You need a killer resume, make sure its ready for the job you want.

1. Find a Professional Font

As fun as it might look on the page, now is not the time to use weird fonts. Unless you are working in a creative field where you should be showing off your style, stick to something classic. Times New Roman is great go-to, or try a serif font with a little more individuality, like Book Antiqua or Lucida Bright.

2. Put the Good Stuff First

The real secret to a good resume is focusing your reader’s attention. In an ideal world, recruiters would read every word on your resume. In reality, that rarely happens. I’ve screened hundreds of resumes, and though I’m more meticulous than most, I’ve been surprised by how many I nearly tossed, only to find something truly interesting buried at the bottom of the page.

Also, the biggest mistake is to use chronological order. Why lead with “Babysitter in High School” when you could lead with “Strategic Planning Analyst?” Even reverse chronological order (which is more common) may not give you the flexibility you want to highlight your best and most relevant accomplishments.

3. Be Specific

You increased recruiting? Give us the percent increase. You raised money for charity? Tell us how much you raised! This can turn average-looking experiences into impressive head-turners and help distinguish you from other candidates. The flip-side of that is that specifics can also make some accomplishments look worse. If you only raised $150, you might want to think twice before including that—it’s unlikely to impress a billion dollar company.

Hint: This is true of your classes as well. Mentioning relevant coursework can help catch a recruiter’s eye.

4. Vary Your Verbs

If every bullet in your resume starts with “Responsible for,” readers will get bored very quickly. This handy list should give you a starting point.

5. Make Every Word Count

Unless you’re a tenured professor who needs to list every book and article you’ve ever published, your resume should be one page. While this limits the space you have to share your experience, think of it as a blessing in disguise: It forces you to focus.

You don’t need an equal number of bullets under each experience. You should be spending more words on your most impressive set of experiences. Moreover, if a job isn’t relevant anymore, take it out! You don’t need to prove that you’ve been employed since 1997.

Can’t make things fit on one page? Keep cutting it down. You can play with margins and font sizes a bit if necessary—but don’t overdo it. The point is to choose the right experiences, not squish them in. Plus, a dense resume is harder to read. And the harder your resume is to read, the more likely people will just skim it.

Hint: You can make the font size of the spacing between text smaller without losing legibility

6. Proofread

Grammar or spelling errors in a resume can be the difference between the “keep” pile and the “trash” pile. At best, you look sloppy. Enough said.

7. PDF, PDF, PDF

This one is simple: PDFs look the same on any computer. Word documents, on the other hand, can show up with wacky formatting or spill onto a second page if opened with a different version of Word or on a PC vs. a Mac. Make sure companies see what you wanted them to see.

Pointers to improve your resume in Bellevue

It’s deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, whether you’re writing your first resume or revising it for a mid-career job search. Check out this resume guide to the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors

Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.”

2. Lack of Specifics

Employers need to understand what you’ve done and accomplished. For example:

A. Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
B. Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.

Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but the details and specifics in example B will more likely grab an employer’s attention.

3. Attempting One Size Fits All

Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.

4. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments

It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:

  • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
  • Worked with children in a day-care setting.
  • Updated departmental files.

Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:

  • Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
  • Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
  • Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.

5. Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short

Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing resume length. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.

That doesn’t mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.

6. A Bad Objective

Employers do read your resume objective, but too often they plow through vague pufferies like, “Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.” Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: “A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits.”

7. No Action Verbs

Avoid using phrases like “responsible for.” Instead, use action verbs: “Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 4,000 students and staff.”

8. Leaving Off Important Information

You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you’ve taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you’ve gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

9. Visually Too Busy

If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.

10. Incorrect Contact Information

I once worked with a student whose resume seemed incredibly strong, but he wasn’t getting any bites from employers. So one day, I jokingly asked him if the phone number he’d listed on his resume was correct. It wasn’t. Once he changed it, he started getting the calls he’d been expecting. Moral of the story: Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details — sooner rather than later.

 

Using References in your Bellevue Job Application Process

Your job references are important in confirming the skills, motivation and attitudes included in your resume and demonstrated during your interview. Ideally, your referee is someone you have reported to in a professional capacity.

