6 Skills for Your Resume in 2015: Examples From The Lord of the Rings

Skills for resume in 2015

6 Skills for Your Resume in 2015

J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has it all: adventure, romance, wizardry, the triumph of good over evil. . .and examples of skills to put on a resume!

Back in January, we gave you a list of the top resume skills for 2015. But like any other adventure, the job search is ever-changing—and there are some new things many employers want to see. Use this mix of six hard and soft skills for resume success in the remainder of 2015:

Skills for resume in 2015

Aragorn and Anduril remind you to include specific challenges you’ve overcome on your resume. (Photo credit: Comic Vine.)

1. Problem solving. When an employer posts a job, at the core of that position it means there’s a problem: too much work, too many unsatisfied customers, or inefficient work procedures, to name a few. Positioning yourself as someone familiar with addressing challenges is key to landing a new job. Although Aragorn long shuns his status as Gondor’s heir, when he does choose to take the throne, his track record (summoning the Dead Men of Dunharrow; leading troops in the Battle of Pelennor Fields) lays an excellent foundation for successful royal leadership. So while you won’t face the same challenges as Aragorn, remember that specifying challenges you’ve overcome is one great way to add accomplishments to your resume.

2. Middleware. No, not Middle-Earth. Middleware is “the software that connects software components or enterprise applications,” according to Oracle. This includes content management systems such as SalesForce or WordPress, web servers such as Apache, and application servers. While neither Java nor ZendServer exists in Tolkien’s world, there are scores of characters that connect Frodo and his companions with the resources they need. From Tom Bombadil to Lady Galadriel, helpful friends abound. It’s no wonder employers see middleware as one of the key skills for a resume. Check out Oracle’s guide to middleware for more info!

Skills for resume in 2015

Gimli and Legolas are one of Middle-earth’s best examples of teamwork. (Photo credit: TheOneRing.)

3. Teamwork. While being able to work independently certainly is among the critical skills for a resume, employers in today’s job market place more emphasis on the ability to work in a group, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The phrase “teamwork” might sound trite, but think about all that goes into it: Compromise. Clarification. Coordination. Creativity. When the nine members of Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring band together, at first they are plagued by old rifts between races and the challenges of their task. But eventually Elves and Dwarves work together, and valuable new alliances are formed. Make sure your resume includes examples of times you accomplished something notable as part of a team.

4. Data analysis. With the emergence of tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Moz, your next boss wants to identify who’s currently using her company’s products/services, who should be using them, and how best to reach both kinds of consumers. The capacity to analyze quantitative data also indicates good organizational skills. At the Battle of Helm’s Deep, Aragorn and Eomer calculate that their forces are outnumbered fivefold. However, once the warriors understand the odds they face, they set about assessing their strengths, planning strategic moves, and (SPOILER ALERT) ultimately winning the battle (with help from Gandalf).

5. Decision making. The ability to quickly and intelligently make decisions is a vital skill. Whether on a solo project or operating as part of a team, being decisive creates results. (Remember, though, that it’s important to show willingness to collaborate and ask for help. Making every decision on your own won’t get you far in any workplace, no matter what your role.) When highlighting this soft skill on your resume, be sure to provide a concrete, quantifiable example of your decision-making capabilities, e.g. “Chose new curriculum module for 30 fourth grade science students.” Frodo’s decision to leave his companions and take the Ring to Mordor himself is a difficult one, but it ends up being the correct course of action.

6. SEO marketing.  Understanding how and why customers search for specific products or services is essential for a business that wants to grow. If this particular skill is a new realm for you, be sure to read through Moz’s free Beginner’s Guide to SEO; Google’s Search Optimization Starter Guide is also a solid resource. While Gollum’s actions are certainly nothing to base a career upon, he does intimately understand The Ring and its capabilities. Expertise in a given subject—say, jewelry, travel, or volcanoes—is an important part of SEO success.

Skills for resume in 2015

Eowyn markets her skills effectively—and goes on to play the most decisive role in battle. (Photo credit: Wikia.)

