Is anybody in your family interested in your family history? My mom is our family historian. She has our family tree going back to the 1600’s! It’s pretty amazing what she’s found out and who she has met along the way. One thing most genealogists will tell you is that researching a family tree is a lot like networking. Many families will have one person in the generation who is willing to keep all the photos and letters and information, and finding that person is like finding a treasure trove. Instead of laboriously working on finding one branch, suddenly you discover that they’ve got the connections to a whole bunch of branches and they know the people who are the keepers of the photos and letters and information for all of them.
If you are interested in finding the connections in your ancestry, you need to find the people who are already doing the research. They have already made connections you have no access to until you contact them. For example, if you never meet Great Aunt Irma, then you won’t get to see all the letters your grandma sent to her dad with the pictures of your dad as a baby.
Companies use recruiters to fill executive positions and many other types of openings. A professional resume distribution service has carefully maintained connections with many professional recruiters so that a resume goes to the right recruiters for that job seeker. The connections have already been made: These are professionals who rely on networking for their career and carefully maintain the connections between them. Instead of Great Aunt Irma keeping your dad’s baby pictures, they’ve got first knowledge of job openings, and you won’t find out about it unless you connect to the right one.
This networking is the reason professional resume distribution works so much better than a blind email blast to every company in the phone book or a hopeful query out of nowhere. If your resume is presented by a reputable distribution service, that reputation enhances your resume by association. Recruiters get untold numbers of resumes all the time. It makes sense to filter them for efficiency. The fact you recognized quality and respected professional standards weights your submission with authority.
Criticism is kind of painful, because nobody likes to be wrong. But without constructive criticism we’d all be in a fantasy world assuming everything is fine and wondering why things aren’t happening the way we imagined they would. Particularly when it comes to your career, criticism is a valuable tool. But that tool has to be in the hands of somebody who knows how to use it for your benefit.
A Professional Critique of Your Resume/Cover Letter Does 3 Things
- Professional Perspective — A Professional Resume/Cover Letter Critique should be just that: professional. You want someone who is going to look at your cover letter and resume with the same perspective that potential employers, recruiters, and HR people will be looking at them. After all, these are the people who you are hoping to impress with that cover letter and resume, so it makes sense to write them with that goal in mind.
- Experienced Advice — It isn’t that helpful to find out what’s wrong with your cover letter or resume if you don’t know how to fix it. A resume critique from Professional Resume Services includes concrete steps you can take to make improvements and provides insights on why these steps are suggested.
- Immediate Return on Investment — As soon as you get your critique back, it includes a plan of action that you can immediately implement to get your career search back on track. The 3-4 page report catalogs every detail that needs to be improved and how to go about that improvement.
It doesn’t cost as much as you’d spend on a big date night, but it is worth every penny. A resume/cover letter critique from Professional Resume Services will give you an understanding of the problems and a way to fix those problems, making this criticism something you’ll appreciate getting.
There are a lot of good things offered by Professional Resume Services, and each one has been carefully selected to be a good value and a good fit for somebody. But which service will fit YOU?
It might be a bit simplistic, but you have to know what you need first. Then you should do a quick skim through the Products and Resume Services just to get an idea of what’s there so you know what we have. Then it is just a matter of putting the two together the right way.
Start With Your Current Status
You have a job history and a certain set of skills. You may even currently have a job and are hoping to get a new one, or you may have been unemployed for a while and are starting to get a little worried. Whatever is happening in your career right now, whatever has happened in the past, all of your education, volunteer work, and the rest should be written down so you have it in front of you.
Now, write down what you need and want to see happen in your career. Try to get past “I want a job to pay bills” and into “I want a career that accomplishes something,” and define what “something” is. All this brainstorming helps you clarify and assess what your current status and future goals are.
Now Look At What We Offer
Just grab a cup of whatever you like to sip and spend some time roaming around the site. Look at what the Job Search Success System is and what it does. Read through the A La Carte Services section and skim through the various packages. This gives you an overall idea of what is involved with getting a professional resume, or choosing a coaching service will be like.
While you were doing that, did you notice that popup in the lower right corner that kept bouncing up saying, “Let’s Talk!”?
That’s your next step. Now that you have an idea of where you are, where you want to be, and what we offer, it’s pretty easy to set up a time to discuss what would be a good fit for you.
If you are just beginning to realize that you need expert help to find a job or further your career, it can feel pretty overwhelming. Do you start writing a resume? Maybe you should look at the want ads or get one of those professional packages, but which one? When you look at the A La Carte Services, they seem like a cheaper way to get something, but the packages have more stuff. Right?
Or maybe a completely do-it-yourself method would be cheaper. Just do the research and get it done because you have the time, but not the money to pay for it. No, wait! That’s where we started this, at the realization that expert help is what is needed. Where should you start?
