March 3, 2017: Professional Resume Services is pleased to announce a member of their writing staff has been granted a Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM) award, as bestowed by Career Directors International. This award comes with the title of “Certified Executive Resume Master,” currently held by 18 resume professionals internationally, including owner, Erin Kennedy. With this title comes the security that a professional resume writer is one of the highest-ranked in the industry—as well as increased trust from executives looking for job search assistance.
To qualify for the CERM award, the resume writer in question must first receive one of the following certifications: ACRW, CMRW, MCRS, CARW, CRS, MRW, CMRS, CPRW, and/or NCRW. They must also possess a sizeable portfolio displaying their expertise in the major aspects of executive resume crafting, such as formatting and personal branding. Once these criteria have been met, the executive resume writer can apply for the award. Applications require a fee, completion of the CDI Executive Competency Review and four samples of previous work pulled from the applicant’s professional portfolio. After four weeks, the applicant will receive notification of their award status directly from the CDI.
Through this new achievement, Professional Resume Services obtains further accreditation and proof of their industry prowess. You can learn more about their services by calling 877-970-7767 or visiting their official website. Congratulations to the winning writer for this outstanding accomplishment!
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.
Navigating today’s demanding and ever-changing job market is tough—no matter what age you are. If you’re 50 or over, however, learning the ropes can be even more of a challenge. It’s highly likely that it’s been years upon years since you last searched for a job, and the market has changed tenfold since you were in this position.How do you navigate this strange new territory?How do you reach out to the people you want to hire you?Just what is the key to writing resumes that get you hired in today’s world?We have a few tips on things to avoid to help make your search easier.
Regardless of age, it never hurts to learn new things—information, viewpoints and especially skills. Think about the skill set you have now. How well does it sync up with the job listings you’ve seen this decade? Are there any skills you’ve seen that have stumped you, or that you know you have no idea how to perform? Don’t let this become a detriment to you and hurt your chances of getting hired!While you’re searching for a new career, it would serve you well to start looking into expanding your skill set by taking some adult educational classes. If you aren’t good with computers and other electronic devices, now is the time to learn. If you need to be familiar with a certain kind of software to qualify for the positions you’re seeking out, consider seeing if your nearest learning center has classes for it.
A Lacking LinkedIn
You’ve very likely heard of LinkedIn at some point during your professional career. It’s a business-oriented social networking site and has become increasingly important in recent years. Most professionals today use it to network with other people in their industry, meaning if you don’t have a LinkedIn account of your own, you’ll want to invest some good old time and effort into putting one together and keeping it active and updated.You never know who might notice you on LinkedIn, especially since so many of today’s hiring managers use the site to find potential candidates. If you can’t make heads or tails of LinkedIn, you can even hire a professional LinkedIn profile writer to lend you a hand.
Because you’ve been in the workforce for so long, especially as a senior-level professional, you’ve racked up a lot of accomplishments. While this is certainly commendable and even worth acknowledgment, you should keep in mind that by looking for new work, you’re much closer to square one than it may seem. Be humble about your skills, and don’t limit yourself as far as the positions you can acquire. Similarly, you don’t want to be too meek and cheat yourself out of a great position. Simply communicate, connect with every fellow professional you meet and don’t let your personal opinions get in the way of your search.
And don’t forget you can always rely on a professional resume writing service for help with your job search and to help you maneuver through today’s job market!
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!
You never thought this would happen to you, but it has. You’re 50+ in age and find yourself suddenly out of work, struggling to keep your head above water in a job market you no longer recognize, which bears no resemblance to the Greensheets and wanted ads you pored over during your youth. What should be a time for planning for your retirement is now filled with uncertainty, stress and scrambling to recover from your loss.
We understand what a shock this can be. The job market has indeed changed tremendously and will take some adaptation if you want to find success. If you are 50 or over and trying to find work, we dedicate this article for you. Follow these tips to help the process of getting back on your feet go a little more smoothly.
Research Your Prospects
Unfortunately, not all companies are receptive to older workers and seek out only those of younger generations. You don’t want to accidentally wind up in an office culture that’s unwelcoming to you. Look for companies currently experiencing turnover, as they and you will have similar goals—maintaining a long-term position in your field.
