Tag Archives: Professional Resume Writing Service

5 Things That Make Your Resume Unreadable

The goal of writing is always to articulate your point clearly—and that’s true whether you’re penning a novel, a company blog post, or your own resume. A resume that is unclear, or that makes the reader work way too hard to find the desired information, isn’t going to be much of an asset to your job search. In fact, it’s probably just going to be discarded. Recruiters and hiring managers tend to get a lot of resumes for any open position; if yours is the one they have a hard time deciphering, there’s not much point in them keeping it around.

So what makes a resume such a chore to read? There are a few common resume design elements that fall under that heading. Here are five of the most common—all things you definitely want to avoid.

Making Your Resume Unreadable

A Lack of White Space

The eye naturally wants to see some empty space on the page—not just one big block of unbroken text. So when you put in super-thin margins, tiny fonts, and no real breaks in your resume narrative, that makes the whole thing look like a headache. We know you may want to condense 30 years of work history onto one page, but there are better ways of achieving brevity in your resume.

“Unique” Fonts

Calibri and Helvetica are a couple of font choices we really recommend. Anything else is immediately on shaky ground. These are the agreed-upon resume formats because they’re easy on the eye; don’t risk the use of a fancier font, which might just be annoying for your reader.

Too Much Industry Jargon!

You want to make it clear that you know your industry well, but you also want to make sure the resume is readable to someone who isn’t in your field—as many recruiters won’t be. Try to avoid industry buzzwords as much as you can.

A Lack of Metrics

Here’s a little secret: A lot of hiring managers and recruiters like to skim resumes before really reading them in earnest, and what they’re looking for as they skim is numbers. Metrics and statistics catch the eye and make your resume more appealing. Include them when you can.

Poor Spelling or Grammar

Spelling and grammar matter because they make your resume easier to read—period. Typos are inherently confusing, to say nothing of unprofessional. Proof well!

Write Resumes That Get Read

Anything that makes your resume harder to read is compromising your job search. It’s vital to make your resume easy to digest—and that’s something the Grammar Chic resume writing team can help you with. Contact us today for a resume consultation. You can reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Don’t Let Job Hopping Derail Your Resume

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There was a time in American history where it may have been fairly common for an individual to hold a single job—or at least work for a single employer—for 10, 20, sometimes 30 or more years. But things have changed: Today, it’s much more common for individuals to hold several jobs over the course of a lifetime, changing positions, employers, and sometimes even changing industries.

In fact, some statistics show that the 42 percent of all employees change their job every one to two years—a phenomenon known as job hopping. This is an especially common practice among millennials, who are ever in search of personal development and career progression. There is nothing wrong with job hopping, and for some employees it can indeed provide a path to professional fulfilment. Where things get tricky is when you write your resume.

How Job Hopping Impacts Your Resume

The thing is, hiring managers and recruiters don’t necessarily want to spend time and money to get a new employee, train that employee, immerse that employee in company culture… and then lose that employee in just a few months’ time. Employers want a commitment—and whether you are really able to make that commitment or not, it’s important to have a resume that downplays your job hopping and brings some sense of cohesion to your professional experience.

This is all entirely possible, but it depends on the construction of your resume. Here are some tips we’d recommend.

How to Downplay Job Hopping on Your Resume

Include a professional summary, which should consolidate all your career experience into a single narrative. Maybe you’ve worked for five different marketing companies in the last decade. You can present that like this: “Marketing professional with 10 years of diverse experience.” Show how all the pieces in your career history come together. Identify the unifying threads. Guide the reader through the basic trajectory of your professional life.

Offer a summary of previous employment. Rather than going into great detail about your last dozen jobs, you might instead want to focus ample attention to the three or four most recent, and then provide a bulleted list of previous career experience. Rather than list a specific time frame for each of these bulleted items, just provide an overall, collective start and end date, i.e., Previous Employment, 2000-2008.

