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Posts Tagged ‘resume writing’

Increase your salary and make more money

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

1326926200_img1Would you like an increase in your salary? Let’s say a 20 percent increase and a big bonus. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Who doesn’t want to make more money? Before you march into your boss’s office demanding an increase in pay you need to first take a step back and develop a game plan to approaching your boss. There is a right way and a wrong way to ask for more money and when approached correctly you give yourself the greatest opportunity of receiving your pay rise. When done incorrectly you can greatly diminish your own reputation.

Rule 1: Pick your timing

Timing is crucial and it is important that you pick the exact right time to speak with your boss about receiving a pay rise. Let your boss know that you wish to speak to him or her at a time that is convenient for them.

Rule 2: Preparation

When asking for more money it is so important that you are adequately prepared and know exactly what you want to say. You need to be able to provide examples of why you deserve more money and how you have provided value to the business. Remember no one is going to give you money just because you feel that you deserve it. Just like a lawyer presents the case to the jury, it is as necessary to present your case to your boss for a pay rise.

Remember – the best examples you can provide are backed up by examples. If you helped make or save the company money – back this up with an example. You’re the lawyer and you need to prove to your boss beyond any reasonable doubt that you deserve a pay rise.

Rule 3: Execution

By following rule 2 and being prepared with what you want to say, you also need to be able to execute your plan. If you are asking for more money you need to have a figure in mind. By researching what other people in your field are making is a good way to begin to work out how much of a salary increase you are going to ask for. (There are also many free internet sites that provide salary surveys). The worst possible thing to do is not have an amount in mind that you require. You need to be direct and provide examples as to why you have chosen this amount so your boss understands that you are not just trying to get more money but that you actually deserve more money.

Rule 4: Confidence:

Don’t be scared or intimidated about asking for more money if you believe you deserve it. Have confidence in yourself and the value that you bring to the business. Before you begin your discussion have a think about potential questions or possible objections you may encounter and prepare yourself to be ready to answer these questions.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com.au 

RedStarResume is the number one source for expert Resume Writing and Cover Letter Services

During the last decade, RedStarResume has successfully written hundreds of professional resumes for candidates across the globe. From the student or entry level position to the CEO, our unique, custom-made resumes are written specifically to match the goals and desires of our clients and to help them land jobs.

Beware Of Using An Online Resume Template

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Resume TemplatesThe easiest thing to do when you begin job seeking is to search online for a resume template and replicate that templates with your own professional history. Easy, right? Wrong. Using a resume template will not increase your chances of getting hired because it does exactly the opposite; your resume is supposed to present a unique professional first impression in order to stand out from the competition.

When it comes to finding a new job, increasing your salary and promoting your skills and achievements, the way your resume is presented, structured and written can be the difference between success and failure. With the huge increase of online submissions via employment, career and recruitment sites, it is now easier than ever to apply for jobs. In competitive industries, hiring managers can receive over 1,000 resumes for a particular role. In fact, due to the high volume of applications, many companies now use automated software programs (Automated Resume Screeners) to help with the hiring and elimination process. Many basic resume templates found online can actually interfere with these software programs as the programs are unable to read pictures, tables or images… making your resume unreadable.

Start with a blank piece of paper – what is the best way to make my resume stand out?

Before you even begin the task of writing your resume I would advise you to prepare a list of all the great quantitative achievements and value added skills that you can bring to your next job. Remember that hiring managers are interested in how you are going to be a great asset for the company, and the best way to present this information is through your past achievements. In addition to listing your achievements, include examples and evidence that back up your achievements, and lead with this information.

Before Example:

“Project managed a team that completed the project on time and on budget leading to increased revenues and a reduction in overall costs”

This statement comes across very generic with no evidence to back up the statements. In fact, this statement actually asks more questions than it gives answers. How many people did you project manage? What was the increase in revenues? How did you reduce costs?

After Example (lead with the achievements):

Managed a team of 15 contractors that increased operating revenues (22%, YTD) and reduced costs (18%, YTD) through the effective implementation of continuous process improvements and KPI management.

Three more resume writing tips:

1) Only include information on your resume that adds values

Statistically you only have between 10-20 seconds to attract the reader’s attention. If you fail to make an impression in this time period your resume will most probably be deleted. Remove all unnecessary information. “Interests”, “Hobbies” etc. do not belong on your resume.

