It’s widely understood that you have approximately six seconds to make an impression on a hiring manager with your resume—even for executives. The challenge is making the absolute most of those six seconds in creative ways without being too over the top. In some aspects, it’s good to have a traditional resume, but it won’t hurt to modernize it a bit. Of course, writing an effective resume in today’s competitive executive world can be difficult, so here are some tips for modernizing your resume for 2017.
Focus on the Top Third of the Page
This is a key factor for any resume, whether they’re traditional or modern. Modern resumes, however, allow for more creativity. For instance, consider adding a splash of color. When you talk to executive resume writers about the jobs you’re applying for, they may suggest using colors only for headings or in your personal information section, but not in your achievements. The top third of your resume is what recruiters see first, so it’s important for it to stand out.
Use the Right Amount of Creativity
Most professional resume writing services will tell you to avoid using vibrant colors for your resume if you’re applying for an executive position. If you overdo it, it will look like you’re applying for a graphics or marketing job. Executive recruiters tend to like traditional resume formats, so using the right amount of creativity to get noticed can be difficult. Instead of using bright colors, use different text sizes and bolding as an alternative.
Consider the ATS System
Many executive resume writers tend to shy away from a lot of creative things like tables, text boxes, charts and other similar objects. The reason is if an employer runs your resume through an ATS system, it may not be able to recognize keywords. You can still modernize your resume by using a larger text size, bolding, italics, underlining, highlighting and other features to highlight specific accomplishments. This will ensure your keywords remain intact and you’ll also have a resume that stands out among the rest. On the other hand, not all companies use an ATS system and you want to add a bit of formatting creativity to appeal to human eyes as well (i.e. human resources, recruiters, hiring managers, etc.).
Writing an effective resume takes some time and skill, and that’s exactly where Professional Resume Services excels. If you’re looking to modernize your executive resume this year, feel free to contact us at any time.
Going through a layoff is never easy. However, depending on how you handle it, you could end up in a better position in the long run. The main thing to remember is you never want to burn any bridges with your past employer. Layoffs happen for a variety of reasons, so there could be a chance for you to return in the future. Once you get laid off, however, the top resume writing services should be used to help get your resume brushed up. Here are some other things to keep in mind when dealing with an executive layoff.
Accept it With Dignity
Accepting the fact that you’ve been laid off can be difficult. In order to bounce back better than ever at your next venture, you have to be able to accept the layoff for what it is. Working with professional resume writing services can help with the process, since you’ll be forced to think about your achievements. Once you’ve come to accept what’s happened, you’ll be better equipped to move forward.
Figure Out Your Next Steps
Take some time and figure out exactly what you want to do. Did you already have a plan B just in case a layoff happened? Or did the layoff completely catch you by surprise with no backup plan? In either scenario, you have to really think about what you want to do next and don’t rush into a decision you may regret later.
Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself
A layoff can damage your self-confidence. However, feeling sorry for yourself won’t do any good and it definitely won’t help your chances of landing a new job. You need to craft specific resumes that get you hired, so get back in the game as quickly as possible to restore your confidence level.
Network to Get Back in The Game
Networking can work wonders after a layoff. You would be surprised at how many people can relate to your situation, so talking with other executives can help you handle your layoff much better. Just be sure to visit the top resume writing services before you get deep into networking, so you can pass along a resume while you’re there.
A layoff can be a difficult and life-changing event. Feel free to reach out to us for professional resume services to help you feel better about your layoff.
Experienced executives may be surprised at how resumes have evolved within the last few years since they updated theirs. In general, the information included in today’s resumes is very similar to what it was dozens of years ago, but the presentation has definitely changed. This is why many executives tend to use professional resume writing services to ensure their resume is up with the times. Let’s take a look back at how executive resumes have evolved over time and where they are currently.
Printed or Electronic?
Most professional resume writing services will suggest utilizing both printed and electronic versions of your executive resume. Printing out your resume and physically handing it to someone may seem old school, but it’s really the only guaranteed way you know they will look at it. With so many jobs posted online today, it can be easy for electronic copies to get lost in the shuffle. However, many companies rely on electronic resumes for keyword searching, so it’s still important to send it electronically as well.
