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Dispelling the One-Page Résumé Myth

There is no “rule” that a résumé should be only one page. In fact, there are many instances when a multi-page résumé is not only appropriate, it’s expected.

Length is not the only consideration for a résumé’s effectiveness. Yet, the one-page résumé myth persists. Jobseekers are being misled that recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals won’t read a résumé that is longer than one page. That’s simply not true.

While recent research shows that a résumé will be read for only seconds when it is first screened, the first review is only to determine if it is a match for the position. If the jobseeker is considered a serious candidate, the résumé will be read again.

Jobseekers who believe a HR professional won’t read a two-page résumé should stop and consider the résumé screening process. The résumé screener’s boss is asking him or her to come up with four or five people to bring in for an interview. If a candidate with 5-10 years of experience tries to condense that to fit an artificial one-page limitation, you’re asking that HR person to make a decision about you, based on what amounts to a few paragraphs.

Given a choice between a well-written two-page résumé or a cluttered one-page résumé which omits notable accomplishments in the interest of saving space, the HR professional is likely to choose the longer résumé.

If you submit a two-page résumé and the person reading it decides you’re not a match for the job, he or she will stop reading. But if you do seem to fit the job requirements, that person will want to know even more about you. A well-organized two-page résumé can actually make it easier for the screener to do his or her job by allowing him or her to easily determine if you’re a good match for the position.

So why does the one-page myth persist? Some recruiters are vocal about their desire for a one-page résumé. However, not all recruiters share this preference. There are certain recruiters who say they will only read one-page résumés. However, recruiters are responsible for placing fewer than 25% of candidates in new jobs, and not all recruiters subscribe to the one-page limit. If a particular recruiter requests a shorter résumé, you can always provide a one-page version to him or her.

When hiring managers and HR professionals are surveyed about résumé length, the majority express a preference for résumés that are one page OR two pages — the general consensus is “as long as needed to convey the applicant’s qualifications.”

College professors also share some of the blame for perpetuating the one-page résumé myth. Some professors — who have no connection to the employment world — believe “their way” is the right way to do things. They provide a template to their students and require advisees to use that format, even if the person is a non-traditional student who has an extensive work history or career path that sets them apart from other job candidates with similar educational backgrounds.

It would be unusual for most 21-year-old students to need two pages to describe their education and work history, but it’s not unrealistic to expect that an accomplished graduate might have internships, projects, activities, and honors that would make it necessary to exceed the one-page length.

If you doubt the “Do as I say, not as I do” approach, ask any professor to see his or her résumé. Chances are, it will be at least two pages long to include consulting work and works published, in addition to classroom teaching experience. But professors call their résumés “curriculum vitae,” so they don’t have to follow their own one-page résumé limit.

Résumés submitted online are also less likely to be affected by the one-page résumé myth. That’s because the one-page format is unique to the printed page. Résumés uploaded to company websites aren’t affected by page limits. Approximately 30 percent of résumés are only stored electronically. They’re never printed out, so the screener never knows it’s more than a one-page document.

Length does matter. Your résumé should only be as long as it needs to be to tell the reader exactly what he or she needs to know to call you in for an interview … and not one word more.

Here are some guidelines for deciding résumé length:

  • If your résumé spills over onto a second page for only a few lines, it’s worth editing the text or adjusting the font, margins, and/or line spacing to fit it onto one page.
  • Don’t bury key information on the second page. If the first page doesn’t hook the reader, he or she isn’t even going to make it to the second page.
  • Don’t be afraid to go beyond two pages if your experience warrants it. Senior executives often require three- or four-page résumés, as do computer programmers and many professionals (physicians, lawyers, professors).
  • Traditional college students and those with five years or less of experience should be able to fit their résumés onto one page. Most everyone else, however, can (and should) use one page OR two.
  • Make sure that everything you include — regardless of length — is relevant to your job target and what the hiring manager will want to know about you!
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Top 5 Tips to Becoming a “Unicorn” Employee

How do you know if you are a “unicorn” employee? If you’re not one now, how can you become one? Unicorn employees are an anomaly in the business world. So, if you aren’t one already, strive to become one and success is sure to follow.

Unicorn employees are staff who possess a unique set of qualities that make them extremely rare and valuable. Like the mythical creature, unicorn employees are hard to find, but once hired, they offer huge benefits in the workplace. They shatter expectations, raise the bar, and are truly a joy to be around. Unicorn employees can potentially take a business to the next level.

