Resume Writing Mistakes Can Kill Your Job Search Prospects

Have you ever submitted a resume only to realize too late that there was a resume writing error in your materials? If so, you may know all too well the consequences. Resume writing mistakes devastate job searches, according to Certified Professional Resume Writers. In fact, according to a recent survey, 84% of hiring professionals would reject a candidate who had just one or two typographical errors on their cover letter or resume.

Avoiding resume-writing mistakes may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised to know that we see candidate-written resumes with errors on a daily basis. Fortunately, these devastating resume-writing consequences are 100% avoidable. With close attention to detail and careful proofing of your resume-writing materials, you can avoid these resume-writing pitfalls.

The most important thing to do in resume writing is to proofread your resume many times over. Do not rely only on your own proofreading skills. Instead, enlist the help of others to go over your resume writing materials. Contact a career services professional, a friend in hiring or human resources, or a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). Often someone who is viewing a document for the first time will see errors that your eyes might gloss over.

When you are proofing your resume writing, remember that effective resume writing focuses on your achievements. Still, it is a mistake to itemize all of your achievements. If you flipped more burgers than any other cook, that is great and it may have landed you your next job. If that was 20 years ago, however, listing the achievement may indicate to a potential employer that you peaked 20 years ago. Employers want resume writing to answer the question: What have you done lately that fits the job?

After writing a convincing resume, you need to write a convincing cover letter. The same rules apply. Because many people send a different cover letter for each job application, however, it is often more common that mistakes show up in a cover letter than in a resume. Still, cover letter mistakes can have the same effect as resume writing mistakes – you will lose the interview.

Another common error in resume-writing and cover letter writing is using a font too small to read, in an effort to get as much content as possible on a single page. If the font is too small, then people will not be interested in reading it. It also gives the appearance that the writer is disorganized and unable to prioritize his or her thoughts and incapable of selecting the most important information to highlight on the resume.

A word of caution: resume-writing can take many hours. It is sometimes draining but necessary. Think about the years of effort you have put into your education, training, and career. The investment in building your resume is minuscule in comparison.


Job Interviewing – Do’s and Dont’s – Before, During and After an Interview

Almost all job seekers recognize the importance of preparing for a job interview. And that means more than just showing up with your resume in hand and a smile on your face. You probably know at least some of the things you should do to get ready. However, have you also thought about what you should not do – before, during and after an interview? We’ve compiled a “Top 10-12” list of Do’s and Dont’s for the before, during and after stages of any job interview. Follow these and you can be assured you’ll be ready to make a success of that interview – and confidently and quickly move to the top of the Hiring Manager’s “hiring” list.

Before the job interview – before you arrive at the company

Do research the company (and the interviewers, if possible) to learn as much as you can. Don’t act cocky during the interview to show off your research

Do realize that there are different types of job interviews and find out which type you will be having. Don’t walk into a surprise!

Do review possible interview questions and prepare your responses. Don’t memorize your answers or over rehearse so you won’t sound rehearsed at the interview.

Do role-play if possible with a family member or friend and ask for feedback on your presentation. Don’t ask someone who can’t be objective, however.

Do take a practice run to the interview location to be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it may take you to arrive. Don’t get lost (and if for some crazy reason you do get lost on the way, don’t say that to the interviewer).

Do plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early. Don’t arrive any earlier or you may appear desperate. And if you unexpectedly are running late, Do call the interviewer or other company representative to let them know your expected arrival time.

Do understand that your interview begins way before you greet the interviewer(s). It actually begins the moment you begin the trip to that interview. Be alert and courteous at all times. You never know who you may interact with as you head to the interview. Don’t lose your cool. Be alert and courteous to everyone!

Do ask what a company’s dress code is and dress the part. Don’t assume you automatically know even if the company is similar to a previous employer.

Do focus on hygiene. Brush your teeth prior to the interview. Use a mouthwash or have a breath mint. Don’t smoke before – or during – the interview, even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette, etc.

Do turn off your cell phone or pager (or put it in silent vibration) and don’t turn it back on until the interview is completed.

During the interview – from the moment you arrive until you leave

Do greet the receptionist with respect. Here is where you can make a great first impression. Don’t assume they won’t be asked for their input after you leave.

Do complete a job application without comment, if you are given one. Don’t balk and say your resume has everything on it.

Do bring additional resumes and or job skills “sales brochures” and offer to all interviewers. Don’t expect everyone to already have a copy.

Do greet interviewer(s) by title; e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., and last name. Don’t assume you know the pronunciation of a last name. If the least unsure, ask the receptionist before going into the interview.

