The Basics of Your Successful Job Search - Your Resume

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Understanding the purpose of your resume

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  • Hello!And welcome to “The Basics” series by Workplace Learning Solutions.In this series we will be exploring the “Basics of Your Successful Job Search”.As you already know, there are many factors involved in a successful job search.The fundamental factors remain constant:An attractive resumeA relevant cover letterStrong professional referencesA Great AttitudeAnd there’s a new factor that gaining popularity and relevance to today’s job search - Social Media.In “The Basics of Your Successful Job search” series we will address each of these factors in turn. In this specific video we will be taking an in-depth look at Your Resume.
  • Imagine you have just stepped into a coffee shop for a nice cup of coffee. You look up at the menu board and you see this picture.Click for pictureWhich cup of coffee are you most likely to want to buy? If you are like most people, you would most likely go for the nicely presented cup of frothy cappuccino with chocolate designs and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Think of your resume as having the same effect on a recruiter or hiring manager.Which cup of coffee would your resume be?Click for Would You buy YOU?The question right now that needs to be answered is “Would you buy YOU?”Think of your resume in its current form and answer that question honestly. Click for text boxYour resume is a snapshot abut YOU and your ability to meet the requirements of the job for which you are applying.Think of it as your commercial, your sales pitch. This is the first visual a company will use to make a decision about you.Your resume is what will attract “THEM” to YOU.
  • And since it is your sales pitch, your commercial, at minimum it needs to Look rightSound rightWork rightIn the next few scenes we will discuss each of these requirements in turn.First, let’s examine the “look” a bit closer.
  • When we think about how a resume looks, a few things come to mind.We think of its overall formatting. What fonts were used? Are they legible? Is the size big enough?How is the resume laid out? What sections are included?Is there an objective, a professional summary, a list of expertise? Where should the education information go? Should awards and special achievements be included? What about multiple pages? Is that allowed? What is the maximum number of pages? Should there be a heading on each page and if so should it be the same or different?We also think about the way the content is organized. Should the resume be a functional resume or a chronological resume? Should it be a combination resume? What are the implications of each one? How do recruiters view one over the other?All these are valid questions and concerns that you should consider when creating or enhancing your resume.There are so many factors all of which are important. But we can’t address them all in this video, so we’ll take a look at just a few.
  • This sample resume is a great case study for some of the formatting concerns mentioned previously.You want your résumé to have a clean, readable look, therefore you want to organize it well on the page(s) so that it is visually appealing and encourages the reader to read it.
  • Click for call out boxIt is strongly recommended that you make your name and address a header using the header feature in Microsoft Word. And when your resume has multiple pages, make each page a different “section” using the page layout formatting in Microsoft Word so that you can edit the header on subsequent pages. You will want to have a header on each page. Space is almost always an issue on a resume, especially when you are being conscious of your page limit. So the header will need to be a bit different on additional pages so that they are not consuming as much space as the first page header. should look a bit different from the first page.Add page numbers.Click for call out boxUse text separators consistently by don’t use too many. Typically we recommend only using one text separator between your contact information and the body of your resume. The problem with additional separators is that they take up valuable space. As we stated before, space if often an issue for those with lots of experience to share.
  • Click for font stylesUse font styles conservatively, but consistently. Too many different styles will draw attention away from the content of your résumé… where it should be. In this example we see several different styles (too many) and no real system of when a particular style is used.Click for GPANow about your GPA. There are very few occasions where your GPA would be relevant on your resume. Unless you are a high-schooler trying to land your first job or internship, you probably want to leave that information off the resume. Employers do not care about your college GPA. Quite frankly, your GPA on your resume can be a potential red flag that you lack “real world” experience so that’s why you are highlighting your classroom brilliance. Concentrate more on highlighting your experience and accomplishments in the jobs you’ve had so far over your career. Click for BulletsBut look at the bright side! You definitely want to organize your information into short, concise bullets that are easy to read and follow.
  • We discussed some aspects of how your resume should look. Now let’s talk about the sound. What should it sound like when read?What should it say about your skills?What should it say about you?First and foremost, we must consider the importance of language.Earlier we said that your resume is a snapshot abut YOU and your ability to meet the requirements of the job for which you are applying.I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase/cliché “first impressions are lasting”. This is very true. Your resume gives the first impression about you and one of the first things that gets noticed is your use of language. So let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts.
