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2016 Almost Here: Time to Update That Resume of Yours

There aren’t many more days of this month before we are into 2016. This is a perfect time to pull out your resume and update it – this applies not only if you plan to move into a new job in the new year. Just as you should be reviewing your credit report yearly (or more often), the same recommendation applies to your resume.

If your resume has collected dust, meaning you haven’t looked at it since you got your job or it’s been some time, think of all of the knowledge, skills and experience you have amassed since then. Do you really remember them all? I would call you on it if you said yes. We do tend to remember the major events or skills but what about the time you helped the boss out with training or being in charge, or you helped out on a project? You might not think they mean something but they do.

You might not think it will matter but I would tell you it does. Everyone needs to have a current resume as that is what good career management is all about. The benefits of doing this are twofold:

1) you will be aware of all that you’ve accomplished – acquiring or using skills, knowledge and abilities, courses or training classes you’ve taken, projects you’ve worked on, leadership skills you’ve acquired, outcomes you’ve achieved in terms of money made/saved, time saved, thresholds reached, speaking engagements or committees you’ve served on, etc. (I’m sure you get the picture); and

2) it will show you what a great worker/employee you are, something that is needed to ensure you are a high performer and know  your value, both of which will get you noticed. Your confidence will increase, and you might see some opportunities that you might not have thought you were qualified for, giving you the motivation to apply. An added benefit is for when performance appraisal time comes around to give you leverage on your rating and compensation.

As you never know when an opportunity will come up, whether by choice or chance, you want to be ready to make a move. Ensuring your resume is up-to-date will keep in you at-ready and in control. Make it a practice to review and update your resume, whether you think you need it or not. You don’t want to be surprised or at a disadvantage, do you?

If you need your resume reviewed to better manage your career, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session: http://www.cyscoaching.com

 

What’s Old is New in the Job Search Realm

If you think that all employers will only look at your resume or application if it’s posted online, you might want to think again.  According to a report put out by Career Thought Leaders, they hosted a brainstorming call of career professionals from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom who came to discuss trends that are occurring or will occur in the world of careers.  I thought, over the coming days, that I would share and comment on some of these trends to give you an awareness that can elevate you and put you ahead of the pack.

One of the trends is in regards to the job search and is a recommendation I make to my clients who are in job-search mode.  Most days, the majority of employers want you to apply through their website, where you fill out there application and then upload your resume and cover letter.  While this may be standard procedure, there is nothing preventing you from mailing in your resume and cover letter through the mail.  Yes, I said through the mail!

Snail mail is making a BIG comeback in many areas, such as in direct marketing, and the job search arena is no different.  Employers are more apt to open mail they receive.  But, these documents should be presented very professionally.  Be sure that you use high-quality paper, such as 20lb or 24lb, and white or cream-colored.  You can either type the envelope or write the address, but be sure that the handwriting is legible and fully-written out.  You want to present yourself in the best light from the get-go.

You can then follow-up with a phone call in a few days to see if they received it; this could put your resume on notice or it could get you a phone interview on the spot.  The job search arena will be changing and I’ll be sharing some of those changes with you over the next few months.  Hope this helps.  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Action Phrases and Power Verbs to Use on a Resume

Your resume is meant to give an overview of your achievements and your abilities and translate them to an employer in the hopes of gaining an interview.  With your past experiences, you had roles and responsibilities so when conveying them you want to be sure that you are using phrases and words that convey action.  You don’t want your resume to read like a job description but to relate your duties to actual actions and outcomes that were achieved.

