Thursday, August 24, 2006

How To Write A Resume That Spells Success (Correctly!)

By Nigel Patterson



Of all the resume gaffes that can consign your job application to the waste paper bin, perhaps none torpedoes your chances more effectively than making errors of spelling and grammar.



Few of us can be so confident in our ability to write good English that we don't need to check our work before we let others see it. Mistakes like these don't just occur because we're unfamiliar with difficult words: blunders also come from poor keyboard skills and editing errors -- for example, when cutting and pasting text.



Word processors usually offer a spellcheck facility to help a writer to monitor accuracy while typing or to go back over a piece to look for slip-ups. But it can be dangerous to depend entirely on an automated function that may not spot contextual errors or poor grammar. If you're guilty of mistakes like these, a prospective employer may question your ability to pay due attention to detail in your work.



That's why it's essential to check your resume for glitches before you send it out, whatever your skills and background. Here are five suggestions to help you produce a polished document:



  1. Use the spellcheck utility. This tool is very useful for picking up typos and common spelling errors as you write. But take note of the default language option that has been set in the software preferences. This may lead to confusion, for example in the differences between British and American spellings.


  2. Check for contextual errors. It's not unusual to mistype a word, using another word that sounds the same. Be particularly careful with commonly used words such as:



    • affect / effect

    • it's / its

    • there / their / they're

    • than / then



    Even if the word does not sound the same, the spellcheck tool may not flag it up as an error if the word exists in the dictionary in its own right.



  3. Pay particular attention to text that has been edited. When drafting a document, it's common to cut and paste a selection of text to a new position or delete it entirely. This can easily result in words being omitted or used twice in the final sentence. Errors like these can be difficult to spot, particularly if they occur over a line break.


  4. Check your document in hard copy. Many people find it difficult to proofread text effectively on a computer monitor. It's a good idea to print your resume or letter and go over the paper version with a colored pencil in your hand to mark mistakes or words that need to be checked.


  5. Ask another person to proofread your work. A reliable friend can often spot slips that you've overlooked. A final scrutiny by a second pair of eyes is a valuable last resort.




Nigel Patterson is a business writer and publisher of http://1stClassResume.com



Visit his website for advice on choosing a resume format, information about cover letters and preparing for a job interview.



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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Including Salary Expectations on a Resume Is Not Recommended

By Tracey Drake



Never include salary range in a resume or cover letter unless the potential employer has explicitly stated (within a job posting or advertisement or told you personally) that it is a required. Adding this information when it is not requested is the fastest way to get knocked out of contention for the position.



Salary is a sensitive and serious subject, and should only be discussed at the interview phase, once you have had a chance to determine what the position entails and the employer has a grasp on your abilities. You are in a much better bargaining position at this time also; especially if the potential employer is really interested in having you join his team.



However, if an employer does request salary information with your application, include the information on the cover letter only – never directly on the resume. Placing this information on the resume is distracting and takes focus away from the critical elements of your resume.



Within your cover letter, include a brief statement, generally second paragraph from the bottom of the letter. Make a brief and somewhat general statement about your salary range. Always make it sound like you are willing to negotiate for the right opportunity.



For example:



Given my relevant industry experience and proven expertise, salary range is $75,000-$90,000 annually; depending on benefits offered and is negotiable based on the scope of the position.



The above statement speaks of your confidence in you’re your skills and abilities; exhibits your flexibility and willingness to negotiate for the right opportunity and most importantly, offers room for negotiation in the event that your stated salary range is not in line with the employers' budget. The mention of "depending on benefits" lets the employer know that you are looking for a long term position. Since the cost of employee training is so expensive to any company, this is always welcome news to employers.




GradResumes.com – specializes in writing graduate resumes and college admission documents. With dozens of professional resume writers and education specialists, and some of the finest editing staff in the industry, http://www.GradResumes.com has effectively helped thousands of clients launch their post-graduate careers and successfully gain admission to their schools of choice. Any reproduction or reprint of this article must include this information.



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Saturday, August 19, 2006

A New Twist On An Old Friend - The Chronological Resume

By Heather Eagar



What is a chronological resume? A chronological resume is a resume in which you list your past jobs and educational qualifications in reverse chronological order, beginning from the latest or the present one first. This is the traditional and most well known resume format.



Why Use A Chronological Resume?