  • Click twice for grammarGrammatical errors have no place on a resume. Be sure to have a good handle on basic rules of grammar such as using the correct pronouns, articles, verb tense and more. For example: Knowing when to use “is” versus “are”… (read from slide).Click twice for spellingSpelling is another sticky point, especially in this age of social media and 140 character limits. Sometimes the issue is using the correct spelling for words that sound alike. Other times it’s a blatant misspelling issue. What ever the issue, be sure to get a handle on the problem, or seek the help of someone who can help you tighten up your presentation.Click twice for slogansSlogans, clichés, acronyms. Nothings wrong with them in conversation… but avoid using them on your resume. This is not the place for your personal tagline.Click twice for vague phrasesTrouble is, these phrases sound good, don’t they! “Great communication skills; multi-talented; people person; dynamic personality… but what exactly do they mean? How should the reviewer interpret your multi-talented-ness? What is a dynamic personality? Get the picture? These are too vague and too ambiguous and really don’t say much or add much value.Click Twice for JeopardyIf you’re familiar with the game Jeopardy, you know the average citizen does not know the answer to the majority of the questions and topics covered. Don’t create a “Jeopardy Effect” with your resume. If they have to do research to interpret what you’ve shared about yourself then… you’ve missed the mark.
  • Click twice for grammarGrammatical errors have no place on a resume. Be sure to have a good handle on basic rules of grammar such as using the correct pronouns, articles, verb tense and more. For example: Knowing when to use “is” versus “are”… (read from slide).Click twice for spellingSpelling is another sticky point, especially in this age of social media and 140 character limits. Sometimes the issue is using the correct spelling for words that sound alike. Other times it’s a blatant misspelling issue. What ever the issue, be sure to get a handle on the problem, or seek the help of someone who can help you tighten up your presentation.Click twice for slogansSlogans, clichés, acronyms. Nothings wrong with them in conversation… but avoid using them on your resume. This is not the place for your personal tagline.Click twice for vague phrasesTrouble is, these phrases sound good, don’t they! “Great communication skills; multi-talented; people person; dynamic personality… but what exactly do they mean? How should the reviewer interpret your multi-talented-ness? What is a dynamic personality? Get the picture? These are too vague and too ambiguous and really don’t say much or add much value.Click Twice for JeopardyIf you’re familiar with the game Jeopardy, you know the average citizen does not know the answer to the majority of the questions and topics covered. Don’t create a “Jeopardy Effect” with your resume. If they have to do research to interpret what you’ve shared about yourself then… you’ve missed the mark.
  • Click twice for grammarGrammatical errors have no place on a resume. Be sure to have a good handle on basic rules of grammar such as using the correct pronouns, articles, verb tense and more. For example: Knowing when to use “is” versus “are”… (read from slide).Click twice for spellingSpelling is another sticky point, especially in this age of social media and 140 character limits. Sometimes the issue is using the correct spelling for words that sound alike. Other times it’s a blatant misspelling issue. What ever the issue, be sure to get a handle on the problem, or seek the help of someone who can help you tighten up your presentation.Click twice for slogansSlogans, clichés, acronyms. Nothings wrong with them in conversation… but avoid using them on your resume. This is not the place for your personal tagline.Click twice for vague phrasesTrouble is, these phrases sound good, don’t they! “Great communication skills; multi-talented; people person; dynamic personality… but what exactly do they mean? How should the reviewer interpret your multi-talented-ness? What is a dynamic personality? Get the picture? These are too vague and too ambiguous and really don’t say much or add much value.Click Twice for JeopardyIf you’re familiar with the game Jeopardy, you know the average citizen does not know the answer to the majority of the questions and topics covered. Don’t create a “Jeopardy Effect” with your resume. If they have to do research to interpret what you’ve shared about yourself then… you’ve missed the mark.
