Posts filed under Resume

Setting Professional New Year’s Resolutions

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Losing weight and dieting takes up most of the New Year’s resolutions made every year. Physical health and a positive body image is important of course, but have you ever considered making professional New Year’s resolutions? When your mind is motivated to start making healthy changes in your personal life, it’s a great time to channel that productive energy into your work life too.

Over this past year, we’ve been providing you with free resources and career advice on our blog. That was a goal that our team set to regularly help you in your job search and throughout your career. We’ve compiled some of the best resources below to help build out professional New Year’s resolutions that will make an impact.

Resources to Build Professional New Year’s Resolutions

  • If you aren’t happy in your current job, here are a few tips to rethink and refocus to get into a position better suited for your dreams and career goals.

  • If you enjoy your job, but aren’t happy in your current workplace culture, make a resolution to either come up with solutions to fix the problem or find a place of employment that matches your work culture aims. Learn more about how to determine the best work culture environment for you.

  • One often overlooked professional characteristic that would make a perfect New Year’s resolution is to become a lifelong learner. Building your skillset should be a part of your ongoing routine. Start the habit this year by kicking it off with a New Year’s resolution!

  • Don’t have career goals? Make it a New Year’s resolution to make a career game plan using both short and long term strategies. This guide will help you reflect and brainstorm the perfect goals for your current career aspirations.

Writing and settling on the most effective professional New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be done quickly. Take a few days to brainstorm what you really want, the best steps to take to get you where you want to go, and decide your timeline for achieving your goals.

If you’d like help, we’re here for you. Contact us and we’ll gladly partner with you to build the perfect career path and achieve your goals!

Posted on December 27, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy, Resume, Career.

What, Why & How To Write A Cover Letter

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Resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter.

You’ve probably heard this short phrase more times that you want to count since searching for a job. It’s because these two things - your resume and cover letter - will ultimately land you the job. Even if you networked well and “know a guy,” someone will look at your resume and cover letter before hiring you. It’s THAT important.

What Is A Cover Letter?

When applying for a job, a cover letter is your opportunity to explain the content of your resume. It is a separate document, written as a letter, addressed to the hiring manager or Human Resources contact for the job for which you are applying.

Why Write A Cover Letter?

Primarily, it allows you to highlight experiences, circumstances, or skills that are not obvious in your resume. For example, employment gaps, school/training status, career changes are all examples of situations that should be addressed in your cover letter.

Many online application systems mark ‘resume’ as required and ‘cover letter’ as optional. Always send a customized cover letter. It shows you want the job enough to put the extra effort into writing a cover letter and provides the opportunity to stand out in a stack of resumes.

How Do I Write A Cover Letter?

Keep your cover letter short, sweet, and to the point. Your cover letter often times decides whether or not the hiring manger ‘turns the page’ to review your resume, so it needs to get their attention quickly.

Below you’ll find a template that you can use to be personalized and customized for the position, and company you are applying for. This template provides a general idea of what you should include. You need to have a customized cover letter for every single position that you apply for - no exceptions. Hiring managers can spot a generic cover letter from a mile away.

Cover Letter Template

Full Name

Street Address

City, State, Zip

E-Mail

 

January 23, 2017

 

Mr. /Mrs.

Person title

Company Name

Address

Houston Texas, 77489

To Whom It May Concern:

I am excited to apply for the position of ______ (#_____) that was listed on the job site ______/your company careers page/your staffing agency website.

This role appeals to me because ____. My background makes me an excellent fit for this role because. (EXPLAIN ANYTHING ELSE THAT ISN’T OBVIOUS FROM YOUR RESUME IN 1-2 SENTENCES, SUCH AS SIGNIFICANT EMPLOYMENT GAP DUE TO CHILD REARING, SCHOOL, CAREER CHANGE, ETC.). I would love the opportunity to leverage my experience working with X.

I have attached my resume for your review. I welcome the opportunity to personally discuss my qualifications with you, and I’m very interested in your thoughts on what roles would allow me to make this transition successfully, as I am flexible in this area. Please contact me at ###-###-#### or email at your convenience.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to review my resume. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Full Name

###-###-####

email

 

Posted on October 19, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy, Resume.

6 tips for formatting your resume – How to maximize your time and its effectiveness

Most resume help sites and blog posts appropriately recommend that you customize your resume for each job posting. Tailoring your message to your audience ensures that your skills and experience line up with the expectations for a given position.

However, customizing your resume for every job posting can be tedious and time consuming. Here are some tips for revising your resume to allow for maximum customization, without the headache of changing your entire document for each individual job application.

1.      Skip the “Objective,” and DO include a relevant summary of achievements and skills. Career Objectives are largely for entry-level employees – recruiters and hiring managers typically know why you have submitted your resume. To help them figure it out, you submit a cover letter; therefore the objective can be omitted. By starting your resume with a summary section, you can highlight the specific experiences, skills, and achievements that are most relevant to the particular job application. This section is designed to capture the attention of the hiring manager to help you stand out from the crowd. Include key words from the job posting, and make sure these are backed up by your experience in the rest of your resume.

2.      Reverse chronological listing of experience is still (usually) the best way to communicate your background. After fine-tuning your professional experience section, you should be able to mostly leave it as-is for the majority of job applications. If you think you would benefit from another style of resume, consider that your resume should fit with the style of the industry and company where you’re submitting your application.

3.      Don’t neglect your accomplishments. Your professional experience section should feature the accomplishments of your work history rather than listing your job duties. These are the “meat and potatoes” of your resume and can’t be emphasized enough. Try to tell a story about your successes, rather than list what you did. Wherever possible, connect these accomplishments with the skills and traits that you highlight in your summary section at the top of your resume.

4.      Sneak soft skills into your accomplishment statements. It isn’t enough to sprinkle a few soft skill keywords in your summary or throughout your resume. As you convey your accomplishments through stories, consider how to illustrate your interpersonal and communication skills as elements that assisted you in achieving successful outcomes.

5.      Pay attention to the aesthetics of your resume. There are a variety of fonts and sizes that can be used in the formatting of your resume, and they should always convey professionalism in their usage. White space is important as well; your resume shouldn’t have so much text crammed onto the page that the most important elements of the document are impossible to pick out at a quick glance. Remember that hiring managers only spend an average of 6 seconds scanning a resume; your message needs to be highly accessible to grab their attention in that short amount of time.

6.      Proofread! Don’t forget to use your software’s spelling and grammar checker. You can also search online for a variety of resources for finding and correcting errors; these sites may offer free trials or browser extensions (e.g., Grammarly, GrammarCheck, SpellCheckPlus.com, and others). It can also be helpful to send your resume to a trusted friend to check for any typos or errors. Often we work so closely on a document for a length of time that we can miss obvious mistakes.

Updating your resume and applying for jobs can be a massively time intensive process. These tips should help you focus your energy and attention on the most critical elements of your resume so that you can put your best foot forward as soon as possible.

If you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, work on one item at a time! Use the above tips to focus on a different element of your resume each time you sit down to update your document.

Amanda Y. Hendrix
Expert Consultant, The Wilbanks Consulting Group

Posted on February 17, 2016 and filed under Resume.