5 Hidden Resume Killers!

You may think you have the perfect resume, but you keep getting overlooked for all kinds of positions, and you can’t figure out what’s happening!  Perhaps you are sabotaging yourself in ways you don’t recognize.

Almost everyone is aware of obvious job search killers in resumes, such as spelling and grammatical errors; however hidden mistakes often end up costing you the interview when you have an otherwise solid resume. Protect yourself from being misperceived out of a job opportunity by carefully reviewing your resume for hidden killers.

1.  Highlighting Political or Religious Affiliations

Many people fill their time with charitable work and, in the process, make some strong community contacts.  Great idea and very fulfilling, most likely, but if that organization is your local church or political action group, you may be sabotaging yourself if you include this in the resume.  Just the mere mention of such groups may subconsciously create a negative response in the reader.  Don’t place yourself at risk for potential discrimination or a negative first impression because of an association with a group that may not align with the values of hiring managers.  We all know it’s not ethical, but better to protect yourself, than be naïve and lose another opportunity.

2.  Explaining Employment Gaps with too much Personal Information

Although it is critical to be honest about gaps in your employment history, exercise caution about giving too much personal information or suggesting that your personal life may overwhelm your work life.  Be brief and succinct in explaining any gaps in your personal work history, and be aware that caretaking for elderly parents, for example, is becoming much more common. Career change or geographic moves may be part of necessary family caretaking decisions, which could also be important to explain in your resume. However you don’t need to provide a lot of detail regarding the emotional toll and investment of time such caretaking has taken.  The explanation doesn’t need to suggest you have been consumed by personal obligations, hinting that personal obligations may be more important than your work life.

3.  Broadcasting Weaknesses

Everyone has skill deficits or areas where his/her work could improve.  However, by over-emphasizing these deficits or appearing nervous about them, you are likely to sabotage the strengths identified in your resume.  Being honest doesn’t mean you have to hang your head and kick at the floor like a school child; it’s likely you feel worse about these shortcomings than necessary.  Emphasize your strengths and practice a response to express information about potential weaknesses. What is it that bothers you so much about this particular deficit when you likely have other strengths? You don’t need to be “all things to all people in order to land the job”, and feeling shameful about deficits can only work against you.

4.  Too Many Positions within the Same Time Frame

Sure, you may have worked 2 or 3 jobs in college, but later in one’s career, this may send a message that you are scattered, unfocused, or worse yet, not committed to your primary field of interest.  Potential employers want to know that you are working toward company goals with the same level of energy that they are, rather than being tired and distracted. Review the job history realistically.  You cannot misrepresent your work experience, but try to look at “your story” during that time of your life.  If there were a number of part-time positions pieced together out of financial necessity, be certain to identify the positions as part-time. Perhaps the positions included experiences for certification.  If so, mention it – this denotes a commitment to professional growth, and more clearly explains seemingly dual, simultaneous employment.

5. Over-emphasizing Periods of Self-Employment

Many potential employers question your ability to be a team player if you are accustomed to being the boss yourself.  It may also intimidate hiring managers or suggest that you are over-qualified, if you have labeled yourself President of your own company.  Again, don’t be deceitful, but be cautious regarding labels. Describe creative development skills associated with self-employment in ways that will benefit the prospective employer, such as market analysis, client development, or full P&L.

Increase your own awareness of potential “resume killers”, and you will be well on your way to eliminating obstacles to employment.  Resumes can communicate in many more ways than just using words.  The nuances of a resume are similar to body language – people get the message even if not overtly expressed.  Rid your resume of hidden killers and move ahead in your job search!

Author: Alesia Benedict

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8 Interview Clichés to Avoid

The point of an interview is to show off to the hiring manager how wonderful and unique of a candidate you are.  So why would you waste precious time and words answering questions with clichés?  Unfortunately, when put in a nerve-racking situation, people often freeze up or stumble over their words, and these standard lines are the first things that come to mind.  Here are a few clichés to look out for, and some alternate ways to respond:

1. I’m a Team Player

The ultimate cliché, this one pops up in resumes, cover letters, and interviews.  But what does it really mean?  If you’re a “team player” and really want to get this point across, don’t say this line.  Explain what it is that makes you so great to work with.  Focus on your excellent ability to communicate or your willingness to both lead and follow directions.  Talk about a few instances where you have picked up the slack for someone else without having to be asked.

