10 Things You Need to Check Before Submitting Your Resume

Whew! You’ve revised your resume, updated all of the information on it and incorporated all of the right keywords. You must be exhausted and so ready to apply to your dream job. However, before uploading that PDF resume, there are a few key things to double-check.

1. Spelling
The number one thing to check on your resume before clicking ‘submit’ is your grammar and spelling. Don’t just rely on Microsoft Word to catch misspellings — read and re-read your resume to catch potential errors. Then, send your resume to a friend to have them read through with a ‘fine tooth comb’.

2. Correct Tense (Past vs. Present)
As a general rule, if an action or accomplishment on your resume is in the past, use the past tense. However, if you are speaking about a current role and current accomplishments, use the present tense. Hiring managers cringe when they see this mistake on a resume, so as you’re editing, be sure to use the correct tense: manage vs. managed, deliver vs. delivered, execute vs. executed.

3. Focus
Clarity is key. Your resume should clearly state what you do, what you have accomplished, and what your narrative is. If you are applying to be a social media manager, make sure your experience in that field shines through in your resume. Sure, you have also worked in PR or marketing, but when a hiring manager looks at your resume, they should be clear about the narrative you’re trying to tell. You can ensure that hiring managers and recruiters are clear by focusing your resume on the job you want, not just the jobs you’ve had.

4. Font & Size Consistency
A pet-peeve of recruiters is a resume with three or five different fonts. Stick to the basics — Helvetica, Times New Roman, Lato. Resist the urge to “stand out from the crowd” by employing multiple fonts and various sizes. Two fonts and two sizes, max.

5. Remove Unnecessarily Lofty Language
A resume is not the place to get verbose or to use highfalutin language. Get it?! If you don’t normally use certain language, do not pick up the thesaurus to try to include the most “smart-sounding” words you can find. A resume should be an accurate and complimentary reflection of you and your work product. Using lofty language is a surefire recruiter turn-off.

6. Delivery Format — PDF, please!
You’ve spent hours formatting your resume and getting the bullet points to line up perfectly so that your entire work history fits on two pages. Don’t lose that perfect format by sending a resume as a Microsoft Word doc. Use a PDF and ensure clear delivery. And don’t worry: PDF resumes are no longer a problem for an employer’s applicant tracking system (ATS). Keyword searches and matching requirements will still be possible in a PDF format.

7. Use Numbers & Facts Where Applicable
“Substantiate your accomplishments with numbers,” says Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer at Decision Toolbox. Some recruiters prefer to see actual numbers (such as “cut manufacturing costs by $500,000”), while others prefer percentages (“cut manufacturing costs by 15 percent”). Either way, provide enough context to show the impact and do not rely on generalities to get your point across.

8. File Naming Convention
Please refrain from naming your resume file “Resume.pdf” or “JacksonResume.pdf” try to be specific. This is for your benefit as well as the recruiter. The best way to name a resume is to include your full name, month, and year. For example, “AmyElisaJackson-May2017.pdf.” This lets the recruiter know who you are and reminds you of the date of the last revision of this resume. This way, you won’t be confused by which draft is which.

9. Readability
When editing a resume or CV, the sole focus is often on the content. However, it’s important to think about the ease (or difficulty) of reviewing the resume. Ensuring your resume is readable is an important final check before submitting it alongside a job application. After all, your resume is a crucial test not only of your skills but of your ability to communicate clearly, succinctly and in a reader-friendly way. Cut the clutter. Hold your resume away from you and look at it from afar — if it looks like a lot to read, then it is. Make sure to leave some white, blank space for ease of reading. Consider using bold font to draw the reader’s eye to important accomplishments, companies, or results. This gives a recruiter or hiring manager the ability to skim and instantly see the key points.

10. Fact check
Fact checking your resume is a must. It’s too easy to fib or tell little white lies when it comes to your impact on a project or when it comes to your skills. A final read through of your resume should be an ‘honesty gut-check.’ “Skills are the most common resume lies,” writes Heather Huhman, career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended. “Telling the truth about your skills can set you up for success. You can still land the [job] by being honest, and can gain valuable training and learning experiences on the job.”

