Design Your Resume to be Easily Skimmed

In a perfect world, a hiring manager would spend ample time reading through your entire resume to see if you’re a good fit. In reality, though, they’re busy and only devote a few seconds to each one. With that in mind, you need to ensure your resume is written in a way where it’s easy to skim. Where do you begin? Here are a few key steps to take from the resume writers at ResumeSpice:

Align text to the left

The eye naturally reads from left to right, so aligning left will improve readability on your resume. However, if you center the text or justify it, it leaves uneven gaps and makes it harder to read.

Keep font size consistent

Appropriate font sizes on resumes can range from 10.5 to 12. But whatever size you choose, it’s important to stick with it throughout your resume. Your name at the top can be a little bigger, but other than that, all the text should look uniform in terms of size. If you need to emphasize something, then bold it or use italics, rather than increasing the size.

Don’t go overboard with styling

That said, it’s important to use bold and italic styling sparingly. Too much of either detracts from readability and looks unprofessional. So, for instance, choose to bold either your past employers or job titles, but not both. If the companies you worked for are more important to highlight, then bold those. However, if your career path better illustrates your value, then bold your job titles.

Keep bullet points short

When writing your resume, it’s important to use bullet points to make it easy to scan. But don’t let each one go over two lines. Otherwise, it will make your resume hard to read. Instead, keep them as concise as possible.

Use numerals

When you’re writing about quantifiable results, make sure you use numerals instead of writing out numbers. For instance, write “15 years of experience,” rather than “fifteen years of experience.” These take up less space on your resume and are easier to read. 

Leave ample white space

Don’t create tight margins in an effort to cram more information on your resume. This will simply look crowded and messy. Instead, make sure you have plenty of white space, which helps hiring managers skim more easily.

Looking for help with your resume? 

At ResumeSpice, our resume writers know first-hand what hiring managers want to see on resumes and how to create one for you that’s effective and easy to read. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

 

What “Other” Skills Should I List on My Resume?

When you’re applying for a job, you know you need to list the skills most relevant to the position. But what about those “other” skills employers want to find out about? How can you tell which to include and which to leave out? The professional resume writers at ResumeSpice have the answers you need. Here’s a look at a few skills that are always in demand:

Communication

From written to verbal, strong communication skills are a must-have regardless of your industry or career level. So discuss how you give presentations frequently, authored a white paper for your company, or are the point person for training new staff.

Computer-related

It’s important to show that you’re tech-savvy and familiar with a variety of different programs. Make sure you list them out on your resume so that potential employers understand exactly which ones you use regularly.

Customer-service

Whatever field you work in, good customer service skills are always welcome. This includes knowing how to diffuse conflicts and explain products and services. It also includes active listening skills, patience, and empathy.

Problem-solving

To set yourself apart from other candidates, show how essential you’ve become in your current or past roles by focusing on your problem-solving abilities. Spotlight specific examples of instances where you saw a challenge, took initiative and delivered a positive outcome.

Deadline-oriented

It doesn’t matter the type of position you’re looking to attain. You’ll have hot projects and tight deadlines. So if you’ve never missed a deadline, highlight that on your resume. Or talk about the big project you brought over the finish line on time and on budget.

Organizational 

Are you especially good at prioritizing or delegating? Does one of your key strengths lie in goal setting and planning? These are vital skills employers look for and why you should include them on your resume.

Now that you know which skills to include, which should you avoid? Don’t state the obvious, unless a job posting specifically asks you to. For instance, listing Microsoft Word under your technical skills just takes up valuable space and employers assume you already know it.

Likewise, don’t list skills that aren’t related at all to the position. Instead, focus on those that will help you stand out in the best possible way to hiring managers, positioning you for an interview.

Looking for professional help with your resume? 

At ResumeSpice, our resume writers will work with you to identify your key strengths so we can craft a resume that gets results. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

Help! Who Do I Address My Cover Letter to?

You’re in the midst of your job search and find an opportunity that sounds like a great fit. The trouble? The posting doesn’t give you the hiring manager’s name. Or, even if it does, do you use their first name – or “Mrs.” “Ms.” or “Mr.” – in the salutation?

Getting it right is critically important when you consider that this is the first thing a hiring manager will see when they receive your cover letter. Here are some tips from the cover letter writers at ResumeSpice to help ensure you’re off to the best start:

Be formal

If you know a particular company culture is especially casual, it’s reasonable to use first names. However, in most cases, you should take a more business-like approach and use a formal salutation. This means starting your letter off with “Dear Mr. Smith,” or “Dear Ms. Carter.” If the hiring manager is female, don’t guess at marital status. Instead, always use “Ms.,” unless there’s another, more appropriate title, such as “Dr.”

