Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yur Final Go-Thru

It is astonishing how many recruiters say they receive resumes and cover letters filled with spelling errors. A spelling slip-up, even a minor one, says more about you than the most articulate choice of words. For instance, is it "too" or "to"? Did you write "it's" or "its"? Just those two words alone count for a lot of mistakes.

Get as many people to proof and edit your resume and cover letter as possible. You can never have too many eyes. The corporate content manager of a large instrument company says she sees a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. Once she sees a mistake she won't read any further. She is not alone. When asked about the worst resumes and cover letters they have ever received, those that read them can come up with some hilarious shockers. How about the person applying to work at ExxonMobil? Nice resume, great cover letter, but he spelled the company's name Exxon Mobile. There goes that job prospect.

While such big blunders are not that common, many people do make simple mistakes that could be easily avoided.

The top four common mistakes are:

Spelling and grammar are at the top of the list, probably because people rely too much on spell check. Spell check is a useful tool, but you also need several sets of eyeballs to catch everything. Spell check doesn't check the context and use of words—your or you're, four or for?

Repeating verbatim what's in your resume on your cover letter

Forgetting to replace a company name when cutting and pasting parts of a letter

Carelessness—"I'd like to work for your company" (and the organization is a non-profit or government agency) or "I read your ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer" and it was run in another publication.

To make your way through the maze of errors that inevitably pop up, follow these simple steps:

Find people who will critically read each resume and cover letter you write for the content as well as the details. You might not notice that a period is missing from a sentence or an indentation that should be there isn't. A reader hunting for errors will find them.

Read your resume and cover letter backwards from the bottom up, word by word. It sounds silly, but doing so allows you to see errors you would probably gloss over reading it from the top down.

Read the resume and cover letter aloud to find words that don't make sense or aren't meaningful.

If you send a resume or cover letter to several companies, highlight each specific change so you make sure not to send Company A's letter to Company B.

Finally, if you send a resume and cover letter via e-mail, stick it in the draft folder for an hour and then read it again before actually sending it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


by Julie Luongo, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

You’ve heard the hype. The economy is bad. There aren’t any jobs to be had. Things are tough all over, kid. But since when do you listen to the naysayers?

Sure, you’re not going to step out of college and into a CFO position. But you’re also not stepping into a part-time job selling hot dogs on the side of the road. Being realistic about your opportunities goes both ways, and the most fatal mistake job seekers make is selling themselves short.

Be Confident

Congratulations, you have a college degree! Maybe you weren’t in the top of your class with a full academic scholarship, but you have a higher education and that means something to hiring managers. What it means exactly is that you have the latest information about your field of study. You’ve most likely worked with cutting-edge technology. And you’re not so set in your ways that you can’t be trained. This gives you a distinct advantage over people who aren’t fresh out of school. When you go to interviews, remember this.

Be Enthusiastic

College graduates have something many other job applicants don’t have. Enthusiasm! All things being equal, someone with a positive attitude will get the job over someone who is jaded, indifferent, or world weary. It’s not all about what you know. It’s also about who you are. Show hiring managers that you’re someone other people would want to work with.

Be Strategic

Employers are looking for long term investments and are hopeful that you will be loyal to their company. When they ask you what your five year plan is, don’t tell them that you hope to be traveling in Europe. Nor should you point to the company president and say, “I want to be there.” Consider your audience.

Be Persistent

Don’t be so confident that you think everyone should want you. Always tailor your resume and cover letter for each position. Follow up with a phone call. If you don’t hear from the employer in 4 weeks, send another letter with another resume. Call again. Don’t give up until you’ve heard a definitive answer. If it’s a “no” send a thank you letter anyway to ask that they keep you in mind for any future positions. Repeat for each job search. If you want an employer to see you’re willing to go the extra mile, show them up front.

Being a realist when it comes to job searching is hard work. Sure, it takes work to get work. But landing a job and putting yourself on the road to a successful career is worth it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Resume and Self-Reflection

ResumeEdge attended the CCA national convention in Orlando on June 14th and June 15th. A common theme heard among the attendees is the notion that students must learn how to prepare a resume. Having a professional write the resume for them serves no educational value.

We couldn’t agree more.

Resume preparation, like leadership, is very self-reflective. You must examine your personal values, communication style, and experiences, and put them down on paper in a manner that sets you apart from your competition. The resume experts at ResumeEdge provide verbal and written feedback designed to help you learn about your unique strengths (and weaknesses) – and how to convey those strengths to a hiring manager. This self-reflection works to the benefit of the job seeker and prospective employer. The job seeker gains the confidence needed to excel in a job interview, while also learning where to focus for improvement. The employer gains insight into an applicant’s history – to determine if he is a perfect fit.

Check out our photos from CCA: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.phpfriend#/album.php?aid=84775&id=16472597901&ref=mf


by Jennifer Stiglic, BA, ME, CPRW
Resumeedge.com Editor

Every job candidate faces the same challenge after graduating college – How do I get a job when all I have is a degree? If you look closer, you’ll understand you have more than a degree – you have group projects, research papers, class assignments, honors, activities, campus jobs, and campus leadership experiences.

