How long are resumes and CVs supposed to be anyways?

Contrary to the “old school” belief that you should stick to a one or two-page resume, it is quite standard – and almost expected of those candidates, headed for IT, Mid-Level or Executive-Level positions – apply using a three- to four-page resume, instead. While submitting a one- or two-page resume is fine, it can sometimes be counterproductive to the applicant. If you are someone, who has led significant initiatives, worked across various industries and have had your hand in multiple projects, you might find that it greatly detracts from your actual experience and minimizes your chances to be considered for the position that you are after.

So, how long should your actual resume be? Honestly, this depends on you, your experiences, your achievements and the role that you are after. You want to always include technical information and achievements, but you do not need to address specifics. You want to show cause and effect, while highlighting:

·         impact ·         influence ·         leadership ·         reductions
·         deductions ·         increases ·         improvements ·         assurances

You are also going to want to include industry jargon and key phrases that a hiring manager will be looking for when seeking out the perfect candidate electronically. Hitting on key words and phrases are essential to organically ranking within ATS engines – and appearing when being sought out. There are certain qualities and “areas of expertise” that a hiring manager will be looking for when filling each position.

Ultimately, you want to market yourself as the right person for the job. You want to show that you are an asset, that you take initiative and that you are a team player – not just a stand-in until someone better comes along to perform the same duties. We want to show that you are more than willing to go that extra mile and that you get results. Sometimes, this means influencing others to drive action on your behalf. We show all of this through cause and effect. To effectively add this to your resume, that’s going to take some space.

One-sheet resumes are awesome for inclusion with a more traditional-yet-lengthy resume. They are great for supplementary documentation. They can add pizzazz to any resume project. In fact, having an infographic-based graphic resume may be just what your candidacy needs to place you over the top. But, this is not enough for most applicants. And, graphic resumes do not convert well – if at all – into the engines that you will be applying. Ineffectively, you will not be seen.

 

Most entry-level candidates will be using a one- or two-page resume, based on internship, education, training and previous job experiences. But, again, Execs, Mid-Level Professionals, Project Managers… You will most likely succeed with a three- to four-page resume. You will find greater success from this process.

The Standard Breakdown:

  • Header – Only a few lines.
  • Biography – Three to six sentences, taking up to ¼ of the page.
  • Areas of Expertise – Up to ¼ of the page.
  • Career Summary or Field Experience – Usually 2 or 3 Pages.
  • Education – Varies based on traditional, on-the-job and independent studies.
  • Technical Proficiencies – Depends on career and experience but isn’t always included.
  • Awards & Honors – Varies, not always included.
  • Professional Affiliations – Varies, not always included.

** Some may include an area for career highlights – 4 to 10 bullets.

 

Cause and Effect | Duties Vs. Achievements.
Please keep in mind that we are going into 2018. Your future employer is less interested in what your job description required of you, than what you have done within that position. They want to know that if they bring you into their company – and make you a vital part of their team – how you will:

  • “Make me money.”
  • “Strengthen my teams.”
  • “Influence progress, productivity and performance.”
  • “Increase production.”
  • “Improve quality.”
  • “Impact operations.”
  • “Save me money.”
  • “Safeguard my company against liability.”
  • “Keep my customers satisfied.”

For every action, we want to highlight what you did and what the results were. If you simply carried out process, we what to know what it ensured operations. We want to show how YOU were that ONE to create change, impact operations and make a difference for the organization. Simply stating that you “made the company $200 in one day” is not enough. You might have sold only one product. However, elaborating that you “sold $200 in merchandise/100 pieces at a low traffic store” leaves your reader with more impact.

If I bring you to my company, what can I expect you to bring to the table? What does your past say about your potential action at my company? I want to know what you did, how you did it and sometimes why you did it. I want to see your thought pattern, and I definitely what to see what the results were.

 

Recruiters | The Love/Hate Relationship We Endure.

