Resume writing

The Imperfect Job Search Club: We All Have a Membership!

No one told me growing up that perfection was unattainable.

Try-hard striving is my natural mode of operation. Endlessly trying to craft perfection out of the mess is exhausting. Is that what you feel when you are faced with resume writing? Are you overwhelmed by positioning your zig-zag career into the perfect match for the job you want?

I don't have a linear career path either. Maybe you hopped from job to job and can't seem to tie a cohesive career narrative together. Perhaps you are stepping back into the workplace after a career pause and feeling paralyzed by the modern job search.

Whatever twists and turns you have, welcome to the imperfect club. We all have a membership!

The good news? People want to hire real people. People with perseverance, character, grit, and wisdom. Use the lessons you learned and the skills you gained in your path to your advantage.

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Where can you start? Zoom out to discover your unique offerings! Start uncovering your value with these questions:

💡What strengths do others acknowledge in you?

💡 What feels fun to you, but seems like work to others?

💡 What skills do you use often (and like using!)?

💡Where do you get greater returns than the average person?

What has helped you hone your value to advance in your hashtag#career?

Add Strength to your Job Search

My kid's vice-principal and teacher came to our house yesterday. It's not what you think.

We go to a small school and when kindergarteners enter the school, it's like entering a family. They came to visit to get to know us. The kids made signs for their arrival, showed them their rooms and bounced around like little bunnies with excitement.

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But what stuck were the intentional questions they asked. Most poignantly, "What strengths do you see in your son?"

And it was such a good reminder to take time to SEE him. So often, I am consumed with the day-to-day wrangling, schedule and instilling civility that I don't take time to reflect on his strengths.

Have you taken time to reflect on YOUR strengths? Because they come so naturally, we often don't see ourselves accurately. Use your eyes in new ways today to actually SEE yourself and others!

P.S. Job seekers, your strengths are part of your branding toolkit to set yourself apart from other applicants. Don't miss the opportunity to talk about what you naturally bring to the table!

Need help? Purchase our resume branding mini-workbook!

A New Study Reveals the #1 Reason People Lie on their Resume

The number one reason people lie on their resume?

GoBankingRates recently asked over a thousand people about the truthfulness of their resume. 5% of those surveyed admitted to lying (which you can guess is never a good idea), but the interesting part is the WHO and WHY.

WHO❓Women more than men (41% versus 18%) lied on their resume.

WHY❓ Cover employment gaps.

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While the findings may be surprising to some, the stat makes sense. More women take breaks to raise children and assist an aging parent (etc.) while also facing the REAL negative stigma of employment gaps in the hiring process. According to a recent ResumeGo study, candidates with gaps in work history were 45% less likely to be invited for an interview.

But there is HOPE!

In that same ResumeGo study, however, those who provided a REASON for their work gap on their resume and cover letter received 60% more interviews.

So instead of leaving your gap to the imagination or dismissing your integrity upon clicking the apply button, explain the gap!

One Easy Way to Market Yourself in your Resume

Make a marketing move on your resume with a headline.

This is one simple fix helps shift your resume from a professional list of experiences to a marketing document. A headline is located under your contact information and above your branding statement.

Don't complicate it. The headline is the job you are applying for. It’s the billboard that shouts the purpose of your resume.

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You are not only branding yourself as said position but listing the job title up top in your document is advantageous for ATS.

⚡️BONUS MOVE: Add the most important keywords found in the job ad underneath your headline that is also synonymous with your skillset.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Headline >> Product Manager

Keywords >> Cloud-Based Product Development | Project Management | Information Technology

Three Tips to Uncover Your Value through Resume Writing

Resume writing is a strenuous process. But like all hard things, the work is worth it.

I recently was chatting with a client who purchased my resume branding workbook. She had a seemingly unconnected work history with leaps and jumps. She had a hard time connecting the dots so she knew employers would too.

She was trying to establish credibility in a new field and was thinking of pursuing a graduate degree. Once she identified themes and the connective tissue of her work life in the resume writing process- her value popped before her eyes. Graduate work didn't seem so important anymore.

