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Helpful tips for emailing your resume

The internet was supposed to make this whole business of job searching rational and simple. You could post your resume and companies would search them and they’d find you. It doesn’t seem to work that way. There aren’t enough jobs for experienced, college educated managers and professionals.- Barbara Ehrenreich

In order to seek out and apply for the jobs you are interested in, you will most likely post your profile and resume on a job search web site, such as monster.com or hotjobs.com. These search engines allow you to upload your resume in a Microsoft Word or text file format, or create one using their forms.

Outside of the job search web sites, e-mailing your resume as form of application has become commonplace. However, each employer or headhunter has different rules on the file they will accept via e-mail. Most companies will accept an attachment in Microsoft Word – this is why you have to be conscious of the font type and size, as well as margins you are using when composing your resume. If a company is requesting a text file, you should follow these steps to convert your Microsoft Word document into a text resume:

–              Select File, Save As

–              Name the file; as a best practice, use your name as the file name, and use underscores as spaces

–              Under Format, select Text Only

–              Select Save.

Now that you have converted your file to a text file, make sure to open it and review how the spaces, tabs, and bullet points have transferred over. You may need to do some edits in order to format the resume to fit the file type. Note that the plain text file doesn’t allow for bolding, italicizing or underlining. Make sure that all your text is left justified and that the spacing is correct.

If an employer asks that you include your resume in the body of an email, treat this as a text file when formatting. Copy and paste your whole resume in an email. Keep the font styles basic; use Arial or Times New Roman fonts and keep the size at 10 or 12 points. Adjust all the spacing and bullet points as appropriate. A good rule to follow is to keep the email simple – avoid bolding or italicizing text since you don’t really know the type of email software your recipient is using or if the accept HTML or text emails only.

If you are sending your resume as an attachment, format the body of your email as a cover letter. At the top of the email, include your name and address, as well as the address of your recipient. Typically, the address can be found either on the job listing or at the company’s web site. If you are sending the resume in the body of the email, follow the same guidelines in terms of the email content. Don’t make an assumption that including a resume in the body of an email is the only information you should include in your message to your potential employer. Even if the resume is copied into the email, you still need to let your employer know a little bit more about yourself via a cover letter. However, since you will include your address at the top of the email, feel free to start your resume with a career objective instead of including the heading with your name and address.

 

Much like proofing is critical in perfecting your resume, testing how your resume is displayed in a body of an email or how it opens as an attachment via another computer is important. Rally your friends or family for help, and send them sample emails with your resume included in the body of the message or as an attachment. This will provide a great opportunity for you to assure that your resume is reaching your potential employers in the format that is clean and professional.


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Resume writing services – pros and cons

The internet was supposed to make this whole business of job searching rational and simple. You could post your resume and companies would search them and they’d find you. It doesn’t seem to work that way. There aren’t enough jobs for experienced, college educated managers and professionals.-  Barbara Ehrenreich

If you have never written a resume, you may wonder if it is easier to embark on the task yourself or to hire someone else to do it for you. Resume writing services or professionals concentrate on developing and writing resumes for professionals in any industry, with any caliber of experience. These professionals are skilled in formatting your resume, knowing how to create winning statements that draw attention, and customizing your resume to the industry or field you are interested in. In addition to their writing skills, resume writing professionals are familiar with the scanning software that most companies use in order to review resumes for key words.

 

You should consider using a resume writing services:

–              If you have never written a resume and you don’t know anyone who can assist in the process

–              If you have not written a resume in years and are unsure of the appropriate format that translates well online

–              If English is not your first language or if you know that you typically have problems with spelling or grammar.

 

A resume writer can assist by first collecting your information and understanding your career objective. If you have an existing resume, even if it is not the most up to date, you should make sure that you give that to the writer as a starting point. When you work with a professional resume writer you can expect that they can help you in composing your career objective statement, listing your responsibilities in a concise manner, and perfecting the final document. Additionally, a resume writer will be able to help you address any concerns potential employers may have about your resume, such as explaining a change of career, or gaps in your professional history.

 

There are truly no cons to using resume services, but there are certainly some things you should consider in order to get the best service for your money.

