Become More Efficient at Reviewing Resumes With These Tips

Being a hiring manager is no easy task. One poor decision and you can end up with a bad hire that impacts the whole company, from the morale to productivity and other key areas. It’s why you need to be so careful when you are reviewing resumes.

Yet, you also have to be efficient too. When you’re receiving hundreds of resumes for one position, you can’t spend 10 minutes carefully reading through each one. Instead, you need to scan them fast and get to the next one.

So how can you find the candidates you should interview, when you need to move quickly? Here are some tips to help you in the process.

Create a checklist.

Before you look at the first resume that winds up in your inbox, create a checklist of what you’re looking for. This includes essentials that a candidate must have, such as a college degree. This way, if a candidate doesn’t meet this key criteria, you can quickly eliminate them and move on to the next candidate.

Look for red flags.

There are certain red flags that are common on resumes and can help you discern whether a candidate is a potential hiring mistake. These can include:

  • Large gaps in employment. A month or two isn’t a big deal. However, if a candidate has large, unexplainable gaps or even several smaller ones, you’ll want to approach them with caution. There could be a reasonable explanation, which they hopefully addressed in their cover letter. If they didn’t, though, it’s time to move onto another candidate.
  • A lot of job hopping. Another red flag that you don’t want to miss involves too many jobs. If it’s clear that a candidate only stayed with a number of jobs for a short period of time, it’s an indication they have a hard time committing. Just make sure these weren’t temporary or contract roles before putting the candidate in the “no” pile.
  • Typos and mistakes. One typo isn’t cause for cutting a candidate. However, if there are several, along with mistakes with grammar, the names of companies and other areas, this shows a lack of attention to detail. They will bring this weakness with them if they come to work for you.
  • Too much information. When a candidate goes into detail about their family, their political or religious affiliation, or other unnecessary personal information, then you can cut them from the list.
  • A stagnant career. If a candidate has a lot of good experience, except no upward trajectory, then it could be an indication they lack drive.

Check for specific information.

If a candidate uses words that are vague and generic – such as “familiar with” or “participated in” – or they don’t offer up specific examples of their career history and accomplishments, it could be a sign of poor past performance. Instead, look for resumes that are tailored around your unique position, as well as ones that highlight a candidate’s key strengths. The more relevant a resume is to your position, the more likely you should call that candidate for an interview.

Be wary of jargon and buzzwords.

The candidate who says they’re a “data-driven IT ninja” isn’t a serious one to consider. In general, avoid candidates with resumes filled with industry jargon and buzzwords. They’re often relying on them because they don’t have the skills, experience or track record to back up their claims.

Be flexible.

If a candidate offers a unique background, but doesn’t necessarily meet all the qualifications, you can still be flexible with how you approach decision making. Remember, you’re not hiring based on a resume, you want to get the full picture before you make a decision.

So, if a particular candidate doesn’t follow the traditional career path, but piques your interest, then conduct a phone screen or bring them in for an interview. You might find out they’re a great fit for reasons you didn’t even realize. 

Reading through resumes can be a big task. However, when you follow these tips, you can find the resumes that are the start of something great.

Need help with your own resume?

If you’re thinking making a career switch to another company and want help, our team is here for you. We offer resume writing services, along with cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile writing, and so much more. We can even help you with interview prep and career counseling, all so you can polish your professional image, so you put your best foot forward. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

There Are 4 Main Types of Resumes in 2022. Which is Best for YOU?

Resume writing can get complicated, especially if you’re not sure which format to follow. This all depends on a number of factors.

For instance, are you a recent college graduate? Or do you have decades of experience? Also, have you worked in temporary roles in the past and are now looking for a permanent option? Or do you only have full-time positions to list?

The answer to these questions will impact which format is best for your job search. It’s important to know ahead of time because hiring managers only quickly scan resumes. If yours isn’t in the right format, it will get sidelined, fast.

To help ensure that doesn’t happen to you, and that you get a call for an interview, here are a few common types of resumes and the pros and cons of each format.

#1: Reverse Chronological Resume

The reverse chronological resume is the standard for most companies and hiring managers. This is where your list your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position.

After your work history, generally you’ll include education, and then any awards, accolades, and certifications, followed by miscellaneous information, such as volunteer roles or literacy with a certain computer program that’s important for the job.

