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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.

Resumes

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.

  • Author Nicole C
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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
  • Category Cover Letters
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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
  • Category Resume Contentsummary
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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?

research

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. 

honest

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. 

positive
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. 

referee


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.
  • Author Nicole C
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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
  • Category skills
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