Visual and Digital Resumes
Visual and digital resumes have become more popular over the last few years. They give you the ability to show off your creativity by demonstrating a skill or providing a work product you created electronically. However, the top rated resume writing services caution you about using this method in certain industries. These types of resumes are generally frowned upon when searching for an executive job, but a marketing or creative design hiring manager would likely appreciate it.
What is Best for Executives?
When executives craft their resume, it’s best to keep it simple and professional and make the important points stand out. The best executive resume writers can highlight relevant attributes within a standard resume format to make it pop out at the reader.
Hiring managers for executive positions tend to be traditional when it comes to the type of resume format they want to see. However, making your resume look exactly like everyone else’s is a good way to get yours passed over.
If you need to use professional resume writing services to get tips and tricks on your executive resume format or for any other help, feel free to contact us at any time. Crafting your executive resume is an art, so it’s important to find a good balance between what hiring managers want to see and what is going to get yours noticed over all the other applicants.
Considering the current state of the employment world, it’s commonplace for people to have employment gaps. However, a gap of a few months is much different than gaps of a few years. When you use an executive resume writing service, you can easily hide the small gaps or they can help you clearly explain the longer gaps. The main thing is to not let any employment gaps deter you from applying for executive positions. There are many ways to address the gaps where they won’t be a problem.
Don’t Worry About the Small Stuff
If you only had a few months of unemployment, you probably don’t even have to acknowledge it in your resume. Many professional resume writing services will only include the years of employment rather than months anyway. A few months here or there shouldn’t raise any red flags.
Be as Honest as Possible
Nowadays it’s completely understandable for someone to take time off from employment to go back to school or to raise kids. If you had a situation like that, the best thing to do is be honest about it. You can explain in a sentence in your cover letter that you took time off to raise your family or to seek higher education. Place the section right in line with your employment history and you likely won’t be questioned about it in a negative way.
The tricky part is if you took time off to do other things like travel the world or if you just didn’t like your previous job. For those situations, you may need to consult with some of the top resume writing services to help you address the employment gap in a professional way that won’t hurt your chances of getting an interview.
Include Volunteer, Consulting, or Unpaid Experience
No matter what your initial reason was for leaving your previous job, you can easily fill the gap with any volunteer work, consulting, or unpaid experience you got. Some people believe they are ready to retire, but then realize they have to stay busy. Volunteering for several hours each week or gaining valuable experience elsewhere could be great ways to fill your employment gaps.
If you consulted during this time, that counts as a position! Gather up what you did and add that to your resume as a role. Adding that experience will be a benefit and show the reader that you were still working.
The main takeaway professional resume writing services will tell you is to not worry too much about employment gaps. There are plenty of creative ways to fill those gaps to make them a non-issue, so feel free to reach out to us if you need assistance.
A question that comes up periodically that I wanted to address is people wonder whether they should include any hobbies or volunteer work on their resume. The short answer is: it depends. Most of the time, these things won’t hurt your chances of landing a job interview. However, you have to be smart about what you include. If you are at an executive level, leave them off. If you are entry level or professional level, or a non-corporate profession hobbies and volunteer work can be used to help your chances, but you need to keep these tips in mind.
Be Smart About Which Hobbies to Include
Stay away from including any hobbies revolving around politics or religion. Both of these are controversial topics, and can hurt your personal branding. There are very few jobs out there where including these types of hobbies could actually help your chances of getting an interview. Otherwise, you’re taking a big risk of offending the person reviewing your resume. You don’t want them to throw your resume aside because of your political or religious views.
Volunteer Work is Generally Good to Include
There generally isn’t anything wrong with incorporating volunteer work or community outreach into your resume. In fact, most of the top rated resume writing services will encourage you to include community involvement over hobbies. Volunteering demonstrates to a potential employer that you like to be active in the community. The more well rounded you are, the better you will appear on paper. Volunteering is also a great way to network, so there is a business aspect to it.
