The Perfect Resume

Learn how to create The Perfect Resume:

The Perfect Resume Infographic

The Perfect Resume Infographic

The Perfect Resume Infographic Text

Title: The Perfect Resume

Section 1: Use These Power Keywords

Experience, Management, Project, Development, Business, Skill, Professional, Knowledge, Year, Team, Leadership

Using these keywords makes it 70% more likely you’ll get a 5 star rating.

Avoid These Keywords

Me, Need, Chance, Develop, Hard, First, Time, Learning, Myself

Using these keywords makes it 79% less likely you’ll get a 5 star rating.

Include These Sections

Objective, Summary, Work History, Training, References

You’re 1.7x more likely to get a 5 star rating by including these sections.

Avoid These Sections

Languages, Personal Interest, Accomplishments, Hobbies

You’re 24% less likely to get a 5 star rating when including these sections.

600-700 Words

Resumes between 600-700 words in length are rated higher than shorter or longer resumes.

The right length results in a 30% increase in your odds of getting a 5 star rating.

Say “Thank You”

We have found that 10% of 5 star resumes that included a cover letter use the phrase “Thank you for your consideration”.

Increase your chance of receiving a 5 star rating by 29%.

Remember This

Politeness Matters
Make It Clear You’re a Team Player
Present Yourself as “The Solution”
Display Confidence That You Will Get the Job Done

Lastly, Keep it Relevant!

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Extra-curriculars and resume: Best practices for putting extra-curriculars on your resume

 Extra-curriculars and Resume:

Best practices for putting extra-curriculars on your resume

Extra-curriculars and resume: Make sure you put extra-curriculars on your resume. Spring is here therefore students are searching and applying for internships and jobs. This is also the time that many students realize they need a resume! Drafting a resume for the first time can be frustrating but you can find ways to add to it.  Do not despair! Here is a little known fact: you can add the skills you gain outside of class to your resume.

Extra-curriculars and resume: Skills from extra-curriculars to put on your resume

When you’re thinking about what you have to offer a company, keep in mind what you have done in your extracurricular activities. Here are some skills that you may not have realized you have or didn’t think were worth mentioning:

 

Extra-curriculars and resume:Leadership

  • One quality that employers are always looking for is leadership potential.
  • Clubs and student organizations on campus are great opportunities to gain leadership experience before you graduate.
  • Include your positions. If you have held an officer or manager position in student government, Greek life, sports teams, or any organization on campus, you have experience leading a group of your peers and should be reflected on your resume.
  • You can offer them not just leadership potential but leadership experience.

Extra-curriculars and resume:Teamwork

  •  Being a part of a sports team or other student group requires that you learn to work with the people around you.
  • Whether you are planning a fundraising event, working on a community service event or practicing before the next big game you have to be able to communicate effectively and know when to compromise with others around you.
  • Being able to successfully work as part of a team is invaluable in the work place and shows the employer your ability to work in a team environment.

Extra-curriculars and resume:Organization

  • Helping to plan an event for a club or sports team requires a healthy dose of organization.
  • Planning events often means simultaneously recruiting volunteers, communicating with the necessary campus offices, and working with the other members in your group.
  • The organization that this requires is a useful skill for interns and employees.

Extra-curriculars and resume: Time management

  • It takes forethought and discipline to manage and stick to a schedule so you can make all your meetings, rehearsals and finish your homework.
  • Set priorities and make personal deadlines to ensure everything gets done.
  • This is exactly what employers need their employees and interns to do.

The take-away from this article is that you should not immediately discount yourself from a position just because you do not have any directly related experience. Think about the skills you have gained from pursuing your other interests.  Consider how those skills might apply. People like to see what you do outside of your major.

5 ways to get people to remember you (in a good way) while networking

5 ways to get people to remember you (in a good way) while networking

Quick. Say something memorable about yourself, on the spot, in less than 15 seconds. Now come up with another – and then smile professionally, right in front of a bunch of strangers.

Oh, and if you’re feeling bold, drop in a phrase that indicates you’re looking for your next job or another client. That’s your mandate at the next professional association, MeetUp or chamber mixer.

Don’t just introduce yourself. Stand out and be memorable; be the person they recall the next time a project manager job opens up or a colleague needs a first-rate translator. After all, networking is one of the best ways to land a new job.

