Proofreading Your Resume

March 20th, 2018

Last week we discussed how to create a winning resume.  The final step, polishing your resume via a thorough proofing is so critical that we decided to focus an entire blog on it.

Begin with a break. Yes, you finally finished creating this oh-so-important document. Now put it down for a couple of days. If you read it immediately, your eyes will “read” what your brain knows you meant and can easily miss errors.

The break is over. Print your resume out – seeing it in different format helps your eyes to see mistakes, and then read it out loud. Hearing what you wrote is a great way to catch those common mistakes – like writing “you’re” instead of “your.” Read it slowly – line by line, word by word. You’ll be more apt to catch an error. Reading it backward is another trick.

Be on the lookout for these common resume mistakes.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors – the #1 way to kill your resume. This includes:
  • Homophones, such as two, to, too
  • Using and for an
  • Apostrophe errors
  • Subject and verb agreement
  • Using the wrong tense
  • Inconsistent formatting. Follow the same pattern of indents, bullets, highlights, etc. throughout your document.
  • Information overload – limit your content to what’s relevant.
  • Wordiness – if a section is too long, try to reduce it 10% and then reduce again – concise content with power words pack a powerful punch.
  • An objective or summary that fails to match the job description.
  • Telling (presenting a list) rather than showing (documenting with specifics).

Don’t depend on your eyes alone – have a colleague check it too. Consider using a reliable online program, or better yet, a professional service.

Finally, your resume is finished, proofed, and ready to go. There’s one more crucial step.

Follow directions on where/when/how to submit your resume for a specific position.

Your resume shows how much your road to professional success matters to you – or doesn’t. It reveals your more than your skills and experience. It also indicates essential character traits, such as diligence and commitment to detail.  Following the resume-building steps in last week’s blog and taking time to proofread will help you create a winning resume every time.

Don’t forget – bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.


 

Winning Resumes

March 13th, 2018

Creating a winning resume isn’t easy – in fact, it’s downright challenging. On the other hand, the payback is terrific. Taking time to perfect our resume may very well be the boost your job search needs. These tips will help you get it accomplished.

Getting Started

There’s more than one way around the mountain – so choose the best way for your education, skill set, and work history.

  • Chronological: A fact-based resume listing your employment history (and corresponding accomplishments) in order from most recent to past.
  • Functional: Highlights abilities (with corresponding positions) instead of work history. Present your skills by category – in order of relevance, rather than by a timeline of accomplishments.
  • Combination: This combines functional and chronological by first highlighting your most pertinent skills/experience, followed by a chronological work history.
  • Targeted: Tailors any of the above types to a specific position. Customizing resume’s bullet points and skills to the job position, using keywords from the job description and rearranging resume’s sections to highlight your most relevant experience. Targeted resumes take time, but it pays off – especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

Choose a font that is easy to read – this is not the place to get creative and quirky – unless you’re applying for a position where creative and quirky are crucial aspects, such as graphic design.

Make contacting you simple. Include all – yes all – of your contact information.

  • Full name, street address, city, state, and zip.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • LinkedIn profile or professional website or blog – if you have them.

Getting Your Point Across

Don’t think of your resume as a “list” your skills, experience, and education. Think of it as an advertisement – you are convincing a company to choose your product – YOU.

  • Back up your skills with specific accomplishments that demonstrate those skills. Use power verbs to describe those accomplishments -quantify whenever possible – numbers talk!
  • Provide specific examples that highlight your leadership skills and present evidence that you’re a team player.
  • Include any awards or recognitions you have received for accomplishments directly and loosely related to your industry – or to skills that are pertinent to the position.
  • Show how you have continued to learn and grow. In addition to certifications you’ve earned, include industry-related seminars, conferences, etc. that you have attended – anything that contributed to your professional development.
  • Include a bulleted list of core competencies – customize it to keywords and phrases from a general job description for your industry or, better yet, to a specific job description when targeting your resume.

Polish Before Submitting

Don’t skip the final step – Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.  We’ll show you how in next week’s blog.

Bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

 

Your Company & Diversity

January 23rd, 2018

Every company says they support diversity, but how many are taking specific steps to make it happen. Are you? Let’s talk about how – but first, let’s share a little light on why you need diversity in your company.

Companies who encourage diversity – hiring based on skills, experience, personality, rather than gender, ethnicity, or lifestyle – reap in multiple ways.

