Anyone who is on the lookout for a new or different job knows how important it is to have a solid portfolio. However, the kind of portfolio you want to establish is dependent on the field you’re in. Related: 5 Benefits Of Creating An Online Portfolio An artist, for example, is going to have a very different one from a sales manager, whose portfolio will look very different from an executive's. Knowing and understanding what tools are available to you will help you make the most of yours. Remember, everyone has a portfolio – you have to make yours stand out.
Job searching is a tedious process. On top of finding the right position and getting references in order, you also need to worry about the application process, which in most cases involves a resume and a written questionnaire. With other candidates vying for the same job, you need to stand out and get noticed. But how? Related: 5 Great Tools That Showcase Your Skills To Recruiters Writing and preparation will be key. For your resume, writing, formatting, and submitting will be your focus. As for questionnaires, they can include anything from simple details to long answers on notable career moments. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional writer to drum up top-notch answers. You can just as easily survive the process with a few tools. In fact, the following not-so-obvious tools can help you write your way to that callback and the job. Here’s how.
1. Add Variety To Your Language With Word HippoStart off with the main drafts of your answers and your resume. You may notice that it’s easy to become repetitive on short answers or to offer the same type of resume description for each position. While it’s a quick way of doing things, it won’t do your skills or hard work any justice. Thus, the first step is to fix this. You can use a synonym finder tool like Word Hippo to give the writing a boost. This is a great tool that will help you find all kinds of words. By selecting different filters, you can find nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Or, even handier still, you can search for words that comply with tense, plurality, and meaning. You can also get example sentences with the word you’re replacing to get an idea of its proper usage. Don’t go overboard though. Replace words with careful consideration. Keep it simple and natural. A few synonyms here and there can go a long way to make your application a compelling read and keep HR professionals interested.
2. Run Your Content Through PaperRater For Spelling, Style, And GrammarAfter you have the common and redundant words weeded out, the next step is to ensure your writing is grammatically correct and coherent. This means checking your writing for style, readability, and spelling. To do this, use PaperRater, a free automated proofreading tool. When you copy and paste your content in the text field, select the content type and education level filters. Click on Get Report and you can get a quick analysis of your writing style. Go through every report to get an explanation and statistics on your writing in that area. So, see how well your resume and application stack up. Look at your report and edit where necessary. Then, run the tool on it again. After a few edits, you’ll get your job application into a complete and coherent piece. The easier your writing is to read, the better it is for hiring agents.
3. Prep Your Resume For Submission With Sonic PDF CreatorAfter grammar checks, you’re ready to prepare your application for submission, which means getting it into an acceptable format. And most companies request that you submit the PDF format. Now, Google Docs or Microsoft Word can be viable options. Microsoft Word makes it as easy as clicking the Office button and selecting Save As...> PDF. With Google Docs, you can upload your files and then download them again as PDF. Yet while they both provide quick solutions, they’re also both very basic. A tool like Sonic PDF Creator, however, is a good alternative advanced enough for something as professional as your resume. This PDF Creator can add headers, compress your file, retain Word hyperlinks, and include security passwords, if needed. To top it off, you can do a lot with your PDF once it’s created. For example, you can append other required documents to your official PDF resume using the Attach Document feature. While it may seem minor, getting your PDF documents in good shape is important. Remember that these PDF documents are being submitted for review. It could mean the difference between getting that callback or not. Make as professional an impression as possible wherever you can. Applying for a job requires a lot of persistence. So, don’t let it discourage you. With a bit of help from these tools, you can put together an effective application that will get you noticed. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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We are no longer in the written age. We are in the show-me age: The age where we create a visual for all of our experiences. We no longer say we are at the beach. We now share a picture of our perfectly manicured toes against the backdrop of the ocean. It tells the story WAY better than “Enjoying my view this morning.” Related: 3 Tools To Explore An Anonymous Job Search Humans process images 60,000 times faster than words. Images can provoke a faster emotional connection than words. The shift to visual content is permeating society for the better. Visual content allows you to communicate faster. And when you have a limited amount of time to make an impression, visual content can be the difference between phone screen and rejection pile. The challenge is that in the job search, we are not accustomed to thinking about our work visually. We have been trained to write about our accomplishment in verbose ways. Ways in which we spin a tale full of magic keywords to be scanned by a machine in hopes of getting noticed. But, in this age of visualization, we should think about how to present our best work visually. Think of it this way: If you had to post your latest awesome work project on Instagram, what would it look like? For example, my resume says: “Re-inventing CRM by creating a segmented loyalty communications strategy that houses communications in the platform vs. an under-performing email program.” If I am being honest, I say to myself what does that even mean? But, if I took a screenshot of what I came up with, you could see that it was a massive innovation in the loyalty space. My friends in sales talk about this all the time. Their resume talks about how they build relationships with customers to grow business. But what recruiters really want to see from a sales pro is: Did you beat your quota and if so, by how much. When I was selling, I once beat my sales goals by 200%. Therefore, my visual would simply say: 200% of quota. But, it doesn’t and it should. We all make things for work that impact the business, but because we have been in the “tell me” era for so long, we are not used to framing our achievements in the “show me” way. The cool thing is that visualizing your work can do wonders for your career, even if you aren’t looking for a job. What about annual reviews? You could use some of the tools below to create visuals for your accomplishments and then share them with your manager. Chances are, they are not thinking about all the wonderful contributions you’ve made to the company in this way. And it will be easier for them to make the case should a promotion become available. Here are a few tools for you to use to begin visualizing your accomplishments.
1. Adobe VoiceIf you have an iPad, download Adobe Voice and build a movie of your accomplishments in about an hour. The tool is incredibly intuitive and you can insert images, icons, text, and then, you add a voice-over and music to your video. You can then share this link on your social channels or even share in on your resume. Voice is a wonderful storytelling tool and your career accomplishments can make for a wonderful movie.
2. CredHiveIn the Hive you can store your work in the cloud and make a thumbnail of what you’ve done to help visualize it. You also can get suggestions from the tool on what kind of visual to create as well as a gallery to offer inspiration. You can create a link to your accomplishments and share them with your manager or a recruiter or your friends.
3. Haiku DeckIn Haiku Deck you can create image-rich presentations of your accomplishments. With your new Haiku deck in hand, you can post the deck to Slideshare and embed it into your LinkedIn profile. Haiku also has a strong gallery to inspire your creation. Once you’re done, you can share it with your manager or a specific recruiter to share what you’ve done that you are incredibly proud of. Not as new, but still great tools, you can also consider SlideShare or Prezi to visualize and share your accomplishments.
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We live in a point in time where attention spans are extremely low and the amount of messaging is extremely high. Studies show that we're flooded with potentially over 1,000 advertisements in our typical day. Our eyes have been trained to go from one thing to the next — not allowing anything to hold our interest very long. Related: The Worst Resume Advice I’ve EVER Heard That's all fine and dandy until you find yourself between jobs or looking to take a step up from your current company. LinkedIn recently reported that, on average, hiring managers spend 6-seconds on each resume before deciding to keep it or toss it in the trash (I mean, the recycling can. I'm a good Portlander.) So, how do you build a resume that will capture the attention of hiring manager's rifling through a stack of hundreds of qualified applicants? How do you stand out from the crowd? Here are three tools to help you:
1. SumrySumry is changing the way people apply for jobs. The first thing you'll notice is the beautiful resumes and fun way it walks you through the creation process. But, the strength of Sumry is that it redefines what a resume is. Sumry believes that resumes are a dying breed — forcing each applicant to fill them out the exact same way. With Sumry, you'll be able to creatively tell your story and allow employers to get comfortable with who you are. With Sumry Job Apps, you can apply for jobs and see the second the potential employer reads your cover letter and your resume. Sumry is free for a basic account, then $3 a month for Sumry Dream (their pro account.)
2. BehancedNow owned by Adobe, this online portfolio allows a designer to show off their work in a clean and professional way. They claim to have "built a platform to remove the barriers between talent and opportunity." Behanced gives you space to showcase your creative work to a wide range of people looking for talent. They want to take the hard work out of making a nice page to display your work. Behanced is free to try, $11 a month for Behanced Pro Site.
3. SerplySerply is yet another tool for displaying all of your work in a beautiful online profile. The difference with Serply is that it's specifically for professionals in the entertainment industry. With Serply, you can upload videos you've created. It let's other users view your work and endorse your work if they like it. It also allows you to link out to all of your social media channels for referrals. You can list your titles at companies you are apart of or have been apart of in the past. Serply is currently free.
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When you’re getting started in a new field, it can be difficult to convince others that you have what it takes to do the job, especially when the lineup for interviews is out the door. More and more, job applicants need to find a way to set themselves apart from the competition and let their personality shine through - even before the interview process begins. Sure, a great cover letter comes in handy, but the more creative among career seekers are learning that a cleverly designed website or online portfolio handed over at first contact with a prospective employer shows drive, work-ethic, and personality. Related: 3 Reasons Not Having A Personal Website Might Be Costing You Big In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a list of the top three reasons why a free website builder can help you score your dream gig. We’ll also throw in some tips and online tools to help you get started.