9 Signs Your Resume is Selling You Short

Don’t let your resume hold you back from all the opportunities out there!

Unlike a college test or job project, you’ll rarely receive feedback on your resume; potential employers just don’t have the time to send a personalized critique outlining your mistakes.

That’s understandable — but tough, especially when your inbox sits stagnant after a round of job applications. How are you supposed to know what you’re doing wrong? Before you totally lose your mind, take a few minutes to review these nine ways your resume could be selling you short.

1. Your resume bleeds onto two pages

If you’re a recent college graduate and have less than seven years of relevant experience in the workforce, stick to a one-page resume. Yes, even the most accomplished college graduates should only have a one-pager.

Why? Recruiters don’t want to shuffle through two pages of career details, especially when your career has barely started. That extra page will be seen as unnecessary fluff — and it likely is.

2. You went all out with your resume design

A resume should appeal to the eye, but there’s no need for colorful borders, intricate graphics, or a headshot (unless your career calls for one, like acting or modeling). This distracts the reader from what’s important: the text.

Also, many large companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is software that analyzes resumes and weeds out the least-qualified candidates based on algorithms. So if this ATS software scans graphics that it can’t decipher, your resume might get an automatic “no.”

3. You start with all the wrong information

Way back when, job applicants physically mailed their cover letters and resumes to a company. But times have changed, and your resume needs to reflect that.

There’s no need to take up two lines in your header to list your street address. If anything, including it could hurt your chances of securing a job. For example, if you live across the country but another candidate lives down the block and is almost as qualified as you, then why not just hire that person instead?

Replace your street address with something more digitally friendly, like your LinkedIn profile URL or your online portfolio. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to scour the internet for you anyway, so you might as well make it easier on them.

Oh, and while you’re updating your online profiles, take a peek at your email address. If it’s not a variation of your name, then consider making a new one. You can easily snag a free email address through Gmail or Outlook to create a new, professional email address.

4. You open with an objective

Now that your header is polished, it’s time to launch into the meat of your resume. If your eye scans down to an objective statement, press pause.

Objective statements tend to be generic and don’t offer an employer any additional information to help them understand who you are or your career goals. Replace your objective statement with a professional summary, instead. This is your elevator pitch — it should explain in three to five sentences your qualifications and immediate career goals. Don’t solely focus on yourself; tailor this summary to each job and employer so it feels personalized.

5. You include high school activities

Once you graduate college, you should wipe all mentions of high school off your resume. Focus instead on your college activities and internships. Then, once you’re a few years into your career, you can start shedding those college accolades, too.

6. You lack consistency

Consistency is key, and there are a few areas you’ll want to check for consistency on your resume.

First, start with the formatting. If your first header is underlined, bolded, and centered, make sure your second header is formatted the same way.

Second, make sure your details are presented consistently. If your city and state details are presented as “Denver, CO,” for example, don’t list the next one as “Denver, Colorado.” Check your dates as well. If you list a position as “May 2016 to December 2016,” don’t list your next position as “January 2017–June 2017.” It’s little details like this that can turn an employer off.

Finally, check your verb tenses. All your past experience should be listed in the past tense, while your current position(s) should be written in the present tense; keep that consistent.

7. Your descriptions “tell” when they should “show”

Did you ever have an English teacher encourage you to “show, don’t tell!” Well, that rule of thumb applies to your resume, too.

Comb through your job and activity descriptions. How much are you showing, and how much are you telling? Your points will be stronger if you can show how you resolved a workflow issue rather than simply stating it.

Additionally, see if you can quantify your accomplishments. For example, if, as an intern, you wrote five blog posts a week on top of other responsibilities, that’s pretty impressive. You’re showing the potential employer you’re a hard worker by backing up your statement with cold, hard facts.

On a related note, take a look at your “skills” section. It’s fine to include this section, especially if you’re in a more technical field. Maybe you want potential employers to know you can handle the intricacies of Python and Java. Or maybe you’re bilingual, which will help you in a customer service position.

Don’t, however, use a skills section to list implied skills like “effective written and verbal communication skills,” “organization,” or “conflict resolution.” Your past experience listed on your resume should already show this, so there’s no need to waste space.

8. You list references

It’s great you’ve recruited some solid references to join you on your job search; however, their assistance won’t be needed until later on in the job search.

A recruiter or hiring manager will likely contact your references after a phone screening and interview with you, so there’s no need to include those upfront on your resume. For that reason, cut your list of references. There’s also no need to state that references are “available upon request” — that should go without saying.

9. You didn’t recruit a proofreader

No matter how many times you read your resume, you’ll likely miss something so obvious. That’s just how the brain works — it starts auto-filling words to meet expectations.

In order to break the sequence, get someone else to read over your resume. Send it to your parents, a close friend, or your significant other —  anyone who has an eye for grammar and typos. The more sets of eyes, the better.

There are also professional options where you can submit your resume for a review to check for all of the above mistakes that people make on their resume.

Now that you’ve fixed up your resume, go ahead and click “submit” with confidence because your resume is no longer selling you short!

Author: Carson Kohler is a contributor to TopResume, the largest resume-writing service in the world. Not sure if your resume is selling you short and stopping you from getting the interviews you deserve? You can check with a free resume review from TopResume today!

How To Launch Your Ecommerce Career For 2018

source: pexels

2018 is as good a time as any to break into the world of ecommerce. More and more people are doing it these days, and if you have the dedication and marketing knowhow to stay ahead of your competitors, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

That’s not to say there’s no risk to starting an ecommerce career. No business venture is a guaranteed success. Nevertheless, you can go a long way toward protecting your investments by planning ahead, doing your research, and choosing an ecommerce niche that you will enjoy working within.

To help you get off on the right foot, here are some quick tips on planning out your ecommerce venture, and finding success in this growing industry in 2018.

Set Your Budget

Before even looking at what you plan to do with your ecommerce business, you should set your budget. Do this using only verified sources, as you don’t want to fall short because you were relying on funds that were never delivered. Remember to plan both for scalability and for emergencies. Any business can be caught short by unexpected events, so it is vital to have backup funds to cover this eventuality.

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on your website, it’s time to select your niche, and go searching for the perfect acquisition.

Choose Your Niche

Finding a niche is extremely important as it enables you to target your marketing far more effectively, and even influences your ability to rank successfully in search engines. Your niche needs to be something that you have an interest in, and for which there is demand – but little supply.

This means you can cater to the needs of that specific demographic, while not having to worry about direct competition. Alternatively, if there is competition for your niche, you can explore what they are doing well, and learn from them to boost the success of your own marketing campaign.

Finding the right niche can take time, and it is worth using tools such as Google Keyword Finder to help you figure out which keywords you can viably rank for. From there, you will be able to build your website according to the keywords and niche you have chosen. While this does narrow your audience to some degree, it also means that your message is more relevant to those remaining, making them far more likely to visit your site, and even make a purchase.

Source Your Products

Depending on whether you are creating your own products, dropshipping for another company, or simply sourcing items wholesale, you will need to figure out where your stock is coming from.

Services like Oberlo Supply are great for sourcing stock, particularly if you plan to act as a dropshipper. However, you might decide to work with local craftspeople, or even sell non-physical goods, such as ebooks or consultation services.

Whatever you settle on, make sure it is relevant to your niche, that you can source it regularly and reliably, and that there is some degree of demand for it. It is also important to think about where you will store your stock, and how much it will cost to process orders and make deliveries.

Be aware that some types of stock can become outdated or redundant, so this is another factor to keep in mind when purchasing stock in large quantities. You don’t want to lose money on your investment just because a new version was released or the trend has passed.