Once you have evaluated which of these key skills to put on a resume, use Jobscan to ensure that your resume matches up with each job you apply for. Using an ever-expanding database of skills, Jobscan’s resume analysis tool will instantly give you both a match rating and a detailed list of the most important keywords within a job posting. You’ll get personalized feedback on steps you can take to improve your resume.

In the film version of The Two Towers, Lord Aragorn crosses Lady Eowyn’s path as she practices swordplay. “You have some skill with a blade,” he remarks. “The women of this country learned long ago,” she replies, “that those without swords can still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.”

Make like Eowyn and highlight your skills. Like the One Ring itself (minus the mayhem), your resume will shine for employers and give you the power to rule your job search!

See also:

Top Resume Skills For 2015

Job Search Tips for 2015

20 Best ATS-Friendly Resume Examples

How To Use Jobscan: A Step-By-Step Guide

20 ATS-Friendly Resume Templates

ATS-friendly resume templates

The Best ATS-Friendly Resume Templates

Not all resume templates are created equal, and not all are right for every job seeker or situation. Choosing the right resume format means weighing a number of considerations. The job you’re pursuing, the field you’re in, your work history, your skill set, and your location are just a few of the factors that can influence your resume.

One of the most important considerations, though, is one that many people overlook: Is your resume template ATS-friendly? If not—or if you’re not sure—you might be wasting your time. If an ATS (applicant tracking system) can’t read your resume well, or at all, your chances of getting picked for an interview are low—even if you’re perfectly qualified.

An applicant tracking system is a type of recruiting software used to find, screen, and rank candidates. The vast majority of employers today rely on an ATS.

ats-friendly resume templates

Don’t rely on luck—use a resume template that is sure to be ATS-friendly.

When you fill out an online application and submit your resume, an applicant tracking system uses your information to create a candidate profile. If your resume can’t be fully read by the ATS, your profile will be incomplete. And if your profile doesn’t reflect that you’re a good match for the job, you won’t be considered.

Anything from the file format you choose to whether or not you use tables or images can impact how well an ATS reads your resume.

Jobscan has researched and tested dozens of applicant tracking systems, including the biggest ones in the business and some of the newest ones on the scene. We have learned what works—and what doesn’t. We have discovered which resume formatting traits will breeze through an ATS, and which will hamper a candidate’s chances.

Based on that knowledge, we have compiled 20 resume templates that are ATS-compatible. These resumes are already formatted—all you have to do is customize them with your own information. You can get these 20 ATS-friendly resume templates—for free—right here.

If you want to maximize your chances of landing a job interview, you have to be sure that your resume will be easy for an ATS to read. Using one of these 20 ATS-friendly resume templates means you can apply with confidence.

See also:

Top Resume Formats in 2015

10 Awesome Resume Templates

Resume Format Advice to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

Top 3 Blogs for Baby Boomer Career Advice


Baby Boomer Career Advice

Top 3 Blogs for Baby Boomer Career Advice

Workplaces and job searches have changed drastically since Baby Boomers started their careers decades ago. Technology has driven many of these changes. Every generation gets, well, generalized—and Baby Boomers are generalized as being technologically inept. This can make it harder for people in this age group (those born between 1946 and 1964) to find a job or start an encore career. Baby Boomer career changers also must face the obstacle of ageism.

“Encore career” is a term coined by Marc Freedman, an author of numerous books and founder of encore.org. It refers to a career’s second half, or second act, when a person still does paid work, but focuses on work that has a positive social impact. Education, non-profits, and government agencies are just a few common choices for encore careers. Many people who launch encore careers choose to work with youth in some way.

Baby Boomer Career Advice: Encore Careers

Encore careers commonly focus on some form of coaching, teaching, or mentoring.

For Baby Boomer career advice related to navigating today’s workplace and job search, or to learn more about launching an encore career, start with these three blogs.

