Resume Examples: Keywords for Accounting

Accounting Resume Keywords

Resume Examples: Keywords for Accounting

If you are trying to find a job in accounting, especially as a new graduate, turning to resume examples can help you learn what you should—and shouldn’t—have on your resume.

Job seekers with accounting skills are in high demand in today’s job market. “Individual majors most in demand at the bachelor’s degree level include finance, accounting, and computer science. These same three majors have topped the list since 2012,” according to  the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2015 Job Outlook Report.

Companies expect to hire 21.2 percent more new accounting graduates in 2015 than they did in 2014, according to the report.

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Use resume examples to learn how your accounting resume measures up.

To browse resume examples, go to Indeed.com and click “Find Resumes” at the top of the home page. There, you’ll be able to search resumes by keyword and location. Doing this can help you understand the skills and tools you should feature your own resume.

However, that provides only a generalized overview. To improve your chances of landing a specific job, you’ll need to use the job posting itself as another tool. From that job posting, extract the keywords and use each one that applies to you to show that you are a good fit for the job.

Resume keywords play a huge role in the way applicant tracking systems filter and rank resumes. If your resume lacks the right keywords, it might never get seen by the human on the other side of the ATS.

The above word cloud was created using the text of a dozen accounting job postings. The bigger the word, the more often it appeared throughout the job postings.

Accountant resume keywords

  • Accounting
  • Accuracy
  • ADP
  • Analysis
  • Audits
  • Bachelor’s
  • Bank
  • Billing
  • Clients
  • Complex
  • Excel
  • Financial
  • GAAP
  • Journal
  • Management
  • Organized
  • Payroll
  • Process
  • Reconciliations
  • Reports
  • Tax

Notes on accounting

In the word list above, there are two industry-specific abbreviations. “ADP” refers to the company Automatic Data Processing, Inc.,  and “GAAP” stands for “generally accepted accounting principles.”

“The roles of accounting and finance professionals are expanding,” according to Accountemps, a staffing agency specializing in accounting. “Given the frequent interaction with other departments, today’s accounting professionals need sound decision-making, negotiation and strategic-thinking skills.”

Using concrete accomplishment statements on your resume is the most effective way to demonstrate these skills. Don’t just say that you’re a strategic thinker—give an example of a time when you’ve put your strategic-thinking skills to work. What challenge did you face, or what problem did you spot? What did you do, and how did the situation turn out? And, of course, don’t forget to include numbers to back up your statements.

Optimizing your resume

Increasing your visibility within an ATS and positioning yourself as a good fit for a role is your best bet for getting an interview—and a job. Fortunately, Jobscan’s resume analysis tool turns optimizing your resume into a fast and easy process. Just paste the text of your resume and the text of a job posting into the appropriate boxes, and you’ll instantly get a score showing how closely your resume aligns with that job. You’ll also get suggestions for changes you can make that will help your resume get ranked more highly by an applicant tracking system. Resume examples are a great starting point, but they are no match for such personalized resume feedback.

See also:

Resume Examples: Keywords for the Finance Industry

How to Choose Resume Keywords

Applicant Tracking Systems: A Tool, Not an Enemy

12 Accomplishments to Help You Write Your Best Resume

Writing a Resume? Pay Attention to the File Name

Resume file name

Writing a Resume? Pay Attention to the File Name

We recently expanded the team here at Jobscan, and as a result, we saw firsthand some of the mistakes job seekers make. One thing we saw over and over was people who were careless with their resume file names. And while we certainly would not have based our hiring decision on that, the fact is that all of the quality candidates used logical and relevant resume file names—every single one included their full first and last names, and most included the company or position.

Those whose applications were clearly hastily done, or who were not qualified (and perhaps just applying to as many jobs as possible), had file names that were all over the board.

The lesson? When writing a resume, don’t overlook any details—even your resume file name. You’ll stand out from the job seekers who send in sloppy applications, and trust us—it’s easy to see which applicants have put forth effort and which haven’t.

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With a great resume comes great responsibility. (Pictured: Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker.)

In all but one of the many applicant tracking systems we have tested, candidates’ resume file names are visible to hiring managers. So keep your resume file name useful, relevant, and professional.

