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What Does Your Resume Say About You?

October 9, 2011 Leave a comment

When you hear the saying “a picture tells a thousand words”, this means that a picture can tell a story just as easily as a large amount of text. The same is true about your professional resume. Your resume can tell the reader a lot about the type of person you are and the type of worker you will be.

During one of my earliest roles as a recruiting agent, I was asked to find a shortlist of 5 candidates to fulfill a HR position. The position was an entry level role for a very well known and respected investment bank and although the client had instructed several requirements that they wanted in the right candidate (e.g. Bachelor Degree), the most important aspect was to find a candidate that would be the “right fit” for this company.

We began our search for the candidate by placing a job advert in one of the online job portals. Within 3 hours we had over 150 resumes sitting in our inbox. By the end of the day we had another 400 resumes (at that stage we decided to take the job advert of the Internet). With our client urgently calling us wanting to know how soon they would receive resumes of potential candidates, we had the task of trying to sort through the huge amount of resumes and find the top 5 candidates.

How to stand out from the competition:

First impressions count! It is estimated that a hiring manager or recruitment agent will spend no more than 15 -30 seconds reading through your resume before either deciding to continue reading or pressing delete. Unfortunately there is not one secret that will guarantee your resume will stand out from the competition, but there are many factors that will get your resume deleted. In my experience the first thing I look for in a resume is professionalism.

Spelling Mistakes and bad grammar:

It is an unforgiveable sin to have any spelling errors on your resume. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar send out a negative signal that that the candidate is careless, does not take pride in his or her work and lacks the professionalism that the client demands. Without even reading through more of the resume I would delete this resume.

Layout and Presentation:

It is an undisputed fact that if a hiring manager has two resumes sitting on the table, they are instinctively going to be drawn to the resume that is professionally presented and easy to read. No matter what the resumes say, the first impression is already made. If both candidates share similar skills and experiences, just take a guess at which resume the hiring manager is going to choose.

When you sit down to write your resume, remember one thing. Your resume is your representation. This 2-3 page document is all you have to prove to the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job.  Present a professional picture and make sure that you stand out above your competition.

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

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

Expert CV Writers: #1 for CV Writing and Cover Letter Writing

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Is Investing in a Professional Resume Writer a Good Idea?

125x125.jpegHow much money would you be willing to spend to find your dream job? $100? How about $1000? Maybe $10,000? Every person will have a different answer to this question, depending on where they are in their career.

I recently sat down with a candidate of mine to discuss the various options he faced as he prepared to look for a new job. My candidate was stuck in his job, hating it more and more every day, but before he quit he needed to do the maths and find out how much it was going to cost him to find a new job.

Applying a few mathematics equations we were able to come up with the cost of being unemployed and, in doing so, answered the question about whether investing in a professional resume was a good idea.

Before we begin let’s make a couple of assumptions:

The candidate is currently on $50,000 (gross). however is seeking a salary increase of 15%  which is an additional $7,500 therefore a total salary of $57,500 (gross)

50 working weeks in a year

Average time to find a new job is estimated between 3-4 months (for this example, we will say 14 weeks)

In order to work out the weekly salary we take $50,000 and divide it by 50 = $1000.00

Therefore if the average time it takes to find a new job is 14 weeks the total cost of lost salary is:

$1000.00 x 14 weeks = $14,000.00

What happens if it takes longer than 14 weeks? In the competitive job market where hiring managers are receiving in excess of 300 resumes per job it can take twice as many weeks to find a new job. In terms of loss of salary on $50,000 this works out to be:

$10,000 x 28 weeks =$28,000.00

Let’s now presume the candidate has his resume professionally written from the very first day.

A professionally written resume will ensure that hiring managers take notice and therefore will automatically increase interview rates. Generally speaking, if a hiring manager receives 100 resume applications they are likely to only choose the top 5-10% of candidates.

If a candidate has the skills, experience, expertise to perform the job, a good resume writer will repeatedly place you in that top percentage bracket. (Of course, there are many variables outside of your control including employer perception, personal preferences and the skills and quality of the competition).

Let’s assume that having a professionally written resume will increase your chances of gaining an interview by 50%. If a candidate applies for 10 targeted jobs where they have the qualifications and skills required, the odds indicate that 50% of the applications will result in interview requests. Therefore, you can expect 5 potential interviews within the first couple of weeks of applying for jobs. The more interviews you receive the more choice you will have. Nothing is better than having 2 job offers on the table!

Generally speaking the entire job selection process can take up to 4 weeks (first round interview, second round interview, background checks etc). Rather than taking 14 weeks to find a job costing you $14,000.00 in lost salary, having your resume professionally written has reduced this time to 4 weeks at a cost of $4,000.00.

