Tag Archives: resume writing tips

Is Your Resume Making You Look Unprofessional?

What if you walked into a job interview wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt, ripped jeans, and bright orange sneakers? In most cases, the interviewer would rightly conclude that you’re not very professional. You may actually be a supremely talented and hard-working employee, and a great fit for the company—but your lack of professionalism could rob you of the opportunity.

In much the same way, a resume can sometimes scream “unprofessional” to whoever sees it. That may not be a fair appraisal of your character, but it’s what the resume conveys—and just like the tie-dyed T-shirt, this lack of professionalism can cost you a career opportunity.

But how do you know your resume is giving off an unprofessional vibe? Here are a few dead giveaways.

Goofy Email Handles

Going by the RunnerGal77, WeezerFan_01, or a similarly flippant email handle can actually be a turn-off to employers, for the simple reason that it comes across as juvenile and, well, unprofessional.  Make sure your resume has a clean, reputable email address on it—some variation on your name, with a recognized email platform like Gmail. Recent grads might also use their school email handle.

Typos of Any Kind

A true professional would take a few minutes to proofread their resume rather than send sloppy writing to a potential boss. Make sure your own resume is free of these unfortunate errors.

A Wall of Text

A resume needs to be readable, and as a courtesy to hiring managers, yours should include plenty of white space, section headings, and bullet points. If it’s just a big lump of unbroken text, that’s a headache for the reader—and not very professional at all.

Pure Fluff

A true professional is able to articulate his or her value and achievements—so a resume that just lists dates and job titles, without going into any kind of depth, is a missed opportunity.

Attempts at Being “Unique”

You should stand out for your achievements, your skills, and your experience—not because you were the one goofball who used Comic Sans, or laid out your resume with a bunch of strange colors.

Inject Professionalism into Your Resume

Your resume should exude professionalism from top to bottom—and we can help you achieve that lofty goal. Reach out to our professional resume writing team today. You can connect with Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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5 Ways to Escape from Your Job Search Rut

It’s hard to imagine anything more dispiriting than a job search rut. You desperately want new employment. You’ve made your resume and cover letter, you’ve reached out to your contacts, you’ve hit the pavement looking for openings—and nothing. You’ve not gotten any calls or interviews, much less job offers. You are, simply put, stuck.

The good news is, there are ways to get yourself unstuck. Rather than throwing in the towel, try these ways out of your job search rut.

Talk to people.

One of the most harrowing parts of the job search process is that so much of it is done online these days, without any room for human interaction.

That can take its toll emotionally and psychologically—so break out of that rut. Reach out to former co-workers and ask to have lunch or coffee with them. Mine your LinkedIn contacts for people you could get together with face-to-face.

You can view it as networking, or simply as a chance to get face time with actual humans. Either way, it will bolster your spirits—and possibly lead to some new doors opening, too.

Get feedback on your resume.

If your resume isn’t getting any bites, it could be that it’s just not a well-conceived resume.

Our resume writing experts can take a look and immediately diagnose any problems—and present you with a new resume that gets everything right.

Freshen up your LinkedIn profile.

Likewise, our team can help you optimize your LinkedIn page—boosting your chances of getting found by online recruiters within your industry.

Don’t leave it to chance. Get a LinkedIn profile that has all the right keywords in all the right places.

Broaden your search.

We’re not suggesting you change industries altogether. We’re just saying that, if your search is stuck, it could be that the focus is too narrow.

Try searching for jobs that maybe don’t quite fit the parameters you’ve been looking for in the past. Stretch yourself—just a little. Or simply try searching for similar positions with different job titles.

Take care of yourself.

It really is disheartening to be stuck in a job search that doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. That can rob you of some of your mental health and happiness, so make sure to take care of yourself.

Schedule some time for you—to do some yoga, get a massage, or just hit the gym. Whatever helps you deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy manner, that’s what you should be doing. And who knows? It may be just what you need to get some new perspective or a fresh burst of energy for your job search.

To learn more about advancing your job search, reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today. You can find us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Remove the Word “Seasoned” from Your Resume Right Now

There are certain words and phrases that have become commonplace on resumes and cover letters, despite the fact that they really lack merit, and in some cases are actually turn-offs to recruiters and hiring managers. One of the key offenders? Seasoned.

Simply put, you should reserve that word for describing food. It has no place describing people, and it really has no place on your resume collateral.

Why “Seasoned” is a Word Best Avoided

There are a number of reasons to avoid this word. Start with this one: Recruiters know full well that “seasoned” can be a euphemism. People who describe themselves in this way are often trying to put a positive spin on the fact that they are, frankly, old, or that they have worked in the same profession for a long span of time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to phrase things positively, of course. “Seasoned” just isn’t an effective way to do it.

