Resume & Career Advice

June 21, 2011

Is Career Objective Still a Good Resume Strategy?

Resume Career Objective

Will you still employ a career objective on your resume?

No. Definitely not. Human Resources Managers and Recruitment Officers will say the same:
“Indicating career objectives is no longer considered a good resume writing strategy.” May this short post help you understand why you should no longer employ the outdated resume strategy.

The resume reads: “Career Objective: To be able to enhance my professional skills in a dynamic and stable workplace and to grow with company.” Admittedly, this doesn’t sound as bad as it may seem. However, HR specialists and hiring executives are now more critical than ever. Read again and identify whether the text is company-focused or personally-focused. Recruitment specialists have found out that most career objectives are centered towards what the applicant wishes to get from his or her possible employment for the company. While ‘to enhance professional skills’ and ‘to grow with the company’ are positive objectives, they do not indicate what the applicant’s objectives are for the company. Because majority of non-professional resume writers write similarly text to the above example, experts suggest that applicants should no longer use career objective in their resumes.

The alternative to ‘career objective’ is the presidential message, which is also called as banner.
Presidential message, unlike career objective that tells what they want to achieve in the company, tells the employer ‘why should the employer hire the applicant.’ Presidential message is quite more difficult to draft though than their outdate career objective. However, the presidential message provides stronger impact because it tells the prospective employer what his/her company can expect from the applicant and what the applicant’s professional strengths that will benefit the company. The best ways to write the presidential message are: (a) Point out the strength of experience (number of years in the field/industry); (b) Point out greatest accomplishments within the field; (c) Point out the professional strengths that are required for the position. For presidential message to be more effective though, it needs supporting statements.

Career Objective is no longer a good strategy to make your resume standout. Presidential Message is the new and more effective strategy for your resume. Seek professional help if you have difficulties in coming up with the presidential message that would carry your qualifications in your resume.

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May 23, 2011

Professional Resume Writing: How Do You Make a Difference?

Resume Writing: Making a Difference

Does your resume set you apart from other employment hopefuls?

Many people believe that resume writing is a ‘piece of cake,’ ‘a walk in the park,’ until they get to sit down and craft their own resume. They sit for hours facing the computer or staring at the blank piece of paper they intend to pass as reference of their professional experience and qualifications for work. In an informal and unscientific survey on ‘whether quality resumes are easy to draft,’ thirty seven (37) individuals, who were asked from the 34th Street District of New York City, said that drafting resume is only a matter of putting employment record and contact information on a piece of paper. Sixty-three (63) out of the 100 individuals said that drafting resumes that yield result is a tough call. Of the 100 respondents, seventy-three (73) have either made or attempted to make their own resume. Twenty-seven (27) sought helped from professional resume writing.

Why has professional resume writing service become popular among job seekers? This is primarily because professional resume writing makes a difference—it provides job seekers the leverage in landing jobs. While resume writing is a personal endeavor of job seekers and job applicants, the challenging feat is steering one’s resume to the direction of the desired position and/or field or industry. One of the most common mistakes of non-professional resume writers is that their resumes sound too personal, unprofessional and too much crowded with information. Getting help from professional resume writers will provide applicants professional opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of old resumes and will be able to provide the applicants with new, stronger and much more professional resume.

Professional resume writing entails understanding of HR management preference for applicants, understanding of industry or position being applied for and the skill of effectively using language in to order exceptionally communicate an applicant’s qualifications and core professional strengths. This is why professional resume writing services make a positive difference in job seeking endeavors.

May 9, 2011

Techniques in Shortening your Resume

Condensing the Resume Draft

How do you keep your resume short without cutting your job chances?

So you’ve had quite a few stints in numerous companies since graduating from college. Perhaps you’ve been working for twenty years, jumping from one field to another. Whatever your background, you end up with a three to five-page resume that lists all your skills and accomplishments. You’re just about ready to take the first step to getting your dream job. But then you find out (and if you didn’t know, I’m telling you now) that most employers prefer to read resumes that are one to two pages long. Your resume turns out to be too hefty. What do you do?

