How to Write an Executive Resume When You Don’t Have a College Degree

EducationJob SearchResume Writing

Do you know what one of the most common concerns I hear from clients?

“I don’t have a degree.”

Executive job seekers come to us to rewrite their resumes and in doing that we need to create their story. For some people, that does not include education. Or, they started it, the job got busy, and they never finished. It’s more common than you might think.

Many top performers we speak with have gone on to very successful careers despite not finishing their college degrees. Most started at companies and grew their way up the corporate ladder to reach high levels of success.

Not just our clients. Many famous people have done very well without a college degree.

Is A College Degree Always Necessary?

Why does an education matter? Obviously, it does for certain fields—medical doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., but not all require it.

I recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn to see how many people actually used their college degree in their job today.

The poll had 11,845 votes and over 261K views.

30% said they use their degree every day.
34% said they do not use it and are in a different field.
36% said they use it somewhat.

So, only a third of the people who responded use their degree in their jobs every day. Yet, many companies (not all) still insist on a college education. However, in the comments, many recruiters admitted that the companies really didn’t care if they had education or not. The experience of the candidate would help be the deciding factor.

Interesting.

This tells me that while education does matter for certain jobs, most of the time companies are looking for the right fit.

Case Study

One of my clients, “Dave” came to us to write his resume. He started at a small manufacturing company during his senior year in high school. His supervisor saw his drive and started promoting him from stocker, production associate, and production team leader to eventually securing more senior leadership roles like assistant manager and operations manager.

When Dave started at the company it had 13 employees and revenues of around $7MM. When he came to us, he helped grow it to 119 employees and $148MM. The ideas he implemented played a key role in helping this company grow to where it is today. He was ready to use his talents at another company and see where it would take him.

In the first few years he was with the company, he went to community college for two years but stopped after he got his two-year (associate’s) degree. He just didn’t have time for it while working at the company.

I see this happen so often with our clients—starting off young, helping a company grow to new levels, and yet, when it comes time to write their #resumes, they falter a bit, and their confidence dips.

According to Glassdoor dot com, on-the-job training and success matter more than a four-year degree. Corporate training that you’ve received is a skill set needed for a leadership position.

Writing your resume is easier to do when you have a strategy of how to do it and how you want your message to come across.

Here are a few things to consider:

💼 𝙁𝙤𝙘𝙪𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙚.

What departments have you built? How many people did you manage? What did you do to help the company grow? How did your contribution get them to the next level?

Also: what kind of a leader are you? What is the feedback you receive from your boss AND your team? How your team looks to you says a lot. Don’t be afraid to gather up testimonials from people who worked for you. If you built out an exceptional team, you could say something like:

“Led efforts to identify, secure, engage, and retain top-tier talent and cultivate a diversified entrepreneurial team to deliver optimal results; managed succession planning, attaining a 2% annual turnover rate across 102 employees.”

This bullet shows how this client built, grew, and led a team ending up with very little turnover. He established a culture within the team that made it a place where people wanted to work– and they thrived.

💼 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙤𝙛𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙭.

When you rose through the ranks, you increased revenue, your sales numbers skyrocketed, etc. Don’t be afraid to use numbers if you have them. Certain roles (like sales) usually end up with percentages or dollars. Don’t worry about how much or how little. Percentages and sales show your effort and growth. Like this:

“Developed a model to optimize short stay options across the residential portfolio to support a $200M regional capital project; negotiated the rental of 30 furnished apartments, expanded the model to 56 units, achieved 100% occupancy for 5 years and subsequently transitioned the units to university housing with a 98% annual occupancy rates.”

This bullet is loaded with numbers, proves his success, and also grabs the eye. Numbers and percentages stand out so add them where you can.

💼 𝙃𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙.

What are you known for? What do people go to you for? What do you specialize in? This is a very common struggle job seekers struggle with, no matter what level they are at. And often, it comes slowly, through time and experience.

For example, when I started writing resumes I was writing every type of resume I could get my hands on, basically to gather experience. But as time went on, I noticed more and more finance and tech clients started finding me. This built my brand as a finance and tech writer.