This is the resume format used in a wide range of industries, from accounting and finance to healthcare and many others. If you have a solid work history and years of experience, then this resume format can help you highlight it.

The only con to this resume format is that it will show any gaps in employment. If you were out of the workforce for a period of time, you should discuss why in your cover letter so it doesn’t count against you. You can also point to any courses or volunteer opportunities you were involved with during that time away from the workforce.

#2: Online Resume

If you’re thinking an online resume is the best fit, one of the common places to post yours is in LinkedIn. This way, hiring managers can not only see your resume, but also learn more about you through your summary, recommendations and any additional information, like links to work samples, you can provide. This, in turn, can paint a vivid picture as to why you’re the best fit for a particular job opportunity.

Even if you submit a traditional resume in a Word document or as a PDF, having a LinkedIn URL is a great way to stand out. Again, you are able to provide more information than what will fit on your resume.

As a result, a hiring manager can find out specific details about your work accomplishments, read testimonials and recommendations from those you’ve worked with in the past, and review any posts you’ve published establishing you as a thought leader in the industry.

#3: Functional Resume

A functional resume leads with your skills and specific experience most relevant to the position. Next, you’d list your education and work history sections.\

This resume format is more flexible and allows you to showcase your strengths without being confusing due to many roles. It’s best used if you’ve had a lot of freelance, contract or temporary jobs in your past.

However, keep in mind that some hiring managers are wary of resumes in functional formats. Many candidates attempt to hide employment gaps using this approach. It’s best, instead, to be upfront about a gap rather than trying to draw attention away from it.

#4: Hybrid Resume

This resume is what it sounds like: a combination of both the reverse chronological and functional resume formats. The first part of it highlights your qualification and skills that are most pertinent to the position through a “Summary of Qualifications” section at the top.

The work history is then listed in the reverse chronological order. This gives the hiring manager a clear view of your background and your strengths, while also taking advantage of highlighting your most relevant skills right at the top.

Hybrid resumes can work well for anyone with experience. If you’re a recent graduate or entry-level worker, for instance, you might want to stick to a more traditional reverse chronological resume. However, if you have a proven track record of success you’d like to highlight, a hybrid resume gives you the opportunity to do that.

Need more help writing your resume?

ResumeSpice has a team of professional resume writers who know what hiring managers want to see on resumes. We can crafts yours from scratch or polish an existing one, ensuring it’s in the best-fit format and communicates why you’re a strong contender for the role. Ready to get started? Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

50 Best Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Whether you have an in-person or virtual interview, you’ll want to come prepared and give your best shot to get the role you’re aiming for. While it’s good to prepare for common questions that interviewers will likely ask you, the interview process doesn’t end there. There’s usually a time during the interview when the hiring associate will open the floor for any questions you may have. 

Asking meaningful questions during this period gives you an edge over other applicants and reaffirms your interest in the role and the company. Below, we’re sharing the 50 best questions to ask in a job interview and some tips to help increase your chances of getting hired, so keep scrolling.

Asking the Right Questions During a Job Interview

When an interviewer encourages you to ask questions, you should have two goals. The first one is to evaluate the company itself and if the job is really for you. Working in a company is a commitment, so you’ll want to make sure that you, the company, and your role are all compatible.

Another goal is to prove to the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the position. Coming prepared is always a good sign, and interviewers will notice if you approach this segment of the interview with confidence and preparedness. 

You can also achieve your goal of getting hired by asking insightful questions. Refrain from questions that are answerable by a simple yes or no. Instead, raise questions that require detailed answers. Ask about the company’s goals, struggles, future opportunities, developments, and more.

It’s also important to personalize your questions. Avoid generic language and make it applicable to your role. For example, do not just ask the interviewer what a usual day in the office looks like. Instead, ask how a usual day for you in this position looks. Apart from showing genuine interest in the role you’re applying for; you’re also helping the interviewer visualize you performing the job.

Don’t be too robotic. Ask questions that make this part of the interview a continuation of your conversation. For example, if earlier in the interview the hiring manager mentioned a project that you would potentially work on in this role, you can follow up with a question that brings up more detail about that project or ones like it. By letting the conversation flow smoothly and naturally, you’re also building rapport with the hiring manager. 

Top Questions Focused on the Job

By asking questions specific to the job you’re applying for, you’re showing your interest and commitment to the role. Moreover, you should have a clear grasp of what your day-to-day responsibilities would be to set your expectations and avoid any surprises and frustrations. 

