Anna Soo Wildermuth

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Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Written Communications

8 Things to Avoid on Resumes

pen Steve Wyrostek, MBA, CPRW at www.noclicheresumes.com  has been my go to person when you are ready to look for a new job or refresh your work documents, avoid the following when you are preparing your resume:

  • An objective statement. Use a summary, instead. Objectives are often seen on first resume out of school or a Word template resumes. No objectives at any time. A four to five line, succinct, modular summary is best.
  • Using dates past 20 years and if possible, keep job experiences in the 2000s. Never date degrees or certifications.
  • Listing volunteer activities unless they relate directly to the job applied for.
  • Too large or small font. Use 10 to 11 sans serif font (Arial, Calibri).
  • Placing acronyms like MBA after your name. This can garble the automatic tracking system readers that most companies run resumes through.
  • Block paragraphs. Use no more than three lines for a job description or bullet.
  • Clichés. Hiring managers glaze over phrases like good communicator, like to work with people, detail-oriented, etc. Instead show those traits with job achievements.
  • Forgetting to list achievements. Your job description is what you did and achievements are what you accomplished while doing it.

There are more but these are the most common things to avoid when preparing your resume.

When is too much information a bad thing?

haircut disasterInformation overload is a killer because it can jumble the true issues. Setting a timeline and a process to gather data are the first critical steps to ensure enough data is gathered. Doing the early research to determine what and how much information is needed sets you on the right path to completion. The timeline of when the project or report is due also acts as a finish line. Duplicate and / overwhelming information will only complicate the end result.

Sloppy resumes can cost you an interview

Common-Resume-MistakesIn a recent NYT business section, there was a question was brought up about a great candidate (The applicant had the experience, knowledge and qualifications the company needed). However, when the applicant’s resume went to the senior leader involved in the actual hiring, (This person would report to him), it was noted that the resume contained many misspellings.

The senior leader opted not to interview this person but his staff felt the misspellings should not matter. The critical issue became that if this person was careless with spelling mistakes, he might also be careless with project details.

A resume is a reflection of the sender. You only have one chance with a resume, especially with very successful organizations because they have many people desiring to work for them.

 

Five things resume writers can do

– A resume writewriterimagesr can take a sentence like this:

Perform various analysis and audit procedures on specific accounts to ensure the accuracy of various companies financial information, ensure that funds were not misappropriated and that accounting records are accurate and complete

And turn it in to this:

Use analytical and audit procedures to ensure the accuracy of financial information and verify that no misappropriation of funds has occurred.

– A resume writer can provide a template that works not only for your work documents but for the job you are applying to.

– A resume can be however many pages that work but many hiring managers will not look past two, especially if a strong competitor has a well written two page summary. A resume writer can get your resume to the appropriate length for your career accomplishments.

– 30 percent of those wanting resume rewrites are over the age of 50. They may be experiencing how tough it can be to sustain their career while in that age group. A resume writer can “de-age” them on paper

– A resume writer can write a coherent, powerful career summary for a job applicant. Hiring managers prefer this is to an objective.

Steve Wyrostek, MBA, CPRW

No Cliché Resumes

 

Does your e-mail accurately represent you?

email-logo-300x300Recently I was involved in a project and the coordinator corresponded with me via e-mail. The e-mails were less than friendly. They were quite terse and in some cases a bit accusatory when answering my questions. For example, one comment was- why are you asking these questions – did you not read my last e-mail?

I was shocked when meeting her in person. She was a very nice person, very sincere and quite helpful. My point is that it may be a good idea to read your e-mails out loud before sending. Is the tone reflective of your intent? This is why US Today has said so many problems are caused by e-mail. Maybe had this person and I had a face to face meeting or even a phone conversation, I would not have developed a negative perception of her.

 

Avoid These Resume Mistakes

Important doexploding pencils IIcument that the resume is, avoid these mistakes when writing yours:

– Citing an objective. Hiring managers do not want to know what your objective is, they want to know how you can help them. You do this with a coherent summary of qualifications leading off your resume.

– Using irrelevant activities. Always keep any activities that you list job relatable. For example, avoid listing that you volunteer at PAWS unless you’re applying for a job at a pet clinic.

– Being inconsistent with tense. For your current job, use the present tense. For already completed achievements and prior jobs use the past tense.

– Listing too many tasks instead of accomplishments. For example, Managed a project team of seven high performance engineers, is a task. Directed a $1M production line redesign project that resulted in 20% more productivity for the second shift, is an accomplishment.

– Placing GPAs and school accomplishments on the resume. Only do this if you are a fresh graduate with little or no work experience and you’re applying for your first job.

The vast majority of the resumes I receive have one of more of these on them.

Steve Wyrostek, MBA, CPRW

Steve is a former manager responsible for hiring hundreds of employees. He has also written over 300 resumes, LinkedIns and cover letters for clients ranging from scientists to entry level grads in the US, UAE, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, etc.

He is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and heads up No Cliche Copy and No Cliche Resumes in New Buffalo, MI.

Succinct Emails

In this fastThumbs up paced world, e-mails need to be succinct. The reader must know quickly what the message is about. An immediate tool is using the subject line to specify any action needed or not needed. It also should have a timeline on when the action must be completed. A follow up phone call may also be necessary. I always change the subject line on communication string if the subject has moved to a different direction.

Finally, try and keep an email to just one topic. Many people do not read emails all the way through. Having just one topic instead of several will help ensure the message will be read, understood and acted upon.

Follow these recommendations and your message will not get lost.