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resume

The Best Way to Structure Your Resume

resume

You, like many other candidates, have tons of great experiences, accomplishments, and skills that you want to highlight on your resume. However, there is often confusion regarding the order in which you should display all of these details. If you’re one of many candidates taking advantage of this tight labor market, here is the ultimate guide on how to structure your resume.

Contact information

First of all, you must include your contact information at the very top of your resume. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and maybe even the link to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of resumes each day. You want to ensure they can quickly identify you and find all your necessary contact details!

Resume objective/summary

If you feel so inclined to include a resume objective, this is where you should put one. Keep your objective or summary brief and to the point. An objective should illustrate what you wish to accomplish as a professional applying for the position. And if you include a summary, provide an overall summary of why you’re a strong candidate for this position. However, don’t get lost in the weeds! The rest of your resume should point out why you’re a great fit for the position.

Work Experience

Now, this is where the bulk of your resume’s content will be. You will want to display your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, you want to go in descending order, starting with your most current work experience. Some people argue that you should list your most relevant experience first. However, that can confuse a recruiter or hiring manager and make your work history look like a jumbled mess. Instead, list your work experience starting with your current position and only include details that are relevant for the job. That way, there is no confusion about your job history, and it will be evident to the reader that you are qualified for the job.

Education

Now that you have all of your work history and accomplishments nicely displayed, your education goes next. Include the school you attended as well as the degree or certification you received. Don’t include your GPA unless you’re right out of school. Employers are more concerned with your work experience and degree than your grades.

Certifications

After your education, list any certifications you have achieved. Whether it’s an SPHR or a Lean Six Sigma certification, this is where you’ll want to place those. All you need to include is a list of any certifications you’ve earned and the date you achieved them.

List of skills

Finally, you want to include a list of skills at the very end of your resume. This is optional, but we would highly recommend adding a concise list of your top hard and soft skills. The key here is to add skills that help you stand out as a great applicant for the position. With almost every employer or recruiting firm utilizing an applicant tracking system, it’s imperative that your skills are transparent.

Your resume is ultimately yours

Overall, this is an excellent guide for those looking to restructure their resume. Ultimately, your resume is your professional summary of your experience as an applicant. So you are, of course, free to create your resume as you please. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will help position yourself as a professional applicant!

If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our list of resume recourses!

Why You Need To Customize Your Resume To Every Job

We can all agree that putting together a resume isn’t one of our favorite ways to spend our free time. Which makes the thought of creating a different version of your resume for every single job you apply to just a tad intimidating. If you’re actively on the market for a new position, it’s downright overwhelming. However, the key to landing your next job and advancing your career lies in a well thought-out and tailored resume.

Employers Are Looking For Specific Keywords

Many employers still use an ATS system to filter candidates. When they’re sifting through hundreds of resumes, it is the fastest way for them to identify those who are qualified. (Other than working with a recruiter, of course!) Knowing this, check out the job description and pick out keywords that match your qualifications. Be sure to highlight and feature those throughout your resume. This will push you right through the ATS system and onto the next round.

Titles Are Ambiguous

Just because two roles might have the same title doesn’t mean the duties and necessary skills will be the exact same. Job descriptions and duties can vary drastically depending on the industry, company, and seniority of the position. While you’re going through the job description looking for keywords, pay close attention to the subtleties of how this position may be different or similar to roles you’ve had in the past. Pull out experiences, quantified achievements, and skills that you’ve accumulated over the years that pertain to each specific listing.

Varied Skillsets Offer Unique Value

Just because your past experiences don’t exactly match the job description you’re applying to, doesn’t mean you should take them off your resume completely. Think about each role that you’ve held. Paint a picture of all the different skill sets that you have gained over the years and how they might pertain to this specific application. Many employers value a variety of past experiences and the depth of knowledge that brings to a team.

The couple extra minutes you put into your resume for each position will pay some serious dividends when it comes to securing that offer. Think of it as a precursor to the dedication you will put into the job once you’re hired!

job hunting

Job Hunting? Here Are Some Tips!

job hunting

Looking for a new job can be daunting. With job boards, social media, and even Craigslist, it can be confusing as to which resource is going to be the best path for your job hunt. Partnering with a reputable recruiting firm and recruiter is advisable, but let’s take a look at some of the other resources out there.

Job Boards

Traditional job boards are great resources to see what positions are open, as well as to get your resume online for recruiters and companies to find you. Just remember that if you post your resume to one of these sites, you need to be your own advocate and keep the resume updated. You must ensure you do not have outdated resumes already on the site. You could miss out on your dream job if a recruiter found an old resume that had outdated contact info and couldn’t get a hold of you. Keep your data up-to-date and organized, and it will pay off!

