Why you should upload your resume?

August 3rd, 2015 No comments

jobs 1

Get your resume out there

We know resumes. In fact, the team at StartWire has been in then recruiting and job search space for decades….literally decades. And there is nothing we love more than giving folks who join our Job Search community some insider knowledge to help you find a job faster.

Here’s one of those secrets: Recruiters search resume databases looking for candidates…everyday. Sometimes they don’t even post jobs…they just check the databases of large job sites looking for a candidate they can call immediately.

If you are not in these databases, you are missing out on opportunities! The problem is, there are just too many databases and each one can take forever to setup.

StartWire has the solution.

Once you upload your resume to StartWire, we will suggest verified sites. Choose the ones you want and we will take care of the rest.

It saves you time and gets your resume in front of recruiters faster. It is the quickest and simplest way to get hired. And it’s totally free.

If you need help, reach out to us by clicking on Feedback and Support.

So upload your resume today and increase your chances of being found!

To learn more about StartWire register today at www.startwire.com

Categories: Job Search Advice, Resume Tips Tags:

StartWire Launches Job Search Video Series

July 25th, 2015 No comments

e-learning

Wondering where we have been?

At StartWire we have been hard at work bringing you the tools you need for a successful job search and to get hired fast. While we have the blog, we wanted to offer our job seekers something more. We wanted to give everyone the knowledge of what is happening behind the scenes during the recruiting and hiring process.

So we came up with a set of Videos that are now live on the StartWire site – www.startwire.com/videos. Unlike other sites that charge you for this information, we thought the best way to help someone during one of the most stressful time in their lives would be to let them know we are truly here to help.

In the upcoming blogs, I’m going to discuss some of the topics found in the videos around your resume, networking, search tips and interviewing.

We tried to pack as much information in the videos as possible but we know that there is so much more. So we’ll use the blog to expand on some of these topics.

Look for videos on interviewing and networking to go live later this summer.

Do you have any questions or thoughts on these strategies? What’s worked for you? Let us know!

Sample Resume Templates

February 21st, 2014 No comments

Looking to create a resume or update an existing one?

Two popular resume formats are the chronological and functional resume. Below are sample resume templates that showcase both styles.

The Chronological Resume lists your most recent occupation at the top, followed by the next most recent occupations.

Below is a sample chronological resume.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Janice Kendley
15 State St. Boston, MA 02112| 555-555-5555 | kendleyj@example.com

Experience

Microsoft Corporation, NY, NY                                                                  February 2012 – Present

Executive Assistant

  • Processing invoices and correspondence to meet end-of-month sales review
  • Overseeing the scheduling of two hundred attendee meetings weekly
  • (List a major accomplishment) Oversaw travel arrangements for Board of Directors during 2012’s Leadership Conference, resulting in an average net saving of $1,000/attendee.

 

AT&T, Woburn, MA                                                                                June 2010 – February 2012

Sales & Marketing Leader

  • Represented AT&T products to over 1,500 customers at field events, conferences, and seminars.
  • (List a major accomplishment) Garnered $8,000 in profits from sales of cellular devices.

 

Martha’s Bakery, Hartford, CT                                                                       May 2009 – June 2010

HR Assistant

  • Managed store operations including scheduling, inventory, and customer service.
  • (List a major accomplishment) Reduced wasted inventory through overseeing installation of new freezers, which increased inventory by 35%.

 

Education

University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
B.A. Psychology; Minor, History

 

Special Skills

  • Software/Applications: MS Word, MS Access, MS Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop
  • Languages: Proficient in Spanish

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Below is a sample functional resume. The Functional Resume is organized by functions/skills, instead of a chronological work history. For example, the sample resume below is organized by “Sales and Leadership” and “Writing/Editing Content”.

 

Janice Kendley
15 State St. Boston, MA 02112 | 555-555-5555 | kendleyj@example.com

Education

University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
B.A. Psychology; Minor, History

 

Relevant Experience

Sales and Leadership

  • (List a major accomplishment.) Represented AT&T products to over 1,500 customers at field events, conferences, and seminars.
  • Garnered $8,000 in profits from sales of cellular devices.
  • Answered customer service inquiries related to billing, plan upgrades, and technical assistance.
  • Maintained routine checks of store operations involving inventory and employee scheduling.

Writing/Editing Content

  • Writing content and editing manuscript for final review by editor.
  • Posted content and daily status updates for social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Managing a tracking system to ensure newsletter progress and provide management with periodic status updates.

