As the saying goes, “it takes money to make money.” That definitely holds true for job seekers. New interview clothes and shoes, dry-cleaning, gasoline – these expenses add up, especially if you are a job seeker currently between positions. Should you take on the additional expense of hiring a resume service? The answer depends.
Just Entering the Workforce?
If you are a recent college graduate with little practical work experience and are seeking an entry-level position, hiring a resume writing service may not be necessary. At this stage, your work history is limited. The majority of your resume will consist of details of your education and the skills you possess that will make you a stellar employee. If you’re resourceful and possess decent writing and grammatical skills, you can probably craft a decent resume yourself. Yes, a resume service would be helpful, but it may not be necessary if your finances are particularly tight.
Executive Looking to Advance Your Career?
If you’re a seasoned professional in the hunt for executive or C-level positions, you absolutely should hire an executive resume service, a cover letter writing service and even a LinkedIn profile writer. The stakes for you are high. You don’t want to miss out on a lucrative position because, for example, your resume lacks the keywords hiring managers use to cull through hundreds or thousands of resumes they receive. Your forte may be management, marketing or team building. The best executive resume writing service providers have their own specialized niche: crafting resumes that win candidates job interviews. For job seekers at the executive level, hiring an executive resume service is a smart investment that could cut down the time it takes to land the perfect job.
Buyer Beware: Better Shop Around
Executives should absolutely invest in quality help writing their resumes, cover letters and social media profiles. However, not all resume writing services qualify as “quality help.” Anyone can hang out their shingle and call themselves a resume writer. Make sure to do your homework so you don’t waste your time and money on a resume service that won’t add any value to your job search.
When looking for a service, do your due diligence. Ask questions. If you get the sense you are dealing with a resume mill, move on. A resume mill is a service that offers cheap resumes with a fast turnaround time. Essentially all they really do is put your information into a carbon-copy template, format it so it looks pretty and make sure spelling and grammar are correct. They don’t address your specific skill set and goals. You know you’ve found the best executive resume writing service when the writer asks you questions, spends time getting to know you and demonstrates expertise in SEO, marketing and resume distribution.
First impressions are lasting impressions. Unless potential employers are considering internal candidates, their first impressions of job candidates come from resumes and cover letters. Make a good first impression and improve your odds of moving to the next level in the hiring process. Fail to impress (or worse, succeed in making a bad impression) and you can say goodbye to a lucrative job opportunity that really would have been perfect for you.
The top mistake job seekers make is failing to even include cover letters for resumes. No recruiter wants to waste time on an applicant who can’t be bothered to complete this simple step. Read on to learn about the other common mistakes job seekers make on their resumes and cover letters.
Keyword Stuffing and Cramming in Too Much
Yes, you definitely want to use keywords that parrot the “must haves” HR is looking for in candidates for a specific position, but there’s an art to keyword use. If you overuse key buzzwords or use them in unnatural ways, it will be obvious you’re trying to pad your resume with certain keywords. Sure, your resume may pass the automated screening system, but it will likely turn off live recruiters.
Another common mistake recruiters hate? Use of tiny fonts and trying to load in as much information as possible. Any skilled executive resume writing professional will tell you it is far better to use fewer words but more effectively highlight your most important skill sets.
Making Careless Errors
It seems like a no-brainer, but a shocking percentage of cover letters and resumes include not only grammatical errors, but spelling errors that could easily be avoided by simply performing a quick spell check. Especially when you have your eye on an executive-level position, spelling errors are completely unacceptable. They tell potential employers you are careless and do not pay attention to details. Those are definitely not traits that will land you a job or even an interview.
Being Vague and General
Keep in mind recruiters may receive thousands of resumes. Winning resumes provide a quick punch list of your specific skills. Instead of stating on your resume you “worked with the marketing staff,” state you “led a team of six lower-level employees and boosted productivity 45 percent while reducing expenditures by $2.7 million.”
Not Selling Yourself
When you’re seeking a c-level or any other executive-level position, don’t risk missing out on the perfect, lucrative opportunity because your resume does not impress sufficiently to land an interview. Once you make it to the interview phase, you can sell yourself in great detail and show the hiring authorities why you are the right candidate. However, you can’t sell yourself in person if you don’t first sell yourself on paper with a resume and cover letter that stands out.
If you’re seeking an executive-level position and you’re not on social media, you need to be. A growing number of employers peruse top candidates’ social media accounts as part of the hiring process. The key to making social media sites work in your favor is to use them strategically.
How Do Employers Use Social Media?
According to one survey of more than 2,300 HR professionals, nearly 40 percent log on to social media to screen applicants. What are they looking for? Employers use social media to learn about the personality and character of potential employees. By the time they log on to do their research, they already know much about your qualifications, education and professional experience, thanks to your resume and cover letter. They check out sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter to learn more about who you are as a person.