Having a consistent brand in these fields is what eventually led to landing the Wall Street Journal contract as their resume writing partner. They heard about me and my team and what we specialized in (at that time) and my brand is what got their attention.

Once you have an idea of what you are known for, that is something you want to lead with on your resume. Make sure it stands out and is front and center. Don’t make hiring managers or recruiters look for it, because they won’t.

💼 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙛𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝘿𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙥𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙨!

Are you listing your credentials or professional development? These all count in your skills section. Things like:

– Advanced training courses?
– Certifications?
– Did you write anything that became published in your area? White papers? Blog posts?
– What about presentations? Did you speak on your topic? Offer expertise in a podcast or interview?
– Lastly, any awards? If yes, list them.

There are plenty of ways to distract the reader from your lack of formal education and instead get the reader or hiring manager excited about your accomplishments and what you can bring to the role.

While college degrees are required for certain roles, many companies are simply looking for the best candidate for the job.

7 Skills to Add to Your Resume During COVID-19

Executive Resumes

Businesses are hungry for remote workers open to taking on the clients that once belonged to the full-time employees who have since departed from their teams. This desperation from businesses implies that your professional background does not matter as much as your sense of commitment, your work ethic, and the degree of loyalty and responsibility that you put into your work.

The reality of the matter is that companies are willing to hire and train new employees, remote workers, and independent contractors, as long as they show that they are up to the task. This is the world we live in, and with so much uncertainty, it’s perhaps easier to get a job today, now that employers are starting to become more open-minded to a number of different backgrounds and kinds of experience.

Today, we live in a world where everyone truly needs everyone if we are going to make it through. Here are seven skills to add to your resume during COVID-19 that show just how dedicated you will be to your next potential employer and demonstrate how much they’ll need you.

1.  Advocate for your Articulateness

People are impressed by those who know how to speak articulately. Bring this way of speaking into your interview, but on paper, highlight those activities that bring this skill to life. Have you written anything that’s been published? Have you given a speech at an important event? Are seminars part of your background work experience? Are you a proficient speller?

Consider the ways in which your words have served you in your professional life and write these examples down. Employers want to hire staff with the ability to connect with clients in confident ways that eloquently represent their company — it’s one of the top qualities employers look for.

2.  Showcase your Discipline

Demanding jobs require workers willing to put up with challenging tasks. Do you have a history of working in labor or construction? Perhaps you are an exceptional landscaper or have the grades of a genius. Maybe you were a committed athlete throughout college.

Find those areas of sheer discipline that you have executed throughout your life and mark them down as examples of your skill. Employers are most interested in working with staff that can consistently provide what they need at standard levels. The more disciplined you are, the more likely you can give them what it is they need.

3.  Indicate your Cultural Competence

As e-Commerce takes the stage, more and more businesses are introducing clients from other countries. Understanding the cultural etiquette of different parts of the world is crucial to creating positive business relationships with others dissimilar to you.

Show your potential employer that you are culturally aware by listing any travel or business experience where you were exposed to different kinds of people. These can include volunteer efforts as well. The more diverse you seem, the more of an asset you are to employers looking to make cross-cultural connections with businesses and clients from around the world.

4.  Show Digital Proficiency

Today is the information age, and tech knowledge is something employers will find very hard to pass up. List all software and programs you are familiar with and explain how they have served you in your professional life. Indicate your strengths with these applications and provide ways that including these strengths into the job you’re applying for will benefit the company. If you took any computer science classes or digital design classes during college or on your own, explain what you know well and how it may be of service to the position you are applying for. The more you know, the better.

5.  Include Humanitarian Involvements

Employers who can see that compassion is one of your strengths will really appreciate this quality. Having a sense of altruistic character in their workers will make the company environment more positive and will improve client interactions. Being a kind thoughtful person goes a long way in terms of the communications aspects of a company. It also highlights that you likely have a great deal of patience, which is needed when working in social environments. List any volunteer work you have completed, pointing back to skills you may have used that would benefit a potential employer. It may also help to explain why you chose to participate in these activities, as your employer may appreciate your genuine interest in helping others.