Your introduction ought to build on your personal brand, and it might be light-hearted or heart-felt. But it definitely must be short and memorable. Here are five easy ways to network more effectively in person:

1. Create a clever one liner about you

“Spend some time before your next networking event coming up with at least one humorous, self-deprecating or intriguing way to introduce yourself and what you do,” a blog post for the National Association of Entrepreneurs recommends. Use “short pithy snippets of information … keep it light and snappy and you will be memorable.”

2. Jot it down and try it out

Consider what it conveys about you and how it could be misconstrued. Refine your pitch and “try different things to see what works,” said Gail Tolstoi-Miller, who runs a recruiting and speed networking company in New Jersey.

3. Consider your value.

Often the best pitch shows how you benefit other people, what problems you can solve, said Tolstoi-Miller. This pushes you way past your job title into thoughts on how you could help the person you are about to meet. Sometimes you cannot know that, so Miller suggests you may want to end your introduction with a question such as ‘How can I help you out?’ or ‘How can we help one another be more successful?’

4. Add a twist

Most people use their job title to introduce themselves. That works better if you jazz it up or add a surprise or a mention of some interest that jazzes you. Think of the twist as the squirt of fresh lemon juice in a big glass of water or the olive in the martini. Try saying: “I’m Julie Jobseeker, and I’m an HR manager who loves to shop. I want to land a job at a mid-sized or regional retailer with a great employee discount!” Or “I’m Jeff Jobhunter. I believe in second chances – for people and furniture.” He sells used office furniture and is striving to create a second career in sales training. Or use your nametag to highlight your hobby or some fun fact about you to be more approachable, Tolstoi-Miller suggests.

5. Practice your pitch, but be perky too

It doesn’t matter that this is your fourth networking event or career mixer this week. You still need to sound enthusiastic and passionate, said Tolstoi-Miller. Smile. If you feel discouraged or tired, “be an actress and pretend you’re happy,” she said. “Leave your problems at home” and remember you have only now to make a memorable first impression.

Who Makes What: Minimum Wage up in 13 states

“The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner – most likely a woman –responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children. How can we expect her to get by on a wage that, in real terms, isn’t worth as much as it was in the 1950s?

“The value of the minimum wage simply hasn’t kept up with the cost of living, including the essentials a family needs to survive: a gallon of milk, a gallon of gas, monthly rent, a pair of children’s shoes and more.

“Wages also haven’t kept up with workers’ output. Since 1979, productivity has increased more than 90 percent, but real average hourly earnings have gone up only 3.2 percent.”

Read the full article at: 3 Out of 4 Americans Agree: It’s Time to Raise the Wage

See below to see who your state is doing? (click to enlarge)

MWmap-2014

5 kinds of people you need during your job search

5 kinds of people you need during your job search

There are 5 kinds of people you need during your job search. Searching for a job is a challenge unlike any other. You will be faced with a variety of emotions and experiences. We all know you’ll have some up’s and down’s.

While relatively innocent in nature, a challenging job search (even on the easy days) can knock even the most confident and sane individual off their feet. But similar to the variety of challenges we face in life, the challenge of seeking employment is far easier to tackle when surrounded people to help.  We all need those who can assist in a job search.

These are the people who will help lift you up on your worst days.   They can  challenge you to improve yourself in areas where you’re weak.  Your friends can coach abd guide you toward your career goals. They are your support system, but I believe it takes far more than support  to complete a successful job hunt.

Inspiring a successful job hunt often comes down to the individuals you choose to surround yourself with. Here are five kinds of people you need during your job search:

The Supporter

This person is your go-to for seeking out the necessary strength needed to succeed. Oftentimes this individual is a close friend, family member, or even your significant other. It’s not necessary for this person to have any job search expertise or even work within your chosen career field, their only duty is to lend an ear and the necessary encouragement to help you “keep on, keepin’ on”.

The Mentor

The relationship you share with this person is generally of a professional nature. Mentors are often previous or current co-workers, managers, or professors who are willing to act as a sounding board for all that you’re faced with during your job search. They can provide you with sound professional advice, as well as insight into their own personal trials and tribulations. When seeking out a mentor, choose someone who isn’t afraid to be critically honest with you–this isn’t a place for a “yes” man or woman.

The Friend

While many of the people necessary to the success of your job search may fall into the friend category, this person is strictly in place to help you do more than just search for jobs. That’s right–your job search needs someone who forces you to get out of your house to go see a movie, get a drink, or even just someone who keeps you laughing. Consider having an agreement where you must refrain from talking about your woes when you’re out and about.

The Motivator

Every job seeker needs a cheerleader. There’s really no specifications for this person, other than their unending ability to send good energy and motivational phrases in your direction. For some, this may be a parent, while others may find their strongest motivational confidant to be someone also immersed in the job search.

The Expert

Having a professional relationship–often considered to be network-based–with an expert can do wonders for your job search. This individual will act as your industry-insider and is likely to be a beneficial connection when it comes to finding job openings and expanding your network.

Sometimes a successful job search comes down to who you surround yourself with. While having these five kinds of people will be key to your success, there may be one person in your support system who plays a multifaceted role.

Who have you been surrounding yourself with during your job search?

Do Women Undermine Themselves With Punctuation??!!!!:) How Professional are your e-mails?

Do Women Undermine themselves with Punctuation??!!!!

How professional are your e-mails?

What makes a professional e-mail? Women tend to put more emotion and consideration into their emails, which often translates into more punctuation. Is punctuation actually undermining your abilities?

Why unprofessional e-mails happen

Sometimes we get tired, or overly casual, or just plain excited, and we get a little crazy with our work emails. We fall into a pattern where in order to convey passion or receive approval we use exclamation points A LOT. You’d think we were gaining points in a game for how many exclamation points we are using.

Or perhaps you may even slip into smiley face territory or, worst of the worst, emoticons. And not to beat up on my sex, but I notice that women tend to toss around the fun punctuation more than men (myself included!!!!***###). Men get to the point. They use big, fat periods. And then they go out and kill a bear and eat it. But should we try to be more like men in their writing style, which can often come off as brash?

Professional E-mail

With email, the main purpose is to get to the point and to get to it quickly—and men tend to do that more 🙁

Perhaps the problem here is not knowing whether the conversation really needs a phone call or not. Sometimes we would love to do everything over email because most of us stopped putting pen to paper only a few years after we learned to use email. (There was a time when I had great handwriting; now I get texting cramps.) But sometimes a phone call or Skype chat is really the only way to go.

Email being sent through the workplace needs to be more formal. Punctuation can not only undermine you in email, but it can convey your intentions incorrectly. You may think putting a bunch of question marks shows interest, but it could easily be interpreted as impatience, she says. And those friendly exclamation points can quickly be translated as anger or shouting!!!!!!

According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, if you send email replies to your work colleagues regularly, your chances are no better than 50 percent of it being interpreted correctly, even when the writer believes he or she has correctly ascertained the tone of the emails. For example, sarcasm is extremely hard to convey over email. Chandler Bing would not have been funny if you had only been reading his lines.

Abbreviations

It is important for both genders to remember you may be emailing people of a different generation. You cannot use emoticons or LOLs when you are emailing a baby boomer. (Trust me, it took me hours to explain “TTYL” to my father—a doctor and Princeton graduate. And don’t even get me started on the day that was lost to “YOLO!”)

Julie Spira, “netiquette” expert and author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners, states that “using LOL might be appropriate with your best friend who knows that it stands for ‘Laugh out Loud,’ however your boss might not take you seriously. I urge women to limit their use of punctuation marks to personal emails. If you get a new job or get engaged, an exclamation mark or two is appropriate, providing it’s sent to your inner circle.”

Nicole Emerick, founder of Ms. Career Girl Media, told us that young women should think about these three things before going punctuation crazy in an email:

Why do you think you need this extra punctuation?

Emerick says that before sending emails, young professional women should get in the habit of asking themselves WHY they are using emoticons, exclamation points, and “haha’s” in emails. Are you intimidated by the recipient? Do you wonder about the answer to their question? Are you trying to over-compensate for something? Do you want to make them like you?

Tweet, Tweet: You want the email to be concise

Think about work email the way you’d think of Tweeting, says Emerick: Imagine you are limited to 140 characters and must boil it down to ONLY what’s important. When thinking like this, emoticons, “haha’s” and !!!!!’s often add more confusion—and characters—to the message.

Are you trying to hide behind punctuation?

Emerick says, “I love a good 🙂 as much as the next girl, and I do believe there are times where they can add personality. What I am NOT a fan of is using them as a bandaid or distraction from a serious email that may not be easy to write.” Removing the smiley faces and “LOLs” from your emails may feel scary or too direct at first, but it’s important to get comfortable with being direct sooner, rather than later, in your career.

How to Conduct a Personal Inventory

How to Conduct a Personal Inventory
How to Conduct a Personal Inventory: Do you ever wonder? What can I do? Which things am I good at? What skills do I bring to the workplace? If so, a personal inventory may be just the thing. It is composed of three steps: a Skills Assessment, Interest Assessment, and Job Market Assessment.

Personal Inventory – Step 1: Conducting the Skills Assessment to identify your abilities

A skills assessment is a good way to see what skills you have. You can also identify areas to improve. The assessment asks questions and your answers help you develop a skill profile of your capabilities. This can make it clear what you are good at and what skills you bring to the job. It can also help you identify areas you would like to strengthen in order to be even more competitive in the job market.

A skills assessment can provide you with confidence in your own abilities! It can empower you to ask for a promotion, look for a new job, or consider going out on your own. When you know your own strengths, you can be your own cheerleader as you navigate the career path that is right for you.

Where to Start – Skills Assessment

So where do you start? Here are some web links that can take you to free skill assessment tools. Take a few minutes to explore these tools and assess your job skills.

How to Continue – Consider how to use your skills on the job

Once you know your skills, consider how they can be used on the job.  What jobs would use your skills?  What skills would you like to develop further in order to be more competitive in the current job market?  Come up with a strategy for regular improvement of your skills.  Working on one new skill at a time can expand your capabilities.  Just think of all the new skills you could develop over a number of years!

Consider adding new skills

As you evaluate your skill set, keep in mind that there are certain skills that will be useful no matter what career you are in.   Now may be a good time to tune-up some basic skills and enroll in an online course on Skills for Making Great Decisions, Interpersonal Communication, or Keys to Effective Communication.

You are now one-third of the way through your personal inventory. After completing your skills assessment, take the time to evaluate your interests, the job market, your life stage and purpose, and explore career opportunities that are a good match for you.

Personal Inventory – Step 2: Complete the Interest Assessment to figure out what you like to do

The second part of the personal inventory is an interest assessment. What is an interest assessment? It is way to find out what you are really interested in. After all, those who love what they do on the job, never feel like they are working! They may work, but the excitement and enthusiasm for what they do is so great it doesn’t feel like work. You can be one of the lucky ones and do what you love. This starts by figuring out what you like by taking an interest assessment.

Interest Assessment

What do you like to do? How do you spend your free time? What do you do when you don’t have to do something? The answers to these questions can help you identify your areas of interest. Even if you are good at something, you may not like doing it. The happiest people are those who do what they like on the job. Listen to Your Heart and Success Will Follow is an online course that helps you identify areas of interest and ways to move forward with those interests. Take the time to evaluate what you like and dislike. Below are several interest assessments that can help you identify your areas of interest.

Compare your interests and Skills

Once you have evaluated and identified your areas of interest, then take the time to compare your interests to your skill set.  How do your skills match up with your interests?  Do you have the skills to work in your interest area?  If not, what skills do you need to develop? Make a plan to align your capabilities with your interests and you will find it easy to be working in your area of interest.

Look at pay scales for things you are interested in

When evaluating your interests, you may find that you have more than one area of interest. If this is the case, then consider other factors such as which of your interests would pay more money. You may decide to pursue the more lucrative interest as an easy way to meet your financial goals.

Whatever your area of interest, be sure to also consider other factors such as the job market, your life stage and purpose, career opportunities, and your skill sets. Your final career decision should be based on a solid understanding of each of these things. Great! Now you are on the home stretch of your personal inventory. Only one steps left.

Personal Inventory – Step 3: Complete the Job Market Assessment for the current marketplace

An important part of the personal inventory is the job market assessment. airplaneThe job market assessment will help you evaluate the current job market, the number of jobs available, the type of pay in the marketplace, and how tough the competition is. If you are equally qualified in two areas, then you want to target the job market which is easier to enter. Knowing the job market can help you plan strategically to be prepared for those markets that hold the jobs of the future.

Assess the Job Market

How do you assess the job market? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook is a searchable handbook. You can search jobs by pay, educational requirements, and growth rate. Use the handbook to help you identify job areas with more jobs in the future. Find jobs that match your interests and skills and pay well. Consider areas where a little job training may help you be competitive in a field you would enjoy.

Look at career trends

Take a look at National Job Trends.  Consider current job trends and how your skills, abilities, and interest can contribute in jobs that have an upward trend. Evaluate Employment Projections.   This can help you identify those areas where there is likely to be the most job growth. Consider career trends for 2014.

