Friday, 4 July 2014

Learning How to Write A Resume

Learning how to write a resume is very important for anyone that wants to be able to obtain a good job. Before you can write your resume, you first need to understand how to overcome the main problem that most people have with doing just that.

Next, present your personal details. Use sub-sections like "Contact Details", "Educational History", etc. to make your resume easier to read. Finally, include your work history, experiences, and any other references or testimonials that you may have.

My organization, the Greenman Alliance, offers green career coaching catered to the same audience who would read this column. I'm not here to sell my coaching services but I am here to sell you on Career Coaching. Its much more than Resume Advice. Seek out an advisor who thinks creatively, someone who is left brained to your right brain personality, etc... Ying to your yang. You get it. You need people to bounce ideas off of, someone with a way to get through a wall that you can't climb over on your own. The beauty of this system is the natural result is that you'll become someone else's mentor/coach as you build your chops in your trade. Once you are there, seek out a struggling young person. Pay it forward, you know what they say about Karma.

A cover letter is not an opportunity to discuss your pet lint collection. It should not be informal and chock full of useless information that does not apply to that position being offered. It is a chance to introduce yourself.

Gallow breaks down the pitch process into a few simple steps that combine relevance with short and sweet delivery. He even encourages readers to channel the spirit of the 'Twesume' (as discussed last week by the Honolulu Careers Examiner) referencing a 'Twitter-friendly' headline when crafting a succinct story.

To stress how crucial it is to come up with a good resume, there are even books and web sites that give lessons on How to Write a Resume in an impressive manner, but without boring the reader.

Your resume is a piece of writing that you use to promote yourself. So don't be shy about using any promotional content that you can think of. For instance, many candidates will just include previous work experiences. You can go one step further by including testimonials from high profile individuals. Spend some time to think about the kind of content you can include to make yourself stand out.

A professional resume gives relevant information and lets the employer know about your past work experience. If you have skills and talents that are applicable, then include this information.

Writing Your Resume

Keep in mind that you should utilize a professional resume format when you are writing a resume for a job application. The two most accepted formats of writing resume are the functional and chronological formats. To facilitate the interview process, you can use chronological format so that your interviewer can follow through your employment timeline.

We realize this may be easier said than done. You may already have a full-time job with demanding hours. Or you might be juggling several part-time jobs. Or you may have other demands and responsibilities, such as school or family obligations. However, some of you have no excuse. Yes, we're taking to you...the 24/7 basement gamer, the soap opera addict and the weekend golf warrior. If you have the time and the need, seasonal jobs are abundant during the holidays, especially restaurant jobs and retail jobs. Since part-time gigs offer such flexible schedules, you can grab extra cash on your own time. For seasonal Resume Advice, read "The secret to landing seasonal jobs & temporary employment." And remember, a part-time job after the holidays can be just as helpful as one before them.

First, you need to include your contact information at the very top. This should be your phone number, address, and email address. This is how you are going to get the call for an interview so it is very important and belongs at the very top.

For some unknown reason there is a certain group of people within society that feel they can get ahead in the job hunting process by just rewriting a resume for every position they see. This is not How to Write a Resume! Finding a job is not a war of attrition! Make sure you have at least a chance with everything you apply for, and tailor make your resumes to jobs you fit with!

Turn off the television. You didn't watch television at work and you shouldn't be watching Oprah or whatever it is that you watch while you are working at home. You have to focus on finding a job.

Target your resume for every job. - The best resumes are always the most relevant. It is very easy to tell if a resume has been "mass produced" and not targeted to the job being applied for. If an individual takes time to tweak the resume for the specific position they are applying for, it makes it more relevant.

A friend told me about a secretary at his old firm, who posted on Facebook as her profile update: "Idiot boss just came in and asked me to do something. Blah Blah Blah Blah. I work for a moron."Moron, maybe... but a self promoting associate saw the post moments later and shared it with idiot boss, who promptly asked said secretary to pack her things and leave.

Again this is hard work. But, it works. If you will follow these steps you will find the right job for you and your skills. You must sell yourself. You sell yourself in your resume, in your presentation and in the interview. You may not like selling but you better be good at it if you want to land a good job. Employers can afford to be picky in these economic times. You have to do these kinds of things to set yourself apart from the crowd.