Below is a list of actual resume file names from applications we received (“Peter Parker” and the corresponding initials were used to protect candidate anonymity. Nerd trivia: Peter Parker’s middle name is Benjamin).

After the list: what doesn’t work, and what you should do instead.

Learn from these mistakes

  • Accounting_Resume[1]
  • A+ Marketing Expert
  • CurrentResume
  • General Resume
  • Peter Parker – Project Management, Content Production, Event Management
  • PeterParker(4)
  • PBPResume1X___1_
  • Resume_Current
  • Resume (General Work)
  • Resume(1)
  • 2015 Resume
  • 2015 Resume Final

There are three main takeaways from these submissions:

Role-related

We were not hiring for an accountant, so the person who submitted “Accounting_Resume[1]” started off in the hole. Submitting a resume focused on accounting for a non-accounting role gives the impression that you don’t care about that role. That’s not going to lead to an interview or a job.

Similarly, a resume with “General” or “General Work” in the file name is unlikely to get you far. It would be nearly impossible for a generic resume to sell you as a top candidate for a specific role.

“A+ Marketing Expert” at least got the field correct. A gimmicky resume file name might catch attention, but if you don’t include any identifying information in it, you’ve just made yourself harder to find later.

Versioning

Resume mistakes

Visible versioning can make you seem sloppy.

They say a little mystery can be a good thing. And in this case, it’s certainly true. Being transparent about which draft of your resume you have submitted comes across as sloppy (some things should be kept behind the scenes), and hints that you probably haven’t customized your resume to the job. That puts you a step behind those who do tailor their resumes.

Including the year in your resume is fine. But “2015 resume” could belong to anyone who presently has a resume. Your name must be in your resume file name also.

Length

Both applicant tracking systems and email programs generally preview attached documents—including previews of file names. And if you use a 71-character file name, as one applicant did, the file name is going to get cut off. You have plenty of room to include the pertinent information in a standard-length file name; don’t try to turn the file name into a second resume. It’s possible to be both brief and descriptive.

Tips for writing a resume file name

Your resume file name should include your full first and last name. If you have a common name, you could also add your middle initial.

If, as you should be, you’re sending customized resumes to each position you apply for, include information such as the job title or the company name in your resume file name. Not only is this useful for your own records (making it easier to track which resumes had the best response rates), it can help the person in the hiring role—particularly in a company with more than one opening.

Including the company name can also solve the versioning problems seen above. If you use the company name in your resume file name, you won’t need to tack numbers on the end to keep track of different versions and drafts.

Your resume file name won’t make or break your job search. But, when writing a resume, remember that a brief and specific file name can help you stand out from the crowd submitting generic resumes.

See also:

Top Resume Formats in 2015

Top 3 TED Talks for Job Seekers

8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

How to Create a Resume That an Applicant Tracking System Won’t Ignore

Top 10 Pieces of Career Advice from David Letterman

First Lady Michelle Obama appears on the "Late Show with David Letterman"

Top 10 Pieces of Career Advice from David Letterman

Tonight the long-running “Late Show With David Letterman” draws to a close, and its host will retire from a career including more than three decades in late-night television. He is widely known for stunts—both off-the-wall and on-the-wall—and for making top 10 lists a cultural institution. Countless musicians and comedians have gotten their big breaks on his show. And with his directness and wry humor, he also happens to be the second-best interviewer on television (behind only Charlie Rose).

It’s only fitting to recognize the end of the era with a top 10 list. So here are the top 10 pieces of career advice Letterman has doled out over the years:

10. “There’s only one requirement of any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior. And, I believe—because I’ve done a little of this myself—pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing.”

9. “There is no off position on the genius switch.”

8. “Every big change in my life was full of trepidation….and they worked out beyond my wildest dreams.”

7. “I wish I wouldn’t have let the wrong things distract me.”

6. “I cannot sing, dance, or act. What else would I be but a talk show host?”

5. “Next in importance to having a good aim is to recognize when to pull the trigger.”

4. “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

3. “Any enormous uprooting change in my life has petrified me. Really petrified me. But once I’ve come through the other side, the reward has been unimaginable.”

2. “The guy in the race who spends more time looking over his shoulder, well, that’s the mistake.”

