We’re always discussing the best resume techniques in terms of where to go for assistance and how to get your resume to the right people. However, these tips will never do you any good if you don’t have a resume worth reading. In other words, the reason you haven’t been getting the leads you feel you deserve may not be due to a lack of effort or a deficiency in skills, but it may be due to the way in which you present yourself on paper.
It can help to think of a resume as your ticket to the dance, so to speak. Your dream job is the event of the year, and everyone wants in. However, to be a real contender and the true belle of the ball, you have to maintain a neat, orderly, concise and eloquent resume.
Here are three of the best resume techniques according to those in the know:
Proof read it, and then proof read it again. Think your resume is error-free? You may want to take a second, third and fourth look – and then get another opinion. While you may think a missed comma, misused word or errant punctuation mark has little to no effect on how you appear to potential employers, consider this: Your resume is a first impression – and that impression should be one of detail-oriented flawlessness.
Design is key. Even if the position you’re applying for has nothing to do with layout or design, it never hurts to have a professionally designed resume. This is not necessarily so you can impress potential employers with your impeccable UX/UI skills (though that probably wouldn’t hurt) – this is primarily so it’s easy to read. The information show flow effortlessly from left to right and be organized according to importance. You don’t need to list everything you’ve ever done – just the most relevant skills and positions.
Ensure accuracy. This should go without saying, but one of the best resume techniques is to make sure everything on your resume is factual. Don’t bother making up jobs or faking a professional history because companies will eventually discover the truth. In fact, almost every company takes time to Google candidates – and that’s in addition to completing background checks and calling references. If something doesn’t match up, your resume will probably end up in the circular file cabinet (the trash can.)
Twenty years ago, almost everyone between the ages of fifteen and thirty owned (or at least considered owning) a pair of MC Hammer style pants. They were an acceptable garment, frequently sported by people walking down the street, eating in restaurants and going about their daily errands. They were cool, they were hip and they were in style. However, if you were to don a pair of these brightly colored trousers and walk around in public today, you’d probably get more than just a few funny looks. People would have a hard time taking you seriously, and may even wonder what brand of narcotics you’d ingested that morning.
Think of COBOL as your resume’s Hammer pants. Just because you may have been excellent at this programming language decades ago doesn’t mean it has any place on a modern day resume. In fact, leaving this skill on a resume diminishes your credibility by making your skill set seem dated and irrelevant. If you’re still including COBOL and other out of date items, it’s time for a resume overhaul. Here are a few of the best resume techniques for making yourself more marketable on paper:
List your most current skills first. Whether your resume is being scanned by HR personnel, a resume-reading program or the CEOs themselves, chances are there are a few buzz words that will grab attention faster than others. In an industry in which staying relevant and up to date on all of the newest practices and technology is of the utmost importance, listing the newest skills first is a must.
Don’t be a know-it-all. Employers know you can’t do everything. In fact, most businesses prefer to hire candidates who are masters of a small skill set rather than someone who can do a little of everything. One of the best resume techniques is to include only your sharpest skills and those you’ve used for the last decade.
Stay in the times. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by including out-of-date technologies, programs and practices – like COBOL. Replace these old skills with newer buzz skills, like C++, Java and Ruby. A resume is no place for nostalgia. Trade in the old Hammer pants for something a little more in vogue.
There is a certain breed of human who can fearlessly stand in front of a crowd and speak as comfortably and easily as if they’re having a chat with a close friend instead of a room full of mere acquaintances. This type of person shows no signs of discomfort or nervousness. Their palms are dry, their speech is stutter-free and they bask in the attention of their peers. Most people are not this breed of human.
If you get a case of the jitters every time you have to speak in front of others – whether it be a room full of strangers at a wedding or a potential employer in an empty office – you’re certainly not alone. In fact, feeling nervous before these sorts of events is more common than not and, in many cases, it can drive you to perform at your best. However, it not handled correctly, it can also make you look incapable of handling challenges and stress – which could be the reason an employer chooses another candidate.
The best interviewing experiences are not those in which you feel 100 percent at ease from the time you enter the room, but the ones in which you are able to stop being afraid of judgment and exude confidence. In order to accomplish this, consider the following:
Let go of the fear of failure. No one got anywhere without taking risks, and risks require you to move outside your comfort zone.
Remember that practice makes perfect. Look to every interview not only as an opportunity for employment, but also as an opportunity to improve your interpersonal communication skills.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Spend plenty of time researching the company, industry terminology and be sure to practice what you’ll say. Nothing calms a case of nerves like knowing you’re fully prepared.
