Category Archives: Resume Tips

How To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Most professionals know that a LinkedIn profile is an absolute necessity. If you’re new to the job market, or you’re just starting to think about looking for new opportunities, it’s probably time to login and take some steps to improve your profile so that it’s searchable for hiring managers and paints a clear picture of your skills and qualifications. If you are looking to improve your LinkedIn profile this year, follow these steps:

One: Update Your Photo

If you don’t have a photo on your profile, if your current photo is outdated, or if it is not a professional headshot, it’s time to make a change. According to LinkedIn’s own data, profiles that include a professional photo get 14 times more views than those without a photo. Getting a professional headshot taken is relatively inexpensive, and the cost of a professional photo can pay for itself tenfold if it helps you land the job of your dreams.

Two: Complete Your Summary

Many people on LinkedIn skip over the summary section, or they fill it out with just one or two sentences. It will be important to take some time and write out a complete summary that paints a picture of who you are as a professional, and the benefits you bring to employers. Your summary is your first introduction to hiring managers and recruiters, and you want them to read it and say, “I want to learn more about this person.”

Three: Craft a Strategic, Searchable Headline

When you’re working on your LinkedIn profile, remember that hiring managers and recruiters will find you through LinkedIn’s search function. If you don’t include keywords in your headline, summary, and profile, you won’t show up in search results. LinkedIn will pre-fill your headline for you if you choose, but it is much more effective to write your own. Include your name, your current job title, any known variations of that job title, and the industry in which you work. For example, data scientists should also include analytics keywords, and business intelligence keywords, since they are all related.

Participate in Groups

LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to make new connections, expand your network, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Join relevant industry groups and participate in discussions whenever possible. Always make sure your answers are well thought out and relevant. Groups are not the place to ask about open job positions. Keep your conversations on topic, make valuable and insightful contributions, and always be respectful of the other me members of the group.  Hiring managers and recruiters join these groups to monitor discussions and identify talent, so always present yourself professionally.

Work With a Professional Recruiter

Crafting an effective LinkedIn profile is an art form, and it can be extremely useful to get some outside help. Professional recruiters know the value of a strong online presence, and they can help you craft a profile that will make you more attractive to potential employers.

If you are a professional in sales, marketing, engineering, IT or operations looking for new opportunities, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of executive recruiters can help match you with a position that aligns with your long-term career goals, and we can work with you to help perfect your LinkedIn profile to help you make a strong first impression on hiring managers.

4 Soft Skills to Remember in An Interview

During the course of a job interview, you’re probably focused on demonstrating your skills and experience. However, your skills and experience alone will not land you the job. Cultural fit is more important than ever before, as employers are starting to understand that they can retain candidates longer if their work style and personalities are a strong fit. While each company culture is unique, there are some universal soft skills that most every employer looks for throughout the hiring process. Therefore, it will be important to remember these soft skills in your next interview:

A Strong Work Ethic

As you answer questions, be sure to include examples of ways in which you go the extra mile to reach your goals and help your team succeed. Many hiring managers look at past performance as an indicator of future results. Be specific. Have stories on hand that showcase the ways you consistently go above and beyond, and be sure to explain your motivations for doing so.

A Positive Attitude

Showcase examples of times that you helped to boost team morale. Was a project in danger of coming in late or over budget? Was your team faced with a string of 12 hour days, extreme pressure, and poor results? What did you do to keep everyone on task and focused on improving the end result? It is also important to demonstrate a positive attitude at all times, even under pressure.  Be aware that if you are naturally laid-back, it might come across as disinterest in an interview. Try to be upbeat to show the hiring manager that even under pressure, you keep your spirits high.

Time Management

Ever since The Great Recession, employees have been asked to do more with less. There seems to always be too much to do, and not enough time to get it done. Be ready so show examples of the ways in which you prioritize tasks, delegate to others, and make sure that your most important projects are always completed on time.

Confidence and Self-Assuredness

Nowhere is confidence more important than an interview. If you can walk into a room of strangers and sell yourself without appearing nervous or stressed out, it shows that you handle yourself well under pressure. Be sure that your confidence doesn’t come off as arrogance, however.  You show confidence in the way you dress, your eye contact, what you do with your hands, how succinctly you answer questions, and whether or not you appear prepared for the interview. At the close of the interview, be sure to express your continued interest in the position, and ask the interviewer when you can expect to hear back from them.

If you are a professional in sales, marketing, engineering, IT or operations looking for new career opportunities, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team of executive recruiters can help match you with a position that aligns with your long-term career goals, and we can work with you to help perfect your interviewing skills to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward at all times.

4 Skills To Highlight For Medical Directors

Medical Directors have to balance a unique set of priorities that range from the implementation of policies and procedures, to managing expectations of medical staff, to overseeing patient care, and more. This role requires advanced clinical knowledge as well as management and administrative skills, and knowing which skills to highlight on a resume can be difficult.

If you are reworking your resume, there are some critical areas to focus on that will help paint a picture of yourself as a versatile, knowledgeable, and skilled medical director. They include:

  1. Demonstrated Focus on Patient Care. Patient care is the most important aspect of a Medical Director’s job. Be sure to showcase your problem-solving abilities as well as your skill in yielding positive patient outcomes. Show how you have been able to cultivate a patient-focused atmosphere regardless of regulatory, budgetary, and administrative challenges.
  2. Communications Skills. Medical Directors must be precise and descriptive when communicating expectations and objectives, and they must be able to create and cultivate open lines of communication with clinical and administrative staff. They must be diplomatic in all circumstances, especially in sensitive situations. Be sure to showcase your communications skills in your resume.
  3. Successful Medical Directors are accessible to their administrators and clinical staff. This is no easy feat, as Medical Directors are often pulled in a variety of directions at once. Those who are able to cultivate meaningful relationships with administrators, staff, and patients often achieve faster results than those who do not make themselves readily accessible. Medical Directors must also be responsive. Responding quickly to communications will ensure that clinical team can focus on their most important tasks.  What systems or processes have you put into place to ensure that you are accessible and responsive to colleagues?
  4. Organization and Attention to Detail. Medical Directors must be exceptional organizers. Because their workload is heavy and their tasks are so varied, disorganization can spell imminent disaster. Scheduling, paperwork, email, and project schedules must be handled and managed efficiently and in a way that is easy for the entire medical team to understand. Have you developed any strong organizational processes that help keep you and your clinical staff focused on the task at hand?

Focusing on these four areas when crafting a resume shows that as a Medical Director, you are trustworthy, caring, dependable, and a top-notch manager. If you are a Medical Director looking for new career opportunities, contact the executive recruiters at The Prevalent Group today. We can help you polish your resume so that it shines a spotlight on your best qualities, and we can help connect you with exciting career opportunities that will help you meet your long-term goals.

Why a Unique and Personalized Application Does Wonders

When you’re on the hunt for a new job and you aren’t getting calls for interviews, discouragement is sure to set in. The problem might not be with your work history or experience. Instead, the problem may rest with the way you present your resume and cover letter. Most job seekers, in an effort to save time, send out form cover letters and the same exact resume for each position. Customizing your documents for each job is one of the most important steps that you can take to make yourself stand out among the crowd.

Not all job requirements are the same, even though you may be applying for the same type of job with each of your target companies. Job responsibilities vary from organization to organization, so you can’t possibly expect to meet each employer’s requirements if you’re sending the same documents to everyone.  If you hope to grab a hiring manager’s attention from the very beginning, you’ve got to give them something different.

Before responding to a job posting, review the description carefully to determine exactly which credentials are important. Once you are able to identify those qualifications, you can customize your resume and cover letter to meet those needs.

You don’t have to create a brand new resume and cover letter from scratch each and every time, however. You can create a master copy of each document and then tweak them to match the specific job opportunity. Here’s how:

1. Open up a copy of your master resume and immediately save it as a new document with a unique title. This will ensure that you don’t permanently alter your master resume.
2. Edit your objective to be specific to the job title and the company. For example, “To become a lead front-end developer for XYZ Corporation’s Web Services Group.”
3. Review the employer’s qualifications closely and be sure that your career summary matches those requirements. It can help to rearrange your previous work history to highlight the most relevant experience first, instead of listing everything in chronological order. This allows the hiring manager to spot those relevant qualifications quickly, rather than forcing them to scan the entire document to find matches.
4. Review your individual job descriptions and modify your duties and achievements to make them relevant to the job opening. Do not lie or exaggerate, but highlight those tasks and responsibilities that align with the new job.
5. Once your resume has been customized, you can follow the same process for your cover letter.

