Home » Blog » resume writing

Tag: resume writing

What is Resume Strategy Planning?

What is resume strategy planning and is it really necessary? I mean, it’s easy enough to find free resume templates on the internet, and it’s easy to fill them in with your work history and educational background. So, that’s it, right? Your resume is done. You’ve written it yourself, there’s no need to consult a professional resume writer when doing it yourself is this simple. At first glance, it looks professional enough. Now it’s time to start sending it out.

Days pass. Weeks pass. Months pass. You’ve sent out that resume to 100s of employers, applying to every job you are even remotely qualified for. Still nothing. No interviews. No job offers. Nothing.

So, what went wrong? Your resume strategy was lacking. Your only plan was to fill out a basic template you found for free online. This is the same strategy that thousands of other applicants also used. the end result is that you don’t stand out to a hiring manager. At all.

What is Resume Strategy Planning?Resume Strategy Planning

Resume strategy planning is the process of finding job postings you are interested in, determining whether or not you are qualified for those jobs, and then, if you’re highly qualified, tailoring your resume to set you apart as an ideal candidate. This involves much more than using a free resume template and filling it in. Like any piece of writing, your resume needs a strategy. Remember in elementary school when you were first learning how to write? Your teacher probably told you that your writing always needs to be focused. Sentences need to be complete thoughts, paragraphs need to focus on a main idea, essays need to have a consistent theme throughout, etc. Resume writing is no different.

When we work on writing resumes for our clients, we use a unique resume strategy planning process that ensures your resume sets you apart from other job candidates. A resume strategy helps us focus your resume on the specific job you are most interested in and best qualified for. How do we do this? Before we begin writing, we ask questions about your work history. Not basic questions, but questions that will help us understand in-depth details about what you have done and how your past experience relates to the job you are currently seeking. The questions we ask help us quantify what you have done so that it makes a strong impression on hiring managers. We ask questions about things you might not have even realized are relevant to your current job search.

Why is Resume Strategy Planning Important?

When you skip the strategy planning process, you end up with a generic, often boring and unimpressive resume. Hiring managers only interview the candidates that most closely fit the requirements they are looking for. Going through the planning process before writing your resume helps identify all of your experience and accomplishments that are going to stand out the most to the person hiring for the job that you want.

Do All Professional Resume Writing Companies Do This?

No. Unfortunately, many don’t. Often, even professional resume companies don’t want to take the time to complete the resume strategy planning process before writing your resume. Spending more time working with the client means they ultimately make less money. It can be tempting to skip it, but when it is done properly, it can significantly reduce the time you spend searching for a new job and applying to jobs that aren’t even interested in calling you in for an interview.

If you’re ready for a resume that sets you apart from the competition, let us know, we’re ready to help!

Military to Civilian Resume Writing: How to Overcome the Biggest Challenges

Creating an effective military to civilian resume is filled with a host of unique challenges. We can help. Here are some tips to help make sure your military to civilian resume will help you get a new job.military to civilian resume

Military to Civilian Resumes Need to Use Civilian Language

The military essentially has its own language. The same is true of civilian employers. So, if you want your resume to impress a civilian hiring manager, it needs to be written in a way that makes sense to them. Start by spelling out all acronyms (or, leaving them out altogether if possible). Try to think back to your days before joining the military. Remember all of the words and phrases that seemed confusing when you first joined? Leave them out of your resume.

Show Your Value

When you describe your experience, think about it in terms of the value you provided. There are some things that are valuable both in the military and civilian world. For instance, did you find a way to increase efficiency and cut costs? If so, make sure to highlight that because those are things that are valuable to civilian employers. Did you improve the effectiveness of a process or procedure? That’s valuable too. While the specific details of what you did might not translate well into civilian terms, the underlying value often does. So, make sure the focus is on that underlying value.