Tell a story with your different jobs and positions. The important thing is to convey some sense of narrative, which in some instances may mean leaving out positions that don’t relate to the big picture; if you primarily work in accounting, you might leave off that one summer where you worked as a cashier at CVS. Also try to emphasize how each new position brought you increased responsibility. Show that you have been growing, not just changing jobs on a whim.

Focus on accomplishments. If you were only at one employer for 18 months and basically twiddled your thumbs, that doesn’t really reflect well on you; but if you actually got a lot of major projects done in that short span of time, that’s altogether more positive. Make sure each section of your resume highlights concrete achievements and meaningful accomplishments.

Get Help on Your Resume

All of this may take a little finessing, which happens to be something our resume team does rather well. Get a consultation for your resume today, and make sure your professional narrative shines. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Why the Holidays are Ideal for Launching a Job Search

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It’s a question our resume division receives every year around this time: Is the holiday season really a good time to launch a job search?

And our answer is always the same thing: An overwhelming, resounding yes.

And we’ll tell you why.

‘Tis the Season… for a New Career

  1. A lot of jobseekers actually delay or suspend their search over the holidays. The conventional wisdom is that the holiday season is a poor time to look for employment—many jobseekers are so overwhelmed with other holiday responsibilities that they simply take themselves off the market between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.

That’s good news for you. Less competition means more opportunities for you to shine—so while other jobseekers sit things out, you should put yourself in the game.

  1. Many companies go through a lot of turnover during the holidays. This is one of the prime times of year for established employees to start itching for a change—putting in their notice and heading off for greener pastures.

So if you think a lot of companies don’t hire over the holidays, think again: There are a lot of opportunities, and a lot of openings you could fill.

  1. The holiday season makes networking easier. There’s an old saying that, in jobseeking, it’s not what you know but who you know.

Well, you’ll have plenty of ways to reconnect with the people you know during the holidays—sending Christmas cards and LinkedIn greetings, or bumping into people at holiday parties. These are all great opportunities to build your network and let people know you’re looking.

Clearly, this is a fine season to really bump your job search into high gear—assuming you’re willing to put in some hustle and approach your search strategically.

A good place to start is with a new resume—and our team is standing ready, even during this busy time of year, to give yours the polish it needs.

Get started on your holiday job search. Contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Formatting Blunders That Can Wreck Your Resume

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Writing a decent resume is part art and part science, and there are aspects of it that require real skill. That’s why more and more jobseekers are entrusting their resume writing to trained professionals, like the Grammar Chic team.

Yet there are other aspects of resume writing so basic that the pros aren’t really needed. For instance, formatting mistakes are common, and can wreck an otherwise solid resume—but it’s easy enough to learn these blunders and to avoid them.

And they may not seem like much—but trust us: They buck both aesthetic and resume conventions in such a way that may make you seem unprofessional or amateurish to a recruiter. It is no exaggeration to say that messing up one of these trivial details could cost you your job.

So as you work on your resume—either solo or with a pro—keep these potential errors in mind:

Error #1: Mix-matching your fonts. Some jobseekers use different fonts in different sections of the resume, thinking it adds a dash of style or simply helps them keep their sections separate. Actually, all it does is give the reader a headache. Pick one good, professional font and stick with it. (Grammar Chic favorite: Calibri.)

Error #2: Using inconsistent formatting. This should really go without saying, but when you’re listing employers, job titles, and dates, consistent formatting is essential. Double and triple check your resume to ensure that you’re doing things with uniformity.

Error #3: Overdoing it with bold text. We’re not going to say that you should never use bold font to emphasize certain words on your resume—but you need to make sure you have a very good reason for doing so, and if you see a lot of bold all over your page then you’re probably overdoing it. (In fact, we recommend erring on the side of no bold.)

Error #4: Submitting a page-and-a-half resume. It isn’t possible 100 percent of the time, but we really encourage people to aim for either one full page, or as close to two full pages as possible. A page and a third just looks awkward and incomplete.