2) Bullet points / sub bullet points work to attract the reader’s attention and improve readability

Long sentences are boring to read and make it harder for the reader to recognize the achievement. Using headings, bullet points and sub bullet points will not only professionalize the look of your resume, but it will make the reading process a lot easier.

3) Include a “Qualifications Profile”

A qualifications profile is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the reader and make a great first impression. As opposed to an objective statement (where you tell the reader what you want), a qualifications profile promotes to the reader the skills (qualifications) you have that will make you the perfect person for their particular role. A strong qualifications profile can immediately develop a great first impression (a weak profile can do the exact opposite).

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com

Job Application Timesavers

September 9, 2013 Leave a comment

The job search process can be an exciting, yet daunting task for job seekers. Those re-entering the job search market – and those entering for the first time – are finding that applying for a job is not as quick and simple as it used to be. A process that used to involve merely submitting a resume and cover letter is now much more detailed, and job applicants are finding the process to be more time consuming than ever.

While applying for a job still involves the submission of a resume and cover letter, many companies are also having applicants create user names and profiles and fill out questionnaires before they are able to submit their applications. This can add tens of minutes – if not more – to the job search process, and can’t be avoided if an online submission is required. The good news is we’ve collated some feedback from recent job applicants and have put together some tips below that might help you speed up the process:

Have your cover letter ready to go:

Before you start applying, have a basic cover letter written that can be tweaked and amended according to the job you’re applying for.

Select the option to pre-fill answers, if available:

Some programs are designed where you can upload your resume, and it will pre-populate answers to an online questionnaire based on the information in your resume. This way, you don’t have to write your name, contact info, work history/dates, etc, over and over again. Select this option if it’s available – it will definitely save you time! Make sure, however, that you double-check it to make sure the information has been populated correctly.

Save your written answers to questionnaires in a separate document:

Many job applications will include supplemental, but generic, questions to be answered. Questions such as “explain any employment gaps over the past 10 years” or “what are your salary requirements?” If you find yourself answering questions like this, copy/paste your answers and save them in a separate document on your computer – chances are that you will see the same questions again on another application. This way, you will have your answers all ready to go!

The most important tip – be patient!

While it may seem like you are answering the same questions over and over again, remember that you application and answers will be evaluated by a hiring manager who knows nothing about you. Sell yourself to them – take time and care to answer all questions accurately and professionally. Don’t get frustrated and rush your application.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

The Job search market can be a tricky place to navigate. Whether you are just starting out, moving up the ladder or changing your current situation, RedStarResume have all the resources to help improve your chances of success.

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7 Most Frequently Asked Resume Writing Questions

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

250x250Do you have a question about your resume? Contact the team at RedStarResume. Our Resume Writing specialists are available 24/7 to answer any tricky resume questions that you may have.

Should I include my picture on my resume?

Different countries have different requirements when it comes to using a picture on your resume. Generally speaking for Australia, a picture is not required on your resume. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For example, if you’re applying for a modelling position, a picture would be necessary.

How far back should my resume go?

Generally speaking, it is best to go back 10-15 years. Anything further than this is not necessary. If you are changing your career or applying for a role that you had many years ago, however, it would be worthwhile to include these jobs to show the hiring manager that you have had experience in that particular role. Don’t forget that in many industries such as Accounting and IT, many rules and technologies have changed over time, so don’t get too involved in listing information that may not be relevant today.

Should I include a cover letter with my resume?

Yes – always include a cover letter even if the job description does not specifically ask for it.

What is the best way to make my resume “shine”?

Go through your resume and identify all of your responsibilities and duties and turn these into achievement statements. Use quantitative evidence to back up your statements.

How long should my resume be?

There is no exact rule when it comes to the length of your resume. The most important thing is to only include information that adds value to your resume. Generally speaking for a student or young professional, I would limit the resume to 2 pages. For a professional or executive, a 2- 3 page limit.

Should I include hobbies or interests on my resume?

The aim of the resume is to showcase your skills to the reader. Do not include hobbies or interests unless they can add significance to your resume application. For example, if you are applying for a job in the mining industry, hobbies such as reading, playing tennis and sky diving are not relevant to the types of jobs you are applying for and will add no value to your job application.

Should I include my marital status on my resume?

