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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.

 

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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

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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.

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5 Qualities Hiring Managers Look for in a Prospective Employee

trump - you're hiredDid you watch The Celebrity Apprentice this season? If so, hopefully you noticed some of the exceptional characteristics Leeza Gibbons exhibited as a person and professional. Who wouldn’t want her on their team? The qualities she demonstrated are exactly what Hiring Managers look for in potential employees…just ask Donald Trump!

Some of these qualities include:

  •  Intelligence – Business smarts pertains to the ability to plan, organize, set priorities, solve problems, and get the job done. It also refers to your level of common sense and practical ability to deal with day-to-day challenges on the job. Curiosity is a trait of intelligence and one way to demonstrate and increase your aptitude is to ask creative questions. The more you ask intelligent questions, and carefully listen to the answers, the smarter you become.
  • Leadership – Having the ability to take charge of assignments and accept accountability for achieving the required results. The mark of a good leader is not making excuses, but demonstrating a willingness to lead in an organization by offering to take charge of company goals and committing yourself to performing at high levels.
  • Integrity – One of the most important qualities for long-term success in life is being known as someone who has integrity. This begins by being perfectly honest with yourself and in your relationships with others. Be willing to admit your strengths and weaknesses, where you have made mistakes in the past, and what you will do to improve. Demonstrate loyalty by speaking positively about previous employers.
  • Likability – Hiring Managers seek prospective employees who are warm, friendly, easygoing, and cooperative with others, people who can join the team and be part of the workplace family. Teamwork is the key to business success, so experience in working as part of a team in the past and a willingness to work as part of a team in the future can be among the most attractive things about you when interviewing for a job.
  • Inner strength – Inner strength means you have the determination and ability to persevere in the face of adversity. It shows you have the capacity to be persistent when the going gets tough. One way to demonstrate inner strength is to remain calm, cool, and relaxed during a job interview. This demonstrates that you will remain composed should any crises arise during the day-to- day operations of the company.

Build and strengthen these qualities in yourself in your everyday actions with family, friends, co-workers, teachers, etc. Then, allow your overall character and positive qualities to shine and make an impact the next time you go for a job interview. Once you land that perfect job, continue working on your character by practicing the behaviors you see in top performers.

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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5 Ways To Use LinkedIn To Search For A Job

Posted by Michelle Cook Kaufmann

Use LinkedIn to find a jobDid you know 94% of recruiters believe LinkedIn is the top choice for finding candidates? According to a recent study, 55% of recruiters changed their minds about a candidate based on something they saw on their social media profile.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, then you are missing out on major job opportunities.

Following are 5 ways you can use LinkedIn in your job search:

  • Develop a great Headline – Your LinkedIn headline shows up just below your name on your profile and represents your online brand. Since your name and headline are all a user will see when conducting a search on LinkedIn, make your headline count so the user will want to click on your full profile. “Marketer seeking opportunity” is weak, but “Consumer Products Marketer Seeking a Small Brand to Help Make it Big” tells your next boss that you plan to deliver.
  • Job Hunting – If you’re job search is not a secret, then say so in your LinkedIn headline. Make it a winning headline like “Office Manager Seeking to Rescue Overstressed CEO”. If you are keeping your job search under the radar, then don’t use your headline to signal recruiters to call you, but you should make sure your headline is as human as you are in real life.
  • Follow your target companies – Create a list of target companies you are interested in working for and follow them via their company page on LinkedIn. This is a great way to learn about the latest happenings, from new branch offices opening to new products being launched.
  • Expand your Network – Since you are looking for as much visibility in your professional network as possible, invite new networking contacts and old colleagues to join your LinkedIn network. Download your online address books and invite people to connect. You can also use the “colleagues” feature to reconnect with people you used to work with.
  • How to find Hiring Managers – To find a hiring manager on LinkedIn, use the Advanced People Search feature by clicking on the word “Advanced” next to the search bar at the top of the page. Fill in the most likely title for your hiring manager and the target company name. You can use this name on your cover letter to avoid the “resume black hole of death”. Once you find the hiring manager’s name, learn as much as you can about them. The more you know, the better your pitch! Read their profile, check out the Groups they belong to, and see which Influencers they follow. They will appreciate that you’ve done your homework.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, set one up today and start networking. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. If you need assistance setting up a LinkedIn profile, I would be happy to help. You can call me at (727) 278-4367 or email: MCKResumeService@gmail.com and be sure to connect with my on LinkedIn and let’s network!