These points may all sound basic—and they are. That’s why it looks so bad when you get them wrong—and why it’s simple enough to master them on your own. But for any help or more complex resume writing needs, don’t hesitate to call Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444; or visit us online at www.grammarchic.net.

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Dumb Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Job Interview

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You put a lot of time into your resume and your LinkedIn profile. You devote plenty of energy to filling out applications and winning the attention of recruiters. And you expend a lot of mental energy thinking about—and fretting about—your career prospects.

So don’t let it all be for nothing. Don’t wreck your job interview by making a dumb, careless error.

Believe us, it happens—and more often than you might think. Just consider some of these all-too-common, all-too-fatal interview faux pas:

Showing up at the interview with a Monster energy drink/iced coffee/water bottle in your hands. The only thing to bring to your interview is your resume, and, if applicable, a portfolio of your work. Don’t show up with drinks or snacks, because, for one thing, it makes you look like a delivery man. For a second thing, it will leave you with wet or grubby hands. And for a third thing, it makes it seem like the interview is cutting into your snack time. Not a good vibe.

Dressing in a slovenly, unprofessional, or ostentatious manner. Yes, even in an era of somewhat relaxed corporate dress codes, your interview attire still matters.

Showing up even a little bit late. Really: Being tardy by even a minute can set the tone for the whole interview. Trust us: It will be noticed. Don’t risk it. Plan on showing up about 15 minutes early, to give yourself a buffer.

Lying! Don’t fudge the truth, even a little. The interviewer will consult your resume, call your references, and find you out. Interview dishonesty is always discovered.

Focusing all your attention on salary/benefits. Yes, obviously, you want to know about these things—and the interviewer should tell you. If at all possible, though, let the interviewer bring it up. You want to come across like you actually care about the job, not just the vacation days.

Being aloof. Above all, don’t act like you are disinterested in the job. Enthusiasm goes a long way. You don’t need to act foolish or cartoony, but do make it clear that you want the job and are passionate about what you do.

Don’t let a stupid mistake jeopardize your career prospects. Show up at the interview ready for business. That means bringing along a solid, compelling resume—which is something we can help you with! Call Grammar Chic today at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Non-Negotiables for Your Resume

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Earlier in the year, the Grammar Chic team blogged about six elements that need to be removed from your resume right now. Today, we’re going to take the opposite approach, and list a few things that you should never, ever, under any circumstance take off your resume.

Let’s be clear: Your resume should be a fluid thing. You should revise it routinely, and you should amend it to reflect the specifics of whatever job you’re currently applying for. Even as your resume goes through changes, though, certain parts of it should remain consistent—including each of the following:

  1. Before your resume is ever seen by human eyes, there’s a good chance that it will pass through some computer scanning programs, which will scour it for necessary keywords. If you don’t have the right keywords, there’s a decent chance your resume will be tossed out before it’s even read. So how do you know which keywords to include? Look at the job posting itself, and include some words and phrases that stand out as important.
  2. Appropriate contact information. By appropriate, we mean a phone number, an e-mail address, and perhaps even a URL to your LinkedIn profile. Multiple phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not necessary, and in fact may be more frustrating and confusing than they are helpful.
  3. Specific accomplishments. We say this over and over, and in many ways it’s the cardinal rule of resume writing: Unless you’ve never really had a job before, you need to provide a career narrative that includes some actual achievements, including specific numbers or results. Don’t settle for a list of responsibilities; prove that you fulfilled those responsibilities well.
  4. An executive summary. Before you get down into the career narrative, make sure to include a paragraph or so that outlines exactly what you bring to the company. Simply put: Your recruiter or hiring manager may not have the time or the interest in reading your full resume, at least not at first. Make sure you have a summary that conveys your value.
  5. A cover letter. Perhaps this one is a cheat—it’s not really “on” your resume—but we’d recommend always having a cover letter ready to go out with your resume. Ensure that it’s tailored to the position in question; a generic one won’t do!

For help incorporating any of these resume elements, or drafting an effective cover letter, contact the Grammar Chic offices: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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