A chronological resume is especially effective for mid-career professionals and new grads that have limited work experience. It allows the employer to see all of your qualifications including education upfront. Your resume shouldn’t read like a Ph.D. Dissertation – it should get straight to the point, and the chronological resume does this and more:



1. It explicitly demonstrates your career progression. It easily illustrates the solidity of your career.



2. The simple, traditional format makes it easier for employers to skim through quickly and to determine your qualifications. The fact is that most employers are expecting a chronological resume.



3. A chronological resume is a straightforward summary of your professional history. It is neat and simple. An employer usually takes only about 10 minutes to review your resume, and executive recruiters take even less time. Do you want them to do more work than they have to? They won’t, because they don’t have the time!



4. There are no ambiguities about your qualifications whatsoever as everything the interviewer wants to know is open and apparent. This is what you want - because they less questions they have about your resume, the less questions you’ll have to answer in the interview!



Downsides To A Chronological Resume



Of course, like everything in life, the chronological resume has a few downsides. Since you are probably reading this to assess the pros and cons of this resume style, you may as well go in knowing these possible pitfalls:



1. The chronological format does not positively accommodate gaps in employment; in fact, when used, it could expose them quite easily. Additionally, a chronological resume does not suit those candidates who have changed careers often. If this describes you, then you may want to consider this resume style carefully before using it.



2. Cross-discipline skills may not be highlighted to their full potential; some employers are looking for continuity, and if you have changed careers in short periods of time, then using a chronological resume will highlight this fact instead of the valuable skills you can bring to the table.



3. If you have a short work history, a chronological resume will only highlight your lack of experience. For most employers, this is an immediate red flag and enough to make them file your resume under “C” for circular file. I hope you know what that means!



When to Use the Chronological Resume



Students and new grads applying for internships invariably have to use this style as they have a limited work history – they don’t have much choice. But, sometimes seasoned professionals use this format when applying for jobs that involve routine tasks.



Here is another example of when one can use this style: An accountant who is applying for her next job after several years of routine experience will have not much to show in terms of professional gains, but she can show job continuity. For such candidates who need to show continuity when changing jobs, the chronological resume works very well.



The Chronological Style Is Effective Across All Sectors



One of the reasons why chronological resumes are so popular is that they can be used effectively across all sectors. This includes the public and private sectors, as well as the Federal and State government sectors.



Although no one will actually say it, many employers are inherently expecting a chronological style resume, and may be psychologically thrown off or “distracted” by any other resume type. The employer may not be aware of this, or may not even know why they don’t like a particular resume, but 9 times out of 10, this is the reason. It may not be fair, but that’s the way it is!



Reduce The Risk



Let’s face it…deciding to leave your current job and look for another one is a risk. You may not look at it that way, but it is. Any time you decide to do/use/implement something out of the ordinary, you are taking a risk, and this includes your resume format. There are only so many factors that you can control when searching for a job, and one of them is the type of resume that you send out. By using a chronological resume, you can take control of your destiny, immediately reduce your risk and increase your chances of landing a job that you’ll love!




Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end. If you need resume examples and tools, go to http://www.NothingbutResumes.com





Take a look at our new job specific sample resumes:



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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Free Sample Cover Letters

By Eddie Tobey



The application for a professional position generally consists of two documents, a resume accompanied by a cover letter. While the resume is a somewhat generic document about yourself that you may send unaltered to many different companies, the cover letter adds that personal touch for each specific job. A cover letter is a kind of a schematic about you. A good cover letter reflects your personality, attention to detail, communication skills, enthusiasm, and intellect.



Your cover letter and resume are usually the key elements that a prospective employer uses to decide whether you will reach the next phase in the application process--the interview. It is important that your cover letter is properly formatted and impressive. Sample cover letters help you get an idea of what the contents of a good cover letter should include.



Websites like eresumes.com contain free sample resumes and free sample cover letters along with a few tips on writing a cover letter. When writing a cover letter there are many things to include. First, include the name and address of the company to which you are applying. This should be mentioned on each cover letter and you should try to address the specific individual who will process your application by name. If the name of the person to whom you are applying is not known to you, you can mention the designation. It is important to do some research about the company and you should mention your knowledge of and interest in the work the company is doing in the cover letter.



In addition to tailoring your application towards a specific job, the cover letter also allows you to highlight the most important and relevant accomplishments, skills, and experience listed in your resume which might of relevance to that particular job. The cover letter also lets you specifically request an interview.



