How to Determine How Long Your Resume Should Be

It wasn’t long ago that most job seekers were told their resumes should be one page. No more, no less. If it went over to two pages, the document was destined for the rejection pile.

Thankfully, times have changed. Today, there’s a little more flexibility when it comes to resume length. That said, for your particular situation, the best resume length depends on a number of factors, including experience level and accomplishments. For instance:

  • If you have fewer than 10 years of experience, or you’re making a big switch in terms of career field, then a one-page resume is most appropriate.
  • If, however, you have extensive experience in your field and a steady career progression to demonstrate it, then opt for a resume that’s two pages long. This will give you the space you need to discuss your background in a way that’s easy-to-scan – without trying to cram details onto one page.
  • The only scenario where sending a three-page+ resume makes sense is if you are an executive-level professional or in senior management with a long track record of titles and accomplishments.

To help you create a resume that’s the best length for your background, here are some tips to keep in mind during the process:

Your resume is a marketing document.

You should only be giving your career highlights, not offering a deep dive into every move you’ve made over the years. Remember too that hiring managers aren’t deciding whom to hire based on resumes, only those they want to bring in for an interview.

It should focus on your strengths.

Hiring managers only spend a few seconds reading through each resume they receive. It’s therefore important to showcase your strongest selling points and format your resume in a way that’s easy to scan. Don’t dilute it with unnecessary minutiae about your career history.

Don’t be afraid to get help from a trusted source.

If you’re having trouble paring down your resume and fitting it onto one or two pages, ask for help from a trusted family member, friend or colleague. Give them both your resume and the job description so they can review both and offer editing advice. A fresh pair of eyes can help you focus in on the vital components of your background and eliminate the unneeded ones, all so you can put your best foot forward.

Looking for additional help with the resume-writing process?

Check out our website for resume templates to inspire you – or connect with our team today for help creating a professionally polished resume. Call 832.930.7378 with questions, to learn more, or get started.

3 Ways Your Professional Bio Could Be Hindering Your Career

A few years ago, all you needed to get a job was a strong resume and a solid reputation. Today, there are all sorts of factors that can impact your career and your ability to land new opportunities. Your professional bio is one of them.

A professional bio is simply a summary of your career background. It includes information on who you are, what you do, where you’ve worked, the value you can offer and what makes you special, unique or worth considering. It should be engaging and on the lighter side when compared to a resume, but still professional in terms of tone. Once written, you can use your professional bio in a variety of different applications including on your LinkedIn profile, on your website, or in your work portfolio.

While a polished bio can help you in your career, one that’s weak, poorly written, too wordy or just plain boring can actually hinder you. Here are three ways how:

1. Inconsistent information.

When the professional bio on your LinkedIn profile is different from the one on your website, recruiters and hiring managers won’t know which is most accurate and up to date, discounting each of them in the process. Once your bio is complete, it’s therefore important that you share it across all your professional social media profiles, as well as include it anywhere else that’s pertinent.

2. Too much fluff.

Sure, you might be a “strategic thinker,” “industry mover and shaker,” and “self-starter.” But language like this doesn’t mean anything to anyone. Instead, you need to get specific and stick to hard facts. For instance, what’s the biggest accomplishment of your career? And what impact did it have on your employer? Quantify it wherever you can with specific dollar amounts, percentages or other numbers.

3. A lack of personality.

Your professional bio is unlike your resume in that it should showcase your personality and have a little color in it. When it’s written like a legal document, though, nobody is going to read it. Part of infusing some life into your bio includes adding in personal information, like the volunteer board you sit on, the 10 half marathons you’ve run, and the charity event you organize every year. This will help to set you apart from other professionals in the field and make you more relatable.

A well-written professional bio can make a big difference in your career by opening you up to new job leads, exciting opportunities, speaking engagement offers, and so much more. But producing one can be a challenge if writing isn’t your strong suit. Let the professionals at ResumeSpice help. Give us a call at 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

5 Reasons to Work with a Career Coach

Looking to make a big change in your career? Not sure where you’re headed next? Feeling confused or stuck at work? A career coach at ResumeSpice can help with all of these issues and so many others. But if you’re like many professionals out there, you might not fully understand how one can benefit you. Here are just a few areas in which a career coach can provide guidance and support:

Define your career path.

Are you looking for more than just a job, but a career that takes into account your goals, lifestyle, and passions? A coach can help you find the right path, whether you’re just starting out or you’re in the middle of your career and want to make a big change. Through the process, they will get to know your personality, aspirations, skills, experience, and what you’re looking for out of your work and your life. They can then effectively advise you on potential opportunities and how to take advantage of them.

Learn about your strengths.

