• 20 ways to rock your resume

    April 29, 2016 by
    Resume with pen on table closeup courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.com

    Another week without attention paid to your resume. You are applying for jobs that match your education and skills; you have a nicely formatted document; and you have outlined your work experience very well with bolded headings and bullet points like you were told to do. You’re qualified but just can’t manage to get that call for an interview. Could there be that many people more qualified than you? Maybe not. There may be some flaws in your resume you have not realized.

    Here are 20 tips that can improve your resume.

    Make sure you are emphasizing results, not responsibilities

    It’s a common error; job seekers are trying very hard to list all of their responsibilities for each position. Their thinking, of course, is the more responsibilities, the more qualified they will be. What is more important to employers is the results, what job seekers have actually accomplished.

    Take a look at the responsibilities you have listed for each position. Can you list any quantifiable results? Did your re-organization save the department $50,000 a year? Sometimes, you may think results will be hard to provide. For example, perhaps you took over a department that had no baseline data to work with to show improvement. And maybe the improvement was qualitative rather than quantitative. Take employee morale, for instance. You know you improved it when you took over that department. But how was the improvement measured? Maybe there was much lower turnover or maybe the rate of absenteeism dropped significantly. These are important figures to have. Never leave a position without gathering figures that support your results.

    A lot of space was spent on this item. Why? Because it is the one thing employers say is usually missing from a resume.

    Target skills/background for each position

    This is the primary reason why you need to tweak each resume for every job opening. If you have background in training, administration, HR, and sales/sales management, and are applying for jobs that focus on one of those, then focus your resume in that direction. Spend far more space on that focus area than on others. Generic resumes don’t really work anymore.

    Re-visit keywords for each position

    Change out your keywords based upon two things: the job description and the company’s website. Sometimes, reading through the company’s home page and the “about us” page will give you more keywords to include. And keywords that relate to the position should be placed as close to the top of the resume as possible and included in your cover letter.

    Include a summary section

    A statement of your career goals at the beginning of your resume is not advisable. Companies don’t care about your goals; they care about what you “bring to the table.” Switch that out for a short summary of your skills and experience that relate to the position, with four to five sentences only.

    Use standard software

    Microsoft Word or a PDF version of your resume should be the only programs used to submit resumes. Scanning will probably not recognize any other programs, and you will never know your resume was unreadable.

    Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

    Aim for one page

    Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything superfluous, reduce sentences to phrases, and remove some of your contact information. Employers don’t need your address and don’t include references unless specifically asked to do so. If you are able to edit the resume to one page, that is ideal. But NEVER go beyond two pages unless you are preparing a CV.

    Do not lie

    Not about anything. Of course, you want to try to avoid resume mistakes, and of course you want to present yourself in the best light. Exaggerating or giving yourself a job title you did not actually have are big risks. These things can be discovered when references and/or social media are reviewed. Focus on your skills and qualifications completely but honestly.

    Use action verbs

    They are so much stronger. If you don’t know the difference, here is an example:

    1. Responsible for implementing budget reduction by 10% without loss of productivity

    2. Reduced budget by 10% without loss of productivity

    The second phrase is strong and active. (P.S.: Never use “I”)

    Visual appeal is a must

    You’ve seen enough resume templates to understand what visual appeal is. The best font now is probably Arial, 12-14 point. The reason for this is there’s good, natural spacing between lines that are not complete and enough white space between bulleted points. Your final resume should have sub-headings in bold (e.g., each position), and a larger font to separate sections of the document. The goal is to make it scannable, not just by a computer program (applicant tracking systems), but by humans, too. No one wants to search for your information.

    Be clear about job titles

    So long as you are not exaggerating, use a job title that will make clear what you did at a previous organization. Sometimes, organizations have internal titles that mean nothing on the outside. So, if you were a “Level II Tech Support,” change that out to “Systems Analyst,” if that was what your position really entailed.

    Be really brief

    Do not use full sentences unless you are crafting a CV (These are prose documents). Brief phrases only, please. Remember – scannable.

    Perfect grammar and spelling

    Don’t rely only on grammar and spell-check programs. They will not recognize incorrect numbers or words that are wrong but are still words. And, in some instances misspellings will not be caught either. If you are really good in this area, read your resume backwards, and you will catch misspellings; read it forward line-by-line. If you are not highly skilled, get someone who is.

    Avoid gimmicks

    Having your resume hand-delivered by FedEx or courier is not appreciated, and, in fact, is a bit of a turnoff. Just don’t do it. Submit your resume according to the instructions on the job posting.

    Graphics should fit the company culture

    It is more acceptable today to use some color and graphics than in the past, but these resumes are best suited for younger, more progressive organizations. Tailor color and graphics based upon the culture of the company. If you are not sure, check the website. As a general rule, banks, financial, and educational/scientific institutions are conservative; tech and marketing companies are more progressive. For creative positions, graphics are certainly suitable.

    Never state salary

    Never include past salaries in your work experience. And absolutely never include your salary or benefit requirements for a new position. Epic fail if you do.

    Don’t address negatives

    If you were fired or laid off, never state this in your resume. That is the stuff for discussion during an interview. And don’t lie about it either; be as honest as possible, and never “trash” a former boss or company.

    Add links

    Long before submitting resumes, it will be important to have a professional online presence. Include the link to your LinkedIn profile and, if warranted, a website with a portfolio of your work and/or accomplishments. If you have been a guest blogger on relevant sites, provide links to those posts too.

    Update consistently

    It is often advised when you start a new position, you begin updating your resume. This is because you want to be sure to remember all of your accomplishments if and when you decide to make another career move, or if, for any reason, your employment is terminated (companies do close). Keep your resume updated all the time.

    No tag lines

    Lines such as “References available upon request,” are not necessary and just take up space. Leave them out. If you are asked for references or links to things during an interview, you can provide them at that time.

    Do not abbreviate

    The only abbreviation you can use is “U.S.” Otherwise, spell everything out. Even abbreviations for schools attended may not be known by employers. The rule for acronyms is the same; spell them out.

    This article provides a good checklist for job seekers, whether they are crafting their first resumes ever or if they are veterans with several previous resumes under their belts. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a difference.

    Need assistance with your resume for your job search? Get a free resume critique on College Recruiter. Also, come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

    Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

    Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter.

  • Using social media in college recruiting

    February 21, 2016 by

    Every college recruiter knows that social media is a golden means for reaching today’s college students and recent graduates when recruiting top talent. But not every employer utilizes social media to its full advantage in its college recruiting program.

    How can recruiters and talent acquisition professionals partner with their content marketing teams to use social media to drive traffic to their college recruiting pages or websites? How can social media become not just a tool for engagement with college students and recent grads but a true means to an end? How can recruiters use social media to ultimately increase the number of job applications completed on their websites, and in turn, the number of quality candidates hired?

    Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, answers this question directly in this 7-minute video hosted by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter.


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

    College recruiters and talent acquisition leaders need to wade through the pool of social media apps and sites and be selective about how they invest their time and energy. With countless options available, the question recruiters need to ask is which social media sites will truly drive traffic to our website?

    Rothberg explains that while Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and a host of other image-based social media sites are engaging for Gen Z students, there isn’t adequate research to suggest that these sites drive significant traffic to companies’ blogs or websites. They are, however, great social media platforms to use for engaging with high school and college students.

    Rothberg also discounted LinkedIn as a true social media site. He believes that although it began as a social media site, it evolved into something more like a job board. With 80% of its revenue generated from its talent solutions division, it’s clear that many professional job seekers find value in posting their resumes on LinkedIn and networking professionally through the site.

