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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Confused As To What Type Of Resume Is Effective? You Are Not Alone.

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So should you prepare a Reverse Chronological Resume or perhaps a Functional Resume? There are numerous approaches and styles to consider when preparing an effective resume. Many factors can affect which approach you take including your work experience, industry and career objectives. This article is a good starting point to help both older experienced and younger inexperience job seekers understand what preparing a resume means in today's world.(Editor's Notes)

In many contexts, a résumé is short (usually one to two pages), and therefore contains only experience directly relevant to a particular position. Many résumés contain precise keywords that potential employers are looking for, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner. 

In the past, résumés used to be no longer than two pages , as potential employers typically did not devote much time to reading résumé details for each applicant. In some countries employers have changed their views regarding acceptable résumé length. Since increasing numbers of job seekers and employers are using Internet-based job search engines to find and fill employment positions, longer résumés are needed for applicants to differentiate and distinguish themselves, and employers are becoming more accepting of résumés that are longer than two pages.

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Many professional résumé writers and human resources professionals believe that a résumé should be long enough so that it provides a concise, adequate, and accurate description of an applicant's employment history and skills . A résumé is a marketing tool in which the content should be adapted to suit each individual job application and/or applications aimed at a particular industry. The transmission of résumés directly to employers became increasingly popular as late as 2002 . Jobseekers were able to circumvent the job application process and reach employers through direct email contact and résumé blasting, a term meaning the mass distribution of résumés to increase personal visibility within the job market. However the mass distribution of résumés to employers often can have a negative effect on the applicant's chances of securing employment as the résumés tend not to be tailored for the specific positions the applicant is applying for. It is usually therefore more sensible to adjust the résumé for each position applied for.
The complexity and simplicity of various résumé formats tend to produce results varying from person to person, for the occupation, and to the industry. It is important to note that résumés used by medical professionals, professors, artists and people in many other specialized fields may be comparatively longer. For example, an artist's résumé, typically excluding any non-art-related employment, may include extensive lists of solo and group exhibitions.

A simple résumé is a summary typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or Letter-size highlighting only those experiences and credentials that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. US academic CVs are typically longer.Résumés may be organized in different ways. The following are some of the more common formats:

Reverse chronological résumé:

A reverse chronological résumé enumerates a candidate's job experiences in reverse chronological order, generally covering the last 10 to 15 years.
The reverse chronological résumé format is the most commonly used by those who are not professional résumé writers. In using this format, the main body of the document becomes the Professional Experience section, starting from the most recent experience going chronologically backwards through a succession of previous experience. The reverse chronological résumé works to build credibility through experience gained, while illustrating career growth over time and filling all gaps in a career trajectory. A chronogical résumé is not recommended in the event that the job seeker has gaps in their career summary. In the United Kingdom the chronological résumé tends to extend only as far back as the subject's GCSE/Standard Grade qualifications.

Functional résumé:

A functional résumé lists work experience and skills sorted by skill area or job function.
The functional résumé is used to assert a focus to skills that are specific to the type of position being sought. This format directly emphasizes specific professional capabilities and utilizes experience summaries as its primary means of communicating professional competency. In contrast, the chronological résumé format will briefly highlight these competencies prior to presenting a comprehensive timeline of career growth via reverse-chronological listing with most recent experience listed first. The functional résumé works well for those making a career change, having a varied work history and with little work experience. A functional résumé is also preferred for applications to jobs that require a very specific skill set or clearly defined personality traits. A functional résumé is a good method for highlighting particular skills or experience, however, those particular skills or experience may have derived from a role which was held some time ago. Rather than focus on the length of time that has passed, the functional résumé allows the reader to quickly identify those skills.

Combination résumé:

The combination résumé balances the functional and chronological approaches. A résumé organized this way typically leads with a functional list of job skills, followed by a chronological list of employers. The combination résumé has a tendency to repeat itself and is therefore less widely utilized than the other two forms.

Online résumés:

The Internet has brought about a new age for the résumé. As the search for employment has become more electronic, résumés have followed suit. It is common for employers to only accept résumés electronically, either out of practicality or preference. This electronic boom has changed much about the way résumés are written, read, and handled. Delivering a résumé in person is better than online, but if there is no other easier way, sending résumé online could be attempted. Giving a résumé in person enables the prospective employer to see you.

Job seekers must choose a file format in which to maintain their résumé. Many employers, especially recruitment agencies on their behalf, insist on receiving résumés as Microsoft Word documents. Others will only accept résumés formatted in HTML, PDF, or plain ASCII text.
Many potential employers now find candidates' résumés through search engines, which makes it more important for candidates to use appropriate keywords when writing a résumé.
Including an e-mail address in an online résumé may expose the job seeker to spam (see Spambot).
Many large employers use electronic résumé processing systems to handle large volumes of résumés. Job ads may direct applicants to email a résumé to their company or visit their website and submit a résumé in electronic format.