In addition, the word is often used in a way that’s redundant. Say you describe yourself as a “seasoned professional with 20 years of experience.” What role does “seasoned” play in this statement? What does it communicate that the 20 years of experience doesn’t get at more specifically?

The bottom line: When you describe yourself with this word, you’re not giving the recruiter any good reason to keep reading your resume. It’s purely an empty cliché.

What to Say Instead

Fortunately, there are some choice alternatives available—words that arrive at something much more specific and impactful.

To show that you’re worked in the same industry for a long time but have climbed the ladder—rather than remaining stagnant in one single position—you could note that you are “steadily progressing.”

To denote that you have authority in your field, “industry-leading” is a qualifier that can pack a real punch. “Respected expert” is another option here.

And of course, you can always just let your specific career history do the talking for you, without any need to tell people how “seasoned” you are.

The bottom line for job seekers: Every word on your resume needs to be just right. A single hollow choice can cause the whole thing to come across as limp or uninspiring. For resume guidance that will make every word sparkle, we encourage you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today. Reach us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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These Skills Are Effective on ANY Resume

There are some skills that just don’t transfer well from one industry to another. For example, let’s say you know how to repair a broken sump pump. That’s an invaluable thing to include on your resume—if you happen to be looking for work as a plumber. But if you decide what you really want to be is an elementary school teacher, sump pump repair just isn’t as relevant.

On the other hand, there are skills that all employers want to see—skills that are in-demand regardless of industry. Being reliable, teachable, punctual, courteous, honest… no employer would ever spurn such enviable assets.

In other words, there are some skills that look good on any and all resumes—and assuming you can make an honest claim to them, we recommend including them on your own professional documents.

These Skills Are Appealing Across the Board

Here are some examples of those universally-appealing skills we’re talking about, in no particular order.

Negotiation skills. Even if you’re not working in sales, it never hurts to be able to persuade people into things.

Awareness of your industry. Thought leadership, and knowing what’s going on in your field, is something employers tend to prize.

Research and self-education. Are you able to figure things out, and develop skillsets, without needing a lot of hand-holding? That’s extraordinarily precious to employers.

Interpersonal skills. Not everyone plays well with others. Simply getting along with other employees is a big advantage.

Written and verbal communication. Can you write? Can you give a strong, motivating presentation? If you possess either of these traits, make sure they find their way onto your resume.

Work ethic. If you’re the kind of person who’s willing to put in the time to get a project right, employers will appreciate that.

Responsibility. Employers want people to whom they can entrust more and more responsibilities, and know that the work will get done on time and with sufficient levels of quality. Does this describe you?

Showing, Not Telling

Including these skills on your resume is never a bad idea, though we should offer one caveat. Simply saying that you posses these skills isn’t nearly as effective as illustrating them.

So, on your resume, don’t just say that you can teach yourself things. List specific examples of things you’ve mastered on your own. And don’t just note that you have a strong work ethic. Go into detail about some of your most ambitious and challenging projects.

A good resume is built on specifics—and general skillsets aren’t nearly as impactful as concrete achievements.

Are you ready to develop a resume that really shows your value, across the board? Our resume writing team can help. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net today.

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Yes, You CAN Proofread Your Resume Effectively

Your resume may be a powerful showcase of your skills, your achievements, and your professional trajectory—yet if there is even a single typo on the document, it could sink your chances at an interview, and derail your job search completely.

We’re not being hyperbolic, either. Hiring managers and recruiters are inundated with resumes, and they don’t need much reason at all to discard yours—giving themselves one less applicant to tangle with. And typos, while often perfectly innocent, can call into question your professionalism and your attention to detail. In short: They make you look bad!

When building your resume, proofreading is an essential step. We understand that you may not be confident in your own proofing skills, and we get it. It’s challenging to catch mistakes in your own work. But you can do it—and we’ll show you how.

Practical Ways to Proofread More Successfully

Here are some pragmatic fixes for your proofreading issues:

Print out your resume. Here’s why: The mind engages text on the screen differently than it does text on the page. By reading both ways, you can be more thorough in spotting potential errors.

Read out loud. When you read the text out loud, you not only pick up on more errors, but may also become aware of issues—like over-repetition of a particular word—that makes the resume seem a bit off.

Put a finger on each word. As you read, either on your tablet or a printed document, put your finger on each new word as you read it—preventing your mind from skipping over anything.