Consider these simple tips for the best interviewing experience and, over time, you’ll be able to cultivate the charisma and relaxed confidence appearance of those born public speakers.
Fifteen years ago, if you told someone you’d been contacted by a credible employer or recruiter over the internet, they would have assumed you’d gone crazy. Back then, finding a new job online was about as safe and reliable as a Craigslist date. However, that was long before the rise of social networking. In today’s world, it’s uncommon for someone to enter the hiring process without first contacting – or at least researching – their prospective new employer on LinkedIn
While services like Monster and CareerBuilder revolutionized the way employers find new talent, social media platforms liked LinkedIn have taken it a few steps further by allowing professionals to network online. Instead of simply searching for jobs, these spaces inspire dialog between peers and allows users to promote their own skills.
There are three primary ways in which professional networks like LinkedIn can improve your chances of landing your dream job.
Helps Build a More Credible Reputation – A lot of people criticize social media for ruining their credibility, but it can also reinforce it. It all depends on how you utilize these platforms. There is a difference between an album full of photos from your college kegger days and a maintaining an active presence by re-sharing relevant content from industry blogs or joining an online professional association.
It’s a Great Way to Expand Your Network of Connections –
We’ve all made the mistake of having a great conversation with a peer in the industry at some event or another, only to completely lose touch shortly thereafter. In a world where it’s all about “who do you know,
” it’s more important than ever to stay connected. LinkedIn offers you an easy way to maintain and expand your network.
It’s a Great Way of Showcasing Your Credentials – It’s easy to tell an employer you have all of the necessary skills and qualifications, but it’s much more difficult to prove your experience. LinkedIn, however, allows you to showcase all of your professional experience along with portfolio links, referrals from previous employers and peers and much more.
There are a variety of ways in which social media can help you get closer to your dream career, but only if you take time to familiarize yourself with this powerful hiring tool.
The internet has changed a great deal about the entire job seeking process. From scouring online job boards for new opportunities, keeping in touch with your recruiter, networking with former coworkers via LinkedIn and researching companies prior to an interview, the world wide web offers hundreds of resources at your fingertips. However, this also means a quick online search can provide employers with plenty of information about their candidates. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to use the internet to your advantage.
Here are some best resume techniques and tips for strengthening your personal brand by developing a healthy web presence:
Create a Blog – Having a web byline isn’t just important for journalists and copywriters. A blog is a great platform for anyone in any field, and especially those in technology. Blogging provides you with a great opportunity to share your own personal thoughts and advice on issues within your industry as well as a way to place to show off your knowledge and skills to any employers who may be searching your name. Additionally, managing a blog is, in itself, a resume builder.
Get Your Name Out – In addition to creating your own blog, you should contribute guest posts on other similar blogs and industry-related newsletters or magazines. Consider signing up with Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which is an organization that links journalists with experts they need as sources, and can get your quotes in big time news media.
Get Active – If you haven’t already, join professional associations within your industry and offer to speak at conferences, seminars, webinars and local events. Start and contribute to online conversations within your organization on the association’s website and on LinkedIn. Just having these organizations listed by your name is one of the best resume techniques, but being involved in the association is also extremely important.
Know Key Players – The old saying “It’s about who you know, not what you know” has never been truer. In today’s world, you almost always have to know someone to even get a foot in the door. Platforms like LinkedIn show common connections, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people from your past. Between the people in your network and your recruiter, there is almost always someone available to offer a referral.
Landing an interview is exciting, but it’s only half the battle. In the days leading up to a job interview, you likely consume yourself with research and preparation. Most people strive to learn everything they possibly can about a potential employer before walking through their office doors. However, you can only find out so much about a business by a Google search. While it’s important to know a company’s history, net worth and mission statement, knowing the company culture and environment is also imperative to the best interviewing experience.
A recruiter provides job seekers with a unique advantage. In addition to helping you locate new opportunities, they also offer insight into the inner workings of a company as well as information that can’t usually be located through outside research. This is because recruiters are not only working to help you – they’re also searching for the best fit for their clients. In other words, recruiters already have relationships with people at the company for which you are interviewing.
Think of your recruiter as a compass navigating you through the interviewing process. While doing your own research is important, having a recruiter who can prepare you with the best interviewing insights and tips can greatly improve your chances of sealing the deal. It the journey of job searching, it’s always good to have a guide who knows the ropes.
