Tag Archives: Careerealism

Don’t Appear as a Job Hopper on Your Resume

3 Feb

Have you had a lot of jobs in your career? If you are perceived as a “job hopper,” some companies won’t consider you for a job opening no matter how strong your resume.

Why can this be a big negative in your job search?

As Don Goodman observes for Careerealism:

“When an employer scans your resume for 20 seconds, what will they see? If you have had a series of jobs lasting 1-2 years, then you may look like a job hopper and these are big red flags on your resume. Securing a candidate takes time and money for employers, so a candidate who has a record of job hopping does not leave a positive impression and sways employers to move on to consider other candidates instead. Short periods of employment generally indicate that you were terminated due to lack of performance and that is not the impression you want to convey.” [or that you are much too restless when you’re at a given job and move on to the next short-lived opportunity.]

Here are four tips from Goodman:

  1. Company Changes — “When the reason you leave the job is because of structural changes within a company or the company closes down, these are situations that are not within your control and should not be cause for you to appear like a job hopper on your resume. Whether you were laid off, the company moved out of state, or went out of business, indicate that as a brief note on your resume next to your dates of employment.
  2. Consulting And Temporary Assignments — “One way to handle this is to pull all these experiences together into one pool on your resume. You may indicate on your resume ‘Consultant’ and specify the full length of time you were in the role. Underneath this section, highlight the companies and/or specific experiences and accomplishments in the role. An employer will view all the individual experiences and temporary assignments – and its significance in furthering your career experiences – as a whole.
  3. Reformatting Dates of Employment — “Rather than listing the specific month and year you were employed with an employer, indicate only the year. It can appear less obvious that you were only on the job for 16 months, and appear more like two years.
  4. Demonstrate Past Contributions and Accomplishments — “There is little you can do to change the amount of time you were on certain jobs, but what you can do is divert the focus to your contributions and accomplishments on the job. Even if you were on the job for under a year, highlight significant contributions you made to show outstanding performance on the job. Employers care about and are impressed by candidates good at what they do and who are effective on the job; even if you only had a short period of time in the role.”

 
Click Goodman’s photo to read more.


 

Resume Mistakes to Avoid

26 Aug

You’ve spent a lot of time on your resume, right? And you’re really proud of it, right?

Then, you surely want to avoid these six careless errors cited by career coach Don Goodman for Careerealism:

  1. “You forget to update your contact information.”
  2. “You don’t provide enough details on your last job.”
  3. “You don’t update your skills or remove old certifications.”
  4. “You use abbreviations and acronyms only you may know.”
  5. “You keep adding to your resume, but you don’t remove irrelevant jobs.”
  6. “You name you resume file that you send out inappropriately.”

 
Click the image to read more about these mistakes.


 

For What Career Are You Best Suited?

10 Aug

Are you uncertain about the best career path for you? Have you ever taken a career aptitude quiz?

Here’s an interesting, easy, and fun “Career Decoder” quiz from Careerealism to encourage you to think more about your career options:

“Using a series of ‘would you rather’ questions, we navigate you through a quiz that determines where your strengths in the workplace connect to your motivation. The result? A breakdown of your workplace ‘personas’ and how they contribute to the success of the organization.”

“Why should you take the test? The first step in being able to build a stronger personal brand and career development strategy is knowing what value you bring to an employer. This quiz will help you map out your strengths so you can start to market them more effectively!”

“How long will it take? There are 20 questions total and it will take you less than two minutes to complete. Yet, don’t be fooled by how quickly you can complete it. The results are accurate and compelling – you’ll see!”

 

Click the image to begin the quiz. [NOTE: Once you complete the quiz, you will have access to a variety of career-related videos!!!!!]


 
Here is the URL to the videos. NO PEEKING. Do the quiz first. 🙂 : http://www.careerealism.com/career-decoder
 

Resume Tips You Can Use

1 Apr

In this post, let us discuss six aspects of resume design – and provide tips accordingly:

  •   What is the purpose of a resume?

A resume should attract the attention of a prospective employer and interest the prospective employer to invite the applicant to an interview. A resume is NOT the vehicle for a person to present his/her life story. It IS the vehicle to provide the relevant and distinctive background of the applicant.

  •  Should there be an opening summary at the top of the resume?

For two reasons, the answer to this question is yes. One, this immediately lets the prospective employer  recognize the type of job for which the applicant is applying. Two, an opening summary enables the applicant to create his/her self brand and highlight what makes that individual unique.

To learn more about the value of self branding, read here.

  • How should you decide what content to include on the resume?

