This post was written by Angie Jones, an award-winning, dual-certified Resume Writer and Career Coach, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. Although the Department of Labor just announced that hiring has returned to the 2008 pre-recession levels, the news wasn’t quite as optimistic for this year’ college graduates. Unfortunately, those graduating this spring are going to find the job market more competitive than ever. Related: HIRE ME! 7 Tips For Getting A Job After College Justified or not, poll after poll shows that many hiring managers find it easier to leave jobs unfilled than take a chance on a new college graduate. Why? Because hiring managers believe that many of today’s graduates are inadequately prepared for the workplace. Studies show employers are concerned that candidates lack soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration - all of which are necessary to successfully navigate the business environment. Some employers are becoming more flexible in their requirements and will offer training to a candidate who is otherwise a good fit for the role. But others will hold out for a candidate that matches all their skill requirements – both hard and soft. While your technical knowledge may win an interview, your people skills will be the deciding factor on winning the job. So, what exactly are soft skills versus hard skills? Hard skills are specific and can be technical (i.e., software development) or industry specific (i.e., sales management). Soft skills, on the other hand, tend to relate to personality, however, they can also be learned and developed. Whether writing your resume, interviewing for a job, or simply networking with others in your desired field, it is important to mirror your skills and experience to the employer’s needs. Here are six skills that help recent grads win over hiring managers and employers:
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Many job seekers mistakenly believe that, because they aren’t on Facebook, or Twitter, their online reputation is spotless. Related: Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
<h3>Why Is Your Online Reputation Important Anyway?</h3> <a href="http://comerecommended.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/reppler-infographic-job-screening-with-social-networks2.jpg" rel="nofollow">Reppler</a>, a social media monitoring service designed to help users manage their online image across different social networks, conducted a survey of 300 hiring professionals - 91% of these hiring professionals responded stating that they thoroughly scrutinize an applicant’s online reputation during the hiring process. Here’s what they found… <ul class="ee-ul"> <li>Facebook is the most frequently screened social network with LinkedIn coming in second.</li> <li>The majority of hiring managers review social profiles before the interview.</li> <li>The primary reason a candidate is rejected is because they lied about their qualifications this can become apparent while cross-checking their background.</li> <li>The reason given for candidates hired is because they left a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit.</li> </ul> <h3>What is your online reputation doing to your job search?</h3> As an <a href="http://www.anewresume.com/aboutus/home/">Executive Resume Writer</a> and Career Strategist, I work with clients everyday who would benefit from professional assistance with online reputation management. Take for example a senior corporate executive who is also the pastor of his church. He is a highly respected member of his community with a name that most would assume is not particularly common. Unfortunately, after googling him, we found a Twitter account belonging to a young man by the same name on the first page of Google. This young man regularly sends out tweets of an offensive nature that would make any hiring manager cringe. Is this unfair? Absolutely! However, you can’t blame the employer either. After all, who would want their brand tainted by an employee who lacks the judgment necessary to know that posting questionable content is both foolish and immature? So, what can you do to reverse the damage or mitigate your risk? Replace the content with professional profiles you want employers to see. First, I recommend you register your legal name as your domain name if at all possible. For example, mine would be www.angiejones.com. As long as your job search is public knowledge, I recommend posting your resume on your new website. If cost is a concern, you can do this yourself at 1and1.com I also recommend that you create a blog in your name where you regularly create content demonstrating your knowledge of the industry. It is important that you create profiles on a variety of social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, and so on. Google ranks websites due to popularity, so make sure your friends and family members visit your newly created profiles. Given enough attention, you are likely to be successful in pushing down undesirable content to the second or third page. Keep in mind that a stellar online reputation does require regular maintenance so that questionable content does not reappear. If you are in need of profile development; visit our website at <a href="http://www.anewresume.com/">www.ANewResume.com</a>. In addition, there are companies that specialize in online reputation management which include <a href="http://www.reputation.com/">www.reputation.com</a>. <h3>Related Posts</h3> <a href="http://www.workitdaily.com/build-brand-reputation-online/">10 Ways To Build Your Brand Reputation Online</a> <a href="http://www.workitdaily.com/online-image-tips/">Tips For Making Your Online Image Employer-Ready</a> <span class="credit">Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Shutterstock</a></span> </div>
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Many job seekers mistakenly believe that their old resume that worked years ago is going to work again in today's job market. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Due to the shear volume of resumes employers receive, many recruiters and hiring managers have opted to automate their hiring process. Rather than read each resume, the vast majority of companies require that job seekers upload their resumes into a database (that often contain hundreds perhaps thousands of resumes from other candidates). Hiring managers then use industry related keywords to filter and identify those candidates they feel are likely to be most qualified for the position. The more keywords they find in your resume the more likely it is your resume will be printed and actually reach the hands of the hiring manager. You can drastically improve your response rate by creating targeted resumes that are focused on the needs of the employer. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is that they want their resume to be general enough to be used for a variety of unrelated jobs. When you focus on your past rather than the needs of the employer your resume is likely to simply disappear into their vast black hole of a database. In addition to targeting your resume, it is imperative that you quantify your professional accomplishments whenever possible using numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages. This information allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition and gives the hiring manager an idea of both the level of responsibility that you've held, as well as your success in your previous positions. The goal of your resume is to “Wow!” the employer and convince them that they will miss out on the best candidate if they don’t pick-up the phone and give you a call. Many polls show that only one or two typos can be enough to disqualify a candidate from consideration. In fact, I've had the experience of working with one job seeker who had actually been offered a job and the resume was supposedly just a formality. After reading the job seeker's attempt at a self-written resume, which highlighted his poor organizational and written communication skills, the employer actually rescinded the job offer. If you aren't sure what is required on your resume in order to capture the hiring manager's attention - this probably isn't a good time to experiment. Study recently published resume and cover letter books. If spelling, grammar, or typing isn’t your area of expertise, it is a good idea to seek the help of a certified resume writer. (When hiring a professional, always ask to see samples of the writers work. If they refuse it is time to cross them off of your list.) Photo Credit: Shutterstock
The percentage of unadvertised jobs has been estimated to be as high as 80%. This would indicate only a few of the jobs are posted. Given these percentages, pursuing the hidden job market has proven to be one of the most effective ways to shorten your job search. Tapping into these unadvertised jobs requires a targeted search, extensive networking, and a crystal clear value proposition. Here are some secrets for tapping into this hidden job market:
<h4>1. Targeted Search</h4> Create a list of target companies: this list can be prioritized by what's most important to you such as: size of the company, specific geographic area, type of product / services, industry, profit or nonprofit organization, reputation/company culture, and so on. <h4>2. Research</h4> Be diligent in your research. Thoroughly check online sources, industry associations, Chamber of Commerce’s lists, business journals, etc. Look at the business section of newspapers – there are articles that highlight people moving up in a company, launch of new products, etc. These articles often identify the employer’s hiring needs long before a position is opened to the public. <h4>3. Networking</h4> Networking is even more important when targeting jobs that have yet to be advertised. Who do you know who has insider information about the companies on your target list? Identify possible networking sources - look for the former co-workers, clients, suppliers, etc. Another approach is to network directly with the person/department. Advanced Google search and www.jigsaw.com are great ways to find the names of people that may not be listed on the company website. Social networks are also essential in any job search. However, exercise care if you’re currently employed. If recruiters can find you it’s possible that your employer is searching as well. A LinkedIn profile is an incredibly powerful job search tool. If you’re currently employed; set your privacy settings so that the “looking for opportunities” box is unchecked. Recruiters are more interested in keywords, so review your profile to make sure you’ve included the appropriate keywords and skills. In Facebook, keep friend groups separate with privacy settings so that personal posts are not viewable by professional friends. Twitter is being used more in job search and many job seekers are finding jobs. When tweeting, keep tweets professional and appropriate. <h4>4. Understanding Your Value</h4> Be prepared to answer questions similar to: Why should the prospective company contact me? What do I have to offer that is different from other candidates? What value do I bring to the organization? Often, the employer isn’t aware of the need to hire until the perfect candidate presents him/herself. It isn’t unusual for an employer to create a position for a great candidate. Revealing your value to a potential employer is essential in the hidden job market. Example: Bill Smith had been trying for a year to get hired by XYZ Company. Unfortunately, he didn’t know anyone in the company and none of his networking efforts had resulted in an introduction to a hiring manager. So, Bill wrote a proposal offering possible solutions for the challenges the company was facing, highlighting his similar experiences and sent it Priority Mail to his direct target – the Executive Vice President of Sales. It was reviewed and the EVP liked what he saw. Sometime later the company created a new position for Bill! Posting a resume on a popular job board along with thousands of other candidates and simply waiting for contact from a recruiter is rarely productive. Instead, eliminate your competition by targeting the hidden job market. <span class="credit">Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Shutterstock</a></span></div>
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August 19, 2012
