Your resume is one of the more important documents for your job search so it stands to reason that it can be one of the deciding factors in whether or not you get an interview. Big mistakes like careless typos will obviously be damaging to your chances, but the little mistakes — the ones that might not be very obvious — can also cost you.
If you are getting only radio silence from employers when you submit your job applications, it might be time to make some serious edits to your resume. The first thing you will want to look at is your e-mail address. Is it professional-sounding or are you using that “funny” one you had since high school? If it’s the latter, you are going to want to create a new address that doesn’t make you seem childish. Something like FirstNameLastName@gmail.com will work just fine.
Here are seven other resume edits you need to make to give you the best chance at success:
- Remove your hobbies. Unless you have a hobby that is relevant to the job, including what you do in your spare time will only make it likely that you could be removed from consideration if it is determine what you do in your free time could distract from your work. Although it’s illegal for organizations to make decisions based on personal information, some do it anyway.
- Be accurate with your dates. An innocent guesstimate of the time period in which you worked at a job can be construed as lying if a background check reveals different dates than what you listed on your resume.
- List accomplishments rather than duties. Employers are less interested in what you did than how your work affected the organization. List some of your biggest accomplishments at your previous jobs to wow your readers.
- Don’t forget your contact information. Sometimes you can lose track of the basics when you spend so much time worrying about other issues with your resume. Remember to include your e-mail address, phone number(s), and other ways for employers to get in touch with you.
Stephanie Taylor Christensen
A boss can literally, make or break your career. Here are five ways to spot the bad ones before they become yours.
A great boss can make you feel engaged and empowered at work, will keep you out of unnecessary office politics, and can identify and grow your strengths. But a bad boss can make the most impressive job on paper (and salary) quickly unbearable. Not only will a bad boss make you dislike at least 80% of your week, your relationships might suffer, too. A recent study conducted at Baylor University found that stress and tension caused by an abusive boss “affects the marital relationship and subsequently, the employee’s entire family.” Supervisor abuse isn’t always as blatant as a screaming temper tantrum; it can include taking personal anger out on you for no reason, dismissing your ideas in a meeting, or simply, being rude and critical of your work, while offering no constructive ways to improve it.
Whatever the exhibition of bad boss behavior, your work and personal life will suffer. Merideth Ferguson, PH.D., co-author of the study and assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor explains that “it may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members.”
There are many ways to try and combat the effects of a bad boss, including confronting him or her directly to work towards a productive solution, suggesting that you report to another supervisor, or soliciting the help of human resources. But none of those tactics gurantee improvement, and quite often, they’ll lead to more stress. The best solution is to spot a bad boss—before they become yours! Here are five ways to tell whether your interviewer is a future bad boss.
1. Pronoun usage. Performance consultant John Brubaker says that the top verbal tell a boss gives is in pronoun choice and the context it is used. If your interviewer uses the term “you” in communicating negative information ( such as, “you will deal with a lot of ambiguity”), don’t expect the boss to be a mentor. If the boss chooses the word “I” to describe the department’s success—that’s a red flag. If the interviewer says “we” in regards to a particular challenge the team or company faced, it may indicate that he or she deflects responsibility and places blame.
2. Concern with your hobbies. There is a fine line between genuine relationship building, and fishing for information, so use your discretion on this one. If you have an overall good impression of the potential boss it may be that he or she is truly interested in the fact that you are heavily involved in charity work, and is simply getting to know you. On the other hand, the interviewer may be trying to determine whether you have too many commitments outside of work. The interviewer can’t legally ask if you are married, or have kids, so digging into your personal life can be a clever way to understand just how available you are.
3. They’re distracted. The era of email, BlackBerrys and smartphones have made it “okay” for people to develop disrespectful communication habits in the name of work. Particularly in a frenzied workplace, reading email while a person is speaking, multi-tasking on conference calls and checking the message behind that blinking BlackBerry mid-conversation has become the norm of business communications. But, regardless of his or her role in the company, the interviewer should be striving to make a good impression—which includes shutting down tech tools to give you undivided attention. If your interviewer is glancing at emails while you’re speaking, taking phone calls, or late to the interview, don’t expect a boss who will make time for you.
Signs 4,5, and the complete Forbes article
by Jenny Ann Beswick
When many people think of Twitter, they think of people “tweeting” about their lunch, pictures of cats, or meaningless minutiae from their day.
In reality, however, many industry professionals use Twitter not only as an informational resource, but as a recruiting resource. As one of the most prominent and widely-used social media platforms on the Internet, Twitter has the potential to be a powerful tool in your next job search.
