How to Overcome Age Discrimination on Your Resume

When you’re searching for a new job, you would think that extensive experience would always be a plus – but, as many experienced job seekers can attest, sometimes employers are wary of hiring more experienced individuals. To be clear, age discrimination is illegal and we, in no way condone not hiring employees on the basis of their age or any other any discriminatory basis. But unfortunately, age discrimination is a reality with which more experienced job seekers need to be knowledgeable about – so they can effectively manage their job search and resume materials.

So what can you do to overcome age discrimination on your resume? Here are some tips to help you:

Focus on the past 10 to 15 years.

If you have a 40-year career, then your resume is going to be lengthy. Not only do hiring managers tend to focus on your most recent position(s), but it’s unlikely that you’re going to attain a role based experience from 25-40 years ago. Including your entire background will also tip-off hiring managers to your age. For those reasons, we recommend focusing on the most recent 10-15 years. Keep in mind that your resume is a marketing document, not an autobiography. You are not required to keep every role from earlier in your career on your resume. 

Create a Gmail account.

If you have an AOL, Yahoo or Hotmail account, it can immediately age you. There is nothing inherently wrong with those email providers, but they’re less common among younger workers. Instead, we recommend creating a Gmail account for your job search. When you do, make sure you don’t include your birth year, such as mikesmith1952@gmail.com. Stick to something simple and straightforward with your name in it. Beyond that, also avoid dated referenced to old technologies or buzzwords.

Skip graduation dates.

While it’s important to include dates in your employment history, you don’t need to include the year you earned your degree. If you do, hiring managers can quickly determine your age. Instead, leave that information off and simply include the name of the university you went to and the degree you earned, as well as any minors or special honors.

Get rid of the objective.

In the past, it was standard to include an objective on your resume. But today’s hiring managers know that you’re looking for a job, so it simply wastes space. Instead, to avoid age discrimination on your resume, use that area to list a summary of qualifications most pertinent to the position you’re applying for. Highlight key accomplishments, as well as tasks and responsibilities.

Create a LinkedIn profile.

In today’s world, hiring managers expect you to have a profile on social media – especially LinkedIn – that’s complete and compelling. If you don’t, make sure you create one now, before you begin your job search. 

Are you looking for a new job and suspect you’re suffering from age discrimination on your resume? Let the team at ResumeSpice help. We can help you create a resume that gets noticed for all the right reasons and avoids the pitfalls of age discrimination on it. Get started or learn more today by calling 832.930.7378.

Don’t Know What You Want to Do? Hire A Career Coach to Get You on The Right Path

Some people know exactly where they want to go in their careers. For most individuals, though, finding the right career is a journey and, at times, a struggle. If that’s the case for you, there are steps you can take to make it easier and find the path that’s right for you: one is to hire a professional career coach. Career coaches are one of the best kept “secrets” of high-performers. Just as an athlete wouldn’t consider training and preparing without the guidance of a coach, top performing executives and coaches turn to coaches every day to boost and guide their careers.

Here are just some ways you can benefit from their expertise:

An evaluation of your strengths.

A career coach is familiar with many different career fields, as well as types of companies. They can get to know your background, personality, areas of interest, and strengths, all to gain a better sense of the career direction that’s right for you. They’ll also give you insight into the kinds of companies and cultures in which you’ll work best. That way, when you’re searching for a new job, you can focus on those organizations that are the right fit for you.

Goal-setting.

If you don’t know where you want to go in your career, it’s difficult to set goals. But your career coach can work with you to identify your big picture career objectives, as well as those smaller steps you need to take to get there. They can help you measure progress and keep you accountable as you work toward achieving your goals. This will ensure you stay on the right track.

Feedback and advice.

If you’re spinning your wheels in your career, it can be tough to know where you need help. But a career coach can offer you objective advice and feedback. They can take a look at where you are and where you want to go – and help you create a plan of action for getting there. They can also provide a reality check to ensure your expectations are realistic.

Encouragement.

When you’re trying to figure out just what to do for a career, it can be frustrating and even be discouraging. But a career coach can help. They can become your champion and advocate, helping you focus on your strengths. At the same time, they can enable you to identify weaknesses and areas you need to improve upon, all so you can land a great first job in a field that’s a fit for you.

Interested in getting help in your career from a coach?

Call ResumeSpice today at 832.930.7378. Whether your goal is to find your true calling, transition to a new career or move up the ladder within your current company, one of our trained and dedicated career coaching experts can help.

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.

What Format is Right for My Resume?

Whether you’re creating a new resume from scratch, or polishing an existing one, it’s vital you use the right format if you want to get noticed and stand out to hiring managers. But what’s the difference between different formats – and which is the best resume format to use? Here’s the information you need:

Chronological vs. Functional Resumes

There are two common types of resume formats:

  • Chronological Resume Format: This is where you list your most recent work experience first and then work backwards. This is the most common resume and for good reason: hiring managers prefer this approach.
  • Functional Resume Format: This format focuses more on skills and abilities, rather than listing a reverse chronological work history. It can be tempting to use this type of format to hide career gaps and/or job hopping. However, hiring managers are savvy and will quickly pick up on the tactic. In fact, we strongly recommend against using a functional resume format.

So now that we’ve ruled out a functional resume format, what does a chronological resume entail?

This is the best resume format to use because it’s simple and easy to follow for hiring managers. It includes:

  • Your name, email, phone and city/state at the top.
  • A one (maximum, two) sentence branding statement highlighting your unique background. 
  • Your work history listed in reverse chronological order, with bulleted points under each job title explaining your role and relevant achievements.
  • Your educational history, including the school where you went, the year you graduated and your degree.
  • Any other pertinent information, such as volunteer experience, technical skills, or other abilities that are important for a potential employer to know about.

Need more help with your resume?

Check out our resume templates for some great examples. Or simply give us a call. We know the best resume formats to use in 2018, all so you can stand out to employers and get a call for an interview. To get started or learn more, contact us today at 832.930.7378.

Top Resume Tips from the #1 Resume Writing Service

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. 

Interested in a New Career, But Don’t Know Where to Start? Hire a Career Coach!

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.

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