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The Recruiting Blog of KG Workforce Solutions.

Most Commonly Misused Words in Résumés

April 3, 2020 by KG Workforce Solutions

The most commonly misused words in resumes.

Misusing a word is a huge disappointment on a résumé. Mistakes happen, but you can limit them by thoroughly proofreading and doing a little research. Studies show that more than 60% of hiring managers have disqualified a candidate based solely on résumé errors.

Spellcheck is a great tool for ensuring words are spelled properly, but not for ensuring the RIGHT word has been used.

If a word is spelled correctly but misused, or a typo creates a real word, spellcheck will often not catch the error. So, if you are updating your résumé or sending it out, make sure you have used your words properly. While there are many errors we see on résumés, below are some of the most common.

Most commonly misused words on résumés.

Accept/Except

Advise/Advice

Affect/Effect

Capital/Capitol

Complement/Compliment

From/Form

Further/Farther

Here/Hear

Illicit/Elicit

Insure/Ensure/Assure

It’s/Its

Manger/Manager

Personal/Personnel

Principal/Principle

Prospective/Perspective

There/They’re/Their

Your/You’re

Who’s/Whose

There are tons of resources available online to help you determine which words are appropriate, such as Grammarly and Merriam-Webster. Take advantage of these resources and invest some time into your résumé. Don’t let misused words in your résumé cost you a job.

*** Oh, and don’t forget to check your other documents. Cover letters and thank you emails frequently have the same errors.

Happy job hunting!

Contact us if you need assistance creating your dream résumé. We love to help job seekers!

Set Goals for Your Job Search

March 26, 2020 by KG Workforce Solutions

Set goals for your job search and be diligent in following through.

Let’s be real…..during a pandemic is not the ideal time to be looking for a job. However, there are companies hiring! If you are in the market for a new job, be diligent, organized, and positive! Set daily and weekly job search goals and follow through! While these tips are directed more toward job seekers who are unemployed and/or have been laid off, they can apply to anyone at any time!

Job search goals for every day!

  • Review job boards and social media outlets for opportunities EVERY day.
  • Tweak your resume for every job for which you apply.
  • Set a goal for how many contacts you want to reach out to EVERY day (recruiters, past coworkers, chamber members, clients, employed friends, etc.) – network, network, network! This is probably your overall best tool right now!
  • Keep track of where you apply and for which jobs to avoid repetition.

Do the above EVERY day. Don’t get discouraged or make excuses. Stay diligent!

Job search goals for every week!

  • Share something positive or something that demonstrates your expertise at least once per week on social media.
  • Analyze your outcomes  – if you are not getting interview requests, review your resume carefully and cross-reference it to the jobs for which you applied. Do you need to make changes to better showcase your relevant skills?
  • Practice your responses to common interview questions – be prepared when that interview request comes in. Practice video interviewing, not just face-to-face or phone!!
  • Follow up (professionally and not too often) on pending applications and interviews.
  • Reevaluate your goals. Are you at a point where you need to be more flexible on money, type of position, or location? Only you know the answer to these questions, but it is important to evaluate your goals regularly. There is no shame in taking a job out of your skillset if you need work!!!  There is no shame in taking a pay cut if your budget is dwindling. Most employers will be understanding about any atypical work employees perform during or as a result of the pandemic. TAKE CARE OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

Set your job search goals and stick to them. Be consistent. Stay positive. Network!

For more tips on job searching, check out our other blog posts or follow us on social media (FacebookTwitterLinkedIn).

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Résumé Writing Tips- Keep it Concise and Relevant

March 25, 2020 by KG Workforce Solutions

Keep your resume relevant and concise

According to Glassdoor and numerous other sources of research, hiring managers and recruiters spend about six seconds reviewing a résumé. This means that your résumé needs to be concise and relevant, and it needs to grab the reader’s attention. For many job seekers, the hardest part of résumé writing is pairing it down. What do you include? What do you exclude? Should you omit education or experience? What accomplishments should be included?

If you are struggling with developing a concise and relevant résumé, below are some tips to help you determine what to add and what to remove!

Step one- Identify the right professional accomplishments!

Make a list of your professional accomplishments; any and all of them that come to mind. Read your list at least twice. Then, highlight the accomplishments that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Cross-reference the job posting to ensure you are actually highlighting only relevant ones. Those are the accomplishments that need to shine on your résumé (Page 1)!

