Increase your competitive edge and open doors to opportunities.
A winning resume is aesthetically pleasing, concise, and written well. An effectively crafted resume performs better than those that have too much content, grammatical errors, bad layout and poor execution. It is quite a skill to write a winning one and requires a lot of talent, research, time and effort. Most people do not have the time or writing skills to write their own resume.
I specialize in writing powerful resumes and offer a common sense method to identify your transferable skills and provide professional writing. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile will help you leverage the professional relationships you already have.
About Sue Swinger-Ellbogen
Professional business writer with twenty-five years experience as a supply chain executive, working for Levi Strauss & Co, Nautlius, Inc. and Alberto Culver/Unilever. Creative writer and published author of young adult novels.
1. Complimentary critique of your current resume?no charge.
2. Resume writing?Questionnaires and guidelines to help you identify transferable and marketable skills. Sliding scale.
3. LinkedIn Optimization?Assistance in getting your LinkedIn profile set up professionally and efficient in the specific fields that are used by search engines and recruiters. Sliding scale.
By Sue Swinger-Ellbogen
A Winning Resume
You?ve applied for a job and sent in your current resume but are not hearing back from any of the companies. You tweak your resume and send out more but still no response. One month, two months, three months pass and still no calls.
The simple truth is that applying for a job is hard work and has many uncertainties. Whether the company you are targeting is small or large, certain principles hold true.
1. Your first goal is to get a call back / telephone interview.
2. The next goal is to get a face-to-face interview.
3. Last, become a front runner for the position.
You will feel better about yourself and your options if you can start to get responses to your resume. You will know that you are being noticed and have an opportunity to get yourself seen and heard physically.
Every telephone screening call motivates you to keep trying. If the screening call leads to an actual interview, you get really pumped up. If the interview does not lead to a job, you are still motivated because your resume worked once and will again.
One of the best ways to get noticed is to have a professional resume. Simply writing your own resume is not as easy as it used to be, the competition is too great. Additionally, companies do not have the resources to spend time reviewing individual resumes. Many scan them electronically looking for key attributes and dismiss a larger percentage of resumes immediately. Research shows that recruiters spend an average of six seconds on each resume.
A key mistake that people make in writing their own resume is simply listing skills, experiences and qualifications. Potential employees are looking for more results, transferrable skills, measurements or how efficiently you work in a team for example. In other words, they want to know what you can do for them, so it if important for you to show how you add value.
A resume is a picture of you in a professional environment and you may need a professional writer to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
The benefit of hiring a writer is that they are skilled at targeting the employer?s interests. They present your skills in a way that the necessary information is quickly visible.
Invest in your future; it will not guarantee a job, but it will increase your odds for success. Remember you have one chance to make a first impression and it starts with your resume.
By Sue Swinger-Ellbogen
NOTE: See Below for Tips and Tools for Job Search, Resume Writing, LinkedIn Profile and Interviewing.
Tips and Tools for Applying for Jobs
These tips are designed to help the job seeker create a competitive edge in their job search. If
you need help with any of these steps contact me.
1. My recommendation is to have one resume that covers the depth and breath of your experience. It helps to keep you focused and not fragmented bouncing between resumes. The professional summary section of your resume can be tweaked based on the job description your are pursuing. Keep reading.
2. Print the job description and highlight the buzzwords. If you need help identifying them, let me know.
3. Review your resume and make sure you have most if not all of the buzzwords on the job description listed in your summary, assuming you have those skills.
4. Identify the primary job description i.e. Sales, Marketing, IT, SAP, Supply Chain, etc.
5. Make sure your resume has that primary descriptor multiple times in your executive summary. I can help you reword the summary to expand on this.
6. Track your resumes that are posted or submitted by creating a list and unique name if you have multiple resumes posted to job boards. Very embarrassing to show up at an interview or have a telephone interview with the wrong resume in hand.
7. Be very careful when you fill out an online application. Any mistake could throw your application out. Allow time to complete the application because if you leave to answer the phone or check email, the site could time-out before you are finished. The system may not let you back in without your ID and password, which you may not have gotten completed. Can be very frustrating.
8. Develop a list of multiple success stories detailing HOW you accomplished EACH achievement listed on your resume. Make sure each story correlates to a buzzword in the job description. If it does not relate, skip that story.
9. View your resume and success stories as a PowerPoint presentation with the resume being the slideshow and the success stories are your notes backing up the resume. Tell about HOW you would put a process in place, for example, that led to the resulting achievement noted on the resume. These examples will be helpful for you during an interview.
10. Make sure your resume has no typos and no sentimental statements like "Love to work for your company"; keep it strictly professional. Even if your resume is professionally done you have a responsibility to double-check the work and own all the statements.
Sue Swinger-Ellbogen 11-10-2014
Tools for Job Seekers
1. Recruiters can see all resumes posted on the Boards like CareerBuilder, Ladders, InDeed, Monster, Craig’s List, LinkedIn, DICE, etc., so make good use of the Boards.
2. Keep your resumes current by doing something every two weeks; any activity, adding a project or changing a date on the resume will result in recruiters viewing again.
3. Take advantage of all social media to connect with one person at each company you are targeting.
4. Check out the company website, look at the size of the company, find the name of the hiring manager, who’s in charge and determine how to approach.
5. