Five Excellent Ways to Kick off Your New Year’s Job Search!

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Many people put their job search on hold throughout the holiday season, and that’s ok! With the New Year here, now is the time to revamp your job search and kick it off the right way to set yourself up for a great 2017. No matter what stage you’re in with your job search, it’s never too late to get started. In fact, the tips we provide here are great for anyone, whether you’re just considering a new job or if you’re ready to send resumes to different companies.

1. Attend Networking Events

Even the best resume writing services will tell you the best way to put your resume to use is to network with other professionals. As an executive, your name has to be known in the industry to have any kind of credibility. So go out and make it a point to meet new people every week to kick start your job search!

2. Set Achievable Goals

Setting unrealistic goals can put a damper on your job search because it’s easier to get discouraged. If one of your goals is to grow your network, get in touch with an executive LinkedIn profile writer to help set you on the path of success.

3. Update Your Executive Resume

If you don’t have the skills for writing a professional resume, you’re not alone. That’s why many executives use the best resume writing services when it’s time to update their resume. There’s never a better time than the present to update your skills and accomplishments, so make it a priority to start the year.

4. Revamp Your Social Networking Profile

LinkedIn is one of the best tools to help you kick off your New Year’s job search. However, if it’s not developed properly, it could actually hurt your chances of landing the job you desire. If you need to, hire an executive LinkedIn profile writer to ensure everything you need to have on your page is there.

5. Be Open to Change

It’s easy to have tunnel vision when looking for a new job, but try to be as open-minded as possible. New career opportunities can come from anywhere, so if you have a closed mind you may end up missing out on a great new job.
The New Year is a great time to start your job search on the right note. If you need any more hints or help along the way, feel free to contact us.

Which Skills Are the Most Optimal for Any Job Search?

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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.

1. Writing

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.

3. Leadership

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.

5. Multilingual

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.

Could You Be Damaging Your Job Interview Success?

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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!

Job Searching at 50+: A Guide for Older Employees

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Older job seekers can benefit from executive resume services.

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.

How to Ensure Your References Are as Helpful as Possible

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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.

Don’t Include These Soft Skills on Your Executive Resume

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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
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Self-Motivated
  • Dynamic
  • Results-driven
  • 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!

Functional or Chronological: Which Is the More Effective Format for Your Resume?

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Use chronological as the best executive resume format.
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.

Functional Resumes

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.

Chronological Resumes

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!

Five Great Ways to Step up Your Resume Game

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Learn how to use the best executive resume format.

The best executive resume format will help you stand out.

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.