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Do you know you know your value? Can you communicate what you uniquely bring to the table? If you are in the same struggle:

▶︎ Identify your strengths. Reflect on what skills you like using. What do others acknowledge in you? What are you consistently asked to do?

▶︎ Look for themes in your professional history. Layout your past and see what themes emerge. Do you typically volunteer to manage projects? Have you always enjoyed leading teams? Are you first to see the solution to a problem?

▶︎ Compare yourself to typical applicants. In other words, identify your unique value proposition. What experience, skill, credential or accomplishment makes you different from others that will typically apply. Once you identify it, own it!

We have the perfect guide to unlock your value. Find it here.

Is there a New Way to Write Resumes in 2019? The NRWA Experts Answer!

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It is a privilege to be featured on The National Resume Writer’s Association’s Ask the Experts blog with other certified resume writers this week answering the question: I realize resumes have changed over time; is there a new way of writing resumes in 2019 and beyond?

You can check out the round-up of answers here. Most focus on the importance of:

▶︎ Concise Writing. Attention-spans are short and recruiters/hiring managers first scan a resume, so include only relevant career history focusing on achievements and results instead of job functions

▶︎ Your personal brand. Showcase what you can do for a company instead of describing what you want in a job in an old-school objective statement. Articulate your value clearly in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

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▶︎ Modern format and design elements. Consider color and modern design elements to drive how you will deliver results for a company.

Don't Hide! Bring your Accomplishments forward with one simple Question.

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Don't make it difficult to spot your qualifications in your resume, draw attention to them! Excite your reader with your career story instead of inviting them to nap between the lines.

YOU create the narrative within the six-second scan so draw the reader in by ➡️ quantifying results, ➡️ highlighting challenges you overcame and ➡️ the action you took to get there.

Replace dense paragraphs describing your professional accomplishments with bulleted, lean achievement-driven statements. How do you get from paragraph to bullet point? Keep asking yourself, "So what?" For example:

I help customers on the phone and increase customer satisfaction.

So what?

I created a procedure for call handling to ensure calls aren't missed.

So what?

I did this so well I was asked to create the customer satisfaction function of our company improving missed customer calls.

And so on. Boil it down to quantifiable, difference-making bullet points:

▶︎ Created the company's customer satisfaction experience function from scratch.

▶︎ Decreased missed inbound calls by 30% in six weeks by developing a new call handling standard operating procedure (SOP).

It takes time and more mental brain power to express yourself succinctly. Resume writing is hard work - so be patient with yourself.

Take time to pack the punch. When you do the work on paper, it is easier to articulate your value in person.

So, keep asking yourself: "So what?"

Need more help unlocking powerful resume statements? Download our free bullet point writing formula.

One Simple Trick to Take the Weight out of your To-Do List

Do you have that one thing that you keep pushing down on your to-do list?

Yeah, that one.

Mine has been on my list for MONTHS...and I just checked it off this week. Cue the balloon drop and fireworks!

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What's weighing down your weekly to-do list? Mine was a certification course. It was just TOO BIG to get done in seven days. Looking back, I needed to take my Dad's sage advice on how to eat an elephant...one bite at a time.

Do you feel like this with your resume? You are blowing off the digital dust and it just feels too overwhelming to start. Take one bite at a time.

Gather materials. Collect performance reviews and assessment results, grab your kudos file and revisit projects finished and clients won to remember your professional wins.

Conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities and threats.

Know your job target. Learn the ropes of your next job through online and in-person research. (This can take time - break it up!)

Write. Yep, just start. Go section by section or job by job.

Edit. Eliminate fluff and ensure quantifiable accomplishment statements replace paragraphs of job duties.

What stops you from updating your resume?

Remember: Add only the bites to the to-do list, not the whole elephant.

Need a helping hand? Collaborate with Meg on your professional resume. Find out more here.

Summary to Specific: Free Bullet Point Writing Formula

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Stuck trying to craft stellar bullet points to describe your accomplishments on your resume? Move away from summaries to specifics. For example:

- Increased profitability and reduced costs within the first year and a half in position.

TO

- Added $1M net margin by reducing the cost of materials by 14.4% in the first 18 months of the position.

Need a bullet point breakdown? I’ve got you covered. Grab your free free bullet point writing formula here.