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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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How to Deal with an Interviewer from Hell

bad interview

Most interviewers are competent, well trained and effective. Unfortunately, there are interviews that are less than stellar employees; they have not been properly trained and are disinterested in you and the interview process. You need to be prepared for the interviewers that totally miss the mark. Interviews are stressful at best and getting stuck with a bad interviewer can knock you off balance if you’re not prepared.

Some possible situations and suggestions for handling:

If the interviewer is late and unprepared

Maybe this interviewer has never seen your resume and does not have a copy to review.

Suggestion: If you have properly prepared for the interview, you have an extra copy of your resume ready to present to the interviewer. Overlook the tardiness of the interviewer and move on with a smile.

If the interviewer asks illegal questions

For example, they may attempt to determine your age by asking when you graduated high school/college.

Suggestion: This is, without question, a sticky situation. Do your best to ignore the illegal question and try to return the focus to your job qualifications. Directly pointing out the illegal question will most likely be the end of a job possibility.

If the interviewer is distracted with phone calls and other interruptions

Suggestion: If the situation is extreme, you may want to offer to reschedule. If the interviewer agrees to have you come back and you encounter the same lack of focus, you may want to reconsider this position. If this is an indication of how the company functions, you may not want to work here.

An interview should be a two way conversation with both parties focused and exchanging information. Sometimes behavior or body language can be more informative than the verbal communication, so it is important that you remain alert. You want to send the right message and you want to learn from the unspoken messages you receive from the interviewer.

Not every interview will be great or smooth. In fact, some interviews will be terrible. It helps to keep this in mind as you prepare for interviews. Sometimes it’s you and sometimes, it is just plan unfair.

After you’ve completed an interview that went totally wrong, you need to quickly deal with the frustration and move on. It helps to vent to someone you trust. Then, let it go and move forward. If you feel as though you made mistakes that led to a less than great interview, take a look at the improvements you can make. You are in control and can change actions that will make you better for the next interview. If you know in your heart you were not treated fairly, accept it as one of the rough spots on the road to your success. If you are tempted to let the “could have been” employer know how you feel and just how upset you are, don’t do it! Never burn your bridges. Instead, send a thank you note and ask them to keep you in mind for future positions. This shows strength of character and class.

Get interview call from the right company with the help of Style Resumes

Before worrying about 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. 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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How to Improve Job Searching Morale when You Feel Like Giving Up

depressed man

In this tough economy, many people have been in job hunt for months and even years with no result. Job hunting is a very exhausting and depressing process and can be very demoralizing at times. It can lower your morale so bad that it leads you to stop job searching all together.

However, as the old saying goes, “when there is a will there is a way”, you too can finally get a job if you have the right mindset. Let’s look at some ways to improve your morale.

Networking groups

One of the best ways to help improve or boost your job searching morale is to join networking groups. For example, there is a new group that started in New Jersey called, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. The founder of the group started the networking group on his own to pool resources together for people who are unemployed or underemployed. So, join a local group or start your own; find like-minded people who are in similar situations and you will be surprised at how people are going through the same struggles as you.

Alumni associations

If you are a graduate of any college, anywhere, there is an alumni group. These groups may or may not be active, but you will never know unless you do some research. Majority of college alumni groups are pretty active in helping each other and if the group isn’t active then another avenue for you to explore is the career services department. Most colleges have a few people dedicated to assisting their current students and alumni with finding jobs. These people usually know the HR professionals and hiring managers of local companies and would be able to pass your resume along for you.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the gathering of all professionals in one place. What better place to go when you want to talk to people? LinkedIn serves two purposes in this manner; one, to have enlightened conversations with professionals about pressing issues affecting your industry or profession and two, to enhance your online presence. If there is one thing that majority of job seekers are lacking in, it’s their online presence. Don’t be afraid to comment on a few articles and contribute to a few discussions. You never know if your future boss is reading that same article.

Google Hangout

If you use Gmail or Google+, then you have access to Google Hangout. It gives you the ability to start an online video chat group. Everyday there are thousands of hangouts going on where people come together and discuss important topics to them. There are a multitude of Google Hangouts that are related to job searching. Not only will this help you learn some new tricks that other people are using, it will also help you brush up on some basic interviewing skills. Since the hangout is a video chat, it will require you to look professional and sound intelligent. It’s another great tool that could be used to enhance your job search.

Revamp your resume

One of the main reasons why people don’t get interview calls is because they have poor resumes which fail to emphasize their unique talents and abilities. So why not check your resume and improve it? A great way is to get a resume rewrite by a professional resume writer who knows exactly what they’re doing. After getting a powerful resume which accentuates great things about you, you will get a morale boost too, and soon you will get interview calls that will lead you to your dream job.

At Style Resumes, we are equipped with the skills and knowledge to write you various types of resume and cover letter. Let’s craft that perfect resume and snatch away that dream job of yours!

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Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Although job interviews can be really scary sometimes, remember that it is actually a two-way street and the interviewer is not the only one who has the privilege to ask questions. However, a recent survey showed that many job candidates fal­ter towards the end of the interview, especially when being prompted to ask questions. Although this could be due to the mental fatigue or simply that no ques­tions come to mind, interviewers will take this as a lack of interest for the job position.

job-interview

So what kind of questions should you ask during your interview? Let us give you some ideas.

 “What are the most important characteristics that someone needs to succeed in this position?”

By asking this question, you will help your interviewer get past what you look like on paper and focus on you as a person. If your resume isn’t perfect, directing the conversation toward your amazing personality traits can make up for what might be lacking on your resume. If your resume is perfect, recruiters still like to form a connection with a candidate and see what characteristics they would bring to a position.

