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 May this short post help you understand why you should no longer employ the outdated resume strategy.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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June 13, 2011

What You Need to Know About Resume Designs and Styles

Resume Design

Are you taking advantage of the right resume design?

It is true— resume is an art. However, resume should not look like the text version of a Pablo Picasso work. Resume should look professional, symmetric, clean while being distinctive and appealing.

Just like art, form should follow function. Always keep in mind that the main role and function of resume is to serve as a marketing tool for job seekers. Therefore, the structure and design of the resume should highlight the applicant’s qualifications. How is this done? When establishing sections, employ the F-Pattern, which is the way most people read— start from the upper left hand side move to the right, down, then to the right again. Important information and stronger experience should come first. When you are still a level-entry professional, you should place the ‘education’ section first before the ‘professional experience.’

Use only 2 font styles at maximum. Don’t be too colorful. Avoid using red, green, pink, yellow and orange. Font size should not exceed 12 and not be smaller than 10. Observe the importance of white spaces. This is accomplished by providing a distinct space between sections. Margins should not be more than 1” from all sides and should not be less than .5” White spaces are breathing spaces. Choose white, thick and unscented paper, preferably letter-size or A4 size.

In order to make your resume stand out, you may try to come up with personalized logos and experiment with font size, lines and background hues. The tricky part is how to make the design appropriate to the industry. Research, research, research. However, if the challenge is very tough, it is always a good investment to let a professional make a personalized and professional-looking resume for you.

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 16, 2011

Establishing Professional Online Identity

Employment: Professional Online Identity

Can your professional online identity get you hired?

The internet is a very powerful tool for communication, commerce and even for marketing oneself for employment. However, one must be aware that internet is both professionally constructive and destructive depending on how a person uses the internet and whether or not he or she practices discretion and moral ethics in his or her online activities. The modern day practice of Human Resource executives, who are tasked with doing background check as part of the recruitment process, includes checking an applicant’s online identity. When applying, one should keep in mind that the internet may make or break future employment. There are many ways to establish a professional online identity that would serve as a good reference to a person’s character, professionally and personally. These are:

1. Discretion and prudent use of networking sites. Popular networking sites such as myspace, multiply, twitter, friendster and facebook have become so prevalent that almost all people with internet access have at least account on at least one of the mentioned sites. These sites are very much trendy and fun, however, self-restriction and prudence must be practice in posting photos, blogs and comments. Photos wherein an applicant is drunk or nude and comments that are racist and insensitive are not the way to establish professional identity online.

2. One good practice is to join professional forums where one can air professional opinions and polite exchange of thoughts and ideas. Presence of these will imply that the person is intelligent. Another similar approach is development of an intelligent, prudent blog or contributing to online publications.

3. Make an online portfolio or a web-based resume that can be easily searched by employers and that can easily be referred to when hiring and recruitment are urgent. The trick is to develop as professional looking web-based resume that uses language excellently and that could market personal and professional strengths.

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!

May 2, 2011

Royal Weddings – How Many Jobs Do They Create?

Royal Wedding Jobs

How many jobs does a “royal wedding of the century” create?

The wedding of Prince William of England and Kate Middleton has created a worldwide extravaganza that practically no one could escape. But aside from the feel-good atmosphere it creates in London and elsewhere, the Royal Wedding is also, as one writer calls it, “a Royal Flush for Jobs.” Indeed, lavish events such as the recent Royal Wedding are actually good for the economy.

For one, if you were in Britain, you could have applied for a couple of Royal Wedding Job Vacancies: a coffee room and a wash-up assistant. Locals also had the advantage of possibly being providers of the food, flowers, security, and other event necessities.

Whenever a Royal Wedding takes place, people all around the world typically scramble to produce event-related souvenirs and trinkets, from Royal Wedding commemorative coins, to teabags and refrigerators with the likeness of the Royal Couple. Particularly with the holidays created by such affairs, the tourism industry also gets a jolt. With the influx of well-wishers and spectators who flock to the location to witness the event, travel agencies abroad, as well as local businesses, benefit from the spike in the number of clients.

