5 Key Areas To Target When Branding Your Resume

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Customizing your resume for each position you apply to can be critical in today’s job search. It’s vitally important that your resume conveys you are a perfect match for the job. So, what’s the best approach for branding your resume?

When tailoring your resume to each specific position, there are five key areas you want to remember to change:

1. Job Target/Title At The Top Of Your Resume

Always change your target job title so that it reflects the specific position for which you are applying. This way, there is no confusion about the position you want to apply for and your experience.

4. Accomplishment Statements

Reword your accomplishment statements so that the most critical and relevant information is at the beginning of the bullet.

This helps the initial eye scan by the lower-level HR rep who will be giving your resume the first review.

It also helps those who are scanning through the document without a thorough read to spot the important info they need in order to make a decision about whether to invest more time.

See all 5 key areas and the complete Careerealism article

How to Catch the Eye of a Recruiter in Just 7 Minutes


Nine out of ten recruiters use social media to find or check out candidates, especially LinkedIn. Your profile is 14 times as likely to be viewed if it has a picture. So find a professional-looking photo and upload it to your computer before you start the clock.
0:00 Log in to your LinkedIn account and select “Edit Profile.” Click on “Add Photo” to upload the pic you’ve selected. You’ll see a yellow square that you can drag to change the position and size of the picture. Make sure you’re centered and hit save.
1:05 By default, LinkedIn uses your job title as your profile headline. Instead, write your own bold wording. Stumped? When you highlight the field to change it, LinkedIn lets you peek at what others in your industry are using.
2:34 Check out your profile summary. Are you hitting all the keywords you’ll need to show up in recruiter searches? Take a minute to scan some job descriptions in your profession to make sure you’re using the right language.
5:00 Nothing says LinkedIn novice like an alphabetsoup URL. - See how to fix your URL, all 7 minutes of improvements, and the complete Time.com article

Top 7 Best Employment Websites

1# SimplyHired.com
SimplyHired.com is simply the best website out there. The reason I rank SimplyHired.com better than all others sites is because of its powerful aggregate search results (searches various websites) combined with LinkedIn’s ability to match the company you found on SimplyHired.com with your LinkedIn connections.

Pros: Integration with LinkedIn.com, large volume of companies it crawls, and hardly any annoying ads.
Cons: They scrape from other job websites which I suspect will lead to duplicate postings on SimplyHired.com

2# Linkedin.com

I view Likedin.com as the only really good social media employment website out there. I have tried Monsters BeKnown and Branchout (social media websites integrated with facebook) but the problem is all my friends of facebook view my invitation to these site as spam.

For those who don’t know Linkedin.com is a way to build your professional network. Basically you add co-workers as connections like you add friends on facebook. If you are applying to a job at a company you can search your connections and see who you know or who you are connected to as a way to get your foot in the door.

Pros: More people use linkedIn than any other professional social media site.
Cons: They don’t have enough jobs.

3# Indeed.com

Indeed is ranked as the world’s most popular website for job search. This is for good reason too. I love indeed and have nothing but praise for the site. I used to rank Indeed.com number #1 but they do not integrate their site with linkedin.com (see SimplyHired).

Pros: Massive amount of jobs to choose from.

Cons: They scrape from other job websites which I suspect will lead to duplicate postings on indeed.com. The also need to integrate with Linkedin.com or facebook.com.

See all 7 employment websites and the complete WorkNearYou article

11 Questions You Should Not Ask at Interviews

Toward the close of the interview, your interviewer might give you an opening to ask any questions you may have. This is a great opportunity to sound intelligent, prepared, and excited about the role. This is a good chance to impress the interviewer with your homework and understanding of the role and the organization. An unprepared question, on the other hand, could completely nullify your candidacy.

Here are a few questions you should avoid asking at all costs:

10. Are there any internal job opportunities?
You are applying for the job you are interviewing for, not future jobs that may open up, so don't spend time talking about future opportunities when you are not even sure you've got the current job.

2. Anything that was already answered in the job description.
First read the job description. I have had people ask me questions about people management, when the job clearly states that it will be an individual contributor role.