1. Career Pivot

Career Pivot is a career resource firm helmed by Marc Miller, author of Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers.  It’s aimed at people who are interested in making career moves—but not interested in leaps of faith and drastic changes.

“Career Pivot helps you move toward your new career in small, practical steps that land you where you want to be,” according to the site.

The Career Pivot blog is an incredibly useful combination of original content and round-ups of relevant stories from numerous sources. The curated posts are called “BoomerJobTips,” and each one is broken out into clear categories. If you’re pressed for time, start with these.

Career Pivot also features resources such as book recommendations, white papers, and evaluations.

Three key posts:

Top 5 Unspoken Objections to Hiring a Baby Boomer

Waiting is Not a Job Search Strategy

7 Steps to a Successful Military Transition

2. Next Avenue

Next Avenue is a site produced by PBS, created especially for Baby Boomers. It was founded by Jim Pagliarini and Judy Diaz, who both have been with PBS for decades. Next Avenue includes content on a wide range of topics, with one channel—called Work & Purpose—devoted to all things Baby Boomer career-related. The Living & Learning channel also has some relevant content.

Baby Boomer Career Advice: Encore Careers

Baby Boomers interested in launching encore careers face a special set of considerations.

The blog both covers current events and developments and provides advice on a range of issues, including tips on time management, job searching, and using LinkedIn effectively. The posts are written by a range of experts.

In addition to the blog, there are special reports, and an e-newsletter you can sign up to receive.

Three key posts:

Achieving Your Dreams After 60

Disrupting the Way We Think About Older Workers

8 Great Tips to Find Jobs in Retirement

3. John Tarnoff, Boomer Reinvention Coach

This site was launched by John Tarnoff (as you may have guessed), a former entertainment executive and film producer. After the dot-com bubble burst, he went back to school and earned a master’s degree in spiritual psychology and became a career educator and coach.

“My mission is to help my fellow Boomers not just weather the storm, but fulfill the potential of our generation and make a lasting contribution to society,” he writes.

His psychology education comes through loud and clear in the blog, which covers a wide range of topics—and provides both reality checks and encouragement.

In addition to his blog, he offers free coaching consultation calls, as well as more in-depth consultation programs and workshops.

Three key posts:

Why Boomers Make the Best Mentors

Boomer Careers: How to Survive the Next 20 Years

How to Prevent Failure for Boomers in an Uncertain World

Career advice is not one-size-fits-all. And it shouldn’t be. Baby Boomer career advice needs to account for the challenges, opportunities, and considerations unique to the generation.

See also:

5 Signs Your Resume is Not Ready for the 2015 Job Search

Reach Your Career Goals With These Lessons From Agent Carter

Job Search Tips for 2015

Top 3 TED Talks for Job Seekers

What Tailoring Your Resume Really Means

Writing a resume tailored to a job

What Tailoring Your Resume Really Means

Job seekers hear the advice over and over: Tailor your resume. But not everyone knows exactly what this means. Writing a resume that best aligns with a specific job isn’t about adding content. In fact, adding to your resume can often make it worse—not better.

Instead, tailoring your resume is about focusing, and even subtracting. If you’ll forgive the buzzword, it’s about curating. Be selective. Choose what’s included based on how well it fits. How well does each piece make the case that you’re the one for that job?

Unlike a curriculum vitae (or “CV”), which chronicles the breadth of your experience, your resume should be concise. If you wind up with a resume that has plenty of white space, that’s actually good. An eye tracking study of recruiters showed that recruiters spend only six seconds looking at a resume before deciding whether to reject the candidate. Your resume has to make your case in almost no time.

Why tailoring matters

If you got a suit tailored, which result would you want:

  • Someone who used so much cloth that you can’t even find the sleeves, and who added dozens of extra buttons because buttons are helpful


  • Someone who took into account your build, budget, and style, and created a suit that fit well and flattered you?
Writing a resume that's tailored makes all the difference

Tailoring makes all the difference.

