Interviews, The Resume

A-Z Action Verbs!

A-Z Action Verbs to Get Your Resume & Cover Letter Noticed

The job search means many things, one of which is that you are going to have to speak and writing about yourself… a lot!

Get comfortable with sharing with others, who you are and what your experiences are about. Below is a list of action verbs that you can use to help you describe yourself and your experiences. These words are going to help get your resume and cover letter through a typical Applicant Tracking System (ATS)  and will help you stand out in the interview.

A
Achieved, accomplished, acted, adapted, addressed, analyzed, authored, authorized, assessed, assisted, appraised, amended, advised, allocated, altered, accelerated, acquired, aided, assembled

B
Budgeted, built, brainstormed, balanced, blended, boosted

C
Compiled, combined, challenged, chaired, committed, communicated, coordinated, calculated, contributed, commissioned, confirmed, customized, created, challenged, critiqued

D
Decided, developed, disclosed, documented, discovered, designed, determined, demonstrated, deferred, distributed, directed, devoted, drafted, doubled, diversified, designated, dedicated, discussed

E
Exercised, expected, earned, elected, engaged, entered, engineered, employed, edited, evaluated, entertained, eliminated, exchanged, ended, estimated, exempted, endorsed, expedited, experienced, enforced, explained

F
Facilitated, focused, financed, fueled, figured, fit, formed, fortified, functioned, formulated

G
Guided, grouped, gave, garnered, granted, generated, guaranteed, gathered, graphed

H
Hired, handled, helped, headed

I
Improved, identified, installed, inspired, interviewed, issued, invested, illustrated, implemented, incurred, innovated, inspected, invented, interpreted, inaugurated, informed, induced, instilled, incorporated

J
Judged, joined, justified

L
Located, lectured, launched, litigated, lobbied, led, listened

M
Mastered, managed, merchandised, modified, met, minimized, modeled, measured, moderated, motivated, multiplied, marketed, maximized, moved, mediated

N
Negotiated, noticed, navigated, networked

O
Operated, owned, observed, oversaw, organized, obtained, oriented

P
Participated, printed, proposed, pursued, persuaded, perceived, preserved, processed, produced, promoted, planned, performed, pioneered, passed, prioritized, proficiency, provided, profiled, polled, presented, procured, purchased, placed, permitted

Q
Quoted, qualified, questioned, queried

R
Ranked, resolved, received, rewarded, revised, revitalized, revamped, responded, restored, rejected, reinforced, reinstated, rehabilitated, remedied, redesigned, recruited, recovered, recorded, reduced, replaced, retained, retrieved, reversed, ran, raised, reached, reviewed, researched

S
Saved, secured, stabilized, scheduled, screened, settled, separated, sent, selected, shaped, shortened, showed, signed, simplified, sold, specialized, staged, standardized, steered, stimulated, strategized, surveyed, supported, supplied, substantiated, set goals, supervised, studied

T
Trained, tabulated, took, traveled, transformed, tested, transferred, tailored, targeted

U
Utilized, uncovered, united, updated, undertook, unified, upgraded

V
Verified, valued, validated, visited, visualized

W
Witnessed, worked, weighed, wrote, won, welcomed

Citations:

Doyle, A. (2017, July 31). Resume and Cover Letter Action Verbs. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.thebalance.com/list-of-resume-and-cover-letter-keywords-2060287

The Job Search, The Resume

Applicant Tracking Systems, ATS

When applying for a position – when you hit send where are your resume and cover letter really going? Most likely, its being filter through an Applicant Tracking System, ATS, before it ever reaches the desk of a hiring manager and/or recruiter.

It use to be that only Fortune 500 companies used ATS to pre-filter resumes and automate the end-to-end hiring process. However, as technology has evolved, such software is now available to corporations and recruiting firms of all sizes. It is now commonplace for corporations to turn to and rely on ATS software to handle everything from posting a job to selecting the ideal candidate.

What does this mean for today’s job seeker? It means that you when you submit your resume, in most cases it is not going directly to a hiring manager and/or recruiter. Instead, it first moves through an ATS, a software that is designed to manage the hiring process.

An ATS scans submitted resumes and cover letters for keywords/key phrases (skills, job positions) and filters (location and education). Similiar to a search engine, the resumes and cover letters that match the keywords and filters are classified as “qualified” candidates and are then sent to the recruiter or hiring manager.

A high-level understanding of how ATS work, further emphasizes the power and importance customizing your resume to the position that you are applying for.

(Doyle, 2018) ATS reject an estimated 70 percent or more of the resumes submitted, either because the documents don’t reflect the desired qualifications or are formatted in a way that the system can’t digest the information.

Take a look at your resume, and consider the following:

  • Does your resume support/ compliment the position you are applying for?
  • Is the font that you selected clear? Have used clear fonts such as Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman. Remember, ATS is a software and may not be able to “read” fonts that are “fancy”
  • Did you use any logos?
    • If your resume has logos, symbols, shading and/or pictures, consider removing them. Again, there is a high probability that your resume will first be scanned by an ATS which could have trouble reading the extra touches, and ultimately reject your resumé and cover letter.
  • Did you spell check your work? Spelling errors are just that, errors–which will not be understood or literally read by ATS.

