Just because one step of a larger process is the shortest doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the easiest. Take a job search, for example. The resume is often the briefest part of applying for a job. It’s often one page in length, and recruiters themselves only glance at them for a few seconds. However, the quality of your resume can make or break your ability to get hired. While you only have a few seconds, you should make them count. Figuring out how to market yourself to employers through your resume is the trickiest part. Luckily, our team of professional executive resume writers have helped us put together a list of ways you could be hurting your resume and your chances of landing your next position.
Don’t Include Jobs That Were Unpleasant or Didn’t Last Long
This will look dubious to employers at best because listing your shorter positions will lead to questions of why you weren’t there for long. Similarly, don’t include jobs that were nothing but an unpleasant experience for you. If you end up being asked about them during the interview process, you’ll likely have nothing good to say, which can impact this important first impression.
You Don’t Need to Write Out an Objective
Everyone applies to a job in hopes of scoring the position. Unless you are applying for a job in a completely different industry than what you’ve previously worked in, it’s fine to not summarize your intentions.
Don’t Write Fluff About Yourself
While you want to make yourself sound like the best choice, expounding upon all of your positive qualities is not the best way to go about it. When you make it to your first interview, your potential employer will size up what your assets are and what you can bring to the position and company.
Don’t Include Any Work Experiences That Don’t Pertain to Your Industry
Unless an otherwise irrelevant former position displays talents, skills or duties connected to the industry you’re in now, it would be a good idea to cut it out. It’s up to you to determine just how relevant your older positions are and whether they’re worth keeping.
There’s No Need to Include Your Photo
Most resumes will not ask for this, unless you’re in the modeling industry. If you’re in an executive field, you won’t need a picture at all. In fact, attaching one could, unfortunately, leave you vulnerable to hiring discrimination. We recommend avoiding adding photographs altogether.
Don’t Get Too Personal
You could easily get your potential employer in some hot water because they aren’t supposed to request certain personal details, such as your SSN, religion or personal traits.
Writing an eye-catching resume can be a tricky task. We hope these tips will be just what you need to help you write resumes that get you hired. If you find you need extra help, top rated resume writing services are available to help you improve your resume and land your next great job!
Anyone who has endured or is in the middle of a job search knows the struggle of sending out resumes to hundreds of recruiters, only to be met with either no response or a response that comes months after applying with a rejection attached. When this is your situation, it is easy to feel discouraged. The job market is still difficult to navigate, and the number of applicants in today’s world makes it that much more important to stand out among the rest. One of the best places you can individualize yourself is your resume. Below you’ll find a list of handy tips to create the best executive resume format for your job hunt.
Make Sure Your List Is Easy to Understand
When you’re part of a certain industry, it is easy to fall into using the related terminology under the assumption everyone will understand it. While you will generally be applying for another position within the same industry as your previous job and, therefore, those who review your resume know exactly what these terms mean, it is better to be safe than sorry. There’s always a chance you’ll get a recruiter who isn’t familiar with every term. We recommend spelling out any positions you feel could come across as unclear.
Take Advantage of Text Bullets
The resume reviewing process is a fast one. You want your formatting to match, which is why the best resume writing services recommend using bulleted lists to help reviewers consider you more easily.
Downplay Any Relevant Experiences Older Than 10 Years
This is especially important for senior executives and is useful for avoiding the unfavorable truth of age-based discrimination. You should still include all of your relevant experiences on your resume because this is the type of information employers look for. The best way to do this is to still list your experiences, but don’t attach dates to anything that goes back 10 years or longer. This goes for all of your experiences, whether they are professional or academic.
The Resume Ingredients Guidelines Come in Handy
These particular guidelines were constructed by writer Donald Asher and continue to be endorsed by executive resume services across the country. What “resume ingredients” entail is organizing the details upon your resume by the order of how relevant they are to the jobs you seek. The general order is:
- Job position(s)
- Your employer’s name(s)
- Employer’s location(s)
- Your last employment dates
Keep Your Resume Concise
You should always build a resume with a goal in mind. A resume is, most importantly, a means of selling yourself to your employer. This means it should be written in a way that shows recruiters how you can benefit their company and what you have to offer. We recommend including a brief section summarizing your skills and qualifications.
There are a plethora of jobs to be found on LinkedIn. Once you have an optimized LinkedIn profile, you can start using the platform to find employment opportunities; however, how to optimize your LinkedIn profile is a whole different article. Most job seekers just check the Job Board on LinkedIn. After browsing the board, they spam some resumes and call it a day.
This method rarely works. LinkedIn is a social media site created with business networking in mind. There’s no networking in spamming resumes to job postings. Luckily, there are a number of different ways to find work using the platform with the help of your Linkedin profile writing service. Here are a few ideas for finding more great job opportunities on LinkedIn.
1. The Job Board
Of course, you’ll find the vast majority of openings on the LinkedIn main Job Board. You can create a profile based on exactly what kind of job you’re looking for through a number of factors. You can also use advanced search features to narrow down to a certain set of strict parameters, for example: within 10 miles of your home address.
