The Art of the Resume – What to Include (and What to Leave Out)

ImageToday’s resume must meet the qualifications of, at minimum, two different audiences. The goal is to get the resume into the hands of a hiring manager or recruiter – someone who must be interested in the content of your resume to consider you for their position. Before the resume ever makes it into that person’s hands, however, it is becoming more and more likely that it must first pass through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This software is being used by many employers to filter through resumes and pass along only the most relevant to the hiring manager. How do you make sure your resume passes both tests? These checklists are good places to start.

What To Include:

  • Proper formatting – Include defined sections (such as “Education”) and bullet point lists so your resume is easy to read.
  • Correct spelling and grammar – Constantly proofread your resume after every edit, and get a fresh set of eyes to look over your resume as well to catch anything you might miss.
  • Uniform font type and size – The entire resume should be the same font, and headings or section titles should stand out in larger text than the bullet point lists. Your contact information should be the largest, easiest text to find.
  • Keywords – Pass the ATS test with keywords that match the description for the job to which you are applying. Include the industry-specific keywords you know the employer will be looking for from their ideal candidate. For instance, an HVAC professional might include their NATE or RSES certifications.
  • Contact information – Include your most recent phone number(s), a professional sounding email address, and your physical address. If you have a digital media page that showcases your qualifications or professional accomplishments, such as a LinkedIn page or website, include the link.
  • Professional Pitch – Where everyone used to include an objective in their resume, you can provide a quick pitch to “wow” potential employers to read your entire resume.
  • Education and Work Experience – Include the relevant training, certifications or degrees, and the relevant work experience you received that can be applied to the position. Your experience can be listed as a series of accomplishments, rather than just your job responsibilities in each position. For instance, an office manager may have “developed a digital filing system” for their office, as opposed to listing that they “moved all physical records to a digital format.”

What to Leave Off:

  • Third-Party Voice or Unnecessarily Big Words – Your resume should read in the same conversational and approachable tone you would use in an interview.
  • Polarizing Interests or Hobbies – Remember the person reading your resume may not share your enthusiasm or viewpoints on certain topics. If it doesn’t pertain to the job for which you are applying, don’t include it on your resume.
  • Irrelevant Experience – Only include the education or experience that can be used to the benefit of your potential employer in your bullet point lists.
  • Contact Information from Your Current Employer – Never include your work email or phone number as the means to reach you.
  • Lies – If you lack a specific certification or work experience, focus instead on the skills you do possess.
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The Art of the Resume – What Format to Use?

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As a part of our ongoing job seeker series “The Art of the Job Search,” we’ve created a series of tips regarding resume writing and promotion. The first installment in the resume series discusses the various formats you can use, depending on the type of position for which you are applying.

Being a job seeker can be a full time job. First, you research your target industries and find the companies you feel would be the best fit. You network with employees at those companies, attend job fairs, and search job boards to see what types of jobs are in demand. For all the work you do, is your resume helping or hurting you? Think of your cover letter and resume as your personal marketing pieces – what the employer will reference again and again when considering you for their company. Does your resume encompass all that you can offer? Does it stand out from the crowd?

The first thing to consider when creating or redoing your resume is the format. Different formats can be used to accomplish certain career goals. The traditional resume formats include chronological, functional, and a combination of both.

The chronological format lists your education and experience in order, most recent first. You can use this format when you want a position in your current industry, you have extensive experience, or you can demonstrate upward movement in your positions. These factors prove you are ready for the next step in your career.

The functional format revolves around accomplishments in your career. Use this format when you want to make a career change and feel your experience could be used in a new industry, if you have held many different jobs in a short period of time, or you are returning to work after long absence.

The combination format presents your relevant skills in chronological order. This format can be used whether you want to move to a new industry or remain in your current field. The combination format is also a good option when you have gaps in employment, want to express how your skills in other types of work, such as volunteering, can be transferred to the position, or when your past job titles do not encompass all of your responsibility in that position. 

Regardless of the format you select, it is most important to tailor your resume to the position for which you are applying. As you look over your experience, does it mirror the qualifications required in the posting?

