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Posted August 01, 2016 by

4 winning resume tips for recent graduates

Businessman passing document to businesswoman photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You don’t like getting spam, do you? Well, neither do hiring managers. It may be quick and efficient to upload your resume on popular job sites and send employers the same robo-resume, but hiring managers view these generic, mass mailings as spam. They can spot one-size-fits-all resumes in a nano-second and quickly discard them.

Here are four tips from hiring managers featured in the book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to create a winning resume:

1. Add a short profile statement and your key selling points at the top “above the fold”

Realize your resume is an ad for branding yourself. Like a newspaper, an ad, or web page, the most important “real estate” is in the top half of your resume. Branding resumes begin with a profile or qualifications statement, a couple of crisp sentences that define your value. A strong profile statement is critical for recent graduates. You don’t have an impressive job title and career history yet, so you’ll need to specify your career focus and value proposition in your profile statement. In fact, many hiring managers told me a big problem with new graduate resumes is it can be hard to determine what entry-level job the new grad is looking for, especially if the grad doesn’t have a career-specific major like accounting or computer science. A profile headline like “Seeking an entry-level positioning” is too generic and doesn’t convey your career path. Remember, it’s your job to convey your career identity, not the hiring manager’s. For example, a recent grad named Erin who was a psychology major pursuing a career in marketing began her profile with the headline, “Aspiring marketing assistant: Psychology grad with pulse on the consumer mindset,” followed by a few bullets outlining her focus, strengths, and marketing credentials through two internships.

2. Expand your skill set to take advantage of new market opportunities

Be willing to take advantage of where the momentum is in the marketplace. During her job search for marketing jobs, Erin, our aspiring marketer mentioned above, noticed big retailers were advertising entry-level jobs and internships in merchandising, an area related to marketing that involves selecting products and evaluating sales performance. She decided to expand her job search and pursue both career paths: merchandising and marketing. Because there were a lot of merchandising internships online, she snagged a three-month, part-time internship at a large global retailer. But Erin needed a different elevator pitch and resume to apply for full-time merchandising jobs, and now with her internship, she had a story to tell. She had a hands-on role in compiling trend and competitive analysis reports, which gave her specific marketable skills. Here is Erin’s new profile statement for her merchandising resume, “Merchandising assistant with strong analytic, merchandising, and marketing skills.” She included new skills such as “completed Excel reports for accurate demand forecasting that resulted in a 10% improvement in accurate buying.” Before long, Erin was offered a merchandising job at a top global retailer.

3. Play to keywords and how the resume robots screen resumes.

The first “person” your resume has to impress is not likely to be a human being but a computer. Due to the volume of resumes that large and medium-sized companies receive, most companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems). Most ATS’s are not kind to new grads since they are programmed to check for a strong keyword match. Since most recent grads have limited experience, they don’t score high on an ATS (Only 25% of resumes make it past the resume robots). If you do have a strong skills match with a job posting, take the time to use the same exact words in your resume so the resume robots pick them out. Your resume can also be discarded if you format it incorrectly. Keep the layout simple with commonly used section titles like profile, work experience, education, etc.

4. Emphasize skills, experience, and results in the “Action + Numbers = Results” format.

Employers now give twice as much importance to specific skills and work experience as academic courses and grades. How do you make your abilities and skills stand out when you’re a new grad with limited work experience? It might take more effort than for an experienced job seeker, but you have more experience and accomplishments than you realize. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in internships, school projects, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, and the like. Then, follow this formula to create a powerful results bullet:

Action + Numbers = Results

Did [A] + as measured by [N] = with these results [R]

Here are a few examples of how college students and recent grads have created marketable results bullets out of internships and part-time jobs:

• Raised $55,000 in first month calling alumni for university capital
campaign; the top student performer all four weeks.

• As a brand ambassador interning at X Company, challenged to increase
website traffic, wrote ten blog posts that generated over 240 responses,
and helped boost sales.

• Prepared detailed Excel reports and pitches for business development
group at fast-growing technology company that
increased response rate by 15%.

The key to a successful resume and job search is to go for quality over quantity. You need to invest a little more time to create a resume that is right for each job, but it will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be on your way to an interview in no time.

Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

Catherine Kaputa is a Personal Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the newly-released book, Graduate to a Great Career: How Smart Students, New Graduates, and Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You. (April 2016. graduatetoagreatcareer.com). She is the author of two best-selling books, You Are a Brand and Breakthrough Branding for entrepreneurs. She is the Founder of SelfBrand (selfbrand.com). Speaking clients include Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, Citi, Merck, Northwestern University, New York University, and University of Illinois.

Posted March 29, 2016 by

How to brand yourself on social media

There’s a whole lot of buzz right now about how important it is to brand yourself on social media. Should you create a separate personal and professional brand? Should you invite employers to connect with you on social media, or keep all social media accounts strictly private, adding only friends and family to connect with you? Should you boycott social media altogether?

Whoa there, Tiger. Before you go rogue on us and refuse to interact with the world from this day forward, let’s take a step back and consider a balanced approach to branding.

Today’s Tuesday Tip offers tips on how to brand yourself on social media.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1) Be consistent.

Consistency is king in relationship building. Why? Most people—healthy people—enjoy knowing what to expect from others; that makes them feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. If people can typically expect you to behave in the same manner, with few exceptions, and your behavior is polite, courteous, and kind, people will enjoy being around you. They will most likely want to be around you in the future and accept your requests for appointments, phone calls, and other interactions. It’s important to brand yourself as someone who is consistent.

On the other hand, if you behave in an inconsistent manner—even on social media—and your comments run the gamut from thoughtful and kind to harsh and critical, your contacts/friends online may begin to shy away from interacting with you. Even if you have much to offer by way of expertise, you might find that your acquaintances are less likely to respond to your comments and invitations if you don’t behave in a consistent manner.

Remember the analogy used in the video embedded in this article of Madonna and Britney Spears. Madonna maintained a consistent marketing message or brand out of the gate. Her fans (and haters) knew what to expect from her from day one. This was never true of Britney Spears (or Miley Cyrus, for that matter). Deep down, most people really like knowing what to expect of others, particularly those we have relationships with.

2)  Be kind.

Golden rule, people. Simply treat others as you want to be treated, or as my career mentor Samantha Hartley says, and as I mentioned in a recent Tuesday Tip video, “as offline, so online.” Treat others well face-to-face (with kindness, courtesy, politeness, encouragement, positivity, humor, etc.). Interactions on social media should be no different, right? When you brand yourself on social media, ensure that you leave people with a positive feeling after they interact with you.

3) Be strategic.

Be strategic when you brand yourself. Put some thought into choosing what you post because it matters; it can affect your employment opportunities.

Who are you on your best day? Are you reliable, caring, outgoing, considerate, and on time? This is the best you to portray on social media. This is how to brand yourself on social media.

If you have difficulty figuring out who you are in terms of your career path and how to brand yourself, you’re not alone. Branding yourself is a lifelong process; you simply get started while you’re in college, and you continue working on it throughout your career. If you need help determining how to word your headline on LinkedIn, sections of your resume, or even where you’re heading in terms of your career path, visit with your career services specialists on campus. Take free career assessments on campus. It’s never too late!

For more tips on using social media in your job search, follow our blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Posted March 28, 2016 by

11 quick LinkedIn tips

Linkedin website on a computer screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Ingvar Bjork/Shutterstock.com

Did you know 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to look for candidates? This means companies can find job seekers’ profiles and invite them for job interviews. For this to happen, though, job seekers need to make their profiles look appropriate. Adding their pictures and job titles is not enough anymore, as their LinkedIn profiles can be more important than their resumes. If job seekers want recruiters to visit their pages often and offer them great positions, here are some things they should consider.

1. Recommendations

Employers tend to pay a lot of attention not only to job seekers’ professional skills, but also to their corporate backgrounds. If applicants have proven to be excellent team workers at their previous jobs, they should seek recommendations from former bosses or colleagues. Ask some of them to write a couple of nice recommendations. Don’t exaggerate here, though. If applicants have had five jobs so far but have 15 recommendations, it might seem weird.

2. Write a longer headline

If you already have a job, but are open to new offerings, don’t just mention the company and your position there; it might be not enough to see what you do. Instead of writing, for example, “PR Manager at Example Company,” write “PR manager at Example Company: Helping big and small companies.”

3. Have enough connections

Having 50 connections on LinkedIn makes job seekers seem unfriendly, unprofessional, and unmotivated. Having 3000 contacts makes them look like they add everyone to their list of connections, and they don’t even care who’s there. Try to have a moderate number of connections, and you will be visible enough to make the network help your professional growth. Try to find all of your friends, former classmates, and colleagues if you’ve already worked somewhere.

