The Power of Passivity: Seek Not and Ye Shall Find

November 15th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Employers are frequently found to prefer passive job seekers over active ones, so how can you use this knowledge to improve your career prospects?

While you may think that being proactive gives you an edge in your job hunt, research has shown that many employers favor job seekers who are playing it cool. Passive job seekers are those that are open to a new position, although not actively searching or applying for vacancies. Instead of spending hours sifting through job boards and contacting companies, your best bet for progressing your career could be to “play hard to get” and entice recruiters to come to you.

Passive job seekers have the advantage

A recent study revealed that 80% of HR professionals feel passive job seekers are the best source of quality employees. However, the survey also found that only 47% of job seekers are aware of this fact, showing that employers and candidates have very different understandings of what works in the recruitment world.

When asked what makes passive candidates more attractive than active ones, 42% of respondents said these individuals take their careers more seriously, 44% felt that they had the most experience, and an additional 44% said they had the best skill sets.

Even if you’re unemployed, you can turn into a passive job seeker right now by freelancing, becoming an entrepreneur, volunteering, or blogging. By engaging in these activities while you search for a job, you won’t have gaps on your resume, you’ll be practicing new skills, and you’ll potentially be earning side income so you will be less desperate for a job, which makes you more attractive as a candidate (and gives you leverage).

Tips for becoming a passive job seeker

Now that you’ve recognized the “power of passivity” in attaining long-term job search success, try using the following strategies to your advantage:

1. Keep your resume up-to-date – If a recruiter ever contacts you about a position, you want to be ready to show them what you can do immediately.

2. Stay involved online – While you may not be engaging in an active job search, maintaining an online presence means staying in the forefront of your professional contacts’ minds. This includes building a robust LinkedIn profile, joining relevant LinkedIn Groups, and tapping into social networking (Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, for example) to strengthen your social presence.

3. Develop a solid pool of referrals – Professional connections are the biggest assets of a passive job seeker, as their recommendations will do the legwork for you. Stay connected with your network via social media and offer help in return, rather than just building your network and only reaching out when you’re looking for a job. If you’re interested and engaged, your contacts will be more likely to give you help if and when you need it.

4. Write Recommendations – Giving to get works every time. Write LinkedIn recommendations for some of your connections. In return, you’ll get a recommendation back from at least some of the people you provide a reference for. Those recommendations show on your Profile and they are a reference in advance to a potential employer.

5. Be Interview Ready – Don’t use up all your accrued vacation or personal leave time unless you have to. Keep some in reserve, so you have time to interview if an opportunity that’s too good to pass up comes along.

Good luck!

The power of passivity: How not looking could get you the job | via Talent International.

Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume

November 1st, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Which blunders will send your resume straight into oblivion? There might be dozens (apart from simple things, like bad grammar and spelling), depending on the job, but experts say including these five things on your resume are most likely to derail your job search:

1. A list of every job you’ve ever held

Hiring managers don’t want to know about that summer you worked as a lifeguard—unless you’re applying to manage the park district’s pool.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for relevance and stability. The key is to list the work you’ve done in the past 10 to 15 years that tells an employer you’re a skilled, reliable fit for the job.

Say you’ve had three employers in the past seven years but only two of them are in the industry you’re applying for. Employers don’t want to see a gap in your employment record, so you still need to list that third job — just make sure you list the accomplishments in that job that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

2. Your Age

Hiring managers need to know what you can do for them, not how many years you’ve managed to stay alive. Therefore, experts commonly argue against:

* Listing professional experience more than 15 years old.
* Providing an exact number of years of professional experience in your opening summary.

And don’t forget that age bias cuts both ways: A resume that tells a future boss you’re too young for the job is no good, either.

3. Lists of tasks or duties without results

Your resume has to go beyond saying which jobs you’ve done: It must establish what you’ve accomplished on those jobs. Many applicants miss this key distinction.

The only things that separate equally qualified candidates are the results of their efforts. For example, an administrative assistant may write, “reorganized filing system.” That provides the task. What were the results? A better way to write it would be, “Increased team productivity 20% by reorganizing filing system.” Results are what matter to hiring managers.

4. Explanations of anything negative

Everybody has dark stories in their past.

There’s no place for them on your resume. Your resume is a promotional document and all promotional documents need to be positive.