HOWEVER – The candidate with his new professional resume is seeking a raise of 15% or a total salary package of $57,500. Therefore the investment in the resume has generated the candidate a profit of $3,500! And has reduced the time spent on looking for a new job from 14 weeks to 4 weeks.

The investment in a professionally written resume could be the greatest investment of your life. A small cost can lead to big long term gains. Can you afford to be out of work for an extended period of time?

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

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

RedStarResume: The leaders in Resume WritingCV Writing & Cover Letter Writing

How did you find your last job?

 

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Follow our steps and make sure that you are well prepared to answer every possible interview question when the opportunity presents itself. This E-book is a compilation of many months of research and discussions with hiring managers and career experts in recruitment, career counselling and interviews.

The purchase of this E-book is your first step in ensuring that you get the job! Interviewing is all about research, confidence and creating a good rapport. The hiring manager needs to know that you are capable of performing the tasks of the job and also that you will be a good addition to the team.

What is the most important aspect of Professional Resume Writing?

One of the biggest mistakes which candidates make with their resume writing or CV writing is preparing the document from their point of view. I recently sat down with a young lady who had graduated university top of her class and was seeking a role with one of the large law firms. She had written her professional resume and cover letter and was now ready to begin the application process. The resume was perfectly formatted and presented. As a graduate with no prior work experience she focused her professional resume on her academic achievements and also the extra curricular activities and community work she had been involved with over the years. From a readers perspective I was able to gain a very good first impression or insight into this candidate. Everything was perfect besides one major element. At the top of her resume was her name which she had bolded to make it stand out but had also changed the font colour to pink!

Does a Professional Resume have pink colour?

I couldn’t believe my eyes that she had decided to use a pink font on her resume. When I asked her why she had done this she said that she liked the colour and it also made her name stand out.

The most important aspect of writing a professional resume is targeting it towards the person who will be reading the resume. In this situation the hiring manager may be a partner in a law firm. Imagine how seriously a partner will take a resume application which has a potential candidates name in pink.

Another mistake many candidates make is trying to make their resume stand out from their competition by using fancy fonts or borders. A well formatted and presented resume and most importantly targeted resume, will stand out because of its professionalism. A hiring manager can easily identify the difference between a “fraud” resume with “bells and whistles” and a “legitimate” resume.

Ensuring that your resume stands out from the crowd is not about making the document a piece of art. How many times have you seen a resume being framed and hung up on the wall? The aim of the resume is to portray to the reader the value you can offer the business or organisation.

Remember that your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will make. Make sure that your first impression portrays the right professional image.

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

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Check out Interview Secrets Exposed

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.

Follow our steps and make sure that you are well prepared to answer every possible interview question when the opportunity presents itself. This E-book is a compilation of many months of research and discussions with hiring managers and career experts in recruitment, career counselling and interviews.

The purchase of this E-book is your first step in ensuring that you get the job! Interviewing is all about research, confidence and creating a good rapport. The hiring manager needs to know that you are capable of performing the tasks of the job and also that you will be a good addition to the team.

Don’t Limit Yourself!

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


 

The role of the resume writer

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The role of the resume writer has considerably changed over the past few years. With competition for jobs world wide greater than it ever has been before, it is more important than ever that a resume writer is able to properly identify the job role that a potential candidate is applying for and be able to write the resume accordingly.

20 years ago it was enough just to use a basic resume template that followed a predicable path. Education at the top followed by professional experience (including a few sentences about the duties and responsibilities), and a skills section at the bottom.

How times have changed. These days, a hiring manager will see on average 100 resumes for every job that is posted online (this is obviously lower for more specialised jobs and much higher for general administration jobs, but let us use 100 for our example).

Out of the 100 resumes that a hiring manager will see, at least 50% of the candidates will have similar skills, educations and backgrounds. With the remaining 50 other candidates let’s say that 50% of these candidates have greater experience, skills, education and 50% have less experience, skills and education. Now that you have an idea of the competition you are up against, have another look at your resume and see if it is going to be good enough to get you in the top 5-10%.

The role of the modern resume or CV writer is to understand first and foremost the current state of the economy and industry that the applicant is applying for.

The second role of the resume writer is to highlight your achievements in order to stand out against the competition. It is no longer acceptable to just list your day to day duties in your resume or list brief duties you performed. I see this every day and people wonder why they cannot get an interview.

For example:

Current Job: Sales Company

Date 2008 – Present

Duties:

  • Sales & Promotions
  • Customer Service
  • Cash Handling
  • Training
  • Courses Attended
  • Cold Sales
  • Face to Face

 

In today’s world this is no longer good enough. Hiring managers want to see how you have added value to your past jobs and what you can offer them going forward. The role the resume writer is to highlight these achievements and ensure that your resume opens the door for you to get an interview. At the end of the day that is what you want your resume to be able to do.

Good Luck!

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

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