Here are some samples of action phrases and powerful words that can enhance and emphasize the good work you’ve done:

  • Design, develop and deliver
  • Implement solutions
  • Developed and delivered
  • Assessed employee and client training
  • Analyzed and evaluated data
  • Reduced costs by $_____
  • Facilitated problem-solving meetings
  • Managed ___ employees
  • Created and implemented innovative approaches
  • Designed new processes

Some action words to use:

Accomplished                    Achieved                 Adapted                     Adhered                 Administered                Advocated

Budgeted                              Capitalized              Clarified                      Computed              Contributed                   Counseled

Decreased                            Defined                     Demonstrated          Directed                  Discovered                     Documented

Earned                                   Enabled                    Enforced                    Engaged                   Expanded                      Established

Facilitated                           Forecast                   Founded                    Fulfilled                    Generated                      Headed

Identified                            Implemented         Inspected                  Investigated           Joined                              Launched

Marketed                            Maximized               Merged                       Motivated                Negotiated                       Observed

Operated                             Ordered                   Organized                  Participated             Performed                        Pioneered

Planned                               Quantified               Raised                        Recommended        Reduced                             Reviewed

Scheduled                          Secured                    Simplified                 Submitted                 Tailored                              Tested

Trained                               Transformed          Upgraded                 Validated                   Worked                               Wrote

 

What others would you add to this list? Post your comments below!

Is Volunteer Work on your Resume?

If you have done any volunteer work in your lifetime, and you haven’t put it on your resume, you are missing a big opportunity.  This is a great way to showcase your philanthropic personality – that you care about others and want to help or give back, and it can also close a gap in your employment history.  This is particularly vital if you have been out of work for a considerable amount of time.  The thinking now is that if you aren’t working, you must be sitting around and your knowledge base won’t be up to what is needed by an employer.

Through volunteerism, you can learn new skills or strengthen your current ones which could translate well to a job.  It also could get you noticed for the work you are doing and could possibly get you a referral to a hirer or even getting hired by the agency.  I have known countless of people in organizations that I belong to who have volunteered their time and it has led to a new job for them.  If you have done volunteer work, be sure to add it and highlight if you have held any leadership positions.  You can tie your volunteer work with the needed skills for positions you are applying for, all of which can show that you have been honing your skills and doing work, even if for free.

Your Resume: Does it Truly List All Your Accomplishments?

If you’ve been sending out resumes and not receiving any calls, then it’s time to look at what information you’ve been submitting, namely looking to see if your resumes includes all of your accomplishments and skills.   I see if over and over when working with clients – they negate past accomplishments or job skills as minor or unimportant and leave them off.  However, when you look at what they leave on, it is like a story with no ending.  Your resume needs to lay out the pieces of your work experiences, like the pieces of  a puzzle, so that an employer sees the completed picture.  Not doing so leaves them questioning your worth and you risk being put in the “No” pile.  You need to create a picture of your work history – what you’ve done in the past, what skills and abilities you possess, and the outcomes you’ve achieved.

Here are steps to help you ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best way:

1. Re-assess – go back and re-evaluate yourself and the past work experiences you’ve had; begin by writing down your skills, talents, abilities, values, past outcomes, job titles, management or training experience, or any other skill-sets.  Don’t hold back – just list ALL of them

2. Quantify – with those outcomes, attach numbers to them; for instance, if you managed employees then list how many, of you were responsible for a budget then state the monetary value, i.e. $5million dollars.   If you created a system, if you saved money or made money, list them with numbers.  Employers will be more interested in specific outcomes and want to see what you can do for them

3. Structure – take those new skills and experiences you’ve identified and put them a resume format that will get noticed.  Bullet-point those skills at the top, ensuring that they are desirable for the job you are applying for.  In your work history, be sure to put the outcomes you’ve achieved.

Add your education, volunteer experience or any professional associations to give a more rounded picture of your capabilities.   Applying for a job these days can feel tedious and nerve-wracking.   But if you are strategic and laser-focused then you will have the advantage over others.  Ensuring that your resume lists all of your accomplishments will leave an employer with no doubt and get you hired.

10 Resume Errors that Spell Check Won’t Catch

I read an article recently about spell check and how it does not always catch every error.  So, I thought I’d pass it on:

  • Its versus It’s (or any other apostrophes)
  • Your versus You’re
  • Sales verus Sails
  • Affect versus Effect
  • Would Have not Would of
  • Through versus Threw
  • Then versus Than
  • Supposed To not Suppose To
  • Wonder versus Wander
  • Their versus There versus They’re
  • Farther versus Further

Do not rely solely on spell check when reviewing any documents; use an outside eye to proofread.  Are there any that you have “missed” or have heard of? Would love to hear!

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