As a Resume Writer and Career Coach, one of the questions I get asked the most is “Why can’t I find a job?” So many job seekers become frustrated during their search because they expect instant results-and that rarely happens in a job search. Hunting for a new job is tough, it just is. However, there are things you can do to help you to understand “why” you aren’t finding a job, and even more importantly, understand “what” you should be doing differently to land the job of your dreams.
If your resume has not been updated in the past five years, then you have a problem. Even if you’ve been in the same job for longer than five years, surely you are learning new skills and achieving new goals that should be documented on your resume. A resume is a living document that needs to be revisited and updated on an annual basis. If you’re not doing this, then your resume could be the “dead” document that is thwarting your job search.
If you aren’t sure where to start, have your resume critiqued by a certified professional resume writer. Make the recommended changes yourself, or, hire the service to ensure that you’re getting the best documents you can to market your skills. Yes…this is an investment, but you’re investing in your future.
Social Media Activity
Today’s job seekers must have a presence on social media. As soon as someone hears your name, the curiosity sets in and a search will commence. Will you be found? Google yourself. What shows up? Clean up your social media profiles-both professional and personal. Be sure that your professional profiles clearly communicate your skill, experience, education, and value you can offer potential employers. If you’re on Facebook, beef up your privacy settings. Don’t let strangers see your activity or allow your friends to tag you in photos or post onto your page. For other sites like Instagram and Twitter, keep your settings on private so that you have to approve any new followers.
Create a profile on LinkedIn. This is the most popular professional networking site and a great place for recruiters and potential employers to find you. Be sure your profile is complete, brands you appropriately, is free of typos, and is filled with industry-specific keywords and keyword phrases that will get you found during SEO searches. Your profile photos should not be from your college fraternity days. A clear headshot with a clean background works best. Join groups and network within those groups. NOTE: Don’t comment on posts or in chats where you have no clue what you’re talking about.
Job Search 101
Before you go down the “why me” path, you need to take a long look in the mirror and ask these questions…
- What am I doing to find a job?
- How much time and effort am I devoting to my job search?
- What types of networking opportunities am I taking advantage of?
Asking these questions will help you to determine what you aren’t doing well, and how you can do things better. Are you only searching for job posts on one or two sites? Are you targeting individual companies, and if so, are you applying for jobs directly on their site? What about networking? Are you engaging in conversations on social media sites, or even attending job fairs? In today’s competitive job market, you need to be diligent in exploring as many paths as possible to find your next job.
Your resume and networking strategies paid off- you scored an interview! How you look, speak, and act during the interview can and probably will, make the difference between getting an offer, or a “we went with another candidate” letter.
To prepare, study the company culture, including the position you’re interviewing for. Understand what the company does, who they deal with, and what expectations they have for your position. If you have a contact in the company, seek him out and ask a few questions so that you can dress appropriately, as well as can speak the company language during your interview.
Get your marketing tools ready. Have multiple copies of your resume ready to present to the interview committee, as well as copies of any credentials you may need for the job. Practice answers to common interview questions, and be sure you have solid details to back your answers.
Before your interview date, map out your drive and ensure that you allow for rush hour traffic, trains, construction, etc. Being late for an interview is never acceptable and shows irresponsibility and lack of potential right from the get-go. When you arrive, greet the receptionist with a smile and a firm handshake.
During the interview, listen carefully to all questions before you answer. If you get a “stumper” (and you will), don’t get flustered! Take a deep breath and think before you answer. Be able to have concrete details of why you are the best candidate for the job, and speak to the credentials on your resume to reiterate your most important qualifications and achievements.
Follow up with a thank you note addressed directly to the person(s) you interviewed with. Even if you feel the interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped, you’re always leaving a good final impression when you send a thank you.
Searching for a job isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, either. Listen to colleagues, career coaches, and HR friends-find out what did/did not work for them and see what you can incorporate into your job search strategy. Having a solid job search strategy, putting in time and effort, and networking within your industry will set you right on your way to that new job, and hopefully a great new career.