For Further Information 

Resume Mistakes

Most people don't realize that a resume is really a personal marketing "brochure." Yes, you are selling yourself: your skills, your knowledge and your time to the lucky employer who hires you.

Since resumes are a one page document you have to make sure that you are getting maximum use out of the space. Don't start a with 20 point headline for your name and address.

If possible, a resume should be no more than one page. If you MUST put your experience from 30 years ago, simply list the job titles and highlight from and to dates.

Multiple studies show that mothers in particular face automatic bias that has a direct impact on pay and promotions. Being a woman and having a gap in your resume often triggers that bias. So what's the most important Resume Advice for someone who has a gap in her resume?

One more very important part of your resume is how it is physically put together, that is how you present it to your prospective boss. Never just hand over a bunch of papers or a resume that has "done the rounds". make sure you print a new one for each interview and at the very least clip them or put a hole punch in it to keep it together.

Understand the written job description for the position you want. You can improve the content of your resume if you know what the employers are looking for. Read the job description and tailor your resume according to the job description, this way it shows you have done your research and are interested in the position. However, if you are not targeting a specific job, incorporate an objective line inside your resume.

You may decide to go with the option of creating your resume from scratch. Just be careful that your spelling and grammar are correct and remember that you are probably using a format that many others are using as well. You have to make the content shine because the format will most likely be too similar to get you noticed.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

How to Write a Resume

How To Write a Resume

This is definitely the number one question which all recruiters and hiring managers around the world are asked on on a daily basis.  Remember, there is no perfect Resume Template for every Job application, however there is a right way and a wrong way.  

To write a great Resume, you need to first work out what an employer wants to see in your Resume? If you do not answer this question, you have no chance of writing a great Resume.

Hiring Managers Want to see the following in your Resume:

Looks Good – Professional Layout as show below
Font Size – Tahoma size 10 for the body and 14 for the Headings
Visual Impact – Use Bullet Points, line breaks, and bold formatting
Contact Details – Telephone Number and Email Need to Be Correct
Company Details – I know what Exxon Do, however I have never heard of Nick’s Place
Job Titles – Job Titles that increase in Seniority
Experience – Your Experience including your Responsibilities and Achievements
Not to long – Two to Three Pages is recommended
Apply to Relevant Roles – Apply to Jobs that you have experience of, not jobs that you think you would like to do.  
Tailor Made – Each application needs to be tailored for a specific role. 

You're never going to get a 100% perfect Resume, but if you get 95% of the above points correct then you can easily ensure that your  Resume is going to be well received. 

Separating Your Resume From the Crowd.
Once you have understood what an Employer wants to see in your resume the next point to understand is how to separate your resume the crowd.   Yahoo recently revealed that they receive upwards of 12,000 Resumes each and every week.  Even with a large Internal recruitment team the typical recruiter will spend between 6 seconds and a maximum of 30 seconds viewing your resume before either speaking with you or moving on to next candidate.
Applicant Tracking System: - Companies will often use some form of applicant tracking system where keywords are searched for on your resume.  Any resumes without these specific keywords will instantly be rejected.  If we have a look at Google’s Career Site the first thing you will notice is their motto “Do Cool Things that Matter”.  If you’re going to apply to Google, make sure this phrase is on your resume, you can bet your life that this will be a key phrase they search for.
You Need to get my Attention Quickly - What does the first few lines on your resume say?  My advice is to get as much good information on the first few lines as possible.  Next to your name, put your qualifications.  An MBA or another recognised qualification does stand out. 
Its very likely that I will read you Summary/Profile so make sure that yours is a compelling summary of your career, showing your impressive achievements.  When a recruiter or hiring manager writes a Job advert, they will  use a number of keywords to sort out the best candidates.  Your profile is the best place to get these into your resume.  If they job advert says, relocation required then make sure in your profile you have the words happy to relocate.

