By Ginger Robitaille
Director of Operations, Turning the Corner, LLC
Your Resume is Your First Impression-Make it Relevant
Are you interested in finding a job as a Mechanical Engineer, Software Developer, or Digital Marketer? Does your resume look like this?
Objective: To obtain a job that allows me to use my customer service skills and gain more experience.
2013 – 2015
Manage a restaurant and track staff schedules
2012 – 2013
Serve tables and occasionally assist the hostess.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering – CU
If so, we need to chat, stat!
When you are on the job hunt, you must always present yourself as a relevant candidate. Whether you have just completed a new degree or are looking to make a change in your career path, you need to strategize about how to present yourself to potential employers. Your resume is your first impression with a potential new employer; make it a relevant one.
Seven Seconds is all you Have
As a Recruiter, I look at many resumes a day to fill various positions within numerous industries. If your resume hasn’t immediately caught my attention with what you have to offer my company, or my client’s company at the beginning of your resume, I won’t waste my time reading the rest of your resume. You have been moved to the “No” pile of resumes on my desk. Recruiters are busy people, just like many of you are. They will only spend seven seconds looking at your resume, unless you entice them to read more of it by providing relatable experiences to the position you are applying for.
Use Relevant Keywords in Your Resume
What do I mean when I say relevant or relatable? We are looking for keywords/identifiers to tell us that you have the background and experience we are in need of. For example, if you are a Web Developer with experience in C++, Java, and HTML5, have you listed this information on your resume? Is it hidden at the bottom, or not included at all? If the job description is specifically asking for these skills, make them STAND OUT on your resume!
Stand Out and Sell Yourself
This is your time to shine and a moment when you must allow yourself to brag about the experiences and qualities you bring to the table. Even for those of you that aren’t sales people, you need to be able to sell yourself! You must not be shy during the job search. Always highlight or emphasize through a cover letter the important and relevant skills you have to share with a company. You don’t want to be just another bland resume on a pile of discarded resumes. You want to be different- the future employee the company will not survive without!
We are here to Help – We know what we are talking about!
If you need help with your resume, call or schedule a free consultation with us online at https://turningthecornerllc.com/contact/. We will help you determine if you are presenting yourself in the right light.
By Ginger Robitaille, PHR
COO & HR Generalist, Turning the Corner, LLC
Your resume is your main ticket to getting hired.
It sets the first impression — ALWAYS. It is important that you tailor your resume to the job posting and make sure you are relevant. Turn those job descriptions into accomplishments that showcase your skills. Pooling together your personal, educational background, and accomplishments may be easy but there could still be a flaw to your resume — that is, there are words that shouldn’t even be there in the first place. Think twice about using these words on your resume!
1. Highly qualified
This one brags too much about what you can offer to the company. It also sets high expectations on you. Failing to deliver especially during the interview will just turn your prospective employers off.
You don’t have to write this in your resume as you are already clarifying the position you are applying for. The word also suggests that you are after what you could get from the position, and not from what you can do for the company. Instead, focus on your skills, accomplishments, and qualities.
3. Team player
On the whole, every employee needs and is expected to be a team player. Besides, it leaves room for a lot of interpretation. What kind of team player are you? How much hard work are you willing to provide? Be specific with your qualities.
The problem with this word is that you sound too ambitious for the employer’s taste. It’s cliché, too. Use strong words and vivid adjectives to describe yourself.
This doesn’t sound professional and is not appropriate in formal documents such as resumes and cover letters.
In contrast, this one sounds rigid, as if you’re going to be the next president of the company. Unless you’re applying for that position — and even if you were, it’s still not advisable — skip the drama and authority issue.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean much to a company unless you specify those things or qualities that make you proactive. Employers would be interested in what you can do, not in what you are or think yourself to be.
No, this isn’t a talent show. You don’t have to say how talented you are.
No, this is not a celebrity show either.
This word will only make you look every inch the rule-breaker.
14. Best of breed
Not only does this make you look like some sort of animal trained for a special position, but it also sounds vague. You want to come across as a unique individual.
You seem old and could be “over-qualified” for the job you are applying for.
It gives creepy vibes as to what kind of employee you are. It might even scare your potential employer off.
17. Proficiency in MS Office applications
This one is basic. Above everything else, you SHOULD know how to type documents, use spreadsheets, and prepare PowerPoint presentations. All kids study this in junior year.
Unless you are so sure that you could turn in documents ahead of time and show up for work on time every day, putting this in your resume is a bad idea.
19. People person
It is healthy to socialize with your colleagues, so what exactly do you do when you’re a people person? Gossip mongers are also people persons. Noisy and boisterous employees who like to chat with their co-workers are also “people persons.”
There’s no sense in referring to yourself in the first person. It is your resume, after all.
Your resume gets one chance to make a first impression. Be concise, convincing, and use these tips to help you get the interview!
Contact us here if you need help with your resume or give us a call at 720.446.8876. Our certified team of resume writers can produce results that make you stand out in a crowd, emphasize your strengths, skills and experience, and help you get that interview. We would be happy to help you reach your goals!
By Jessie Roller, Ed.D., LPC
If you feel ready to apply for jobs online, think twice! The better prepared you are before moving towards online job boards and submitting your application, the more efficient you can be. When working with clients, many have questions about the dreaded “job application process”. What does that entail? What items need to be updated? What should be tailored to the specific job posting? Below you’ll find a breakdown of what items you need to have ready to go when you apply for positions online:
The Power of the Master
First, you need an industry-specific master resume listing all of your experiences as accomplishments. The majority of resumes list job descriptions that “tell” us what they did, but don’t “show” us how well they did it. Here’s an example: BEFORE: “Maintain productivity standards, schedule resources, and handle customer escalations.” While this may be true, it doesn’t really show what or how well the role was done. AFTER: “Created new backend systems and streamlined processes that reduced customer complaints by 80% and improved customer relationship management and retention.” Accomplishment statements can be a mixture of quantitative and qualitative statements that in essence show why you are more qualified than the other applicants.
Polished LinkedIn Profile
Bottom line: you need to be on LinkedIn regardless of your feelings towards social media. LinkedIn is a platform that is frequently used by recruiters. As a job seeker, you want to make sure you are projecting the same image and brand that is in your application materials (resume and/or cover letter). Recruiters often use LinkedIn to find applicants while waiting for people to apply and if they haven’t received any qualified applicants. This means they may view your LinkedIn before you have a chance to send in your resume.
Did you know you can apply for a job directly through LinkedIn? When using LinkedIn’s job board, you are usually applying with your LinkedIn profile. This is why updating your LinkedIn account to match the picture you’ve painted on your Master Resume is so important. LinkedIn is a place for you to expand on your background and show examples of your work in your industry. For example, LinkedIn has a feature where you can upload “media” such as PowerPoint presentations, badges, authored articles, projects, and much more that support your accomplishments. My tip to job seekers, entice recruiters and fellow industry leaders to read your profile by telling your professional story using accomplishments and industry keywords throughout your page. Luckily, LinkedIn does not have a pesky page limit you have to adhere to, so use the space to completely fill out your account with accomplishments you’re proud of.
Ready List of References
Oftentimes in the application process, you will be asked to upload your references. A reference page lists 3-5 Professional References that will speak positively about your work accomplishments, skills, and personality as it aligns with the industry you are seeking employment in. This is a one-page document that has the name, contact information (email and phone), and a one-line description of the relationship you’ve had with this individual. Example: Prior Supervisor. Have this document ready to upload or copy and paste into the company’s application system.
Templated Cover Letter
A cover letter is supplemental to your resume. Not all applications require a cover letter, however, you want to be prepared with a templated version prior to jumping on job boards. How do you create a templated cover letter? The first step is to figure out what all employers are looking for in your industry. You find this information when reviewing job posting with similar titles, you’re looking for themes. Example: 9 out of the 10 job postings you’re reviewing have “leadership experience required”, this tells you to start to write a templated cover letter highlighting and going into depth on your leadership experience. Provide a specific example that proves you’re the leader everyone wants. This will make you stand out from your competition.
Easy as 4 Steps
The 4 steps above are a great precursor to jumping online and submitting applications. If you do the work upfront, it should take you less than 30 minutes to apply for a specific job.
- Your Master Resume can be tweaked in less than 10 minutes.
- Your LinkedIn Profile is ready to go!
- Your References Page is easily uploaded.
- Updating your templated cover letter with a paragraph about the company should take less than 15 minutes.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. We work with people every day who are experts in their industry, but find it hard to create resumes, update LinkedIn, and do all the little things that make job searches successful. Turning the Corner’s career coaches and Certified Resume Writers do the work for you. For resumes, We meet with you one-on-one to discuss your accomplishments and strengths. Within a week, you will receive your professionally written Master Resume that you will spend less than 10 minutes tailoring to the specific job you are applying to. We can also write your summary and update, or even create, your LinkedIn profile to match your master resume.
If you would like further guidance in the job search process, please reach out to us and schedule a 30-minute free phone consultation for personalized career coaching or simply call us at 303-446-8876. We look forward to working with you!
By Ginger Robitaille, Certified Professional Recruiter
Director of Recruitment, Turning the Corner, LLC
You have three to seven seconds to make a first impression. Is your resume up to the challenge?
How Recruiters See Your Resume
As Recruiters we may all view the information in a different order, but we are all looking for the same thing. If we don’t find what we are looking for in the first three sections of your resume, we have moved onto the next candidate and your resume is sitting in the “no” pile. I might have to look at 20 resumes or more to find one potential candidate. You need to grab my attention immediately (have WOW factor) to stand out from the crowd. Take the time to make your resume relevant to the specific position you are applying for. A lot of keywords can be found in the job posting. Incorporate those keywords into your resume.
Including Relevant Information is a Must
I recently received a resume for one of my job postings for a marketing and sales expert. Work experience within the real estate industry was also required. The applicant had a great marketing background with a trajectory of successes. However, I had to tell them they were not a candidate for the position because they had no real estate experience. This individual wrote back to tell me they had been involved in real estate sales for the last 12 years, but they had not included that because it was just something they did as a hobby. When you are updating your resume, ask yourself, is this information relevant to the position I am applying for? If the answer is yes, include it!
The WOW Factor
It is important to pay attention to the details when applying for positions and ensure you include the requirements in the wording of your resume. I don’t want you wasting your time applying for positions you won’t be considered for, make it worth your effort. Three key items to WOW me in three seconds:
- Work History – do you have stable work history? Does the work you’ve done correlate with the requirements of the new position? It’s not always about the number of years at a company, but a steady stream of employment. Your work history should show like building blocks in your career path.
- Core Competencies – a bulleted list of your core or key competencies allows me to quickly evaluate if your skills match the current needs of the company.
- Professional Summary – tell me your perspective on what value you bring to the company. I want to get an idea of how you would “sell” yourself given an opportunity to meet with the hiring manager.
Get the Help You Need
At Turning the Corner, we are passionate about helping the right companies and job seekers find one another. A great resume is one of the first steps in making this happen. If details are not your forte or you would just like to seek a professional opinion on how you are presenting yourself in writing, reach out to us. We are here to help!
By Jodi Reiter
I’m sure you’ve heard many professionals talk about how important it is to network when you are looking for a job. Well, we agree! People are powerful resources, especially the ones you know! We aren’t asking you to beg and plead your friends and family for a job. We are simply asking you to speak with all the people in your life and update them on your job search. Ask yourself:
• Are they someone in a decision making position?
• Do they know someone who is a decision maker and can make an important introduction for you?
You need to work all of these contacts and angles during your job search to maximize your reach.
So, what happens after you reach out?
Document, Document, Document! It’s important to take notes. Otherwise you end up in an endless cycle of follow-ups. Or worse, you forget the individuals you’ve contacted. To keep track of those contacts, we’ve created a Connections Tracking Sheet. Use this sheet to take specific notes, so when you follow up you can reference previous conversations and keep track of their information. To get a copy of our Connections Tracking Sheet, Download here!
Good job! Pat yourself on the back! You have your list of contacts… Now what?
You need a system to be effective and consistent in your follow up process with those contacts. We’ve developed a system that works!
It’s called the “2, 4, 6, 8 System” and it will help you communicate and organize your communication with each person:
2: Respond to people within two days.
Once you are in communication with someone and they reach out to you via voicemail or email remember to always respond back to them as soon as possible. Never wait longer than two days.
4: Think of four strategic contacts to reach out to who can give you a job.
You may have four or more contacts in your Level One connections (your ‘Contact Now’ people). You will begin reaching out to them first.
6: It can take six times of reaching out about unrelated things to get friendly enough with folks to ask for help.
Now you have the communication started with your Level One Connections. You will keep those lines open while you also reach out to Level Two (your ‘Contact Soon’ people) and Three (your ‘Contact in the next week’ people).
Once you have the dialogue going with your connections, or you are making another attempt, remember this:
You know the person you are reaching out to. Talk about other items you may have in common (family, hobbies) or tweet/email them a current news article you found interesting that you think they would appreciate seeing as well.
Don’t be discouraged if they don’t respond to your first communication. We are all busy and they are likely to want to keep you as a connection for themselves as well. So, be patient, but once you have the dialogue going, don’t lose touch (remember number 2).
8: If you haven’t heard back after eight times, close it and spend your energy elsewhere.
If you have not heard back from a connection after eight attempts move onto other individuals on your connections list. You need to keep your momentum and conversations going to find the next position in your career that will make you whole.
Remember: Don’t be afraid to reach out! You never know where opportunities may be waiting for you. If we don’t ask, we will never know and may miss out on our next great thing. We’ve all heard worse things than “no” in our lives, so feel the fear and do it anyway!
If you have found a job and don’t have a contact name, or have applied for a job and didn’t hear anything, don’t get sucked into the black hole! Our Director of Career Services, Ginger Robitaille, has this piece of advice for you:
“If you haven’t heard back after submitting your resume, look for an HR directors email or the department head on the website. If you are not able to find an email address, and have a name, try to figure out how the company emails are set up (for example email@example.com). You can also try to contact through the website if they have a contact form.“
By Carrie S Ahmad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Interview Tips from a Recruiters Perspective
I thought the web was saturated with too much information on how to interview well, but based on the interviews I’ve participated in recently, and stories I’ve heard from other hiring managers, the messages on how to interview isn’t getting through.
Here are my top 4 tips on interviewing:
1. Don’t dominate the conversation – Let the interviewer lead the interview.
On Tuesday I was sitting in a Starbucks and overheard an interview, which nearly made me laugh out loud. The interviewee showed up first, got coffee, and was mentally preparing himself for the interview. My first thought was “Good for him! He’s on time, dressed professionally, and prepared.” As soon as the interviewer showed up everything went downhill. The interviewee took control right away, asked questions (that were completely unrelated to the job), talked, talked, and talked some more. In 30 minutes I barely heard the interviewer speak. And when I observed body language I could tell the interviewer was frustrated and ready to be done. Think the interviewee got the job? My guess is NO.
Interviewers come to interviews prepared with questions they want to ask to determine if you will be a fit for their team and the role. If you don’t give them a chance to ask questions, they won’t be able to see you as a fit. What they will see is someone who is a terrible listener, and who wants a bad listener on their team?
2. Prepare Prepare Prepare! – Research the company who invited you for an interview and come to the interview prepared to ask questions. This point is so important it deserves 2 stories!
I had lunch last week with the owner of a growing company in Denver and we were discussing recent candidate interviews. She shared that one of her greatest frustrations is candidates who have no questions when she asks, “what questions do you have for me?” I share her frustration. A candidate who can’t think of a question reveals several things: 1) they didn’t prepare, 2) they aren’t really interested in the job because if they were they’d want to know more about the role, the company, and/or the team, and 3) they aren’t the person I want to hire because they lack interest and curiosity.
A few months back my CEO was scheduled to interview an executive for a CFO role. When the candidate showed up and sat down with her the first words he uttered were, “so tell me what I’m interviewing for again.” What! That ended the interview on the spot. Know what you are interviewing for, know what the company does, know who you are interviewing with, and take time to prepare.
3. Be on time – Plan for traffic, plan for parking to be difficult, plan for time to find the building and office.
In April I was interviewing candidates for a client and my teammate had been clear with each candidate that they needed to allow themselves extra time for traffic and parking in Boulder. Her email and calendar invites to all candidates stated to allow extra time so they wouldn’t be late. Guess what – more than 1 candidate was late for the interview. Being late is disrespectful in most all situations. Show courtesy and that you value the interviewer’s time by being on time. And for those who are interviewers, this applies to you too – if you schedule an interview with a candidate – be on time for it!
4. Be clear and concise – Rambling will cause your interviewer to lose interest.
This ties back to points 1 & 2. When you prepare and when you let the interviewer lead, you are less likely to get caught up in rambling. The interviewer wants a strong overall understanding of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you bring to the role. If you ramble you won’t allow your interviewer time to ask all the questions they want to ask to really get to know you. Answer the questions fully, but try to keep each answer to less than 90 seconds.