Posts tagged #Resume

Strategies for Changing Seasons of Life & Career

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Whether it’s personal or professional, change is a constant that we can count on. When we understand that change—like the seasons—follows certain patterns, we can work through the stormy days change with confidence that sunshine is right around the corner.

If you find yourself in a season of career change, you can make the transition more successful by navigating the path forward with a few simple strategies.

Navigating a Seasons of Career Change

Focus – Reflect on your current career. Do you want to make a change? Identify your big picture career goal – where you want to see yourself – and focus on that goal. With a clear focus, you can silence the job search “noise” and stay focused and committed to your goal. You’ll also want to spend time visualizing yourself in your new career. Is the lifestyle a good fit?

Prepare – Does your goal require a new skill or education level? Take strategic steps to prepare yourself for your dream career. Research and identify what’s needed to advance through your new path. Work on building your resume to help it stand out. Gain knowledge by taking a course or earning a certification. Engage with other professionals in the field and work toward bridging the gap between where you are in your career and where you want to be.

Search – A good career search starts with a strong foundation.This is the time to update your job search materials like your resume, references, LinkedIn, and career binder.

Fine-tune a new networking introduction. What’s your 60-second elevator speech? Spending time preparing can be the difference between getting your foot in the door or not.

Take Action – Once you’ve prepared your search, it’s time to take action. Apply to your targeted companies. Leverage your network for more opportunities. Keep your eye on the end-goal and work relentlessly.

Manage & Evolve – Once you’ve landed your dream job and negotiated salary and benefits, it’s time to kick off your new career! But things will continue to change and you must adapt. Make it a habit to check in with yourself and your goals to ensure you haven’t strayed from the path.

Need help navigating the seasons of career change? Contact our team for help you focus, prepare, search, take action, and evolve!


How To Make A Hiring Manager Fall In Love Your Resume

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You’re sitting across from each other, making eye contact, and answering questions about yourself and your background. Is this a date? No, it’s a job interview. Similar to a first date, hiring managers use job interviews to see if you’d be a good fit, long term.

The interview process starts the moment the hiring manager reads your resume. Are you putting your best foot forward?  Make sure your resume follows these guidelines to land the opportunity for an interview.

1. Tailor Your Resume for the Job

Sure, this will take more time than sending the same resume to every potential employer, but it’s worth it! If you tie in job duties or achievements from your work experience to the job you’re applying to, it assures the hiring manager you’re qualified. Hiring managers likely see hundreds of resumes before deciding on the top candidates. By adding keywords from the job description to your resume, you’ll stand out among the competition.

2. Don’t Fib

As tempting as it may be, just don’t do it. Lying on your resume is a big no-no. It’s not a matter of if your lie will come out, it’s a matter of when. And when it does, you’ll suffer major consequences and could lose your job. If you’re insecure about your background, get in touch with us. We can help you articulate your experiences to make sure you have a fair chance, without stretching the truth.

3. Include a Summary of Qualifications

This section should be a couple of sentences below the header. Tailor it to the job your applying for and explain why you’re qualified. Be clear and concise.

4. Make Your Resume Skimmable

If your resume isn’t easy to skim, it will be disregarded immediately. Hiring managers have a tough job of screening countless candidates and if they can’t get the gist of your resume in the first couple seconds, they’ll move on. Some components of an easy-to-skim resume include a header, subheaders, easy to read fonts, good use of bolding and italicizing, and a place to easily locate your contact information.

5. Consider Adding Coursework Experience

Coursework and major projects are huge learning experiences, so add them! This also assures the interviewer you’re qualified for the job. However, there are some limitations. Only add this section if you recently graduated or if you’re making a major career change to a different industry. And once you have a couple years of work experience under your belt, loose this section.

6. Finesse the Resume Order

If you’re a recent grad, put your education summary before your work or volunteer experience, unless it’s extensive and relevant. Also consider adding clubs, organizations, and GPA to this section. This will create a more robust resume when you don’t have work experience. On the other hand, if you’ve been in the workforce for years, your experience on the job is more pertinent than the college you graduated from 10 plus years ago. Move this section below your work experience.

You can create a resume a hiring manager will fall in love with. If you want tailored tips for success, contact our team. We work with recent grads, those who want a complete career change, and professionals ready to level up their career with a stellar resume. We’d love to connect!

Posted on February 12, 2019 and filed under Resume.

Is It OK To Lie On Your Resume?

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Job hunters know the weight a resume has to help land your dream job. Your resume is the first impression interviewers have of you – it can make or break your chance with a company. With increasing competition on the job market, it’s tempting to stretch the truth or lie on your resume to make your experience or skill set seem more impressive than it actually is. But is that ever ok?

Honesty is the Best Policy

Our team of career coaching experts insists honesty is ALWAYS the best policy, especially on your resume. Your resume may land you the job interview but if you fibbed about your skill set or experience, it won’t take long for the hiring manager to see the truth. Broken trust dooms the relationship from the start.

Let’s say your resume says you’re proficient in Microsoft Excel – great, that’s a skillset a prospective company really needs. You’re hired and your first assignment is to create an automated Excel sheet for reporting purposes. You don’t know where to begin because you fibbed on your resume – you are more of an Excel novice. What do you do? That’s not how you want to start a new job!

What To Do Instead of Lying On Your Resume

Exaggerating on your resume may seem attractive, especially when changing careers in a competitive job market. But it’s just not worth it. Be upfront and honest with the hiring manager about all aspects of your resume and your career goals. Aim for a strong resume that brings out your strengths and aligns with what the employer is looking for.

Leveraging A Career Coach To Showcase Your Value

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we work with individuals who are changing careers, have employment gaps, and other tricky situations to approach from a resume perspective. We can position your resume to bring out not only your best experiences but also the soft skills you’d like to develop further. If you need guidance on navigating the resume road, we are here to connect.

Posted on October 17, 2018 and filed under Resume.

Spring Cleaning Your Career Assets

Spring Cleaning Career Assets

We’re a few weeks into Spring - have you tackled your Spring Cleaning yet? Washing windows, cleaning under the couch, scrubbing behind the toilet...these aren’t the most fun tasks in the world. Understandably, most people procrastinate to the point where they might as well just leave the tasks for the following Spring.

While it’s OK to put off your household Spring Cleaning chores, don’t delay Spring Cleaning your career assets, including your:

Why Your Career Assets Need Spring Cleaning

If you are planning to look for a new job in the near future, it’s imperative that your information and resources are up-to-date. But even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, it’s important to regularly update your career assets. In our digital world, you never know who is looking at your online presence!

If you manage a website for your work, ensure that the most recent projects and new skills are added. If you don’t have your own website, check to see if the company you work for has an online bio or other digital resources where your name and information is listed to ensure it’s up-to-date. No matter who is reviewing your information, you want to put your best foot forward.

Networking should happen even when you aren’t looking for a new position. When looking for connections, whether it’s for project collaboration, mentorship, or just professional friendship, having all of your most current information and skills available to share is key to strengthening those relationships. Almost everyone looks up connections on LinkedIn after they first meet, so keeping your profile strong and up-to-date is important.

Your resume and CV will be much easier to update when you need it if you are keeping it current. Instead of scrambling to pull together an amazing resume in a pinch, you’ll only need a few minutes to look it over and make slight adjustments.

Finally, how is your skill set these days? Now is the time to update your list of skills on your resume/CV, LinkedIn profile, etc. But it may also be time to learn more new skills or update certification on those you already have. Time moves quickly and many skills become out of date even after only a year. Keeping up with industry trends and the skills needed to keep pace with your colleagues are critical for career success.

Set a recurring reminder in your calendar to Spring Clean your career assets every year. The time it takes to keep these resources current are well worth the investment for a successful long-term career strategy.

Posted on April 11, 2018 and filed under Career.

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.