ADD HYPERLINKS TO YOUR RESUME

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip. 

SHOW DATE: JANUARY 15, 2013

Your resume is the gateway to your future career. So it’s a bit jarring to find out that hiring managers only spend about 10 seconds looking over it.

Fortunately, we have a way to make hiring managers look over your resume for more than 10 seconds.

Engage hiring managers by adding hyperlinks to your resumes. The great thing is, most people view resumes on their computer, meaning they can click links in your resume.

So if you work for, say, SnowCorp, put in a link to SnowCorp’s website on your resume. Also make sure to attach a hyperlink for your LinkedIn profile to your name at the top of your resume.

IS YOUR NAME STOPPING EMPLOYERS FROM FINDING YOU?

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SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 27, 2013

Don’t let your common name (ex. David Thomas) keep you invisible on social media.

Career Builder did a survey this year that found that 43% of hiring managers admit to researching high-ranking job candidates on LinkedIn and Facebook and other social media. And of course, having that common name makes you much harder to find.

There’s a simple solution. Make sure that when you register for a site like LinkedIn, the email address connected to the social media platform is the same email you have at the top of your resume.

A hiring manager can simply do a Google search on your email address and one of the first things to pop up will be your personal social media accounts. It’s a great way to stand out in the process.

ONE CRUCIAL TIP TO HELP YOU GET MORE JOB OFFERS

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2013

When you’re sending your resume out, save all that pretty formatting—the boxes, the graphs, the shading—for the resume you print out and physically hand to employers.

When you send your resume out to large companies, or even a medium-sized one, they have something called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is how HR manages the thousands of resumes they get.

This tracking system reads the resumes electronically—and all those little boxes and shadows and fancy lettering stop the program from properly reading your resume. This is a big reason you haven’t been getting as many job offers as you should be. The system just can’t process the awesomeness of your resume.

So here’s what you do: have two versions of your resume. One to physically give to someone in an interview, or to mail out, or to attach as a PDF. But then you’ve got your ATS-friendly resume.

If you have to upload your resume to a system, make sure you attach a version stripped of all the fancy formatting.

THREE RESUME FORMATTING MISTAKES TO AVOID

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

The way you’re formatting your resume may be ruining your image.

Would you ever wear flip-flops, jeans and a t-shirt to a job interview? Unless you’re interviewing for High Times, probably not. So why dress your resume in wacky fonts and stretched margins?

Your resume represents who you are you, since it’s usually the first thing that employers see. There’s no reason your resume shouldn’t look as sharp as that suit you wear to your job interviews.

Here are three huge resume formatting mistakes that can seriously injure your image with employers:

1)   Wacky fonts: Unless you’re a designer and you understand how to manipulate fonts to your aesthetic advantage, stop thinking wacky fonts distinguish you from the crowd; they only make you look like an idiot. Stick to the sweet spot with Times New Roman 11, 10 if you have a lot of text or 12 if you can’t fill the page with 11.

2)   Stretched Margins: Another thing that grates employers is excruciatingly tiny margins on either side of your resume. Be conformist, stick to the norm: .75 inches to 1 inch on the sides and .5 to .75 inches on the top and bottom (or even Word’s default 1 inch margin on all sides). Nothing lower: anything less and it’s like pulling wool over your employer’s eyes. Show employers that you have discipline by fitting your resume into a single page without cutting corner and screwing the rules.

3)   Avoid White Space: This is the opposite end of the bad formatting spectrum. Instead of too much text crammed into a single page, you have too little. You may think your resume looks beautiful and elegant when it’s sparse, but all the employer’s thinking is “Ugh, I need someone who’s done more!”       

GAPS IN YOUR RESUME? HERE’S WHAT TO WRITE

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: AUGUST 28, 2013

Last week, Uncle David showed you how vital it is to fill in the gaps on your resume, and how crucial it is not to ignore them.

This week he’d like to give you a good idea of what to actually jot into those blank spaces. Here are some good examples:

If you were raising your kids, write: “Raised children: 2010 – 2013”

If you were traveling in Europe, say: “Traveling in Europe: February 2013 – July 2013”

If you were job hunting, put: “Job Search: June 2013 – August 2013”

You get the format. Just remember that you don’t need to explain anything—simply describe, in a few words, what you were doing between jobs. Keep your descriptions down to a line and don’t explain anything on the resume: if your employer wants to know what you did in Europe, he will ask you during your interview.

GAPS ON YOUR RESUME? FILL THEM IN

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: AUGUST 21, 2013

Even the teensiest details on your resume can transform you into a powerful player on the job market.

Do you have gaps in your resume? Whether you have white space for three months or for three years, your employer wants to know what you were doing. However, people tend to leave gaps anyway, hoping nobody will notice. For all the employer knows, you could have been behind bars for cooking meth. Make sure you cover all your bases and list what you did in between jobs.

If you were out raising a family, or out on maternity leave, put it down on your resume: “Managed a household of three children.” As we’ve said before, the skills you obtain from motherhood are invaluable and will only help bolster your resume.