Craigslist

Many companies have turned to Craigslist as a resource to find candidates. Like job boards, this is a very “invisible” way of applying. You and everyone out there is sending in their resume and hoping for that call. Human Resource professionals wear multiple hats within their organizations; with a flood of resumes coming into their “in-boxes,” unless yours really stands out – most likely – it will not get the look needed to get your foot in the door.

Facebook

Facebook is a great networking tool, but it is truly a social media site and not necessarily a professional networking site. If you are job hunting, letting your social network know is a good thing; however, unlike LinkedIn, Facebook will be more word of mouth than a target marketing effort on your part. Not all companies use Facebook as a recruiting tool and your network may not be a resource for your line of work.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social media site and a valuable resource. Many companies and recruiting firms use LinkedIn as a resource for finding quality candidates. LinkedIn allows you to specifically target your area of expertise and apply for a position directly with the employer. It also allows you to reach out to your network and get the word out that you’re on the market.

At the end of the day, it is all about marketing yourself and doing your due diligence; but, with so many resources, it can be overwhelming and a lot of work. Let Johnson Search Group be your trusted partner in your job hunt and help you find your next career adventure!

resume mistakes

Resume Mistakes Keeping You from an Interview

resume mistakes

Are you among the thousands of Americans actively searching for a new career, but find yourself on the receiving end of countless automated rejections? You spend hours searching for jobs you would love and are qualified for, but can’t seem to get as much as a conversation, let alone an interview, to make your case. If this is you, chances are your resume is to blame.

A recent study shows that hiring managers review resumes for just 7.4 seconds. This small window of time is all you have to capture a hiring manager’s attention. If your resume isn’t landing you interviews, chances are you’re making one or more of these resume mistakes.

It’s Unclear

Your resume should be short and relevant to the position you are applying for. Finding as many online job openings as possible and mass-sending your resume with hopes of finding a job is time-consuming and often disappointing. Things like unrelated work experiences, inability to connect experiences to the opportunity, or large gaps convey uncertainty. Managers want to hire someone with a clear direction and an indication of longevity.

If your resume doesn’t accomplish this, it will instead raise questions. Questions you will often be unable to address because your resume didn’t warrant an interview. As mentioned, with just 7.4 seconds to create interest and showcase value, you don’t want the hiring managers to waste time trying to understand you and your career path.

The Layout

If your resume is unprofessional or distracting, you face an uphill battle to move on to an interview. Cramming too much information into a resume is a common mistake, as candidates feel that more information is better. But loads of information is hard to process quickly, and managers will often skim resumes, looking for keywords or skills that indicate value. If the manager is unable to accomplish this because your resume resembles more of an essay than a list of skills and experiences, you distract from the value you provide. This will, unfortunately, make it difficult for a manager to recognize your full potential.

Make sure to only include relevant experiences and skills, with spacing between lines and lots of white space. This allows whoever is reading your resume to pull out key pieces of information immediately. Don’t be afraid of the one-page resume myth. Don’t try to cram everything onto one page. If you have years of relevant experience, skills, and certifications, don’t be afraid to expand your resume on two or even three.

The Distribution

The internet and sites like LinkedIn have made applying for jobs easy. Simply find a job posting online you are interested in and submit a cover letter and resume, right? While online resources have made the application process easier, they’ve done so for everyone. That resume you sent in is now one of the hundreds of virtual documents that may as well be in a virtual pile, with no guarantee of actual human eyes gracing your qualifications.

To fight this, focus on real human connection. This can still be done online by focusing on reaching out to hiring managers directly on LinkedIn. If you focus on building genuine connections with those around you, you drastically increase your chance of receiving new opportunities; opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have heard of. By building these connections, you’ll stand a better chance of getting your resume in front of the right people.

spring clean your resume

How to Spring Clean Your Resume

spring clean your resume

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. The weather is finally starting to get nicer and the last few days of winter seem to be behind us. Many of us start doing a little Spring cleaning in our yards or cleaning out our closets. Before you kick your shoes off and start relaxing, why not give that resume a little Spring cleaning, too?

After all, a resume, like many of our garages or bedrooms, need a good deep cleaning at least once a year! It can be difficult to remember every single accomplishment, achievement, or duties. And if you keep pushing it off, it will only get more and more difficult. So, here’s how you can roll up your sleeves and Spring clean your resume.