Avoid the generic

If a specific name isn’t given, don’t address your letter with “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam,” which come off as dated. Instead, spend some time trying to find the hiring manager’s name. You can do this in a few ways:

  • If they included an email address (e.g., aanderson@company.com), then Google it to try and find their full name and gender.
  • If the job posting states that the employee will report to the IT Director, then search for that person on Google or use the advanced search option on LinkedIn.
  • If you can’t find the information you need online, call the company. Your letter will stand out more if it’s addressed to an actual person, making the effort worth it.
  • If your search doesn’t yield any results, then use “Dear Hiring Manager.” Or you can use an approach that directs the letter to an entire team; for instance, “Dear Finance Department.”

Use full names if you’re not sure about gender

When the hiring manager’s name is “Fran Murray” or “Pat Jones,” it’s unclear whether “Ms.” or “Mr.” is the appropriate salutation. In these cases, Google them and see if you can find their LinkedIn profile or company bio page to determine gender. If you can’t, then include both the first and last name in your salutation; for instance, “Dear Fran Murray.”

At the end of the day, you don’t want the salutation of your letter to sabotage your ability to get called for an interview. Simply follow the tips above to ensure you start off right and then let your skills and accomplishments shine through in the rest of your letter.

Get professional help with your cover letter

At ResumeSpice, our professional cover letter writers can identify what makes you uniquely qualified for a role, then craft a letter that distinguishes you from other candidates. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

Hiring Managers Look for These 3 Things on Your Resume

When a hiring manager posts a job, they get inundated with dozens of resumes within hours. It’s a lot for them to go through. That’s why when you submit yours, you want to ensure they can scan it quickly and that it stands out effectively in a sea of other candidates. Where do you begin? The professional resume writers at ResumeSpice explain what to include on yours:

The right skills and experience.

It’s surprising how many times candidates without any experience or the right qualifications apply for a job opening. But this simply wastes their time, as well as the hiring managers. To ensure your resume communicates that you clearly have the necessary skills and experience, read through the job posting first to identify the key needs and requirements for the role. Then make sure your resume showcases each with specific examples of responsibilities, quantifiable accomplishments and measurable results.

A career path that makes sense.

Beyond your abilities, hiring managers also want to see an upward trend in your career in terms of progression, as well as an employment history that makes sense for the position they have open. If, however, they see a lot of gaps and jumping around, it’s going to be a red flag that you’re not the most consistent or reliable candidate.

An easy-to-read, error-free resume.

You might be the best fit for a particular role. However, if you send in a three-page resume full of dense paragraphs, tiny type, and narrow margins, it’s not going to get read. Instead, make your resume as easy as possible for a hiring manager to see that you’re a great fit for the job. To do that, format it in a way where it’s simple to scan, so they can quickly connect the dots.

Also, make sure you proofread it multiple times before submitting it. You don’t want a mindless or silly error to sabotage your chances of getting a call for an interview. 

Now that you know the essentials to include, what should you leave out? Here’s a quick look:

  • Skip the objective statement and include a summary of qualifications instead.
  • Don’t list any hobbies or interests, unless they’re directly related to the job or the company.
  • Don’t state that “references are available upon request.” Hiring managers assume this and it simply wastes valuable space.

Get more resume help today!

If you’d like help crafting a compelling resume for your search, contact the professional resume writers at ResumeSpice. We offer a process that’s easy, affordable and most of all effective, so you can find the job you want, faster. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

 

Why Is No One Calling Me Back After I Submit My Resume?

Getting rejected for a job opening is bad enough. But at least you know where you stand. What’s worse is when you hear nothing at all. While it happens to even the most experienced candidates, if it’s happening to you time and again, it’s a sign something is wrong in your approach. To help you find out what it is and fix it, the professional resume writing service team at ResumeSpice offers some insight into why you’re not hearing back:

You’re not the right fit.

This reason tends to be the most common and the hardest to deal with. You see yourself as completely qualified and perfectly capable of doing the job. However, the hiring manager sees things differently after reviewing your resume. That’s why it’s always important to make sure you’re not applying to every job out there and instead, taking a targeted approach and submitting your resume to those positions you’re truly qualified for.

You didn’t follow the directions.

Oftentimes, an employer will put specific instructions into a job posting, such as to email your resume with a certain subject line, submit your resume as a PDF, not a Word document, or send in three samples of your work. If you fail to follow these, it reflects poorly on you and sends the message you’re not detail oriented.

You didn’t customize your resume.

If you send in one boilerplate resume for every job you apply to, potential employers can’t gain a true sense of your worth. Not only that, but your resume won’t have keywords and phrases from each job posting, which lowers the chances of making it through the applicant tracking system many companies use to screen resumes.

Your salary requirements were too much.

If the company asked you to submit a salary history and requirements – and yours are too high – they’re probably not going to consider you for the position. To avoid this, do some research so you know what’s competitive and reasonable for the types of jobs you’re applying to.

