Automated tracking systems can reject your resume before it even reaches a real person

Organisations and recruitment agencies are becoming more reliant on technology, with many opting to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to automate the recruitment process and get the best employee for their needs. According to a <a href="">recent article in PC World</a>, as much as 75% of talent management is now reliant on ATS technology.

An ATS scans for certain keywords and compliance requirements and will accept or reject applications accordingly. Your resume doesn’t only need to showcase your skills and experience, it must match the electronically programmed criteria to avoid being put on the reject pile. 

You may well be considered the perfect candidate for the job if a real person was reading your resume, but even one minor mistake can have you rejected by a piece of software. 

What can you do to avoid rejection?

The basic requirements of a good resume are an accurate and concise summary of your skills, employment history, experience, qualities, achievements and references. But resumes specifically tailored to relate to the selection criteria and addressing all employer requirements as stipulated in the job ad and position description will really stand out. Be sure to think like both an ATS and a human and include all relevant job-specific keywords throughout your document. 

It's also important to choose a resume design that is suited to the position. The layout of your resume should be well structured, with fonts, dates, titles etc consistently formatted and relevant to the company and job title you're applying to. If you're looking for a technical position in an established firm, then a standard two-page CV format with serif font may be expected. If you're applying for a more modern role within a digital marketing start-up, for instance, a colourful, eye-catching one-page resume with sans-serif font might be best. Spelling mistakes can also be costly, so be sure to edit thoroughly and ideally have someone else check before sending. Follow any directions and submit your resume and cover letter in the requested file format, whether Rich Text or PDF. 

Investing in professional help

Your resume is your best chance at landing an interview. It's where you get to highlight your unique ‘fit’ for the advertised position and stand out above the crowd.

This is one of the most important documents you will ever create, which is why many applicants now consider it a worthwhile investment to get a professional resume writing service to help put together a resume that tells their story, communicates their history, reveals their accomplishments and makes it more likely to progress to the interview stage.

  • Author Nicole C
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Top 3 Benefits of Resume Writing Services

Whether you are a fresh graduate or not, finding a job is a tiring and frustrating process. First, you find a job you are interested in, then you submit your resume, and then the wait begins. It may seem like a rare thing, but there are job seekers who never get a call at all. If you are one of them, you know that something is wrong. Since the hiring manager has not laid eyes on you yet, your resume may just not be eligible or interesting enough to catch their attention. The solution? Resume writing services. Although this is a paid service, it is a worthwhile investment that will help jump-start your career. 

Enhances the Look of the Resume

Remember how resumes looked way back when? It was a simple, black and white document with a boring list of generic information about you and your career. Keep up with the trend of unique and customized resumes. A professional resume writer can customize one for you, designing it to be more relevant to the type of industry you are in, the skills you have, or the job you are applying for. A unique but relevant concept with color and an interesting layout will definitely make your resume stand out in a pile of hopefuls.

Highlights the Right Credentials

If you are applying for a marketing position, for example, the resume writing service will optimize your resume to highlight the skills needed for that role. A job description includes the qualification the hiring manager is looking for and, if those are found in your resume, you are more likely to get a call.

Unique Wording that Makes an Impact

Some job seekers find sample resumes online and just tweak them a bit to include their personal and professional information. Hiring managers will immediately spot common words used in resumes, especially in the professional summary section. A professional writing service uses unique wording that is appropriate for the job you are vying for.

If your resume looks well-written and carefully crafted, the hiring manager will get an impression that you are truly willing to exert enough effort to be considered for the position. This is a good quality that they could surely use in their company. Invest in resume writing services. The confidence you develop and the opportunities you get will be all worth it.
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A brief history of resume writing

Resumes have been a part of working culture for as long as many of you reading this have been born. A well-written resume is the difference between getting hired by your dream company, or being rejected and being forced back into the soul-sucking procedure of job hunting once again. 

First off, at one point in time, the CV and the resume were two different entities. With the resume being the simple practice we see today, and the CV consisting of multiple pages of information pertaining to the potential employee. Obviously, today the classic version of the CV has ceased to exist with it being impossible to screen hundred's of applicants at once all providing 20-page essays to employers.

It is difficult to pinpoint who actually created the idea of a resume and is usually credited towards Leonardo Da Vinci, proposing the idea it was started in France, but you can assume it was created as a necessity in order to weed the bad from good for potential employers. Furthermore, resume is a word taken from the French Language and means "to summarize".