  1. What does a typical day or week look like for this position?
  2. What are the most crucial things I must accomplish during my first 30, 60, or 90 days in the position? 
  3. What are the most immediate tasks or projects that I should fulfill? Can you give me some examples of the projects I’d need to accomplish?
  4. May I know if this is a new role or if I’ll be replacing an employee who’s about to leave? 
  5. How does your performance review process work? When and how often would I receive the evaluation?
  6. What metrics does the team use to assess performance for this role? 
  7. What are some of the biggest hurdles that an employee taking this role would face?
  8. What are the skills and attributes needed to be successful in this position?
  9. Is there a chance for the major responsibilities for this role to change over the next six months? How?
  10. How does this role contribute to the overall success and growth of the company?

Best Questions Focused on the Company

Learning more about the company you may be working with will help you see if you share the same values and if you’re going in the same direction. Working with others who share your values will give you a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness in the long run. 

Moreover, asking the following questions can give you an idea regarding job security. At the same time, you’re highlighting your commitment to the company. 

  1. What goals are the company focusing on right now? How does the team help ensure these goals are met? 
  2. What direction do you think the company will be moving in several years from now? 
  3. I’ve learned about how the company started, but can you share with me how the company has changed over the years?
  4. What makes you excited about the future of the company? 
  5. What can you share with me about new products, services, or development plans?
  6. How would you describe the most important values of the company? 
  7. What steps does the company take to make sure its values are practiced and maintained?

Practical Questions Focused on the Interviewer

Raising questions related to the interviewer is one way to establish rapport with a potential colleague. It also means that you’re interested in them as a person and not just a tool to help you get the job. In addition, you’ll get an insider’s view of the working environment. You might also just learn how the interviewer started and progressed in the company.  

  1. How long have you been working with this company? 
  2. How has your role changed since you started working here? 
  3. What is your favorite thing about being part of this company?
  4. May I know why you chose to work for this company?
  5. What is it about your job that gets you most excited in the next several months?
  6. What challenge(s) do you often or occasionally encounter with this job?
  7. Are there some future projects or initiatives that you’re particularly passionate about? 

Smart Questions Focused on the Team

To help you find out what type of team you’ll be working with and determine if it’s the right team for you, try asking some of the following questions. These might give you a chance to mention some experiences you’ve had working with similar teams, thus reinforcing how you’re suitable for the role.

  1. Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be part of?
  2. To whom would I report directly?
  3. Who would I be working with most closely? 
  4. What other units or departments will my team work closely with and how?
  5. Are you planning to hire more people for this team in the next six months?
  6. What are the strengths and challenges of the team?
  7. What kinds of skills do the current team lack that you think a new hire could offer?

Interesting Questions Focused on the Culture

Knowing about the company culture can help you determine if it’s the right company for you and if you’ll enjoy working there long term. You’ll also get a glimpse of how the company values employee happiness and work-life balance. Ask questions related to what matters to you in a company’s culture. Here are some ideas:

  1. What office tradition do you like the most?
  2. Can you tell me more about the work environment? Is the work generally more independent or more collaborative?
  3. What’s something different about working in this company from other organizations you’ve worked for?
  4. Does the company hold events with other departments or organizations? 
  5. How do you usually onboard your employees? How does the organization ensure the same standards and opportunities for both remote and in-office employees?
  6. How has the company developed since you joined here?
  7. Is there anything that I should study or read before starting that can help me develop a shared understanding and stronger relationship with my colleagues? 
  8. What does the team often do for lunch? Do team members spend time with each other outside of the office?
  9. How does the team create and maintain a strong, healthy relationship with each other?

Best Questions About Future Opportunities

While you’re still trying to get the job, it’s best to see what opportunities await you should you become part of the company. You’ll want to grow both professionally and personally. Moreover, asking questions about future opportunities will let the hiring manager see how dedicated you are to excelling in the job and not just simply showing up and completing tasks every day.

  1. How does your onboarding process work?
  2. Does the company offer professional development opportunities? How do these work?
  3. How are employees rewarded who excel in their roles? 
  4. Will there be stretch assignments that can help me acquire new skills? 
  5. Do you think the role will expand in the future?
  6. Does the company provide on-the-job training?
  7. Will there be an opportunity to represent the team or company at conferences and other events?