Sending unique applications to each employer may seem like a lot of additional work, but it is worth the effort. Hiring managers see hundreds of form letters and resumes each day, and they will notice that you took the time to personalize your application. Customizing your documents shows a genuine interest in the position as well, and identifies you as someone who is not simply applying to any job they can find.

If you’re a job seeker looking to take the next step in your career, we’d love to talk to you. At The Prevalent Group, we are always seeking relationships with experienced professionals who have the skills and the ability to deliver results.  As a nationally recognized management and executive placement recruitment company, we place executives in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more. If you are looking for new opportunities in these fields, visit our job board to scan our current openings, and then contact us to learn more. We look forward to connecting you with your next job.

How to Explain Short-Term and Temporary Employment on Your Resume

It is not uncommon in this post-recession environment for job seekers to accept short-term employment, temporary jobs, and other types of contract work in their chosen field.  When it comes to listing those jobs on a resume, however, many candidates fumble. They are not sure how to list short-term jobs in a way that won’t make them vulnerable to sloppy resume screeners or employers who may view temporary employment as a negative.

What is the best way to address short-term jobs, and how can you use your resume to clearly illustrate their relevance for the position you’re currently seeking?

  1. Never Omit
    Many job seekers find themselves tempted to leave temporary work off of their resume, viewing it as a placeholder. Omitting contract work, however, leaves holes in your resume, and you never want to leave gaps in your work history when you were, in fact, working.
  2. Include The Name of Your Recruiting Agency
    This is especially important if you worked with a firm on more than one assignment. You may have completed a year’s worth (or more) of temporary jobs for a single recruiter. Reputable firms will be known in their niche, and a long history of successful short-term work for a single recruiting agency can work in your favor.
  3. Include the length of each assignment
    Showing employers a solid start and end date for each assignment that you accepted while working with a staffing agency shows that you have versatility and flexibility, and that you’re able to learn and adapt quickly to new situations.
  4. Include relevant details
    For each temporary job, be sure to list specific accomplishments. You can describe professional teams that you were included on, the goals of the projects you worked  on, and specific ways in which you contributed to the success of each project. Documenting your accomplishments will show that you were committed to the organization, even though your tenure may have been brief.
  5. Ask your recruiter for advice
    Before finalizing your resume, seek the advice of your recruiter. They will be able to help you identify the most relevant details to include, and they can help you frame your experience in a way that will be seen as a positive when seeking a permanent, full-time position.

For job search guidance and advice on how to leverage your temporary experience to land a permanent position, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment company that works with experienced managers and executives in sales, marketing, engineering, technology and more. We look forward to working with you.

3 Free Resume Templates for Engineering Sales Positions

Resume builders can be a great tool for professionals in technical fields like sales engineering who don’t necessarily feel comfortable composing and designing a resume from scratch.  Online resume software allows users to access applications and templates for free.

Choosing Resume Templates for Engineering Sales Positions

When choosing a resume template website, be sure to do some comparisons before you decide. You want to be sure that you’re comfortable with your choice and that the resume you create meets the standards of the hiring managers you’re trying to impress.

If you’re looking for some guidance when it comes to choosing a resume builder, here are three options to get you started:

  1. LiveCareer is simple to use, and offers a variety of professional templates to choose from. They help job seekers strike the right balance of keywords and “buzzwords,” based upon the industry in which they work. You can build your resume for free online but they do charge a nominal fee to download the resume (less than $5), and offer a $35 monthly membership plan. If you do not wish to join the membership, be sure to contact their online customer service as soon as you’ve downloaded your resume to prevent the charge.
  2. Resume Genius is also easy to use. You are able to browse templates to determine whether or not this site has what you’re looking for before you create an account. You can search and select resume templates by job category, to help compose a resume that utilizes the right keywords that hiring managers will be looking for.  This site also charges a nominal download fee, and will auto-enroll users into a membership plan if the user does not cancel their subscription within a week.
  3. Resume Now works similarly to other resume template websites. You can build your resume for free, and then download it for a nominal fee. They offer helpful tips when it comes to choosing the right template for your industry, and they offer resume content creation tips, as well.