Recruiters are the amazing people that have dedicated their careers to helping others succeed within the corporate realm. They are paid by companies to scout and position top talents throughout the corporate hierarchy, and they do a great job in doing so.

Many recruiters are effective at getting their job done, effectively. Statistically, though, 80 to 90% of most candidates are never seen or called in to interview due to bad advice either 1.) received earlier in life, or 2.) by a recruiter that they just finished speaking with via phone.

Because recruitment is a traditional and noble career, many stick with “what works,” even if that method is outdated and no longer effective. Many of the best recruiters have been in this industry for 15 or more years, while others have been brought into the industry by veterans that have taught them everything they know. One thing that we are forgetting, however, is that with any industry, standards evolve. Technologies dictate new sciences. And, evolution brings about mandatory change.

There are still many recruiters, who will tell you that you need to submit a one- or two-page resume, telling you to keep your resume at a bare minimum. Many will also tell you to “reverse engineer” the job description if you want to get the job. And while they are the gatekeepers to your dream job by having access to exclusive pools, many of them are ineffective at actually getting you placed. Much of this surrounds the resume, what is being said, what isn’t being said and the keywords used.

We love recruiters. They are awesome people. But, at the same time – so are professional resume writers, who eat, breath and sleep industry-related standards surround the modern-day resume. Please take heed, and listen to us.

 

Today’s Job Search Sites | ATS Engines, Keywords & 15-Second Scans.

ATS Engine | Applicant Tracking SystemThe unique search engine and algorithm set into place by large, well-known job search sites, such as Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Beyond, Career Builder, etc., helping recruiters and higher managers to source and acquire top talents for placement into positions of employment around the world.

As we all know, hiring managers often visually scan resumes, identifying key words, phrases and previously held positions before qualifying applicants for candidacy within their organizations. Especially at larger firms, we see hiring managers engaging in 6, 15 and 30 second scans to either eliminate or progress resumes through the acquisition process. Many dread this process, but understanding it will leave more doors open for future hire.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have greatly impacted the hiring process. Hiring managers are now able to source various databases for a resume that best fits the qualifications of the position they are looking to fulfill. Similar to a search engine, but yet complex in its own way, ATS allows hiring managers to search for keyword-specific job functions, as according hierarchy of actionable result.

Resumes found within the system are ranked based on quality, format, career history, a specific skillset and how areas of expertise are intertwined therein.  If properly formatted, the resume will rank, based on shelf hierarchies, and the hiring manager will most likely be exposed to the top candidates for each position. The only downfall is that, again, 80-90% of today’s top candidates are never seen!

For those candidates selected in the initial pick, your resumes will go on to the next step in the hiring process. Through innovation, hiring managers have been spending more time reading resumes in more detail before making the decision to toss your resume – or process it for follow-up and interview. These resumes will have “first-dibs” before the hiring manager returns to the next query of resumes from the pool.

For this reason, your resume should be visually appealing and in an easy-to-read format. Certain words should stand out, and you should drive impact. Because the engine doesn’t have a set number of positions that you can include (for the most part), your resume length won’t matter much and lengthier resumes have a better chance at being noticed. Without proper formats in place, however, your resume has a great chance of never being seen, scanned or pushed forward to the next stage in the process.

The longer the resume, the more it needs be in-line with today’s standards. Hiring managers look at multiple resumes a day. Let yours stand out. And, remember, first impressions are everything.

 

Shed Away Internships & Volunteer Work.

As an entry-level student, you are going to want to show as much “field experience,” as possible. You will want to use previous and/or current experiences to introduce your capabilities and what you can bring to the table. Highlighting these internship roles often allows us to show that we have experience working with established companies and organizations. They don’t always align with our target career goals, but that’s okay. They still serve a purpose.

For the first few years, you will include this information, whether or not they actually align with your target career. These positions allow us to provide you with soft skills and areas of specialization, while you get you foot in the door. Here, you will want to show your strengths and your value.

