As an executive professional, you’ve undoubtedly picked up several skills throughout your career—so many, in fact, that you may not know where to start in listing them on your resume! However, if you’re looking for a new executive position, some skills are more beneficial to your hiring prospects than others. Here are a few skills that can help you with any job search.
You’re going to have to do some form of writing at just about any job you get. As a result, strong writing skills will benefit you no matter what job search route you take. If writing is your strong suit, you can showcase it on your executive LinkedIn profile by attaching some of your best reports to your page. Be sure to check that you aren’t bound by an NDAs before you do this, however; while you want to show off your strengths, you don’t want to divulge sensitive information in the process. To get around this, you can always draw up a mock report instead.
2. Project Management
If you’ve shown the ability to manage both large and small projects in the workforce, you’ll be putting yourself ahead of the game. The best resume writing services will ask you about your project management experience first because it’s a skill employers look at very seriously. Project management takes multitasking, the ability to rein others in and encourage teamwork to complete a task and much more. Listing this ability will prove you’re worth your salt as an executive.
You will have a hard time finding an executive-level job if you don’t have any leadership experience. Employers want to hire someone who is independent and can help guide others on the team. If you’re able to display some examples on your executive LinkedIn profile, you’ll look impressive to hiring executives.
4. Advanced Office Management
A competent expert can ultimately help workflow improve the office by streamlining how the staff carries out their day-to-day activities. This skill ties in closely to leadership and project management, mentioned above. When you talk to a cover letter writing service, be sure and tell them what type of office skills you have so they can help you paint the best picture on your cover letter and resume. Anyone can say they have office skills, but giving concrete examples will make your experience stand out among the rest.
Speaking multiple languages fluently is great for business today. You may not have learned different languages in order to land your dream job, but it will definitely help you out in the long run. Companies looking to expand globally need multilingual employees and executives. Be sure to provide examples on your resume or cover letter.
These are just some of the most optimal general skills to help with any job search. If you’re having a hard time coming up with your best skills, feel free to reach out to us and we can help you find your strengths.
Job interviews can be intimidating, no matter what level you are in your field. There’s a lot of pressure involved, as you’re faced with yet another situation where you have to make a positive impression on a prospective employer—with the added complication of having to speak practically on the fly. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to mess up under this situation. We’re here to inform you of some of the most common interview mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Revealing Too Much About Your Location
Remote work has yet to really catch on in today’s business climate. As such, the majority of employers are looking for someone who lives close enough to the company to commute on a regular basis. Needless to say, someone who lives too far away from headquarters to commute a reasonable distance or needs time to move across the country may not get chosen over the other candidates.
It’s never worth it to lie on your resume about where you live just so you can land a certain position, nor is it worth it to try to haggle your way into a job by admitting you live too far away but your skills are so valuable they should tweak the position’s requirements just for you. Employers can see your location on your executive LinkedIn profile, anyway.
2. Lack of Post-Interview Communication
Your correspondence with the interviewer never ends once the interview is over, even if you don’t get the job. It’s important to consider the time the company has already invested in you, and respond accordingly. Be sure to send along a formal word of thanks to your prospective employer for the time they’ve spent on the hiring process, if only for the sake of maintaining a good impression. We know you’re probably extremely busy, b you’ll want to take the time to sit down and follow up with the company after you interview.
Failing to give your thanks may leave a bad taste in an employer’s mouth, giving them pause as to whether to keep in further touch with you. As you may know, people in your industry talk, and that bad taste may spread to other executives and companies in your field. You can always turn to a cover letter writing service for help with your thank you letter, if you aren’t sure what to say. Your efforts will be appreciated, even if you don’t land the job! The company may keep you in mind when it comes to other openings, or pass your information along to another company who could use someone with your credentials.
3. Excessive Jargon
It’s a well-known fact if you’re going to be involved within a specific industry you have to know what you’re talking about. Some jargon is just going to be part of daily business conversation. However, you shouldn’t use so much industry speak that those around you will need a dictionary to figure out what you’re talking about! There’s such a thing as too much specialized language, even among people in your industry. While your coworkers may be able to understand what you’re saying, it’s possible that your interviewer works in another area in the company (like human resources) and isn’t as fluent. You can rely on the best resume writing services to help you tweak your resume and cover letter so that anyone in the company can understand what skills you can add to their executive team.
There are many other ways you can help you land and succeed during your first interview. You can always turn to us for help with this or any other step of your job hunting process. And as always, reach out to us any time for job hunting assistance, executive LinkedIn profile assistance or answers to your questions!
