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6- Resume Mistakes: Quick Resume Do's and Don'ts

Here are some quick Resume Tips:
  • Don't blanket the world with your resume: There are services out there that will flood the major job posting sites with your resume based on the preferences you set for your ideal job. Do not use these services and do not just ‘send out’ resumes to any and all job positions.

    While this is a common strategy for many job seekers, it also is one of the leading causes for wasted time and effort in today’s job search process. By sending out resume blasts the percent chance of you getting your ideal career at a salary comparable to your value and worth is severely diminished.

    In simplest terms, it is supply and demand- the more you flood the market with your resume, the less valuable it becomes. Further, the time and effort you have to put in to flood the market, is inversely proportionate to the preferred results.

  • Do have a personalized email address: When using email communications, always have a signature file at the bottom of your email message with name, phone number and email address. If you have an online resume or portfolio, include your resume URL. Use an email address that is professional, rather than a cute personal email addresses. Here is an actual e-mail address used by a job seeker (domain disguised):

  • Do not list more than one phone number on your resume. It should be your private land line. If you are not there to answer it, there should be a professional voice message greeting requesting he or she leave contact information. If you feel compelled to use your cell phone because you will go through withdrawal if you don't answer every call, then list your cell, but follow tip Number One.

  • Do not have a voice message that has been recorded by your children. It lacks professionalism, and the caller is frequently concerned that you will not receive the message. If possible, have a dedicated phone for your job search. It is amazing how many times family members do not tell the job seeker about an important call.

  • Do Proofread! You have heard it a million times, but it doesn't hurt to hear it one more time. Proofread, proofread and proofread your resume. A day doesn't go by that I don't see terrible grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. That's why there's a market for professional resume writers. Yes, it is easy to miss the typos. We all make mistakes. But you should make every effort to get your documentation perfect. Get several people to proofread your resume. Remember, no one will tell you that you didn't get the job because of your resume errors.

  • Do not use too many keywords: ASCII is a tool that recruiters and employers use to quickly sift through large amounts of resumes for key words associated with the job posting. While it is a good idea to have industry appropriate key words, don’t overdue it in an attempt to get past the ‘censors’. For more information about keywords for a resume and for the complete list of most search resume keywords buy the entire Resume eBook [on sale until the end of the month] as we cover much, much more than what is here.

  • Speaking of formatting, do be sure to have your resume placed into various formats to ensure that it will be read. If there is an option to embed your resume into the email or include it when mailing, do it! Also, including your email in .pdf and .doc will help to ensure that your email will be read without error by the employer/recruiter (various software programs read documents differently, and having a .pdf included is the best way to be sure that it is in the format you want it).

7- Resume Tip: Don’t rely entirely on your resume to do everything for you!
The resume is not an end all in the job search process. There are additional services out there that will help differentiate you from the competition. Things you may want to think about doing are:

    - Set up an online professional website. At MyOnlineCareerSpace you can, for FREE, create a website that includes your resume, testimonials and references, photos and even video! There are tons more resources available there- information from job specialization to interviewing to salary requests, and more!

    - Set up a blog and talk about your unique views on the industry or career that you would like to pursue.

    - Subscribe to the various social networking sites and put your resume up. The 'biggest' choices would include MySpace and Facebook, but you have to be careful and selective as to how your present yourself and whom you allow to see your resume as your online image needs to be perfect lest unwanted elements come to light (more on this in tip 9, below). Here is a list of websites that work (better than Monster, HotJobs and CareerBuilder):

      LinkedIn- LinkedIn is definitely growing in popularity for job searching. When searching for jobs, you have the option view jobs that are exclusively on LinkedIn or jobs from the Web.

      Our favorite thing about LinkedIn is the ability to send and receive recommendations from co-workers and peers. Recommendations are the best way for a company to learn more about you from the people that know you best.

