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Career Change

  • When your resume seems already packed to capacity, the resume update process can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. Formatting and design aside, it is a matter of reassessing priorities and editing accordingly. Unless you already had plenty of room on that 2nd page, some things will need to be changed. The information below is just a little guidance on how to go about executing the update as cleanly as possible.

    Convert any “Present” roles to “Past” with End Dates

    When executing a resume update, I like to do this first. Why? It is easy to forget to go back and change verbs to past tense. Go ahead and get this slightly mundane task out of the way. Don’t forget the verbs in the middle of sentences as well. Some job seekers change those at the start of sentences and forget this.

    Add The New Role

    Once you’re done converting the most recent role in the resume to past tense, it’s time to add the new one. Add some blank lines above the aforementioned role. This gives you room to work with when adding the new position. To ensure consistency in formatting, duplicate the most recent roll by copying and pasting above it. Afterwards, delete the content only, leaving the resume formatting infrastructure intact. Copy and paste the raw material below that, and now you have something to work with to develop the new role. The resume update is about ensuring consistency in voice and language.

    Duplicate the writing structure as best as you can When writing the new position out. After a successful resume update, you should not be able to tell the new content was entered at a different time than the rest of the document. Of course, the same resume writing rules apply. Develop your prose focusing on action and impact, brevity, and grammatical accuracy. Be sure to focus more on impact than tasks and duties.

    Look for Opportunities to Trim Excess from the Resume

    At this point of the resume update, you will usually find that you have gone over to the next page. If the resume has gone from 2 to 3 pages, you’re next task is to figure out what you can trim or eliminate to correct this. Always start with older positions. If the oldest one is now dated, perhaps it can be removed. If not removing an entire position, maybe the job description content can come out, leaving only highlights. What about other older positions, can one or two lines of job description be removed to buy enough space?

    Consider Re-targeting Your Summary

    Most of us are going through a resume update because we are seeking a new position. Are you looking for something consistent with the way this resume was originally developed? Or is your career going through a slightly (or drastically) different directions? This may be a good opportunity to review and make changes to your executive summary that best fits the role you are pursuing. Planning to make the transition into management or executive leadership? This is when you revamp this section to ensure you are focusing on the right qualities and skills the job targets command. In fact, if making the leap to a new level, you may need to go through the entire document to refocus on more leadership and managerial points then you may have in the past. Perhaps previous positions did not call for this.

    Proof the Updated Resume

    Once you have made all edits and changes, it is imperative that you proof the resume before sending it out. Nothing irritates hiring managers more than receiving error-riddled resumes and cover letters from job seekers. It tells them that it was not worth your time to go through your resume to correct obvious errors. And if this is the case, why should they take the time to even call you in? When proofing your resume, you want to do this in two steps. First, you want to go through the document reading for content and continuity. This is where we make sure our content and context is correct. Once completed, go through with your technical hat on and look for spelling and grammar errors, as well as consistency in spacing, margins, and font size and type.

    Executing the proper resume update can sometimes be a little tedious. This is because you are attempting to integrate content that you are reader will not be able to distinguish from the original. But when done correctly, you should see consistent success in achieving interviews, the same as you did with the original resume. You’ll be starting your new job in no time. Good luck!

  • front-end developer resume
    With an average growth rate of 27%, front-end development is a stable career path

    So, you need to bang out an eye-popping front-end developer resume. But not exactly sure of the way to go. One thing to remember when writing any resume is to first consider the end game. Who is our reader and what are the high priority skills that would make them sit up and pay attention? Of course, when it comes to a stellar high impact resume, there is more to consider than just skill set. How about design styling, overall strategy, organization, phrasing, highlight communication, etc? However, core skill set is critical to impressing your reader and navigating applicant tracking systems with strength.

    If you are a front-end developer, your career is pretty safe for now. Some believe we have only scratched the surface of website application development. But to stay marketable, you want to keep developing that skill set. What are the latest languages? How about new libraries? Mid and senior-level web developers can easily land six-figure salaries. So if staring out of your window at work and itching to make a change, consider this field.