Some career fields include a special section listing the life-long works of the author. For computer-related fields, the softography; for musicians and composers, the discography; for actors, a filmography.
Keeping résumés online has become increasingly common for people in professions that benefit from the multimedia and rich detail that are offered by an HTML résumé, such as actors, photographers, graphic designers, developers, dancers, etc.

Job seekers are finding an ever increasing demand to have an electronic version of their résumé available to employers and professionals who use Internet recruiting at any time.
For job seekers, taking résumés online also facilitates distribution to multiple employers via Internet. Online résumé distribution services have emerged to allow job seekers to distribute their résumés to employers of their choices via email.

Another advantage to online résumés is the significant cost savings over traditional hiring methods. In the United States, the Employment Management Association has included Internet advertising in its cost-per-hire surveys for several years. In 1997, for example, it reported that the average cost-per-hire for a print ad was $3,295, while the average cost-per-hire with the Internet was $377. This in turn has cut costs for many growing organizations, as well as saving time and energy in recruitment. Prior to the development of résumés in electronic format, employers would have to sort through massive stacks of paper to find suitable candidates without any way of filtering out the poor candidates. Employers are now able to set search parameters in their database of résumés to reduce the number of résumés which must be reviewed in detail in the search for the ideal candidate.

Finally, the Internet is enabling new technologies to be employed with résumés, such as video résumés—especially popular for multimedia job seekers. Another emerging technology is graphic-enabled résumés, such as Visual CV.  Source:Wikipedia

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This Stupid Issue of Salary During a Job Search

This stupid issue of salary

Many of my clients and, I believe, most job-seekers today have great fears about revealing their salary requirements, as they're asked to do in company input form, after company input form, when applying for a given job ... and rightly so. You're trapped because they want a firm figure, not a range or words that say "salary range is open", so their input form literally forces you to choose a figure.

It's a stupid way to go about things, even from the employers' viewpoint, but they persist on doing this idiotic "dance" by asking the applicant to tell them their salary requirement before they've even reviewed their resume.

I call it stupid because it generates lots of resumes from many different people who wouldn't take the salary being offered if it were posted up front; or who might even be scared off because it looks like a heavy-duty job because it's rather high. This results in countless wasted resumes, both on the part of the sender and the employer's reader. I suppose the HR departments that foster this kind of thinking think it screens the improperly-priced applicants out, while in actuality it adds to the work everyone does that is, to put it mildly, wasted.

The smart thing to do would be to include the salary, or the range that is being considered for the salary, upfront. This would attract certain people, repel others, and limit the resumes and wasted time. It would be the upright thing to do. I might even say it would be the sensible thing to do.

Discussing salary with a third-party recruiter, however, is a completely different story. It's the wise thing to do because the third-party recruiter will, hopefully, know the salary range the employer is offering, and he or she will want to find someone who fits the requirements as well as that salary range. No wasted time or energy here.

I wish more HR people would read this and realize how stupid it is to do this kind of thing. Get the would-be employee to tell you how much they want and perhaps screen them out if they're too high, and maybe lose a highly-qualified candidate for a few lousy dollars. Somehow, that thought never seems to have entered those who build those input forms.

Some of the more progressive companies out there have begun to look at not only how well someone interviews, but how well they "fit" into the organization because they've begun to realize that having good retention rates for employees is economical and saves money in the long run, and salary isn't the be-all and end-all of that equation.

I'd welcome hearing from anybody who can defend this "salary upfront" type of thinking. To date, I haven't heard one argument in favor of it, but ... who knows? ... there could be a rational reason for it. I also welcome comments from those applicants who have encountered this and would like to share their experiences.

* * *

Lawrence M. Light has been a job coach for over fifteen years. His website is He has created a number of eBooks and Video Workshops that cover various aspects of finding, and getting, a job. Learn More Here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Have You Ever Lied On Your Resume?

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You're writing your resume and decide to say, 
"I was responsible for growing the business from 100k to 2 million dollars in 1 year." 
Impressive. But, you didn't mention that your company bought another company with 1 million in sales or that you worked within a team of 10. Is this an embellishment or a lie?  
"When Do Exaggerations and Misstatements Cross the Line?"
When public figures are caught embellishing their accomplishments or qualifications, whether by exaggeration or misstatement, people everywhere express outrage. Indeed, as more and more politicians, CEOs and other big names these days try to make amends for fudging their resumes, incorrectly relating the details of a story or otherwise playing fast and loose with the facts, the general reaction from an increasingly jaded public is: "What were they thinking?"
As it turns out, what they were thinking isn't much different from everyone else.

Embellishment is part of human nature, experts say, and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another.

Left unchecked, however, exaggerations that seemed innocuous at first could result in serious, potentially career-ending consequences. "[Getting caught] can be devastating; I think it can ruin a person," says Alan Strudler, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. That's unfortunate, he adds, "because embellishment is just a human frailty. But once you're caught in a deception, even if it's a common deception, people won't trust you. And once the bond of trust is lost, it's terribly hard to recover."
    In today's work environment, where no one comes in for a job interview without being Googled first -- and where small talk in the elevator or comments made at a staff meeting are just a Twitter post away from reaching a global audience  --  it's easier than ever to get caught in an exaggeration, Wharton experts and others note.