  • Click twice for grammarGrammatical errors have no place on a resume. Be sure to have a good handle on basic rules of grammar such as using the correct pronouns, articles, verb tense and more. For example: Knowing when to use “is” versus “are”… (read from slide).Click twice for spellingSpelling is another sticky point, especially in this age of social media and 140 character limits. Sometimes the issue is using the correct spelling for words that sound alike. Other times it’s a blatant misspelling issue. What ever the issue, be sure to get a handle on the problem, or seek the help of someone who can help you tighten up your presentation.Click twice for slogansSlogans, clichés, acronyms. Nothings wrong with them in conversation… but avoid using them on your resume. This is not the place for your personal tagline.Click twice for vague phrasesTrouble is, these phrases sound good, don’t they! “Great communication skills; multi-talented; people person; dynamic personality… but what exactly do they mean? How should the reviewer interpret your multi-talented-ness? What is a dynamic personality? Get the picture? These are too vague and too ambiguous and really don’t say much or add much value.Click Twice for JeopardyIf you’re familiar with the game Jeopardy, you know the average citizen does not know the answer to the majority of the questions and topics covered. Don’t create a “Jeopardy Effect” with your resume. If they have to do research to interpret what you’ve shared about yourself then… you’ve missed the mark.
  • Click twice for grammarGrammatical errors have no place on a resume. Be sure to have a good handle on basic rules of grammar such as using the correct pronouns, articles, verb tense and more. For example: Knowing when to use “is” versus “are”… (read from slide).Click twice for spellingSpelling is another sticky point, especially in this age of social media and 140 character limits. Sometimes the issue is using the correct spelling for words that sound alike. Other times it’s a blatant misspelling issue. What ever the issue, be sure to get a handle on the problem, or seek the help of someone who can help you tighten up your presentation.Click twice for slogansSlogans, clichés, acronyms. Nothings wrong with them in conversation… but avoid using them on your resume. This is not the place for your personal tagline.Click twice for vague phrasesTrouble is, these phrases sound good, don’t they! “Great communication skills; multi-talented; people person; dynamic personality… but what exactly do they mean? How should the reviewer interpret your multi-talented-ness? What is a dynamic personality? Get the picture? These are too vague and too ambiguous and really don’t say much or add much value.Click Twice for JeopardyIf you’re familiar with the game Jeopardy, you know the average citizen does not know the answer to the majority of the questions and topics covered. Don’t create a “Jeopardy Effect” with your resume. If they have to do research to interpret what you’ve shared about yourself then… you’ve missed the mark.
  • That was language. We’re still discussing the “sound” of the resume, but now let’s focus more on what your resume communicates to a prospective employer.When it comes to your skills, you need to be very careful that your resume communicates relatedness to the job for which you are applying. Employers are searching for the candidate that looks like the best fit for the job. The right skills, the right experience, enough experience.Further, each new job application presents an opportunity for you to revise the message of your resume. If you are applying for the same types of jobs then your revisions will be minor. However, if you are applying for jobs in different categories or job families, you’ll find that you need to make major changes to your basic resume to better position yourself in each job category.An important note here is that you should be less concerned about showing your “responsibilities” in previous positions, and more concerned with showcasing your accomplishments. Your resume is not intended to be a “job description” for roles you have held in the past. It is a snapshot of your capabilities and your ability to fit into the role for which you applied. There may be times when you’re looking for jobs outside your primary industry. In such cases you must be able to transferability. For example, you have to convince the person reviewing your resume that your extensive hospitality experience makes you a great candidate for the healthcare industry. Employers tend to sometimes feel that you must have previous experience in their specific industry to do well in jobs in that industry. Your have to be able to show how your skills in one area transfer.You also want to strongly communicate your knowledge and expertise. Modesty will hurt you badly. Don’t make things up! But do highlight your expertise. Click for phraseUltimately what it boils down to is “Can you do the job?” They want to see the evidence. So, show them the evidence.