    Below are 4 key skills for your front-end developer resume that you want to insure your reader does not miss.

    HTML/CSS

    Okay, let’s be blunt here. If you are reader cannot readily pick up on your HTML/CSS skill set, then you haven’t got a chance. After all, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) represents the standard when it comes to building a web pages. The reader of your front-end developer resume has to know you understand concepts such as document object models, tags, and semantic markup. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) represents the language one uses to present the HTML created document. Does your resume communicate your ability to embed.css files into pages? Yes, I know, it seems a little obvious, right? But you would be surprised at how many front-end developer resume attempts I see that do not convey this important foundational concept.

    JavaScript/jQuery

    JavaScript represents a tool that powers a website’s interactivity and allows the building UI components that include image sliders, site navigation mega menus, form validations, and pop-ups. Be sure that front-end developer resume shows this skill so your reader knows you can build sites with  functionality past HTML and CSS capabilities. jQuery is a JavaScript library designed to simplify HTML DOM tree traversal and manipulation, as well as event handling, CSS animation. Front-end development can be pretty Javascript-intensive due to the demand for highly-interactive website applications.

    Responsive Design

    A quality website is one that responds to a user’s behavior and environment based on screen sizes, platforms, and orientations. Want to build out front-end developer resume that get call-backs? Then make sure you communicate a healthy knowledge of this concept. When you bring this skill, the employer sees someone who can save money by foregoing the need to develop separate mobile applications. When you can house all of the code into one single website, everybody wins! Additionally, Google implemented search engine algorithm change back in 2015 that factor in website mobile presence as a core ranking factor, so responsive design also helps sites rank higher. So be sure that front-end developer resume gets this concept across to that hiring manager.

    Git

    Most development projects are collaborative in nature. And digital collaborations can be complex. Things may start out simple, but with several participants making changes, how can one be sure you are working on the most current version? Let the hiring manager know you can use Git to manage source code and manage and track versions. There are a few other version control systems (VCS) out there, but Git provides a foundation for services such as GitHub and GitLab. A strong front-end developer resume tells the reader that Git (or one of the other VCSs) is in your toolbox. We want them to know your ability to merge changes into the working branch so that things stay current, as well as timely.

    With an average salary of $79,591 (Glassdoor), it’s no wonder that front-end web development is a hot commodity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics had web development jobs in the US expected to grow 27% from 2014 to 2024. If you haven’t already, consider pursuing the W3C Front-End Web Developer Professional Certificate to increase your marketability. Also, consider using a professional to develop your front-end developer resume. After all, someone else is doing so, right?

  • Two Resumes

    Let’s face it, when it comes to preparing our resumes for the job search, we would definitely like it to be easy. I mean, if we could prepare one, instead of two resumes that answers every question for every reader, we would be golden! Unfortunately, there are instances where a different tool is needed in your toolbox. Now, I am not talking about the task of Simply tailoring one’s resume to a job description. I am talking about the need for a completely different strategic approach. So, how do you know when there is a need to take a different strategic approach to your resume than you previously have? Below are a few examples of situations warranting this.

    Competing Skill Sets

    Some of us are very blessed, and that we can rely on a background that gives us numerous options. Why this is in fact a blessing, if approached the wrong way it actually ends up being a curse. When it comes to your resume, you do not want your reader feeling as though they are fishing through wood could be several potential skill set mixes in order to find where they fit into the equation. First, there is the issue of time. The average resume is reviewed for 10 seconds or less. That means there is no time to distract someone with content that does not relate to them. Second, even if the hiring manager where to see where your skill-set matched their requirements, they will wonder whether or not you are truly committed to the direction that the position requires. Neither of these scenarios work in your favor. If your job search is one that will be attacking different position types for Industries, you want to ensure that each one is speaking a specific language the reader. That hiring manager should not feel as though they are competing with other Industries for your services.

