“Remodeling” Your Career in 2022

Career & WorkplaceLinkedInResumes

Today, while mindlessly browsing through social media, I came across an article containing a list of home trends that “are on their way out”.  Since I have just recently updated several areas of my home, I was intrigued and moved forward with reading, hoping that one of my remodeling projects wasn’t on the “out” list. I had only read a few snippets of the article when my mind wandered back to work, and I thought about what types of job search and resume trends have also been sent to pasture over the years? The following are some of the “ins/outs” to be thinking about as you embark on your next career “remodeling” project.

Your Resume:

In: Career Summary

Out: Objective

Starting at the top of your resume with the word “Objective” that tells the reader what you are “seeking” in your next career move is a big no-no, and OMG, so bland and boring. Just don’t. Instead, craft a compelling, leadership-focused, and keyword-saturated career summary that packs a punch and pulls the reader in wanting to learn more about you.

In: Accomplishments

Out: Daily job responsibilities

While you were hired to do certain tasks, those are not all that should be on your resume. Today’s resumes need to be accomplishment- and not task-focused. Use your career history section to show readers the impact you made in your past roles. Did your efforts result in revenue generation? Improvements in efficiency/productivity? Sharing the results of your work on your resume only enhances the reader’s understanding of the potential you have and the value you can offer in future roles.

 

Your Online Persona:

In: Presence on LinkedIn

Out: No presence on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s premier professional networking site for a reason – it works. Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just trying to build your brand and connect with peers in your field, LinkedIn is where you need to be. Sign up for initial services is free, and if you need additional features and can afford them, LinkedIn has them ready for you. Be sure you fill out all relevant sections to build your profile, and make your content engaging so that it builds your brand appropriately and markets you for you jobs in your field.

 

Your Job Search Acumen:

In: Networking, Recruiters, Resume Distribution

Out: Sitting by the phone

So many of our clients tell us that they aren’t getting calls for interviews. So, we ask, what are YOU doing to put yourself out there as a viable candidate? Just applying for a job doesn’t always do the trick. You need to apply, follow-up, and keep looking until you start hearing back from companies and actually have interviews set up. Even if you get an interview scheduled-that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job. It’s up to you to keep applying, networking, etc. until you land your dream job. Sitting by the phone day after day waiting for a call from the one company you applied to will only result in frustration and more than likely, no further along in your job search. Find a recruiter, network on professional sites like LinkedIn, and just get yourself out there. If you don’t know where to find a recruiter on your own, find a company that offers a resume distribution service where your resume can be sent out to literally thousands of recruiters in a matter of minutes.

YOU control the pace of your search and the number of places you apply. Make a list of companies and track when you applied, if you heard back, interview schedules, etc. If you are unemployed, your job search should be treated as a full-time job and deserves focus and time to get you to the next level.

 

Where to Find Jobs:

In: LinkedIn, Networking, Online Job Boards and Employment Sites

Out: One source shopping

Don’t just peruse your local newspaper (although many still do have a “Help Wanted” section) to look for jobs. Go online! Talk to your colleagues, family, and friends. Ask if they know of openings! Look on well-known job search sites and see what’s out there. Join groups and set-up alerts to be notified when a job that matches your skills/qualifications becomes available. LinkedIn has their own “Jobs” section to peruse. Use it to see what is available in your field/area. Have a specific company you’re targeting? Go directly to their website-you still may be redirected to another job search engine to apply, so make sure you apply per their instructions. If a job posting says “don’t call”, then don’t call. Always follow the application directions, because if you don’t, you may eliminate your candidacy up front. If you don’t have access to the internet, go to the library and use their tools/internet to look for jobs-just remember to completely logout out of any public computer so your personal information is not compromised.

 

Your Ability to Navigate the Job Market:

In: Knowing someone on the inside.

Out: What you know and what you have done will automatically get you in the door for an interview.