Choose a job reference who can confirm

  • Your employment and responsibilities
  • Your strengths and possible areas for development
  • The type of people you work well with
  • The management style that suits you best
  • Your ability to work unsupervised and as part of a team
  • Your capacity to take direction, and most important
  • Your suitability for the role you are seeking

Job reference tips

  • Always have your job reference’s permission before giving their contact details to a prospective employer. Your referee should never be caught off guard by an unexpected phone call, as this can work against you.
  • Make sure your referees know about the role you have applied for so they can focus on your relevant skills and strengths.
  • It’s good practice to contact your referees after the interview and let them know how it went. This way they can emphasise your key strengths or skills relevant to the job.
  • Every time you change employers, make an effort to ask for a reference from your manager or co-worker. This enables you to create a file of recommendations from people who you may not be in contact with in the future.
  • Keep your job references up to date and let them know where your job search stands. This keeps them on guard and be better prepared for a potential call. When you become employed, send a thank you note to anyone who provided you with a reference.
  • Keep your business network up to date, LinkedIn is a great way to do this. Maintain continual contact with your references and if you feel it’s appropriate ask them to write you a reference that you can post to your LinkedIn profile too.

Simple Formula to great cover letters for jobs in Seattle

1. Identify the Problem

55% of hiring managers don’t read cover letters. Why should they, when we write like modern-day Oliver Twists, begging them to please, sir, give us the job?

News flash: The hiring manager isn’t here to make your dreams come true. They’re in it for themselves. OK, that’s harsh, but the truth is that they’re looking for an awesome candidate to come in and do a kick-ass job that’ll help them run their department (or company) more efficiently and successfully.

When you’re writing your own cover letter, start with the list of responsibilities and ask yourself, Why? Why is this task important to this company? Keep digging until you can’t go any further. The true need is usually the one at the end of a chain of whys.

2. Agitate the Problem

Now that you’ve identified the problem, here comes the fun part.

Because no hiring manager has ever said, “I just love paying employees thousands of dollars every year!” your challenge now is to remind him or her how painful the problem is, and by default, how valuable a solution could be. Don’t be afraid to twist the knife a bit, like I did in my second paragraph:

If you’re looking for someone who can not only keep up, but also deliver that SEO-friendly, 75-page street style slideshow five minutes ago…

Notice I didn’t say, “If you’re looking for someone who can turn around projects quickly…” I was specific, and I made sure to use an example I knew would resonate with a stressed-out web editor.

And if you’re new to the industry or the role? Just ask. This is exactly what informational interviews are for. Find someone on the team you’re applying to, let your interviewer do most of the talking, and pay close attention to how he or she discusses the company’s challenges.

In conversation, we instinctively trust people who mirror our body language. On your application, you won’t get the chance—but you can do the next best thing: Pick up on your interviewer’s subtle cues and phrases and then mirror their speaking language in your cover letter.

3. Offer the Solution

By this point, you’ve got the hiring manager squirming at the table. Now, deliver the solution. Hint: It’s you.

Think about what makes you incredibly qualified to solve the problem. In my case, I knew I wanted the hiring manager to think of me and say, “Lisa? Oh, she’s the one who knows our backend systems and seems like a real go-getter.”

4. Close With Confidence

After all that work, you aren’t going to dash off a breathless “Hope to hear from you soon!” right? Instead, seal the deal with a sentence that displays confidence, competence, and a genuine interest in the company:

“I’d love to learn more about your production needs and how I can help!”

Boom. That’s it.

Learn valuable leadership skills on the job in Redmond

When you’re in college, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the unknowns of your future career. What if you never get a job? What if you get one and hate it? How are you going to build a career you love?

It’s all too easy to feel bewildered, running in circles trying to chase the perfect position. But at this stage in the game, a better approach is to think about the skills you want to gain. And what should be on your short list? Leadership skills.

Although there’s no one way to become a leader, entry-level job programs—structured programs for interns or new grads that help acclimate you to the working world—are designed to help you build the skills you’ll need to become the next Sheryl Sandberg or Elon Musk. And these fundamental leadership skills will help you no matter how your career unfolds!

Here are some awesome leadership qualities you can get through these types of programs, plus some real-life examples of young professionals who became leaders on the job.

1. Confidence

To build a thriving career, you need confidence—after all, believing in your own skills and abilities will help you take risks, tackle challenges, and put yourself out there for new opportunities. But that’s pretty hard to do when you’re starting your first job and you don’t even know where to make a cup of coffee.

Experts agree that the best way to build confidence is stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things, both of which are actively encouraged in most entry-level job programs.

 

2. A Willingness to Ask for Help

As counterintuitive as it seems, humility is just as essential for leaders as confidence. As a leader, you won’t know everything so it’s important to be approachable and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. But, because many cultures emphasize self-reliance, entry-level professionals often start their first jobs feeling like they should already know everything. Organizations create these job programs specifically to help new professionals learn the ropes, offering built-in support to make it easy to learn how to learn.

3. Clear Communication

When you think of the quintessential leader, you probably imagine them standing at a podium. The most impressive leaders stand out because of their ability to communicate clearly and professionally, especially in front of groups.

