Judging A Book By Its Cover


Tips for Selling Your Own Story

No matter how many times your mom told you not to judge a book by its cover, it’s still one of life’s inevitable occurrences. Luckily, by thinking of a hiring manager as someone browsing a bookstore, you can make a great impression with three easy strategies. 


Grab their attention.

Once a hiring manager has found the right “genre,” in this case a pool of qualified applicants, they’ll start perusing the shelves for something that looks interesting. Think of your resume as your professional dust jacket. It doesn’t matter how great your story is if no one ever picks it up. In a sea of Times New Roman and Helvetica, a well-designed resume is an easy way to set yourself apart and make recruiters want to pull your book off the shelf. Plus, an excellent design can speak volumes about your personality, organization skills and taste before a recruiter ever reads a word.


Get to the point.

The text of your resume functions as the blurb, and nothing is more frustrating than flipping a book over only to find that you still have no idea what the story is about. Be sure to include as much detailed information about yourself as concisely as possible. Talk about your experiences and the direct results of your actions. Being able to quantify your skills will help hiring mangers determine if your return on investment is more valuable than that of the next person.


Give them a reason to believe.

Finally, include an “about the author” section — or in this case, a cover letter. Just as every book has an author bio, so should every job application include a cover letter. This is your chance to tell employers why you would be a good fit and to frame your experience within the context of their company. And don’t be too humble to include a “praise for” section, either. Just as you’re more likely to pick up a book with a quote from the New York Times, recruiters are much more likely to respond to someone who mentions that they have been referred by an employee or an acquaintance than to take a chance on a complete stranger.


Don’t be daunted by the thought of limiting your story to one or two pages. With a little bit of creativity, you can take that simple piece of paper and turn it into a ticket for an interview. X
  • Author Dat Le
  • Category Career AdviceFirst ImpressionGet The JobInterview TipsJob AdviceLife LessonResume AdviceResume ContentResume Tips
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Six seconds to impress

Six seconds. Yes, that is how long it takes a recruiter to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes a week for each job they advertise. You only have a small window of opportunity to impress them with your resume writing skills.

But according to a number of top recruiting agencies, 75% of applicants are not qualified for the job they apply for. A recruiter, therefore, will spend valuable time sifting through each resume in search of a job skill match.

It is vital that you put in extra effort to ensure your professional resume is not one of those which ends up in the recycle bin.

So how do you do this? These tried and tested techniques will help you stand out from the crowd.

Apply for the right job 

Many people do not read the job advertisement or contact the inquiries officer. A simple phone call will ensure you know exactly what the job is so your professional resume and LinkedIn summary can be tailored appropriately. 

Keep it short

When it comes to resume design, the ideal length for a professional resume and cover letter is two pages. Recruiters are pressed for time and therefore will skim over each resume looking for keywords relevant to the job advertised.

Keep it concise and relevant

To attract the recruiter’s attention, put your most relevant experience first and keep it short and to the point. Tailor your experience and skills to the job requirements in your cover letter and professional resume. Not every job you have had may necessarily be relevant.

Proofread and spellcheck it

The most frustrating thing for a recruiter is to receive a curriculum vitae or professional resume full of spelling and grammatical errors. This will count against you, especially if the job requires close attention to detail. 

Finally, once you finish, give your professional resume or curriculum vitae to someone neutral and ask them to read it. Even ask them what stands out on the page. 

If you're going round in circles with your resume and still can't get it right, give Loft Resumes a call for our expert advice on resume design and professional resume writing services.
  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Resume AdviceResume Content
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Cover letters - Made to fit

Getting an employer's attention with CVs can be difficult. But with a tailored cover letter aimed at the right people, it can mean you getting considered for the job.

First is stroking their ego. Don't make your potential employer tell you why they're a good company to work for - they shouldn't have to convince you of anything other than taking the job.

Know if you're applying to an HR team or a hiring manager. Smaller companies will usually have someone who you can name in your cover letter, opposed to large companies, who usually have an HR department. 

Do your research - do your qualities, job experience and attitude match your target? Most companies are looking for a personality type to fit in with their team. You can find these details by paying close attention to the job description and company profile. Look at their website and find their "voice" - are they a humorous, fun-loving team who you can imagine going for Friday night drinks? Is it a high-intensity role where you will have to think on your feet? Are they more serious and down to business?


