Beef Up Your Job Search – Get Tech Savvy!

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA
Deal Flow Associate, Miami, FL
Private Equity Associate – Direct Investing, Toronto, Canada
Attorney Development Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Associate/Analyst, New York, NY

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In case you haven’t noticed, the old paper resume isn’t getting the same results it once did – even with special formatting or high-quality paper. Electronic resumes are the ones grabbing all the attention these days.  In some markets, job candidates may as well be sending out paper airplanes as submitting hard copy resumes. To avoid such disappointing results, use the following tips to check your technology use and online presence for greater impact from the job search.

E-Mail Basics

Review your e-mail address.  How professional is it? Golf4me@aol.com may be memorable, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Setting up a new e-mail account doesn’t have to be complicated with so many free sites for e-mail addresses available.  A simple e-mail address with your first and last name at free sites, such as AOL, Gmail, or Yahoo! will work well. Bobsmith@aol.com is easy to remember and emphasizes what you want the hiring manager to recall – your name!

It is also critical to avoid using your current work e-mail address.  Use of a work-related e-mail address can convey a number of potentially negative messages, ranging from a perception of impropriety to a sense of naiveté about business matters.  In other words, if you are comfortable receiving e-mails about your resume or job search while at the current job, hiring managers may question your ethics or judgment.  These are not good perceptions to create in the reader’s mind. The associations you want to create include an enthusiasm about meeting you, a feeling that you could fit nicely into their organization, and most importantly, how you can positively impact their bottom line.

Web Presence

Personal Internet sites can strengthen or sabotage a career search.  Even if the CEO or hiring manager isn’t Googling you, it is very likely someone in their office is conducting such a search for them.  It’s becoming common business practice. So, Google yourself first to see what shows up, and then make sure that what is on the web is consistent with the impression you want to convey.

Are you on Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Though a level of caution should be exercised when using these sources, you can make a positive presence utilizing social networking sites. It is not necessary to have a personal website to make a professional presence on the Internet.

Check out alumnae groups, professional organizations, or even the local Chamber of Commerce. Most of these groups have a section for members to post basic information, ranging from contact details to a brief overview of your skills. However, just as with the e-mail address, make sure posts are consistent with the professional presentation of a mini-resume.  Each of these Internet sites should build a comprehensive perception of you as a professional in your field in order to enhance the job search.

Finally, what career sites are you using, if any?  Available sites range from Monster.com to Craigslist. However, indiscriminately posting the resume “everywhere” on the web is unlikely to achieve positive results. The old “shotgun” approach of sending the resume to “everyone” typically delivers a sense of defeat. The lack of response is likely related to where and how the resume is posted.  Make sure the site has the type of positions you are targeting.  Next, review the format of the resume. Does it “translate” well or are those snappy formatting features you included to set your resume apart from the competition preventing a legible upload of the resume? Formatting the resume in an electronic version that another computer can easily read is crucial to success on these job sites.

Technological Tools

For job seekers searching beyond their geographic region, technological gadgets may be necessary to conduct a remote interview. Webcam or Skype for a distance interview may be important tools to consider. Many new computers and laptops have these options built in, but if not, explore other local options. Libraries, for instance, are expanding services available to job seekers. Check and see how extensive the local library’s collection of technological tools may be.  National copy and office chains offer these tools as well. If not, you may be able to pick up a webcam on sale for just a few dollars – definitely worth the investment to be prepared if the hiring manager calls suggesting a remote interview as an option to reduce travel while still getting the interview done.

Getting Help with the Final Review

Adding in the technological component to an already complicated job search may feel overwhelming. If you can’t manage all these issues yourself, look for existing resources – whether it’s your niece, nephew, or the local librarian. That’s the value in using “ready-made” sites, such as the Chamber of Commerce mentioned earlier.  It is not necessary to “re-invent” the wheel to create a positive presence on the web.

Finally, when reviewing the presence you have created on the Internet, try to do so with a critical eye. If this wasn’t your Facebook page, how might you respond to it?  What is that all-important first impression? The first impression is just as critical for an online presence as during the interview.  In fact, that technological first impression may be the important link in obtaining an interview.  Optimizing online tools can garner the kind of attention needed to launch a successful career search. This is the first place many hiring managers are going to review potential candidates, so make sure you get there first and have a positive resource ready.

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!