We want to direct focus towards leadership, teamwork, quality assurance and the customer experience. We want to show administrative strengths, your ability to coordinate and your ability to get the job done. In some cases, you will want to show your ability to take risks and your commitment to process improvements.

Once your career has hit that three-year mark and/or you have entered your third position in your career journey, we can shed this information. Instead of detailing it within your resume, save it for your LinkedIn profile. On your resume, itself, convert this information to a short byline to be included under your “Education.” And, call it a day.

If your career was interrupted by schooling or time-off for volunteer work – or if you held a significant role within a volunteer position, by all means include this information within your resume, especially to fill in gaps. Filling in gaps with this information allows the hiring manager to connect with you, as a person, by showing that you aren’t out there just sleeping on everyone’s couch or jumping from job-to-job.

 

This is NOT 1999.

Remember, we have entered a new era in resume writing. We do not add objective statements. We do not add reference sections. We do not talk about hobbies and interests, unless we have aligned ourselves with other organizations or projects in doing so.

At the same time, we must elaborate a bit further. We must hit on those keywords. And, we must market the hell out of ourselves to executives, higher ups and hiring managers, who will make or break our careers.

Leave out the unnecessary, but don’t be scared to “fluff yourself up.” Most people hate bragging about themselves. But, this is that one time that you “kinda have to do it.” So, do it. No one is here to judge. In fact, we want to know “what makes YOU so special anyways.” Don’t be afraid to let loose and just let them know!

 

CVs – A Whole New Breed.

First, you must learn and understand the difference between CV types. A CV, which means “Curriculum Vitae,” is very different based on which part of the world you are from and where you will be applying. Across the globe, the CV is synonymous with the standard resume. In the United States, however, there is a distinct difference between a CV and a resume.

An educational or scientific-based CV is a much more comprehensive resume than your standard professional or executive document. In fact, you will find publications, presentations and even references included on this form of resume. Depending on the target position, more than ten years of career history may also find its way onto this type of document (although it is still wise to only include thee last ten years, while making mere mention of those previous).

Th rest of the world refers to the resume as simply a CV, because of this it must include vital information regarding your date of birth, nationality, marital status and sex. This usually takes only one line to disseminate, however some countries have specific formats that they prefer that you follow. Some countries, such as Italy, require a privacy statement and waiver to be added at the end of each document. In this case, special columns may be necessary, causing the rest of your resume to lengthen in space.

So, what are the rules for length when dealing with a CV, either domestic or international? An international CV falls in-line with the same rules, as does the standard resume, while educational and scientific CVs can often scale an upwards of ten or more pages, based on added criteria.

 

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People-Oriented Management: How It Can Help Your Organization

Previously written and published for TalentZoo by Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan. This article can be found here.

As you look around at businesses that thrive, what do you see? Businesses like Google, Amazon, VisualSoft, and many others have a people-oriented management style. They care about their employees — and that’s the bottom line! One has to consider that with digital organizations, in order to stick out — especially within rapidly growing and saturated industries — they have to be different.

Being different isn’t always just doing something “crazy,” or even selling a unique product. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have to deal with your income growth at all. Managers and companies that “dare to be different” in how they treat their employees have noticed that expansion, process, and revenue have greatly increased over time.

Many companies that offer their “people” great bonuses, time off, work-from-home opportunities, a nice pillow to concentrate on one project at a time, benefits packages, and perks that improve their lifestyle often notice that the quality of work is improved and clients are happier. They notice that work is getting done on time and on task more efficiently. They notice that revenue is increasing. This is all because they show mutual respect for the employee as an actual part of the overall organization.

By respecting the lives of their employees, they are able to receive respect in return. Because they care about and invest in their employees, the employees do the same. They are allowing their employees to be present with their children and families while earning a great income. On the return, they are expecting that the employees will be present in their work, providing a great product and/or service.