When a company or executive search committee invests thousands of dollars to locate the perfect employee for a high paying position, they expect to interview only stellar candidates. A recruiter's job is to screen and deliver only the finest applicants to the employer. As a former recruiter and a professional resume writer, I see hundreds of resumes each year where job seekers underestimate the importance of their resume. Many job seekers mistakenly believe because their backward-focused, one-size-fits-all resume worked 5 or 10 years ago, it will work today. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. With automation, population growth, and the continued exportation of American jobs overseas by large corporations; the number of job seekers is likely to continue to exceed the number of job openings for years to come. Technology has not only reduced the number of available jobs, and will continue to do so, but it also plays a key role in the hiring process. It is not unusual for recruiters to receive 100’s of resumes for a single open position. As a result, more than 70% of employers and recruiters have opted to use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to filter and screen the most qualified candidates. Failure to understand this software can result in months or even years of unnecessary unemployment. Avoid these common mistakes:
<ol class="ee-ol"> <li>Many of the old-school resume templates were designed within tables. These tables make the resume look great when printed, but all content disappears when uploaded into the recruiter’s database.</li> <li>Never put your contact information into the header of your resume. Headers cannot be uploaded and as a result you will never be contacted for an interview.</li> <li>Your resume must be focused specifically for each job target (i.e. sales, accounting, HR, etc.). Each resume needs to include the most sought after keywords for the industry. You will need more than one resume if you have multiple job targets.</li> <li>Do not create a bulleted list of daily tasks; recruiters already know what the general role entails. Instead, focus on quantifying your accomplishments using numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages. This demonstrates both the level of responsibility, as well as the level of success that you have had in that position.</li> <li>Do not submit your resume in a .pdf, .gif, .jpg or .odt file. Many of the older ATS software systems are unable to read them. It is best to use a .doc or .txt file.</li> <li>In today’s job market, you cannot afford anything less than an exceptional resume. I am regularly contacted by job seekers who were told by a recruiter that they wouldn’t accept their poorly written resume. If you aren’t proud of it; don’t bother to send it to the recruiter. No matter how qualified you may be; recruiters won’t jeopardize their reputation with the employer over your poorly written resume.</li> </ol> Additionally, recruiters score candidates based on their education, professional work experience, and the length of time the candidate has been unemployed. Candidates currently employed are considered “A-level” candidates; “B-level” candidates have been unemployed less than 90 days, “C- and D-level” candidates are far less desirable and less likely to have their <a href="http://www.workitdaily.com/resume-remove/">resume</a> submitted to employers at all. If you’re not seeing results with your resume seek professional help early. The longer you are unemployed, the less likely it will be that you find a comparable paying job in your field. You’ll find many excellent resume writing books available at the library or bookstore; just make sure they are both recent and have been written by certified resume writers. In addition, click <a href="http://www.anewresume.com/samples/home/">here</a> to view laser-focused <a href="http://www.anewresume.com/samples/home/">resume samples</a> from my website. <strong>Finally, watch my short video below where I elaborate a little more on this topic.</strong> <span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f3e0349e64099921e84b3ccd217af8a7"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hzBZ61vGcHY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span> <span><em><strong><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-91227707/stock-photo-magnet-and-small-person-isolated-on-white-background-d-rendered.html?src=66d0938731a4491ca3410caa6e9f0827-1-14">Recruiter magnet resume image</a> from Shutterstock</strong></em></span></div>
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Name: Angie Jones Twitter: @ResumeExperts LinkedIn: /in/proresumewriter Personal Website/Blog: www.anewresume.com Bio: Angie Jones is an award-winning, dual-certified Resume Writer and Career Coach, a former recruiter and founder of Haute Resume & Career Services LLC. Her credentials include having served as a member of the "Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches' (PARW/CC) Certification Committee." In this role, she was tasked with judging and certifying only the most qualified professional resume writers around the world. In addition, she is one of only a handful of professional resume writers to have received the coveted TORI Award (Toast of the Resume Industry); a prestigious international competition recognizing the “best of the best” of resume writers and a six time contributor to nationally published resume and cover letter books available in bookstores. What's your favorite career related quote? “EVERY job is temporary and NOBODY learns how to build a satisfying career in school.” (J.T. O'Donnell) What’s your favorite part about being a CAREEREALISM-Approved Career Expert? I’m able to make a huge difference in the lives of job seekers who are struggling in the midst of their career transitions. Articles written by this expert: Mediocre Resumes Tend to Generate Mediocre Salary Offers Employers Reject More Than 90% of Resumes – Will Yours Survive? Are Professional Resume Writers Worth the Investment? Secrets to Tapping into Unadvertised Jobs Transform Your Resume into a Powerful Recruiter Magnet Is Your Online Reputation Stalling Your Job Search?
