Posts Tagged 'resume writing'

Quantify Accomplishments on Your Resume to Stand Out in a Crowd

So, you are convinced that accomplishments are important for your resume? Good! The next key step is to quantify your accomplishments. The point of your resume is to entice the reader to want to know more about you. Demonstrating how you stand out in a crowd by quantifying your accomplishments is a great way to generate interest.

When you start to quantify, think about the following categories:

  • Money (especially as you saved or earned it)
  • Time (more efficient, less wasted)
  • Amounts (sales, customers, etc.)
  • Situations (fast-paced, difficult economic environment, etc.)

What do you think is more interesting or persuasive?

Before: Conducted patient interviews and managed data collection for survey.

After: Demonstrated analytical skills and cultural sensitivity as leader of team conducting, coding and verifying 1000 patient interviews using SAS in deadline-driven environment.

Before: Met all sales quotas.

After: Only salesperson to meet 100% of quotas in down-trending economic environment. Won top award for sales closed (2008).

By contextualizing what you have to offer, you help the reader gain a clear picture of your value.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Not sure how to implement good resume advice? Need some help to give your job hunt a boost? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services, including resume writing, interview preparation and job hunt coaching: www.keppiecareers.com

photo by Paul likes pics

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Accomplishments for Your Resume

Almost every resume I see reads like a laundry list of “stuff” the person has done at work. The problem is that everyone applying for the job you seek probably has a similar list of “stuff.” What makes you stand out? Why are you special – why do YOU deserve to win an interview and the job?

It certainly isn’t because you were “Responsible for” something or that you were “Recruited to” do something. A prospective employer wants to know what you’ve accomplished. What impact have you had on past employers? What obstacles did you overcome to achieve a positive result in the past?

Quintessential Careers compiled a comprehensive list of accomplishments employers seek. (Hat tip: My Career).

Describe how you:

  • Make money
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Make work easier
  • Solve a specific problem
  • Help the company become more competitive
  • Build relationships
  • Expand the business
  • Attract new customers
  • Retain existing customers

I suggest you answer the following questions:

  • What problems did you solve?
  • How did you improve your organization?
  • What innovative ideas did you introduce (and what were the positive results)?
  • How did you make a difference?

When you re-focus your resume spotlight to shine on what you have to offer instead of just listing what you’ve done, you will be much more marketable.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Not sure how to implement good resume advice? Need some help to give your job hunt a boost? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services, including resume writing, interview preparation and job hunt coaching: www.keppiecareers.com

photo by meanest Indian

Resume Tip – Be a Knight in Shining Armor!


Do you want to be a hero?

Who doesn’t want to hire a knight in shining armor, ready to take on the problems of the day?

When you focus on your resume, don’t just focus on you and what you offer. Remember to focus on the target – the potential employer. It is just as important to know what the employer wants as it is to know your own skills and accomplishments!

Figure out what problems your target organization is trying to solve. Sometimes, this is easy to discover by reading their website and job description. Other times, informational interviews and keeping up with the news of the day helps. (If the Wall Street Journal just ran an article about the organization, you’ll want to be sure to know about it!) Be sure to Google the organization; don’t just rely on what they say about themselves. What are others saying about them?

Once you know their needs, determine why and how YOU can provide the answers to their problems. Make a clear connection on your resume. Show them that you are their knight in shining armor, slaying dragons left and right.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Need help with your resume? Did you know we offer a resume consulting service? We advise, you write! Or, hire us to write your resume for you. Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by Ms. Kathleen

Should You Hire Someone to Write Your Resume?

Have you looked at your resume lately? Really looked at it with a critical eye? Does it highlight your skills and accomplishments? Or, is it a laundry list of “stuff” you’ve done? Are you sure that it demonstrates all that you have to offer a potential employer?

Sure, you’ve shown it to your friends, maybe even a colleague or two. They think it looks fine, even great! When is the last time they studied the art of resume writing? Do they realize that, in some cases, human eyes will not even see your resume until after it is screened by a computer? Did they explain that you’ll be lucky to get a 10-second glance for your resume on a first go-around?

The fact is, most people are not resume writing experts. While everyone has an opinion, we all know how useful an uninformed opinion can be.

Have you been sending your resume out but not getting any response? Blaming it on the economy or your experience level? Those factors certainly have a role, but it is more than likely that a professionally written resume would yield better results. Do you really want to face the job market with documents that are not optimized?

Many job seekers don’t stop to consider how much money a less-than-optimal resume costs them. Consider, if you are unemployed, how much money do you lose for every day that you are out of work? If your resume isn’t top-notch, you may not appear qualified for the salary that you seek or deserve. A professionally written resume will help shorten your job search and may qualify you for a higher salary. Your return on investment in yourself may pay off substantially!

Does everyone need to hire someone to write their resume? No, I don’t think so. If you are a great writer and have kept up with resume trends, understand how to focus the reader on the key points and can objectively assess your document to ensure that you aren’t letting misplaced modesty prevent you from incorporating your very best accomplishments, you might be a great candidate for writing your own resume.

On the other hand, who has the energy or the inclination to keep up with “resume-ology?” I do! Helping people successfully navigate their job hunt is my passion. I keep up with the market, learn about new technology and approaches and stay plugged in because you don’t have the time, expertise or desire to do it.