1. “I never knew if the stupider things we did or the more traditional things we did would work….And then, when I look back on it now, of course the answer is, you want to do the weird thing.”

In short: Know your strengths. Try new things. Push yourself. Don’t fear change.

If you’re looking for career advice, you can’t go wrong in turning to someone who built such a long and successful career by playing to his strengths and interests rather than blindly following trends.

See also:

3 Job Search Tips from Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski

What You Can Learn About Career Research from March Madness

3 Job Search Tips from Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll

Job Search Tips for 2015

The In Crowd: 3 New Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work

LinkedIn Profile

The In Crowd: 3 New Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work

Know any tweens that made over 2 billion dollars last year?

If you’re in the market for a new job, the answer to this question should be yes. In 12 years, LinkedIn has gone from scrappy start-up to employment resource empire, making it no ordinary middle schooler. Using the connections of its 350 million+ members, LinkedIn achieves those high profits by wedding companies to job seekers and collecting data on how users seek work.

So how can you make your LinkedIn profile work for you?

1. Get trendy

Through mediums such as Facebook and Twitter, social media users have established a series of days to post certain types of content. Heard of #MotivationMonday and #TBT (Throwback Thursday)?

Check them out and then apply those principles to LinkedIn—except instead of a Thursday morning picture of you sporting velcro shoes, share an old photo of a mentor, an action shot from that time you met influential leaders, or even an candid from your first job. Pinterest works wonders for motivational quotes. Posting on a regular basis, and interacting with other people’s posts, will keep your visibility high.

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Posting content—such as inspirational quotes and images—using popular hashtags gives you more chances to interact with people in your network.

2. Show and tell

Within each former job you list on your personal LinkedIn profile, you’re given the opportunity to highlight past work. Sharing things such as presentations, articles, reports, and collateral pieces gives a prospective employer insight into your skills and capabilities. Let prior achievements do the talking. (Just make sure you have the rights to post any materials—and don’t share any company secrets.)

If you have worked for companies that aren’t household names, you can also include links to profiles or press coverage of those companies. Many employers want candidates who have specific kinds of experience—at a start-up or in healthcare, for example—so make it easy for people to get a sense of your background.

3. Play tag

LinkedIn gives users the ability to tag individuals and many companies in posts. If you’ve applied to a job at the Multnomah County Health Department, for example, seek out and share an article on a related topic…then tag the department, the county, or a friend who works for that particular entity. Remember, there’s always someone on the other end of a tag notification!

LinkedIn is more than just a series of one-click endorsements. When used right, your LinkedIn profile is also an excellent tool to put personal touches on your professional experience. Try out the three tips above and make employers come to you!

See also: 

How to Find Jobs with LinkedIn

Boost Your Job Search with These Quotes

Top Resume Skills for 2015

8 Resume Accomplishments to Make You Stand Out

Need Resume Help? Try These 5 Fast Fixes

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These resume fixes really are fast

It’s common to not think about your resume until you need it—which means it’s also common to seek out resume help only when it’s time for an update. Whether you’re searching for a job for the first time in years, changing careers, or just doing a regular update of your career management document, there are several quick changes you can make to prove you are up to date.

Remove mentions of references

Students and recent graduates tend to be especially guilty of including the outdated line about “references available upon request.”

Everyone is expected to have references. Saying you have references doesn’t make you seem professional or special—and it does take up valuable space.

Employers will ask for references when they want them (typically right before or right after an interview). When this happens, provide a separate reference sheet.

Find orphans a home

An orphan is a word on a line by itself. If your resume contains lines with orphans, rephrase them.

One easy way to tighten your resume writing is to remove every instance of “was.” Instead of saying, “Was responsible for securing donations for a fundraising auction,” say “Secured $12,000 worth of donations for a fundraising auction.” Be brief, be specific, and eliminate the passive voice.

Without orphans, your resume will be much more visually appealing.

Don’t spell out numbers

Even small numbers, which are typically spelled out, should be presented numerically on your resume. They stand out much more that way.

Use numerals for all numbers

Save space and add clarity by writing numbers numerically.

On a related note, use the percent sign instead of spelling out “percent” or “percentage.” It’s much easier to read “11%” at a glance than “eleven percent.”