4. Write only true information

We don’t want to lecture job seekers, but lying is unacceptable in the professional world. It concerns their LinkedIn profiles, too, particularly education and previous jobs. It is not only that recruiters can check everything, but it is also about ethics. Earning trust is an important step to professional success.

5. Be brief

No one likes to read lots of text, especially if it is not formatted correctly. Even if job seekers had tons of experience and they want to talk about it, they should organize it. Write a job title and describe your responsibilities point by point. Use headlines and short sentences; they are easier to comprehend.

6. Students can mention all the jobs they’ve had

Surely, when you are a big boss with 10 jobs behind, you can skip some of the gigs you’ve had such as pizza delivery or tutoring in college. However, college students or recent graduates might want to add at least some things to their work experience. Besides, most students do something during their college years. If they managed to study and freelance at the same time, they should mentions that. If students helped their professors grade papers, they can write about that too. Don’t leave a page blank; add at least something.

7. Choose the right picture for your profile

Don’t pick an Instagram-style photo or a cute picture with your pets; post casual photos on Facebook or elsewhere. Low-quality pictures are also not the best choice. Think of how you want potential employers to see you. The photo should be a recent, high-quality photograph where one can clearly see your face. You can also add a background picture; the best choice would be either a picture from some conference you participated in or some nature pic.

8. Write about your main skills, not all of them

We all know you are a talented person. However, if you are trying for an accountant job, recruiters probably don’t need to know you are a good cook. At the top of your LinkedIn page, your potential employer or recruiters need to see those skills suitable for them. Also, don’t mention the skills you don’t want to use in your next job. If you are tired of your current work where you need to design, for example, exclude this skill from your profile.

9. Add a decent email address

If your personal email address is dirtykitten@email.com or something like that, you probably want to get a new one. You must have had a laugh creating it, but now it is time to be more professional and to use your own name for your email address.

10. Don’t mention your age

Although all the companies say age discrimination doesn’t exist, that is not true. They always consider age when hiring. So, try not to mention it.

11. Make sure all is correct

Making mistakes in a LinkedIn profile is a no-no. Pay attention not only to grammar and spelling, but to style and formatting. Everything should be clear and understandable. Style should be formal and professional.

Try to look at your text as an objective reader, or better yet, show it to someone. Ask a friend, colleague, or professor to read it and correct the mistakes you might have missed.

A LinkedIn profile is much more important now than it was a couple of years ago. More and more professionals, companies, and headhunters create accounts and use them actively every day. Job seekers probably want to look equally experienced and professional on their pages, so spend enough time creating them and don’t be lazy.

Looking for more LinkedIn tips for your job search? Turn to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of William Sarto

William Sarto, guest writer

William Sarto is a marketer and content strategist working at the freelance writing board – gohunters.com. He shares his knowledge and experience in his articles based on current marketing trends and also provides actionable tips for students willing to build successful business careers. He is passionate about all new techniques and methods appearing in digital marketing. Working in one of the most fast changing industries requires many skills from young specialists, so if you have any questions feel free to contact Will @ twitter, Google+

Posted March 08, 2016 by

LinkedIn tip #2: Names, headlines, profile pics

No matter if you’re a new LinkedIn user or a pro, expert Chaim Shapiro will help you improve your LinkedIn profile. This brief video and article is part 2 in a 10-part series, Top 10 LinkedIn tips with Chaim Shapiro, for college students, recent grads, and other job seekers who want to make the most of their LinkedIn profiles while job searching and networking online.

This video provides you with information about how to list your name and headline on LinkedIn. It also provides you with tips on selecting a LinkedIn profile photo appropriately and effectively.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Shapiro refers to name, profile picture, and headline on LinkedIn as “the most valuable real estate” users have on LinkedIn.

Shapiro advises users to list name only in the name field and to not list degrees or other information with few exceptions. Shapiro encourages users to select profile pictures which portray them appropriately in terms of their professions. For example, someone who owns a clothing boutique might dress more casually in their profile picture than an attorney or business manager. Finally, Shapiro offers suggestions related to writing LinkedIn headlines. Headlines default to job titles, but Shapiro believes deferring to the default is a poor decision. Shapiro refers to headlines as “LinkedIn elevator pitches” and encourages viewers to spend time thinking about how they want to brand themselves before writing their headlines.