      Of course, a complete and up-to-date profile will also give you a better chance of being recruited by employers. Indeed is one of the job search engines I use regularly and is very easy to use. To start, simply enter the type of job you're looking for and the desired location. There are a lot of options for refining your results such as by salary estimate, title, company, location and more. You can also save any search as an email alert or subscribe to the RSS feed. Indeed job search advanced options. Since Twitter is growing more popular each day, there's no surprise that there's a Twitter job search engine. To start just enter the type of job you're looking for and location (optional) or, click the "Browse" button up top to browse by category. Jobs are listed as tweets so you can see who tweeted it and when. You then have the option to view the actual job listing, retweet it, or follow the user that tweeted it. SimplyHired powers a lot of the job search engines that you can find on numerous social networks such as LinkedIn, MySpace, and Plaxo. Once again, searches can be saved as email alerts or you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

      SimplyHired goes a step further than Yahoo! Hotjobs with the blocking feature; you can block all jobs from a certain company or from a certain website. The best feature, in my opinion, is the option to allow access to your LinkedIn account. By doing this, you can make connections with others that work at a company you're applying to. LinkUp is one of the most unique search engines we've seen mainly because everything is done in the same window; no need to open other tabs or windows. After getting your search results, clicking on a listing will open it up a new tab (as pictured below) in the same window, which saves you time and helps reduce screen clutter. You can also apply to jobs right in the same window. From within the LinkUp tabs you can then view other jobs from the same company, view or make connections from LinkedIn (just like SimplyHired) or pick a suggested category. A well known site for everything from selling items to finding an apartment, Craigslist is also a great site for job hunting. With Craigslist you can search by specific cities and regions.

      What we like about Craigslist is that you don't have to sign up in order to search or respond to listings. Most listings include an email, so applying for a job is as easy as clicking the email link, writing a quick message and attaching your resume. The job section is broken down by categories and you can even subscribe to the RSS feed for a certain category so that you can stay updated on new job listings. NotchUp is also very unique in that it serves as your own personal career agent. Although it is free to join and use, membership is by application or invitation only. Once you are a member, NotchUp allows you to set a price of what your time is worth and upload your resume. From there, your only job is to sit back and wait to be contacted by potential employers.

      Once contacted, these companies will then have to pay you to interview with them. Yes, you heard that right, you get paid to interview for jobs! Further, applying for membership literally takes 30 seconds.

8- Resume Advice: Have references that work for you (not against you).

Reference checks can confirm or deny the value of a job seeker to a potential employer. They can be the difference-maker in employment. When it comes to references, do sweat the small stuff.

For a real-life illustration of a reference's importance, consider "Alex's" example:

"Alex Partain" thought his resume and interviews went well with a Fortune 100 technology company. Even in a recession, he blew past most of his friends and secured seven interviews, including final-stage interviews at five companies. Information security positions pay well over $100,000, and with a solid background in the very latest in information security, why shouldn't the offers flow? But what happened next left Alex in the lurch, confused and looking for answers.

"I honestly could not believe it," Alex says now. "I got a serious wake-up call about references. It probably cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars in terms of months lost. I lost out on every single interview I had secured in a mere month. It wasn't until a third-party recruiter ferreted out the facts about my references that I found out what was going on. What was happening was basically my own hand-picked references were not prepared properly, did not give me glowing reviews and hurt me. But all in all, it was more my fault then theirs. I did not prepare them or myself." The North Carolina-based executive job seeker found out some ugly truths about references.

Here is what happened. He gave his two weeks' notice, but left his company two weeks before one of the company's most important engagements. He provided his references the proper notice they needed to prepare a quick, positive paragraph on company letterhead and write a sentence or two on LinkedIn. But that wasn't all. Mr. Partain left his current company with a bit of a cloud over his head. "My colleagues never received a current resume from me," Mr. Partain says. "That was a mistake. I also left them a little short on a key project. That left my key references a bit angry."

Unprepared references can unknowingly discredit your work on projects

His first and key reference talked glowingly about his work but then undercut him by challenging his work on a key project. "My own CIO at my company actually disputed two facts on my resume! When one of the reference checkers called, they found out that I had given him an old version of a resume," said Alex.

