Archive / February, 2015

How to Make Great First Impression

positive employee

When you are job searching, you want to be prepared from all angles. Once you apply for a job, the microscope zooms in and you must be prepared to be examined. Putting your best foot forward when you are being so closely inspected involves more than presenting an error-free resume and wearing a nice smile. Here are the three pieces that fit together to shape how employers see you. Are you lacking in any of these areas?

On paper (your cover letter and resume)

The first impression almost any employer will have of you is in your cover letter and resume. Most employers read cover letters, which are intended to set the tone for your resume and let the reader know why you are interested in the position. Resist the urge to make your cover letter boring (i.e. “I’m applying for the manager position. I am organized and task-oriented…”). You want to grab the reader’s attention so use exciting, illustrative language.

Your resume should be the perfect balance of concise and descriptive. It should give them enough results-focused information to make them interested in learning more about you. Both your resume and cover letter should be personalized to each job to which you are applying. Hiring managers can tell if you are blindly sending these documents out to any old job posting you come across.

Online (your cyber reputation)

There is a good chance you will be looked up online (or “Googled”) within the process of your job search. Recruiters, hiring managers, potential bosses and supervisors – they all want to check you out. What is it they will find? A good place to start is by Googling yourself. Cleaning up any unsavory information you find on your personal blog or website would be a good idea. Also be sure to update your social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace). Drunken party pics and lewd language – everyone can see this stuff! Most importantly, establish a solid professional networking identity through LinkedIn. This is now the “go-to” networking resource for professionals. If Facebook is your Saturday night, LinkedIn is your Monday morning. As such, it should be taken more seriously.

Not only should each of these online portals be free of any questionable information about you, they should also reflect your dedication to your career. For example, don’t just create a LinkedIn profile and leave it sparse; that communicates that you don’t have follow-through. Develop it into your online repertoire and make connections! There is online help to get starting, or you can use a professional resume writing service that offers LinkedIn profile development services.

In person (your professional image and attitude)

Once you get past the resume screening and put through the online “wringer”, you must pass the live test: the interview. This is where it is essential that your professional image and attitude are sharp and professional. What are your appearance and attitude currently communicating? Do you show up to interviews in wrinkled khakis or a too-tight miniskirt? Are you conveying arrogance or passiveness? These are all problems that can equate to saying, “I’m not right for this company or this position.”

You want to use your attire and demeanor to communicate what you really want to say: “I am a perfect fit for this company and position, and you should hire me right away!!” Send the right message by dressing appropriately and cleanly. Your attitude should mirror your appearance: confident, personable, and above all, professional. There are also many resources online for helping you to maximize your image and attitude to present the best “you.”

While most people just focus on their resume or interview etiquette, it is important that all angles are covered to ensure you present yourself in the most optimal light possible. By fitting these three pieces together you help eliminate any holes that might hurt your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Let professionals do the job

When you are job hunting, your resume is your most powerful weapon to get back on your feet. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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2014 Hiring Practices: the Resume Oblivion and Social Media

Year 2014 is coming shortly, and all job seekers need to be well aware of the hiring trend in the upcoming year. Worry not; we have the subject covered especially for you!

pile of resumesResume oblivion

According to a report by Forbes and Wall Street Journal, a phenomenon called “resume oblivion” will be getting worse in 2014. This happens when companies are just too overwhelmed about the number of resumes pouring in, thanks to the weak job market and new tools that let applicants apply for a job with as little as one mouse click. Many of the applicants are actually under qualified for the job, so recruiters look for alternative methods to increase efficiency. Therefore, to cut through the clutter, instead of having humans screen tons of applications, many large and midsize companies have turned to applicant-tracking systems to search resumes for the right skills and experience.

So how do these systems work? Today’s tracking systems are programmed to scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of likely interest. Then, they rank the applicants. Those with low scores generally don’t make it to the next round. Because of that, these robots may miss the most-qualified applicant if that person doesn’t game the system by larding his or her resume with keywords from the job description.

So you spent all your life studying hard to get a decent job and now a robot is determining whether you deserve the job. Sounds unfair? Welcome to the real world.

 

socialmediatreeThe power of social media

Jobvite.com reports that 94% of employers are using social networks for recruiting and Forbes predict that the number will be about 100% in 2014. More smaller companies and even midsize companies are looking at your online footprint first before giving you an interview to see if you would fit into the corporate culture and if there’s anything negative that comes up for your name.

So, before they Google your name, you Google your name first! See if anything negative comes up and start building your professional online presence. Remove unprofessional posts such as your offensive rants on Twitter, your Facebook photos of your “crazy night out”, and so on. Create a powerful LinkedIn profile and comment on industry-related blogs. Make a compelling web portfolio of your professional career and spread your video resume in YouTube and your social media channels.