Focus on Hobbies Beneficial to the Job
Make sure the hobbies you include on your resume pertain to the job in some way. If you are going for a horticulture role and in your free time grow a specific kind of plant, then yes, add that. For example, it won’t do any good to talk about your passion for cooking if you’re searching for an executive job. However, if you frequently play golf, it could be attractive since companies like to take clients or business partners out for golf if they share the same passion.
A good rule of thumb to go by is hobbies won’t be the reason you get an interview, but they can be the reason you don’t get one. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with the hobbies or volunteer work section of your resume.
When it comes to networking, you don’t always have to step completely out of your shell to meet new people. One of the common misconceptions people have about networking is you have to attend professional events to make new contacts. However, sometimes you can make a professional contact just by living your daily life and being friendly. Here are some unique ways you can expand your network without having to attend a professional networking event.
Volunteering is always good to do anyway, but you also never know whom you might meet in the process. Strike up a conversation with your fellow volunteers and learn a little more about their life from a personal and professional standpoint. Plus, volunteering will help with your LinkedIn profile development and you can connect with other people who have volunteered with the same organization (possibly in other cities as well).
2. Go to the Gym
The gym generally isn’t a place people expect to make good networking contacts. However, just talking to the person next to you could lead to good conversations about a variety of topics. Just don’t be overly pushy when trying to strike up a conversation. Sometimes people want to stick to themselves when they’re at the gym, so be sure to recognize these cues and don’t bother people who want to stay to themselves.
3. Church Groups
Most professional resume writing services won’t ask you to put any church organizations on your resume, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable for networking purposes. Depending on how active you are in your church group, you could make some lifelong friends and quality business contacts just by participating in events.
4. Just Be Friendly
You don’t need a LinkedIn profile writing service to tell you friendliness is the best way to make good connections. You can network just about anywhere you go. The grocery store, the park, restaurants and anywhere else could be perfect for networking if you are friendly. Most people don’t mind talking to other people and being friendly. You never know where the conversation might lead. There are a lot of interesting people in the world who could help your professional growth; you just have to find them!
You don’t have to be skilled at LinkedIn profile development in order to grow your network. For other networking tips and to learn how you can approach people in a professional manner, feel free to contact us at any time.
Once you’ve made the decision to start your career or change careers, you’ve finished the easy part. Now the job hunting process begins, and it can be mentally and physically draining. The first thing you have to learn is the key to writing an effective resume in order to have a chance at landing the job you want. However, that’s not the only aspect of getting a job. With so many approaches and tactics candidates use to get recognized, you need to know the best ways to get noticed. Here are my top three secrets you need to know regarding the job hunting process.
Most Jobs Are Discovered By Networking
If you spend hours a day searching through online job boards, you are wasting a lot of time. Since employers receive hundreds or thousands of applications through online job boards, it’s a minor miracle if yours gets noticed. Your time may be better spent attending networking events for the career you want to pursue.
Check out some professional resume writing services to have a top-notch resume ready to hand out to potential employers and recruiters. You will be surprised at how many jobs come from knowing someone within the industry rather than sending in a resume online or through email.
Employers Search Social Networks
Before you begin any sort of job search, you need to clean up your social media profiles. Most employers will search your name online to find out what you post and try to figure out your lifestyle. If you have embarrassing photos or post vulgar comments to your profile, you will quickly eliminate yourself from consideration. I can’t tell you how many rude political comments I’ve seen on FB and LinkedIn that will be an instant turnoff. Hold your tongue.
You should also spend a decent amount of time on LinkedIn profile development. LinkedIn is a trusted source for recruiters, and they will use it more often than not. Use the platform as an opportunity to showcase your skills and add on to what your resume already says.
Recruiters Don’t Spend Much Time Reading Resumes
On average, a recruiter will spend about six seconds reading a resume. Because of this fact, the key to writing an effective resume is to make it stand out immediately. Don’t ramble on about your experience or accomplishments. Summarize them as much as possible in bullet points or another easy-to-read format. Use bold and underlined text to also draw the reader’s attention to the areas you want them to focus on. By following these tips, your resume will stand out.