Keep It Short – Space is at a premium on your Resume so use it wisely.  Remember at best I will be looking at your resume for between 8 and 30 seconds.  How much can you read in 30 seconds….  A ten page resume simply means that most will not be read.  At best I will read 75% of the first page and have a very quick skim of the second.  Keep your resume to the last ten years of your career and list the rest in one paragraph.
I honestly don’t really care what your looking for so this needs to stay out of your Resume.  You have limited space so don’t use up a chunk of it telling me what kind of job you’re looking for.  If you are not interested in a Sales Role, why did you apply for it….!!!
Experience an Achievements  - With every job that you have had you need show your experience and your achievements.  
  • Your experience determined by your responsibilities and remember to explain these properly.  Just using a big fancy keyword will be seen through very quickly.
  • Your Achievements are determined by your success and if at all possible use numbers and make them bold to stand-out.  The percentage improvement, profit made, team grew by, trained, money saved are all great examples.   

Further Information Can Be Found Here - How ToMake Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd


Finally we have Resume Mistakes.
Don’t Bend the Truth - If you lie on your resume, there is a very good chance that you will be caught out which at best is the interview over, at worst you will never be hired at that company in the future.  Experienced Recruiters and Hiring managers have seen and heard of every game under the sun and are well adverse to something that smells a little wrong.

Check Your Email and Telephone Number – The number of times that I have been sent a resume where the number does not connect or the email address bounces back is wild.  If I was given one dollar for every time this happened – well I would be a lot richer!!!

Make It Look Professional – Honestly, it really doesn’t matter what you think of your Resume.  What’s important is that the recruiter or hiring manager that reads your resume is impressed and call you for a further conversation.  Yes there are exceptions to the rule, but unless your applying to something in graphic design or art, keep those wild pictures off your resume.
Immaterial and Private Information – You don’t need to include hobbies such as walking and cooking and your Sexual orientation, religion, relationship status, age do not need to be on your Resume.
Check and Re-Check your Spelling and Grammar – Spelling Mistakes or Grammar Mistake are not acceptable.

Writing Your Resume:
So far you should understand what an employer whats to see in your Resume, How to separate your Resume from the Crowd and some simple Resume Mistake to avoid. Now its time to put the above into practice and write your resume.
My honest Opinion is that you should be able to write a good Resume yourself, but if you have money to burn or simply do not have the time to do it yourself you can hire a Resume Writer who will write you a professionalResume.  Here is Some Advice on why it could be a good idea to hire a Resume Writer and what to look for when hiring a resume writer.

Software to Write A Resume

Your Resume needs to be written in a Word Document.  DO NOT use Excel which you then copy and past into a Word Document.  Its Okay to PDF your Resume, but my advice would be to send both the PDF version and the Word Document Version to a Recruiter or Hiring Manager.  Often recruiters will want to change the format of your resume to fit a standard template that they use before sending either to a client to the hiring manager in charge.  It’s a nightmare to do this if you have written your Resume in Excel and whole formatting goes.

Standard Vs Creative

The whole world is moving forwards and the world that we live in now is very different from the world we lived in just 10 years ago.  One thing has not changed and that is the layout of your Resume.  There are exceptions to the rule, however if you’re going to send out your Resume, make sure it looks Professional.  For me the only exception to this rule could if you’re applying to maybe a creative design role, then potentially an employer might be impressed with your Creative Resume.  For any other jobs, your Resume should have a professional layout.  That all said, you can still use software to help you create a great Resume and below there are two articles outlining the best places to build Creative Resumes and Online Resumes.

For More Information See - Top 10 Websites to Build A Creative Website Online or Top 12 Online Resume Makers

Apart from all of the above, you need to make sure that your Resume is target, concise, clear and is not too long or too short.  You Resume needs to demonstrate your experience, skills, knowledge and show the recruiter or hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. 
Hiring Managers and Recruiters will typically look at 100’s of Resume’s each day to find the best candidates.  They are not going to read a 10 page Resume.  At best the top few sentences will be read, the rest of the first page will typically be skim read and probably the second page will be fast skim-read.  This means that any important information that you have put on page 10 of your Resume will almost certainly be missed.  For this reason, its vital that you follow the set structure as show below to make sure all the really important information that you have on your Resume is seen.
Finally Check and Re-Check Your Resume to make sure that its free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.  It’s a great idea to show your Resume to a few friends for their opinion.  A second set of eyes is always a good idea to check for spelling mistakes and problem areas.

