Tuesday, December 15, 2020

5 Reasons You Should Continue Your Job Search During The Holidays

Planning to hold off on your job search during the holiday season, believing that no one hires at this time of year? You could be missing lucrative opportunities to snag a great new role.

Most professionals assume that the holidays are a time of parties, year-end vacations, and relaxation—and they're right. The holiday season, however, is also a time in which candidates can easily locate new contacts and even find themselves approached by employers for a prime position.

Here are five key reasons to put aside the common myths surrounding a holiday job search:

2. You'll Enjoy The Advantage Of Less Competition 

While you're eyeing prospective employers and actively collaborating with recruiters, other job seekers may have decided to lay low during the holiday season. Because of the diminished volume of competition (including the fact that some candidates are unreachable during the holidays), you could quickly be next in line for a call from an employer with an immediate need.

You may also find, when applying to an online job posting, that fewer candidates are reaching out to employers during this time. Be sure to use this to your advantage, stating in your cover letter that you're "eager to hear about their needs" and look forward to discussing how your skills and expertise can help them achieve their goals in the new year.

3. It's A Great Time To Rekindle Former Contacts 

Failed to stay in touch with former colleagues or bosses? The holidays are a great time to reach out and drop a note to your circle, asking them if they'd like to stay in touch and perhaps get together for coffee or hop on a Zoom call.

Most people enjoy hearing from a past co-worker or supervisor, especially if it means they have the opportunity to catch up on personal or work details. Even though it's best to avoid asking for a favor (especially if you've dropped out of sight for a few years), you can still show an interest in their lives and cultivate a strong relationship that can last long after the holiday season.

5. Downtime From Work Can Provide More Time To Formulate Your Brand Message 

If you haven't spent significant time and effort building your personal brand, holiday vacation time can give you a breather to work on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

No matter if you're writing job hunting documents (resume, cover letter, biography, and reference dossier) or online identity components (social media profiles, blogs, or online articles), you'll benefit from taking a closer look at your top achievements and gathering information about your career contributions.

Start building a strong brand message by answering these questions:

  • What important projects were you involved in at work? Can you obtain news releases or other media features on the impact of these initiatives?
  • How many times have you been promoted or earned an award for your work? What accolades or kudos did you receive in the process?
  • How has your work affected the bottom line? What metrics can you use that point to cost savings, revenue increases, productivity improvements, or other benefits to your employers?
  • What type of work are you consistently sought for—that distinguishes you among other team members or executives?
  • What do others say when asked about the quality or impact of your work?

By gathering answers to these questions, you'll have a wealth of information from which to draw for your personal brand—ensuring that your reputation, professional achievements, and strengths take center stage during your job search.

Read all 5 reasons and the complete WorkItDaily article







Thursday, December 10, 2020

These are the 7 tips you need for recruiters to make you their first call

Sarah Dillon

Navigating a competitive job market in your chosen field can be a daunting task.

Luckily, recruiting firms are a wonderful asset to keep in your back pocket for your next job hunt. They can help provide you with the right resources and industry connections to aid you in your climb to the top of “desired new hires” at the company of your dreams.

TopResume released a list of helpful hints to get the most out of your working relationship with a recruiter. How else can you make a recruiter work for you while in turn fostering a career long-lasting symbiotic relationship? Experts at TopResume share the following helpful advice.

“When you’re searching for a new job, working with a skilled recruiter can make all the difference. A recruiter can help open doors to your dream company, provide input on your marketing materials, and coach you on what works and doesn’t work during interviews for a specific client — all things that can be extremely valuable during your job search.

You may seek out a recruiter yourself or a recruiter may seek you out if you seem like a fit for one of their job openings. No matter how you end up working with a recruiter, the following tips are intended to guide you on how to foster a positive relationship and get the most out of your partnership.”

Let’s look at some more expert tips.

1. Update your resume frequently

Most recruiting firms don’t contact you before seeing a current resume. You may want to hop on over to LinkedIn to make sure your resume reflects your most up to date career milestones. This will make it easier for recruiters to sell your strengths for the position you’re going for. TopResume even offers professional resume writers to ensure you get noticed.

4. Offer transparency to help recruiters help you

Be completely upfront about your entire work history. Recruiters serve as the middleman to help you bridge any confusing gaps in your work history to help you appear more desirable to the client they are working with. Keep in mind the more they know, the more of your marketable skills they can capitalize on to improve your optics and secure your next lucrative career move.

6. Ask for constructive criticism

Don’t be afraid to ask recruiters for advice on how to better market your strengths and where you could use some improvement. This will only help serve you in the long run since most recruiters are veterans in understanding the markets you’re trying to break into. If you have problem areas to polish in your career they can most likely guide you to seminars, classes, or other folks in the field that could give you some sound advice. Connect with them on LinkedIn and check out their career path to see where you can pick up some valuable new skills based on their career trajectory. Fostering relationships with professionals in your desired field is invaluable.