You have heard the saying “It’s not always what you know, sometimes it’s who you know…”? People would not still be repeating this phrase in the job market if there wasn’t some truth to it. In today’s competitive job market, many companies have a candidate in mind even before they post a job. YOU want to try to be that candidate. If you have a friend or former co-worker on the inside of a company you’re targeting, reach out to them. If they can give you some inside information to get you in the door – that’s great. Just be sure your contact has a good reputation with the company leadership. Otherwise, your credibility as a viable candidate may have just gone out the window.

As you are “remodeling” your career path, be sure the tools you are using and trends you are following are not outdated, so that you can optimize the time and effort you are putting forth as you pursue your dream job. If you are struggling with your career remodeling project, hire a professional. You would do it for your home improvement projects–why not for your career improvement projects?

 

 

Is Your Executive Resume On Target?

Resumes

Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.

Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…

THE BASICS:

Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.

  • In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
  • Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
  • If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.

THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:

Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.

Career Summary

  • Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.

Branding

  • Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
  • What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
  • You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.

Career Highlights

  • If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
  • Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?

Soft Skills

  • How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.

Board Leadership & Affiliations

  • Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).

Pandemic Information

  • How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?

Format

  • Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.

Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.

These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.

Updating Your Resume in 5 Quick Steps

Job SearchResume KeywordsResume WritingResumes

Has this happened to you?

A company you’ve had your eye on for a while suddenly has an opening. You are perfect for it. Not only are you perfect for it but it’s the perfect role for you. More seniority, increase in pay, remote work options, family-oriented, and so on.

You open up your documents and realized you haven’t touched your resume in eight years. Ack!

It can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, work from your most recent information, gathering what your job titles have been, what you’ve actually done in these roles, and what your career progression has been in those eight years. List your daily responsibilities, and what you were brought in to do.

Next, here are the top five things to quickly address:

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁. What impact did you have on the company? How did your role impact the bottom-line? What contributions did you make? Were you a decision-maker? Provide examples.

𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗮. Numbers and percentages prove your quantifiable contributions and success. A chart or graph is a great visual and works well if you have strong numbers. Have you helped increase revenue? Expanded the client base? Come up with a solution that cut costs, reduced risk, or played a key role in something? Talk about it and use numbers, when possible.

𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴. While some advanced formatting and graphic formatting is visually appealing, don’t clutter up your resume so much that it turns the reader off. Keep the format clean and consistent. Add bold where needed to differentiate daily responsibilities from accomplishments or to point out a key company name, etc. Finessing your format is so important. Having the right amount of formatting in combination with strong content creates a visually impactful and interesting read.

𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲. The no. 1 complaint I hear from recruiters is that the candidates applying for jobs aren’t a fit. Make sure you have the skills necessary for the position. If you don’t, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a role that isn’t meant for you. It only annoys the recruiters, and your resume will get permanently tossed.

𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗴! This is your chance to sell yourself and show what you can do. It’s OK to talk yourself up. You’ve earned it. You are the product, so show off what you’ve done and how what you did is unique and valuable to the next company. This is not the time to be shy or to step down and let someone else take the credit for what you’ve done. Strut your stuff!

Once you’ve got these basics covered, writing the rest of your resume should flow pretty easily for you. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

 

Is Your Executive Resume Interesting?

Resume WritingResumes
Is your executive resume interesting?
Is your executive resume interesting?

It happened…the call about the executive job of your dreams opening up just came through via your contact, and the HR Director wants to see your resume.  You might be ready to take the next step in your career, but is your resume ready for an executive-level position? Submitting a bland, non-focused resume with boring content will do nothing but get you taken off of the “call for an interview” list.