Some older people believe they should easily be able to get a new job because of their extensive experience. While that seems reasonable, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. A lot of companies today are looking for younger people out of college with a few years of experience and new ideas. The general perception is older people won’t come in with those new ideas and may be difficult to train. Here is a quick guide for older employees embarking on a new job search.
What to Put In a Cover Letter
The best resume writing services will suggest not bragging about your experience. Instead of indicating how many years of experience you have, simply state your “significant” experience. Also, avoid re-stating your job history in your cover letter. Even though your approximate age will be evident in an interview, you don’t want to show your age on paper. You should consider emphasizing your willingness to learn and adapt to new ideas and combine that with your proven experience and results.
Brushing Up Your Resume
There is some gray area when it comes to what information to put on your resume when you have 25+ years of experience. It’s easy to list out all the jobs you have and their corresponding dates, but it’s also easy for a recruiter to add up your age. While age shouldn’t play a big factor in the job search process, the unfortunate reality of “agism” is there. Many executive resume services will tell you to focus on results in your resume. Besides, if you have so much experience to talk about, potential employers want to know what you accomplished with that experience. You can also summarize your early experience into a paragraph that lets the reader know what you did without the redundancy of jobs going back 30+ years.
Be Honest, But Not Too Extensive
You shouldn’t lie about your age, but you also shouldn’t give it to a potential employer willingly unless they ask for it. If you aren’t sure how to portray your age on paper, the best resume writing services can help you out. Lying on your resume or cover letter is the worst thing you can do. Sometimes you just have to be creative in order to get your foot in the door for an interview. At that point, it’s up to you to nail the interview!
Your Online Presence
Older employees may or may not be on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Having a complete LinkedIn profile is great for adding accomplishments you don’t want to put on your resume. However, you have to also be careful with your LinkedIn profile development and avoid putting too much information out there. The use of keywords is critical when creating a LinkedIn profile. Sometimes people will overlook your age if they see you have the exact amount of experience they are looking for.
It’s standard practice nowadays for employers to check with references before deciding to hire a particular candidate. Now more than ever, it’s important to have credible references on your resume and to ensure they’ll give you a good review. Even going as far as staying in touch with your connections on LinkedIn will go a long way in making sure all your bases are covered when it comes to your references. Sometimes the best resumes that get you hired are the ones with the best references. Here are some quick ways to ensure your references are as helpful as possible.
Ask Your References Ahead of Time
Your reference may feel disrespected if they get a call from a potential employer on your behalf without you asking them first. This is especially true if you haven’t kept in touch with your reference for a while. If they are surprised to get a call about you, they probably won’t be as helpful since they weren’t prepared for the call. Just giving them a simple call ahead of time will go a long way in ensuring they help you out as much as possible.
Provide as Much Information About the Job as Possible
The best resume writing services will suggest giving your references details about the job you’re applying for. This will help them match the skills from your previous job to the one you want. Let them know the types of questions they’ll be asked so they’ll feel as prepared as possible. The last thing you want from your references is for them to be unprepared and not highlight your attributes as much as you’d like.
Choose Professional References Instead of Personal
The first thing a professional resume writing service will tell you is to use professional references instead of personal ones. If you lack work experience, you may have no choice but to use personal references, however. A potential employer assumes personal references will say as many good things about a candidate as they can since they are a family member or friend. Professional references will give more of an honest opinion and will be more likely to give them the information they want to hear about your skills and work ethic.
Thank Your Reference for Helping You
Once your professional reference agrees to help you out, be sure to thank them by sending a simple thank you note or taking them out to lunch to show your gratitude. After they answer questions from your potential employer, follow up with them to thank them again. You never know when you may need to use them as a reference again so show your appreciation as much as possible. Saying “thank you” is always a good thing.
There’s nothing more unattractive to a recruiter than generic language in a resume. That includes soft skills as well. Executive resumes should be specific and show exactly what you bring to the table, not just the soft skills most people will throw on their resume just because they sound good. The best resume writing services will tell you to scrap most of the soft skills, even if the job description requires them. Here are some of the most common soft skills you should avoid on your executive resume.
- Team Player
- Hard Worker
- Think outside the box
What do all of these soft skills have in common? A lot of people think they have them, so they just put them on their resume with the hope they’ll get recognized. There’s no way yours will stand out among the crowd when it uses the same language as the rest. If these are the only skills you can think of, consider using professional resume writing services when you’re ready to update your resume.