Nonetheless, the resume has had a number of pioneers such as Ralph Agas who introduced the idea to 1500's England, and forward into the future. The modern resume began gaining traction during the 1930's and has continued to evolve with it culminating through to the age of computers, wherein which we can now view resumes online through digital means.

Simply, resumes nowadays are used to help organise potential employees, especially when a large amount of them have applied at once. Resumes are glanced over for a very short period of time (10-15 seconds even) and either given a simple yes or no. Those who manage to go through are then usually looked at more intensively at a later time. 

A wise man once said, "First impressions are everything". This statement could not be truer and applies to both social and working cultures. Hopefully, the previous points stated can help you understand on a deeper than surface level why resumes are so important to employers.

  • Author Nicole C
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Do I need to create separate resumes for different jobs?

Most of us tend to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to our resume, utilizing a consistent template and content for all our job applications. However, if you are eyeing a variety of positions, or are actively considering a change in career direction, then this approach might not be the most beneficial for you. Here are some reasons why having separate resumes for different jobs can significantly improve your chances of getting hired!

Demonstrate your versatility

There may be times when you will find yourself in the position of wishing to apply for positions to advance your career within your present employment. Having resumes uniquely tailored for each position demonstrates your versatility and willingness to elucidate your strengths and how they apply to a specific new role.

Accentuate the positive!

Different jobs have distinct needs. By having separate resumes, you can accentuate the skills, talents, training and work experience that apply most relevantly to your desired position.

Resume design

The design and layout of a resume has been proven to have a massive impact in terms of creating a positive first impression for recruiters and potential employers. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ resume merely adds or subtracts information that may be important or not so important to the newly desired position. When you take the time to customize a resume for each individual job, you also give yourself the opportunity to appropriately contextualize the other critical elements of your resume (e.g., color, graphics, overall design).

Discover your own potential

In contrast to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ resume, customizing a resume for each and every job allows you to learn more about yourself, as well as possibly untapped potential lurking within your skill set. The more time we spend with our resume, categorizing our work experience, training, and personal attributes, the more we illuminate and gain clarity, regarding our individual passions and career goals. It could very well provide the impetus for a radical change of direction. You might find yourself looking back and thinking: ‘Who would have ever thought that the examination of something as simple as my resume could have acted as the catalyst for a call to adventure?’

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3 big red flags recruiters watch out for

A recruiter’s job is not just to match the best available candidate for the position, but also to minimise potential risks for the company. They are trained to watch out for red flags throughout the recruitment process. If you’re on the hunt for your next role, make sure you avoid these red flags at all costs. 

1. Your resume doesn’t match the job requirements

When a job description is created by a company, it almost always includes a list of requirements desired by the person to fill the position. This may include having a minimum number of years in the industry or having experience using a particular CRM software. From a recruiter’s perspective, they will only bring in candidates for an interview that match most of the requirements, if not all. When reviewing a job posting that you want to apply for, make sure you include details of how you fulfil each requirement in both your resume and cover letter. 

2. Your online presence does not match your resume

Remember that recruiters are like the company’s FBI agent. A big part of their role is to investigate the candidate’s professional background and check that it is consistent offline and online. Make sure that your online presence, like on LinkedIn and social media, is consistent with your resume. 

3. Unexplained or inconsistent gaps in your career

You want to make your resume and CV as seamless as possible, and this means making sure your timeline is correct and accounted for. A recruiter wants to know that you were working consistently with minimal gaps in your career. Of course, they will understand that we all take time off work once in a while like taking a gap year after graduating or a career break after being in the industry for a few years. But always make sure you address these gaps with a small note that states why you took time off work. Don't keep them guessing. 

As you delve into the recruitment process, do your best to avoid making these three red flag mistakes. Don’t give a reason for the recruiter to dismiss your application.
  • Author Nicole C
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Looking to Get a Promotion? How Sleep Can Boost Your Salary

Are you trying to move up in your career? In need of a salary boost? Believe it or not, traits such as creativity, initiative, and ambition aren’t the only things that will help you get that highly desired promotion. Getting a good night’s sleep can also play a big role in your success.

Here are a few reasons why you should make sleep a top priority in order to advance in your career:


Sleep can boost your salary

Research shows that getting a good night’s sleep can lead to earning more money. A US study revealed that people sleep for longer periods in areas where the sun sets earlier, this translates into higher earnings. While skipping out on sleep may not seem like a big deal, just one extra hour of sleep each week increases wages by 4.9%.


