview questions can reveal a lot about you. In addition to seeing if your skills and abilities align with the job duties, these can also indicate how your personality will fit the position and company. Your interviewer wants to see how you might react to certain situations that could come up with this job.

It’s always good to prepare for these types of questions beforehand. Obviously, you can’t predict the exact questions they’re going to ask, but it’s good to have something in mind for what you think may come up.

Look at the key skills listed in the job posting. These attributes are a good indicator of qualities that will come up during the interview.

Here’s a complete list of behavioral interview questions to help you get ready for your next job interview.

Teamwork

Eighty-three percent of employers in a recent survey said teamwork is extremely high on their wish list for entry-level employees. Chances are, you’re going to get at least one question that deals with how you’ve previously collaborated with coworkers:  

  1. Give an example of a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
  2. Talk about a time when you faced a conflict while working with a team. How did you handle it?
  3. Tell me about an experience working with a team that you found rewarding.
  4. Give me an example of a time you had to deal with a difficult coworker.
  5. Talk about a time when you were on a team with someone who wasn’t doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?
  6. What do you think is the most difficult part of being a member — and not a leader — of a team? Why? How do you deal with it?
  7. Have you had to be the mediator to settle an issue between two members? What happened? How did you resolve the dispute?

Communication

This is probably one of the easiest ones to be prepared for since you have to communicate in everyday life as well as work. However, get ready to back up your claim of being a great communicator with clear examples:

  1. Tell me about a successful presentation you gave and why it went over so well.
  2. Give an example of when you’ve effectively used written communication to get your ideas across to someone.
  3. How would you explain complex ideas in simpler terms to a frustrated client?
  4. Have you had a boss in the past that you had difficulties communicating with? How did you handle this?
  5. Describe how you’ve developed relationships with coworkers, supervisors and others at a new workplace.
  6. Give an example of a time when you successfully communicated with someone you didn’t like or who didn’t like you.
  7. Talk about a time where you had to give a presentation on the spot or with minimal preparation. What were the challenges? How did you handle them to pull it off?
Time Management

Prioritizing tasks is important for any company. Your supervisor will also want to know that you can juggle more than one assignment at the same time and can still get things done by the deadlines. Employees’ time-management skills can truly make or break a company, so this is something they’re definitely going to want to know about:

  1. Tell me about a time you had to juggle multiple responsibilities. How did you handle it?
  2. Sometimes it’s impossible to get everything done. What did you do during a time where your responsibilities got overwhelming?
  3. Give me an example of how you’ve handled interruptions or distractions in the workplace when you’re on a tight deadline.
  4. How did you keep everything running smoothly and on time with a project you managed recently?
  5. Think of a recent goal you’ve met. How did you make sure you met it? What was your process?
  6. When has something you’ve organized not gone according to plan? What happened? Why? What did you do to fix it/make it go more smoothly?
Client-Facing Skills

Almost every industry involves some level of customer service, so you’re probably going to be asked questions about how you handle client interactions. Employers want to keep their clients happy to ensure repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations. They want to know you’ll go above and beyond to ensure the customer has a wonderful experience with your business:

  1. Describe a time where you had to deal with a difficult customer/client. What did you do to handle the situation?
  2. Give an example of a time where you gave a client great customer service.
  3. Tell me about a time you failed to meet a customer’s expectations. What happened?
  4. How would you go about showing a client you’re focused and interested in their case or project? Why do you think this is an effective approach?
  5. When you’re overwhelmed with customers, how would you prioritize their needs?
  6. Describe a time when you’ve picked up a customer from someone else. How did you establish a relationship with them when they were used to working with a different coworker or competitor? How did you get them to trust you?
  7. Have you ever taken the customer’s side over the company’s? What happened?
Initiative

Employers want to know you’re dedicated to the job and are willing to go above and beyond at the workplace. They want someone who is self-motivated and isn’t going to back down the first time they hit a wall. They want someone who’s going to keep trying until they find a way to get over — or through — it:

  1. Describe a project or idea that was put into place because of your efforts. What was your role, and how did everything end up?
  2. Talk about a time — whether it was in the workplace or outside of it — that your initiative caused a change to happen.
  3. Give an example of a setback you’ve endured at work. How did you handle it?
  4. Describe a time at work when you failed. How did you overcome it?
  5. Give an example of a time when you saw a problem and used it as an opportunity instead. What did you do, and what happened as a result? Was there anything you would’ve done differently?
  6. Tell us about a time where the company or team you were with was undergoing a lot of change. What impact did it have on you? How did you adapt?
  7. Describe a time where you initiated a project or change at your workplace. What did you do, and how did it turn out? Were you happy with how it ended up?
Leadership

If you’re interviewing for a supervisor position — and even if you aren’t — you’ll probably come across some questions to assess your leadership skills. Maybe the position has a potential for advancement, and the employer wants to see if you could move up in the company. Regardless, this is a leadership test, even if you haven’t had experience in a direct leadership role:

  1. Describe a time when you exhibited leadership skills.
  2. Tell us about a time you took the lead on a project or in a situation.
  3. Have you ever assisted someone with their efforts to help them become successful?
  4. Tell us about a time you led by example.
  5. Talk about a leadership role you’ve had outside of work. Why did you choose to devote your time to it? How did you feel about it, and how did you handle obstacles?
  6. What was the hardest group or team that you’ve had to lead? Why? How did you handle difficult members or situations?
  7. How do you balance responsibilities if you’re leading a team and are also expected to do the same job as your team members?

Don’t go into your next interview unprepared. While you may have researched the company and everything about the position, don’t let the behavioral questions fall by the wayside. One of these could be the one that trips you up in an interview if you don’t take the time to think about your answer.

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. Check it out now.

The post Complete List of Behavioral Interview Questions 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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You’ve spent a lot of effort job hunting. You’ve sent out your resumes, and prepared for the interviews after that. And yet, all you get in return are crickets. Makes you want to pull your hair out, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, if job hunting is a full-time job, waiting is part of the duties and responsibilities. If you want to follow up on your job application without appearing rude, annoying or desperate, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

How to Stay on Top of Your Job Search

First, a few general pointers for conducting an efficient and thorough follow-up on your job search.

Check the job ad for anything along the lines of “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” or “Please do not follow up.” If employers tell you not to do something, don’t do it. Nothing irks them more than applicants who think they’re above following simple instructions.

Give them a reasonable amount of time to respond. This’ll be explained in more detail later, but suffice to say that following up an hour after an interview isn’t a good idea.

Assume the recruiter doesn’t remember you. They process hundreds of applications a day, and even if you’re a standout candidate, it’s still likely they’ll forget to give you feedback for one reason or another.

A few other tips:

  • Show enthusiasm. Write something like “I’m really excited to join ABC Company, which is why I’m following up on the status of my application.” You don’t have to flatter them. Just show you’re taking the position seriously.
  • Add value. Give them a reason to smack their heads and say “Oh snap! I should’ve replied to this applicant sooner” after reading your follow-up email. For example, if you’re bold enough, you can outline ideas that can help solve their existing problems once you’re on board. But if you want to play it safe, just let them know you’re available to help move the hiring process forward.
  • Write a good subject line. Recruiters are busy people, so they want to know what your email’s all about as soon as it shows up in their inbox.
  • Be straight to the point yet polite. Tell them what you want within the first two paragraphs, but take care not to sound too harsh. If in doubt, read your email aloud and ask yourself how you’d feel as a recipient of that email.
  • Remember to say “thank you.” Again, recruiters are busy people, and they’re appreciative of anyone who realizes the amount of effort they have to put into their jobs.
Scenario 1: After You Apply

It’s been weeks since you sent out your resume, and you haven’t received a single phone call. You want to follow up, but you’re worried your follow-up message will get lost in the void too. So how do you handle that?

First, research the company’s average response time to applications. If it takes a month or so to reply, that’s how long you should wait. If you’re not sure, wait at least two weeks before you send your follow-up email.

If they don’t respond to your first follow-up email, wait two more weeks before sending another one. And if you still don’t get a reply, it’s safe to assume they’re not interested and you should concentrate your energies on another job.