See all 7 tips and the complete Ladders article





Tuesday, December 8, 2020

10 ways social media can help your job search based on data that shows employers use social media to assess applicants and candidates.


Many job seekers want to keep their private lives private. But what if you could improve your chances of being the selected candidate by using social media? Companies are checking you out online, so why not use these tools to enhance your qualifications?

Consider this:

Where Employers Look

In 2020, Jobvite Recruiter Nation reported that these are the most used social media channels for recruiting:

jobvite social media 2020
  • 72% use LinkedIn
  • 60% use Facebook
  • 38% use Twitter
  • 37% use Instagram
  • 36% use Glassdoor
  • 27% use Youtube

And according to research by CareerBuilder 2018

  • 70% of employers use social networks to evaluate candidates
  • 66% use search engines to search for candidates

What Are Employers Looking For?

So what exactly are employers looking for when they check you out on social media?

  • 58% are looking for information on social media that supports your qualifications for the job
  • 50% want to see your professional online persona
  • 34% are looking to see what other people have said about you online
  • 22% readily admit they are looking for a reason NOT to hire you

Deleting Your Social Media Profiles Won’t Help

If you are thinking about deleting all your social networking profiles or locking them down so no information is viewable, that’s a big mistake. Employers expect to see something. If they don’t find you online that is one more reason to reject a candidate according to 47% of employers.

10 Ways To Use Social Media To Help Your Job Search

If you’ve been avoiding social media during your job search, here are 10 reasons that may convince you to build a positive, professional online presence to help you stand apart from the average candidate. (based on the CareerBuilder study)

1. Your Personality Fits

Hiring managers and human resource professionals say that reviewing the candidates’ social media content provided a good sense of whether the candidate would be a fit within the company.

How often have you thought: ‘If only I could get in front of someone and prove I am a good fit”?

With social media, you can inject your style in status updates and even your LinkedIn About section. Sure, your skills and experience qualify you for jobs, but your personality is one more way to seal the deal.

2. You Are Who You Say You Are

When employers see how your background information supports your qualifications for the job, you look like the real deal. Employers liked the idea of being able to validate a candidate’s experience by checking them out on social media.

Make sure your LinkedIn and other social network profiles are consistent and closely match your resume.

7. You’ve Received Awards and Accolades

In your cover letter or resume, you may have said you were a top performer or gained recognition for your stellar accomplishments. Proof of awards or accolades online works in your favor.

So snap a photo or grab a screen shot to capture your success. Then share it for all to see, and embed it in your LinkedIn profile.

See all 10 ways and the complete Career Sherpa article


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

6 Tips I Learned From A Recruiting Specialist On Finding and Getting A Job

By Alicia

In my job search process at the beginning of this year, I had the opportunity to meet a recruitment specialist from a renowned business school. Although his usual work involves dealing with business students, he shared some valuable advice with me, which, I believe, could benefit any job seeker. Please note that the examples I will use for illustration in this article are tailored to my personal job hunt in data science but can be exchanged by other roles.

Tips for your resume


For every application you want to send out, copy the job description into a Word document or Google doc, and highlight every skill they are looking for in a candidate. Collect them in a list and re-phrase them in your own words with the help of a thesaurus. Try to implement most of those skills into your CV in either an “About me” section, as explained above, or your work experiences or skills section.

In the example below, I highlighted all skills needed for a Data Analyst job in the Finance and Accounting department. It is an artificial job description I wrote, so I won’t get in trouble with copyrights.

Image for post
Image for post
Hypothetical job description on an online job board. Image by author.

This is how you could cover two of the named skills in your work experience section in your CV:

Data Analyst at XYZ (2018–Now)

  • Created and updated 2–5 KPI reports per month using Tableau
  • Analyzed the lifetime journey of key customers and supported product owner with data insights to assist in decision making

When listing your previous work experience or project work (recommended if you haven’t got any relevant work experience), you should describe every role in one or two bullet points. The STAR or CAR method can help you sell your experience & skills more appealingly. Rather than just adding random bullet points, tell a coherent story that makes you stand out of the crowd. The STAR method stands for “Situation, Task, Activity, Result” and the CAR method for “Challenge, Activity, Result”.

When writing on your short descriptions, start with the

  1. Situation and Task or the Challenge you saw yourself exposed to. This could be a problem your company was facing, or you saw yourself confronted within your own project. Follow with the
  2. Action you took to solve the task or overcame the challenge. And finish it up with the
  3. Result you achieved by tackling the challenge

If possible, quantify the results or the added value for your company. This makes it very easy for recruiters to assess your achievements, value, and contributions to a company (or own project). For example:

Data Scientist at XYZ (Situation/Task)

  • Analyzed workforce tenure and developed a termination prediction model (Action), which resulted in a 5% reduction of employee turnover (Result)
  • Identified bottlenecks (Challenge) in the production process (Action) that contributed to reducing the overall production time by 30% (Result)

The CAR and STAR method can also be applied as a strategy when answering questions in an interview.