 

Employment History

AT&T — Woburn, MA

  Sales & Marketing Leader, June 2010 – February 2012

Noah’s Publishing –Boston, MA

  Editorial Intern, June 2011 – August 2011

Martha’s Bakery, CT  

  Cashier, February 2010 – December 2010

 

Special Skills

  • Software/Applications: MS Word, MS Access, MS Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop
  • Languages: Proficient in Spanish
Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

Resume 101: How to Make a Resume

June 3rd, 2013 No comments

 

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Do you need to make a resume? Are you looking to revise your current resume?

A resume is an important piece to the job search process. Your resume stands as the first professional impression you give to employers. This first impression can make or break your chances of being considered for the position. For those of you looking to create that good first impression, we’re here to help with the basics of creating a resume.

 

Follow this simple guide to learn how to construct a resume from scratch:

1) List your contact information at top.

Include your name, address, phone number, and email.

 

2)  Use proper formatting.

  • Use 1″ margins
  • Use standard font (Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman)
  • Bold your name and section headings
  • You can use size 14 font for headings, 12 for all other text

 

3) Choose the type of resume you want to create.

  • Chronological Resume:

The chronological resume lists your employment history, starting with the most recent position.

This type of resume is best for job seekers with very little or no employment gaps and can show a steady progression in their work history.

  • Functional Resume:

The functional resume focuses on your skills and experience.

This type of resume works for people who have gaps in their employment history and prefer to focus their resume on specific skill sets.

For example: If the position is customer services oriented, your headline might be “Customer Service/Sales Experience”

  • Combination Resume:

The combination resume is exactly how it sounds- It combines both your skills and your employment history. It lists your skills/experience first, then your employment history.

This type of resume is good when you want to show employers skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for right at the top of your resume.

 

4) Next, use the samples below as a template and add your own unique work experiences and/or skills:

Add additional sections if relevant (Computer Skills: Software, Languages, Operating Systems; Accomplishments: Awards, Honors, Publications; Languages; Certifications).

 

Here is a SAMPLE Chronological Resume

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Janice Kendley
15 State St. Boston, MA 02112| 555-555-5555 | kendleyj@example.com

Experience

Microsoft Corporation, NY, NY                                                                  February 2012 – Present

Executive Assistant

  • Processing invoices and correspondence to meet end-of-month sales review
  • Overseeing the scheduling of two hundred attendee meetings weekly
  • (List a major accomplishment) Oversaw travel arrangements for Board of Directors during 2012’s Leadership Conference, resulting in an average net saving of $1,000/attendee.

 

AT&T, Woburn, MA                                                                                June 2010 – February 2012

Sales & Marketing Leader

  • Represented AT&T products to over 1,500 customers at field events, conferences, and seminars.
  • (List a major accomplishment) Garnered $8,000 in profits from sales of cellular devices.

 

Martha’s Bakery, Hartford, CT                                                                       May 2009 – June 2010

HR Assistant

  • Managed store operations including scheduling, inventory, and customer service.
  • (List a major accomplishment) Reduced wasted inventory through overseeing installation of new freezers, which increased inventory by 35%.

 

Education

University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
B.A. Psychology; Minor, History

 

Special Skills

  • Software/Applications: MS Word, MS Access, MS Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop
  • Languages: Proficient in Spanish

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a SAMPLE Functional Resume. Note how the resume is divided by functions/skills, instead of a chronological work history.

 

Janice Kendley
15 State St. Boston, MA 02112 | 555-555-5555 | kendleyj@example.com

Education

University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
B.A. Psychology; Minor, History

Relevant Experience

Sales and Leadership (Note: Here is where you list a MAJOR SKILL)

  • Represented AT&T products to over 1,500 customers at field events, conferences, and seminars. (An accomplishment that shows this skill.)
  • Garnered $8,000 in profits from sales of cellular devices.
  • Answered customer service inquiries related to billing, plan upgrades, and technical assistance.
  • Maintained routine checks of store operations involving inventory and employee scheduling.

Writing/Editing Content

  • Writing content and editing manuscript for final review by editor.
  • Posted content and daily status updates for social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Managing a tracking system to ensure newsletter progress and provide management with periodic status updates.

Employment History

AT&T — Woburn, MA

  Sales & Marketing Leader, June 2010 – February 2012

Noah’s Publishing –Boston, MA

  Editorial Intern, June 2011 – August 2011

Martha’s Bakery, CT  

  Cashier, February 2010 – December 2010

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5) Always make sure to proofread for punctuation, grammar, spelling errors, and incorrect contact information! Have someone else read over your resume to double check for any errors.

