Is your resume relevant for the role you want?

Resume Writing

Imagine you brought home a carton of milk, opened it for your cereal, started to pour, and out came Diet Coke.

It’s not that you don’t like Diet Coke.

It’s just that you ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ milk.

One of the most common frustrations I hear from recruiters and hiring managers is that their candidate’s resumes don’t match the position they are interviewing for.

Do you apply to jobs that may not be in your wheelhouse but apply anyway?

If I’m being honest here, this is a pet peeve of mine.

Recently, I put an ad on LinkedIn. I was looking for a Client Success Manager. Part-time, 20 hours a week. Must have customer service experience.ย  All of these things were spelled out crystal clear in the position description.

I got hundreds of responses within a 36-hour window.

Guess how many had ANYTHING to do with client success, client services, office administration, etc? About 20. The rest were… everything else. I spent four days scrolling through the applicants and reading every resume from top to bottom. Annoyed that so many were obviously not a fit is putting it mildly.

Guess how many had ANYTHING to do with client success, client service, office administration, etc.? About 20. The rest were… everything else.

There were two CEO’s, a CFO, high-tech, a couple of teachers, sales reps, recruiters, business development, process analyst, and so on. And about 90% of them wanted a full-time role.

None of them mentioned any of the skills I listed–and I searched their resumes for something, anything similar.

I even put a little note at the bottom to email me directly with a copy of the resume. After all, this is a small company, it’s not Google. I had the time to be thorough and review each applicant’s resume.

Guess how many people emailed me their resumes?

Go ahead and guess, I’ll wait.


SEVEN people emailed me their resumes. SEVEN.

I won’t vent here about not reading directions on an application, even though I really, really want to. ๐Ÿ™„I’ll save that for another rant post.

Keep in mind that a recruiter or hiring manager will only take a few seconds to view your resume. If they use ATS, the ATS will pick out appropriate matches as well.

So, if you really want to impress a hiring manager, read the entire position description and send them a resume that speaks to the role they need to fill. If your skillset doesn’t match what the position description is asking for,ย  you may want to look at other open positions.

If you have some transferrable skills that will work for the role you want, make sure to add them to the career summary, bullet points, and within each role.

Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:

โœ… ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ฉ๐—”๐—ก๐—–๐—˜. First, do you have the experience the position asks for? If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it and add it to the resume. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.

โœ… ๐—ž๐—˜๐—ฌ๐—ช๐—ข๐—ฅ๐——๐—ฆ. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? If not, add them.

โœ… ๐—ฆ๐—ž๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—ง. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cyber security? Make sure it’s added to your resume. If you have skills from your current role that can transfer, add them. What did you do in your prior role that will work for this new role?

โœ… ๐—ฉ๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—จ๐—˜. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? If you are an ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ, in what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced? How did you help them increase revenue, cut costs, etc.?

To sum it up, making sure your skill set matches the position description is a must. If you think you have transferrable skills for the role, add those to the document. The more you can set yourself up as a candidate with similar skills, the better your chance is of being invited to the interview.

Top Mistakes That Get Your Application Tossed

Job Search

top mistakes that get your application tossed
Sometimes, the difference between a job application that makes an employer say, “Wow!” and one that makes an employer say, “Whoa…skip that one” is a simple mistake that is easy to avoid. In a recent Daily Worth article, Natasha Burton looks at 9 common job application mistakesย that can cause that application to get tossed. Her list is:

  • not following instructions
  • applying for “any” position
  • sloppy grammar
  • outdated resume
  • listing responsibilities instead of what you accomplished
  • over-the-top resume
  • passive voice & too many skills
  • unsolicited salary requirements
  • inappropriate cover letter/email

Pay Attention To The Details

Every single item on this list could be avoided if the applicant is paying attention to detail. It’s pretty easy to go into an automatic zone when you are submitting a lot of applications, but that’s when the mistakes happen. Electronic job applications, for instance, are increasingly common and can put everything in the wrong box if you aren’t careful.
Handwritten applications are still being used, and that means your handwriting has to be legible. Is it? Hard-to-read scrawls are one big reason a good candidate goes un-interviewed. Slow down and write clearly if you are asked to fill out an application by hand.
Many times, it feels redundant to fill out an application when you have all that information on your resume. But often, an employer will use it to cross-check your information. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your resume — the updated one you submitted — so that the details are easy to access. Nobody remembers all the little details of a job history without help, and why add stress to your life? It’s easy to have your resume along and use that to fill in the application quickly.
Probably, the most important mistake to avoid is not following instructions. If you have a tendency to skim quickly and assume you caught the gist, slow down and make sure you also catch the details that could change the way you do things.

Three Tips For Using Electronic Job Applications

Professional Resumes

three tips for using electronic job applications

It is very likely that your next job application will be done electronically. In some ways this makes the process easier, I think, since many find it laborious to fill out paper applications by hand. Still, there are some issues you can run into with an electronic application that could cause problems if you’re not paying attention.

  1. Read the instructions. ย Don’t assume you know how this particular company’s software will work just because you have filed online in other places. There might be a nuance that makes a difference to the person (or computer) screening the applications. When hundreds of applications are being screened, little things can get you in the wrong category.
  2. Load your resume in the right format. There’s a reason why Professional Resume Services offers both ASCII and PDF versions of your resume in our professional resume packages. We don’t know what your (hopefully) future employer will want. Having both versions gives you the best chance of having the right one.
  3. Check all the information carefully! It happens all the time: the resume is attached and the little boxes of the electronic job application magically fill up. But those little boxes don’t have the information in the right place and, again, a little thing makes a big difference in getting your application passed through the initial filter. You need to look it over with the idea that you are proofreading, even though your resume was already proofread. Otherwise, you could end up verifying that your college degree was earned at your last job when you carelessly submit it. That scenario isn’t as farfetched as it sounds–so check to make sure the right information is in each box.