Review your work history

There’s a debate with how far back you should go with your career history. Some people recommend only including the most recent 10 to 15 years of work experience of your career. However, you could be missing out on some vital work experience if you limit your resume to only 10 years!

As long as it’s relevant to the job your applying for, it’s safe to keep that work history on your resume. For example, if you’re well into your career, you may be able to take off that summer job you had while in school. However, if the position provides value to your resume, it’s probably safe to leave on. But don’t just hack away at your work experience just to cut down your resume.

The rule of the one-page resume is dead, and if you try to limit yourself to one page, you may be doing yourself an injustice.

Have a clean and simple design

Have you ever looked at someone else’s resume and thought to yourself, “why would you do that?” A resume is your first impression; it’s your interview before your first interview! You don’t want to scare someone off by having an exotic or goofy resume.

Here’s the best advice I can offer you: keep it simple, stupid. Forget all of that fancy font, wacky color schemes, and graphics. Don’t add a headshot of yourself on your resume. Avoid using custom bullet points and any other strange formatting. All of these things are honestly just distractions from your great skills and qualifications. So, don’t weed yourself out by trying to create a work of art. Keep it simple and keep it clean.

Don’t forget to review it!

And after you’ve finished your final tweaks and adjustments, don’t forget to review your resume! Don’t let a grammatical or spelling mistake prevent you from landing that dream job. Print out your resume and read it out loud. You would be surprised with what you’ll find when you physically hold that resume in your hands and read it out loud.

Sometimes you’ll catch mistakes just by looking at it on a piece of paper versus staring at a screen. And always have someone else review it. Everyone has that friend who is a self-proclaimed grammar stickler. Put their skills to the test and have them take a peek at your resume! Your future self will thank you.

You may not even find a mistake, but I guarantee you’ll find a better way to word a bullet point or sentence that makes your resume flow better.

And now that you know how to Spring clean your resume, check out our jobs board if you’re ready to make a career move.

Tailor your Resume

Resume: How to Tailor Your Resume to Each Job

Tailor your Resume

When it comes to writing a resume, it can sometimes feel cumbersome but, it gives every person we hand it to a first impression of who we are as a future employee. A resume is not something you want to rush to do; it’s certainly not something that is cookie cutter and can be done once and used forever. In this blog, I’ll discuss how to tailor your resume for every job you apply to, so you not only get in for an interview but hopefully get the job as well.

Be Specific

When you tailor a resume for the specific job you’re applying for, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re specific in what you’re looking for. Whether that is calling out the name of the position you want in your resume objective or why you’re the perfect fit, this will make your resume stand out. Again, it shows them that you’ve specifically created this resume just for this position and illustrates your interest. Being specific is the one sure way to tailor your resume and help you get the job.

Use Keywords from the job description

Any job description is your best friend when it comes to making a resume specific. Every job description has the keywords and skills they are looking for in a great candidate. So, if you have what they’re looking for and you use those words and skills in your resume, you can almost guarantee you will get through an ATS system and land on a hiring manager’s desk. Which let’s be honest, that’s the biggest hurdle when applying for positions you want.

Tailor your work history

When you’ve decided to apply for a new job, your work history is everything. It can get your foot in the door or illustrate that you may not have enough experience. So, to ensure you show the correct experience, make sure to tailor your work history to the job you’re applying for. The way to do this is by only adding relevant positions that pertain to the experience they want you to have. Pointing out how your jobs are connected and how it makes you a perfect fit for this new position will be a big win on your resume.

If you’re well into your career, you no longer need to add that pizza delivery postion you had for a summer during college. Only include positions that are relevant to the job you’re applyif for if you truly want to stand out.

Quantify your achievements

You want to include your achievements on your resume. However, it’s important to only include achievements that are essential to the position. These accomplishments should support your experience and match up well with the job description. And you need to ensure to quantify these skills. Putting how many of these projects you completed or how much money you saved your department makes your achievements stand out to hiring managers.

Design

Simple designs on resumes make it easy to read. It’s good to be creative and maybe adding some color can make it pop. But doing your best to not make it “too much” is necessary. You must remember that a resume should be easy to skim through and find your experience and skills quickly. This way, hiring managers don’t lose interest or get lost reading your resume.

Tailoring your resume for the specific job you’re applying for is critical to you successfully landing a job interview. Good luck and happy hunting!

Quality Resume

Quality: How to Build A Quality Resume

Quality Resume

When you’re constructing your resume, it’s imperative to remember this is the first impression an employer will see. It’s the first opportunity they have to make their own conclusion of your skills and if you will be a good fit for their team. So, making sure you leave a good impression without spelling mistakes, lies, a hard-to-read resume, or skills that are not fully quantified is needed.

