Posts Tagged ‘professional resume services’

Getting Personal on Your Resume

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

How Much Information Is Too Much?

Does your resume include information that puts you at risk for junk mail, spam, scams or identity theft? Follow these tips from security experts to protect your privacy while allowing the right people to find you.

Determine Your Risk Tolerance
Security experts advise job seekers to trust their instincts and assess their risk tolerance. Some people couldn’t care less about having a great deal of their personal information publicly available, while others feel that any disclosure beyond the basics is too much. Keep in mind that when you post your resume online, you’re sharing it with more than just one employer — you are sharing it with the world.

Find Balance Between Discretion and Disclosure
Job hunting requires releasing certain information to potential employers. At the same time, job seekers can be selective about the information they share. You will have to accept that when you put certain information out into the world, you lose some degree of control over it and how it may be used. The key is to find the right balance between privacy and desired disclosure… It’s good to be prudent but not paranoid.

Posting contact information like phone numbers and street and email addresses doesn’t necessarily pose a high risk for identity theft but can make you vulnerable to scams. Job seekers may be contacted by a representative falsely claiming to be a staff member for a Fortune 500 company, for example. They say they need to do a background check and take all kinds of information about you — and then get 32 credit cards in your name.

Information-Protection Strategies

So how do you protect yourself? Follow these tips:

  • Activate Monster’s Confidentiality Feature: You can hide your name, street and email addresses, phone number and the name of your current or most recent employer. If you upload a Word document or copy-and-paste a plain-text resume, be sure to manually remove identifying information.
  • Be Selective When Providing Contact Information: List a post office box instead of your street address. Alternatively, you can include just your city and state, revealing your full address on request.
  • Be careful with email addresses, too. Use a disposable email address for your job search. To protect phone numbers, consider getting an unlisted number, or use a voice-mail service. Many services offer a free phone number and deliver messages via email, but you will likely have to pay for a local number.
  • Don’t Provide Too Much Personal Information: This may seem obvious, but do not post Social Security numbers, references or any other detailed personal information.
  • If you’re concerned about your employer discovering your job search, omit your company’s name, replacing it with a general description.
  • Be Google-Ready: The vast amount of information available online can be a virtual playground for scammers — or potential employers checking you out. Make sure any nonwork-related online profiles of yours do not contain your full name. That is, if your MySpace or other personal Web sites show a decidedly nonprofessional side of your life, make sure they’re not going to come up in a Web search for your name.

Search Smart
Job seekers should ensure job or interview inquiries are valid. If you are contacted by an employer, conduct research, and find out if the employer and representative are legitimate. Check out every offer or hint of an offer through the phone and Internet, and check the employer’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau.

Original article by Kim Isaacs

6 Career Resolutions for 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

There’s just something about opening a calendar for a new year that inspires us to improve our lives. So it’s no surprise that New Year’s career resolutions often focus on big goals–such as a promotion or a new job.

And that’s why many resolutions get tossed aside by the second week in January. We get overwhelmed when we realize that outcomes are not always in our control.  But there are plenty of attainable goals–such as adding people to your network or committing to read one business-related book per month–that can add up to eventual career success.

Experts recommend a mix of easy-to-achieve and lofty goals. The important part is to choose goals that are directly related to making you more successful in your job.

Here are some other suggestions from the experts:

Hone your elevator pitch.
It starts with honing your personal brand. Perform a simple inventory: What did you do in 2010 that has transferable value to your employer or potential employer in 2011? Then turn that into a succinct (60 seconds or less) pitch on what you are uniquely positioned to do better than anyone else.

You can also get people to start talking about you by updating your LinkedIn profile with any certifications you’ve earned or classes you’re taking, as well as forwarding relevant articles. Create your own buzz. It’s self-promotion, but it’s not shameless.

Brush up on hard skills.
Head back to school for additional education, certification, diplomas, or language skills. Once you have the knowledge and skill, it’s yours forever–hard to take away. Industries and work environments change, so make sure you’re keeping up. Be intentional about your knowledge base and upgrade or update it now.

Solidify your soft skills.

While you’re admiring that new diploma hanging on the wall, you shouldn’t forget about “soft” skills, such as business etiquette, body language, and personal accountability. Master the arts of introductions, conversation, and establishing professional presence. Ask others to judge your handshake, table manners, and posture.

A University of Illinois study concluded that 55 percent of the first impression you make is based on your appearance and your body language. And while first impressions are made within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, it can take up to as many as 21 interactions to undo a bad first impression. If you want to be known for being detail-oriented, hem your pants, polish your fingernails, or iron that shirt.

