Tag Archives: resume updating

6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Resume

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You’ve found an online job posting that’s gotten you really excited. You’ve filled out the online form. Now it’s time to upload your resume, hit submit, then sit back and wait for your phone to ring.

But wait: Before you do that, why not take an extra five minutes to double and triple check your resume? You’ve probably looked it over a hundred times before, but it never hurts to verify that your resume is spotless, professional, and appealing.

Read through your resume just one more time before you send it off, and as you read it ask yourself these quick questions:

Is your contact information accurate, complete, and up to date? Yes, this seems like a no-brainer—but you would be amazed at how many resumes we see where digits in the phone number are transposed, or there is a typo in the e-mail address, or there is no physical mailing address listed at all. Read through your contact information caaaaaarefullly to ensure it says what you want it to say.

Does your resume have keywords that mirror the job posting? If the job posting itself emphasizes “customer relations” or “social media strategy,” well, you probably want to make sure those phrases appear in your actual resume. Tweak your document to include as many pertinent keywords as you can.

Does your resume list actual accomplishments? Employers don’t just want to see what your previous job responsibilities were; they want to see what you achieved. Are there places you could add specific numbers or other figures to prove your effectiveness?

Does your resume convey an actual narrative? Your resume should tell the story of your career—which means denoting a clear trajectory, showing promotions, proving that each job held builds on the last, and not including any employment gaps.

Is your resume scannable? Can a potential employer skim your resume with relative ease? Remember that these are busy people, and a resume that can’t be skimmed may not get considered at all. Things to look for: Plenty of white space, clearly marked sections, a bulleted list of core competencies, and a resume that doesn’t go too long (one page is often enough, two is usually the max).

Does your resume include anything superfluous? Take one more look to see if you included hobbies or other personal information that doesn’t factor into your employability—and if so, axe it!

If you look over your resume and don’t like what you see, never fear: The Grammar Chic resume team is here to help! Reach out to us today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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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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Should You Lie to Your Boss About Your Job Search?

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When you’re searching for new employment, it’s perfectly understandable that you might want to keep your search private—at least from your current employer. If your boss finds out that you’re in the market for something new, it could very easily become a problem for you—leading to fewer opportunities at your current position, a soured relationship with your employer, or even your termination.

Trying to keep your job search private is important, but not guaranteed to be successful. Your boss may become suspicious, despite your best efforts to ensure otherwise. And when your boss gets suspicious, he or she may confront you about it.

The Pros and Cons of Lying

“Are you looking for a new job? Are you thinking about leaving our company?” When your boss asks you questions like that, it can be difficult to know how to respond. Sadly, there is no one answer we can offer, because it just depends on a lot of factors: Your boss’ temperament, your current relationship, whether you really think your boss would fire you, whether you think your boss might actually help you in your job search, and so on.

One option is to lie—to say oh no, of course not, even if you actually are on the job market. The Grammar Chic team does not encourage anyone to lie, though neither do we wish to tell you what to do; instead, we’ll simply invite you to consider the pros and cons.

There are really two pros. One is that you can use a lie to get more information about the situation. Oh no, of course I’m not looking for new work—why do you ask? That question can help you discover why your boss is suspicious—if a co-worker spilled the beans, for instance. In addition, a lie might buy you some time to keep searching before your boss becomes suspicious again.

The cons, however, are that lying could damage your relationship with your boss, should you be found out. This could lead to a burned bridge—i.e., no reference or recommendation, later in your job search—and it could also lead to a touchy work environment in the here and now. It may even make your boss want to look for a reason to fire you.

Alternatives to Lying

If you choose not to lie, however, there are some alternative options available to you:

  • You can answer your boss’ question with another question: Why do you ask? Leading with this, and evaluating your boss’ answer, can help you determine how you might further respond.
  • You can tell your boss you are looking at positions related to your own, as a way to appraise your career and see if there are more responsibilities you could be taking on—perhaps a semi-truth that might help you more than outright lying.
  • And of course, you could simply tell the truth outright—hoping for the best.

Again, this is really a decision to be made on the basis of how well you know your boss and how you read the current scenario. As you weigh truth versus lying, though, we recommend that you weigh all the pros and cons—and consider the alternatives.

For more job search tips, we invite you to contact us today: Call Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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