Résumé 101: New Résumé, New Year

Now that we’re in a new year, we want to make sure that you’re armed with best information  so that you can land a job ASAP.
2010ResumeMany factors played into your not being able to find a job  in 2009. While the economy and the job market had plenty to do with it, there comes a point when you have to look at yourself and what you are (or aren’t) doing and how it’s affecting your job search. Let’s start with the most basic thing you need in your job search: a résumé.
Here’s a little résumé 101 to refresh your job search this year, excerpted from “Career Building: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work.”
Writing your résumé: Hiring managers spend an average of one minute scanning a résumé. You have just a short window to convince them that you’re either fabulous or the most boring person alive. Which is it gonna be?
Here are the elements that your résumé should include:
Contact information: Your name (if your formal name is Abigail but you go by Abby, use Abby), address, phone number, e-mail address and Web site. And make sure to use a professional e-mail address for your job applications. Employers aren’t likely to call HotPants1234@hotmail.com.
Career summary or objective: This gives the hiring manager an idea of who you are immediately — before spending the 60 seconds skimming your résumé and deciding if he wants to bring you in for an interview. Many job seekers equate a summary with an objective. While both are two to three sentences appearing at the top of your résumé, they are different.
An objective states a job seeker’s desired job description, and is often ideal for people who are just starting out in the work force or changing industries. Some words of warning: It could pigeonhole you and limit how employers see you. If you are looking to take the next step in your chosen field, consider writing a career summary instead.
A career summary gives an overview of your work experience and/or relevant education.
Summary of qualifications: This calls out the most relevant information for the job. If you include this, the hiring manager doesn’t have to hunt for your abilities. This is an easy way to tailor your résumé for each job application. Look at the required skills listed in a job posting and use this as an opportunity to highlight the skills needed for the job. If you are changing careers or industries, this section helps you highlight certain transferable skills.
Technical skills: This is where you can show your computer and software proficiency. Are you missing a technical skill listed in the job description? Don’t throw in the towel. Seventy-eight percent of hiring managers report they are willing to recruit workers who don’t have experience in their particular industry or field and provide training/certifications needed.
Work history: This is where you list chronologically any work experience – titles, employer and dates of tenure. List only the most recent and relevant information; no one cares about your ninth-grade babysitting club … unless you are looking for something in child care (even then, save it for your cover letter).
Education: Include your dates of graduation, college major and minor, degrees earned or expected graduation date.
So there you have it; the very basics you should include on your résumé. Other things to remember to include? Keywords, accomplishments and no errors.
If you need some help writing your résumé, check out CBResume, or if you’d like a free critique of your current résumé, click here.
Questions? Just ask us here. In the meantime, here is some more light résumé reading to check out:
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Work history: This is where you list chronologically any work experience – titles, employer and dates of tenure. List only the most recent and relevant information; no one cares about your ninth-grade babysitting club … unless you are looking for something in childcare (even then, save it for your cover letter).

Don't Use These 10 Words On Your Resume

Show, don't tell. LinkedIn's annual survey of overused words


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Getty Images

By Alison Griswold

Are you responsible? A strategic planner and creative thinker?

So is the rest of the career-seeking world, according to LinkedIn's annual list of the year's most overused resume words. "Responsible" was the worst offender in 2013, followed by "strategic" and "creative."

To compile its fourth annual list, LinkedIn examined the online profiles and resumes of its more than 259 million members. In the two previous years, "creative" led the rankings.
Here is LinkedIn's full list of overused resume words:

  1. Responsible
  2. Strategic
  3. Creative
  4. Effective
  5. Patient
  6. Expert
  7. Organizational
  8. Driven
  9. Innovative
  10. Analytical
Nicole Williams, the official career expert of LinkedIn, says the list is a reminder of how it's always better to show rather than tell when selling yourself on a resume. "Providing concrete examples to demonstrate how you are responsible or strategic is always better than just simply using the words," she explains.

While there's nothing wrong with being responsible, strategic, or creative, the danger in marketing yourself with those terms is that you'll blend in with the job pool.

"If you sound like everyone else, you won't stand out from other professionals vying for opportunities," Williams says. "Differentiate yourself by uniquely describing what you have accomplished in your career and back it up with concrete examples of your work."

Check out an infographic on the data below:

Résumés: What's in and what's out in 2014

By Susan Ricker, 
On "Project Runway," Heidi Klum often declares, "One day you're in, the next day you're out." While she's referring to fashion, the cyclical nature of trends extends to résumés and job-search tactics as well. And if your résumé style is out in 2014, you may well be out, too.
To make sure you're keeping up with the trends and away from major résumé disasters, check out what's in and what's out in 2014.

IN: Keywords that match job descriptions
Many employers use applicant tracking systems to screen résumés and generate a short list of candidates. To ensure that your résumé makes it through the ATS, try "greater research into the position and employer to identify a higher percentage of the employer's keywords associated with specific positions, then creatively embed them in the application and résumé," says Hank Boyer, president and CEO of Boyer Management Group and author of the "Job Search Readiness Assessment."

OUT: Listing your daily tasks as experience
Instead of using valuable space to tell employers about your basic responsibilities at previous jobs, use the section they're most likely to pay attention to for impressive feats and stand-out accomplishments. Boyer advises including "quantified, employer-focused accomplishments listed in bullet point under each work experience. For example, 'With team of 12 telemarketers, achieved 131 percent of productivity objectives, with a customer positive rating of 98.2 percent.'"

IN: Creating and using multiple drafts and formats
Just as no two jobs are the same, no two résumés should be the same. Boyer suggests creating multiple drafts and formats for different roles, to make it through different application mediums and screening tools. "[Create] multiple résumés, customized for each position, in both .txt and .doc formats to allow for use in online applications and ATS's (.txt), and for traditional printed copies and PDF emailing (.doc)."

OUT: Including an objective statement
"Replace the outdated 'objective statement' and include a summary of your qualifications at the top of your résumé," says Carri Nebens, executive hiring manager and owner of Equis Staffing. "This swap offers a more personal look at you and what you could bring to the job. This should be three to five sentences long and should be tailored specifically for the job you are applying for. Be straight to the point, and market yourself as the ideal person for the job. Be compelling and concise, using this section to paint a picture of your characteristics, experience and achievements."

IN: Pointing employers to your online presence
While you only get so much room on an application or résumé, there's likely much more you'd like to share with prospective employers. The best way to do this? "Include your LinkedIn URL," Nebens says. "First, if you haven't already, you should create a LinkedIn profile, as LinkedIn profile URLs are becoming standard to put on your résumé. A LinkedIn profile will allow prospective employers the opportunity to learn more about your skills and better assess your qualifications. Make sure to fully develop your profile prior to listing your URL and align your résumé's goal with your profile, so both are telling the same story."

OUT: "References available upon request"
Similar to the objective statement, including references or "references available upon request" is a waste of valuable résumé real estate and just repeats the obvious. Ellis Chase, president of EJ Chase Consulting Inc. and author of "In Search of the Fun-Forever Job: Career Strategies that Work," recommends omitting the standard references line. "'References available upon request' was great in 1955. Not so much now. What are you going to say -- 'References not available upon request'? Lose it." Instead, expand other sections that need the space. Chase suggests creating an "Additional relevant information" section, where you can list your skills, languages and technologies that are immediately relevant to the desired targets.