Sleep increases your productivity

Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Research done by The Sleep School showed that productivity can be reduced by 57% just by a single bad night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory performance, meaning you’ll be more
efficient and able to complete more tasks.

Sleep can reduce the amount of sick time used from work

Recent research has suggested that getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night reduces absenteeism from work due to sickness. Results also showed that the risk of an extended absence from work due to sickness drastically increased among those who reported sleeping less than 6 hours.

Sleep reduces stress levels

The American Psychological Association found that adults who sleep less than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours each night. When you’re tired you are less patient and easily agitated, which can increase stress levels.


Sleep can strengthen your workplace relationships

Studies show that sleep-deprived workers are more likely to engage in workplace theft or be uncharacteristically rude to their fellow employees due to their weakened self-control. A good night’s sleep can help control our “impulses”, allowing us to get along better with our colleagues - even in times of conflict.

Tips for Sleep Success

● The body has an internal temperature level that it needs to reach in order to get proper sleep. The ideal bedroom temperature to help the body achieve this is between 60 and 67 degrees.

● Check your mattress for signs of surface wear including sagging, lumps, bumps, holes, and tears. When you start feeling uncomfortable in bed while sleeping or wake up with body aches, it may be time for a new mattress. Foam layer mattresses are great because they are less prone to sagging.

● Refrain from using any electronics at least one hour before bed. These devices emit blue light that your brain mistakes for sunshine. This tricks your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up, not go to sleep.




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Resume design is critical to job-hunting success

When was the last time you took a good, hard look at your resume? Many people write one resume when they start their job-hunting efforts and leave it unchanged for months or even years, sending increasingly dated information to potential employers as time goes on. Other people leave job applications until the last minute, quickly scrawling down anything they feel an employer may wish to know before submitting it in order to beat the application date deadline. In these sorts of circumstances and more, it's little wonder that such a large percentage of applications end up being unsuccessful. Given that your resume is pretty much the first piece of contact your potential employer has with you, making sure that it stands out for all the right reasons is absolutely vital when it comes to enhancing your chances of success. Not only can a well-written resume impress a potential employer with the standard of your written English, it also ensures that the key information they need to make a decision regarding your suitability is presented in such a way that nothing important is missed out. Although many people can do a fairly good job of putting together a reasonable resume, a large number of job seekers opt for professional resume design services in order to obtain the end results they need for success.

What needs to go on a resume?

Although there are some pieces of information which are common to nearly all resumes, each one needs to be tailored to the job you are applying for. Few things put employers off faster than receiving generic written material which isn't customised to their particular employment opening. Before commencing resume writing, it's important to check what information the job recruiter has specified that they're looking for. Although some of the required information may be better presented in the form of a covering letter, some may need to be worked into the resume. It's also worth checking whether personal information, such as name or date of birth, should appear on your resume. In some cases, particularly in the public sector, resumes should not contain personal details, ensuring candidates are selected on the basis of ability rather than race, age or gender. A resume normally provides details of your education and employment history, as well as details of other skills and abilities which you bring to the job. These may include (but aren't limited to), whether you hold a driving licence or not, ancillary qualifications and one or two personal interests which may reflect well on your ability to do the job (for example playing as part of a sports team may indicate that you are team orientated, creative writing classes may indicate an aptitude for spoken English etc). Getting the content right in a resume can be a challenge, which is why professional resume writing services can be such a great option.


Not all resume template options are the same

There are a number of variables which can affect the structure, length, and depth of detail which your resume provides. Getting the tone right for your intended audience is essential if you want to maximise your chances of success. Too long and potential employers will be overwhelmed with extraneous information, too short and you run the risk of missing out something. The type of job you're applying for has a direct influence on the depth and amount of material needed to put across the right impression. A relatively junior role, for example, requires far less detail than a senior management appointment. Getting the balance right can be a challenge, which is why we offer a number of different resume packages to ensure you end up with a level of detail that's exactly right for the type of job you're considering. Our resume template includes a professional resume package, an executive level package and a C-level option (for more senior roles). This enables clients to pick an option that's exactly right for them. When you opt for one of our packages, you can be confident of receiving a service that's tailored to your individual requirements, ensuring you end up with a resume that's likely to make the very best impression possible on your future employers.

Have you considered a LinkedIn summary?