 

While some people recommend writers who are accredited or certified as professional resume writers, this is not the key to finding someone who will do a great job on your behalf. Make sure that you speak with the writer, and have him/her address any concerns or questions you have about composing your resume. They should be able to provide you with a sample of a before and an after resumes they have recently completed for a client, as well as professional references. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their writing process; ask about their background (what other writing services do they provide?), their writing and editing process, turnaround time and a detailed explanation of their fees.  If you receive a draft of your resume, and you are not satisfied with the format or there are discrepancies, ask for the writer to address your concerns before accepting the final document. The costs will vary, depending on the professional’s experience. Make sure that you understand what is involved in the cost. It is also in your best interest to talk to a couple of different professionals, so that you can better idea of the cost range.

 

Most importantly, make sure that you feel comfortable with the writer and the terms of the agreement you have with them, before you decide to hire them to work on your resume. Trust and understanding will result in the best working relationship, therefore producing the best resume for your career objective.


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Top 5 common resume mistakes and how to avoid them

If you call failures experiments, you can put them in your resume and claim them as achievements.- Mason Cooley

If you have ever tried to write a resume, for yourself or for someone you know, you are already familiar with the fact that this is not an easy task to take on. So much information goes into a resume; from your career objective to the list of your qualifications, your resume should be personal, convey confidence and set your best foot forward in order to impress a potential employer. However, creating a winning resume is not easy. The following are the most commonly made mistakes in resume composition:

  • Including references to personal web sites.

You may wonder why referencing a personal web site may be a mistake. What if you have a sample of your graphic design work on your site that you want your potential employer to see? It sounds like a great idea, if the site you are referencing only has work-related information available. Many people make a mistake of including their personal web sites that may contain information potential employers may find irrelevant (and now you are wasting their time) or inappropriate.

As a rule, do not include your personal web site if it contains your photo or other photos that may be viewed as inappropriate, if it contains jokes (even if they are clean jokes), or your blog. In other words, if the site you have is entirely for personal purposes, you are best leaving it off your resume.

Include a link to your web site if the pages are set up to showcase your professional portfolio, a copy of your resume, reference letters, presentations, photos taken for professional use, or your web development skills.

  • Using very small fonts in order to get everything to fit on one page.

One of the most common challenges is creating a resume that formats well on a single page. As a rule, a resume should not exceed two pages. However, in recent years, it has become commonplace for professionals to change jobs frequently, and listing all the experiences, in addition to your career objective, education, qualifications and references, can certainly take up a lot of space.

Do not use a small font in order to fit everything into your resume. There is not a single area in your resume that should have a font size of less than 10 points. Keep in mind the font type you are using – stick to the basics, Arial and Times New Roman are your best bet. Instead of changing the font size, review and revise your resume to make your statements more concise.

  • Incorrect company/school listings.

The biggest mistake people make, without realizing that they are making it, is not referring to the past employers and/or the school(s) they’ve attended by their full names. Do not use variations of company and school names. Don’t use abbreviations unless they are in fact part of the name. If you have attended New York University, list the complete name, not just NYU (even though it’s commonly known and your employer will likely recognize it). You don’t want to appear sloppy or as if you don’t pay attention to details.

  • Lengthy paragraphs describing your experiences.

To list the responsibilities you’ve had in your past professional experience, you are best off using bullet points that begin with action verbs, such as managed, developed, etc. You do not need to use full sentences, and you certainly do not need to use the paragraph format. This makes the information in your resume overwhelming and difficult to review quickly. Make your statements brief and clear; don’t add words to fill in space.

  • Typos.

The most important factor in achieving a winning resume is proof reading. You want to put your best foot forward. If your resume contains grammar and spelling problems, your potential employer will get an impression that you are not detail-oriented. It is hard to proof a document you have been working on so closely – use spell check (but be ware, it will not catch everything), ask your friends for help, meet with a career counselor. Do your best to present the most polished resume to your potential employers.


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How to write an effective and original objective statement

Isn’t it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it? Richard Dawkins

A career objective, often listed as objective only on your resume, is a statement of your career goals. It sounds simple – you want to get a good job, utilize your experience and education, and get paid well. However, this is the most difficult part of the resume to compose, as you are limited to one to two sentences in which you are expected to convey your professional expertise, expectations from a job and an organization, as well as goals for your professional growth. Doesn’t sound so easy now, does it?