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Doostang News November 8: How to Handle a Friend Request from a Coworker

Analyst, New York, NY
Digital Advertising Sales Manager, Los Angeles, CA
Director of Finance, Chicago, IL
Sales Trainee, Boston, MA
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Scroll through your list of friends on your various social media profiles, and if you’re like any other online networking obsessed time waster, you’ll probably notice a myriad of names you don’t even recognize.  How they got there you can’t quite recall, but at some point you’ve given them full access to your profile information.  Yet ironically, those are not the people you’re worried about – it’s oftentimes the people you do know well.  We’re talking about coworkers.  You see these people everyday, you work in the next cubicle over, you eat lunch together during your break.  But when it comes to connecting over the Internet, that’s where you feel you must draw the line.  You like to keep your business life and your personal life as separate, and with good reason.  Goody-two-shoes though you may be back at the office, you’re an all-out hooligan after 5pm, your antics better suited far outside the office.  But how do you bring yourself to turn down a friend request from a coworker and continue leading a double life?  Read on…

Deny Requests from All Coworkers

This doesn’t really seem to answer the present question, but a strict policy that involves denying all office related friend requests diffuses most awkward interactions.  If you make it a point to remain cut off from all of your office peers online, no particular coworker will be personally offended when he or she gets rejected.  If, however, you accept some requests and deny others, you’ll likely have some explaining to do.  Certain cast-out individuals will wonder what’s wrong with them, and worse still, what you’re hiding…

Ignore the Request

You could try to make life easier on yourself by dismissing the request altogether.  Don’t address the issue, and maybe your coworker will forget about the overture they made in the first place.  If they happen to bring it up, simply explain that you don’t spend much time on the website, and thus you haven’t gotten around to connecting with them yet.  You can further spin your web of untruths as you explain that you likely won’t be logging on in the near future, and so they can expect your continued absence from their friend network.  If you do take this approach, just make sure that you avoid making all sorts of public changes to your profile, dispelling the illusion that you have limited your online activity.

Create a Different or Limited Profile

An alternative to denying a coworker’s friend request altogether is to create a different, or in some cases, a limited, profile that your office friends can see.  This is less likely to cause any hard feelings, and the coworker will often be none the wiser.  Yet here too, consider creating a general policy for all coworkers.  You don’t want to get caught up in an awkward situation where a good buddy at work brings up the table dancing pictures you just posted, but hid from others in the office.  (Though is said buddy really a buddy if he sheds light on your rowdy weekend first thing Monday morning?)

As we all know, the advent of social media has brought with it some tricky dynamics in both the job search and the workplace.  Always make sure to put your best foot forward online, and do what you can to protect your privacy.

The Doostang Team would like to add you as a friend!




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Doostang News November 1: Time to Consider Those Transferable Skills!

Jr. Analyst, New York, NY
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Being able to identify and highlight your transferable skills is crucial in transitioning to another industry, or even to another job.  Not every job is the same, and hiring managers may not entirely relate to the tasks you list on your resume.  But if you can fit your talents into one of these five main categories, you’ll present a resume that is much more to the point:

Human Relations

This category relates to any sort of interpersonal skills you use to deal with people in the workplace.  Think listening, sensitivity, cooperation, empathy, or motivation.  Chances are that if you worked with people at any point during your last job, you’ll bring some of these skills to the table.

Communication

Communication is all about effectively conveying knowledge and ideas to others.  It also has a lot to do with how well you receive information from others.  Are you a great writer, speaker, or listener?  Can you negotiate, persuade others, pick up on nonverbal cues?  If so, then you are likely a great communicator.

Research and Planning

This is just what it sounds like – the ability to seek out information and to formulate new ideas for the future.  Any time you come up with new proposals, find an alternate solution, solve a problem, define a need, or set a goal, you are engaging in research and planning.

Organization, Management, and Leadership

This one is all about rallying your troops and leading them into battle.  A good leader will coordinate plans of action, initiate new tasks, delegate responsibilities, teach, and manage conflict.

Work Survival/Professionalism

This last category includes all of the day-to-day skills that get you through the workday and promote an effective working environment.  Skills such as showing up to work on time, meeting goals, paying attention to detail, and organizing fit into this category.

Even if you’re applying to a job from a field in which you have no experience, there’s always a way to pull from what you do know or have done on the past, and make it relevant to the unfamiliar.  So the next time you apply for a job or draft a resume, bear in mind these transferable skills and show them what you’ve got!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang News October 25: What’s Your Name Again? What to do When You Forget Someone’s Name

Private Equity Associate, Boston, MA
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It’s happened again: you’ve forgotten someone’s name.  This situation is so common that you would think we would all know how to handle it by now, but it never seems to feel less awkward.  The truth is, it happens to everyone, and people will be more forgiving than you think.  But here are a few tactful ways to deal with the situation and make you feel less uncomfortable the next time you draw a mental blank.