No matter which resume builder you choose, always read the terms and conditions before creating an account. If you take the time to build a professional engineering sales resume online, it can be worth it to pay the download fee, but if you don’t want to join membership sites, be sure to cancel as soon as your new resume is saved to your computer.

Seek Additional Advice

Before you create a resume online, it can be helpful to seek out some professional advice from recruiters who are “in the know.”  Working with a recruiter can give your job search a boost, and can give you a fresh perspective when it comes to the creation of your resume.

The Prevalent Group is a nationally recognized search firm based in Northern Illinois that specializes in the placement of high caliber talent across all major industries, including engineering sales. Our experienced and knowledgeable recruiters work with qualified job seekers to help them locate and land their ideal position. If you are looking for new opportunities in engineering sales and you’re ready to partner with a recruiter, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team can help you locate and apply for ideal sales engineering positions in northern Illinois that match your experience and your career goals; and we can give you guidance when it comes to composing an effective resume.

Give Your IT Resume a Makeover Employers Can’t Ignore!

The IT field is competitive. For every job opening, you could be running in a packed field of qualified candidates who all have the same skill sets. That’s why it’s critical to craft a strong resume that gets you noticed.

Because the IT job market is so competitive, hiring managers (especially those in larger organizations) often choose to automate their initial resume screening process. HR software packages have made it easy for recruiting teams to scan resumes for critical keywords, as well as red flags, to help them select qualified candidates.

What are resume keywords? More often than not, they are the skills and qualifications listed in the job posting. If the posting states that candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree in a tech field, automated scans will weed out those that do not include terms like, “bachelor of science,” or “BS.” If the posting requires experience in SQL, resumes that don’t include that term will be eliminated. Always scan your resume to be sure your qualifications match those listed directly in the job posting.

Be Clear About What You Want

An objective statement used to be mandatory for all resumes. But as the market became crowded, some “gurus” suggested omitting objectives so that your resume wouldn’t be immediately pigeonholed. If you don’t clearly state the type of position you are looking for; however, hiring managers won’t know how to classify you.  They typically scan resumes before studying them more closely, so be clear about the type of position you are looking for. A strong objective will tell the reader that you know your goals, and that you are truly interested in their open position.

How Long Should Your Resume Be?

There’s a lot of debate about how long a resume should be, and the trends are always changing. There was a time that many HR managers suggested that IT professionals whittle their resumes down to one page. But that’s not always practical, especially if you’ve been in the field for 20 years. At the same time, you don’t want to submit a 10-page dissertation outlining every task you’ve completed throughout your career.

If you’re new to the field, a one-page resume will probably suffice. But if you’ve held more than one position over the years, two pages is the sweet spot. This gives you plenty of space to highlight your relevant experience while giving hiring managers a good overview of your skills and expertise.

Seek Help From a Professional

Professional IT recruiters can work with you to help you craft a concise, yet effective IT resume that will get you noticed by hiring teams.  Some benefits of working with a recruiter to polish your resume include:

  • Quality writing. Not everyone can write well. And often, technical employees don’t focus on writing from day to day, so they can be out of practice. Recruiters are trained in resume writing and can help you edit and proofread your resume to eliminate errors and improve flow.
  • Modernization. If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, your resume may have a dated feel to it. IT recruiters can help you bring your document up to date, keeping with formatting and layout trends.
  • Positioning. Perhaps you were a job hopper early in your career. Maybe you left work for a while to take care of children or ailing family members and have gaps in your experience. Or maybe you’re a new graduate with only a little internship experience. A professional IT recruiter can help you structure and position your resume so that these types of issues don’t prevent you from getting interviews.

If you are an IT professional whose resume could use a makeover, contact The Prevalent Group today. Our team can help you find open IT positions in northern Illinois that match your experience and your career goals, and we can work with you to craft a resume that employers can’t ignore.

