May 24, 2017 | Resume Writing Tips
Whether you’re putting your resume together after an unexpected job loss, exploring a new career or graduating from college, you may be wondering how to develop your resume.
First, read this to avoid common mistakes. Next, you need to put together a list of job skills.
Keep reading to learn 6 job skills employers look for on your resume.
Chief Among Job Skills is Problem-Solving
The bottom line is that an employer is looking for someone to solve a problem — to optimize operational effectiveness, boost its sales, grow new business, repair its image, or manage others to do those things. Otherwise, there would be no job vacancy.
Regardless of your other skills, you will need to orient yourself with the potential employer’s problems.
Organizations value employees who can get things done consistently and on time. If you can handle projects without excuse-laden delay or complaints, this is a great skill to showcase.
Show you can solve problems rather than needing to be rescued from them, and you’re off to a good start!
Organization and Planning
These job skills tend to go hand-in-hand.
Provide examples of a time when you took a voluminous amount of information from multiple sources and seamlessly processed it so that everyone was well-prepared, deadlines were met, and you looked like a genius.
Willingness/Ability to Learn
You don’t want your potential employer to think that you’re not willing to broaden your knowledge base because there’s always new things to learn.
There is a difference between someone who tolerates learning and someone who tackles new projects with fervor. Be in the latter category.
Even if you work from a home office, you won’t be an island.
Teamwork can be broken down into subsets such as dependability, accountability, and communication. The descriptions below are translated into a benefit for your potential employer to help you prepare for your interview.
Being dependable means that you consistently and timely follow through on deliverables.
Accountability means that someone doesn’t have to wince when they ask you to correct something. You eagerly accept an opportunity to improve yourself because you realize it’s not about you.
Good communication means that you ask questions early on and e-mail or speak in a clear, direct way to avoid time-consuming volleying due to misunderstandings.
Today, employers are looking for professional sensitivity. Your ability to flourish in a multi-cultural environment is critical.
Being a member of a diverse workforce is more than just helping your employer avoid an audience before the EEOC. It’s about your ability to respect the views, ideas, and backgrounds of others.
The Skill That Your Ideal Employer is Looking For
The first five skills are the primary skills that translate across industries. Much of your resume will have universal application and may at most require tweaking.
But leaving a “place-holder” in your resume allows you to showcase something industry-specific or respond to a job description and “ideal candidate” criteria.
If you need some help getting your resume started, click here for samples. If you are overwhelmed by this process, find out whether a resume-writing service is a good option for you today!
May 9, 2017 | Resume Writing Tips
It doesn’t matter how well you interview or how qualified you are if your resume isn’t top-notch. Without a great, attention-grabbing resume, you’ll never make it past the initial application process and get a chance to prove that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Your resume is your chance to make the best first impression and make it to the next stage of the job screening process. Listed below are 5 major mistakes to avoid on your resume:
Writing a Novel
Hiring managers typically get an overwhelming number of applications for each job opening, but they only spend an average of 6 seconds scanning each resume. If your resume stands out enough during the initial scan to make it to the “maybe” pile, they might spend more time quickly skimming the remainder of your resume. The key thing to remember is that hiring managers are busy, and you can make yourself more appealing by keeping your resume focused, concise, and easy to scan.
If your resume is comprised of long, dense blocks of text, it doesn’t matter how great the material is because chances are no one will read it.
Using Dated Resume Techniques
Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are professional and savvy enough to fit into the modern job market. One way to signal to hiring managers that you’re living in the past is to use old-fashioned, ineffective and dated techniques. These include:
- Mentioning that your references are “available upon request.” This is usually considered a meaningless filler since hiring managers assume this is true of most applicants.
- Busy and cluttered resumes. Clean, concise, and attractive is the name of the game- using a combination of loud fonts and colors is distracting and looks dated.
- A generic and cliched objective like “Professional seeks challenging position.” This doesn’t add value, and it wastes valuable resume real estate.
Being Too Vague
When quickly skimming a resume, it makes sense that hiring managers will be drawn to percentages, specific details, and other metrics, while mostly skipping past vague generalities. Instead of saying you “increased efficiency,” saying something like “increased productivity by an estimated 20%, boosting revenue by $500K annually” is much more impressive and effective.
Exaggerating Your Qualifications
56% of hiring managers have discovered lies and embellishments on resumes, and anecdotally many hiring managers say they would rather hire an honest candidate with potential and limited experience than someone who exaggerates. When applying for a job you’re excited about, it makes more sense to emphasize your qualifications and transferrable skills (something an experienced resume writer is great at) than to overstate your experience and risk getting caught.
Even if your embellishments are missed, you run the risk of starting a job you’re not qualified for, and being placed in the anxiety-inducing situation of pretending to have skills you don’t possess. It’s best to be truthful, as exaggerating or lying is never worth it.
Submitting a Sloppy Resume
No matter the position or industry, chances are hiring managers are looking for candidates who pay great attention to detail and quality. The best way make a great first impression is to submit a resume that’s free of grammatical errors and typos, clean and visually appealing in layout and format, and reads well.
If you want to avoid these five major mistakes, consider hiring a professional resume writer who’s skilled and familiar with your industry. Contact me today to discuss your job search and career goals, and to learn more about Elite’s interview-winning resume and cover letter packages.
May 2, 2017 | Interview Coaching
Many job seekers are thrilled when they get called for a job interview. It means your resume caught the attention of the right people and they want to know more about you. Hopefully, it will also end with a job offer.
While receiving an invitation to interview is great, you’ll still need to walk into your meeting and wow the interviewer! To accomplish this, interview preparation is key, especially if you’re uncomfortable during interviews or need to polish your skills.
Here are seven interview questions everyone should be prepared to answer:
Why should I hire you? This is your time to shine! Take an inventory of your assets and skills that match the position requirements the employer is looking to fill. Also, be prepared to discuss the qualities that demonstrate you have what it takes to get the job done.
What are your weaknesses? It’s very easy to talk about positive things, including your strengths. It’s more difficult to talk about your weakness, but it can actually demonstrate self awareness and strength of character. Gather your thoughts before you respond because you don’t want to tell prospective employers why they shouldn’t hire you. Instead, share a weakness and the steps you take to overcome it.
Why are you dissatisfied with your current job? Or, what did you like least about your last job? Often employers ask this question to find out more about your weaknesses. For this reason, don’t speak negatively about your current job, boss, or the hours. Instead, dig deeper and figure out what was really bothering you. Is it possible that you were not challenged enough? Or, were you overwhelmed with the workload of three people?
Why have you been out of work? This is a question that most parents dislike, especially if they’ve taken some time off to raise their children. It can be difficult to re-enter the work force so it’s important to be honest with employers. They won’t hire someone else simply because you were busy raising your family. Instead, focus on the tasks that you did on a regular basis that can be an asset in your new assignment.
What is the best boss you’ve had as well as the worst? Keep your answers positive. During the interview, the employer is trying to determine if you would fit into the work environment. However, even the best employees don’t always get along with their managers so it’s important to learn the personality and leadership styles that you work well with as well as those that might be more challenging.
Where do you see yourself in three to five years? Since the recession, many people have had to rethink this question. Nevertheless, before training new employees, employers want to make sure you are going to stay with them for a while.
How much should I pay you? Money is one of the most difficult things to talk about, even at job interviews. Let the employer initiate the salary discussion, enabling you to negotiate a better compensation package.
To make a great first impression, set aside some time to research the company, prepare success stories, and practice your responses. By focusing on common interview questions and having well-thought out answers, you’ll breeze through the interview and be on your way to a new and better career.
Contact us when you’re ready to pursue the career you always wanted.