Read all 6 tips including tips for the job hunt and interviewing.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

32 Great Job Search Tips (Find a Job Online)

I’ve shared hundreds of tips on LinkedIn based on my experience as a recruiter, and was even named a LinkedIn Top Voice for it.

This article is a compilation of my best job hunting tips and advice, taken from my posts that have received the most positive feedback from job seekers and other career experts.

If you read this entire article, you’re going to know a wide range of great job search tips and techniques that most other job seekers don’t know.

These aren’t just cookie-cutter tips. My goal here is to share unique, modern online job searching tips that can be difference-makers in your job hunt and career… whether you’re a student, new graduate, manager, or executive.

Let’s get started…

1. Where Employers and Recruiters Look First on Your Resume

Let’s start with some important resume advice for job seekers…

The first two places a recruiter looks on your resume:

It’s not skills. It’s not education… unless it’s 100% required for a job.

But otherwise… recruiters look at these two areas:

1. Your career intro/summary

This tells me who you are as a professional and some of your key accomplishments, all at a quick glance. It’s very useful for hiring managers and recruiters, and therefore one of the first places they’ll look.

To help you write a good summary, I have 10 examples contributed by various career experts (including professional resume writers) here.

2. Your most recent work history

This is the next place I’m looking as a recruiter, and it’s where I’ll judge whether you’re a fit for the job you’ve applied for.

Make sure this appears on the top half of page 1. Don’t make employers go “digging” for it.

For 3 examples of real resume work history sections that got job interviews, go here.

2. Nine Ways Your Resume Looks Outdated

1. You’ve listed a home address

2. You have an objective or statement of purpose

3. The template is text-heavy

4. There are too many stylistic embellishments

5. You included references on your resume or wrote “references available upon request”

6. You list basic skills like Microsoft Word

7. You have inconsistent formatting, which suggestions you’ve added bits and pieces over time but haven’t created a new resume in many years

8. You share personal details like marital status, hobbies, etc.

9. Your resume is too long – it should really be a highlight reel, not a list of everything you’ve ever done (Further reading: How many pages should a resume be?)

3. Your Resume Isn’t About You…

It’s about the employer.

When a hiring manager reads your resume, they’re thinking one thing:

“Does this person have the background needed to step into this job and succeed?”

They’ll decide the rest (like whether you’re a good cultural fit) in the interview.

When you realize that they’re thinking all about their job, and write your resume with the single goal of demonstrating how you’ll fit into that job, then you’ll have a resume that’s in the top 5-10% of all applicants.

And yes – if you go apply for a different type of job tomorrow, you should adjust your resume for that, too.

Tailoring your resume does take a bit more time, but it’ll get you far more interviews.

If you’ve only been sending out applications with a general resume, please give this a try.

It should help you immediately.

Applying for a high number of jobs doesn’t mean you’re being productive.

It’s all about getting interviews. This is how to get more.

4. Numbers and Data Are Key to Grabbing Employer Attention

Adding numbers and data to your resume:

You probably don’t have a great resume if it has no numbers/data.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in.

If you’re a content editor for a publishing company you can say, “Edited and published 20+ articles per month for the company blog, read by 200,000+ monthly readers”.

If you’re an admin assistant you can say, “Assistant to the VP of Finance, who oversaw a 20-person team responsible for $19MM in annual revenue”.

I could go on and on with examples, but you’ll need to find the metrics that work for you.

My point is: They’re out there. They exist.

This is NOT just for people in sales.

Every single person with any work experience whatsoever should have numbers on their resume.

Here’s one last example, that I could have put on my own resume, from my first job as a cashier at Whole Foods Market:

“Served 100+ customers per day, handling thousands of dollars in cash with 99%+ accuracy”.

Anyone can do this. Everyone should do this. If you’re a recent graduate, then find numbers and accomplishments from your internships or even academic work. Did you lead any projects? Give any presentations? What did you do? That’s your work experience if you have no work experience!

See all 32 tips and the complete Career Sidekick article






Thursday, November 19, 2020

Marketing Yourself for a Job: 6 Tips for Success


It’s a delicate dance. You want to talk about your past and present accomplishments. But say too much, and you may come across as bragging. Don’t say anything at all, and no one knows about the great work you’ve done. So how do you successfully market yourself in a job search?

How to Market Yourself for a Job: 6 Tips

2. Build Your Brand

Once you’ve got your elevator pitch, it’s time for you to build your personal brand. If the idea of “branding” yourself doesn’t appeal to you, we get it. Branding yourself can seem like you’re bragging.

However, creating a personal brand for your job search isn’t bragging as much as it is marketing yourself for a job in an appropriately professional manner. Think of it as an extension of your elevator pitch. You’re letting employers know who you are professionally, what you bring to the table, and, most importantly, why they should hire you.

The difference, though, is that with your personal brand, you can go deeper than an elevator pitch. For example, if part of your personal branding includes a website with a portfolio, in addition to showcasing your work samples, you can also showcase who you are as an employee and an individual.

Take advantage of the “about” section to explain your professional self to potential employers. This shouldn’t be as long as a novel, but it doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) as short as an elevator pitch. Talk about what motivates you or why you got into the career field.

