Want More Personality On Your Resume? Learn What to Add and What to Leave Out

Do you read through your resume and think “dull’? If so, it could be a problem because hiring managers want more than technical skills. They are reading between the lines to see some personality too – so they can evaluate whether you’re the right fit for their organization.

Yet infusing personality is a balancing act. You don’t want to go too far and portray yourself in a negative light, hurting your chances of getting an interview. Instead, consider the following tips to add personality the right way.

Decide What Personality Traits to Highlight

The job listing will be your guide in identifying the personality traits you should showcase on your resume. Read through it and try to get a sense of what’s important for the position and the employer.

Also do some digging online, reading through the company’s website, social media profiles, news articles, and any other information that can shed some light into what personality traits are important to the company. Make a list of a few that you can tie to your own personality and include on your resume.

Don’t Say What You Are; Show What You Do

For instance, if working well under pressure is important for the job, don’t simply state that you “work well under pressure” on your resume. Anyone can claim this and it’s difficult for a hiring manager to verify.

Instead, use a specific example to show how you work well when the pressure is on. For instance, say something like “Met 50+ monthly deadlines for the planning and implementation of online marketing strategy.” This shows that you’re able to juggle pressure and meet deadlines on the job.

Use Simple Words & Write Like a Human

Don’t use business jargon or overly complicated words to get your personality across. Instead, keep it simple when it comes to your language and write like a human, not a robot.

For instance, skip words like “utilized” instead opt for “use.” Remember, this document should be easy to scan and reader friendly, so choose the simplest, clearest language. If you use overly complicated words to describe yourself and your abilities, you might come off as dry, boastful, or both.

Focus On the Positive

When it comes to personality traits, make sure you are painting them in a positive light. For instance, if you think you’re stubborn, don’t say that on your resume. Rather, talk about how you’re resilient and persistent on the job. Using the right words and phrases is key, so that you’re putting your best foot forward and not scaring off employers by showing too much personality.

Some other examples of personality traits that employers like to see include ambition, humility, creativity, dependability, adaptability, and flexibility.

Leave Out the Negative

Everyone has personality traits that could be perceived as a weakness. Just make sure in whatever you say about your personality, that you don’t potentially leave the wrong impression with the hiring manager.

If you’re not sure after you write your resume, ask for a second opinion. Give it to a trusted friend or family member to see what they think. If they see something off, then remove it. It’s not worth taking the risk. A few negative personality traits to avoid discussing include being stubborn, controlling, judgmental, critical, pessimistic, and rebellious.

Share Your LinkedIn Profile

You know hiring managers are going to Google you if they’re interested in interviewing you. You might as well put your social media profiles front and center and use them to reflect your personality.

Before you do, though, audit your profile to ensure it paints you in a positive light and best reflects your personality traits. It might seem scary to send a hiring manager right to social media. However, they’re going to find you anyway. By opening the door and welcoming them in, it could make the difference between you and another candidate who’s more evasive.  

Dig Deeper In Your Cover Letter

If you’re having a hard time infusing personality into your resume, then focus on the facts there and tell more of a story in your cover letter. This is where you dig a little deeper into who you are, what you do, and key accomplishments you’d like to highlight.

In whatever you do on your resume in terms of adding personality, keep it short and simple. Even if you think you wrote the world’s greatest resume and it’s now three pages, pare it down. The hiring manager only takes a few seconds to scan every resume and you don’t want them to skip yours because it’s too long. Offer up just enough to get them interested, so they call you.

Do You Need Help Putting Some Personality Into Your Resume?

Turn to the professionals at ResumeSpice. We’re here for you with resume writers who know how to craft winning resumes and cover letters that showcase who you are – and why a company would want to hire you. Ready to get started? Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

Shrinking Your Resume Down to One Page? Here’s What You Can Remove

Writing your resume can be a challenge for a range of reasons – one involves length. If you’ve only been on the job for a short period, this might not be a big deal.

However, if you have years of experience, how are you supposed to boil all that down to a one-page resume? You can’t use a seven point font, unless you want your resume to land in the trash. Instead, follow these tips to trim your resume and still make a positive impact:

Shorten the Text Wherever You Can

Now’s the time to go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb and remove any extra words, phrases, or sentences. Read through every bullet under your “Work History” section and all the other sections to ensure there isn’t any extraneous text.

If you have any bullet points that are three lines, aim to cut them down to two. If you have one word alone on a line, then do whatever you can to cut or edit the sentence and get rid of the dangling word.