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Be a Winner in 2017.

In more ways than one (or ten), 2016 was my personal annus horribilis. But now it’s done. Kaput. Goodbye, 2017. This is the year to go big or go home!

Everyone has a clean slate. What’s not to love about a clean f’ing slate? Try something new. Be something different. Treat your partner and family better. Get rid of the baggage of 2016. Focus on your career and set your destiny! Be more successful than you’ve ever been.

The only one standing in your way is yourself.

When I was in high school, I worked in my dad’s recruiting office (he was an IT recruiter). There was a poster he prominently displayed on his wall. I do think it shaped my thinking in many ways.

Over the years, some of it went out the window. Especially in 2016. It’s time to remind ourselves what it takes to be a winner. It’s all in the attitude!

This is what my dad’s poster said. I hope you follow this advice. Even when you are faced with obstacles. Especially then. Hope this is your best. year. ever. Go for it!

WINNERS VS. LOSERS

The Winner is always part of the answer. The Loser is always part of the problem.

The Winner always has a program. The Loser always has an excuse.

The Winner says, “Let me do it for you.” The Loser says, “That’s not my job.”

The Winner says, “It may be difficult, but it is possible.” The Loser says, “It may be possible, but it is too difficult.”

When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong.” When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, “It was not my fault.”

Winners say, “I must do something.” Losers say, “Something must be done.”

Winners are a part of the team. Losers are apart from the team.

Winners see the gain. Losers see the pain.

Winners see possibilities. Losers see problems.

Winners believe in win/win. Losers believe that to win, someone has to lose.

Winners choose what they say. Losers say what they choose.

Thank-You Letters That Win Job Offers

By Wendy S. Enelow

Twenty-five years ago, a resume was just a formality. As the employment market expanded and diversified, so did resumes. Today, resumes are powerful marketing tools designed to sell your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments and give you a competitive distinction over other candidates.

Powerful thank-you letters should integrate the same concepts as powerful resumes — sales and competitive distinction. Thank-you letters are your second-tier marketing communications. Your first-tier marketing communications (resume and cover letter) get you in the door for an interview. After the interview, the savvy job seeker sends a letter that thanks the hiring manager, and further expresses interest in the position.

Post-interview is no time to stop selling — it’s precisely the right time to continue selling your unique skills, qualifications, accomplishments and credentials.

The most effective thank-you letters sell you into a position. Try some of these tips to write thank-you notes that bring you offers.

  • Relate your experience directly to the hiring company’s current challenges. Is the company in the midst of a turnaround? Share your past experiences in change management, reorganization and company revitalization. Highlight the things you’ve accomplished to facilitate successful turnarounds and improve financial performance.
  • Highlight how you successfully solved the major problem they’re facing in a previous role. Imagine the company has to compete in a marketplace they once owned You’d do well with a thank-you letter that shares your past achievements in strengthening market position, expanding customer bases and outperforming the competition.
  • Respond to any objections they communicated about offering you the position. Let’s say that they were concerned that you had never worked in Los Angeles, and don’t have any professional contacts in the area. Use the thank-you letter to demonstrate that you previously entered new markets and immediately developed strong networks.
  • Tell them the one great thing about you that you forgot to mention in the interview. The thank-you letter is precisely the tool to communicate your key achievements, experiences, project highlights and qualifications. Give the hiring committee the ammo they need to make the right hiring decision — you.
  • Sell you! Highlight your specific accomplishments as they relate directly to the company and the position for which you’re applying. If those items were already discussed during the interview, that’s ok. Use the thank-you letter to further expand on them and link them directly to the hiring company’s operations, current needs and future goals.

Using a thank-you letter as a marketing tool can make it longer than one page. That’s fine. The only thing that should dictate its length is the amount of valuable information you want to include. If the company has already extended you the opportunity for an interview, they’re interested and will carefully read any material you forward to them.

