Tag Archives: resume

THE GOAL OF YOUR RESUME

Your resume is a marketing tool that communicates all about YOU.  When it works, you win an interview!  Is your resume working for you?  Your resume doesn’t simply provide a prospective employer with your professional work history.  It speaks that you have the qualifications needed to be a complete success in the new position and career!

Your resume will and should ATTRACT the immediate attention of the hiring manager.  The reader will want to pick it up and read it top to bottom.  Their peeked interest should be stimulated and in the end, an interview will be given!

Man with magnet - Characters collection

 

Your resume should include:

  • Your contact information, such as; name, address, phone, email address and LinkedIn profile link
  • Career Summary
  • Professional Work History
  • Educational Background
  • Affiliations
  • Certifications
  • Awards

RESUME APPEARANCE IS IMPERATIVE

A hiring manager may have hundreds of dull and boring resumes to sift through.  Having said that, when something catches their eye, it must really pop out at them!  Your resume should impress within the first 5 to 8 seconds or it will not impress at all!  Employers almost always quickly scan all resumes and then grab for those that catch their eye the best.

You want to write a really effective and visually appealing resume.  When you do so, you will use powerful statements that will impress.  This is very important, and yet you don’t want to oversell!  There is a very fine line here and you will learn all about it.  Above all, you will make honest statements about yourself.  They will be strong statements and 100% true, or they will not be effective at all.

HOW TO IMPRESS THE EMPLOYER

First off, who do you think you are writing this resume for?  Your prospective employer will be the one who oversees the day to day operations of the company you want to join. They are the ones who make the hiring decisions and they are entirely invested in ensuring that you are the right one for the job.  This person will care about whether or not you can do a great job for that organization and so this is the one you are writing your resume for!

You want to make certain you’re the right candidate for the position.  You want to be sure you know everything there is to know about this company.  You want to understand exactly, which qualities are needed to be the right candidate for the job.  But above all, you want to be sure you are not a good candidate for this position, but rather you are the BEST candidate for the job!

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GET IT WRITE

This is the time to put pen to paper and to lay out clearly what your prospective employer is looking for in an ideal candidate.  You should be able to solidify what it is that you bring to the table, even before you begin.  Write down every fine point about your career training and experiences, your unique distinctiveness, special talents, even your attitude.  What exactly is it that shows you’re most qualified for the position you’re seeking?

You will soon start to be able to connect the dots during this process.  Simple and straightforward statements will turn into sentences and sentences will turn into paragraphs.  Keep this information in a safe place.  You will use it later to be incorporated into your finished product.

ELEMENTS OF A RESUME THAT WILL IMPRESS

The trick to an ideal resume contains powerful and assertive statements about your talents, characteristics and accomplishments.  No need to be shy.  You are going for the gold so sell yourself with all that is in you!

The next ingredient of a perfect resume will show “you know your stuff” and know it well!  This will be proven by education, experience, work history and any other relevant affiliations that shows the prospective employer that you are a person of substance and not only of design.  Keep in mind that the more standard resume will simply be a chronological account of a very boring life and most people will not give it a second glance.  Write your resume to be interesting and even impressive and watch as your phone rings for that important interview!

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You should write a resume that does much more than just inform; you will write a resume that compels to action!  Your resume will become as a good bargaining tool! Your prospective employer will be interested and will stand up and take notice, and this is exactly what you want!  Ensure you’re bold about your assertive statements, but not too bold.  Leave them wanting for more.  Tease a bit with nuggets of information and let them be interested to know more.  Just as you would sell any product that you believe strongly in, you will learn to sell the product that is you! Once you have learned to do this, you will find that you will get a better response from a prospective employer than other prospects do and even those with better credentials.  It is all in how you market your product, YOU!

If you still have any questions regarding the resume process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services. http://www.first-classresumes.com/  She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe.

RESUME WRITING

SUCCESSFUL RESUME WRITING

Hiring managers are always seeking a resume that leaps out at them.  They are looking to be impressed!  When they read your resume, they want to ensure you are the best candidate for the position.  They want to be able to do this before ever setting eyes on you!

Think it’s impossible? It’s not!