Read it backwards. Start at the bottom and work your way up! This ensures that you’re actually seeing the letters on the page, not getting distracted by the ideas, context, or logical flow.

Get a friend to help. No matter how rigorous you are, you can still benefit from having multiple sets of eyes.

Make Your Resume Look Perfect

Your resume should look like perfection, and proofreading is an essential part of that. One more thing you can do to ensure the right level of polish? Hire a professional resume writer. Ours are always happy to help, whether you need a quick review or a complete rewrite.

Reach out to the resume writing professionals on the Grammar Chic team today. You can connect with Grammar Chic, Inc. online at www.grammarchic.net, or call us at 803-831-7444.

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Recruiters Don’t Care About Your Soft Skills

An effective resume is one that makes a convincing argument for your value as an employee—one that shows potential employers how they might benefit from hiring you. As such, it’s important for your resume to highlight your most precise, specific, and value-adding skills; the flipside of this is that your resume shouldn’t be bogged down with skills or competencies that don’t convey real results.

What this means is that, generally speaking, you can leave the soft skills off altogether. Things that are measurable and quantifiable? Absolutely include them on your resume. Things that make you distinct from other applicants? You bet. The same ol’ vague, mushy adjectives that everyone includes on their resume? Ditch ‘em.

The Soft Skills to Avoid on Your Resume

If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, here’s the rundown—some common buzzwords and nebulous skillsets that are going to make your resume seem mushy, vague, or unfocused.

Detail oriented. While it’s certainly nice to pay attention to details, this is one of those phrases that everyone uses to describe themselves—and there’s no real way to quantify or measure it. As such, including this phrase really doesn’t suggest value to recruiters and hiring managers.

Results oriented. See above. It’s great to care about results, but that’s not something you can empirically prove on a resume or in a job interview.

Experienced. A good resume will show that you’re experienced—so there’s no need to say it.

Hard working. Again, it’s wise to show, not tell. Listing some of your core accomplishments—complete with numerical results, when possible—is a lot more meaningful than just saying you work hard. See also: Motivated.

Team player. Your resume should include instances of you collaborating with people and working on teams to achieve goals—so, you shouldn’t need to state it like this.

Dynamic. What does this mean? Most jobseekers can’t really explain it, much less demonstrate it, so it’s probably not something you need on your resume.

Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, Email, Internet Explorer, etc. Proficiency in these everyday programs is not technically a soft skill, but at this point it should really go without saying. Inclusion of these skills on your resume will make you seem dated.

Tighten Up Your Resume

Ready to ditch the soft skills and make your resume streamlined, specific, and impactful? Our resume writing team can help. Contact Grammar Chic Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

 

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6 Ways Your Resume Can Make You Look Unprofessional

Your resume is a piece of marketing collateral—and what it’s marketing is you. A good resume will help you to look competent, dependable, hard-working, and professional—but of course, the inverse also holds true: A bad resume can compromise your appeal as a job candidate, and in some cases cause you to come across as downright unprofessional.

But you can avoid that by putting some time into honing your resume—and we’ll show you how. In this post, we’re going to list six resume goofs that can seriously damage your professional image. Needless to say, you’ll want to avoid them—and if you’re not sure how, reach out to our resume writing team for an assist!

Avoid These Resume Writing Blunders

Here are six things that cause your resume to undercut your professionalism:

  1. Goofy, juvenile, or inconsistent font use. It’s fine if you like Comic Sans, but it’s not fine to use it on a resume—nor is it acceptable to toggle between different fonts throughout the resume. Stick with the agreed-upon, readable resume fonts—Calibri or Helvetica.
  2. Using vague descriptors. Terms like hard-working, driven, and motivated are unprovable—which means they are basically meaningless. Cut them from your resume, and stick with quantifiable and specific descriptors instead.
  3. Including a head shot on your resume. Unless you are applying to be a supermodel, there’s no need to include a picture on your resume.
  4. Ending your resume with half a page to go. We’re all about keeping your resume concise, but you don’t want half a page of blank space at the bottom. Make sure you fill out the entire document.
  5. Using an unprofessional email address. Your handle should be some variation on your own name—plain and simple.
  6. Sending your resume without a cover letter. Or, getting an interview, but then failing to send a thank-you note. Your resume works best when it’s sent in tandem with these other documents!

Write a Resume That Makes You Shine

Your resume should give the impression that you are a consummate professional—and any one of these mistakes can undermine that impression. Avoid them—but also be proactive in writing a resume where your appeal as a candidate shines through. We can help; reach out to the Grammar Chic team to ask about our resume writing services. Contact us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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