Why Don’t These Soft Skills Work?
Even if a job description requires certain soft skills, it doesn’t mean you have to use them in your resume. Instead, wait and describe those skills when you land your interview. Your resume is supposed to stand out among the rest, so your chances of getting noticed on paper will increase if you avoid them all together.
Skills to Use Instead
An executive resume service will ask you for examples of work you’ve completed recently at your current job. The reason is because they want you to use specifics instead of generic soft skills. Instead of saying you’re a hard worker, describe a situation where you stayed late or got up early to get a project done on time. Conversely, explain a time where you had to think outside the box instead of just writing the phrase.
It’s also important to remember the job you’re applying for. You may have skills that sound great in your current job, but they may not be a good fit for the job you want. This is where the help of professional resume writing services comes into the picture. They can help you identify what skills and experiences transfer from your current job to your new job, and recommend specific keywords to get you noticed.
If you’re unsure about what soft skills you should be putting on your resume, if any, be sure to get in touch with us. You will likely spend a lot of time writing your executive resume, so it’s always good to have a professional to review it and make suggestions!
The differences in resume formatting seem to be a little-known fact among job hunters. Most people have learned to write out a resume in one way or another and learn about any alternative methods later on in life, either when they no longer are submitting resumes to recruiters or are in the throes of a job search. Currently, there are two types of resume formats: functional and chronological. Both of them have their advantages. It will serve any executive resume writer well to know about both formats in order to decide which will better suit their needs.
You can think of a functional resume as something of a professional showcase. It is meant to underline what you can do. In other words, it’s about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you’ve gathered and developed. These two elements of your career history should receive the most focus on this type of resume. While chronological information can still be included, it should be kept brief and be written last.
Generally, you will write a functional resume so each skill you’d like to discuss serves as a header. You can then devote a few lines underneath to discuss what this skill entailed and how you’ve utilized it throughout your career positions. You will also have to talk a little bit about yourself at the top of the page, mainly about your academic and career history. Again, this should also be brief.
This format may prove useful for some executives in the middle of switching careers. However, it isn’t the best executive resume format in the eyes of hiring managers and recruiters. Using a functional resume may give off the impression you have large gaps in your work or academic history or you otherwise have some other detractor from your hireability you don’t want to divulge.
Unlike functional resumes, chronological resumes basically serve as a timeline of your career history. Resumes of this type list out your full work history from your newest position to your oldest, as well as a bit about your skill set and similar information. Under each position you list, you’ll also include a bit about the tasks you fulfilled, along with any accolades you’ve earned while there.
Those with a lot of experience in their chosen field will find this resume format the most helpful, as will newly graduated college students. Recruiters will also find this format much easier to sort through and read. However, this type of resume can be misleading when it comes to shorter career positions you’ve held, and your skills will be downplayed considerably.
We consider this to be the most useful resume format because it displays all important information up front with no risk of miscommunication. It is especially useful for downplaying any existing gaps in your work history. Every recruiter and hiring manager will recognize and accept this format so you’re far less likely to hurt your chances of gaining their interest. We recommend making chronological resumes your first choice!
Writing a resume is understandably tough. However, picking the right format can help move things along. If you’re still unsure of the best way to organize your resume, you can always consult the best resume writing services for suggestions on which resume format to use! Be sure to get in touch to get the help you need and land the job of your dreams!
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.
The task of finding your next job can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you don’t go about it the right way. While working with the best resume writing services and creating a solid executive LinkedIn profile can go a long way toward making you attractive to prospective employers, it’s important to learn how to walk the fine line between looking desperate and showing determination.
You spend a lot of time creating your resume so it seems like a lot of work to customize it to every employer you are considering. This can lead you to send out a mass resume mailing to every job you want. Unfortunately, sending carbon copies of your resume to every potential employer can actually cause you to lose your chance at the job. Instead, you need to do your research on every company you are considering and make minor adjustments that reflect the company philosophy and the exact requirements of the job to which you are applying.
Applying to Everything
If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, you may be tempted to start sending your resume out to every job listing you can find in the hopes of landing any job. While this may be necessary in some situations, it’s important to make sure you’re putting your executive resume in front of the right people. Think about what skills you have and which types of businesses are most likely to need someone with your skill set. An executive resume writer can help you focus on your skills and determine which job listings are worth your time.