The initial step in landing your dream job is to write a perfect resume and cover letter! There probably won’t be an interview without those two career documents!  We know that your resume becomes your calling card and places you in the front when job hunting.  It’s a career document that’s a few pages, skillfully written and contains information that’s all about you and your career background.  Your resume will either place you front and center in the hiring managers hands, or it will not— there is no middle ground.

 

resume

 

ARE YOU A SERIOUS JOB SEEKER? 

If you’re a serious job seeker, you continue to tailor your resume to the position you will be applying to.  This way you can conquer the never ending “resume” paper trail.  Your resume writing skills will become outstanding and your resume will be fine tuned. You will learn to market and sell yourself with simple and effective words.  Never again will your resume ever be placed at the bottom of any pile, but rather at the top!

For starters, you want to make a decision to abandon any former knowledge learned about the “rules” of resume writing.  People usually become stuck in “bad” writing habits.  Many job seekers have never written a resume ever in their life.  Perhaps it’s been a while since you last wrote your resume and much has been changed over the years. It should be, since the career trends change through the years.

SERIOUS

 

STANDING OUT

For years, job seekers have been told that to be most effective, a resume should be only one page.  This just does not apply any longer!  Today’s resume is original and distinctive.  Aside from the most critical and key elements, a resume should reflect the individuality and need of the job seeker and not be some cookie cutter version of what is “acceptable and expected.”

Resumes and cover letters have changed dramatically, but only so far as the job seeker has the artistic expression and know-how to pull it off!  That’s the difference.  Day after day hiring managers read standard resumes.  They are required to go through each and every one!  However, which one will catch their eye?  Will it be yours?

 

creative resume

Correct formatting in resumes and cover letters has expanded, too.  When you consider your resume will be your own, personalized form of marketing yourself, this lends itself to all manner of uniqueness and expression.  Once more, so long as the essential elements are included in each resume and cover letter, you are at total freedom to make certain that your resume will impress the human resources representative.

But just how, exactly does one do this?  First off, let’s learn about the most basic principles involved in writing a highly effective resume.  Once you have this down, the creative juices can flow!

The most central intention in writing your resume will be to get noticed among the sea of applicants!  You want to stand out as not just a good candidate but as “THE ONE” that is perfect for the job you want!  Considering that next to your well written resume, not even one hundred other resumes will be written as well as yours, you can see the odds will be in your favor!  Your job is to write a resume that will compel to a perspective hiring manager to notice your professional career experience and credentials.  If you can master this technique, the rest will be a piece of cake!

piece

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services.  http://www.first-classresumes.com/She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.  Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe. 

How to Get your Résumé Noticed

We all know there’s no such thing as a perfect resume document.  There are so many rules that even recruiters can’t agree on what you should or shouldn’t include.  However, you can follow this basic resume rule to make your resume shine and stand out! This rule is too add a core competencies portion on your resume.  By creating a core competency section on your resume, it can be an immediate way for the hiring manager to get a sense of your areas of expertise.

The core competencies piece on a resume is hugely valuable.  The reason being is it quickly gives the reader a quick checklist to aid in assessing if the candidate is a match for the position.  I would recommend you write your top core competencies and ensure to list no more than nine skills. Don’t have a lengthy list of competencies as they will overpower the reader.  In addition, the hiring manager will more likely than not read through the entire list of skills.

core

Now how do you choose which are your top skills? The skills you list should be based on your top skills that are relevant to your career goal.  Are you unsure of which skills are most relevant to you and your industry?  Take the time to review a few job listings in order to decide on the requirements. Next you will balance those requirements with your professional expertise.  Finally you will take that list and measure it to a list of nine core competencies.

Don’t forget as you apply to different organizations and positions, you will ensure to take the time to customize the list of core competencies in order to meet the needs of each position you apply to.

These core competencies are important since these are the words the hiring managers are looking for when they perform their search.  Pay attention to the list of core competencies you choose as your resume may be overlooked it these specific keywords are not listed on your resume.

The “prime real estate” on your resume is usually the top half of the first page of your resume. Since the majority of hiring managers typically spend 8 seconds or less scanning a resume, prior to them placing it in a “yes” or “no” pile.  The reason they take so little time in reviewing resumes is because they often have stacks of career documents to review for one position. However there is a way to make your chances of landing in the “yes” pile! Take your time in deciding what to place in your “prime real estate”.