Introduce Yourself First

If you encounter someone you know you’ve met before, but can’t for the life of you remember what letter his or her name starts with, take the initiative and reintroduce yourself first.  Do this as a courtesy to the other person, who may have also forgotten your name. This is also a nice way to recognize the fact that it’s been awhile since you were first introduced and that you’d like to get reacquainted.

Introduce Someone Else to Them

If you have a friend by your side, try the approach of introducing him or her to the person whose name you have forgotten.  Most likely, they will introduce themselves to your friend, and there you have it!

Ask Them to Spell It

If the situation is appropriate, ask the individual how they spell their name.  You may dig yourself into a deeper hole if it turns out that you’re speaking to a Bob or a Susan; but if this comes up, say something along the lines of, “Right, and last name?” while you laugh it off.

Ask for a Business Card

Not only will asking for a business card solve the name problem, but you’ll also receive their contact information and an open invitation to get in touch – which can lead to further opportunities!

Flat Out Ask

While it’s preferable not to make it obvious that you’ve forgotten someone’s name, a clumsy attempt to conceal this can muddle an awkward situation even further.  So sometimes the best rule to go by is honesty.  People will certainly understand because they have been there before, and they will appreciate your straightforwardness.

Hello Our Name Is:

The Doostang Team

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Doostang News October 18: How to Avoid an “Unhappy” Hour – Tips for the Office Happy Hour

Private Equity & Principal Investments Group Associate, New York, NY
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Who doesn’t like a good Happy Hour after a long day at the office?  It’s a wonderful chance to unwind, bond with coworkers, suck up to the boss, and drink on a Tuesday without feeling guilty.  But it can understandably lead to a few sticky situations, as do all instances that mix alcohol and coworkers.  To ensure that your innocent after hours mixer doesn’t devolve into an all-out bar brawl, make sure to follow these simple guidelines when partying with the office:

Eat Before You Go

Since Happy Hours take place late in the afternoon or early evening before dinner, chances are you’re going to be running on empty this far out from lunch.  So make sure to eat a snack at the office or grab something on the way to the bar so that you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.  No one wants to be the coworker who blows Happy Hour all over the bar or gets plastered after one drink.

Pace Yourself

While it may be tempting to show off your drinking skills to the office or go head-to-head with Rob from Accounts Payable on shots, try to contain your enthusiasm and pace yourself.  Happy Hour is not a contest, and if you make it out to be one, you may find yourself the loser when it comes to your job.

Don’t Set the Tone for Gossip

It’s no fun waking up the morning after Happy Hour and cringing at something you said about a fellow employee who you’re going to be seeing in an hour.  So avoid this situation altogether by sticking to lighthearted topics at the bar.  That means not engaging in even well-intentioned gossip while you’re still lucid, because this will inevitably transform into career-damaging slander a few more drinks in.

Treat the Bar Like the Office

While the whole point of Happy Hour is to get away from the office, take a page from the rulebook on office etiquette at the bar.  Happy Hour with your coworkers isn’t the same as a night of debauchery with your closest buddies.  Sure, you can still have fun; but bear in mind that your most important relationship with these people is your professional relationship, and that you should act accordingly.

Select a Designated Driver

To ensure that you arrive back at work safe and sound the next morning, nominate someone as a designated driver.  This is a great option for someone who wants to tag along but doesn’t want to feel the pressure to drink.  This person can also help mediate any rowdy coworkers or stop them in their tracks before they do any damage to their careers.


Happy Hours are a fun pastime meant to take away some of the stress from the daily grind.  So don’t do yourself a disservice by adding more stress to your day from acting like a fool around your office mates.  Just do a little planning ahead, act sensibly, and the rest will follow.

The Doostang Team advises you to drink responsibly… and have a great day!

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Putting Your Education to Work on Your Resume

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Associate Consultant, Atlanta, GA
Investment Banking Analyst Intern, New York, NY
Research Analyst (Business Valuation), Irvine, CA
Associate – Hedge Fund of Funds Investment Team, New York, NY

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You’ve spent lots of money on tuition and endless hours studying to earn those degrees. Now it’s time to put that time and money to work for you to land a lucrative new job. Finding the best way to showcase this information on your resume, ensuring you make the most of your credentials isn’t so easy.