6.  Showcase your Adaptability

Hectic work environments require staff members to adjust accordingly. Share professional stories where you had to think fast and make important decisions. Seeing that you are strong in the area of problem-solving will intrigue possible employers, as coming up with solutions is an essential part of any serious position.

7.  Indicate your Competence Working Alone

Today, more than ever, the ability to work independently has become a crucial need for employers and individuals alike. Give your potential employer a list of jobs or tasks you have completed on your own during, lockdown or prior, that display your ability to handle things by yourself. Seeing that you can manage things alone will give your potential employer confidence in your ability to complete work independently when needed.

The skills you want to think about adding are those that reflect the changes that 2020 has instilled in all of us. It’s true. Those who are succeeding right now exude independence, dependability, and digital proficiency to an insane degree, as these dark times call for nothing short of incredible, superhuman strength. So, put on your heroic red cape and do your very best to advocate for yourself during your next job interview. Write down this set of skills to prove that you too, are a well-prepared leader in this strange new world.

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips.

7 Skills to Acquire During Quarantine That Can Boost Your Resume

Career & WorkplaceGuest Posts

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s been under some level of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions over the last several months, you’re probably starting to feel a little restless these days. You’ve organized the garage, participated in virtual happy hours, and run out of stuff to stream — now what?

Whether you’re on the job hunt after becoming unemployed or you’re just on a mission to find something bigger and better, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll show you some ways to resolve both your boredom and ramp up your resume during quarantine. From certificates to skills, read on to find out the top seven things you can do to boost your resume without ever leaving your couch!

  1. Web Design and Management

When employers think about the qualities of a good employee, the words “driven,” “self-motivated,” and “passionate” often come to mind. So, what better way to impress a potential employer than by showing off some self-taught skills? With a little help, of course…

In the digital age, experience with web design and management is an invaluable skill worth reaching for. And thanks to the same technology, it’s easier than ever to learn how to build, design, and launch a website at your own, self-guided pace. What’s more, your practice site can become your very own living portfolio where you can host your resume, work samples, contact details, social media links, and more.

Here are some of the top-rated online web design courses and platforms to choose from:

  • Webflow University
  • UDemy
  • SkillShare
  • Coursera

If you want to build from templates rather than code your way from the ground up, you might check out user-friendly platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix.

  1. Visual Design

If you’re looking for a career in the creative realm, a great way to boost your skills is to get hands-on with design. Photo editing, illustrating, and designing page layouts are just a few of the things you can learn using the Adobe Suite program.

  1. Language

Knowing how to read, write, and speak in another language is always a great skill to have, no matter what kind of work you do. In fact, many workplaces will pay employees more if they know a second language, especially if it’s a language commonly used in the region.

What’s more, learning a foreign language opens the door for more travel opportunities and could even present the option for you to work abroad if you’re interested.

Thanks to the convenience of mobile apps and increasingly easy user interface, learning a new language while you’re on-the-go or at home is fun and easy to do. Check out these popular apps to get started:

  • Duolingo
  • Babbel
  • Busuu
  • Memrise
  • HelloTalk

 ProTip: As you start to learn the foundations of a foreign language, you can start to expand your learning tools by watching foreign films or television shows, cooking from foreign cookbooks, or reading books in a new language. If you’ve been looking for ways to stay entertained during quarantine, learning a language is one of the best (and most productive) things you can do!

  1. Social Media Management

It’s no secret that social media practically runs the world as we know it these days. From Instagram and Snapchat to TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, there’s a social network out there for everyone; there are even social networks for career seekers. Heck, you might even be a member of all of the above!

Whether you’re in the marketing and communications world or just have a passion for social media, there are plenty of ways you can leverage your social skills in the workplace. Learning how to craft custom content, engage with users, and monitor performance can open the door for new job responsibilities and give your resume the added edge it needs to make it into the final round.

The best part? There are tons of free resources out there to help you get started:

  • For video storytelling, check out Social Creators
  • For social media and digital marketing in general, try Acadium
  • For help with Facebook ads, visit Facebook Blueprint
  • To learn more about ad performance, use Google Analytics Academy
  • To learn the foundations of content marketing, check out Hubspot Academy
  • For information on scheduling content and increasing engagement, try Hootsuite Academy
  1. UX/UI

UX, or user experience, applies to a lot of different industries and professions, including web design, software development, and product design. In essence, UX is the practice of improving a user’s experience with a product, whether that means button placement or page hierarchy on a website, the functionality or packaging of a product, or some other aspect that alters how a customer interacts with a product.

