Résumé Tip No. 2: Focus on your skills

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Once you really get your information organized and know what job you’re applying for, working on your résumé can be fun. Well, maybe we’re the only ones that think that, but it’s true that design and formatting can be a little more engaging than trying to creatively say that you answer emails in a timely fashion.
But beware the common problem that designers and job seekers frequently run into: Too much of a good thing. It might seem like giving your résumé a 150 pt. font header of your name or adding a background image of your LinkedIn headshot is a way to stand apart from the competition, but the distinction you risk making is that your skills can’t stand on their own, or that you lack professional taste.
Either way, employers aren’t interested.
To see what a redesigned résumé looks like without qualifying as a design disaster, check out this before-and-after infographic. As you’ll see, the best résumés have a good balance of white space and text, use easy-to-read fonts and are as classic and clean as possible.

Also remember that your résumé can be submitted to employers in a variety of formats, and that not every format will get delivered in the same layout you send it in. To avoid the embarrassment of sending a garbled document, create and save your résumé in several formats, including PDF, word document and text document.

Build Self-Confidence with Resume Addendum

A resume tool to differentiate yourself in the job market

By Rhona Bronson

Hundred dollars on fishing hook

In today's job market, job hunters need to appeal to as many hiring managers and recruiters as possible. The challenge in throwing a wide net is maintaining quality over quantity while also creating differentiation for a specific industry. My technique was the Resume Addendum.

I first created an addendum as a working document to build self-confidence and pride by reminding myself of my own relevant experiences long forgotten in industries outside of my key areas of expertise. When I started my search, there were not many jobs in my niche. Since not working was not an option, I had to borrow advice from fishing experts and learn how to prove appealing to the fish biting in other industries.


Find the Fish

One of the first rules of fishing is to fish where the fish are. During the early weeks of my job search, several jobs were posted by health associations. I had initial training in health care, and my first job was in a health care consulting company. Since that time, however, my career experiences were in anything but health care. In applying for health-related association jobs, what could I say that would position me as qualified?

It's hard to apply for any job if you lack self-confidence. I started a "Health Highlights" document one day to see for myself if I had enough experience to consider applying for health-related marketing posts at any level. The worksheet was not pretty, nor formatted, but once completed, it gave me confidence that I had something to offer.

I then attempted to revise my resume to be more health specific. But, an odd thing happened. My resume tinkering weakened my resume. Changes highlighted less important experiences, took too much time to write, and didn't present well. Precious time I wanted to devote to finding jobs was now being spent in altering a resume that was already strong. At that point, I made the decision to keep my resume intact and tinker instead with the highlights document to see if it could serve as a stand-alone document. It couldn't. But, with some formatting changes, it was a decent Addendum.

Test the Waters

I started formatting the document to match my resume much as I would an accompanying cover letter. I added color, changed fonts, and paid attention to presentation. Within a short time I had a document that I retitled my Resume Addendum.

It was a calculated risk when as I sent out my first application with three elements – a cover letter, resume, and my new addendum. When the first call came in for a phone interview, I thought the technique had merit. When a second call came for an interview with an entirely different company, I knew I had something of value.

No Two Addendums Are Alike

Unlike resumes, addendums have no set format. My addendum was text heavy and matched the look and feel of my resume, but instead of listing accomplishments, it highlighted clients and expertise. For instance, my stint as an entrepreneur at Plaza Communications appeared on the addendum (with clients edited for privacy here) as follows:



In contrast, my bulleted resume listed projects completed with results detailed in numbers and percentages.

If I were a designer, an addendum could be a sheet of thumbnail graphics projects. If I were a writer, an addendum might display headlines and lead lines of published articles. Some people have added Infographics. Every field is different and job applications should be as well. But if your resume isn't telling enough of your unique story, consider how you might use an addendum to tell more of unique story to your own advantage.

INFOGRAPHIC: How to craft a cover letter worth reading

By Justin Thompson,

The cover letter. Perhaps the most controversial job-search document. Well, if not the most controversial, then it's at least the one that annoys people the most. "What should I put in it?" "Do I really need to include this?" "Will anyone actually read this?" "What's the point if I'm including my résumé?"
I always recommend including a cover letter, especially if the job is related to communications, marketing or any profession that relies on you being well-spoken and having exceptional writing abilities.
Similar to the résumé infographic we created to show you the before and after, here is an infographic on cover letters and how to make one that is eye-catching to a hiring manager.
 

Can You Ever Lie On Your Resume And Get Away With It?

4 whoppers to avoid if you want to get the job and keep it

By Miriam Salpeter

Job interview

"Seeking liars; apply within." An unlikely headline for any job. While some employers may be lazy and fail to confirm credentials before hiring certain applicants, people who embellish their qualifications or lie about them are always at risk for losing their positions -- even after having worked in the job for years.

Case in point, recent news reports indicate that Steve Masiello's coaching career has gone into limbo because the University of South Florida (USF) decided to verify his credentials before extending a formal offer to recruit him away from his current position at Manhattan College. Clearly, based on his bio posted on his current employer's website, he was representing himself as having a bachelor's degree. A background check uncovered the lie; he never graduated. Now, he stands to lose the offer to join USF he is on leave from his current job as a result. One lie could result in two lost jobs.

If you don't want to be looking over your shoulder or hoping no one in HR gets suspicious and decides to audit their files, avoid these whoppers on your resume:

Lies About Past Employers

Do not lie about where you worked, even if you think it sounds impressive to pad your resume with big-name employers. It's very easy to verify employment, even via a quick review of LinkedIn contacts and an email or two.

Lies of Omission

If you think failing to mention key points will keep you out of trouble, think again. "You never actually asked me if I graduated with a degree" will not serve as a good excuse if you're approached about lying about your academic credentials that may be listed in an ambiguous manner on your resume. Leaving dates off your resume and failing to disclose other details is not wise.

As illustrated in Masiello's case, these lies can come back to bite you, even after you've been in a job. In fact, there was a case of a dean at MIT who resigned her post after working there for 28 years when the university audited its files and learned she did not have degrees from the three schools listed on her initial resume.

Half-Truths

Plan to leave a job off your resume because you were only there for a short time? Keep in mind, there is a lot of scrutiny on new hires, and if a company conducts a background check, you'll need to be prepared to explain why you didn't want anyone to know you worked in that company. You don't want to raise any red flags or spook employers who might wonder what else they don't know about you before they hire you.

Little Embellishments

You've likely read about how personal branding is an important part of marketing yourself for a job, but you may have incorrectly assumed boosting your qualifications was part of growing your brand. Avoid embellishing your titles, your mentors or your skills and accomplishments on your resume and you're much more likely to land in a job that's the right fit for you. Avoid this big job search mistake to find - and keep - your next job.

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