Creating a personal brand takes time and effort, but it can be well worth it for your job search.

3. Promote Your Network

Everyone has probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And while what you know does play a significant role in landing a job, it’s hard to deny that building a strong network can also be an essential element of a job search and career success.

There’s plenty of advice for helping you start, grow, and enhance your network. But it’s important to remember that while your network is there for you, in some respects, your network isn’t about you.

A crucial yet often overlooked part of networking is what can you bring to others in your network? What is your value to the other members of your network? How do you help them.

Helping other people in your network can go a long way toward spreading goodwill throughout and makes it more likely people will want to help you when you need it most. Even during your job search, make sure you’re balancing the types of communications you have with your network.

See all six tips and the complete article



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

18 Résumé Writing Tips to Get You Noticed

 By Allison Pohle

Companies increasingly rely on software to sort through applicants, which is why it is essential to tailor your résumé to ensure it makes the cut. Applicant tracking systems sort, scan and rank applicants by looking for keywords in applications. Although these programs can save time and money for employers, about 60% said such tools cause them to miss some qualified candidates, according to a 2016 survey of 1,200 job seekers and managers by CareerArc, a human-resources technology company, and Future Workplace, a research firm. Here’s how you can make sure your résumé stands out to robots and humans alike. 

1. Use your résumé to play up your achievements. 

A common mistake job seekers make is believing a résumé is a recap of your career, when in reality, it should convey what you have accomplished, says Christy Noel, a career expert and author of “Your Personal Career Coach.” 

“I always say, spend less of your real estate describing your job, and more time describing your results,” says Ms. Noel.

6. Display your information clearly for skim readers.

Most recruiters spend just a few seconds skimming through a résumé—with an average in one study of 7.4 seconds. 

To have the best chance of making an impression, ensure your job titles, company names and dates of employment are easy to read. The sections of your résumé should be adequately spaced, too, says Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder and director of Brooklyn Resume Studio. 

7. Make sure your format passes the robot test. 

Structure your résumé to meet the requirements of an applicant tracking system to give yourself the best chance of having it reach an actual human. Ms. Leavy-Detrick suggests the following:

  • Optimize keywords. Use the same words and language that are in the job description. For example, three different companies might describe the same role as “programmer,” “developer” or “software engineer.” 
  • Use a straightforward format. Avoid tables and text-based graphics, which might not get picked up by a scan of the résumé. Sans-serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica are also best to ensure readability.
  • Think about order. When formatting each line item of work experience, list the company name first, followed by the job location (city, state), your job title, and your start and end dates. Some résumés can get lost if the dates are listed before the job title. 
17. Proofread and double-check the formatting.

You may be eager to send your résumé or submit your application, but you should take the time to first check for typos and grammatical errors. You could also have a friend or family member look over it. When you are checking for errors, be sure to double-check the formatting. Sometimes the spacing can get thrown off when you save the file, so check how it looks as a saved document and, if you can, save it as a PDF before sending. 

18. Make sure the saved file name includes your name. 

Make less work for the hiring manager by including your full name in the file name of the résumé document.

See all 18 Tips and the complete Wall Street Journal article



Tuesday, November 10, 2020

21 Resume Tips That Will Get More Interviews In 2021

What’s keeping you from updating your resume?

There are few worse scenarios in life than this...

You dread going to work every morning. You do it because you need to pay the bills and chip away at that looming debt you’re reminded of with every monthly statement.

You get an email or text from an old friend, former co-worker, or industry connection that you made years ago about a job opening with a company you’ve been discreetly stalking online for weeks. All you need to do is send over your resume or apply online tonight, and the job is practically yours.

It only takes one look at your resume, and you feel defeated. You haven’t touched it in years. It doesn’t even have your most recent job listed, and it’s overall look and feel hasn’t changed much over time. You’re pretty sure it looks as ineffective as you feel after a long day at work.

Resume writing is often the most dreaded task for job seekers because either:

  • You have a difficult time talking about yourself in a resume,

  • You have a hard time quantifying skill sets, and your edu-crastination (You like that?) has only instilled in you that quantifying your skills is the only way to get an interview,

  • You have no idea what to do with your overly diversified experience or work history timeline issues like multiple company acquisitions, demotions, or changing job titles; or

  • You’re just too exhausted to work on your resume after work.

I want to help. This list of resume tips for 2021 will guide you through updating, revamping, and ultimately crafting a job-winning resume that gets you hired faster.


2 | Write For All Readers, Not Just Bots

Now that you understand your resume’s role in the hiring process, you can see that your resume needs to get through an Applicant Tracking system and two other gateways before you are selected for a job interview. A common misconception about resume writing is that your top priority has to be writing your resume for computers or the bots that operate within ATS.

Resume writing is actually a balancing act. You have to write your resume for three different audiences: ATS, HR, and a direct supervisor or hiring manager deciding who will get the interview.