Start With Expert Advice
When you look at any page on the Professional Resume Services website, a little contact popup opens up with an opportunity to set up a time to talk. You can look at the calendar and designate a day and time, call the phone number, or leave details and we will get back to you. That opportunity to talk to a person who is completely familiar with the services we provide doesn’t obligate you to buying something, but it gives you all the benefit of a short personal consultation to see what might work.
There’s also a lot of information on this blog to give you a bigger perspective on things. The more you are familiar with different aspects of what affects your career, the easier it is to see how every aspect fits together and creates the whole picture.
This is the time of year when people suddenly realize the sun is shining and they are sick — sick of being inside. That doesn’t happen as severely if you have a few plans for time off to just regenerate yourself by doing nothing in particular, but if your life is planned down to the hour seven days a week, it will implode when a new thing is added to your script.
Plan For Margins
Every wise plan has margins. You can plan out a business goal, plan your job search, plan your vacation, etc., but you can’t plan what will happen when it hits real life. Now is a good time to look at your plans for the summer, when the vacation schedules collide with the work load, and decide how to make it fit together without making your life an unending series of urgent commitments.
I like to think of margins as the white space around the words on the page. If every spot on this page were filled with words, I’d have more information crammed into the space, but it would not be effective because nobody would read and retain it.
How To Plan Your Work Margins
That’s the way our plans work. We need margins around our careers and workdays in order to make them effective. We need to schedule a few days off where nothing is planned on a regular basis, particularly if we have lots of people in our lives. Kids are really good at interrupting plans with sudden illnesses, for instance, but they are not the only ones who interrupt a schedule.
- Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives a margin for sudden illness.
- Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives margin for contemplation.
- Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives margin for regrouping and getting back on track.
If you are having a hard time planning wisely, maybe you should consider talking to a mentor or career coach to get a bigger perspective on your life. Without a plan, you can have a full calendar and be exhausted with nothing to show for your effort. With a plan, you are going to see the full days on your calendar move you to your goals. With margins built into your plan, you will see things more clearly and be ready to meet the challenges with a smile.
Chris Crum just wrote on the way LinkedIn looks at the ‘State of Student Recruiting’ and says, “there are over 39 million students and recent grads on LinkedIn, and thousands of companies waiting to recruit them.” Of course, there’s a nice infographic and lots of numbers with visual imagery to help you see what the majority of students are looking for in employment goals.
Not surprisingly, the top things that matter to the 18-30 year old category is work/life balance, compensation/benefits, and a strong career path. They are least interested in company vision, flexible work arrangements, and being valued by their employer. I think that if you did similar surveys in different age groups, they’d come up with different priorities because the things you look for in a job depend on what is happening in the rest of your life.
Flexible work arrangements, for instance, are prioritized by people who have responsibilities at home that cannot be delegated. Being valued by your employer starts looking big when you spend years at a job where your contributions are not appreciated. Company vision might not matter at the beginning of your career, but after a while you think about a bigger picture and where your values align. These things don’t necessarily overtake the work/life, compensation/benefit, career path priorities, but they might.
Job recruiters should target your priorities
If you are looking for a job with certain priorities in mind, working with a recruiter who is going on the majority vote can be frustrating. You are on different wavelengths and the recruiter will not be connecting you to the right jobs for you.
This is why Professional Resume Services does things differently with our Recruiter Resume Distributions. Our process targets your preferences and we match you to the recruiters who meet your requirements in industry, position, salary, etc. The database we use is consistently updated and capable of filtering to your unique parameters.
If LinkedIn has over 39 million students and recent grads competing for a job in thousands of companies waiting to recruit them, there’s a lot of stuff to wade through to find the job that has what you are looking for. Recruiters help narrow things down, but they will keep the majority’s goals in mind. We can connect you to the recruiter who will target your priorities.
Have you ever really looked at blueprints? We had our own experience with them last year when we expanded our office. They can make most people’s eyes glaze over, but those professional schematic drawings are the reason buildings don’t fall down, plumbing works efficiently, and electric outlets are located where you want to plug in your hair dryer. Professional plans mean that using the hairdryer in the bathroom doesn’t blow a circuit because the wiring is sufficient for the task.
Professionals use the training and experience they possess to create building plans that will safely accommodate the activity anticipated there. If there needs to be a remodel, professionals know how to do the adaptations successfully. That same level of expertise applies to a lot of other areas in life, don’t you think? How about your career plans?
Your career is certainly as important as the building you live in, and should be planned with as much expertise. There are many good suggestions for career plans to be discovered by reading blogs and doing the research, and that is a good place to start. Many people live quite happily in buildings designed for the general population and you do the equivalent with your career by following the general advice you read from professionals.