If you applied online via a system such as Taleo, send your email to the person in HR who’s most likely to process your application. Otherwise, look for the generic recruitment address like recruitment@company.com or careers@company.com.

Use a subject line such as “Re: Application for (insert position here).”

Here’s a sample follow-up email you could send:

Hello,

I applied for the position of Blogger at Chotto Corporation on 22nd May, 2017. I’m really excited to join the company, so I’m reaching out to you to follow up on my application.

I’d love to learn more details about the position if you’re still searching for a candidate. I’ve been blogging for a decade, which has taught me how to adapt my style according to the requirements of each project. Here is the link to my portfolio: http://www.example.com

If you like, I can write a test post so you can get a feel for my writing and decide whether it’s a fit for your company.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Regards,

(your name)

Scenario 2: After Your Initial Interview

You’ve seen all the signs an employer loves you. Every time you do so little as open your mouth, the interviewer can’t help but crinkle their eyes. You’re confident you’ve nailed the job and the company will be reaching for the phone to schedule a second/final interview with you.

And yet, you hear nothing. What gives? Take a deep breath and:

  • Stay calm. It’s possible that “Replying to (Your Name)” got buried under your interviewer’s to-do list.
  • Wait a day or two after the date they said they’d call you back. If they didn’t specify a date during the interview, or you forgot to ask, give it a week or so.
  • Write a subject line such as “Thanks for the interview last week” and send the following:

Hello Mr. Calderon,

Thank you for interviewing me for the Blogger position. You had said I’d be notified about my status by 2nd June, so I wanted to drop a note and see if you needed anything further from me. I’d be happy to provide anything to help you move the hiring process forward.

Thank you again,

(your name)

Scenario 3: After Your Next/Final Interview

You’ve already come this far. And you’ve impressed your interviewers with your charm, wit and competence. You’ve even sent post-interview thank you notes. Still, the waiting time’s giving you the heebie-jeebies.

Luckily, these tips can help you ease your anxieties:

  • Again, stay calm. Any desperation you feel might bleed into your follow-up email if you’re not careful. Take a deep breath before you do anything.
  • Wait at least two days after the interviewer’s “Call You Back” date. If you’re not sure about the date, give it a week.
  • Write a subject line such as, “Pleasure to Learn More About (Company Name)”

Hello Ms. Acosta,

Hope you are well. I enjoyed learning more about the company, as well as the Blogger role. I’m really excited about the possibility of joining Chotto and helping you achieve the goals we talked about during the (nth) interview.

I’m happy to provide any more information you may need, as you make your decision. Thanks so much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

(your name)

Let’s face it: Waiting is the most excruciating part of job hunting. There’s a strong temptation to wallow in all the reasons why they’re not calling you back yet.

But if you want your waiting time to be productive, your application to get results and your potential employer to know you’re dead-serious about landing a position in their company, following up is your best option.

In the meantime, happy job hunting, and give us a nudge in the comments if you have any thoughts about this post.

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. Check it out now.

The post How to Follow Up Throughout Your Job Search appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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A few decades ago, the thought of putting a photo on your CV or resume would have been absurd. Adding an image to your resume would have appeared cheap or unprofessional, immediately shutting down your chances of getting an interview for the position. But does that same idea still apply today?

There are mixed opinions over whether you should include an image on your CV. While some career experts say it’s still a big no-no when submitting an application, others believe it’s a great way to stick out from the crowd of individuals going after the same job.

But whether an image is appropriate on a CV depends on the situation, industry and the job location.

In fact, in some European countries, including an image on your resume is a requirement.

Let’s take a look at some of the circumstances when you may want to include a photo on your resume.

Resumes in the Visual World

In the past, your resume was expected to be a traditional black-and-white sheet of paper that outlined your experience and skills. A hiring manager would sift through the various applicants and decide which were right for the job based on who had the best qualifications. While this same idea still applies today, the hiring process has changed a bit.

Today, just about every company posts their open positions online. This means they’re able to attract talent from all over the country, not just those within their current space. It’s easier to apply to jobs, which means people are applying to jobs more frequently. Instead of a few dozen applicants for a job, a company could receive a few hundred.