The days when paper resumes were the only way of presenting relevant information to your employer are long gone. Today's employers are often used to finding out what they need to know from electronic sources, of which one of the most popular is LinkedIn. A professional platform that's invaluable for networking as well as giving users the chance to work collaboratively, the right LinkedIn profile not only helps to enhance your online presence and makes you more visible to employers, it also makes a big difference to your chances of getting the job you're hoping for. A LinkedIn summary requires a slightly different approach to a more generic resume, as it needs to be presented in a way which appeals to an online audience. If you're struggling with your LinkedIn summary, or simply want to ensure that what appears online about you is professionally written and appropriate, we can help. We are able to offer competitively priced LinkedIn summary options that are suitable for almost all sectors and levels. Whether you are starting out and looking for your first LinkedIn summary, or are an experienced individual who needs a profile that reflects that fact, we have the capability to provide exactly what you're looking for.

linkedin summary

What are the advantages of getting a professional resume?

If you're applying for a job that really matters to you, obtaining a professional resume could significantly increase your chances of being successful. One of the biggest criticisms which employers level at resumes which have been produced in an amateur manner is that they are either badly written or don't contain the right level of information for the job in question. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to make a few typos or express something poorly. Even one or two grammatical errors or spelling mistakes will give potential employers the impression that you lack attention to detail – a major contra-indicator for many types of employment. It also means that your resume will read poorly, with many of your good points being overlooked or marginalised because of errors in your punctuation or syntax. A professionally written resume will be error-free, ensuring you end up with a document that conveys exactly the right impression. 

Not only does a professionally completed resume read well, it also contains the right information in the correct degree of detail for the role that you intend to apply for. Because a professional resume is written with a particular job application in mind, you may well need to make sure you commission a fresh resume should you decide to apply for an alternative role later. To stand the best chance of success, a resume needs to be tailored to the particular requirements of the vacancy you're applying for. Relevance is crucial: dated or inaccurate information could make the difference between your application moving on to the next stage, or being rejected early on. Even if you keep the same resume for a number of different applications, you can still boost your chances by opting for a professionally created cover letter.

Cover letters get you noticed!

The purpose of a cover letter is to let the company you're applying to know why you're interested in working for them, as well as what skills you have to offer and how you see these benefiting your future employer. A cover letter shouldn't just be about you, it also needs to be written in such a way that an employer can instantly see that you have a good understanding of their business, are eager to work for them and have something of value to contribute. Because a cover letter should ideally be a short document, every word counts! It's vital that sufficient research is done before writing a cover letter to ensure that what's written chimes with the objectives, ethos, branding and outlook of the prospective employer. In addition, a good understanding of what the job will actually entail is needed in order to demonstrate how your unique blend of skills, abilities and personal qualities perfectly match the role they need to fill. Even before employers look at resumes, they will read a cover letter. Because it is often the very first thing about you that an employer will see, it's vital that your covering letter is as good as it possibly can be. We offer a complete cover letter writing service, enabling our customers to benefit from letters that stand out from the rest for all the right reasons. When used alongside our popular resume services, they can significantly enhance your chances of moving forward to the interview stage of your job application process.

matching cover letter 

Have you considered a video resume?

We live in a digital age, where paper information is no longer the preferred medium in a large number of different situations. Video resumes are short pieces of film about a candidate which are loaded up online in order to give potential employers a better idea of what the candidate is like and why employing them might be a good idea. Although a video resume presents a great opportunity for job candidates to portray themselves in a positive light, if not undertaken correctly it can end up presenting an unfavourable impression. If you don't have much experience of making video resumes, or would like the opportunity to enjoy a professional resume made by a seasoned, imaginative and technically competent team, we're here for you. We are able to make resume videos which are suitable for a wide range of different occupations and levels within an organisation. The high level of customisation which we offer ensures that not only are no two videos the same, but also that each one is specifically geared to the intended audience and shot in such a way as to put the video subject in the very best possible light. If you haven't made use of a video resume before and would like to see the striking difference it can make to your employment prospects, why not take a look at some of the cost-effective options we've got on offer?

video resumes

Curriculum vitae and associated writing services

We know how important getting that dream job can be, which is why we provide the professional, high-quality writing services you need for success. It's well known that if a covering letter or resume isn't up to scratch, the chances of ending up with a job interview are significantly reduced. We have the capability to be able to transform your CV, resulting in a high-grade, dynamic application that gets noticed. Particularly when you're up against stiff competition (common in many roles, but especially in more senior posts), it's important that every single aspect of your application is as good as it can be. Using a professional CV writing service is a good way to achieve this. Not only do you have the peace of mind which comes from knowing that your resume and CV have been written by people who really know what they're doing, you also save hours of your own time which would otherwise have been spent trying to craft suitable application documentation. Specialist resume writing ensures that no matter what job you're applying for, you've got the edge. 