Will you fit into the corporate culture? Are you as qualified as your resume states you are? Hiring professionals also use social media to look for red flags indicating you would not be a good fit for their company. It goes without saying, if you’re interested in an executive position, make sure your social media accounts don’t include inappropriate photos or comments. Err on the side of caution; review your social media accounts and remove anything that could be construed as unprofessional or unseemly. If you use Facebook to keep in touch with your college buddies, make sure your profile is set to “private.”
How You Can Make Social Media Work in Your Favor
Once you’ve removed questionable content and updated your privacy settings, it’s time to consider how to use social media to your advantage. When you use social media to market yourself, you’ll want to update your online presence frequently. As such, it’s best to choose one platform to focus on. By far, the best platform to use for personal branding for senior level managers is the professional networking site, LinkedIn. Here are some tips to consider when creating or updating your LinkedIn profile.
- Complete your LinkedIn profile 100 percent.
- Summarize your qualifications, but let your personality shine through. Have you accomplished some non-work-related feat (for example, completed seven marathons or climbed Mount Kilimanjaro?) Your LinkedIn profile is an ideal opportunity to show employers you’re well-rounded. Humanize your profile to draw in readers and encourage them to want to learn more about you.
- Incorporate keywords that are frequently found in the job descriptions you’re interested in.
- Expand your network as much as possible by connecting with relatives, friends and former co-workers. The more connections the better.
- Cement your status as an industry expert by participating in discussions or posting to blogs.
Help Is Available
Marketing yourself through social media can begin to seem like a job in itself. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, a LinkedIn profile service can help you develop a strong, keyword-dense, value-added LinkedIn profile. If your LinkedIn profile is incomplete, outdated or simply uninspired, contact us. We’re the missing link to make LinkedIn work for you.
Keywords in a resume? Who needs them? If you’re trying to land a c-level position, you need them! More than three quarters of employers rely on keywords to narrow their vast pool of applicants to choose the most promising and bring them to the interview stage.
Why Keywords Are Important in a Resume
Recruiters looking for the winning c-level resume for a specific position rely on automated resume databases to cull through hundreds and often thousands of online resume submissions collected by a firm. When a recruiter places an ad for a position opening, he or she usually includes a punch list of must-have criteria for the successful applicant.
Similarly, when sorting through resumes of applicants responding to the position, he or she will use must-have keywords. These might include the name of the city where the position is based, specific skills, required foreign languages, programming languages or educational degrees. The recruiter enters these keywords into his or her search criteria and may immediately cull 4,000 resumes down to 76. He or she will then quickly scan those 76, spending literally seconds on each one to decide if it is a “keeper.” The more must-have keywords he or she sees in that brief scan, the more likely that candidate will move to the next stage and land a phone or in-person interview.
Effective Ways to Use Keywords to Boost Your Interview Odds
You can use keywords to your advantage when you know how important they are. When you are applying for a c-level job, jot down buzz words from the punch list of “must-have” qualifications in the job posting. In addition to using these words often and as near the top of your resume a possible, use them in your cover letter. Recruiters expect a good executive resume cover letter to be concise and to the point and to spell out quickly why they should take a closer look at the resume it is introducing. Fitting in the most important keywords without appearing to “keyword stuff” your cover letter is an art. The best approach is to enlist guidance from the best resume writing service you can find to boost your chances.
Beyond creating an intriguing executive resume cover letter, it’s a good idea to create a “skills” punch list to include in your resume. Regurgitate the “must-haves” from the job listing into a “skills” section for your resume. Last but not least, use keywords naturally throughout your resume to boost the odds a recruiter’s automated system will flag you as an outstanding candidate.
Invest in Skilled Professional Help
When you’re seeking a c-level position, your c-level resume should change with each job you apply for. This can be time-consuming and a bit mind-boggling if writing isn’t your forte. Don’t risk losing out on a perfect position because your resume or cover letter wasn’t up to par. Do yourself a favor and hire a pro with a proven track record. Contact us and leave the details to us.
When Scott Thompson was tapped to lead Yahoo! in May 2012, those who recruited him were sure his stellar resume and outstanding credentials made him the man to take the e-commerce giant to the next level. When Thompson resigned about six months later, those same people wished they had done their due diligence when it came to fact checking his resume. Thompson unquestionably wished he hadn’t padded it. If you’re in the hunt for a C-level job, there are four lessons you can learn from Thompson’s mistakes.
Always Be Truthful. Period.
In light of the Thompson scandal and many others like it, recruiters have gotten the message loud and clear. It’s not tough for an HR department to fact check and do a bit of research online to make sure a job-seeker’s credentials are factual. If you lie when writing a professional resume, you can expect to be exposed, thanks to employers’ abilities to conduct Google searches, check backgrounds and snoop on social media accounts.
Set Yourself Apart the Right Way
Lying on your resume is a clear no-no. So how are you supposed to compete and land that sweet corner office? The obvious answer is to hire an executive resume writing pro, intimately knowledgeable in c-level personal branding. He or she will be able to peruse your resume and intuitively know how to arrange the contents to highlight your real experience and exhibit to employers you are the right fit for the job. It’s not lying. It’s strategically drawing employers’ attention to the most relevant facts.