Interested in UX or UI? Check out these resources:

  • DesignLab
  • Xterra
  • Career Foundry
  • Interaction Design
  1. Public Speaking

Almost nobody likes to do it, but nearly every employer is looking for someone who’s good at it. That’s right, we’re talking about public speaking. No matter what field you’re working in, chances are, there is some element of public speaking necessary in one way or another, whether that’s through in-house presentations, project proposals, PR, or just team collaboration.

If you’re not ready to jump up in front of a classroom of people, learning the foundations of public speaking online may be your best bet! Coursera, Forbes, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning all offer virtual courses in public speaking.

 Bonus: Not only will public speaking skills set you up for success within a workplace environment, it can also help you gain the confidence and knack to nail your next interview.

Wrapping Up

While life in quarantine seems to only drag on as the months move by, there are plenty of productive things you can do with your time. By working to build your professional skills online, you can ramp up your resume, increase your value as a professional, and keep yourself occupied and engaged.

Feel free to use these seven tips and resources as a guide to get you started, and don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section!

Sophie Sirois is a writer based in San Diego, CA, currently writing content for 365businesstips.com. With her Bachelors of Art in Strategic Communication behind her, Sophie began working in the content marketing sphere and has been crafting unique, informative, and click-worthy content ever since.

5 Resume Hacks for 2020 Job Seekers

Guest PostsJob Search

Finding that first job after graduating or starting a career change can be one of life’s greatest challenges. Getting a solid job in the industry you want to work in, however, can open doors to success that lasts a lifetime. That makes landing a strategic job worth all the effort you put into it.

That effort starts with your resume. Putting together your resume, whether it’s your first time or just the first time in years, can feel daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. With a few clever tips, tricks, and savvy hacks, your resume will communicate your talent and experience clearly to all potential employers.

Get ready to wow at your next job interview with these 7 simple hacks that you can use on your resume today.

The structure should depend on the stage of your career

First, it’s important to think about the overall structure of your resume. Where should each section go — what sections should you have in the first place? First, it’s a good idea to make a distinction between an early career resume and a mid- or late-career resume.

What’s the difference? In an early career resume, you probably don’t have too much work experience to brag about. If you do, good for you, you busybody! Either way, it’s likely that the most impressive achievement you have accomplished so far is your schooling. Whether that’s an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s degree, or technical schooling certification, if you’re looking for your first job, it’s smart to put your degrees or certificates first on your resume.

  • Takeaway: if you’re early in your career, your resume should lead with an Education section.

Those whose school days are long behind them, and who have been working in the career world for some time (maybe 7 years or more) should think about leading with their job experience. It’s likely that you have spent a good amount of time seriously developing your leadership, communication, management, and teamworking skills while on the job by that point in your career. Sure, your schooling is pretty impressive, but employers will want to know what you’ve done since you graduated.

  • Takeaway: if you’re in your mid-to-late career, think about putting your Work Experience first, then your education later.

Once you’ve settled on the order of the general sections, it’s time to think more specifically about how you’ll lay out your work and schooling experiences.

Make sure your resume tells a story — chronologically

Employers reviewing applications often don’t have a ton of time on their hands to sort out confusingly laid-out resumes, so one way you can make it easy for them (and give yourself a more comprehensive look) is by laying out your resume chronologically.

In each section, Education and Work Experience, be sure to lead with your most recent position. Employers are probably more interested in your work managing a team of programmers for five years than the internship you had as an undergrad.

Once you’ve correctly laid out each section chronologically, it’s time to think about the story that your resume tells. Remember, that reviewer is on the clock, and you want to communicate to them as concisely and effectively as possible what value your experience and education will bring to their company.

  • Pro tip: 

If you’re applying to jobs in a few different industries, consider having different resumes for each one. You may have a variety of experience that’s relevant more to one industry than another, and your resume is your chance to highlight that.

