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The Recruiting Blog of KG Workforce Solutions.

5 Must-Haves for Every Resume

October 10, 2018 by KG Workforce Solutions

Most hiring managers and recruiters will spend 6-8 seconds reviewing a resume, largely due to the volume of resumes they receive. On average, managers and recruiters receive more than 250 resumes per job opening. So how do you craft a resume that stands out from the other 249 applicants and gets the attention of the manager or recruiter?  By treating your resume like a marketing tool and giving managers and recruiters what they want! 

Our Top 5 must-haves for any resume.

Keyword Optimization

Many resumes are never seen by a hiring manager or recruiter because they are deemed “unqualified” by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS automatically scans resumes that are submitted online and identifies keywords that are relevant and required for a specific position. It is imperative that you use the RIGHT words, and with enough frequency and variation, to get past the ATS. If your resume does not pass the ATS review, the hiring manager or recruiter will likely never look at it.

Clearly Identified Key Information

There are a few items that almost all hiring officials skim for during the initial resume review. These include dates of employment, job titles, past and current employers, your name, and your contact information. If these things are difficult to find on your resume, you can expect your resume to quickly be thrown in the trash pile.

Accomplishments

Hiring managers and recruiters want to know that you have not only performed certain duties, but that you performed them well. If your resume does not have obvious accomplishments that jump off the page, you are not likely to get much of their time. Make sure to include accomplishments, quantifiable or data-driven if possible, and not just tasks in your resume.

Readability

Resumes that contain too much information, look cluttered, and are difficult to read are not going to get a good review. Hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of resumes a day and won’t waste time on a resume that is difficult to read. Ensure adequate white space, use different font size or features to section off your resume and highlight your accomplishments, and write content in bullets instead of lengthy paragraphs.

Error Free

Even though most managers and recruiters don’t read every word of a resume, it is critical to have an error-free resume. If during a skim of your resume, a recruiter or hiring manager spots a spelling or grammar error, your resume will most likely be added to the trash pile instead of the interview pile.

Remember, a resume is a marketing tool to land you an interview. It should be unique, appropriate for its audience, and sell your best features! You only get one chance to make a good first impression and your resume is that chance when you are a job seeker.

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Are You Prepared for a New Job When Opportunity Knocks?

August 17, 2017 by KG Workforce Solutions

Opportunity can knock on your door at any time. Are you keeping your information up-to-date so you can be ready to jump into a job search or apply for an unexpected opportunity? If not, should you be?

Many people make job changes when they are not on the market or actively looking for a new position. Maybe another parent at a little league game tells you about the perfect opportunity at his company, or you stumble upon the perfect job posting while perusing your social media for the latest shoe sales. Many opportunities don’t stay open long, so even if you are not in the market for a new job, you should always be New Job Ready!

Follow these quick and easy tips to ensure that you can quickly apply to a great opportunity at any time. Don’t let the perfect job pass you by because you are not New Job Ready!

Tips to be ready for a new job in a hurry!

  • Make a note of any significant accomplishments as they happen. You can use an email folder, a notepad, or anything else you can quickly access for reference.
  • Limit controversial content on your social media so your Internet presence is ready to be seen by a potential employer at any time.
  • Have at least two professional references who are willing to speak on your behalf at any time, even with limited notice. Make sure to keep their contact information updated and handy!
  • Save an electronic version of your resume in at least two places. Make updates to your resume at least once a year to minimize the amount of time it will take you to send a resume upon request. At a minimum, update  job titles, employment dates, company names, and at least one accomplishment.

Visit the KG Blog or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for more employment related information.

Resume Verb Use….Not all Verbs are Created Equally in Resume Writing!

August 1, 2016 by kgworkforce

So you have finally started your job search and are diligently working on your resume.  You know your resume is more than an iteration of your employment history.  You know your resume is a marketing tool that sells you. You also know that a resume can make or break your chances of getting an interview.

So do you also know that all verbs are not created equally?  That’s right, a verb is not a verb.  To write a compelling resume, you have to write a story that demonstrates more than a list of tasks. It must reflect your accomplishments and stand apart from the hundreds of other resumes that are being reviewed.

To demonstrate this point, read the below excerpt from a resume:

  • Led a sales team that was rated number one in the company for their increased market share in Q2 for product XYZ
  • Led training sessions and helped develop team’s sales and negotiating skills
  • Managed territory routing and workload distribution
  • Responsible for ensuring quotas were met and revenue targets were achieved

What is wrong with this? Technically, nothing. The better question is “what is special about this”?  The answer, nothing!