When you’re submitting an application against hundreds of other black-and-white, one-sheet pieces of paper, it can be difficult to stand out. Even if you’re completely qualified for the position, you may miss out on the opportunity simply because your resume wasn’t eye-catching. While an interesting layout may be enough to grab the attention of a hiring manager, you’ll likely need to do a bit more.

People are getting increasingly creative when applying to jobs. They’re going above and beyond to catch the attention of hiring managers, including using visuals to get noticed.

Having an image on your CV is still unexpected, so it can make the hiring manager stop and give your resume a second look. If you’re featuring a professional image that exudes confidence, it may be just the thing you need to convince the person in charge you’re capable of taking on the job.

Adding your photo to a resume also allows you to humanize the piece of paper. You’re showing the person behind the name, allowing the hiring manager to get a better understanding of who you are. Instead of looking at your resume and seeing just your name, they’ll also see your face. This can help them create a strong connection with you that may land you the job.

Creative industries, which put more pressure on individuals to show their skills in their resume design, are a common place for people to use photos on their resumes. Because these creative areas encourage more flexibility in their application processes, you may find almost all applicants are including a headshot on their CV.

What Are the Negatives?

If there weren’t downsides to including a photo on your resume, it wouldn’t be a controversial subject. Before you put a picture on your CV, you’ll want to consider why some professionals are opposed to the practice.

The top argument against adding your headshot to your resume is the possibility of discrimination. If you include your image, you’re allowing the hiring manager to make a judgment about your capabilities based on your appearance. Although it is illegal for companies to discriminate against candidates based on their age, gender or race, it still happens all too frequently. Adding your image to a resume allows the hiring manager to consider your appearance as a criterion.

However, the prevalence of social media means your photo is probably already on multiple websites. Because many hiring managers search for their applicants online before deciding who to call in for an interview, it’s highly likely that they’ll know what you look like before they ever reach out to you to learn more information.

In fact, most career experts say having an image on your LinkedIn profile is an absolute must. Using a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile gives you personal appeal and credibility. It can also help hiring managers become familiar with your face and name, making you more recognizable. If it’s beneficial to have a strong image on your LinkedIn profile, why not have the same strong image on your CV?

Using a photo may also work against you if you don’t provide a professional shot. If you include a silly image, an obvious selfie or a low-quality photograph, it could ruin your chances of getting an interview with the company — even if you were perfect for the job.

How to Choose the Photo for Your CV

To get the attention of your hiring manager, you want to ensure your image is high-quality and professional. When deciding which photo to include on your CV, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

First, choose an image that is relatively recent. Don’t use a photograph that is so old it doesn’t even look like you. This can cause confusion and make you seem dishonest when you finally come in for an interview. Make sure the photo you select is from at least the past few years and that you still look the same.

You’ll also want to ensure you’re using a solo shot, or that you can crop your face out without seeing the other people in the frame. You don’t want the hiring manager to have to guess which person you are. With that in mind, you want your face to take up a little more than half the shot.

If the photo shows any part of your outfit, be sure it is professional attire. While you don’t have to be in a suit, you also don’t need to look like you’re headed to the beach or a club. Even a simple T-shirt is better than a tank top.

You also want to choose an image where you look confident and professional, but also friendly and warm.

If you have a strong image on your LinkedIn profile, feel free to use the same one on your CV. Using the same image on both can help you create consistency and make you more recognizable. When the hiring manager visits your LinkedIn profile, they’ll know they’ve found the right person.

Because you’ll still want to bring a copy of your CV to any job interview you get, double-check that the image is clear even when printed in black and white. If the image is too dark, or you no longer look like yourself, you may want to consider swapping it out for something simpler.

If possible, have a few professional photos taken. While you don’t need to sit for an entire photo shoot, having options of professional headshots can prevent you from needing to choose among photos of yourself in a social setting. If you’re low on cash or don’t have time, setting up a less formal photo shoot at home with a friend or family member can still help you get some quality images to use on your LinkedIn profile or resume.