Beyond the mistakes above, there are also plenty of reasons on the employer’s end as to why you’re not hearing back. For instance, they might have filled the position with an internal employee and are no longer looking. Or perhaps you applied too late in the process and they already had several qualified candidates to consider. 

While you don’t have control over whether employers contact you, you do have control over the strength of your resume. Submitting a well-crafted one will improve your odds of getting the attention of the hiring manager and getting more calls for interviews.

If you’d like help creating a resume, call the professional resume writing service experts at ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. We can help with all aspects of your resume, whether it needs some simple editing or a total overhaul.

Why Use a Resume Writing Service? Here Are 3 Reasons

When you’re looking for a new job, your resume plays a central role. But if you’re not an expert, it can be daunting to create one that’s effective and gets results. That’s where a resume writing service can help. In fact, when you choose to work with one, they can offer you a variety of key benefits, including the following three:

They know what hiring managers want to see.

When it comes to your resume, what should you include and what do you leave out? How far back into your career history do you go? And what about employment gaps – how do you deal with those? Answering these questions can be tough for many candidates. However, a professional resume writer knows what’s most important to hiring managers and how to position your background in a way that will appeal best to them.

They can help you market your strengths and accomplishments.

Your resume is more of a marketing document and less of a career biography. Many times, candidates find it hard to promote themselves and their abilities and accomplishments. If you’re one of them, a resume writing service can help by identifying which accomplishments are important to highlight and describing the value you can offer to a potential employer.

They can get you through the applicant tracking system.

Many companies today use applicant tracking systems to screen resumes using keywords and phrases. So, if it seems like your resume is falling into a black hole and you’re not hearing back about interviews, it could be because it’s not properly optimized and formatted for these systems. A professional service knows how to create a resume that makes it through the system and onto the desk of the hiring manager. 

You might be one of the best in your field. But if you’re not a strong resume writer, it will impact your job search success. Instead, invest in a professional resume writing service and get the edge you need over other candidates.

Ready to learn more or get started?

Connect with ResumeSpice. As a leading resume writing service, we can help you edit your resume or write one from scratch so you will get more calls for interviews. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

How Do I Choose a Format for My Resume?

When it comes to your resume, what you say is critically important; so is how it looks. If it’s cramped, has an unusual font or doesn’t make use of boldface type or bullet points, it’s going to be tough for a hiring manager to read. Even if you’re the most qualified candidate, you won’t get called for the interview as a result.

To ensure your resume is formatted properly, here are four tips from the resume writers at ResumeSpice to implement today:

Keep the ATS in mind.

Many companies, especially larger ones, use an applicant tracking system (ATS) when screening resumes. These generally don’t like fancy graphics or non standard fonts, which can lead to you being filtered out of the process. Instead, focus on using traditional fonts and take a simple approach in terms of the aesthetics. This includes point sizes that are between 10 and 12 and fonts, such as Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman.

Make it easy for hiring managers to scan.

Hiring managers only spend a few seconds looking at each resume. Therefore, it’s important that yours is easy to read with details about your strengths quickly communicated. One way to do that is by including a Summary of Qualifications at the top. This takes the place of an Objective Statement and lists, with bullet points, what makes you uniquely qualified for the job.

Use a reverse chronological format.

Unless you’re an entry-level worker or changing career fields entirely, use a reverse chronological format when writing your resume. This simply means your most recent position is listed first and the rest of your positions are in descending order.

Be consistent.

Whatever mix of bold, italics or fonts you choose to use, make sure you’re consistent. For instance, if you bold your most recent job title, then it’s important that all subsequent titles follow that same format. Just don’t overdo it with whatever formatting you use, which can be distracting.

One exception in terms of formatting is if you’re applying to a position in a creative field, such as graphic design. A hiring manager will expect a certain aesthetic, including out-of-the-box fonts, colors and imagery.

Looking for professional help with your resume? 

Connect with the resume writers at ResumeSpice. Whether you’re an entry-level employee or an executive, we can provide the feedback and assistance you need, along with services that are guaranteed. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

A Cover Letter Separates You From the Pack

Most hiring managers receive the same boilerplate resume over and over again. As a result, it can be tough to compare candidates and find the best-qualified ones. For you, however, it provides a valuable opportunity to set yourself apart. But if you’re not a cover letter writing expert, where do you begin? Start by following these tips:

Include the right names.

You’d be surprised how many times hiring managers get cover letters that have their names or the company name wrong. This is often due to a quick cut-and-paste job from another cover letter. Though it’s a small mistake, it sends a big message that you’re not detail oriented. So check names before hitting the submit button.

Also, if you don’t have the name of the hiring manager, call the company to get it. This will distinguish your cover letter from all those others that come in addressed to: “To Whom it May Concern.” 

Don’t repeat what’s on your resume.