Every company has different positions within each organization. The job duties of those positions can vary from company to company, so you have to be specific as to what job you’re looking for on your resume. A marketing director at a small firm may have multiple job duties, while a marketing director at a large corporation might only be in charge of one aspect. That’s why targeting your executive resume is critical to get the job you want, and the guidance from an executive resume writing service may be essential. Here are some tips on how you can target your executive resume.
Know What You Want
If you try to be general in your resume and make it seem like you’re the jack-of-all-trades, you probably won’t get much recognition. Executive resume targeting means you need to show you have one particular skill mastered and are seeking a job requiring those skills. When you’re as specific as possible, you are more likely to receive responses from companies regarding the exact position you’re looking for. The best professional executive resume writers are crafty when it comes to being specific to the job description and using the appropriate keywords to help get you recognized.
Differentiate Large and Small Companies
Some people want to work for a large corporation, but some want to start at the ground floor. Whichever you prefer, it needs to be clear and evident in your executive resume. Make it known you want to use your skills to help a start-up company grow into a larger business, and are willing to wear multiple hats to get it done. Alternatively, you could say your skills are a better fit for a large corporation where you sit behind your desk all day and make the current operations run more smoothly behind the scenes. Some of the top rated resume writing services will help you target the ideal fit for you, as long as you are clear with them regarding what you want.
Lay Out Your Criteria
Sometimes the best thing applicants can do is to be specific about what they want in a job. However, when you include a section like this, you have to be very careful. If you are overly specific, you might significantly narrow the amount of potential responses you get. You could talk about the work environment you prefer, the size of the company, how you like to interact with co-workers and clients, the type of management style you like and so on. There’s a fine line between being specific about your criteria and being demanding. If you’re having a hard time differentiating the two, then you may benefit from the assistance of an executive resume writing service.
Targeting your executive resume could be the difference between getting the exact job you want or just settling for whatever is offered to you. Feel free to contact us if you need any assistance or guidance when you’re working on targeting your executive resume.
As you probably already know, software engineering jobs are in demand, but there is also a pretty saturated talent pool. The competition is so strong, you may think you have the best resume, but one minor mistake could get yours thrown out of the pool and you’ll never know it. There isn’t one specific key to writing an effective resume to get you hired in the software engineering industry, but there are some steps you can take to give yourself the best chance at landing the job you want. Here are some things to consider when constructing your resume.
1. Highlight Your Website or Blog
We aren’t just talking about social media accounts here. If you want to be a software engineer, but don’t have your own personal website, it’s time to get one immediately. Even the best resume writing service won’t be able to highlight your attributes if they don’t have something tangible to point to. This is one of the best ways to showcase your talents and abilities and let your work speak for itself.
2. Don’t Be Generic
You don’t have to create an entirely new resume for every job you apply for, but you do need to at least tailor it to the specific position. When writing an effective resume, you need to make the employer see that you know what the position entails. If the job description asks for qualifications with documentation, systems analysis, data usage, product specifications, work processes, etc., detail clearly in your resume how you have done that. If it asks for special skills like liaising with, or training users, show how you’ve worked with users in previous roles. Follow the job description for clues as to what needs to be a priority on your resume.
3. Craft a Good Cover Letter
Some of the best cover letters are short, sweet and to the point. No recruiter is going to spend time reading a cover letter extending any longer than a few short paragraphs. A cover letter writing service can help you pinpoint what needs to be written in the letter to ensure you catch the reader’s attention. If you don’t have a good cover letter, there’s a chance your resume won’t even be seen.
4. Use Proper Keywords
Many recruiters will scan your resume and cover letter for keywords related to the open position. If you don’t have any present in your resume, it will likely get pushed to the side or trashed. Keywords can be difficult to identify, but they are critical to include. Again, use the job description to help you find the keywords. Consider hiring one of the best resume writing services if you struggle with the keywords. You definitely don’t want missing keywords to be the reason why you don’t get a shot at the job you want.