Definitely not – when it comes to personal information such as marital status, religion, date of birth etc., this information should be excluded from the resume. The only personal information that you need to include is your contact number and email. I often encourage including your LinkedIn profile URL as this is a great way to stand out from the competition.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

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What Do You Do When Your Resume Is Bare?

August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

guest-blogging-1One of the first steps in making the transition from student to job seeker is to create a professional resume. At first glance it may seem like you don’t have much to put on your resume, however if you assess your past experiences you’ll realize you have more relevant experience to highlight on your resume than you think. Employers look to your past performance to predict your success in the future. As a student or recent graduate, jobs aren’t the only way you can demonstrate your prior success. Remember that resume writing is all about highlighting your achievements. Don’t forget to include examples and evidence to further promote your value added skills to hiring managers.

6 Things to Include on your Resume as a Current Student or Recent Graduate…

Relevant Coursework:

As a student or recent graduate, employers realize that so far most of your life has been spent in the classroom, learning and studying. It’s beneficial to highlight coursework that is related to the field you’re applying for. This can show employers that you’ve learned relevant material from your studies and that you have thorough knowledge that can be an asset to their company.

Internships:

Of course you’ll want to include any and all student internships you’ve had in the past. It’s always better if you’ve participated in an internship related to the jobs you’re applying for; however having any type of internship can show a level of maturity and responsibility. It also shows that you’ve been exposed to a real working environment and are better prepared to enter the workforce.

Part-time/ Summer Jobs:

Don’t belittle your part-time or seasonal work experience. A job in retail or summer camp may not seem relevant to the field you’re going into, however you learn a great deal of foundational skills by having a part-time job that prepares you for having a full-time position. Employers like to see that you’re mature enough to hold a job and learn some basic skills and work ethic.

Volunteer Work:

Volunteering can also provide valuable skills and promote leadership and cooperation. It’s good to include any volunteering you’ve been part of in the past, as it can also demonstrate maturity, responsibility, team work and cooperation.

Extra-curricular Activities:

Feel free to list relevant extra-curricular activities on your resume. Anything you do on your free time that shows commitment, leadership, team work, etc. You can demonstrate skills you’ve acquired through your extra-curricular activities. For example if you’ve played on a sports team while in school, this can show you’re a team player and able to successfully handle multiple tasks.

Memberships/ Affiliations:

Including relevant memberships and affiliations can help demonstrate your commitment to a particular field of study, issue, or show your success in a certain area if membership is merit-based.

About the Author:

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

 

Where Do I Go From Here?

guest-blogging-1The summer after I completed a year-long national service program, I attended a leadership and career development workshop at my alma mater. The goal of the workshop was to evaluate our experiences thus far and the skills we had learned in order to figure out the next step in our careers. One of the most valuable exercises we did that week was a prioritization activity used to evaluate the tasks we performed in the past, the things we liked doing the most, and to figure out which things we’d like to do more of in our next job. It’s one of the most useful activities

I’ve found for providing insight into what you’re currently looking for in a position. The activity goes like this:
1. Write down a list of action, –ing words that you’ve done in your previous positions or that relate to the work you do in a job. List as many words as possible. Words such as planning, organizing, creating, researching, calling, directing, counseling and so on.

2. Evaluate your list of words and choose the top ten activities that you enjoy doing the most in a job, and want to continue doing more of in your next position.

3. Next, you’ll compare each of the activities individually with the other nine, choosing the activity that you’d like to do most in a job. Keep track of how many times you choose each activity.

4. Once you’ve gone through comparing each of your ten activities with one another, count up the number of times you chose each one.

5. Order your list of activities according to the amount of times you chose them.

Your new ordered list of ten activities should show the priority of activities you want to do in future positions. This can help you to tailor your job search for positions that will allow you to do the things that matter most to you in your job and give you a better idea of where you want to end up in your career.

1. _________________________

2. _________________________

3. _________________________

4. _________________________

5. _________________________

6. _________________________

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!

5 Things To Exclude On Your Resume

jobwantedI recently worked with a client who had a 13 page resume! It included every single job for the past 25 years and a full page describing what he was looking for in his next role. The resume even included icons and pictures of the places of employment where he had worked. The document was so large to open that I was scared it contained a virus (no jokes!). He had applied unsuccessfully for numerous jobs before deciding it was time to call upon a resume writing company to analyse his resume.