Many candidates make this mistake and simply summarize the details of their resume. Don’t be one of them. It’s a pointless exercise since it doesn’t give the hiring manager any new information. Instead, tell a story in your cover letter, delving a little deeper into who you are as a professional and the value you can offer to a potential employer.

Highlight important accomplishments or awards.

Telling a hiring manager “I am applying for ABC position” doesn’t do a lot to communicate your strengths. Instead, look to the job posting for a clear sense of what’s important to the company in terms of skills and abilities; then focus on one or two achievements that align best with those. Wherever you can, quantify accomplishments with numbers, whether in terms of dollars, time saved, profits earned, or other facts and figures.

Avoid cliched language.

For instance, don’t say you’re a “team player” or a “dynamic self-starter.” These are overused phrases that are meaningless to hiring managers. If collaboration is an important part of the job, rather than saying you’re a team player, talk about a specific time you collaborated successfully as part of a team to achieve a positive outcome. What did you do? How did you get there? And what were the end results?

Still struggling with writing your cover letter? 

If you’d rather leave cover letter writing to professionals, turn to ResumeSpice. We can help craft an effective one that helps you stand out from the crowd, so you get more calls for interviews. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Importance of Having a Professional Picture for LinkedIn

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When a recruiter or hiring manager visits your profile page, the first thing they’ll see is your image. If yours isn’t professional or up to par, it’s going to impact the impression you’re making. For instance, if it’s too dark or low resolution, hiring managers may wonder about your attention to detail.

What’s even worse than having a low-quality image is not having one at all. This looks phony and spammy. Plus, your profile will garner far less traffic. In fact, according to LinkedIn statistics, those with a photo get 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests.

If you can get a professional headshot taken, you’re going to make a powerful impression. However, even if you can’t, there are still simple steps to ensure the image you post on your profile helps you stand out in a positive way. Here are some tips from the LinkedIn profile writing team at ResumeSpice to help you get there:

Don’t use a selfie.

It will make you look immature and unprofessional. These are for personal social media posts and not appropriate for LinkedIn.

Post a headshot.

Your LinkedIn profile image shouldn’t be a full body shot, but rather a headshot that focuses on your face. It’s, therefore, important to take your photo in a location with ample lighting. Don’t depend on the flash or light on your phone to do the job.

Wear appropriate attire.

Though the shot might simply show you from the shoulders up, whatever you’re wearing should be professional and send a positive image. Avoid novelty ties, big jewelry, and bold patterns. Instead, go for a neutral look that won’t distract. When in doubt, it’s always best to keep these to a minimum. 

Keep it simple.

Wherever you take your headshot, make sure it’s somewhere with a low-key background. If it’s too busy, it will distract from you and the image you’re trying to project. A solid colored or neutral background is the best choice.

Interested in getting more professional guidance with your LinkedIn profile?

Turn to the LinkedIn profile writing team at ResumeSpice. We can help you build a powerful profile that gets results. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

If It’s Time for a New Career, It’s Time for a Career Coach!

Feeling stuck in your career? Don’t love your field like you used to? Ready to make a change in a completely different direction? It can be both scary and exciting. However, one thing that’s for sure, a career coach can help to facilitate the transition, so it’s less stressful and you’re more successful. When you want to make a move, here are a few vital ways a career coach can help you.

Insight

The thought of switching careers can certainly inspire you. However, a career coach will be able to give you the insight you need to determine if it’s really the right move for you. They’ll work with you to understand your background and strengths, clarify your goals, and develop solutions and strategies so you can reach your ultimate career objectives. In the end, though, it could mean moving in a completely different direction than what you originally anticipated.

Positioning

If you do decide you’re ready for a new career, you have to position your background properly in order to get noticed by hiring managers. If you don’t have industry experience, for instance, but you do have transferable skills, then these should be front and center on your resume and in your cover letter. A career coach will be able to give you the guidance and advice you need make yourself as marketable and memorable as possible when applying in new fields.

Accountability

The job of a career coach is to help you reach your potential. Therefore, along the way, they’re going to work with you to set goals and benchmarks, and then hold you accountable to ensure you’re meeting them. This enables you to stay on the intended path and perhaps even work harder to achieve your objectives faster. 

Support

It’s inevitable that when you’re making a big career change, you’re going to be hit with some hard decisions along the way. A career coach can offer you “big picture” perspective, as well as help you dig into the details of all your options. As a result, you can make more informed choices about the direction of your career based on knowledge from an expert who has your best interests in mind.

If you’re interested in pursuing a new career direction, don’t ask friends and loved ones for advice. Instead, turn to a professional career coaching expert who can guide you through this life-changing choice.

Ready to learn more about how you can benefit from a career coach?

Connect with ResumeSpice. Our experienced career coaches will work one-on-one with you to identify goals, offer objective advice and guidance, and ultimately help you find a new career direction that’s right for you. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.