We know creating the perfect resume can be difficult, so if you have any questions along the way, feel free to get in touch with us at any point in the process!
In today’s increasingly digitized world, the resume is becoming more important than ever before. Your resume is one of the first ways potential employers get to know you, after all, which means it needs to be as polished as possible in order to make a good impression. However, crafting an excellent resume can be tricky, even if (or perhaps especially if) you have a lot of experience under your belt. If this is the case, let us offer you a few tips on how to achieve the best executive resume format and really “wow” your potential and future employers!
Research the Best Keywords
You’ve likely noticed how rapidly keywords are growing in significance in the business world. It turns out keywords are just as important to personal marketing as it is to commercial marketing. But just what are the best keywords to use?
Specific job titles are a great place to start. Use any and every high ranking position you’ve held in the past on your resume to help catch an employer’s eye. This is one of the easiest and best ways to display your credentials. Additionally, anything you frequently performed or used on the average work day, from PC programs to basic duties, are fair game. You’ll also want to give employers a clear image of what your previous positions entailed and what they can expect from you if you’re hired. The idea is to be very detailed since you don’t know what keywords will prompt a prospective employer to look at your resume.
Have a Point
There are very few instances where people like rambling. Don’t lose sight of the point of your resume as you write. While this may sound obvious, it is very easy to get lost in the slew of details you’ll need to include and forget to get to the heart of the matter. The most important goal of your executive bio is to get hired for the job you want. Showcase who you are and what you can do for the company you want to work for by listing your skills and strengths with relevance to the company’s needs. Before you even start on your resume, we recommend scoping out the industry so you can fine-tune your expectations and objectives.
You want to detail your expertise on a point-by-point basis. Being concise will automatically score you points with an employer because this shows you understand and respect that they have one minute—at the most—to review your resume. This will also help them to understand more about you as a professional in that amount of time.
You can accomplish this by writing out a summarizing paragraph on your resume’s first page. If you need help properly paring down your credentials down to a short paragraph, you can turn to a cover letter writing service for help.
As a senior level professional, you’ve almost certainly heard of personal branding. Implementing it into your professional life, however, is a very different story. The idea of establishing and maintaining a personal brand is very new after all, having arrived on the coat tails of the Internet and the rest of today’s technology. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time assuming c-level personal branding isn’t worth your time, you may want to reconsider! This is a very important aspect of your professional career, for a few significant reasons.
Personal Branding Sets You Apart
While this line sounds cliché, it is very much the truth. Consider these questions:
- How do you stack up against your competitors?
- Would your degree(s) be enough to convince companies to hire you instead of someone else?
Thousands of other people hold the exact same academic achievements as you. Plus, the longer you’ve been out of school, the less your academic career matters. It’s the sad reality that many people face.
Rather than focusing on this, look back on the other accomplishments you’ve earned within your field. Think about who you are as a executive and a person. Personal branding for senior level managers involves getting to the meat of these two concepts. It involves presenting your positive qualities and expertise in a way that appeals much more readily to those in charge of hiring you.
You’ll Experience a Quality Jump with Your Job Search
Naturally, focusing on your skills and personal talents boosts your own self image. This means you will become far less likely to settle for just any position that matches your skill set. You will gradually start to approach your job search in a different way as your personal brand gains more and more attention. Once this happens, it will enable you to think about what you really want from a company and what conditions you are not willing to deal with.
As a result, you will start to push forward with your professional life and only accept those who meet your newfound standards. If the idea of constant professional growth appeals to you, then you’ll want to put together your personal brand as soon as possible.
Your Personal Brand Gains You More Benefits and Professional Success
Simply put, a personal brand boosts your chances of being hired. It creates a clear picture of your strengths and what you can offer a company, which will appeal quickly to employers. If you’re currently struggling with your job search, a personal brand may help you finally find the position you’ve been so diligently seeking in ways you could never have anticipated!
