Tag Archives: resume tips

Getting the Job (When You’re Not Really Qualified)

Few things are more discouraging than seeing an open job position that sounds just perfect for you—the kind of role you want, at a respected company, with great benefits—only to find that you’re not technically qualified for it. The recruiter wants five years of experience, and you just have two; or, there’s a list of specific skills needed, and you only possess a handful of them.

A lot of jobseekers run into situations like these and just move on. Of course, that’s perfectly reasonable—but here’s the thing: Underqualified people get hired for great roles all the time—and often, they end up really excelling.

So what can you do to make yourself competitive for a position that, on paper, you’re not suited for? Here are a few tips.

Going Beyond Your Qualification

Show off the skills you do have—enthusiastically.

The recruiter has a list of skills that they want to see—but your job is to take their mind off that list and focus them on your list. Use your resume to sell yourself, highlighting the breadth of your experience and the wide range of things you can do well. Focus on the value you offer, and the specific achievements you’ve had. Build a case for yourself as a uniquely talented and multi-faceted applicant.

Emphasize your potential.

You may lack some of the technical skills needed for the job, it’s true—but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn them. Use your resume to showcase the fact that you’re a quick study and an eager learner. Show off your continuing education and the ease with which you adopt new talents.

Provide context.

You can use a strong cover letter to fill in the gaps and really convince the recruiter that your candidacy is serious. Paint the big picture, portraying yourself as a talented and enthusiastic applicant who is ready and able to learn new things and really grow into the role.

Be a positive force in your interview.

When you sit down for the job interview, that’s when you really have to sell yourself effectively—shifting focus away from the ways in which you fall short of the requirements, and toward all the ways you shine. Avoid negative phrasing (“I’ve never done,” “I don’t know,” etc.) in favor of positivity: “I’d love to work on,” “I’m eager to learn,” etc.

Reach Higher

You may not be the best candidate on paper, but that doesn’t mean you have to take no for an answer. A solid resume and cover letter can get you in the door, and convince hiring managers that you’re just the right person for the job. Get your resume materials up to snuff with a little help from our team; contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or http://www.grammarchic.net.

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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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What You Need to Know About Choosing a Resume Writing Service

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There is no denying that the job market is a fierce and competitive place. Dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of people vying for the same openings. As a job seeker, you want to stand out among the crowd, and one of the first opportunities to do so is to have a strong resume.

Hiring a professional resume writing service can be a great place to start. Let’s face it: not everyone excels at writing or being able to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Some people haven’t written or updated their resume in years and expectations have changed. But in most cases, your ability to write a resume doesn’t impact your ability to do the job for which you’re applying. We turn to individuals and companies to support us in so many other facets of our lives, so why not writing a resume?

Tips for Choosing a Resume Writing Service

When it comes down to choosing a resume writing service, not all businesses are the same. It’s important to select a company that you can trust and whose services align with your needs. So what should you look for?

  • Beware of guarantees.

No one can guarantee that you will get a job or even an interview. That relies on many other factors aside from your resume. However, a solid resume can increase your chances of landing an interview.

  • Look for personalization.

Do you simply submit all of your information online and in a few days your new resume appears? Or do you actually get to collaborate with the writer? Grammar Chic engages in a one-on-one phone call with each client to learn more about them, their background, career path, work history, accomplishments, strengths, and more. This allows for a more personalized resume aligned with the client’s unique needs and capabilities.

  • Compare packages.

What are you getting in return for the cost? Going with the cheapest or most expensive company is not always the best choice. Look at what they offer. What type of consultation do you receive? Are edits or revisions included? What is the turnaround time? Is LinkedIn uploading provided? Do they offer other services such as cover letters and thank you notes? Paying a little more upfront can be beneficial if you’re receiving comprehensive services.

  • Ask about results.

You’re paying for a professional service – it’s okay to ask questions! Find out what type of results you can expect and what other clients have to say about the company. Check out the company website and reviews.

  • Get involved.

Gather as much information as you can to provide to the resume writer. This includes old resumes, job descriptions, performance reviews, awards, certifications, professional development, etc. Spend some time reflecting on your career and the things you are proud of. What skills have you developed that will benefit your next employer? What you do you feel your best strengths are? This can help to ensure that your new resume is a positive and accurate reflection of who you are. Just make sure you’re being honest.

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a resume writing service to help you with your resume. The job market is always changing and a professional company stays up-to-date with the latest trends and standards that you may have overlooked. If you’re unsure about where to start when it comes to your resume, or you’re not getting the results you had hoped for in your job search, contact Grammar Chic today to learn more about our resume writing services. Email info@grammarchic.net or call (803) 831-7444 to get started.

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4 Job Search Worries You Can Stop Stressing About

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Seeking new employment can be stressful—especially when you’re not already earning a paycheck somewhere. That stress cannot be totally mitigated, but perhaps it can be reduced. At the very least, jobseekers can stop stressing about the things that just don’t matter, saving their worry and their attention for the bigger, more significant issues.

In other words: Know what you should legitimately be concerned about, and what you can let go of. We’ll offer a few quick examples of the latter—four things that many jobseekers worry about, but really don’t need to.

