Blog

Posts Tagged ‘job search’

How to Create a Resume or CV that Gets You Interviews

June 16th, 2014

In the business I’m in, I review a lot of resumes and CVs and I know a great deal of Recruiters, HR Executives

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert, and author of the NEW book,”Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands!”

and Hiring Managers who do as well. And we all agree on one thing: most resumes and CVs are bad. Really bad.

I’m not talking about grammar mistakes or ugly formatting, although there is plenty of that. I’m talking about descriptions that make no sense, whole lines and paragraphs that are so full of clichés and corporate-speak that they don’t actually communicate anything, and missing details that any potential employer would want to know. You’d be amazed how often I can read a whole job description and not know what the person actually did. Or if I do know what they did, I often have no idea if they did it well.

As a Professional Speaker and Trainer, I conduct many career-focused workshops for college students. And trust me when I say, their resumes aren’t great, but they aren’t that much worse than many seasoned professionals who should know better. The resume is the most important document any individual can create for finding a job. After all, the resume can be the difference between the job of your dreams and just something that pays the bills.

So how can they be so universally bad given the incentive that very smart and competent professionals have to do them well?

The reason is it’s very hard to self-evaluate your accomplishments and communicate them effectively. It’s hard to see yourself objectively, and if you are in a field that is at all technical, it can be incredibly difficult to communicate your work to people in HR and recruiting. It is very hard to separate yourself from your own experience, memories, and associations, and objectively and effectively communicate your experience and skills.

What can you do?

That’s why I recommend that job seekers consider hiring a resume writing service. The problem is that there are just so many bad ones out there. And paying somebody to review a document might seem like a waste of money since you can find a friend to read your resume and critique it.

Trust me, it’s worth it. Unless someone has seen a truly great resume they won’t know what’s wrong with yours. And unless they’ve made truly great resumes, in a variety of fields, they can’t tell you how to create one.

Therefore, I recommend looking into Resume to Interviews to create your resume, CV, and other career related documents (LinkedIn profile, cover letter, etc.). It doesn’t matter whether you are a college student, C-level executive, or someone in between. It’s an awesome, cost-effective, service and one of the few legitimate services that exist that provides real value. In fact, their blog provides some valuable how to write a resume guide for specific industries like nursing and IT.

Here’s an overview of how they describe their service and how it can benefit you:

Your resume reflects YOUR Personal Brand!

We’re a company that creates custom resumes, CV’s, cover letters and personal statements (aka: Personal Branding) that stand out and get noticed among the mountains of resumes and CV’s that employers and recruiters have to wade through on a daily basis. At Resume to Interviews, our goal isn’t to create a good looking resume, or one that looks like others you’ve seen in your field.

We create resumes that are better than what you’ve seen before, and better than most hiring managers have seen before as well. That’s why they pick up the phone so quickly to set up interviews with our clients.

Resumes to Interviews has created over 5,000 resumes and CV’s over the last seven years and they create close to 100 each month for clients from all over the world and in every conceivable industry. What really sets them apart is their process: they have you fill out an intake questionnaire (this takes work on your part) and use it to create a brand new document, which they then perfect during a back and forth editing process with you.

They don’t just proofread your document and change some language. They ask you hundreds of questions to develop your content and carefully target it towards job listings you provide. And the process isn’t over until you are 100% satisfied.

Plus, they offer LinkedIn Profile consultation and Professional Coaching services for interviewing tips, as well.

All of that said, here are two questions for you:

Why spend countless hours trying to draft your own resume or CV only to find out it’s one of the “bad ones” that gets immediately thrown in the trash? Why not consider a service like theirs to ensure your resume separates itself from the piles of mediocre resumes that get sent to employers every time a job opening in posted online?

I think you know the answer to those questions. So check out Resume to Interviews.

Gen Y: Time to Get Comfortable with In-Person Conversation

June 02nd, 2012

Hi All!

There are a variety of reasons I chose this topic to write about today, but one recent conversation with a good friend was the thing that got me motivated to actually do it.

She was telling me how she and her 23-year old Millennial (aka: Gen Y) son, who recently graduated from college, went mattress shopping for his new apartment. During their outing together, she was chatting up a storm with everyone; the salespeople, other customers, etc.

After a while, her son finally said, “Mom, what is it with your generation? You guys talk to everyone, all the time!”

He then continued to say that he wasn’t comfortable doing that and that most people he knew, in his generation, felt the same way. However, during their 3-hour mattress-shopping afternoon together, she told me that he hardly ever stopped texting back and forth with his friends. So, “communication” isn’t the issue; “how” they are comfortable doing it is.

Anyway, after his comment, at the very next store she made an effort to hardly say a word and decided to let him handle the interaction with the 40-something sales associate. It only took about 4 minutes for her son to ask her to talk to the salesperson because he didn’t want to anymore. Rather, he was more comfortable watching his Baby Boomer mom do all the talking.

I’ve seen this “not talking much” dynamic occur in many of the workshops I conduct for Millennial employees in corporations. That is also one reason I dedicate a chapter to “communicating like a leader” in my popular book for Millennial employees, “Millennials into Leadership”. My Millennial audiences are always totally engaged, but just aren’t comfortable making comments or asking questions, even when I ask them to. However, they come up to me one-on-one afterwards, or send me emails afterwards, with questions or comments. THAT is totally different from when I conduct workshops or seminars with “older” generations in the audience (i.e. Gen X and Boomers). I typically have to monitor how much time they take up talking!

Plus, I get tons of Millennials at my leadership training workshops that openly admit they just aren’t comfortable speaking with strangers, or even work colleagues, face-to-face. AND, I hear this complaint from many of their Managers. They get very frustrated with the fact their Millennial employees don’t participate much in meetings. However, they find it odd that those same Millennials are totally okay telling them about what they did over the weekend, in lengthy detail, EVERY Monday morning.

And I have to explain that most Millennials like, and need, close ties to their bosses, and sharing their personal life is one way they try to build that “bond”. Unfortunately, that’s something that most supervisors in the workforce, 35+ years old, find very irritating.

Hence just ONE of the reasons the multi-generational workforce challenges continue…and that’s what keeps getting me booked for speaking engagements at well-known companies across the country!

The bottom line to all of this is: Most Millennials grew-up communicating electronically with their peers and that is their comfort zone. However, as I explain to them, they need to work on getting out of that online comfort zone and work at being more comfortable with in-person social settings. It is critical to their career success and relationship building professionally.

My advice to all you Millennials is to take it slow and “practice”. Go to professional networking events, at work and outside of work, or if you’re job searching, and force yourself to meet as many people as you can each time. Trust me! It gets much easier the more you do it!

Also, to get you started, follow these great tips for networking successfully at events offered by David Spinks, who wrote this article for BrazenCareerist.com, an info-packed blog site for young professionals, entitled, “13 Tips for Your First Networking Event”.

Now get out there, turn off your mobile devices, and build some new relationships by communicating the old fashioned way…in-person! Your “career” will thank you!

Bye for now,

Lisa

How One Boomer Executive Got Fired and Reinvented Himself

March 17th, 2012

Hi All!

While on a recent plane flight, I came across an article in USA Today about a new book, and its author, that I thought was very interesting and inspiring. But, before I jump into telling you about it, let me take a minute to explain why the article about the Boomer author’s journey grabbed my attention:

In October of 2011, I released my third book, “Boomers into Business: How Anyone Over 50 Can Turn What They Know into Dough Before and After Retirement”. I wrote it because there are a lot of new shocking statistics about how horribly prepared more than 47% of Boomers are for retirement (or even have enough money to cover their basic bills when they get older!). So I wrote my latest book to provide career options that Boomers can consider to make more money now, on-the-side of their current job if they’re employed, as well as what they can do after they “retire” from their current job or career to generate income later in life.

There. That gives you a general overview as to why the article topic grabbed my attention…now, back to that.

The book is called, “Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, FInding a Life”, written by James. S. Kunen (Lyons Press). And it tells his journey of being a 59 years old Baby Boomer executive who was fired from a good job at Time Warner, and found himself in what he, along with many other Boomers, describe as a place of: Too young to retire and too old to hire.

So, there Kunen was, caught in that scary place that many Boomers find themselves in where they find it hard to get a new job, yet they’re too young to quit working because they don’t have enough retirement savings, and/or they need to make a living now just to make ends meet.

I don’t want to give away the ending and how he survived this, so you’ll either have to read his book or read the article I did to get more details. But I will provide you with this brief book description from his Amazon book page:

The funny, insightful, and inspiring story of a 1960s campus radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place called “Too Young to Retire and Too Old to Hire”.

James S. Kunen—author of The Strawberry Statement, an account of the 1968 student uprising at Columbia University—chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life.

He traces his evolution from a rebellious youth who sees working as a kind of death, to a laid-off corporate executive who experiences not working as a kind of death, to a reinvented and reinvigorated individual who discovers something important and meaningful to do.

The experience of falling victim to America’s recession-ravaged economy (and the people who run it) leads him along a career path far different from anything he had planned. After years of making a living, Kunen finally learns how to make a life. Diary of a Company Man will be a revelation not only to baby boomers but to young people trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

So, how did he reinvent himself? Did he become self-employed? Did he find another corporate job in a different career? If you’re a Boomer and find yourself in a similar situation as Kunen, what can you do? Or if you still have a job but need to make more money for your retirement account, what can you do? Or if you’re looking for something you can do to generate income past 65 years old, what can you do?

For starters, you can pick up a copy of Kunen’s book, or my new book, for some ideas (both of our books are available in print and Kindle)! Unfortunately, all of this is a stark reality for over 35 million Baby Boomers, and the time to start thinking about future financial security, and career options, is now!