The time to explain yourself is when you’re talking to the hiring manager in person after you’ve scored an interview.

5. Personal details

Employers usually don’t care about your marital status, race, sexual orientation or hobbies, unless they are somehow pivotal to the job. Including personal data is a rookie mistake, and nobody wants to hire a rookie.

Crafting and sending a resume is part of the “discovery phase” of the hiring process so employers at this phase don’t need personal details beyond your name, city, state and a way to contact you. If you make it to the hiring phase, the human resources department will collect your relevant personal details then.

Most resumes are now transmitted electronically, and there’s no way to be sure where one might end up after you send it in. With identity thieves always on the prowl, you always need to protect your personal data. Never include your Social Security number.

6. A photo of yourself

This is probably more applicable to international candidates, who generally have more experience with resume and CV formats that include a photo. However, standard policy for US resumes is not to include one. Partly this is due to the age and personal details issues above (i.e., potential for bias).

But also, if your resume has your photo, a recruiter isn’t going to spend any longer looking at it. Instead, they’ll just waste part of the valuable 6-10 seconds generally spent scanning a resume looking at the picture instead of reading what they need to find out about you.

Good luck!

5 Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume | by Tom Mangan via Monster.

Simple Interview Tips That Work

October 18th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Job interviewing never seems to get any easier – even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count. You are always meeting new people, having to sell yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don’t know. And, you have to stay upbeat and enthusiastic throughout each interview.

That said, there are ways to make a job interview much less stressful.

Invest a little time prior to the interview getting ready, and it will be much easier to handle. The key to effective interviewing is to project confidence, stay positive, and be able to share examples of your workplace skills and your qualifications for the job.

Brush up your communication skills, so you can speak clearly and concisely about the assets you have to offer the employer. Take the time to work on your interview skills – effective interviewing will help you get hired.

Here are a few simple job interview tips to help prepare you to interview effectively:

Practice and Prepare

Practice your responses to the typical job interview questions and answers most employers ask. Think of concrete examples you can use to highlight your skills. The easiest way to do this is to make a list of the job requirements, and match them to your experience. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy.

Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready.

Research the Company
Do your homework about the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question “What do you know about this company?” Try to relate what you have learned about the company when answering questions. Know the interviewer’s name, and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like, and who seem to be a good fit for the company culture.

Get Ready Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your resume, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before. Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.

Be On Time (That Means Early)

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Give yourself a few extra minutes to visit the rest room, check your outfit, and calm your nerves.

Try to Stay Calm

During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to exude confidence. Take a moment to regroup if you need it. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question (active listening) before you answer, and pay attention – you will be embarrassed if you forget the question.

Show What You Know

Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments, match them to what the company is looking for. Use examples from your research when answering questions, “I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.” Take the time to make a match between your expertise and the company’s requirements, and to sell yourself to the interviewer.

Follow Up

Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. You can also include any details you may have forgotten to mention during your interview. If you interview with multiple people send each one a personal note. Send your thank you note (email is fine) within 24 hours of your interview.

So with some advance preparation, you’ll be able to nail the interview and showcase the experience that makes you the ideal candidate for the company’s next new employee.

Good luck!

7 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job | by Alison Doyle via the Balance.

Avoiding the Path to Rejection – Software Engineering Resumes

October 4th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

So you sent your resume to your favorite tech companies and never heard back from any of them?

Guess what, you’re not alone. Top technology companies like Google receive over 2 million job applications a year and only hire about 5000 people. So the average applicant’s odds are only 1 out of 400, says Laszlo Bock, Head of People Operations at Google. Presumably this includes all roles at Google; it is quite possible the odds are even worse for their engineering positions.

Admittedly, this is at one of the premier technology firms in the world, but the situation is not much different at other companies. There is a good chance that your resume is going to be shelved without you ever learning the reason. To not end up in the rejected pile, you must at least avoid the following mistakes in your software engineer resume:

1. Not sending your resume via an employee referral

If you are applying directly via a company’s website or through a job board, please stop!

As per the Impact Group Study in 2010, job applications using networking or referrals are far more successful than applying online. 26.7% of external hires made by organizations came from referrals, making it the number one external source of hiring. 46% of men and 39% of women find their jobs through networking. The higher your salary, the more effective networking becomes.