"He really did not know that I handled the fix of a very large financial intitution in the way I did. So he said that I had not participated in the IS Manhattan Based Project as it was called. He suggested that - and it ended up looking like - I lied on my resume without saying explicitly that I lied. To my own discredit, I never gave him a copy of my new resume, and because I was in such a rush to bail out of the company, I just did not communicate what I actually did in the last part of my tenure."

Lesson: Do not assume anything.

Closely coach and counsel your references to ensure you both agree on what will be said if someone calls. Get agreement on key achievements and resume points. Make sure you take time to copy the reference on your latest resume.

The impression a reference leaves will be reflected upon you.

The third-listed reference was just totally lukewarm, monotone and even said "I have no comment" a few times during the reference checkers interview with him. Though in person the reference was like a comedian, a really dark humor, funny and fun guy - he was a total dud to a reference.

Then he told a bad joke about Alex and said, "I can tell you he didn't kill anyone while he was here," and that was it.

Some references never even returned the employer's call when Alex listed home and work numbers instead of cell phone numbers. One number went to another senior manager on the West Coast, who had essentially lost our on a promotion to Alex seven years ago. The guy said, 'You don't want to know what I think then? I could tell some things off the record.' But upon follow up he said, 'No comment,' and reluctantly gave up the right number.

Lesson: Obtain written references and contact information.

As a foundation to your overall reference plan, get written references. As an option, you can offer to write the recommendation as long as they agree with the information and essentially sign off on the reference letter. By doing this, you have a proactive way to combat a reference who is less than prepared, distracted or unenthusiastic on the phone.

Remember to get permission from your former human resources department to provide you with your employment evaluations. In fact, you can - and probably should - find out exactly what your current and former employer's reference policy is. Written information can be a powerful testimonial and may negate more lengthy phone calls to your current references. Also, ask your reference how they would like to be contacted - at home, by cell or by e-mail.

Incorrect phone numbers will waste time and hurt your credibility. Even with a correct phone number, if a reference calls and does not respond quickly it can hurt you. It shows they may not care enough to respond quickly or give you high marks. Silence can be deadly here.

For more information about how to create a resume for the job you DO want buy the entire Resume eBook as we cover much, much more than what is here [on sale until the end of the month].

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9- Resume Tip: Watch out for your digital/online brand

Today, with more and more recruiters and employers going online, it is important to keep a positive online image. Weigh the pros and cons of starting a blog, creating a website, joining a social network, and then if you do chose to continue, be sure that anything you put up would be something you are proud to have in your 'digital footprint'. A few groud rules first:

Be active

A public profile can put you on someone's radar or keep you there. Whether you submitted your resume cold or you were in for an interview, a connection on a social network and frequent activity can keep your name in a recruiter or contact's ear.


As any number of college students and one Miss America contestant can tell you, it's bad form to record your indiscretions and post the evidence on a public Web site. Embarrassing photos or remarks can surface during your job search.

Recruiters and hiring managers routinely search social networking sites for background information, and many will hold photos of youthful hijinks against them.

Here is an example of how your digital impressions matter: Blogging can help or hurt your career

Blogging has become an impulsive contemporary art for careerists. Should you develop your own blog or shouldn't you? Will it help or hurt your career?

What's easy can be fun or dangerous. In a matter of minutes, you can set up your Blogger, WordPress, Typepad or related blog site. And the minute you post? Your words can be accessed by billions of people around the world. No Web designer needs to be hired. No technical guru at x dollars an hour has to listen to and potentially kill your ideas. You own this medium. You have freedom. You can say or cite anything. There's no waste of time and no need to white-board everyone else's ideas.

How it can help:

1. You have an audience. Keep it positive. Blogging may add to the company's brand and your position as an authority or subject matter expert within your company or your field so take note of what you put on the internet.