ATS is looking at both the digital formatting of your resume and the keywords you’ve included throughout. The HR reader likely has a checklist of requirements and preferences, so you can’t assume this person will know that you have certain skills and experience based on your job titles. A direct supervisor or hiring manager will then need to decide who is a better fit for the job, the team, and the company as a whole among the handful of applicants that made it this far in the process.

3 | Narrow Down Your Job Target 

The most effective, job-winning resume is going to be targeted for a specific job. If you’re applying for jobs online, this means the specific job posting. If you’re networking, this means you need to get laser-focused on what your job target is to position yourself as the best fit for the job that you want.

Targeting your resume shows that you understand the goals of the role you’re applying for or pursuing in your job search. A targeted resume will also demonstrate that you can meet and exceed those goals based on your track record over the course of your work history and educational background.

If you can’t narrow down your job target, you should either create a targeted resume for each of your job targets or consider working with a career coach. Career Exploration Coaching with April Klimkiewicz of Bliss Evolution is highly recommended if you need help getting a clear direction and focus for your job search!

4 | Design Your Resume For ATS

The next step is designing your resume for Applicant Tracking systems. This software has been around since the 90s—so there’s a ton of outdated information online about it—but ATS has evolved dramatically over the last 5-10 years. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Applicant Tracking systems can’t read text placed in headers or footers.

  • Applicant Tracking systems can’t read text placed in text boxes.

  • Applicant Tracking systems don’t care about bold, underlined, italicized, colored, or color-filled text.

  • Applicant Tracking systems don’t see photos, graphs, or charts embedded in your resume (JPG or PNG files)—just don’t rely on them to convey important information that isn’t in the text.

  • Applicant Tracking systems scan the text from left-to-right and may not read information formatted in columns correctly.

  • Applicant Tracking systems can read PDFs but are known to read MS Word Documents more accurately.

To maximize your chances of getting through ATS, start with a new Microsoft Word Document and organize your information in a one-column layout. Make sure your contact information can be found in the body of your resume rather than in the header or footer.

Keep in mind that Applicant Tracking software is designed to look for certain keywords and text arrangements to fill in a form with your information within the software. Use standard section headings (Skills or Areas of Expertise, Experience, Education, Certifications, etc.) to make sure your information is parsed and organized in this software’s searchable database correctly.

See all 21 tips and the complete article 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

Tips for before the interview

In the days before your job interview, set aside time to do the following:

1. Start by researching the company and your interviewers. Understanding key information about the company you’re interviewing with can help you go into your interview with confidence. Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of the company’s goals and how your background makes you a great fit. Review our Complete Guide to Researching a Company.

4. Use the STAR method in answering questions. Prepare to be asked about times in the past when you used a specific skill and use the STAR method to tell stories with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Tips for during the interview

After you’ve spent time preparing, you can be successful on interview day by practicing these tips:

9. Plan your interview attire the night before. If you’re speaking to a recruiter before the interview, you can ask them about the dress code in the workplace and choose your outfit accordingly. If you don’t have someone to ask, research the company to learn what’s appropriate. For more, visit How to Dress for a Job Interview.

10. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen. Take at least five copies of your printed resume on clean paper in case of multiple interviewers. Highlight specific accomplishments on your copy that you can easily refer to and discuss. Bring a pen and a small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or another electronic device. Write information down so that you can refer to these details in your follow-up thank-you notes. Maintain eye contact as much as possible. For more, visit What to Bring to the Interview.

Read all 21 tips and the complete Indeed article


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

33 Stand-Out Phrases to Freshen Up Your Resume

by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

How to Incorporate Noteworthy Phrases into Your Resume

I see the same phrases repeated on hundreds of resumes. (I’m looking at you “responsible for” and “duties included”!)

The problem with these worn-out words is that they carry no weight or power. 

They’re weak and vague.

One surefire way to pack more punch in your resume is to switch out the tired, overused phrases with strong action verbs that tell your story.

Strong action verbs are perfect to energize your resume bullets so they “WOW” employers.

Extra credit: they’re also great for leading into results-based statements.

An example of an accomplishment bullet using action verbs and stand-out phrases could sound like:

  • Turned around $750M budget deficit into a $300K surplus within 1 year by creating infrastructure, optimizing expenses, and cultivating strategic partnerships with 21 hospitals and medical device manufacturers. 

When we work with clients we use a C.A.R. formula to help us create memorable bullets. 

C – Challenge

A – Action

R – Result

I also often recommend this formula to my LinkedIn connections when they ask for resume writing advice:

(Action verb)(noun)(quantifiable metric or result)(action you took to achieve result)

An example of this formula filled out as a resume bullet would sound something like this:

  • Boosted revenue 64.5% by designing and implementing strategies to cut costs, improve efficiencies, and optimize production of 325 styles and 6.2M SKUs. 

Try the formula out in your resume as you work to write about your accomplishments.

33 Swipeable Phrases to Inspire You

I spoke with a senior-level job seeker last week who confided to me how hard it was to assess her own work. 

She hesitantly shared, “I struggle to convey my value.”