They recognize that their employee is actually a business partner and that their role, no matter how small, is important to the overall process and progress of the brand and company history. The employee feels appreciated and works harder for their employer. With less stress on their chests, they are able to think more clearly, more productively, and more cheerfully.

The workplace environment is much more positive. Turnovers are low. Perks such as gym memberships, supplements, daycare, and any other benefit that may helpful to their lives have proven to bring better function in the workplace and allow them to live longer to enjoy it.

Companies like VisualSoft are giving their employees the option to work from home or in the office. They are also keen on providing unlimited paid holidays, as long as all deliverables are delivered on time to clientele and clients are happy with the end products. Interestingly enough, VisualSoft has never, in over a year, had anyone abuse the system. While they had people take some time to adjust to the new system, everyone worked harder and happier, improving growth and sales within this time period.

For the upper management professional, take these ideals into consideration. Research a bit further. Advocate on behalf of your subordinate staff. Treat your employees like teammates and lead from within. It has been proven to be a more effective method of management and will lead your company to stand out from the competition.

If you can’t advocate the perks, implement people-oriented acknowledgement and praises. Sometimes it’s more about awards for achievements. It’s about being grateful for someone that deserves a pat on the back and has worked hard for it.

With a people-oriented culture, the individual is celebrated, respected, and empowered through a culture that allows them to grow at their own rate by giving them the option to do so. Most likely, a person advances quickly because they feel appreciated. They enjoy working for the company. They take pride in it. Plus, there is most likely the inkling that they had better do their job and do it well, or they won’t be working for such a great company for long.

Are you ready to “WOW” your future boss and/or hiring manager? If so, get with us. Let us write for you!

To Lead or Not to Lead?

Previously written and published on TalentZoo by Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan. It can be found here.

A very common misconception amongst the professional community, and especially where very talented people have the chance to “shine,” is that showing any type of leadership ability through resume or interview is a big “no-no.”

Many equate the demonstration of leadership ability as something that should only be done if one seeks an executive role or a management position. The reality is that lack of leadership could be the one thing holding them back from that higher-paying senior position within the team atmosphere — or even barring them from an entry-level position within a company that requires self-starters in a fast-paced environment.

Not showing leadership ability will not only hinder chances to get in the door, but also those for continuous promotion and increases in pay scale. As a matter of fact, lack of leadership ability may be why many have tenured a position for ten or more years without pay increase and without promotion. They are hardworking, serving employees, but they aren’t taking initiative. While they work hard and go above and beyond to meet goals, they may only be performing duties within the expectations of upper management.

It is important to rise above expectations, take initiative, and pull the team to the top in showing growth for a company and/or department while ensuring that the department continues to excel, as a unit, and that no employee is left behind, fired, or laid off.

In the case of a resume, why would a future employer or hiring manager choose someone that has only done what was dictated to them when they can select someone who will own that position and turn it into a driving force within the company? After all, business is business; in the end, numbers, process improvement, and team development are all that will matter.

Selecting a professional that will be the best possible janitor they can be will assure client satisfaction in returning to the urinal for another “splash” without hesitation. It will ensure that the company gains a positive reputation in a world full of critiques; where the smallest variables lead to the largest deciding factor and biggest impact within the company structure.

When a candidate selects achievements over duty and turns duty into achievement within a resume draft, an employer will be anxious to hire that candidate — or at least meet them for a coffee. Showing ability and how one has made an impact, how they have made a difference, and why no one else is more qualified for a particular position will push executives to favor one candidate over another — even if another candidate was already in the running for hire.

In addition to leadership abilities, one should also show personality and charisma. Allowing future employees to realize personality and character, high energy, and a good-spirited nature will also impact hiring decisions. Showing good personality will tone down a misconceived ideal one and will lead decision makers to find pleasure in making acquaintance and especially doing business. One doesn’t have to lead a team to be successful, but leading from within will guarantee a job well done and a future most secure.