Let Sample Resumes Inspire You, Not Define You

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to find a sample resume that matches your background, copy it to your word-processing program, make minor changes and be done with the arduous task of creating a dazzling resume? While that would be ideal, you can shortchange yourself and sabotage your job search if you base your resume on a sample document.
The good news is that if done correctly, taking ideas from resumes in books or free resume examples online can greatly improve your own. Here’s how to use resume samples without copying them verbatim.

The Pitfalls of Using Sample Resumes
“The problem with using a template or copying someone else’s resume — whether from a book or from a friend — is that it doesn’t allow for the uniqueness of each person’s skills, experience and career history,” explains Louise Kursmark, a career consultant and principal of Best Impression Career Services. Kursmark is also the author of 18 career-management books, including Expert Resumes for Managers and Executives and Executive’s Pocket Guide to ROI Resumes and Job Search.
Resume writing veteran and author Teena Rose concurs. “Job seekers need to understand that resumes are like fingerprints; no two are (or should be) alike,” she says. “Resumes should differ because of the varying education levels, career experience and scope of skills that job seekers possess.”
Additionally, copying a sample the author hasn’t given permission to copy is plagiarism, so check the copyright notice.
How to Effectively Harness Sample Resumes
Kursmark says there is nothing wrong with taking a little bit from various samples to make it easier to construct your own resume. “That’s what sample books are for: To inspire you and guide you,” she says.
For example, “You might really like one person’s introduction — the way they’ve clearly presented their unique value — and use that introduction as a guide for writing your own distinct content,” Kursmark says. “Or you might grab a bold accomplishment statement from someone else’s resume and update the numbers or results to make it applicable to you.”
Here are more of Kursmark’s tips to help you make the best use of resume samples:

  • Look for resumes in your field and mine them for industry-specific activities, terms and accomplishments. Have you done similar things? Is your skill set comparable?
  • After you’ve reviewed resumes in your field, peruse resumes across fields to understand how to vary the use of action verbs and get a feel for what makes a powerful accomplishment statement. Then write your own statements, as appropriate, modeled on the ones you like best.
  • Look for innovative formats and striking presentation, such as charts and tables. Can you include a strong visual that will immediately grab the reader’s attention?
  • Dip into numerous resumes to get a feel for good writing, concise yet compelling language and high-impact accomplishments. Work on your own resume with those examples in mind.
  • Read your revamped resume with a critical eye to make sure it reflects you. Will the image you present in person be congruent with your resume? “If you’ve included material just because it sounded good but you don’t have the details to back it up, you’ll destroy your credibility in the interview,” warns Kursmark.

Finally, when reviewing resume samples, think customize, not plagiarize. “Use samples as a guide for ideas, but take pride in writing a resume that has your own unique content and visual appeal,” advises Rose.

By Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

The Biggest Resume Mistake You Can Make

Your resume is the most important document in any job search. But what if you’re submitting resume after resume and receiving no results at all — not even a call? Your resume may be fatally flawed.

How can a resume betray a job seeker? It’s not just typos or poor formatting. “The biggest flaw for a resume is when it fails to showcase a person’s accomplishments, contributions and results, and instead spouts a job description of each position he’s held,” says Lauren Milligan, founder of ResuMayDay, a resume-writing and career-coaching firm based near Chicago.

Use these three tips to make sure your resume doesn’t betray you.

1. Think Big

Whatever jobs you’ve held — be it as an assistant or a CEO — think beyond the everyday tasks of your position. “People get bogged down in the day-to-day details of their jobs, but when it comes to your resume, you’ve got to get out of the clutter and ask yourself, ‘What does this work mean?'” Milligan says.

If a manager is hiring for an administrative assistant, he already knows what an admin does and doesn’t want to see a resume that says an applicant can type and answer a phone. “You have to go beyond that to point out your specific strengths,” Milligan says.

Start by having big-picture conversations about what you do and how it serves the organization as a whole. “If you’re in a support position, consider how successful the person you support is and how you help her do her job better,” Milligan says. “What role do you have in her successes? Those are your accomplishments.”

