Tag Archives: resume writing advice

3 Ways to Get Your Resume Down to a Page

Some jobseekers—experienced professionals, C-suite executives, those who’ve had long and robust career histories—may need their resumes to span two or three full pages. That’s perfectly fine. Other jobseekers—the younger, the less experienced—can make do with just one. That’s fine, too.

The trouble comes when you find yourself in the middle ground—with a resume that doesn’t fill two pages, but also doesn’t quite fit into one.

The last thing you want is a resume with a lot of empty space on it. So that one-and-a-half-pager? It’s gotta get cut down.

The question is how. Making razor-thin margins or opting for a microscopic font aren’t good options, because then your resume isn’t readable. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to tighten up your resume and get it down to one action-packed page—helping you portray maximum value quickly and cleanly.

Get Rid of Old Jobs

For starters: How far back are you going in your career history? A good rule of thumb is that employers are most interested in what you’ve done recently—so jobs that are more than 10-15 years old usually don’t need to be included on a resume.

If you’re one of those more experienced workers, and if you have seven or eight different listings in your career history, there’s a good chance you can cut one or two of them to save space.

Eliminate Unnecessary Stuff

Are you including any of the following items on your resume?

  • Hobbies
  • Volunteer positions
  • References
  • “References available upon request”
  • Your high school or college GPA

If so, then just getting rid of these items may be the best approach.

We’re not saying these items never have a place on your resume—but if you’re looking to save space, they can definitely be axed without any great loss.

Keep Your Bullet Points Short

Your career history should take up the bulk of the space on your resume—so that’s ultimately where you need to look as you try to keep things brief.

The best resumes list job accomplishments and responsibilities in bullet points—and most of the time, you should be able to keep each bullet point to a single line. If yours are longer, trim them down, focusing each one on strong action words, numbers, and statistics, while removing any “fluff” or filler.

Also remember to remove any redundancies. If you “provided exemplary customer service” in your last four jobs, you don’t necessarily need to list it under each one; saying it just once is usually sufficient.

Bring Focus to Your Resume

At the end of the day, a good resume is a focused resume—and if you’re having a hard time finding focus, that’s something we can help you with. Schedule a call with one of our resume writing professionals today. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. by visiting www.grammarchic.net or calling 803-831-7444.

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5 Ways to Customize Your Resume and Get the Job You Want

There’s never anything cookie-cutter about the job search. Your resume will inevitably be different from the next applicant’s—and what’s more, your resume should change and evolve with every job you apply for.

That’s right—you really need a different resume for each position, one that’s tailored to address the job in question. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rewrite your resume from scratch each time, but it does mean you should take some time to customize. There are a few ways you can do that.

Use Language from the Job Posting

The ultimate goal of customization is to prove that you read the job description, and to convince the hiring manager that you fit it to a T. That means paying close attention to the verbiage of the job listing itself. How does the employer describe this position? Which words and phrases are used to describe the ideal candidate? Whenever possible, incorporate those words and phrases into your resume. (For example, maybe your resume lists team building, but the job description says team development; there’s no reason not to tweak your resume to match the language of your potential employer.)

Think in Terms of Pain Points

Stop and think about the job you’re applying for. What pain points is it meant to address? What problems is it meant to solve? What issues must the company be having to necessitate this new position—too much turnover? Too much employee demand? Slowed sales growth? Consider ways in which your resume can position you as the solution to these problems. Pitch yourself as a useful resource for whatever issues the company’s facing.

Cut Irrelevant Jobs

One of the most basic ways to customize your resume is to delete, or at least minimize, older jobs that don’t have any relevance to the one you’re seeking. The goal here is to craft a narrative, and to ensure that everything on your resume showcases your qualification for the job in question. If you have entries in your career history that don’t match the position you’re applying for, downplay them to make that narrative as streamlined and as uncluttered as possible.

Make Use of Your Executive Summary

You can’t assume that a hiring manager will read your entire resume from top to bottom—so spell out your most important qualifications early on. This is where your executive summary comes into play. Tweak this section for each job you apply for, making sure it covers some of the most qualifying skills and achievements of your career, as relative to the position you’re applying for.

Hire a Resume Writer

A final step to effective resume customization: Hire a professional resume writer, who will have ample experience in crafting resumes to match specific positions. If there’s a job you’re zealous for, send the listing, and your resume, to the Grammar Chic team, and we’ll be glad to help you make the proper modifications. Learn more by contacting Grammar Chic, Inc. today, via www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Get the Most Out of Your Resume Writing Service

If your resume isn’t landing you the kinds of interviews or job offers you’d hoped for—or if you’re struggling to assemble a respectable resume in the first place—there may be some merit to working with a professional resume writing service.