Are you ready to “WOW” your future boss and/or hiring manager? If so, get with us. Let us write for you!

Don’t Forget to Be a Lifelong Student

Previously written and published by Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan on TalentZoo.com. You can read the original article here.

When life takes the backseat and we spend more time in transit than preparing a meal, we often forget how important it is to continuously invent self, evolve, and stay ahead of trends. We often forget how to keep learning and adopting new skills; how to form educated opinions, backed by research and facts. And, most importantly, we forget how to breathe.

In a world run by technology, there are many executive professionals that remain computer illiterate. This is fine. Many of them can afford secretaries and administrative assistants to help them progress in an innovative direction. At the same time, they are restricting themselves, hindering growth, and spending time in areas that could be streamlined through technology. That time could be spent focused on taking their brands to the next level. In short, the business world isn’t progressing as rapidly as it could be, and the younger generation is looking to us for cues.

Mentorship is amazing because we can get shortcuts to decision-making methods, adopt specific processes, and learn things about our industries that we never knew we never knew. We learn details about business that are either kept “hush, hush” or just not shared amongst “newbies.”

We learn so much, but then we lose the need to go to our mentors other than for advice. We forget how valuable they continue to be to our growth. Sometimes, we even outgrow those mentors to where there is nothing that can really be learned from them.

So, let’s talk about innovation. For every hardware or software technology that you have ever learned and implemented into your daily workday, there have been upgrades…unless the company closed its doors to the public. Not upgrading software over the course of a few years can make a huge difference. Not upgrading from one version to the next can make a huge difference.

For example: Audio engineers who stayed true to their Focusrite devices and didn’t upgrade from 6.7 LE until version 8 or 9 came out were in for a big change. While many of the smart keys stayed the same, much of the system had been rearranged with a newly designed and more aesthetic interface. Now, in version 12, you can bet that buffers, plugins, and bugs have been upgraded or fixed and made more efficient.

If you’re an audio engineer, you understand exactly what this means. If you’re not, this idea is definitely transferable to multiple platforms in technology. As a matter of fact, I am still upset that Safari seems to have removed the “activity” window in its most recent upgrade. I relied on that for quickly locating files that were in use on a web page at that particular moment.

Changing technologies force us into quickly learning and adopting new ways of doing things, based on immediate need. What would happen if we simply learned for the sake of learning? How much more results-oriented would we be when implementing our new technologies or adopting them for the benefits that they could bring? Technology aside, why aren’t we consistently picking up soft skills that will add to our value in the marketplace? Why aren’t we finding ways to combine our knowledge of one subject with the next in creating something interesting?

I’m sure your answer was that you have no time. Am I right? Consider this: While you are in the car, the most cliché thing you can do is listen to an audiotape. Why don’t you do it?

Today, you don’t need to rely on tapes. You can find videos or audio on just about any subject through your mobile device. You can even download audiobook players that will keep you occupied for hours and return you right back to where you left off, no matter which device you are accessing the information from. While this is so easy to do, there are many that would rather not know about something to have the excuse that they “don’t know how.” The same goes for basic software and programming skills. If you’re a hands-on person, learn management. If you’re a supervisor, learn something technical.

If you work in marketing, content creation, or design strategies, you probably have seen where your chances of getting a particular job or client would be heightened if only you knew how to do minor coding, use some unknown software program, or work with WordPress. While you are a superstar in marketing, you hate showing numbers for fear that you present them wrong. After all, you can read them and understand them, but explaining numbers is just not your forte. You need to change this quickly!

It’s time you stop letting these fears get the best of you. Just go for it. Immersing yourself in learning is the best way to gain new skills. In addition to audiobooks, ebooks, tutorials, and user-generated classes, there are free mobile apps available to help you evolve through interactive quizzes and games. They can be fun, and many reward you with official certifications that always appeal to your clients and bosses.