The internet may have changed many things about job searching, but one thing that remains a constant is the importance of your resume. Job seekers spend hours poring over this document, selecting buzzwords, rearranging skill sets, adding lines and bullets and creating what they perceive to be a great masterpiece. Then, employers and recruiters spend about 30 seconds glancing through.
The truth of the matter is that you don’t have much time to grab the attention of a potential employer. Thus, many job seekers worry about the length of their resume. Is there a rule of thumb? What is the best format? What seemingly pertinent information should you cut first? Here are a of the best resume techniques to guide you towards crafting an interview-snagging resume:
The Rule – The rule of resume length is that, well, there’s no rule. Some resumes are just barely one page while others are fully-loaded two-pagers. The most important thing to realize about crafting your resume is that you don’t need to note every single experience or skill you’ve ever had – you only need to include what is most relevant. For example, if you are applying for a position in an IT Support team, you can probably leave out the paragraph about the summer you cleaned pools.
Need for Speed – No matter how much time you put into making your resume visually engaging, it’s going to be scanned within seconds and tossed into one of two piles. Design your resume for speed-reading. Keep it simple, and don’t get too wordy. One of the best resume techniques is to paint the best and most accurate picture of your experience without getting too caught up in the details.
Change it Up – Some people are under the impression that they can design one catch-all resume for every job. The truth of the matter is that it’s best to consider each employer’s needs. Not all of your skills are pertinent to every position. Keep multiple versions of your resume on hand for just this purpose.
When it comes to best resume techniques, keep in mind that length also depends on the point at which you are in your career as well as the level of the job for which you are applying. By keeping it concise and easy to read, you’re likely to snag many more interviews.
If it has been awhile since your last interview, you may be nervous about this process. Keeping your cool is important when it comes to interviewing for your next job.
The first step is to arrive early and be prepared. The last thing you want to happen is to get lost on the drive, spill coffee on your freshly dry-cleaned suit, get caught in the rain without an umbrella and work up a sweat as you run half a mile from the parking garage up seven flights of stairs to get to the office. This is all preventable with assistance from Phoenix Staff in Austin, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
Plan your route the day before. Know the exact route and also some alternate routes in case of traffic or construction. Also, make sure you know where you are supposed to park. If you don't know, it is perfectly valid to ask the interviewer via phone or email.
Check the weather the day before. If it's going to rain, bring an umbrella. If it's going to be hot, don't put on your suit jacket until you get out of your car. Remember, it's all about keeping your cool.
Now when you are actually in the interview, your interviewer may ask you a question that stumps you. Don't panic. Keep your cool and say, "That's an excellent question." Pause and give yourself a few seconds to gather your thoughts before giving an appropriate answer.
If you get flustered, just take a quiet deep breath and remember that the interviewer is there to talk to you and find out more about you. They are not there to torment or berate you. As an IT recruiter, I know they simply want to get to know you better.
Secretly scouring job boards on an iPhone during a lunch break, canvassing the town in resumes long into the night and daydreaming of a potential new position amidst a morning meeting – to those looking for new career opportunities while working for another company, the average day-to-day routine can begin to feel a lot like living a double life. While working away silently in a cubicle, overhead looms the constant fear of being caught. It’s certainly not uncommon to look for other opportunities while employed, but it takes a certain amount of tact and discretion. Here are some helpful tips for keeping the job search confidential:
Divulge the secret only to parties who can be fully trusted. In other words, don’t blab to everyone about all of the great jobs available. Remember that even the most reliable colleague at work should be seen as a direct competitor and telling them about any job hunting activities could lead to a messy end. Instead, reach out to old friends from college, former co-workers and former bosses who could provide worthy leads.
• Don’t use company resources for job hunting purposes. Any and all job hunting activities should be done off the premises and off the clock. Not only can using a company’s internet or e-mail for job searching risk the secret getting out, but it’s also unethical.
• Utilize tools like LinkedIn and Dice. A public and easily searchable profile can help job seekers be picked up by recruiters and potential employers. While making a profile confidential can feel safer, it also irritates employers and job posters which defeats the purpose of the search altogether.
• Make use of recruiters. Job searching can be tedious and time consuming, but experienced recruiters who understands a candidate's skill level and professional background make the job search much easier and offer access to even better opportunities. However, be sure to avoid firms who require a non-compete contract as this can interfere with job searching success.
Above all, act with dignity and professionalism. It can seem impossible to cover the delight of finding a new job lead or landing a great interview, but it is imperative to keep the operation confidential until the very end. While leaving an old job for a new opportunity is exciting, it’s not worth burning any bridges. In fact, current coworkers and bosses can make great allies for future job searches.
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