Pro tips

  • Give yourself permission to delete the accomplishments you did not highlight. It does not mean they are not impressive. It does not mean you should not be proud of them. All it means is they are LESS RELEVANT to the job for which you are applying.
  • If you are struggling to come up with accomplishments, pull out previous performance reviews. They can be great resources. If you don’t have any performance reviews and you can’t think of any accomplishments, move to step two and then come back to step one. The order of the steps does not matter. Completing other sections may trigger your memory so you can come back to this step later.
  • Use formatting to make these accomplishments stand out in your résumé. Depending on how many accomplishments you have, you may include them in one section or under each relevant job.
    • If you have an “Accomplishments” section as a category (header), put it on page 1 and list 3-4 accomplishments.
    • If you list accomplishments under each job, use formatting to draw attention to them and aim for 3-4 accomplishments under each job.

Step two- List your experience and responsibilities!

Make a list of your primary duties for each job. For each duty listed, ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. Why did I do this task?
  2. What did this task accomplish OR what was its purpose?
  3. Is this task relevant to the job or company for which I am applying?

If you answer “no” to question three, scratch through that duty. That duty provides no relevance to the job for which you are applying, which means the hiring manager is not likely to find value in it. The remaining duties are the ones you should include in your résumé. Make sure you demonstrate the value of the duty in your résumé; don’t just list tasks.

Pro tips

The above will ensure your content is relevant. You still need it to be concise and accomplishment focused. The below tips will help keep your content concise:

  • Use bullets instead of lengthy paragraphs.
  • Use formatting to highlight accomplishments and/or separate them from duties or narrative text.
  • Keep bullets and sentences to less than 25 words. Tip, if you highlight the sentence in MS Word, it will tell you how many words the sentence contains!
  • Limit each job to five sentences and/or five bullets (depending on the format of your résumé), but no more than five of each. Concise is critical!
  • Barring a few exceptions, it is appropriate to only include the most recent 10 years’ work history.

Step three- What education and training demonstrate the most value?

Make a list of your degrees, certifications, and professional training. Highlight the ones that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Those are the ones that should be in your résumé.

Pro tips:

  • If you have an expired certification that is relevant to the job, list it but clearly note its status (expired, inactive, etc.).
  • If you list professional training, include the organization that provided the training to add validity.
  • If you completed courses but not a degree, make this clear so there is no question of misrepresentation.
  • Remove dates from your education if completed more than 5-10 years ago.
  • If you have an advanced degree, but perhaps the subject area is not relevant, consider leaving off the subject area or listing the college/department area instead of the major.

Step four- What else should be included or removed?

Use the same process from the above steps to evaluate other categories on your résumé, such as Honors & Awards, Skills Tables, Competencies, etc. Make a comprehensive list and highlight the relevant content. It might be hard but LEAVE OFF THE REST. If it is not relevant, it adds minimal, if any, value to your résumé for the specific job for which you are applying (yes, you have to tweak your résumé for every unique position or category of positions).

While a one-page résumé is no longer the standard, it is still important to be concise and relevant. Very few people are going to read a six-page résumé. Remember, a résumé is a marketing tool to get you an interview. The interview gets you the job. Your résumé is your “sales brochure” so tell the manager what he/she NEEDS to know, not everything about you. If you were considering a landscaper to make your yard beautiful, would you hire the landscaper who brought you a brochure about his vinyl siding skills? Probably not.

Review your résumé and make sure it tells a story. Effective résumé writing showcases your value and successes. One of my favorite quotes is “demonstrative not declarative.”

YOUR RÉSUMÉ SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATIVE NOT DECLARATIVE!

For more advice on résumé writing or job search tips, follow our blog and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Need customized résumé writing help? Contact us.

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LinkedIn Job Search Tips & Essentials

March 14, 2020 by KG Workforce Solutions

LinkedIn Job Search Tips

LinkedIn is a powerful job search tool. A well-designed profile and strategic engagement can steer hiring managers and recruiters your way. Below are some of our favorite LinkedIn job search tips.

Profile Basics

  1. Use a professional-looking headshot (shoulders and above).
  2. Create a custom headline (first line under your name). Include keywords relevant to your desired position/ job search goals.
  3. Add a custom banner (image behind your profile picture). You can show some personality as long as the image is appropriate for potential employers.
  4. Create an “about me” section that draws INTEREST in what you do. What makes you good at your job? Why are you different? What do you offer? Communicate these things to your audience.
  5. Add relevant, professional media files, such as a resume, testimonials, videos, etc.
  6. Go through your security and privacy settings. There are a lot of settings that can improve your visibility to prospective employers.

Experience

  1. Add your work experience for the past 10 years. Experience more than 10 years ago is only needed if it is the only connection you have to a certain company, skill, or industry that is relevant in your job search.
  2. Use prepopulated options for titles and companies when possible.
  3. Add job descriptions with keywords under each job. Recruiters and hiring managers can search for candidates using keywords within the job descriptions.
  4. Include accomplishments under each job, not just duties.
  5. Use short, concise sentences or bullets instead of thick paragraphs.
  6. Match dates, companies, and titles to your resume.