The Four Areas of Your Resume
There are typically Four distinct areas of your Resume of which two will always be read, one is very useful for computer system and the final section, generally will be missed, but you need to make sure that you include it.
Section One – The Title
Section Two – The Profile or Summary
Section Three – Your Experience, Knowledge and Achievements
Section Four – Qualifications and Other Information
The two sections that will always be read are the Section One (the title) and Section Three (Your experience).  In order to write a great Resume, we need to make sure that we use these two sections the best possible way.  Section Two (Your profile or summary) is great place to put keywords that you have seen in the job description or the company website that will help you beat any applicant tracking systems that the company is using and whilst Section Four generally will not be read, its useful and needed in order to complete the resume.

Section One – The Title
Lets start from the Top and work our way down the resume.  The title will always be read as a recruiter will want to know the candidates name and whether there is any contact information on the Resume.  Generally when you open a magazine or a book, the first thing you naturally do it to look at the top to see what the title is and then work your way down from there.  Your Resume is no different. 
Given the Top Section your Resume is guaranteed to be read, this gives us a great place to put contact details and any key information that could help are application.  Remember, your Resume needs to be a concise document, so whilst its important that we do not cram everything together, space is not something we have a lot of.
Key Points
-        Leave the “Resume” or “Thomas’s Resume” off the Top of your Resume.  If you have sent your Resume to a hiring manager or recruiter, they know its your Resume.
-        Obviously use your Full Name.
-        Your Address does not need to be on your Resume unless your applying for a job that is in a different part of the country or world.  In this case, just use the city and country.
-        Use both your Telephone Number and Email.  Make sure they’re correct.
-        Use your LinkedIn Profile or any other Professional Online Summary you have.
-        Get your Resume application off to a good start by mentioning any major qualifications you have.

Example – My Personal Section One
Nick Green, MBA, CFA
Email - Mobile Tel - +44 (0) 7789 000 000  Current Location – New York, USA
LinkedIn Profile -

Section Two – Your Profile or Summary
Your Profile is a Key Section of your Resume, not so much because it will be read, because generally it will not be but because you can get lots of keywords that your Resume will need to pass a companies applicant tracking system and to appeal your Resume to a company.
Your profile needs to be a short few lines about yourself providing your key skills and experience.  My advice that unless your really senior and have a great career of success you should be writing “I believe myself to be” instead of “I am”.  This will ensure that you do not come across as someone who thinks they know everything there is to know.  Confidence is great, but arrogance is something you do not want to have.
To best use this space on your resume, you need to make sure that you include both Company Specific Keywords that will ensure that your resume passes any ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that a company is using and Job Specific Keywords to ensure that your Resume passes any screening technology that the company uses for each individual job.
Company Specific Keywords
Company specific keywords are keywords that will be relevant to specific company.  To give you an example of “company specific Keywords we are going to use  Now Google is a fantastic company that anyone who is starting in technology would love to work at.  As a result they receive thousands of Resumes each and every week.  Google also has a very sophisticated Applicant Tracking System that searches for Keywords and if you put select keywords on your Resume, your resume will be picked out of the mix.
Take a Look at the Google Career Page below. Google mentions that they “don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it and thrive on it”. If you’re going to apply to Google then a perfect profile or summary would include these words, something like “Dynamic, Skilled and highly educated candidate that doesn’t just accept difference but celebrates it, supports it and thrives on it”.  Including this phrase within your Resume would really ensure that your Resume stands out from the crowd and I would bet that your resume make it into a short list to be read based on this inclusion of words.
Job Advert Specific Keywords
Job Advert Specific Keywords, are Keywords that are specific each job advert that you apply to.  Hiring Managers and Recruiters write Job Adverts to find candidates that have a set skill, knowledge and experience that they need.  Given we already have the job advert we can use the keywords within it on our resume.  This means that our Resume will be picked up by any screening technology that a company is using. 
To give you an example of this I have used a Job Advert taken from role that I recently Head-Hunted a great candidate for.  The actual Job Advert was both longer and had more detail, but for this example I have use the bare minimum to save space.  With this Job Advert I am looking for an Operations Manager for a Food Distribution company with distribution centers throughout the USA.
Job description
The Division Operations Manager will be responsible for managing a network of distribution centers throughout the US. This individual will be responsible for managing both strategic and tactical pieces of the business and will need to be comfortable conducting business with all levels of employees.
In addition, responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:
- Manage multiple DCs throughout US and monitor daily operations, quality and safety standards
- Proactively initiate polices and procedures to enhance performance and KPIs
- Improve supply chain capabilities while maintaining service levels
- Manage all P&L for Business Units
Who we are looking for
- Bachelor's degree required, MBA preferred
- Minimum of 10 years experience; preferably in food distribution with a CGMP Environment
- Demonstrated ability to manage diverse relationships and lead a diverse team
- Ability to travel at 75% regularly
- Proven performance track record