Do you want to achieve your career goals and save money? Your career is one of your most crucial financial investments. Whether you are actively engaged in a search, underemployed or unhappily employed, it makes sense to hire an ally for your job hunt. An ally tells it like it is and helps you get where you need to be. Are you committed to discovering what you have to offer an employer? If you are motivated to make a change, Keppie Careers is here for you!

For more resume advice from my blog, click here.

If you’d like a free assessment of your resume, feel free to email it to results@keppiecareers.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Visit Keppie Careers online for free advice and information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by mailophobia

Get Organized for Your Job Hunt

So, maybe you have a great resume or are on your way to having one? You know what you’re looking for, you are keeping track of your contacts and are up-to-date with your follow-ups.

Does that sound like you? The well-oiled organized job searching machine?

No? You’re the job seeker lost in a sea of papers who can’t remember what job you applied for last? If you had to pinpoint your next scheduled follow-up date or walk the plank, you might actually be eaten by alligators? (Or would it be crocodiles?)  Do you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels, but you don’t seem to get anywhere? You’d like to believe that setting goals and writing them down will help you achieve them, but you know there is something else in your way.

That something most likely is an organizational plan. Last week, I wrote about making time to manage your digital footprint, setting goals, keeping track of your contacts and managing your job hunt and career.

This week’s theme is getting organized to help you get where you need to go. First things first: organize your desk. I can tell you from personal experience – although it may seem like an overwheming job, it is so worth it to tackle the clutter that is keeping you from being productive.

Eve Tahmincioglu, who writes about career issues for MSNBC.com, recently focused  on the issue of clutter in the workplace and pointed out that, in today’s culture of downsizings, employees should avoid having the desk that looks like a tornado just struck. She quotes expert Karissa Thacker, a workplace psychologist, who cautions, “You don’t want to be sticking out as having the most Frappuccinos on your desk.”

The bumper sticker saying, “A clean desk is a sign of a deranged mind” is cute, but the fact is, most people who see a tower of tumbling papers and evidence of what you’ve eaten for the past week (month?) on your desk are going to assume you’re a slob, and slobs don’t usually have reputations for productivity.

So – as a job seeker AND an employee, an organized desk is a good idea. (Especially if you are an employee who doesn’t want to become a job seeker against your will!)

Stay tuned for tips to keep your desk in job seeking/productive employee shape! (And for more advice and tools to help you manage your job hunt.)

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Keppie Careers will get you organized for your job hunt and help you every step of the way! From a great resume to step-by-step job hunting assistance – Keppie Careers is here for you! www.keppiecareers.com.

Photo by Arellis49

Soft Skills Get the Green Light at B-Schools

The April 7 issue of BusinessWeek reminds job seekers that “soft skills”  are important and valued in the workplace.   (Note:  my search for a link to this story reveals that an expanded version appeared online.)

Business schools, including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, the University of Virginia and Babson College are offering management communications classes to teach “soft skills,” such as teamwork and leadership.  Courses such as theatre are intended to enhance communication skills, build confidence and foster team building, all important managerial traits.

You can bet that top business schools would not spend their time teaching Shakespeare  if employers weren’t seeking these important job skills.  Don’t overlook your emotional intelligence.  Highlight skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership in your resume and demonstrate how you have been successful using them!

Keppie Careers will help you highlight all of your key skills with a top-notch resume.  We advise, encourage and enlighten job seekers:  www.keppiecareers.com

Thinking of Looking for Your Second Job?

In a recent piece for the online Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Garone raised some key points for those who are considering making the move to their second job.  Of note:

Update your resume and interview style. It sounds like a given, but a first-timer’s resume is likely to list internships and college leadership roles. Now you’ve got experience and you’ll need to make sure it shows. “The resume definitely needs to change to emphasize your accomplishments,” says [career and life coach] Mr. Steve Piazzale. …Your resume bullet points should demonstrate how you used your skills to solve problems and produce value at that first job. “With a first job under your belt, you can also use them as stories of value during interviews,” offers Mr. Piazzale.

This advice is key.  So many people forget that the resume they used right out of school isn’t going to be the right choice now that they have actual “work experience.” 

I’ve been asked to be a featured expert reviewer on the resume review site razume.com.  This site offers job seekers the opportunity to post their resume and request advice from the Razume community.  Anyone can offer a critique or post a resume for free.  Resume posters delete their personal information and select a user name so resumes are anonymous.  This is a great service for those who want to request feedback from trusted friends or relatives around the country; job seekers can post resumes and advisers can use a series of useful online tools to make comments and suggestions.

Many users of this site are seeking their second jobs.  A significant number of these job seekers fail to move their “Education” section to the bottom of their resume once they have a position and enough experience under their belt (and no specific reason to keep Education on top).  Many also still list their high school diploma, even when they have a bachelor’s degree. 

School activities and awards also play a prominent role in razume’s unrevised resumes.   For a first job out of school, these may be valuable and important.  After that point, some very prominent awards may remain on the resume, but college awards should not be a main focus of the resume beyond the first job.

There is no fail safe “one size fits all” advice for resume writers, but most job seekers will want to make these changes and more to their job seeking documents before seeking their next job.  Otherwise, they will appear less experienced than they may be and jeopardize their chances for an interview.

Keppie Careers will help you update your resume.  We also offer mock interviews to help you get market ready!  www.keppiecareers.com


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