Even the most brilliant and educated candidate can readily get confused by the conflicting information offered by career experts. Rather than banking on educated guesses, use this quick “study guide” to test whether you’re maximizing your education background on your resume:

Where to Place the Education Section on Your Resume

Before even trying to assemble this information on your resume, a key step is to determine what type of candidate you are.

If you are a job seeker remaining in the same field and have at least five years of experience, emphasize work experience. This means detailing your work history first, followed by your education information.  Employers greatly value contributions you’ve made to current and/or former employers, since they are the best indication of your potential in a workplace environment. Your studies, while important and often mandatory for consideration, are typically secondary to experience.

Entry-level candidates who recently finished college usually have little work experience. Employers are fully aware of this, so while they are interested in any related internships or experience, their primary interest lies in the candidate’s education. The best option for entry-level candidates, therefore, is listing the education section first.

Another type of candidate who would list education before work history would be a career changer who recently completed a degree or course relevant to the new professional path. For example, if a retail manager just completed an MBA in accounting, passed the CPA exam, and is now seeking an accounting position, the education section would be placed before work experience on the resume.

Listing Coursework

Entry-level candidates could expand upon some practical experience acquired in the course of their studies. Yet for more experienced job seekers, such details are not only unnecessary, but inadvisable. A more experienced job seeker offering specifics about coursework could inadvertently lend a lower-level feel to the overall resume presentation. There are exceptions, however. For instance, candidates seeking academic positions would list relevant coursework and publications.

Stating Year of Graduation

Only recent college graduates need to list the year of graduation since the candidate will want to account for lack of work history. It will make sense to an employer that the resume doesn’t go beyond 2008 if the candidate received a degree the same year.

Otherwise, it is not a good idea to include a year of graduation, as this will give employers a sneak peek of your age. Let your credentials speak for themselves and avoid any potential for age discrimination by omitting the year you completed a degree.

Using Designations

Some candidates include a representation of degrees and certifications earned following their names. This can be a great tool to convey a credential without taking up much room. Since one’s name appears first, at the top of a resume, it immediately highlights your professional qualifications, especially for industry-specific credentials.

However, there are some pitfalls you want to avoid. If too many designations follow a name, the overall impact is lost. It’s great if you have five professional certifications, but you don’t need to list all of them. Try to limit it to three for maximum impact.

Listing a very common degree could also turn off a reader. “John Doe, BA” really won’t impress the same way “John Doe, PhD” will.

Maximizing a Professional Summary

If there are facts you want to emphasize but you don’t want to risk an employer missing it in the education section, feel free to make a mention of it in the professional summary. As an example, you may need an MBA in order to apply for a particular position, so you want to make sure the employer sees right off the bat that you have one. If your extensive work history has pushed your education section to the bottom of page two, the perfect solution is to briefly mention your MBA in your professional summary.

The professional summary is also a great way to include a fact that really has no place in the education section. For example, if you went to an Ivy League school, you can easily incorporate that into your professional summary without sounding pretentious.



Of course, these are general guidelines. The best strategy to present your educational credentials is as individual as you are, so make sure you do your homework when it comes to preparing your resume.



About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang News October 4: Tips for Making an Industry Transition

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Consultant , Irvine, CA
Associate, SF Bay Area, CA
Product Development Analyst, Chicago, IL
Research Associate, Stamford, CT

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With the job market making a fresh recovery, it’s natural that you may be looking to make the switch to a new industry.  But we all know that it’s hard enough transitioning to a new position, so what’s the best way to make the move into an entirely new field?  Check out some of our tips:

Do Your Research

Spend your time researching as much as you can.  Pour over the latest literature of the industry, brushing up on trends, research reports, conference call transcripts, investor information – whatever you can get your hands on.  The more you know, the easier the change will be.  Try to get to know the ins and outs of your field, going beyond what is expected of your desired job; that way, you’ll be better equipped to face challenges that come your way.

Revise Your Resume

Update your resume to reflect the transferable skills from your previous work that will best suit the type of employment you’re looking to gain.  And if a previous position didn’t require any of these talents, then leave it off.  It’s tempting to list all of the substantive work experience from your past to demonstrate that you are a devoted worker, but employers will spend very little time looking at your resume before moving on to the next one.  Highlight what’s relevant, and if you still feel the need to include the less relevant job experience on your resume, make sure to downplay it.