Hiring managers are looking at your resume to understand your background and the type of employee you will be at their company. After all, past performance is the best predictor of future success…this statement is true whether you are referring to past professional or academic performance.

The first step in preparing your post-college resume is to take an inventory of any and all experience you have that falls into the following categories: academic honors (GPA, Dean’s List, awards, recognitions), class projects, leadership experience on project teams, extracurricular activities, campus work experience, publications, papers, and volunteer activities. It is important to highlight any projects that pertain to the industry you are targeting, e.g. business case studies, design projects, research papers, etc.

After determining your areas of experience, you can divide the resume into sections and add bullets to detail your involvement in the activities.

Examples of resume sections include:


Committee, Organization or Group Name, Position Held
* Add information on projects, assignments or work completed


Name of Award, Organization Presenting Award, Date Received


Course Name
* Add bullets with information on the project; focus on your specific role in completing the project

If your collegiate activities, honors and projects are limited, then you can always list the specific courses you completed that relate to your target industry or position. You can also include special projects or assignments within these courses.

The most important thing to remember is that your experiences during college help to demonstrate the contributions you will make to a company or organization. By expanding the details of your collegiate experience, you are communicating your value in your post-college resume.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


by Vicel Meyer, ResumeEdge.com Editor

Are you sending out dozens of resumes each week, but getting no response? Do you feel discouraged about a tough job market and your competition?

In your efforts to get noticed, you should keep one thing in mind: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s place. Ask yourself, “What would the employer think of my resume in the initial few seconds she takes to read it?” Even if you’re exactly right for the job, you may never be asked to interview unless you make the proper first impression with a well-written resume and cover letter.

The content and format of your resume are very important. A resume that employs a tiny font and has too much information will be quickly passed over by a hiring manager in favor of a clean, easy to read, well-spaced document. Use bullet points and even-spaced margins. Don’t make the mistake of including every single thing you did at a previous job. Instead, list key accomplishments and major, progressive responsibilities that highlight your skills. You can then expand on your previous responsibilities in a cover letter and during the first interview.

Does the content of your resume reflect transferable skills related to the position for which you’re applying? Hiring managers often glance at a resume looking for key phrases and buzz words that they want in their ideal next employee. Take the time to tailor your resume specifically to a job description. These key phrases may get you past the employers’ Web-based application filter as well as generate enough interest for a first interview.

A basic, yet overlooked, detail is keeping your resume free of spelling and grammatical errors. You want to convey that you are professional, detail-oriented, can write well, and take your work seriously. One glance at a resume with spelling and grammatical errors might cause an employer to think: “sloppy, makes mistakes, and is wasting my time.” Take the time to proofread your resume. Then, have someone you trust review it for you.

Your cover letter should always express your interest in the specific job. Does it give you an opportunity to expand your skill set? Is the company dynamic and progressive? Clearly convey your strong interest in the company and position, and then explain why you’re the ideal candidate. This shows you have done your homework on the company and truly want to work there.

Putting the employer first by having a tailored cover letter and well-written resume will ensure you have sent out the best possible representation of yourself. It will also bring you a step closer to getting that interview and job offer.

Vicel received her Bachelor’s Degree from San Francisco State in Psychology, and has over 12 years of Human Resources experience in varied industries, including finance, staffing, insurance, outplacement and shipping industries. She specializes in recruiting from administrative to Executive-level positions. Her resume writing experience has been for clients with backgrounds in I.T., Real Estate, Finance, Automotive and Senior management. You can request Vicel for your resume or cover letter service when ordering.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Resume Best Practices & Standards

1. Resume Design: Selecting the right design template to showcase your accomplishments based on your industry is important. If you’re in a conservative industry (banking, accounting), your template should reflect that and not lean heavily on designer fonts or frivolous designs.

2. Page Length: Recruiters and Hiring Managers prefer resumes to be two pages or less. However, the rule of thumb is: a modern resume is as long – or as short – as it needs to be, provided only relevant information for the new job search is included. Nothing extraneous.

3. Qualification (Opening) Summary versus Objective Statement: Recruiters and Hiring Managers prefer a qualifications summary over an objective statement every time. They want to see what candidates can bring to their organization in terms of performance rather than the candidate stating a position they want.

4. Quantify Accomplishments: A resume must have quantified accomplishments not a reiteration of a job description. Example: Increased productivity 58% within three months of hire by retraining staff on latest accounting software. Providing percentages, dollar figures, and timeframes strengthens achievements.

5. Strong Data Prioritization & Organization: The resume needs to be organized in standard sections. Within each section, the data is presented in reverse-chronological order (the last job or school listed first). The information is prioritized based on value to the Recruiter and Hiring Manager. Information pertinent to the targeted position should be showcased first. For example, if Education is the most important qualification; it’s presented before Work History, rather than last on the document.

6. Non-relevant & Repetitive Data: An effective resume focuses on enhancing your candidacy and avoids repetition and inclusion of non-relevant information. For example, hobbies & interests should only be included if relevant to the job. Personal information (birth dates, marital status etc.) is included in some overseas resumes. Find additional tips at marketing forums and SEO expert | SEO expert.

7. Language: Use of business language is critical to the professionalism of a resume. Resumes should avoid the use of personal pronouns (“I’ “my” “we”) and slang at all times.