2. Not tailoring your resume for each job application

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use the same resume for each job application. While most of the content will remain the same, it is easy to customize the headline and summary sections at the top where you can convey your fit for that particular position. You can highlight the relevant skills in your professional summary to enable an employer to quickly get a grasp of the most impressive and pertinent items in your profile.

3. Not mentioning your online presence

Given how easy and cheap it is to maintain a personal website, social media profile, or blog, it is inexcusable for a software engineer not to have one these days. A blog showcases your knowledge, the kind of work you’ve been doing, and how long you’ve been involved in it. It demonstrates your writing skills and how clearly you can communicate your thoughts. And with linking and discussions, you can show your level of connection with current trends and technologies. It also gives you a significant advantage when a prospective employer can look at your site or blog and assess your fit for their work, beyond the brief summary included in your resume (which will always need to be limited in length and scope).

If you don’t have a website or a blog yet, consider including your Stack Overflow, GitHub, or any other public profile link that could demonstrate your skills. At the very least, you should include your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s more than just a stub.

4. Not highlighting relevant projects

Top tech companies and startups are looking for killer projects in your profile.

Anyone can build mundane school projects but what personal projects did you create? Did you build an expense sharing app to use among your friends? Or a budget app for your Mom? These projects show your passion for programming because you built them just for fun or utility. Good companies look for such passionate candidates.

These projects can make or break your shortlisting chances especially when your current job profile is not very relevant. If you are an enterprise application developer at a bank, for example, and are applying to Google or Facebook or Twitter, then your work is unlikely to impress them straight away. To make the cut and stay in contention, you need to differentiate yourself, and listing independent projects is certainly one way to do that.

To do this right, of course, you need to understand the job requirement first and then determine what kind of projects would be most relevant. Cut out old school projects and add these instead. If you don’t have any, don’t apply yet and first work on some projects that will be worth mentioning!

5. Not using the right keywords

Most big employers and job boards use applicant tracking systems to store and manage the huge number of resumes they receive. Keyword searching becomes a necessary evil here for screening and filtering out the best candidates. And since most jobs have at least one, non-negotiable requirement, including relevant keywords related to that requirement is essential (adding Hadoop, for example, for a Data Scientist position).

Keywords aren’t just restricted to tools and technologies, of course, but could also be functional titles such as ‘product manager’, ‘SEO’, ‘social media manager’, etc.

So think of what keywords are pertinent to the position you are applying for and include those in your resume to ensure that it is shortlisted during first-level ATS filtering.

6. Not removing irrelevant or unimpressive certifications

There are only a few companies or hiring managers impressed by a SCJP certification. In fact, there can be times when it serves as a negative signal. Ideally, your expertise in a technology should be reflected in your projects and not in the number of certifications under your name.

Unless a job opening specifically asks for a certification or it is extremely relevant, you should leave it off of your resume. For example, if you are applying for network engineering roles that involve working on Cisco switches and routers, including a certification like CCNA might be helpful.

At the end of the day, your resume is supposed to highlight your accomplishments and the skills relevant to the position for which you are applying. Every line should conform to these goals. Anything that does not add value to your candidacy should be mercilessly removed.

If you’ve done it right, your well-designed resume will prioritize the right information and get you past the initial screening. After that, during the interview, it’s all up to you!

Good luck!

Dear Software Engineer – This is why your resume was rejected | by Nistha Tripathi via Scholar Strategy.

5 Common Resume Lies & Exaggerations

September 20th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

The temptation to stretch the truth on a resume can be powerful, especially considering the modern, competitive job market we currently endure, where the slightest advantage can mean the difference between a successful career and a life mired in mediocrity.

Before you act on this temptation and give your credentials a fictitious boost, think twice. Beyond the serious ethical implications, consider a few other issues.

First, most employers keep resumes on file once candidates are hired. And if your exaggerations are discovered—even years down the road—you may be terminated on the spot (recall the embarrassing firing of CEO Scott Thompson from Yahoo! a few years ago).

Second, experienced hiring managers have usually been in the candidate-selection business for a long time, and they’ve seen many more resumes than you have. They tend to spot exaggerations right away, and if this is your first foray into the job market, some of your adjustments may be more obvious than you realize.

