Posts Tagged ‘Summary’

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 Résumé Tips For Older Workers

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Looking to launch a second career? Follow these tips to revitalize your résumé

Every year, millions of Americans over age 55 happily choose to retire. But whether it’s due to a lack of savings or a desire to stay active, many others remain in the workforce, and their numbers are growing: In 2012, 40.6 percent of people age 55 and older considered themselves to be in the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With more and more older workers looking to stay in or re-enter the workforce with a second career, it is important to make sure your résumé highlights all the experience and passion you have to offer. With that in mind, here are some tips to make sure your résumé is up to current standards:

1. Emphasize your relevant job skills. If you’re moving into a new sector, it’s really important to highlight transferable skills. Although seasoned workers may have years of experience in one field, it is important to play up your ability to seamlessly make the leap into another, and emphasize any new training or experience. If you’ve done any retraining or recent education, put that prominently, and really highlight it because it shows you’re refreshing your skills … A shiny new credential is the great equalizer if you feel like in other ways you may be disadvantaged by your age.

Don’t be afraid to draw from experiences that may come from volunteering or serving outside the workplace. If the most relevant experience or the most recent experience you’ve had for the work you want to do is in a volunteer or pro bono capacity, just write that. Write that up as you would write any other work experience. Describe your contributions and responsibilities in a way that really exemplifies why that work makes you more marketable for doing that same kind of activity in a paid context.

2. Dance around dates. Many older workers clutter their résumés with decades of prior experience. Instead of relying on your early work history, stress your most recent and relevant professional experience. You really don’t want to list jobs that are back in the 1980s or 1990s so much.

Instead, list relevant work experience from the past decade. If you need to list anything further back – say, from 15 or 20 years ago – try including a “previous work experience” section that lists the company and job title without dates.

Or kick off your résumé with a brief narrative or summary of your qualifications. Employers often don’t really care what you did 25 or 30 years ago. But if that happens to be the most relevant work that you do, your challenge is to find a way to feature that prominently, and one of the best ways to do that is up in the top in a summary. It’s a way to encapsulate a long period of experience and really highlight the relevant pieces of it … even though it was quite a long time ago.

3. Ditch outdated phrases. Thoughtfully prepare and age-proof the job descriptions on your résumé. Be very careful about checking your choice of words and the language that you’re using. As an example of this, if someone started their career way back when in HR and at the time, they were director of personnel and if they put that on a résumé now, it would completely date them … People talk in terms of ‘talent acquisition’ now. So pay attention to your word usage.

Tailor your language by looking at the company’s job posting or list of qualifications. Figure out what that company is looking for, and then use phrases and terminology in their ad to describe what you’ve done. Streamline your language, replacing clunky phrases like “duties included” or “responsible for” with active verbs that showcase your abilities, and nix the tried-and-true objective statement because that’s kind of focused on what you want versus what you have to offer. Instead, use a summary of qualifications or a profile to open the résumé and really highlight your value proposition – what it is that you have that really would be valuable to the next employer.

4. Reformat. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your résumé just needs to look like a résumé from 2014. Even your font choices could inadvertently reveal your age. For example, Times New Roman is certainly OK, and it’s acceptable standard font on résumés, but you could go with something that’s a little bit more modern, too.

Stick to the traditional education and experience format, but make sure your résumé can lead potential employers to your online presence. Include links to your LinkedIn profile, and indicate whether you’re active on social media, such as Google Plus or Twitter. If that’s part of your profile, that’s a good thing to put on your résumé, especially if you’re worried about ageism issues. You should be investing in your LinkedIn profile as much as or more than you are investing in an old-style résumé … Make sure that it shows you’re fluent with the way people are finding work today.

Original from Huffington Post

Your Resume – Summary vs. Objective

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The days of writing a career objective are long over. The objective was traditionally reserved for recent graduates or professionals changing fields or industries to indicate to hiring managers the kind of position they wanted, as this might not be immediately apparent from their resume since it would either have little experience or unrelated experience. It soon became fashionable for everyone to write a career objective at the beginning of their resume. However, most recruiters rightly point out that hiring managers don’t want to know what a job seeker wants from an employer but what the job seeker can offer to the employer.

It is now standard procedure to include a brief summary rather than an objective. The summary is designed to provide the employer a quick snapshot of what you have done and for how long, outlining your strengths, skills, and expertise (especially intangibles).

Summary or Objective of a Resume

It is important to know what a summary statement should include, as there is no set format and templates should be avoided. Some of the key ingredients are:

– Mention your industry, your work experience in years, and the kinds of companies you have worked for.

e.g., Financial Services, 20 years, private and public sector, Fortune 500, etc.

– Include important functional and vertical skills or expertise you demonstrate.

e.g., back office, service delivery, music composition, lyricist, accounting, software specialist, etc.

It is also important to include keywords from the description of the job that you are applying for. Otherwise, while the human element (HR) might be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you have some possible relevance to the job, the Application Tracking Software surely won’t and you’ll be filtered out before they even see your resume.

– An executive summary should not attempt to confuse or deceive the reader. It must be honest and consistent with the rest of the resume. Be concise and avoid generalizations. Think of it as a quick road map to what the hiring manager will be reading further below.

– The summary should be just that: a summary. It should summarize the details and the breadth of your career and resume. And it should be able to convey your background in less than 20 seconds.

Problems occasionally arise, however, when a professional is attempting to move into an adjacent profession, such as when a musician wants to be a lyricist or a teacher is applying for math tutoring near me or applying for role as a personal trainer. The goal then is to make the employer understand that you have transferable skills that are applicable to the role for which you are applying, even though you don’t have any or much direct experience. The summary can be an excellent place to accomplish this, as it will explain the situation immediately to the hiring manager and provide the lenses through which the hiring manager should read the rest of your resume.