How to Insert Picture in Your Resume

One way to add a photo to your resume or CV is to use Resumonk. Check out these photo CV templates available on it:

If you are adding a photo a photo to your CV using MS Word or some other editor, make sure it doesn’t take up too much space on the page. While it can help you stand out, you don’t want to run out of room for your skills and experience. Showcasing why you’re qualified for the job is the most important part of your resume, so don’t sacrifice precious space for your photo.

Keep your headshot to about the size of a passport photo, which is about 2” by 2”. This ensures your image is large enough to clearly see you, but you won’t need to squeeze your skills into the margins of the document.

There’s a wealth of advice on resume dos and don’ts, but the most important quality of a resume is that it accurately represents you. When you feature an image on your resume, you’re showing the hiring manager exactly who you are — which could be just the thing that lands you an interview.

The post Should You Put a Photo on Your CV? appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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You’ve just finalized an employment contract with a new company. You’re excited about the new opportunity, and you’re ready to get started.

You just need to depart your current place of employment — gracefully.

Ideally, your first step should be to setup a meeting with your boss. Inform her/him that you’ve decided to quit the job and express gratitude for all the opportunities you received in your tenure there. Keep a positive tone and show your commitment for transitioning your responsibilities. 

Then, send out a formal letter of resignation to your boss. It should be professional, appropriate and respectable.  

Why Do You Need to Write a Resignation Letter?

Resignation letters are a formal way to provide notice that you’re leaving. It makes it easy for the direct supervisor to share this information with their boss and the Human Resources (HR) department. Also, it removes any scope for confusion in the ‘actual’ date of resignation. 

Through written documentation, HR and your supervisors will know they need to begin the search to find your replacement. HR will also initiate all the exit related formalities based on this formal notice.

Here is a step-by-step guide on what content to include in your resignation letter.

Writing Your Resignation Letter: The Subject

In most workplaces, you’ll be sending the resignation via an email. The subject line should be very clear and it should immediately draw the attention of the recipients. Remember, supervisors and HR people receive a lot of email and you don’t want them to miss out on this one.

You can use any of the following subject lines:

Resignation – [Your Name]

Notice of Resignation – [Your Name]

Writing Your Resignation Letter: The First Paragraph

The first paragraph of your resignation letter may seem like the most challenging to write, but it is actually quite simple. Instead of looking for a creative way to begin the letter, you’ll want the first paragraph to provide all the information your boss and the HR will need to know.

Following a simple greeting of “Dear [Boss’s name],” you’ll want to immediately let them know why you’ve written the letter. Within the first paragraph, you’ll need to directly state that this is your resignation notice from your position. Be specific about the position you are resigning from.

Next, you can include the final date of employment. Be sure to include a specific date in your letter rather than saying you will be leaving in two weeks.

Dear [Boss’s Name],

Please accept this note as my formal resignation from my position as [Job Title]. My last day of employment with Company Name will be [Date].

However, if you wish to leave earlier than your notice period, you can make a polite request for releasing you early.  

I understand that my notice period is X days, but I would request you to release me from employment [by DATE] OR [as early as possible]. I will do my best to ensure complete handover of my current responsibilities before I leave.

Writing Your Resignation Letter: The Thank-You

Don’t feel like you need to get too deep into the reasons why you’re looking to leave the company. You also don’t need to include information about the job you’ve accepted or where you’ll be going after leaving the company if you do not wish to.

However, you should take the time to thank your boss for the opportunity they have given you. If you had an extremely positive relationship with your boss and the company you’ve worked for, you may go into deeper detail in this section than others. If you are leaving the company on poor terms or you have negative feelings for your boss, still thank them, but stay generic.

Highlight a few of your favorite parts of the job and what you’ve enjoyed during your time in the position. State what skills you’ve learned while doing the job and how those skills will move with you as you grow your career.

Here is a generic thank you section you can customize to your liking:

I appreciate the opportunity you have given me and have learned many different skills on the job. Over the past few years, I’ve particularly enjoyed learning [Skill #1, Skill #2, Skill #3]. Thank you for helping me to develop these skills. They will stay with me for the rest of my career.