 

 

Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

May 21st, 2013 No comments

Let’s talk cover letters. If you’re like most people I know, you enjoy writing cover letters about as much as you like going to the dentist – or, worse yet – going in for a root canal. Finding the right words to describe how your skills fit with a job can be cumbersome – just like taking dental x-rays from odd angles with foreign objects in your mouth!

But cover letters don’t have to be awkward.6609308571_9f49b95257_o The very best cover letters showcase your fit for a job and say why you are interested in working for an organization – all while providing your prospective employer with a glimpse of your personality and talent. (You can spot a bad cover letter quickly if all of the sentences start with “I.”)

Here’s a foolproof way you can write a great cover letter in 30 minutes or less:  Anticipate the questions employers will have for you, and answer them.

Recruiters and hiring managers want to know the answer to 4 questions:

1. How did you hear of the job?

This may seem like a silly interest since it has little to do with you, but employers want to know how you learned about the job – it tells them if their advertising is working.

2. How do you meet the position requirements?

Because employers often hire for more than one position at a time – it never hurts to briefly summarize the job requirements before showcasing your experience.

3. Why are you interested in the job?

Although it may not often seem like it, employers are as eager to hire employees who want to work for them as you are to get a job. You need to go beyond “I need a job” and state what particularly interests you about the company and the position.

4. Will they like you?

Do you say thank you? Is your overall tone friendly?

Here’s how this looks in a letter:

Your Address (Leave name and cell phone off the top of your letter)

City, State Zip

Today’s Date

Person’s Name
Title
Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code (Or Country)

Dear Search Committee:

Through my friend (insert name or other source of job listing), I learned that (company name) is accepting applications for a (insert position title). I write to apply for the position.

Based on the position description, I understand you are looking for someone who can do (insert one job function/responsibility), (insert another responsibility) and (insert another responsibility). I offer you a demonstrated ability to perform these tasks as can be seen through my work with (insert name of past employer). In this role, I (summarize relevant experience here).

I am especially interested in working for you due to (insert reason other than high pay or free lunch, show you’ve looked up the company). This opportunity also is a strong match for my career goals of (provide information that relates to the job opening and if appropriate share a brief example of how the position matches your interests.)

Thanks in advance for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Name


And that’s it: short, sweet and to the point.

 

Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

The Honest Approach to Writing a Cover Letter (& When to Use It)

January 22nd, 2013 No comments

Sometimes the best way to catch the attention of a potential employer is to be straight-forward and honest — even if your skills and eblog photoxperience don’t line up perfectly with an employer’s preferences to hire for a position.

For a great example of how one job seeker used this technique, check out this piece in The Huffington Post, which provides screenshots of a cover letter that caused executives across Wall Street to lean forward, chuckle — and reach for their phones to schedule an interview. What led to all this attention?  A candid, direct approach.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter.

coverletterclip

 

 

 

 

Here are 3 strategies this job seeker uses:

1. He acknowledges his understanding of the culture in which hiring takes place and is direct about saying that he’s a long shot for the job

Why this works: Many Wall Street banks recruit at a small number of schools to select a majority of their summer hires. By acknowledging the situation, he makes it clear that he understands how the hiring process often works.

2. He asks for the company to give him full attention and consideration.
I am aware it is highly unusual for undergraduates from average universities like [mine] to intern at [company] but nevertheless I was hoping you might make an exception.

Why this works: He’s polite and direct in asking for the reader’s time.

3. He doesn’t sugarcoat his experience.
I won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles…

Why this works: He shares that he has good grades and some past experience without repeating or exaggerating his resume. His direct approach plays to the type of field that he works in, as Wall Street bankers are famous for being blunt, working in fast-paced environments, and communicating with short, direct language.

Can this approach work for anyone in their job search? Probably not. Many organizations will likely shake their heads at a line such as [I am not] feeding you a line of crap about how my past experience and skill set align perfectly with…[the job].

That said, soften your tone and there are a few good strategies in this cover letter that can work for you — especially if you have gaps in your resume between positions, have taken time off to take care of family, children or yourself, and want to work in a new field or one you haven’t worked in recently.

Here are three lessons we can take away from this letter:

1. It’s okay to be direct about why you’re applying for a job. You don’t need to offer to work for next to nothing, but showing your raw enthusiasm to learn about a new field or career path is a positive way to show your potential fit for a job.