Your powerful thank-you letter is your chance to move their interest into a decision to hire!

 

Interview Questions Candidates SHOULD Ask…

By Debra Donston-Miller

We’ve all been there. It’s the point in the job interview when you’ve answered every question thrown at you in a pointed, authoritative, relevant manner.

“Now, do you have any questions for me?” the interviewer asks.

This is the make-or-break moment of the interview, say experts, especially in a market with more candidates than jobs. It’s your chance to demonstrate your insight into the organization at which you’re interviewing, your industry acumen, your communications and people skills, and your desire for the job.

“The worst thing you could do in an interview — other than passing gas — is to say, ‘I don’t have any questions — you’ve answered them all,’ ” said Mitch Beck, president of Crossroads Consulting, an executive search firm and employment agency. “Who wants to work with somebody who doesn’t have any inquiries about the company? It shows that you have no brains.”

It’s your last chance to win over the interviewer, and this scenario puts pressure on the candidate to enter the interview prepared to ask thoughtful, focused questions of their own, said Cheryl Palmer, a certified executive career coach and the founder of Call to Career, a firm that provides C-level executives with career coaching and resume- writing services.

“That’s your last opportunity to really show to that employer, ‘Yes, I’m the best candidate for the job,’ ” Palmer said. ” I always advise people to do their homework and to work any information they’ve gleaned from their research into their questions so that they really come across as well-prepared candidates.”

Good question

J.B Bryant is president of Strategic Alignment Group, a management consultant that helps businesses identify their competitive advantage. He said job hunters should look at the questions they ask during an interview as their opportunity to create a distinct competitive advantage.

“Something has to set you apart, more so, maybe, in this economy, because the employers are churning through so many potential people,” he said.

A safe way to impress an interviewer is to know everything there is to know about the company , the industry and the interviewer themselves

“Know everything you can about a company before you interview,” Beck said. “Do a simple thing like Google the person you are going to interview with.”

The questions you bring to an interview help the employer determine whether you are a good fit for the company, but they also help determine whether the company is a good fit for you.

Prospective employees may be tempted to take any job port in an economic storm, especially if they have been job hunting for an extended period of time, but a bad fit won’t benefit anyone in the long run.

“I think it’s helpful for candidates being interviewed to come up with good, thoughtful questions that are going to accomplish two purposes,” Palmer said. “They need to be able to demonstrate to that potential boss that they have really thought about the job and have some good, probing questions. But they also need to ask questions that will help them determine whether or not this is going to work out.”

Beck went further, emphasizing that the interview is the prospective employer’s opportunity to convince you that the company will be a good fit for your needs. The interview is also a chance for the job seeker to turn the tables and get more information out of the employer.

“Remember that an interview is a two-way street,” Beck said. “You have to convince the person who is interviewing you that they need to hire you. But remember: You’re not there to beg. They need to convince you just as much as you need to convince them.”

Accordingly, one of the most important questions to ask during an interview relates to expectations, Bryant said.

“In my experience, expectations are not communicated very clearly,” he said. “Most people — at every level — come in, and there seem to be an awful lot of assumptions being made, both on the new employee side and on the employer side. You hear people say that it takes six months to get integrated into a company and to really be productive. Well, it doesn’t need to. If you don’t ask anything else, find out what the expectations are.”

Bad question

Worse than silence are bad questions that a prospective employer can not answer; demonstrate your ignorance; or worse, offend the interviewer that it eliminates a job seeker from consideration.

There are some questions that have always been taboo during an interview — rushing into questions about salary, for example. But have any questions become no-no’s since the economic downturn? No, experts said. The rules are pretty much the same as always.

“The rules are the same — it’s just that ( the questions) count more than ever before,” said Call to Career’s Palmer. “That’s not to say that it was OK to ask about salary ( during an interview) before and now it’s not. It simply means that everything is much more serious because of the competitiveness of the job market. So, things that an employer might have overlooked before are really, really going to be a big deal now because you have so many qualified candidates looking for the same position.”