During Prince William and Kate’s wedding, one woman had an instant dose of fame and employment when she was shortlisted to be a citizen reporter representing USA Today in the Royal Wedding. In fact, the news industry in general would need additional, if temporary, workforce to cover such an event.

Finally, the Royal Wedding created a situation where businesses encountered two successive four-day weekends. A Silicon.com report suggested using the extra down time for system upgrades, patches, or test runs. In retrospect, IT professionals could have offered their expertise to businesses, benefitting both sides.

Royal Weddings are a goldmine for employment and business opportunities. These prospects might not be long-term, but they are plentiful. If nothing else, something like “Ensured timely service to the future King and Queen of England and their 1,900 guests” might just look good on your resume.

March 28, 2011

How to Determine a Good Job Offer

Determining a Good Job Offer

Are your hopes high with the job offer?

A few months ago, Sam submitted copies of his résumé to several random companies he could think. He believes that just as long as he has the skills, experience and similar specializations of the professional the company is looking, the job would be good. Sam even posted his résumé to an online employment database to get his application to a wider number of recruiters, headhunters and possible employers. Sam is a good example of how many people find employment. Sam was successful enough to have been offered jobs from three different companies. Unfortunately, Sam is also of those who are not very keen in what makes a good job offer.

There are many aspects of a job offer that need to be reviewed before responding to it. The most obvious is the financial aspect of the job. How much is the salary or wage? This is undeniable the key consideration by most people. In this light, there are many questions that must be objectively answered. There are questions like: Is the offer salary competitive enough in the type of profession or field? Does the salary/wage offer make you feel insulted or pleased? If deciding on multiple offers— which job offer offers higher pay?

Another important consideration which people often overlook is the job description. Are you capable of the demands and challenges of the position? Is the job too demanding? One very important consideration is the organization. In determining a good job offer, one should not be limited to the job description and the salary alone. It is very crucial for people to look into the organization— the stability of the organization/company, its credibility and how it treats its employees. Do they provide good benefits? Furthermore, location and proximity of home to work should also be a paramount determinant. This will affect additional expense, which should affect perception towards the salary. If the job offer requires to relocation, ask yourself whether you want to and if it is worth it.

Nobody can point out which job offer is best for an individual— this is because there are emotions and preferences that are part of the decision making. However, in determining a good job offer, one must stay as objective as possible.

January 31, 2011

Finding and Quitting: 2010 Career Lessons

Career Lessons

Which of the many career lessons of 2010 should you carry on to 2011?

It was the low and the high times, the best and the worst. Series of events happened that with all its varieties, certain lessons have to be learned and remembered in order for us to move forward. The year 2010 has just left us, but what are certain insights that remain?

Lessons for the profession are important to remember and the events regarding career in 2010 will allow us to reflect on what could be done in the new year. Below are news related to career in the past year with valuable lessons to treasure.

•   Mothers who are considering working while having an infant child isn’t such bad idea after all. In July last year, a Columbia University study indicates that mothers or parents basically should not feel guilty having to work while attending to children since it does not have any effects on their performance. Now that seems to be such great news especially when parents have to find a career in order to meet the demands of their children’s needs.

•   Choosing a career carefully is also one of the greatest lessons of all times. In a survey of The Conference Board research group, 45% of the Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs. Relative reasons would include their loss of interest about the job, the stagnant income due to rising inflation and the towering cost of health insurance adds to their burden of having very low take home pay. Showing low interest for a job can be a lesson to job seekers on finding the right career; but the two latter reasons can also be a call for ways on how the economy should be improved so that labor trend can be considered as stable.

•   Relative to the unsatisfied Americans with their job, quitting can be an option but it is also notable that finding a new one is very important. A Business Insider survey says 57% of their 225 participants have quit a job and have still not found another one in the past two years. This is actually depressing especially that today’s economy is experiencing a tough time. As we face 2011, we are faced with the challenge on either staying with our unhappy jobs or just quit.

