Tag Archives: Professional Resume Writers

Don’t Let Recruiters Know You’re Desperate

You may feel desperate to find new employment—but that doesn’t mean you should show it, especially not to recruiters and hiring managers. Generally speaking, desperation makes you look sloppy, unprofessional, and simply not as competent and put-together as employers wish.

In a word, you want to project confidence—not jitters. The question is how. Here are a few of the most common ways in which jobseekers reveal their underlying desperation; start by avoiding these at all costs.

Avoiding the Signs of Job Search Desperation

  • Applying for dozens of different jobs at the same company. It’s always important to take a targeted approach; zero in on the one job you’re really excited about and qualified You don’t want to give the impression that you’ll just take anything.
  • Using your resume or cover letter to beg. You may really want the job in question, but it’s best not to get down on your hands and knees to plead for it—figuratively or literally.
  • Bragging about how much your past employer loved you. It’s far better to cite your actual achievements and professional milestones, and to ask the recruiter or hiring manager what they’re looking for in an employee. Your old boss’ opinion just isn’t relevant.
  • Asking for immediate feedback. The single worst way to end a job interview is by asking, “So how did I do?” That’s Desperate with a capital D. Be a professional. Wait for the callback like everyone else.
  • Leaving constant follow-ups. It’s wise to send a thank-you note after an interview, and perhaps to call with a follow-up after a week or so has passed. Leaving daily emails or voicemails, though, is just irritating, and highly unprofessional.
  • Immediately sending a LinkedIn connection request to your interviewer. The only thing more inappropriate is immediately sending a Facebook friend request.
  • Apologizing for something you said or did in an interview. You may think you made a huge blunder or put your foot in your mouth, but honestly, most interviewers forget these things almost immediately. There’s no need to remind them of it.
  • Sending gifts to your interviewer. Yes, this includes things like homemade cookies. There’s no need to send treats; it’s not going to sweeten your prospect any.

Any one of these little gaffes can make you come across as desperate—and that’s never what you want to convey. Make sure you control your emotions, and let your resume speak for itself. To make sure yours is up to snuff, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc.’s resume writing team today. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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Don’t Let Your Job Search Get Sloppy

When you’re seeking new employment, it’s always important to make strong first impressions. This includes your resume—your first and best chance to impress a recruiter or hiring manager. It also includes your conduct during the interview process. If you allow yourself to appear sloppy or haphazard, it could undercut whatever goodwill your resume has engendered.

So what are some of the common mistakes that cause a job search to appear shoddy or unfocused? Here are a few for you to watch out for.

Showing up for an interview without knowing much about the company.

Make it clear that you’re invested in the process, and interested in finding the best possible fit. One way to do that? Spend some time researching the company in advance. Before an interview, read their website, recent press releases, and company blog posts to get a feel for what the business really does and what its culture is like.

Showing up for an interview without knowing which position you’re seeking.

Many companies will be hiring for multiple positions at once. Make sure you know the title and job description of the position you’re applying for. Pay attention to the language used in the job posting—skills needed, etc.—and try to employ some of that verbiage in your interview.

Failing to prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer.

Questions about the culture, goals, and vision of the company show that you’re invested, and that you care about more than just earning a paycheck.

Dressing way too casually for the interview.

You can generally get a good sense of how to dress from the company’s website or employee LinkedIn profiles; when in doubt, ask your recruiter, or just err on the side of formality.

Showing up to the interview empty-handed.

What should you bring to a job interview? A few extra copies of your resume. A pen. And, a notepad where you can jot down any notes.

Going to the interview, then not following up.

Thank you notes are critical.

Broaching deal-breaking issues at the last possible minute.

Do you need to give a full 30-days’ notice to your current employer? Or to be able to work from home on certain days of the week? If you have any big issues like this, you need to address them early in the process—not once a job offer is made!

Settling for a substandard resume.

Of course, you won’t even get in for an interview if your resume doesn’t shine—and that’s where the Grammar Chic team comes in. Our resume writers can help you portray yourself as an impeccably valuable candidate. Get a resume consultation today by contacting us directly: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Don’t Let Lack of Education Tank Your Resume

College isn’t for everyone; there are many who don’t pursue higher education, and for any number of reasons. Perhaps it isn’t financially feasible, or perhaps it makes more sense for the individual to jump straight into the workforce. There is nothing wrong with any of this, of course, but it can complicate your resume writing process.

Specifically, it can land you with some tough decisions to make about how you address your lack of education. It is customary for resumes to include information about college degrees—but what do you do if you don’t have one?

