Archive for April, 2009

Resume Bloopers To Make You Cry

If you weren’t all too aware of the end result of these bloopers you’d just have to cry laughing (well, even then you can’t help but chuckle a good deal)

I confess just three of my favourites are:

  1. Objective: “I would like to work for a company that is very lax when it comes to tardiness.”
  2. Education: “Have repeated courses repeatedly.”
  3. Salary requirements: “The higher the better.”

To read more of what you must NOT write, view the full list here:

http://jobmob.co.il/blog/funniest-resume-mistakes/

They sure make a case for hiring a professional resume writer, don’t they?

Here’s to writing powerful (and accurate) resumes.

Beverley Neil

PS – if you would like to learn how to write interview winning resumes for yourself, or professionally for others, Click here to find out more. If you prefer to work with an award-winning resume writer to get fantastic results, please email me at beverley@d-scriptivewords.com to start the confidence building process.

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April 29, 2009 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Resume Formatting – Should You Use Bullet Points?

I was recently asked: “When preparing a resume, do you always have to put it in bullet form.”

The answer is simply – Yes, it is a good move to use bullet points throughout the resume. It is fine, in fact it is better, to put the fairly ‘standard’ duties in paragraph form, but recruiters all report they like bullet points that they can skim in the first reading to see if this client has what it takes.

That is another reason why you start a bullet point with the ‘highlight’ of the achievement, or if not then bold it in the sentence, so that is the first thing the recruiter or employer sees.

For example you would not write:

 “Prepared marketing material that resulted in 200% boost in sales.”

But rather:

“Exploded sales by 200% through preparation of targeted marketing material.”

In the first example a skimming recruiter would first see: “Prepared marketing material…” and may respond with a “So what, that comes with the territory” and then just keep reading without getting the full information. 

In the second example the first thing the skimmer sees is: “Exploded sales by 200%…” which grabs their attention and they want to know how.

You must always give an indication of ‘How’ when you make claims such as this – in this example it indicates ‘targeted’ marketing material but would naturally include the exact way you did achieve this boost.

Bullet points can also ‘lighten’ up a resume with the feeling of more space, can keep you more concise in your writing, and can give the reader’s eye a break.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes.

Beverley Neil

PS – if you would like to learn how to write interview winning resumes for yourself, or professionally for others, Click here to find out more. If you prefer to work with an award-winning resume writer to get fantastic results, please email me at beverley@d-scriptivewords.com  to start the confidence building process.

April 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm 2 comments

Interview Questions – What Might You Be Asked?

Interviews can be stressful and it may be that you flounder on one of the questions and don’t answer well.  Don’t let that unsettle you. Pass over it and move on to the next question. You can still win the job if you show that you are able to recover well and maintain your focus.

To list exactly the questions you might be asked would be impossible – there are literally hundreds of possibilities, however, some questions on the most likely list include:

> Tell me about yourself?

> What are your strengths?

> What is your most significant accomplishment?

> What things most motivate you?

> Are you happy with your career progress to date?

> What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced?

> What jobs have you enjoyed the most / the least and why?

> Why did you leave your last position?

> If money was no object, and you wanted to work, what would be your ideal position?

> How do you handle people you don’t get along with?

> What is your major weakness?

> How would this position fit your overall career plan?

> What three adjectives best describe you?

> What are your salary expectations? (Throw this one back into the employer’s court. This will be discussed further in an upcoming blog post.)

> What aspects of your career have prepared you for this particular job?

And so on and on…..

Some of these questions, such as what are your greatest weaknesses, can simply be included to help eliminate candidates. Put yourself in the position of the interviewer. Make a list of the skills, proficiencies and character traits that you think he or she will be looking for. How do you meet these criteria? Review how you can move the interviewer past any possible weaknesses to focus on your strengths?

Practice your interview ‘answers’. It might be best to time yourself, as answers should not take much more than a minute. Don’t talk yourself out of a job. Keep to the point and answer the question – no more!

There is a story that a HR manager asked an applicant: “Do you work better as an individual or as a part of a team.”

