Bad Resume

If you are not getting calls for interviews, you may need to review the documents and information employers are receiving from you. Those things are what employers are basing their decisions upon regarding which candidates they will hire. Usually, if you are not getting interviews, there are red flags deterring employers from considering you.

These are the resume red flags of death:

1. Gaps in your work history. Really, a few months do not matter, but more than six months is considered significant. If you can show on your resume that you were doing something during this time such as freelance work or furthering your education, you will be better off.

2. Lack of career progression. Career progression is not necessarily expected in all career fields, but in many it is expected that as the years go by, you will attain more important status by job title with increasing responsibilities. If the progression is not there, employers could assume your work is not worthy of promotion to higher levels or that you lack ambition.

3. You were formerly a business owner. One would assume that with all the capabilities required by an owner this would be a plus to your resume, but not necessarily. The reason you are no longer an owner is the issue. An alternative job title for unsuccessful ventures would be Manager or Operations Manager, and if asked why you became unemployed, you can simply state that the business closed.

4. Career changer without experience or education in the new field. Employers may think you are grabbing at straws, desperate for any job you can get or that you lack direction. The reason for the career change is best addressed in your cover letter and should show a genuine interest in the new career field and reasons why the employer should choose you over experienced or educated applicants. Don’t forget to throw in volunteer and hobby experience if appropriate.

5. Lack of clear direction. You are a jack-of-all trades but master of none. You have worked in many industries or many different types of positions that do not relate to one another. Employers look for candidates who have a real interest in their job industry and may question yours.

6. Multiple jobs of short duration. Employers call this “job hopping” and assume you will also leave them quickly, wasting the time they spent searching for, interviewing, and training you. The best type of resume format for this circumstance is a functional resume. However, when employers receive functional resumes, they often wonder what an applicant may be hiding. If you were freelancing or a contractor, list all companies or persons for whom you worked under one section with your freelance or contractor job title as the heading.

7. You never completed a high school diploma or a GED. Employers presume this is evidence of lack of ambition or laziness. If you did not complete high school, leave the education section off your resume completely.

Go through your resume carefully looking for red flags, and decide whether you need to have some re-vamping done. Then continue your job search with renewed energy and hope. Your new job is out there. It’s time to claim it.

Downsizing

There are layoffs happening at your company. Are your skills going to be able to weather the storm? How secure is your position within the company? There are some things you can do to ensure your place with the company.

It all comes down to profitability for the company. Is the department you work in having problems or struggling? It is often not the fault of the employee when they are laid off. No matter how long a person has been with a company, when headquarters sends the word to downsize, the company has no other choice. If a company is operating at a profit, you may have nothing to worry about. If the company has lost money over the last few months, be careful. Be wary of the company whose financials are down from the previous year. If a company has been in business for quite a while, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

When a corporation is trying to decide whom they can afford to layoff, they do not do it at random. They have to layoff those who are no longer an asset to the company. When a company is struggling, they will first downsize or get rid of certain departments first. It will be those that will not be necessary for the success of the company. For example, company consultants will probably be some of the first to go. The marketing department would also suffer losses in the company’s cost cutting efforts.

When a company is no longer as successful as it has been, they do not see advertising as important as it was. The accounting department is usually stable since you can’t run a business without the financial aspect of it. Salespeople are also in a fairly safe spot. For the company to continue, they will still have to have salespeople. If there is no sales team, there is no revenue.

You should never be so secure in your career that you don’t keep your resume updated. Even before you begin to fear that your job is in jeopardy, revamp your resume. Take a look around the job market and see what positions seem to have the lowest percentages of layoffs. Then, see how your skills and interests can fit into these positions. Find out what skills are in high demand and cater your resume to demonstrate how you would be a perfect fit for a position.

Always be aware of the stability of the company you work for and do what is necessary to keep that position. If you can’t, then look for other positions that are more stable in today’s job market.


Did you ever consider that the resume you just sent to a prospective company would have computer software that screens your resume before any human person can see it? More companies are using these types of software due to the sheer number of applicants per job opening.

Automated resume screeners or applicant tracking systems are regularly now being used to separate resumes into ones that fit the job and discarding the others. All regardless of how spiffy your resume is.

These programs work just like SEO does for websites, keywords. The screener programs will take keywords from your resume and match it to the job requirements of a position. But wait, it’s not just about keywords in general like accounting or website design.