Knowing what to include in your resume is just as important as knowing what to exclude. Don’t waste time with information that does not add value. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have time to read through every resume with a fine tooth comb.

Below are 5 things that need to be excluded from your resume:

The word “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” at the top of the resume:

When a hiring manager or recruiter first opens your resume what is the first thing they see? Is it your name or is it a big bold heading that says “Resume”? When you are applying for a job it goes without saying that you are including your resume… do you really have to spell it out for them? Not only does writing “Resume” at the top take up valuable real estate space on your resume, but it also adds no value to your application.

Objective Statement:

Does your resume have a generic objective statement where you tell the reader what you are looking for in a job? Something similar to “Looking to utilise my skills to gain additional skills and experience”? If your resume reads like this do yourself a favour and delete it immediately. Hiring managers want to know that you your resume is written to target their jobs and that you have the skills and experience for that particular role. Stand out from the crowd by replacing your objective statement with a qualifications profile and highlight to the reader what you have to offer their organisation.

Too much contact information:

How much personal contact information is required in your resume? My advice is to include your name, email address and mobile number. If you have a LinkedIn profile URL I would include this as well. All other personal information such as date of birth, marriage status, number of kids, religion, race, country of birth, passport details etc. are not required on the resume.

Interest and Hobbies:

Unless it can add value to your job application there is no need to include your interest and hobbies within your resume. The fact that you like going on long walks, reading autobiographies and travelling to exotic places will not enhance your resume. Your resume needs to target the job you are applying for and although you may have a long list of extra-curricular activities you like to pursue this list does not belong on your resume.

References:

Your personal and business references do not belong on the resume unless specifically asked. References are typically checked after you apply for the job and are interviewed, and these are supplied to hiring managers on request. There is no need to flood your resume with references. They take up valuable space in your resume and 99/100 times will not even be looked at by the hiring manager. Ensure you have a list of references ready to go, but keep these ready for after you nail the job interview.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

Specializing in Executive Resume Writing

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Job Interview Time And I Am Freaking Out

freak-outResume writing and applying for jobs was easy. Now I have been called for a job interview and I am freaking out.

Preparing for the job interview requires you to get a few things in order first before you appear at the official interview. Remember that first impressions are the most lasting and you’ll want to make your job interview the best impression possible so you can maximize your chances of getting the position.

Find below 4 simple tips to keep in mind when you are going to your job interview. Doing each of them right will help your chances of getting hired.

Be on Time:

This cannot be stressed enough. If you can’t make it to your job interview on time, you shouldn’t bother to show up at all. Showing up late not only presents an unprofessional image, but it also tells the hiring manager that you are either not that interested or cannot be trusted to show up. Would you want to hire someone who comes late to a job interview?

The easiest advice is to leave early and allow plenty of time for traffic. If you have not been to the office location before, ensure that you have printed off directions and have a clear understanding of how to get to your destination. The most optimal time to get to an interview is 15 minutes early. This will also allow you to complete any paperwork that may be required. If you do find yourself arriving for the interview extremely early go and find a coffee shop and relax before the job interview. Sitting in the business offices for an extended time is not advised. Imagine being invited to someone’s house for dinner at 8pm and showing up at 6.30!

Dress Appropriately:

Wearing a tattered t-shirt and ripped blue jeans will probably not help you get an office job. Conversely, showing up in a tuxedo will probably not help you land an auto mechanic job either. When you walk through the doors to your interview what you are wearing will impact on the first impression the hiring manager will make. Believe it or not, but how you dress can make a huge impact on your interview.

Elaborate your Answers:

I have sat face to face with many job seekers who have answered all interview questions with only yes or no answers. It goes without saying that none of these candidates got the jobs. When preparing for your interview you need to be able to anticipate the type of questions that you will be asked and prepare answers accordingly. My secret is to write down 10 career accomplishments with specific examples and adapt these achievements into your answers. This way you have examples ready to go, no matter what type of questions are asked.

Ask Questions:

Don’t be intimidated by the job interview. The interview process is much about you finding out about the business and if the business is the right fit for you. Prepare yourself before the interview with several questions that you can ask. Don’t ask about money or benefits, but ask instead about the culture of the business, the organizational future goals, the responsibilities of the job position and other questions that are important for you and your career.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com

Click here to buy the brand new Ebook from RedStarResume “Interview Secrets Exposed” is an insider’s guide on everything you need to know in order to nail your job interview.