Most people have a hard time assessing their strengths and weaknesses objectively. That’s where a career coach can help. They can learn about your background and capabilities, all to assess your value as a potential employee. At the same time, they can give you some insight into the strengths you should be focusing on during your job search and how to best promote them during the hiring process.

Build more confidence.

A career coach can help you build confidence in a variety of ways, including by enabling you to:

  • Understand your strengths and talents
  • Overcome negative beliefs about yourself
  • Hone in on any weaknesses or insecurities you have in your career
  • Create a healthier, more realistic frame of mind that empowers you

As a result, you’ll feel more confident in your career, whether your next step is to ask for the promotion, start sending out resumes or make a major transition to a new field.

Make tough choices.

There are times in everyone’s career when they’re going to have to make tough choices. And sometimes family and friends aren’t the right options for offering the advice and guidance you need.

A career coach, on the other hand, can help in these situations, always keeping your best interest in mind. For instance, they’re trained to ask clarifying questions, so you can make the right decision going forward. They’ll make sure you’re evaluating all your options, assessing whether it’s the right time to make a move, and ensuring there’s a plan B in place.

Stay on track.

Managing your career, making critical decisions about it, and putting a plan into action requires a lot of work. Having someone to measure your progress and hold you accountable will help to ensure all your effort pays off.

When you work with a career coach, they can collaborate with you to develop a plan that enables you to achieve your career goals, keep you motivated on the journey, and monitor your progress along the way. This means you’re more likely to achieve your objectives and less likely to stray down an easier, but less satisfying path.

Interested in learning more about how you can benefit from a career coach?

Call the career coaches at ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. Whether your goal is to launch a new career or move up with your existing employer, we can give you the insight you need to achieve your goals.

Benefits of Using a Resume Writing Service to Write Your Resume

Have you been searching for a new opportunity for a while without any luck? It could be due to the quality of your resume. If it’s not professional and polished, or it doesn’t do an effective job of representing your background, then it’s no wonder employers aren’t calling.

The good news is that there is one step you can take to increase your odds of landing more phone screens and interviews. It’s with a resume writing service. ResumeSpice can help:

Resume writers know what employers want to see.

As professionals in the industry, resume writers understand what hiring managers are looking for when they’re screening resumes. They know not only how to format your resume so it’s easy to read quickly, but they can also work with you to focus on the skills, accomplishments and experiences that are going to help you stand out the most. Not only will you be able to avoid the dreaded writer’s block, but you’ll get a resume that makes a powerful impact.

You’ll get high-quality writing.

Not everyone is a writing superstar. Perhaps you’re more of a numbers person or a technology expert. Whatever the case for you, you have a hard time putting words on paper. But when you use a resume writing service, you can access the high-quality writing you need to more effectively illustrate your background. As a result, you’ll be able to make a more positive impression on hiring managers.

You can avoid sloppy mistakes.

Grammar and spelling mistakes are big red flags for employers. While one small error likely won’t hurt your chances of getting an interview, many of them will certainly sabotage your efforts. But when you work with a resume writing service, you don’t have to worry about that. Instead, your resume will be professionally proofread so you can rest easy there aren’t any embarrassing mistakes.

You can save time.

Writing a solid resume takes a lot of time. If you’re currently employed, plus searching for a new job, you probably don’t have much to spare. But with a resume writing service, writers can handle the work for you, so you can free up time in your day. A professionally written resume can also help you to speed up your search as you get your foot in the door faster at potential employers.

You can overcome red flags.

If you have employment gaps or you’re switching career fields, a resume writing service can help in these areas as well. Writers will work with you to accentuate the positives in your career history and downplay any negatives, so hiring managers can better understand the value you can offer.

Want to learn more about how a resume writing service can help you?

Give the resume writers at ResumeSpice a call at 832.930.7378. Our experienced team can transform a weak resume into an expertly written one, all for better job search results.

Four Must Haves for a Strong Cover Letter

As a leading cover letter writing service, ResumeSpice has seen firsthand how a strong cover letter can set a candidate apart. A strong cover letter includes a few key essentials:

The hiring manager’s name.

Don’t write the letter “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, address it directly to the hiring manager (double check that you’ve spelled their name correctly). If the name isn’t included in the job description, you should still be able to find it online or with a quick call to the company. When you make this extra effort – and the letter is actually addressed to the specific hiring manager – it’s going to stand out relative to all the other letters with generic salutations.

A focus on the employer.

Many job candidates make the mistake of rehashing their resume details in their cover letters. Don’t make that mistake. Your letter should be about the value you can offer the company, not about regurgitating your background information. Placing yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager, review the job description again. Read through the company website. And then ask yourself what the hiring manager needs for the person in this role to be successful. Make a list and use it as a guide as you’re writing your cover letter.

