As a top resume writing service, ResumeSpice understands that unless you’re a pro at writing resumes, then you probably dread the process. Not to worry. You’re certainly not alone. It seems like in today’s competitive job market, one wrong word choice or small mistake on your resume could potentially cost you the job offer.
But, here’s the good news: there are some top resume tips you can put to use today to improve your resume and stand out in a sea of other job candidates. To help you, here are five of them:
Tip #1: Make your resume easy to read.
You can have all the experience in the world. But if your resume is verbose and convoluted, it’s not going to get read. Keep in mind that hiring managers only scan resumes for a few seconds. That’s why you need to make it as easy as possible for them to read at-a-glance the important details of yours. You can do this with the right formatting – boldface, bullet points, a professional-looking font, and plenty of white space.
Tip #2: Focus on accomplishments.
Another top resume tip? Focus on accomplishments. Hiring managers don’t need to know so much that you were responsible for answering phones and responding to emails. Instead, they want to know the impact your work performance had in the company, your colleagues, your manager, and the bottom line.
So, anytime you can, quantify your accomplishments with numbers and always talk about the effect you had. For instance, rather than just saying you “answered the phone,” instead say: “Answered service calls and worked with customers to resolve issues in a timely manner to their complete satisfaction.”
Tip #3: Customize your resume.
You can create one overall resume. But, if you want the best resume – and the best results – you should always customize it to the particular position and company. For instance, you might include certain responsibilities and achievements that are highly relevant for one employer, but not another. If you list a summary of qualifications, you can also re-order it so the attributes that are most important to each individual employer are listed at the top.
Tip #4: Don’t include irrelevant information.
When it comes to your resume, another top resume writing tip is that you don’t need to include information about hobbies. Nor do you need to report that “references are available upon request.”
Simply stick to a traditional approach, which includes a summary of qualifications; chronologically listing out your job history in reverse order; covering your educational background; and highlighting any other important skills, such as those related to computer proficiencies or volunteer experience.
Tip #5: Proofread it multiple times.
Before you hit the “send” button, you’re going to want to proofread your resume several times. Even better, ask someone you trust to proofread it for you. With their fresh eye and perspective, they’re more likely to catch inconsistencies and mistakes that are harder for you to notice.
Ready for professional help from the top resume writing team?
Call 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.
Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you wake up each day and dread work? Or are you unemployed and uncertain what career step to take next? If this sounds familiar, then consider hiring a career coach. When you do, you can benefit in a variety of ways. For instance, a career coach can help you:
See yourself more objectively.
It’s hard for most people to objectively evaluate themselves as professionals. But when you’re in a career rut, it’s important for you to see things as they are – which is where a career coach can help. They can work with you to understand your background, experience, skills, and where you want to take them all. They can also look at the big picture, so you gain valuable insight on areas you need to improve upon and those you should promote more, all so you can achieve your ultimate career goals.
Identify the right career path.
If you’ve been working in a field you’re no longer happy in or satisfied by, it can be tough to know what step to take next. That’s where a career coach can help. They’ll take the time to get to know you as an individual first, including your passions, personality, and objectives. Rather than just looking at what fields or jobs would be most lucrative, they can guide you to the opportunities – and career path – that would be the best fit for you.
Give you a confidence boost.
Trying to figure out where to go with your career is never a fun process. It’s filled with uncertainty and a lot of soul-searching. As a result, your confidence level might be taking a hit. But a career coach can help you see the value you can offer to a potential employer. They can also offer you encouragement, so you stay motivated and positive as you go through a potential career change.
Make wise decisions.
If you’re trying to make an important career decision on your own, it can often feel like you’re spinning your wheels. But when you talk to a career coach about it, they can help you see the situation from a different perspective. They can also bring to light issues, or potential benefits or consequences you might not have considered. As a result, you can make a more confident decision about your career.
Interested in learning more about how a professional career coach can help your career? Contact ResumeSpice today. We can work with you on whatever career issues or challenges you’re facing, and put together a plan to help you get to where you want to go. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.
In today’s day and age of job searching on social media, video interviewing, and applying through LinkedIn, you may be wondering whether a cover letter is really needed – or if it’s outdated? At ResumeSpice, we can tell you that a cover letter still has plenty of value, if you take the right approach.
That means you can’t regurgitate what’s on your resume, or copy and paste a boilerplate letter from the Internet. However, if you put the following tips into action, you can create a cover letter that gets noticed – and gets results.