I get it. Boy, do I get it. 

Most of us struggle to explain our value. We know we’re talented and competent, but conveying that on a resume suddenly induces all kinds of writer’s block and analysis paralysis. 

If you want to reflect what you’ve accomplished and point out your value to employers, try using a few of these proven resume phrases:


The key is not to throw all of them into your resume. You want to use these sparingly so that they’ll have maximum impact. 

Read through the list and choose 2-3 that reflect you most accurately. 

Read the full Great Resumes Fast article for more tips on how to use the phrases and how to self evaluate to know which phrases to use  

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

11 Final Round Job Interview Questions to Prepare For

By Biron Clark 

If you’re preparing for a final round interview, this article will help immediately.

We’re going to look at three critical factors:

  • The top 11 final job interview questions to know
  • Steps for how to prepare for a final round interview and what to expect overall
  • My #1 little-known tip for how to succeed in a final interview (based on my experience as a recruiter)

Let’s get started…

11 Common Final Interview Questions and Answers

2. What are you passionate about?

This is another final round interview question designed to dig deeper into who you are as a person and what type of worker you’ll be if hired.

There isn’t one “right” answer here, but you do want to be ready to talk about something specific.

When I recruited software engineers, some would say they’re passionate about making a difference in the world or joining companies that were mission-oriented (usually some type of social mission).

But others just said they want to tackle complex technical challenges and advance their skills. They loved facing tough problems as a programmer.

One of these answers isn’t “better” than the other. The key is to share something that’s true so the interviewer can see the passion in you and believe your answer!

Don’t fake it, but do take time to think about how you’ll respond so that you’re not caught without something to say!

Read more about this interview question here.

3. What motivates you?

This question is similar to the one above. Essentially, the employer wants to know that you’re motivated by something other than money.

We all work for a paycheck. They know this. However, workers who also enjoy the work for other reasons are going to be more resilient, more likely to overcome struggles at work rather than quitting, etc.

So this is something a hiring manager will look for and ask questions about… especially in a final job interview.

As with the question above, there isn’t one best answer.

You can give a variety of reasons you come to work each day — from wanting to make a difference/impact in the world to simply liking the challenges that work provides. You can name many other things too. For example, you could say you enjoy being part of a team and contributing to a team’s effort.

Read more about this interview question with example answers here.

10. What is your desired salary?

If this is asked in a first interview, I usually tell candidates to be careful about revealing a number too soon! (And I explain why in this article).

However, if a hiring manager or other member of senior management asks this in a final interview, it’s time to name your number!

Do your research before the interview, and then confidently tell them what you are hoping to earn! Also, end your response by flipping the question on them and say, “Does that fit what you were hoping to pay? And what type of general budget have you set for the position?”

This is certainly an appropriate question to ask after responding to any interview questions about salary expectations.

Read more about this interview question here.

Read all 11 questions and the complete article






Thursday, October 22, 2020

You Only Need To Do These Five Things To Succeed In Your Job Search — Block Out All Of The Other Noise

Jack Kelly

When you’re in between jobs, it's an overwhelming experience. There’s an overflow of too much well-intentioned advice. Everyone’s telling you what you must absolutely do to succeed in the pursuit of a new job. Your parents offer stale advice that’s 30 years old. Colleagues—who moved jobs two years ago—give unsolicited guidance, but have no idea how out of touch they are with the current Covid-19 job market. All sorts of so-called experts come out of the woodwork and weigh in—for a hefty price tag, of course.

Allow me to simplify the process, Marie Kondo-style. Here are the core basics of what you need to do in the job hunt—without all of the drama and fanfare.

1) Know what you want to do next. 

Too often, people jump into a job search without seriously contemplating their next move. They lack a definitive goal and a system of actions to achieve it. 

You’ll see this on LinkedIn when members post a banner with the #opentowork hashtag on their profile photo. They’ll write something like, “Hi, Covid-19 happened and I lost my job.” Then, they’ll add, “Please help me!” 

I get why they do this, but it's not terribly helpful. The job seeker hasn't clearly stated what they’ve accomplished in their career, the type of job they want next, the reasons why they are suitable and appropriate for that type of role and the specific help they require. 

Tell prospective hiring managers, recruiters, people in your network and random strangers how awesome you are and the specific role you covet. Politely ask if they could please introduce you to the appropriate hiring manager, human resources and decision-making personnel, along with a positive recommendation.

2) Be honest—is this an achievable goal? 

Before you jump head-first into the search, ensure that you possess the appropriate skills, background and experience. This market is too brutal and unforgiving to expect that you’ll get an interview and job offer just because you show up. 

Over 60 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March. On a daily basis, we continue to see major corporations conducting massive layoffs. With all of this competition, you need to possess all of the right stuff to garner attention. 

If you think you’re a smart person, can figure things out and succeed in the role, that’s not enough. No one in this environment has the time to deal with someone who isn't a direct on-target fit. They desire a plug-and-play person who can hit the ground running from day one. There are too many other people out there for a company to settle on a less-than-perfect fit. It sounds harsh, but management feels, “Why shouldn't we continue looking until there are applicants that meet or exceed the appropriate criteria at a cost-effective price?”