“Stay away from questions that aren’t going to help you any,” said Crossroads Consulting’s Beck. “Getting into somebody’s personal life is really of no interest. Asking whether someone is pro- or anti-Obama is not a good question to ask. I would stay away from questions about salary. I would stay away from questions about benefits. You want to ask questions that are relevant to the job and to the opportunity that you are being presented with.”

Bryant said it’s important for prospective employees to use their intuition to help determine which questions will resonate positively with interviewers.

“You need to feel out the personality of the person you’re interviewing with,” said Bryant. “Are you going to ask, ‘Are there any discipline issues with my (potential) direct reports?’ before you even get the job? That might be seen as meddling. But, ‘Where did my predecessor leave off?’ That’s perfectly acceptable to ask in an interview.”

5 Things You Should Not Do Upon Losing Your Job

By Steph Tortogo

If there is anything in our careers that is the most normal of all, it would be losing one. We then are inundated with various emotions and all we want to do is just let everything out and stand up for ourselves. But sometimes, there are just things that we should think twice about before doing, especially if it involves our personal feelings. Here are 5 of the things that you must not do upon getting fired from your job:

1. Unless you’re expressing appreciation and gratitude for the time that you’ve spent with the company, never send your former boss and coworkers scathing emails. Don’t even try to confront them of how you badly you thought their treatment was to you. This the business world, and no matter how enormous it seems physically, it is a small world. Word of the mouth goes fast, and this can result to bad record that could impact your life immensely.

2. Never take to your social media platforms or any of your blog sites to rant about the injustice that you felt. The internet has made the world a little bit smaller than it is, and you don’t want to make bad impressions for potential employers and your family and friends who look up to you. Even if you believe that whatever people say doesn’t matter, it will, especially if you’re in the world of business. Take note of what the great Stephen Hawking once said; “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

3. Never look at this occurrence as the end of your dreams. Don’t dwell in the dark or shut everything and everyone out. Don’t pretend or act like there’s nothing wrong because that will just worsen the situation.

4. This may sound pretty hurtful, but it is the truth. Just because of what happened to you, don’t expect that everyone else around you is going to drop whatever they were doing prior to your situation. Life goes on. Instead of sulking about that, take interest in what’s currently going on with them.

5. Despite everything that happened, you should not take too long in looking for a new job. Don’t even hesitate to use your frustration to fuel your determination of becoming a better career person. Go out there as a new you, the one who knows what to do and acknowledges what he or she did wrong in the past, and does her best to not make the same mistake twice.

Charles Schwab CEO Reveals How He Tests Job Candidates by Taking Them to Breakfast, Having Restaurant Mess Up Their Order

What if there were a way for employers to test out job candidates and compare how each reacts to unpleasant curveballs?

Charles Schwab Corporation CEO Walt Bettinger has created such a system. Earlier this month, he shared his secret with the New York Times.Before every new hire, Bettinger takes candidates out for a breakfast interview. But what the potential employees don’t know is that every time, Bettinger shows up early and asks the restaurant to purposefully mess up the order in exchange for a handsome tip.

Before every new hire, Bettinger takes candidates out for a breakfast interview. But what the potential employees don’t know is that every time, Bettinger shows up early and asks the restaurant to purposefully mess up the order in exchange for a handsome tip.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

For an employer like Bettinger, character is everything. He told the Times that his “wrong order” test is meant to gauge how prospective hires deal with adversity.

“Are they upset, are they frustrated, or are they understanding? Life is like that, and business is like that,” he said.

“It’s just another way to look inside their heart rather than their head,” he explained.

What are the other ways? Before offering candidates a position at the brokerage and banking company, Bettinger asks them to tell him about their greatest successes in life.

“What I’m looking for is whether their view of the world really revolves around others, or whether it revolves around them,” he said. “And I’ll ask then about their greatest failures in their life and see whether they own them or whether they were somebody else’s fault.”