Enthusiasm.

When you submit a cover letter that sounds like you copied and pasted it from the web, it’s not going to get the attention of the hiring manager. Instead, cut through the clutter with a little enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you need to profess your love for the company. It does, however, mean explaining what excites you most about the position.

Accomplishments.

A cover letter is not the place to simply state that you’re qualified for a position. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re more qualified than other candidates. Offer one or two specific examples of past accomplishments that are most relevant to the job opening. These should showcase your proven track record and make your more memorable when the hiring manager is evaluating candidates to potentially interview. 

For many job candidates, writing a cover letter can be a struggle. If that’s true for you, let the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice help. We can work with you to best describe what makes you uniquely qualified for a particular role, all so you can stand out from the crowd and secure an interview. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

LinkedIn Profile Services that Will Help Recruiters Find You

In today’s job market, you still need a traditional resume and cover letter. What’s changed over the past several years is the need for a robust Linked profile. We recently outlined why you need a LinkedIn profile. But if you don’t have the time or know-how to put together a profile, where do you begin? A professional LinkedIn profile service can help. Here’s what you 

Your profile is complete.

One of the most common mistakes job seekers make – and one of the biggest turn offs for recruiters – is a profile that isn’t completed. You’re busy, so it’s easy to understand how this might not top your to-do list. However, an incomplete profile can reduce the likelihood that you’re found online by recruiters. A professional LinkedIn profile service will not only know how to compose an effective profile, they will also be able to guide you with inside tips. For example, having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed – and for maximum impact, your face should take up about 60-70% of the picture area.

Your work history sells your background.

Many job candidates also make the mistake of simply listing their past job titles and duties. But recruiters want to know more about you, specifically when it comes to your past track record of achievements. A professional LinkedIn profile service writer can consult with you to learn about your background, then craft a strong “Experience” section that gets you noticed by recruiters.

Your headline and summary are well-written.

It can be tough to write the perfect headline and summary. That’s where professional LinkedIn services can help. Writers through such a service can offer insight on what’s going to best promote your background and help you get found by recruiters in your industry. You can, therefore, make the most of this space and use it to your advantage in your job search.

The proper keywords are included throughout.

Once a professional LinkedIn profile writer understands your background and knows the kinds of jobs you’re looking for, they can recommend keywords to include in your profile. This will better optimize your profile and ensure that it comes up in searches by recruiters looking for candidates like you.

Your resume and profile match up.

A big red flag for recruiters is when your resume says one thing and your profile says another. But when you partner with a professional LinkedIn service, you can ensure that both complement and enhance each other and that there aren’t any discrepancies that could raise a red flag.

You avoid industry jargon.

Recruiters don’t like to see a lot of hype and fluff on LinkedIn profiles. Instead, they want clear, concise and compelling information about candidates they’re interested in. If that’s a struggle for you to provide, a professional LinkedIn service can certainly help you.

Interested in putting a professional LinkedIn profile service to work for you?

Contact ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. We know what employers look for on LinkedIn profiles and can help you craft a powerful one that produces better results in your job search and career.

Tips on Tailoring Your Resume for Specific Jobs

A hiring manager might see dozens of resumes on any given day. What are you doing to ensure yours stands out? As leading resume writers, ResumeSpice knows customization is the key to getting noticed. While you will have one basic resume, it’s important to tailor it for every position and company you’re applying to. To help you in the process, here are a few tips to follow:

Read through the job posting.

Before you begin the job of tweaking your resume, refresh your mind and review the job posting again. When you do, look for important details, including the job title, description of responsibilities, and key traits the company is looking for. Also, identify keywords, phrases and related synonyms from the posting to include on your resume. That way, it will have a better chance of making it through any applicant tracking software system.

Put critical information first.

With the job posting fresh in your mind, identify your experiences, skills and abilities that align best with the position. Then start editing your resume so those details are front and center. For instance, reorder the bullet points under your Work History section so the most relevant information is first. Once that section is done, review the remaining sections of your resume and make any changes that are specific to the job you’re applying for.

Ask a trusted family member or friend for help.

When you do, also give them a copy of the job posting so that they can review your resume for both proofreading errors, as well as relevancy to the position. With fresh eyes, a third party can often spot inconsistencies or areas where you could strengthen your resume.

Don’t exaggerate.

Whatever work you do to tailor your resume, don’t ever lie or exaggerate to make your background seem more in line with the job. If you get an interview, then the hiring manager will pick up on your lack of experience during your conversation. Instead, if after reviewing the job description again you realize you’re not the best fit, don’t waste your time applying. Move onto an opportunity that’s truly right for you.

Tailoring your resume will take a little extra work on your end. But it will be well worth it when a hiring manager picks it up and sees you’re a great fit for their needs and the job.