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Advice For Making A Career Change

Sad 3d guy sitting on question mark.If you wake up in the morning dreading going to work every day, feel like your job is sucking the life out of you or feel the work you do is not worth the pay you’re getting, it may be time to consider a career change. Although you may want to quit your current job immediately in search of a more fulfilling or higher paid field, the process takes time and should be considered carefully. Follow these helpful tips when considering a career change.

Take your time:
Changing careers generally doesn’t happen overnight. There is a lot of preparation needed before you up and quit your current job and expect to find another one in a completely different industry. Once you make the decision that you’d like to change careers, be patient and take the time to make contacts, do your research and get the basic qualifications you’ll need in order to make the switch.

Do your research:
Unfortunately if you’re a nurse and wake up one day and decide your true calling is to be a lawyer, you won’t get anywhere without first doing some research to figure out what you actually need to pursue that profession. Before you make any definite decisions, conduct extensive research on the field you’re interested in. Talk to any contacts you know in the field or contact professionals in the industry to get more information, review industry websites, related news and learn about the qualifications needed for entry level positions as well as the industry outlook.

Be willing to make some sacrifices:
Unfortunately when you switch careers, you’ll usually have to make sacrifices in order to do it. You’ll need to start closer to the bottom again and work your way up. This may mean taking a cut in pay, losing seniority privileges or having fewer benefits. You may also need to consider volunteering for a few hours each week in the field that interests you to make sure that you actually know what you’re getting into, gain some relevant experience and make sure that this is the right path for you.

Have a plan:
When you decide to make a career change it’s important to have a solid plan in place. Depending on what career you’re changing to, you may need to go back to school for further education, enroll in a training program or gain basic experience through part time or voluntary work. You’ll also need to start networking with other industry professionals in order to gain valuable insights and increase your chances of successfully making the transition.

© RedStarResume Publications: 

Specialist in Achievement Based Resume Writing, Cover Letter Writing & LinkedIn Profile Development & Optimization

The journey to finding your dream job starts with a brand new resume

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Using Quantifiable Evidence Throughout Your Resume

Find-a-JobWe’ve all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” Well when it comes to resumes, “numbers speak louder than words.” When you start changing your resume to be achievement based rather than duty based, a great thing to focus on is quantifiable experience. Wherever possible, try to use numbers in order to make your resume shine.

When adding quantifiable experience to your expert resume, always ask yourself “How Many?” or “How Much?” for each of the tasks you performed. Obviously you might not be able to do this for every job function but approaching your resume writing this way will help you to develop a strong, quantifiable document. You can do this by including:

Hard Numbers:

It’s always best to first think about the number of reports, files, clients, etc that you dealt with in previous jobs. Numbers almost always sound more impressive than generic statements of tasks you performed. If, for example, you worked at a restaurant as a waiter and were a shift leader, you could say it in 2 different ways:

“Waited on tables in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised fellow waiters”

OR

“Waited on over 50 customers per night in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised 10 waiters per shift”

The first example tells you, while the second shows you through numbers. Which example sounds more like someone you’d want to hire?

Percentages:

Using percentages can be a great way to highlight your achievements and demonstrate your success in previous positions. Percentages can also be helpful when the numbers themselves don’t sound that impressive but compared to what they previously were, they are. For example, if you were in charge of social media at your previous company and increased followers from 300 to 1000, you could either say:

“Increased social media followers by 700”

OR

“Increased social media followers by over 300%”

Both are achievement statements but percentages can sometimes sound more impressive than hard numbers or give context to your numbers if employers might not be familiar with examples.

Frequency:

You may not realize it but ordinary tasks can sound completely different when you put them into context. Maybe you performed some mediocre tasks in previous positions but at high-volume rates. If you worked at a call-center, for example, answering calls and responding to customer complaints, you could either say:

“Answered incoming calls and responded to customer complaints”

OR

“Managed incoming calls and responded to over 200 customer complaints per day.”

The second sounds much more impressive.

We don’t always realize the achievements we’ve made in our past work experience. Thinking about numbers can help put these achievements into perspective and demonstrate our professional success to employers.

© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/

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