The most common mistake people make is not listing an objective. Most people operate under the assumption that the objective is not necessary to include in a resume because it states the obvious – your objective is to get the job you are applying for. However, this is a big misconception. Employers are looking for an objective; they want to know what it is that you are looking for in order to determine whether or not you are a good match for their company.

The second most common mistake is including a career objective that doesn’t actually express your goals and your qualification. For example, a statement like the one below is commonly used is resumes:

“To obtain a position where my experience and education can be utilized and expanded.”

If you examine this statement, you will find it doesn’t say anything specific about what you are looking for in terms of professional growth. Avoid using generic statements like this. They will hurt you more than help you in your job search, because your employer will be left with an impression that you don’t have a set a goal in mind.

Now that you know what not to do, here are some helpful tips on creating a winning career objective that will get your resume noticed and get your foot in the door. First, make your career objective personal. Think of your whole resume as a sales tool; your career objective is your opening statement. You want your employer to know what you want, not just restate what other people want. Second, you want to state your commitment to your career goal. If you are unsure of what you want, how is your employer to believe that you really want the job at their organization and you are not just applying because you want to get out of your current work environment? Don’t be afraid to state what you want from a job and from an organization. Third, while you want to state your commitment, you also want to show that you are willing to take action to achieve your goal. Indicate what direction or action you are willing to take in order to accomplish your career objective. Fourth and most important factor in a successful career objective is being specific about what you are looking for in a work situation. While you can say that you are looking for a “challenging” environment, this doesn’t mean anything to your employer, as people define challenges in various ways. Avoid using generic and broad terms. Simply state what you want, and what you are willing to do to get it.

Keeping in mind these criteria, let’s revise the above career objective statement so that it effectively states what you want.

“To obtain a position of a sales representative in a health insurance industry, where I can utilize my management and customer relations skills, with the opportunity for performance-based advancement.”

This statement tells a potential employer that you know what kind of job you want, what experience you have in order to get the position, and what you are willing do to become a successful professional with the company. Thus, you have just created a winning career objective for your resume.


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How to write a professional summary for your resume

How to write a professional summary for your resume

 

Conciseness and readability are things everyone knew about when it comes to writing a proper resume. There are important points to focus on, which you will read about below.

In today’s competitive job market, employers relay on well-written resumes to screen potential candidates. In many instances, employers look through job search web sites, such as HotJobs.com or Monster.com, to find professionals with skills, education and experience that fit their needs. These employment search web sites, along with many companies’ own online applications, require candidates to upload their resume in order to express interest in a specific opportunity. Without an opportunity to send a personal email, or a cover letter, you have to make sure that your resume expresses your personality in addition to listing your professional and educational experiences and achievements. To do so, you can include a professional profile or summary at the beginning of your resume that allows you to market yourself through a narrative. This section allows your potential employers to learn something unique about you and your career, as well as get a good feel of your communication skills.

 

To write an effective summary, you should first understand what information should not be communicated in your resume. While a summary provides an insight into what is unique and competitive about you, it is not a place for you to indicate any personal information that does not relate to your career. Information such as ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and affiliations, etc. should be left out of your resume. While descriptive of who you are, this information is not relevant to your potential employer in order to pre-screen your qualifications for their opportunity. Additionally, the summary should not contain your previous professional experience, unless you can clearly demonstrate how such background can be of value in your future career development. Beware of generic statements, such as “I am well organized and detail oriented.” Employers want to hear your unique voice and get a sense of your communication skills while reading the summary portion of your resume. Using generalizations about your abilities will make the employers believe that you are either a poor communicator or are using such statements to fill up space on your resume.

 

Your summary should be in form of a short paragraph or bulleted statements, containing only several sentences. There isn’t a sentence limit, but as a rule do not take up more than one quarter of the page. Your summary should begin by a headline that summarizes your professional title and/or your professional statement. Emphasize your title by featuring the headline in bold and larger font, as it allows your potential employer to grasp who you are quickly. For example:

 

Financial Planning Professional

Achieved Double-Digit Return for All Clients through Well-Balanced Financial Portfolios

 

It is important that this title is well crafted, as it is the first impression your potential employer will have of you.

