How to Get Your Resume Noticed at First Glance

Most coaches and recruiters will tell you that they initially look at a resume for only 5-6 seconds, 15-20 if it’s really interesting.

In any case, they’re not reading it in that timeframe – it’s just a first glance to see if it’s worth reading. That’s where recruiters decide whether to read further later on. It has to grab their attention instantly.

So how do you get past that initial glance?

Here are a few ways to make your resume format is instantly eye-catching. And I’m not talking about colorful or fancy templates.

1. Use One of Only a few good resume formats

A common mistake people make in an effort to make their resumes more memorable is to get creative with formatting.

While this may be acceptable in the arts circle, or even some marketing roles, in general you don’t want to clutter up the resume formatting too much, because it makes it harder for recruiters, not easier, to find what they’re looking for.

In addition, your resume is likely to be obliterated by any scanning applicant tracking system you upload your file into. Recruiters don’t A-List a resume because it’s pretty to look at, they A-List them because a candidate is qualified for the position.

I had a client in Marketing who had stylized their resume quite a bit; side columns, their name at the top left in ¾” type and all marbled. It looked like an art project.

Atop that, they crammed their entire resume onto one page – in 8 point type. Despite my advice, they kept the formatting. As of this writing, I don’t believe they have found work yet.

Be sure your core skills are seen clearly and not buried in the jobs text. They can be placed at the top under your introduction as to call them out first. First things are typically read first so get the impact then.

Place your name and contact information in the header at the top so that it shows on each page, maximum of two pages.

Left justify and bold and perhaps ALL-CAPS YOUR SECTION HEADINGS so they stand out.  Never underline anything in your resume, or use Italics.

It’s all about making it easy to find the right information to convince them to move down your resume and move you on in the recruiting process.

2. Make the Best Stuff Loud and Clear

While you don’t want to change up the formatting too much, you do want to make sure your most relevant experiences are as close to the top as practical.

With only a glance, you know the recruiter is looking at the very top of your resume—not halfway down the page, and definitely not somewhere near the bottom.

(However, recruiters will often read your resume from the bottom up to see career progression.)

So what do you do?

You can’t rearrange your work history so we’re talking about skills, program languages, attributes that are core to your abilities.

These things can be modified to address specific job requirements from the job posting.

Education typically goes at the top of you’re a recent grad with 5-7 years of your work history.

After two or three jobs, education goes at the bottom of the resume. Recruiters tell me they skip over education altogether looking only had work history that’s present.

If you’re an undergrad interested in a marketing position, put your education section up top, and make sure your GPA is front and center. (GPA only counts initially to show you succeeded in education, which really was a job for most of you.)

If you’re an experienced marketing manager, you’ll want to have relevant skills up at the top of your resume in a “summary of qualifications” section.

If your last job or two isn’t the most relevant to the job you’re seeking, then be sure to edit the qualifications section to bring out your skills in the area you want to go into.

The key here, again, is to make sure whoever is reading your resume gets the message about what you have to offer—instantly.

3. Use Emphasis Strategically

Aside from making sure everything is where it’s expected and moving your strengths to the top, you also want to be thoughtful about what else is highlighted throughout your resume.

In other words, think about what you want to showcase, then use bolding to emphasize those things. Use of underlining and italicizing creates difficult to read text that may make your reader stop reading and perhaps go to another resume.

Since your resume only gets a quick glance, it’s likely that whatever is bolded is going to be what’s looked at.

Make sure it makes an impact.

While your resume might be memorable because you printed it on marbled grey paper, trust me—that’s not what’s going to get you noticed. If you know you’re qualified for a position, your goal is to make it easy for a recruiter to find evidence of this on your resume.

To ensure your resume passes the 5-6 second test and goes on to the full read:

  • Keep everything listed logically and where it’s expected to be,
  • Summarize your strengths and qualifications to the top,
  • And don’t be afraid to speak boldly about your accomplishments in the rest of your resume.

CareerCOACH has experience working with clients from across the nation in many industries. A professional resume writer gives you unbiased, constructive feedback.

Besides gaining the perspective another brings to your personal presentation, you can benefit from all kinds of nuances that Career COACH’S resume writers are trained to identify and optimize.

Fill out the contact form and mention the blog post to getting free resume review >>.