Action Strategy: Match the tone of your letter to the tone of the industry you wish to work in. If you want to work in a job that requires strict confidentiality, don’t gossip or be overly chatty. If you want to work in a sales role, it’s okay to use a persuasive tone.

2. It’s better to be friendly than arrogant. If you market yourself as a rock star who knows the job being offered inside out — despite not having any experience in the field — it can hurt you even if you get the job since you won’t have the skills and experience you need. Instead, present yourself as someone who has some of the requirements for the job, and show that you’ve thought through the skills you have — and what you hope to gain. Many employers hire for personality, aptitude, and attitude first, and then train you on what you need to know to get the job done.

Action Strategy: Create a simple outline that highlights 1-2 ways you fit the job description instead of providing long paragraphs that say you’ve already got the skills and experiences for the job.

You Seek

5+ years of experience in ____________
Full knowledge of FileMakerPro

I Offer

3 years of experience in ___, with training in ______
Extensive experience in database management using Access and the ability to learn FileMaker. (In my job at _______, I taught myself ___________.)

3. Use your cover letter to answer any hanging questions an employer may have about your resume.

Did you leave your job early because you got chicken pox in your 30’s? Take three years off to take care of an elderly parent or a small child? Take a job that was the wrong fit?

Action Strategy: Address gaps or trouble spots in employment in a direct and honest way. Don’t embellish the story. Simply say what happened in a neutral tone — example: My mother had lung cancer and I resigned my position to take care of her. I am no longer serving as her caretaker.

Try these three strategies and let us know how they work for you.

 

 

 

5 Simple Resume Must-Haves

August 22nd, 2012 No comments

Asides from having a standard font and a clear format, your resume should have these 5 must-haves!

1) Have the right verb tenses.

For many, the common rule in writing is to keep the tenses the same.  Even when we have a conversation, we don’t suddenly switch from past tense to present.

Interestingly, that doesn’t always apply to resumes!  “Wait, why?” You may ask.  It’s good to keep the tenses the same, apart from two exceptions:

#1: You currently hold this job 

Experience

Feb. ’11 – Present    Microsoft Corporation, NY

Sales Coordinator

    • Processed Processing 100 orders daily to meet end-of-day sales review

#2: You currently hold this job, but you’re describing a role that you’ve already finished

Experience

Feb. ’11 – Present    Microsoft Corporation, NY

Sales Coordinator

    • Processing 100 orders daily to meet end-of-day sales review
    • Trained 5 new interns in the sales division

 

 

2) Save the creative email addresses for friends.

Does your current email address look something like this?

bakingoddess5299@example.com

Showing your creativity and personality is great, but save that for the interview.  Don’t be the candidate an employer wants to contact, only to be discarded from consideration due to a non-professional email address.

Similarly, this also applies to emails you use for job search sites or job search tools, such as StartWire.  It’s simple to just create one professional email address for all employment search purposes.

What should you do? Use a combination of your first and last name, along with numbers.

 

3) Listen to your voicemail.

Many people list their cellular number as a reference for employers to reach them.  What they forget to double check and re-record is the casual and maybe amusing voicemail previously recorded for their friends.

We all get moments where we can’t take the call or fail to hear our ringtones.  If an employer were calling, he’d be redirected to leave a voicemail, so make sure your voicemail leaves a good first impression.

Don’t let your amusing voicemail be the deal breaker!

What should you do?State that the caller has reached [your full name] and that you’ll be in contact as soon as possible.  Example: “Hi.  This is [first and last name].  I’m unable to take your call at this moment.  Please leave your name, number, and a brief message.  I will contact you as soon as possible. Thanks.”

 

4) Show/Describe/Quantify.  Don’t just state your skills.

Employers and recruiters shuffle through countless of resumes.  They are used to seeing “excellent communication skills” and “diligent worker”.  Instead of saying it, try showing it.

When you’re convincing a friend to go to the movies, you wouldn’t say:

“It’s a good movie.  You should come.”  You would go into details to really convince him/her that it’s a must-see, “It’s action packed with a car chase scene that was filmed off Bay St.—a block from where you live!”

What should you do?

Avoid: Responsible for product marketing in field events

Use: Marketed company product to 1,500 customers at field events and sold 35% of monthly inventory

 

5) The right keywords make a difference

Before your resume even gets skimmed by a person, it might go through an Applicant Tracking System that only selects resumes due to specific keywords.  If your resume is missing those keywords, it won’t make it to an employer’s desk.

