Tag: resume steps

One Question You Should Ask Before Writing Your Résumé

Dear Amy,

I hate my new job. I worked at my old company for 12 years but was let go in a major restructuring. I found a new job, and I’ve been here for four months, but I hate it, and I’m going to quit.

My question is: Should I include this job on my résumé?

— Wondering

Should I include a short job on my résumé?

This is a common question — but there is no simple answer. As with many job search-related issues, the answer is: it depends.

The first thing to consider when deciding whether to include a short-term position on your résumé is whether it was planned as a short-term position, or if it simply ended up that way.

If the job was a contract (or a contract-to-hire role that did not get picked up), the usual answer is: Yes, include the job on your résumé. Make sure to describe it as such: “Hired for temporary, three-month role during family leave of key staffer” or “Contract-to-hire position ended prematurely due to termination of company relationship with client.”

Hiring managers are often sympathetic to short-term engagements when the circumstances are explained.

If the position was not meant to be short-term, it may be wise to find a way to make it seem like it was not as short. You could include it on the résumé but list your experience by year, instead of month/year to month/year.

For example, list the experience as Bumblebee Incorporated (2019) vs. Bumblebee Incorporated (March 2019 – August 2019).

Also consider whether you can “group” the role with other positions. For example, if you had several short-term roles — even if they were not technically temporary jobs — think about whether you can combine them into a single description.

For example, if you had a sales role with company ABC for eight months but left for a better opportunity with company XYZ — but only worked there for a year — consider listing the positions jointly as “Sales Representative, ABC/XYZ” with the inclusive dates. This only works, however, if the titles and work responsibilities are very similar.

If the job was not intended to be short-term — but ended up that way because you were fired, or you quit because you did not like the job/company/people, consider leaving it off. But even in this situation, there are exceptions.

For example, did you learn any new skills in this role, or use any skills that are not described elsewhere on your résumé? If so, you may want to include the position so that you can highlight those skills.

Both hard skills and soft skills matter…make sure to mention any new skills learned that are sought after by your job target companies

Did you work for a name-brand company (for example, a well-known startup or Fortune 500 company) or did you work with a name-brand client in the scope of your work in that role? You may want to include the position on the résumé to increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of the résumé for applicant tracking systems — or simply to impress a hiring manager.

Will having this position on your résumé help position you for a career change? Even if your time in the position was not long, if having that experience on there helps you bridge the transition from one career to the next, consider including it.

Finally, is this role your only work experience relevant to your job target? For example, if you are a recent graduate but were “first in and first out” at your first job, consider including it if you were on the job more than 90 days. (Often the most recent person hired is the first person let go, and most hiring managers recognize this.) Having some experience — even short-term experience — is better than having no experience.

And remember, if you were laid off because of the economy, loss of a key company customer, or another reason unrelated to your performance, include that in the résumé (and possibly also the cover letter).

If, on the other hand, the role does not fit in the narrative of where you’ve been in your career — and, more importantly, where you’re going — consider omitting it. Sometimes you take a job because you think it will open doors or lead you to a new path, and it does not end up that way. If including the job on the résumé will raise more questions than it will answer, consider not mentioning it on the résumé. Especially if omitting it would not cause a significant time gap on the résumé.

For example, Ted left the military after a career in naval intelligence and took a job at a startup software company, working in their security department. After being on the job for a few weeks, he decided that the laid-back company culture was not suited to his personality and he left the role. Instead, he went to work for a defense contractor, and has been there for two years and has now decided to look for a new job. Ted may choose to omit the position at the startup from his résumé.

Remember, your résumé is not an obituary that lists every job you have ever held. Instead, it’s a marketing document whose content should support the job target you’re seeking.

Consequently, you may choose to only include the most recent 10-15 years of work experience on your resume. Not only can this help reduce the likelihood of age discrimination, but in a world where things change at a rapid pace, your older experience may no longer be relevant. You likely have newer skills, experience, and projects that better reflect where you are going, not where you have been.

However, you should not leave a job off your résumé that you held for any significant length of time (say, more than six months) just because you were fired (even for performance) because you do not want to talk about it. Instead, be prepared to address the reason for your departure (including taking responsibility for shortcomings in your performance) and being able to describe how you took corrective action to ensure the situation does not happen again.

For example, if you are sales professional who was let go because you missed two consecutive quarters of sales quotas, you might include the role on your résumé (especially if you were selling a desirable product or working with high-profile clients) but be ready to explain that you didn’t have the depth of product knowledge that you should have had in order to be successful in that position. This is a particularly effective strategy if you have been successful in previous sales roles, but just not in this one.

One important thing to note: If you are asked to complete a job application that requires you to list all positions you’ve held (read the application directions carefully!), you should include each and every role — no matter how short — particularly if you’re required to sign the application (and, therefore, attest to the truthfulness of the information included).

But on the résumé, you can decide which positions to include and exclude, and even how they are arranged.

Determining what to include — and what to exclude — on your résumé to maximize your chances of getting an interview is one of the important functions a professional résumé writer can assist you with. Having the guidance and experience of a professional to help you navigate your job search can save you time and money, landing you that dream job faster, and potentially even at a higher salary than you were expecting. Keep the easy to follow chart below handy when re-writing your résumé for that new job, so you can make the best decision about including all of your past job roles.

Need our help writing your résumé or LinkedIn profile just call/text us at 201-667-2994 or tell us about your job search needs at this link https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form

Don’t Hire a Résumé Writer Before Taking These Preparation Steps

For those of you who have been out of the job search for years or maybe even decades the barebones classified section of the Sunday newspaper may come as a surprise. Gone are the days when you could pick up a couple of the local Sunday papers and circle job opening ads that you could easily fax, or email your generic résumé to.

Today’s 21st Century digital job market can begin on your smartphone and an internet search, and winds a job candidate through tunnels and caverns of steps from the initial application process, through perhaps several interviews, until you get to the final decision stage. Since this process can be so daunting and a job in itself, many folks enlist the help of a résumé writer or career coach who can help them put their best foot forward. What some don’t understand is that career coaching and even résumé and LinkedIn profile writing MUST BE a collaborative process between the client and the writer. 

The writer cannot create a compelling career story without your input.

  • You will be throwing away the money you pay the writer if you pay and then disappear expecting them to write your career story without your detailed information.
  • You risk not providing enough material to the writer that helps them create a keyword optimized résumé that boasts about 1000 characters (with spaces) within a two-page résumé.
  • Yes, a two-page résumé by the mere fact that it is two pages allows for a more keyword infused document that applicant tracking systems like.
  • At The Talent Mill / #JobSearchSuperhero we believe that a résumé’s length should be determined by the client’s years of service, their industry, the number of relevant awards, courses, certifications. In other words, each project is different, and it is not a sin to use a two page or even a three-page résumé.

So, before you search for and hire a résumé writer, you should prepare by doing the following.

*Write down notes about your career story or answer a couple of the writer’s questionnaires to provide them with content, clarity, and clear/concise information for the writer to tell a compelling career story and highlight key points in your accomplishments.

We believe that everyone can come up with accomplishments if he or she thinks back on his or her life. Keep in mind these essential facts while writing:

  • What kind of job are you seeking? To target your resume so that an actual person will see it, you should provide at least two job advertisements to the writer.
  • The writer can then scan the document against the job ad to make sure that the targeted industry and job role keywords are in your new resume. The days when you could use a “basic resume” to submit to a potential employer are long gone. It would significantly improve your chances of your résumé being seen by a human if you edit each résumé before you upload it to a corporate or recruiter website to apply for an advertised position. Your résumé will be analyzed by algorithms using whatever search query the hiring manager or recruiter entered on their end. That is why keyword dense (2 page) résumés for a mid-career to upper management person increases their chances of hitting the right target keywords and selected to be shown to the recruiter in a search for candidates.
  • What are your job titles? If you have had many years of service/employment for the same company, you must have changed roles or moved up the corporate ladder. It would be best if you were prepared to provide the writer with the job title, dates held, accomplishments, and description of what the role is.
  • What are your accomplishments? To make your resume stand out, you must show your achievements and how you helped the company. Did you bring in more clients? Have you trained people? Did you earn any recognition? How is that company better off from the service you provided for them during your time with them?
  • What honors or awards have you received? During the course of your career make sure you can document and share all the honors and awards earned over the years of employment. If you have any copies of annual reviews or reference letters from management share them with the writer.
  • What kind of professional development did you receive? Were you sent on a corporate outing or given any education to improve your performance, on the job training, and then received certification for that workshop?

After the client has provided this information they should also adhere to this:

  • Have access to a computer or laptop so they can enter their edits and promptly return them to the writer. (All free public libraries offer the use of computers)
  • Client’s cannot expect to efficiently edit their résumé on their mobile phone when necessary which will be quite often. It would be best if they at least owned a tablet with a keyboard. Microsoft Word .doc and .docx files are sent to the client along with a basic ASCII text file. They can also usually be edited and opened/viewed on free software like OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice.org however the writer is not responsible for, nor can guarantee document compatibility between software. Therefore your document may look skewed or resized. For this reason, we at The Talent Mill also include an Adobe PDF file that maintains the format. We provide our clients clear instruction with their final files on which files to use for which type of application, interview, etc.

Communicate with your writer and reply to emails which can be several during the writing process of your documents.

  • Get all the questionnaire answers back to the writer quickly. If the writer does not have information, they can’t write your resume. Remember they don’t know you personally. They ethically cannot just copy and paste data or job descriptions from another online résumé. It is imperative that the client provide answers. The career writing project is a collaborative effort, so the client needs to make themselves available to work with the writer. This is generally handled through emails or a quick text or call.
  • Résumé writers try to finish projects promptly since they continue to see more and more clients in today’s tight and downsizing job market. Most writers are usually working on documents for anywhere from two to ten clients simultaneously. Most projects are typically completed within the 7-10 day average industry turnaround time, dependent on how quickly the client returns emails, questionnaires, or text message replies from the writer or writer team.

REMEMBER: Achieving an impressive new résumé and other career documents or online profiles is a TEAM EFFORT between the client and their writer! Neither should go it alone.

Best of luck in your job search! ~Mill and the writing team 

*Need us to do it all for you? Text us at 201-667-2994 or drop us a note at https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form