• If your resume is just a little over two pages, the first option will be to experiment with the fonts. Times New Roman is thinner and occupies less space, and you can use a smaller font size, but remember that anything less than 10-point might be unreadable. Also bear in mind to keep the type and size in your sections consistent.

• However, the most important thing to do is to trim your resume. Tailor your resume to fit the job you’re applying for. Anything that is irrelevant to your objective is excess fat. You can do without it. You might have been a sales executive for 10 years, but if you want to get a job as an IT professional, it just doesn’t help your cause.

• Use bullet points with clauses instead of complete sentences and paragraphs in the list of job responsibilities. It saves space and looks better. While you’re at it, remove unnecessary indents in your sections.

• Further, you don’t have to list all your responsibilities in a position. Highlights of some of your achievements and accomplishments do the job better. Employers normally take 20 seconds or less to scan your resume more relevant and more readable often ends up shortening it. It doesn’t hurt that you’re making your prospective employer’s life easier even before you get the job!

April 4, 2011

Drafting the Summary of Qualifications in Your Résumé

Summary of Qualifications

Can your resume’s summary of qualifications catch the attention of a potential employer?

So you’re already hyped up to create a résumé draft. You’ve already listed the names of the companies that you worked in, prepared job descriptions and list of accomplishments in every position you have handled and information about your education and some professional development activities you’ve had. However, in the process, you realize that you’re having difficulty with the summary of qualifications. According to an informal, unscientific yet practical survey employing random sample of 100 job seekers, the most difficult part of writing a résumé is the summary of qualifications.

The difficulty in drafting a summary of qualifications in a résumé is commonly not because of the lack of qualification but the lack of knowledge to discriminate the qualifications that matters for the specific job target. As all professional résumé writers would say, as much as possible be specific with the direction of your résumé. Having the knowledge of what position or at least field or industry you want to apply for. In drafting a summary of qualifications, answer the following:

1. What similar and valuable experience can I offer to the company?
2. What are my strengths that the company would benefit from?
3. What are my accomplishments in my past that is worth mentioning?

Funny, but true though, I.T. professionals tend to have the longest summary of qualifications. In fact, some can even produce a 100-page summary of qualifications because they either do not want to let go of some of their qualifications or they do not know which qualifications are relevant. Only choose relevant information. Below is an example of a badly written summary of qualifications.

Summary of Qualifications:
I am an intelligent sales professional with two years of professional experience in sales and am looking for a position in sales that can help me grow professionally in an environment that appreciates talent. My qualifications include proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and ability to handle pressure. I am athletic and member of the varsity team. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. I have been also recognized for excellence in organizing corporate parties.

If you’re current summary of qualifications reads similar to the example, either draft a new one or seek professional help.

March 7, 2011

Video Resume: A Job Search Advantage

Video Resume

Should we start using video resumes in our job search?

A video resume is a video, with length usually ranging from one to three minutes, where a jobseeker sells himself to potential employers. It has been catching on lately, as evidenced by many job and career sites allowing users to upload their video resumes. However, do video resumes actually help more than they hurt your chances at getting a job?

For one—at least for now—a video resume has the advantage of making one stand out. In a sea of text resumes floating around, video resumes are a haven of uniqueness, a respite for employers from the monotony of black and white. The important thing, then, is to make sure that your video resume makes you stand out for the right reasons.

Too often, a jobseeker would appear either artificial or awkward. Sometimes, video resumes would seem gimmicky or unprofessional. However, when properly made, a video resume shows employers what Arial on white background cannot: creativity and imagination.

Also, video resumes can effectively highlight your skills more than italics or bold typeface. You can write about your excellent communication and presentation skills or your command of the latest technology in your paper resume, but in your video resume, you can show them. It is no longer a formulaic description; it is the skill in action.