Common Questions Regarding the Next Steps

Before the whole interview ends, you’ll want to make sure the interview has all the necessary information they need to consider you for the job. At the same time, you want to know what to expect afterward, so ask these questions.

  1. May I know the next steps in the interview process? 
  2. Are there any other questions that I can answer for you? 
  3. Is there anything else that I have to provide that may be helpful?

By asking if they have final questions for you, you’ll have a chance to address any possible objections they may have. Moreover, you can clarify any questions they have regarding your qualifications for the role.

Questions You Should Avoid

Apart from learning the 50 best questions to ask in a job interview, you should also know what questions to avoid, so you won’t lose your chance of getting the role. Examples include the following: 

  • What will be my starting salary? 
  • Can you tell me about your leave policies?
  • How soon do you promote or give a raise to your employees? How often do you give bonuses? 
  • Will I have my own office?
  • Who are the top competitors of the company?
  • Are there any other roles open?
  • When will you make an offer to someone for this position?
  • How soon can I file for vacation leave after getting hired? 
  • What is the worst part about working here?  

Asking about the salary might create an impression that you’re only after the compensation. Besides, companies often indicate in their job ads the salary. Thus, avoid questions related to salary, promotions, vacation and sick leaves, and other benefits. 

You don’t want to sound arrogant or impatient with questions like if you’ll have your own office or if you got the job. Instead, show that you respect their hiring process, and let them approach you first regarding their decision.

Moreover, avoid asking questions that can be answered with quick research. You’re expected to search about the company and the role, so keep your questions relevant and personalized.

Final Thoughts

A job interview is a two-way process. The company needs to see if you’re the right person for the job and you need to determine if the role, the company, and its culture are what you’re looking for. When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them, use these 50 best questions to ask in a job interview.

Want to make sure you’ll ace your job interview? Our interview experts are here to help you prepare for your interview. From creating impressive resumes to working with a professional coach, ResumeSpice is equipped to help you realize your career goals.

 

How to Select a Resume Writing Service

Selecting the right resume writing service involves more than finding a company that can string together a few sentences and facts. The chosen service needs to effectively summarize your attributes, experience, and knowledge in a format that flows, while making you stand out from other applicants. The checklist of must-have features below will streamline the process and help you eliminate unqualified companies

#1: Experience Counts

The job market of today is the most competitive in decades, which means you need a professional resume writing service that has concrete experience across a broad range of industries. Rather than relying on a single person who has limited first-hand recruiting experience, look for a company that has in-depth recruiting experience and has worked with hiring managers and human resource personnel who make decisions on job seekers’ resumes every day. They will be more likely to put together a resume that effective captures the hiring manager’s attention.

#2: Consultations, Not Forms

Most resume writing companies incorporate initial forms that ask clients to input key information about their career goals. A company that excels will couple the form with extensive consultations. Choose a company that offers a choice of several consultations formats such as Skype, in-person, and phone to fit your style, personality, and schedule. This approach results in a customized resume that reflects what you have to offer and how you are the best choice for the job.

#3: Timely Delivery

Everyone's heard horror stories about someone finding a listing with the perfect job, only to find out later that an applicant was chosen within a few days of the job posting, before they even had a chance to apply. When it comes to nailing the job you want, timeliness is critical. Look for a professional resume writing service that can turn around a first draft of your resume in as little as two days

#4: Quality Shines Through

Working with a team at a resume writing service not only ensures that your resume gets the customization you deserve, it also enjoys scrutiny from people with different perspectives who each have something to offer. This team effort guarantees that at least two different people work on and review your resume so that it passes the applicant tracking systems utilized by most employers.

#5: Guaranteed

Some sort of guarantee is pretty standard for resume writing services. What you'll often find after you dig a little deeper though, is lots of fine print and exclusions. These are designed to protect the resume writer — not you. A resume writing service that is confident in its ability and that has proven itself within the industry, needs no such fine print. Instead, look for a company that offers a simple guarantee that results in actionable steps for you, such as a free rework of your resume if you don't receive a request for an interview within 60 days.

A resume is your introduction to a potential employer and, as such, should be trusted to a proven, professional resume writing service. Finding the right resume writing service that can deliver a powerful document that generates results, might just be the best investment you make this year.

Call ResumeSpice to learn how we can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace with a resume that gets the attention it deserves. As one of the country’s leading professional resume writing services, we can help you produce a winning resume. Contact us today to learn more at 832.930.7378.