Job Search Anxieties You Can Let Go

  • The occasional gap on your resume. While it’s certainly problematic to have a resume riddled with holes, a few short gaps here and there—especially ones in the distant past—are really nothing to fret about. Maybe you took three months off from your career to care for an ailing parent, or you took a sabbatical while you returned to school. An employer may very well ask you about these gaps, but all you have to do is give your explanation, and the employer will almost surely understand. It’s nothing to get hung up about.
  • Requests to contact your current boss. You may be asked if the hiring manager can get in touch with your current employer, as a reference—and you may prefer that this not happen. More likely than not, your job search is something you’d rather keep secret. The good news is, employers understand that, and declining this request is perfectly normal. Don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager not to let the cat out of the bag with your current boss.
  • Jobs left off your resume. In the interest of telling your story, as succinctly as possible, you may want to omit a job listing or two from your resume—and that’s okay! Now, should you leave off a major job that leaves a seven-year gap on your resume? Probably not. But if you need to cut off your summer internship from back when you were 18, well, that’s not likely to be an issue.
  • An unwieldy list of references. You may have former employers or colleagues on your list who have since moved on, or even retired. Contacting them might be challenging—but that’s not really your concern. When a hiring manager asks you for references, he or she is only asking for your permission to contact those folks. The logistics aren’t your concern!

Another way to eliminate worry from your job search? Make yourself confident by getting a sparkling new resume. Start the process today by contacting the Grammar Chic team! You can reach our resume writing pros at 803-831-7444, or at 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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How to Get a Job When You Haven’t Had One in a While

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When you’re out of work for a long time, it can make it that much harder to jump back into the workforce. There are countless reasons why you might withdraw from the rat race for a while—maternity or paternity leave, health concerns, family needs, a stab at entrepreneurship—but ultimately, the reason doesn’t much matter. Reentering the work force is always going to prove challenging.

So say that you haven’t had a job in a couple years, but now you’re ready to get back in the swing of things. What steps do you take? How do you ensure that you find a new job as quickly and as smoothly as possible?

Get your LinkedIn profile up to date.

First things first: Employers are going to know that you’ve been out of work, but you don’t want them to think that you’ve been out of the loop. Spend some time going into your LinkedIn page and fully optimizing it—providing some succinct yet precise information about your previous employment history and your different skillsets. Try reaching out to some old colleagues and co-workers to get some LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.

Get your story straight.

When you interview for a new position, you’re probably going to be asked why you’ve been out of the workforce. Spend some time thinking about what you’re going to say. Rehearse an answer so that you can respond without seeming flustered or defensive about it.

Think about your goals.

Your goal may be to find work—nothing more and nothing less—but it’s probably best for you to have a slightly clearer career trajectory in mind. At the very least, come up with a couple of specific jobs or job titles that you want and focus on achieving them. Without goals, your job search will simply be aimless.

Have encouragers in your life.

Finding a job is always tough, not least when you haven’t had one in a while. You may start to feel desperate or frustrated—but if you let it show, that will only hurt your chances. Make sure you have some friends to build your confidence and remind you that you’re just as qualified and just as deserving as anyone.

Get an updated resume.

It’s amazing how quickly resume standards can change. An obviously out-of-date resume will cripple your prospects—so invest in yourself, and in your career. Call the Grammar Chic team and get an updated resume today. Reach us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Grammar Chic, Inc. Unveils the Secrets behind a Strong Resume Marketing Message

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A resume is a funny thing, if you think about it. This document takes all of your experience, your accomplishments and your skills and condenses them into just a page or so of content. If you have tried to write your own resume you have probably learned two things: first, it is incredibly difficult to write about yourself and second, drafting effective yet concise sentences to convey a career’s worth of experience is not an easy task. But the most challenging aspect of drafting your resume is, quite possibly, the creation of a strong marketing message.

Why Is a Marketing Message Important?

Thinking of a marketing message in terms of your personal work may seem a bit unnatural, but the truth is that you need to sell yourself to the hiring managers who will be sorting through an entire pile of resumes. This means that, above all, you need to set yourself apart while quickly conveying the fact that you are perfect for the job. As you can imagine, this is no easy feat; however, resume writing professionals know exactly how to craft a summary and list of core competencies that draw the attention of hiring managers.

A Summary: The Entire History of Your Career… Or Not

The summary is the first place in which you should build your marketing message. Given its name, “summary,” you may be led to believe that this is an overview of all of your skills, experiences, and accomplishments. This is, largely, not true. You see, a summary should be thought of as more of an introduction of who you are as a professional. While personal information is off-limits throughout the rest of the resume, this is where you showcase your softer skills and highlight only the most important (and relevant) of your capabilities. For instance, words like “dedicated,” “punctual,” and “passionate” are acceptable here.

Core Competencies: Reducing Your Skills Down to a Bulleted List

In the summary, you assert that you are a professional in a certain field with specific capabilities. In the core competencies section, you have to back up your claims with a list of your industry-related skills. These often double as keywords for which hiring managers scan when sorting resumes. By looking at both the summary and the core competencies alone, a manager should be able to identify where you would fit in their company.

As you can see, creating a strong resume marketing message is no easy task. In fact, the keyword and other elements incorporated into your resume will depend upon your industry and the job for which you are applying. This is why it is a good idea to turn to a professional when creating a new resume. The team at Grammar Chic, Inc. has helped its clients create strong resumes for years and is ready to assist you with yours! If you are feeling confused or frustrated as you begin to update or write your resume, call us today!

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