What Do Hiring Managers Look for On Resumes?

What do hiring managers really want to see on a resume? It can be difficult for the average job seeker to know. That’s where ResumeSpice – a top resume writing service – can help. Here’s a look at a few key features that can help yours stand out and get noticed:

Simple formatting.

A resume with a tiny text font and narrow margins is going to be a tough read for a hiring manager – even if you have the right experience. Instead, make sure yours is simple to scan with easy-to-follow bullet points, bolded job titles, and ample white space. This will make it more attractive and enticing for hiring managers. If you’re not sure what your resume should look like, read through these resume examples.

The right experience and qualifications.

Hiring managers also want to see qualifications and experience that align with the job they’re filling. When reviewing your resume, they’re asking questions such as: What past job titles have you held? How many years of experience do you have? And is your skill set the right fit for the opportunity? That’s why, before applying, it’s important to read through the job posting once again to ensure the resume you submit is as targeted as possible to the needs of the position.

Relevant information.

Don’t talk about a job you held 20 years ago in high school, or titles that are irrelevant. Also, leave off hobbies and personal information, unless it directly pertains to the position or the employer. Instead, focus primarily on recent work history and the track record of success you’ve built over the course of your career.

Career accomplishments.

It’s fine to talk a bit about the tasks and responsibilities you’ve had over the years. But the bulk of your resume should cover your career accomplishments, as well as any recognition or rewards you’ve received. Wherever you can, attach numbers to demonstrate the impact you’ve made, whether in terms of dollars, percentages, statistics or time saved.

Upward movement.

Hiring managers like to see a positive progression. That means demonstrating upward movement in your career, whether it’s through formal promotions or an increase in responsibilities. So make sure that you don’t gloss over these kinds of details; fully explain them under the ‘Experience’ section on your resume. 

Every hiring manager is unique and will look for different qualities and attributes on a resume. However, the list above covers the top priorities most like to see.

If you’d like more help creating a resume with the right mix of these essentials, check out our example resumes. You can also give ResumeSpice a call at 832.930.7378 for additional advice and assistance with resume writing. 

How to Overcome a Resume Gap When You’re Re-entering the Workforce

Job searches can be frustratingly long processes. What can prolong them even further is when you have gaps in your career. These are often red flags for hiring managers and they will fear the worst if you don’t explain them. They may think you got fired, had performance issues, or perhaps had trouble getting hired because of weaknesses in your background / candidacy. 

In reality, perhaps you were home raising kids or out of the workforce caring for an aging loved one. We advise tackling the gaps straight on and communicating “the why” behind these gaps to potential employers. How do you go about doing that?

Here are some tips on how to address a gap in your career:

Address it in your cover letter.

If you have a gap that’s a few weeks or even a couple months, don’t focus too much on it. However, gaps any longer than 4-6 months likely need an explanation. And while your resume offers highlights of your career, your cover letter is the ideal space to go into more detail about your background, what you were doing during your career gap, and what you learned along the way.

Discuss how you spent your time.

Wondering how to re-enter the workforce after a gap? Be open about it. For instance, if you were home with young kids, talk about the skills you gained from running a household, such as organizational and budgeting. Or, if you were taking care of a sick loved one, discuss how you relied on freelance work and consulting jobs to fill the gap and keep your skill set sharp. Don’t forget about any continuing education seminars you attended or career certifications you earned.

Be prepared for interviews.

If a hiring manager schedules an interview with you, be prepared to address your career gap during the conversation, but only if asked. If they do ask about it, they might want more details, or simply want to verify what you included in your resume and cover letter. Be prepared to provide the hiring manager with the facts they need to move on and focus on your strengths as a candidate.

Be honest.

Whatever the circumstances are behind your career gap, be honest about it. A hiring manager can easily verify the information you provide, so don’t include phony dates to overcome a gap on your resume or volunteer opportunities that aren’t real. Simply be honest and focus on why a company should hire you.

Need more tips on how to re-enter the workforce after a career gap?

Turn to the experts at ResumeSpice. If you’re wondering how to address a gap in your career, we can help you get back on track with our career coaching services, as well as our professional resume writing, LinkedIn, and cover letter writing services. We can also give you insight and advice on nailing your job interviews through our interview prep services. With our help, you’ll be able to overcome your career gap and re-enter the workforce with confidence. Get started or learn more today by calling 832.930.7378.

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You Hired

For most job candidates, the only thing worse than writing a resume is crafting a cover letter. What are you supposed to say in it? How long should it be? What are hiring managers on the lookout for?

You have questions; at ResumeSpice, we have answers on how to write a cover letter. Here are some tried-and-true tips for creating a cover letter that will get you hired:

Customize it.

You know your resume should be tailored to each job to which you’re applying. So should your cover letter. If it’s not, there’s a good chance you’re doing more harm than good by submitting one. 

So, before you begin writing a cover letter for a job application, make sure you review the job description and jot down some of the key qualities the company is seeking. Also, do your homework – research the company online so you can gain an understanding of what they do and the market they serve. With this knowledge in place, you should have a better understanding of why you want to work there, why you’d be a good fit for the position, and how to communicate that in your cover letter.