Create a Great Resume for Your Job Search

Is one of your career resolutions to find a new job? Then, as one of the leading career coaching services, ResumeSpice knows your resume is a critical tool in the process. But if you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, then it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you create a great resume so you can land your dream job, here are 5 tips to help:

Tip #1: Brainstorm about your background.

When you’re first starting out, don’t filter yourself. Instead, write down everything you can think of regarding your career, including past jobs, accomplishments, awards, new skills, certifications earned, continuing education, and any other relevant facts. You can edit all this information and tailor it later.

Tip #2: Concentrate on the wins.

For each position you’ve held, don’t just define your tasks and responsibilities. Hiring managers want to know more than you just “Ordered office supplies.” Instead focus on the positive impact your work had on the company, as well as any important accomplishments. For example, state that you “managed the office budget and office supply contracts, re-negotiating with vendors and saving 15% on supplies in the process.” Hiring managers want to see a track record of success backed up by facts and figures.

Tip #3: Look for help from other sources.

Writing a great resume isn’t easy. Instead, look for inspiration from other sources around the web to jumpstart your thought process. For instance, a site like LinkedIn could be helpful when you look for other professionals with a background similar to yours to see how they market themselves. That’s not to say you should be copying and pasting from the web; but it’s a great place to go as a guide.

Tip #4: Take a look at past evaluations.

You can also look at your past performance evaluations as another source of inspiration when you’re writing your resume. If you have copies of yours, look for your areas of strengths and positive comments from your past bosses. It will also help ensure you don’t overlook any important areas in your background.

Tip #5: Tailor your resume every time you apply.

Don’t send the same resume to every job you’re applying to. Instead, tailor and tweak it for each unique position. For one position, knowing a certain computer program could be critically important. If that’s the case – and you’re literate in that program – then tout that detail at the bottom of your resume in a “Skills” section. Remember, you’re trying to not only give hiring managers an overview of your background, but also stand out in a sea of other candidates.

Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. By following the tips above, you can ensure you create a great one that gets results.

If you’d like more help creating your resume, or finding job leads, reach out to ResumeSpice. As a leading career services company, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to ongoing career coaching.

The Top 6 Quality Resume Writing Services 2022

Searching for a job can feel tedious and thankless. You put countless hours into researching companies, finding relevant open positions, drafting cover letters, tweaking and submitting your resume, only to receive a canned email response in return – if you’re lucky. 

In fact, the number of resumes that get reviewed by human resource managers is strikingly low. Thanks to ubiquitous automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), most resumes are scanned for relevant keywords before making it to an actual human for review.

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When Should I Add a Digital Portfolio to My Resume?

In today’s day and age, having a digital portfolio is a must for certain positions. It can help you distinguish yourself from other candidates, showcase your track record of successful accomplishments, and land the job. If, however, you’re not familiar with this kind of portfolio, or what types of jobs it’s best suited for, here’s everything you need to know.

What Is a Digital Portfolio?

A digital portfolio is simply a sampling of your best work available in digital format. With this collection, it’s easy for hiring managers to click a link and see actual examples of past projects you’ve completed. This gives them visual evidence that you have what it takes to do the job and thrive at their company.

You don’t want to include all your work in your portfolio, just the most compelling pieces from your work history, or those that are most relevant to your current job search. If you already have a digital portfolio but haven’t updated it recently, then now’s the time to delete old work and add fresh samples so you can make the best impression possible on hiring managers.

Who Uses a Digital Portfolio?

Digital portfolios aren’t expected for every job. Rather, they’re best used in fields, like marketing, PR, web design, photography, videography, and web engineering. They can also be a great way to capture the attention of the hiring manager in fields like journalism and photo journalism, as well as more technical jobs like for architects and developers.

What’s In a Digital Portfolio?

It depends on the field you’re in. It can include anything from samples of your writing work to photographs, drawings, specs, illustrations, videos, blueprints, animation, and even spreadsheets. Whatever you choose to include, just make sure it’s the best way to showcase your professional abilities and creativity.

Beyond actual samples of your work, your portfolio should also include:

  • Professional summary. This is essentially a few sentences that introduce the portfolio and explain who you are and what you do. If you have any specialized skills or unique expertise, you can list it here. Alternately, you can create an “About Me” section if you’d prefer to write something longer.
  • Relevant skills. List the skills you have that are most relevant to your job search and that are important to highlight.
  • Whether it’s a project completed or an award or recognition you earned, listing it on your portfolio will further set you apart.
  • Be sure to include your actual resume or a link to download a PDF of it, so employers and recruiters can easily access it.
  • Contact information. Include your name, phone and email.