Spread the Word Before Launch

It’s all very well marketing your website, but it can take time to gain visibility and build your audience. One way to counteract this problem is to begin building interest long before your launch. This means day one will be a bigger, much more profitable event, and will provide you with a great opportunity to really impress your early customers from the word go.

Talk about your business often, especially to friends and family who can help make the early days a success by showing an interest, sharing content, and posting comments. Publicize your launch on social media and in your local area, and consider hosting a launch event.

Plan out some launch day offers and be sure to spread the word, so interested individuals have a reason to visit your site and find out what it’s all about.

The more you can boost visibility before launch, the better position you will be in thereafter. It may seem like a lot of extra work to begin with, but it can save you significant time and effort in the future.

Purchase An Existing Website

One more thing to consider is that you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to launch your ecommerce career. Instead, you could buy an established ecommerce website and build upon it to make it your own.

Some good places to start are Flippa, which is a more general website marketplace, and Exchange, which lists premade Shopify stores available for purchase. There are a few other similar sites you can explore, or you can even make a private purchase.

Of course, buying a website is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it is vital to carry out extensive research before deciding whether to buy a store. You will need to check out the history of the site, look at its traffic and audience, and verify whether it has a stable revenue stream.

However, if you can find a viable website within the right niche, this is a great way to break into the ecommerce market without having to expend time and effort on designing a site, and building its initial audience.

Related reading: 7 Tips on How to Achieve a Work Life Balance.

 

 

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other writers improve their skills.

How to Choose a Career That Suits You Best

How much do you know about yourself? If you plan to live a highly satisfying work life and enjoy your work, you should choose a career that suits you best. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who end up choosing the wrong career and frustrate themselves in the long run. Being in the wrong line of work doesn’t only ruin your professional life, but it harms your personal life as well.

So, it’s crucial to choose the right career.

But how do you choose the right career? There are a number of things that you should take into consideration to pick a career that suits you best. A lot of people end up choosing the wrong careers due to a lack of appropriate guidance and advice. You shouldn’t be one of them.

Given below are some important tips or guidelines that you should follow to choose the right career and be happy for the rest of your life.

Know Your Strengths

Every one of us has some strengths – and some weaknesses. The point is to find out what you are really good at. Are you good at telling stories? Do you find it easy to coach other writers? Do you love teaching students? There must be something that you feel passionate about and are good at doing. You need to find out what those skills and strengths are.

Create a list of skills that you have, and then pick the strongest skills from that list. Consult your friends or family for an outer perspective. If you play by your strengths, you’ll enjoy a great professional life.

Discover Your Personality Type

You might have heard about Myers-Briggs. It’s an introspective self-report questionnaire which helps you find out what type of personality you have. Different persons have different types of personalities; someone could be an introvert and someone else could be an extrovert. By knowing your personality type, you’ll be able to find out what type of work environment will suit you best.

Take a Career Test

If you are confused deciding which career is right for you, you can also go for a career test. Typically, a career test presents you with a set of questions which you need to answer in the given time-frame. A career test is aimed at assessing your skills and strengths and then suggest a career that is a good match. Once you have finished answering all the questions, you’ll be provided with 2-3 career options that suit you best and promise a satisfying life.

On the internet, you’ll find a number of career tests that you can complete within a few minutes. Many of them are free.

Seek Advice from Others

No matter where you live, you’ll always have people who are already employed, expert in a particular field or have more professional experience. Feel free to get in touch with these people and talk about your aspirations. Gather information about different occupations and industries. Ask them for advice that you can use for choosing a career that’s best for you.

Work as an Intern

Internships provide you with an excellent opportunity to lay the foundation of your career. The experience of actually working in the real world is something that you should never ignore. Working as an intern helps you find out how being in a particular job feels like, whether the work environment is up to your taste and how you get along with people in the workplace.

Internships are also highly recommended for building connections with professionals and gaining work experience that can add extra weight to a resume. An internship can be either paid or unpaid.