2. Maintain a positive spin. Drive customer confidence. As you cite critical sources and make intelligent, important observations, your personal blog augments your position within your company and promotes your company. You never bash your company. You can be yourself and be authentic.

Get hired, get a raise and a promotion. Defend the faith. Blogging helps you document and publish your ideas while associating with great people.

How blogs can hurt:

1. Negative posts can be fatal. Blogging can open you up for many legal, liability and employment questions, problems or crises.

2. Pictures tell a thousand stories. For an example "Larry" seemed to pipe up at work a lot about things that bothered him. So he decided to publish a seemingly anonymous blog. As a techy he posted hundreds of comments on political ideas, named people he thought should be impeached and railed against what he considered bad taste and fashion. He did this anonymously under a lot of different names. But when he decided to take pictures at the year-end Christmas party and publish captions that offended nearly everyone, he was, well, suspended without pay forever (fired).

3. Beautiful art can be destroyed. Knowing that having no blog presence can leave a company vulnerable, it is increasingly interesting and titillating to add negative comments to company products; to dump a list of customer complaints onto the proverbial, anonymous, the site a former employee developed to stick it to the man. Under pressure, the author faced legal entanglements and gave up Craig's name as a blogger.

So, when looking at creating a blog, a website or commenting on Twitter, take consideration of the impression you leave.

One more note on your web presence, here is a quick tip:

You're on the hunt for your dream job, you're making progress, and you're doing most of it on the Internet...

...But are you taking advantage of your e-mail signature?

If you're looking for a new job, chances are you're sending lots of emails - to prospective employers, recruiters, contacts, and acquaintances - and every email you send is a golden opportunity to get yourself noticed.

In addition to providing basic information like your full name, title, and contact information, your email signature is the perfect place to distinguish yourself among the pack of jobseekers and promote your unique attributes.

- Do you have a slogan or tagline that expresses your value to an employer? Go here and download a FREE Specialization Workbook so you can get a concise specialization statement.

- Do you have a professional website or online resume and portfolio? Be sure to include the link.

Here is a good example of what your email signature might look like:

John Q. Public
Senior Marketing Manager
"Linking Real Results with Cost-Cutting Marketing Strategies for Upstart Companies"

The goal here is to make it ridiculously easy for people to learn about you. Often, making this simple change to how you conduct your online job search will boost the number of responses you receive, so don't be shy...

Use your email signature to sell yourself and you'll be happy you did!

10- Resume Help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Creating a resume today, especially with all the free services that will help you auto-generate a resume with templates and wizards is fine… if you want to look like everyone else out in the job search world.

Don’t hesitate to look to experts to help you with your job search. There are sites out there that can help you- immediately- with any questions you might have.

At MyOnlineCareerCoach there are trained professionals for every aspect of the job search that you might have questions about. For example, do   you have an interview tomorrow and want to prepare with an expert? What about little nuances regarding your resume- want someone to help you with that?   You can go to this site, register, and then be on the phone with a trained professional in minutes!

At ItsNotYouItsYourResume you can download FREE e-books related to the online job search. If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer this is the site   for you.

For more information about resumes, resume mistakes and to get more resume advice, download the 10 Biggest Resume Mistakes eBook- available at ItsNotYouItsYourResume. In this packed ebook you will learn even more about resumes and the best way to do them, information like:

- Proper use of resume real estate along with great examples
- The keywords that are most used by resume tracking software
- How to handle salary requests
- How to write a thank you note
- Much, much more!

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"This ebook is a great value and a great help! I learned a lot, even more than is on this site... Thanks!!" - Jason Briar, Plano, Texas

We are always learning about new resume tips and techniques, and the following pages are but a portion of our knowledge. We recommend purchasing the entire Resume eBook as we cover much, much more than what is here [on sale until the end of the month]. Also, sign up for our periodic newsletter on the home page.

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  Resume Help, Resume Advice. Learn
and avoid these biggest resume mistakes  
  Resume Help, Resume Advice. Learn
and avoid these biggest resume mistakes