It’s a no-brainer. It’s why “tailor” is the verb so commonly applied to the process of customizing a resume.

Resume keywords

One of the best ways to tailor your resume for a specific job is to choose the right keywords. To figure out which resume keywords you should use, look at the job posting for details such as technologies, skills, degrees, and more. “MBA,” “risk management,” and “JavaScript” are just a few examples.

Having keywords from the job posting present in your resume signals that you’re a good match for the job.

When writing a resume, keep in mind that you do not have to meet every single requirement listed in the job posting. It’s common for people to create job postings describing dream candidates. It’s usually easy to tell which keywords refer to requirements, and which refer to nice-to-haves.

Don’t stretch your skills and experiences to try to check off every keyword. When writing a resume, it’s important to spend time focusing on connecting the dots for the hiring manager. Ditch the jargon-y resume objective, and instead spend your time crafting accomplishment statements that make your effectiveness and experience instantly clear.

Other considerations

Writing a resume is part of the tailoring process—organizing it is the other part. Don’t just lead with your most recent job—unless that’s most relevant. If you just finished a degree in a field related to the job, lead with that. If your skill set is stronger than your work history, put your skill set first.

Writing a resume that's tailored for a specific job

Tailoring your resume means knowing what to cut and what to move.

For an instant analysis of how well your resume is tailored for a specific job, use the online resume analysis tool from Jobscan. Enter the text of your resume and the text of the job posting, and Jobscan will give you personalized feedback about ways you can improve your resume.

Just as the same suit won’t work on every body, the same resume won’t fit every job. Tailoring your resume every time you apply is the best way to make your response rate take off. You only get one chance to make your first impression.

See also:

8 Things You Need to Know About Resume Keywords

Resume Writing: Less is More

These Famous Quotes Will Give You Resume Help

5 TED Talks to Boost Your Communication Skills

5 TED Talks to Boost Your Communication Skills

5 TED Talks to Boost Your Communication Skills

“Many employers believe hard skills, such as how to use a particular software program, can be easily learned, while soft skills, such as communication, need to be developed,” according to Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report. Employers of all types want employees who have good communication skills.

Solid communication skills are necessary not just to succeed in the workplace, but to land a job to begin with. Your application materials and interview put your written and verbal communication skills on clear display.

These five TED Talks will help you take your communication skills to the next level:

Topic: 5 Ways to Listen Better
Speaker: Julian Treasure
Key quote: “We’re losing our listening. This is not trivial. Because listening is our access to understanding. Conscious listening always creates understanding.”


Topic: The Power of Vulnerability
Speaker: Brené Brown
Key quote: “Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”


Topic: Connected, But Alone?
Speaker: Sherry Turkle
Key quote: “We turn to technology to help us feel connected in ways we can comfortably control. But we’re not so comfortable. We are not so much in control.”


Topic: Talk Nerdy to Me
Speaker: Melissa Marshall
Key quote: “Take your science, subtract your bullet points and your jargon, divide by relevance—meaning share what’s relevant to the audience—and multiply it by the passion that you have for this incredible work that you’re doing, and that is going to equal incredible interactions that are full of understanding.


Topic: Comedy is Translation
Speaker: Chris Bliss
Key quote: “Misdirection isn’t the only trick that comedy has up its sleeve. Economy of language is another real strong suit of great comedy. There are few phrases that pack a more concentrated dose of subject and symbol than the perfect punchline.”


See also:

Showing Off Your Soft Skills on a Resume

Top Resume Skills for 2015

Top 3 TED Talks for Job Seekers

Top 3 TED Talks on the Future of Work

Resume Examples: Keywords for Sales Professionals

Sales Professional Resume Examples

Resume Examples: Keywords for Sales Professionals

A successful job search requires extensive research, and one of the most effective research methods is to use resume examples to your advantage. Browsing the resumes of people in your industry can both clue you in on what to strive for, and give you a clearer picture your competition.

