How to Write a Winning Resume in 2017

designing-a-winning-resume-for-2017

 

Most job seekers know that the resume format and job search process have changed dramatically over the last few years.  To land your ideal career in 2017, you need to know and apply the following in order to attract recruiters and influence hiring managers to determine that you are the most qualified candidate.

This isn’t your Parents’ Resume………………vintage-man-2

Savvy job hunters know that an Objective statement is so last century.  It not only is dated but may harm your search because the focus of objectives are on you and employers want to hear what you can do for them.  Summary statements, similar to the elevator pitch, is a tweet-like reader’s digest version of your resume to describe your expertise and showcase your strongest accomplishments.  It is like the book jacket description to entice the reader to continue to read the remainder of your resume. If Continue reading

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Career Change? What Does Your Inner Child Say?

There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion.  Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.

How about you?childhood career dreams

Should you pursue your passion?

Do you KNOW your passion?

Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?

For those of you who don’t relate, I understand.  I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.

Nobody should wait that long.

And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.

In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:

Continue reading

Stumped When Asked “What are your Strengths & Weaknesses”?

Identify your Strengths through Obstacles & Failures

There is a lot of talk about knowing your strengths, leveraging your strengths and sharing your strengths toward career success.  If you have been interviewing for a new job recently, you were probably asked to explain your strengths and weaknesses, usually one of the hardest questions for job seekers to answer.

Several best sellers have been published which promise a method for you to identify your

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

ID your Strengths gained by past challenges

strengths by answering a quiz or series of questions about yourself.  These are all quite good but you might still come up empty when asked the question during an interview and you cannot come across with a text book answer; you have to be authentic.  You have to be you!  When coaching job seekers, I ask them a question that results in a quizzical look on their faces.

“Let’s talk about the last huge obstacle or challenge you faced at work.”  But, they usually respond, “I thought you wanted to know my strength.”  Continue reading

You are 1 of 300 applicants – “Why hire you?”

 How many others are competing for that job to which you applied?

Though research numbers vary, many workforce planning pundits estimate that there are 300 – 500 applicants for every position filled.  The job market is fiercely competitive.  You know that.  The internet is mostly to blame.  It is just too easy to submit resumes in response to job postings on the big job boards. Sadly, many applicants do not meet the job requirements and qualifications spelled out in the job posting but it is just so easy to click that “submit” button. The rule of thumb  –  meet at least 80% of the qualifications before you apply.  That’s step 1.  Step 2 is:  Stand out!

What's your Career brand?So what must you do to stand out? If you have visited your local bookstore or amazon.com recently and reviewed the management/leadership section, you may have noticed lots of business titles on “branding”.

Now, make the mental leap of associating yourself as a brand. This may be a new concept for you but, as a job seeker, you will be more successful if adopting a marketing strategy to sell your talents and strengths.

Your job search is about more than skills and experience – it’s brand.

Let’s say you are a territory sales manager and pursuing a promotional position as Regional Vice Continue reading

Missing Something on your Linked In Profile?

As an educated and informed job seeker, you know that your Linked In Profile is as crucial as your Resume.  You have added detail and you look at it one last time before declaring it as “final”.

 

Photo uploaded?     checkmark2

Headline under your photo?

Contact Information?  Experience?

Skills & Endorsements?

Recommendations?

Member (and participate in) Groups?

Hold on; are you missing something? 

What about your “Summary”?  Beneath your photo, headline, contact info, one of the most important sections of Linked In waits to be used but commonly is forgotten.  By not completing, you are compromising your profile’s effectiveness.  Some job seekers don’t think the summary statement is important but it like an “open door” to the rest of your profile.

 

open doorThe Summary statement leads the reader to the remainder of your experience and credentials.  If the recruiter’s interest is piqued, by the summary statement, s/he continues to read your profile, recommendations, endorsements and the “rest of your story”.  If it is not, s/he moves on to the next profile and you lose your opportunity of what might have been a position perfectly matched to you.

Need more reasons to write a compelling summary?

  • SEO – search engine optimization.  A keyword rich summary statement will help you rank higher when recruiters search for people with your qualifications.
  • Branding – keeping in mind that the linked in profile is not the same as your resume, you can utilize creativity to describe your career history in terms of a value proposition to potential employers.  Ask yourself:  what message do you want to create?
  • Be Yourself – unlike with your resume, the linked in profile allows you to express your personality and uniqueness.  What connection do you want to make?
  • Tell your story like no one else can – you have a unique set of education and career experiences.  Share exactly what you want a potential employer to know without being restricted by any prescribed notions or expectations.  A word of caution:  be “professional”.