Find Common Ground

Military personnel, in general, often have a wealth of soft skills that are highly desirable to civilian companies. Strong work ethic, leadership skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure are all valuable traits. The trick is to show these on your resume rather than just listing them. Adding soft skills to a skills list or core competencies section is not recommended, but demonstrating them is. In your experience section, give clear examples of how you used these skills in your daily activities.

Resume writing can be overwhelming for anyone, and it can be especially daunting when trying to shift from a military career to a civilian one. At Loud Resumes, we have experience creating effective military to civilian resumes. We would love to help you make the transition as smooth as possible. We offer a 10% discount to all those who have served in the military (use discount code: Military2018). If you are a disabled/recently separated vet, contact us for an additional discount.

5 Benefits of Hiring Professional Resume Writer

Professional Resume Writer

Hiring a professional resume writer might seem like a big expense, but the rewards are worth it (and, in many cases, it’s a tax write off).

Professional Resume Writers Write Resume For a Living

This might seem like a “no-brainer” kind of statement, but think about it for a moment. If you want someone to fix your pipes, you hire a plumber because that’s what they do for a living. The same thing goes when you want someone to prepare your taxes, or fix the wiring in your house. You hire a professional who has spent years learning how to do what they do, and who spends every day using those skills. You hire these people because they know more about their trade than you do.

In many cases, professional resume writers know more about writing resumes than most people. It is their business to know the current industry standards. They know which formats look professional and make it through applicant tracking system (ATS) scans. They know how to help you get hired faster.

So, let’s take a look at the benefits that these writers provide:

Job Search Expertise

Professional resume writers help you identify jobs that you are well-qualified related to your career interests. Many job seekers often take the approach of applying for “every job under the sun.” Casting a wide net may seem like a good idea, but, as with many things in life, quality matters more than quantity in your job search. The first step is to find the right job postings. It always helps to have someone with a fresh perspective look at your qualifications and compare them to your target job to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for failure by applying to jobs you are significantly under-qualified for.

Identifying Your Greatest Value

Resume writers help uncover your true value as an employee so that it can shine through on your resume. They go over your experience with a fine-toothed comb and ask probing questions about things you have done. This process helps identify your accomplishments, even when you’re not in an “accomplishment-driven” field like sales. Finding the key contributions you have made in your previous jobs makes it possible to highlight them properly on your resume.

Targeting Your Resume to the Job Description

Professional resume writers are masters at targeting your resume so that it is not overlooked by hiring managers. They help position you as a top candidate by highlighting your most relevant experience and accomplishments. They will make sure that every detail of your resume is focused on the goal.

Eliminating “Red Flags”

Resume writers know what to include and what NOT to include on your resume. They are aware of all of the “red flags” that cause hiring managers to pass over job candidates. They know how to minimize the damage of things like job hopping and employment gaps while highlighting your value as an employee.

Writing Expertise

Often, how you say something is just as important as what you say. Professional resume writers, first and foremost, are professional writers. Writing is what they do for a living, so they know how to make your job history come alive. They also stay current with industry standards and ensure that your resume is as professional as possible. Error-free writing is essential if you want to be taken seriously by a hiring manager, so they proofread all of your documents for you. That means you can send your resume out with complete confidence.

Are you ready to hire a professional resume writer to help you get more interviews? Check out the resume packages we have available, or email us with any questions you have about the process!

Why Isn’t Your Resume Getting You Interviews?

 

Maybe you believe there’s nothing wrong with your resume. Maybe you’re right. If your resume is getting you the interviews and job offers for positions you actually want, then, you’re probably right.

Resume ProblemsBut, if your resume is not getting you those interviews and job offers, then odds are that there is something wrong. So, how do you begin to fix a broken resume? First, you have to recognize what’s wrong with it. There are a plethora of potential problems, but if you have already made sure you are avoiding the really obvious mistakes (unprofessional email, starting every bullet point with “responsible for”, etc.) then what else could it be?