 As with most Head Hunters that I know, we all use screening software to reduce the numbers of Resume.  In this case I received over four thousand resumes in total.  Very simply, there was no way that I was looking through four thousand resumes and thus I used our internal screening software to reduce these numbers down to more manageable numbers.
Screening software works by the user imputing keywords that they want to search for on a Resume.  In this case I imputed the words that were relevant to my position, in this case those words are in BOLD.  If your Resume contained these words, I will have seen it, if not well then most likely I missed your resume.

For More Information on How to Write a resume Profile or Summary – See here

Section Three – Your Experience, Knowledge and Achievements
This section will be the longest section of your Resume.  You need to make sure that you start this section as high up the first page as possible meaning that you get the most possible amount of content on the first page.  Remember, recruiters and hiring managers will spend the most amount of time looking at the first page your Resume, so make it count.  If I spent 20 seconds reading your Resume, 10-15 seconds will be spent on the first page, with the remainder on the rest.
When writing this section, for each place of work you need to make sure that you include, the name of the company where you worked, a description of the company, the dates you worked, your position held and your responsibilities and achievements.

The Name of the Company -  Obvious or at least I hope this one is obvious.
Company Description – If you have worked for Google or Facebook then this is not so important and everyone should know who they are and what they do.  The problem comes when I receive a resume where a candidate has worked for Joe’s Media.  Who are Joe’s Media, How big are they are questions I will ask myself.  To help out the viewer of your Resume, my advice is to write a short two line description at every place you have worked given information on the company.  You should include the business name, its size by turn over and number of employees and what business the company is involved in.
Dates You Worked – Ideally you should put both the month and the year that you started, followed by both the month and the year that you finished (something like June 2011 –January 2014), however dates are one area that you can use to make your Resume better than it actually is. 
Hiring Managers generally do not like candidates that have jumped around having a different job each year as it show that you lack commitment to company and I should not invest any time or money into you as the chances that you will be here a years time is slim.  However sometimes candidates have been unlucky and especially with the recession in 08/09 has had a number of jobs over the last few years as they try to get their career back on track.
In this case its much easier to explain why you have left a job in a face-to-face meeting than on your Resume and thus you should not use the months and just use the years.  \
Job Positions – Ideally your job titles should start with Junior roles and increase in seniority as your experience increases. Often candidates think it looks great to have a fancy job title of there Resume and whilst there is not problem with this, you need to understand that you’re then limited to only applying to roles with a similar seniority.  Telling me your last job title was Sales Director and then applying for Sales Manager or Account Manager roles, tells me you’re desperate and will take any job until a better one comes along.
Responsibilities and Achievements – For each company that you have worked at, you need to make sure that you describe your responsibilities and achievements for each role.  For your responsibilities you need to make sure that you show what you actually have done and not just keywords that may sound great, but don’t really say anything about what you can and cannot do.  You also need to make sure that your include your achievements and successes for each position.  Hiring Managers and recruiters love achievements.
Most importantly, don’t lie or bend the truth. You will be found out and most likely its interview over.

Section Four – Qualifications and Other Information
This Section should really wrap up your Resume and is a great place to put your education details, further education certificates and any additional keywords that are not in your Resume but might be either on the Job Advert Description or Company Description.
Education – Keep this simple and brief.  Mention where you studied, the course title and the grade if you received a good mark.  As experience at the top of this post, any major qualification should go next to your name, but where you studied and your previous education should go here.
Addition Skills – This is a great section for I.T. systems, Language skills or any other important information such as, “your ability to relocate to another country”.
Hobbies – Keep your Hobbies Off your Resume.