February 13, 2012
As a Certified Professional Resume Writer and former Executive Recruiter, I am often approached by highly qualified job seekers frustrated by weeks and often months of costly unemployment. Job seekers who have sent hundreds of resumes yet are never called to interview. If they were lucky, they were told early that their resume doesn’t meet today’s standards and needs to be rewritten. However, many job seekers wait and hear nothing; having simply been absorbed by the black hole of the employer’s applicant tracking system software. There is no question that unemployment is expensive; but choosing the wrong resume writer can be equally disastrous. In today's highly competitive job market, your career path and financial future are often determined by the quality of your resume. When you think about it, all anyone needs to become a professional resume writer is a computer and a printer. In fact, many claim to be professional resume writers but often have neither the talent nor the basic training necessary to help you survive the employers’ screening process. In contrast, other resume writers spend thousands of dollars each year attending conferences and participating in other types of training, honing their skills and mastering their craft. Choosing a professional resume writer is really no different than hiring a professional in any industry. Hiring the cheapest writer is likely no bargain; but hiring the most expensive writer will not necessarily guarantee the best resume either. Think about it… what do they call a doctor who graduated at the bottom of his class? A doctor. He may be less expensive than others but would you really trust him to perform lifesaving surgery on you or your loved one? The same holds true with professional resume writers. Are you really prepared to place your financial future into the hands of one of these so called resume writers? When seeking the help of a professional resume writer, certifications and referrals are good places to start. Ask for and compare samples of the writer’s work; better yet, work with a resume writer recommended by recruiters. A smart recruiter knows that their candidates are easier to place and negotiating a top-notch salary improves with a great resume. Angie Jones is an award-winning, dual-certified Resume Writer and Career Coach, a former recruiter and founder of Haute Resume & Career Services LLC. Her credentials include having served as a member of the “Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches’ (PARW/CC) Certification Committee.” Resume writer investment image from Shutterstock
January 06, 2012
How much is your resume costing you? As a globally recognized executive resume writer, a former recruiter and the founder of Haute Resume & Career Services LLC, I review hundreds of resumes each year for job seekers who have often spent months unsuccessfully searching for a new job. The majority of these job seekers have one thing in common… they are using an old-school, backward-focused resume that does nothing to set them apart from their competition. In November, 2011 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average length of unemployment was at 41.1 weeks. Many of these job seekers are losing thousands of dollars as a direct result of their resume. Think about it this way: An unemployed professional who had previously earned $52K per year in his/her last position is losing $1,000 each week they remain unemployed. A 40-week long job search with the wrong resume could end up costing the job seeker $40K in lost wages. The good news is most of these mistakes are easily prevented when the job seeker has educated him/herself in the art of resume writing. Avoid these costly mistakes on your resume!
- Beware of many of the resume templates found on the Internet. A number of these templates have serious flaws and are not likely to work for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is their incompatibility with certain Applicant Tracking System software (ATS) programs. Many of these older templates were designed in MS Word with the content embedded in tables. If the employer’s software cannot extract your content from the table; your resume is most often deleted.Another reason these templates fail miserably is the result of the job seeker choosing the wrong resume format. I can think of many examples where a chronological resume can actually make a candidate who is transitioning into a new career, look far less qualified than they really are, since the more relevant information is buried deep within the resume.
- Don't waste your time with an Objective Statement telling employers what you are looking for in your next position. It’s much better to provide a job title in your accomplishment-based Qualifications Summary. The employer would rather you make their job easy by selling them on why they should call YOU in for an interview instead of your competition.
- Your resume MUST be targeted to the position that you seek. If you use a backward-focused one-size-fits-all resume it is not likely to contain the relevant "keywords" necessary to be picked-up by the ATS software.
- An exceptional resume requires quantifying your accomplishments whenever possible using numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages. This information demonstrates both the level of responsibility you've held, as well as the level of success that you've had in similar positions.When employers have made their decision they often go back and review the resume prior to making a salary offer. This is where they are reminded of the VALUE you bring to their organization making you worth a top-dollar salary!
- Most importantly: Know your competition!