Ultimately, a video resume is an innovative supplement to your paper resume to give you an advantage in your job search. After all, a hiring manager would more likely watch an interesting video than read through mounds of paper resumes. The key word, of course, is “interesting.” Also keep in mind that a poorly made video resume could just as well ruin your chances, perhaps even more than a bland resume would. If you do it well however, a video resume could be your ticket to being a 36pt font size in a page of 12s.

February 28, 2011

How to Start Writing a Résumé from Scratch

Resume Writing From Scratch

Does it take you this much to build a resume from scratch?

Sam, not his real name, was a top sales and marketing executive in a high performing financial services company. He was delivering sales way above the majority of his colleagues. He was on top of his game when all of a sudden the financial crisis happened. The company was dissolved and the next thing he knew, he was out looking for a job. Being the sales and marketing professional that he is, selling himself through a resume shouldn’t be a problem— however, it was. Sam never made a résumé his entire life. Believe it or not, many people, even those with years of professional experience, do not own a résumé. Sam found out that writing a résumé from scratch is a difficult task.

One of the most important matters to remember when writing a resume is the target industry or position. In order to draft an effective résumé, the résumé writer should be able to use industry or field-specific jargons that would increase the probability of the prospective employers’ recognition of the applicant’s capability or compatibility to the position or at least the industry/field. Another important consideration should be assessment of professional strengths and skills. These core strengths should imply that the applicant has the qualifications best fit for the position.

Perhaps the most important and essential part of writing a résumé from scratch is the listing down of the two most common parts of a résumé— education and professional experience. List down the names of the companies, inclusive dates of employment, and relevant job descriptions including accomplishments achieved during the term of employment. This must be written chronologically. Not all employment experience though should be expounded in the résumé. Only relevant employment or work experiences with similar tasks must have longer job descriptions.

Résumé writing can be very difficult, even for marketing experts like Sam. Remember, it is never a sign of professional weakness to ask professional help when drafting a resume, especially drafting résumé from scratch.

November 22, 2010

Resume Writing with Zero Work Experience

Finding a Job With No Work Experience

Can you get a job with no work experience?

People have the mistaken notion that a resume should be made up mostly of work experience. This becomes a problem when someone without any work experience tries to write a resume to get his first job. With almost nothing to write, should he just list his education, address, and phone number, and hope he gets a call?

Creating a resume is like making an advertisement for yourself. If you’ve worked for a couple of big name companies, then those could be your best selling points. However, they are not the only details that would get an employer to buy. If you have no work experience, you could instead write something about your academic life. Put the clubs you’ve joined or led. If you took electives that relate to the job you’re applying for, then that would work too. You could also include your academic achievements or awards. If you are a member of the student council or have won competitions, you may list those as well.

Outside school, you might be involved in volunteer work or community groups, which you could also write in your resume. If you have completed certifications or trainings—especially those in connection with your potential job—then those would also be beneficial. If you maintain a blog or have put up a website, you could write that too. That doesn’t end there. You can even include certain abilities that relate to the job. Find out what the employer is looking for, and write in your resume how your character and qualities answer that call.

Nevertheless, your resume shouldn’t look like a jumbled list of everything you’ve done since you were thirteen. List down everything you can—following the suggestions above—and pick the “experiences” that relate most to the job you want. The fact that you were a hit on karaoke night would not exactly help you get the attention of potential employers. Determine which ones actually show that you’re the perfect fit for the person the company is looking for, and illustrate them in your resume using experiences that you might not have been paid for, but you have definitely learned something from. You may have no work experience, but these experiences would certainly work too.

November 1, 2010

Resume Writing: Targeted vs. General Resumes

Targeted vs. General Resume Writing

Should you a write a targeted or a general resume?

Job applications can be likened to marketing. As an applicant, you try to sell your skills to potential customers – the employers. But, before you get the chance to “sales talk” with these customers, you first need to present a product catalogue – your resume.

Resume writing has evolved dramatically over the years. Gone are the days when applicants tend to have those same generic-looking resume that overly state their past experiences. Employers now prefer simpler resumes that speak about the specific qualities and competencies of applicants. These resumes are regarded as “targeted”.