    Same Job, Different Industry

    Let’s say that you have been in pharmaceutical sales for the last 15 years, but you are also seeking a sales position outside of that industry. In a case such as this, the pharmaceutical sales resume will likely have a great deal of industry-specific jargon. There will be in pronounceable drug names, references to various therapeutics, and other things that may make readers from other Industries cringe. So what do you need to do question mark you need to put together a resume that pulls the focus away from the industry and back on your ability to sell. That other resume should strip away all of the industry-specific terminology and jargon so that the reader does not view you as a pigeon-holed pharmaceutical professional.

    Federal vs Private Sector

    This scenario may present the most dramatic difference in resume needs. The federal resume and private-sector resume are in fact two different and distinct animals. When it comes to your federal resume, you will want to flesh out the content and be thorough with regard to the communication of all relevant skills with regard to the position in question. Federal resumes can be quite lengthy, based upon the amount of experience one brings to the table. In contrast, your private sector resume has the goal of brevity. You rarely have situations that warrant more than two pages. As such, someone with an extensive background will have to make some tough decisions on what to exclude. Additionally, the very infrastructure of these documents is a bit different. With the federal resume, you are including much more information in the position headers then you would with the private sector resume. For those exiting the military, it is quite common to include all awards and medals on a federal resume, why only including them in the private sector version if it is very relevant to the type of position being sought. So in this case, if actively applying for positions in the public and private sector, two resumes is the bare minimum.

    No one said it would be easy. Looking for a job is hard work. Ensuring all the proper tools are in your toolbox is paramount to getting this thing done quickly, and two resumes may be just what the doctor ordered to keep your search humming along. Think of each of your readers as speaking a different language. You would not expect to have a conversation with five individuals, each speaking a different language, by using the same language. Your resume is no different. Ensure that you are speaking the language of the hiring manager, and you give yourself and your resume a great shot.

  • resume strategyIf you are fortunate enough to have had a long and successful career in one field and you are pursuing another position in the same area, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. For most job seekers, the search is more about survival than it is for career satisfaction. As we all know, the wider the net you can cast, the more likely you are to land something viable. However, this does not come without its challenges when it comes to resume strategy.

    Your resume can only hold so many characters and so many words. Additionally, your reader is only looking for so many skills, experiences, and qualifications. So the built-in challenge becomes “How does one develop a resume flexible enough for multiple goals, while focusing enough on any one reader to draw interest for an interview”?

    The answer to whether a viable resume target mix is possible depends upon WHICH employment targets are being pursued. For a resume to achieve any kind of consistency in performance, it must quickly communicate (usually within 10 seconds) that there is enough of a match for the HR manager or recruiter to explore further. Now, if our reader has to wade through totally unrelated content before getting to what matters to them, you will lose them. So the secret of a successful multi-targeted resume depends upon the commonality of the qualifications.

    For example, a resume strategy involving the targets Database Administrator and IT Project Manager, is likely to perform better than one for designed for a Database Administrator and Librarian. Think of your employment targets as being physical targets 30 feet in front of you. Then, consider your resume to be one handful of rocks. The farther apart the targets, the more difficult it will be to hit them with that one handful of rocks. But the closer together they are, the easier it will be.

    As a resume development strategy, it is recommended that you first prioritize the targets. Then, it is best to develop the resume to ensure that the primary target is fully addressed. Next, you would want to then begin integrating as much of the second target into the resume as possible. If you begin to notice a sort of dissonance between the content for each, you are going down the wrong path. The resume’s content should not fight against itself for attention. When this happens, think of how your reader will absorb this. While reviewing the documents, they will wonder why 50% of the information is even in front of them. At this point, you have lost the battle.

    There is nothing wrong with a diverse job search. In fact, for many people it is a necessity. But what will never change is that you must have the right tool to do any job. A resume that tries to cover too much ground will fail more often than it will succeed. When your employment goals have too many uncommon elements, you will simply need another resume to ensure both give you the results you seek.

    Be objective when it comes to your resume strategy development. It may be tempting to attempt to cover everything in one document, but remember, you are not the audience. Your readers are really pressed for time and do not want to go through the 200-plus resumes that have been handed to them. Make it too difficult to see your value and, well, let’s just say your search continues, shall we?