 

Moving on from a middle management position to the c-suite is not for the faint of heart, and your resume needs to show that you have the experience, skills, ROI, and drive to do the job, and do it well.  Writing your resume is not just including your career history and where you received your degree, it’s more about creating a document that tells the complete story of who you are, what you have achieved, how you achieved it, and the value you will provide at the next level…in a creative and exciting manner. Below are 5 quick tips that will help you to ensure that your updated resume effectively states “I’m ready for the c-suite and you need to hire me”…

 

Your format matters – People judge books by their covers! Start with an eye-catching format. While you don’t need to put so much color on your resume that it looks like the 4th of July blew up on your piece of paper, a pop of color will appeal to the reader and help your document to stand out right from the get-go. A font style that is clean and business-like is just as important.  Fancy scripts may look pretty, but they are difficult to read and you don’t want people having to work hard to read your text (and believe me, if they have to work hard, they aren’t going to read much past your name).

 

An exciting executive summary is a must – create a strong career summary that communicates what you have done in your career and the value you can provide at the next level. Include position and industry-specific keywords (not buzzwords…there is a difference!) that match your target position.

Highlight your biggest achievements – include a “Career Highlights” section to give a brief synopsis of your biggest accomplishments if you want. Hint: quantifiable achievements speak the loudest and make a stronger impact than just a bullet list of text. Graphs and charts tell a quick story as well!

 

Your career history needs to make a big impact in a small amount of time – if you are at an executive-level, it’s pretty safe to say that you have had quite a few years of employment under your belt.  Focus on your most recent work experience, and don’t go back more than 15 years into your career history (you can summarize the earlier stuff).  A chronological format is the easiest, most clean-cut way to do this.  The exception – if your career goals/new job are unrelated to your current job…then you will want to use more of a function format to show that you DO still have the skills and experience for the job you’re trying to land.

 

Your education information is not as important as your career history – so move it to the end of your resume. Like your career history, degrees received 15+ years ago are probably not going to be as important to the hiring manager as your most recent career experience. Include your degrees and any relevant certifications, but remove the years. The degree is what is important, not when you received it, and announcing “I’m really old…” on your resume is probably not going to win points with the hiring manager. Minimize ageism by eliminating years if they go beyond fifteen. Wow them with your accomplishments and skillset instead.

 

If you are being recommended for that coveted c-suite position, be sure you have a resume that can back-up up the recommendation.  Don’t embarrass yourself (or the friend that recommended you) by submitting a bland resume that does nothing to market you as the ideal candidate for the job.  Instead, take the time to update your resume and maximize your chances of being the candidate whose next phone call is “we’d like to offer you the position”!

 

I Was The Perfect Fit! Why Wasn’t I Hired?

Career & WorkplaceInterviewingJob SearchResumes


How many times have you felt you were PERFECT for that role, but still didn’t get it? You went over the interview in your mind a hundred times, noted how easily the conversation flowed, how they interviewer would nod enthusiastically when you described a certain experience or skill. They seemed excited when they said they would get back to you soon.

Then you got the email that you weren’t chosen.

Safe to say, I think we’ve all been there.

I’m a firm believer in if you didn’t get the job, something better will come along. Through the years, some of our clients have come back to us to tell us about interviews they nailed and were sure they got the job. But didn’t.

However, there are various reasons companies may choose a different route:

They decided to hire internally. As unfair as it sounds, they may have already had a front runner in mind but posted it anyway to see if there is someone better.  Some companies HAVE to post externally due to contract constraints or affirmative action plans. Federal contractors or government agencies may have to post externally as well.

You were overqualified.  Perhaps they think you won’t do tasks you deem “beneath you”. While it’s unfair for them to assume what you will or won’t do, it is a common concern. They may also fear that you will be bored at the job—especially if you’ve been on an impressive career track. Or, that after a while, you will leave and they’ll be back to square one.

You were underqualified. Thinking you’d be great in a role and actually having the experience to master the role are two different things. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you have the experience to apply for the role.

They already had another candidate in mind. It’s possible they already found their choice but they had to have a certain amount of candidates to interview to fill their candidate roster. It might be company policy that X number of people need to be interviewed before a choice can be made.