Work better with others.
Employees should treat everyone they work with as if they are a customer. Everyone includes your company’s management team, your direct supervisor, even your cubicle-mate. Provide knock-your-socks-off service.

One place to start is by sharing credit with your team and with everyone in the organization who contributed to a success. When you do this consistently, you become the kind of leader people will want to follow, regardless of your title. Likewise, acknowledge people when they do great work, and be specific: Give evidence that demonstrates you understand their work and the difference it made to the organization.

Approach failure as an opportunity.

Use every failure or mistake as an opportunity to learn and plan for the future. Pay attention to what you were trying to accomplish, what you did to make that happen, what went right, and what went wrong. By taking time to consider what went into a failed initiative, you can learn what could have been done better–and in the future, if you’re presented with a similar situation or project, you’ll know what you should do differently.

Get advice.
No matter how much experience you have, you will never possess an exhaustive knowledge of the constantly shifting job market.  So get advice from the experts, the people who have been involved in the industry for decades and who make it their business to keep up to date.

Original topic/article written by Lydia Dishman

How do keywords work in a resume?

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

This is an excellent article written by Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW.

Just How Do Keywords Work In a Resume?

So many people are put off by the idea of writing a resume, and ignore doing it until the absolute last possible minute, many times when it is too late. Using a resume that is written properly will save you a lot of heartache in the end, though—and is worth the time investment. Taking advantage of keywords to write a resume is an excellent idea, particularly if it is done well.

One of the main reasons keywords is such a hot topic is because of company scanning machines. Employers use scanning machines to search for keywords in a candidates resume that match their requirements, weeding out everyone else whose resumes don’t match that.

In the last decade or so, it has become the norm for resumes to be sent out over the internet through search engines—particularly the job hunting search engines. Employers will take advantage of these particular search engines, and feed in the required information for each job posting, and a set of tags. In other words, the tags are the keywords that they are looking for in resumes. These tags not only help the companies, but they help you by permitting you to select categories that you feel fit your skill level better. By knowing what category you picked the job from—operations, finance, sales and marketing—you can re-word your resume using relevant keywords to fit the job description (posting) you are interested in. So, how do you know what keywords to add in a resume?

Make a rough list of what you need to add to your resume. Consider the jobs that are on your resume already. What things do they have in common? Start to think about what words you could conveniently place to attract prospective employers’ attention throughout your resume—words that are part of your past experiences–and relevant to the next position. Previous experience managing a manufacturing company can be turned into a keyword, or two—manufacturing operations or operations executive.

Place the keywords appropriately in your resume. Make the sentence or title that they are in seem natural, yet the placement of the keyword will gain attention, especially in the search engines. Consider a bulleted keyword list under your career summary.  Grabbing the attention of human resource managers or the hiring person is easier if you have a keyword list.

Now that you know how keywords work in a resume, take the time to rework your resume. A little bit of extra effort quite often pays off in the long run—especially when you’re looking for the job of your dreams.

The Basics of Resume Writing

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I thought I would make my first post about the absolute basics of the construction of a resume.

What is a Resume?

A resume is the first and most important document to be prepared while looking for a job. It is more like a marketing tool for an individual that helps to grab the hiring manager’s attention. This can be compared to product marketing wherein, the most attractive advertisement grabs our attention. In many countries a resume is comparable to a CV (curriculum vitae). However, in some countries like US and Canada a CV is detailed and used in the medical or educational field whereas a resume is used for a job.

How to Prepare a Good Resume?

The art of resume writing has evolved from a dull and long document to an impressive and precise one. Amongst the pile of resumes, each resume gets around 10-30 seconds screening time. A good resume must be concise and not exceed more than two pages. The most effective formats for resume writing are – chronological, functional or a combination of both.

The chronological format is mainly used for those who already have a good work experience in a particular field and are applying for a job in the same field. In such a format, the first page usually contains sections like job objective, educational background, skills and other relevant information that adds to the job nature including certifications, workshops etc. The second page contains a chronological order listing of work history with the most recent one appearing first. Such kind of reverse chronological format helps to highlight credibility built through gained experience, illustrating career growth.

The functional format is ideal for those who had career gaps, starting a new career or those who would like to shift work fields. A functional format is useful in asserting skills that are specific to the job that is being sought after.

The combination format has a list of functional capabilities followed by a chronological list of work history. This often becomes repetitive and long and so is not widely used.

For all formats, it is important to keep the resume short containing a clear objective with lots of keywords relevant to the job.