BrightSide Blog

Archives for July 2008

How To Choose & Use Your References

Ultimately, the choice is yours as far as who should speak on your behalf. However, here are some guidelines to help you figure out who are the best people to approach when searching for references. Continue reading this entry »

31 July 2008 | Interviewing, Networking | Comments Off on How To Choose & Use Your References

“How Can I Make My Resume Represent ‘The Real Me’?”

[There’s a widespread frustration held by business executives that their resumes’ cannot adequately describe “the real me”. I’ve challenged this notion with the following comments and suggestions:] Continue reading this entry »

28 July 2008 | Interviewing, Resumes | Comments Off on “How Can I Make My Resume Represent ‘The Real Me’?”

“How Do I Get a Management Job If I’ve Only Held Positions As An Individual Contributor?”

[A software developer was looking to move further into management but had no idea how to build a resume to support this transition. My response includes a detailed explanation as to what I’ve done in the past with clients in this position.] Continue reading this entry »

24 July 2008 | Career Transition, Resumes | Comments Off on “How Do I Get a Management Job If I’ve Only Held Positions As An Individual Contributor?”

“Should I Answer Interview Questions In My Online Profile?”

Online profiles (posted on networking sites, your own job-search site, and social spaces) are an excellent complement to your resume. Just be sure to leave at least a few questions unanswered. Continue reading this entry »

21 July 2008 | Interviewing | 1 Comment

“How Do You Write The Perfect Resume?”

Looking for feedback on my work, I sent the exact same resume to 2 trusted recruiters and got the following 2 gut reactions:

– “Great format but the writing could be more salesy.”
– “Compelling content but the format is bland.”

The take home message: You can’t please everyone.

That said, you can still win interviews Continue reading this entry »

17 July 2008 | Resumes | 1 Comment

“How Do I Write A Resume If I Have No Experience?”

In my experience as a recruiter, career counselor, and professional resume writer, there’s no such thing as “no experience” — even for recent graduates and current students.

There’s plenty of other ways to fill space on a resume aside from listing paid work experience. Furthermore, if you’re applying for an entry-level job, it’s expected that you’ll have a slight if not non-existent job history. In fact, having less experience often works in the favor of entry-level candidates–since they’re viewed as open, ambitious, hungry, and above all else trainable employees.

Nevertheless, here are some ideas to fill an entry-level 1-page resume with more than just action verbs:

EDUCATION

Start with this section first, making sure the degree/certification you received is front and center. Then list relevant coursework, key projects/papers, commendations from teachers, research, on-campus memberships, event contributions, honors, awards, scholarships, sports (intramural, varsity, junior varsity), unit load (if impressive), and jobs used to help pay your way through school. And that’s just off the top of my head.

Even if all you did was sit in the classroom, you can list coursework, theses, and favorite classes/projects.

WORK EXPERIENCE

Admittedly this section may be quite lean but don’t forget to list internships, volunteer work, hourly jobs, and non-paid tasks such as childcare, elder care, contributions at a friend or family member’s business, or assistance to a teacher.

Even unrelated, unpaid work, at the very least will show you have a solid work ethic and are eager to learn new things and support others.

PERSONALITY TRAITS

Always include a list of soft skills such as Dependability, Good Listener, Punctual, Dedicated, Reliable, Meticulous, Organized….

These words will help inject your personality into the resume. Remember, when hiring people are trolling for an entry-level professional, they’re mostly interested in finding someone who is dependable, committed to helping the organization, and willing and able to learn new business processes and featured products.

TECHNICAL SKILLS

For recent grads these days, it’s almost a no-brainer to include computer skills but you should still make a list. The most commonly sought-after skills are Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), PC and Mac Skills, and sometimes Adobe Creative Suite (Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign). But don’t forget to include database knowledge, typing speed, and any industry-specific software skills.

If you’re actually pursuing a position in technology, this section may be one of your biggest. Go crazy; just use subcategories to break up extremely long list.

INTERESTS

This list should often go at the bottom of the resume, since it’s more about what you’re looking for than about what the employer needs. Nonetheless, list your geniunine interests related to your target job and target field.

In doing so, you’ll attract like-minded people. Also, should you land a job that aligns with your interests, it’s inevitable you’ll do well, impress people, and advance more quickly and deeper into areas you’re passionate about.

That should get you started. Again, there’s always something to say. And Congrats to you for embarking on a new career.

I love working with recent graduates and people in the midst of life transition. My background in Career Counseling really comes in handy, in this regard.

If you’re looking for some ideas,have a look at some easy-view resume samples here.

Or just give me a ring so I can help you realize just how much you have to offer.

Stay on the BrightSide.

15 July 2008 | LinkedIn's Best Answers, Resumes | Comments Off on “How Do I Write A Resume If I Have No Experience?”

“Why Should I Avoid Using A Functional Resume Format?”

[An aggrieved job seeker, sick of hearing that functional resumes are the scurge of an HR person’s day, asked why this type of format is unfavorable. My response is to follow Continue reading this entry »

11 July 2008 | Resumes | Comments Off on “Why Should I Avoid Using A Functional Resume Format?”