Your online presence wasn’t professional or up-to-date. Hiring managers check your social media profiles to learn more about you. Turn on your privacy settings if you have personal pictures or information on there. Also, if you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in a while (or years!), now is the time to do it. Lack of LI presence can hurt you as well. Get it up to date.

You shared too much. I’ve talked with recruiters who said the candidate told them their life story—the good, bad, and ugly—and in the process turned off the recruiter. Keep the conversation on the company, their pain points, how you can help them, and that’s it. Don’t talk about your jerk boss, your sick parent, or a personal health problem. They really don’t want to or need to hear it. Keep it professional.

You didn’t know enough about the company. Be very prepared when you go to the interview. Research the company, its mission, what they do, what they sell, or what they are about. Research the role, figure out their pain points. Have questions ready to interview the interviewer, questions like, “What should I know about the role I am seeking? Do you have any other insight?” Be both knowledgeable and inquisitive.

Whatever the answer, you may never know. You might have done everything right and still did not get the job. It might have been narrowed down to you and someone else, but they went with the other person because they had more strategy experience.

Either way, you gave it your all.

About two months ago, an operations exec said to me, “You know, after three rounds of interviews, they finally told me I wasn’t chosen. So, I reached out to a few old colleagues that resulted in a round of interviews with a company I was never interested in and an industry I wasn’t very familiar with. But they liked me and saw what my vision was for their company–and hired me. It has been the best job I’ve ever had.”

If you are struggling with job search, hang tight. The right job will come along.

4 Reasons Why a Professional Executive Resume Writer is Worth the Investment

BlogJob SearchProfessional ResumesResume WritingResumes

A resume today is perceived differently than it was several years ago. Your resume should not only highlight your past achievements. It should also clearly demonstrate why you are equipped to handle the particular job you’re applying for. This means the days of writing one general resume and sending it out to multiple employers are over. The best professional resume writers can help you target your resume for the short-term, while also setting a solid foundation for the long-term. Here are some of the main reasons why working with executive resume writer services is worth the investment.

Answer A Recruiter’s Questions On Paper

The best professional resume writers can anticipate questions a recruiter will have about your expertise and will work the answers directly into the resume. Not only could this potentially shorten your job search, but it may also help you prepare for an interview since you can get your mind thinking about the questions you may hear. Recruiters will always have questions for job candidates, but the more you can answer on paper, the fewer you will have to address verbally.

Highlight Achievements Without Bragging

It’s easy to write about your achievements when writing resumes and cover letters. However, you don’t want to come across as boasting. Sometimes you may not be intentionally bragging, so it’s always good to have another set of eyes look at your resume to make sure it doesn’t come across that way. Employers like confident employees, but tend to shy away from over-confident candidates.

Save Time

Writing resumes and cover letters on your own can take a significant amount of time. When you leave that task in the hands of professionals, you can spend your time on tasks like networking, boosting your online brand, preparing for potential interviews and actually applying for jobs. No one wants a job search to last longer than it has to, so save yourself valuable time by working with executive resume writer services.

Polish Your Resume For Your Lifetime

When you have a solid foundation for your resume, it’s possible only minor tweaks and updates will be needed for the duration of your career. However, developing the foundation can be challenging to do on your own without an expert to at least proofread it and make adjustments. Setting a foundation one time can set you up with a quality resume for the rest of your career.

Professional Resume Services hires only the best professional resume writers to serve you in the most effective manner. Our goal is to minimize your time spent on a job search by helping you be efficient with your strategies and taking some stress off of your plate. We strive every day to be perceived as a worthy investment for our clients. Feel free to contact us at any time if you’re in need of a solid foundation for your executive resume.

c-level personal branding

The concept of c-level personal branding seems simple enough, yet some professionals don’t quite understand the ins-and-outs of it. Personal branding is an ongoing process that can take years to develop, but only seconds to destroy completely. It’s impossible to boost your personal brand if you don’t make a conscious effort to make your name known throughout your industry and beyond. You could start with developing your LinkedIn profile, attending networking events or other functions. However, the real secrets to personal branding involve differentiating yourself and being completely authentic in everything you do.