A targeted resume has numerous advantages as compared to generic ones. First, it highlights those competencies that are highly relevant to the job specification. In this time of specialized job responsibilities, highlighting these competencies increase an applicant’s chance of getting a feedback from an employer for the reason that they help hiring managers to easily sort out qualified candidates from those who are not. On the other hand, a general resume can be cluttered with too much and at times irrelevant information, there is a tendency for hiring managers to miss out the information they need. Moreover, a targeted resume can speak about an applicant’s seriousness towards the job he or she is applying for since it shows the effort of tailor fitting the resume just for that specific position. A generic resume, on the other hand, might give an impression that the applicant might just be trying out his or her luck about that certain job opening.

Just like in marketing in which a product needs to be in focus, a targeted resume helps an applicant to position himself for the job and showcases his unique selling points to prospective employers.

October 20, 2010

Should You Hire a Professional Resume Writer?

Professional Resumes

Is your resume really “professionally” written?

In a vast online world where do-it-yourself instructions and how-to information abound, one would easily be able to look for step-by-step explanations on how to do certain things—perhaps, even everything—from playing the acoustic guitar to using a Microsoft Zune portable media player.  You need to change the batteries on your iPhone?  A quick Google search will yield numerous video demonstrations.  Your pecan pie not coming out the way you want it to?  Yahoo! Answers will have a host of suggestions for you.

It is therefore not surprising that people often decide to write something as simple as a resume without asking for help from professionals.  Besides, you might not even think you need help in writing a resume, and should you require any assistance, there is always the internet.

However, what people fail to realize is the value of professional assistance.  You could study all the steps about rewiring the lights in your home—and you could even end up doing a good enough job—but will you take the chance?  If you have any doubt in your skill in electrical installation, the best thing to do is to ask for help from a professional.  An electrician rewires homes for a living.  It is what he does.  You can trust him with your lights.

It is the same for resumes.  A professional resume writer creates resumes for a living.  If your current resume is not getting you the interviews you think you deserve, then it is time to seek professional advice.  A professional resume writer can make your resume play to your strengths.  He knows what employers want and will get you that interview.

In the end, you can go ahead and incorporate the advice that you got from the web and create your own resume.  You could even end up creating a good enough resume, and you might get a call from your potential employer.  But will you take the chance?  If you have any doubt in your skill in resume writing, the best thing to do is to ask for help from a professional resume writer.  After all, it is what he does.  You can trust him with your resume.

October 11, 2010

What Parts Should You Retain and Leave Out to Make an Honest Resume?

Building a Good and Honest Resume

A closer look on what an effective resume should be.

With the many elements of the modern age that allows free and easier access to information and connection to other people, many have gotten used to broadcasting day-to-day activities and all personal information. However, preparing and writing a resume is different. Writing a resume simply entails the philosophy – “less is more.”

The usual idea in writing a resume for some is presenting and squeezing all personal and background information available in order to acquire the impression of candor. But this is not a proper practice. You may be able to compose an honest resume by leaving out some points in which employers could avoid the chance of discrimination with regards to age, gender, religion, and ethnicity, thus, the lesser information you divulge in your resume, the more likely you make the cut.

In writing your resume, you may not put personal information such as your marital status, your family members and your religious affiliation. These information are not allowed to be collected, so you don’t have to give it out to them. Also, hobbies and political views that may link you with controversial issues need to be eliminated. Everyone is entitled his own opinion, thus you don’t want to be judged due to your stands, right? You may not include the year of your graduation. You can only include your degree and your major as well as the institution you graduated from. Not putting the year of the graduation decreases the likelihood of age discrimination. You don’t want the reviewers to be doing the math calculating your age.  Do away with irrelevant experiences. You don’t want to be putting all unnecessary experiences not at all related to the job you are applying for. It will not make you look “experienced”, but will only increase the chance for the reviewers of thinking that you may not be the one suitable for the job.

Resumes are designed to present the professional side of you, thus focus on your job description and place information that will only support your pursuit for the job.

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