One of the main ways that applicant tracking systems (ATS) judge candidates is by using resume keywords. These are the specifics that vary from job to job, such as educational requirements, software programs, and more. The higher the number of keyword matches between your resume and the job posting, the higher your resume is ranked.

The above word cloud above was generated using the text from 10 sales associate job postings. The larger the word is, the more times it appeared in the postings.

Sales associate resume keywords

  • Accounts
  • Business
  • Calls
  • Clients
  • Closing
  • CMS
  • Communication
  • CRM
  • Develop
  • Driven
  • Experienced
  • Goals
  • Identifying
  • Leads
  • Motivated
  • Products
  • Relationships
  • Sales
  • Team
  • Verbal

Keyword notes

First, a quick note: “CMS” stands for “content management system,” and “CRM” stands for “customer relationship management.” These tools are an absolute necessity for many sales jobs today. If you aren’t familiar with them, find a Skillshare class to learn the basics. Salesforce is a well-known CRM, and WordPress is a well-known CMS.

The main thing that stood out about this word cloud is that “driven” and “motivated” both appear—even though they are synonyms. The trait is so important to sales careers that it showed up among the most common words twice.

Sales Professional Resume Examples: Motivated, Driven, Hungry

One of Steve Jobs’ most famous quotes. A great reminder of motivation and drive.

If you’re applying for sales jobs, your resume needs to demonstrate that you are motivated and driven. Synonyms to watch for in job postings, or to use yourself, include:

  • Ambitious
  • Determined
  • Enthusiastic
  • Persistent
  • Tenacious

The important thing to remember about using adjectives to describe yourself on your resume is that they’re meaningless on their own. But they’re powerful if you can put them in context. To highlight soft skills on your resume, work them in to your accomplishment statements. Anchored by evidence, your soft skills become powerful.

Targeting your resume

If you maintain a career management document, tailoring your resume for individual jobs is fast and simple. And to get personalized feedback about how well you’ve targeted your resume for a specific job, use Jobscan’s resume analysis tool. Not only do you get an instant rating, but you also get suggestions for ways you can make your resume an even better match for the job.

Resume examples are great as inspiration to get you started, but personalized feedback gets you to the final product.

See also:

20 ATS-Friendly Resume Examples

Showing Off Your Soft Skills on a Resume

8 Things You Need to Know About Resume Keywords

12 Accomplishments to Help You Write Your Best Resume

New Graduate? These 3 Blogs Will Help You Find a Job

Blogs to help you find a job

New Graduate? These 3 Blogs Will Help You Find a Job

It’s graduation season, which means countless college seniors are thinking about the clever things they could write on the top of their mortarboards. Perhaps they’re also thinking about details such as how they’re going to find a job—and excel at it once they do.

If you’re among the recent or soon-to-be graduates, congratulations on the milestone! To help you prepare for the next one—your first job—here a few blogs you should peruse.

You’ve probably already noticed, but there are countless sites out there targeted at the college student/millennial/young professional crowd. (My first cell phone was so big that I couldn’t zip my purse shut when the phone was in it, so I think that means I’m not a millennial.) Many of them miss the mark. These three blogs are worth your time:

1. Corn on the Job

As an unabashed fan of terrible puns, I have to admit this blog first caught my attention because of its name. But it didn’t take long to see that it’s really a valuable resource.

This blog can help you find a job

Corn on the Job offers a great mix of quirky and practical advice, and covers an impressive range of topics.

The blog was created by Rich DeMatteo, who has both agency and corporate recruiting experience. That means he knows what it’s like to try to find a job for an individual, and what it’s like to try to find the right individual for a specific job.

As you might have guessed from the blog title, some of the topics and advice are a little off the beaten path. If that might suit you, check it out.

Three key posts:

IT Certifications: What Database Professionals Need to Get the Best Jobs

The Best Hands-On Jobs for Active People

6 Tips to Overcome Shortfalls in Job Qualifications

2. My Career Advisor

This blog is helpful if you want to find a job, even if you aren't a student

You don’t have to be a student to benefit immensely from My Career Advisor.