Another benefit to ditching spelled-out numbers is that you’ll gain a little space.

Leave high school in the past

If you have attended college at all—even if you didn’t graduate, or haven’t yet—it’s time to take all references to high school off your resume. Don’t be like Uncle Rico.

If, during your high school years, you did something especially relevant to a job you’re applying for, you can refer to it in your cover letter or your interview.

Categorize your skills

Your skills section can be one of the biggest selling points on your resume. Make sure it’s easy to read at a glance by sorting your skills into categories. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing job, you might want to call attention to your social media skills like this:

  • Professional Social Media Experience: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest

An effective skills section is one of your best bets for impressing an applicant tracking system, or ATS. An ATS is a type of database used by employers of all sizes to store, sort, and score resumes.

Using the right resume keywords is one of the best ways to make sure an ATS will give you a high ranking. Phrase things on your resume to echo the phrasing in the job listing that interests you. For example, some photography job listings mention “image editing software” while others say “photo editing software.” The wrong phrasing may mean your keyword gets overlooked.

The task of writing a resume that gets noticed by both a database and a human is one of the main reasons more and more people are seeking out resume help. Following the five steps above will make sure your resume is in top shape for the 2015 job search.

See also:

7 Steps for Choosing and Using Job References

Resume Examples: Keywords for Social Media Professionals

How to Choose Resume Keywords

Job Search Tips for 2015

Top 3 TED Talks on the Future of Work

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As today’s job seekers know, changes in the job market can happen quickly. Gone are the days of mailing in printed resumes and cover letters; now online applications, via applicant tracking systems, are the norm. So, in the coming years, what changes are the work force and the job market facing?

TED Talks have been viewed more than one billion times. “TED” stands for “Technology, Education, Design.” The hugely popular lecture series features experts and innovators covering a wide range of topics.  Most talks are shorter than 20 minutes, and they are known for being engaging and inspiring. These three TED Talks cover the future of work:

Topic: What Will Future Jobs Look Like?
Speaker: Andrew McAfee
Key quote: “Encourage entrepreneurship, double down on infrastructure, and make sure we’re turning out people from our educational system with the appropriate skills.”

 

Topic: A New Kind of Job Market
Speaker: Wingham Rowan
Key quote: “Do not underestimate the transformative power of truly modern markets.”

 

Topic: The Workforce Crisis of 2030—And How to Start Solving it Now
Speaker: Rainer Strack
Key quote: “We will face a big skill mismatch in the future, and this means huge challenges in terms of education, qualification, upskilling for governments and companies.”

See also:

Job Search Tips for 2015

Top Resume Skills for 2015

Job Outlook for 2015 Graduates

Resume Tips: Don’t Make These Typography Mistakes

Typography terms

Resume Tips: Don’t Make These Typography Mistakes

Typography is about more than just deciding to branch out from Times New Roman (which is a perfectly acceptable choice for your resume)—and while some typography choices can improve the look and legibility of your resume, others have the opposite effect. Always remember that the end goal of writing a resume that ranks highly in an applicant tracking system is for a human to read your resume. Your ultimate intended audience isn’t a database—it’s a human. So it’s important to create a resume that is visually appealing and easy to read.

The following resume tips and examples tell you what common typography mistakes to avoid—and why.

Too many typefaces

TypefaceGraveyard

Did you ever mix every flavor of pop at the roller rink to make a graveyard? Using too many typefaces has the same level of sophistication. (That is, none.)

While you don’t have to rely on one typeface for your entire resume, your best bet is to limit it to two. Three or more can quickly make for a document that looks haphazard and cluttered. And while there are some simple rules for choosing two typefaces to pair up, matching up more than that is a much higher degree of difficulty.

Also, for the record, a typeface refers to a whole family of fonts. Helvetica is a typeface. Times New Roman is a typeface. Garamond is a typeface. A font, on the other hand, refers to a particular size and weight of a typeface. For example, 12-point Helvetica is a font. 16-point Garamond in bold is a font.

But in an age where computers—not printing presses—are dominant, many people have stopped making the distinction.