If you are hoping to boost your own value at work, here are five qualities to put you on the right track to being a “unicorn” employee:

  • Go beyond the limits of your current job title.

Employees who truly flourish are flexible and intellectually curious.

Having the ability to wear many hats and excel at varied tasks, is critical. For example, just because someone’s job title is “Office Administrator,” doesn’t mean they should shy away from pitching in on a major marketing campaign.

Unicorn employees jump at the chance to dive deeper into specific, growing areas of business that need good people. Some even make surprising leaps across several departments. This is so important to employee growth … to expand knowledge and expertise across the business … and grow unicorn horns.

  • Pay attention to the finer details within the bigger picture.

Exceptional employees think strategically. They can take a step back and see the overall company goals and apply it to their work. To be effective in business, you must be able to see the big picture.

Although big-picture thinking is critical, the best employees also know how to pay attention to smaller details as well. It may seem like a minor issue … an improperly executed email campaign, or a slight technical glitch … can end up being disastrous, affecting many clients in a short amount of time. The best employees are those who take the time to read the fine print. These are people who can be trusted with serious responsibility.

  • Blaze with passion and persevere.

The concept of “grit” has become a popular culture recently, defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” and a crucial factor to achieving success.

As an entrepreneur since my early-20’s, I’ve learned the business world is like being on a boat in the open sea. Whether a patch of rough waves or an unexpected storm, unforeseen obstacles are inevitable. During turbulent times, having true grit—a strong-willed persistence—can help you keep focused on the end goal.

Unicorn employees are passionate and have the true grit to preserve. They are able to stay calm and focused on the task at hand, even on choppy seas.

  • Be considerate and humble.

Having the ability to work well with others is a skill that benefits any workplace.

Unicorn employees are respectful and would never treat someone—regardless of title—rudely. It’s something that absolutely sets a stellar employee apart from an average one. A core value to professional success: “Respect the individual,” and “lead with humility.” Remember, you cannot achieve greatness alone.

  • Work hard and achieve goals.

Having fun at work is crucial to success. However, it’s just as important for people on the job to get their work done. No matter how great a co-worker is to be around, if he can’t produce results, his presence isn’t helpful and may even be damaging. Great teams can be shattered by a single member who doesn’t perform.

Studies have shown that top performers contribute 10 times more to business than their “average” counterparts. Microsoft claims that figure to be closer to 100 times.

At the end of the day, you can be respectful, multi-talented, tenacious, detail-oriented, and a big-picture thinker. But, all of these traits are wasted if you don’t produce real results. You must be able to execute. It’s an essential quality to being a “unicorn” employee.

For many companies and business leaders, it is advantageous to go the extra mile to chase down a “unicorn” employee. Unlike their mythical counterparts, they are very real and can heighten a company’s efficiency and progression.

If you are a unicorn employee in the making, grow your strengths; make yourself more rare and valuable than ever.

 

Career Coaching

WHAT CAN A CAREER COACH DO FOR YOU?

CC2Athletes hire coaches to help them progress beyond their current and sometimes stagnant abilities. People hire fitness coaches to assist them with getting into shape and staying fit. We hire coaches because, if left to our own devices, we may be too satisfied with our performance or not believe we can do any better. But the right coach can help find and squeeze out that last bit of effort that can propel their clients to the next level.

Today, professionals are hiring Career Coaches to help them plan for and achieve their professional goals and dreams. A Career Coach can play a pivotal role in thinking differently than you do, challenging your thoughts, and providing insight or ideas which you hadn’t thought of before. A coach’s unique perspective can be a catalyst for change that turns out to be just what you need.

Do you have a DREAM for your professional future?

A Career Coach can help you develop the confidence to…

  • Follow your dreams…envision it, prepare for it, be daring, and make opportunities come alive.
  • Live your dreams by believing in yourself and your gifts.
  • Trust in your instincts and gut intuition.
  • Create a solid and achievable plan.

Do you have a plan? Does it include training, talent, confidence, passion, and not letting anyone or anything derail you from obtaining your dreams? Perhaps this is the perfect time to consider scheduling an appointment with Terry, MCK Resume Service’s Professional Career Coach, to help you prepare for advancement and achieve your professional goals.

With a Career Coach, you can learn how to balance your professional life.