Work on Your Resume
This is especially true if it’s been a very long time since you’ve pounded the pavement, so to speak. If you haven’t already been keeping your resume up-to-date, you’ll want to modernize it as soon as possible to help boost your appeal to employers. You’ve racked up all sorts of great experience over the years, after all. Now it’s time to put it to use and show it off! Of course, you’ll have to adapt your resume to suit what today’s employers are looking for.
Focus on your strengths and tailor your resume to the types of positions you’re seeking out. Nailing your resume can be a tough job, even for those who have been immersed in today’s job market more recently. If you find you need a little extra help, you can always turn to a team of the best professional resume writers!
If your industry or former company is particularly stagnant, you may not have had to learn or deal with many of the technological requirements you’ll need to know for today’s jobs. Try enrolling in an adult learning course to brush up on your skills if you find yourself being hit with the same skill you lack over and over. This will look great to your prospective employers, as they will know you’re willing to embrace change and can bring this can-do attitude with you into their office.
Simultaneously, you may want to learn more about LinkedIn profile development and how you can utilize LinkedIn to network efficiently with other people in your field (and your shoes)!
Make no mistake about it: job boards are a thing of the past. In the past, you may have posted your resume on a job board and had a reasonable shot at getting a new job opportunity; however, the way skilled workers find jobs has changed. The vast majority of these boards have become black holes for your executive bio and resume.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and, most notably, LinkedIn are beginning to make traditional job boards obsolete. Recently, around 2-4% of people posting resumes on a traditional job board found employment. Individuals employing networking tactics on various social media sites found a career 40-50% of the time.
We’re not mathematicians, but it seems like networking is just a little bit more successful for most seeking employment. If you look at things from a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s standpoint, we can see why. Would you rather hire someone you only know from a piece of paper or an individual who has been personally recommended to you by someone you know and respect?
Your job search doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here are a few more reasons why traditional job boards don’t work:
- The Black Hole
Companies get hundreds, if not, thousands, of responses to online job board postings. Then they send every resume to a system that reviews and ranks their skills, experience and more. The hiring manager only looks through the top 10-20% of resumes sent in. The vast majority of resumes never even see human eyes when you submit via a job board.
- Not the Best Gigs
Most of the best jobs never even hit the jobs boards. Many hiring managers have stopped posting on these boards altogether. Companies have started using recruiters and networking to find the right type of talent without having to spend days under hundreds of resumes.
- The Wrong People
When you submit your executive profile to a job board, you’re not putting your information in front of any decision makers whatsoever. Your resume ends up in front of a lackey whose job is to reject you for any reason. If you want to get in touch with someone who can make a decision, you’re much better off using social media sites and developing your networking skills.
- LinkedIn is King
If you get a hiring manager to speak honestly, they prefer to find candidates through LinkedIn more than any other way. LinkedIn is up-to-date and current. Successful employees use LinkedIn to further their career. People with decision-making power know this. That’s why they use the site to find the people they really want to hire before aggressively pursuing the candidate.
Getting Back in the Game?
Are you looking for employment? Ready to dust off the ole’ executive bio and profile? If so, you’ll want to be on the top of your game. It’s a competitive job marketplace out there, it’s important to give yourself an edge whenever you can. Successful job seekers know how to work their network and find the best job.
Why would an expert suggest that being less responsible at work is a good idea? But that is exactly what Dorie Clark, a marketing strategist and professional speaker who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business says in the Ideas section of Time. Why You Should Be Less Responsible at Work goes against some opinions about making yourself irreplaceable and takes a look at a larger perspective of your career path.
Get The Right Things Done
The main focus of Ms. Clark’s advice is that in order to lead, you have to learn to prioritize what your responsibilities entail. That means figuring out the 20% of your to-do list that yields the 80% of your results. It also means learning to procrastinate strategically by doing something appealing instead of the job you are stuck on — but making your procrastination activity something else on your list of things that need to get done. It also means learning to delegate.
Delegation is not just passing off your work to somebody else. Delegation is a skill that successful CEOs do all the time as they build a team of people who take pride in their contributions. At the other end of the career path, there isn’t much to delegate yet, but you can learn that sometimes saying NO to others is saying YES to yourself.
It’s far too easy to fill our agenda with tasks that look busy but don’t actually give much reward. It’s also too easy to take over all the little responsibilities that others neglect and neglect your own because you are busy doing too much. Learning how to prioritize effectively, to procrastinate strategically, and to delegate appropriately is good advice for all of us.