Chaim Shapiro is hosted by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager at College Recruiter. Chaim Shapiro serves as the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College and as a Social Media Consultant, public speaker, and freelance writer.

For more of Chaim’s LinkedIn tips, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on social media on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

Posted March 04, 2016 by

Top 10 LinkedIn tips

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social media consultant

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social  media consultant specializing in LinkedIn

 

Whether you’re a novice LinkedIn user or a pro, it never hurts to learn more about how to better utilize LinkedIn to network online, particularly while conducting a job search. Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College and award-winning social media consultant, public speaker, and freelance writer, offers the College Recruiter audience his top 10 LinkedIn tips over the next two weeks in a series of short YouTube videos hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace.

College students, recent graduates, and other job seekers will benefit from the easy-to-follow tips Shapiro offers in his videos. Shapiro discusses the following topics:

1. Introduction to LinkedIn profiles and background photo selection

2. Name, profile photo, and headline

3. Vanity URL and public profile settings

4. Contact information on LinkedIn

5. Rich media content

6. Skills and endorsements

7. Alumni feature

8. Advanced search feature

9. Contact relationship management

10. How to search connections

Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we post one tip per day on our blog and YouTube. Each video is only 2-4 minutes long and provides you with easy-to-implement tips to improve your online networking and job searching strategies.

Follow College Recruiter’s blog for links to Chaim’s top 10 LinkedIn tip videos and accompanying articles and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

 

Posted April 15, 2015 by

Are Recruiters LinkedIn to Your Profile?

You know LinkedIn to be a professional networking site where you connect with professionals.  You can also make an impression among recruiters who are looking for a number one candidates to fill job openings.  With the job market being so competitive, you need to do everything possible to make sure your LinkedIn profile attracts recruiters.  So, what things should you be doing to achieve this goal?  Here are some tips to get recruiters LinkedIn to your profile in the following infographic. (more…)

Posted March 04, 2015 by

“Tighten Up” Your Resume Cover Letter

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Of the many thousands of job search cover letters that cross the desks of hiring managers each month, hundreds are sent directly to the gallows! They’re tossed, forgotten, and shredded. What a sad state of affairs and such a waste of paper, print, and personality. Many receive barely a glance, let alone a full reading. Why?

The writing is pompous, pitiful, and pathetic! The job searchers who create such cover letters try hard to impress a potential employer but instead do just the opposite.

But you don’t have to be among this crowd. You can take a moment to put these five steps into action before you write your next cover letter. (more…)

Posted December 12, 2014 by

Tips to use LinkedIn Smarty for Job Hunting

Linkedin.com homepage on the screen. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service

Linkedin.com homepage on the screen. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Social media is one of the best ways of finding a job and LinkedIn certainly has its advantages. Young students who are taking their first steps in the professional sphere can benefit from the contacts they can make on LinkedIn besides finding a direction for their career and finding job opportunities. There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to your advantage. (more…)

Posted November 10, 2014 by

3 Ways to Create a Resume Title Worth Noticing

Resume form title page close-up. Shallow DOF.

Resume form title page close-up. Shallow DOF. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Job seekers, as you’re writing your resumes, have you thought about how to get the attention of potential employers?  How about creating an attractive resume title?  A resume title allows you to summarize your skills and experience, and tell an employer how you can help him or her.  Think of the title as a newspaper headline; it is the first thing a reader sees on the paper.  In this case, your resume title is the headline and the reader is an employer or recruiter.  If your title is appealing, then the reader is more likely to want to learn more about you as a job seeker.  Here are three ways to create a resume title worth noticing. (more…)

Posted November 04, 2014 by

5 Tips For Writing An Amazing Resume

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

There are resumes that do the job. They’re functional, neat, and clearly written––similar to those that cross a hiring manager’s desk every day of the year.

And there are resumes that get the job interview––the one that can lead you to the job you want in the location you want, doing the kind of work you want to do. That’s the resume to write the first time. Don’t waste your energy trying to figure out on your own the best thing to say and the way in which to say it. Study examples on the Internet and see which ones express your personality and style. Then use them as guides for writing your own. And be sure to include the information in the following five tips as you write a resume that gets the interview: (more…)