Category Archives: Resume tips

How to write your resume so you will be selected for an interview!

Applying on line is so easy these days that companies are inundated by resumes of both qualified, and unqualified, candidates. A typical fortune 500 company receives thousands of resumes in one week. Whether you’re accustomed to working with recruiters, human resources or talent acquisition teams, there are some things that they want to see on your resume.

Pull out your resume right now and as you read this article, and make the necessary changes to your resume. Remember, you should always add to your resume as you work on key projects, so you don’t forget to include crucial details that may be a differentiator of why you get asked for an interview. You never know when a reduction in force or sale of a company is going to occur. Take the time to invest in yourself now and keep your resume up to date.

How your resume is selected for an interview

Unique formatting with 3 different types of fonts and 2 graphics do not usually import correctly to the applicant systems that almost every company today uses. The reality is that companies today receive your resume through an applicant tracking system (ATS). Once in the ATS, a keyword search for the skills for a specific job search is done in the applicant tracking system, and that is what brings your resume to the top to be reviewed. Your most important information should be able to fit onto the recruiters/talent acquisition/HR first computer screen. Your professional summary and current role are what they will be reviewing. It is critical to make the first page grab their attention!

Brag on yourself

Explain what you did at each job and what the results were. If there are cost savings, process improvements, or other efficiencies, include them in your resume! List what you accomplished. Do not exaggerate your skills, but feel free to brag on what you have accomplished, because your resume is what gets you to the interview phase.

Be transparent

If you weren’t working for a time, explain why that was, don’t try to hide it. Maybe because of a downturn in the economy you were out of work for a while. Perhaps you had to quit your job to focus on caring for a relative. Whatever the reason, rather than trying to hide or come up with ambiguous dates to conceal the gap, explain it briefly. Do you want to risk losing an offer because during the employment verification stage they find out you hid your time off?

Use These 5 Words to Revitalize Your Business Writing

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Those words were written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton over one hundred years ago. Just like the art of fencing requires practice, so does the art of using the pen. Choosing to utilize its power can bring great results.

Most business communication, like presentations, various business documents, and emails are just plain boring. Just like you dread reading that text, so does the person on the other end of your email. It’s time to get a little risky. There are words that you can use that will give some life to that otherwise yawn-worthy email. The person on the other end will thank you.

Here are some words to use as a starting point:

This word conveys swift, effective action. In our microwave world where instant gratification is the norm, people are looking for things to happen or be accomplished quickly. Maybe the person receiving the email will receive the benefits of a certain desired action immediately or you’ll immediately see to their request.

No side door or backup plan is allowed with this one, and that’s why it appeals to people. This word provides a risk-free option for the other person because you take on all the responsibility. This word is guaranteed to get your recipient’s attention and ease any concerns they may feel.

Be careful how you throw this one around. People are used to hearing companies talk about their “proven” methods when in reality they’ve never actually proven anything. Accompany this word with a specific example of why your claim is true. This shows them that not only are you confident, you’re also trustworthy.

No one likes getting a generic email that really has nothing to do with them or adds no value to their day or their goals. Likewise, any business writing you may be doing or may have to consume can become pure torture if it has no relevance to you and what you’re trying to accomplish. First, make sure that what you’re trying to communicate is relevant to the person on the other end, whether it’s a coworker, supervisor or customer. Then use this word—sparingly and succinctly—to highlight the value that you’re adding to the other person’s life.

If you’ve refreshed a plan, you’ve given it a new energy, a new vitalization. You took what had worked before, polished it up, and now it’s like new. Use this word to communicate the benefits of your plan and the overall feeling it will result in.

It’s not all semantics. If you can harness the power of the written word in your business writing and emails, you’ll find the responses that you desire. Being able to spur someone to a desired action because of an email or a well-written business article isn’t just going to happen. You’ve got to put in the forethought and effort. These five words are just a springboard, any word can have powerful results if utilized correctly.

5 Common Resume Weaknesses – and How to Fix Them

Resume mistakes are almost as common as resumes themselves. These five common mistakes can mean the difference between landing the job and continuing the search. Fortunately, you can easily fix these errors.

Make these five tweaks to your resume.