Depending on the type of job you’re applying to, it’s okay to spin each position you worked for to best match that role. The truth is that, in most jobs, you’re likely performing a variety of responsibilities, so it’s totally okay to highlight the aspects of your past work that tells the most coherent and engaging story about your schooling and work experience so far. That brings us to our next tip.

Always highlight achievements from past experiences

Your resume is your highlight reel. You want potential employers to see clearly and quickly how you will add value to their company or organization. When crafting each entry describing past work experience, it’s likely not worth it to list out everything that you did at each job. Sure, it’s great that you can answer emails or do the basics of what your past jobs required of you, but that’s not the stuff that will set you apart from everyone else in the pile of resumes.

So, rather than simply describing the duties of your past jobs under each entry, list 2 to 4 noteworthy accomplishments you made while working there. Perhaps you solved a really tricky programming puzzle that no one else on your team could. Or maybe you wrote an article that brought more views to your site than any other for months. Maybe you were able to settle a difficult disagreement among coworkers and got your team back on track. Whatever it is, highlight it on your resume; it makes it clear how much value you can contribute to your new workplace.

Devote a section specifically to your skills

Next, it’s a smart idea to create a section for your skills. The way you decide to incorporate it design wise (more on that below) is up to you, but commonly, people have a box that lists their skills toward the bottom of the resume, or along the side.

Skills are concrete abilities you have that you will be able to start using the day you step into your new role. Maybe it’s web design, or using engineering software, or writing search engine optimized marketing copy. Whatever it is, employers want to know if you have the skills for the job. Your skills section is the place to make that completely clear.

Get creative with design, but keep it professional

Resumes have advanced beyond the classic Word document in Times New Roman font. Sure, for some employers (think law firms or accounting agencies), that’s still the gold standard. However, for many employers, having a creative resume with beautifully designed elements is a great way to stand out.

Luckily, there are plenty of free or inexpensive templates available online. So, even if you’re not a professional graphic designer, you can still have a gorgeously designed resume, laid out perfectly to draw potential employers’ attention directly to the parts of your experience you most want to highlight.

Resume design and layout isn’t an exact science, but by having the right structure and content, you increase your chances of landing that dream job you’ve always wanted.

At the end of the day, writing a resume can still be a daunting task. Trying to write objectively about yourself can be difficult. If you need help in crafting that resume to sell yourself to a potential employer, you may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer who has years of experience developing resumes to highlight all your achievements and skills.

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.

Job Hunting: Best Practices for Today’s Job Market

Guest PostsJob Search

A fortunate few never actually look for jobs: they are recommended by colleagues or recruited by former co-workers. For the rest of us, here’s a toolbox of best practices to make job-hunting easier and more productive.

Personal Branding is Part of the Process

  1. DO have a recently-updated resume. Have it reviewed and reworked by an expert.
  2. DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking headshot.
  3. DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume.
  4. DO ask for recommendations from those who know you and your work well.

Online applications are changing.

Let’s say you are a pharmacist and you spotted a LinkedIn job posting that looked like a perfect next role, but there’s a catch – you need your LinkedIn profile updated. Forbes wrote that more and more companies are asking to include a link to LinkedIn profiles. It is wise that before you start applying for an online job posting, your own profile should be updated too.

 Where to Begin Your Search

  1. DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work.
  2. DO your research online on each company, find a common connection, and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
  3. DO invite people in these companies for a quick cup of coffee near their office. Say something like, “I’d love to hear what you like about working at X. Can I buy you a quick cup of coffee?”
  4. DO ask people you trust for a recommended recruiter who can help you.

 Networking for Your Job Search

  1. DO let friends and family know you’re looking for a new job.
  2. DO attend Meetups in your field of expertise.
  3. DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession.
  4. DO expand your personal network by taking part in volunteer activities. Make sure to choose a cause that you truly care about.

How to Use Company Websites

  1. DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online unless your skills are in high demand.
  2. DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter if you’re using one. Keep it simple.
  3. DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online.
  4. DO tailor your resume to the job, highlighting the most important skills.

New to the search. 

A jobseeker or maybe a new graduate may be searching for better employment. The perfect fit to get the right connection may be to check job boards online, especially for those who are looking in the finance field. Right now, this is a booming industry with an array of jobs for job seekers. Finance Jobs wrote that it helps if seekers explore their options to get the job that fits their skills.

 Stay the Course

  1. DO look for a job before you need one. 411 is easier than 911.
  2. DON’T get impatient. Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the next right position.
  3. DO take consistent action so you feel empowered.
  4. DO take good care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Looking for the right job is tough, but it gets better. 

Once you’ve dealt with a couple of bumps while job hunting, you will eventually reach your goal of finding that next job. Though it doesn’t stop there. Beginning a job, whether you are new to the field or not, still takes adjustments. Pitfalls are intimidating in a new environment, says Psychology Jobs. Remember this: the velocity of your search should be the same as when you have a job.

 Adding Velocity to Your Search

  1. DO find ways to help others along the way.
  2. DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook.
  3. DO stay curious and open-minded. That job that doesn’t seem to be a fit could end up being the best one in your career.
  4. DON’T allow yourself to become bitter, angry, or desperate. These attitudes are a repellent, and people pick up on them, even when they can’t pinpoint what it is about you that is off-putting.

Your job search can be a trial, or it can be an interesting and exhilarating adventure. By deciding to take the long view, asking for help along the way, and refining your job-hunting skills, you’ll be giving it the attention it deserves. Happily, your results will reflect this.

Post written by Katherine Davis for ProfessionalResumeServices.com

 

Creating a Safety Net for Job Loss

Career & Workplace
Be a step ahead and learn how to prepare for job loss

Due to its very nature, job loss is something many people try to avoid thinking about. It’s a stressful situation, and many people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality for it. But this doesn’t stop it from becoming an ever-present fear in working-class America.

 

Shifts in the job market, economy, and even within one’s own company can lend itself to thoughts of “What if I lose this job?” This is especially difficult at a time when more and more jobs are becoming automated or being outsourced to freelancers and other firms.

 

Fortunately, the fear of job loss can be mitigated by preparing for it well in advance of losing one’s job. There are some great ways to create a safety net early in your career for a time when you might not be working.

 

Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a type of savings fund, usually with a few thousand dollars in it for a car repair or medical expense. While these are all great reasons for having one, an emergency fund has a lot of added value when it is created as a way to prepare for job loss.

 

Depending on your situation, unemployment can last a few months to as long as a year. This means that to be prepared, you should save up enough money to be able to live comfortably for up to a year, while you search for your next job.

 

It sounds like a scary thought but you can determine this by calculating your average monthly expenses, and then multiplying that by the number of months you want to be prepared for. For example, if your average monthly expenses total out to about $2000, you’ll want to have at least $12000 set aside in an emergency fund, enough to get you through about six months of job loss. However, if you’re looking to be prepared for a year-long period, you can also multiply your expenses by twelve, about $24,000 set aside for job loss.

 

While the total amount needed may seem daunting, preparing can be made easy by putting aside a certain percentage of your income from every paycheck into a bank account with no fees, allowing you to hold onto everything you save. Avoid withdrawing any money from this account unless absolutely necessary, as this will act as a fixed income source in the event you lose your job.

 

Have Multiple Sources of Income

Unemployment can become a lot less stressful if you have multiple sources of income, as they offer a great fall back. (They also have the added benefit of making wage negotiations much easier and less stressful.) There are two types of income to take into account when discussing ways to generate money on the side: active and passive income.

 

Active income is any type of secondary job or side hustle you might have. I’m a huge fan of the side gig. If you have been considering starting your own small business or taking on an evening or weekend job like consulting or project management–or even ridesharing, consider it as a safety net for potential job loss. Passive income involves making investments, either real estate or dividend stock investments, that produce income on a monthly or quarterly basis. These require less work but more upfront costs than a side hustle, due to the fact that they require an initial investment cost.