As an established company with a strong track record of success when it comes to providing our clients with the paperwork they need to forge ahead in the race towards the job they want, we pride ourselves on offering a fast, high-grade and competitively priced service that gives you the results you want for far less than you might imagine. Why risk being left behind? Get in touch to discover more about our wide selection of CV, cover letter and resume services, finding the tools you need to stand the very best possible chance of career success.

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4 tips for writing the perfect cover letter

If you're a job seeker, writing cover letters can seem quite daunting. After all, a well-crafted cover letter is often what separates you from other qualified applicants. To ensure your cover letter doesn't languish in the "maybe" pile, here are four expert tips to crafting the perfect cover letter.

1. Don't write a generic cover letter

Although it may seem obvious, submitting generic cover letters to every potential employer is the most common mistake job seekers make. 

Employers dread receiving those cover letters that look like they are "written for the masses". To ensure your resume and cover letter instantly grab your employer's attention, customise it to the position you are applying for and the expertise the company is seeking.


2. Address your cover letter to a direct contact

This is the best way to ensure your cover letter is read. Instead of emailing your cover letter and resume to the company, find out who the hiring manager is and email them directly. 

The same principle applies to addressing your cover letter; address it to the hiring manager, recruitment officer or HR person, if possible. This is vital, as it enables you to tailor your letter to the company and the individual. 

3. Write a killer lead

To ensure you leave a lasting impression, ensure you nail the lead paragraph of your cover letter. Draw your employer in by sharing what impresses you about the organisation and why. Basically, use your lead paragraph to explain why you specifically want to work for that organisation. 


4. Explain what you will contribute to the organisation

After hooking your employer in with the lead, use the next few paragraphs to outline exactly what you can do for the company. While this may sound difficult, it doesn't have to be a guessing game. If you're unsure what to say, look at the job description for some solid hints. 

Use job description items as headings to make three or four bullet points. Under each one, explain the outcomes you can produce to solve your employer's problems. 

If you'd like more information on writing a winning cover letter, or to give your resume a much-needed refresh, simply call or email the experts at Loft Resumes.
  • Author Nicole C
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The resume summary - your secret weapon

You’ve been searching for weeks and have finally found your dream job. You are highly qualified, have plenty of experience and excellent references. So, why is your resume languishing at the bottom of the pile? The answer is a resume summary.

But what exactly is a resume summary, and how can it help you stand out from the competition? 

Resume summary 101

Also known as a summary of qualifications, a resume summary is a brief snapshot of your professional experience. Think of your resume summary as an elevator pitch. These few concise sentences either pique a hiring manager's interest, convincing them to examine your resume in detail or move on to the next applicant. 

Resume objectives v. resume summary - what's the difference?

While both are a few sentences long and located at the top of your resume, objectives and summaries are vastly different. Resume objectives generally focus on your personal interests and what you hope to gain from the role.

Objectives include statements like "I'm seeking a position at XYZ Company where I can utilise my management, leadership and research skills".

Whereas, a resume summary statement explains exactly what you can bring to the role. It focuses on the employers' needs and how your skills and experience will meet them. 

Here is an example of an effective summary statement: "I'm a target-driven sales professional with a proven track record of growing company revenue and profit. With over 10 years' experience in direct sales and business development in the highly competitive consumer electronics industry."

What should I include?
To craft a professional resume, ensure your resume summary includes concrete information on how you have previously added value to companies you've worked for. This proves to the hiring manager that you would be a valued asset to their company. 

What should I leave out?

Nothing turns a hiring manager off faster than vague objective statements, such as "I hope to obtain a position allowing me to utilise my strong communication and leadership skills, which offers opportunities for growth and advancement."

Instead, concentrate on the most vital information in your resume. Summarise this information to explain to your future employer why you are the ideal candidate and exactly what you will contribute to the organisation. 

For more tips on crafting a professional resume, call or email the experts at Loft Resumes today.

We offer expert resume design, cover letter and resume writing services, LinkedIn summaries, CV writing services and more.
  • Author Nicole C
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