While this blog is written by several staff members at the American University Career Center, you don’t have to be an AU student or alum—or even live anywhere near Washington, D.C.—in order to benefit from this blog.

The posts are straightforward, and packed with actionable advice. There’s no fluff or clickbait here—just practical advice that you can use right away.

The tag cloud makes it easy to find posts on the topics that interest you most: internships, entrepreneurship, federal jobs, social media, and more.

Three key posts:

Creating the Best Writing Sample

Interviewing with Employer by Phone? Here’s 9 Tips

2015 Summer Reading List for Your Career Development

3. Position Ignition

Behind this blog is a career consulting company. They work with both individuals and corporate clients (including Etsy, Motorola, and other household names). Based in the UK, their advice is practical and useful for people anywhere in the world. They publish frequently—and thoughtfully.

The blog will still come in handy even after you find a job. It covers a range of workplace topics, many of which wouldn’t be obvious to someone who hasn’t spent much—or any—time in a professional setting.

Three key posts:

Why Identifying Your Skills is Vital Pre-Job Search

10 Ways to Develop Transferable Skills

5 Ways to Enter an Industry Without Prior Experience

Spend some time reading these blogs and you’ll come away more informed and better prepared for  your job search—and prepared to succeed on the job.

See also:

Job Outlook for 2015 Graduates

9 Resume Tips for Young Professionals: Using Resume Examples

Job Search Tips for 2015

What Not to Include on a Professional Resume

To Err is Not Just Human: 3 Ways to Beat an ATS


To Err is Not Just Human: 3 Ways to Beat an ATS

In today’s market, it’s easy to feel like just a number when you’re job searching. Hundreds of people applying for one position and non-communicative potential employers are bad enough—and then there’s the ATS factor.

An ATS (applicant tracking system) is designed to help employers weed out unqualified job candidates, thus trimming the time of the hiring process. On average, an ATS rejects 75 percent of resumes submitted for a position. Great for companies. . .but not so great for job seekers who don’t know the secrets of the system.

So how can you beat an ATS robot? By playing to your strengths as a human.

BAD NEWS #1: An ATS is extremely error-prone. Unfortunately, an ATS can get tripped up by minor things on resumes, such as putting the dates of your prior work experiences before employer names. ATS software also often has trouble with verb tenses. If the job description requires “Experience leading a team of ninjas” and your resume says “Led ninja warriors into battle,” the ATS may not recognize the keyword as a match.

GOOD NEWS #1You’re smart. Humans are excellent problem solvers, and an ATS is definitely conquerable. You just have to know where to look for solutions. Jobscan’s resume analysis tool instantly shows you how well your resume matches a job description before it’s sent into cyberspace, greatly increasing your chances of getting an interview.

Beat an ATS by being willing to change your tactics

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” —Albert Einstein

BAD NEWS #2: The ATS looks for a high volume of resume keywords and phrases that match the job description. The more often a specific skill appears within a job posting, the greater the weight the ATS puts on that specific skill. You may have years and years of experience with “blindfolded unicycling,” but if that’s in the posting six times and you only list it once, you’re likely out of luck.

GOOD NEWS #2: You’re creative. Once Jobscan has given your resume an initial percentage match, think specifically about all of the ways you’ve used the key skills. Don’t forget about volunteer experiences, internships, and temporary work! If you’re really struggling with how to articulate a particular skill in different ways, ask former employers or co-workers to describe what you accomplished in your job from an outside point of view.


“Thanks! I’d forgotten about all of my experience with leading ninjas into battle!”

BAD NEWS #3: When humans finally get involved, they don’t always see your resume. Instead, a hiring manager often receives a batch of information from an ATS on how well your submission matches the job description. The details vary from ATS to ATS, but it’s common for applicants to be given a broad rating such as “Excellent,” “Good,” or “Fair.”  Sometimes qualified people don’t appear qualified because their resumes don’t take the quirks of an ATS into account.