Combine Bullets & Sections

If you’ve removed every word possible and still have a resume that’s too long, your next step should be to combine content. For instance, if you have two bullet points under one of your job titles that are similar, look for a way to combine them.

If you have multiple sections for miscellaneous information, like “Industry Credentials” and “Honors and Awards,” combine them into one section, such as “Additional Information.” This will remove one large subhead, freeing up more space on your resume.

Combine Lines

If you’re stacking all the information on your resume, like job title, employer name, location, and dates of employment, this takes up four lines. Instead, combine them to one or two lines, depending on the length. For instance:

Marketing Manager, ABC Communications, Houston, TX – July 2018- Present

Other areas where you can get rid of stacked text include under your “Education” section. See if there’s a way to get your college name, degree and dates earned onto one line, such as:

Augusta University, Bachelor of Science in Business, Graduated: May 2015

This way, you’re not using up multiple lines. Another area to check is your contact information at the top of your resume, like phone, email, and any other details you list. Make sure they’re not all on separate lines and instead combine them into one line that is below and across your name.

Narrow the Margins

When you’re trying to get your resume down to one page and you’re almost there, the next place to look is at your margins. Keep in mind, white space is key and important to the look and feel of your resume. You don’t want to send in a resume with a tiny font point size and even tinier margins.

However, you can play with your margins a little and narrow them down to see if this helps you remove the final few lines that are running to the next page. If, for instance, you have one-inch margins all the way around your resume, see what happens when you trim them down to .75 or even .5 inch margins. Whatever you do, make sure it still looks reader-friendly.

Adjust the Line Spacing & Font Size

If you’re still in need of a little bit of space, this should be your final step. If you have your line spacing set to the default, then it might be too much. You can adjust it so it’s a little tighter. That said, don’t make the line spacing so tight that it becomes hard to read your resume.

Also, if your font size is set at 12 for all the text, adjust it to 11 to see if it works to shrink your resume. Just make sure you don’t go any smaller than 10 and keep your section headers and your name larger, such as 14.

If you’ve done all of the above and your resume now fits, congratulations! Make sure you proofread it and also ask a trusted friend or family member to proofread it as well. The last thing you want is a typo to sabotage all your hard work.

If, however, it’s still not fitting – and not even close – then it might be time for a re-write. Take a look at the job listing and read through your resume. Is everything there truly relevant to the role? If not, remove it. Also, keep in mind, you can discuss certain skills or accomplishments in your cover letter in greater detail and then just list a short bullet point on your resume.

Need More Help Writing the Right-Length Resume?

Turn to the pros at ResumeSpice. We’re experts when it comes to writing resumes and knowing what hiring managers want to see. We can help you trim yours down or start from scratch, so you put your best foot forward. Ready for help? Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

Perfect Thank You Letter Following An Interview (Template and Samples)

After an interview, you can’t sit back and breathe easy. There’s still more work to do. Once the interview is over, it’s time to write a post-interview thank you note – and increase your odds of getting the job or at least another interview.

In fact, consider these statistics from a recent CareerBuilder study:

  • 22% of employers say they’re less likely to hire a candidate who doesn’t send a thank you note
  • 56% said not sending a thank you note showed the candidate was not serious about the position
  • And 86% of hiring managers said not sending a thank you note demonstrated a lack of follow-through

If that’s not enough, there’s yet another reason to write a note. It can be a deciding factor for the hiring manager. If you’re neck-in-neck with another candidate and they write a great thank you letter, guess who will likely get the offer? It’s not worth risking job offer rejection.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s a template to follow and examples to inspire you.

 

Thank you letter email template:

 Dear [Name of Hiring Manager],

 Thank you so much for meeting with me today. It was a pleasure speaking with you and I am truly excited about the possibility of working for [Company Name].

 I’d love to be a part of your team and help you to [increase sales, retain more customers, create new products, or expand service offerings]. My [skill, such as customer service, graphic design, leadership, etc.] experience and [another skill] expertise would help me to thrive in this position while making valuable contributions.

 I look forward to hearing about next steps from you. If you need additional information, please reach out.

 Best regards,
[Your Name]

Sample thank you email letter #1:

Dear Jennifer,

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for meeting with me today. After discussing the accounting manager position, I’m excited about the chance to work for such a dynamic company. My experience as a CPA and specifically in business tax planning will help to ensure ABC Company can reduce exposure and minimize liabilities, as I’ve done with my current employer.

