Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 11/17

Resume News from Around the Web: Week of 11/17

This week’s resume news includes tips for new graduates and those 50 and older, plus findings relevant to job seekers of all ages.

Here Are the 6 Most Important Parts of Your Resume

This PayScale Career News blog post by Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh lists the six things recruiters focus on when scanning a resume, based on an eye-tracking study performed by TheLadders. They are:

  • Name
  • Most recent position and company
  • Employment dates at most recent position
  • Previous position and company
  • Employment dates at previous position
  • Education

A quick scan of this information can put people who have vague or quirky job titles at a disadvantage. In that case, she recommends using a more recognizable title. For example, “although you could be ‘Chief Evangelist of Code’ in your organization, the more appropriate but less flamboyant ‘Software Developer’ may be the title to put on your resume.”

If adjusting your title on your resume, be certain that you do not inflate your title. Another possibility is to list the title your workplace uses followed by the more widely-recognized equivalent in parentheses.

Addressing a Different Kind of Resume Gap—Just Graduated

This Forbes blog post by Lisa Quast addresses what recent graduates—high school or college—should include on their resumes. The first thing new graduates should keep in mind is that paid experience is not the only kind that counts. “Volunteer work might not have been paid, but it is still useful experience to include on your resume….Include this information and your responsibilities and accomplishments on your resume in a section titled Community Service Experience or Volunteer Experience.”

You can also list leadership positions in student associations and activities, such as class treasurer or team captain. For each position, include details about your accomplishments. Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are another type of experience that new grads can list. You may not have extensive professional experience, but it’s important to create a resume that gives hiring managers a good sense of your achievements and your potential.

10 Effective Tips for Frustrated Midlifers Seeking a Job

This HuffPost50 blog post by career counselor Mary Eileen Williams offers 10 pieces advice for job seekers 50 and older. Many of them pertain to resumes, as well as LinkedIn profiles, social networking profiles, and online portfolios. Namely:

  • “Market yourself in strong, contemporary terms.” She recommends using job postings “as a primary research tool [to] identify the skill sets most requested.”
  • “Speak to your strengths in a comprehensive manner.” This means highlighting three categories of skills: knowledge-based skills (such as how to use a particular software program), broad-based skills (such as prioritizing tasks effectively), and soft skills (such as the ability to motivate others).
  • “Ensure that your written materials are eye-catching and pleasing to read.” Use bullet points instead of paragraphs, to avoid burying key details, and be generous with white space.

These pieces of advice are all worth heeding, no matter what your age.

See also:

Resume Format: Including Volunteer Work

8 Resume Accomplishments to Make You Stand Out

How to Find Jobs with LinkedIn

Resume Tips: Creating a Career Management Document

Resume Tips: Creating a Career Management Document

Resume Tips: Creating a Career Management Document

One of the most common resume tips is to tailor your resume to each individual job before applying. This advice is common because it’s effective. But many people continue to submit generic resume after generic resume because they believe, mistakenly, that it’s time-consuming to create a targeted resume for every single job. If you have a career management document, it doesn’t have to take long at all.

Career management document

Similar to a curriculum vitae, your career management document is a document where you keep track of every professional accomplishment (some people call it a “master resume”). Update it on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly, so that you don’t forget the details of major projects or other accomplishments. You can also update it with information related to community involvement or volunteer work.

In addition to your accomplishments and experiences, your career management document is where you keep a master list of your skills, credentials, and a bank of keywords related to your field. You will draw from each of these sections later to create individual, targeted resumes.

Your career management document should chronicle every job you’ve had, from internships to summer jobs to special projects you’ve completed. Studying your career management document can also help you prepare for an interview, as it will give you the opportunity to review all of your past accomplishments. You can even include a section where you write briefly about memorable work situations that would serve as good answers for interview questions. Seeing your entire career history laid out can spark ideas about common threads or future paths that you may not have considered.

You can also use the career management document as the basis for filling out your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile doesn’t have the same standards for lengths as a resume, and can be more of a catch-all than any resume you submit for a job. You can and should list extra details, such as specifics about coursework in your education section.

Creating a targeted resume

The career management document serves as the foundation for any targeted resume you create. Once you’ve completed your career management document, it’s easy to simply choose the pieces that are most essential to the job. You shouldn’t have more than three to five bullet points under any given job on your resume, but there’s no limit to the number you can include on your career management document. Just choose the ones most relevant to the job that interests you.

Once you have picked the details you’ll include on your targeted resume, the next step is to make sure that you use the right keywords. Use terminology that matches the wording used in the job posting.

One you have created a targeted resume from your career management document, you can give it a test run to see how well you’ve matched it to the job. Paste your resume and the job description into the Jobscan analysis tool, and you’ll get an instant rating, plus feedback about what you can improve. A few minor tweaks might be all you need to improve your resume—and thus your chances of landing an interview. Considering how high the payoff is, and how straightforward the process is, it’s no wonder that targeting your resume for each and every job is one of the most common resume tips around.

See also:

3 Key Differences Between a Curriculum Vitae and a Resume

8 Resume Accomplishments to Make You Stand Out

12 Accomplishments to Help You Write Your Best Resume

How to Find Jobs with LinkedIn

4 Minimalist Resume Templates

When searching through resume templates, it can be hard to find ones that aren’t cluttered with multiple colors, graphics, photos, skill rankings, and other unnecessary elements. Your resume is your chance to market yourself and your experience. The last thing you want is a design that distracts from what’s most important: the content.

We’ve found Etsy to be a surprisingly good source of resume templates that are both visually appealing and reasonably priced. Etsy is an online marketplace of individual sellers, so read all the fine print before you make a purchase—prices and policies vary from seller to seller. One tip: search for “minimalist” resume templates rather than “modern” ones. Neither boring nor overdone, minimalist resume templates will let your resume content shine. See below for four examples:

Via Etsy seller clairebollato; $12

Via Etsy seller PhDPress; $16

Via Etsy seller Otologo; $16

Via Etsy seller SkylarkingDesigns; $16.08

Sellers often have corresponding cover letter templates available, meaning your entire application can be consistent and polished. No matter what kind of job you’re seeking, minimalist resume templates can help you stand out from the pack.

See also:

Using Resume Templates in Your Job Search

Resume Templates to Highlight Your Accomplishments

Using Resume Templates When Changing Careers