Recently, I was honored to be among industry experts discussing current trends in resumes and cover letters on a Mashable Biz Chat. Tracy Edouard, Marketing and Communication at Mashable, gives us the highlights of Mashable’s #BizChats Twitter chat on how to transform your resume and cover letter for the better and you can see different professional perspectives on these questions:
- Is it important to have both a cover letter and resume when submitting job applications? Why or why not?
- How can someone truly make their resume stand out from the competition?
- What features are important to showcase on someone’s resume? (GPA, school, skills, etc.)
- What are employers and recruiters looking for in resumes and cover letters?
- What are the biggest cover-letter mistakes professionals are making?
- How important is design when it comes to creating a resume and cover letter?
- What are the top resources available for resume and cover letter support?
- What final tips do you have about creating great resumes and cover letters?
These are all good questions. And the input from the various professionals involved is valuable without a doubt. But do you know what the most striking thing about this Twitter chat is?
There Isn’t An Excuse For An Ineffective Resume & Cover Letter
We have the ability to pull experts from all over the place for a chance to pick their brains. Every expert tweeting is linked to a site with a wealth of information, and there is no reason a job seeker with access to an expert can’t get expert advice. Much of that advice is free, too!
The overwhelming consensus is that you can have an effective resume and cover letter by putting the right effort into it. Sometimes that effort involves doing the research on current trends and revamping it yourself, sometimes it takes a resume critique from a professional to help you see what needs to be done, and sometimes your best investment is in a professional resume service.
The help you need to have a powerful resume and cover letter is out there and you can find it easily, along with a wealth of career advice from experts in your field.
Some of us liked math class, and some of us did not (I am in the latter group). But like it or not, numbers are essential in your career, from resume to retirement and everywhere in between. Job performance numbers are particularly useful for at least three reasons:
- they look good on your resume
- they help with salary negotiations
- and they give you confidence
Performance Numbers Validate Your Resume
When you can state that your work for a past employer resulted in a 15% increase in sales, that is an authoritative statement. It had better be a true statement that you can back up with more information, too! The fact is. illustrating your success with hard numbers always gets a good ROI on your resume because it is specific proof of your worth. Employers looking for a good return on their investment in hiring you will be impressed.
Performance Numbers Bolster Your Salary
When you come into a salary negotiation equipped with the numbers showing your worth, you have a powerful argument for getting a raise or added benefits. You have provided the company with more profit and are worthy of a bigger wage. Again, the numbers need to be backed with additional information so it can be verified if questions come up. If you are due for a salary increase, be prepared to bolster your claims with the numbers to prove it.
Performance Numbers Boost Your Confidence
When you are keeping track of what you do at work and the difference that it makes, there’s a record of your valuable input. Even something as simple as attendance means you were on the job — and if you are tracking all the numbers of your particular job you should see which numbers will be valuable for your resume and salary negotiations. You will also begin to see indications and trends in your personal work habits and opportunities that will help you establish goals.
Keeping track of your own job performance numbers puts you in control of your own career.
Are you one of those people who talk when they are nervous? It’s pretty easy to do — and very damaging to your career if you don’t learn how to control it. That old adage about having two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as you talk is actually good advice for every part of your working world, from the interview to get the job to the moves into management and executive leadership.
The Big Mistake You Can Make
When you sit down for an interview, one of the big questions in the interviewer’s mind is what you will be like to work with. It’s a valid question because most jobs do involve some level of teamwork. So in order to answer the big questions, the way you answer smaller questions is observed. Speaking without listening is a red flag because it indicates that since you don’t listen here, in the job interview, you won’t listen later, on the job.
If you are rehearsing your “hire me” job spiel in your head, waiting for the chance to present it, then you aren’t going to be hearing the questions they ask. You’ll be answering the questions you think they will ask — and that is not the same thing at all.
It is a good preparation tactic to think through questions that may be asked in an interview. But that’s not a script you are rehearsing, and the interview may not involve those questions at all. It’s better to make sure you actually hear what is being asked so you can answer the question.
The Leadership Skill of Listening
One of the reasons that the skill of listening is a mark of leadership is because truly hearing what people are saying gives added perspective to a problem so it can be solved. Listening is a mark of respect for the speaker, and true leaders value those on their team as important contributors. Learning how to listen is part of honing your interview skills, but being able to listen and contribute value to the conversation by being on the same page is a skill you will need all your life.