Charles Schwab president and CEO Walt Bettinger. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Charles Schwab President and CEO Walt Bettinger. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

11 Things You Should Do In The 15 Minutes Before A Job Interview

Author: Jacquelyn Smith

Reposted from: Trove Business News

The 15 minutes before a job interview can be harrowing. Job seekers are never quite sure what to do with that time — but experts suggest that you look in a mirror, take deep breaths, and do whatever else it takes to get focused and stay calm.

“Those 15 minutes are your opportunity to get yourself into the right frame of mind, and set your energy and focus on who you’ll be meeting with, what you want them to remember about you, and what you want to ask them,” says Deborah Shane, a career author, speaker, and media and marketing consultant.

Here are 11 things you should do in the 15 minutes before a job interview:

1. Stay calm. When you become stressed, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. Depending on the level of your stress, these can slightly or greatly inhibit your ability to think clearly, says David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach, and author. “Ensuring that you remain calm, collected, and cool in the minutes leading up to the interview is necessary to avoid this hormonal elixir, and keep your mind clear.”

Career coach Anita Attridge agrees. She says staying calm before and during an interview allows you to listen better and to stay focused on how to best respond to questions. “In addition, you are better able to think how you can best present your accomplishments in alignment with what is important to the interviewer — and being calm also demonstrates your ability to deal with stressful situations.”

2. Arrive early, but don’t go inside. Few things can shake you more than running late to an interview, so always arrive early. However, be sure to wait in your car or a nearby café, as being too early can place unnecessary pressure on your interviewer and start the meeting off on the wrong foot, Parnell explains.

Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, says you shouldn’t walk into the office building more than 10 minutes early. “It can come across as an imposition, as if you are expecting the interviewer to drop whatever he or she is doing to attend to you.”

3. Be friendly to all receptionists and security guards. When you do walk into the office’s waiting room (which should be about 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time), remember to be nice to the receptionist, security guards, or whoever greets you. “It’s very likely that he or she will be reporting back to the hiring manager about how you behaved,” Friedman says.

4. Decide on one or two things you want to be remembered for. Is it your communications skills? Project management skills? Knowledge? “Keying in on a few things that will impact your memorability and likeability is a smart way to approach the interview,” Shane says.

5. Stop rehearsing. You don’t want to use this time to over-prepare or rehearse responses, which can make your conversation seem scripted and not authentic. “You want to know your stuff, but remember your interview is a conversation. Trust that you know what you know, and that the interview will take on a flow of its own,” Shane says.

6. Breathe. This will help with the first tip, which is to remain calm. “Counting your breath is one of the most immediate and impactful techniques for calming your nerves,” Parnell says. “Simply focus on your breaths, counting each until you reach 10, and repeat.”

7. Focus on your posture. Sit in a power pose while waiting to go in for your job interview. “You’ll come across as looking more confident and poised,” Friedman says.

8. Don’t check your voicemail, email, or social media accounts. You may hear or read something that will get you all worked up, Shane says. It will distract you and throw you off your game, which is one of the worst things that can happen.

9. Briefly review your notes, but don’t do any additional research. You should be done researching, preparing, and rehearsing. But if you made any notes for yourself, this is a good time to briefly look them over. “This is not the time to be using your phone to look up the company’s recent achievements or earnings report. Giving big numbers of projects a glance at the last second is a good way to misinterpret key information,” Friedman says.

10. Look in a mirror. Duck into a nearby restroom or clothing store to check yourself out in the mirror, Friedman suggests. “You may have left the house looking like a million dollars, but you could still arrive looking like a vagabond.” This is also a great time to wash your hands and make sure your fingernails are clean and your palms are dry. If you wore comfortable shoes and plan on changing into dress shoes, be sure not to do this in the office.

11. Think happy thoughts. This may sound cliché – but thinking of pleasant things that make you smile and feel good will help put you in the right state of mind going in to the interview.