But a custom home involves blueprints drawn up by experts with input from the home owner to ensure that every aspect of that home is perfect for the people living there. This could mean shorter counters, a special sewing room, or bathrooms with enough outlets and load capabilities to run a couple of hair dryers at the same time while listening to music. The blueprints would show those specifics: lower counter heights, cabinets for sewing materials, and a bathroom that won’t go dark when the hair dryer comes on.
Your career plans can be customized by working with an expert, a career coach who is qualified to draw up a blueprint for your job goals and help you figure out what needs to be on the plan.
Have you ever gone past a series of modern windmills? I just did recently-they were amazing. At first, they don’t look real. Then as you get closer, they begin to loom in jaw-dropping proportions because they are huge. These gigantic pinwheels are carefully placed to catch the wind in the best spots available. A lot of study goes into how tall they need to be, where they should be located, and which direction they should face. This is because they are very expensive to manufacture and install so they need to be where they will catch the most wind and generate the most power. Why would anybody put this expensive piece of technology in a random spot because it is easier? No matter how well the windmill is constructed, it will not do what it’s designed to do if it’s not in the right place.
A well-crafted resume is the result of a similar type of investment. Just like the modern windmill, they are carefully designed and can be expensive to create. So why distribute that resume in a random pattern because it is easier? If your resume is not being put in the right place, it will not be able to do what it’s designed to do.
Professional Resume Services has the ability to put your resume in the place where it will be most effective through our Recruiter Resume Distributions. Since we maintain a database that is updated weekly, we know which recruiters are working in the various industries out there and we can specifically target your unique preferences and project parameters. We will only put your resume where it will act like one of those high-tech pinwheels and generate the most energy for your career goals.
There’s a lot of competition out there when you are looking for a job. Sometimes you might think you need a gimmick, something to get the attention of the employer and make you stand out from the crowd. A recent WSJ article, “In Tough Job Market, Applicants Try Resume Gimmicks” has some doozies. After all, if the average number of applicants for one job opening is well over three hundred, you have to try something to get their attention, right?
One guy tried taping his resume to a pillow. It didn’t ship well, but they were able to figure out his contact information and he made it to the interview, but he did not get the job with the company. Another did impress people with the pizza he sent along with his thank you letter after the interview, but that only lasted three months because that was the only time he really delivered on the job (see what I did there? Rimshot)
Bobby Gormsen is the senior recruiting manager at Etsy, a very creative place to work. He’s seen potholder resumes, embroidered cover letters, and applications in corked bottles.
“I’m sort of immune to this stuff,” said Mr. Gormsen. The candidates “get points for creativity, but it only tells one side of the story. We have a set of hard skills an applicant has to meet”—ranging from years of experience to relevant software languages—in order to be considered. No amount of creativity can compensate if those are missing, he said.
It seems obvious that a gimmick is recognized as an attention-getter that doesn’t promise quality. A well-written resume would. The hard skills and experience history that employers look for are clearly shown on a good resume. Expertly written resumes have skillful use of keywords that get you past the robot search engines and on the desk to be read by a person. They don’t need gimmicks, but they do need to be clear and professional.
Professional Resume Services include a number of A La Carte Services in our offerings. This gives you the flexibility to select the service you need without paying for the service you don’t want. You can be creative in putting together the package that gets you the best resume possible and forget about the gimmicks.
You know when your car needs a tune up. The engine stops running smoothly, there’s a few sputters and jerks when you take off, and the cloud of exhaust doesn’t look good. If you just keep moving, the problem doesn’t go away — it gradually gets worse and eventually you aren’t going anywhere. Your car needs that tune up or there will be permanent damage.
Your career can be the same way. You gradually become aware that something isn’t “right” but you aren’t sure what it is. You keep plugging away at your job and things start to sputter. Eventually you realize that you aren’t going anywhere. What should you do before there’s permanent damage to your future?
One logical thing to do is give your career a tune up; looking at the overall picture of your job history and current position, checking your skills to see if they are current, evaluating the things that need to change and figuring out how to change them. You could do this yourself with research and advice from experts. Of course, you’d be trying to figure out which experts to heed and what to research, but it can be done.
People who have expertise with engines can easily do their own tune ups because they know what to prioritize. Career tune ups can be challenging because most of us don’t know which one of the little issues is the most important in the long run. This is where investing in the right coaching services can make the difference between a career that goes nowhere and one that takes off. So, how do you pick the right coach?
It’s a lot like picking the right mechanic. You look for experience, certifications, and happy customers. You might try them out by having a small job done and see how you fit with their personality because that will matter to you over time. The credentials aren’t just pieces of paper; they represent completion of strict standards that can be verified. Career coaches work the same way.
We offer Coaching Services in three different packages and an a la carte selection that pretty much guarantees you will find help for your career. Just like the professional mechanics, we have listed the credentials so you can verify them and be confident you are getting help from the best. Your career will get the tune up it needs, attention to the places you need help in and the help will be there. Pretty soon your career will be humming smoothly and you will take off!