Resume writing tips

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.

Celebrating a Career Win - Officially a Published Resume Writer!

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I have a page 252! Can you believe it?! One of my resumes was included in the most recent release of Resume for Dummies (8th edition)

If you are a job seeker this book will guide you from a blank page to a visually stunning resume, rich with keywords and quantifiable career wins and stories to land your dream job.

Read more about the launch of the book and the other amazing resume writer contributors here.

I am going into the weekend celebrating being a PUBLISHED resume writer!!! 

What personal or professionals wins are you celebrating this week?

Peek behind the Door: The art of Modern, Custom Resume Writing

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What does it take to write a modern, custom resume that is both ATS and human-friendly? Take a peek behind the door of the art of custom resume writing. Know what it takes to DIY or for your resume writer.

Gather materials + stories. The very beginning of the process is time-consuming work and not for the faint at heart. Collect performance reviews, recent assessment results (DISC, MBTI, etc.), client/colleague feedback, reflect on professional achievements and recall stories of how you faced a challenge, strategies you used to overcome them and quantifiable results.

Direction. Find job postings that represent your career goals going forward. Note the language and keywords in the postings.

Distill value. Marinate in the materials you've collected. Synthesize themes of your professional narrative to create a professional brand.

Write + design. Focus on the story of YOU. Showcase professional achievements over lists of job duties. Guide the reader's eye to what YOU want them to see through formatting and design elements.

Edit ruthlessly. Continually review how you can write more succinctly explaining what you do simply with industry keywords. Check spelling and grammar.

As both a stay-at-home parent and certified resume writer, I block my time in 30-minute chunks. I run from task to task in the early morning and evening hours and during nap-time (my three-year-old is currently partying in his room over resting these days;) to craft your professional narrative.

Your story shapes my story. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Be YOU in your resume - Choose your words Wisely!

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Mind the language you use to describe yourself in your resume. It matters. Language is powerful. Wisely use a mix of words that describe only YOU. No one should be able to lift content from your resume as their own because it should describe only YOUR story, not solely the responsibilities of your job title.

A branding statement is key in articulating who you are on your resume. I use a three-step process when writing branding statements for my clients focusing on:

1. The distinguishing factors of WHO you are.

2. The WHAT of unique professional achievements

and

3. the WHERE of career direction.

What method(s) do you use to make your resume stand out and really describe YOU?


Need resume branding help? Grab a DIY mini-workbook here.


Take your Job Search to the Next Level with Gumption

I’ve been chatting with some pretty amazing (and successful!) professionals recently and I’m finding a common thread in their stories: Gumption.

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GUMPTION [/ˈɡəmpSH(ə)n/]: A spirited initiative or resourcefulness.

I love that phrase - ‘spirited initiative.’ When applied to the job search it could take on many forms particularly in how you present yourself, in-person and within your career documents.

If you or your search is feeling lackluster, seek to:

+ Engage people. Proactively connect with people and I don’t just mean in the typical ask-someone-to-a-coffee-meeting sort of way. Really show interest in people with your body language and eye contact. Smile. Notice the admin to the CEO on the daily.

+ Address pain points. Connect your professional accomplishments with a target company’s challenges through story via cover letter, resume and at the interview.

+ Take risks. Apply for jobs where you don’t meet every qualification. Connect with people that seem out of your league. Try that freelance gig on the side. People who take risks aren’t afraid to fail (ahem, learn;)

+ Write notes by hand. After an interview genuinely thank the interviewer for having you. Restate your interest in the position and recall a memorable moment of discussion.

How has gumption taken you to the next level? Where can you apply it in your job search?

Showcase your Difference in your Job Search

I lived in Sweden for a year after I graduated college. I learned a lot that year and was introduced to many wonderful people and Scandinavian treasures – Fika. H&M. IKEA.

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The most interesting was a Swedish cultural concept - “Lagom.” It comes from the phrase “laget om” (correct me if I am wrong, Swedes, as I struggled in that 6-week language course!) which means middle, median, appropriate.

While this concept permeates Scandinavian culture from social interactions to what you wear or eat, it won’t do you any favors in an American job search. In fact, if you stay on middle ground in your job search, you will be anchored there. 

Most people who are applying and networking for your new job of interest, typically have a similar degree, qualifications and skill set. Don’t stay similar. Be different. 

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Identify your competitive edge. 

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What strengths do others consistently acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you really good at?

Leverage what sets you apart in your job search and career documents. Need help discovering your 'difference'? Find resources here.

Ensure your Communication Sticks: 3 Resume Tips

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Leaders fail in communication two-thirds of the time. 

According to Tim Pollard, author of “The Compelling Communicator,” executives’ perceived overall leadership ability and critical thinking skills are undermined by poor presentation delivery.  

Additionally, data suggests that 80% of what leaders share in a presentation is instantly forgotten. 

Could these statistics translate similarly to your resume? 

Take a look. What is your resume communicating about you? Is it memorable? Will your resume stick in someone’s memory long after you click APPLY? Keep your resume sticky with:

🍯A simple structure: Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to discover who you are and the value you bring.

🍯Tailored content: Write toward the pain points of your prospective employer. Clearly illustrate why YOU are the solution to their problem.

🍯Specific accomplishments: Lead with your results in your bullet points instead of getting bogged down by mundane job duties. Explain the challenges you faced, how you addressed them and then, share your results.

3 Attention-Grabbing Features that ensure Recruiters Read your Resume

Recruiters are lingering 1.4 seconds longer on your resume according to The Ladders, Inc. 2018 Eye-Tracking Study. From 6 seconds in 2012 to now 7.4 seconds in 2018, recruiters are spending more time with your resume.

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Are you applying with confidence or committing resume faux-pas?

The worst resumes, according to the study, leave little white space, include keywords out of context (i.e. keyword stuffing) and have a chaotic format.

What ensures a lengthier look from a recruiter? Note three commonalities among high performing resumes:

  1. A simple layout: Clear headings and text within a format that reads in an “E” or “F” pattern.

  2. Bold job titles with professional accomplishments bulleted underneath.

  3. A branded statement within the top-third of the resume.

Unsure your resume is up to par?

Join our free, 30-minute online resume workshop on Thursday, January 10 at 8:30 PM EST with our Certified Professional Resume Writer, Meg Applegate. We will discuss how to infuse keywords within your document and articulate your professional value and accomplishments in a modern resume format.

Land your dream job in 2019! Only a few more days left to register. Grab your seat here.

Wake up your Resume: 3-Steps for Powerful Bullet Points

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When you look at your resume do you want to take a nap? Most people’s eyes glaze over and droop to a close at the look of black font, dreary design elements and lackluster employment information.

Wake up your resume! It is about YOU after all! Your life. Your professional accomplishments. You aren’t boring so don’t let your resume be.

An easy way to infuse personality into your resume is to showcase your professional accomplishments, not just routine job duties.

Think of a notable professional win. Do you have it?

OK. Let’s break it down using the C.A.R method: Challenge, Action Result.

Challenge ➝ Identify the challenge you faced.

Action ➝ How did you address the problem?

Result ➝ What was the outcome?

Then, quantify. Here’s an example:

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Show off your professional wins to indicate your future value to a prospective employer. Lead with your impact.

Need further guidance? Use our bullet-point resume writing formula here.