What Are the Most Overrated Jobs College Students Should Be Aware Of?

November 13th, 2011

Hi All!

I came across this interesting article today on Yahoo! Finance and wanted to share it. The information provided is certainly helpful for recent college grads, college students, and Millennials (aka: Gen Y) in the workforce to be aware of as they plan their career paths.

Normally, we see tons of articles that are about “the hottest careers“, so I thought a topic about careers that are the most overrated was a fun twist!

Here’s an excerpt from the article, 12 Most Overrated Jobs, by Daniel Bukszpan, courtesy of CNBC:

When parents look at their young children and imagine what they’ll be when they grow up, many different possibilities come to mind. They dream of little Junior growing up to be a surgeon, or perhaps a commercial airline pilot, or maybe a banker, and they imagine a rewarding future of power, prestige, and high pay.

The reality is actually a little different. The job search portal CareerCast.com , created a list of 12 jobs that are traditionally believed to be great occupations, but that actually look a lot better on paper than they might be in reality.

Despite the public perception of some of these jobs as impressive and rewarding, some have less-than-stellar salaries and frankly lousy hiring prospects. Others come with so much on-the-job stress that the six-figure income barely seems worth it, particularly when the work involves the safety and well-being of others.

Whatever the case, CareerCast.com characterizes all of the following jobs as overrated, but with important caveats: “A job that’s overrated doesn’t mean it fails to serve an important function in our society. In fact, these jobs play an integral role in our workplace,” says the website . “It’s just that the hype surrounding them sometimes makes these jobs sound much better than they really are.”

So, are you curious what the 12 most overrated jobs are??? I’m sure you are!

Click here to find out!

Bye for now!

Lisa

Seven Tips for Gen Y Job Seekers in This Tough Economy

April 23rd, 2011

Hi All!

We all know the current job market is tough, regardless of what generation you’re from. But for many Millennials (aka: Gen Y), who are inexperienced when it comes to searching for a job, it can be an even tougher time. So this article provides all you newbie job seekers, and recent college grads, with (7) tips that will give you an edge over your job-seeker competition.

  1. Start a Blog: Not “just” a blog – a blog that covers the news and information about specific companies, or industries, where you’d like to work. You can then contact the company(s) and let them know you have a blog that is “about them and their industry”. This can attract their attention and give you an edge over just submitting a resume. Even micro-blogging on Twitter using this strategy is smart. It helps you promote your Personal Brand!
  2. Make Yourself Known: Many newbie job seekers send their resume and then do nothing. Making 1-2 follow-up calls is not enough. Until someone tells you “the position is filled”, keep calling, emailing, and inquiring. Sure, it may seem like you’re annoying, but you are making yourself memorable, and that’s key.
  3. Know Your Target: Make sure you include the terminology used within that industry, and/or by that company, when submitting your info to them. This can range from the job titles they use to the industry/company jargon they use. The point here is to make your resume and cover letter “customized” to them, not generic to ANY industry and/or company.
  4. Don’t Rely on Your Computer: Yes, the Internet is a powerful networking tool. And, of course, network on social networks like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But face-to-face contact can be more powerful. Attend local professional networking events in industries you’re interested in. Interested in a Marketing career? Attend your local AMA chapter mixer. Each month, attend as many “live” networking events as possible. Not only will you make a lot of contacts but you’ll become better at “selling yourself” which can help when you interview.
  5. Make Business Cards: Don’t arrive to networking events or job interviews without business cards. You can even make your title “Job Seeker in Finance” (or whatever you’re looking for). And on the back print a few bullets about you: Education, Degree, strengths, etc. These can be like mini-resumes and they give you something interesting to hand to people (versus writing your contact info on a napkin at an event). Make your own cards and get them printed inexpensively through online services like LogoMaker.com.
  6. Thank You Cards: Whenever your return home from an interview or networking event, or even from a casual encounter with someone you met at a party where you discussed your employment, send a hand written thank you note to everyone you met. People tend to send thank yous via email, but a hand written note makes a big impression nowadays because very few people send them!
  7. Be “Employed” Through Volunteering: If you’re unemployed, use some of your free time to volunteer at a local non-profit. That reflects well on you when interviewing. You can say that you volunteer 15-20 hours per week for XYZ organization and your tasks include…employers want to know you’re “doing something” other than looking for a job full time. It also shows them you’re hard working and not just sitting around your home waiting for a job.

And, don’t be afraid to get creative! There was a great story last year about an unemployed father of 3 from the financial industry who wore a nice suit and a sandwich board on the streets of New York, advertising he was looking for a job. And you know what? Within a short time he landed a job with a top company in his industry! Why? Because people from that company saw him daily and started to talk to him…may sound a bit nuts, but this economy is a bit nuts, so think outside the box in your job seeking efforts!

Bye for now,

Lisa

« Older Entries