“I work well as an individual or as a team member,” the applicant replied.

“Pick one,” said the HR manager.

“As an individual,” replied the applicant.

The HR manager replied: “We work in teams here.”

Sometimes you just can’t win no matter how you prepare, but you can always do your best.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes – and comfortably negotiating interviews.

Beverley Neil

PS – if you would like to learn how to write interview winning resumes for yourself, or professionally for others, Click here to find out more. If you prefer to work with an award-winning resume writer to get fantastic results, please email me at beverley@d-scriptivewords.com  to start the confidence building process.

April 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Formatting Tips to Help Your Resume Stand Out

Presenting your cover letter and résumé in a totally professional format is vital to making the best first impression possible. When compiling your résumé there are a number of formatting points to remember to help achieve that professional finish:

Choose widely used, professional fonts but vary to the profession or organisation.

  • For the streamlined professional look you are safe with Book Antiqua in 10.5 pts and Georgia in 10 pts. Headings in slightly larger font size to balance.
  • For more hands on blue-collar worker roles choose Arial 10.5 pts or Times New Roman in 11.5 pts, or for a different look in the right situation choose Courier New in 12 pts and set your character spacing to 80%. Headings should be in slightly larger font sizes to balance.
  • Some government departments specify, and others prefer but don’t specify, Times New Roman 12. Headings in slightly larger font size to balance.
  • Whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong with:

Arial 10-11
Times New Roman 11-11.5
Georgia 10-11
Book Antiqua 10.5-11
Century Schoolbook 10.5-11

 Avoid tabbing across, rather set the right hand margin using the icon on the upper left corner of your page.

When putting in a page border I have found printers vary too much to simply use the MS page border function. Instead create a box the size you wish to use, remove fill to enable you to size correctly, choose the line thickness and look you want (single or double thin are usually best) cut and paste into the header/footer Show/Hide document text setting. Be sure it is sent to background to enable you to type into the header and the footer. If necessary, press enter to increase the size of the footer and position the bottom line of the box just sufficiently inside the footer to enable page numbering or… to be inserted clearly. There should then be no troubles whichever printer the documents are sent to.

Colour can enhance or destroy a résumé. The main thing is to be discrete, never gaudy, even in a creative format. I have successfully combined maroon headers and lines with either black or dark grey text, dark teal headers and lines with black text and, believe it or not, olive green (though it is called dark yellow on the MS palette) headers and lines with black text and even with dark teal text for a fresh, energised finish. The most important thing is to keep it subtle and tasteful. And if you are not too comfortable with colours, or you are not sure of your reception at the employers end, stick with plain black.

If you would like to view some sample resumes and sample cover letters to get a stronger idea of how your finished documents could look, visit my web site on this link http://www.onlineresumewriterscourse.com/job-seekers.html and click on the sample resume and sample cover letter examples on the right hand side of the page.

 Here’s to writing powerful resumes.

Beverley Neil

PS – if you would like to learn how to write interview winning resumes for yourself or professionally for others, Click here to find out more. If you prefer to work with an award-winning resume writer to get fantastic results,  please email me at beverley@d-scriptivewords.com to start the confidence building process.

April 12, 2009 at 10:51 am 1 comment

Professional Resume Writer Accreditation

Ok, time for a little blatant self-promotion :). As readers may know, I have earned my international Certified Expert Resume Writer accreditation. Once earned I don’t get to ‘keep it’ but rather must resit the exam every two years. I confess, even with all my experience it still makes me very nervous being assessed by a committee of my peers – all outstanding writers.

Well, I am relieved to say I have passed again, but must share some of the feedback:

You have successfully renewed your CERW! Your work was commended by the committee members as having innovative design and powerful content. Very impressive work indeed.

If you’re looking for a professional resume writer, or are interested in a professional resume writer’s course (this is where the blatant self promotion comes in), this could be the very reassurance you’re after – or pop across to my web site at www.onlineresumewriterscourse.com 

Here’s to writing powerful resumes.

Beverley Neil

April 5, 2009 at 11:15 am 1 comment


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