So how can you find a job on Twitter? Does job hunting on Twitter really work? Here are a few tips that could put you on the path to finding your dream job through the power of social media.
When putting together your Twitter profile, put your best foot forward and conduct yourself like a professional as this will help you find a job through Twitter. Don’t put rude or controversial statements in your profile bio, and be mindful of what you share, say, and retweet.
Many employers are out there looking for the right talent and culture for their company so keep this in mind when summing up your words on Twitter.
While you should conduct yourself in a professional manner, it’s also important to come across as genuine. Use your own photo in your Twitter profile, not a picture of a celebrity or a cartoon. Tweet what interests you, and don’t try to present yourself as someone (or something) you’re not. Let potential employers see who you really are.
Become an Expert
Twitter is a great opportunity to share your expertise with others. If you have a blog, post links to your most recent entries (without excessively “spamming”). Answer questions and use what you know to help others. It might just get you some attention from people who are looking to work with someone just like you.
If you have a variety of skills, promote these through hash tags; spread the word of your great abilities and this may lead you to your next career path or internship.
Be an Original
When trying to establish a presence on Twitter to gain a job, don’t be afraid to re-share the work of others — but be sure to create and share content of your own. Putting together an insightful blog post, a useful infographic, or even an informative or useful photo or illustration can go a long way toward establishing you as someone interesting who others want to follow and hire. Every piece of original content is another brick in the road toward landing a job through Twitter.
Tips 5-8 and the complete article
Though the economy is beginning to improve, many employers are overloaded with job applicants and extremely choosy about who they’ll hire. So if you want to land a position, you’ve got to find a way to stand out from the pack.
That’s especially true for anyone over 50, who often faces the added burden of being viewed by hiring managers as overpriced, overqualified or out of touch.
How can you set yourself apart from the masses?
To answer that question, I turned to my colleagues in the career advice world — authors, coaches and job-search strategists — and asked for their recommendations. As you’ll soon learn, just making a few small changes in your approach can increase your odds of getting hired.
7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed
1. Tweak your resumé’s keywords every time you apply for a job. The vast majority of employers use computer-based applicant tracking systems to screen and filter job applications. That’s why it’s essential to include specific keywords and phrases from their job postings on your resumé.
“Smart job seekers stand out by customizing their resumés to reflect the appropriate terms used in the job descriptions — after carefully reading them,” says Susan Joyce of Marlborough, Mass., editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com, two popular job-advice sites.
By customizing your resumé to fit the job profile, your application is more likely to get through the initial screening process and into the hands of the hiring manager.
For example, if you’re a computer programmer, you might cite your expertise with the particular software programs or programming languages named in the employer’s posting.
Yes, continually tailoring your resumé to the jobs you want takes work and a little time. But that’s the point. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
6. Attend a conference in your industry or the field you want to enter. Conferences provide an easy way to meet valuable contacts who might be able to help you get a job. You can buttonhole them during meals, coffee breaks and on the long lines at the women’s rest room (sorry, guys).
Even if you get to engage with these people for only a few minutes, there will be plenty of time to follow up after the conference is over. (As an added bonus, the information you learn at the conference will help you impress at job interviews.)
One of my career-coaching clients, a stay-at-home mom, used this strategy brilliantly when she wanted to re-enter the IT industry. She went to a tech conference near her home and actively networked during the breaks. The day after the meeting ended, she sent follow-up emails for informational interviews. Six weeks later, she landed a full-time job in her former field.
I realize that traveling to conferences can be expensive. To keep costs down, look for one-day events near your home. You can hunt for them by consulting the website for your industry association or going to EventsinAmerica.com, an online trade show and conference directory.
Tips 2,3,4,5, and 7 and the complete Forbes article
By Gerrit Hall
The tight job market has affected all demographics — but older workers have really felt the squeeze, particularly if they found themselves out of work for one reason or another. Statistics show that older workers are unemployed for an average of 44 weeks (more than 10 months), according to an AARP report.
After a recent post by my co-founder Sean, on the things employers want to see on your resume, we recognized how easy it is to get frustrated and want to give up during the job search. But staying active and positive is the key to job search success. Follow the tips below to maximize your job search and get one step closer to your ideal position.