Do shake hands with anyone who offers their hand. Shake their hand firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake; and wait until you are offered a seat before sitting down. And remember that body language often speaks louder than words. Sit upright; be alert and look interested at all times. Make good eye contact with the interview. Don’t slouch, fidget, become distracted or stare at the interviewer.

Do demonstrate enthusiasm for the company and job; and a high level of energy and confidence. Don’t be soft-spoken, overly assertive or appear anxious or desperate to get the job (or just any job to become employed), however.

Do sell yourself. Make certain that your accomplishments come across to the interviewer(s) in a way that sincerely speaks directly to their company’s needs. Show how you can benefit their company. Don’t expect your application or resume to do the sales job for you, and don’t offer any negative information about yourself.

Do take advantage of your time with the interviewer to evaluate them and their company as a potential employer and your mutual “fit”. Don’t overlook an opportunity to ask questions as you may appear as though you are not interested.

Do answer questions completely. Answer truthfully and succinctly but no “yes” or “no” answers. Offer examples, explanations; showcase your talents, skills, and accomplishments. Don’t over-answer, however. Know when to stop.

Do be ready for the unexpected questions. To give yourself time to think, repeat the question or ask the interviewer to repeat it. A brief 1-2 second pause is OK. Don’t however, fall back on long, uncomfortable pauses or statements such as, “Wow, that’s a good one!” which make you appear unprepared.

Do attempt to delay any discussion about salary, vacations, bonuses, etc., until after you have an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements with a generic response. If you know the salary range the company is offering and it is acceptable to you say, “I’m sure we can find agreement within your salary range.” Don’t initiate the discussion.

Do constantly act as if you are determined to get the job and never close the door on an opportunity until you are positive it is not for you. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot if you want the opportunity by bringing us personal issues, controversial topics, anything negative about former colleagues and employers, telling jokes, using poor language, chewing gum

Closing the interview and afterwards – your work is not done just because the interview is

Do close the interview by expressing your interest in the job. Ask what the next steps are, and when the company will make a hiring decision. If appropriate based on how the interview has gone, close the sale – ask for the job. Don’t jump the gun, however.

Do ask for business cards from each person you interviewed with. Don’t make assumptions about even simple names; get the spelling if you can’t get the card.

Do capture the highpoints of the interview immediately after. Don’t forget crucial details.

Do have an action plan in place based on a strong, well-thought out interview follow-up strategy. This can give you a huge competitive advantage over others who interviewed for the job and don’t follow-up. Don’t let this be a haphazard activity with no structure; just a letter here, a call there. There’s no better way to lose an opportunity than to give follow-up little importance. And there’s no better tool to use to reinforce the benefits you can bring a company than recognizing and using the real value of follow-up.

Do write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you to continue to show your interest and enthusiasm for the company and job, without sounding desperate. Don’t fail to send a thank you, even if the job is not a good fit for you.

Do focus on the content of the thank you letters, not so much on whether it’s hand-written or typed. Show appreciation for the company’s interest in you and remind those receiving your thank you letter why you are the uniquely qualified candidate for the position. Don’t send the thank you letter through the incorrect medium, however; make sure you know the best way to reach those interviewers – regular mail, email, fax, a phone call., etc. And don’t have any errors in your thank you notes.

Do alert your references, if you haven’t already, that they may receive a call from your prospective employer. Don’t forget to brief them on what was said – by you and the interviewers – during the interview.

Do continue to follow-up, especially if requested by interviewer(s). Don’t go overboard however. There’s a huge difference between a squeaky wheel getting the oil, and an annoying pest getting the flyswatter.

Do be patient. You must work with the company’s timeline. Don’t however, stop your job search – even if you’re confident you’ll get the job. Continue to seek out other opportunities and interview. This can benefit you in at least two ways: a. Should you get the job, you can leverage other offers in your job offer negotiations b. Should you not get the job, you’ll have other opportunities to pursue

Do turn a negative situation (not getting the job) into a positive (getting a referral). Add the interviewers to your job search network. Nurture this budding relationship so that you can ask them to refer you to other contacts. Don’t, in other words, ever burn any of the bridges you build in your job search. Always think of ways to use them – and to reciprocate. Doing so, can benefit you now and in the future – for any other job search needs as well as growing your career.

There you have it, the top Do’s and Don’ts for acing your interview.

How to Search for Jobs

Last week I came across an old friend called Jane who looked very bad, after a few hours of conversation I discovered that not only had he given up on his job searching but he was being a very poor person, a person who I found very hard to keep a normal conversation with. It was very obvious that he was struggling with very deep depression, obviously brought on by not hunting a job.