The Higher You Climb, The More Disastrous The Fall
It’s one thing for a recent college grad trying to lock in an entry-level position to pad his resume. It’s certainly not ethical, but it’s not likely to have ripple effects that could compromise the entire company. It will probably lead to the employee being dismissed, but it probably won’t land on the front page of the local newspaper or evening news. When you’re a high-level executive working for a well-known company and you are caught lying on your resume, that is big news! Good luck finding a c-level job with negative notoriety surrounding your reputation. Even the most outstanding c-level personal branding campaign can’t erase a badly tarnished reputation.
Pad Your Resume With Facts
If you have big ambitions but your resume falls flat, do something to change that. There are myriad resources to help you bulk it up with actual experience, relatively quickly. Take courses, sign up for webinars, volunteer, join professional organizations, find a mentor to give you guidance and ask him to be a reference. Once you’re armed with more credentials, hire an executive resume writing pro to shine the best light on your experiences.
If you’re ready to take your resume to the next level, contact us. We’ll help you put your best foot forward on paper, targeted toward the position you’ve got your eye on.
It’s no longer enough to look for a job through traditional methods such as submitting an application and resume through job listings. Social media has become essential to the C-level job search. For this reason, LinkedIn profile development should become an integral part of your job search process.
Why Is LinkedIn Important?
There are a number of reasons why you need to focus on writing a stellar LinkedIn profile to help you obtain a C-level position. LinkedIn profile writing services can help you:
- Promise value to a potential employer and advance thought leadership
- Reach recruiters and decision makers
- Advance your job search with LinkedIn’s unique features
- Network with industry leaders who may connect you to your next position
- Prove you are who you claim to be
How to Complete LinkedIn Profile Development
Whether you work with an experienced executive LinkedIn profile writer or you choose to attempt this process on your own, it’s essential to know what aspects of your profile require the most attention to be effective.
- Optimize Your Profile – Make sure your profile reflects every position you are considering. Be sure as much of your profile is complete as possible. A complete profile is more effective.
- Request Recommendations – LinkedIn allows coworkers and former employers to provide recommendations for individuals. While some people automatically provide these when you connect, you may need to ask others.
- Increase Your Network Connections – LinkedIn is designed to make networking online easy. Even before you start searching for a job, you should reach out and connect to other individuals in the industry you are considering. You should also connect with past coworkers, friends, family members and anyone else you know.
- Look for a Job via LinkedIn – LinkedIn Jobs makes it easier to use this social media site to find your next job. This tool will suggest jobs based on your profile. Therefore, you should follow companies and industries you are interested in and research recruiters in your industry.
Engaging in LinkedIn can be a useful tool in helping you find your next C-level position. However, without the proper LinkedIn profile development, you may impede your efforts, rather than help you obtain the right position. If your profile isn’t well-suited for your job search, employing the help of LinkedIn profile writing services will ensure your profile makes a good first impression and helps you land the job of your dreams. LinkedIn is the top social media site for executive-level positions.
If you need the help of an executive LinkedIn profile writer, contact us. We can help you revise or create your profile so it appeals to recruiters and prospective employers.
In a sea of social-networking sites that are primarily useful for, well, socializing, LinkedIn is a breath of fresh air for professionals. When you are active on this social-networking site, you’re not just wasting time creating and reading pointless postings. You’re improving your marketability as a job candidate, making valuable job-seeking connections, and increasing the odds of discovering or getting your next lucrative job.
Your LinkedIn Profile is Like Your Personal Brand
If you are looking for an executive level job, it is imperative that you optimize LinkedIn profile appeal so you will generate more profile views. The more people who view your profile, the higher the odds that the right person will view it. There’s really no point even being on LinkedIn if your profile is incomplete, lacks important keywords and has a paltry network of connections.
Ever Heard of “Social Selling?”
The concept of social selling is relatively new, but it’s important if you’re trying to market yourself. Essentially, social selling involves building up a strong reputation (selling yourself) as an expert in your chosen field by being an active participant in social media (particularly LinkedIn). Every aspect of your LinkedIn profile, including your headline, photo, connections, executive bio and summary, should be crafted with care and to elicit a specific response should a potential employer view it.
How Should You Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile?
Now that you understand the importance of optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you’re probably wondering exactly how to do that. By far the smartest way to go is to partner with a skilled and experienced LinkedIn profile writing service. When you are looking for an executive position, you can’t afford to take risks with something as critical as your LinkedIn profile. Certified resume writers at a LinkedIn profile writing service know how to use keywords effectively, add rich media that will generate attention, strategically organize a skill list to appeal to hiring authorities and more.
It’s always a wise move (and one that will save you time and anxiety) to outsource things not in your wheel house to someone who specializes in them. When your car needs an oil change, you could probably muddle through and do the job yourself. But you likely opt for the smart alternative and take your car to your auto repair shop. The same holds true for writing a resume, cover letter, executive bio and LinkedIn profile. If you have a computer, you could sit down and create these documents yourself. But if you trust a pro to do the job, these important components of your job search will probably be exponentially stronger than what you could create on your own.