It's not egotistical to talk about yourself but watch out for boring, stock sentences like "I am a highly motivated individual looking for a job in the ... industry." You can still communicate the same message, but try and say it in a different way. 

Remember - whoever's reading your cover letter and resume has probably read many more before yours that day and will probably read much more after it. So it's best that you imagine who will be reading your resume and cover letter when you write it. Say something that will stand out and convince them to put yours in the "yes" pile or to mark your application for further review. When hiring managers read cover letters and resumes for hours on end, they begin to skim read. So just like a professional resume design and template can be the deciding factor in being considered, so can a well-written and thoughtful cover letter.

cover leter

To conclude, it's still ok to have a template CV that you use as the body of your cover letter. Sometimes it may need rewording but this is a case by case situation, like all applications should be. Hiring managers recognise copy-paste applications that have been sent to every LinkedIn and Seek job ad.

  • Author Nicole C
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Getting back into the workforce after a break

You’ve been out of the workforce for whatever reason – having a family, you were ill, lost your job, or just “because”. Now you want to get back in. But the doors to your new job may not open easily to someone who took time out. You need to give your potential employer the confidence that interviewing someone whose work skills may be a little rusty isn’t a waste of time. Here are a few tips on how you can do this.

1. Be honest

It’s bound to come up, so you may as well address the elephant in the room. In your cover letter, briefly outline the reason you left the workforce in the first place. This will give your potential employer a clearer picture of you and might help you prepare for any awkward questions coming up in the interview. 


2. Accentuate the positive

Make sure that you emphasise the good points about your absence. For example, if you left to have a family, make sure that your potential employer knows how you developed well-organised habits, or how your training techniques improved as a result of having to look after your children. If you lost your job, stress how you used your “time off” to research new career paths or develop new skills. Did you do any volunteer work while you were off? Make sure that this is highlighted in your CV if so. 

3. Keep your referees current

One of the toughest things about being out of work for some time is that your work referees may become less relevant, the longer it is between the time they knew you as a worker and the time they are asked to recommend you. So stay in touch with them and keep them informed about what you are doing. And keep their details current! Nothing could be more embarrassing than having your potential employer call your referee only to find they’ve changed their phone number. 


4. Update your resume regularly

Don’t let the information in your resume become stale or out of date. Think of it as a living document that needs frequent updating and polishing. A well-written, professional resume is the first thing most recruiters will look for, so give yours the best chance to be put in the “yes” pile. 

You want to beat the odds when re-entering the workforce after being away. Our aim at Loft Resumes is to provide you with a resume writing service that will alert your future employer to the benefits of hiring you, even if you have been out of work for a while. Give us a call and let our professional writing experts design a resume that will sell your skills to just the right bidder.
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5 key phrases to include in your CV

It is likely that your CV is the first document a prospective employer has access to, so it forms a huge part of your first impression. Consequently, the 'wow' factor required goes beyond tidy formatting, immaculate grammar and punctuation, and sufficient detail. The key to really standing out from the crowd is in the words and phrases you employ in outlining your professional (and personal) strengths. Partnering with a professional resume service will give you the edge here, as will including the following five keywords:

1. Lead

Leadership is widely regarded as the most important quality in successful employees. If you aren't in a role where you lead a team, don't be tricked into thinking you can drop the ball on this crucial front. Good leadership shows confidence, patience, communication and organisational skills - all of which add a huge amount of value to any business. 

2. Present

An ability to communicate with ease and confidence, and give a presentation to senior stakeholders, will be vital for many industries. Showing you can engage with stakeholders of different levels and backgrounds speaks to your character as well as your professional capabilities and makes you an attract feature prospect to an employer who is looking to bolster communication ability in his or her team.

3. Deliver

Ultimately, any prospective employer is looking for your ability to achieve task - which means delivering results! Highlighting on your CV instances where you have delivered such an outcome will definitely meet these criteria, proving that you can act as well as speak! 

4. Negotiate

Ability to influence groups of difficult stakeholders, get your agenda to the top of the pile, and see both sides of a challenging situation are all vital! An ability to negotiate effectively also shows you can prioritise, you know what is important, and what you can trade off. Plus, negotiators tend to take a collaborative approach, which will impress a prospective employer from a cultural perspective.