Pro-Tip: Don’t search for titles. Similar roles will have varying names throughout different companies.
2. Group Jobs Tab
Joining Groups on LinkedIn is an excellent networking tool. You can connect with others in the industry and post useful information to show your expertise. The Jobs menu within each group allows discussion of jobs in the industry and posting of open positions relating to the group.
Use this to your advantage. These job postings get significantly less traffic than posts on the main board. The openings in each group will also be targeted to a focused pool of candidates. Join up to 50 groups on the platform and start your search in the shadows.
3. Company Pages
Before searching through company pages on LinkedIn – it’s important to note the pages are used for branding purposes. Every company uses this space to put their best foot forward and make their organization seem like the best place in the world to work. That doesn’t mean you won’t find great jobs posted on a company’s page. It means you should take what a company writes about their corporate environment with a grain of salt. You’ll find job postings on these pages or a link to the business’s job portal.
4. Update Feed
The LinkedIn homepage features an update area. Here you’ll find postings of anything the Pulse feature thinks you’d find interesting. While you’ll see updates from your connections and other miscellaneous items in this feed, you’ll also see job postings from recruiters and hiring managers. These jobs will be fresh off the wire and often, urgent.
5. Don’t Apply Just Yet!
Have you thought about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile? You only get one shot to make a first impression. Also, make sure you’ve searched to see what kind of connections you have with a company you’re considering. Remember, LinkedIn is for networking.
LinkedIn profile development is an often overlooked aspect of the job search or career change. The most popular business social network is vastly underused and unappreciated. Most individuals in business don’t understand how to make it work for their benefit.
You may not need a LinkedIn profile writer to find value throughout the social network. Here’s how to stand out on LinkedIn.
With more than two million LinkedIn Groups in existence, there’s bound to be one (or hundreds) within your industry. You can use Groups to meet others in your industry and develop your reputation as an expert in the field. The more value you add to a group, the more likely new opportunities come your way.
LinkedIn is not a place for the faint of heart. Business networking is no time to be shy. Put your profile out there and get in the game. While adding an acquaintance on Facebook can be construed as odd in certain circumstances, you shouldn’t carry over personal social media protocol to LinkedIn. The more people you connect to on LinkedIn, the better off you’ll be.
Pro Tip: Changes in anything work related make the perfect time to reach out (for you or them).
Don’t Go Connection Crazy
While you should reach out to just about every person you know on LinkedIn, you shouldn’t be cold-calling strangers. There is no prize for having the most connections on this social media platform. The number of people in your LinkedIn network isn’t relevant. The importance of your network lies in the quality of people you’re connected to and how you’ve proven your value to them.
Focus on finding a common ground with individuals you want to connect with. If you’ve known someone in the past, there’s your commonality. If you’ve never met someone you wish to connect with, work to build a connection through a common interest or background, especially when cold connecting.
Open Viewing Season
If someone views your profile on LinkedIn, this is a warm lead to opportunities. Whether these opportunities come to fruition or fade away is up to you. A profile view can lead to hires, career advancement and more. It’s also a way to begin connecting with someone in your industry.
Pro Tip: Make sure you keep your visibility settings open too so people can see when you view them and potentially reach out.
Develop Your Voice and Expertise
One of the easiest way to establish your credibility and expertise in an industry is by publishing a post on LinkedIn. The platform gives users an opportunity to comment on upcoming changes in the industry, changes in the market and more. Developing your voice can lead to enormous opportunities on the business social media site. A professional LinkedIn profile service can help you create a profile that speaks to your background and expertise.
Your resume is the one surefire way to market who you are and what you can do. Top resume writing services understand this. The companies considering employing you know this too. As such, your resume will be scrutinized in every way possible during the hiring process. While there are many improvements you can make to your resume, one of the easier ways is to add testimonials.
Testimonials Lend Credibility
Testimonial How To
- Combined with work experience. One powerful way to add testimonials to your resume is by combining them with relevant work experiences. For example, let’s say you list being the top sales person in your company with a sales staff of 300 people in your resume. Below that, you could add a testimonial from your manager saying, ” …the best sales person I’ve worked with in the last 10 years,” to ensure your bio stands above the rest.
- Whole testimonial section. If you have two to four testimonials you’d like to include in your resume, add a whole section for them. Place this section in your resume just like you would an “Education” or “Work Experiences” portion. It’s important to note each quote you include should be from solid contacts that can verify your abilities.
- Testimonials make great filler. One of the best ways to add a testimonial to your resume is through inclusion in another section or as a filler. For example, if you’re an in-demand copywriter, you could add a testimonial as filler under your “Skills” section. If you claim to write copy that converts up to 10 percent of organic web traffic, a past clients testament to your abilities with a website link will add significant value to your resume.