GOOD NEWS #3: You’re resourceful. Check out what one ATS report actually looks like to find out what you’re up against. LinkedIn is also a good way to connect with others in your field, and fellow job seekers who may be experiencing ATS-activated aggravation. And because Jobscan knows how an ATS “thinks,” you’ve got a great resource in your corner.


Even Wonder Woman needs backup sometimes.

Your mom and Mr. Rogers were right: You ARE special. By combining your skills with the right resources, you can get past an ATS and move on to an interview!

See also:

8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

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

5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Job Interviews

Reach Your Career Goals With These 3 Lessons From Agent Carter

Agent Carter will help you reach your career goals

Reach Your Career Goals With These 3 Lessons From Agent Carter (Photo Credit: ABC)

ABC’s hit show Agent Carter, recently renewed for a second season, has a protagonist who faces numerous challenges in the workplace. If you want to know how to reach your career goals, you can learn a lot from the way Peggy Carter handles the obstacles of the 1940s.

Below are three of the most important things you can learn from Agent Carter—in addition to how to rock the perfect red lipstick (Peggy, played by Hayley Atwell, wears Besame Cosmetics lipstick in Red Velvet. You’re welcome).

Note: If haven’t seen Agent Carter—perhaps you were frozen in the North Atlantic for a while, and you’re still catching up on things you missed while in a state of suspended animation—there are spoilers ahead.

It might be a bit much for a job interview, but this is the red lipstick Peggy Carter wears.

It might be a bit much for a job interview, but this is the red lipstick Peggy Carter wears. (Photo Credit: Besame Cosmetics)

Don’t dwell on the past

When your love interest is presumed dead, you can let it get you down, or you can embody the spirit of “keep calm and carry on.” As a Brit from the World War II era, you can guess which Peggy did.

When you’re likely to be up against a couple hundred other candidates each time you apply for a job, rejection is simply part of the process. The key is to stay focused and stay positive. Don’t dwell on the jobs you don’t get—each application and each interview gets you one step closer to your next job.

One reason why it’s important to remain confident is that the first impression you make at a job interview can determine whether you’re hired. If you come across as desperate or dejected, you won’t be getting any offers.

“Next time you’re at a job interview, make sure your first six minutes and 25 seconds count,” Ellie Zolfagharifard wrote in the Daily Mail. “That’s exactly the amount of time you have to make a good first impression and clinch your dream job….Interviewers take just 385 seconds to decide if the candidate is right for the role.”

Zolfagharifard was writing about a survey of a few hundred hiring managers, conducted by Monster.com. According to that survey, the top five things interviewers consider when making hiring decisions are, in descending order:

  • Work experience
  • First impression of the candidate
  • Education
  • Professional qualifications
  • References

That’s right—the first impression outweighs education, qualifications, and references.

So when you get offered an interview, don’t spend all your time prepping answers, or coming up with questions to ask. While those are obviously important, your posture, handshake, and attire also need some attention so you can make the best impression possible.

Gain skills, gain opportunities

Agent Carter is set after the end of World War II—and the disappearance of Steve Rogers/Captain America. It takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is based on—but does not share continuity with—Marvel Comics (which itself will be relaunching in September. Got it? Great).

The show focuses on Peggy’s work as an agent for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, an Allied effort to end Hydra (an organization bent on—what else?—world domination, with ties to Nazi Germany).

Peggy also secretly works to help Howard Stark—father of Tony Stark—clear his name when he’s framed for selling his weapons to the highest bidder.

She is constantly taking on new challenges and learning new things, which leads to new projects and opportunities. The more she proves herself, the more options she has.

The skills you learn might be different, but the lesson remains. (Photo Credit: Forbes)

The skills you learn might be different, but the lesson remains. (Photo Credit: Forbes)

Okay, so you probably won’t gain exactly the same skill set as Peggy. While you may not need code-breaking skills, combat skills, or the ability to go undercover, you can still follow Peggy’s example by demonstrating your willingness to learn.