Here are some tips to help you build a custom, quality resume that’ll make hiring managers fight over you.

Marketing Tool

Sometimes it’s best to wipe the slate clean. With so many different resume templates online, you have the opportunity to find a format that you like and really get to the good stuff. The first thing you should think of though is that your resume is the marketing tool that will get you the job you want. It will get your foot in the door and could really help make you stand out from the crowd. With that being said, you need to know how to make it to really impress those hiring managers.

Use Keywords

When writing a resume, you want to ensure you customize each one to the job you’re applying for. This may seem repetitive and a waste of time but in the end, it helps you share your passion and qualifications within every resume. Which in turn will help you get your resume seen, and hopefully, get you called in for an interview!

Keywords are a great way to customize every resume to a specific job. And the best way to find these keywords is to look through the job description and pick out the skills they are really looking for. These words will be easy to find because they will pertain to the job and the skill sets the employer is looking for. So, making sure you use them throughout your resume will get it through any company’s ATS and help get your resume on the desk of the people who matter.

Quantify

Always quantify your skills and experience! If you think about when someone tells you they have experience doing something, which statement is more impactful? Them saying they have a lot of experience or them saying they have 15 years of experience? That right there is the main reason why you want to quantify everything you can.

It helps you put more facts behind your skills and proves that you know what you’re doing. You can quantify cost savings on a project, or revenue generated for your department. Any numbers like these will help you get your point across about your knowledge as well as make it easy to illustrate that you have the right experience for the position.

Bullets & Sections

Splitting up your resume into sections is a great way to keep it organized and easy to read. And when you make each section concise by adding bullet points, it makes your resume stand out and helps you not bog it down with big chunks of text that take away from your skills and experience. Including these visually appealing aspects will tremendously add value to your resume.

Focus on Positive

Always focus on the positive. Your resume is your opportunity to share your accomplishments and successes. In an interview, they can ask you about the hard times. But on your resume, making everything about the positive things you’ve done is the right way to showcase yourself. We’ve all made mistakes and had struggles in our careers but thankfully our quality resume doesn’t have to be a tell-all story about them!

Easy to Read

If you look at your resume and question if it is easy to read, it probably isn’t. One of the most important things every resume needs to be is quickly readable. If it’s not, you may miss out on the job even though you have the perfect qualifications. So, remember that before you make it too fancy! Easy and simple to read will always be your best friend when it comes to crafting a quality resume.

Review

And finally, the last thing you must do before submitting your resume is review it. The last thing you want in your resume is grammatical or spelling errors. It can really set the tone of how people think of you and the interest they believe you have in the job. Don’t let minor issues that can be fixed before you apply to a job call the shots on whether you get an interview or not!

Overall, there are a ton of things you can do to build a quality resume. It may seem like a lot to consider for just a piece of paper; however, these tips are a make-it-or-a-break-it chance for you to get the job you’re applying for. So, spending some time and effort when crafting your resume is definitely time well spent!

resume

What Am I Looking for on a Resume?

resume

We’ve published many articles discussing resumes. However, as a professional mining & heavy industrial recruiter, what am I looking for on a resume?

Using keywords and phrases

First of all, let me explain the way most resumes are found today during an active job search, excluding direct applicants. Some sort of search is performed whether it’s online or an internal database. Knowing this, you can use keywords and phrases to your advantage. For example, if you have experience with Allen Bradley equipment, I would be sure and add PLC on your resume so hiring managers will notice you in their stack of applicants. In another case, I would be sure to use the words purchasing and procurement. Using relevant keywords on your resume just gives yourself the best chance to be seen.

Add a skills section

I always recommend including a skills section on your resume. In the mining & heavy industrial world, it’s crucial to see what skill sets a candidate has to ensure they can safely perform necessary duties of the job. You should include a bulleted covering your relevant experience. This is also another prime opportunity to add more keywords.

As good as you might be at your job, if your key skills are not easily legible, you may miss out on the job of a lifetime.

Resume format

I always get asked how long a resume should be. I have seen some great two-page resumes.

Some of the better examples I have seen have a brief summary. I personally like a resume with the most recent experience at the top. Dated in chronological order, with a company, title, and then a short overview.

Resume example for a position as a Maintenance Manager

2014 – current

ABC Company: Maintenance Manager

Responsible for 3 supervisors and 15 technicians in a 155-person continuous manufacturing facility. I oversee a maintenance budget of $xxx and schedules, including PM schedules and root cause analysis. We have improved equipment availability from 92-95% in the calendar year utilizing and KPI’s which I created after conducting a full plant analysis. Brought vibration and thermography in-house, saving $xxx.