Much like the rest of the world, the ways we look for and find jobs is rapidly changing thanks to the advent of technology. In the face of all of these changes, from smartphones to social media, all business people can do is try and keep up with it all. The same goes for anyone on the hunt for a new job position, especially at an executive level. Consulting executive resume writing services to figure out how to approach this new career climate is one way to go about it. We can help you learn how to stay afloat in this new job hunting environment. Here is a guide toward how things have changed and what you can do to adjust your search methods appropriately.
Ditch the Job Board
They aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be! The same goes for recruiting services. While these two methods are the most commonly used by unemployed or transitioning executives, they rarely land you a job in an efficient amount of time. In fact, research states executives find new positions through recruiters and/or job boards at an alarmingly low rate of below 20 percent. You are better off utilizing other methods within your job search to find success, such as networking.
Tweak Your Resume Sooner Rather Than Later
Social media has transformed how resumes are constructed in many ways. You’ll have to learn how resumes have morphed in this decade and change yours to match, especially if it’s been decades since you last looked for a job. If you have the option, team up with the best resume writing service you can find for help with how to edit your resume into something that aligns more closely with what today’s hiring agents are looking for.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is rapidly becoming more important than ever. If you haven’t caught onto it and created a Facebook account, LinkedIn account or anything similar, now is the time! Individuals and businesses alike are beginning to rely heavily on social media to communicate with each other. If nothing else, it will serve as a valuable tool for networking with other people in your industry, which will prove invaluable to your job search! Likewise, those with the heaviest bearing on whether you’ll be able to land the job will use social media and the rest of your online presence to learn more about you and whether you’re suitable for the position.
Keep Your Brand in Mind
If you’re a professional, you will more than likely have a brand that is more than worth maintaining. If you fail to do this, you could be missing out on some great job opportunities and risking prolonging your job search.
Be Honest and Open
Pride and stubbornness will do you no favors when it comes to your job search. Always be 100 percent open about what happened with your last position and your current skill set when you interview. Furthermore, although the job search climate has changed, don’t feel afraid to adapt or believe you’ll never be able to catch up!
Hidden inside every job listing is key information about the position. There are some useful points in a job posting you can use when writing a professional resume and cover letter. In fact, you can use the information the company provides to make resumes that get you hired by matching it up with precisely what they are looking for. Here are some tips for tweaking your resume to match the position you are trying to obtain.
Match Your Skills to What They Are Looking For
You’ll find most professional job listings to be inclusive of all the skills needed to perform the job properly. First of all, remember you most likely don’t need to have mastered all of the skills they are seeking. Don’t disqualify yourself if you don’t have all of the ones listed. Think about your skills versus the ones they are looking for and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have most of the hard and soft skills mentioned?
- Do you have the experience or knowledge needed to do the job?
- What is your success rate and experience with the skills in the past?
- What other complementary skills do you possess?
Many skills can fall under broader categories so you can compare your present skills and level of experience to what the company needs. When you are writing a professional resume, include the skills related to what is listed, as well as your skills sets and experiences that are complementary to what they are looking for.
Match Your Characteristics with Their Job Description
Many times a job posting will contain attributes they would like to see in a candidate. They may use words like self-starter, ambitious, team player or organized. As you are reading the job description, think about the characteristics they listed and which ones may be applicable for you. Can you think of examples in your work history that are demonstrations of these specific attributes? The point is to make a connection with the company between what they want and what you have to offer. Use the attributes from the job listing on your cover letter and resume, if applicable.
Match Specific “Buzz” Words with Their Listing
Watch for words you see over and over in the job listing. These might be skills or other keywords they use. For instance, do they consider themselves a business? An organization? A company? Make sure you or your professional executive resume writers use these terms when drawing up a resume and cover letter. Resumes that get you hired will have the same tone and terminology the hiring agent uses in their descriptions of the job and qualifications they provide. You can learn a lot about the company by the tone they use in the description and you’ll get a sense of being a good fit for the position. Using the same language they use will demonstrate to them you are the perfect match.
Whether you are writing your own or hiring professional executive resume writers, it’s beneficial to know how to use your resume to show how well you match the position.