Why Is It Good to Have a Digital Portfolio?

Having a digital portfolio can help set you apart from other candidates. Despite the worker shortage, employers still want the best-fit talent for their openings. If other candidates don’t send in a digital portfolio, or their portfolios are weak or messy, then you’ll go a long way in persuading the hiring manager you’re the best fit for the role.

Where Should It Be Linked to On a Resume?

When it comes to your digital portfolio, it’s important to link to it in the right way. If you include a long URL web address, for instance, your resume will look sloppy. Instead, create a text hyperlink in your resume that connects the hiring manager to your portfolio. This looks cleaner and more professional.

When you take this approach, you can even personalize the link to something such as: “Mike Smith’s Portfolio” or “Samples of Emma Jacob’s Work.” This way, it’s clear what you’re linking to and it’s also more inviting for a hiring manager to click on.

As for where to list this hyperlink, you can place it right in your header where your name and contact information are listed. This way, it’s front and center and difficult for the hiring manager to miss. You can also opt to place it below or beside your header. Just make sure it stands out and doesn’t get lost in your resume text.

Before you send along your resume with a digital portfolio link to a hiring manager, send it to a friend or family member. Make sure they can click on the link and that it takes them to your portfolio. If there’s a problem, you can troubleshoot it before sending it to employers.

Need More Help Standing Apart In Your Job Search?

Turn to ResumeSpice for our resume writing service. We’re professionals in the field and know how to make the case that you’re a great fit for the job through a customized resume, cover letter, professional bio and more. You’ll put your best foot forward with help from our team. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

Want Land Your DREAM Job? 3 Resume Mistakes to Avoid When Applying

You could be the best-fit candidate for the job. However, if your resume isn’t solid, then getting a call for an interview is a long shot. The good news? There are a few common resume mistakes job seekers make and some simple ways to avoid them.

Here’s a look at three common resume mistakes

Mistake #1: Sending in a generic resume.

When it comes to your resume, cookie-cutter doesn’t cut it. If you go online and copy and paste a generic resume, simply changing out your details, hiring managers will notice. They want to know why you stand apart from other candidates and what specific skills and abilities will help you perform well and meet expectations. These are going to be unique to you.

If you send in a generic resume without these details, then it’s not going to make a favorable impression. Instead, those candidates with customized resumes will get the call for the interview.

What to do: Avoiding this mistake is simple. Use online resumes as idea generators and inspiration. However, when it comes time to put pen to paper, write a customized resume.

This involves reviewing the job description and identifying where your background is most relevant for the position and the employer. Then offer specific examples as to why you’re a good fit and can hit the ground running in your resume and on cover letter. Make sure you’re also using keywords from the job listing to best tailor your resume for both Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and hiring managers.

Mistake #2: Oversharing.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to a job search. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should overshare. Hiring managers don’t need to know about the job you had in high school at the mall. Nor do they need to know about your personal interests and hobbies. Skip these details on your resume. If you do include them, you’ll not only come off as unprofessional, but take up valuable space with irrelevant information.

What to do: In the era of social media and oversharing, the lines can get blurred between what’s personal and what’s professional. Keep in mind, though, that hiring managers don’t want to know about your personal life and hobbies. They simply want to know what you can do for them if they hire you.

The only time there’s an exception is if a hobby or personal accomplishment is relevant to the job or company. For instance, if you’re applying for a job at fitness equipment manufacturer and you’re an avid athlete and use their brand, then this information might be useful to touch on in your resume and your cover letter.

In any other case, though, leave out personal information and stick to focusing on your professionals abilities and accolades. This means avoiding religion, politics, financial status, side hustles or gig jobs you have (unless relevant to the job or employer), or if you’re married or have kids. None of this is pertinent to the employer or the job.

Mistake #3: Poorly formatted resume.

Writing a resume can be tricky when you have limited space and a lot of information to include. Yet, for every job opening, hiring managers receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes. There isn’t enough time in their day to read them all word for word. It’s why a concise resume with proper, clear formatting is key. If yours isn’t easy to scan through because it’s too long or overly verbose, it might not get read at all.