Terry works confidentially with each client. He is professional, non-judgmental, a great listener, and a creative thinker. He will help you think “outside the box” so you can know yourself better, reduce daily stress, slow down, focus, and live a happier life with the success you want and dream about.

He will enable you to create change and see what stops you from being your very best. It’s an action-oriented partnership where together you work on important issues of your professional life: being more successful, building confidence, supporting and raising your level of performance, overcoming fear, doubt and limitations you put on yourself.

Your Career Coach can help you get to where you want to be as a professional.

Candidates who want to change careers and are willing to do what it takes to get there may learn new skills, go back to school, do whatever it takes to be able to say, “Just get me the interview because when they meet me they’ll give me the job. I know I can do it.” That’s the confidence you can develop through Career Coaching.

The value of Coaching is in the process—taking you from where you are, to where you want to be. Goals are discovered and a plan is tailored to your specific needs to reach those goals. It’s not therapy or counseling. Coaches don’t give advice or fix things. They explore what you want for your career and then strive to help you achieve it. It’s deep, challenging, fun work and you’ll be surprised at the quick and lasting results you get if you do the work and trust yourself.

Coaching works! It’s an amazing, logical, and magical experience. Would you like to take the grand tour of yourself and find the job or career or calling that you were made for? Don’t just endure life, define it and love it.

Terry Kaufmann is a Career Advancement Coach…helping others build their plan to achieve professional dreams. To schedule a coaching session, email: MCKResumeService@gmail.com or call 727.278.4367.

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100 Tips for Job Search Success

jobsearch_webshopsMost people have never been taught how to find a job. However, research shows that the average worker only spends 4 years in a job — and you’ll have as many as 12-15 jobs over the course of your career. Here are 100 things every jobseeker can do to be successful in your job search.

Feel free to download and print this information to help you with your job search. — 100 Tips for Job Search Success

ATS

Understanding ATS systems and ATS-optimized resumes

Have you ever submitted a resume through a company website only to receive no response in return? This happens all too often as more and more companies move toward using applicant tracking software systems (or ATS) to screen candidates.

Since these systems are not going away anytime soon, we must learn to work with them, so the best rule of thumb is “simplicity” when it comes to your online resume.

What is an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system?

An applicant tracking software system is a resume database that helps companies streamline hiring processes and review applications quickly.

With the volume of applicants increasing, the majority of companies are moving toward digital systems that track applicants. These systems organize and sort applications and can be programmed to screen candidates based on the content provided in each resume.

How do Applicant Tracking Software systems work?

When a company posts a new position online using their homepage or job boards, all submitted applications are stored in a database. Recruiters and hiring managers can then search submissions using keywords and phrases to identify candidates that advanced through the hiring process.

Many ATSs score applications based on parameters of the open position. Applicants are ranked and sorted based on their score. Basically, the ATS does the first screening for the recruiter/hiring manager.

Not all ATSs are alike. Some can handle small graphics, while others cannot. Some prefer PDFs, while others require Word files. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that your resume is at risk of getting lost in the shuffle if it is not properly formatted and keyword optimized for the ATS system.

While no process is foolproof, you can use the following guide to better prepare your resume for an online application:

Step 1 – Answer all application questions completely.

Approximately 72% of resumes are never seen by employers. Therefore, it is imperative to start the process right. An ATS typically screens candidates based on information provided in the application such as location and level of experience. Make sure to answer all questions on the application. If a question is left blank, the ATS may discard your resume. Completing all information on an online application will improve your chances of being seen by a hiring manager

Step 2 – Format your resume in an ATS-friendly manner.

When applying online, avoid anything that could possibly clog the system – stay away from templates and keep your formatting simple.

  • Title your resume with your name and targeted position.
  • Stick to common headings like Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills.
  • Remove images, columns, tables, fields, text boxes and graphics so the ATS can quickly scan your resume for optimized keywords and phrases. The ATS may not be able to read data placed in images, tables, and text boxes, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
  • Remove special characters and creative/fancy bullets that are often unreadable by ATS scanners.
  • Use common fonts – s tick to Arial, Georgia, Impact, Courier, Lucinda, and Tahoma. Also use black print. Avoid underlining words, which can distort the legibility of lower case letters.
  • Do not allow any spelling errors since an ATS system doesn’t know what you ‘meant’ to write.
  • Include contact information in the body of your resume, not in the header or footer.
  • Save your resume as a basic Word.doc or .txt file.
  • Avoid templates which are a combination of fields and tables and can confuse ATS systems.
  • When writing your employment history, present the information for each employer consistently, i.e., company name, title, city, state, and date, and in reverse chronological order.