    But the temptation to embellish has also never been greater, they say, as recession-weary workers feel pressured to justify their worth and a 24-hour news cycle demands that leaders have an immediate, sound-bite-ready answer for everything. 

    "The questions come when something happens that breaks the social facade that we're all honest and we're all trustworthy," says G. Richard Shell, a legal studies and business ethics professor at Wharton. "When someone is revealed to have done something selfish, there's a crack in the facade and then everyone has to figure out what that means. Does the crack reveal some sort of venal person, or does it reveal the same sort of hapless person we all are underneath?"

    Finding the Line
    The type of self-deception that most people employ falls in the middle of a spectrum occupied at one end by those who are complete truth-tellers, and as a consequence are often considered "rude and socially inept -- think of a small child telling a dinner guest that she's fat," says Shell -- and at the other end of the spectrum by pathological liars, who occupy a fantasy world that they believe to be real.
    "Self deception is something that everyone is prone to," Shell notes. "There's a lot of research that says if we lack any positive illusions then that is a sign of depression.... We like to think of ourselves as being more important, more skilled and more experienced than we are. When a test comes, and someone asks what your experience is, or what your basis for stating something is, then it's tempting to make something up." Indeed, a 2003 report by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 53% of all job applications contain some kind of inaccurate information. 

    Although only 8% of respondents to a 2008 CareerBuilder survey admitted to lying on their resumes, nearly half of the hiring managers queried said they had caught a prospective hire fabricating some aspect of his or her qualifications. Almost 60% of employers said they automatically dismissed applicants caught making misstatements about their backgrounds.

    The challenge, experts say, is not to cross the line from harmless puffery to a more damaging form of elaboration. In some cases, the limits of what is accepted and what isn't are clear-cut -- few would condone amplifications that break the law, for example, or cause others serious harm. Equally prone to reproach are cases in which company executives or leaders within an organization are found to have included degrees they never earned, or positions they never held, on their resumes, according to Wharton operations and information management professor Maurice Schweitzer." 

    To see complete article and listen to audio visit:The Wharton School


    10 Things That Will Help You If You're An Older Job-Seeker

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    So you are looking for work but are worried that since you are a more mature employee that you might be discriminated against. Here I have 10 things you can do to help this from happening!

    The good news: You have vast experience and many employers would be lucky to have you. The bad news: Due to your age and how you handle everything from writing a resume to what you talk about in an interview, you may encounter age discrimination.

    Personally I prefer older workers as they are typically more mature, reliable and have vast experience that the team can draw upon, but many employers see older workers as stuck in their ways, unable to learn new software or hardware and not comfortable working for a younger manager.

    1. Find out about culture. Employers know better than to address your age, but there is no reason you can’t ask your own questions about how you might fit in. (This ties in nicely with an office tour). Ask questions such as “I have worked in several organizations with diverse ages in each department – can I ask about diversity in this department/company/division?” If the manager is in fact several years younger than you are, you could address it by saying “I just interviewed with another company and we discussed how I might feel working for a younger boss and wanted to share with you that this is absolutely no problem…I did in fact report to a younger manager once and he too was concerned…(then proceed to tell him or her specific examples of projects you worked on where you had more experience than the manager and how it worked out well….)

     Also, ask for a tour of the office during your interview. I used to stress to all of my candidates to do this, but in your case it is very important. The reason is that you get a very clear sense of the type of people already employed – are they happy, seem disgruntled or are they all of the same age group or cultural background? Even the way the employees look (or don’t) look at you and smile will give you a hint as to how you would be received in the company culturally. My recommendation is to ask for a “quick office tour” at the end of your first interview. Look for a company with a good track record of diversity. This means exactly that – if a company is well known for hiring all new graduates, then the chances of gaining employment in such a company when you are older than those in the company may prove difficult.

    2. If you have been a manager and the position you are interviewing for is not a manager’s position, write your resume in a functional style but leave out titles as much as possible. Better to say Project Management as opposed to V.P. Project Management. The idea is to get the employer to see how you can do the job rather than thinking about how you might not fit in.

    3. Talk about the challenge of the position and how there would be things for you to learn in this position. The employer may fear that not only have you “been there done that” and not be open to doing things differently, but they may fear that you may quickly grow bored and leave. This is not to say to lie and say that something is a challenge when it isn’t, but think of a few things that you haven’t done and stress that in fact you would like to take a few years to learn the role and the company. You may even discuss that although you have significant experience in industry A, that having the opportunity to work within industry B would be a challenge because….The key here is learning and if you communicate that you are a “lifelong learner” and you are not afraid to learn new things, processes and ways of doing things, it will help the employer feel more comfortable in hiring you.

    Click here to read part 2 of this article

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