What to do: Once you’ve written your resume, read through it and try to edit out any words or paragraphs that are too lengthy. Be as concise as possible with your language.

Also make sure your resume is formatted properly. This includes with boldface fonts for your job titles or employer names, along with bullet points. Format it so the font size is at least 10 or ideally 12 points and there are wide margins. This will make it easier for the hiring manager to read through quickly.

Another key step? At the top of your resume, include a professional summary or summary of qualifications. This should be 3-5 skills or accomplishments that are most important for a particular position. The hiring manager will review these first and if you make your case well, you should get a call for interview. It can change each time you apply for a job, so you’re tailoring the details to a particular employer’s needs.

Your resume is your ticket into the job interview process and a key part of getting hired. If any of these mistakes sound familiar on your resume, fix them now to can increase your odds of getting an interview – and hopefully the job.

Need more help writing your resume?

ResumeSpice offers a team of professional resume writers who know what employers want to see on a resume. We can help polish yours, or write it from scratch. Whatever kind of help you need, you’ll get a resume that’s more compelling and gives you a leading edge over other candidates. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.

Should You Ever Add Soft Skills to Your Resume?

When it comes to the skills on your resume, they generally fall into two categories: hard or soft skills. Employers are interested in seeing a mix that are most relevant to the job.

However, if you’re not really sure what these are or which are important to highlight on your resume, here’s what to know.

Hard vs. Soft Skills

Hard skills are technical skills that are related to your ability to do a job. These can be gained through education, courses, training, seminars, and on-the-job experience. Generally, these can also be measured in specific ways, so they are easier to spot and evaluate during the hiring process.

In manufacturing, for instance, a hard skill would be knowing how to operate a forklift. In IT, it would be understanding how to code a website. For office management positions, on the other hand, a hard skill would be knowing how to create and analyze spreadsheets

Soft skills are less tangible. These are personality traits that help people thrive in certain positions and with other people. They can include anything from communication and collaboration skills to motivation and work ethic, organizational skills, being detail-oriented and more.

In recent years, employers are looking more and more at soft skills. While technical skills are always important for a role, companies are recognizing that soft skills are also critical to the success of their team.

It’s why, when you’re in the midst of the hiring process, a company might have you take a personality or psychometric test to assess your attributes and personality traits. This can help them find out how you will react in certain situations, so they can decide who will be the best fit candidate for the position. 

What Soft Skills to Focus On

The soft skills that are important to list on your resume depend on the specific job and company. If you’re not sure, do some research. Go back and re-read the job posting. Also review the company’s website, social media profiles, and any news articles you can find. This should give you some clarity on which soft skills the company finds important.

In general, some key soft skills employers are interested in are:

Problem Solving

Each day, different challenges come your way. Being able to remain flexible and calm, adapt, and come up with a solution – without a lot of hand holding – is key for many companies. Other similar soft skills that are important to employers include creative thinking and organizational and planning skills.

A Positive Attitude

No matter what industry you work in, demonstrating a positive attitude can deliver a variety of benefits to a company. Those who deliver a constant stream of negativity instead can deplete energy, motivation and morale. However, those with a quiet sense of optimism and a positive attitude are those who can turn setbacks around and remain motivated.

Resilience and Flexibility

Employers want to hire people who can handle challenges and changes on a routine basis. This generally comes down to an individual’s ability to tolerate and cope with stress. When the ground under your feet starts to shift, how do you react? When you can tolerate an obstacle and recover quickly, you’ll be more successful on the job. Other similar traits that are desirable include adaptability and resourcefulness.

Collaboration and Communication

The ability to work well with others and communicate effectively, both in person and via writing, are other examples of highly sought-after soft skills. Can you work with a dynamic team of diverse people with different perspectives? Are you able to persuade others to see your side on a matter? Or can you empathize with those you might not agree with? These are all traits that can help you remain calm and carry on in the office.

How to List Soft Skills On Your Resume

When it comes to soft skills, these can be trickier to list on your resume. Saying you’re a “team player” is vague and generic. Any candidate can claim to be a good collaborator. However, if this soft skill is key to a particular position, show rather than tell.

For instance, explain a certain project or problem you were able to solve using your collaboration skills and what the outcome was. Sharing these kinds of successes will give a hiring manager confidence you have what it takes to succeed in the role.

