Toxic Workplaces: How to Stay Positive
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Keeping a positive mindset in a toxic work environment can be an extremely difficult task. I've spent some time in toxic work places and motivating workplaces and there is a vast difference between employee moral …

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Get your Resume to Work for You

Submitted by on Monday, 25 July 2011One Comment
Get your Resume to Work for You

Have you ever asked yourself why your resume has gone unnoticed after spending hours formatting and re-formatting it only to get your hopes up about the next great opportunity and then let down without a phone call? I’m sure you have, infact im sure everybody in the workforce has gone through this dilemma. Resume writing is not only an art but also a science. There are key facts and figures that need to support your experience.

I once had an internal applicant apply for a managerial position and was so confident and convinced that he would get an interview. Weeks passed and finally he stopped by my office and asked me why his resume never made the cut. He mentioned he had the right skill set and had all the qualifications for the job and even more. Sound familiar?

Here are a few ways to avoid disappointment and get the attention of the recruiters and hiring managers. I’ve used these methods and constantly get interview calls weekly. My resume is set up in a way that its visible to social networks and it does the heavy lifting for me by attracting organizations to my resume leading to continuos employment opportunities.

1) Read the job description carefully and help them solve the pain point. Often times you might see a job come up and applicants have a tendency to add little formatting to their resume to tailor to the job at hand. Recruiters can get a sense of this and it can send out the wrong message. A job description should used as a tool to get an idea of what the recruiters are looking for and provides you a medium to tell them how you can help through your resume. Customization is key.

2) Make sure your experience is industry and time relevant. Now candidates can get this confused with “stay within your industry” and thats now what I’m implying. If you are a manager of QA in the telecom industry, there is no reason why you couldnt apply to be a QA manager in the retail or banking industry and then pursue a different career line within that organization. Rather if you have 20 years in manufacturing engineering experience should you really be applying for a sales executives role? I once had a posting for a Director of Engineering and 84% of the applicants did not have any experience whatsoever in requirements of the job. Among the applicants in that 84% range were highschool music teachers, marketing professionals, real estate agents, and staff that were far too junior for the role. This will only hurt your credibility down the road.

3) Be flexible. With the expected downturn in the economy, organizations are trying to get more with less. What this means is you might have to put on different hats to keep the day to day operations of the company moving forward. Let them know you are flexible and try to highlight this in your experience. They need to understand that they can count on you in the time of need.

4) Numbers never lie. State your performance outcomes. If you helped improve effeciency with an organization by 20%, let them know. If your innovation got the company an extra $10,000 in sales, let them know. Using numbers strategically can really help employers evaluate you at a higher level. After all business’ want to make money and if you can demonstrate somewhat or somehow that you’ve helped them save money or make money, they will want you. Clearly state your accomplishments and support them with an outcome.

5) Understand the market and future direction. Sometimes change is hard for people and coming to the reality that your job role might be increasingly difficult to fill due to lack of demand is a hard pill to swallow. I once worked for a retailer that had over 100 analysts performing a day to day analytical role. The future direction was to introduce systems to replace these analyts which makes it difficult for retailers to continue to fill those positions due to automation now. Now organizations within industries tend to share best practices at conferences and this systems implementation was hitting all retailers fast. This made that business analysis job irrelevant.

Its also important to understand where the market it headed. Right now we are heading towards what analysts believe a market downturn. In such a market companies really need to innovate and save costs. Job functions that can help them save money is a critical requirement to the financial sustainability of any organization. They do not have large marketing budgets to test concept products right now. So understand where the industry is headed and ensure you can get into something that has growth for the next 3-5 years.

Take a look at your current resume and review the points above. Grab a paper and notepad and jot down some notes on filling the gap to getting your resume to work for you and to the top of the list.

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One Comment »

  • Poonam Sehgal said:

    This is a great article. I am currently looking for a new job and have noticed that although I have a savvy background in the profession I’m in, my resume may not accurately articulate that. I will take your great input and implement this into my resume and see what tomorrow brings me.

    Thanks for the advise and for taking the time out to help others!