Here are the most common lies and alterations that managers tend to see on resumes, especially those submitted by less experienced applicants:

1. GPA Misstatements

Inexperienced candidates are more inclined to stretch the truth than workers with longer track records, and as it happens, many of these newbies are recent graduates, so their GPAs hold more weight than those of their mid-career counterparts. If you’ve graduated within the past two years, feel free to include your GPA in your resume. After two years, take this detail out. In the meantime, don’t round-up or “accidentally” misstate your GPA by a few tenths of a point. This detail is very easy for employers to verify.

2. Revenue Raised

You worked on a project, and the project helped your company make money. You wrote a grant application, won over a new client, participated in a successful product roll-out, or coached a sales team until their numbers improved. That’s great! And when you describe this accomplishment, you’ll want to quantify it by using dollar amounts, timelines, and sales figures. As you do so, keep these numbers honest and accurate. Your reviewers probably won’t be able to verify these claims, but don’t be tempted to overstate them or you may call your entire candidacy into question.

3. Head Counts

How many people worked right beside you on the project described above? Was this a single-handed effort or were you part of a 27-member team? How many direct reports did you manage in your last position? How many clients did you handle at once? Don’t add (or subtract) so much as one imaginary person. Keep your record and your conscience clean.

4. Skill Level

Sometimes, we are tempted to claim greater knowledge and experience in a subject than we possess. For example, while we may only have a passing familiarity with software like Adobe Photoshop, we may put on our resume that we are skilled at using it, thereby implying frequent use and in-depth knowledge. Or we’ve read some articles or books but have no formal training in a subject. Or we took high school Spanish and that makes us fluent. Always be sure to indicate the exact level of expertise you possess, when in doubt.

5. Timelines & Job Titles

Did you finish this project in three months or four years? Were you promoted from the entry level within one year or five years? Did you leave your last job in 2014 or 2010? When you held that job, were you the Assistant Branch Manager or the Assistant TO the Branch Manager? Keep in mind that dates of employment and job titles can be verified with a single phone call.

So the best policy is always to keep your certifications and accomplishments honest. An accurate resume will hold far more value for both your employers and yourself. The more information you share, and the more accurate it is, the easier it will be for both parties to find a potential match.

Good luck!

4 Common Resume Lies & Exaggerations | via LiveCareer.

Dress for Success at Your Next Job Interview

September 6th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that can sabotage your career, so it pays to sweat the details.

When you’re invited to a job interview, for example, one wrong move can blow your chances. Even wearing the wrong thing can distract an employer from your polished resume and outstanding experience.

Before you schedule your next interview, be sure to review this list of the six worst things to wear for a job interview.

Ill-Fitting Clothes

If you haven’t worn your interview outfit recently, you might find it doesn’t fit the way it used to. Don’t try to pull it off, though. You won’t look your best and you won’t feel comfortable — and it will show.

Better to wear an outfit that is tailored to suit you, rather than anything that feels or looks too tight or too short. It may not only give the wrong impression, it may also be distracting. Tugging at your skirt hem, for example, is another distraction that takes away from the focus on you and your skills.

Overly Casual Clothes

Even if you’re interviewing at a laid-back workplace, it’s still possible to take the casual concept too far. Do not wear jeans, tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, or any garments with messages or brands written on them. For men wearing a suit, do not wear loud, obnoxious colors, busy-printed shirts or overly patterned ties. Take the conservative approach, and save the fun stuff for after you’ve got the job.

Anything Distracting

There’s a fine line between standing out and wearing something that’s just distracting. In the interview process, you should err on the side of caution and tone it down. Better to choose subtle patterns over brighter ones, and dark or neutral clothing versus neon colors or anything distracting. You should be the focus of the interview, not your clothing.

Women should not wear anything too revealing or low cut. No platform heels, no sun dresses, nothing too trendy. Make up and jewelry should also be toned down. For men and women both, it’s generally a good idea to stick with the basics: a black, blue, or grey suit and the associated conservative accoutrement.

Excessive Accessories

You might like to make a statement with your jewelry, but the job interview isn’t the time to do so. Stay away from jewelry that jingle-jangles, which can be very distracting for an interviewer.

