Do you have a plan for your career?

Have a Job Target You Believe In

Be clear on what you want, why you want it and what qualifies you… Without clarity from the very start, virtually every stage that follows will be based on little more than a hunch — and that is an extremely fragile foundation for navigating a dynamic job search. You begin by engaging in some form of assessment. It could involve taking a standardized assessment instrument, keeping a journal or talking with people whose advice and feedback you value — friends, family, or a career coach. The goal is to achieve self-awareness in the form of a career target. The next, and equally important, step is a reality check. Here is where you determine that the goal you selected makes sense. Is it appropriate for you and is it attainable?

Create a Plan

Identify a few key features, such as, why is finding a new job important to you? What is your ideal time-frame for finding a new job? …What are types of companies you’d like to work for? When will you perform job searches — is there a day of the week that you will meet for coffee with your networking connections? What’s your timeline for updating your resume and cover letter? Post the plan somewhere you will see it and put important dates on your calendar. Most people don’t plan their search; they simply go about it in a haphazard fashion, so you’ll be ahead of the game. If you plan your search, you’re committing to a new job and will be more likely to find the job that you love.”

Emerging Job Trends in Seattle and Bellevue

It will be harder for job seekers to land interviews

There are two reasons for this. First, employers are utilizing a more cumbersome applicant screening processes.  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) require more time to sift through all available information to source the best candidates, using more forms, questionnaires, etc. as part of the screening process.  Second, employers are automating some jobs at the expense of employees.  As a result, job seekers should invest ample time in self-assessment process, in order to understand how their skills and background best fit each targeted position.  Then, effectively communicate their skills and experiences to employers.  A key outcome of this trend, Richards points out, is that résumés and applications must be more meticulously tailored to specific openings, in order to be selected for an interview.

Tough Sales Job Interview Questions Asked in Redmond

“Why do you want to work in sales?”

The biggest mistake you can make when answering this question is to simply say, “Because I like it,” or worse, “Because the money is good.” This doesn’t really tell the interviewer anything they couldn’t have obviously guessed—and it certainly doesn’t help to set you apart from other candidates.

Successfully answer this tough question by focusing on your sales history. Think back to when your passion first began. Was it because of a summer job? Or maybe it started as early as childhood. Briefly illustrate this passion with real-life examples and include a success story, if possible. Then tie it in to why you still want to work in sales. Employers will take note of this longstanding drive and remember your answer because of your personal story.

Bellevue Sample Thank-you letter

This is a sample letter, its just a template please customize to fit your situation

Good afternoon, XYZ,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about the staff writer position with Business News Daily.

It was a pleasure meeting with you, and I truly enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. After our conversation, I am confident that my skills and experiences are a great match for this opportunity.

I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of joining your team and would greatly appreciate a follow-up as you move forward with the hiring process. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone. Thanks again, and I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Best regards,
ABC

Miscellaneous Resume Tip’s

Ditch “References Available Upon Request”

If a hiring manager is interested in you, he or she will ask you for references—and will assume that you have them. There’s no need to address the obvious (and doing so might even make you look a little presumptuous!).

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

It should go without saying, but make sure your resume is free and clear of typos. And don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—ask family or friends to take a look at it for you, or come to Career Paths NW and our experienced recruiters can help you with your resume.

Save it as a PDF

If emailing your resume, make sure to always send a PDF rather than a .doc. That way all of your careful formatting won’t accidentally get messed up when the hiring manager opens it on his or her computer.

Name Your File Smartly

Ready to save your resume and send it off? Save it as “Jane Doe Resume” instead of “Resume.” It’s one less step the hiring manager has to take.

Constantly Refresh It

Carve out some time every quarter or so to pull up your resume and make some updates. Have you taken on new responsibilities? Learned new skills? Add them in. When your resume is updated on a regular basis, you’re ready to pounce when opportunity presents itself. And, even if you’re not job searching, there are plenty of good reasons to keep this document in tip-top shape.

How to add Education to your resume

Experience First, Education Second

Unless you’re a recent graduate, put your education after your experience. Chances are, your last couple of jobs are more important and relevant to you getting the job than where you went to college.

Also Keep it Reverse Chronological…

Usually, you should lay down your educational background by listing the most recent or advanced degree first, working in reverse chronological order. But if older coursework is more specific to the job, list that first to grab the reviewer’s attention.

But Skip the Dates

Don’t list your graduation dates. The reviewer cares more about whether or not you have the degree than when you earned it.

Highlight Honors, Not GPA

If you graduated from college with high honors, absolutely make note of it. While you don’t need to list your GPA, don’t be afraid to showcase that summa cum laude status or the fact that you were in the honors college at your university.

Include Continuing or Online Education

Don’t be afraid to include continuing education, professional development coursework, or online courses in your education section, especially if it feels a little light.  “Online courses are a more-than-accepted norm nowadays, and your participation in them can actually show your determination and motivation to get the skills you need for your career.”