So what should one deal with this problem? Being unemployed the financial side of the position can be an enormous strain on a person or family. Unemployment has the potential to seriously harm your ability to get a new job. This may seem more than a little counter-intuitive, but it truly is the case.

And how to write your resume is a quite important issue. When using a specialized resume writing service is extremely recommended when searching for a different job because this might avoid any error in sending your resume. Sending the same resume for every job application isn’t recommended, so if you feel trying to get a number of jobs adapt your resume for every job you apply for. For the reason that a recruiter reviews any resume for no longer than a couple of seconds, it is essential to have a professional layout for your resume so that it impresses the recruiter because short while of time by concentrating on the requirements and major accomplishments.

There are endless ways to get jobs. You simply have to know what you are good at and then market those skills to the people around you. You can search for a good job as you like in the future.

Career Advice: Three Secrets to Telling Your Story for Career and Life Success

When was the last time you received a job promotion? You are doing a great job at work but everyone else seems to get the promotion you want. You may even start making excuses as to why you are not getting the career promotions you deserve. Well, I ask you the following question.

Did you ever tell your story?

The following career advice story will show you how to put your career on the fast track: Recently, I was facilitating an oceanfront retreat for over two hundred employees of a university. During this session, I had the participants think of something or somebody they appreciate. I then asked for volunteers to share with the group whom or what they appreciate and why this is important to them.

Lonnie volunteered and stood up in front of the group to share his thoughts of appreciation. Lonnie explained that in his job he helps children improve their lives. He mentioned that whatever the lowest pay and title scale was, he was at that level. However, he said that was all right because of the joy he received from helping the children. You could hear and sense the passion in his words as he shared his experiences with the audience.

About a month later, Lonnie was in another workshop I was facilitating, and he asked to speak with me before the start of the session. I could see the excitement in his eyes as he explained what had happened to him since the oceanfront retreat. One week after sharing his story at the retreat, he received a call from the Office of Academic Affairs. Someone of influence, who was impressed with Lonnie’s speech and the way he told his story that day, wanted Lonnie to come in for a job interview. Lonnie went to the interview and received the job of Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs, with a substantial increase in pay and title. That was a career quantum leap from just a couple of weeks earlier.

So what happened?

Lonnie told his story for career success. Like so many of you, you are toiling away in your careers everyday and making a difference for your organization. But if no one knows about your successes, your passions, and your ideas, you will not achieve job and career success. The following are three secrets to putting you on the fast track to career and job advancement:

It’s Not What You Know… – I’m sure you have heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” when talking about getting ahead in life. Well, in this new age of information and self responsibility, I am declaring that this saying is dead. Instead, I always say the following:

“It’s not what you know. It’s not who you know. It’s who knows what you know that creates success for you.”

There are people doing a great job everyday. There are people everyday that know people of influence. Yet, unless these people of influence know what you know (your skills, your knowledge, your ideas), you won’t be put in a position for success. Lonnie, during his two-minute presentation, let people of influence know that he was passionate about helping children at his job and he was willing to do it for little compensation. That’s a powerful message. It moved people to help him and make him a part of their team.
Prepare Yourself for Powerful Story Telling – When the opportunity comes to tell your story, will you be prepared? Lonnie was prepared and made the most of his opportunity. However, I have seen many opportunities vanish for a person to tell his/her story because of the fear of speaking in front of a group or in a meeting. Whether it’s in a job interview, monthly meeting, or at a conference, have the confidence to tell your story. You may never get another opportunity to do so. Have the courage to work on your presentation skills. There are various resources for improving your presentation skills. You can take a class, join Toastmasters, or hire a presentation skills coach. Also, outline what you will tell in your story. Think of your successes and how you achieved those successes. Thinks of the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Express the joy you felt while achieving your goals. Relate how your activities helped you develop your skills, your creativity, and your determination. Let your passion show in your story.
Create Opportunities to Tell Your Story – When Lonnie volunteered, he created an opportunity to tell his story. How can you create opportunities to tell your story? You can volunteer for job-related assignments and give reports during management briefings. You can be active in workshops or seminars and tell your story among a variety of people that normally might not be exposed to your story. Join various associations and groups and tell your story. This is a great way to network among people who are active in their industries. Contribute your story to your in-house publication, local newspaper, or magazine. Create a blog or website and tell your story. The more you tell your story to a wide variety of people, the greater the opportunity to increase your success.

Apply these powerful career advice secrets and put your career advancement on the fast track. Tell your story and others will sit up and take notice.