Network

It’s also imperative that you get out there and get to know as many people in the industry as you can.  Use your existing network to get introductions to workers in the industry you are targeting. These new contacts will be the ones to vouch for you and get you jobs.  They’ll also be the ones that you’ll be doing business with if you land a new job, which will give you a huge leg up from day one.

Finding a new job is tricky, and navigating foreign territory is even trickier.  So make sure to prepare as thoroughly as possible so that you when the day finally comes, you’ll be ready to conquer!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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Hot Career Tips for the Unemployed

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Research Analyst, New York, NY
Account Coordinator, Los Angeles, CA
Associate Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
Marketing Associate, Chicago, IL
Senior Associate, SF Bay Area, CA

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If you are presently unemployed, your days are likely spent scouring job postings, emailing prospective employers and submitting your resume to online websites. Even the most dedicated jobseekers, however, probably have too much idle time on their hands. With no set hours or routine, it could be very tempting to get lazy.

Before you resort to sleeping into early afternoon or reaching for the remote control, there are several ways to make productive use of this time.

Here are just a few suggestions as to how you can maximize downtime that will not only keep you active, but will make you a more attractive job candidate:

Perform charity work where you can utilize your professional skills.

There are dozens of ways you can contribute work-related talents for the betterment of your community. Signing up for a volunteer post within an established organization is only one option. If you get creative, you can carve out your own niche.

For example, if you are a marketing professional, find out if your favorite charity needs help launching their latest awareness campaign. A teacher can look into helping a local literacy organization. A sales professional can help an organization find donors and raise money. A technology professional can assist with a nearby school’s computer upgrade.

Such activities not only enhance self-worth by aiding a worthwhile cause, but they also enrich your qualifications and demonstrate to an employer that you are keeping your skills sharp while unemployed. You’ll likely make valuable contacts as well. You never know who you will meet! It could just be the person volunteering next to you is looking for someone with your qualifications or knows of a position opening up in the office next door.

Accept a temporary or consulting gig.

With unemployment at the highest it has been in more than two decades, it could take a little longer to land that dream job. Broadening the scope of positions you are willing to consider may mean you have to make some compromises. If you are adamant about accepting only a full-time job, you could be inadvertently doing yourself a disservice.

If you impress an employer during the course of a temporary assignment, it could lead to bigger and better things. After all, what better way is there to convince a boss what you are capable of than actually showing them? The best case scenario is that you are offered a full-time position and your search is complete.

The flip side isn’t so bad, either. Even if it comes to an end, a temporary position will help you earn some money, make some contacts, and provide an additional credential to include on your resume. That will help fill in the dreaded employment gap while showing employers your skills are not getting rusty.

Take a course related to your field.

Whether it’s a college course for credits or a one-day seminar, enhancing your education sends an excellent message to anyone in position to hire you. It exhibits your desire to keep your skills current and shows you are using your time wisely.

To make the most of this benefit, be sure to enroll in something related to your work. Though taking a course for personal enrichment can be rewarding, it simply won’t carry as much weight as something relevant to your field. For example, a partner in an accounting firm will be more impressed with a candidate who learned about the latest tax codes than one who took a photography course.

If you participate in any of these activities, don’t forget to update your resume and cover letter to let employers know. Finally, remember that while these activities will keep you busy, don’t neglect your job search. Job hunting should always be considered your number one “job” while you are unemployed.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Steal the Spotlight with the Right Resume Format

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Private Equity Associate (Pre-MBA), New York, NY
Analyst, Chicago, IL
Equity Analyst, Louisville, KY
Sr. Marketing Manager, Nationwide
Research Associate, San Francisco, CA

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In this tough economy, employers can expect to weed through literally hundreds of submissions for a single job posting. That’s why job seekers cannot expect a hiring manager to read every word of each resume he or she receives. There simply are not enough hours in the day to make that possible, since whittling down an applicant pool is a time-consuming task.

If an employer is only able to spend 30 seconds on your resume, you need to make sure the most important information is obvious. Otherwise, your resume will likely wind up in the rejection pile along with candidates who may not be as qualified as you are.

It’s tempting to believe that attracting an employer’s attention can be achieved by opting for the most flashy resume possible. This often backfires, as job seekers tend to go overboard with visual bells and whistles when creating their own resumes. Utilizing too many options every word processing program offers for fonts, colors, and graphic elements can create more of a distraction than a solid presentation of your skills.