Experts advise against wearing perfume and cologne as well. You may feel like something is missing when you refrain from wearing your favorite fragrance, but this is one more thing that can be distracting during the interview. In addition, many people have sensitivity or allergies to fragrances. Play it safe!

Something Very Different from What the Interviewer Suggested

It’s a good idea to ask about what’s expected of you when you’re setting up a job interview. Always ask the point person that set up the interview for advice on what to wear. If you wear something that is significantly different than the instructions that you were given, then you stand a good chance of turning off the interviewers.

The Obvious

Never attend any interview with ill-fitting, sweat-stained, smelling like smoke, dog or cat hair covered clothing that looks like something you slept in. Never wear the same ensembles you would wear out to a bar or nightclub with your friends. Ridiculously sculpted fingernails on women and pointy shoes and contrasting socks for men are no-nos.

When in doubt, overdress for the first interview.

Good luck!

The 6 worst things to wear to a job interview | Catherine Conlan via

Why You Need to Hire a Professional Resume Writer

August 23rd, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

If Your Resume Isn’t Opening Doors, Get Some Professional Help

Job searching sure is expensive. After all, it costs money to dry clean your interview suit, fill up your tank and drive to each and every job interview. And at a time when you’re counting every nickel and dime, you don’t want to spend any more cash than necessary.

But if you’ve been job searching for some time without success, it may not be what you’re saying, but how you’re coming across on paper. That’s where a resume writer comes in. Resume writers are not just professional writers, but they’re experts in making your resume stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. Here’s why you might need a resume writer, and why it’s such a good investment.

1. U Can’t Right Good

Let’s say you’re an accountant.

Dollars and cents are your game, not words. So if you’re struggling to express your previous work experience well—and your writing confuses HR professionals like advanced math perplexes most of society—a resume writer can help. He/she can discern what needs to be on your resume (and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t), and express it all professionally.

2. You’re Stuck in the Past

When you look at your resume, you think it looks totally awesome. But when a hiring manager sees it, all he’s seeing is the year 1986.

Like music and fashion, even resumes have to be stylish so they can get more than a passing glance from a potential boss. If you’re not sure of what the current trends are, a professional service can give your resume the extra savoir-faire it deserves. From the quality of the paper it’s printed on to the template used, the writer will make sure that your resume reads—and looks—its best.

3. You’re Not Getting Interviews on Your Own

You know your work experience is impressive and your workplace skills are stellar. So why aren’t you getting any interviews?

The main reason could be your subpar resume. A professionally written resume can open doors for you that might lead to a great job. It’s also good to keep in mind you might even need several versions of your resume, depending on the type of job interview you have. These advanced nuances are things with which a professional resume writer can assist.

4. You’re Shy

To you, a resume is a necessary evil. It’s basically a depiction of all your previous accomplishments and accolades, and frankly, you’re not the bragging type.

You might need an expert to help you through the process if you have a hard time talking about yourself, much less writing it all down on paper. There’s no shame in getting help with this because writing about yourself is one of the toughest assignments, and you’re often your own worst critic.

A professional resume writer will know how to spotlight your most worthy accomplishments because he’s looking at them with fresh, unbiased eyes. Let him turn your resume into something that’s personable and professional.

5. You Have Issues

Maybe you left the workplace so you could raise your family, and now there’s a huge gap in your employment history. Or perhaps you’re changing career fields and don’t quite know how to revamp your resume to show off the skills you have for this new industry. While you can’t rewrite history, a professional writer will know just how to accentuate the positives on your resume, and write away any negative aspects.

Hiring a resume writer may not be an option for everyone and some people can do the job on their own. But for those who have the necessary skills but are struggling to get interviews, a professionally polished resume can be one of the best investments you make as you continue on your job search.

So if you’re looking for an edge, an upgrade, and a boost to your job search contact us today!

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Resume Writer | Sara Sutton Fell via

What to Research Before a Job Interview

August 9th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

You know that weird feeling between excitement and dread that accompanies an invitation to interview? It’s especially strong when you know next to nothing about your potential workplace.

However, even if the first time you’ve ever heard of the company you’re interviewing with was the day you sent in your application, you can still walk in like you’ve known about the place for years. The key is to do some pre-interview research to make sure you can handle anything specific to the company that might come up (and offer suggestions to address the company’s particular situation if afforded the opportunity). Below are some topics and strategies you might consider.