Besides that, the answer to this question can also help you decide whether or not the position is the best fit for you. For example, if the interviewer’s answer is “self-starter” or “entrepreneurial,” this could mean that you would be working on your own a lot. On the other hand, if “personable” and “collaborative” are the words that come to mind for the interviewer, this could tell you the opposite. Learning what personal characteristics are vital for a position can help you get an idea for the work environment you could be entering and help you decide if a company is a good fit.

“What is the reason for the open position? Is it a new position, or did someone leave?”

Although this question may seem a bit forward or as having a negative connotation toward a company, it’s critical to do some digging to truly find out why there is an open position at a company. If the answer is because the company is growing or because of a promotion, great for you! However, if the answer seems indirect or the recruiter dismisses the question, it may mean that something is wrong. Although an open position doesn’t necessarily mean there is something undesirable about a company, it’s important to be straightforward in order to get a straightforward answer. An indirect answer can tell you a lot about any patterns in people quitting, getting fired, etc.

“What are some challenges that will face the person filling this position?”

This question can be uncomfortable because it forces the interviewer to talk about potential negative aspects of the position. It can be scary to put someone else in an awkward position, but you owe it to yourself to know what you could be up against if you are the one who ultimately ends up with the job! There will be drawbacks to any position, but challenges can also be good, so don’t be afraid to push for the true answer.

“Do you enjoy working here?”

This is when you turn the table to your interviewer, and it may catch him/her off-guard; but their answer will be very telling. If they confidently answer “yes,” paired with a smile and an enthusiastic, drawn-out response telling you every single reason why they love the company, it’s a good sign. If they hesitate, drop eye contact or force an awkward answer, it’s probably a red flag to take a step back and take another look at your possible future employer.

This question also helps the interview turn into more of a conversation, rather than just question and answer. Asking this question may be daunting, but it gives recruiters a chance to reflect on their own experiences and talk about themselves, which frankly, sometimes we all like to do.

“Is there anything about myself, my skills or my background that have made me stand out as someone who might not be the right fit for this position?”

If you didn’t get the job, this is a question you may ask. Getting feedback on why the company decided not to move forward is essential but may be the scariest question of them all, because there is the possibility that we may get slapped in the face with rejection and a whole list of ways you messed up, said the wrong thing, or simply didn’t live up to a recruiters expectations. Facing potential negative feedback head-on can be scary, but it can also be very beneficial. Asking this question shows that you can take constructive criticism and are dedicated to continuously improving, even if it may not be with that company. Who knows, you might even get the job after all, or get called up again when there is a new opening.

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about what to ask 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, 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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The 5 P’s of Job Hunting – Part 1

job hunt

You might have heard the 4 P’s of marketing, the 5 P’s of job hunting is just as important. Plan, prepare, practice, perform, and post mortem – learn how you can apply the steps correctly in this series of blog posts.

Step 1: Plan

Most people spend more time planning a one to two week vacation than they do planning their lifetime career. When planning for a vacation, you look at where you want to go, what your reason is for wanting to go to that particular place, how long it will take to get there, whether or not you want to take any side trips, what type of budget you will need, and what type of clothes you will need to take. You may also speak with people who have been there to find out a little more about the destination and activities or do some research on the internet or at the library or a travel agency.

It is important to do the same type of planning for a career. You need to take a look at where you want to go and how you are going to get there. You will need to look at: whether or not you need post-secondary education or some type of training. How long will it take you to get the skills you need? What is the best way to get these skills? What kind of money do you require for the life style you want? Think about whether or not you know anyone who is currently working in this field or if you know anyone who knows anyone working in this field. Where else can you go to find out more information?

If you are still in school, speak to a guidance counsellor and ask for information. You can also do informational interviews with people working in the field you are interested in. Another option is speaking with a career counsellor or doing some career tests.

If you are out of school, contact an employment agency to speak with a counsellor or do some personal research at the library as well as networking and making good use of your contacts.

Step 2: Prepare

Preparing for your job search involves doing a thorough personal inventory to determine your transferable and adaptive skills. Learning more about your skills prepares you so that you will be able to tell an employer the skills you have that match the job that you would like to have. This takes time. It may involve completing a questionnaire or sitting and writing down all the things you have done over the years. This is not simply listing your job description, as most people do more than what is listed on the job description, it also involves activities that you do at home.

Most of us take our skills for granted. We are so used to doing certain tasks that we do not recognize that not everyone can do what we are doing. We also do not always recognize the skills we are using in our daily activities – problem solving, decision making, driving, fixing appliances, preparing food, personal counseling. People may express amazement or be impressed by something that we take for granted. Listen to what they are saying. This is a strong skill for you and may be developed into a career goal.

Once you have reviewed your skills, you can work on developing a 30-second summary of these skills, also known as an “elevator speech”, which can be used during a telephone contact, in your cover letter, in an interview, or when talking to friends about your job search.

Preparing also means doing research on companies you might like to work for. This research may be done at the library, through personal contact, informational interviews, reading newspaper articles, or an informal visit or tour.

The development of a targeted resume is another crucial step. A targeted resume is one which highlights specific skills to demonstrate your suitability to an employer. It provides details of your work experiences which match the skills they might require. A cover letter should also be prepared for a targeted employer.

Another part of preparation is reviewing potential interview questions and determining the type of information you want to provide or you may be expected to provide to an employer. Following this, you need to practice speaking about yourself in order to be comfortable in presenting yourself to an employer.

People often think about getting a resume prepared, and maybe a cover letter in response to a job ad, but then they forget about preparing for the interview. Although a good resume and cover letter can get you in the door, the interview is what gets you the job.

Once you finish planning and preparing, you are ready for the next steps. Wait for the next blog posts!