More often than not, if you have used a professional format and there are no egregious grammar errors, your resume is being passed over because it isn’t closely aligned with the job posting or the company itself. Are you using the same resume for every job under the sun? If so, there’s your problem. While it’s great to have a base resume to work with, it is essential to tailor it specifically towards every single position to which you apply. Sometimes this means only making minor changes, while other times, it can mean nearly a complete rewrite.

Tailoring your resume to your audience (the hiring manager for a specific job posting) is essential.

OK, so how do you tailor a resume towards a specific job position? First, do some research. Read, and reread the job posting several times. As you read it, make a list of specific skills or experience that the company is looking for in their ideal job candidate. For each of those skills or areas of experience, make a list of things you have done that clearly demonstrate your skills and experience in those areas. If you find that you can’t clearly demonstrate more than half of those, you’re probably not a good candidate for the position. You’ll likely be up against candidates who are able to demonstrate their experience in most of those key areas, which greatly reduces the chances of you being called for an interview. If this was your absolute dream job, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never get hired for it, but it does mean that, if you are serious about wanting it, you’ll take the time to find ways to gain the needed skills before trying to apply for it. This might mean taking a different position as a stepping-stone to your dream job, or it could mean going back to school.

Once you have established that you really are applying for a position that you are highly qualified for, you need to present your experience in a way that makes this clear to the hiring manager. Take that list that you made earlier describing precisely how you meet the qualifications and make sure that these points are on your resume. When you are arranging the bullet points on your resume describing each position you have held, make sure that the ones that are most relevant to the position you are applying for are listed first. This brings them to the attention of the hiring manager.

Think about what is most important to the hiring manager.

Now it is time to write your summary statement. Before beginning, do some research into the company as a whole. This will help you set the tone of the summary statement (and your cover letter). In your summary statement, highlight the qualifications that you have that are most desired by the company in the position you are seeking.

Under your summary statement, include a core competencies section. List the keywords from the job description that match experience that you have. Place the most important keywords first so that hiring managers can easily find them. Make sure that the keywords you list here are clearly demonstrated in the experience section of your resume; otherwise, this section is a waste of space and is seen as “fluff” by hiring managers.

We use this procedure for every resume we write and it greatly increases the number of interviews and job offers received. Want to know how your resume stacks up against the competition? Send it over for a free resume review!

What Went Wrong on Dazzlecloud’s Resume?

Colorful is not the way to go…

Dazzlecloud’s resume told the hiring manager that she was conceited, wasteful, and cared only about her wants rather than the company’s needs. How could this have been avoided? The first mistake that Dazzlecloud made was using a colorful resume template. While a little color can sometimes be a good thing, large, colorful headers aren’t the way to go, especially if the hiring manager is going to be the one who prints it off. Choose a template that is professional and easy to read, rather than one that looks like it is trying too hard to draw attention. (Dazzlecloud also chose to center everything on her resume, which meant that she had bullet points all over the place, leaving her resume looking unprofessional and hard to read.)

Objective statements are a thing of the past…

The next major problem with Dazzlecloud’s resume was the use of an objective statement. Objective statements are a thing of the past because they focus solely on what the job candidate wants rather than showing what the job candidate has to offer the company. Use a summary statement instead. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself while highlighting the value you can bring to the position and to the company.

Longer isn’t better…

Finally, make sure that your resume is an appropriate length. Generally speaking, longer isn’t better. For a student or recent graduate with only a couple of years of work experience, keep it to a single page. If you have been working for more than five years AND have enough relevant experience to justify using two pages, then use two pages. Don’t feel the need to include every detail of every job you’ve ever held–focus on only including the experience that shows how you can be a valuable employee to this company in this role (this means tailoring your resume to each position you apply for).

Want to know what your resume is saying about you? Send it over and we’ll review it for free.