5. Improve

Showing that you can improve a project or environment is crucial. This could be in turning around a struggling business unit, improving employee engagement, meeting a greater number of KPIs - whatever the case - your ability to improve indicates a combination of initiative and problem-solving skills. 

Does your CV contain all of these crucial concepts? Even if you have communicated your abilities in some of these areas, a great resume with even more "action" oriented words will do wonders for landing your next dream job. The team at Loft Resumes is here to help - get in touch today!
  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Resume Advice
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A guide to successful job hunting

Securing the perfect role isn't always easy, especially if you are in a competitive field or industry. Before you throw yourself into job hunting headfirst it's a good idea to streamline the process by following our guide for job hunting successfully.

Job hunting

Research the types of jobs which are of interest to you

By spending the time researching the jobs that you are interested in, you can determine whether you have the skills or qualifications these require, or if you need any additional training. You can also find out the companies that are offering these jobs through online job search platforms such as Seek. 

Have a customised CV created

To more efficiently secure the roles you prefer, having a CV customised to incorporate the specific skill-set and qualifications you offer that fulfills the requirements of the role is essential. By having a customised CV created for each role, you will have a competitive advantage. 

Customised CV

Update your social media profiles

When recruiting new staff, many companies will assess their social media profiles to ensure the job seeker has the qualities that fit with their business culture. It's a good idea to update your social media profiles so that these appear more professional.

Applying for roles

Before applying for a new job, it's important to inform your referees that they'll be hearing from a prospective employer, so that they are prepared. In conjunction with sending employers a customised CV, you also need to have a cover letter that's individually tailored to suit the role. Always record the roles you've applied for in case you receive a callback, so you don't appear confused when a prospective employer is asking you questions about a role.

Prepare for interviews

By writing down any questions you believe you will be asked during an interview, as well as the answers, you will be better prepared to answer these during an interview and feel more confident.

If you follow our guide to job hunting successfully, you'll not only achieve better results but speed up the process. For professional resume writing and resume design services contact Loft Resumes today.
  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Job huntingtips
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How to market your transferrable skills

It’s no secret that switching careers is tough. How can you convince someone you have exceptional skills as a manager when you have only worked as a salesperson? But today more than ever, transferable skills are extremely valuable to employers.

However, career transition can be done and achieved successfully. All you have to do is understand what transferable skills are and how to incorporate them into your cover letter, professional resume and LinkedIn summary.

Your transferable skills are the attributes and abilities you have gained from your career, volunteer or social activities. The way you present your skills to potential employers and professional networks will set you apart from other job seekers.

A key transferable skill to an employer today is leadership. Many people already possess this skill in one form or another yet they may not recognise it in their current job. If you can you assess the importance of tasks, identify if a task is really necessary, or step back and analyse problems, then you possess the transferable skill of leadership. 

Here’s how you can identify and market your transferable skills to stand out from the crowd:

• Write a list of your soft and hard skills gained from your current job and volunteer activities.
• Assess those skills against your new career goal/s.
• Research job advertisements and job descriptions related to your new career goals and note the words used to describe your transferable skills. 
• Update your resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) and incorporate the keywords used to describe your transferable skills.
• Clearly articulate examples of your transferable skills in your resume or CV and how these will enable you to seamlessly transition into the new job.
• Use the heading “Related Skills” on your resume or CV to highlight transferable skills relevant to the job.
• Engage a resume writing service provider for a professional looking resume or CV.

You want your professional resume or CV to demonstrate you possess the skills and abilities required by a future employer. So, it is important to ensure that you include relevant examples to market your transferable skills.
  • Author Nicole C
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Five tips for creating a video resume

Creating a video resume can be nerve-wracking. Instead of hiding behind your achievements on paper, you have to show yourself. But, whether you like it or not, many companies now include a video resume as part of the application process. Get yours right with these five tips. 

Video resume

1. Don't go overtime

No prospective employer wants to spend 10 minutes listening to you telling your life story. Keep your video resume to one or two minutes. If you're struggling to cut it back, then focus on the two or three most important points. There's plenty of detail on your traditional resume.

2. Make it unique 

Whether you're applying for your first junior role or a CEO position, your main strength is your individuality. Your video resume should reveal something interesting about you that's relevant to the job for which you're applying. Do you wake up every morning and go for a run? Shoot your video resume at sunrise, to demonstrate that you're a self-disciplined go-getter. 