2. I’m the Perfect Fit

Ultimately this is up to the hiring manager.  Instead of wasting your breath telling them this and expecting them to believe you when they know nothing about you, barrage them with examples of why you’re a great fit.  Then they’ll come closer to making this conclusion on their own.

3. I’m a Hard Worker

Aren’t we all?  Again, saying this really means nothing to the interviewer until you provide concrete examples.  Tell them about all those times when you stayed late, turned work in before its due date, anticipated what needed to get done next, etc.  Make the interviewer really believe that you are a hard worker, because just saying so is not enough.

4. I’m Willing to Do Anything

Often this is the road many people have to take, especially when starting out in entry-level positions.  And while it’s great to have that sort of mentality, you don’t want to sound too desperate in a job interview.  And worse than sounding desperate, you don’t want to imply that the job itself is something you’re “willing to put up with” until you advance on to something better.  Mention specific parts of the job that excite you, and instead of focusing on your willingness to do anything, focus on your desire to do these specific things.

5. I’m a Fast Learner

When you say this, Hiring Managers hear, “I don’t know how to do this“. Saying this makes you sound like you are inexperienced, and that you may be underestimating the level of understanding it takes to do the job.

6. I’m Good with People

That’s exactly what the interviewer is trying to determine in the interview. It’s not just about determining if you have the skills and qualifications to do the job. The interviewer is trying to determine your general demeanor and personal skills, so let them see you in action, don’t simply state it.

7. I’m a very Loyal Person

People who say this are usually overcompensating for holding many jobs in the past, but not staying at any particular job for very long. Candidates who say this are typically concerned that the interviewer will think they’ll get bored and leave soon after taking the position. Instead of saying this, stress how you see this potential employer as a long term career path.

8. I really need this job

Some people think it’s a good idea to talk about their personal life in an interview, and how important it is for their family that they get this job. Even if this is true, do not say it. It only makes you look desperate. The less it seems you need the job, the more valuable you seem to the employer, because other employers want you too.

Clichés hurt you not just because they make you sound less credible, but also because they take away the chance to go into depth and provide specific examples of why you’d be a great hire.  Don’t do yourself an injustice by speaking vaguely with a hiring manager – the specifics will get you much farther.

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Doostang Success — Networking My Way into My Current Position

Brenda

University of Virginia, 2010
Regional Client Services Manager – Frontier Strategy Group

“I applied to several jobs posted on Doostang.  Though it seemed like it was leading nowhere, I finally got contacted by several consulting companies on the East Coast.

One phone interview set off a number of follow up emails and calls, until finally the company opened a position that they saw as suitable for my skills.

Doostang definitely helped me to network my way into my current position.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

International Research Analyst – Leading Portfolio Strategy Research Firm, New York, NY

Commercial Real Estate Intern – Premier Commercial Real Estate Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Investment Associate – Premier Wealth Management Firm, San Francisco, CA

Marketing Research Analyst – IT Management Software & Solution Company, Boston, MA

Analyst – Leading Wealth Management Company, Miami, FL

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Jan 3 – 9


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.



Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA – Boutique Investment Bank seeks an Analyst.


Jr. Associate, Chicago, IL – Analytics & Market Insight Group seeks a Jr. Associate Consultant.


Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY – Boutique Investment Banking Firm seeks an Investment Banking Analyst.


Software Engineer, SF Bay Area, CA – Leading Online Coupon Company seeks a Software Engineer.


Sr. Strategic Planning Analyst, Atlanta, GA – Global Media & Broadcasting Company seeks a Sr. Strategic Planning Analyst.


Marketing Director, Brooklyn, NY – New & Innovative Social Music Platform seeks Marketing Director.


Investment Banking Analyst, San Diego, CA – Prominent Investment Banking Group seeks an Analyst.

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6 Internet Traps that Stall a Job Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

High Yield Analyst, New York, NY
Business Development Analyst, Toronto, Canada
Associate Principal, Los Angeles, CA
Business Analyst , London, UK
Analyst, Chicago, IL

More recent jobs you might like…

Using the Internet is clearly the “go-to” approach used by most job-seekers today, but be certain you don’t treat your online search efforts casually.  Any mistakes could be broadcast to a wider audience than you imagine. Not all publicity is good publicity when it comes to your personal branding enterprise or online job search. Anything posted online tends to take on a life of its own, including job postings. So be certain you maintain as much control as possible of your own information and job search avoiding these 6 traps.