How to Create an Effective Resume

As a professional resume writer, I hear all the time from clients that, “I’ll start my job search as soon as I have my resume written.” That sounds like a great way to do things, right? I mean, you need to have a resume in order to apply for jobs when you find them, so it seems logical to write the resume before beginning the job search. But, how do you write a resume that says, “Hire me, I am the perfect fit for the position at your company!” if you don’t know what position or company you are aiming for? What ultimately ends up happening in this situation is that you end up with a generic resume that doesn’t really stand out to anyone. Then, you wonder why you’re never getting called back for any interviews, and you quickly get discouraged in your job search, wondering why no one is impressed with you.

Job Search

So, should you not even bother thinking about your resume until after you have found positions that you are interested in? Not exactly. It is a good idea to create a generic resume before beginning your job search. Why? Because it helps you identify your skills and interests and can help guide your job search. But, that generic resume should not be the one you actually send out after you find the position you want.

After Your Job Search, Identify Your Strengths

After you find a position, go back to that generic resume and tailor it to the specific job posting. How do you do that? First, go through the job posting and making a list of keywords that describe the job duties and requirements of the position. Then make a list of specific experience that you have related to each of those duties and requirements. While you might not have specific experience related to every single keyword on your list, it is important to make sure that you have experience in more than half of them. If you demonstrate your qualifications, then it will be hard to convince a hiring manager that you are actually qualified for the job.

Leave Off Details That Are Not Relevant

Now go back to your generic resume. Begin with the Experience section. For each job in that section, make sure that the duties/responsibilities that most closely match the keywords on your list are the first bullet points listed. If you have several bullet points that describe duties or responsibilities that are not on your keyword list, consider leaving many of them off — hiring managers are most interested in how you can meet the specific role that you are applying for, and having a lot of information on your resume that does not relate to the position can be seen as a waste of their time.

Quantify Your Experience

After adding bullet points related to the job posting wherever possible in your Experience section, take another look at these bullet points. For each bullet point, try to answer the questions, “How many?” “How much?” “How often?” to quantify your experience. Also ask yourself, “how did this benefit the company? What value did I bring to the company?” Answering these questions will help you write bullet points that show how valuable you are as an employee, giving hiring managers a reason to invest in you.

Highlight Your Qualifications in Your Career Summary

The Experience section of your resume is your opportunity to show that you have the experience the hiring manager is looking for, but it is not the only part of your resume that needs to be tailored to the specific job position. The Career Summary at the top of your resume is also a great place to highlight your value. From the job posting, what appears to be most important to this company? Which skills and experience do they stress most? Those things should be included in your Career Summary section. Directly below your Career Summary, include a Core Competency section using words from your keyword list. This helps applicant tracking systems see that you have the necessary experience for the job.

If you take the time to tweak your resume specifically for each job position you are interested in, it shows hiring managers that you are serious about wanting THIS job. Hiring managers don’t want someone who is applying to everything under the sun. They want someone who is excited about their company. Show that you truly want this job. This will help you get the interviews and job offer you are hoping for.

Want help creating a resume that will get you more interviews? Let us help! Find the perfect resume package to meet your needs.

What Went Wrong on Izetta’s Resume?

Izetta had 15 years of experience as a chief executive officer in the healthcare field, which should have made it easy for her to get the interview for the position, but her resume landed in the trash instead. What went wrong? Isn’t it enough to have the right experience in the right field? Having the right experience is critical, but that experience doesn’t do you much good unless you clearly show the hiring manager your experience and the VALUE you can bring to the company. Izetta listed her experience and briefly described some of her job duties in her last position, but she failed to show the true benefits of the work she had done in the past. Just showing up for work every day and performing your basic job duties isn’t enough to convince anyone that you would be a valuable asset to their team. When a company hires an employee, they are making an investment (there is a salary that the employee will earn, in addition to the time and money spent on hiring and training), and before making a hiring decision, they want to have some idea of what they can expect from the employee in terms of return-on-investment (ROI). The best way to gauge the expected ROI is by looking at the contributions the employee has made in previous positions.