  • career managementToday you made headway. You applied to several posted job vacancies, made sent in cold resume submissions to target companies your research showed might be hiring soon. You’ve reached out to your members of your LinkedIn network for information on potential employment in their spheres and you’ve done the same when it comes to your social network. But if you are not taking the time to document your progress, you are being as efficient as you can be with your career management.

    You of course have the option to keep it simple. Some opt for the everyday garden-variety spreadsheet. While Microsoft Excel is of course an excellent tool, the advent of free cloud based services such as Google Docs give you real-time updating ability through the use of Google Sheets. But regardless of the spreadsheet program or platform used, it should contain the same track categories to help you stay on top of your job search. You will want to keep track of everything related to the search. Some column titles may include:

    Job Applied For
    Company Name
    Contact Name/Title
    Phone
    E-mail Address
    Mailing Address
    Date of Last Communication
    Website
    Date Resume Submitted
    How Resume Submitted
    References Sent
    How I Heard About This Job
    Job Description/Keywords
    Status of Application
    Comments and Notes

    It may not be just the vacancies and potential positions to which you have applied. You will want to track communications with those in your network that can either assist you with finding a position this job search cycle, or could be of value in the future. Remember, good career management is not just about the job that you need today. It is about building those relationships that can open doors tomorrow. In fact, if you manage your network properly today, your next job search is likely to be much shorter.

    If you are looking for existing job search tools to help with career management, there are several out there that are proven to be effective. Most job seekers already know about JibberJobber.com, which has been around since 2006. This platforms free version gives you the ability to track 250 companies and 250 contacts. Not bad. The premium version is only $9.95 per month. Others such as Careershft.com are a little more expensive, but is a more comprehensive tool with an interface that allows for more efficient management of your time and process. They also have patented technology for performing address and telephone searches for contacts. Others include ApplyMate and StartWire.

    Whether you use a career management tool that already exists, or decide to go to the spreadsheet route, it is always good to know when those targeted resumes were sent, to whom you’ve spoken, and the status of those applications, among other things. But what that list can also provide is new members of your network, as well as an excellent starting point for the next job search.

  • resume-writer-tipResume writers and career professional are often asked by clients for their opinion on what the next career move should be. But the truth is that this is not a question that can be accurately answered by us. Yes, we can give you a tactical analysis on the types of positions for which you seem to have the best qualifications match. But deciding on your career change should involve numerous factors of which we often are not aware.

    At any point in the fork in the road of your career, there are going to be several factors you will need to assess for yourself before a decision can be made. For example, what is your propensity for risk? Not everyone has the disposition “put it on the line” and take gambles. Some opportunities are safer than others. Perhaps not a lot of upside, but they are steady and you know they’ll be there. Then again, some careers are high risk/high reward. Taking such a road can lead you to the penthouse or the poor house once the dust clears. You need to decide which type of person you are. We are all made up of different stuff. Best to know your makeup before you leap.

    Another question you can ask yourself is whether you are an office person or enjoy working in the field. You are going to have to get up every day and go “somewhere” on your next job. Are you the type of person who likes routine of going to the same place daily, or is your thing working in the field? There are benefits and detriments to each. When you go into an office every day, you can benefit from the structure and have engagement and social interaction with fellow employees. However, the professional in the field usually has the freedom to control their own hours and they meet new people daily. When you close your eyes, which do you see yourself doing every day?

    Other factors to consider include:

    • Do you like the stability of a large company versus the dynamic environment of a smaller one?
    • What is your bank account looking like? Do you have time to pursue this ideal career path, or will the well run dry before you secure it?
    • Which of your skills do you see using every day and which would you rather stay away from?

    It is always best to piece together your target like a jigsaw puzzle. Work out the different aspects of what the job should look like for you based upon the totality of your personal makeup and situation, then step back and see what it looks like. Find the job that best matches those parameters and you’re off to the races!

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