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Here is an exercise to perform and think about.  I challenge you to print your resume out and fold it in half.  Now look at the top half of your resume.  With the bottom half not showing, would a hiring manager have enough data to make an informed decision about you and your background? Where do you think you stand?  Do you think your resume will end up in the “yes” or “no” pile?  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of your career document will be overlooked.  However the content of your prime real estate could make all the difference!

 

 

 

 

How to write a Summary of Qualifications for your Resume

A summary of qualifications needs to establish a strong focus and bring interest.  It should not be wordy or have an overly descriptive passage.  On the other hand, a summary should not be full of soft skills.  What the summary should give is the main points of information pertained to the candidate.  These main points are ~ job title, experience, industry and expertise.  The summary of qualifications section of the resume is the most important part, because it gets read the most and sets the tone for the rest of the document. 

The summary may be the only piece of your resume that is fully read by the hiring manager.  This is why it’s very important to be convincing and strong. This section of the resume is where you may include characteristics which will be helpful in winning you an actual interview.

The summary is the most difficult to write and one needs to ensure its targeted and compelling to the reader.  You could think of it as an “elevator pitch”.  What is that?  If you were in an elevator with a potential employer, and you want them to hire you, you would quickly deliver your elevator pitch to convince them to hire you.

When you start the process of writing your summary, ask yourself some of these questions.  How many years of career experience do you have and in what field?  What specific work shills do you have? Ensure you pick and choose what pertains to your particular situation.  If you are a recent college grad, you may not have a lot of career experience.  If this is the case, emphasize your skills and abilities you learned while in college.

sum

Start your summary with a short phrase to describe your profession and your work related skills. Give a synopsis of your career experience and some personal qualities that will ensure you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. When you take your time to create and write your summary well, hiring managers will want to read the rest of your career document.  Have a buddy read over your summary and make suggestions.

The purpose of the Summary of Qualifications is so that it spotlights your most career highlights and relevant skills and experience. The key thing is for your summary to give a quick overview of the value you will bring to a potential employer.

You may ask yourself, why you need a summary.  Since employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening, they tend to look at resumes for no more than 10 seconds.  If you take the time to write a compelling summary of qualifications, your resume will have a better chance of landing in the Yes pile.

Just keep in mind the summary of qualifications portion of your resume contains brief statements to describe why you’re the best candidate for the position.  Don’t forget to showcase and tell why you stand out from the others!

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How to Set Up Your Résumé

It’s important to set up your resume and format your text and font correctly.  Your font selection won’t make or break your resume.  However, a good font can indeed help your resume look professional and clean overall.

Having a clean overall format with enough spacing between sections is imperative in resume writing. Don’t try to place as much content as you can on your resume. Often times I have seen them stuffed with as much content as humanly possible.  When it comes to one’s career documents sometimes less is better!

There is a bit of leeway when choosing your font. Assuming everything else checks with your overall career background, experience and education, a pleasant looking font certainly can’t hurt.  Helvetica is a nice clean font that’s easy on the reader’s eyes. I haven’t come across too many resumes that use it.  There are other fonts that would work nicely as well.  Book Antiqua and Calibri are great ones to try out and there is nothing wrong with Times New Roman.

Make sure you place the proper size of the font, regardless of which one you choose.  I would not suggest any smaller than 10.5 font. I’d be would not recommend going any smaller than that.  You don’t want to over stuff the resume with extra words so you will be forced to make the font smaller.

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You can utilize different fonts for several parts of your career documents, but limit it to two different fonts.  Utilize the bold and italicized feature instead of shifting between the fonts.  Your header font should be a size larger, but otherwise you shouldn’t use a huge font.  When typing your resume, your text should always be in showed in black.  Many times job seekers leave the hyperlinks to their email in blue.  Just make sure you leave it a solid black color.

Your header should be centered at the top of your page and your resume should be aligned to the left margin.  When you are setting up your page it should have one inch margins with two point line spacing. When you are creating your heading ensure this section includes your contact information to include your name, address, phone number and email.

There are three main formats for creating a resume.  Depending on your career background and the type of position your targeting will determine the type of format you should utilize.

Chronological resumes are used for presenting a steady growth in a specific career sector. These formats are best when used for a job seeker applying to a position in their career field and showing increased responsibility.