  1. List a combination of Responsibilities and Achievements
    Include key projects that you are working on or have completed as well as your overall job responsibilities.  Your resume should also contain process improvements or cost saving that you brought to the company (if applicable.)
  2. Padding Your Resume
    Your resume needs to be an accurate reflection of where you are in your career.  Only include professional work experience.  Including technologies that you learned in school or on your own does not interest employers (unless it is your first job out of school).
  3. Poor Quality Writing
    A recent survey found that 61% of resumes have typos. Do yourself a favor and ask at least one other person to read over your resume. And once you’ve eliminated all typos, look at the quality of writing.  Keep your verb tenses the same throughout your resume and avoid excessive wordiness and “texting abbreviations”.
  4. Poor Formatting
    As a technologist, your resume needs to look like you know what you’re doing.  Keep the fonts plain and clear and avoid excessively large print.  Your resume should be neatly organized and flow well.
  5. Forgetting About Skills and Awards
    If the job which you’re applying for is skill-intensive, be sure to add a skills section to your resume.  Competence with sending emails or the ability to use Google, for example, have no place on your resume.  If you’ve earned a certification or won any awards, consider adding an Awards section or Certifications section.  Your resume is a great place to brag!

9 Outdated Technology Job Titles or Terminology – Do you really want to date yourself?

computer room

By Suzanne Williams -Jacobson Staffing, Inc

Look at how the job titles and terminology have changed in the past 10 -15 years!

1) Data Processing (Information Technology)
2) Programmer / Analyst (Developer)
3) LAN Administrator (Network Engineer or System Administrator)
4) Technical Writer (Technical Communications or Information Engineering)
5) Client/Server (specifically describe the technology if it’s hosted, a web app server, etc. )
6) Program (Develop – verb, Software or Application – noun)
7) Flowchart (Process diagram)
8) Help Desk (still ok but Service Desk is newer)
9) Floppy Disk, Assembler, Fortran (obsolete/archaic/outdated technologies so there’s not really a modern interchangeable term)

3 Rules To Ease Your Resume Pain

By Joseph Boyer-Jacobson Staffing, Inc

stressed man at computerHas there ever been an easier concept that was more difficult to execute than a great resume. Essentially, it is a documentation of your skills, successes, and professional history spelled out onto a few pages. Sounds easy, right? Yet, if you are like most of the people I know (including myself), writing, or even updating a resume, could be used as a means of torture. We spend hours agonizing over format, verbiage, and layout trying to create the perfect document to get a shot at that next opportunity. With that in mind, I compiled a few tips I have gathered from the authors of some of the best resumes I have seen or heard about through the years to help ease the pain of this seemingly herculean task.

Make It Accurate! While your resume is essentially a marketing document, it is still going to be used to discuss your past experiences. So, things like dates, statistics, and company names should be correct. This will help the hiring manager paint a nice picture of your career and how it flowed from one job to the next. Try painting a picture of someone’s career where it looks like someone is working for two competing companies and finishing Master’s when they don’t have a bachelor’s degree. (I can hear the disbelief now, but I just reviewed a resume like this!) We recommend the month and year in which you started and ended with each employer to help best illustrate your work history.
Keep It Simple!! The Purpose of your resume is to entice a hiring manager enough to set up a time to speak with you. Generally speaking, they are looking for some basic information like skills, work history, successes at past employers, and education. Don’t make them go on a scavenger hunt for this basic information. Instead, put it in a logical section of the resume and make it stand out. We recommend bullet points for successes at past employers so managers can easily see what you have been able to accomplish.

Make It About YOU!!! The best part of writing a resume is that you get brag about yourself. This is your opportunity to look back at all of the things you are most proud of in your career and compile them into one document. More, you get to put them in your own words to best illustrate what part YOU played in the success. Too often, we see resumes that list generic successes accomplished by a team. The team isn’t looking for their next opportunity, you are. So, tell the hiring manager what YOU did! We recommend that when possible you list specific, measurable details about your successes.
We both know that reading this article and following these tips will not to take away all of the pain of writing a resume. My hope is it gives you a jumping off point and some rules to help ease the burden. If you are still having trouble, or if you want another set of eyes on it, we are always just an email or a call away.