  • Moving on with the “sound” of the resume, you also want to consider what it communicates about YOU.If you’re thinking “there isn’t much they can learn about my personality in the resume” you’re right… to a point. But they can detect enough to let them decide if they want to know more… or not.Shyness – comes acrossPompousness – comes acrossAttitude – it’s evidentDesire to learn, know-it-all syndrome, lack of knowledge, they all come across in the way you present your information, the words you use, whether you predominantly list tasks or responsibilities versus achievements and accomplishments.These things are evident and recruiters are getting better and better at analyzing a person just from reading their resume.So, even though you were the receptionist at your last job, if you helped improve the customer experience and ultimately the satisfaction score by 10%, don’t be afraid to mention that on your resume. If you led the project team that streamlined the intake and processing of applicants for your service office which then resulted in an increase in the number of business accounts opened monthly, tout that as an accomplishment!Click for phraseYou want to thoroughly impress them that “You are THE one”
  • So how do you manage the “sound” of your resume and what it communicates?Using words that show “ACTION” and defining those actions so they create a mental picture for your reader.Defining those actions requires you to include numbers when relevant.Increased sales by 3% each quarterLed a team of 10 customer service repsInterviewed 100 families to identify needsConsulted with 15 clients per monthDeveloped 5 workshops for customer service trainingManaged an annual budget of $3,000,000You get the picture!As you can see, saying things like:Responsible for increasing department sales, or interviewed individuals to provide assistance just don’t carry the same punch.
  • Finally, now that you have your resume looking and sounding right, it’s time to put it to work!A wood chopper would not get much done if he goes into the forest with a dull axe! He would need to really sharpen that thing up if he’s going to get anything done.That’s what you’ve done with your resume. You have sharpened it up so that you can really get yourself out there to:Get beyond those resume screening software programsInto the hands of a live person who is going to review itYou’ve used good language skills, action words and phrases that will work to present you in the best possible lightYou’ve taken the time to learn what skills are important to this particular employer in this particular job, and you’ve clearly shown how your experience make you a great fitYour style, personality, attitude radiates from the page and the recruiter sense you might have the “it” factorYou have a great shot at winning an interview so you can really showcase the value of YOU.But it all begins with the resume and how well you have positioned it to work for you.
  • Thank you for watching this video segment, part of our “The Basics of Your Successful Job Search” Series. We hope you found it useful.Feel free to leave your comments and feedback. And come back to view the other videos in the series where we discuss: Building an attractive resumeWriting a relevant cover letterIdentifying strong professional referencesKeeping a great attitudeThe impact of Social Media on your job search
  • The Basics of Your Successful Job Search - Your Resume

    1. 1. “The Basics”of Your Successful Job Search YOUR RÉSUMÉ
    2. 2. Would You Buy YOU? Your résumé is a snapshot about you and your ability to meet the requirements of the job for which you are applying It’s Your Commercial It’s Your Sales Pitch It’s What Attracts “Them” to YOU.©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    3. 3. Your Sales Pitch/Commercial It needs to look right It needs to sound right It needs to work right©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    4. 4. The Look Formatting Font styles Font size Layout Content organization©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    5. 5. ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    6. 6. Use the header feature in MS word Use consistent separators and don’t use too many©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    7. 7.  Use font styles consistently and conservatively Bullets are your friends! GPA©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    8. 8. The Sound  Use of language  What is says about your skills  What it says about you  Using “action” words©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    9. 9. Language Mind your grammar©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    10. 10. Language Mind your grammar Watch your spelling©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    11. 11. Language Mind your grammar Watch your spelling Don’t use  slogans  clichés  unexplained acronyms©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    12. 12. Language Mind your grammar Watch your spelling Don’t use slogans  clichés  unexplained acronyms Don’t give in to vague, overused phrases and words©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    13. 13. Language Mind your grammar Watch your spelling Don’t use slogans  clichés  unexplained acronyms Don’t give in to vague, overused phrases and words Don’t create the “Jeopardy Effect” for the reviewer©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    14. 14. What It Says About Your Skills  Related experience  Right fit for the job  Transferability  Expert or novice©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    15. 15. What It Says About YOU Personality Organizational fit Ability to do the work Adaptability Attitude Desire to learn©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    16. 16. Using “Action” Words©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC ©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    17. 17. The Work Gets you past the initial screening Gets you into the hands of the recruiter/hiring manager Presents you in the best possible light Shows a clear relationship between you and the needed skills for the job Tells the hiring manager or recruiter you have the “IT” factor Helps you stand out against your competitors©2013 Workplace Learning Solutions LLC
    18. 18. “The Basics” of Your Successful Job Search Series View the recorded video of this deck at http://www.workplace-learning-solutions.com/wls-online-corp-university/free- training.html

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