So, what can you do to help a hiring manager see you as a wise investment? Make sure that your value and contributions show up clearly on your resume. Begin by asking questions like this: How did the last company you worked for benefit from having you as an employee? What contributions did you make? Did you increase profits? Did you save money? Did you improve day-to-day operations? (If so, how did you do it and what impact did it have?) Be as specific as possible. It’s not enough just to say, “I saved the company money.” Try to quantify your contributions whenever possible by describing how you improved things and by how much. For example, a statement such as, “Improved employee retention” does not show as much value as, “Implemented an employee incentive program, increasing employee retention by 5%.” The first statement implies that you benefitted the company in some way, while the second statement shows that you are able to identify areas of need, take action to address that need, and the results are a measurable improvement.

Izetta’s biggest problem on her resume was her lack of quantifiable accomplishments or contributions, but her resume fell short overall because it was not an executive-level resume. It did nothing to show her professionalism or the level of seniority that is expected from someone applying for a C-level executive position. If you want to be taken seriously as an executive (or, at any level, really) your resume needs to be professional.

Our professional resume writers know how to ask questions to help you identify contributions you have made and quantify them so that they have the most impact. Order your resume package today so that you don’t face the same problems that Izetta did!

What Went Wrong on Katerina’s Resume?

Writing a resume can be tricky business. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to include and what to leave out. In Katerina’s case, she didn’t know what to leave out and how damaging some things could be. She was under the impression that you should always include your full job history on your resume, but there are times when leaving information off from your resume is far more helpful than including it. In her case, she needed to omit the job that she had back in the 1980’s for several reasons. First, it is ideal to limit your job history to the most recent 10 years. Most of the time, this is going to be the most relevant experience that you have, so you want to keep the focus on it, rather than less relevant experience from your past. If you have significant gaps in your job history, as Katerina does, this isn’t something that you want to brag about to a hiring manager, so leaving off prior jobs is prudent (or, if you feel they need to be listed, list them at the end of the employment history without dates attached to them).

Katerina also listed her college experience, which is generally a good idea, but how she approached it was problematic. Including the dates when she attended college gave the hiring manager a reference point to determine her age, and listing college experience that did not result in a degree, when combined with the gaps in her job history, made it appear as though she has a habit of not following through with things, which is often sends up red flags for hiring managers. She would have been better off omitting the dates she attended college.

Our resume experts know how to recognize problems on your resume and can create a resume for you that helps you show your true value. Let us help you get more interviews, order your new resume today!

What Went Wrong on Astroth Varnham’s Resume?

Poor Astroth! His resume is saying all kinds of awful things about him and it lands his resume in the trash without a chance for an interview. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to fix the problems with Astroth’s resume. First of all, his job hopping makes him look like a poor job candidate, and while there’s nothing we can do to change his job history, we can minimize how noticeable it is by removing the months from the dates listed. By listing only the years, it is no longer obvious that he went sat unemployed for months at a time, or that he only stayed with some of those jobs for a few months. By making this small change, his resume no longer screams, “I’m not a loyal employee! Don’t hire me!”

Next, it is imperative to highlight any experience that he has related to the job for which he is applying, starting by removing unrelated job duties (like operating a jet bridge…a hiring manager looking for a customer service rep doesn’t care whether or not he knows how to operate a jet bridge). Providing more details about the duties he has had that are related to customer service would also help his resume say, “I have the experience you’re looking for!” rather than, “I’m completely unqualified for this position!”

Finally, if Astroth has any relevant computer skills, then they should be clearly listed, but if basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is the extent of his technology experience, then it is better to leave it off completely because, in this day and age, it is assumed that everyone has basic knowledge of Office.

What is your resume saying about you? A professionally written resume can help you avoid situations like Astroth’s. Let us help, find the package that’s perfect for your needs.