Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 10/20

Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 10/20

This week’s resume news included several helpful stories with specific advice people can use to improve their resumes.

What Your Resume Looks Like to a Psychologist

In this blog post for The Daily Muse, Dr. Suzanne Gelb talks about the way people come across in their resumes. “Everything from the tone you use to the accomplishments you choose to include gives hints about your confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness.” She goes through four things people commonly do on their resumes, and explains what they convey. As a psychologist with hiring experience, here are the four things she has seen:

  • Dry, generic language
  • Responsibilities instead of accomplishments
  • 10-page resumes
  • Resentment instead of enthusiasm

After explaining each of these mistakes, she recommends solutions and changes to resolve them.

Ideal Resume For Someone With A Lot Of Experience

In this article for Business Insider, Jacquelyn Smith looks at a sample resume and gives eight reasons why it’s ideal for an executive-level professional. According to Smith, the eight traits an experienced professional’s resume should have are:

  • Link to professional profile (LinkedIn, portfolio website, etc.)
  • Emphasis on recent accomplishments and experience
  • Selected Achievements section
  • Restricted experience included
  • Snapshot of core competencies
  • Two-page limit
  • No mention of references
  • No dates listed beyond 15 years ago

While a curriculum vitae is meant to show everything that someone has accomplished in their career, a resume instead highlights the most relevant and impressive experience and accomplishments. Hiring managers only spend six seconds reviewing each resume; by following the advice above, even the most experienced of executives can put together an informative two-page resume.

5 ways your resume is like everyone else’s (but doesn’t have to be)

This USA Today blog post via The Muse identifies five areas that almost always look the same from resume to resume. They are:

  • Generic experience section title
  • Focus on responsibilities instead of accomplishments
  • Use of clichés and buzzwords
  • Including job-related experience only
  • Not writing a cover letter

While most of the points here are worth considering, think twice before creating a personalized name for the experience section of your resume. When we reviewed the applicant tracking system SmartRecruiters, we found that the system did not recognize sections given non-standard names. The result was that candidates who used unique section headers had ATS profiles with misplaced or missing information.

The recommendation to include information about your community involvement or volunteer experience is especially good. According to The Guardian, 75 percent of employers say volunteer work increases a candidate’s chances of getting the job.

See also:

12 Accomplishments to Help You Write Your Best Resume

Applicant Tracking System Uncovered: SmartRecruiters

How to Find Jobs with LinkedIn

3 Key Differences Between A Curriculum Vitae and a Resume

Resume Templates to Highlight Your Accomplishments

The ideal resume format is easy to read and visually appealing; if you aren’t a graphic designer, resume templates might be your best option for creating an ideal resume. There are countless resume templates available online, varying in cost—and quality. One feature you should look for when choosing a resume template is a space to highlight your accomplishments. Showcasing your achievements, rather than just listing your job responsibilities, is another way to be sure your resume will stand out.

Free via Hloom

Free via Hloom

$15 via Etsy

$20 via Etsy

See also:

10 Awesome Resume Templates

Using Resume Templates in Your Job Search

Top Resume Formats in 2014

Using Resume Templates When Changing Careers

Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 10/13

Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 10/13

This week’s resume news includes stories about using seasonal work on resumes; writing resumes for non-profit executives; and writing resumes for freelancers.

Is seasonal work worth adding to your resume?

This blog post from The Seattle Times, by Randy Woods, talks about upcoming holiday hiring and addresses the pros and cons of adding seasonal jobs to your resume. This year, “national retailers are expected to hire more than 800,000 seasonal workers for the holiday rush, the highest total since the dot-com-bubble days of 1999.” Once the work ends, should people who held holiday season jobs include the experience on their resume? Woods looks at both sides. 

The arguments for listing seasonal work experience include the fact that current or recent employment is viewed more favorably than an employment gap, and that in today’s job market, temp work doesn’t carry the stigma it once did. The arguments against listing holiday jobs include the possibility of being penalized, either by an applicant tracking system or a hiring manager, for taking a job outside of your field. One elegant solution Woods offers:  “Include a separate section in your work history on temporary or contract jobs, and list your current work there. This will emphasize your permanent jobs, with relevant experience near the top, yet still honestly describe your current situation.”

4 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for an executive-level nonprofit job

This Idealist Careers blog post by Allison Jones talks about things that nonprofit executives need to avoid when creating their resumes. In particular, she focuses on the mistake of using an objective statement, most of which are vague assortments of random traits that focus on the candidate’s wants over the employer’s needs.

Other resume tips she offers for nonprofit executives are to highlight transferable skills; to demonstrate the ability to lead a team (such as through work with a board of directors); and the always-important recommendation to show accomplishments rather than duties.

Five essential resume tips for freelancers

This article by Michelle Kruse talks about the rise of freelance, contract, and temp work in today’s job market, and offers some concrete resume advice for such workers. The advice she offers includes:

  • Keeping a career management document (which she calls a running draft resume)
  • Featuring only the work most relevant to the job you’re seeking
  • Using a skills-based resume format rather than a chronological resume
  • Abiding by basic resume-writing standards
  • Not underestimating the importance of a resume

Of particular importance is her advice about which projects and gigs to include. Instead of listing everything, she advises freelancers to “simply choose the projects that are most relevant to the job you’re applying to. These projects may not even represent your best, most impressive work; instead, they should make a convincing case for the particular job you want.” To borrow a phrase, brevity is the soul of a standout resume.

 See also:

Top Resume Formats in 2014

3 Tips for Management Resumes

Resume Writing: Less is More

5 Tips for Resume Hurdles