Writing Your Resignation Letter: The Closing

To end your resignation letter, let your boss know you’re happy to help with the transition process until your final employment date comes. You should also try to mention a few key projects you’re willing to close out before you go.

The closing is especially crucial if you’re hoping to leave the company with strong relationships. Leaving the position without considering how it may make things difficult for your boss or co-workers is a good way to burn bridges. Instead, offer to work with them to determine what they need from you before you go.

You will also want to wish the company well. If you hope to maintain a professional relationship with your boss, mention how you hope to keep in touch when you go.

This example can get you started with writing a resignation letter closing:

Before my final work day, I will work with you and the team to complete my projects and train other team members. I would like to help make this transition as easy as possible for you and the [Company Name] team, so please let me know what I can do.

I hope the [Company Name] has many successes in the future, and I look forward to keeping in touch.

Thank you,

Your Name

What to Avoid in Your Resignation Letter

If you’re leaving the company on poor terms, you may be tempted to tell your boss exactly what you think of the company and their leadership or your coworkers. While you may think this will help you feel better about leaving your job, it is best to avoid doing so for obvious reasons.

You never know who coworkers are connected to or who you may run into in the future.

Also, many companies reach out for background or reference check to the candidate’s previous employer. If you leave an insult-filled resignation letter on your boss’s desk complaining about the company or your colleagues, they certainly won’t talk about you in glowing terms. 

If you don’t have positive feelings about the job, don’t get too specific in your resignation letter. Remain respectful, but keep the letter short and to the point. Simply writing a letter that states you’re leaving and the date of your departure is enough.

Finally, keep in mind that your resignation letter may not be the time for jokes and humor, even if you have an extremely positive relationship with your boss. Your resignation letter should be formal because it will probably be shared with many different people in the company. From upper-level management to the HR department, your resignation may pass through many different hands. Don’t write a letter you’d be embarrassed for the CEO to read.

Keep It Short And Simple

While resignation letters may seem intimidating, they are actually fairly simple to write. When creating your resignation letter, keep in mind the basics we’ve laid out. If you’d like to further discuss an issue, your departure or the projects you’re working on, save them for an in-person conversation. A letter with only the basics will make it easy for you, your boss and the company you’re leaving.

Use the provided examples to get started in drafting your resignation letter. They will serve as excellent starting places to create a unique letter explaining your departure — and your exit will exude grace and poise rather than be a flurry of chaos and hard feelings.

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. Check it out now.

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

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If there is one section in your resume that has the maximum impact on your chances of landing your dream job, it is this one – Resume Summary.

Whether you are a recent college graduate or have spent years in the workforce, it is always hard to summarize yourself and your work experience in a few lines.

Consider the resume summary as your elevator pitch. These few lines would either convince the hiring manager to look through your resume in detail, or just move on to the other one.

Do not write a vague objective statement like “To obtain a position enabling me to utilize my strong communication and leadership skills that offers growth and advancement opportunities“.

You need to hone in on the most vital information in your resume to outline why you’re the best candidate for the job and what you bring to the table for the employer.

Take a look at these following examples that would help you write a powerful resume summary, and get your resume past the screening stage.

1. Use the Job Description to Craft Your Resume Summary

Use the keywords of the job description to shape your experience in the summary with strong and specific word choices.

Look for yourself in the job description, and match those skills to your concrete professional strengths and experiences.

If you meet the criteria for number of years of work experience mentioned in the job description, you should add that information in the summary. It makes the resume easy to screen for the hiring manager and they can focus more on your other relevant skills & experience.

e.g. If a job description says they are looking for an IT project manager with over 10 years of experience to work with distributed teams on big ticket projects, you can show that you meet all these requirements in your summary:

IT Project Manager with 12 years of experience. Demonstrated excellence in delivering multiple large scale global projects ($1.5MM – $3.0MM) on time and within sanctioned budgets. Projects include large IT infrastructure implementations, multiple site migrations, application upgrades and security system implementations.