2. Be Clear

Focusing on your accomplishments rather than your specific responsibilities will help keep your resume concise. “There’s a huge difference between a resume and the Great American Novel,” says Milligan. “The resumes I’m most proud of summed up a 25-year career in a single page.”

She urges job seekers to remember that resumes are typically skimmed for a mere six to eight seconds. “Make sure you’re identifying the companies you worked for, how long you were there and if you earned a promotion,” she says. “Those are things that people look for immediately.” Also, if your job title is long and vague, tighten it up so that people immediately understand what you’ve done. For example, “Marketing Manager” is much more accessible than “Global Identity Architect.”

Given the time you have to catch a recruiter’s eye, a focused, accomplishment-driven resume is the way to go. “If you are loaded up on peripheral stuff, it’s too hard for a hiring manager to find your story,” Milligan says.

3. Get Real

What if you come up blank when trying to think about how you’ve helped build the big picture for your employer?

“A couple of times I’ve talked to people who insisted they just did their jobs and there’s nothing special about them that jumps out,” Milligan says. She’s asked them outright if they’re in the right position. “It’s a difficult question to ask, but these people may be chasing the wrong job,” she says.

She counsels clients that if they cannot speak about what they’ve done in terms of enhancing the position or the company, “You may be just punching a clock — and you and your employer deserve more.”

Look for other opportunities in which you can contribute and grow professionally. You’ll enjoy a more rewarding career and have a more successful resume.

By Caroline M.L. Potter,


Best Resume Writing Tips for 2014

Your resume doesn’t have much time to make a great impression. In fact, you can count in seconds the time your resume has to get noticed.

What can you do to make sure your resume gets you into consideration for an interview? I asked leading resume writers and career experts to share their best tips for resume writing in this competitive job market.

Top 15 Resume Writing Tips for 2014

10 Seconds and Counting
Recruiters spend an average of 10 seconds reviewing each resume, so you’ll want yours to be…
1) Concise (You only have 10 seconds)
2) Structured (You only have 10 seconds)
3) Specific (You guessed it… 10 seconds)
Brian Shoicket, Dean of University & Community Partnerships at Wakefield Media

Add a Link
Sometimes the hiring manager or HR representative may not be familiar with your former company. I suggest adding a hyperlink to the company in the Experience section of your resume. Consistency is key though and a hyperlink should be added for each company listed on your resume. Doing this quickly allows the decision maker to review a company’s products or services. Also since an increasing number of hiring managers are turning to social media to search for employees, it makes sense to include a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile in the Contact information section of the resume.
Nancy Range Anderson, Author of Job Search for Moms and President of Blackbird Learning Associates

Before Your Write Your Resume
To out distance your job-seeking competitors, follow this best practice… before writing your resume.Make a list of 10-15 (or more) mutual good-fit employers to target.

Do research on them to determine what makes you uniquely qualified to help them meet their current challenges, for market intelligence, and to uncover relevant keywords and phrases. Use this information to create content for your personal brand messaging and career marketing materials (resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, etc.) that will resonate with those target employers.
Meg Guiseppi, Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Strategist for the C-suite, and CEO of Executive Career Brand

Be Specific About Your Qualifications
When applying for a position, prepare a cover letter that picks up 3 – 4 key qualifications listed in the job description and be very specific with regards to what you can offer pertaining directly to those qualifications.
Lori Dermer, Dermer Consulting

Career Summaries or Objectives
A career summary is recommended for most candidates, however there are exceptions. For instance, if you have less than five years of work experience or if you’re changing careers, you’ll want to have a one to two sentence objective statement.

Your objective statement should describe the industry you are targeting. If you’re one of the many candidates that should include a career summary be sure that it is a snapshot of your work experience and offer insight into the skills and attributes you offer. A career summary will typically be in a block paragraph format and run about 3 to 5 sentences long.
John Scott, Career Advocate, – The Career Network

Customize Your Resume
Each time, before you send your resume for a specific position, research the position and company (including speaking with current or former employees, if you can) so you have a better understanding of the goals and culture of the company, how the position fits within the organization, and the skills and qualities that are an ideal match for the position. Then, customize your resume to reflect the priorities emphasized by the company for this position, using language similar to theirs. This also means resisting the urge to tell them everything you’ve done and can do. Rather, look at your resume from the employer’s perspective. What do they need to know to be moved to contact you for an interview? Select the skills, qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that speak directly to their stated and implied needs.
Shahrzad Arasteh, Author of Nourish Your Career, Holistic Career Counselor, and Speaker