If you’re chasing an illusionary goal, you’ll waste precious time. Yes, I know. Everyone has a friend who has secured an amazing job without all of the necessary experience. That’s the exception. We are not them.  

Read things 3-5 and the complete Forbes article



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

5 Simple Ways To Maximize Your Job Search

Caroline Castrillon

A job search can be stressful and overwhelming, especially in the middle of a pandemic. You may even question whether it makes sense to continue to apply for positions. Yet, the rapidly changing work environment may also bring about new opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a new job or considering a full-blown career change, these tips will help you maximize your efforts during these trying times.

1) Adopt a creator mindset

Even amid a pandemic, it's possible to find professional fulfillment. Successful people understand that there is only one person responsible for their career. That person is you. It's easy to blame external factors for our failures and disappointments, but ultimately you can create the life that you want. Instead of thinking the world is out to get you, expect the universe to support you and bring you opportunities during your job search. Consider this quote by Rumi, “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor." Once you embrace a creator mindset, you’ll realize that everything you are experiencing is meant to make you a stronger, better human being.

3) Harness the power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a crucial component of any job search. About 95% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a primary sourcing tool to find top-tier talent. If you’ve been in the same career for a while—particularly with the same company—chances are you have been neglecting your LinkedIn profile. Now is the time to brand yourself effectively using these techniques:

  • Your headline is one of the most important fields for LinkedIn’s search algorithm. Don’t just list your job title—that’s what 99% of people are doing. You’ll never stand out to recruiters and hiring managers that way. Instead, use all 120 characters to highlight strategic keywords, the value you bring and metrics where applicable. For example, instead of “Finance Manager," change it to "Finance Manager at Dell | Financial Planning and Analysis | Auditing | Managing $30M in Revenue.”
  • If you don’t have a photo, add one! Preferably a high-quality professional headshot (not one that looks like a mugshot or where you cut your spouse out of the picture from your cousin’s wedding). Why is this so important? According to LinkedIn, merely having a photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. It also goes a long way in making you look trustworthy and approachable.
  • Get active! Posting and commenting on LinkedIn will generate attention to your profile faster. Also, join groups. One user increased the number of people looking at her LinkedIn profile by 425% just by starting and participating in a few group discussions.

See all 5 ways and the complete Forbes article




Thursday, October 15, 2020

6 Recruiter Tips To Getting Your Resume Seen And Landing An Interview

 Heidi Lynne Kurter

According to the career website, Ladders, recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume. Meaning, you as a job seeker have less than 8 seconds to make an impression on them. Most job seekers want to share everything about themselves in their resume, therefore, their resume becomes cluttered and overwhelming for the recruiter. Moreover, the resume lacks a clear purpose making the recruiter confused about how a candidate’s skills will translate to the role in which they’re applying.

The career site discovered the resumes where recruiters spent the most time and focus had

  • an overview or mission statement at the top of the first page
  • a clear flow with title headers and marked sections supported by bulleted lists of accomplishments
  • relevant keywords presented in context throughout the resume

Here are six recruiter tips you can implement right away to get your resume seen and land a job.

1) Keep It Stupid Simple (K.I.S.S.)

Most of the time, the people hiring for the role have never worked in that position. For this reason, keep your resume simple and make sure it’s easily understood since they’ll be the ones reading it. To get noticed at a glance, Ben Lamarche, general manager of Lock Search Group, emphasized, “be sure to bullet point your most marketable skills and relevant management experiences. Don't go into so much detail that a reader can't form a quick mental picture of you as a candidate.”

Deepak Shukla, founder of Pearl Lemon, an SEO agency, said “cut out any fluff or experiences that are not relevant to the position. This puts greater emphasis on the information that actually matters to the recruiter.” Also, try to keep your resume to one page, but no more than two pages. David Reitman, Esq., owner of DLR Associates Recruiting, recommended to “focus on the past 5-10 years.” He said, “anything further in the past should simply be mentioned with no more than one line describing job duties.” Avoid repeating information. If your last job was similar to your current job, don't restate everything you did; instead say, “duties substantially similar to..”

2) Utilize The Words In The Job Description

Job seekers often complain about not getting their resume past the applicant tracking system (ATS). The reason being is because the ATS looks for specific keywords that are already in the job description. As a job seeker, it’s important to tailor your resume to include those keywords that are relevant to your experience.

Yaffa Grace, founder of The Essential Resume, advises her clients to take a yellow highlighter and highlight words that come up multiple times in the job description. She said, make sure you only use those keywords if you have the experience reflected in that keyword. You can do this by supporting those keywords with professional experiences that demonstrate you’re knowledgable. The worst thing you could do is lie about or exaggerate your experience. The interview will uncover those lies. If the interview doesn’t, your performance on the job surely will.

