Archive for October, 2015

The Worst Resume Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

We usually like to focus on positive advice regarding proper resume construction and distribution but every once in awhile, it’s important to cover the cautionary tales, the bad advice you don’t want to be listening to.

Not that advice has to be totally off the wall to be “bad”. In this case, we are not talking about the “singing telegram” resume or the resume made from chocolate custard or related madness.

Rather, over the years, we’ve had clients come to us and ask us all kinds of questions about advice they’ve heard in regards to resume writing. Some of this advice was on point, like the importance of personal branding, but some other advice was just subtly off-base and likely to lead to poor reception if implemented. Hopefully we can dispel some of the worst resume advice we’ve heard over the years in an effort to help you wade through the deluge of resume writing advice that has taken over the Internet.

Here it goes…

You should have an objective statement.

Objectives are self-serving and fail to show the employer how you can add value to their organization. Instead, put a job title at the top of the resume and follow with an impressive career summary.

You need to include and focus on soft skills.

Including and/or focusing too much attention on so-called “soft skills” in a resume is a waste of time and space. Statements like “excellent written and verbal communication”, “ability to multi-task”, “fast-paced environment”, “professionalism”, and so on are all overused and can apply to any job seeker on the market. Instead, focus on skills and abilities unique to you.

Your summary should be short and general.

A career summary doesn’t have to be boring and vague. Be specific to your accomplishments within the summary: use numbers, metrics, and answer questions like how much, how many, and how often.

Your resume should only be one page long.

Another bad piece of advice we’ve heard is that a resume can ONLY be one page long. How can executives with 20 years of experience fit all of their wonderful achievements and accomplishments onto one page? If you’re an entry-level candidate, you may only need one page but if you have 10+ years of experience, chances are you’re going to need more than a page to communicate all of that great information the employer is going to want to know.

So throw out these misguided notions on resume development and instead create an authentic representation of your career history that positions you well for your job search goals.

Original from Career Realism

4 Ways To Make Your Job Search Suck Less

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

OK, I know what you’re thinking—it’s impossible to make the job search process suck less. After all, job searching is not a traditionally “fun” process. In fact, words that more likely come to mind are stressful, tedious and hard-to-predict.

And I’ll admit that some parts of the job search process are pure torture (cough, waiting to hear back, cough). But, there are many ways to balance it out with memorable experiences. In the same way you have learned to make other “unenjoyable” activities like, say, exercise or networking less-dreaded; applying for a new position can also be energizing and impactful.

Here are four ways to make looking for a new job more fun—or, at the very least, less awful.

1. Be Open To Anything

Whether your search is focused on a single dream job or a specific industry, giving yourself space to look around may uncover interesting positions you had never considered. So, instead of brushing that intriguing listing off, take the time to consider it.

Imagine that you were initially focused on jobs at larger corporations because you love benefits and paid holidays, but then you stumbled upon a couple of exciting startups that could support your goals and fit with your qualifications. So, you take the time to explore this route by simply reaching out to someone at the company and learning more about the position.

Worst case scenario: It’s a networking disaster and you don’t even finish your coffee. More likely scenario: You’ve made a new connection, gotten away from your computer screen, learned about a new opportunity and hopefully made your search less stressful by realizing that there isn’t just one job out there for you.

2. Use Tools You Enjoy

Every person brings unique skills to his or her job search. Maybe you have incredible people skills or maybe you’re an amazing writer. These talents can help you, but too often people think applying to a job has to be a mind-numbing process.

Think about it this way: When a people person is stuck behind a computer screen punching out resumes and sending emails, she can easily resent the experience. However, if the same person were to get her name out there by attending networking events and local workshops, her interest level would immediately increase. The same goes for the talented designer who loathes mingling but could create a truly unique application.

So, use the tools for job searching that match your strengths and interests. If you enjoy one-on-one conversations, set up informational interviews. If you love tech and innovation, build a personal website that shows off your background. Utilizing skills you enjoy will make the process more fun—and help you make the most of your time.

3. Re-Invent Yourself

Maybe you’ve been taking the approach of doing what you know best and you haven’t tracked down any new leads. Well, now is the time to shake things up. Re-invention is one of the more exciting parts of any change—career or otherwise.

Just as exercise can transform you physically and mentally, the job search can similarly challenge people to become the best version of themselves. Speaking to strangers, marketing yourself and writing persuasive emails are all chances to embody a more confident demeanor and communicate at a higher level.

If the job search is starting to discourage you, mix things up by re-inventing yourself. For example, you could change your LinkedIn profile or resume to present your story in a different way. Or, you could watch top speakers and emulate their tone and delivery to become more comfortable at networking events.

When you challenge yourself to master new techniques and capture the boldest and most charismatic parts of your personality, the job search becomes much more than looking for a job. It becomes about personal and professional growth.

4. Treat Yourself

Ultimately, searching for a new position can open the door to new opportunities, friends and choices. So, accept the highs and lows of the process and focus on progress at each stage, including vulnerabilities you’ve challenged and uncomfortable situations you’ve survived.

Make it more rewarding by treating yourself in small ways for staying on track. For example, take a break after an intensive round of interviews, make time for a hobby after a full day of applying or see your favorite band at the end of the month. These mini-celebrations will pace the journey and provide things to look forward to when things aren’t going your way.

The ultimate reward, of course, is landing a thrilling job at a company that is equally as excited to have you. When you do, the new opportunity will be well worth the grueling process.

Finding a new job is usually a challenging process, but it can also present opportunities for memorable stories, discovery and personal and professional growth. And the fun is there, too—if you dig a little deeper.

Original from The Daily Muse.