Abusing your leading

NoLeading

Your resume content should focus on quality, not quantity. Don’t resort to spacing tricks to try to fit more words on the page. Keep your resume easy to read at a glance.

Leading refers to the space between lines. Many people, bent on fitting their resume onto one page, resort to fussing with margins, leading, and other similar tricks to make it happen. But, as seen above, messing with the leading results in crowded text that’s difficult to read.

You’re much better off trimming and editing your resume’s content. An eye-tracking study of recruiters showed that they spend only 6 seconds reading each individual resume before deciding whether to reject a candidate. In order to be considered for a role, your resume must be clear, concise, and relevant. (And while it is possible to have an effective resume that’s two pages long, it’s clear why keeping your resume to one page is one of the most common resume tips.)

Padding your resume in an attempt to seem more impressive will backfire—including extraneous information means the important information could get overlooked. Volume of content is not the way to earn an interview. Instead of crowding your resume, limit what you include.

Poor color choices

MakeAllText

This says “make all text easy to read.” You can use color on your resume, but don’t forget that contrast is important for legibility.

You can use color in your resume—if you do so wisely. As with typefaces, don’t go overboard with an assortment of colors. A Lisa Frank product is the last thing you want your resume to look like.

If you do use color, remember that contrast is important for legibility. Also, eye strain is a real possibility for those who spend their days looking at resumes (whether on screen or on paper). Make sure that if you do use color, it doesn’t make your resume harder to read.

Emphasizing everything

Emphasized

It’s important to make certain key pieces of your resume stand out. It’s also important to not go overboard and emphasize everything.

Of course there are certain parts of your resume that you want to emphasize. And using emphasis well can make your resume easier to take in at a glance. It makes sense to draw attention to key pieces, such as your name, job titles, and section headers.

But if you emphasize too many things, then nothing stands out. And if you use too many different types of emphasis, your resume will be harder to read—not easier. Bold, italics, and underlined or capitalized text all have their place and purpose. But they don’t all belong on your resume at once.

Considering the design and appearance of your resume is important. After all, the point of getting past the applicant tracking system is to have a human see your resume. Avoid making the mistakes explained in the above resume tips to make sure you wind up with a resume that is polished and easy to read.

See also:

Of Course You Can Use Times New Roman for Your Resume

Resume Format Advice to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

Resume Examples: Keywords for Photographers

Photography Resume

Resume Examples: Keywords for Photographers

If you’re job hunting, you’ve probably read all about the various things you can do to create a more effective resume. But many people overlook the power of resume examples—browsing through the resumes of others can provide some inspiration and insight into what you can do with your own.

Resume examples can be an especially useful way to gain a realistic perspective on the types of careers people romanticize and daydream about—such as photography.

If you visit Indeed.com and click on the “Find Resumes” link at the top of the home page, you’ll be taken to a useful feature where you can search resumes by keyword and location. By browsing through the resumes of photographers, you will be able to get a good sense of the skills, equipment, tools, and credentials you should have on your own resume.

Ultimately, though, the job posting for a specific role that interests you is the best research tool. That’s because the job posting is where you will find your resume keywords. These are specific terms you use on your resume to demonstrate to an employer that you are a good fit for the role.

Resume keywords are a critical part of how an applicant tracking system scores and ranks candidates. An ATS is a tool used by employers to store and filter resumes and find the most qualified candidates. If your resume isn’t scored highly by an ATS, your application is likely to go unnoticed.

The word cloud above was generated using the text from a dozen job postings for photographers. The larger the word is, the more often it appeared throughout the job postings.

Photographer resume keywords

  • Art
  • Cameras
  • Clients
  • Creative
  • Digital
  • DSLR
  • Editing
  • Equipment
  • Images
  • Lighting
  • Magazine
  • Photography
  • Photoshop
  • Portfolio
  • Professional
  • Reliable
  • Shoot
  • Studio

Notes on photography resume keywords

photographer resume

Be specific about the brands and types of equipment you have experience with.

When looking at a photography job listing, pay attention to whether it mentions “digital SLR” or “DSLR.” They both appeared regularly throughout job postings for photographers. Similarly, many listings called for experience with specific camera brands—namely, Nikon or Canon. If you’re experienced with the brand mentioned in a job listing, be sure you include it on your resume.

