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.

 

 

The End of the Interview Questions

December 26th, 2017

You made it – the interview is closing, and you’re feeling pretty comfortable with how you did. But, there’s one last hurdle – “do you have any questions for us?”

Frankly, you need to have four or five questions ready and let the direction the interview went help you decide which one to ask. Better yet, ask two.

Here’s a list of questions that will help express your interest in the company and the job, reveal that you did your research, and give you insight into the opportunity that will hopefully be yours.

Questions that show your interest:

  • Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?
  • Beyond the hard skills required to perform this job successfully, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?
  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm.
  • Is there anyone else you would like me to meet?
  • Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?

Questions that reveal you did your research:

  • I saw that your company recently announced _______ What does this latest major development mean for the future of the company?
  • I saw on LinkedIn that you have been with the company for a while. What do you like about working here?
  • I see that ______ and _______ are your major competitors. What do consider the top three things that makes your company the best choice?
  • I read _____ (something positive) about your CEO in Business Insider. Can you tell me more about this?

Questions that give insight into the job opportunity:

  • If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?
  • Can you give me an example of how I would collaborate with my manager?
  • What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?
  • Where do you see the company in three years, and how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Revitalizing your Resume in 3 Steps

December 19th, 2017

If you want to keep growing professionally, keeping your resume cleaned up, on target, and ready to go at a moment’s notice is oh-so-crucial. Here are tips from Olympic Staffing to pull your resume together and be noticed. It’s a simple as 1 – 2 – 3.

  1. Know your career goals and ensure that your resume objective shouts it.
  2. Compose a tight, descriptive summary that covers the education, training, skills, and experience that supports your ability to reach that career goal. This is your chance to grab HR’s attention and keep them reading.
  • Cover the essentials – the information that rocks – and slash out all the fluff that everyone can do. Focus on what makes you the #1 choice for the type of position you’re seeking.
  • Give specifics – rather than say you can do such and such, give an example of how that talent made an impact in a past position.
  • Tailor your skills to align both with your goals and with the job description of the position you’re seeking. (All within the realm of honesty, of course)
  • Use power words and be unique. A little buzz is good, but too much sends your resume to the slush pile.
  1. Share your vision. It’s not just about education, skills, and experience. Share your life philosophy.
  • What’s your global view?
  • Where do you volunteer?
  • Share your thoughts in a way that expresses your personality and ideal work culture.

When you have that resume ready to go – contact Olympic Staffing.   We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

5 Overlooked Candidate Skills

August 22nd, 2017

When recruiters are trying to fill a position one of the first things they do is create a short check list of the job requirements. Things like education, experience, and demonstrated ability using specific software or tools.

Using a checklist like this is a great way to narrow down a stack of resumes, but it’s a bad way to fill a job. The best candidates need more than just the basics to be an ideal fit. Learn how to identify the traits that are the difference between an acceptable candidate and a great hire.

Wide Skill Sets

When you focus on certain specific required job skills, it can be easy to overlook everything else a candidate brings to the table. A candidate with a wide base of knowledge has a proven track record of openness to new experiences, and they have knowledge from more sources to apply to problem-solving.

Remember, after you scan the resume for prerequisites, take a minute to see what else is there and how it can apply to your company.

High Energy

High energy people get more done than low energy people. They are also more capable of functioning under the pressure of big deadlines. Jake Villareal says, “you have to hire people who can push ahead with a project when you need it the most — usually a time when it’s least convenient. During interviews, see if candidates have the tenacity necessary to perform in these situations.

Flexibility

The longer someone stays with your company, the more changes they will experience. Candidates that handle these change well are going to be a better long term fit.

Always devote time in an interview to talking about training for new skills and taking on new duties. Identify candidates who are eager to learn and adapt.

Transferable Skills

Reading a resume for skills with direct application to the task at hand is second nature for most recruiters. Sometimes the skills that don’t seem relevant at first glance are real difference makers.

Steve Leichmann talks about the way a restaurant job can prepare you to excel in other roles later in life. Any candidate you are looking at with roots in the restaurant industry understands that the core of a business is its clientele, so keeping the customer happy and coming back (i.e. acquiring regulars) benefits everyone. Your clients are happy, your business does well, and the employee earns his/her keep.”

Personality

Checking to see if a candidate has the right degree, the right amount of experience or familiarity with workplace processes is easy. Finding out if they are a personality fit is hard.

Make sure you understand the culture in the department the new hire will be working in. Finding a great personality fit is just as important as finding someone with experience using specific software.

If you are looking to hire a new employee who brings more to the table than just the basics, contact Olympic Staffing. We have the experience of sourcing candidates and pre-interviewing them to find the ones who have the basic job skills and the extra experiences that make them a real asset to your company.

Job Searching for Introverts 

October 25th, 2016

If you’re an introvert, the thought of searching for a new job may be enough to make you want to stay inside and hide all day. Don’t worry, though; there are ways for you to make the job-searching process easier on yourself so you can enjoy your alone time while being productive. Here are our tips for job searching as an introvert:

Don’t Feel Pressure to Be Extroverted.

A lot of interviewers put an emphasis on candidates being extroverted or “team players.” If this isn’t you, don’t lie to your interviewer. You have different strengths as an introvert, and if you pretend to be something you’re not, it will come out when you’re in the workforce. Furthermore, there are many ways to be an introverted team player.

Play Up Your Strengths in the Application Process.

If you aren’t extroverted, make sure to play up your strengths in the application process. If your interviewer asks if you’re a people person, you can always say something along the lines of, “I have learned a lot from working with my colleagues in the past, however, I feel as though I do my best work on my own.” Your interviewer will appreciate your insight and honesty.

Don’t Take Rejection Personally. 

If you are turned away from a job, don’t take it personally. As an introvert, you’re a very introspective individual who spends a lot of time thinking about what you could have done differently. Don’t do this to yourself; instead, spend your time thinking about what other jobs you could apply for in the future. It’s also important to realize that a job rejection could be a blessing in disguise so that you can find a better fit.

If you need help in your job search, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find jobs and interview situations that play up your introvert personality as a strength instead of weakness. We can also do a fair amount of the communication for you, so you can focus on doing what you do best instead of stressing out about social situations.