Marie Harvey, Author at 133T
  • Career
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Resume Hacks to Guarantee a Call Back

November 17, 2017

Anything can be hacked. Servers, life, and even resumes.

When it comes to resume hacks, the “key” is keywords.

As strange as it may sound, many recruiters use automated systems to sift through the hundreds of resumes they’re sent every day. These systems focus in on certain words the recruiter finds important — these are the keywords I spoke of.

With a little research, you can find out which words will stand out to your potential employer.

Look closely at their job ad and see what language they use to describe the position, and which skills are important to them. These are obvious keywords you can use as resume hacks.

For instance, if a recruiter’s ad states that they’re looking for an “SEO Professional,” you can — if applicable — use the exact words “SEO Professional” as one of your previous titles. Or, you can slip it into your previous job’s description (ex: “As the Head Marketer of Company, I worked as an SEO professional…”).

However, keywords are only half the battle.

Keywords will get you through automated systems, but it will still be up to you to “wow” the real person on the other side of the screen who ultimately ends up reading your resume.

In my experience, there are two types of people who need extra resume hacks to succeed: those with too much experience and those without enough. In this next section, I’ll outline what you can do if you fit into either of these types.

1. Resume Hacks for the “Overqualified”

Nothing is more frustrating than really needing a job, only to be told by the recruiter that you’re “overqualified” for the position.

If you’ve held an executive title, be careful about how you advertise your skills if you are no longer seeking a c-suite role and are looking for a senior level position. I’ve seen this all too often. Many times, people who have all the skills are ruled out because no one wants a former executive reporting to a senior manager.

Just because you have the paper, doesn’t mean you need to use all of it. You don’t need to write down every single qualification you have — you only need to write enough to get your point across and get the job.

We’re all proud of our accomplishments in life and our careers; however, they’re not always helpful when it comes to resume hacks.

If you’re continually turned down for being “overqualified,” reexamine your resume and trim it down. Edit out anything “extra” that isn’t necessarily relevant to the job you’re applying for.

While it’s impressive that you’ve won an award for Bio Engineering, you don’t want to mention that if you’re applying for a management position at Denny’s.

You can still come off as a consummate professional without having to resort to bragging. Be aware of your language and keep it on par with the position you’re hoping to receive.

2. Resume Hacks for the “Under-qualified”

Just because your resume is sparse doesn’t mean it can’t be hacked.

The best thing to do is to network in the proper channels with people who are in the business you would also like to be in. Allow people to get to know you, volunteer, or consult. These are ways to create a warm market of people to look to for referrals into your next position.

Keep in mind, your previous industry may be shrinking so also think about what other secondary skills you have that you can build on and then network for a career change.

Match the keywords in the position description to your resume. If the client is looking for a certain number of years for each skill, be sure to associate those skills under each position where you have exercised those skills and make sure the number of years experience and clearly stated.

Make sure to list all tools and resources used under each positions. The more keywords the better.

It’s best to stick to your most recent 10 years of experience. Skills older than this are considered not relevant unless the skills are currently used.

By focusing on relevant skills, rather than past jobs held, you can assert your usefulness to the hiring manager with relative ease.

In Conclusion…

When it comes to resume hacks, keep these bullet points in mind:

  • Research the company you’re applying to beforehand
  • Use relevant keywords in your resume
  • Watch your use of language and try to match the “tone” of the job you’re applying for
  • Edit out bragging, and stick to relevant jobs/skills
  • Put extra focus on your relevant secondary skills if your resume is looking sparse

Put these hacks to use when writing up your next resume and I guarantee you’ll get a call back. After that, it’s up to you to nail the interview!

  • Career

The Importance of Body Language at Work

October 30, 2017

Seventy percent of what we communicate isn’t through our words.

Ursula may have been the villain in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but one of her quotes most certainly rings true: “Don’t underestimate the importance of body language.” And how we correctly communicate our body language in the workplace is one of those things that is really vital for our careers.

Evidently, someone with poor nonverbal skills is likely to give off an impression of low self-esteem and a lack of interest and backs up his or her default with “Isn’t this how humans are programmed? Is this not 100% fair?”

Hence, when dealing with the work life, it is especially important that you are aware of your body language — your nonverbal cues and gestures that can make or break relationships, and may have significant impacts on your success at work.

Getting a Grasp on Body Language

The first thing you’ll need to understand is that body language communicates a whopping seventy percent of what you’re thinking and feeling to other people. It’s essential to be cognizant of that.

Here a a few simple cues to keep in mind…

One, if you are talking to someone and they lean forward, that ordinarily indicates that they’re interested and engaged in what you’re saying. If they move back, if their head is down, or they are not making eye contact, this normally means they’re either not interested or not connecting with what you’re trying to communicate.

Another easy to recognize body cue is the position of someone’s hands. If their hands are in an “open” position then it’s an indicator that they are willing to receive and are engaged. If their hands are closed, that generally means “I’m really not interested” or “I really don’t care what you’re saying.”

And, of course, faces are one of the ultimate users of body language. Is the person you’re talking to smiling? Then they probably like what they’re hearing. Are they frowning or pouting? Then they probably don’t. Simple, right?

By understanding these easy social cues, you can maximize your communication skills in both life and the office.

5 Common Body Language Mistakes

I’ve been around enough employees to notice ALL of the most common body language mistakes. Here are the five biggest mistakes I’ve witnessed — time and time again — that have hindered employees’ communication effectiveness in a work environment:

1. Poor posture

Inability to possess proper posture — standing tall, with your neck elongated, ears and shoulders aligned, chest slightly protruding, and legs slightly apart, distributing weight evenly —  gives off a perceived lack of confidence and has a vastly negative impact on your communication at the workplace.

2. Avoiding physical feedback or facial expressions

A lot of employees show a lack of empathy or interest in what their colleagues are saying especially when they don’t give expressions like raising eyebrows, offering smiles, nodding head, vocal utterances (like “uh-huh”), and leaning forward. Lacking these gestures makes people think you don’t care and could be detrimental to your own success.

3. Lousy handshake

This may sound funny, but it is true. Your handshake should be firm, but not overbearing. Avoid weak handshakes that do not allow palm-to-palm contact or locking of thumbs in a way that you can apply an equal amount of pressure.

4. Not showing your hands

Take a look around in a meeting, and you will probably notice a few colleagues crossing their arms. As someone is talking, you should not hide your hands from view because, when a listener cannot see your hands, he or she will think you are hiding something. Therefore, to look honest and credible, show your hands.

5. Keeping a cellphone out

It is a bad habit to place your cellphone between you and who you are speaking with. Symbolically, it means that the object (phone) is more important than they are and that the phone is what you would prefer to interact with. Simply put: it’s rude.

Giving special attention to these five areas of your body language in the workplace and applying proper communication techniques will not only improve your career status, but your own emotional intelligence.

Of course, there are several more body language cues that can be utilized to your advantage. And nearly double the amount of body language errors! I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share, just as I have…

Do you have a particular body language pet peeve at the office? Is there an area that you’re personally struggling with? Share this post on Facebook and let us know — we’d love to hear from you!

  • Career

Help Recruiters Help YOU: The Importance of Good Communication

October 27, 2017

Communication is more than just speaking properly and dressing well. It is the primary skill set required for all professionals of every industry if they intend to have career success.

To communicate for success, you must consider your body language, the tone of your voice, level of excitement, eye contact, facial expressions, and even your lifestyle. Everything you do sends a message.

You want to make sure that the impression you are leaving is as planned. Speaking well, with clear and concise communication, also adds to your own professionalism. The art of having professionalism, is a language in itself. Communicating well starts with YOU being a professional.

Here are the things recruiters would really prefer that you DON’T do!

  • Getting on a phone interview in a place with background noise and poor reception showing lack of preparedness.
  • Answering the interviewer’s questions with one word responses.
  • Showing up late to an interview.
  • Not calling into a phone interview and not giving advance notice.
  • Requesting to change a scheduled interview.
  • Not being flexible when trying to schedule an interview.
  • Not following through and completing new hire paperwork when you got the job.

Here are the things recruiters don’t understand:

  • Professionals that do not have broad industry knowledge of their profession. (Not reading and learning about their industry constantly).
  • Going into an interview wearing jeans.
  • Creating a heated argument or not maintaining composure when asked difficult questions by an unprofessional interview. (You have to learn to let it go and maintain your professionalism).

Here are some things that recruiters appreciate:

  • Follow through on all instructions while going through the interview and onboarding process.
  • Keeping in touch and keeping your recruiter updated on your feedback while proceeding through the interview process.
  • Providing a resume that offers detailed explanations of your work history in an organized fashion.
  • Updating your resume when requested to further show that you meet the requirements.

Recruiters enjoy seeing you get the job you want and we appreciate being there to help you get there! But, a recruiter can only do so much. It’s all up to YOU to bring your best self and show the HR Manger what you bring the table. If you’re bringing low enthusiasm, poor speech, and fishnet stockings… there is nothing we can do.

Based on the items above, one of the best ways that you can improve on your personal presentation is to read about professional and business etiquette. Then, practice what you learn. There are so many people out there that do not practice etiquette these days that it’s a prime opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest.

Trust me: take the opportunity to exemplify excellent character, and a mindful balanced lifestyle, and you will be in the minority of job candidates to choose from.

Maybe it will help if I share what companies are looking for when they are choosing someone to introduce into their organization?

Not only do you have to fit the work requirements, but you must also fit the company culture and be a good and complementary match to the personalities of the people that you are going to work with. It doesn’t matter as much if you can do the job, what matters most is how well you work with others, whether or not you are trust worthy, whether or not you have a good work ethic, and whether or not you are the type to persevere when challenges arise.

Everyone wants to avoid job hoppers or people that quit when things get tough. All of these qualities are examined and analyzed through your appearance, manner of speaking, your lifestyle and work experience. That is what effective communication is all about.

If you’re struggling in this area, I challenge you to go out and talk to ONE stranger today — even if it’s just the cashier at the grocery store. Make eye contact and remember to smile. Practice makes perfect!