Now Might Be The Time To Ask…

Job Search

now might be the time to ask...
Did you have a seasonal job over the holidays? Did you love that job and wish it could last longer? Now might be the time to ask if there are any openings in a full- or part-time position. Here’s why:

  • You have been a part of the team as a temp worker, so you know the ropes
  • You are a familiar face — hopefully, a good impression has been made
  • You can suggest ways your assets can be a good fit for their goals
  • Your paperwork is already on file

Even if they do not have a way to fit you in right now, ask that your resume be kept on file and that you be alerted to openings in the future. If there is a way to stay in touch with what is happening at the company – like a newsletter – get on the list. ย There are common mistakes to avoid in a job search, like ย neglecting your current temporary job to try and snag a better one. Just because a job is temporary does not mean it is unimportant, and the networking effects of doing a good job linger.
The reality is that everything you do – the interactions you have and the memories you leave behind at a seasonal job – still count. It’s part of your resume, and it’s part of your reputation. If you have been doing a good job at a temporary position, you will be remembered positively when you submit your application for a permanent one. Good luck!

Not Hearing Back From Job Applications? It Could Be Your Resume!

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Many people think that simply submitting their resume to as many job vacancies as possible is the perfect way to go about job hunting. While it is great if you can apply for as many jobs as possible, this isnโ€™t always the best way to go about being successful on a job hunt.
If you are submitting your resume to job vacancies and arenโ€™t hearing back from people, then you really need to re-evaluate what you are doing and what you are going wrong. Quite simply, if you are not even getting as far as the job interview stage, then you need to change something to increase your chances of success.
One of the best ways to do this is to re-do your resume and make sure that it is as well-written as possible. It may even be worth contacting a professional resume company for their advice; after all, they are the experts.
It is important to remember that first impressions count! The resume and job application that you submit is your prospective employer’s first impression of you, so you need to make sure that the impression they have of you is a good one! They will read over your resume and cover letter and use this to decide whether or not to progress you to the next stage.
There are likely to be a number of people applying for job roles so you need to stand out from the crowd and give them a reason to pick you above anyone else. This means making sure your resume is well written, pleasing to the eye, sells you, and is professionally laid out. If you arenโ€™t confident in doing all of this yourself, then get a professional on board to help you and give yourself the best chance of success when it comes to hunting for a job.

Writing The Perfect Cover Letter

Cover Letters

application forms
When applying for a job it can be easy to assume that your resume is the most important part of your job application. While your resume is vital and helps to list your skills and experience in order to match you to a job, it isnโ€™t the only thing that you need to include in your application.
When submitting your application for a job, you must include a cover letter in order for your application to be taken seriously. This means that you really need to pay as much attention to your cover letter as you would your resume.
Your cover letter needs to be tailored to the job that you are applying for. When you are typing your letter, link it to your resume and expand on what is mentioned and how that could be linked to the job in question. Mention your past experience and how that could help you do the job advertised perfectly and use it as an example of why they should hire you for the position above anyone else.
Keep in mind that on most occasions the cover letter is the first impression of your application that a prospective employer will get so you need to make sure that the impression is a good one. This means laying out the letter so it looks fantastic and professional, with no spelling or grammar mistakes in any of the text.
Use the letter to promote yourself and tell people why they should hire you but don’t go over the top. Simply tell them what they need to know and why they should employ you and leave it at that. Wrap the letter up with thanking them for their time and inviting them to contact you should they have any further questions.
For the perfect cover letter, check out our services and get back to us.

Should You Call a Company After You Sent Your Resume?

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Youโ€™ve been looking everywhere for, not just a job, but a career, you want to do something with yourself that enables you to pay your bills but also provides a purpose. But, thatโ€™s harder than you imagined in an economy that is only slowly making its way back.
There is no โ€˜one size fits allโ€™ answer to this question, and there are numerous variables at play that can affect the outcome, and every employer is a little bit different. It seems like itโ€™s impossible to know if you are wasting your time by following up on a resume you have sent, but maybe itโ€™s the thing that will give you a leg up over the other candidates.
It really depends…
In general, it really does depend according to some experts. It depends on how you sent in your application, if you know or can find a contact person, and just how much you actually want the job โ€“ is it really worth all the effort you put in? Here are some suggestions that may help when deciding to follow up on a sent resume.
How did you send in your resume?
How did you get your resume to the prospective employer in the first place? Did you have a contact person or did you send it in through an online contact form, or did you send it through the company website job page? If you know someone in the company, you can get help with contacting HR or you can find someone from the company Facebook page and get in touch with them that way. Youโ€™re not being creepy, youโ€™re being resourceful.
When should you follow up on your resume?
Some recruiters and placement agencies will advise you to submit a resume, and then follow up with a phone call or email. It can show ambition and enthusiasm, as well as setย you apart from other candidates who do not bother to follow up. Employers will like that you are eager to get started and areย interested in the position.
But, it is certainly appropriate to send a letter or an email a week or so after you submit your resume, especially if you have not heard anything from the company. Who knows, your resume may have fallen through the cracks and a phone call is just the thing that they need to know how interested you are. But, if you have done a follow up phone call or email after sending a resume, and you have not heard anything for a few weeks, it would be best to conserve your energy and not waste time on something that probably will not happen. There are other opportunities out there for you, so you just have to go and find them.
When you follow up make sure that you are polite. Polite messages reinforce your strong interest in the job, as well as showcasing your ability to handle important topics. Every day people get jobs because they stayed the course and fought for what they wanted, maybe today is your day.