Functional resumes are always focused on skills rather than work history.  These types of resumes are best used for people who have gaps in their work history.

The third resume type is a Combination resume and is basically a combination of both a chronological and functional resume.  If you have grown a particular skill set from working in a range of fields, then this is the best format for you to use.

If this is a chronological resume, your positions should be listed in a chronological format and listing your recent position first.   Ensure you include the name of the organization, its location, your job title and your duties while working there, accomplishments and the dates you were employed there. In order to showcase your position in each job, list your title first.  At any rate, be consistent in listing your job positions. Ensure you write a major career highlight with a concise description of what your accomplishment was in the position.

Next you will provide your education history.  Just like your jobs, you should list all of your education in a chronological order.  List all your college degrees or trade schools you may have completed.  If you graduated and have a degree, ensure you list the year, type and name of the degree you earned.  If you haven’t graduated yet, purely state the program and the expected graduation date.

After you’ve listed the most important information such as your career background and education, you can then list the other important fields.  Construct a section title “Skills” with a list of important special skills you may possess.

Maybe you’re bilingual and speak more than one language, place those languages here. Also make sure to note if you have an intermediate or advanced level of knowledge. Maybe you’re well versed in a particular area of work that other job seekers may not be, list it here.

This is just a general overview of how to set up your resume.  I will go in more depth at a later date on each section and how to set it up.

 

Top 5 Ways to “Civilianize” your Résumé

Does your résumé have too much military language in it?  Well worry no more; it’s time to learn how to transform your military skills and education into a dynamite civilian résumé! Now that your getting out of the service, it’s time to get ready for the next chapter in your life; a civilian career!  Your most important tool in your arsenal is your résumé during your job hunt.  However, getting your military service to convert over and be understood by the civilian world can be difficult.  We have listed the top 5 ways to “civilianize” your résumé.

It only takes 10 Seconds!

How long should your résumé really be? You should always aim for one page for every 10 years of work experience/military service and no longer than two pages.  However, the question you need to be asking yourself is: Will it pass the 10 seconds?  A civilian hiring manager sees hundreds of résumés to find a handful of qualified potential candidates.  Your résumé has to first survive this initial process.  Let’s assume that each candidate’s résumé will get 10 seconds of the hiring manager’s attention.  During those 10 seconds the hiring manager has to immediately find the keywords that match the position being sought.  If you feel your background and experience deserves more than one page, make sure all the great accomplishments are on the first page!

Speaking about Accomplishments:  

Organizations hire job seekers for their potential, their experience or a combination of both.  If your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) has a civilian equivalent and you want to stay in that field, by all means highlight that information on your résumé.  If on the other hand you’re not staying in your current field then you should be selling your potential more than your experience.  The most important in either case, is how well you perform in the job.  So instead of listing your job descriptions, rather list your accomplishments.  It’s your accomplishments that sell you and your potential, your work experience sells your past. Ultimately, I assume you want to look towards the future in your career, not your past.

“Civilianize It”

Most of what you did in the military service may make sense to our civilian counterparts.  However, there are some positions, tasks and functions that have very little or no civilian equivalence.  (Grenade Handler)  The fact that you were assigned as your unit’s S1 or S3 shop, may get lost in translation.  You don’t need to take them out of your résumé, but rather “civilianize” it!  Therefore, it might read “Maintained and kept up-to-date personnel records for more than 400 employees; reduced financial error rates by two-thirds in one year saving $70 million.”  These positions are significant positions with a huge amount of responsibility.   Therefore you should translate it into a language a civilian manager can understand.

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Take out the Alphabet:

There is much about your military experience that works in your favor!  The issue lies within most military folks typically don’t know how to “civilianize” it.  In addition, the hiring managers don’t understand the military terminology.  This is the biggest challenge in being recognizable to these companies. i.e.. (TRADOC, SITREP, FORSCOM, DOD) etc.

Most military service members are under the impression that they should completely remove all things military in their résumés.  However, going to this extreme can be a mistake. There are hundreds of civilian employers that want to hire you because of that military experience! Whether you’ve been in 4 years or 20 years, transitioning Military & Veterans need to ensure they demonstrate the value to an employer as well as make your career document visually appealing to the hiring manager!