A professional resume writer will have both the stylistic flair and the technical acumen to articulate your professional achievements in the most compelling and condensed way possible; and, to ensure the resume is properly formatted for optimal results. What’s more, your professional resume writer can help you craft auxiliary documents, such as a cover letter and thank-you notes.

Your role in the process is not a passive one. You’ll need to make a little time for the resume writer to interview you, getting to know your history and your professional strengths.

In addition, there are some small steps you can take to make this interview as productive as possible, and to get the absolute most out of your resume writing journey.

Three Steps for a Better Resume Writing Experience

Three particular steps you can follow:

  1. Know what your goals are. Come to your resume writing interview ready to talk about the kinds of jobs you want to apply for—or better yet, the specific job openings that you’re interested in. Remember that an effective resume is tailored to match the job in question, so being able to provide this information can help your resume writer be as precise as possible.
  2. Gather information. The more information you can provide about your career history, the better. Your current and past resumes can be useful resources for creating your new one. Additionally, spend a little time thinking back on your previous jobs, and jot down some of your core achievements. Specifically try to think of any awards or honors you’ve received, and furnish your writer with the details.
  3. Be ready for feedback. You’ll naturally feel protective of your resume—since it’s essentially your story. But remember that the resume writer is your ally, and that you have the same goals. What’s more, you may know your career history, but your resume writer knows what does and does not belong on a good resume, and how it all comes together to form a compelling document. Be open to certain parts of your career history being worded a bit differently, or perhaps cut completely, to make the messaging stronger overall.

These three small steps can help make your resume writing experience more enjoyable—and more fruitful. If you’re ready to take the next step and consult with a resume writing professional, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Does Your Resume Highlight Your Passion?

In an increasingly competitive job market, passion can be your greatest competitive advantage—the thing that helps you stand out from the crowd. If you’re vying for a job along with similarly-experienced and similarly-skilled professionals, being the one who loves their work the most—the one with the most spirit and enthusiasm—can help you rise to the top.

But how are potential employers going to know you’re passionate? Hopefully, it will come through in your job interview. Even before you get to the interview, though, your resume can highlight what a passionate employee you are. Here are a few ways you can make that happen.

Using Your Resume to Showcase Your Enthusiasm

Highlight Your Awards and Accolades

Have you ever been formally honored for your professional achievements? If so, don’t be shy about it! List awards on your resume, as they signify not only that you care about what you do, but that your good work is seen and affirmed by your superiors.

Note Your Volunteer Work

Have you done volunteer work that’s somehow related to your industry or profession? For example, are you a healthcare professional who volunteers at free clinics during your off-time? That’s the kind of thing that definitely shows passion—enough passion that you’re willing to go above and beyond, even when you’re not on the clock.

Show That You Can Exceed Expectations

One way that passion manifests is in completing your work in a way that surpasses quotas and expectations. Do you complete projects on time and under budget? And can you attach numbers or proof to quantify it? If so, include it on your resume for sure!

Demonstrate a Commitment to Education

One final thing that shows passion is a commitment to learning. If you’ve voluntarily taken any continuing education or training courses, you might consider listing those credits on your resume—proof that you love your field so much you actively like to learn more about it.

Inject Passion into Your Resume

You might associate “passion” with “coming on too strong”—but clearly, that’s not the case. There are some subtle yet powerful ways you can use your resume to underscore your professional enthusiasm.

For help crafting a robust and effective resume, reach out to our writing team. Our resume experts can help develop a resume that captures all your skills, experience, and enthusiasm. Set up a resume consultation today by contacting Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Address Long-Term Illness on Your Resume

Your resume is meant to tell the story of your career—but what happens when that story is interrupted by an extended medical leave? When you’re out of the workplace for months or years at a time—either because you’re ill or because you’re taking care of a sick family member—it leaves a gap in your employment history. Addressing that gap can be challenging, to say the least.

Change Your Mindset

The first thing you may want to do is change your point of view. A lot of us tend to think that working hard is the be-all and end-all of life, and that an extended medical leave is somehow a liability. The reality is that your health is critical and taking time to recover from an illness is nothing to be ashamed by.

In fact, taking medical leave can actually highlight positive attributes—including:

  • A sense of balance;
  • Personal responsibility;
  • Endurance through hard times;
  • Pragmatic problem-solving skills.

If your leave was to take care of a family member or loved one, meanwhile, it shows that you have a servant’s heart and a desire to improve the lives of others. All of these are positive things—both for you and for a potential employer.

Fill the Gaps

Even so, hiring managers will have questions about any gaps in your career history. Sometimes, it’s possible to fill those gaps—especially if your medical leave included any of the following:

  • Part-time work;
  • Freelance work;
  • Consulting work;
  • Volunteering

You can use these temporary positions to fill employment gaps, without leaving big openings in your resume and also without lying!