Even when you hire the best executive writing service to write your resume and cover letter, many hiring agents will only take a second to skim them. It’s important to grab their attention so your resume doesn’t end up filed away with all the rest. What are they looking for? What makes them read on or lay a resume aside? Is it possible to write resumes that get you hired?
There are several things potential employers may find off putting. Here are a few things to avoid so your executive resume bio gets read and considered.
- Over Used Phrases – One of the biggest red flags for an employer is seeing the same phrases or descriptions over and over again. There are some claims virtually any person can make about themselves and their skills. Avoid over used terms like “self-starter,” creative” or “problem solver.” Rather than using cliché phrases, describe your experiences and share your accomplishments.
- Grammatical Mistakes – Resumes that get you hired will be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Today almost everyone uses a word processor that contains a spell checker. There’s no excuse for these kinds of mistakes. Have someone else look over your resume or look for the best executive writing service to help with the writing so you can avoid these costly mistakes. If your resume is riddled with grammatical or spelling errors, you are telling the hiring agent you do not care about your work either.
- Poorly Written Content – Even though you may not need to have strong writing skills for the job you want, it’s important to have well written content in your cover letter and resume. Your writing skills may not be necessary for your position, but it will demonstrate you can communicate effectively. It can also speak of your level of professionalism and education and show how much you care. Take time to write your cover letter and executive resume bio in an educated and professional manner.
- Not Demonstrating Professionalism – Make sure to keep your resume on a professional level. If the hiring agent is reading information about your private life, such as a spouse or how many kids you have, they are likely to ignore your resume or application altogether. Limit your information to areas related to your qualifications and skills.
- Huge Gaps of Time Between Jobs – Fill in open areas of unemployment with explanations. A potential employer who sees a huge gap in your employment history will likely have lots of questions. They may think you are hiding something, such as a position you left without notice or one from which you were fired. They might think you left the hole deliberately and will wonder just what you are hiding.
If you want to write resumes that get you hired, avoid these practices. Keep it professional, error free and focused on what you have to offer the company. You want them to see why you are the best person for the position. Don’t give them a reason to ignore your resume.
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.
Traditional thinking holds your resume should be no longer than one page, but have times changed? An executive resume service will typically urge you to keep it to no more than two pages. However, some will say three pages is appropriate in certain instances. The bottom line is there are exceptions to every rule, and although your resume should be well edited, the focus should be on content, not length.
Applicant Tracking Systems
One important factor to consider is the use of Applicant Tracking Systems to vet candidates. This system allows employers to read and scan resumes by search terms. The difference between a live person reading your resume and the Applicant Tracking System analyzing it is a human typically looks for accomplishments, while the tracking systems search for keywords. So what does this mean for you the applicant? Since it is a bit tricky to try to please the Applicant Tracking Systems, as well as the employer, the best approach is to focus on quality content.
Applying to a Specialized Field
Let’s say you are in a specialized field, such as medical or legal. You should consider using a professional curriculum vitae writer. They are pros at including all the details your field needs to cover, yet staying concise. They will work with you to highlight not just your education and past jobs, but achievements such as research and teaching experience, publications and grants and fellowships. They are experts at taking an overwhelming task and making it simple and effective.
Another instance in which a two or three page resume would be appropriate is if you are changing careers altogether. The applicant will have to cover their qualifications and skills that would pertain to both their current job and the one they hope to transition to. In this case, it’s absolutely fine to have a length of two to three pages. Again, the focus here is on quality and pertinent content, instead of length.
Trimming the Fat
If you find you still would like to trim off a little more length, consider digging into your oldest employment information. If you have to cut something, this is most likely the least relevant and important to employers. Some things to avoid: shrinking your font to a size too small to read easily, using a photo and not checking for typos. These may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget the basics when you’re in the throes of writing.
Writing resumes and cover letters is a daunting undertaking. An executive resume service can be an invaluable resource in creating your best resume. Take some of the stress off of yourself and let a professional help you get that call back.