3. Be meaningful

What are your core values? Why are you applying for the job, on a deep level? What is it about the company or organisation that attracts you? Your video resume should show that you're serious. If you've thought at length about the position, then it's clear that it's important to you and that you're likely to work hard.

4. Be creative

Don't sit in front of a plain backdrop reciting your resume. Generally speaking, employers aren't on the lookout for bores. Instead, get creative. This could be as simple as choosing a location that means something to you or as complex as writing a song and performing it. The idea is to command attention. If you're stuck for ideas, don't be afraid to ask around. 

5. Demonstrate unwavering professionalism

Even if you shoot your video resume at the beach, don't neglect your professionalism. Be sure to speak clearly and display your potential dedication. Making an appropriate joke is one thing, sounding like you just got out of bed with a hangover is quite another. Also, before submitting your video resume, edit it, listen to it and seek the opinions of honest, trustworthy friends.

  • Author Nicole C
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Resume versus curriculum vitae (CV) - What is the difference?

Throughout the course of any job search you will be asked to provide either a resume or a curriculum vitae (CV). Many people assume that the terms resume and CV are interchangeable, but there are differences between the two and it pays to make sure that you are sending the right one for each job that you apply for. Resume

What is a resume?

A resume should briefly summarise your work and education experiences in a clear and easy to scan format. Your resume should include only your work experiences that are most relevant to the role you are applying for. You should also strive to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for, so be certain to exclude anything that is irrelevant

Because HR managers and recruiters often receive a lot of resumes for each job opening, a brief, easy to scan resume of less than two pages that highlights all of your best skills and attributes will help them to quickly determine a smaller group of candidates to select for the interview round.

What is a curriculum vitae? 

The term curriculum vitae translates to “course of life” in Latin. This means that a CV can be significantly longer than a resume because you will need to include your entire work and education experience, accomplishments, and publications on a CV, even if they aren’t relevant to the job you are currently applying for. 

The most common way to order a CV is to make a list of everything you need to include, group all of your employment and academic experiences and accomplishments into categories, and ensure each category is clearly labelled and presented in chronological order. 

Resume or curriculum vitae?

A resume is the most common document required for job seekers in the United States and Canada. You can assume that a resume will be the option in most situations, unless a CV is specified in the job listing.

A CV is usually required from job seekers in the academic, medical, or scientific fields. Publications, teaching experience, and education can all play an equally important role in improving your employment prospects, so the longer and more detailed CV format will be the best option.
  • Author Dat Le
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The tips and tricks of tweaking your resume

Resume writing can be a daunting task. There is no doubt that the idea of one document being a representation of who you are and all the skills you possess in regards to a particular career path is a difficult notion to come to terms with. This is because we are of course much more than one document. Some people even struggle with ‘selling themselves’. 

So how can you move past these concerns to effectively represent yourself on your resume? 

Know your key skills

If you struggle to sell yourself on paper, consider your total skill set, even if initially seeming irrelevant to a certain role. Creativity, for example, might not feel applicable to a technical position, but being able to demonstrate thinking outside the box and ingenuity can help you in any role. Ensure you don't overlook these key attributes by writing a list of your skills and carefully considering each one with regards to your dream job. From there, you can tailor your resume to become an accurate representation of yourself.

Use the professional terminology 

Now that you have thoroughly considered your personal skills, your resume needs to reflect your expertise through relevant terminology for that profession. This shows your potential employer that you understand the industry terms and that you are comfortable using them fluently, helping you stand out amongst other applicants.

Keep it simple

Employers tend to receive a large volume of responses to every job opening. Imagine sifting through 300 resumes to find a shortlist of 5-10 applicants that you had to interview: what would make it easier, and more likely that they'll select you?

Simple: ensure it's easy to digest. They should know straight away who you are; what you're best at; why you're a good fit for the particular job. Be concise and efficient, break up your paragraphs into short sentences and get to the point. 

Being aware of your skills, using professional terminology and keeping concise are all things that will enhance your likelihood of getting through the initial round of applications and securing an interview. Loft Resumes can help you get there, so get in contact with us to find out more about tweaking your resume for the best results.
  • Author Nicole C
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