  • A broader base of talent encourages more open-minded learning, which in turn, means increased innovation and effective decision-making.
  • Expanded recruiting opportunities, including improved attraction and retention rates, and broader talent pool, which turns into more productive, smarter teams. In other words, you now have a definite competitive edge when it comes to hiring.
  • Strong employee relationships and improved company culture, all which leads to increased company attractiveness and employee loyalty.
  • An increased market reach – due to your expanded awareness of trends for varying demographics, which means happier, more satisfied customers who keep coming back.
  • An improved and notable reputation with both employees and colleagues, as well as clients.
  • Improved bottom line – all of the above means a growing, healthy, and stable bottom line.

Ok – there’s a packet of reasons to build diversity, but how do you make it happen?

  • Be intentional about breaking stereotyping. You may think you don’t have a bias or preconceived ideas, but when we dig beneath the surface, most of us do – we have to choose to change our thought patterns.
  • Build a diverse network. Connecting with different organizations, and attending various conferences will connect you to a broader spectrum of talent.
  • Change your tactics when recruiting. Focus on top talent in skills – both hard and soft, experience, cultural vibes – rather than gender, ethnicity, lifestyle choices, etc. It will not only bring diversity into your company; it will give you the competitive edge of a more in-depth talent pool. Ideally, your work team should represent the full diversity of your customer base.
  • Start a pattern of not only accepting diversity but embracing it. Start at the top – what management does is much more influential than what management When you create a diverse team for a company project, encourage feedback and lively exchanges of ideas, promote by merit, express appreciation for every job well done, your employees will soon pick up on the idea that everyone has value and potential. And if someone doesn’t – it’s time for some private dialogue and laying out of your expectations. Don’t let a few ruin the whole.
  • Present opportunities for employees to express themselves.The best way to encourage innovation and fresh ideas is to provide a safe atmosphere for sharing. Respect differing viewpoints and promote a healthy exchange of perspectives. Foster group problem-solving.

Of course, there are more ideas afloat on how to build diversity, but the critical key is simple – do it!

Looking for help in building a diverse workforce? Contact our team at Olympic Staffing. We do more than fill positions. As your strategic partner, we craft solutions designed to increase your productivity and profitability. Contact us today.

Personality Traits that Impress Employers  

January 16th, 2018

Getting a job and keeping a job isn’t just about your skills and experience – even in a healthy market. Prospective employers dig deeper – yes, they want the skills and experience, but they are also looking for personality traits that will help their business grow. Do you have what it takes?

Professionalism

Professionalism is a pillar to success in the workforce. Employers are looking for candidates who present themselves professionally in every way. They know how to dress appropriately for the position. They can be depended on to do their work well and on time. They have mastered the art of communication – connecting with others, treating everyone with respect, abstaining from foul language, etc. Professionalism includes keeping the company’s reputation in mind when interacting with customers.  And one more thing – don’t throw professionalism away when it comes to social media.

 Interpersonal Skills

The ability to be a team player who can work well with diverse groups of people in a variety of situations. Being someone who can be counted on not only keep the peace but also to understand the art and value of a healthy debate – and the time and place.

Self-Motivation

Do we have to say more? Can you be counted on to get up and get there – on time – every day. Do you fulfill your job plus a little? Can you perceive what needs to be accomplished and do it? Yes, being able to receive instruction and willing to follow orders is critical, but so is being an initiator – someone the boss can depend on to keep going on their own, solving problems as they arise.

Flexibility

Everybody wants flexibility – they want the freedom to balance their work against their lifestyle, family, and other commitments, but your employer wants flexibility too. Change is a constant – they need employees who can bend in the wind when problems arise, change direction when necessary, and even fill a different role than their job description defines.

Aptitude and Desire for Learning

Employers want, and need, staff members who don’t remain happy with status quo but are consistently learning and growing, developing themselves professionally.

 Confidence

Do you have the confidence you need to do the work? If there’s a glitch, do you dig in and find the problem, consider your options, and present a solution, confident that you can complete the project?

Teachable and able to teach

Are you willing to learn from others, to receive instruction – including from someone younger? Are you ready to be mentored and coached when necessary? On the other hand, can you step in and teach/mentor someone else. Can you help them land on their feet in a new role?

Bring your winning personality traits to Olympic Staffing. Together we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, work experience, and yes your winning personality. We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities. Helping you achieve your career goals is our priority. Contact us today.