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Posts Tagged ‘redstarresume’

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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How To Avoid Being Red-Flagged As A Job Hopper

job hoppingHave you switched careers several times in the past ten years, worked several short-term positions, or been retrenched and forced to find new work? If you’ve held several different positions in the past 5-10 years, you may be sending a message to employers that you’re a job hopper, not staying in positions for very long. Hiring managers confess that if a candidate looks like a job hopper, they will automatically discard their resume, assuming that they’re either not reliable, get bored easily in positions or have been terminated by past employers. Whether employers’ perceptions are accurate or not, you don’t want to be labeled a job hopper and lose a good opportunity.

Whatever your reasons are for frequently changing positions (and there are a lot of totally legitimate reasons nowadays to choose, or circumstantially need to change jobs), you don’t want to be automatically discarded for positions you apply for. Try these helpful tips to avoid being labeled a ‘Job Hopper’ and eliminated from consideration.

Categorize your work experience differently

If you have several short-term, consulting or temporary work assignments, you may want to consider categorizing them under one heading such as “Consultant” and list the various projects you worked on and accomplishments under that, so it appears more as a whole set instead of separate assignments. You can also include two separate headings for your work experience if you’ve transitioned between industries a lot. Put “Relevant Work Experience” with the positions you’ve held that are directly related to the position you’re applying to, and “Other,” or “Additional Work Experience” below that to account for large gaps of time.

Leave out irrelevant jobs

Your resume is essentially a marketing tool to demonstrate your qualifications for a particular position or industry. If you have short-term, contract or part-time experiences that you don’t feel are relevant to the position you’re applying for, it is entirely okay to leave it out. You will, however, need to include it if a company asks for your full work experience.

De-emphasize dates of employment

If your dates of employment are choppy, you can try downplaying the dates in different ways. You can try leaving out the months of employment and only including the years, so it’s not as obvious. You can also include the dates in parenthesis after your job title, or below your achievements.

Focus on resume achievements and qualifications

Employers are mainly concerned with your success in past positions. If you can demonstrate you made significant contributions to your previous employers, even if they were short-term positions, employers will be more likely to overlook it. You can even emphasize accomplishments and skills you’ve acquired through your diverse roles, such as being a fast learner, adapting to new work environments and industry trends, and yielding high results.

Use your cover letter to briefly explain your work history, putting a positive spin on it and expressing your interest in a long-term position

If you feel like your resume screams Job Hopper, you may want to add a brief explanation for why you’ve changed jobs so frequently in your cover letter, or highlight the unique skills and perspective you’ve gained through your diverse experiences. Make sure to stay positive about your past circumstances though and try not to sound like you’re making excuses for every position you’ve left. It’s important to also express your interest in a long-term position with the company to help put employers’ fears at ease.

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

Internationally Recognized Resume Writing Experts – Specializing in Developing High Impact Resumes”

For the past decade, the team at RedStarResume has been creating award winning resumes that get noticed by hiring managers. Under our guidance, our clients have achieved successes in over 35 different industries. From the college student looking to break into his or her first job to the seasoned professional and CEO level candidate, our custom-made, high impact resumes are written specifically to match the goals and objectives of our clients.

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Student And Graduate Resume Writing


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

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One 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 as a student or recent grad, 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.

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.

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

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!

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What Skills Did I Learn In College

guest-blogging-1Graduation loomed in the distance. While I was excited to put my studies behind and finally enter the real world, a kind of dread came over me when I looked at my classmates and realized the strong technical experience the engineers and IT students had. As a liberal arts major, most of my classes were based on reading, researching, analyzing and writing papers. What real skills did I have to convince employers to hire me? How would I portray these skills in my professional resume or cover letter?

As graduation gets closer, a lot of students (especially the liberal arts majors out there) start to feel intimidated and wonder what relevant skills they’ve actually gained from college. You may not realize it, but you’ve learned more skills through your college years than you realize. It’s important to recognize the skills you’ve developed through your college education and be able to communicate it to potential employers.

Let’s think about just some of the skills you’ve probably gained as a student that employers look for in job candidates. Think about the activities done for courses and translate them into skills you’ve acquired. Remember, these are skills on top of the technical skills and other knowledge you’ve gained through your studies. I’m sure you can think of numerous other examples:

Critical Thinking:

Critical thinking involves analyzing information, seeing the big picture and comprehending information. Students use critical thinking skills in many ways during their college years including humanities courses where you’re asked to analyze information or take a particular viewpoint on a topic or piece of work. You also use critical thinking skills in labs and other hands-on courses where you need to analyze the results of your findings.

Communication:

Effective communication skills mean you can write and speak clearly, communicating ideas and information. As a student, you’ve definitely used communication skills reading, speaking up in class lectures and writing papers and reports. Being an effective communicator is one of the essential skills employers seek in job candidates.

Presentation1888Team Player:

Most jobs require at least some collaboration with fellow employees, clients or stakeholders. It’s important to be able to work well with others to achieve a common goal. As a college student, you’ve likely worked with your fellow students on class projects, research assignments, labs, or in extracurricular clubs and sports teams.

Time management and Coordination:

As a student, you’ve likely juggled a lot of different classes and activities all at once during your college career. Maybe you even did it with a full or part-time job. If you’ve made it to graduation, you’ve definitely learned this skill—time management. Employers look for employees who can handle several tasks at once, are able to prioritize their time and get everything done on time.

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

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!

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Student And Graduate Resume Writing

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment


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

stand

One 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 as a student or recent grad, 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.

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.

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

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!

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