The more skills and expertise you have, the more people will seek you out. Keep improving, and doors will open.

People who reach their career goals do so by putting in the unglamorous but necessary work to learn new things.

Know your value

One of the strengths of the show is its unflinching portrayal of the challenges women faced in the workplace in the 1940s.

During the season finale, one of Peggy’s coworkers takes credit for her hard work. Peggy’s most supportive colleague is incensed.

You won't reach your career goals if you don't believe in yourself. (Photo Credit: ABC)

You won’t reach your career goals if you don’t believe in yourself. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Having obviously learned to pick her battles over the years, Peggy declines to demand recognition. Instead, she tells her concerned colleague, “I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”

Believing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. Period.

No matter how stable your job, there could always be a technological advancement, recession, injury, or something else that unexpectedly takes it away. If you believe in yourself, you can weather that storm.

While the professional recognition would have been a good thing for Peggy’s career, it wasn’t the most important thing to her. Her internal sense of a job well done mattered more.

If you move through your career seeking outward recognition and accolades, well, maybe you’ll find some. But if you really want to reach your career goals, no matter what they are, your drive needs to come from within.

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Win a Spot at CareerFoundry’s First Code & Surf Retreat

Get on board with this Code & Surf Retreat

Win a Spot at CareerFoundry’s First Code & Surf Retreat

Jobscan’s partner CareerFoundry is launching a Code & Surf Retreat, which will be held this August in Santa Cruz, California. Attendees will receive in-person UX design and web development training from experts each morning, and spend afternoons exploring the outdoors through surfing, hiking, and even beach yoga.

If you’re interested in coding and collaborating, along with healthy doses of sun and sea, you can’t miss this. Through June 24, you can enter to win one of the three spots CareerFoundry is giving away—flights and course costs included.

Read their full press release below:

Online Code School CareerFoundry Launches Santa Cruz

Code & Surf Retreat

CareerFoundry is excited to announce their first ever Code & Surf Retreat, embracing the upward trend in freelancing and digital remote working by combining every digital nomad’s two passions: technology and the great outdoors.

“We’re excited to be offering the Code & Surf Retreat because it truly embodies the essence of CareerFoundry: learning and building great careers from anywhere in the world,” said Raffaela Rein, CEO of CareerFoundry.

digital nomad code & surf

CareerFoundry’s Code & Surf retreat is aimed at those embracing the digital nomad lifestyle.

In 2014, it was reported that 53 million Americans are now working freelance, with 69 percent citing advances in technology as the reason. Working remotely for those on fixed contracts has also seen a dramatic rise, with a 26 percent  increase in remote job postings in 2014. CareerFoundry’s Code & Surf Retreat is embracing this upward trend with a competition to win a taste of the digital nomad lifestyle: exploring the world while working on exciting, digital projects.

As the online home of tech education, CareerFoundry is excited to be organizing the Code & Surf Retreat. Students will work from a Santa Cruz beach house—just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley—receiving in-person training in UX Design and Web Development from expert CF mentors-in-residence. Afternoons will be spent exploring this natural paradise through surfing, beach yoga, hiking, and BBQs.

The Code & Surf Retreat  is an exclusive addition to CareerFoundry’s online product: globally accessible courses in Web Development and UX Design taught by expert mentors. With online courseware, a vibrant and supportive student community, and experienced mentors available remotely via Skype and on-platform messaging, students are able to study part-time, at their own pace, with a clear end result of a professional portfolio ready to take them into a new tech career.

The Code & Surf Retreat will give students the chance to not only focus on their own projects and CF coursework, it will allow them the chance to network and collaborate with their fellow students, exchange ideas, or find co-founders for entrepreneurial enterprises, while absorbing valuable insights from their mentors.

The retreat will take place between the 8th and the 15th of August in Santa Cruz, California. CF will give away their online mentored courses and Code & Surf trip for 3 people through a prize drawing which ends June 24th. Visit careerfoundry.com/codeandsurf for full details.


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