1.  Posting personal contact information.

You need a balance here between being able to be contacted and making yourself vulnerable to identity theft.  When posting your resume, follow each site’s posting guidelines, and be aware of how “public” your contact information will be when your resume “goes live”. Check the settings to see if employers have a secure portal for the site, or if your resume is available to anyone on the Internet.  The more secure the better in targeting your job search and maintaining your privacy.

2.  Using inappropriate email addresses.

Make sure you have selected an email account that is appropriate to your job search. One that is too personal definitely sends the wrong message, suggesting that your boundaries between work and play are not in place.  Similar concerns may be raised about your judgment if you use your current work email.  There are many options to open free email accounts online.  Consider one of those resources to set up a dedicated email account just for your job search.  It may also help you organize your job search efforts.

3.  Opening your job search up to your current employer.

There are many ways your current employer may learn about your job search, but you can take a few precautions to lessen that possibility.  Avoid using any contact information from your current place of employment. Be selective about where you choose to post. Wallpapering the Internet with your resume is likely to create more problems than positive results for you. Do not use work stations or equipment at the office to launch your online job search.

4. Failing to match your qualifications to those required in the position.

It is tempting to send out resumes to interesting positions, particularly if you are ready to explore a new area or feel stuck in your current industry.  Using the “old shot-gun” approach of sending the resume to multiple sites is relatively easy and inexpensive, but such an indiscriminate approach may diffuse your efforts and paint you as desperate or lacking focus. Don’t diminish your strengths by responding to “everything”!

5.  Limiting your job search to online efforts.

Not all jobs are posted online.  Depending on your geographic parameters, you may want to get out and search local job sources as well.  Networking continues to be a strong source of jobs for diligent and well-connected candidates. Don’t rely just on Internet contacts – give your phone number and physical address when you personalize these responses.  Remember, don’t use company time or equipment in sending things out or identifying contact information.

6. Not researching companies to which you are applying

By finding out about the corporate culture for positions of interest, you are more likely to be successful in aligning your job search efforts and resume with those of the company.  And of course, use the Internet to find out basic contact information to take control in reaching the right person.


The Internet is definitely a strong resource in any job search these days. Take a bit of time to check your “appearance” by using an appropriate email account, make sure any attachments are virus-free, and maintain a business-like approach in your email correspondence.  Ensure the first impression of you the potential employer will be viewing, printing, and circulating around the office is the one you want. Using these strategies will help you maintain your online job search momentum!


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 Success — Senior Associate Consulting Job of My Choice

Kapil

University of Virginia – Darden School of Business,  2009
Senior Associate – PwC

“I graduated with an engineering degree and pursued an MBA from a top 10 business school. I had several years of consulting experience and wanted to move higher-up the ladder in the consulting industry. I started my job search using LinkedIn, IvyExec.com and TheLadders.com. I spent a couple of months using these sites, but I was not getting any success.

One of my friends suggested Doostang to me. Within 1 month of using Doostang I had 3 interviews lined up and now I have a full time job of my choice. I believe that this would not have been possible without Doostang.

I found the job listings on Doostang to be very premium, and recruiters contact you very quickly. I also liked the portal design – it is very convenient to use and offers nice features to narrow down your searches. Furthermore, I was very impressed with the daily emails that listed new jobs at the top to keep my attention. Thank You Doostang.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Investment Banking Analyst – Boutique Brokerage & Investment Banking Firm, New York, NY

Web Developer/ UI Designer – Game-Changing Social E-Commerce Platform, SF Bay Area, CA

Research Assistant, Largest Independent Investment Firm, Richmond, VA

Entry level Sales/Marketing Associate – Upstart Mineral Water Company, San Francisco, CA

Convertible Analyst – Globally-Focused Brokerage Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang News January 3: Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Manager of Finance, Boston, MA
Marketing Associate, Austin, TX
Investment Analyst, Hong Kong
Analyst (July 2011), New York, NY
Investment Banker, Columbus, OH

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It’s one thing to contemplate what resolutions you’d like to pursue for the New Year. It’s another to put together a plan of action for achieving what you set out to do. We’re all notorious for promising to ourselves that we’ll do something and then letting our goals fall by the wayside. Oftentimes, this isn’t because of a lack of drive or tenacity, but rather, the lack of a viable plan of action. So consider these tips when putting together your game plan for 2011:

Be Specific

When setting goals, make sure to frame them specifically. What exactly do you want to achieve and how are you going to measure it? If you can’t say exactly what success looks like, you’re less likely to attain it and more likely to make excuses for yourself.