Demonstrate Your Achievements
Ensure your resume is a forward looking document that demonstrates how your achievements are in alignment with results desired by the hiring organization. Do not write a historically-focused document that simply shows where you have been – show where you are going and how you will add value.
Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

Focus on Your Accomplishments
The most important resume tip I offer is that you need to make the focus of the job descriptions listed on the resume a summary of what you accomplished and contributed in each of your positions. Employers are more interested in these than in what you actually did on the jobs. My second most important tip is to tell the truth. Yes, obviously you don’t want to lie about where you worked or what you did, but it’s the little lies that will trip up your application. Things like disguising gaps in employment by only using years or implying that you earned a degree – when you didn’t, give a potential employer a red flag about your integrity.
Susan Heathfield, Human Resources Expert,

Incorporate Keywords
Print job postings you’re interested in and highlight keywords. Are these words used on your resume? Transform your resume from a job description to a series of accomplishment statements that are of interest to the company by incorporating those keywords.

Distribute your resume to close friends, family and references and ask them, “Does this resume communicate my strengths and experiences in a way that will be interesting to the person interviewing me?” Friends and family can be excellent resources for pointing out strengths you have not recognized about yourself.
Robin Richards, Chairman and CEO of CareerArc Group

Keywords as Headlines
Resumes used to feature a list of keywords to entice the computerized Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Unfortunately, a list of terms isn’t very enticing to human eyes and doesn’t differentiate a candidate from others with the same list of skills.

Instead, use these same keywords as “headlines” for bullet items and give an example from your experience. Like this: Project Management: Initiated and implemented national merchandising program for big box retailer.
Jeri Hird Dutcher, National Award-winning Certified Resume Writer,

Match Your Resume to Your LinkedIn Profile
Make sure your resume is online! Once you have your perfect document in place, update your LinkedIn profile so it matches, include your job information on Facebook and Twitter, start an page, or create a professional blog for yourself where your resume information can be posted. When employers search for you online (and they will!), it will be a tremendous help to make it easy for them to find the same information confirming what they’re reading on your resume.
Sara Sutton Fell, Founder & CEO of

Not a Laundry List
A resume should not be a laundry list of “stuff” you’ve done. It is a marketing document, and should directly address the target employer’s needs by including your specific skills and accomplishments. Before writing a resume, be sure to study job descriptions and collect as much information about organizations that interest you as possible. Then, you can make a clear case for why you are the perfect person to address and solve that company’s challenges.
Miriam Salpeter, Author of Social Networking for Career Success, New Economy Job Search Coach & Social Media Consultant, Keppie Careers

Resume Length
A simple rule with flexibility is that if you have more than seven years of experience, your resume should be two pages. With less experience, write a one page resume. Your resume should never be more than two pages. For people who are older or in areas such as Management Consulting, like myself, create a biography to retain everything you have done.
Jay Martin, Chairman, JobSerf, Inc.

Resumes for Career Changers
Career changers ask career coaches how to format their resume for a new position or industry but first it would be helpful to do something to signify to hiring managers that you are serious about the new career. Join the professional association, do relevant volunteer work, take a skills-building class. Any accomplishments in your desired career field are better than a beautifully formatted resume that lacks proof that you really know anything about the new career path.
Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D., Career Coach,

Throw Your Resume Out
The best thing you can do with your resume is throw it out. That’s right: Don’t use a resume to impress an employer, because it won’t. Write a mini business plan for the job instead – and submit it to the hiring manager, not to HR, and not to some “applicant tracking system.” You don’t know the manager? Then you have no business applying for the job. The information you submit should be about the manager and your plan for fixing her problems – not about you. This approach is actually fun, because you must focus on one job at a time, which in turn means you must choose wisely, and meet the manager first. After all, isn’t that how you behave when you’re on the job?
Nick Corcodilos, host of and author of Fearless Job Hunting

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