Get a Free Review of Your Resume – Does Your Stack Up?

resumeAs you have all read, the job market is going a bit crazy. Job seekers and job providers are all moving forward to connect the dots for new careers.

Does your resume stack up – in other words, does it represent you well?

Companies are looking hard for good employees!

What does this mean for you as you look for a job? First of all, there are more jobs to choose from. With this new movement across all industries, it could also mean that your ideal fob is about to open up – the one that drives your passions and purpose.

So is your resume ready to represent you well?  At CareerCOACH we believe your resume is more than just a chronological list of your work experience and education, your resume should be the entry document to a new and exciting career. It should be a concise and clean representation of what you have achieved in the past and what you can bring to the table to new employers.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you look over your resume:

  1. Does it quickly tell my story quickly, and sell my best attributes?

    Research shows that most recruiters are spending only five or six seconds reviewing a resume at first glance. That seems hardly enough time but they can assess your job history, titles and dates in just that much time and render a Yes or No.

You can overcome this challenge by making sure your resume is clear, concise and well formatted for starters. Recruiters need to know your strengths and key achievements. Many people talk about what they have done but don’t highlight achievements in $, % and # enough to catch the eye of a recruiter or HR person in that six second review.

  1. So how can I stand out?

    First of all, the format makes a huge difference. Not too crowded, crammed together only to fit on a single page. Sure, one page is ideal but don’t smash it together with 8 point type to do so. Allow some breathing room between jobs, education, achievements and skills so that they stand out in blocks.  Use a font that is “serifed” so that the eye naturally reads across the page easier and is less likely to stop. And at all costs, avoid lines across the page dividing up sections – the eye will stop there and your resume may not get a finishing read. Also, avoid cute resume templates.  The best template is a blank page with just the basis on it; it will read better and get read easier by resume tracking systems when you upload it on the web.

 

  1. Where Do I Start?

    To help you find out if your resume is properly showing your value, CareerCOACH is offering a free resume review. Complete the contact form and you will be contacted by one of our professional resume writers who will review your document for the things that could kill your chances, as well as the positive attributes. We are trained to spot weaknesses in each section of your resume, and we will discuss an insightful review after the assessment.

    You’ll not only find out what’s right with your resume – but more importantly, if it is actually preventing you from getting interviews. While the critique is free and valuable, you’ll also learn how we might successfully revamp your resume and refine your job search strategies – and exactly what that would cost.

Do people get resumes professionally written?


The short answer? Yes.  I can always tell when someone has invested in a professional at one point in their career – probably one in 50 resumes actually come to us looking fairly good.

You might be new to the concept of having someone else write your resume. Writing your own powerful and flattering resume can be very difficult and frustrating because you are writing about you. It’s hard to properly brag about ourselves because of modesty while others can see you for who you are and talk creatively about your skills and attributes. But crafting a powerful resume can be a difficult, frustrating process – regardless of your work skills or writing expertise.

“I’m a good writer, but I’m just not good at writing about myself.”…

“I know my industry well, but I don’t know how to represent my last job well….”

“My position suddenly ended and I haven’t written a resume in 10 years!”…

CareerCOACH has experience working with clients from across the nation in many industries facing these exact challenges.

A professional resume writer gives you unbiased, constructive feedback. Besides gaining the perspective another brings to your personal presentation, you can benefit from all kinds of nuances that Career COACH’S resume writers are trained to identify and optimize. Start by getting a free resume review.

Ok, so back to the review…

Can an improved resume really inspire more recruiter interest? Can I expect more interview requests? Absolutely, particularly if you’ve properly defined the job title you are working towards and the job titles you’ve held in the past that they search for.

Knowing what is wrong with your resume is only the beginning. Career Coach’s critique will equip you with the knowledge of what may have been holding you back and what has been working. Ultimately, though, it will be up to you to properly network within your industry, circulate your resume and make connections for your best chance at landing a new opportunity.

If you’re looking for more than just resume help, CareerCOACH has a full range of services from Passion and Purpose, to Assessments, Resume Writing, to Proven Career Finding Techniques to side-step the recruiters and get into the hidden job market directly.

Go to CareerCOACH and check out the Coaching Program and Resume Programs for yourself, then make Contact for more information and a personal call from a CareerCOACH.

 

3 Job Hunting Truths or Myths?

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Truth or Myth 1

Truth: “You have to know exactly what you want to do before you start applying for jobs.”