Shift Your Approach

If you have a number of medical leaves in your past, or if your medical leave was quite lengthy, you may benefit from taking an altogether different approach to your resume. Generally, Grammar Chic, Inc. recommends a chronological career history—but if that history has big interruptions, you may be better off writing a functional resume. This means a career history that focuses on particular skills you’ve developed, not necessarily on the straightforward chronology of your employment history.

Don’t Forget Your Cover Letter!

One final note: You have every right to keep the specific details of your illness private. However, it can sometimes be helpful to address it head-on. Use your cover letter to briefly note that you had an extended leave from the workplace, and that in this time you were able to grow and develop as a person and to learn how to face challenges with strength and perspective.

If you need help getting the wording just right, have questions about functional resumes, or simply want to learn more about addressing illness on a resume, contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. resume writing team. You can always reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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How to Perfect the Core Competencies Section on Your Resume

Often, hiring managers and recruiters receive dozens, if not hundreds of job applications for a single open position. They hardly have time to study every word on every resume, so what do they do? They skim. And if your resume isn’t skimmable, you may be losing out on career opportunities.

One of the best ways to make your resume skimmable is to create a core competencies section. This is a brief section of the resume that lists some of your basic skills and technical proficiencies, providing a condensed and easy-to-skim rundown of the value you offer to an employer.

Core competencies sections not only make your resume easier to parse with just a passing glance, but they also make your resume more accommodating to the computer programs that many companies now use to scan and review resumes, long before they are ever read by human beings.

In other words, a core competencies section is vital for any resume—but how can you write one that’s effective?

Keep it Short

First and foremost, keep your core competencies incredibly brief—just one to three words per competency. Something like budget forecasting or social media management is sufficient. You can go into more detail in your career history section. Remember that the core competencies section is meant to be “you in a nutshell,” an easily-skimmed rundown of your major talents and professional skills.

Position it Correctly

A core competencies section won’t do you much good if it’s at the end of your resume. We recommend putting it toward the top—just below your executive summary.

Format it for Readability

Remember, you’re trying to list your skills in a way that accommodates quick skimming. Bullet points are ideal for this.

Look at the Job Description

As for what you should include in the core competencies section, it’s always wise to review the position you’re applying for. Does it specify ghostwriting, or customer service, or HTML programming? If so, then make sure to include those exact words and phrases in your core competencies section. Just one catch: Be honest. If you don’t actually possess that skill, don’t list it!

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Often, your core competencies section will serve as the first impression you make to potential employers—a quick way for them to determine whether or not you have the needed qualifications for the job in question.

In other words, it’s a do-or-die section of your resume. Make sure yours is perfectly honed by working with a professional resume writer. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today to schedule a resume consultation: 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

 

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How Med School Students Can Write the Perfect Resume

Whether you’re midway through your medical training or are nearing the end of it, you’ve probably got one eye cast toward the job market—and as such, you know that healthcare jobs are as competitive as ever.

The best way to get a leg up is to write a resume that showcases your promise as a physician. Here are a few tips for doing exactly that.

Make Education a Focus

Med school is a huge commitment, and as such, it tends to leave very little time left over for work experience. You may not have a long list of jobs to highlight, but you can showcase your educational achievements. Make sure to underscore anything that makes you stand out—including grades or special projects you completed. Put your brightest educational triumphs in a prominent place on your resume.

Include Grants and Scholarships

Has your potential as a med school student landed you with some noteworthy academic scholarships or research grants? These are things to consider including on your resume. Scholarships and grants are like endorsements—proof that someone saw something in you that they wanted to support and encourage.

Note Your Research Skills

As a med school student, you probably have more lab experience than clinical experience. Use that to your advantage. Use your resume to highlight your diligence, insight, and skill in the laboratory. Highlight your research interests and connect them to the field of medicine in which you hope to practice.

Do Some Volunteer Work

Again, you may not have a great deal of professional, clinical experience just yet—but you can still lend your time to medical missions or other healthcare-related volunteer positions. This shows your commitment to patient care and can provide some good fodder for your resume.

Customize Your Resume

While it’s wise to have a single “master resume” on file, we’d also recommend tailoring it to each specific job you apply for. Make sure to work in some keywords from the job listing and rearrange your core competencies to align with the position in question. One resume is never enough; customizing for each individual position is a must!

Get Help from the Pros

You’re going to school to become well-trained and qualified in the medical field—but nobody expects you to be an expert in resume writing. Grammar Chic’s writers have been well-trained and are certified in resume creation, however; we really are the experts! We know how to write and structure resumes for maximum effect, and we’re deeply familiar with the particulars of the healthcare job market.

We’d love to chat with you about your resume needs, and even to offer a review of your current resume documents. Reach out to our resume writers to get started. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or at www.professionalresumewriters.net or www.grammarchic.net.

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