In other words, if you’re looking for an HR job, your resume should be targeted to that particular HR role.
When I was hiring, I was pretty specific in my position description for a part-time customer service person. I loaded it with job-specific customer service keywords.
I was shocked–and a little annoyed– by the applicants who applied: a CFO, a UX coder, an insurance claims specialist, an early childhood educator, an IT consultant, and more completely unrelated to my posting (with not a speck of customer service experience in their resume.
HR managers, hiring managers, and recruiters talk about this often–when applicants DON’T tailor their resumes to the position listed.
If you’re not sure what should be on your resume, always look to the job description. It’s full of keywords and it tells you exactly what they need.
For example, if you are a finance executive what things should you put on your resume?
Financial executive resumes are different from other executive resumes in several ways. Here are a few key differences:
Emphasis on financial expertise: Financial executive resumes should highlight the candidate’s financial skills and experience, including their ability to analyze financial data, make strategic financial decisions, and manage budgets and financial forecasting.
Technical skills: They may want to include a section highlighting technical skills such as financial modeling, risk management, and experience with accounting software.
Education and certifications: Education and certifications are important for financial exec positions. Candidates should include information about their degrees, professional certifications, and any relevant coursework. Additional professional experience is important as well.
Results-oriented: Financial executive resumes should highlight specific achievements and results, such as improving profitability, increasing revenue, reducing costs, or leading successful mergers and acquisitions.
Industry knowledge: A career in finance should demonstrate a deep understanding of the financial industry, including regulatory compliance, financial reporting requirements, and industry trends.
Leadership and team management: They are often responsible for managing teams, so the resume should highlight leadership skills, team-building experience, and a track record of successful management.
So, what are some keywords a finance exec might use? Again, look to the job description. Depending on the job you may see any of these:
Cash flow management
Make sure to incorporate these keywords appropriately in your resume, highlighting your relevant skills and accomplishments. However, avoid stuffing your resume with too many keywords as it may come across as inauthentic or spammy. Instead, focus on using relevant keywords that accurately describe your skills and experience.
ATS or Hiring Manager–Who should I write my resume for?
Does the thought of writing your resume leave you confused?
Not sure who will be reading this? An AI (ATS) or a human?
It can feel stressful to know what to write, who to write for (recruiters? hiring managers?), what keywords, etc., especially when you aren’t sure exactly what an applicant tracking system does.
I’ll explain it in a nutshell.
ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) are software programs used by employers to filter and sort through resumes to find the most qualified candidates for a specific job.
ATS typically look for the following elements in a resume:
Keywords: ATS scan resumes for specific keywords and phrases that match the job description. These can include job titles, technical skills, certifications, and other relevant terms that demonstrate your qualifications and experience. What words do you notice over and over in the job description?
Formatting: ATS prefer resumes that are well-organized and easy to read. To ensure your resume is ATS-friendly, use a simple and consistent formatting style, including headings, bullet points, and white space. Columns don’t work here as ATS reads left to right (like a book)—it doesn’t stop at the column.
Relevant Work Experience: ATS look for candidates with experience that closely matches the requirements of the job. Make sure your resume highlights your most relevant work experience, including job titles, dates of employment, and key achievements.
Education and Training: ATS also look for candidates with the required education and training for the job. Make sure to include your degree(s), certifications, and any relevant coursework or training programs you’ve completed.
Applicant Information: ATS also scans for basic applicant information such as name, contact information, and location. Make sure to include this information in a clear and consistent format at the top of your resume.
Knowing which keywords to add is perplexing to some of the candidates I talk to.
One way to know if your resume has enough keywords for ATS is to carefully review the job description and compare it to your resume. Look for the specific skills, qualifications, and experience that the employer is seeking and make sure to include relevant keywords and phrases throughout your resume.
Here are some tips to ensure your resume has enough keywords for ATS:
Use exact phrases: Use exact phrases from the job description wherever possible. If the job description calls for “project management experience,” include that exact phrase in your resume instead of a similar phrase such as “managed projects.”
Use variations of keywords: Use variations of keywords and phrases throughout your resume to demonstrate your familiarity with the industry and the specific job requirements. For example, if the job description calls for “customer service skills,” also include related terms such as “client service” or “customer support.”
Include relevant industry jargon: If there are specific technical terms or jargon commonly used in the industry, make sure to include them in your resume. This helps to demonstrate your familiarity with the industry and the specific job requirements.
Don’t stuff your resume with irrelevant keywords: While it’s important to include relevant keywords and phrases, don’t stuff your resume with irrelevant keywords. This can make your resume look unnatural and may actually hurt your chances of passing through an ATS.
Test your resume: Some ATS offer a “resume optimization” feature that can analyze your resume and provide feedback on whether it contains enough keywords for the job. Alternatively, you can test your resume by submitting it to a free online resume scanner that checks for ATS compatibility.
Something to keep in mind is that even though it’s important to write a resume that works with ATS, it’s also important to write for people.
It’s equally important to ensure that your resume is readable and appealing to human recruiters as well as ATS. This means using clear, concise language, storytelling, and formatting that makes your qualifications and experience easy to understand. Your resume should also highlight your unique skills and accomplishments in a way that captures the recruiter’s attention and stands out from other candidates. It should tell your story.