Here are some general formatting tips to leave the employer ready to learn more after reading your resume.

  • Make sure your resume is easy to read with clearly defined sections (Education, Experience, etc.) and bullet point lists of responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Include proper spelling and grammar, double check that all text is in the same font, and that there are distinct heading and bullet point list sizes. Your name and contact information should be the largest font for quick recognition.
  • Demonstrate all relevant training in your Education section. Do you have a certification the employer would be interested in seeing?
  • Along with your responsibilities in each job you include, list accomplishments you feel could be applied to the position to which you are applying.
  • Have references ready upon request from the employer who can vouch for your experience and accomplishments.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

300x250_NewYear_2012_SunriseIf you’re like many job seekers across the country, your #1 New Year’s resolution isn’t to lose weight, quit smoking, or get more organized.  It’s to find a new job.  Lucky for you, the start of the new year means the beginning of hiring season for companies across the country.

To increase your chances of landing a great job fast, we’ve compiled this quick checklist to help kick start your new year’s job search:

  • Update and post your resume  – If you want to increase your chances of landing a great job, a well-written resume is a must.
  • Customize your cover letters – Many companies require a cover letter along with an application, so make sure each cover letter you submit speaks directly to the job you’re applying for.
  • Network – In addition to applying to jobs online, be sure to also reach out to all your connections on and offline to learn of potential job opportunities.
  • Follow-Up – Some companies list their HR Department’s contact information on their website. If you’d like to express further interest in a job you’ve applied to, you can humbly inquire over the phone.

In addition to having a professional resume and cover letter, you can also speed up your job search by applying to jobs in industries that are showing the most growth.  Check out our listings in these top industries that are hiring in 2014 today!

Need to Find a Job Fast? These Companies are Hiring Now!

Tis the season to get a new job!

Tis the season to get a new job!

Now is the time to update your Job.com profile and resume to showcase your skills and qualifications to the thousands of employers hiring for the holiday season. While many job seekers take a break from their search this time of year, this is your chance to get a leg up on the competition by proactively searching and applying to the plethora of jobs found on our site. Here is an overview of the top 5 companies hiring this month:

UPS – with over 4,400 independently owned locations nationwide, and over 1,900 operating facilities, UPS tops off our list of Top 5 companies hiring this month.  With the holidays just around the corner, UPS is staffing up in almost every department in preparation for seasonal deliveries.

AT&T – With 883,835 miles of network fiber and 135,662 hotspots worldwide, AT&T is continually bringing on new team members to assist customers in their retail stores, service centers and even in their homes.  If you enjoy helping others and love learning about new technologies, AT&T is the employer for you.

Macy*s – If there’s one major retailer that’s been extremely public about its current hiring spree it’s the one and only Macy*s.  With 840 stores in 45 states, and over 175,000 employees making up its diverse workforce, Macy*s continues to be a premier retailer across the globe.  If you thrive in the hustle and bustle of a fast paced retail environment than apply now for a holiday job at this major Department Store.

Petco – As if holiday shopping for our two-legged family members isn’t enough, the pet supply industry is proving that our four-legged friends along with pets of all kinds are now reaping the benefits of the holiday season. Petco is another major retailer that’s gearing up this month by adding pet groomers, dog walkers, cashiers and more to their existing locations across the country.

Firestone – As the oldest tire company in America, Firestone can provide job security to anyone interested in working for this current car maintenance chain.  Whether you’re a self-proclaimed grease monkey or a true blue customer service queen or king, Firestone offers job openings in a variety of capacities.

While these companies currently have thousands of available jobs, the holiday hiring season will be wrapping up sooner than you may think.  Don’t put off your job search for another day.  Login to your Job.com account, make sure your profile and resume are up-to-date and apply your way to your next great job.  Good Luck!

We’re More than Just a Job Board

joblogoWelcome to Job.com.  We’ve been connecting people with jobs dating back to 2001.  But with a name like Job.com, we’d be remiss not to provide our good visitors with an experience that fully encompasses the job searching world.  Yes, you can search an exceedingly large amount of jobs (1 million to be exact), on our site.  Yes, as an employer or recruiter, you can advertise your jobs and access almost 11 million resumes in our nationwide database.  And yes, you can find all the standard bells and whistles that are typical of the modern-day job board.  What makes Job.com unique are the people and partners who work behind the scenes to make our content and services different from what you will find anywhere else.

Take for example, our resume builder wizard.  It’s a free tool that helps our job seekers create a professional looking resume from scratch.  You can try it out for yourself by creating a free Job.com account or logging in to your career dashboard.

In addition to all the cool tools Job.com has to help you with your job search, we’re also taking the time to seek out the concerns our job seekers face when trying to find the right job. From Facebook to YouTube, we’re actively engaging with our fans to discover new content ideas to help guide them down the often rough road of job hunting.

We also have a Career Advice & News Center where you can find information on everything from basic job searching and career advice,  to local job and employment news.  We even cover fun and interesting topics surrounding the themes of “Work Home Life Balance” and “Celebrity.”

The fact of the matter is that all of us working here at Job.com have been in the job search game at one time or another and realize that it takes a whole lot more than simply submitting a couple of applications to find employment.  More often than not it takes hours of networking,  and researching, and resume prepping to gain that coveted interview in the hopes to land the job you’ve worked so long and hard for.  And that is why we are here.  To provide you with not only the most relevant jobs to your search, but also interesting and informative posts, articles and essays to help you along the way.  We thank you for visiting us at Job.com and hope that you continually use our service to find what you’re looking for.

Visit our home page to search jobs, post your resume and more now >>

Have an idea for an article/blog post/video?  Let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

Have You Updated Your Resume Lately?

Want a stress free resume?  Read on to learn more.

Want a stress free resume? Read on to learn more.

So you’re in the market for a new job.  You log in to the ol’ Job.com account, run a few job searches, see a few jobs you like, and then you apply to them.  But what is actually involved in your application process?  Did you happen to review the resume you’re sending along to make sure that it’s relevant to the job you’re applying to?  Did your application contain a list of recent job duties and functions that align with specific criteria provided in the job ad?  If you didn’t, there’s a good chance that your resume and application will be screened out by a computer before a hiring manager even gets a chance to review it.

These days, most companies are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan a candidate’s resume and application to ensure that they have the skills and qualifications required to do the job.  The old, one-size fits all resume of your past will no longer be effective when trying to land a new job.  This means that every application and resume you submit for a job should be custom tailored to point out your skills and experience that qualify you for the position at hand.

It’s absolutely o.k. to work off of one resume template, but to improve your chances of making it past an ATS’s screening filters, each resume and application should be tweaked to contain keywords that identify you as a strong candidate for the role.  A good way to craft a resume that passes the applicant screening test is to take specific phrases from the actual job description and weave them in to your application and/or resume.  For example, if a job ad lists that a candidate must have strong knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and you have those skills, be sure to include this in the Skills/Qualifications section of your resume.

It may seem daunting at first, but after applying to several jobs in related fields, you may find that you’re repeatedly using just a few, refined resumes throughout your job search process.  You can also speed up your application process by saving those that get pushed out to employers so you can simply work off of previous applications as you create new ones.

In addition to a keyword rich resume and application, providing a well-written cover letter can also increase your chances of being noticed by employers.  The cover letter is your opportunity to explain why you’re a great fit for the job.  It should clearly and consicesly provide examples of some work related achievements that have prepared you for this new role.

So what do you do after you’ve applied to a job with your fine tuned cover letter, resume, and application?  Follow up, of course. Once you’ve located the company’s contact information online, give them a call and asked to be connected to the HR department so you can follow up on your application.  This way, the employer will know you’re serious about the position, and in many cases, will provide you with an update on where they stand in the hiring process.

Remember that searching for a job is a full time job.  Continue working to improve your resume and remain positive at all times.  By staying proactive in your search, you’ll be sure to find a job you’ll love.

Visit Job.com to sign up and post your resume now.  Already a member?  Login here.