What should you do?  Look at the job posting and take relevant keywords from it.  The job posting is your biggest clue on what keywords the company’s applicant tracking system are looking for.  Read more about this on  The Two Sides of the Resume Black Hole

Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

How to Write a Cover Letter if You are Over or Underqualified

June 26th, 2012 No comments

Recently, we shared a four step approach to writing the perfect cover letter. This week we’re focusing on solving the “Goldilocks” dilemma: What if you are applying for a job that you have too much experience for — or not enough?

Regardless of whether you are over- or under-qualified, the first step you should take is the same.  Focus on the job listing itself, and then plug information into your cover letter.


Here’s how to do it:

Start by reading the job description and making a list of what’s needed for the job. If you want to do this electronically, list out all of the requirements in the first column of a spreadsheet.

Then add a column for “exceeds requirements,” another for “meets requirements,” and where you “fall short.” List a final column that details alternative information on what you offer — and the strategy you can take in your application process. Here’s an example of how to do this. (Our sample is written for a candidate for a junior position in Marketing.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you map out the job requirements and the skills you have, you essentially create a strategic plan you can write to apply for the job and create talking points that demonstrate to the employer that you have thought about the job — and how you could do it.

Plug these points into the second paragraph of your cover letter. Your cover letter will practically write itself. Here’s an example using our four step plan on how to write a cover letter:

Through my former colleague, Austin Baker, I learned that you are currently searching for a Marketing Coordinator for your healthcare startup. I write to express my interest in the position and submit my applications for your consideration.

Based on the job description posted, I understand you seek three+ years of experience in a related field, a B.S. degree in Marketing, and proficiency in Microsoft Office. I offer you five years of marketing experience in a government communications office, a position which included budget management and compliance. Based on conversations I’ve had with individuals in healthcare, I understand that there’s a lot of overlap between marketing for government programs and healthcare in that both fields require a strong understanding of regulatory compliance and a respect for following rules. I offer you this experience as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and completed coursework in Principles of Marketing, Product Management, and Brand Management. I’m also quite adept with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and know how to create and manage spreadsheets in Excel.

See the correlation between our table and our letter?

When you focus on the job description, you focus on what the employer needs — not how you exceed the job requirements or fall short! It’s an easier way for employers to see your fit for the job.

Good luck and let us know how this approach works for you.

 

 

Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (Answer these 4 Questions)

June 19th, 2012 No comments

Let’s talk cover letters. If you’re like most people I know, you enjoy writing cover letters about as much as you like going to the dentist – or, worse yet – going in for a root canal. Finding the right words to describe how your skills fit with a job can be cumbersome – just like taking dental x-rays from odd angles with foreign objects in your mouth!

But cover letters don’t have to be awkward. The very best cover letters showcase your fit for a job and say why you are interested working for an organization – all while providing your prospective employer with a glimpse of your personality and talent. (You can spot a bad cover letter quickly if all of the sentences start with “I.”)

Here’s a foolproof way you can write a great cover letter in 30 minutes or less:  Anticipate the questions employers will have for you, and answer them.

Recruiters and hiring managers want to know the answer to 4 questions:

1. How did you hear of the job?

This may seem like a silly interest since it has little to do with you, but employers want to know how you learned about the job – it tells them if their advertising is working.

2. How do you meet the position requirements?

Because employers often hire for more than one position at a time – it never hurts to briefly summarize the job requirements before showcasing your experience.

3. Why are you interested in the job?

Although it may not often seem like it, employers are as eager to hire employees who want to work for them as you are to get a job. You need to go beyond “I need a job” and state what particularly interests you about the company and the position.

4. Will they like you?

Do you say thank you? Is your overall tone friendly?

Here’s how this looks in a letter:

Your Address (Leave name and cell phone off the top of your letter)

City, State Zip

Today’s Date

Person’s Name
Title
Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code (Or Country)

Dear Search Committee:

Through my friend (insert name or other source of job listing), I learned that (company name) is accepting applications for a (insert position title). I write to apply for the position.

Based on the position description, I understand you are looking for someone who can do (insert one job function/responsibility), (insert another responsibility) and (insert another responsibility). I offer you a demonstrated ability to perform these tasks as can be seen through my work with (insert name of past employer). In this role, I (summarize relevant experience here).

I am especially interested in working for you due to (insert reason other than high pay or free lunch, show you’ve looked up the company). This opportunity also is a strong match for my career goals of (provide information that relates to the job opening and if appropriate share a brief example of how the position matches your interests.)