To strike a balance between ATS and human readability, consider tailoring your resume for each specific job application. Start by reviewing the job description and identifying the key skills and qualifications that the employer is seeking. Then, incorporate those relevant keywords and phrases throughout your resume while also crafting a compelling narrative that showcases your experience and achievements.
Similar to ATS, hiring managers typically look for the following key elements in a resume:
Relevant Experience: Hiring managers want to see that you have relevant work experience that demonstrates your ability to perform the job duties required for the position. Highlight your most relevant work experience and quantify your accomplishments with specific achievements and results.
Skills and Qualifications: Highlight your skills and qualifications that are directly relevant to the job. Be specific and provide examples of how you have used these skills in previous roles.
Education and Certifications: Include your educational background and any certifications that are relevant to the position. This helps to demonstrate your qualifications and expertise in a particular area.
Achievements and Accomplishments: Use specific examples to demonstrate your achievements and accomplishments in previous roles. Quantify your results wherever possible to demonstrate the impact you have made in previous positions. Numbers, numbers, numbers. Add metrics when possible.
Relevant Keywords: While not as critical as with ATS, it’s still important to use relevant keywords and phrases from the job description. This helps to demonstrate your familiarity with the industry and the specific requirements of the position.
Clarity and Readability: Hiring managers want to be able to quickly and easily scan your resume for the information they need. Use a clear and consistent formatting style, including headings and bullet points, to make your resume easy to read and understand. Keep the important info on page one—the top half of the page.
In summary, hiring managers look for a combination of relevant experience, skills and qualifications, education and certifications, achievements and accomplishments, relevant keywords, and clarity and readability in a resume. ATS seeks these things as well.
The job description offers a treasure trove of keywords and helps make the writing process so much easier. If you’ve done those same skills list them. Both the hiring manager and ATS will be seeking them out.
Don’t Give Up The Job Search Just Because The Holidays Are Near
I’ve been talking with job seekers lately who ask whether they should job search right now or wait until after the New Year.
The holidays are upon us and many worry it isn’t a good time.🎅
But–there are many benefits to continuing on with your job search.
🎄 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐬. Companies have new budgets in place to entice and hire #candidates. They are still #hiring and actively looking.
🎄 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. Your competition is less since many people decide to hold off until the new year. Plus, you will impress companies with your dedication and commitment.
🎄 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. Things are winding down at your company due to the holidays and end of the year, so you have more time to focus on #job search
🎄 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬. People are generally in better moods around the holidays. More time off, seeing family and friends (via remotely this year, unfortunately), shopping, and reflection. It’s a perfect time to reach out and start a #conversation.
I asked career professionals on LinkedIn what their thoughts were on the subject. Read what they have to say:
Hannah Morgan, Job Search Strategist, Career Sherpa: November and December are great months for conversations and you are so right, many companies are either trying to fill roles that are still vacant now or line up candidates to hire Jan. 1. Don’t put on the brakes!
Ed Han, Talent Acquisition Geek, Recruiter: As a corporate recruiter: let me reassure your readers & followers that if the job posting is up, I AM READING APPLICATIONS.
Scheduling interviews may take longer, but if it’s open, that hiring manager has funds earmarked towards that hire and is anxious to use them, because they’ll get asked if they really need the position or not by their boss, or their boss’s boss.
Nicole Reyes, Sn. Technical Recruiter:I’ve noticed that many hiring managers want new hires to start in January of the new year, which means they’re willing to schedule interviews with candidates this time of year. It’s worth your time to search for a position during this period, even if the search is a bit slower because people will be out of the office more with the holidays.
Greg Roche, Career Transition Coach:Take your holiday card list and see who you can connect with in person. Send them a card too, but use this list as a way to get back in touch with people who are important to you, but likely haven’t talked to in a while. This helps you practice connecting and you never know where it might lead Erin.
Andrea Yacub Macek, Top Job Expert to Follow, Career Coach: The best time to network, market, and job search is when you are ready to do so in your season of life. If you need to take a break, do so, and if you want to continue networking or job search, do so; there are always benefits. These are some significant reasons you asked Erin Kennedy to continue instead of stop.
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.
This tells me that while education does matter for certain jobs, most of the time companies are looking for the right fit.
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?
– 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.
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
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!
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:
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.
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.
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:
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!
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
DO have a recently-updated resume. Have it reviewed and reworked by an expert.
DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking headshot.
DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume.
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
DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work.
DO your research online on each company, find a common connection, and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
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?”
DO ask people you trust for a recommended recruiter who can help you.
Networking for Your Job Search
DO let friends and family know you’re looking for a new job.
DO attend Meetups in your field of expertise.
DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession.
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
DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online unless your skills are in high demand.
DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter if you’re using one. Keep it simple.
DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online.
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
DO look for a job before you need one. 411 is easier than 911.
DON’T get impatient. Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the next right position.
DO take consistent action so you feel empowered.
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
DO find ways to help others along the way.
DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook.
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.
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