 

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Get your dream job in 2014

Have you started composing your 2014 resolution? Getting a fulfilling job which leads to happier life might be on the list! So, start making plans of how you are going to achieve it, and get professional help to increase your chance!

At Style Resumes, we have helped thousands of fresh graduates and professionals to get their dream job. We know certain keywords to help your resume get high scores from the tracking systems, and we will also make it compelling to the human eyes! We could also help you build a powerful, professional online presence as well. From creating an engaging web portfolio, writing an attractive LinkedIn profile, to crafting a cool video resume, we have them covered!

Give us a call and be ready to get a new, great job in a new, promising year!

LinkedIn: The modern resume

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LinkedIn is a professional networking site with over 225 million members across 200 countries and territories making use of the services. Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has helped countless people find their dream job.

A legacy begins

What started out as a small website for professionals to keep in touch with each other, has grown into a reckonable force that brings guaranteed success. LinkedIn’s management team is made up of seasoned executives from companies like Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, TiVo, PayPal, and Electronic Arts.

As a publicly held and diversified business, LinkedIn’s revenues come from member subscriptions, advertising sales and talent solutions. Given its current growth and popularity, LinkedIn is now almost the new resume.

Replace or complement?

Some habits die hard; just as the older generations read physical newspapers out of force of habit till date, so does the paper resume continue to remain in existence. However, it wouldn’t seem too far-fetched to assume that LinkedIn today is as important if not more, than the traditional resume.

Studies show:

Head-hunters spend under six seconds of looking at a resume before deciding whether or not to call the potential candidate for an interview.

 So, the task for a job-seeker to get the recruiter’s attention is difficult enough. On top of that, most recruiter’s today also look up potential candidates on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s their first ‘go-to’ tool when it comes to checking up on an applicant’s background.

In such a situation it is important to have an optimized, updated LinkedIn profile. After all, the last thing you want is for your paper resume to impress a recruiter, only for him to find a shoddy LinkedIn profile and thereby kill any chance of you getting an interview call.

The Google of Employment

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We live in an age where ‘Googling’ something is commonplace, transforming Google into a verb. Just as Google is to information search, LinkedIn is to job search. While LinkedIn is a great place for job-seekers to find information and job leads, it also works the other way round. Whenever prospective employers want to hire a new person, besides going through the usual channels such as advertising on job portals and going through recruitment agencies, they also run a search on LinkedIn.

Imagine not having a LinkedIn profile in the first place! You’ve already taken yourself out of the running in this case. Thus, it is extremely important to have a LinkedIn profile. In such scenarios, it is almost like a substitute resume — it tells the employer about your past work experience, skill-sets, qualities you are adept at (by way of endorsements) and also your personality traits (by way of descriptions that you include about yourself, or through recommendations from others).

Case in point

Good social network

Stories abound about how LinkedIn has been useful in helping individuals and even companies carving out successful careers for themselves, thanks to this wonderful tool. For example, Jay Graves, a technology and marketing consultant, almost lost his client (a Fortune 500 company) because his company wasn’t listed as approved vendor for email marketing by any big consulting companies. He then found someone who gave him a step-by-step tutorial in going about the process of becoming a ranked service provider, at no charge. Needless to say, as a result of this gentleman’s help, Graves’ company was listed as a ‘strong performer’ in a major consulting company’s annual report on email marketing.

Networking first

Thus, LinkedIn is an important networking tool. You never know who you might come across or who might chance upon your profile in this virtual world. Just as you might hand out paper resumes at a job fair in the hope that some company calls you for an interview (and often companies ‘poach’ resumes from other companies’ databases and as a result people who might’ve applied to company A get call ups from company B instead), likewise, LinkedIn is a tool that can come in handy similarly. you never know where that call might come from; it could even be just someone from a shared interest group on LinkedIn (for instance a fellow ‘Freelance Writers’ group member).

The perfect LinkedIn profile

So treat your LinkedIn profile just as you would your resume — with diligence and attention to detail, and it just might land you a job. But if you don’t have a clue how to do that, worry not; we at Style Resumes will make sure that your LinkedIn profile reflects the best that you have to offer. Let us carve out the perfect LinkedIn profile for you and wait for those interview messages and calls!

 

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Colors to Wear to Win the Job Interview

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When you finally receive that long-awaited interview call, you definitely need to prepare what to say. Additionally, you need to plan well what to wear as well!

Certain colors can affect impressions and feelings greatly, in a very subtle way. Thus, if you want to appear as the best candidate, here are some colors to wear and colors to avoid.

 

Colors to wear:

Navy

The color navy carries authority without being overbearing. Shades of blue, in general, suggest all of the boy scout attributes: brave, reverent, trustworthy, loyal, etc. Stick with dark to medium blues for interview purposes.

Gray

The color gray makes you appear balanced, and unbiased. It’s a respectable, neutral, calm color. Wear it if you need to project a very conservative image with your most flattering shade of white. However it is the least memorable color, so, if you want to make a stronger impression, add a blouse or tie in your best shade of red, teal, or purple.

Green

Dark tones of neutralized green, like forest or hunter, give a stable impression. It says “I’m grounded in my area of expertise.” Dark greens are linked with trustworthiness similarly to blue.

Purple

The color purple is a great alternative to navy or gray in business situations where you need to project confidence and individuality. Stick to neutralized medium to dark purples. They’re professional and appropriate. However, avoid purple if you need to fit in rather than stand out.

Burgundy

The color burgundy helps a younger woman look more mature and competent. If you’re new to an industry, it can say “I’m refined and experienced in my field.” It is also a recommended tie color for a man. A woman could wear it in a suit.

 

Colors not to wear:

Red

Red gives the impression you’re not a team player. You seem to be only concerned about yourself, and you want to be noticed! Not the best message to be sending a prospective employer.

Brown

Brown, especially light to medium brown, can make you disappear into the woodwork. It won’t cause you to attract attention. It can seem safe and boring and a bit stodgy. One caveat though-if it’s a particularly rich shade of black-brown that matches your hair exactly, the effect can be terrific.

Yellow

The color yellow is cheerful and optimistic, but it can also make you appear flighty, whimsical, so people won’t take you seriously. You’ll seem somewhat impulsive and possibly a poor risk.

Orange

Orange is a declassifier. That means you’ll appear less than classy. Orange is not good for any business situation as it’s the least professional seeming color. It can look cheap no matter how expensive the garment.

Black and White

Black and white are often suggested as appropriate interview colors, but the high contrast is extremely authoritarian, and you may seem to be challenging the authority of the interviewer. This may be a questionable choice even in a conservative arena.

Pink

Pink is passive. Good for gaining sympathy and soft hearted responses, but don’t count on it to send the message that you’re a competent professional.

 

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about what to wear on the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview and negotiations, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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What Employers are Scanning in Your Resume in 10 Seconds

bad interview

You may have heard that generally, employers only spend less than 10 seconds to scan resumes and decide if it is a yes or no. How is this possible? What are they looking for in a resume? Here are some things they pay attention to; which you should be paying extra attention when writing it.

1. Location

If the company is in Los Angeles, CA and you aren’t – goodbye. Few if any clients want to relocate anyone in this economy, and most shouldn’t have to, especially in a huge metropolitan area. If they do have to consider relocation, the position has to require some very unique experience that few jobs do.

2. Industry.

If the company is in banking and your background is primarily manufacturing – goodbye. These two often are so different that the client isn’t open to considering such different industries. This works both ways, if the company is in manufacturing, they are not going to consider someone with banking background.

3. Function.

If they are looking for sales and your background isn’t sales – goodbye. Generally companies are finding a perfect fit. A perfect fit might not be possible, but it has to be very close. They don’t need to find someone in a completely different function.

4. Level

If the company is doing a VP level search and your title is “manager” and you have never been a VP – goodbye. There are exceptions to this, but again it is the 80/20 rule. It is generally way too big of a jump from manager level to VP level, all other things being equal. It works the other way too. If they are looking for a manager and you are a VP – goodbye. They know you are qualified to do a manager level role, but it is clear you have grown past. Most companies aren’t willing to take the chance that when a VP level position comes along that you won’t be gone.

5. Recent Experience

There is some overlap on this one. If they are searching for someone with international sales experience in the aerospace industry and the last time you held an international sales position in this industry was 20 years ago and since then you have been in retail – goodbye. They can find people with more relevant experience.

6. Education

Like it or not, most companies will only work with people who have a college education and most of the time a master’s degree. This is mainly because, recruiters need to find the very best. An education doesn’t mean by itself that the candidate is the best, but it is one qualifier of many.

7. Turnover

If you have had 6 jobs in the last 4 years, or have a track record of high turnover – goodbye. Recruiters realize there are good reasons for turnover and that falls into the 20% of the 80/20 rule.

8. Obvious things

Things such as spelling errors, poor format, errors in grammar, too long, verbose and rambling are turnoff for employers. If after reading your resume, the employer still can’t figure out what you do, goodbye.

Get past the 10 seconds screening – and beyond

When you are looking for job, your resume and cover letter are your most powerful weapons to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume and cover letter is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume and cover letter get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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