Although it is essential to include one’s education, work experience, and special skills on a resume, it is also vital not to overwhelm the prospective employer with too much information. The reader will most likely skim the resume and find a densely-worded resume not worth the effort. In addition, by having too much content, the reader is not guided to the most important information.

Here a few specific tips: (1) Ask yourself this question and address it through your resume — What the are the five to ten top reasons why a potential employer should hire me instead of another applicant (your competitive advantages)? (2) Highlight your accomplishments — not just your past job functions. (3) Do NOT place as much emphasis on a job you had five years ago as the one you had most recently. [I am continuously amazed by how many resumes I review for my students and alumni that have as many bullet points for an internship they had as their full-time jobs!!]

  •  How long should your resume be?

Over the years, I have reviewed thousands of resumes. I still firmly believe that one page is sufficient for an applicant at any level of experience. But some others differ and think a slightly longer resume is acceptable IF one is looking for a senior-level position. The following is a very good rule to keep in mind, as provided by Careers Plus Resumes for Careerealism:

“A resume will first receive a very brief scan, often 10-20 seconds, to determine if the candidate appears to meet the major requirements. While the entire resume may be quickly scanned, utilizing a summary of qualifications with keywords and phrases based upon one’s career goal and job target is advantageous. A resume that passes the initial scan will then receive greater scrutiny to determine if a candidate qualifies for an interview. Here, relevant depth and detail in the history is best since the candidate’s experience, skills, and strengths – as they apply to the position – will be more thoroughly assessed.”

  • Is it OK to use one version of a resume for all possible jobs?

NO! NO! NO! In this era of easy-to-adapt Word files, it is inexcusable to use the same resume for all jobs. You want the potential employer to be interested in you. So, show you are interested in them. Tailor your resume to the specific job opening and potential employer. One size does NOT fit all.

Consider these observations from Dawn Rasmussen, writing for Careerealism:

“As we go through our careers, our background evolves into probably at least three or more different thematic areas. In my lifetime, I’ve been a meeting planner, television producer, tourism manager, educator, and resume writer, to name a few. Can I pull all of these areas under one roof/one resume? Not a chance. No one could possibly digest it all – there is too much stuff ‘muddying’ the waters. The trick to hitting a moving target is to get grounded first.”

Focus On One Area

Take a deep breath and think about what area you are actually going to have the highest degree of job search success. Then focus your efforts on that area. I would suggest one, two, but no more than three major areas. Then create a separate document for EACH of those themes.

Create A ‘Relevant History’ Header

Create a section header entitled “RELEVANT HISTORY,” then list the job records most relevant to the position to which you are applying first, then summarize (if necessary) any non-relevant ones to avoid distracting the reader. That way, you can account for any holes that open up in your work experience caused by moving non-relevant history into an “Additional Background” header.
Read more at http://www.careerealism.com/resume-versions-need/#zArwl7fddZdg5oFL.99

Can I pull all of these areas under one roof/one resume?

Not a chance. No one could possibly digest it all – there is too much stuff “muddying” the waters if, say, I were to apply to be a faculty member in a post-secondary school. The trick to hitting those moving target is to get grounded first.

Focus On One Area

Take a deep breath and think about what area you are actually going to have the highest degree of job search success. Then focus your efforts on that area. I would suggest one, two, but no more than three major areas. Then create a separate document for EACH of those themes.

Create A ‘Relevant History’ Header

Create a section header entitled “RELEVANT HISTORY,” then list the job records most relevant to the position to which you are applying first, then summarize (if necessary) any non-relevant ones to avoid distracting the reader. That way, you can account for any holes that open up in your work experience caused by moving non-relevant history into an “Additional Background” header.

“Take a deep breath and think about what area you are actually going to have the highest degree of job search success. Then focus your efforts on that area. I would suggest one, two, but no more than three major areas. Then create a separate document for EACH of those themes. Create a section header entitled ‘RELEVANT HISTORY,’ then list the job records most relevant to the position to which you are applying first, then summarize (if necessary) any non-relevant ones to avoid distracting the reader. That way, you can account for any holes that open up in your work experience caused by moving non-relevant history into an ‘Additional Background’ header.”
  • Does the “look”  of the resume matter?
Yes, it does. These are some typical mistakes to avoid: (1) Do not use an overly small font. (2) Do not have small margins. (3) Do not have spelling or grammatical mistakes. (4) Do not use plain copy paper; use quality paper. (5) Do not use exotic paper colors; stick to white or off-white.

 
 

GOOD LUCK!
[As Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed Jackie Robinson to be the first African-American to play Major League Baseball, once said: “Luck is the residue of hard work and design.”]

 

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