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps. If, in the meantime, you have any further questions, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Mike Smith

Sample thank you email letter #2:

Dear Mr. Frey,

 Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the administrative assistant position. Our conversation gave me more insight into the job and I believe I’m an excellent fit for it, as a result, especially with 10 years of experience and strong interpersonal skills. I’m also already proficient in the software you use, as we discussed, and can hit the ground running with your team faster.

Please let me know about next steps when you get the chance. If you have additional questions in the meantime, call or email me. Again, thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Lisa Morgan

Sample thank you email letter #3:

 Hello Ms. Michaels,

 I wanted to thank you for inviting me in today. It was great to hear more about the position and your company. It seems like an amazing place to work, one I’d feel lucky to be a part of. You mentioned so many unique aspects to your business – it’s all so impressive!

 Anyway, please let me know if any other questions came up or if you need additional information. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you.

 Have a great day,
Carrie Ross

Sample thank you email letter #4:

Dear Ben, 

It was great meeting with today. Thank you for explaining more about the company and role. It’s such an incredible opportunity.

I’m very interested in the job and believe my experience as a project manager will be valuable to your company. You mentioned that you’re in the process of building a new product to increase customer retention. I already have a few ideas I’d love to discuss. For instance, [include idea here].

Please contact me if you have any additional questions. I’m also including a link to my LinkedIn profile, where you can view additional information about my background. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Sam Smith

Need more help writing your thank you note?

 At ResumeSpice, we can help you craft a well-written thank you letter that will give you a leg up over other candidates, so you get the job you want. Our service includes a phone consultation, a personalized draft within two business days, and one round of revisions, followed by your final letter.

Ready to get started? Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

Recruiters Tell All: What Skills Should Job Seekers Put on Their Resume?

Whether you’re just entering the workforce or are a seasoned professional, writing a resume can be a challenge. It’s difficult to know what’s important to hiring managers and which areas in your background to focus on and promote.

However, since hiring managers only spend a few seconds screening each resume, yours needs to stand out – quickly. One way to do that is with the skills you include. These can differentiate you from other candidates, so you get a call for an interview. It can also impact the offer you get, including salary and benefits. With so much on the line, where do you even begin, though?

Here’s a look at what to include on your resume, so you get the results you want.

 

Hard Skills

Hiring managers will be scanning your resume for the right technical abilities. This means if you work in accounting, experience such as with accounting principles and knowledge of software like MS Excel are important. For working in marketing, experience with content management systems and data analytics are key. For graphic design, listing your Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification is important.

If you’re struggling with which hard skills to include on your resume, look back to the job listing. What are the qualifications and requirements included there? These are the areas you should be focusing on when showcasing your skill set. Make sure you also list any degrees or credentials that are relevant to the job.

When you’re looking at the job listing, another important step is to identify pertinent keywords. Since most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems to sort and screen resumes first, a resume optimized with keywords is more likely to get into the hands of a hiring manager.

Soft Skills

Besides hard skills, hiring managers want to know about your soft skills and if you’ll be a fit for the role and the company culture. These reflect your personality and other personal attributes, like your ability to collaborate, cope with stress, and communicate clearly.

These can be harder to promote since they’re not easy to measure. However, look once again to the job listing for an idea of what soft skills are most important to the employer.

When you’re writing your resume, don’t just say you’re a “team player,” which is vague and generic. Instead, give specific examples of accomplishments or results you achieved through collaborating with others.

Keep in mind, soft skills can often be a deciding factor for a position. In many cases, two candidates have equally strong backgrounds when it comes to technical abilities, so an employer will use the soft skills to tip the scales one way or the other.

Examples

Whether you’re writing about soft skills or hard skills, don’t simply state the ones you have. Offer an example of what you achieved. This is the best way for you to stand out with your resume.

For instance, rather than saying you have experience in “project management,” say you “led a team of 10 to successfully complete multiple mission-critical projects, on time and on budget.”

If you want to promote your communication skills, don’t simply state that you have “strong written and verbal communication skills.” Instead, discuss how you “wrote and published weekly company emails, reaching an audience of 2,500 clients and increasing traffic to the corporate website by 18%.”

If leadership skills are important to the job, don’t just say you were on a company board. Instead, state that you: “Chaired a company volunteer board that organized the annual corporate fundraising event, raising 12% more than the previous year.”

What Not To Include:

Now that you know what to include on your resume in terms of skills, what should you avoid? Here’s a look.