We already know that the audience being targeted is comprised of harried hiring managers reading a huge pile of resumes. Without realizing it, well-meaning job seekers who create multi-colored, crammed “works of art” are only hurting the eyes of important people who are able to give them a job!

The best format choice is simple, polished, professional – and most importantly, easy to read. If your resume contains any of the five features below, it’s time to consider a redesign:

1. Lack of White Space

Are your margins pushed to the absolute max? Are you using 8-point font? A quest to squeeze in as much content as possible comes at a steep price. While it may look fine to you, most readers will find they need to keep a magnifying glass handy in order to read small print with ease. If your resume is too dense with text, you can bet the reader is just not going to make the extra effort to read through it.

It is better to be more concise in your wording — or even sacrifice some content altogether. That way, you can hook an employer into reading some of what you did rather than overwhelming him or her with too much information that will not get read at all. Besides, you will have ample opportunities to expand upon your vast experience during an interview.

2. Colors

While some professions call for a more artistic flair on a resume, most do not. There’s a big difference between a graphic designer and a corporate banker trying to pull off using a red page border. Rather than risk having your resume look amateurish with a rainbow motif, it’s advisable to stick with basic black or gray tones.

3. Photos, Graphics & Logos

A resume is not the appropriate place for a photo, graphic, or logo for a variety of reasons. Strictly speaking about formatting, it’s a bad idea. Such items will increase the file size of your resume, make it more likely to get snagged by a spam filter, and create an inconvenient and time-consuming downloading process.

4. Too Many Bullets

Bullets are a great formatting device to create emphasis, but some job seekers like bullets so much they bullet practically everything. If you bullet everything, the emphasis is lost because the text drowns in a sea of bullets. For example, if you have a job description formatted as a long list of bullets, it will be hard for the reader to identify what’s important. Bullets should be used to draw attention to your achievements, but not to describe basic job duties. That way, if an employer does nothing more than skim your resume, he’ll notice the most impressive accomplishments first.

5. Fancy Fonts

The only characteristic that makes a font best for a resume is that it is easy to read. Sticking to one typeface will also spare the reader from eye strain.

Less is often more where resumes are concerned. Let your qualifications shine by allowing them to be your resume’s centerpiece, and you will set yourself apart from your competition.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang News September 13: The Importance of Body Language

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You’ve heard that body language is extremely important in an interview, as it affects how interviewers relate to you and what assumptions they make. It’s stressful enough that you have to focus hard on giving polished answers to questions hiring managers fire at you, so paying attention to the positioning of your hands or the way you sit in your chair can feel overwhelming. That’s why you should work on perfecting these small moves now, so that they come more naturally when you’re in the hot seat!

What to do with Your Hands

From the moment you shake hands with an interviewer, what you do with your hands is extremely important. You don’t want to sit there with your hands underneath the table – during the interview, the person you are speaking with should always see them. It’s also important to make an effort to gesture. Even folding your hands nicely for the duration of the interview can seem too passive. Instead, use small hand gestures to compliment the answers you give. Conversely, you want to avoid gesturing wildly, as you can come across as erratic and will distract your interviewer. Try to keep your motions within the frame of your body.

Matters of the Face

Body language includes eye contact, and you should do your best to maintain that throughout the interview. Don’t lock in on your interviewer, as you may come across as a bit too earnest or even intimidating, but try to look your interviewer in the eye for the majority of the conversation. Some experts tell you to look at a person’s nose in order to maintain eye contact; if you do this, make sure that you’re really gazing at someone in a way that resembles eye contact instead of zoning out. Also be sure not to focus on the interviewer’s lips, as this can seem sexual. Another important point is that you should avoid touching your face. It looks strange, and some people believe that touching your face while speaking indicates that you are lying.

How You Sit in Your Chair

The way you sit in your chair at an interview is extremely important. By no means should you ever slouch, as it looks unprofessional and conveys that you aren’t very interested. On the flip side, sitting up so straight that you appear stiff is a bad idea too. You want to sit up straight in your chair, but you also want to appear natural and not nervous or uptight. Also try to lean forward a little bit in your chair – again, without slouching – to demonstrate involvement. When you lean back, you convey that you aren’t very interested or engaged in the conversation.

Body language is extremely important in an interview and completes the overall impression you make on an interviewer. Unfortunately, during the actual interview people are often too nervous to keep their body language in check, and tend to fall into bad habits. That’s why it’s important to take charge now and practice these things, so that when the big day comes, it will all seem like second nature!

Good luck,

The Doostang Team

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