 

Networking and Personal Branding

Finally, you can make the process of finding a job faster by building strong career relationships. Networking gives you the opportunity to have people to rely on when switching careers for references, and may even be the push you need to find your next gig. Remember to spend time socializing in a professional and productive manner on LinkedIn so that you build a great network of people at your job. These relationships can give you a sense of security, and even make it less likely that you’ll lose your current job.

 

Consider building your personal brand on websites like LinkedIn that allow you to put a heavy focus on your career successes. Spend time writing well thought out posts about the industry you work in, and share other people’s content as well. This will be a great fallback to reference when looking for a job, as most employers look at social media profiles before hiring.

 

At the end of the day, job loss is a scary prospect, but the harm that comes from it can be mitigated by spending the time to create a safety net for yourself. This allows you to spend more time focusing on your current career, which in turn makes the risk of job loss far less likely.

What Should I Be Adding To My LinkedIn Profile?

Social Marketing/Online Branding
Are you putting the *right* information on your LinkedIn profile?

Ever wonder if you are putting the *right* information on your LinkedIn profile?

This is a common question I hear, “I don’t know if this or that should be on there” or “I wasn’t sure so I just downloaded/copy/pasted my whole resume to my profile.”

While you want to establish the information you add is relevant to your brand and impactful, you don’t want it to be a duplicate of your resume. They are meant to complement one another. You want your reader to see a little more of a human side to you as well. Think of the LinkedIn profile as the friendly, humanized version of your resume.

Here are some things to think about when building and adding to your profile:

☑️ Fill out all the sections. Don’t leave anything blank. Fill in the volunteer, certifications, languages, projects, honors, awards. You can add PowerPoints, photos, samples of your work (I have these on my profile) coursework, and things you have done in your career.

☑️ Add a profile photo AND a background cover photo (get rid of that blue LI background!). This makes it uniquely you. I love seeing customized background cover photos on LI profiles. They definitely add personality and/or help brand the client by having a photo of the company, service or product they represent.

☑️ Write a headliner that sizzles. Instead of “Account Executive”, write “Account Executive specializing in the development of groundbreaking sales and service strategies internationally”. Add a little zing to it. Get your reader interested. Some even call the headliner “prime real estate” meaning it’s a great place to add keywords and branding that help direct LinkedIn’s algorithms to your profile. Get as clear and focused as you can. Add buzzwords if you know what they are. Not sure? Find jobs that interest you and notice the same words listed over and over? Add them. Don’t neglect this section.

☑️ Create an About section that speaks to the reader. That section used to be more formal and many people wrote theirs like a biography–3rd person, boring, etc. These days, it’s all about the conversation. Get them interested in what you have to say. Write in first person. It’s OK to be a little more human here. People expect it—and love it.   The About section should be engaging, interesting, and conversational. Think of it as if you are speaking to someone at a networking event. How would you speak? What would you say? You’d keep it professional but interesting, right? You want to tell a story about why you do this type of work and what makes it interesting. Be enthusiastic.

☑️ Add Content! Make sure to add descriptions of what you do at your job. Add your daily responsibilities as well as your accomplishments. This is where I see clients fall short. They add their company and job title but nothing else. LinkedIn rewards content. While you don’t want to copy and paste chunks from your resume, you also don’t want to leave critical information out. Rewrite those areas but make sure to add content to your roles. What were you most proud of accomplishing? What projects have you worked on that added value? What is interesting about where you work?
You can also add numbers and percentages. If you are hesitant about sharing exact figures, you can say, “increased revenue 87% in two years”. Adding numbers adds to your credibility and gives the reader a glimpse of what you have done.

☑️ Get a recommendation. A recommendation or two on your profile livens it up and gives you more credibility. What good do thousands of connections do for you if you don’t have one recommendation? It might feel awkward, but once you’ve asked it’s done and guess what? You’ll most likely get that recommendation!

☑️ Create an endorsements section. Complete the skills and endorsements section and pin the top 3 that related to your job hunt. Again, these are key with algorithms and recruiter searches as well.

When all of this is done, remember the key to a strong LinkedIn profile is engagement. The more you use LinkedIn, the more it rewards you by showing your profile in recruiter searches. Reach out, plan on getting on LinkedIn 10-15 minutes every other day and watch it go to work for you.

 

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”!