Thanks in advance for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Name


And that’s it: short, sweet and to the point. Got a question on how to target your skills for a specific situation? Ask away with a comment – next week we will provide strategies for tackling awkward situations – from how to market yourself if you are overqualified to what to do if you’ve interviewed with the company before.

Categories: Resume Tips Tags:

How to Rock Your Resume (Even if You’re Unemployed)

May 15th, 2012 No comments

Listing the wrong degree on his resume just cost Scott Thompson millions – and his job! The former CEO of Yahoo! resigned this weekend after several days of “should he stay or should he go” discussion among board members. Thompson’s resume listed a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Science when it should have just listed a degree in Accounting.  When inquiring minds sought to verify the information, it ultimately led to Thompson’s resignation.

 

Having the wrong degree listed on your resume may be a much smaller error than the $2B trading loss that led to Ina Drew’s resignation as Chief Investment Officer at JP Morgan Chase over the weekend – but the end result is the same: job loss.

Writing a resume that sells your skills and experience can be tricky – especially if you are unemployed, meet most but not all of the requirements for the job – and have less than 10 seconds of your potential employers’ attention as they scan through your resume. You need to stand out. You need to show what you can do. And you need to provide all of this information without misrepresenting your experience, skills, or training.  It can be tricky.

 

To this end, here’s a crash course in how you can write your resume with accuracy and impact. Use these six strategies to make sure your resume stands up to scrutiny.

 

1. First things first: Start your resume with a short, tight summary that shows what you offer.

Start your resume with a concise header that includes key words relevant to the job – and a summary of how you fit those requirements. Here’s an easy way to find the right key words and a quick overview of how you can write a summary in three bullet points with what you need to include.

If the job is seeking specific technical skills and you have them – make sure you include this information in your resume summary.



2. Amp up your descriptions: Don’t just say what you did; say how your work was used!

One of the best ways to lose out on a potential job interview is to say exactly what you did on a job.

Here’s an example from my own work experience.

In a college internship, I edited a phone book and spent much of my day calling people to verify their phone number. Boring, right?

My supervisor helped me put this into perspective: The phone directory was actually the primary director for a Fortune 250 company – and I was one of two people who worked on it. Doesn’t “One of two fact checkers for global Fortune 250 phone directory” sound more impressive?

Even if you’re doing monotonous work with a high volume of routine tasks, the work can sound more exciting – and relevant to your next job – if you say how your work was used by the company, and what business impact that it made.

 


3. Mind the time gaps!

If you’ve been out of work for a while, it can be helpful to provide information on how you’ve used your time. (Just make sure any information shared is accurate and correct.)

If you’ve been volunteering, include this information in a “Volunteer” or “Leadership” section.

If you’ve taken time off to help a family member with an illness, add an “Additional Information” section and say “Caregiver” then list the dates – as if the Caregiving responsibility was a job…

If you’re unemployed, one way you can fill any gaps in employment is to become a consultant or freelance contractor – and list this on your resume. You may also want to consider starting your own business. Free resources on how to do this are available from several organizations, including Score and Small Business Development Centers located throughout the U.S.



4. Include as much education as you have!

Don’t have a college degree? Don’t beat yourself up – only 30.4% of all Americans have Bachelor’s degrees. A larger percentage of people have finished “some college.”

If you don’t have a degree but have attended college, you can list the school on your resume as well as details on what you studied – and indicate clearly that you did not graduate. Example:

Clemson University, Clemson, SC                                        2004 – 2007

Completed 17 classes towards a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management
Note that this does not list a graduation date – or say you earned a degree?

Before you list on your resume, verify the accuracy of any programs you list on your resume – don’t list a potential degree if you didn’t declare a major!



5. Be your own fact checker.

Who wants to lose a job on an error, incorrect date or other inaccuracy? No one! Verify your details as you apply for jobs.

If your school or company has changed names – list the one that is accurate for you when you were there and then the new name immediately after.

Example–

Dartmouth Medical School (now Theodore Geisel School of Medicine), Hanover, NH

If you can’t remember past dates, call up and verify them – as if you were applying for a job yourself.



6. Seek advice on what to say when you don’t know how to say it.

When in doubt, get a second opinion! If you feel awkward about how to say something, seek out others who have been in similar situations or ask individuals who won’t be in on the decision making process – before you apply. Find someone you trust and ask – you can do this through StartWire or on your own.

 

Follow these six tips and you’ll be on your way to mistake-proofing your resume. Got other questions? Run them by us in the Comments section – and we’ll get back to you!

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Resume Tips