Just as an elevator speech is critical if attending a network function, a summary is critical to your linked in profile success.  Use metrics and data to showcase your accomplishments and grab attention so the recruiter will want to interview you and learn more about how you, such as these examples:

  • Increased sales by 37% in 6 months
  • Reduced costs of sales training by 51% and saving $19,500

Bullet points are easy to read but freely use your 2,000 character space to tell your story.  It’s yours and your career depends upon you telling it well.

For more information on optimizing your Linked In Profile, learning advanced Linked In functions or other job search strategies, contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com. 

Photo sources: fotosearch.com and ct.gov

Changing Careers? Take a lesson from a Millenial

Gotta love the millennials, those 18 – 33 year olds who will account for half of the workforce by 2020.  I envy this generation’s comfort with risk taking, always having been change and risk adverse myself.  I was just talking to an intern at my fitness center and, upon learning that she was from Colorado, asked her how she ended up interning in Florida.  riskShe told me she had several intern opportunities near her hometown of Colorado Springs; however, had always lived there and jumped at the opportunity to work in Tampa, learning about another part of the country and meeting diverse people.  As I worked out on the treadmill, I observed her with others exercising.  She is industrious, approaches members with sincere interest and has, I have heard, introduced new ideas and improvements to the center. The fitness manager raves about her and has already  Continue reading

Career Resilience: are women the stronger sex?

Don’t just take my word for it; successful author and speaker, Valorie Burton, sings the praises of EQi awareness and changing behaviors as means to enhancing resilience.

Resilience at work

Resilience at work

Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQi, has become the standard to predict work success.  Decades of research indicates that EQi trumps IQ and can be improved through  Continue reading

What’s S.W.O.T. Got to Do with It? Your Career That Is……

SWOT analysis is a time tested and valuable method to examine Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  It has been used in corporations and organizations for decades as a vehicle to identify areas of potential improvements or growth.

SWOT your career

It also may be  helpful with your own career goals and/or job search strategies. The same principles, techniques and methods are used to reveal  where you are and, perhaps, what direction you should take.  Here is how it works:

Strengths – these are your talents, gifts and strengths which come naturally to you without effort.  It’s important to identify these

super powers so you can enhance them further and use them in more situations.  Whether you are looking for work or a promotion,  you face competition and are well served if you can identify what differentiates you from them.  The answer that is revealed is usually your strength.

Weaknesses – we all have them but sometimes have not identified them in order to work toward improvement.  We don’t want our weaknesses to overshadow our strengths so it’s important to know what they are and design an action plan for improvement.  In addition to awareness and development of an action plan, it’s beneficial to have an accountability partner with whom you trust and can provide you with feedback.

Opportunities – this factor can be personal; you realize, for example, that you have a need for additional training or professional growth or it may be an external situation, within your career field or industry, which presents opportunities for your career.  Be open to recognizing that changing market conditions can lead you to a different career path. Or, perhaps, you explore another area within your career.  These examples are but a few that, when explored, could lead you to your next promotion or an entirely different career field.

Threats – we all have experienced changes in our jobs as well as in the organizations, industries and fields we work.  Often we approach a threat negatively since it represents short or long term pain (i.e. a layoff); however, threats can also be viewed as opportunities.  We all know people who are in a different career now due to being laid off and having discovered a field that would have not been selected otherwise.  Don’t let yourself be surprised.  Be prepared. It is important to identify existing or potential threats in order to stay ahead  – both career-wise as well as emotionally.

I am often asked: “Of the four factors, which is the MOST important” and I reply that I think knowing your signature strengths and capitalizing upon them is the key to success.  If you are, for example, a salesperson and your strength is cultivating lasting customer relationships, congratulations.  You may not have the most technical knowledge, but your clients think you do because you are resourceful, care about customer interests and provide them with what they need.  Each person is unique and most of us are familiar with some of our shortcomings but fail to give ourselves credit for our strengths.

I challenge you to perform a SWOT analysis, identify your strengths and use them in more and new ways.

Showcase Emotional Intelligence on your Resume

There is good reason that EQi has created so much buzz – it’s effective! Most hiring managers are now giving more weight to emotional intelligence than five years ago and may even value it more than IQ.  In many cases, companies ask interview questions designed to assess candidate’s level of EQi so it’s crucial you understand the concepts of EQi and how it relates to your job search strategy.eqi 

What is EQi?  It is the ability to identify, assess and manage the thoughts and feelings of oneself and others.  If you read job postings, you will see key Continue reading