We’ll tell you one thing you shouldn’t do, and that’s lie about it. If you pretend to have a degree that you don’t actually have, your employer is very likely to find out about it—and you’ll likely be terminated as a result.

Thankfully, there are some honest and effective alternatives here.

List Completed Coursework

If you started a degree program and simply didn’t receive enough credits to graduate, you can make note of it on your resume—showing the employer that you do have some education beyond high school.

List the school where you took classes, and say something like, “Coursework toward Bachelor’s degree in _____.” You might even include the number of credits you have, especially if you’re quite close to completing the degree requirements.

Think Beyond College Degrees

Not all advanced training comes with a college degree, of course. You may have taken some seminars or classes, and even received some certifications or technical distinctions, that have nothing to do with a Bachelor’s degree.

Often, these technical skillsets offer a lot of workplace value, and are highly prized by employers—so by all means list them, assuming they have anything at all to do with the job you’re applying for.

Other Options for Addressing Education

Two more options exist. One is to seek out ways to get some extra training, even if that’s enrolling in a single online college class. That way, you can not only broaden your skill set, but also state on your resume that your degree is in progress—without needing to lie.

The final option is to just not mention education at all. While this can be seen as a liability, you can make up for it by really emphasizing the skills and achievements you’ve amassed on the job. With a good approach to resume writing and personal branding, lack of education does not have to be a detriment.

However, you want to approach the issue, we’d like to help. Contact our resume writing experts today. Call Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or visit us on the Web at www.grammarchic.net.

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Is Your Resume Behind the Times? Here are 5 Warning Signs.

The workforce is always changing—and with it, the job search changes, too. Take the resume. What once was standard and agreed-upon may no longer be acceptable among hiring managers and recruiters. Simply put, if you’re writing your resume in 2017 the same way you wrote it in 1997, you’re going to look like a dinosaur—and most hiring managers do not want to hire dinosaurs.

So how do you know if your resume is out of date? What are the telltale signs of an antiquated job search document? Here are five things we’d recommend you watch out for.

How to Know Your Resume is Out of Date

You have an objective. Yes, there was a time when every resume had an objective—but then we all just sort of realized something: Everyone’s job search objective is basically the same. We all want to get a job—period. The objective is obsolete, and its presence on your resume makes it look way behind the times. Skip the objective and include an executive summary, instead.

Your resume lacks core competencies and keywords. Today, resumes are typically scanned by a software program before they ever make it onto the desk of an actual human being. If you want your resume to make it to the hiring manager, you first need to get it past the computer—and that includes employing some keywords. Here’s a hint: The keywords you need are usually included in the job listing itself. Scan it for any key skills that are listed, and see if you can work them into your resume.

Your resume includes skills that are past their prime. Simply put, everybody should know how to use email, Web browsers, and Microsoft Word by now. Including these skills on your resume does not make you look more accomplished. It makes you look dated.

Your resume is generic. The days of generalized resumes are long gone—period. You should always tweak your resume to match the position you’re applying for. Again, looking at the actual job listing, and using some of that verbiage to shape your resume, is key.

Your resume is badly formatted. It’s much easier than it used to be to make your resume look clean and readable. Bullet points, subheadings, and clear fonts are all recommended. If you want to see what a modern-looking, easy-to-read resume looks like, just reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team.

We’re standing by to help you clean up your resume and bring it into the current day. Get resume help today by calling 803-831-7444, or visiting www.grammarchic.net.

 

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6 Skills You SHOULDN’T Put on Your Resume

Your resume should showcase all the skills you bring to the table—everything you know how to do, everything you’re good at, everything that delivers value to your employer.

But that doesn’t mean your resume should be a laundry list of every little thing you’ve ever learned. In fact, taking this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach can actually cause your resume to be bloated, unfocused, and ineffective.

Simply put, there are certain skills that don’t belong on your resume—and here are a few examples from Grammar Chic’s own resume writing team.

Leave These Skills Off Your Resume

Basic technological skills.  There was a time when it might have been genuinely impressive for a jobseeker to know how to use Microsoft Word, or to be proficient sending emails. These days, it’s pretty much assumed that everyone can do these things. No need to cite them on your resume. In fact, doing so makes you look like a dinosaur.

Obsolete technological skills. Along the same lines, it’s not that impressive to have a mastery of technologies that are no longer in common use. Make sure your resume shows that you’re up to date on the current technologies being used in your industry.

Languages you learned in high school. Just because you loved your semester of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re fluent. If you speak Spanish well enough that you could actually use it on the job, that’s one thing—but barring real proficiency, second languages don’t add anything to your resume.