Put It in Writing

Make your goals official by putting them in writing. Once you do this, you’ve created a tangible document that you have to hold yourself to. Doing this will make reaching your goals seem like a more formal exercise, and will give you something to turn back to for a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish.

Document Your Journey

Similarly, it’s helpful to record your progress as you strive to reach your goals. Doing so keeps you on task and lets you know if you need to work harder. If you’re feeling disheartened, you can browse through the progress you’ve made to remind yourself that success is possible.

Identify Smaller Goals

Far easier than tackling one giant goal is taking on multiple smaller ones that lead up to that ultimate objective – think of this as taking baby steps. Figure out what your first step needs to be, and then plan out all the successive steps you will need to take in order to complete your larger plan.

Find an Accountability Partner

Resolutions are easier to tackle when someone else is doing so alongside you. Keep each other on task and talk through obstacles you encounter. If you also focus on being there for your friend, you are less likely to let yourself down.

Change Your Plan of Attack

If something isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to change your approach or to readjust your mini-goals.

Reward Yourself

The reward shouldn’t just come when you’ve reached your final goal. Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way. You’ll feel more enthusiastic about the journey, and reaching small milestones is something you should be proud of anyway. Identifying resolutions is admirable in its own right, and is a first step in and of itself. Follow the helpful tips above, and you should be better equipped to sustain your momentum!

Happy New Year,
The Doostang Team

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Dec 20 – 26




Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY – Leading Boutique Investment Bank seeks Investment Banking Analyst.


Associate, San Francisco, CA – Leading Sustainability Strategy Firm seeks Associate.


Investment Banking Sr. Associate, Chicago, IL – Premiere Financial Services Firm seeks Investment Banking Sr. Associate.


Entry-Level Online Content / Marketing Associate, Saint Louis, MO – Performance-Based Social Media seeks Entry-Level Online Content/Marketing Associate.


Analyst, Colorado Springs, CO – Boutique Real Estate Private Equity Firm seeks Pre-MBA Analyst.


Jr. Associate, SF Bay Area, CA – Leading Healthcare IT Consulting Firm seeks Jr. Associate.


Equity Research Associate, New York, NY – Full Service Investment Bank seeks Equity Research Associate.

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Doostang Success — Private Equity Internships and Venture Capital Jobs

Aki

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, 2007
ASSOCIATE – OPENVIEW VENTURE PARTNERS

“I left a position in consulting in June 2010 to move into buy-side investing: I wanted to work in either private equity or venture capital. This was an extremely difficult undertaking, especially recruiting ‘off-cycle’ in a down economy, but I was confident that I could pull through.

Within a month of my departure from consulting, I came across a private equity internship through Doostang. Thinking that this was the perfect opportunity, I applied… and got the internship!

While working at my internship, I continued to search for full-time jobs and applied on a weekly basis. I used every resource available to me: multiple headhunters, trade publications (Private Equity Digest, PEHub), career search engines (Indeed, E-Financial Careers) and, of course, Doostang.

Four months into my search, I came across the perfect opportunity in venture capital… again through Doostang! I interviewed and got the job within a week.

Now, I’m looking forward to starting my dream job — and it wouldn’t have been possible without Doostang.

So, thank you, Doostang! You’ve literally helped me turn my career around. I’ll certainly recommend you to all of my friends in the future.”




Share your Doostang success story and get a
$500 Signing Bonus
from Doostang!


Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Equities Trader – Industry-Leading Equity Trading Firm, New York, NY

Assistant Paralegal – National Immigration Law Firm, Boston, MA

Wealth Strategy Associate – World’s Leading Financial Services Firm, San Francisco, CA

Consultant – Sales Management Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Associate – Prominent Boutique Financial Advisory Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Dec 13 – 19


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Private Equity Consulting Associate, San Francisco, CA – Leading Investment Advisory Firm seeks Private Equity Consulting Associate.


Product Marketing Associate, Jersey City, NJ – Rapidly Growing E-commerce seeks Product Marketing Associate.


Associate Analyst, Chicago, IL – Premier investment Manager seeks Associate Analyst.


Consultant, San Francisco, CA – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Consultant.


Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate, Philadelphia, PA – Leading Publicly Traded Holding Company seeks Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate.


Business Analyst, Chicago, IL – Growing Sales Management Consulting Firm seeks Business Analyst.


Economist, New York, NY – High Profile Nation’s Economic Mission in America seeks Economist.

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