You never know when you’ll need to spout your elevator pitch. Opportunity never comes calling at the right time. You need to have an elevator pitch for your resume, and you need to be ready to tell someone what you do in an instant.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
Your executive bio, executive resume biography or your elevator pitch is a brief 30-second bit about what you do, how you do it and who you are. You’re telling any potential employer or contact why you’re the perfect candidate. An elevator pitch concisely explains why you’re the man or woman for the job.
The Hard Part
Talking about our individual abilities and accomplishments for 30-seconds shouldn’t be too tough. Still, most people find condensing years of experience and hard work into 30-seconds of chatter difficult. You’ve done so much, but you have so little time to articulate it.
If you’re back on the job market, you’ll want to create the perfect elevator pitch immediately. You never know when a great contact or opportunity will come up so you must be prepared.
With this in mind, here’s how to develop a perfected pitch:
Decide What You Want
Before you write out any pitch, you must focus on what your desires are. Clarify what you want in a job. Choose what kind of employment you’re interested in. Each industry and profession will require a different type of elevator speech.
Write It Down
Once you’ve clarified what you’re looking for – you can begin to write down your pitch. Grab a piece of paper and start scribbling. Begin by jotting down bullet point ideas about what you’ve accomplished, your abilities, personality and more.
Once you have a long list, you can start going through it, crossing off items of lesser importance. Once you have narrowed it down to the most important bullet points, you can begin to craft these tidbits of information into a concise, 30-second speech.
Cover the Bases
Next, you’ll want to read over your first draft and see if you’ve covered the bases. You must answer the fundamental questions someone looking to hire you is considering:
- What do you do?
- Who are you?
- What do you desire?
If you believe your elevator pitch has covered these basic questions, move on to the next tip.
Tailor Your Words
Once your first draft is complete and the basics are covered, you’ll want to continue combing and improving. Start by tailoring your words to relate to the individual(s) you’re going to speak to. Add in benefit-focused wording to ensure your audience understands how you can help them.
Use the Mirror
Grab your piece of paper and head to the closest mirror, preferably with a little privacy. Stare yourself in the eyes and start giving your pitch. Let confidence flow through your veins and honestly believe what you’re saying. Monitor what areas of your quick speech sound great and which ones need tweaking.
Tweak It to Perfection
Not everything sounds as good on paper as it does when spoken. Most individuals find they need to reword and tweak things after hearing it out loud. It’s important to keep sentence short, speak in clear vocabulary free of industry jargon and keep things conversational.
Once you’ve tweaked your speech to perfection, you’ll want to continue practicing. Polish your words until you can spring into action and lay down your verbal biography in front of anyone at any time. Practice always makes perfect.
Understand Your Audience
Lastly, you shouldn’t be afraid to create a couple of variations. Most people would slightly change their speech when speaking with an old colleague than in front of an interviewer. The more you practice the pitch, the more comfortable you’ll feel when a slight tweak or change is needed.
It’s Not Easy, But You Can Do It
Anything relating to your executive bio is not going to be easy. You’re going to have to work to create the perfect resume and elevator pitch. If you’re struggling to do so, professional help may be needed.
You’ve probably heard that statistically, employers spend an average of eight seconds scanning a resume. Obviously, that’s not a lot of time to make a lasting impression. If your resume is cluttered, unorganized and the text and font are clunky, it just might get passed over. Here are some tips for writing an effective resume that will ensure your resume gets the attention it needs.
Your resume should have clearly demarcated sections. Top rated resume writing services might suggest using italics or a bold fold to differentiate between those sections, such as Education and Work Experience. There should be a break in the reader’s mind between different types of information.
Align your text to the left. Since the eye naturally returns to the left, this is the most natural and readable format. However, align dates and locations to the right, which helps to separate that information and makes it easy to scan. Speaking of formatting, keep it consistent. Don’t start using “creative” formatting techniques in order to squeeze everything into one page. It’s more important your resume be clean and readable than be limited to one page.
Use Numbers and Symbols
Whenever possible, use numbers and symbols instead of text. They will grab the eye and be easy for the employer to quickly refer back to. Keep bold text and all caps to a minimum. You want to use these sparingly in order to truly highlight important information.
Choose one, or two at the most, and make them clean and simple. Keep in mind your resume will likely be going through an applicant tracking system, which will not pick up special fonts or graphics. So not only are these cluttered and hard on the eyes, but it might prevent your resume from getting into anyone’s hands to read. Top rated resume writing services suggest sticking with plain, classic fonts.
Do use bullets. It breaks complex pieces of information into readable chunks and makes it simple to reference back to these points. It also draws attention to your accomplishments, information you really want to highlight.
Use White Space
Using plenty of white space is much easier on the eyes than large, dense chunks of text. It creates a clean, well-designed look that’s appealing to the reader.
Writing a clear, effective resume can be a daunting task. If you want to be sure you get the attention of your desired employer, you might consider using a professional resume writing service. Allowing an expert to help you craft a successful resume will dramatically increase your chances of landing your dream job.