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 Nine Ways Your Resume Looks Outdated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