2. Keep It Concise and Clear

Try to keep your resume summary concise and clear, ideally not using more than three sentences. That’s the goal to aim for in length, since hiring managers are only going to spend seconds scanning each resume.

Look at these examples of resume summaries that are concise but still highlight the skills & experience of the candidates well:

Five years of experience in hospitality and corporate reception, utilizing polished front desk skills and top-notch customer support to provide exceptional customer care and administrative services.

Professional CPA with over six years of experience managing accounts following accounting best practices to ensure healthy financial performance of the firm.

Passionate early childhood educator with a strong background in cultivating young children’s learning through emergent curriculum. Highly skilled in fostering the development of the child, and forming meaningful relationships with children & families.

3. Highlight Three Things That Define Your Professional Self

What are your top three skills? e.g. Do you possess an ability to manage complicated projects? Have you exceeded sales goals? Do you have excellent organization skills? 

What successes have you seen due to them? Make a list of these, and interweave them with the major skill requirements the employer is looking to fill.

Research the vital skills of your target industry and think from the hiring manager’s perspective.

Here is a good example of a resume summary for a sales manager:

Target-driven sales professional with a proven track record of growing revenue & profit. Over 10 years of progressive experience in direct sales, channel sales and business development in the highly competitive segments of the consumer electronics industry.

It highlights the skills and the domain experience at the same time.

4. Don’t Let “Entry Level” Make You Feel Inexperienced

Just because you’re a new graduate doesn’t mean you don’t have experience.

Traits and skills that you’ve developed are likely transferable to the jobs you’re applying to at the start of your career, and the same goes for those who are changing careers. 

New graduate with a BA in business management. Internship experience with architectural firm in project management. Noted for skills in meeting deadlines, time management, accurate research and effective problem-solving.

5. Showcase Your Personality, When Relevant

Check this excellent summary written by a registered nurse that showcases personality traits relevant to the job:

Compassionate, reliable, certified nursing assistant with 7 years of experience in caring for disabled, elderly and memory impaired individuals. Excellent client care with great interpersonal communication skills. Flexible work hours, available on weekends and holidays as well.

On similar lines, check out this example of resume summary for a paralegal.

Paralegal with over four years of experience in legal firms working with attorneys and clients on sensitive cases regarding disability, foreclosure, family and juvenile and civil rights. Sociable and empathetic with a focus on the bigger picture, highly efficient with client and professional relationship building and communication. Experience working with multiple attorneys and their clients, with bilingual proficiency in Spanish.

The position of paralegal is very client-facing, and this applicant does a great job of balancing both professional and personal sides to the summary’s advantage.

6. Employ Strategic Keywords to Make a Resume Scannable

Detail-oriented CAD technician, BTEC-qualified certification and recognized skills in engineering drawing in 2D and 3D, developing designs collaboratively on teams and as a freelancer for a diverse range of clients for the last 15 years.

As this summary shows you, there’s no need to spell out special software or program names, if they’re standard in your industry and well known by certain acronyms. For example, use CAD in place of computer-assisted design. Don’t stuff your resume summary with these, but use them as appropriate, because it does two things:

  • Shows you know your industry-specific stuff
  • Makes it scannable for hiring managers

Similarly, this also works well for choosing “15 years of experience” over “fifteen years of experience.” The variation of sentence structure and word choices helps place the focus on important elements of your resume summary. This makes it easier for the hiring manager to skim down to those critical details in your resume.

Here is another good example where the relevant keywords have been added by the applicant in the summary:

Senior Software Engineer with 6+ years of experience in creating scalable web applications using Java. Proficient with Hadoop & Python. Algorithms & Machine Learning Enthusiast.

A powerful resume summary comes with patience and a hawk eye. Look over your resume with the gaze of a hiring manager who’s had three cups of coffee and seen a hundred resumes in one day. What stands out to you?

Does it address the company’s needs, and showcases the experience and strengths you bring to the table? Great! Your resume summary has just landed you in the interview pile.

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. Check it out now.

This post was written in collaboration with Sarah Landrum, Founder of Punched Clocks.

The post How to Write a Powerful Resume Summary (10 Best Examples) appeared first on Resumonk Blog.

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