Although sample cover letters can be used without any changes, it is advisable to customize the contents of the sample newsletters before using them. Though there are many websites providing sample cover letters, people take the help of professionals when it comes to a high profile job.




Free Samples provides detailed information on Free Samples, Free Sample Resumes, Free Product Samples, Free Sample Cover Letters and more. Free Samples is affiliated with Family Dollar Store.



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Resume Site Map

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Resume Writing – 3 Features You Must Include

By Lee Lister



So you are going to sit down and write your own resume – what should go into it? Well of course your contact details – how will they find you if not? There are three other important features that are needed in your resume – they are:



Experience



If you're a recent college graduate without any or much work experience your education should be listed first and given emphasis. If you have a fair amount of business or career experience then you need to detail them on your resume. You should list your past job experience in reverse chronological order – your current job first.



If you are more experienced – include from about 5 – 7 years experience. If you are at management level then you need to include team sizes, budgetary levels and type of responsibility.



Avoid putting down your job description – just stick to what you have done.



Skills



Your skills are very important, many job agencies and HR people are searching your resume for certain skills – make it easy for them! If you are in a highly technical career such as engineering or IT – then group your skills together at the top of your resume.



Potential



Now here is a fact that few people remember. When a potential employer is looking at your resume they are asking themselves a number of questions:



* Does this person have the skills and experience that I am seeking? Hopefully you have answered these questions already.



* What will this person bring to my company? Well you have told them about your responsibilities in your experience and your abilities under your skills. Now tell them about your potential. Tell them of one or two professional successes you have had. Have you made your last company more profitable, successful, marketable, efficient etc.? Did you complete a project quickly, identify some improvements etc? Well you get the idea. Answer the question: “What’s in it for me if I employ this person?” and you will be well on the way to your job interview.



* How will this person develop in the future? Put on your resume any professional training that you have undertaken, any out of work responsibilities that you have. Travel, charity and sport are always popular. Make them achievements not hobbies and be careful not to give the impression that you hardly have time for work!



Good luck in finding the job that you deserve!




© Copyright 2006 Biz Guru Services Ltd



Lee Lister, writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites including http://www.clikks.com With over 20 year’s management and business consultancy experience she now owns one of the internet's leading Resume, CV and Interview services web sites http://www.jobsuccess.co.uk



If would like help in writing your new CV or Resume, in honing your interview skills or setting up your job hunting strategy then visit http://www.jobsbiz.com We even have an MP3 audio book on writing your own resume!



This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.



We have recently added the following sample resumes to our site:



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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Build A Great Resume That Sets You Apart


By Andrew Rowe



If you’re a top sales producer or marketing genius, and you’re thinking about making a job change, how do you start your career search and make sure that you stand out as a top candidate? Recruiters and executive search companies are always looking for the best. If you are interested in working with them, you need to understand their rules.



First, make sure that your résumé is clean, concise and to the point. Get rid of all of the percentage increases and replace them with absolute achievements…ones that are clearly measurable in terms of actual dollar value, number of new customers gained or impact in hard numbers, as opposed to percentages.



Second, target your résumé to the ideal job that you seek. Highlight your most important skills as they relate to the specific position that you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a sales position, focus on sales, if you’re looking for a marketing position, focus on marketing. Be as specific as you can, relative to the exact position that you want. Are you looking for a management position, or an individual contributor role? Each résumé that you build should be focused on exactly the type of position that you’re looking for so that it’s easy for a sales and marketing recruiter to pull the information they need from your résumé, and measure you against their job requirements.



Third, make sure that you focus on bringing out exact information about the industries and types of customers that you’ve been involved in selling or marketing to. What key relationships have you developed? If you’ve sold to Fortune 500 companies, list examples of the names of the clients where you actually developed the client or the customer from scratch. In today’s competitive job market, recruiters are looking for demonstrated domain expertise.



These are just a few thoughts about how to stand out as a candidate when it comes to building your résumé.




About Cube Management



Cube Management provides sales acceleration services to emerging growth and mid-market companies in the technology, manufacturing, healthcare and business service sectors. The experts at Cube Management work across the entire spectrum of marketing, sales and business development to provide customized solutions that drive revenue and profit growth. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process & People to produce winning results. Download the Cube Management Recruiting Guide and the Cube Management Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide.