Monday, 27 August 2018 14:21

How to Add Personality to Your Resume

We typically see one type of resume in the job hunting world - white paper, black font, and probably not much (if any) color.

While this is the standard and will work for its intended purpose, it often doesn’t have a lot of personality.  Certain jobs require more formality, so the standard is your best option, but for those jobs that ask for creativity in the job description, or simply demand something unique - add some personality!

Here are some of our favorite ways to do just that:

  • Change the design: Most resumes follow the same standard layout, but they don’t have to! You could put your document into unique, colorful sections, or simply add blocks of color for each section heading.

  • Add some color: Color is just more fun to look at! If you’re keeping it conservative, simply add color to your name at the top so it stands out.  Or, you could really go all out and do your whole resume in one color. Of course, ensure that this is still easily readable, and also send over a copy that doesn’t include so much color in case they’d like to print it.

  • Be conversational: Formal language has its place, but it’s not always in a resume. You can still talk in a conversational way that uses layman’s terms. Be sure to include all relevant data and qualitative data, but present it more casually.  For something extra fun, you can even include charts or graphs with your numerical data!

  • Make it fit: Are you interviewing for a position at an art gallery? You could change your resume to look like an easel, or feature a paint palette in a way that’s relevant.  You can always tailor your actual resume to the job position in a memorable way.

  • Add something unexpected: Most hiring managers are used the same old thing. Surprise them! Add a creative drawing or graphic, use a custom font, or simply present it in a unique way.

  • Try a different format: Resumes don’t always have to be on paper! You can try a video or slideshow resume. Of course, make sure this is okay with the hiring manager, and possibly leave these for the job positions that say they’re actively seeking something different in your application.

  • Add a photo: It can be nice to put a face to a name. In some cases, you might want to include your photo.  You could also include a photo of something you accomplished, whether it was a build in your job work, or an event photo from something you planned.

  • Include what’s needed: No matter how you choose to add personality to your resume, it’s important that it still includes important information.  Be sure you’re not leaving out any important and relevant job positions, accomplishments, or education. At the end of the day, that will still be the most important part!

 

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 04 December 2017 17:37

3 Ways to Update Your Resume

Your resume is one of the first things that a potential employer sees from you. It comes before you meet in person, and is often opened before the cover letter.

Prospective employers want to know what you’re all about - and quickly.  It’s a great time of year to update your resume before the new year and get it in great shape as you revamp your materials. These are some of our best tips to update an already established resume.

The most recent

Are the most recent items on your resume? Sometimes we only update them every few years, so your most recent job positions might need some care and expansion.  Be sure to include everything you’ve done since the last update - and don’t leave any blank time unless you truly weren’t working.

On the other side of the most recent are the old items.  If you’ve been out of high school and/or college for 10+ years with a substantial resume since then, you don’t need to include clubs, memberships, and so on, unless they’re extremely relevant to the job position for which you’re applying.  A simple note of the name, city and state of your high school, along with the name, city, state, grade point average, and major/minor from college is just fine.

Do your best to keep your resume to one page, maximum two pages.  Employers want to see quick, efficient information that will help them move quickly through the application process.  Make this easy on them!

Add some data

In keeping with giving your potential employer a break, include some data that truly stands out easily.  Saying that you “helped with the marketing” is fine, but saying that you “designed and distributed 10,000 flyers” and “helped grow attendance by 35%” is more impressive and quantitative.

Additionally, this makes your accomplishments much more concrete and easily measurable.  If you can’t find hard numbers and figures to present, get more specific about what you did at your jobs and skip the generalities.

Check for errors

Now is a great time to make sure your resume is free from errors! Nothing is worse than spending all your time on your resume materials, sending them in, only to realize that you had an error or two.

This will automatically diminish credibility in the eyes of your potential employer, so do your absolute best to eliminate errors now.  Have friends and family members review your resume for errors too.  Sometimes, all we need is a fresh set of eyes to point out something wrong - or something that can enhance your resume.

 

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 20 February 2017 18:29

6 Tips for a Stand Out Job Application

 

We all know what’s needed to apply to a job - a strong cover letter, resume, and great references.  Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to secure an interview or the job!  Those hiring today are truly looking for quality applicants, and that doesn’t just include your experience.

Quality applicants take the time to truly invest themselves in the hiring process, and in turn, receive much more response from these applications.  Check out our top tips for a job application that stands out!

Read the description

First and foremost, take the time to really learn about the position for which you are applying.  When you really want a job, it’s best to focus on those positions that excite you while playing to your professional strengths.

To stand out on your application, include words and skills that you have that match the job description.  This presents your qualifications in the best light, while showing that you paid attention and took the time to apply specifically for that position.

Learn about the company

If you want to be a stellar applicant, you must take some time to learn about the company.  Read their website, visit social media profiles, read press releases, news articles, and so on.  It’s also helpful to read about the industry, especially if there isn’t too much information available from a specific company.

This helps you to prepare for the interview, but it also allows you to be more connected to the application process.  This exercise might also help you realize, one way or another, if you’re the best fit for this particular company.  In speaking with a hiring manager, you may have to answer questions that include a bit about the company and why it’s a fit, so take the time in the beginning to really get to know them.

It’s also helpful to ask yourself, “How can I best contribute?”  Learning about the company will also show you where they shine and where they struggle, allowing you an opening to show where you would best fit in.

Be precise

Make sure your grammar and and spelling is impeccable! Your application should truly have zero mistakes and put your best foot forward.

To avoid any errors, run all spell check and grammatical checks in your word processing program, but also send your resume to friend and/or family members who may be willing to help.  Having a few extra sets of eyes look over your work can truly be the difference between a stellar and mediocre application.

Be prepared

When you decide to embark on your job search, gather all of your information into one place.  In addition, create a checklist that ensures that you have everything you need to be successful.  Create or edit your resume, draft a brief (but bulleted) cover letter, contact your references, and be specific to the position in all of this.  With all of these materials ready to go, you’ll be set to go when the right position presents itself.

It’s much easier to set aside time before your job search, and it avoids procrastination in applying, as well as forgetting anything when you come across an ideal opportunity.

Be specific

Create each cover letter and resume for each job position.  You shouldn’t have to change your resume too much, but you can still spend some time focusing on specific sought-after skills and experience to highlight.   Focus on the best attributes for this particular position, not simply which results or experienced that you liked best.

Also, ensure that your cover letter is specific to the job position.  Hiring managers and employers don’t want to feel like you aren’t a good fit, nor do they want to feel like you’ve just sent your information in a mass spree to dozens of other jobs.  Show that you took the time to highlight what they’re seeking, and your response should be much greater!

Put in your best effort

The ultimate hiring decision is up to the company or hiring manager, but you can send the time to put forth your best self.  It’s very apparent when an applicant takes the time to do their best, which will reflect in you receiving more calls and interviews.  

It can seem daunting to create separate documents and edits for each position, but that’s why you should truly pick positions for which you’re qualified for and very interested in.  Invest the time and care in those applications that will be a great fit for you, and you’ll find that you might be the ideal match for your future employer!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 16 January 2017 14:58

4 Keys to a Strong Job Application

It’s the time of year that we reflect and reevaluate our goals, and that often includes our careers.  If you’re feeling stuck, or you know it’s time to move on, your job application will be a valuable tool in the upcoming months.

While you may have a solid cover letter and resume complete, read along to ensure that you’re well-prepared and ready to take on the job market.

Reference ready

Do you have references ready to go?  You will likely want to note this in your resume and cover letter, as it shows that you are ready and willing for employers to speak to those who will vouch for you.

Be sure to set up your references ahead of time, so that these people have adequate time to prepare their notes and/or a letter of recommendation.  It’s a good idea to have 2-3 solid references on file, both in writing and available by phone or email for contact.  Ensure that these are people that you’ve worked for or spoken with in the not-so-distant future, so they’re able to speak to your current work and characteristics.

Strong but brief letter

Your cover letter should be thorough - but also brief.  This is the challenge of a great cover letter! Begin by conveying your interest in the specific position and company, followed by demonstrating why you’re the best person for the job.

From here, it’s best to include relevant positions and skills that are a match to the position, which is best presented with bullet points.  No one likes to be faced with huge walls of text, so bullets are a welcome break, and employers are able to digest your information in bite-sized bits.  This is a huge help to them, which helps your chances and makes your information appear more deliberate and efficient.

Resume without errors

Don’t go through all the trouble of writing a cover letter and resume without considering grammatical errors! From spelling to spacing to grammar issues, nothing is worse than discovering that you’ve made an easily-avoided error.  It’s better to take the time to fix them before they’re sent in, which can be accomplished with a keen eye and some help from family and friends.  Send your job materials to as many people as possible, and be open to feedback and revisions.

In addition to a resume without errors, it should also be concise.  Keep your resume to a maximum of two pages, and be sure to only include relevant information.  This is more labor-intensive, but it makes a huge difference to employers.

Confidence in your abilities

The number one tool you can bring to your job application is confidence in your abilities - and in yourself.  While you can have pages full of experience and accomplishments, if you lack the confidence to back it up, you will look less prepared to take on the job.  Job skills are incredibly important, but soft skills like communication and confidence are also key.  

When you have confidence in your ability to do the job well, your potential employer will sense this, giving them more confidence in you.  Since an employer doesn't yet know you at this point, it’s a great time to speak to them with authority and expertise with what you know you are capable of accomplishing!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 26 September 2016 16:47

How to Write a Winning Cover Letter

Ah, the cover letter - the sister document of your resume! It’s an important but often overlooked part of the job searching process, and one that demands more attention.  Whether cover letters come across as an afterthought, are too lengthy, or simply lack any depth, there can be a number of errors avoided by taking a second look.

Be careful

You want your first impression to be a good one! Be sure that your grammar is perfect, your spelling is correct, and your sentences well-structured.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t inject some personality into your letter, but proper writing rules remain a required element of the job application documents.

Focus on the company

The number one goal of your cover letter is to show why you would be a great fit for the job position and company!  Your letter shouldn’t go on and on about your accomplishments as a list, but rather convey them in a way that shows relevance to the employer.  You should always indicate which position you’re applying for, a bit about why the company is a fit, and maybe even a few key, relevant facts about the company that will show that you’ve done your homework and truly desire working there.

Also, are you very attached to the specific job position or the company in general?  If it’s the company, you can also state that you’re open to other positions within your realm of expertise.

Don’t get too detailed

Your cover letter should be an overview, an introduction, and the cordial letter to your resume.  You don’t need to include everything you’ve done or every detail! This is a place to make more general statements, as well as focusing on the larger reasons as to why you’re a great fit.

While details are very helpful in resumes, you can skip most of them in a well thought out cover letter.

Bullets are key

An employer likely receives hundreds or thousands of applications and cover letters for each position posted - and you can make their lives easier.

You can begin your letter with a few brief paragraphs, but then it’s important to move into succinct, bulleted points.  This breaks up large chunks of text, allows the employer to see your points quickly and easily, and makes you appear considerate and well prepared.

Show why you’re a fit

What do you bring to the table?  List specific character traits, past experiences, and job roles that are a direct fit to this specific position.  Yes, this makes mass applying much more difficult, but it’s truly worth it for the jobs that you truly desire.

You may have had 10 jobs that you’re proud of, but which jobs, and more importantly, which qualities from those jobs, will allow you to shine in this new role?

By focusing on the company and job position, you’re focusing on the employer’s needs, not your own.  Be sure to include succinct, relevant information that will allow the employer to see what they would get from you immediately.  Make it easy for them to read, add some personality, and send along your well written cover letter!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 14 September 2015 23:46

How to Choose the Right Job

 

In a time where it can be tough to find a job, it can seem strange to read tips on choosing the right job - but it’s crucial!

 

Especially on sites such as HireMyMom.com, there are various freelance, part-time and full-time positions that can be part of your career.  It’s often a challenge to determine which jobs are worth your time. Choosing between the right ones can be a difficult decision, but one that’s worth the extra time and effort to make.  Read below for some tips that will make your decision easier.

 

What’s the setup?

 

If you’re looking for home based jobs, flexibility and virtual positions are a must. Some jobs on telecommuting job sites aren’t 100% virtual, so make sure that this is discussed in your interview.

 

If you’re okay with going into an office once in awhile, that’s fine! But know this and mention it ahead of time. Even if the job is fully virtual, it’s still important to note the amount of flexibility you’ll have in the position. Do you have to work set hours or can you work whenever you’re available?  These are all important things to know before accepting a position.


What’s my daily life?

 

What will you really be doing in your daily life? If a position has a title that sounds great, but the description seems more like tasks you don’t want to be doing, make sure you get this information.

 

Make sure that the positions you’re applying for (and possibly accepting) match your needs, qualifications, and experience. If you’re looking to advance and challenge yourself, it’s not doing you any favors to accept positions that consist of tasks that won’t allow for that.

 

What’s the culture?

 

It’s always important to know the company culture and what it’s like. Even if you’re not going to be working with the in person team, or the team is 100% virtual, company culture is still very much a thing.

 

Is it casual? Is your boss strict or are you free to complete your work whenever? Do you meet up from time to time?  Is that important to you?

 

Overall, it comes down to really knowing what you want, as well as asking good questions in the interview and before accepting a position.  A job position is not just there for you to be impressive; the job also has to impress you, suit your needs and career aspirations!

 

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 27 July 2015 21:01

3 Steps to a Successful Job Search

A thorough, successful job search can seem like a part-time job! To do it correctly and effectively, you often have to dedicate a lot of time and effort into the process.

Although creating a professional is first and foremost, it is just one of several components of a successful job search; the others include: materials, preparation, and mindset.  With these three tools at the ready, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed in finding your ideal position.

Materials

As we mentioned before, materials are the first thing you must nail down. A professional, grammatically correct resume, cover letter, and any portfolio pieces are all important.  Include information that is specific and provides numerical support, or includes recommendations as part of the package.

Your cover letter should specify the desired position, what you bring to the table, and any applicable job experience.  Portfolios are necessary for most jobs these days, and you can either build one in a binder or via an online portfolio option.  Create your materials first, as you’ll need to be ready to send them at a moment’s notice.

Preparation

Preparation is the all-encompassing theme of a solid job search, and it’s something that starts at the beginning of your search and ends with the follow through.

You start preparing by creating your materials, reviewing them yourself and with a friend or family member, finalizing them, then beginning the actual search.  Your search is also something to prepare for! What kind of job are you looking for?  Do you want to work from home? THere are specific work-from-home job sites like HireMyMom out there, for the specific purpose of working from home.  There are also industry-specific job sites which can be helpful if you’re looking to stay in a particular field.

Following up is the last part of the puzzle, but one to look into right away; don’t wait until your first interview and realize you aren’t prepared with any sort of follow-up.  Start by creating the content of an email inquiring about the status of the job position, as well as the content of a thank you note for your interviewer.  Once these are at the ready, all you have to do is add in a bit of personalization for each interview.

Come up with a list of sites to search, a materials-needed checklist, and a list for follow through.

Mindset

Mindset is #1 in almost everything we do, and the job search is no different.  It can be tough out there, and sometimes job searches can go on for a very long time.   Prepare yourself mentally that it could take a while, and determine what you really want from the get go.  While your dream job might not show up immediately, it’s important that you don’t settle and take a job that you cannot see yourself enjoying or succeeding in.

Know what you want, persevere in your search, and stay positive.  If you have solid materials in place, additional necessary preparation completed, and a great mindset, your next job is closer than you might think!

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 06 July 2015 21:53

4 Steps to a Great Cover Letter

Part of the job process is the application process, which can be daunting. Between the resume, cover letter and interview, there’s a lot to consider.

The first place to start is always the cover letter, which is the lead-in to your resume and hopefully, everything else that follows until you’re interviewing for the job.

Creating a successful, well thought out cover letter is important, as it’s really your first impression to your potential employer(s).  Follow these tips to have a resume that stands out and impresses your audience.

Be Unique

The employer will likely receive a number of cover letters and resumes, so it’s important to be one of those that stands out.  You can do this in a number of ways - writing style, the way you highlight your experience, and adding personality.

While you still need to mind your grammar rules, adding some personality to your cover letter is always a plus.  Mention important personality traits that will make you successful in the job position, as well as unique statistics and results from your past job experiences.

Be Correct

Grammar and punctuation is key in creating a successful cover letter.  Be sure that you look up any questionable spelling and grammar questions you may have, and always have your letter proofread by a friend or family member.

Even if the potential job position is not writing-based, utilizing correct grammar and punctuation shows that you’re paying attention to details and care about presenting a quality product - both important skills to have in any position.

Be Succinct

As we mentioned before, your potential employer will likely receive many cover letters and resumes.  Keep it short and simple! State the position you’d like to be considered for, why you’d be a great fit, and a few key, bulleted highlights on your experience and why it is relevant. That’s really all you need!  The best cover letters are succinct, effective, and to the point.

Be Specific

Don’t send general cover letters or resumes to anyone, no matter how many you may be sending. Your employer needs to know why you’re right for their particular job position and company, and it’s your job to make the argument as to why you’re the right fit.  Notice the verbiage they use in their job posting - include some of them in your cover letter and resume, if applicable.

The more you can specializing your cover letter for the particular job position, the better your chances of achieving it.  You need to show the employer that you have exactly the right skills, personality, and job experience that will make you an ideal fit for the job.  Do your absolute best to highlight these qualities in an efficient, brief manner.

 

Published in Work from Home Tips