This is just a short example of what I like for on a resume. The questions I will get from clients are going to be related to your own involvement at a job. Thus, if you can paint that picture verbally, you can get noticed and save some valuable time in the hiring process.

I hope this helps any of you who are looking for answers on a very common question I hear.

resume

The Must-Haves on a Resume in the Banking/Credit Union Industry

resume

The financial services industry is ever-changing and so are the needs/requirements for the talent the institutions typically seek. Sure, there are some positions within financial services that require past banking experience. However, we’re going to take a look BEYOND experience and discuss the other details that you must include on your resume.

Education

This may seem like a no-brainer; however including GPA, Cum Laude, or Dean’s list info can be very beneficial. Especially for those that have recently graduated. If you’re well into your career, this rule does not apply to you because your experience will speak for itself. Banks and Credit Unions also love to see any Banking-related certifications or degrees.

Certifications/Awards

Listing your certifications or awards from either prior jobs or from school is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates that may be under consideration for the same role. There are a ton of certifications that are very desirable in the banking/financial services industry, such as CFA, FRM, CISA, or CRCM. Certifications illustrate your knowledge of the industry and show your dedication to the financial industry.

Volunteer Experience/Extra Curricular Activities

Many banks and credit unions have heavy community involvement. According to Her Campus Media, “Volunteerism can equip a student with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills including technical, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership, to name a few. Most people who volunteer are devoted to a cause and can easily convey their enthusiasm via a natural narrative.” These qualities that you’ve gained from volunteering—communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and enthusiasm—are superb skills to have listed on your resume, cover letter, and other applications materials.

Specific Accomplishments

Accomplishments are important because it illustrates your contributions to your previous employer. When you’re detailing your accomplishments, make sure to be complete and precise in what you say. Use exact numbers or any sort of quantitative result when you can. These statements are very impactful as it shows the potential value you may add to the institution you’re applying with.

Banks and Credit Unions, obviously, are driven by numbers, most of the time. Whether it’s a dollar amount, a percentage of growth, money saved or decrease in error ratio, these are all great ways to make your resume stand out.

resume

Keep Your Resume Current and Give it a Facelift

resume

The job market can be a volatile place at times with many acquisitions of companies and layoffs. It’s hard to predict when these things can happen. The transition from employment to job search comes as a surprise. If your resume is up to date, you can quickly kickoff your much-needed job search.

Update your resume when you start a new job (keeping it current). Even if it’s a new position with the same employer. Your responsibilities may have changed or have completed a class and received a certification. Or maybe you went back to college and earned another degree. Regardless of the changes, it’s essential to always keep your resume up to date.

Give your resume a lookover before starting to make edits

  • Update your education, if you received a degree with a title, add that behind your name. You earned it!
  • Update your work history and responsibilities
  • Revise your summary since your career goal may have changed
  • Update any new skills – bullet point your most important accomplishments

Always start with your most current work history

Be sure to include these key details for each position on your resume:

  • Your position title
  • Employer’s name
  • Dates worked for that employer (i.e. Jan 2010 – March 2018)
  • A short summary of job duties and bullet points of your specific skills
  • Provide relevant statistics, such as increasing efficiencies or decreasing defects

Be concise, including too much information is a typical mistake and employers are generally interested in the last 10-15 years. And speaking of adding too much information, never include your salary details. By doing so, you may be filtering yourself out of consideration if you’re too expensive.

Use easy-to-read font and don’t use italics as they are hard to read. However, bolding your job title and employer is acceptable. Print out a copy of your resume first to see how it looks before you send it out.

Beat the ATS

Larger companies do not have time to read every resume, so they use an applicant tracking system ATS to do it for them. They scan for keywords, so most resumes are eliminated if they are missing vital words or phrases. Normally, about 75% of resumes are eliminated even before a human sees them.

Have someone else proofread it for you for spelling errors and grammar. Having a bunch of typos and misspellings is an easy way to rule yourself out of consideration.

Work with a recruiter

If you want to ensure your resume gets into the hands of a hiring manager, work with a Johnson Search Group recruiter. We have great relationships with our clients’ hiring managers and human resources professionals. When we submit you for a job opportunity, we always do a write up on you highlighting your background, skills, and experiences that the employer is looking for. We will get them excited about you and help them schedule your interview.

Good Luck and remember when a recruiter gives you a call, hear them out! They may have the opportunity you’ve just been looking for!