1. Sell, sell, sell. Consistently, the biggest mistake we see is that people write a ‘me’ focused resume. A primary example of this is the outdated objective statement – if you have the word ‘seeking’ on your resume, you’re writing a ‘me’ resume. Employers don’t hire you for your satisfaction; they hire you to fill their own critical need. Think of it this way. If you were in sales, would you ever say to a customer “Buy this item because I need the commission”? And if you were the customer, would you buy? A ‘me’ centered resume says essentially the same thing.
Your job is to think of the potential employer as a customer. You’ve know they’re a hot lead because they’ve taken the time to post the job – so someone is going to close the deal with them. How do you make sure they go with you? By selling to them like you would sell to anyone else. Figure out their pain points. Why are they hiring? Who have they hired in the past? What’s their most critical need? And then go in there with your sales guns blazing; be the solution to their problem.
2. Really tap your network. As you’ve heard before, “it’s who you know” that often helps you land a job. This is especially true with small businesses who cannot afford to post jobs on pricey job boards (or don’t have the time to sift through the hundreds of applications they may receive), but some larger companies also rely on referrals to fill open positions.
Actively keep in touch with former colleagues, friends, and family, and let them know you’re on the job search. If you know someone who works at an organization you’d like to work for, ask them to grab coffee or lunch to strengthen your relationship and inquire about possible opportunities there.
3. Perfect your resume. If you’re on the job search, your first priority should be your resume. It must show your value to potential employers to ensure you make it to the interview round. Make sure resume uses active writing to show hiring managers and recruiters what you accomplished and what you’re capable of.
Make sure that your resume is clean and clutter free. Anything that does not effectively sell your skills needs to go. Clean up your resume by using the ever faithful bullet points. Always keep in mind that less is sometimes more. You don’t need to get too fancy with fonts, language or formatting.
By Arnie Fertig
Despite continued high unemployment numbers, companies are hiring. Surprisingly, they are finding it difficult to find just the right people for positions that they need to fill. Recruiters, often called “headhunters,” who took a huge hit when the economy tanked in 2008, are reporting that they are now busier than they have been in several years.
Working with a recruiter can be a great benefit in your job hunt, but only if you understand their role in the hiring process. Unfortunately, too many people have misconceptions about what they do, and how to motivate them to be your advocate. It’s time to clear the air and bust some of the myths.
1. MYTH: The Recruiter’s Job is to Help a Job Hunter Find Employment
FACT: Recruiters work for employers, not job hunters. Their job is to find the best talent for the position the employer is seeking to fill, bearing in mind all of the employer’s “must haves,” “should haves,” and “shouldn’t haves.” They aren’t paid to help people to transition to new fields, but rather to find talented individuals who have done the job already in a different context, or people ready to move up to the next level in their same career path. To be sure, they help individuals whom they are able to place, but their primary responsibility is not to be a career counselor or coach for job seekers.
2. MYTH: All Recruiters Are Paid the Same Way
FACT: There are essentially two types of recruiters for full-time permanent jobs:
Contingency recruiting companies aren’t paid unless their client company hires a candidate they submit. Competition among firms is intense. For individual contributor-type positions, employers will frequently offer multiple recruiters the opportunity to work on the same job posting, and only pay a fee to the recruiter who actually finds the right talent.
That said, many contingency recruiters form networks or alliances to cooperate with each other and do “splits” where they share job listings with one side, taking 50 percent of the commission for getting the listing and another side taking 50 percent for finding the successful candidate. This is much akin to realtors sharing commissions for the sale of a home. If a recruiter advertises a search for “my client,” but doesn’t include the name of the client, it is likely a contingency search.
Retained search firms are paid by a company to take on an exclusive role in a given search, with the understanding that they will receive a higher level of service and more complete candidate vetting than is typically the case with contingency firms. These firms are most often utilized for executive level searches. Fees earned for retained searches are generally much higher than for contingency searches, and are paid out at specific points in the search process.
3. MYTH: Recruiters Are Rude and Unresponsive
FACT: Recruiters, like anyone else with very limited time, prioritize who that time is worth speaking with, and for how long. They are likely to be very responsive to clients or potential clients who have job orders for them to fill, and people who they see as strong (potential) candidates for those job orders. They are likely to be much less responsive to individuals who approach them out of a sense of desperation, with a career change in mind, or who are not perceived as “A” class workers.
Most recruiters simply don’t have the time to respond to the hundreds of unsolicited resumes or phone calls that they receive virtually every week. And it simply is not their role to coach people who aren’t a close fit for the kinds of positions with which they work. It is common for a recruiter to make 50 to 100 phone calls each day, and with that kind of volume they simply don’t have the time to deal with extraneous conversations.
Myths 4,5, and the complete USNEWS article