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5 Resume Basics We Bet You’ve Overlooked!

February 3, 2010 1 comment

Five basic resume rules and the mistakes you make that break them. Thousands of job seekers make these mistakes. Are you making them too?

FORGETTING TO INCLUDE A COVER LETTER
Not attaching a cover letter to a resume is like shooting in the dark. Hiring managers receive hundreds of unsolicited resumes every week. Tell them specifically what opening you are applying to or the position you’re inquiring about. Do not assume they will figure it out from your resume.

USING AN OBJECTIVE
Point blank, objectives are bad form, self-serving, and will get you nowhere in this job market. Instead of telling the employer what you want, show them what you can do. When you buy something, the store doesn’t tell you what they want from you. You know what they want; they want your business and your money. Employers know what you want—you want a job. Instead, utilize a career summary that will ‘show’ (not just ‘tell’) the employer how you can meet their needs. And include a completely customized personal branding statement.

UTILIZING HEADERS VERSUS YOUR TARGET JOB TITLE AND PERSONAL BRAND
Titling sections with headers (career summary, qualifications summary) uses up valuable real estate on your resume—space you could be using to advertise your unique value, talent, passion, and vision. Instead, create a catchy personal branding statement that immediately tells the employer who you are and what you have to offer.

LEAVING OUT INDUSTRY SPECIFIC KEYWORDS
Forget keywords and you’re neglecting all three of the audiences that will be reviewing your resume. Even worse, you’re excluding yourself from being found in candidate databases, job search engines, social networks, and more. First, your resume has to make it through the software scan, then the secretary or administrative assistant scan, then on to the hiring manager who actually knows what you’re doing and how you are supposed to do it. You NEED the right keywords. Here’s a hint: check the job description. They are in there; I guarantee it.

PROOFREAD, SLEEP, PROOFREAD, AND GO BACKWARDS
One small mistake and you’re out of the running. Proofread your documents carefully. Take a night to sleep on it, and then read it again. When you go back to read the resume the second time read it backwards one word at a time. Experts say this simple trick will catch any mistakes you would normally read right over.

Use this checklist to determine if your resume passes the “basics” test. If it does, you are well on your way to a professionally written resume. If it doesn’t, adjust what you can, and if you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, check out our samples page for a few samples of professionally written resumes. Or send your resume to info@greatresumesfast.com for a free resume analysis.

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Including Temporary Employment on Your Executive Resume

January 22, 2010 2 comments

This is a guest post by Heather Eager. This is an issue that tons of clients ask us and we thought this was a great way to address it.

While searching for an executive level job, have you spent time working temporary positions? You might have considered omitting these temporary jobs from your executive resume’s next draft. However, most employers are certainly used to seeing temporary occupations listed.

As many executives know, some temp jobs can be as challenging and rewarding as full time occupations, especially on the executive level. So as you write your resume, don’t feel that your temp positions deserve anything less that the treatment you would give a permanent position. Most importantly, be sure not to leave these jobs out. Instead, learn how to add them on. Here are a few steps to consider:

Follow the Standard Resume Format

You may be tempted to use different resume format since you’re adding material that is not considered standard on your resume. This can be a mistake, as you’ll want to keep your executive resume as normal and standardized as possible. This means making your temp job entry the same as the other employment history entries on your resume.

How, then, can you show that the temp position was different in some way from your other positions? Well, since a temporary position isn’t exactly the same, you would simply add “temporary” at the end of your job title. For an example, if you were an executive in charge of communications, you’d write something like “Executive Communications Director, Temporary” on your executive resume. This is the only reference to your position being temporary that is necessary. If your potential employer has more questions, you can answer them in the interview.

Make Sure to Add to Regular Job Section

Again, you want your temporary position to have the same feel as the other jobs on your resume. When you’re adding in the other positions you’ve held, executive or otherwise, you’ll want to put the temporary job in its logical place. In other words, don’t create a separate “temporary” section. You really fulfilled the same duties and responsibilities of any permanent employee in the same position. Don’t diminish the job in any way–treat it as a real position?

Listing Your Agencies

If you were hired on a temporary basis through an agency, you do want to list the agency on your resume. If you had only one assignment through the agency then it’s a good idea to combine the assignment and agency into a single entry. In other words, you would list the job you worked for and your title then list the agency you worked for in the job description.

On the other hand, if you had multiple assignments through an agency then you want to list the agency in the place where you would normally list the company. If you want to list more than one of assignments you had with the agency, the will be listed as bullet points under the company. If you’re only listing a single assignment, though, you’d still list your agency as the company, then detail the assignment in the job description.

So now do you feel more comfortable with adding a temporary position to your resume? If so then there’s no better time than now to get started.

Are you an Executive in need of a job? Be sure your resume is the best it can be. Choose a company that specializes in executive resumes and that is best for you and your situation. Do it today at http://www.ResumeLines.com.

For a free resume analysis submit your resume to info@greatresumesfast.com or you can visit us online at http://www.greatresumesfast.com to learn more, view resume samples, read career advice and transform your job search today.