Portfolios were also mentioned frequently. If you have an online portfolio, you can include the link to it in the contact information portion of your resume.

Tailoring your resume

Tailoring each resume you submit is easy when you use the right tools. Working from a career management document means you never create a resume from scratch. A career management document is a place where you compile things you’ve listed on earlier resumes and things you might include on future resumes, plus notes about big accomplishments, or your references and their contact information.

Keeping all of this information in one place means not forgetting details over time, or being stumped when you need to create a resume. Obviously, a career management document is most useful if you update it on a regular basis.

Finally, to see how well you’ve targeted your resume for a specific job, try Jobscan. Paste the text of your resume plus the text of the job listing into the provided fields, and you’ll get a score telling you how well your resume matches up with the job, along with changes that will get your resume ranked more highly by an ATS. Resume examples are great for big picture inspiration and research, while customized feedback provides you with concrete actions to take.

See also:

How to Choose Resume Keywords

Applicant Tracking Systems: A Tool, Not an Enemy

Showing Off Your Soft Skills on a Resume

8 Resume Accomplishments to Make You Stand Out

Resume Writing: 2 Rules You Can Break

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Resume Writing: 2 Rules You Can Break

Ask 10 people for resume writing advice, and you’re bound to get 10 different responses. But not all of them will take today’s job search into consideration. Two traits once touted as requirements for a good resume can now be put out to pasture.

Page limit 

For years, people were told that a one-page resume was an absolute must. Many people still treat this as a hard-and-fast rule. And while you should still exercise care to include only what needs to be on your resume—padding your resume does more harm than good—there’s no need to be militant about the one-page limit.

Today, most companies use applicant tracking systems to screen candidates. These systems store, sort, and score the resumes applicants submit. Because each open position can get hundreds of applicants (or more), employers often look only at the resumes that were ranked most highly.

Applicant tracking systems rank resumes based on a number of factors. Length is not among them.

How does an ATS determine a resume’s score? Resume keywords are one of the biggest factors. Resume keywords are specific words and phrases found in a job listing—tools and technologies, education credentials, job functions, and more. Having the right keywords on your resume indicates to an ATS that you are a good match for the job.

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Applicant tracking systems penalize keyword stuffing.

Keyword frequency matters, but only up to a point—applicant tracking systems have caught on to people who try to game the system, and keyword stuffing will get your resume flagged or penalized.

Focus on choosing the right keywords, and use them throughout your resume wherever they’re relevant. (If you have the option to submit a cover letter, use keywords there, too.)

Before applying to a job, run your resume and the job posting through Jobscan’s resume analysis tool. You’ll get instant feedback on your keyword usage, plus other ways you can improve your resume—and boost your ranking within an ATS.

Remember, though, resume writing isn’t about just trying to get a high mark from an ATS. Should your resume be scored highly by an ATS, it still needs to be compelling for the person on the other end of the ATS to offer you an interview.

To keep your resume friendly for human eyes, be sure to use plenty of white space. Use clear and consistent formatting to make your section headers easy to spot. You can even group related skills into categories to make them easy to take in at a glance.

Resume objective

The problem with resume objectives is that they are almost invariably an unfortunate mix of buzzwords, vagueness, and navel-gazing (and I’m not talking omphaloskepsis).

Resume objectives focus on what job seekers want. Often, they are merely stilted ways of saying “please hire me.” (See our dedicated Resume Objective page for five real-life resume objectives.)

The fact is, submitting an application for a job makes it clear that your objective is to get that job. You don’t need to waste a line on your resume saying so.

What employers want to know is whether you’d be a good fit for the job they’re trying to fill. This leads to the next two issues with resume objectives: vagueness and buzzwords.

Most resume objectives are bland and generic statements that could be applied to any candidate for a particular job—for example, “motivated production assistant seeking to advance my career” or “driven sales professional with a proven track record of success.”

Saying that you are “motivated” or “driven” doesn’t make you stand out—it makes you sound like everyone else (those two are mainstays of LinkedIn’s annual lists of overused buzzwords).

Motivated to do what? Driven how? What have your motivation and drive actually helped you accomplish? If you exceeded sales goals for six straight quarters, then say so. If you’re an experienced production assistant, you’ve no doubt solved numerous unique problems. Be specific about a couple of them.