Step 3 – Focus on your resume’s content.

  • Strengthen your skills section to improve your chances of being pulled by the ATS system. Make sure to include your licenses, certifications, courses completed, and mention any industry-specific terminology (e.g. Salesforce for sales professionals or Oncology for healthcare professionals). Include both the spelled-out version and abbreviations of the same word.
  • Customize your resume and optimize your professional summary with achievements and skills that relate to the job description. Find a natural way to include keywords and phrases in your summary and throughout your resume. Also, optimize your titles based on the job description. If you see “management skills” listed in the job description, make sure you mention your “management skills” in the resume.

Ultimately, ensure your ATS-optimized resume is strategically simple, straightforward, and will pass the test of both the ATS system and the employer. That being said, I highly recommend the use of a more visually appealing version of your resume once you’ve landed the interview.

Best wishes in your future career goals!

If you would like a review or assistance with updating your current resume, contact Michelle Kaufmann / MCK Resume Service at (727) 278-4367 or email: mckresumeservice@gmail.com.

 

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7 common job interview mistakes

Mustachguy_fingergun_380_crop380wShowing up late for an interview because you spent too much time trying to fix a bad hair day, may start you off on the wrong foot and make you feel less confident entering an interview. Agreeably, this is not an ideal curtain raiser, but believe it or not, it’s not an immediate disqualifier either. According to many employers, the most common detrimental mistakes candidates make in interviews are:

  • Inappropriate dress
  • Arrogance and/or aloofness
  • Uneducated about company and position
  • Negativity (particularly about previous employers)
  • Lacking specific examples of professional strengths and achievements
  • Rambling and offering too much unsolicited personal information
  • Accepting text message or phone call during interview

Knowing and avoiding these 7 simple mistakes can help put you on the right path toward a successful interview and hopefully a job offer.

Interview Tips

Top 10 Interview Questions

interview1Are you preparing for an upcoming job interview? It is likely you will be asked some of the following questions. If you plan your answers in advance, you will sound more articulate and confident in your responses. Be sure to give each question some thought before you head out for your next interview.

Here are the Top 10 Interview Questions:

1) Why should I hire you?

Use specific examples that showcase what you can do for the company by sharing what you’ve done in previous roles. They want to know how you will benefit them should they choose to hire you.

2) Give an example of a time when you showed initiative?

Think of an example of when you took action on the job and it resulted in a positive outcome.

3) What motivates you?

Take this opportunity to share work experiences or specific training you have undertaken to get where you are today. Show how you are passionate about the industry and driven to achieve set goals. Explain how you keep yourself productive at work.

4) How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks?

Employers want workers that are organized and manage their time effectively. Prove that you are highly capable by explaining how you currently manage your time and responsibilities, for example, “by using to-do lists”.

5) What is your main weakness?

You don’t want to highlight anything that may make the interviewer doubt your ability to do the job, but claiming you don’t have any flaws can come across as arrogant. Choose something that was once a weakness and explain how you overcame the issue, or focus on an area where there is room for improvement and explain how you are working on it.

6)  Have you ever had a bad experience with a previous employer?

Never bad mouth a former employer or colleagues; it doesn’t reflect positively on you. Also, you never know who your interviewer knows. Instead, share how you would resolve a conflict and/or approach a difficult issue at work.

7) Why do you think you will be successful at this job?

Spotlight the skills that will benefit you and your employer in the position you are applying for and how you will use them to excel on the job.

8) Have you interviewed elsewhere?

This may feel awkward to answer, but the interviewer assumes you’ve been applying for other jobs. Be honest and tell them you are exploring other opportunities in the industry to find one that fits your skills.

9) What salary do you think you deserve?

Be sure to research before the interview to find the salary range in your area for the position you seek. For the best chance of getting the salary you want, aim higher than average and then negotiate.

10) Where do you expect to be in five years?

Be sure to answer this question in relation to the company you are interviewing with. They may not hire someone who appears as if they will run off as soon as something else comes along.

If you are currently searching for a new job, consider partnering with me to create a job-winning resume and LinkedIn profile. Let me help you shorten the length of your job search and get you on track to the career of your dreams. 

Contact Michelle at MCKResumeService@gmail.com or (727) 278-4367 

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