If you were out on a six-month Euro-trip as a last hurrah after graduation, list it on your resume (not the last hurrah bit, just the Euro-trip part). You could have picked up a new language, expanded your cultural awareness, or were inspired by something you saw or heard on the trip. These are all great things to supplant that awkward half-year gap on your resume, which every employer is going to question anyway.

Don’t fret if you were seeking employment between jobs, even if you took a year. Put it down. In this economy, no employer will begrudge you for taking a long stretch of time to find a job. Besides, as with the examples above, you might have learned a few useful skills during the time off.

Creating a robust resume is more vital now than ever before: job creation in small businesses has doubled in the past six months. And for smaller companies and startups, Craigslist should be one of your first destinations, since the list space is dirt cheap and companies save thousands by bypassing big-name recruiters.

Make sure to also check out our Tools page for a wide selection of links to some excellent job boards.

WHY NO ONE IS READING YOUR RESUME

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SHOW DATE: AUGUST 7, 2013

If the first five words of every bullet point on your resume don’t convey your point, your employer is probably not going to give your resume a second glance.

Don’t be tempted to boast by writing 3-4 line bullet points that majestically detail your every move—employers with giant stacks of resumes only read the first several words of each list item anyway.

Let’s have a look at a mediocre example:

“I’m responsible for reformatting the filing cabinet inventory, increasing capacity and efficiency by 20%.”

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Unfortunately, anyone quickly scanning your resume will likely miss out on the 20% increase in efficiency. Here’s a version that doesn’t bury the lead as much:

“Increased efficiency of filing cabinet system by 20% by initiating an overhaul of the system.”

The point of the list item is conveyed in the first five words: “Increased efficiency of filing cabinet.” The “20%” is dangled nearby and is easier to spot than in the first example.

Read through your resume’s bullet points and see if they convey their gist in the first five words: your next job may depend on it.

HOW MANY RESUMES SHOULD YOU HAVE?

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SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

Are you proud of your resume? Have you spent lost of time and effort perfecting it, proofreading it, and ensuring it contains accomplishments and metrics? Great. But if it’s your only resume, you’re only halfway there.

You should always have two resumes. The first should be an industry-specific resume, where that you can use jargon and lingo unique to your industry. It is the resume you’d use for getting a job just like the one you have, but with another company.

The second resume you should have is a more general resume designed for changing industries.  It’s a great tool to have when you happen to meet someone in another industry who is looking for employees. And in this resume, you kill the jargon and lingo and instead talks about the skill sets you can bring (and how they would translate into another position in a different industry).

THREE STEPS TO TWESUME SUCCESS

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SHOW DATE: May 1, 2013

If you’re in a 21st Century profession like marketing, tech, or social media, you should create a Twesume–a 140-character Twitter resume. Here’s how:

  1. Give one bold sentence to distinguish yourself. For example: “I am the creative engine, senior strategist, content curator, and worker-bee who makes great campaigns happen.” It’s only 98 characters!
  2. Use hashtags to get noticed: #Twesume and #hireme, as well as a city tag (#NYC or #SF)
  3. Put a bitly hyperlink to your LinkedIn page.

Create Buzz Around Your Job Application

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When you apply for a job, it’s not time to hope that fate steers you the right way. It’s time to take control. That means leaving nothing to chance and actively ensuring that you
create positive buzz around your application. After all, the job doesn’t always go to the most qualified person, it goes to the person who everyone is thinking and talking about.
So you need to make sure that you are that person—even before you set foot inside the
office.

So how do you create buzz about your application?

By following these 4 guidelines:

1. You need a social media presence. Like it or not, people who get your resume are
going to cyber-stalk you. They’re going to look you up on Google and check out your
photos on Facebook (and if you think that’s inappropriate, too bad). If they can’t find you
in cyberspace, you’re sending a message that you are unimportant. So make sure you
are on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure your photos and profile info is appropriate.
And if you have a hobby or passion, showcase it through a personal website—send out a
message that you are active and engaged, and hiring managers will see you as someone
who gets things done.

2. Your cover letter needs to stand out. If your cover letter feels like a generic form
letter you use for every job you apply to, you won’t be taken seriously. You need a cover
letter that will grab your reader’s attention and keep it. So:

Be bold. Don’t waste anyone’s time with vague statements. Be confident, sell
your greatest strengths, and make it clear why you rock.

Be specific. Show that you have the exact skills, tools, and qualities that the ad
mentions. Mention the ad and the company to show that you wrote this cover
letter for them.

Tell them how you will make their lives easier. Give an example of an
accomplishment at your old workplace, and make it clear that you can do the
same for them.

3. Prepare your references. Don’t just hope that your references are still around and
willing to put in a good word for you. Call your references and tell them to be prepared
for a call. Not only will your references appreciate the warning, but it will give them a
chance to prepare their sales pitch for you—the very buzz you need.

4. If you get an interview, that means you’re 2/3 of the way there. They like you, so
you need to go in with confidence. But you also need to be who you really are. Don’t try
to be what you think they want to see. Be genuine, because you wouldn’t have made it this far
if they didn’t like the real you!