Keep in mind, of course, that they will likely be researching you as well, going beyond just your resume and cover letter. So make sure you research yourself as well and clean up your online presence as much as possible!

1. The skills and experience the company values.

First and foremost, you should know what the company looks for in a qualified candidate. This enables you to position yourself as the best candidate for the position.

To discover the skills and experience the employer values, read between the lines of their job postings. You can also find out information on the employer’s career page to get an idea of the type of employees their desire. In addition, reach out to current employees who work there and ask them about what their employer values most in the workplace.

2. Key players of the organization.

The key players within an organization are those employees who hold important positions in the company. These individuals can be managers, department directors, and especially the CEO/president of the company.

You can find out who the key players of the organization by reading the employer’s “About” page and employee bios. It’s also a good idea to check out what these individuals say on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn what employees say about the company online.

3. News and recent events about the employer.

When you go into a job interview, it’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable about the company’s latest news and updates.

Most companies have a page on their website dedicated to press releases and events. This is a great source for you to find out information regarding the company’s latest news and updates.

4. The company’s culture, mission, and values.

Job seekers should be able to confidently say they’re good fit for the company’s culture during any job interview. In fact, a Millennial Branding study says 43 percent of HR professionals believe cultural fit is the most important quality job seekers can have during the hiring process.

As you research the employer, pay attention to what’s written on their website regarding the company’s values and mission. You can also learn more about the company culture by following the organization on its social media networks.

5. Clients, products, and services.

As a potential employee, you need to have an idea of the type of work you’d be doing once hired. By having a general idea of who the company’s clients are and the types of products and services are offered, you’ll be more prepared for the interview, too.

To find out the company’s offerings, you can usually find them on the company’s website. You can also read through the company’s blog, case studies, and white papers to give you a better idea of their accomplishments.

6. The inside scoop.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for the job interview, websites such as Glassdoor help job seekers discover the inside details of a company that can’t be found on the employer’s website.

With these sites, you can typically find information such as salary figures, employee functions and duties, company reviews, details about the hiring process, and more.

7. The person interviewing you.

Finally, you should find out who the interviewer will be. This will give you an advantage during the interview because you’ll have a better chance of connecting with them and sparking a meaningful conversation.

Now it might be a little tricky trying to find out who the interviewer is, but you should be able to locate the person’s name with a little investigation. First, try locating the person’s name from email you received regarding the interview. If you can’t find any information, reply to the email politely requesting the name of the person who’ll interview you.

Once you acquire the interviewer’s name, do some research on LinkedIn and Twitter. This will help you learn about the interviewer’s background, their position with the company, and even some common interests you both share.

Good luck!

7 Things to Research Before Any Job Interview | Heather Huhman via Glassdoor.

Why a Targeted Resume is Critical

July 26th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

When applying for a job, it’s your responsibility to prove you’re the best candidate. This can be challenging if you can’t provide examples showing that this is, indeed, the case. A great way to show your worth is by focusing on what the employer needs most from the candidate who will fill the position, then tailoring your resume to address those needs specifically.

Targeting Your Resume Proves You Are the Best Fit for the Position

Employers absolutely need to know that the candidate they choose for a job is the best fit, which they do by confirming that a candidate’s past accomplishments and current skill set fall in line with the important day-to-day tasks and overarching goals of the position.

If you submit a generic resume that doesn’t address the specific needs of each company and showcase your professional capabilities, you are failing to prove that you are right for the position. And unfortunately, another candidate will be more than willing to pick up your slack — and take your dream job while they’re at it.

How Can You Ensure Your Resume Is Targeted?

So how do you create a targeted resume that will emphatically show an employer that you deserve the interview? Here are a few brief suggestions:

Research the company and position:

A great way to target your resume is to dig in and learn about the company and what the employer wants from its candidates. Once you acquire this information, you will be armed with specifics that can help you determine what contributions you can make to the company.

Customize a job target/title, branding statement, and career summary:

Instead of writing a bland objective statement, place a job target/title at the top of your resume that defines who you are as a professional. Also, create a branding statement (a one- or two-line statement that sums up the value you can offer each employer based upon their needs and how you can meet them) that is customized to the specific job. Then write a career summary (most commonly a bullet point list that shares your career highlights) listing accomplishments most pertinent to the position at the top.

Utilize keywords throughout:

It’s also important to utilize specific keywords in your resume. For example, if you are applying as an executive chef in the hospitality industry, you might incorporate keyword phrases like “menu planning”, “kitchen equipment”, “banquet meal production”, and “procurement of food supplies” as indicators of your knowledge of the field. Keywords should be used in your job target/title, branding statement, career summary, and most other sections in your resume.

Though targeting your resume requires a bit more effort (a resume writing professional can help!), it offers a lot more in return. By taking the time to customize a resume for each application, you give those companies no doubt that you are the best candidate for the job.

Good luck!

Why Writing Targeted Resumes is More Critical Than You Think | Jessica Holbrook Hernandez via HCareers.

What’s in a Title?

July 7th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

For some, it’s ego. For some, it’s power. For some, it’s ambition. For some, it’s self-esteem. And for many job seekers, it could be what keeps you from or lands you your next role.

Your title.

The issue of your current and previous job titles is something to consider carefully, since HR and hiring managers often fixate on titles, which can be (but often are not) simple summaries of what a professional does and at what level. Often, though, depending on the company and the industry, titles can just as easily be misleading or confusing, making it difficult to effectively judge a candidate’s experience and capabilities (especially as regards seniority). And this can hold you back professionally in myriad ways.

So, how can you move on and up if your current title suggests that you don’t have the qualifications for that next step, even if, say, you have years of experience and could very well have a “higher” level title if not for extenuating circumstances such as your company’s budget or team structure? Is your only option to wait with baited breath for a promotion before you can start exploring other opportunities?

If you’re in this situation, you’ve likely asked yourself the following questions: Can you fudge your title on your resume? Embellish your role to be viewed as a more desirable candidate? Take pains to explain your position to the hiring manager? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Examine and Clarify

A job seeker once told me she waited to start looking for a new job until after she got a promotion and title change (from associate editor to editor). While not terribly unhappy in her current role, she was ready to move on. “I probably would’ve done it sooner,” she confided, “but I was embarrassed by my job title.”

She explained that she wasn’t comfortable applying to roles as long as associate was a part of her title, and so stayed put. Now, promotion in hand—or on paper as it were—she was prepared to look forward and embrace a new opportunity, having ditched the label that she believed made her sound too junior for roles she felt qualified for.

If you’re at the point in your career when you could easily have the next title up, whatever that may be in your industry or field, clarify your position on your resume. So maybe you’ve been working as a production assistant for three years, but the truth is, you are the production team at your company.

You report to the director, yes, but you coordinate all of the in-house production, and you’ve moved so far beyond assisting anyone that it’s not even funny. But, for whatever lame reason, you’re stuck with the entry-level title you came in with (even though your salary has most definitely not stayed the same), and you’re worried that if you put that junior-sounding role on your resume, you’re only going to be eligible for roles that were appropriate when you were first starting out. You’ve learned so much since then and are far more qualified than your actual title suggests.

In this case, you’ll need to adapt your resume to close the gap between title and experience.

Redirect and Expand

There’s a really great way to navigate this challenging situation without being dishonest. Instead of putting production assistant on your resume, you put “Name of Company – Production Team – 3 Years.” You can always edit for clarity and communication so long as you’re not misleading or misrepresenting your background or experience.

If that type of clarification gets you an interview, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explain how you started at the company, how the role and responsibilities evolved, and that because of the organization’s budget/protocol/whatever you never actually received a title change during your tenure there. In your resume, focus on the responsibilities and accomplishments and de-emphasize the titles. And remember that your resume is only one part of the job-search process.

That said, because it’s an important one, you do want to err on the side of caution with the information you include. If a company’s human resources department calls your current or former employers for confirmation of your work history, it’s generally looking for two things: your dates of employment and your title, making it a pretty bad idea to put down a position name that wasn’t actually bestowed on you.

Instead, make your resume about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing—avoid highlighting your actual title if you’re worried it’s going to knock you out of the running before you even have a chance to get dressed for the race.

Good luck!

The Answer to “Can I Change My Job Title on My Resume to Make it More Accurate?” | Stacey Lastoe via the Muse.