Citations:

Doyle, A. (2018, February 02). How To Get Your Resume Past the Applicant Tracking System. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-your-resume-past-the-applicant-tracking-system-2063135

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The Job Search, The Resume

What Happens When Confetti Is Tucked in With a Resumé?

(Neil, 2004) As the story goes, a law student, eager to land employment at a firm went the extra mile of adding confetti in the envelope of their resumé and cover letter. The eye-catching tactic was effective in grabbing the attention of at least one law firm. The firm’s response, however, was that they cut the resumé and cover letter into small pieces and mailed it back to the applicant.

(Neil, 2004) It is no secret that employers are flooded with resumés. To combat this, some applicants are tempted to tinker with the traditional resumé and try their hand at making “cute attempts” to distinguish themselves, i.e. “pizza boxes with resumés inside, resumés in the form of a court pleading or rapplications.

Rarely, do such “cute attempts” actually get the intended reaction/response that lead to the applicant landing the position. Instead, applicants should stand out by putting their creative energy into developing a smart and comprehensive resumé — that is well-organized, easy to read–and doesn’t contain spelling errors.

…and save the pizza, raps, and confetti until after you land the job.

Citations:

Frith, Beckett. “10 interview turn-offs that drive recruiters away”. Executive Grapevine International Ltd. https://www.recruitmentgrapevine.com/content/article/news-2018-03-13-top-10-interview-turn-offs-1. Written: 13MAR2018; Retrieved 29MAR2018

Neil, Martha. “LOOKING SHARP: What Happens When Confetti Is Tucked in With a Resumé.” ABA Journal, vol. 90, no. 1, 2004, pp. 55–55., www-jstor-org.ezproxy.sju.edu/stable/27842922 .

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The Resume

Stand Out: Create a Tailored Cover Letter

For a job seeker, every moment is valuable. It is tough to move past the reality that a job application can take up to two hours to complete, and there is only a slim chance that the organization will follow up with you.  It is a frustrating experience that happens all too often — and sparks the question what can I do to make my cover letter and resumé stand out?

“Standing out” boils down to a well-articulated message coupled with a professional and enthusiastic tone.  You are not going to get this through a free, downloaded template. The impact will only be successfully made if the cover letter is personal and tailored to the position you are applying for.

The next time you apply for a position, consider writing your cover letter first.  Some people complete the application first, then write their cover letter and refresh their resumé. This is because uploading the cover letter and resumé tend to be the last step in the application process. Instead, consider capitalizing on your enthusiasm for the position and compose your cover letter first.

When writing in the moment, you will notice that your first couple of drafts are lengthy and overflowing with excitement and solid reasons for why you are the best candidate.  Allow yourself to ramble for a bit.

When you feel like you have captured all of your qualifications for the position, go back and fine-tune your work. Be sure to connect three qualities/skills that you have to three requirements listed in the job posting.  As you move through the editing process you will find yourself trading in generic phrases for real, demonstrated work experiences. For example, “implemented projects” changes to “was a member of the Oracle implementation team”. Also, overused phrases like “highly organized” and “attention to detail” become obsolete as they are implied in your writing.

By developing a tailored cover letter, you will stand apart from other candidates as your letter will be personal — and by completing it first, will ensure that you capture your natural excitement for the position. Rely on your words to stand out, and be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread.

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The Resume

Resumé Writing Checklist

Your resume is one of the most important pieces of a job application. If you are considering re-entering the workplace, advancing your career or transitioning into a new career – updating your resume is a great place to start.

Remember, if you are undergoing career transition, it’s not necessary to start completely over.  Begin the resume writing process by building off of the foundation that you already have. With your current resume in hand, review Resume Writing Checklist below and make the necessary revisions. To help you stay engaged in the writing process, make a plan to review the document again for the next two days. This will keep your momentum up and get you into the habit of reviewing it often. When you feel like your resume at a point where you feel comfortable submitting it to hiring managers, ask a  friend or trusted colleague to review it one last time.

For more resume writing exercises, follow thepolishedcareer.org

Resume Writing Checklist:

  • Personal Information: 
    • Do you have a professional email address? (i.e. Joey.Smith@gmail.com)
    • Do you have a current home address and working telephone number listed?
  • Work Experience: 
    • Is the name of the organization spelled correctly? Are the acronyms spelled out correctly?
    • Did you include your title/ position held?
    • Are the dates that you were employed listed, and accurate?
    • Are there 3-4 bullet points describing your current/previous responsibilities?
    • Are your descriptions grammatically correct?
  • Education:
    • Did you include the name of the school, your degree and the year you graduated?
    • Did you have a minor/concentration?
    • Are you graduating or completing a program in a few months? Is this information listed?

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The Resume

New Career Path: Start Here

If you have been thinking about exploring a new career path and looking for a good place to start – look no further than your resumé. Your resumé is the perfect place to start because it is the story of you. Its the story that you will share (several times over) with hiring managers.

Since hiring managers spend an average of thirty seconds looking at resumé, it is imperative that your resumé is accurate, and effectively demonstrates your qualifications and skill sets.

Take a look at your resumé. If you have not updated it in the past two weeks, take it out and review it using the Resumé Writing Checklist. While making the necessary edits, be sure to note any themes or trends that emerge. Your discoveries during this process will prove beneficial as they could be potential indicators for your next career move.

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