6 Great Executive Resume Writing Tips

January 20, 2010 1 comment

6 Great Executive Resume Writing Tips

By: Heather Eager

We are loving this guest post by Heather Eager and hope you will too.

It’s easier said than done to create a great resume when you’re under pressure to get it done. If you’ve had a long career and you’ve worked your way up over many years, this is definitely the case, as it’s difficult to provide a sense of focus to your resume.

But, of course, ultimately there’s no excuse for having a subpar executive resume. Whether you’re stuck somewhere or just tuning up your executive resume, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the time you spend writing and perfecting it.

Define a Clear Target

One of the first things you want to do when organizing your executive resume is to define a clear target. You should always know a company’s mission statement and as much information about their goals and history as possible. Otherwise, you can’t expect to speak effectively about why you’re the ideal candidate.

Make Sure to Brand Yourself

At this point, you should be known for contributing something to your field. Whether you’re an expert in the world of communications, or can’t be stopped in the medical field, people should know you for your work. In branding yourself in your resume, you’re differentiating yourself from others and defining what makes you special. You especially want to highlight attributes that show your ability to lead and attributes that make you unique and critical to an organization.

Include a Success Story or Two

Again, at your level, you should be known for having accomplished a lot. You’ve got to show immense success in your field through your resume. It’s also helpful to show challenges you’d faced in order to achieve those successes.

Leave Room for White Space

When writing an executive resume, it’s often difficult to find a balance between including the right amount of information and leaving enough white space so that BlackBerry email cruisers won’t be overwhelmed with information. Use the most valuable information in your resume to create short, on-brand statements in order to develop a balanced, easily scannable executive resume. Employers will find each sentence easily “digestible”, and your resume will rise to the top of the pack.

Edit and Re-edit

There is absolutely no excuse for having misspelled words or grammatical errors in your resume at the executive level. If you’re not the best speller or grammar buff, you most definitely should have everyone you can think of edit your resume to avoid the embarrassment of being overlooked for something so elementary.

Avoid Too Many Pages

You may have a lot of information you’d like to include in your resume due to your extensive experience; however, as you know, managers are busy people with little time to read pages of accomplishments. So instead of writing five pages of details about yourself, try cutting it down to two pages and only including essential personal branding and marketing information.

Hopefully these tips (and your short breather) have helped to give you some focus as you write your executive resume. Now it’s time to write the best resume you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Are you an Executive in need of a job? Be sure your resume is the best it can be. Choose the company for your executive resume writing needs that is best for you and your situation. Do it today at http://www.ResumeLines.com

For a free resume analysis submit your resume to info@greatresumesfast.com or you can visit us online at http://www.greatresumesfast.com to learn more, view resume samples, read career advice and transform your job search today.

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January Special – 15% OFF Professional Resume Writing Services

A new year and a new career – start your 2010 off right with professional resume and cover letter writing. For the entire month of January we are offering 15% off any order for professional resume writing. Use promotion code newyear to receive your discount.

High-Impact, Professionally Branded Resumes and Cover Letters.

So, you’re going to apply for that perfect job. But guess what … hundreds of other people are probably seeking that very same position. And when you submit your resume, trying to stand out from the rest of the crowd can be a lot like a game of “Where’s Waldo?” And when your resume finally lands in front of the hiring manager, Waldo is the last person you want to be.

With more than a decade of focused, personalized resume and cover letter crafting, Great Resumes Fast specializes in distinguishing you from the rest of the crowd.

Other resume services just hire copywriters. But our writers are former hiring managers, key decision makers, and human resources managers. And that’s why we have a competitive edge in the industry. WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO CRAFT YOUR RESUME so that it grabs the interest of its target audience.

And it’s why we are the leader in the industry and why our resumes have a better than 99.9% success rate securing interviews for our clients. No one else can say that. And no one else is as effective at getting you out of that crowded, teeming, and baffling Waldo puzzle and into the interview.

We invest time getting to know you, your career, situation, job search strategies, and goals. Everything we do is one-on-one. You will never fill out a worksheet or toil away for hours on interminable questionnaires. Your personal resume writer will begin the process by performing a thorough telephone consultation with you in order to gather all the information necessary to develop your personally branded, high-impact, and completely customized-for-you resume and cover letter. You will speak directly with your writer and work with him or her throughout the entire process.

At Great Resumes Fast every resume and cover letter we create is unique and will make you stand out from the crowd. No two job seekers are alike—and no two resumes should be alike either. Nothing we do in our resume writing process is arbitrary—from how we design and format your resume to the keyword-rich content we use. When you see your new resume you’ll be amazed—and so will the hiring managers. Visit our website at http://www.greatresumesfast.com to learn more or contact us now to find out how we can transform your job search today.

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When it’s OK to Lie on Your Résumé

January 15, 2010 4 comments

If you’re reading this article you are either a) looking for some good advice and tips on how to lie on your résumé or b) wondering who in their right mind would ever recommend lying on a résumé. Well, sorry to disappoint you but you’re not going to find either. In fact, you’ll find quite the opposite.