c-level personal brandingDifferentiate Yourself

The idea of personal branding for senior level managers involves communicating the unique characteristics you offer to any individual or organization. The idea of differentiating yourself isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that often gets overlooked. Companies today always look for a candidate who stands out when they are in the hiring process. When you target and identify exactly what companies are looking for, then you can compare those needs to what you offer and present them in a unique way to differentiate yourself from the candidate pool. Differentiation is a key component of c-level personal branding.

Writing Can Demonstrate Your Personal Brand

Whether it’s on your LinkedIn profile, your resume, your personal blog or any other content, what you write and how you write it can demonstrate your personal brand. Your content should clearly show your expertise, the values you bring, your leadership style and what sets you apart from other people who have similar levels of expertise. As long as you are consistent in your writing, every single piece of content you publish will provide a boost to your c-level personal branding.

Always Be Authentic

In the world of technology and automation today, it’s easy to get away from authenticity. When you have to write your resume or LinkedIn profile by using certain keywords to be recognized, you could end up drifting away from your natural brand. The best thing to do is write and speak authentically and you’ll never have to question yourself or answer any tough questions. There are many different ways to make yourself stand out, but if you don’t do it authentically, then you aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favors.
Professional Resume Services understands the importance of personal branding for senior level managers. While our name suggest we are experts in resume writing, our expertise goes far beyond just resumes. We want to help executives boost their personal branding to give them a better chance at landing the jobs they desire. To learn more about personal branding and how to set yourself apart, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

The Ultimate Ways to Relax Before An Executive Interview

BlogInterviewingProfessional ResumesResumesSuccess Strategies
best professional resume writers

One of the first steps to getting the job you’ve always desired is finding a way to land an interview. But once you finally get the interview, it’s only natural to experience some nerves and anxiety before and during it. With all the time you spent writing resumes that get you hired, you can’t let a few nerves get in the way of completely dominating your interview. With that said, here are some proven ways to help you relax before you go into your executive interview.

Music Can Be Soothing

Even if you’re not a music lover, listening to the right type of music prior to your interview can help calm your mind a bit. Your heart rate is probably already elevated as you’re traveling to the interview, so avoid upbeat tunes. Instead, find some soothing music, like some classical music, to relax your mind and thoughts. You may be surprised at how relaxed you feel after just a few minutes.

Eat, But Don’t Overeat

When you’re preparing for your interview a few hours or minutes before it begins, it’s easy to forget about eating. The best professional resume writers will tell you to eat a small snack, like a granola bar, crackers, fruit or even as much as a sandwich. Walking into an interview on an empty stomach can make you jittery and cause you to not think straight at times. However, be careful with the amount you eat as well. Overeating can make you feel a little lethargic and cause you to not have as much energy as you need.

Work on Your Posture

Writing resumes that get you hired will only go so far. Your presentation during an interview is critical as well. Working on your posture also can help calm down some of your nerves and anxiety. When you’re sitting in the waiting area, be conscious about sitting up straight. And before that, practice standing straight up with your shoulders back. Simply incorporating good posture will increase your confidence levels and naturally decrease your nerves.

Be Confident in Your Preparation

You’ve visited an executive resume writing service, practiced interview questions and completed diligent research on the company you’re interviewing with. Confidence is one way to alleviate some anxiety, so trust that your preparation is good enough to do well in your interview. Thinking of yourself as an asset to the potential employer will also help you go in with the mindset of them needing you as much as you need them.
Professional Resume Services is an executive resume writing service, but we also help our clients throughout the job search process. Whether we can help you brush up your resume, social media accounts or provide advice on nailing an interview, we are always available to talk to you. Feel free to contact us at any time for more advice to help you feel more confident prior to your interview.