Compare your skills and interests to trends

Once you have gathered information on career trends, take the time to compare your career skills and interests with the trends. Find a good match between your skills and the job market.  What jobs catch your interest that would pay you the most?  Do your skills match rising job market trends? How can you make your skills even more competitive in the marketplace?  What training would help you improve your job skills? Which job trends interest you the most? Your analysis will help you find a good match between your abilities and available jobs.  Often, a small boost in your skills can make all the difference in landing the job of your dreams.

You’ve now completed your personal inventory and can used this introspection to help you boost your career! Keep reading for more tools and tips.

Personal Inventory – Step 4: Evaluate your Life Stage, Purpose, and Lifestyle to be sure your job fits your life

Those who have a good life/work balance find that they are happier in life and on the job! This can require some evaluation of where you are in life, what you want out of life, and what kind of lifestyle you want. Here are some things to consider. If you find that your life stage, purpose or lifestyle don’t match your current job, take a look at The 8 Stages of Career Transformation. You have the power to transform your life and your career!

Stage of Life

What is your stage in life? Life is often divided into a variety of life stages. Take a look at The 12 Stages of Life or Erik Erikson’s Developmental Stages. See which stage you are in.

Consider where you are in your career. Are you just starting out and want to select a career that is best for you? Are you mid-career wanting to make a change to better match your lifestyle? Have you been downsized out of a job and need to find a new job fast? Are you looking towards retirement and just want to hang on a few more years? Take a look at 5 Different Career Stages for an Employee. Does your career match the stage of life you are in? If not, you may want to consider a career change.

Your life stage will impact your choices, your job needs, and financial goals. Take a look at Planning for Your Financial Life Stages or Life Stages and Financial Planning to evaluate how your stage of life impacts your financial needs. Your financial needs will impact what you need from a job.

Life Purpose

What is your life purpose? Which kinds of things bring meaning to your life? What activities are rewarding to you? Consider these questions and your answers. Take a look at How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes or Helping You Find Your Life Purpose. Consider what you like to do, what you enjoy, and what bring you joy! Your life purpose may be right there before you in the things you like to do best!

Relate your life purpose to the job market

Once you have determined your life purpose, consider how your current job relates to your purpose. Do you get excited and want to tell people about a new product? Then maybe you should be working in sales! Have you found in a new passion in helping the younger generation prepare for the future? Teaching may be a good job for you. Look for ways to align your life purpose with your work and you will find your work very fulfilling! Take a look at 6 Steps to Achieving Work-Life Purpose or 10 Ways to Make your Work Your Life’s Purpose. You may enjoy reading some of these books on finding your purpose in life.

Lifestyle

What kind of lifestyle do you enjoy? Do you like being in the outdoors? Then an outdoor career may suit you. Do you like having your evenings and weekends free? A Monday through Friday job may work best for you. Do you like having blocks of time to travel? Maybe shift work or longer days with days off in blocks of time are the answer.

Consider how your job schedule impacts your lifestyle. Does your schedule matches the lifestyle you want? You may decide to take a job with a more regular schedule to spend more time with family or friends. When your job matches your lifestyle then you will enjoy a good work/life balance. This can make your life more fulfilling and rewarding.

Graduation is looming, now what?

Graduation is looming, now what?

Prepare for the next career step

Graduation and career seem to go hand in hand so take action. Have you started thinking about what to do after graduation yet? What are your big “to do” items as you wrap up this semester? Find a job or perhaps an internship? Expand on your skills and abilities? Graduate school?

If you haven’t done so, it’s important to create your vision and begin working towards your career goals. Don’t let thinks sneak up on you.

Graduation and career:  Questions to ask

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you set your career-related goals and finish wrapping up your college career:

  • What work do I want to do?  What Industries I am interested in?
  • Why is this work important?
  • Am I competitive with others who do this work?
  • What are the main skills, knowledge and abilities needed to excel in this work?
  • Am I staying updated with the latest trends?
  • How’s my professional network? Am I actively using LinkedIn and is my profile updated and strong? Are my offline and online groups supporting me in making new connections and staying knowledgeable in my field?
  • Is my resume updated? Does it showcase my accomplishments and offer solid evidence that I am the best person to overcome an employer’s challenges?

These questions will help you start to formulate a plan in order to move forward. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Graduation and career: Take the next step

Once you have asked the hard questions, then take the next step to ensure that you move forward with your career.  If you need a job, then start sending out applications. When you are go on in school, be sure to apply for further education.  If you need another class, be the one to sign up.  Be sure to do what it takes to move forward after career.

Graduation and career can lead you forward towards positive professional goals.  Do what it takes to keep moving forward.