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.

Seattle Salary Negotiations

When you’re finally down to the wire on your impending job offer, there will come a time to talk numbers. “That one last conversation — where you negotiate salary — can unnerve even the most savvy job seeker.”

While most employers expect you to come back with a counteroffer, many job candidates avoid the practice and leave money on the table. “You don’t have to be one of them,” she says. “You’d be well served in your career to become comfortable with the process. You get one chance to accept a final compensation package at your company, so be prepared to make a persuasive argument.”

So how do you stay true to your target without alienating the hiring manager or hurting your prospects?

First, to prepare for that discussion, you’ll want to do your research ahead of time and figure out what someone with your experience and skills typically makes in this particular role.

Once you hear their offer and it’s time to negotiate, you should keep those numbers in mind, “but also consider the nature of the first offer and how much bargaining power you think you have,” Taylor says. And think about whether you’re currently under- or overpaid.

As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s usually appropriate to ask for 10% to 20% more than what you’re currently making. 

That means if you’re making $50,000 a year now, you can easily ask for $55,000 to $60,000 without seeming greedy or getting laughed at.

“If the original offer is on the low side of the scale, you have more leverage,” Taylor explains. “If you get an offer for 20% over your current salary, you can still negotiate for more — ask for an additional 5% — but know that you’re already in good stead.”

The bottom line: Do the math (and your research!) beforehand — know what a 10% to 20% pay increase would total, and what the going rate for someone with your skills is — and ask for that amount. Worst case scenario, the employer says “no.”

Cloud-Base Your Career Materials

You’re scrolling through job listings over your lunch break, and suddenly you see your dream job.

Naturally, you want to apply immediately—but then you realize your career materials are all on a zip drive you left at home. And that means you’ll have to wait until you’re back home before you can fill out an application.

Cut your response time
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping your career materials on a zip at home, it can be inconvenient and delay your application. If, on the other hand, you store your career materials in the cloud, then you have everything ready to go (give or take a couple of cover letter tweaks) and can respond to an interesting job listing as soon as you have a few minutes to yourself.

Preparing your career materials
We all know that you should tailor your resumé and cover letter to the position you want. Depending on how broad your job search is, that can mean focusing on different strengths.

For example, if you’re a PR professional, you might be interested in working for a start-up—but maybe you’d also consider a position with one of the country’s top PR agencies. To maximize the efficiency of using the cloud, prepare resumés and cover letters for each of the positions you’d consider. Remember: if something else comes along, you can always tweak your materials later.

Uploading your career materials to the cloud

You can use a cloud storage provider to simply store the documents. The best providers with free options are DropBoxGoogle Drive and OneDrive (free with Windows). From here, you can share your documents with others, or send them along as attachments to emails.

Redmond Salary Negotiation

Present your value.

Even if you’ve done you’re due diligence in researching salary levels for the position, you might not get what you’re worth unless you can prove that you’re worth it. “In serious salary negotiations, it is all about value proposition, If the company believes your value to be in multiples of your cost, you will have negotiating room. The higher your perceived value, the stronger your negotiating position.” If the employer doesn’t think you have greater than expected value, you will not negotiate more than a token handout.

To convince the hiring manager that your documented, numerical contributions far exceed your total financial package cost, he says you must describe the size of the problems you solve. “This is the heart of your ability to ask for more money. “They can hire anyone for routine tasks, but they mostly judge your value by the level of difficulty of problems you solve. They pay well for those who exceed expectations for performance.”

4 Things you need to know while searching for jobs in Seattle

  1. Find someone to refer you. You are missing out on job opportunities by not identifying someone inside the company to refer you for a job. While job boards are the primary source of hiring, 71 percent of HR professionals surveyed rated employee referrals as the best source for finding candidates, yet only 7 percent of job seekers surveyed viewed referrals as their top source for finding a job.
  2. Invest in learning technical skills. Job seekers self-reported that their top weakness was technical, computer or specialized skills. If this is your weak spot too, do something about it, because a quarter of employers rank these as top skills they are looking for. Take an online course to develop the skills you lack or need. More than 40 percent of job seekers have never invested in online training, but it is one way to improve your confidence and candidacy.
  3. Expect to meet several people during your interviews. It is unlikely you’ll be hired based on one interview. Almost 60 percent of HR professionals said the interview process involves meeting two to three people, and some employers will have you meet with as many as five people during the interview process.
  4.  Highlight these top three skill sets. Communication, adaptability and results-driven are the top skills HR is looking for in candidates. Unfortunately, job seekers miss the mark. While job seekers did list communication skills as a top skill set, they missed the mark in the other top skills they reported, which were leadership and teamwork.

5 Tips for a Successful Online Job Search

Before the rise of the Internet, the first place you would go to find out what jobs were available was your local newspaper’s classified ads. Now, of course, you can see all manner of jobs, from any kind of employer, with a simple search on job boards like Monster or aggregation sites, such as Indeed and SimplyHired. And, with some quick clicking, you can apply to scores of jobs in an evening.

Unfortunately, many people feel that this is the way you are supposed to conduct a job search to the exclusion of everything else. When you approach it this way, you are in for a long and frustrating experience with diminished chances for success.

Recently, a person complained that he’s been diligently applying to jobs on Indeed. He claimed to be selective and, over the last several months, sent out more than 80 applications. “So, what’s your response been to all this activity?” he was asked.

“Nada. Zilch. Zero … not a single interview,” he reported with a marked sense of exasperation.

People often don’t realize how great the odds are stacked against job seekers for virtually every online advertisement. Recruiters and human resources screeners commonly see hundreds upon hundreds of resumes submitted in response to ads. Of those, only a scant few will result in a conversation. Yet, on the employer side, it’s not uncommon to find someone to hire by placing an advertisement.

Put differently, you have only a small likelihood of success with any given response you make to an online job posting because each application is, statistically speaking, like flipping a coin. No matter how many jobs you apply to, you’ll still have the same odds – one in however many scores or hundreds of applicants reply.

At this point, you might throw up your hands in despair. Don’t. There are things that you can do to increase your odds of being chosen for a position that fits you well. Here are some strategies that are often most effective.

1. Take time to build your network, both in person and online. Attend networking events, participate in your professional organizations and introduce yourself to people. Practice the art of small talk. Understand that, with every new acquaintance you make, you enlarge your network.

2. Narrow your applications to a relatively few positions. Don’t bother with a lot of “Hail Marys” for which you clearly aren’t well suited to meet the employer’s needs. Instead, look for positions where you can add value to employers.

3. Do your research before you reach out to the employer. Check out the company in the news or on LinkedIn. Figure out its challenges, and how you can add value with your skills and experience. Use this research as you make your case for being considered in your cover letter.

4. Figure out how you can network your way into the company before you apply. You can use LinkedIn to find people in the company you can proactively reach out to for informational interviews. Don’t ask for help at the onset, but instead spend some time building a relationship and make yourself the first one to offer help before you ask for it.

5. Ask your contact if the company has an employee referral program. If so, would he be interested in forwarding your resume to the right person? Remember that, if you’ve already submitted your resume to the company, the employee won’t get credit for your application, and that makes a big difference.

Remember the old story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow but sure can win the race. The same is true with your job hunt. Go for fewer job applications, but do a thorough job of researching each and making a clear argument for how and why you can add value to the company. It’s tedious work, but in the end, your chances of success will skyrocket.

Happy hunting!