Interested in professional resume writing help?

The team at ResumeSpice is the answer. As trusted resume writers, we can help you take your resume to the next level so it stands out on today’s competitive job market. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

Why You Need a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Wondering whether LinkedIn is a must-have essential, or simply a waste of time? Consider this statistic: According to a recent Jobvite survey, 93 percent of hiring managers search LinkedIn for potential hires. That means if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you could potentially be missing out on some lucrative opportunities.

And the advantages don’t stop there. In fact, as a professional LinkedIn profile writing service, ResumeSpice believes LinkedIn offers other valuable benefits – whether or not you’re actively searching for a new job. Some of these include:

A professional image

If you want to put your best foot forward in your career, you need a LinkedIn profile. Peers, recruiters, hiring managers and others expect you to have one. When you do, you’ll not only come across as more professional, but you can also showcase your background, share updates, contribute to conversations, and highlight your career contributions. 

Credibility

Whether you want to get promoted in your existing company, or are interested in a different job, you have to show your worth. LinkedIn enables you to do that in a variety of ways. For instance, you can blog about hot industry topics and post articles demonstrating your expertise. You can also reach out and request recommendations from past managers, colleagues, fellow volunteers and others in your network. You’ll be able to build your credibility and show a more in-depth side of yourself than you can with a traditional resume.

Networking

Networking is an important part of advancing your career. And LinkedIn makes it easy. Not only can you find and reach out to current and past colleagues, former classmates, and other connections, but it also offers you a simple way to manage all these contacts. Plus, you can stay on top of details, like work anniversaries and when your connections are promoted, which provides you with another opportunity to stay in touch with them.

Resources

Beyond posting a profile, searching for jobs, and networking, there are also a variety of other helpful informational resources you can leverage. For example, if you want to keep on top of industry updates, or need expert advice on a workplace challenge, there are a plethora of groups and forums to join to get the advice and insight you need.

Having a LinkedIn profile can certainly help your career and your job search. Not having one, on the other hand, can actually hurt you. So it simply makes sense, especially when you consider how easy it is to create one. Once you do, you’ll a have a professional profile that gives recruiters and hiring managers an at-a-glance look at your background, expertise and what makes you unique.

Want expert help building a polished LinkedIn profile?

Contact the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice. If you don’t have the time or expertise to build your own profile, we can handle the job for you. You’ll get a powerful tool in your career arsenal that can help you achieve your goals. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

5 Easy Fixes for Polishing Your LinkedIn Profile

In today’s world, you need more than just a strong resume. You also need a clear and compelling LinkedIn profile if you want to stand out in a sea of other candidates – and get noticed by potential employers. So how can you go about polishing yours? With these 5 easy LinkedIn fixes:

Use a professional photo.

Posting a professional photo is one of the best ways to fix your LinkedIn profile. In fact, according to LinkedIn, profiles that have a picture get clicked on 14 more times than those without. While you don’t necessarily have to invest in a professional photographer, it is important that you do post a photo that paints you in a positive light. Dress professionally and smile – it will make you look more approachable.

Include relevant and updated information about your job history.

This is the part of your profile that will likely get the most attention from potential employers. So make sure you invest the time to write about your background and experience in a way that positions you as an expert, and also persuades hiring managers and recruiters to want to contact you. Just as on your resume, you should focus on accomplishments rather than simply listing out job duties.

Ask for recommendations.

Wondering how to fix your LinkedIn profile? Another key way is through recommendations. These can help to build your credibility online, and hiring managers and recruiters will be more likely to take notice of you, as a result.

When you do ask for recommendations, be sure to encourage your network to focus on a specific skill or trait that you have, rather than writing something generic. It’s also best to reach out to those in your network individually with a personalized message, rather than blasting out a general request.

Sprinkle in keywords.

Want to get found by recruiters and employers looking for people like you? Then it’s important to incorporate relevant keywords into your profile. For instance, if you’re looking for a job as a graphic designer, then make sure words and phrases such as “graphic designer” and “graphic design” are sprinkled throughout your profile. These keywords should be utilized in your headline and summary, as well as in the experience and skills section. Don’t overdo it though; just a few mentions on your profile will work.

Make sure your profile and resume are consistent.

You’ve updated your profile with these easy LinkedIn tweaks. But is it consistent with your resume? If it’s not, then it’s going to be a red flag for potential employers. While they don’t have to be exactly the same, the two should align well and complement each other.

Know you need a better LinkedIn profile, but don’t have the time or expertise to create one?

Leave it to the experts at ResumeSpice. We know all the best ways to fix your LinkedIn profile so you get noticed by today’s top employers. Get started or learn more today by calling 832.930.7378.

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.

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