Education

  1. List only relevant education and degrees. Consider leaving off the subject matter if it’s irrelevant to your career goals.
  2. Remove the graduation year if you earned your degree more than 5-10 years ago.
  3. Use the “Licenses & Certifications” section (instead of the “Education” section) to include relevant certification and licenses. Be clear on whether certifications or licenses are currently active or expired.
  4. If you have not completed a degree or certification, list it as training or courses to avoid confusion.
  5. Match your certifications and education to what is listed on your resume.

Skills & Endorsements

  1. Enter all relevant skills, up to the max (50 at this time).
  2. “Pin” your top three skills to be easily viewed on your profile.
  3. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to get endorsements; just get the skills listed.
  4. Skills are searchable by recruiters and hiring managers, so include your most relevant skills first, then fill in any additional slots.

Recommendations

  1. Ask for recommendations from co-workers, clients, professors, and vendors.
  2. Giving recommendations is a great way to get them.
  3. Set a goal to receive at least three recommendations (you can use quotes from these in cover letters or resume testimonials too).
  4. Review and approve your recommendations.

Accomplishments

  1. List awards and achievements.
  2. Add relevant affiliations (trade organization memberships, community involvement, etc.).
  3. Be conscientious about adding affiliations of a sensitive nature, i.e., politics, religion, and age.
  4. Add additional languages for which you are fluent or business proficient.

Interests

  1. If you apply with a company, follow it on LinkedIn. Also follow leading companies in your industry and local market.
  2. Educational institutions and trade organizations related to your background and profession are great to follow.
  3. Join relevant groups. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time in the groups. Most job seekers find groups more beneficial for exposure and research than networking.

Connections

  1. Send connection requests to co-workers, managers, vendors, clients, and fellow alumni.
  2. Connect with recruiters in your local market and/or niche industry.
  3. Follow or connect with influencers relevant to your industry. Caution; only connect or follow those with whom you share the same values.
  4. After an interview, send a connection request to the manager and/or HR. Use LinkedIn for research before an interview. However, use it for research not stalking!

Messaging

  1. Respond to messages from recruiters and potential employers promptly. Even if you are not interested in the position they present, send an acknowledgment.
  2. Check your settings to make sure messages are pushed to your email if you don’t log in daily.
  3. Turn on the notification to let recruiters know you are open to job opportunities (this is not visible to your network). This is one of the many options in your account settings.

Engagement

  1. Set up job alerts.
  2. Set a goal to post something relevant to your industry or companies of interest (original content or sharing/liking) at least three times per week.
  3. Avoid controversial content.
  4. Comment on relevant articles and posts. Add your expertise- tips, support, etc.
  5. Stay positive!! Don’t get sucked into polarized content. Negativity on LinkedIn WILL HURT your job search, so don’t do it!

More than 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn in the hiring process, so use it often and use it right! While that percentage varies from year-to-year, it remains a primary tool used by employers! Take advantage of the platform!

We hope you find these LinkedIn job search tips helpful. For more job search tips, follow us on social media! Need help creating a great resume or LinkedIn presence? If so, shoot us a message.

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Social Media as a Recruiting Tool

December 14, 2016 by kgworkforce

Social Media Recruiting for Job Applicants

Did you know that approximately 50% of employers use social media recruiting strategies to find, screen, and research job applicants? Depending on the study, some data reports as high as 80% of employers are implementing social media recruiting strategies in some capacity. In 2017, this is expected to become even more common.  As a job seeker, what does your social media presence say about you?  If it does not reflect the attributes you want an employer to know about you, it’s time to clean it up. Below are some easy tips:

  • Set your privacy settings to limit information seen by prospective employers.
  • Review all of your social media accounts, even the ones you no longer use.
  • Google yourself and see what comes up……this is usually a fun one. Do you like what you see? If not, fix it.
  • Remove pictures and nicknames that might not represent you in a favorable manner to a prospective employer.
  • If your job(s) or education are listed in your social media accounts, make sure the content on your social media reflects the same content on your resume.

Employer Reviews on Social Media

The use of social media by job applicants is also on the rise. Data shows that the majority of job seekers are using social media to evaluate prospective employers.  If your company does not have content on social media that is designed to attract prospective job applicants, it might be time to refresh your strategy. This is especially important for companies hiring job applicants for non-management positions, as this is the largest job seeking population using social media for employment research. Deploying social media recruiting strategies has become essential in today’s job market.

Looking for more tips for a successful job search?  If so, check out other articles at https://www.kgworkforcesolutions.com/blog/.

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