Lastly, if you’re going to claim you are detail oriented, make sure to review your resume for mistakes and have someone else look it over too. The quickest way to land in the rejected pile is by contradicting what you claim.

3) Tailor Your Resume To The Position

Most job seekers have multiple resumes. Each resume is tailored specifically for the role in which they’re applying by using the keywords in that job description. If you have a broad background and are applying for various types of positions, it’s important you tailor your resume to speak to the skills of those positions. For example, if you’re applying to a developer position, you would want to move non-relevant positions to “Additional Experience”, personalize your summary and skills section as well as the bullet points from your current and previous positions.

Chris Waltenbaugh, payment processing expert at Payment Depot, explained “for me, the resumes that stand out are the ones that show the person has taken time to think about the position in which they’re applying and carefully crafted a document that demonstrates their understanding and what’s unique about them that will bring value to the job.”

See all 6 tips and the complete Forbes article

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

6 Tips To Make Your Resume ATS Friendly

From resume screening tools to Robot Vera, an AI-based software technology that helps recruit and hire humans, it’s safe to say that the robots have become a necessary evil that job seekers need to contend with. Automation and machine learning have become a recruiter’s best friends, helping to sift through hundreds or thousands of applications. However, for an applicant the influx of tech can be overwhelming, conjuring up images of a robot apocalypse.

But before you panic or head for a nuclear bunker, there are a few things you can do to optimize your resume to get beyond the wall of bots and into the hands of a human recruiter. We spoke to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, a resume writing service that helps you craft a winning CV.

Here are her top tips for crafting a bot-beating resume:

1. Know Your Opponent

While it’s not likely that you’ll know who else is vying for an open position, recognizing what you’re up against is key. In the job application process, you are up against the ATS. “ATS stands for applicant tracking system. In short, an ATS is a piece of software used by employers to scan and rank the online job applications they receive for their open positions,” says Augustine. “These bots were initially created with large organizations in mind, which needed help sifting through the thousands of incoming applications they received on a weekly basis. An estimated 95% of Fortune 500 companies currently use an ATS to manage their applicant tracking process. Today, this software has become popular with employers and recruiting firms of all shapes and sizes.”

Think of ATSs as the gatekeepers to your dream job. You’ve got to get past them first in order to succeed.

2. Word Choice & Keywords Matter

Using action verbs like “outperformed,” “solved,” “led,” and “delivered,” are essential when crafting a resume. These compelling action verbs powerfully show off what you did in each of your roles. However, when it comes to the bots, you’ve got to kick things up a notch.

The most important element — beyond formatting your resume so it can be accurately ‘read’ and parsed by the ATS — is keyword optimization,” says Augustine. “This is how the applicant tracking system determines if you possess the necessary qualifications to be considered for the position. In addition to listing out a specific term, be sure to also include any common abbreviations to cover your bases.”

However, Augustine warns against keyword stuffing or packing your resume and cover letter with buzzwords. “If the ATS can’t sift through the B.S., I guarantee the recruiter or hiring manager will — and then promptly dismiss your application.” Instead use keywords sparingly and intelligently.

To make sure your resume is compatible with [any ATS] system, incorporate the best keywords throughout your resume 2-3 times, with at least one of those references falling within your Work Experience or Education section. It’s one thing to state that “SEO (search engine optimization)” is among your core competencies, but it’s another thing entirely to show where in your employment history you leveraged that knowledge to add value to an organization.”

3. Keep It Simple

While beautiful resume templates, custom cover letters, and charts may wow a human recruiter, chances are that the ATS bots won’t appreciate the extra effort. Here are Augustine’s fast few tips for keeping it simple:

  • Use a simple, clean design. Embedded charts and other images, custom font styles, and intricate bullet styles will get scrambled or simply skipped over when the ATS scans your application.
  • Avoid submitting your resume as a PDF unless the system specifically lists PDF files among the acceptable options. Some ATS software scans a PDF as though it were one big image, essentially missing all the information contained in your resume. Stick to a Word document that is compatible with all ATS systems.
  • Don’t include important details like your contact information in the header or footer. Again, not every ATS is able to read the information placed in these sections of a Word document.
  • Most importantly, customize your resume with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout the resume, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections.

Read tips 4-6 and the complete article


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Never put these 3 ‘outdated’ sections at the top of your resume, says career expert

 J.T. O’Donnell

Landing your dream job is all about making a good first impression, and much of that has to do with what you put at the very top of your resume. Unfortunately, too many job seekers don’t utilize this space to their best advantage.

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is starting their resumes with long-winded, boring and self-important paragraphs about how great they are. But guess what? Everyone applying for that position thinks they’re great and worthy of a recruiter’s time.

Here are three outdated resume techniques that no longer work with hiring managers:

  1. Summary statements: The responsibilities and accomplishments listed in the job history section of your resume should already paint a picture of what you bring to the table, so there’s no need to amplify it with a long preface.
  2. Objective statements: This doesn’t offer any new or useful information. What’s the point of spelling out the obvious fact that you’re interested in the position?

See all 3 things PLUS what to do instead