Tip #1: Tell a story.
One of the best ways to make an impression on a hiring manager is to tell a story in your cover letter. For instance, have you been a fan of the company for a while, or always wanted to work there? If that’s the case, talk about what attracts you to the organization and what value you can add to it. Stories are unique and compelling ways to bring your experience to life and stand out to a hiring manager.
Tip #2: Talk about the contributions you can make.
Hiring managers want to know what’s in it for them if they hire you. So don’t talk about what a great opportunity the job would be for your career. Instead, talk about the challenges or opportunities you see at the company – and how you can make a positive difference if hired.
Tip #3: Focus on a key accomplishment.
Think about a career accomplishment that you’re 1) proud of and 2) that’s relevant to the company and job opportunity. Write about what you learned, how you went out about solving the problem or producing positive results, and how you can do the same for the hiring company. Whenever possible, use facts and figures to underscore your claims.
Tip #4: Don’t talk about what you don’t have.
If there’s a skill the job posting lists that you don’t have, don’t focus on it. Instead, discuss the skills and experience that you do have that are most relevant to the opportunity. If the skill gap is important to the hiring manager, they’ll ask you about it during the interview.
Tip #5: Follow the right format.
When you send a cover letter in, hiring managers are expecting a business letter; not a quick email with a couple of sentences followed by a smiley face emoji. So make sure you follow standard guidelines, including keeping it to one page, including your name and contact information, using a professional-looking font and type size, and proofreading it carefully to catch any errors and typos.
Do you need more tips and advice on cover letter writing? You’ve come to the right place. At ResumeSpice, we’re not only resume experts, but cover letter specialists too. We can help you craft a letter that puts your skills and experience in the best possible light – and helps you get that coveted interview call. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.
When it comes to creating an effective resume, even the most experienced professionals can get stumped. At ResumeSpice, we understand this and are here to help. Below are a few expert tips from our team of professional resume writers that can help, whether you’re starting from scratch or polishing an existing resume:
Keep it simple.
You don’t need to have a five-page resume to impress a hiring manager. One, two pages, and, in rare instances, three will do the trick. If you’re experienced, then your resume will probably fit best on two pages. If you’re on the entry level side of your career, then a one-page resume will most likely suffice. But keep in mind, hiring managers don’t actually read your resume word for word – at least initially. So, keep it simple, succinct, and focus on the most impactful elements of your background.
Make it easy to understand.
Within a few seconds of looking at your resume, a hiring manager should be able to grasp what you do and the value you can offer. You can’t do that if you have a long-winded resume with dense paragraphs and tiny print. Instead, when writing and formatting your resume, make sure you focus on ensuring everything is easy to understand. Avoid fluff and hyperbole. Utilize simple fonts and write in bullet points rather than flowing prose.
Use a reverse chronological order.
When working on your employment history, be sure to use the reverse chronological approach. This means listing your most recent place of employment, and then working backwards. Make sure to include the name of the company, your job title, and relevant accomplishments and responsibilities. Always begin bullets with action verbs.
Tell a story.
Hiring managers don’t want to hire robots. They want real people who can get the job done. So, wherever possible, use numbers, dollar amounts, timelines, percentages and statistics to demonstrate your accomplishments. Also, if there’s something unique to your background – such as you’re an Olympic athlete or speak three languages – don’t forget to include it on your resume to help you stand out.
When preparing your resume, also consider the following don’ts:
- Don’t use fancy or script font. Stick to the tried-and-true ones.
- Don’t italicize and underline everything for emphasis. Go easy on superfluous formatting.
- Don’t include an objective at the top of your resume. The hiring manager knows your objective is to get the job, just like every other candidate who applies.
- Don’t use templates or table formats. Instead, use a simple Word document that any hiring manager can easily open and view.
- Don’t include personal information, such as whether you’re married or have kids. Also, skip the hobbies and personal interests, unless there’s a direct connection to the job you’re applying for or your hobby is truly unique (you’re a 5x Ironman finisher!).
Need more help and tips from top Houston resume writers?
Turn to the experts at ResumeSpice. Simply call us today at 832.930.7378. We can help you put your best foot forward on your resume.
Writing a resume is a painful process for most job candidates. And for good reason. Most people aren’t properly trained to craft an effective resume. On top of that, they don’t understand how hiring managers read resumes, nor what they most want to see. That’s where a professional resume writing service comes in. Here are some tips from our top Houston resume writers and how they can help you:
1) Promoting your background
Your resume is supposed to be an overview of your background and accomplishments. At the same time, it also serves as a marketing document where you’re essentially selling and promoting your unique value.
For many candidates, though, self-promotion is hard. They want to focus on tasks and responsibilities. But hiring managers want to know about your accomplishments and track record. They want to be able to understand why they should consider you and how you will make a positive impact. If promoting yourself and your background in this way makes you uncomfortable, then consider getting tips and help from a resume writer.
2) Giving hiring managers the information they want
Do you know what a hiring manager wants to see on your resume? If you’re like most job applicants, once you apply to a job, you rarely hear why you didn’t receive an interview request. But when you use a professional resume writer, you get the inside scoop on what hiring managers want to know about you. From your resume’s formatting to the key terms hiring managers, HR, and applicant tracking systems are scanning for – it’s important for them to quickly get a sense of the value you offer.
3) Overcoming writer’s block
If you’re struggling to express yourself via the written word on your resume, you’re not alone. Plenty of professionals have a hard time writing about their experience and skills. That’s where a professional resume writer can help. With a fresh eye and a talent for writing, they can put present your unique background in the best light possible.
4) Learning how to overcome gaps and other employment issues
Do you have gaps in your employment history? Are you currently unemployed? Were you fired from your last job? Dealing with these issues on your resume can be a challenge. But a professional resume writer can help you overcome them, so you can put your best foot forward.
5) Getting help with editing and proofreading
When you’ve been staring at your resume for hours, it’s easy to miss typos and errors in grammar. But a professional resume writer can help ensure your resume sounds professional and flows well. They can also perform careful proofreading to make sure it’s error-free.
Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. So if you need help with yours, or you’re not getting interviews, get more tips from Houston’s resume writers at ResumeSpice. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.
When preparing for an interview, you’ve got to do more than know how to respond to tough interview questions. You also have to ask some of your own – so you can find out if the job, your potential boss, and the company are the right fit for you.
Beyond that, hiring managers expect you to ask good questions. If you don’t, they’ll be less-than-impressed by your preparation.
But when you have limited time in the interview, what are the best questions to ask? Here are some questions and tips from Houston’s top resume writers, ResumeSpice:
What are the most important qualities for someone to succeed in this role?
The hiring manager likely told you about the daily tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. But it’s also important to have an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the role. The hiring manager’s answer to this question will often give you insight beyond the position itself and into the company culture.
What are the biggest challenges of the job?
Hiring managers can sometimes paint a rosy picture of a position they’re trying to hire for. But to gain a clearer sense of what the role truly entails – and to assess whether it’s right for you-you to need to know about the good, the bad and the ugly, too.
What are your goals and expectations for the first month on the job? What about the first six months?
You want to ensure you’re able to meet expectations within the designated time period. Beyond that, asking this question ensures that you’re not blindsided by unrealistic goals once on the job.
How many people work in the department? What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in it?
Even if the company is a big one, you’re likely mostly going to be working alongside those in your department, day in and out. That’s why it’s important to get a sense of the team – how big it is and important projects, areas of focus, or trends coming up that impact it.
What’s the culture like at the company?
Many job seekers make the mistake of asking questions only about the job and the responsibilities, without also delving into the company’s culture. But if the culture is a poor fit for you and your personality, you’re not going to be happy there, even if you can do the work.
What do you like most about working at this company?
Asking this question can offer you further insight into the company’s culture and what it’s really like to work there.
What’s the next step in your decision-making process?
Don’t forget to ask this question before you leave the interview. If the hiring manager isn’t going to be making a decision for three weeks, it’s important for you to know that. Otherwise, you might sit around, wondering, waiting and worrying. Asking this question will also give you a timeframe that’s appropriate in which to follow up.
Need more help getting the interview – and getting the job?
At ResumeSpice, as Houston’s trusted resume writers, we do more than offer tips, but also interview preparation help along with resume and cover letter writing, career coaching, and LinkedIn assistance. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.
Did you know that around 250 candidates apply for every corporate job opening? Of that number, about four to six make the cut and get an interview. With odds like those, you need to ensure your resume is polished and professional. But how does it stack up compared with other job applicants? And what aspects of a resume do hiring managers need to see?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re submitting a winning resume:
Is it tailored to each opening?
If you’re submitting the same resume to every opening you apply to, you’re doing it wrong. While you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time, you do need to customize it for each opportunity. That means taking the time to read through the job description. Then, revising your resume to ensure the most relevant experience, skills and accomplishments are on it, front and center.
Am I focusing enough on achievements?
So many job candidates make the mistake of listing out all their daily tasks and responsibilities and calling it a day. But this is a boring read for a hiring manager and can pretty much guarantee you won’t stand out. If, instead, you list one or two big accomplishments most relevant to the job under each job title, you’re going a long way in getting noticed. Also, wherever you can, quantify your achievements with hard numbers.
Did I include a summary of qualifications?
Gone are the days of the resume objective. Instead, today’s hiring managers want to see a summary of qualifications listed on your resume. These should be a bullet list of the skills, abilities, and experiences that make you most qualified for the job. We recommend putting them in a “Core Competencies” section above your experience.
Am I taking up valuable real estate with irrelevant information?
For instance, if you’re stating that “references are available upon request” or you’re including hobbies that have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for, then you’re wasting space. Hiring managers only scan each resume for a few seconds. So make sure whatever you include on yours is important and relevant to the job.
Is my resume properly formatted?
This includes using a professional looking font. Skip the garish or bold ones. It also means making sure the font size is big enough and simple to read. Be sure to also include plenty of white space on your resume and to bullet out information so it’s easy to scan.
Remember, when it comes to your resume, less is more. You don’t need to include every detail and every past job you’ve had since high school. Rather, focus on making the case as to why you’re the best fit for the job. You can do that through customizing your resume, focusing on accomplishments, and ensuring it’s all easy to read.
Need professional help creating a solid resume that stands out from the competition and gets results? Contact the experts at ResumeSpice today at 832.930.7378. Not only do we know what aspects of a resume hiring managers need to see, but also how to polish yours so it shines.
With more and more work being outsourced to “non-traditional” workers, opportunities to freelance have increased dramatically over the last decade. Along with the growth in opportunities, has been a corresponding boom in freelance applicants, who realize that freelancing is a great way to earn some money on the side – or in some cases, take the place of a 9-to-5 job.
If you are in search of freelance opportunities, you know how critical it is to stand out from the pool of applicants. With that in mind, below are a few important considerations to help you successfully land new gigs.
1. Find What You’re Good at
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to think carefully about the strengths you bring to the table. Knowing your limitations and strengths will allow you to best market yourself. Make a list of all your marketable skills. Are you a writer? Do you have experience as a photographer? Write down anything you think you could get paid for and then walk away from the list for a day or so. When you come back to it, narrow down the list to those where your passions and strengths align – think “skill meets will”.
2. Brush Up That Resume
Just as with traditional roles, when it comes to applying for freelance gigs, you’re going to need a strong resume to stand out from the crowd. However, freelancing job opportunities differ from traditional jobs in that potential clients will almost always request samples of your work. For those just starting out, considering taking on some free work. For example, if you are applying for a writing position, offer to take on some unpaid guest posts, choose a news article and summarize it, or write a review of a book or movie.
Another way to let potential employers know you are taking freelancing seriously is to set up a website to showcase your work and background. When choosing sample work to post or send, be sure to consider the type of job for which you’re applying. For example, don’t fill up your portfolio with blog posts if you’re seeking a web design role.
3. Know Your Worth
One of the most common mistakes people make when getting into freelancing is undercharging. Pricing your work on the lower end may attract more clients initially, but it can actually backfire. Paradoxically, lower budgets often mean more demanding clients, as $100 typically means more to a small business than $1000 does to a larger one. By definition, raising your prices will also eliminate those potential clients who are most price sensitive. Of course, pricing too high can also be an issue, especially if you are a beginner. Read up on the average pricing for freelance work to get a good idea of how much to charge.
4. Work on that Cover Letter
Another mistake new freelancers make is underestimating the cover letter. A strong cover letter should grab the readers’ attention and let them know what sets you apart. Whenever possible, identify the specific need you can fill to address a client’s problem. Avoid using a generic letter – clients can sniff one out, so customization is key. And always reread your cover letter to ensure it’s typo-free.
Hopefully the above tips can make the jump into freelancing an easier one. Like any new endeavor, you’ll likely face some ups and downs – and rejection! – but don’t give up. Stick with it and soon enough you’ll have clients calling YOU and you’ll have your choice of which jobs to take on.
Michelle Laurey (@michelle_laurey) is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle.
Resume writing sounds easy enough. You write out your job history and experience, then sit back and wait for the interview offers to come in. But when it comes to actually putting pen to paper, many candidates get stuck. With so much on the line, it’s a lot of pressure. Where do you even begin?
Start with the format of your resume. Once you have your work and education history properly organized into a clear format, the details become a lot easier to edit.
So, what’s the best resume format?
The answer’s easy: Reverse chronological. This is where you list your employment history in reverse order. It means your current job will be at the top of your resume and you’ll work your way backward through your career history, with your oldest job being last. Each position on your resume should include your job title, the company name and location, and the dates of employment, with a bullet list of responsibilities and accomplishments underneath.
September 2013 – Present
- Responsible for greeting customers in person and on the phone…etc.
That said, there are many schools of thought about the best resume format to use, with some recommending creating a functional resume. Rather than listing work history in order, this type of resume focuses instead on skills and experience. For instance, it puts the most relevant positions and experience you have front and center, whether it’s your most recently held job or not.
The problem with this type of resume is that it’s often used to hide a spotty work history or big gaps in employment. Hiring managers know this, which is why functional resumes are often a red flag for them. Not only that, but the reverse chronological resume is the industry standard for resume formats in 2017, 2018 – and beyond – and the format most hiring managers favor. That’s why it’s the best resume format to use.
If, however, you have decades of experience and aren’t quite sure how to get it all to fit, list your most recent 10 to 15 years of work experience in reverse chronological order. Then create a headline for “Prior Work Experience” and simply list out your job titles, employer names and dates of employment.
Need more help creating a resume that gets results, so you can land a great job?
Call ResumeSpice. As one of the country’s leading professional resume writing services, we know the best resume formats to use, as well as what hiring managers look for on resumes. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.
Your resume is your ticket into a job interview. But if you’ve sent out dozens of them – and haven’t gotten a single call back – then there’s a problem. You’re probably wondering: “Why am I not getting responses to my resume?”
If you’re like many candidates out there, the culprit is some of these common resume mistakes:
Your resume looks dated.
If you haven’t written a resume in a long time, then chances are, you’re taking an out-of-date approach. For instance, you don’t need to include your entire street address on your resume. Simply include your email, cell phone, and city and state so the hiring manager knows you’re local. In addition, skip the objective; instead, list a summer of qualifications highlighting your most relevant skills and experience at the top. Finally, don’t state that “references are available upon request.” This simply takes up valuable real estate on your resume.
There’s too much fluff on it.
Today’s hiring managers want candidates with a proven track record. So if you only include tasks and responsibilities, or you use hyperbolic language, it’s a turn off for the hiring manager. Rather, use hard-hitting, factual statements about your accomplishments and back them up as often as possible with actual numbers. For instance, “renegotiated vendor contract with office supply company that saved 15% on future orders.”
The format is difficult to read.
Hiring managers expect experienced job candidates to submit a polished resume. So if your font size is too small or inappropriate (think Comic Sans), or the copy is dense and hard-to-read, then you’re going to get overlooked – even if you have extensive experience. That’s why when formatting your resume, you should:
- Choose a professional-looking font and make sure the point size is 11 (10.5 is ok if you need the space!)
- Bold job titles and the names of employers.
- Use bullet points under job descriptions to highlight your duties and accomplishments.
- Make sure there’s plenty of white space on your resume. Keep in mind, it’s best to submit a two-page resume that is well-formatted and easy to read than a one-pager that looks jam-packed.
You’re not taking ATS systems into account.
In today’s world, a human doesn’t often lay eyes on your resume until it’s been screened through the applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems are designed to organize and sort applications, as well as screen candidates based on specific criteria. That’s why you need to format your resume in an ATS-friendly way.
To help you, here are some tips on getting through ATS systems:
- Name your resume file properly, such as “Joe Smith Resume.” Don’t go the “Joe Smith Marketing Resume – Version 27b” route.
- Use standard headings such as “Work Experience” and “Education” throughout your resume. Don’t try to get creative.
- Get rid of any unusual font types, images, tables or fields that could filter you out of the running.
- Be consistent with how you order jobs under “Work Experience.”
- Use some of the keywords in the job posting throughout your resume.
- Don’t put your contact information in a header or footer; include it in the body of the document.
- Send in your resume as a Word document.
Many times, candidates don’t understand why they’re not getting called for interviews. But it’s almost always because of one or more of the resume mistakes listed above. If you need help with yours, contact the resume writing experts at ResumeSpice. We’re here to help and just a call away at 832.930.7378.