3. What is the average time in the role for the next level?
No, this does not say that you are driven or ambitious, it just comes across as saying you are in a hurry, and maybe hierarchical. You need to prove yourself first in the role you are applying to.

Read all 11 questions and the complete PayScale article 

5 Marketing Secrets That Will Help Your Resume Get Noticed

Are you sending out one job application after another, but not hearing back? A lackluster resume may be the culprit. As you’ve probably already heard, you’ve got about six seconds to catch someone’s eye (or be passed over), so having a resume that packs a punch and tells a great story quickly is key.

Not sure how to do it? My advice for getting beyond the first glance is this: SEO yourself.

While you probably know the term SEO, you may not know what it means (or how it applies to your resume). SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it involves techniques to make a website appealing to search engine algorithms—or, in other words, get more love from Google. Top websites regularly consider how to make sure they’re noticed by the big search engines—and when it comes to your resume, stealing a few techniques from the SEO playbook can catapult you to the top of the heap.

Here are five tricks from the internet marketing world that’ll get you past the initial glance and into the running for the position you want.

1. Use Relevant Keywords
A website can have great information, but if it doesn’t include the phrases a searcher would look for, it won’t be found. Similarly, your resume should include terms that align with those recruiters and employers use.

If your prospective employers are using an applicant tracking system (ATS), keywords can get you past the machine and in front of human eyes. Today’s sophisticated ATS engines search not only for keywords, but also scan for appropriate and relevant context (i.e., listing “Adobe Photoshop” as a technical skill, a language skill, and under each of your prior roles won’t trick the system).

But even if your prospective employer isn’t using an ATS, including clear, relevant keywords increases the odds that your skills will jump off the page to someone screening with limited time.

To decide which keywords will be most attractive, review job postings and the LinkedIn profiles of people in your desired role. Check out job sites like The Muse, Indeed, and Dice to skim postings in your field and see which descriptive terms overlap. Switching fields? Check out professional journals relevant to your field to see what language is trending and how to couch yourself in the most appropriate terms.

Once you target the best keywords, be sure to use them (when appropriate) in your current and prior job descriptions, as well as in your roster of skills.

3. Include Relevant Hyperlinks
On the web, relevant hyperlinks to credible sources improve your readability and page rank within search engines. On a resume? Relevant hyperlinks can provide hiring managers evidence that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Consider adding links to your personal website, articles you’ve written in industry journals or publications, or sites that showcase your work. If you’re in a creative field, a link to your portfolio, to apps you’ve developed, or to articles you’ve penned can be very persuasive. For tech job seekers, including links to a video resume, online CV, or sites you’ve built are nice, tech-savvy touches.

However, don’t insert hyperlinks just for the sake of doing so. Make sure all links are relevant, put you in a good light, and (very importantly!) do not go to dead pages.

6 Things Job Seekers Do That Hiring Managers LOVE

Tracey Parsons

The prospect of bringing someone onto the team is one that is exciting and full of possibility. I love talking with candidates. I enjoy learning about them and their passions, their aspirations. Hiring should be something that is exciting and fun. The problem is it remains a process and processes are generally less fun and exciting. But, I can say that there are some things that candidate’s do that truly make the process more fun and exciting.

So, what are some things hiring managers love seeing from a job seeker? Here are the six things that a candidate can do that make me want to say, “You’re Hired!”

1. Following the instructions

It is refreshing when a candidate does exactly what we ask when applying for a position. At my company, we require you to join our database. We only use our own tool to identify talent for our open positions. We don’t take resumes. We don’t believe them. But, that’s our requirement. So, when people do what we’ve asked, we are happy. We look at their work samples and try to find the best hire based on what they’ve done.

On the flip side, when people send me a resume… I get really frustrated. It makes me unhappy. I feel it ignores what we are trying to do and that makes me feel like the candidate doesn’t respect what we are trying to do. So, the candidate that simply follows the directions is one that brings me delight.

5. Asking good questions

The interview and its precursor communications should help you be  able to make a good decision on each step in the process. You should be curious about our company, its trajectory, my management style and the team. You need to ask good questions to help yourself make a well-inform decision. When you ask good questions, I can tell you are curious and that you are thoughtful. These are my top two desired skills.

See all 6 things and the complete Careerealism article