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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Many job hunters have gaps in their resumes. This can be for a variety of reasons, including taking a gap year to study, taking time out to care for parents or children or spending time in a correctional facility. It can be hard to know exactly how to explain this in an interview, but we've outlined a few ways in which you can fill in the gaps.
Arrange a non chronological resume
In many cases, the employer is more interested in looking at your skill set, rather than your specific working history. You can look at rearranging your resume to group experiences, both paid and unpaid, which help to show that you are the right person for the job.
Show how you spent the time
Many people who are out of the paid workforce still spend time on activities that build their work skills. If you've been volunteering in some capacity, for example, if you've been spending time volunteering for your child's school P&C or sports team management, then you should include this experience on your resume as well.
Equally, if you took the time when you were out of the workforce to do some studying or short courses that helped to update your skills, you should also emphasise this in your resume as it can help to show that you remained active and focused.
If you get questioned on your resume and the interviewer asks about a career gap it is important to be honest, even if you did spend time in prison. By explaining what you did that lead up to that time and how the experience changed you, you can show that you have learnt from it. While it may be off-putting to some employers, it is better to be honest in the initial stages of your interview as many employers will find out in another way, such as through a police check. Many employers will appreciate your honesty.
If you want to craft a powerful resume that explains a career gap, it can be a great idea to get in touch with a professional resume writing service, such as Loft Resumes.
Click here to view our writing packages: https://loftresumes.com/collections/writing-services
- Author Nicole C
- Category career gapResume ContentResume Tips
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2018 is almost here! Hard to believe, but another hiring cycle is about to start, and it’s time to tune up your resume and get it up to date with the latest standards. We’ve talked to several recruiters across healthcare, finance, marketing, B2B, and engineering/construction industries, and we’ve gathered a few of the key things employers look for that makes resumes stand out. This list is our compilation of “general advice” applicable to almost any resume – in our follow-up posts to this we’ll give you the insights from the recruiters of each industry and the specific things they look for during the hiring process.
1. Strong Aesthetic
By and large, a resume’s visual layout is the most valuable way it can differentiate itself – it can make an employer either cringe or gaze in amazement. Attractive fonts, good visual spacing, and the right design can dramatically improve a first impression before a reader even has time to read the written content and process it. This happens because human beings are hired-wired for emotional responses to visual content, and less so to logical processes that require higher level thinking. Of course, your reader will eventually have to get to the written content as well and truly think about it, but it’s much better that they do so starting from a positive reaction.
Take a look at some of the best resume templates to get an idea of what a strong aesthetic looks like:
2. Skip the Paragraph Summary – Unless it’s Truly Unique
Readers want the quick low-down on your skills and competencies, and typically the big lengthy first paragraph is an eyesore and a chore to read that misses this objective. Furthermore, most people write their paragraph summary in a generic way that does nothing to stand out from the pack and is full of meaningless fluff statements. Statements like “proven leader” or “hard worker” are both subjective and not provable, which renders them meaningless. Employers will look right through this.
3. Instead, Lead with Your List of Skills
For any serious job with an actual hiring team and a rigorous hiring protocol, it should be a guarantee that you can communicate well, work hard, work well with others, and be a team player. So instead of putting these “soft skills” into a paragraph statement, create a bulleted list that lists out stronger technical skills and unique attributes that fit the job descriptions you’re shooting for. Replace “works well with others” with “Team Building and Leadership”, and you already have something that other people aren’t providing.
Beyond these 3 points, the job history content does need to be strong – which we will discuss in a later post. But it is important to know that these are 3 key areas where candidates often undersell themselves or simply botch their presentation.
- Author Satjot "SJ" Sawhney
- Category Resume Tips
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