Grab The Resume Reader’s Attention

Grab Resume Reader’s Attention

 

Whether your resume is being read by the HR manager, the head of a company, a hiring manager or a recruiter, you can bet it’s sitting in a big pile of other resumes. When your resume hits the top of the pile you have about six seconds to grab that person’s attention.

 

Make your intentions immediately obvious

If you are applying to a posted job, use the job description to highlight the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. Make it part of the mission statement. Use bold type. Put the most pertinent information front and center.

 

Highlight accomplishments

When listing the what I did’s on your resume don’t leave it at just a list of bullet points. Expand on those bullets. Explain how what you did impacted the company, improved efficiency (in quantifiable terms. I did X and productivity increased by Y), made for a more enjoyable, productive workplace.

 

Demonstrate your leadership attributes

Even if you were not in a leadership role, you talk about the leadership role you took with yourself. The times when your imitative impacted the job or the company or others. Never be afraid to shine a positive light on your accomplishments.

 

Show a career progression

Think of your resume as a timeline for your career. Make it easy to see how you grew from position to position with an increase in responsibility. Make it easy for the hiring manager to see your professional development through each position.

 

Don’t forget your keywords

Each industry has certain keywords that are an integral part of the community. Use those keywords in your resume to ensure the hiring manager knows you are in integral part of that community.

I Have No Weaknesses

I Have No Weaknesses

In our continuing series on tough interview questions, we present the Greatest Weakness Edition.

 

One of the most common questions a prospective employer will ask is for you to describe your biggest weakness.

 

As with any question you get in a job interview, its important to understand what your interviewer is looking for in a response.

 

Avoid a long list of personal flaws

When and interviewer asks you about your weaknesses they don’t want a long list of things you don’t like about yourself. They aren’t looking for a big regret or even something you’re terrible at. What they want to know is how well you know yourself and how you are working to improve.

 

Don’t throw yourself out of the running

Before going into the interview make sure you are thoroughly acquainted with the skills and responsibilities they’re looking for. They’re likely in a list as part of the job description. If one of your weaknesses is in that list, it’s probably not a good idea to mention that as your biggest weakness.

 

Know matter how self aware you are, no interviewer wants to hear that key parts of the job you are applying for are the things you don’t feel confident about.

 

Avoid sounding self-congratulatory

You want to answer this question with honesty and integrity. Saying you are a perfectionist or that you work too hard or care too much are not going to get you any brownie points with the interviewer. It will make them think you don’t have any idea about what your weaknesses are or that you do know and don’t want to share them.

 

You can talk about something that you know you need to work on. For instance you could say you sometimes have trouble speaking up for yourself.

 

Talk about how you are already addressing the situation

After identifying the weakness, don’t just leave it sitting on the table staring at the interviewer, discuss the steps you’re taking to address it. Say although you’re not comfortable speaking up for yourself, you are currently putting yourself in situations where you have to speak up. Give examples. You will come across as a self aware individual who has plans to move forward with your own future.

Workday Hours Are Not All Created Equal

workday hours_edited-1

 

Some people are morning people, some night people, some 2:00 in the afternoon people. All of us have times of day when we feel most energized, most clear headed, most capable of getting the most done. Obviously that’s the time of day you should reserve to get your most important tasks done. The problem is, some of us haven’t taken the time to figure out exactly when our most productive time is. Sometimes we get so caught up just trying to keep up we don’t realize we’re frittering away our most productive hours of the day.

 

Your most productive time of day can change over time

You might think you’re a night person because you always found yourself burning the midnight oil while you were in school, but that may have been a consequence of the lifestyle you were leading at the time rather than a reflection of your true nature. Also as our lives evolve our most energetic, productive time of day can change too. To determine your current most productive time of day you just need to spend some time looking for patterns.

 

Take a week (including the weekend) and write down how you’re feeling at regular intervals throughout the day and evening. When you’re getting things done. When you have long stretches of easy concentration. Even though you’re not working, weekends can be really good for helping you figure this out because there are less defined time constraints on weekends. You can do things according to when you have the energy or the inclination to do them rather than because someone just told you that you needed to get it done yesterday.

 

Were there certain times of day when you found yourself steadily on-task without getting distracted by emails or Facebook or the need to get up and check out what was going on around the water cooler? If you consistently feel energetic at a certain time of day, that’s going to be your most productive time.

 

The link between energy levels and productivity

There’s a direct link between energy and productivity. The more energetic you feel the more productive you will be. So once you’ve figured out your most productive hours, one of the keys to getting the most out of them is ensuring you’re getting enough sleep.

 

90 minutes of focused work

Carve out 90 minute periods to take advantage of that productive energy. Over fifty years ago Nathaniel Kleitman, a sleep scientist discovered our sleep patterns cycle through 90 minute periods where we move from deep sleep to light sleep and back again. He also discovered our bodies cycle through a similar 90 minute pattern throughout the day, moving from higher to lower alertness every 90 minutes.

 

Meaning, although we can work for as many hours as we make ourselves sit there working, we work really well for 90 minute stretches. So to work optimally, we should recharge every ninety minutes. We’ve talked before about the importance of breaks. Getting up from your desk, stretching your arms over your head, going for a short walk, doing some deep breathing exercises. By focusing your efforts within two ninety minute cycles or even three during your high productivity hours, you won’t believe how much you’ll get done outside of the tired zone.

 

Do most demanding things during high productivity. Save more mundane or rote things for your less productive hours and watch yourself get so much more done every day.

 

Job Fact: Job Search = Full-time Job

“Searching for a job is like a full-time job.”

We’re sure you’ve heard this phrase at some point, especially if you’re on the job hunt. The fact of the matter is, that it is true. Studies show that in order to be employed, one must treat their job search as a full-time job.

Now you might ask: “How do you expect me to sit in front of the computer for eight hours from Monday to Friday and look for jobs?” Here’s a wake up call. Treating your job as a full-time job does not mean sitting at your desk firing away resumes everyday – that’s just a portion of it. Another chunk of your day should be spent either volunteering/interning, attending industry seminars/events, mingling with professionals and making connections.

Last year, 1054 companies were surveyed and 58% said that all of their hiring was internal. This was either through employee referrals or company portals. Either way, making strong relationships with the right people (especially people who are in a position of power) will make a difference in your career path.

Source: U.S. News

HUFFINGTON POST: “10 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get the Job”

We often beat ourselves up and go over in our minds as to why we didn’t get the job after the interview. I mean, if your resume was good enough and the employer said you have everything they’re looking for, why didn’t they hire you?!

Before you start contemplating again (and we apologize if we’ve brought up the past you’d rather forget), remember that the whole hiring process is out of your hands and it’s not entirely your fault.

The Huffington Post breaks down 10 reasons why you didn’t get the job.