 

There are three things a well-written summary should address:

–               Your experiences and skills as they relate to your idea job

–               What you can bring to the organization and the open position that no other candidate can

–               Your professional goals.

 

Even though your resume summary is written by you, it should be composed in third person, in present tense. Think of it as a summary of what one of your best colleagues would say about your professional achievements. Reinforce your title, and sell only the experiences and skills that meet your career objective. If you have multiple career objectives, such as you wish to get a position in either marketing or public relations, develop separate resume summaries for each of the objectives.  A summary can also contain a brief bulleted section highlighting only a few vital competitive skills that you bring to the table. An example of an effective summary would be as follows:

 

Successful financial planning professional with over 15 years of personal and retirement planning experience. Managed a small financial planning firm, achieving double-digit financial returns for all clients by developing personalized investment portfolios. Leader in development and professional growth of four other financial planners in the firm through effective and motivating mentoring strategies.

 

Key competencies include:

o              Personalized portfolio development

o              Financial forecasting

o              Retirement portfolio management

o              Development on-going professional growth strategies

 

Much like your overall resume, your summary should be well-written and error-free. Make sure to review your summary, and customize as necessary for the various opportunities of interest. An effective summary will help you “hook” your employer; it should sell you as a primary candidate for the job, leaving your employer with a great first impression of you.

 

Quotes to live by:

Emphasize your strengths on your resume, in your cover letters and in your interviews. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people simply list everything they’ve ever done. Convey your passion and link your strengths to measurable results. Employers and interviewers love concrete data. -Marcus Buckingham


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Effective way to state your responsibilities in job descriptions

I think the greatest hip-hop artist of all time is Jay-Z, without a doubt. He just keeps amazing me with his performance, and since ’96, that guy has been producing at least one hit every summer and every winter. That’s a pretty good resume. John Cena

If you have never written a resume, the blank page you are facing can be very intimidating. While you can describe your job responsibilities to your friends, listing them out in a resume and showcasing how your experience to date meets your career objectives is a very difficult task.

To get started, you must first consider what type of a job you are seeking. Much like your career objective or summery should reflect your professional goals, your current and past experiences must showcase that you are the best candidate for the job you are applying for. In listing your current and past professional experiences, try to focus on those responsibilities that indicate you are qualified to take the next step in your career. Due to the fact that more and more companies as well as job search sites use scanning software to pick out candidates, it is very important that you use key words, including active verbs, to describe your skills. Instead of beginning your job descriptions with “Responsible for” try to use active verbs such as:
– managed
– developed
– created
– communicated
– interfaced
– achieved, etc.

These key words get straight to the point of describing your responsibilities, which is exactly what the employers are looking for. Chose these words carefully – don’t say that you “managed a project”, implying you were responsible for the whole task from start to finish if you were only responsibly for communicating the project to other associates. Instead state that you “Developed and executed the communication strategy for associates,” describing your role more accurately and emphasizing your strengths.

Typically, the first job listed on your resume is the one you currently hold. In this case, make sure that your responsibilities are stated in present tense, as you are still responsible for them. For example, say “Manage accounting activities” instead of “Managed accounting activities.” This will indicate to your potential employer what your day-to-day activities are like and how they compliment responsibilities of the job you are submitting your resume for. All previous jobs should be listed using past tense, and should start with active verbs such as managed, developed, accomplished, etc.

Additionally, make sure that responsibilities you are listing are relevant for to your career objective. List only those responsibilities which help you put your best foot forward. For example, if you are looking for a job that requires managing a team of people, focus on your development and participation in group projects instead of focusing on solitary activities such as office organization.

In terms of formatting, make sure that your responsibilities are listed in bullet points. This formatting is preferred to paragraphs on a resume because it is easier to review quickly. Employers simply scan the resumes and look for key words – if the resume looks overwhelming, with a lot of copy and poor formatting, they will likely discard it. Thus, it is very important that your resume is formatted with enough white space and doesn’t contain any errors.