  • Yes you should. Start by considering your strengths and what types of jobs that you could do if you found it.
  • Most people don’t start here but think about what you enjoyed about your education and any previous work experience you have; what do you enjoy doing in general, what are you passionate about?
  • Find some good assessments that measure your behavior, your motivations and task orientation to learn what’s on the inside of you.
  • Once you have all this information, share it with a friend who will be objective and help you focus it.
  • Or better yet, find a Career Coach who is trained to help you move forward.

Truth or Myth 2

Myth: “You have to find your perfect job now.”

  • Perfect is impossible to start with.
  • Determine what your short term job goals are, and project out to what a career might look like.
  • Think about what you want and need now and what you want 5-10 years’ down the line.
  • So while your current job might not be the ideal dream, if it’s a good balance of your short and long-term goals, you’ll find it’ll be the best start to landing your better jobs down the road.

Truth or Myth 3

Myth: “You know you’re never going to get a job, because you keep applying and you keep getting turned down.”

  • It’s tough out there! It’s tougher if you continue just to apply online and through job boards that are impersonal and you never get really seen.
  • The best way to find work is through using your personal network of contacts.
  • Look to your phone, Facebook LinkedIn and other sources and compile a list.
  • Start with the folks that know you best and begin to introduce them to your new resume and your career goals.
  • Most of my clients find interviews easier and jobs fulfilled in the first 35 people on their list.
  • Networking works oh so much better than just being a recruiter’s search result.

More Income, More Stress?

income stressAll of my clients have income goals that are present at the beginning of the CareerCOACH process.

There are several generalized income brackets that most people fall into:

  • $40,000-$50,000

The $40,000- $50,000 crowd often are young men and women who are either living at home or are living with a roommate to cut costs and live independently in the Bay Area. This group has to watch budgeting carefully and focus mostly on necessities rather than luxuries such as a new car or electronics.

  • $70,000 – $90,000

As you move up to the $70,00 – $90,000 bracket, we find independent living possible. An apartment in a good area, a newer car and spending money to enjoy some travel.  If the individual is a family person, then the spouse is likely to be working causing stress in the home life as childcare and related issues bear down on daily life.

  • $110,000 – $350,000

As we move into the $110,000 – $350,000 bracket independent living is established at the lower range and the type of job tends to be geared toward management or advancement upward. Often these jobs are in sales in High Tech or Pharmaceuticals.

The stresses of life are less on a daily grind level, but then taxes, long work hours and others are present and can be overbearing.

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Data is curated by careertrends.com
 

Higher Income Is Not the Only Factor to Reduce Job Stress

 The graph above shows stress reducing at the $70,000 – $90,000 range but I would contend the stresses are not measuring some of the job related stresses present at higher income levels.

I recently had a client who had quit his high tech job at a very prominent social media company making $350,000 per year because he hated the work and couldn’t handle the stresses of the office any longer.

No matter what your stress level is, having a job that suits you well and pays you what you’re worth are the most important factors. If you have a tyrant boss, are underpaid, or hate what you do, perhaps we should talk to find out something better suited for you.

For a FREE  consultation to help you find the best career for you
Contact CareerCOACH Now!

 

Need A Better Resume? You Bet!

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Did you know that the average job opening has over 300 applicants competing for it?

Even worse is 75% of those applicants will be eliminated from the candidate pool by an applicant resume tracking system that many larger companies use.

That means that only 25% make it to the desk of hiring managers.

But, wait, it gets worse!

Remember, formatting counts. Hiring managers see the resumes for 5-6 seconds judging whether the format is something they will even want to read.

Then there’s the 30 second test to eliminate 80% of the remaining candidates. That means, that on your first pass in front of the eyes of a hiring manager, you have less than 35 seconds to impress them. Career counselors like to call this the black hole. What many people don’t realize is that they aren’t even getting their resume into the hands of hiring managers for reading!

What can you do to avoid the black hole?

You need to realize that it isn’t your skill-set or your accomplishments that are ruling you out, it’s your resume!

  • A self-written resume has a 6% chance of being read.
  • A professionally written resume has a 60% chance of being read and generates 2-3x as many interviews as a self-written resume.

As part of the CareerCOACH process, each candidate has their resume re-written to current standards including a Purpose Statement at the beginning for impact.

For a FREE alignment consultation to make your search more professional
Contact CareerCOACH Now!

Smoothly and Successfully Transition Into a New Job

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Changing jobs is tough work. I work with many people who are anxious about their job search and they want to start NOW!

One way to speed up the process is to know exactly what you want your job to be. By figuring out what you want your career to look like, you’ll save yourself and potential employers an enormous amount of time. Through using professional assessments, and knowing what you are passionate about before you send out cover letters and resumes, you will become much more focused in your job hunt.

Few of us ask the questions:

  • What makes me happy in my work?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What things must be present in my job for me to actually be happy?

Imagine the work environment and culture, the daily tasks and the outcomes you enjoy being involved with.

Reviewing job descriptions online can be daunting and discouraging. They are often written by a committee and have more tasks listed than any human could possibly accomplish. You should know that you don’t have to be a perfect match to apply.

Ask yourself:

  • What can you do in the workplace?
  • What are your skills?
  • What are you good at or trained in?
  • What does your education buy you today in the marketplace?

Knowing this makes it easier for you match yourself to job opportunities.

What are the next steps?

1. Get yourself assessed by someone with real assessments. You and your assessments are the only ones who know exactly what your skills are. By knowing your own skills, you’ll be able to more easily find a job opportunity that is the perfect fit for you. Use this to your advantage.

2. In switching jobs, be cautious in choosing a new job because every move you make on your resume counts. If you’re not discriminating when choosing your new job, you may end up with a lengthy work history section, which can be a turn-off for hiring managers and recruiters.

3. On your resume, explain strategic advances in as few job hops as possible. Place jobs that are older than 10-15 years into an “Additional Work History” category stating only the company name, title and years of service. Being cautious when choosing your new job may seem unimportant in the short-term, but choosing the wrong job can potentially cause issues later on in your career path.

Once you’ve assessed who you are and what you want, changing careers becomes much easier and more focused. Be confident in what you bring to the table and employers will be eager to talk with you.

For more information on interviewing and the career process visit:  www.careercoachsvc.com.

3 Really Good Interview Questions to Get Hired

Illustration depicting a sign with an interview concept.

One thing for sure, always have questions of your own to ask during an interview.

You can educate yourself on the web, glean Glassdoor and other resources but these three questions are typically killer ones to get in when the time arises.
For this job, what qualities does the right candidate have?

  • Try to ask this near the beginning of the interview, and you’ll find out specific desired skills that might not be in the description. Job descriptions are often cobbled together by many contributors least of all the interviewer.
  • Once you know what the interviewer / hiring manager really cares about hearing, you’ll be able to talk up your experience and those related skills you have in your answers.

At this point in the process, is there any particular reason why you wouldn’t hire me for this job?

  • This is a tough one to ask though it’s the only way you’re going to find out if they have any doubts about hiring you. If there are doubts you then have a chance to address those concerns and hopefully clear them up.
  • It is said that job seekers who are able to ask this question increase their chances of getting hired by about 25 percent.

What are the biggest challenges present in this role?

  • This question lets you know what the most important tasks are for this job, or what potential pitfalls may be waiting for you. Sometimes it’s an internal deal breaker for you but at least you know.
  • It’s also the perfect opportunity to show them how you turn to your strengths and skills to find solutions.

Don’t be afraid to ask tough good questions in an interview. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

If you hear a contrary answer you may be saving yourself from misery in the role.

On the other hand you may also nail the interview and gain the position.

For more information on interviewing and the career process see www.careercoachsvc.com.

 

Is Your Job Search 2000’s Or Still 1990’s?

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Whether you are 20 or 50 these tips are invaluable to your search:

  1. Who are you targeting? Make your search more effective and laser focused by selecting employers who you would enjoy working for. Take time to research on Glassdoor, LinkedIn and corporate sites and choose a dozen companies and one or two iterations of the job title you are searching for on those sites. Check onetonline.org for common job titles as well as individual company websites to aide in your searches.
  2. Be sure all of your career documents, cover letters, resume and interactions with an employer or recruiter are error free and top notch. Take the time to write your best response rather than hurriedly attaching your resume to a one-sentence email with a subject that doesn’t grab their attention. If you are in doubt, hold your cover letter overnight and re-read it in the morning light.
  3. Be Visible on the right Social Media! Being “invisible” is not effective in today’s job market. Don’t worry about putting yourself out there for others to see – that’s exactly what you want. Anonymity is a killer for job searches. Be sure your site only presents yourelf and your image in a professional manner. Employers use search engines to research job applicants and are looking for “social proof” that you are who you say you are.
  4. Put your information up on LinkedIn! LinkedIn is the largest professional social network serving almost 400,000,000 individuals. It’s an excellent network for managing your professional/work visibility. Share your accomplishments in your profile and insert your resume in full. Use it to complete the picture of how much you know and the depth of your experience.
  5. The world is changing every day and is by no means static. Keeping current is essential. Subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, industry trade magazines and publications. If you aren’t paying attention to what is going on, you could be looking for a job in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So You Think You’re Ready to be an Entrepreneur?

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Many men and women I talk to think about starting a business as a way to move their employment forward and create an income for themselves. It’s the American Dream if you ask them. Part of the challenge is that so many people think that they will gain more by being their own boss before they think if they are truly suited to BE that boss.

Before you write that big check to the local franchise and trade your day job for some perceived freedom, consider these factors to be sure you’re thinking correctly about the transaction;

  1. Have you been considering this for some time or is this a reaction to an untimely layoff or ageism in the workplace?
  2. Does your lifestyle need more time for personal matters and family than you can acquire in your day job?
  3. Are you documented as a leader, driver and top salesman for your cause?
  4. Do you already have the expertise in the area of business and confidence to drive it?
  5. Are you are a person who is driven to keep learning and using your intuition to succeed?

I speak with many men and women who feel the time is now to start their own business. If you have a product or service that is needed in society you can overcome the challenge of this lousy economy we’re in but it takes business savvy. Many times, it just means buying yourself a J.O.B. – Just Over Broke, as you forge ahead day by day into a 60 hour commitment. Be careful.

I worked with a man who was in marketing and technology who wanted to take on a technical franchise engagement. The organization was that of a mom and pop configuration with a team of engineers and help desk personnel to run the services side. One of the main tenants of the franchise was that the owner needed to be the key salesperson in growing the business.

After running CareerCOACH’ S TTI Assessments on the individual, it showed that he was a great manager and a good detail person, but basically introverted he would have a very difficult time as a salesperson for the firm. With that knowledge under his belt he grilled the franchisor about their model and decided that he would need to invest in sales staff and that would break the model for the first three years.

Franchises will gladly assess you and take your $60,000 to $300,000 to get you started but often their ethics won’t push them to tell you that you personally can’t pull it off. I just had a home health care firm close its doors because the owners were not salespeople geared to build the business like the franchise wanted. They lost $478,000 in a bad business decision.

If you’re looking to start your business on your own, it would be worth your time and a few dollars to have CareerCOACH assess you and tell you the roles you are likely able to fill in the organization. This will tell you where you’re strong and where you need to shore up other talent to make the business successful.

My tech client saved himself a $250,000 headache by not diving into a sales role. Just imagine.

 

7 Core things you must know about yourself

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1) What are your career goals? Are you looking for a new job or a change in your career path? Your approach will be quite different depending on whether you are entry level, simply working to keep yourself busy, desperate to regain an income flow, or you are attempting a career change.

2) What are the long term goals? If you don’t think your next job to last very long, or if it is more of a stepping stone, ask yourself this… will this particular role, accomplishments and responsibilities align with the expectations of the next hiring manager you want to impress.

3) What is your value? What are your distinct accomplishments in your field, the value of accounts or clients you bring with you, your designations or status in your own professional circles and so on.

4) What is your skill set? Be sure you are able to distinguish between your skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Create a list of your top 10 to 15 skills that relate to the job for which you’re applying and work them into the cover letter and your resume where appropriate.

5) What do you feel you can accomplish for the new employer?. Include intuitive examples about what you can accomplish for the position you’re applying for. Add this to the meat of your cover letter and be sure to address it in the interview for emphasis.

6) Where are you weak? When you are asked about areas of weakness, be able to acknowledge them and talk about how you see yourself overcoming them adding to your competence.

7) What have you done so far? Within the skills discussion demonstrate your unique ability to turn your skills into results the employer will value.

Contact coach Bob Britz today to set up a free job search consultation: 925-984-6960