Top 4 Resume Hacks

Writing a resume is one of the first and most important steps in the job application process. The task is daunting, and most applicants don’t even receive an offer for an interview. The following hacks will help ensure that your resume has the best chance at making it to the top of the stack.

Tailor Your Resume to Each Application

Don’t be one of the many people who send the same resume to every open position. Remember that recruiters can tell when a resume hasn’t been tailored to a position. Instead, take time to customize your resume. A good way to do this is to read the job description and required skills very carefully. Make sure you that emphasize those skills in your resume and highlight any key words mentioned in the job description.

Many organizations now use robots to sort through all the applicants’ resumes, and only the ones who directly match the keywords receive interviews.

Use Numbers to Measure Success

Back up your statements with quantifiable evidence. Don’t just include that you led a team or wrote reports. Be specific! Include how many people you were responsible for and how many reports you wrote each quarter. Did you cut costs? Great! Include the percentage of money you saved. These numbers give recruiters a much better picture of your skills and what you’ve accomplished. Always choose to be specific instead of generic. This extra effort will make a big difference.

Format Your Resume Correctly

Recruiters prefer resumes that are easy to read. Don’t use fancy or complicated fonts. Stick to classics, like Times New Roman and Cambria. Colors simply aren’t necessary, and there is no need to clutter your resume with pictures or charts. Save your resume as a PDF. That way the format won’t change if a recruiter downloads or prints the file. The grammar and punctuation in your resume should be flawless. Triple check it if you have to. After all, this is the first impression that a recruiter will have of you, so even small mistakes will hurt your case and make you appear ill-prepared.

Have Someone Else Edit

Seek out help. Writing a resume is not a task you have to perform alone. Have fellow professionals look over your resume and suggest edits. Even if you’re an accomplished writer, it can be easy to accidentally overlook small mistakes. It can also be difficult to determine your best qualities yourself.

Spend extra time tailoring your resume to match important keywords, quantifying your accomplishments, formatting your document correctly, and having an extra person help you edit. The extra steps will help your resume and application get noticed!

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.com

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentor

With the holiday season in full swing, the pressure to find the perfect present for everyone your list is on, including your mentor. Exchanging gifts in the professional world is a little different than the traditional exchange with family and friends, so you want to be sure you’re maintaining that important balance of thoughtful and appropriate. Depending on how well you know your mentor, this might be easier said than done.

Here are a few suggestions, however, that you can get your mentor to show you appreciate them, no matter who they are:

Travel Mug

Everyone needs a good travel mug, regardless of whether or not there’s coffee in it. Good Housekeeping put together a list of the top performing mugs they could find, and any one of them would make a good gift for your mentor. This list is especially helpful in that all of the suggested items are reasonably priced, and won’t break the bank. A Hydro Flask is especially a good option, as they’re stainless steel and vacuum-insulated, so your drink will stay as hot or as cold as when you first poured it.

Unique Bookends

If your mentor is the type that likes to keep books on display, consider getting them some new bookends! Bookends are a great way to show personality or add some color into a room. The Joss and Main website has some great, affordable choices to fit anyone’s interests. The Gordon Corbel bookends would be sure to instantly add a little style.

Rocketbook Notebook

A nice notebook is always a great choice, but consider a twist on an old classic: a Rocketbook. These notebooks come with the ability to wipe clean all with a damp cloth. Definitely include a Pilot FiXion pen to make sure your mentor can reuse it. The nice thing about these notebooks is that you can easily send its contents to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, or wherever you keep your files, all through the app on a smartphone.

Of course, a leatherbound notebook is never a bad choice, either, if your mentor is a little more old school!

A Bento Box

For the mentor who likes to pack everyday, a beautiful new bento box is a perfect idea. These monbento MB Original bento boxes are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and BPA free. They’ll make bringing lunch to work fun, and your mentor will think of you everytime they use them.

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentee

Find the right present for anyone can be a challenge, but it can be even harder in a professional setting when your relationship isn’t entirely established, yet. Finding the right present for your mentee, for example, can be tricky, if you are still getting to know them and want to strike the right balance of personal without being too forward.

Luckily, there are plenty of options that will offer a meaningful impact and without placing a huge financial burden on you. Here a few suggestions to consider:

Homemade Goodies

You can never go wrong with homemade baked goods. After all, everyone needs to eat! A homemade treat means that you put time and effort into your present. If your mentee doesn’t get to go home very often, a homemade meal or dessert will be especially well-received. Of course, it might be easier to order something and have it delivered, but making something yourself just conveys that extra sense that you care.

A Shared Experience

Sure, you could give your mentee something wrapped up in a bow, but it’s also not a bad idea to give a present in the form of an experience. By spending time with your mentee, you’re showing you’re taking an active interest in their life and the things they enjoy. Something like attending a holiday concert or even just grabbing a cup of coffee is meaningful because you set aside time especially for them.

Volunteering

The holidays are the perfect time to give back to the community and instill those values in your mentee, and there will always be people who need help. Serve at a soup kitchen together, or maybe bake some cookies together and deliver them to someone who deserves to feel appreciated. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the seniors who live there and might not get to see their families very often. The holidays can be a lonely time if you’re on your own, and reminding your mentee to show kindness and compassion is a gift that will stay with them for years to come.

Send Them a Card

Lots of people send cards around the holidays, and if you do, why not send one to your mentee? It’s a kind way to show you were thinking of them, and could keep the door open for further communication even after you go your separate ways. It’s a great way to keep in touch and up-to-date on the happenings in their life.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.net!

Professional Development on a Budget

We all know that the professional development of staff is essential for the growth and well-being of an organization, but it often gets nixed because of the assumption that a substantial amount of time and money is necessary for ongoing training to be feasible. However, with a little creativity, you may find that you have all of the resources you need to continually develop your team without spending extra money and with minimal extra time.

 

Here are three low-cost, minimal time-commitment ideas to get you started thinking about a professional development program for your organization today.

 

Host a resource share

Resource shares are free, fun, and lighten the load of a professional development program by divvying out the work among all team member. To establish a regular resource share, you would set-up weekly or monthly gatherings and assign a team member to lead each meeting. On their turn, each team member brings a book, article, video, or something else that they’ve found to be informative or useful and present it to the group. This method has the added benefit of getting employees actively engaged in the process rather than simply being passive attendees.

 

Take advantage of in-house expertise

 

Most organizations have a plethora of experience under their own roofs. Poll your employees for special skills, passions, and professional experience and arrange for them to spread the wealth at a formal or informal organizational meeting. These presentations could take place in a boardroom or over coffee after work, depending on the topic.

 

Launch a mentor program

 

Help your new employees adapt and grow into their roles by pairing them up with senior staff through a mentor program. This program could could be as formal or informal as best suits your organization. For example, you could simply ask a more experienced team member to check-in with the new staff person regularly. Or you could formalize the mentorship by setting forth some guidelines for the mentor to follow (e.g., weekly meetings, occasional assessments, etc.).

 

There are many approaches to training and professional development for organizations that are short on resources. With a little creativity, you can create something that keeps your team growing and thriving for years to come.

 

There are many approaches to training and professional development for organizations that are short on resources. With a little creativity, you can create something that keeps your team growing and thriving for years to come.

 

Want to learn more about how to provide professional development to your team when you’re short on resources? Check out this article in the NonProfit Times.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.com