If you want to get an employer’s attention, ditch the resume objective. Instead, use a line or two to tell an employer how they could benefit from your key skills, qualities, and credentials. Be specific. Stick to things you can quantify.

“Passionate thought leader who utilizes bleeding-edge creativity to disrupt the organic juice space” is precisely the kind of puffery you don’t want. Such resume writing conveys self-importance more than anything else. Tell an employer who you are and how you can help them, and you will stand out from the pack.

See also:

Resume Format Advice to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

Should You Use a Resume Objective?

Change Your Resume Objective into a Career Summary

Resume Format: 3 Things to Know About Using a Second Page

3 Easy Steps to Prepare for a Job Fair

Dress Professionally

3 Easy Steps to Prepare for a Job Fair

Spring is a busy time when it comes to job fairs, leading up to summer hiring. If you are planning to attend a job fair soon, it’s time to start preparing. There are three main things you need to do to be ready.

Create a job fair resume

Typically, you should create a customized resume tailored for each individual job. When you’re attending a job fair, though, your resume needs are different. Put good effort into crafting a compelling career summary. This is not the same as a traditional resume objective, which is all about your goals; instead, it’s an overview of what you’ve accomplished, and how you can benefit an employer.

You should have printed copies of your resume to take with you. The resume that you create to take to a job fair should be limited to one page. Remember, roles that date back 10 years or more can be condensed into a section called “Prior Professional Experience,” or something similar, where you include just the employers, your titles, and your employment dates.

Depending on your field and the type of job you’re targeting, a job fair is your chance to move beyond the typical resume and include (carefully chosen, of course) color and graphics. Because you will be meeting with people face-to-face, you could even include your photo (normally frowned upon in the U.S.).

You may not be able to choose keywords targeted for an individual job when attending a job fair, but you can research keywords relevant to your industry and the types of roles you’re interested in, and draw from those. Resume examples are a great source in this case. If you’re pursuing a career in social media, visit Indeed.com, click “Find Resumes,” and browse through resumes using “social media” as a search term.

And, as always, make sure your resume is polished and error-free.

Hone your elevator speech

This is a short speech—30 seconds or fewer, or about the length of an elevator ride—in which you tell someone who you are and what you do. You can also include details such as notable accomplishments, standout skills, your interests, community involvement, or professional goals. Obviously, you can’t include all of that—so think of several highlights, and choose which to share based on who you’re talking to.

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Keep your elevator speech short and conversational.

But remember, it’s an ice breaker, not your whole life history. Focus on being conversational.

If you’re a student and you’ll be attending a job fair at your college or university, your elevator speech should include information about your major, plus any notable projects, such as a thesis.

An elevator speech is designed to be a brief and compelling quick of your career or education. Practice, revise, and accept feedback to make sure you are engaging—but not bragging.

Don’t try to memorize an exact script—just get comfortable with the points you want to cover. The last thing you want is to come off as stilted.

Research potential employers

Generally, you’ll be able to find out in advance which employers will be at a job fair. It’s important to learn about who will be there, and to come up with a realistic and prioritized list of the companies you want to talk to. Don’t go to a job fair planning to talk with every company present.

If you’re going to be attending an industry-specific job fair, then doing your research is even more important. Not only will you need to know what sets one company apart from another—in order to decide who you want to spend your time talking to—but the questions you prepare for an industry-specific job fair should be more focused, and should allow you to demonstrate your understanding of, or experience in, that field.

Employers will come into contact with countless candidates during the course of a job fair. One of the most effective ways to make yourself memorable is to ask engaging questions. Don’t ask questions that could be answered with a moment’s web search.

Attending a job fair provides you with chances to practice marketing yourself, to learn more about specific employers, and to make potentially valuable contacts. It also gives you the opportunity to practice answering employers’ questions—and ask some of your own—in a lower-stakes setting than a job interview. A job fair can be an ideal trial run, and should be considered as part of any job search.

See also:

How to Research Potential Employers

Resume Writing: Less is More

Spring: A Great Time to Get a Job

Resume Examples: Keywords for Social Media Professionals