The program is designed to watch for those generalities. You will need to get more creative about the keywords you use on your resume, even an executive resume. Use keywords that list a number of different job skills.

Make sure you have researched the job position well and if you do have the skills, be sure to list something about the job requirements on your resume.

Again, make sure your years of experience in a related field match the job requirements so you don’t have your resume kicked out.

It is also a good idea to have a resume writing service work out the details for you. They will know just what to do to get past the computer screeners and get your resume in the right hands.

Hope I pass

Many companies are turning to background checks in an effort to reduce hiring questionable employees. While a lot of people do not like someone checking into their personal lives, it is becoming something whether you like it or not in order to get a job.

There are many reasons why background checks are being performed. Perhaps a company deals with security related products. It is very important to have employees that will not be enticed. For instance, if someone has been convicted of theft of money, and a company wants to hire someone who takes care of the finances, they will not want that personal dealing with the financial aspect of the business.

Other reasons are if a potential employee has possibly tried or has sued a previous employer. The potential employer will want to know that and then make a decision whether to hire that person or not.

The list is long that can be included in background checks but tax liens, bankruptcies or civil judgements cannot be included. However, this may not apply in your state if you have a salary of $75,000 or more.

Companies are required to let you know when they perform a background check. That is also the reason why you have to sign a release for certain types of information.

No matter what anyone thinks of background checks, they are here to stay. If you feel you have a background that may not pass muster, it is very important to be upfront about it in the beginning. If you hide information and it’s found out later, you certainly won’t get the job. However, if you are upfront with the employer, you may get the chance to be considered anyway.

Fancy Resume

Do you know when it’s time to move from a regular resume to an executive resume? There are a few subtle differences but will speak volumes when presented for certain types of positions.

Usually at the top of a regular resume is an objective statement. This is where a person will tell in paragraph form what they are looking for in a job and any expectations they may have. An executive resume will have an opening paragraph that will highlight their strongest points, often in bullet points and what that candidate can do for a company.

Executive resumes will typically be at least 2 pages but no more than 4. This is because they may have detailed educations, publications they have written or any awards they received. It is all relevant on an executive resume.

An executive resume will also have bolded words, highlighted or underlined sections so as to showcase their skills, achievement or awards. Additionally, the wording and structure will be much more sophisticated than regular resumes.

Once you have reached a certain level of experience, education, awards or achievements in your career which will now enable you to seek for more executive type jobs is the time to start using an executive resume.

It won’t do any good to present a regular resume when the position calls for a more professional applicant. So, don’t forget to update your regular resume to an executive resume.

Getting The Boot

Believe it or not, there are actually some people who just have the knack for getting fired (I bet you can name a couple of people like that yourself!). Alternatively, there are others who never get fired. What is the difference between the two and which type are you?

Companies today want to grow and they can’t do that if they have some people who are making it harder. So, they will get rid of them and replace them with those who bring something to the table and will help that company grow.

There are certain types that companies will fire. They include:

  1. The Naysayer – these types will always find a reason not to make a change, whether it’s for the better or not. They like the old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”. Unfortunately, many past businesses thought like this, but they are no longer in business.
  2. The Whiner – This type will always complain about a new duty or an overall office change. They are the ones who can breed discontent in the workplace by making statements such as “I don’t get paid enough to do that.” Ugh. The whiner will always be a negative in the workplace.
  3. The Grouch – This person will know everything there is to know, know how to do it better, and try to tell everyone in the company how to do it better than they can themselves, even if it’s not in their area of expertise. They know how to do it all, just ask them.

Any of the above personality types will get fired eventually. They can take a company down pretty fast. If you are one of these types, change your attitude at work to one who is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, be willing to make changes in the workplace, work overtime if necessary, just to name a few.

The economic times call for all employees to do what they can to help a business survive. The business, in turn, will keep working you so that you have money to put food on the table.

Follow The Tweet

You’ve done everything you can possibly think of to get your executive resume out to businesses and still it’s hard to find a job. What else can you do? Think about social media sites such as Twitter.

Many people now use tweets to get their resumes out to businesses faster. It’s also a great place to look for jobs. A lot of companies are now advertising online versus the regular way of newspapers and job boards. It’s also very easy to tweet a resume.