Depending on how you use the Internet and social media, you could accelerate your job search or cause it to crash and burn. Thousands of jobs are posted online every day and there are many more thousands of people searching for jobs. Statistics show your chances of getting a job solely through an online presence are extremely low. Crafting the perfect resumes that get you hired will only go so far if you don’t have a personal connection with a recruiter or company. The Internet can be a valuable tool when used properly so here are three little-known ways to take advantage of it.
Have an Online Influence
LinkedIn is a great way to increase your online presence and influence. You hear me talk about this time and again. LinkedIn is key. The more connections you have, the better you will look online. Having hundreds of connections means you are a potentially valuable resource for generating new business, with the ability to bring in more talent and market a brand. However, having online connections you don’t really know well are just false senses of influence and could hurt your reputation.
Stalk Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are great for learning about a company’s office culture. Even if you use top rated resume writing services to craft your resume, you won’t get the job you want if you don’t fit into their culture. Companies use social media to attract their target customers and employees. If a company uses a professional approach on their social media platform, you should use that same approach when contacting them. Alternatively, if you notice their style is more laid back, you can cater toward that writing and communication style to fit in better.
Create Multimedia Resumes
Simply uploading resumes to job boards is ineffective, thanks to the high saturation of resumes already flooding in. Plus, they clog your email with spam. Stay away if you can. No matter how many professional resume writing services you use, it’s difficult to get recognized among hundreds or thousands of resumes. Now you can use the Internet to create multimedia “resumes” to break up the monotony.
Instead of uploading a traditional resume, create a website or a blog to highlight your attributes. You could make a short video to introduce yourself, talk about your skills and provide examples and work products for recruiters. This is your chance to be as creative as you want in order to set yourself apart from the rest of the job seekers.
With these three tips, you can use the Internet to your advantage to land a new job. Your creativity, combined with the help of professional resume writing services, could put you ahead of the curve.
Autumn can be a refreshing time of year, both from a weather perspective and for job seekers. You’ve gotten through the tough summer months and may feel a little worn down after applying for jobs consistently. The good news is autumn brings out new opportunities since school is back in session and newly graduated students aren’t flooding the market. Now is the time to get involved with your LinkedIn profile development and touch up your resume to revamp your job search!
Learn New Skills
If you’ve struggled with getting the job you desire, consider taking online classes or certification programs. The best professional resume writing services will suggest adding any type of educational experience to your resume, especially if you don’t have a significant amount of relevant work experience. Not only will learning new skills boost your confidence, but employers might even be more attracted to your resume because of your commitment to continuing your education.
Open Your Thoughts
It’s easy to get caught up in the repetitiveness of applying for certain jobs. You could be leaving some great jobs on the table due to tunnel vision. Open up your thoughts a bit and look at other opportunities. These may or may not be relevant to the jobs or experience you’ve had in the past, but the goal is to broaden your horizons.
When you look at other job opportunities, you may realize you’re more qualified for those than the ones you’ve been looking for. Alternatively, you could find a field that interests you enough to look into taking continuing education classes to learn more. Professional resume writing services will encourage you to broaden your view of your job search so you don’t get bogged down and find yourself in a rut.
Consider Temporary Jobs or Contract Work
The best executive resume format will highlight your attributes and indicate you’re open to a variety of opportunities. However, you don’t want to seem desperate. Sometimes companies simply aren’t hiring full-time employees, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. You may be able to find a temporary job or a contract position to help get valuable experience.
The autumn months are unique because companies don’t necessarily hire a lot during the holidays. If you are able to work as a contractor or hold a temporary position through the holidays, you may even be brought on full-time after the first of the year; and if not, at least you have something else to put on your resume!
Seasonal changes can be refreshing to job seekers, and professional resume writing services know this. Autumn is a great time to rejuvenate your job search.
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!