In this down economy with more and more people looking for work it may be tempting to lie on your résumé especially if you have gotten little to no response when you send it out. Whether it be omitting a job and changing the years of your other positions to cover it up, fabricating education and degrees or stating you have experience that you don’t have – these are all a big no-no!

Employers can and will check the accuracy of your résumé, especially if you are in the running for a position. In this day and age of technology it’s very simple and fast to check out someone’s background. Everything an employer needs to know can probably be found on the internet or with a quick phone call. You might be saying desperate times call for desperate measures but when you run the risk of tarnishing your professional reputation you may want to think twice.

Let’s say you decide to ignore my advice and lie on your résumé. Let’s say you get your dream job because of it. Now let’s say a few weeks, months or years down the road it’s discovered that you didn’t go to that college, don’t have the credentials or never worked for a particular company. You can probably kiss that dream job good-bye as well as any references from your employer and you’d better hope that your boss doesn’t put the word out to the industry and effectively ruin your chance at a different position.

If you lie on your résumé not only do you stand to lose out on any current positions but any future ones as well. Social networking makes it easy to communicate on both a personal and professional level so a lie discovered on your résumé can easily be shared. One exec to the next, “Hey, I know you’re looking for a butcher, baker . . . and I just wanted to give you a heads up in case this guy applies. You’ll want to verify the information on his résumé because when he applied here he lied and said he worked for ABC Company but he never did. Maybe he’s changed it by now but I just wanted to warn you. You’d be surprised how much people share in the industry. Social networking has done exactly what it says. It has created vast networks of professionals ready and willing to help one another out.
If you feel like your résumé is lacking due to your experience or education then you need to play up your strengths so that potential employers can see in spite of that you can bring value to the company. Sometimes it’s hard to see your own value and that is when it is time to call in the professionals. Professional résumé writers can look objectively at your résumé and pull out accomplishments and experience that you don’t even see. It’s worth the investment if it gets you the job and keeps you from lying on your résumé.

For a free resume analysis send your résumé to info@greatresumesfast.com. Visit our website at Great Resumes Fast or check out resume samples here.

A New Year – A New Career! 15% Off Professional Resume Writing

Most of us make resolutions every January 1st about how we want to change and what we’re going to do different. It is a time a refreshing, renewing, and possibly even a new outlook on life. If you’ve made a career related resolution this year I encourage you to check out our website and the services we offer. The whole month of January we’re offering 15% OFF all our professional and executive resume writing, cover letter writing, thank you letter writing, resume distribution, Federal resumes, KSA statements, and CV development packages.

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We wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and prosperous 2010.

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Are You Using A Resume Template? Better Think Twice…

December 9, 2009 8 comments

If you are using a resume template, I’ve got news for you—as the hiring manager perusing your submission, I can tell.

Are you indifferently wondering, “So what?” Well let me tell you how much damage you’re doing—and how you’re hurting yourself.

A template is a template for a reason—everyone else is using it. Do you really want to look like everyone else? Any decent hiring manager is going to be able to spot a template half-a-mile away; and I don’t think you want that perception of yourself out there.

“Oh, I really want the job, but I didn’t care enough to customize my resume for the position or the company to which I’m applying.” Want to put the final nail in the coffin? Use wording from sample resumes and cover letters you’ve found online—samples that only vaguely apply to you or your abilities.

You want hiring managers to perceive you as a:
– Leader in your industry
– Creative, out-of-the-box thinker
– Thought leader
– Driver, Revenue Hunter, Champion of all things sales

Well, if your resume looks like everyone else’s, sounds like everyone else’s, and speaks like everyone else’s … they’re going to assume YOU’RE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Unlike being in high school, fitting in here is NOT a good idea.

Consider this: Don’t you hate it when you send an e-mail to an organization requesting information (or for any other reason that’s important to you) and you get the canned response versus the personalized reply to your situation? Sending your resume to hiring managers is no different.

Don’t send a ‘canned’ resume that is merely a knock-off of someone else’s or a template that’s used by everyone and his brother. Create a personal marketing document that separates you from the masses and positions you as a leader—and not necessarily in terms of management. You can be a leader in your industry and not be in supervisory or management roles.

Examining your resume and wondering whether it screams, ‘template’, ‘ordinary’, or ‘just like everyone else’s’? Send it in for a free resume analysis. E-mail your resume to info@greatresumesfast.com.

Ready to take a bold step and hire a professional resume writer? Now is the time. We’re offering 20% OFF any order for the entire month of December. Use promotion code christmas09 to receive your discount.

Jessica Holbrook is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. She has written more than 100 articles that are featured on some of the best career advice Web sites today.

As CEO of Great Resumes Fast, Jessica enjoys collaborating with forward-thinking professionals and executives, identifying their personal brand and value proposition and leveraging their unique talent, passion, and vision to position them as a leader in their industry. Her passion is helping professionals and executives uncover what makes them stand out in the crowd.