As many know, tweets are usually only 140 characters or less. You don’t put your complete resume there; it’s impossible. But, you can do special coding in the tweet in order to link it to your resume.

Hashtags are used when searching for the best phrase for the type of job you are looking for. For example, the # sign will go before the phrase, such as #executivejobs. Place this in your tweet box and a number of phrases will appear for you to choose from.

You will need a Twitter account and once you have that you can enter the hashtags of your choice. You will also want to save your resume on your computer as a .DOC, RTF, PDF or TXT file.

You can use third-party resume tweeting service like TweetMyResume to share your resume online. When that is accomplished, you can add a tweet like #resume and add it to your tweet in order to share it. Also, put in your profile what job skills and the type of job you are looking for. Prospective employers will see your tweet and possibly contact you about an interview.

Social media has become the proving ground for job searches and resumes. In addition to Twitter, you can also use LinkedIn, Facebook and others. Make sure you retweet your resume weekly to keep it fresh and on top of other resume tweets. Hundreds of people have founds jobs by doing this on Twitter. This just may be the way to get that job you have been waiting around for.

Word Spreads

With all the new technology available on the Internet today, there is absolutely no reason anyone should simply stop once a resume has been completed and sent. There is a wide world of other venues just waiting for you to use them to market your personal brand. Blogging is only part of it.

Some may think blogging and job searches are two different things. They are, but they aren’t. There has never been a better time to be able to talk to people, to get the word out about you and your skills than blogging.

Build a blog site that highlights your job skills and your previous jobs. Talk about something every day. Add links to your resume and use the social networks to retweet or repost your site.

There are numerous job boards for you to use to post your resume, whether it’s an executive resume, professional or entry level. And there are people who will retweet your blog post so others can see it. Before long, you have reached thousands of people. Before, you would have sent it to only a few. So, what’s smarter?

Twitter has a very easy way to help individuals with their blog posts and to be able to integrate both together. Facebook does as well, and LinkedIn too.

Now, you can increase your visibility and get more options available to you during your job search. Take a chance and see how much fun it is and how much it will help at the same time.

Before you send your next resume out, give blogging and social media sites a try. You just may have more opportunities than you originally thought.

Powerful Words

Everyone starts their career in an entry level position. A basic resume is great for entry level positions but will not work for executive positions as your experience grows.

And, experience does grow. There is a young lady who started out as a cashier in a motorcycle accessory store. She did not have a college education and so she didn’t make much money. But she stayed there, went above and beyond the scope of her job and got raises and more responsibility.

After a couple of years, she moved on. This time, it was still a customer service job, but it paid more and it gave her the freedom to go to school to get a degree.

She has since gotten her degree after 3 years and in this current position she just got a promotion to manage two of the stores. It can be done. Many people work hard to climb this ladder of success. But you then have to change your resume to reflect you now, not the you from several years ago.

It’s important to keep your entry level resume up to date. As you progress in the job field, keep adding new skills, new responsibilities, etc. You will also need to adjust your career outlook so that it reflects your work ethic and beliefs and how you can better a company with your experience.

As your resume turns into an executive resume, you will be able to recognize more things you can add to the resume so that it is tailored correctly, tastefully and will encompass everything you know. After all, if a resume is a reflection of you, don’t you want to be presented in the best possible light?

How To Better Yourself

If you have been out of work for a while, then you know just how stressful a job search can be. It seems as if you apply over and over for weeks on end and still not an interview in site.

One thing to remember, it is very stressful, but at the same time make sure you are doing everything you can for it to be different.

If what you are presently doing is simply not working, change it up. Sit down and think about what you could do differently. Perhaps it’s searching for jobs in a different field altogether. Or maybe for some, you are simply not applying to enough jobs in a week’s time. I know that some will not understand this but there are those who only apply to one job a week. At that rate, in these economic times, you will never find a job.

Take a look at your resume. If you are applying for an executive position, does your resume reflect that? If your resume is more generic, then you will want to spice your resume up. In other words, your resume must reflect your jobs skills. If not, hiring managers will not look twice at a generic resume for an executive position. There are a number of ways to transform a regular resume into a professional or executive resume. If necessary, look at a few resume samples for some ideas.

So, sit down and think about what you need to change. There is no telling how long the job market will stay down and you just may not have the time to wait it out.

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