Social media. If you are actually skilled in social media strategy, ads, analytics, etc., that’s one thing. But having a bunch of Twitter followers does not make you a social media strategist. Leave it off your resume unless you are truly a pro.

Joke skills. Some jobseekers think it’s clever to list themselves as “office foosball champion” or “all-time Nintendo master.” It’s not.

Exaggerated or fraudulent skills. Good rule of thumb: If you can’t really do something well, don’t put it on your resume. Resume lies are always a bad idea.

Emphasize the Skills That Matter

By cutting the fluff from your resume, you’ll have more space to list the skills that really matter. And if you need help with that, we’re here for you. We can help you catalog your skills in a way that will truly catch the eye of recruiters and hiring managers. Reach out to the Grammar Chic resume writing team today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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5 Words Fortune 500 Executives Use on Their LinkedIn Profiles

Language matters, even in your LinkedIn profile. That’s why Grammarly recently combed through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles from Fortune 500 employees—entry-level workers all the way up through the C-suite—to see if any words or phrases stood out. The results offer some compelling insights into how truly high-level jobseekers brand themselves online.

Specifically, Grammarly found that director- and executive-level employees tend to use certain keywords that distinguish their LinkedIn profiles from those of their lower-level counterparts. Five words in particular stand out—and they may be words worth adding to your own LinkedIn account.

Five Smart Words for Your LinkedIn Profile

Leader. How would you describe yourself? As a worker? An employer? Or a real leader? Apparently, asserting your authority is a good way to make your LinkedIn profile persuasive.

Strategic. Close to a third of all director-level employees use this word in their LinkedIn profile—compared to just five percent of entry-level folks. Use it to show that you take a long-term, big-picture view.

Solution. Your future employer doesn’t want someone who will spin their wheels and do busywork. They want someone who will solve problems. Make sure your LinkedIn profile demonstrates this.

Innovative. When you use this word, and pair it with specific examples of when you’ve gone against the grain and it’s paid off, you can expect recruiters to pay attention.

ROI. Can you show that you boosted your company’s return on investment? As in, I increased ROI by more than 135 percent? That’s one concrete way in which the ablest jobseekers set themselves apart.

Branding Yourself on LinkedIn

As ever, we stress that simply using buzzwords is not enough to make your LinkedIn presence winsome. You have to show, not just tell, which means including specific examples of how you’ve shown leadership, innovated, been strategic, etc. Statistics and lists of key achievements matter more than mere buzzwords.

Even so, there’s obviously something to be said for these keywords, when used judiciously within a robust LinkedIn career summary. They can help you stand out, and put you into the upper echelon of jobseekers.

We’d love to show you the ropes with your own LinkedIn profile optimization; to start presenting yourself as a truly A-level candidate, reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. resumes team today. Contact us online at www.grammarchic.net, or call us directly at 803-831-7444.

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Your Resume Should Be Personal—But Not Too Personal

Here’s a common question from jobseekers: How personal should a resume be?

Well, that depends on what you mean by personal.

Certainly a resume should reflect who you are as an individual job applicant and potential employee. It should be tailored to reflect your skills, your achievements, and the value you bring to an employer. The cookie-cutter, or one-size-fits-all approach, never really works in resume writing. Rather than writing an anonymous resume, you should aim to write a distinctive one—and that certainly involves some personalization.

At the same time, a resume is ultimately about the professional side of your life—and as such, there are some personal details that you should generally omit, not just from resumes but also from cover letters.

Personal Details to Omit from Your Resume

Here are just a few examples:

Headshots. There is simply no need to include a photo of yourself with your resume; it goes against established job search decorum, and anyway, the recruiter or hiring manager will see what you look like in your interview. Exceptions to this rule: Resumes for models or actors, and for certain overseas jobs that specifically request you include a photo.

Hobbies. Generally speaking, your hobbies are not relevant to the job, or to the value you offer your employer—though by all means list any relevant volunteer experience.

Personal email addresses. You should have an email address that looks professional—your name and a recognizable email platform, such as Gmail or mac.com. An email handle like RunnerDude or YogaChick has no business on your resume. If you need to sign up for a new email account, just for your job search, by all means do so.

Personal details. Some additional information that’s not needed on your resume: Age, religion, political affiliation, race, marital status. Not only is this none of the employer’s business, but it could potentially make you the target of discrimination. An exception here: It is wise to note whether you need visa sponsorship from your next employer. This actually is relevant to the hiring process.

A Matter of Balance

So how personal should your resume be? Well, it should always be individualized—but not unprofessional. That’s a tricky balance, but our resume writing team can help you strike it. We’d love to talk with you about how we can polish and personalize your resume. Reach out to us today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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