You can discuss these in different sections of your resume, such as the “Summary of Qualifications” at the top. You can also highlight them in your “Work History” if a certain soft skill was particularly important for your current role or a past position. If you possess a rare soft skill, be sure to also talk about it on your cover letter in more detail.

Get Professional Resume Help from ResumeSpice

At ResumeSpice, we have a team of professional resume writers who can help you highlight all the right skills on your resume, including soft and hard skills. We’ll help you craft a resume and cover letter that gets you noticed – and delivers results. Ready to get started? Simply reach out at 832.930.7378 or contact us online.

Top 5 Computer Skills Employers Look for On a Resume

Whatever industry you work in or your professional level of experience you have, computers are a part of everyday work life. While you might not need advanced skills, most jobs do require at least some level of proficiency in both hardware and software skills. So what’s the difference?

Hardware skills involve understanding how to operate a computer. At higher levels and in more technical fields, it might involve troubleshooting issues or changing or fixing broken parts. However, even at the most basic position, it includes knowing how to turn a computer or other device on and off and use it properly.

Software skills, on the other hand, are those skills that revolve around actual applications and programs. If you don’t know what a particular employer uses, they will generally train you on their different software systems. This is part of the onboarding process. If, though, you’re able to demonstrate experience and proficiency in a software system they already use, this can help set you apart from other candidates.

Bottom line? Whether you work in IT, or in manufacturing, law, medicine, food service, hospitality, customer service, or a different industry, you need computer skills on your resume.

Which are the most sought-after computer skills employers look for? Here’s a look at the top 5.

#1: MS Office or G Suite

Most companies use Microsoft Office or G Suite in some capacity, so being proficient in one or both of these will help you get up and running faster on the job. This includes applications like Google Docs, or Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

If you’re applying for positions in administration or as an office manager, for instance, then these programs will be even more important to highlight on your resume or in your cover letter. Likewise, if you’ll be working in sales or another position in which making presentations or reporting data are important, then proficiency in programs, like Excel and PowerPoint, or Google Spreadsheets, will be key.

#2: Communication Tools

Whether a company uses Slack, Skype, Meetup or Zoom, experience with these programs will help position you as a strong candidate. If the position is telecommute, hybrid or remote, then highlighting your knowledge in these areas is especially important. Likewise, if the job description lists one of these, such as Slack, then including your experience with this application will help increase your chance of getting a call for an interview.

#3: Accounting Programs

Other programs that are important to know for certain finance-related positions include FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Sage50, Zoho Books, or Xero. Whether you’re an accountant, office manager, or accounts payable assistant, knowing one or more of these will be helpful in your future role.

#4: Social Media

From Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and more, knowing your way around these and other social media sites is crucial for certain positions. Think marketing, public relations, and communications. However, if you’re working in an administrative role for a small business or a start-up, for instance, you might also be charged with managing these channels.

In addition to knowing how to navigate your way through these sites, it’s also important to be able to analyze the results, such as from software like Google Analytics or Hootsuite. These are social media management platforms that enable you to monitor the effectiveness of your social media strategy and make changes when needed.

#5: Computer Programming

If you’re applying for a position in IT, then you’ll need to showcase your technical skills. However, other positions, like those in marketing, can benefit from computer programming skills, too.

So, if you’ve get them, flaunt them on your resume and in your cover letter. For more technical positions, like the role of computer programmer or web designer, it’s important to demonstrate proficiency in areas like HTML, Java and UI / UX.

How to List Computer Skills On Your Resume

Now that you know the top skills to showcase on your resume, the next step is writing about them in the best way. For instance, rather than just listing your social media skills on your resume and the sites you’re familiar with, write in your cover letter about a certain project you spearheaded and the results you achieved. This will not only communicate that you have the right-fit skills, but also the proven track record to add value to a future employer.

Another way to showcase your computer skills is to create a “Computer Skills” section for them on your resume. Use a subhead and create a summary of your skills with bullet points for the relevant programs you know. You can also include them in your “Work History” section if a particular program was important for your current or a previous role.

For instance, you can state something such as:

“Used QuickBooks to manage business finances, process invoices and payments, and supervise all aspects of bookkeeping.”

Get Professional Resume Writing Help.

If you’d like help from the pros, turn to ResumeSpice. We’re experts in resume writing and know what employers want to see. We can evaluate your current resume and edit and polish it, or write one from scratch. You’ll put your best foot forward with help from our team. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.