Talk about benefits.

In other words, what can you do for the company? Tie your background to the specifics you’ve found out about the company and where you can make the biggest impact.

For instance, explain how you can help them achieve a certain goal, or how you have experience with a certain obstacle they’ve been facing. When hiring managers are reviewing your cover letter, they’ll be wondering why they should hire you. Connect the dots and make it easy by focusing on the company’s needs and how you can meet them.

Check the basics.

When you’re writing your cover letter, format is key. Make sure you address it to the correct person and that their name is spelled right. Also, make sure you reference the name of the company accurately, using the job description as a guide. If you use the wrong name, or spell it incorrectly, hiring managers will take notice.

Proofread it.

Another tip when you’re wondering how to make your cover letter stand out? Proofread it. Just as you would your resume, make sure you carefully review your letter before sending it out. Even better, ask a friend or relative to do the same, so they can catch any errors you might have missed.

Need more help on how to write a cover letter for a job?

Call in the experts at ResumeSpice. We can help you identify your key strengths, write about them effectively in your cover letter, and increase your odds for landing the interview – and the job. Contact us at 832.930.7378 to learn more about how to write a cover letter.

How to Choose a Resume Writing Service

For most candidates, even the most experienced, writing a resume is a struggle. What do hiring managers want to see? How long should it be? What will help you stand out among other candidates? If you’re not a resume expert, it can be tough to know.

The good news is that there are resume writing services that can provide the answers to these and other questions. But with so many out there, how can you choose the one that’s right for you? Look for those that offer the following:

Customization.

The last thing you want is your resume to look and sound like everyone else’s. So look for resume writing services that take a consultative approach in which you work directly with a resume writer to discuss your skills and background. A resume expert can then develop a resume that is tailored to your unique experience.

Recruiting experience.

The best resume writing companies know the recruiting industry and understand what hiring managers look for on resumes. So when you’re searching for a resume writing service, ask about their experience in this area.

Quick turnaround.

You need a new resume – and fast. That’s why turnaround is key when it comes to picking a resume writing service. Look for those who can provide you with a draft in your desired time frame.

Knowledge of applicant tracking systems.

In today’s recruiting world, applicant tracking software is increasingly the first hurdle your resume must past through. Getting through these systems can be mystifying if you don’t know how they work. Enter an experienced resume writing service. A knowledgeable service will understand how they work and how to build your resume in a way that gives you the best possible chance of making it through.

Customer care and support.

When it comes to working with a resume writing company, you don’t want to feel like just another number. You want to work with a firm that actually cares about your career success and will go the extra mile to help and support you.

Service guarantee.

Finally, you should look for those resume writing services that offer a guarantee. If you’re not able to secure an interview, will they work with you to rewrite your resume?

Put ResumeSpice on your list of resume writing services to consider!

Whether you have a resume and just need some quick, professional feedback or don’t have a resume and need someone to write one from scratch, we can help. Contact us at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started. 

5 Critical Tips to Building a Top Resume That Stands Out

You know that most hiring managers only spend a few seconds scanning through resumes before deciding on whom to interview. The question is: how can you stand out with yours, especially in a sea of other candidates? It’s easier than you might think. Here are six top resume writing tips from the resume writing professionals at ResumeSpice to help you get there:

#1: Make an impact with your branding statement.

Want to create the best resume? Ditch the objective. Hiring managers know that your objective as a candidate is to get the job. Instead, use one line branding statement that summarizes your unique background in one (maximum, two) powerful sentences. You’re may need to customize the statement for each job. But, it’s the first thing hiring managers see, and a branding statement will go a long way in helping you stand out.

#2: Sprinkle in keywords.

In today’s world, resume scanning software, known as ATS systems, often filters out resumes before a hiring manager actually lays eyes on them. That’s why – if you want your resume to even be seen – it’s critically important that you use keywords from the job posting throughout it. Be careful not to “keyword stuff” your resume – applicant tracking systems are smart enough to identify candidates that are gaming thei system. Just a few mentions will do.

#3: Be succinct.

Being long-winded is easy. Being short and sweet – and still persuasive – will get you noticed by hiring managers. So even if you have to edit your resume a dozen times to make it as tight and articulate as possible, do it. It will pay off in the end with a top resume and more calls for interviews.

#4: Boast a little.

Most people hate self-promotion. So you’re certainly not alone there. And while no one wants to hear about how great you are at your next dinner party, you should boast (in moderation) about yourself on your resume. That simply means you should take an achievement-focused approach when discussing your current and past work experience. Rather than highlighting tasks, highlight accomplishments.

#5: Focus on facts and numbers.

Nobody likes fluff and hyperbole, but especially hiring managers. Rather than filling your resume with a bunch of adjectives, focus instead on facts. Wherever you can, quantify your accomplishments with hard numbers, from dollar figures to statistics, percentages and time saved.

Need more top resume tips – and help crafting a resume that doesn’t get lost in the crowd?

Call in the experts at ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. We can help take your resume from good to great – so you stand out and get noticed by hiring managers.