    Twitter can be used to drive traffic to a company’s website, but it can also be used to engage with followers. This is a great tool for college recruiters who want to post their own content, which drives traffic to their blog/website, but simultaneously want to send direct messages to candidates who ask questions or host weekly Twitter chats with college students and applicants. Rothberg mentioned the success College Recruiter has had by hosting two Twitter accounts, promoting its own blog content (which drives traffic to the blog), and interacting with clients and college students/recent grads on Twitter.

    Rothberg believes Facebook is less effective; only about 4% of the people who like a company’s Page on Facebook will see the content posted unless the company pays to boost posts and promotes its own Facebook content. If the content is very engaging, and many of its Facebook followers share and like the content, it will be seen and viewed by more followers and promoted more by Facebook.

    Lastly, Rothberg discussed the benefits of using YouTube as a social media site and posting videos and webinars. Many times, YouTube is discounted as a social media site because it’s simply viewed as a storehouse for videos. However, today’s college students and recent grads share and view videos frequently. For college recruiters, YouTube can be a great outreach tool. YouTube also allows employers to embed cards, or links, to their own websites, blogs, and other sites.

    During the month of March, College Recruiter’s blog will feature multiple articles and videos on using social media in college recruiting. Be sure to follow our blog, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

    At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. We are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to excellent entry-level jobs and internships. Why not let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process?

  • What is the best way to get traffic to your college startup?

    November 24, 2014 by
    Melissa Burns

    Melissa Burns

    Website creation and development are only the first few steps towards a successful online business. A great opportunity for a college startup is eCommerce which means that you will be selling products through an online store. In order to establish a foothold in the eCommerce industry, you need to utilize strategies and techniques that will effectively emote your brand, along with products and services, to a wide range of consumers.

    As you have an online platform, you gain the opportunity of expanding your horizons by catering to a wide audience altogether.

    One powerful way of building authority as well as ensuring the profitability of your business is through link building. By integrating relevant links into the content, a business will surely be a few steps away from its goal of becoming the leader in its chosen industry. Continue Reading

  • 3 Factors to Consider Before Hiring an SEO Professional

    September 17, 2014 by
    The word seo and serious businessman with hands on hips in black and blue background

    The word seo and serious businessman with hands on hips in black and blue background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    The Internet has opened huge doors for people from every race, color, religion and region of the world. With the Internet it is now easy for people to trade in virtually anything. Someone in New York can now for example effortlessly hire a coder in India or Africa from their bedrooms and have an app that will be the next WhatsApp. Well, that is how WhatsApp, the $6B app came to being. An idea, a freelance coder, a few years down the line and bam! We have giants like Facebook and Google elbowing each other to snap WhatsApp for astronomical figures!

    This openness and ease of access has had its own fair share of challenges too. There are many people online calling themselves ‘gurus’ who don’t understand what they are talking about. Well, what with the fact that you can sit behind a computer and pretend to be whom you are not. Continue Reading

  • Best Apps for Networking: Bringing You the Best Apps for Play, Business, and Everything In Between

    July 18, 2014 by
    Various social media apps for networking

    Various social media apps for networking. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    We live in a modern evolving world and all the happening is online. Social and business networking is booming, and new apps are constantly being made. Whether it’s retweeting a video of Mario Goetze scoring the winning goal for Germany in the FIFA World Cup at your friends, to submitting that polished resume online to land the first important job, the internet always knows how to provide. Especially on the go!

    We put together a list of our top apps—some more familiar than others—ranging from downright silly sharing with friends, to life changing apps for business: Continue Reading

  • What Does Today’s Resume Look Like When Applying for Jobs for Recent College Graduates?

    May 15, 2014 by

    When writing today’s resumes for jobs for recent college graduates, applicants should know what recruiters and employers are looking for in candidates.  The following post includes an infographic that highlights these things.

    How do you differentiate your resume from all the others? What will make the recruiter sit back and their chair a little bit and say, “Hey, wait a minute… we may have a live one here!”? To understand how to take your resume from the trash to top of mind, we present this infographic from our friends

    Link:

    Continue Reading