Being Too Honest
Most people are aware they won’t get a job or could lose a job they thought they had if the employer finds out they have lied or exaggerated on their executive resume. While honesty is always the best policy, there is such a thing as being too honest. When you’re writing a professional resume and cover letter, there are some things you shouldn’t include, such as the exact reason you want the job, especially if it’s because of the pay grade, or your lack of experience. Instead, the best resume writing services will help you shine yourself in a positive light without stretching the truth or providing too much information.
While an executive LinkedIn profile may be a valuable tool in helping you get the job you want, your resume will still play a key role. Before you start your job search, however, it’s important to work with the best resume writing services to ensure you are taking the right approach to your job hunt. With their help, you can be sure you will make the best impression and increase your chances of landing the job you want.
Your executive profile can play a major role in whether you get hired for a job. If you aren’t using the best resume writing services to help you in your job search, you may find your resume is constantly rejected. Instead of giving up on your job search, consider whether one of these reasons applies to your resume.
1. An Overwhelmed Hiring Manager
Even hiring managers can become overwhelmed with too much information and may overlook your resume, especially if they feel the content is irrelevant. This is why it’s important to determine the exact information that impacts your ability to do the job and stick to that information alone.
2. Missing That Certain Something
Cover letter writing services can help you determine if you’re missing something critical that could be preventing you from getting the job. While sometimes this missing factor may be beyond your control, there may be other factors you need to highlight or potentially leave off your resume and cover letter for the best results.
3. Relocation Issues
If you’re applying for a job that requires you to relocate, one of the biggest issues can be when you are able to make the move. In some situations, your timeline may not line up with the requirements of the job. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are flexible with your moving plans to eliminate this issue.
4. You Don’t Have a Job
In many cases, employers are looking for people who are already currently employed. While unemployed individuals aren’t always in their situation due to their own fault, it seems like companies view it as a negative. However, this can be one of the most difficult elements to fix. It may work well to work for a temp agency for a while to flesh out your resume.
5. Staffing Agencies Can Also Hurt
While a staffing agency can be a great way to fill in your employment gap if you’re unemployed, going through one to get the job you want may not be your best option. Some hiring managers purposely ignore these resumes or put them at the bottom of the pile.
6. Incorrect Job Descriptions
You expect businesses to create accurate job listings, but like anyone else, individuals in charge can make mistakes. Because you use this description to create your executive profile, you may not be as good of a fit as you thought when errors exist.
7. Social Media Paints a Poor Picture
The best resume writing services may be able to make you look good on paper, but what do you look like online? More businesses today are using social media to determine if people are a good fit for their business. Before you apply, make sure you clean up your social media to eliminate anything that may be offensive or misconstrued in a negative light.
Writing a professional resume is often more difficult than you could imagine. This is why many people turn to a professional resume writing service. If you’ve been looking for a job and are having difficulty getting interviews, let alone the job you want, it may be time to look at your resume. Using these and other clichés could be the cause.
“I’m Very Enthusiastic”
It might seem like a good thing to be excited about a new job, and it is; however, this statement can actually make you sound desperate. You may really want the job, but saying so isn’t going to make it a reality. It’s up to you to show your prospective employer why you are the right choice, not why you are excited about the prospect of working there.
“I’m an Excellent Team Player and Can Work Independently”
These are buzz words the best resume writing services know are best left off of your resume. These are the phrases many candidates think employers want to hear. When they see it on a resume, though, they will be paying close attention to what the candidate does and says to back it up. They may want to see you are capable of working well with others, as well as on your own, but you shouldn’t have to spell it out. Your other words and actions should portray the message.
“I Have Extensive Experience In…”
Experience is important to land any job, but you need to be careful how you use this phrase. Using it to describe every work experience you’ve ever had, including part time employment or internships, weakens the phrase and causes it to lose meaning. While you’ll need some experience, you don’t need to overcompensate and exaggerate to land the job you’re looking for.
“I’m Passionate About…”
Passion can be an incredible thing in the working world, but it’s important to be honest about it. You may choose to use this phrase to describe an early interest in the field, when in reality, it was just an interest. For instance, you may claim you have been passionate about the environment since the age of 12 when applying for an environmental job. However, if you really consider it, you may have just started developing an interest in exploring the area further. It’s best to leave your passions out of your resume, at least until you have an interview.
Writing a professional resume takes attention to detail and careful consideration to ensure it has the right impact on a hiring manager. Avoiding these and other common resume clichés will ensure you are portraying your experience and value appropriately, all while capturing the attention of your prospective employer. Talking to a professional resume writing service about how to word similar phrases can help you make the best impression, giving you a better chance at obtaining the right job.