Resume & Career Advice

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.

Advertisements

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 14, 2011

Does Resume Submission (to Job Databases) Really Work?

Resume Submission

Is there any advantage with submitting your resume to job databases?

Because times are tough and competition in landing jobs are tougher today, job seekers are looking for alternative ways to get their résumés to as much employers as possible— the internet is the most powerful tool in making this happen. Prospective employers and job seekers have now capitalized on the internet technology in announcing job openings and in hopefully landing jobs. The proof of this is only keying in ‘jobs’ in any browser and hundreds of job databases appears on the result. Many of these job databases require job seekers to post their résumés so that possible employers will have access to these applicants. Does this work? Yes.

Although it is true that not many online applicants, particularly those who have submitted their résumés to job databases, are successful enough to have landed jobs or have been contacted by interested employers, many could attest that they have secured a job because of this system. There are credible databases that pass submitted résumés to companies. One consideration of this assertion is that ‘job databases’ are businesses that provide service to job seekers and employers.

The discouraging assumption that résumé submission to job databases does not work comes from the fact that there are too many applicants and only very little employers and/or number of vacant jobs. Also, most of the submitted résumés are not strong enough to be noticed by employers. These types of résumés may have not the correct format. It is very important to understand that electronic résumé submission requires specific format— the scannable format, which uses keywords are intended to match jobs in the databases.

In order to land jobs employing the method of submitting résumés to job databases the format of the résumés must be correct. It is a good career investment to ask for professional help if you are not capable of this.

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 3, 2011

Green Jobs: OK for the Environment — What About for Job Seekers?

Green Jobs

Are green jobs as promising to job seekers as they are to the environment?

The ‘Green Revolution’ has started. At first, green revolution only refers to agriculture but now almost everything is going ‘green.’ The green revolution or the act of going green refers to advancing sustainability of the environment through the use and preference of organically grown foods, recycling, sustainable/green transportation (walking, using bicycle) and many others. Certainly going green is going good for the environment.

With the popularity of the green revolution, green job or green-collar jobs, have also come to rise. As defined by the United Nations Environment Program, green jobs are those works in the agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. The purposes of these jobs are: to help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; to aide in the reduction of usage of energy, materials, and water consumption through high efficiency strategies; to de-carbonize the economy; and to get rid of or at least minimize all forms of waste and pollution. Green jobs are good for the environment.

Green jobs have been in high demand since 2006. In fact on that same year, despite the financial crisis, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies generated 8.5 million new jobs, nearly $970 billion in revenue, and more than $100 billion in industry profits. An attestation to this is the fact that former President Bush signed the Green Jobs Act to train workers for green collar jobs in December 2007. The Green Jobs Act authorized $125 million for workforce training programs. At present, there is still high in demand for green-collar professionals. Green Jobs are not only good for the environment but for the job seekers as well.

August 11, 2010

Top Companies to Work For

Top Companies: Want to Know the Company That Performs Best?

Check out 2010’s top companies as rated by Fortune Magazine.

The latest list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine has been released. Topping it are SAS, Edward Jones, Wegmans, Google, Nugget market, Dreamworks Animation, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm and Camden Property. The results make for an ideal checklist for any applicant; but more importantly, they inform job seekers of what to look for in an employer.

So what does a “best company” have? Among those that made it to the list, an obvious answer is how the company continues to grow. Google, for instance, which ranked fourth from Fortune’s list, is on a continuous hunt for new employees this year, with demand reaching thousands; while the Boston Consulting Group, which is on rank eight, is famous for offering superior incomes and benefits to its employees so that even new consultants get as much as $184,000. These companies are doing very well in the market, and it reflects on what opportunities they provide. Another important characteristic is the growth that a company offers their employees, including the professional and the personal. In DreamWorks Animation, which ranks sixth on the list, the animators enjoy an atmosphere of creativity and openness, instead of pressure and strict deadlines; and in SAS, which occupies the topmost spot on the list, employees enjoy perks such as accessible and top-of-the-line services in health, child care, and recreational centers – to name a few. Finally, one observes the best companies to work for are those that genuinely care about their employees. 94-year old Wegman’s Food Markets, which ranks third, never let its employees undergo layoff. Similarly, Edward Jones, which is at top two, had never laid off any of its tens of thousands of employees – even during the recession . Fortune’s list has spoken: the best companies to work for are those that truly value their employees.

May 24, 2010

The Cover Letter, Follow-up Letter, and Thank You Letter

Cover letters, thank you letters and follow up letters are great reinforcements of a well-written resume. In fact, an outstanding resume is most possibly useless if submitted without a cover letter, so are your chances of getting hired insufficient if you’re not used to submitting a thank you or follow up letter. These correspondences make you engage closely with the employer that could either make or break your chances on landing on that coveted job.

A cover letter serves as your employer’s motivation to consider your application – it is your introduction. It reflects whether you have read the job ad carefully and your resulting interest for the position. Hence it should be optimistic, to the point, and concise. An ideal cover letter has three to four paragraphs with an introduction, body, and closing. It should not be a repeat of the information already present on your resume. Most importantly, every cover letter must be personalized in that it should be tailored exclusive to a specific position. Never submit the same cover letter for all your job applications.

Thank You letters must be sent to interviewers shortly after an applicant completes a job interview – preferably within 24 hours. Just like the cover letter, thank you letters must be personalized to the point that you can actually opt to have them handwritten rather than typed. Assess the personality of a company by reflecting on your interview then decide the writing that will suit your thank you letter best. Aside from your expression of gratitude, thank you letters also strengthen your interest for the position and leave the interviewer with a good impression of you.

Follow up letters may be sent when job seekers do not hear back within two weeks concerning their application. Remember: never send a follow up letter when the job post specifically stated that applicants should not do so. Things that may be incorporated in a follow up letter are inquiries such as whether all applicants will be notified of passing or of not passing the recruitment process. You may also ask if there are other steps in the hiring procedures that you must fulfill to continue your application, or if there are other requirements that need to be submitted.

Creating a cover letter, thank you letter, and follow up letter is as important as tailoring your resume. A deserving applicant must be able to introduce his credentials, express his gratitude for an interview, and follow up and show his strong interest for a position. He may also seek for a professional resume writer’s assistance to ensure that his sincerity to get employed is conveyed in the best professional manner on paper.

Blog at WordPress.com.