If the mere thought of this makes your palms sweat, know that the best entry-level job programs will give you regular opportunities to get comfortable relating to and inspiring other people. You’ll be immersed in nearly every form of communication, from drafting everyday emails to leading big presentations in front of your peers.

4. Relationship Building

You’ve heard the term “networking” countless times before—and for good reason. The ability to build relationships across teams and pay grades is essential to becoming a leader. That said, reaching out to pick someone’s brain over coffee can feel artificial and forced—especially when you’re the low person on the totem pole. When companies successfully incorporate interns into their company culture, they create the ideal environment for people to build organic relationships.

5. Problem-Solving Skills

Every career has challenges that require serious problem-solving skills. Successful leaders don’t buckle under the weight—they overturn conventional thinking and come up with solutions.

But learning how to solve problems in a corporate environment, rather than the classroom, doesn’t come naturally to most of us, which is why the best entry-level programs give participants a range of experience solving problems in multiple situations.

In short? By participating in an entry-level job program, you cultivate leadership qualities that will serve you through your entire career. And the sooner you get started building these must-have skills, the quicker you’ll stand out as a young leader ready to tackle the next challenge.

Writing Cover letters for Sales jobs in Seattle

Some handy tips to remember while writing cover letters

  1. In your cover letter, employers don’t only want to hear about you. They want to hear about themselves, too.
  2. The secret to writing a great cover letter: Pretend that the person you’re writing to already loves and respects you.
  3. Think of getting to know a company like getting to know a person. What is he or she like? Quirky? Serious? Snarky?
  4. To help with your cover letter jitters, just imagine you’re writing an email to the hiring manager.
  5. Your cover letter is meant to complement your resume—not reiterate it.
  6. Creepy pick-up lines don’t work in bars. They also don’t work in cover letters.
  7. Leave that phrase “To Whom it May Concern” out of your cover letter. Now.
  8. A salesy tone in a cover letter can overshadow your solid qualifications and make you seem pompous and aggressive.
  9. “I won’t pretend your company’s mission is my passion…” started the worst cover letter ever.
  10. Not quite qualified for the job? Don’t apologize for it in your cover letter.

Sample elevator speech to take your job search to the next level in Redmond

An elevator speech is a two-minute description of your skills and career goals.

It’s an easy way to share what you want to learn from someone who is in a position to help you.

Here’s an example:

“Hi. My name is ____________.

I’m looking for  (  a kind  of job  )  in an industry, field, or location   ).

I really enjoy  (   something about a past job or experience    .

I’m good at ( a certain job skill   ).”

After you’ve briefly stated these facts, you can ask for help or advice. For example:

  • “Do you have any advice for me?”
  • “Do you know anything about this company?”
  • “Do you know anyone who does know about ______________?”
  • “Can I use your name to contact them?”

Education Requirements for job seekers in Seattle

Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Before you decide to pursue a particular career, you must make sure you are willing to fulfill the educational requirements that will allow you to get an entry-level job. If career advancement is important to you, you will also want to discover what you will need to do to move up in that field. If you are unwilling to meet the educational requirements, or if you must start working immediately and don’t have time to get the appropriate training, you will have to think about other options. On a similar note, you may not want a job that doesn’t require a certain amount of education, for example, a college degree.

How To Find the Training You Need

When the required education for an occupation is very precise, for instance, if you must get a particular certificate or a degree from an accredited program, you will have to decide what institution to attend. There are several ways to go about finding out where to get the training you need.

  • Professional Associations: Use any search engine to find the professional association for an occupation. Then go to the organization’s website and look for a section about education or careers. If you must get your training or degree from an accredited program, it will probably say so here. There will likely be a list of programs, as well, or links to resources you can use to locate that information.
  • CareerOneStop Find Local Training Tool: Search for training by location. Programs listed include colleges, trades schools and short-term programs.
  • Your Network: If you have contacts in your prospective career field, find out where they received their training. You may also uncover this information through informational interviews with people who work in the occupation you are researching.

 

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.

Resume Do’s and Don’ts

When you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be hard to know where to start. What experiences and accomplishments should you include for the jobs you’ve got your eye on? What new resume rules and trends should you be following? And seriously, one page or two?

Don’t Put Everything on There

Your resume should not have every work experience you’ve ever had listed on it. Think of your resume not as a comprehensive list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience).

But Keep a Master List of All Jobs

Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a resume master list on your computer where you keep any information you’ve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when you’re crafting each resume, it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together

Put the Best Stuff “Above the Fold”

In marketing speak, “above the fold” refers to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper (or, in the digital age, before you scroll down on a website), but basically it’s your first impression of a document. In resume speak, it means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first—and what will serve as a hook for someone to keep on reading. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences first.