Now read the below resume excerpt:

  • Orchestrated training in Q1 2016 that was focused on sales tactics and negotiation skills for the product XYZ team, which earned the highest market share growth for Q2 2016 out of 200 sales teams within the company
  • Engineered territory routing that balanced team workload and improved efficiency which enabled the sales team to maximize coverage and exceed revenue targets

Both excerpts say the same thing, but the second excerpt paints a picture of what the candidate did and what that resulted in for the company. Using powerful verbs and tying those verbs to a result or accomplishment is critical in writing an effective resume. If you struggle to identify meaningful verbs that allow you to connect your tasks to results, below are tips.

Common Resume Verb Substitutes

Instead of Led, try one of these verbs:

Spearheaded, Steered, Guided, Mentored, Consulted, Chaired

Instead of Created, try one of these verbs:

Engineered, Pioneered, Assembled, Orchestrated, Synthesized, Established, Prototyped

Struggling to find words that demonstrate an accomplishment? Try one of these verbs:

Standardized, Enhanced, Regulated, Accelerated, Awarded, Earned, Boosted, Attained, Energized, Capitalized

Not sure how to demonstrate your effective communications skills without saying “effective communicator”?  Try incorporating one of these verbs:

Corresponded, Collaborated, Campaigned, Presented, Illustrated, Influenced, Authored, Publicized

There are endless powerful words that can be used to reflect your skills and experience. In addition to the suggested verbs above, don’t forget that there are many other verbs not listed in this article. Know how to find them? Use a thesaurus. One of the most underutilized tools in resume writing is the thesaurus.  Most resumes are written using a data processing software with a built-in thesaurus.

After each bullet on your resume, ask yourself “why did I do this” or “what was the result of this”. This will help you draw accomplishments out of your tasks so you can create a story with your resume and not just a list of tasks.

Follow us on Twitter @kgworksoln every Tuesday for more resume tips and every Wednesday for interview tips. Ready to start interviewing and understanding how to answer tough interview questions, such as What is Your Greatest Weakness? You can also check us out on LinkedIn for even more tips on your job search.

What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

July 1, 2016 by kgworkforce

Frustrated Interviewee

You’re in an interview and it’s going well. You’re qualified and you’ve impressed them so far. You’re thinking you have this in the baguntil the interviewer asks, “What’s your greatest weakness?” Your mind goes blank, an awkward silence sets in, and you feel yourself begin to sweat. What do you do?!

“What is your greatest weakness?” is one of the most dreaded, yet common, interview questions. Understanding why employers ask this question and being prepared to answer the question are critical to a successful interview.

Why do employers ask this question? Do they really think they will get an honest and insightful answer? Yes, they do. Employers want to know the good and the bad about applicants so they can make the best hiring decision possible. It also provides a prospective employer the opportunity to see how a job applicant responds to a question that intentionally makes them a little uncomfortable. Many times, the employer is just as concerned with HOW you answer this question as they are with WHAT your answer is.

So how do you answer this question? First, you prepare. This question is intended to throw you off your game. But since it is one of the most common interview questions, there is no excuse for letting it stump you. Use this question to help separate you from other candidates by having an insightful, honest, and memorable response. Avoid the most common answers to this question. The clichéd responses include “I am a perfectionist”, “I am too critical of my work”, and “I don’t think I have a weakness”. Even if these clichés are true for you, this is not how you want to respond. EVERYONE has a weakness!

This simple formula will help you conquer this question like a pro:

Declaration + Example + Accomplishment

Declaration: Explain your weakness in an honest, concise form. For example, “I like to help people and it is hard for me to say no sometimes.”

Example: Provide an example that is concise and business related. For example, “Early in my career, when I was working at (Company), I was sitting at my desk one night wrapping up a presentation for a huge sales meeting the next day. I was thinking to myself, why am I still working on this at 9 pm the night before the presentation? That’s when I realized that I had to start telling people no. I had taken on so many special projects that week that I was just overloaded.”

Tough Interview

Accomplishment: Turn the weakness into an accomplishment or positive. For example, “I still love being the go-to person who everyone trusts to do whatever is needed to get the job done. And I still do whatever it takes to get the job done. But I have learned that I can only do so much without sacrificing quality or missing deadlines. Now when someone asks if I can take on a special project or just quickly pull together that report they want ASAP, I really think about it before I say yes. And if I don’t have time, I am confident enough to openly discuss my concerns. I used to think saying no was a sign of weakness, but as I have matured in my career, I have learned that not being able to say no is actually the weakness.”

Have at least two responses prepared for this question and practice delivering your response ahead of time. You may feel silly, but it is much better to feel silly practicing your answers alone or with a friend than in person during a real interview.

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