January 24, 2011

How Long Should A Resume Be?

Resume Length

How long should a resume be to effectively showcase your career strengths?

With the competition on the job market getting increasingly competitive, an applicant must not compromise the presentation of his abilities just to save space. After all a résumé sells you as the product, so it must catch the attention and interest of the buyer. Most of the time, only applicants with very impressive résumés only get to the interview, so résumé length must not get in the way of landing the job you want.

Gone are the days when one-page résumé is a must. According to Grant Cooper, president of Strategic Resumes, “Brief resumes are simply no longer effective in today’s increasingly competitive job market. . . The advice that ‘They only want to see one-page resumes,’ is perhaps the single most outdated and incorrect statement job-seekers hear today.” Résumé length truly depends on the applicant’s experience and position he is applying for. Usually, though not always, new graduates and entry-level job-seekers often write one-page résumé while most executives at the highest levels need résumé that exceeds two pages. The thing is, if an applicant does not have enough experience to include onto a second page, one page is enough. If a single page is not enough, however, to sufficiently communicate the depth of their experience and skills, it is safe to go for two pages.

Remember to put only the most vital and helpful information about yourself in your résumé. Never submit a document that looks more like an autobiography than a résumé. Stick to career objectives, relevant job experiences, years of experience, industry, title/position, educational and special trainings and accomplishments.

Needless of length, an applicant must remember only to include relevant information for the position one is applying for. Word conservation must be practiced and the formatting must be crisp and clean. One must not cram all the information to follow the one-page résumé rule. Some even resort to using 8- or 9-point type to “cram” everything in a page. Experts say that many companies are perfectly fine with well-written, concise and well-formatted two-page résumé that is easy to read and includes all the information they need. Also, it is very important to remember that a resume must capture attention on the first page. The use of powerful objective (headline) and strong summary of qualifications (executive summary) will make your résumé impressive at first glance whatever the length is.

January 17, 2011

Writing a Résumé for Jobs in the Healthcare Industry

Health Care Jobs

Are you ready for a healthcare job this 2011?

Reliable job-watch and career websites seem to agree that the Healthcare Industry will prove to be an industry of most number of and best employment opportunities in the year 2011. According to AOL Jobs, the top 10 most secure jobs in 2011 are: (1) nurse, (2) physical therapist, (3) pharmacist, (4) physician and surgeon, (5) computer systems analyst and administrator, (6) computer software engineer, (7) biomedical and environmental engineer, (8) accountant, auditor and financial advisor, (9) veterinarian, and 10) lawyer, paralegal and legal assistant. Ranked top are healthcare related jobs. The U.S. News Money Career says that “Healthcare continues to offer excellent opportunities for job seekers, and not only positions that require a medical degree. Occupations that call for fewer years of study and offer more moderate salaries are also in demand”— what could these news mean? Healthcare jobs are in demand this year.

To land a healthcare job requires a résumé that is formatted towards the healthcare industry. Generic résumés will NOT be of much help. It is highly important for an applicant to identify which healthcare job he or she is applying for. Knowing the specific position to apply for is like the guiding line on how to construct the résumé. A doctor’s résumé should not sound like a résumé of a nurse.

Make sure to highlight pertinent professional skills that are required in the healthcare professional. These professional skills and strengths should also be termed in the jargon highly accepted and used within the healthcare industry. Examples of strengths that must be highlighted are: Knowledge of medical terminologies; Nursing Aptitude— Neonatal, Medical Surgical, OR and ER. Use jargons according to relevance. Present background and work experiences that are relevant to positioned being applied for.

For those who are applying for entry-level positions, they should supply educational information first, especially if there are healthcare related, before presenting non-industry related work experience. Entry-level applicants and career changers/shifters may find it very challenging to identify their strengths and experiences that would allow good transition towards the healthcare industry. Professional help is always a good option.

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