Training & Development:

Most civilian organizations enjoy hiring military folks. The reason being is they are already trained.  In addition, many prior military already have college degrees.  Don’t worry if you don’t hold a degree, most Veterans have a considerable amount of technical training from their military service.  Don’t forget to utilize your GI Bill if you want to continue with your education.  That being said, companies also like to hire educated folks, especially the ones who have served and performed well in a stressful environment, such as the military.  Therefore, make sure you keep these in mind when creating or updating your résumé.  Don’t forget, it only takes 10 seconds!

 

Top 10 Job Search Trends of 2014

Have you decided to take your job search to the next level this year? Then you should know these latest trends that will have an impact on your job search in 2014!  Improve your job search game by staying ahead of the latest trends and understanding what employers are seeking.  Check out these job search trends of 2014 and hopefully you will land the job you’ve always wanted!

BE TECH-SAVVY

In 2014 you’ll need to become more tech-savvy.  We saw the rise of the mobile job search in 2013 and we’re not just talking about your LinkedIn profile or tweeting several times a day.  Ensure you have perfected an electronic version of your résumé so that it can easily be submitted to hiring managers.  By doing this, it will ensure you’re prepared for your next opportunity that comes along your way.  Hold on to your pants, because this year the job search will become more digital than ever. 

MOBILE APPS

This trend is already here and will continue to rise!  Mobile Apps seem to be the wave of the future for applying for jobs!  Careerbuilder.com has a free iPhone app, where users are able to perform a search for jobs available by using keywords, salaries and descriptions.  Another free app available is The Career Search by LinkUp.  This app allows users to perform a search of job available and research careers. 

TELECOMMUTING

Working remotely will be the norm.  Talented employees don’t have to work in a traditional work setting and employers are beginning to notice.  Agencies are recruiting people and extending them the option to work from home. 

FREELANCE

In addition to working remotely, more jobseekers are choosing to become freelancers.  There has been an increase of workers deciding to freelance their services.  This trend will only increase in numbers over the next 10 years.  Freelance work is becoming a popular trend of employment for job seekers. 

ONLINE PRESENCE

This seems to be another trend there is going to be more emphasis on.  Recruiters are continually checking social media to research candidates.  Ensure you are presenting oneself on these platforms in a good light, as it may affect your job search.  Companies are also taking advantage of video interviews via Skype to screen the best candidates for their company.  Not only is your online presence going to matter during your job search, but the way you utilize technology will as well.

LINKEDIN

Don’t just copy and paste your résumé into LinkedIn.  Your LinkedIn profile should be a complement to your résumé. Your profile is used to connect with people in your network and that is how they will find you on LinkedIn.   Your profile should be more engaging than a résumé and therefore should be more personal.  Don’t forget to be creative in your summary and show passion, motivation and personality!

TWITTER

Ensure to utilize Twitter for following companies you’re interested in with job opportunities.  You can locate job postings and follow companies to learn more if you would like to pursue opportunities with them. Unlike other websites recruiters can post job announcements on Twitter for free!

WRITING SAMPLES

Hiring Managers are requesting writing samples for most professional jobs.  Employers are placing a high value on written communication as they screen candidates.  Candidates are required in some instances to submit writing samples even for internships. In addition, they may be asked to send a writing sample in addition to a résumé or bring with them in a job interview. 

Job Search

TIME

Recruiters are plagued with an assortment of technologies and crunched for time.  The standard résumé review was roughly 20 seconds, now 5 seconds is the norm.   It’s imperative to match your résumé to each job announcement to connect with the employer and the position. Hiring managers have more candidates to evaluate in their search for the perfect employee to their need for talent. Your goal is to reach the top of the candidate list, not get your career document thrown in the trash pile.

POST INTERVIEW LETTER

Follow-up letters are becoming more common sent via email, typically within 24 hours of an interview.  Candidates that want to stand out and be remembered should reference key points uncovered during their interview.  The idea is to stand out from the hundreds of candidates applying for the same position.

A candidate’s job search will continue even if they are gainfully employed.  A job seekers job search doesn’t end after they land a job.  Regardless of your current status, your job search will continue.  A great candidate is continually seeking new positions and opportunities, regardless if they are happily employed. We don’t know what opportunities will present themselves in 2014, so candidates need to be open to opportunities.  So keep these trends in mind when searching for your next dream job!