Keywords Matter

If you are wondering what recruiters see when they glance through your resume,

Here is a quick and easy way to see which keywords are most present on your resume—using a word cloud app. It’s simple: You paste your resume into a word cloud generator like TagCrowd, and the app will create an image representing the most common words, with more common ones showing up larger and darker. With a quick glance, you’ll be able to see what terms the employer will most associate with you—and whether you need to do some adjusting to your resume to have the right terms stand out more.

http://www.tagcrowd.com

12 changes to make your resume easy to read

1. Don’t Center Any of Your Text

Even your section headings should be aligned to the left. This improves readability because the eye naturally returns to the left margin once it’s ready to move on to the next line of text.

2. Align Your Dates and Locations to the Right

You can only fit so much different information (company name, job title, location, dates of employment) on one line of text before it gets unwieldy. To help separate out your information, make a separate column for dates and locations that is right adjusted. On most word processors, you should be able to just create a right-tab.

3. Don’t Justify Your Resume

Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words that ultimately make text harder to read, so for your bullets and resume overall, stick with regular ol’ left alignment.

4. Keep Everything the Same Size Font

Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability. Rather than using font size for emphasis throughout your resume, use bolding, italics, and all-caps—sparingly, of course.

5. Pick Either Your Roles or Your Companies to Bold

Bolding of select words and phrases helps with scanning, but you don’t want to go overboard. So choose what to bold wisely, depending on the message you want to send. If your job titles effectively illustrate your path to management-level roles, bolding those might make the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re a new grad and most of your experiences are internships, you might benefit more from emphasizing the companies on your resume.

6. Use ALL-CAPS Very Sparingly

While it is an option for creating emphasis, all-caps is a lot harder to read and therefore harder to skim than text that isn’t capitalized. Save your all-caps option for section headings or your name.

7. Maximize the First 5 Words of Your Bullets

When skimming a resume, a recruiter is very likely going to be reading the first few words of a bullet, then moving on to the next line unless his or her interest is piqued. This means those first few words of your bullets are much more important than the rest. Make sure the first five words of each line make the reader want to keep reading. (Need help? These power verbs will make your resume awesome.)

8. Keep Bullets Under 2 Lines

Even if your first few words are the most interesting thing your recruiter has ever read, going over two lines per bullet is pushing it a bit. Try to keep your bullets short and sweet. (And yes, you should always use bullets, not paragraphs, to describe your experiences.)

9. Use Digits When Writing About Numbers

Using numbers in your bullet points quantifies results and helps recruiters better understand the scope of your work. (Here’s how to do it well.) Make these numbers easy to read by using digits (i.e., 30% versus thirty percent). It improves readability and—bonus—saves space.

10. Have a Separate “Skills” Section

Just to really drive the point home, piling up all your relevant skills into one section helps ensure that the recruiter sees them. You should still highlight your skills in the context of your work, but pulling them out into their own section doesn’t hurt.

11. Keep Your Resume Formatting Consistent

People can get pretty creative when they’re trying to fit all their relevant work experience into one page. That’s fine, but make sure that however you decide to do it, you keep your formatting the same throughout the document. Consistency helps with skimming, and if the recruiter wants to refer back to something, he or she will know where to look.

12. Try to Have Some White Space Left Over

Lastly, having some breathing room on your resume also helps with skimming. Different amounts of white space can signal to the reader that this is a different section or help emphasize the importance of something, such as your name or skills. And overall, it just makes the whole document less overwhelming.

Having your resume skimmed is a fact of life as you apply for jobs. So, make sure you maximize the experience and make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find the right information—and send you along to the next step of the process.

Job Loss Happens…

Be More Than Prepared

Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help your job search.

Don’t Wait

If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.

Get Help

Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library. Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search.

 Work with CareerPathsNW

We are the Pacific Northwest’s leading recruiting agency, its a no cost service to the candidates and if you are in the market for a job, we can help connect you with the right jobs with companies that are looking for individuals like you. Come see us for a free consultation.

Does your resume do its job?

A resume is a marketing document, not a legal document. It needs to showcase you. You are so much more than a collection of skills and educational attainments!

Right now, your resume is not doing its job for you because there is so little of you in it. You can easily power up your resume. Right now, your resume’s problem is that it is too timid and too wan. It sounds like anybody’s resume, or nobody’s. The biggest mistake most people make when they write their resumes is that they fall into a Mad Libs style of writing. They write in the traditional business language. You’ve seen it before. It looks like this:

Results-oriented Marketing professional with a bottom-line orientation, eager for a new challenge that will allow me to make a significant contribution to the bottom line.

This is garbage language that could never do you justice and will never entice anyone to get to know you better.

Let’s try the opening paragraph (the Summary) of your resume again:

I’m a healthcare Marketer with a passion for supporting the sales process through traditional and online marketing efforts. At XYZ I helped the company grow from $2M in annual sales to $20M in four years.

Use the word “I” in your resume. You are the subject of your resume! Tell your story. Tell us what you do well and what you like to do. That’s how your competence, intelligence and confidence will come across on the page! Go through your resume and highlight all the traditional verbiage you find. Then, work your way through your resume replacing this boring made-up language with normal human speech. Don’t list your tasks and duties from previous jobs. Tell us what you left in your wake in each job, instead!

Hiring managers want to see a living, breathing person in a resume — not a thicket of boring robot language that brands you as a boring robot person.  You are anything but that! Come out from behind that robotic persona and be yourself in your resume.

Not every hiring manager will appreciate it, but so what? You only need one hiring manager to get you — and therefore deserve you on their team.