Any seasoned professional agrees that while rebranding isn’t a great option, reinventing yourself every so many years is almost inevitable. You must evolve to meet technology advances. In order to be ahead of the game, you become an early adopter. This will keep you ahead of industry trends and ensure that you will impact the revenue of your company for the better.

As markets saturate, and the less evolved you become, the less business you will continue to keep. If you want to maximize your value and salary, do whatever it takes to make business happen for you. Take risks. Network.

Or don’t. The choice is yours — Whatever you do, don’t forget to be a lifelong student of progress.

Are you ready to “WOW” your future boss and/or hiring manager? If so, get with us. Let us write for you!

Career Development at Any Level

Previously written and published by Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan on TalentZoo.com. Click here to see the original article.

As humans, it is in our innate nature to want to evolve and become “better.” There are those that will be followers, and there are those who are natural-born leaders.

Then there is that fine line in between — those who are in a cocoon, just waiting for their incubation into the next stage of the lifecycle of progress. They are waiting to be led, but are taking notes on how they can lead.

Leaders, it is on you to take the reigns. It is on you to influence and inspire. Why lead followers when you can lead leaders who can help you influence those followers?

When we talk about career development, we generally think about our college days and how we met with campus professionals in crafting now-obsolete resumes and following up with leads willing to take entry-level students under their wing. As professionals, we have surpassed those “good ol’ days” and have moved on to the real world. We aren’t competing with other students. We are competing with senior, seasoned, and tenured experts in our chosen industry. When we’re up against the pioneers, how do we measure up?

Career development is often called “professional development” in our “refined” age. Still, we rarely talk about it! We speak about mandatory training classes, many of which serve only the purpose of compliance for the company as it relates to regulations and guidelines for operation. Who really stays awake during those, anyway? Well, you should! Here’s why:

Whether you really care about the subject matter or not, you have a lot to learn in watching the interaction between the instructor and your colleagues. You learn what makes for good interaction, and you learn what the instructor could have done a lot better. You learn what engaged the classroom and what made them fall half to their graves. The interaction and sociology behind the teaching style you experience will guide you to your own. We naturally compare variables and will assess our own abilities. We strive to improve.

We never realize how bad we once were at something until we actually progress. We embark on a journey thinking we are the sh…sugar snaps and realize that we were actually very inexperienced. As a matter of fact, when we are enthusiastically embarking on a mission, we are absorbing so much that we didn’t know we never knew it. And we wish we “knew back then what we do now.”

As professionals, it is important to absorb random things and to master a few of them. There was a recent article published on the net that spoke about how the new generation of young professionals has very little soft skills and how important it is to have an expertise, a specialization, and a skillset, ultimately leading to uniqueness. They explained how not having a skillset was damaging to our new generation.

Most recently, it has been becoming a trend that we enroll in online courses. Some learn a new skill in order to figure out how to save a couple of dollars. Others just want to be better at something they once knew how to do. Then there are the leaders that just want to learn something new and automatically figure out how to apply it to their own lifestyle.

What they don’t know is that six months from now, that special skill is what will leverage them above their competition. It’s that special skill that has set them apart from the rest and will have made their specialization just a little bit more special. Instead of being a Social Media Coordinator, for example, they have become a Social Media Specialist Coordinator. They are coordinating coordinators of content. They are leading the leaders. And it happened so naturally.

The higher up you go, the less you need specialized skillsets, right? After all, you are the VP of Marketing. You know it all. Wrong! In a growing global marketplace, new countries are joining the rest of the modernized world and new technologies are being created daily.

Everyone’s position is at risk. Mergers and acquisitions can lead to your replacement or a struggle to remain at the top. Not learning new technologies can keep you in the dark during a golden era. Not understanding the language can lead to a gap in the language barrier and an inability to communicate with project teams. When that happens, your ability to lead them with influence is quite obsolete.

Are you ready to “WOW” your future boss and/or hiring manager? If so, get with us. Let us write for you!