  • Don’t ever lie or exaggerate your skills. During the reference checking process, the hiring manager might discover the truth. Even if you do get the job and can’t perform, you’ll be miserable and your boss will be unimpressed. It’s best to be honest about your skills and abilities, even if it means you don’t get the job. False claims aren’t worth it.
  • Too much information. Since hiring managers only scan resumes for a few seconds each, it’s important to avoid dense paragraphs and lengthy text. Instead, make sure your resume is written in a clear and concise way without flowery language, like “outside the box” or “taking a deeper dive.”
  • Mistakes and typos. When you’re done writing your resume, give it to someone you trust to proofread it. You might be missing a glaring error, simply because you’ve been looking at it for too long. A fresh eye can quickly spot with formatting, grammar, typos and inconsistencies.

Need help writing your resume?

It’s easy with the professional resume writers at ResumeSpice. We can craft an honest, authentic and impactful resume that helps you stand apart from other candidates. You’ll get more calls for interviews and find the job you want sooner. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

5 Design Tips for Your Resume

So, you’re not a graphic designer. That doesn’t mean you should send in a resume that looks boring and unpolished. In fact, the look of your resume is just as important as the content for a few reasons.

If your resume is hard to read, for instance, due to narrow margins, tiny fonts, and too much text, then it’s going to wind up in the “no” pile. That’s if it even makes it into the hands of a hiring manager.

Most of today’s employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in order to screen resumes and filter out the weaker candidates. These systems have a hard time reading certain graphics, images, and fonts, which is another reason why proper design and formatting is so important for your resume.

So how do you make your resume stand out, yet still make it through the ATS? Here are five easy tips to put to use:

1. Use a lot of white space.

When it comes to your resume, white space is your friend. You don’t want cramped quarters anywhere near your resume. Imagine if you received a resume with corner-to-corner text that was tiny, formatted in five different ways, and hard-to-read. Would you want to wade through it all, or just move onto the next resume?

If you’re like most hiring managers, it’s probably the latter, which is why white space is so important. This helps you put the spotlight on important sections, like your Work History, so hiring managers can find them quickly. Your resume is more likely to be read and to persuade the hiring manager to call you for an interview.

2. Avoid too many fonts.

There are so many fonts on hand, which makes it tempting to use too many, or a creative one. You might thing this makes you stand out. However, it can be difficult for ATS software to parse a lot of fonts and ones that look like script in particular. So don’t use several fonts and instead stick to one or two, at most. For instance, you can use one font for section headings and another for body copy.

When you’re deciding, consider fonts, like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Verdana. These are effective when it comes to the ATS and also attractive and easy-to-read for the hiring manager. When you’re formatting your resume, make sure your point size is also at least 10 or more. If it’s any smaller than that, it will be difficult for the hiring manager to read when it lands in their hands.

3. Include bullet points.

Bullet points are key when it comes to your resume. These are what makes all your accomplishments and background so easy to read for the hiring manager. Since they spend such a limited time on each resume – a few seconds only – it’s important to grab their attention quickly and communicate effectively. Bullet points help you do that. Just make sure when you’re using them, you stick to around 3-6 for each job. Any more than that will make your resume appear overcrowded.

4. Bold & italicize certain areas; but don’t underline.

You should bold and italicize certain areas on your resume to make them easier to read. For instance, the Work History and Education section headers should be bolded, as should your job titles. You can then italicize the names of your past employers, or your dates of employment.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s consistent across your whole resume. For instance, if you italicize your most recent job title, then check that all your job titles are italicized. If you decide to use all-caps for the names of your employers, then do so for all of them. The same goes for the dates of employment. If you abbreviate the months for one, then follow suit for all of employment history.

However, don’t get too heavy-handed with your use of boldface or italicizing. Also, don’t underline anything, ever. This looks unprofessional and is also difficult to read.

When you’re consistent with your approach to formatting, it makes your resume easy to read and more polished looking. It also establishes a pattern that the hiring manager can easily follow, so they can scan your resume quickly yet thoroughly. This can help set you apart from other candidates who don’t have consistently formatted resumes.

5. Use the right file type.

If you’re in a creative field, like a graphic design, then it makes sense to use software, like InDesign to create your resume. For any other field, creating your resume in MS Word is the best way to go. When you’re emailing your resume directly to a hiring manager, you can save it as a PDF and attach it that way.

If, however, you’re not sure if it will go through an ATS, then a Word Doc file is the safest way to go. Some software has a hard time parsing a PDF, which can impact your chance of getting a call for an interview. Whatever you do, don’t ever send your resume as an image file, like a .jpg.

Get help writing and designing your resume with ResumeSpice.

A strong resume is key when it comes to getting your next job. If you need help writing and formatting yours, turn to the professional resume writers at ResumeSpice. We know how to create a first-rate resume that makes the best impression possible. Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.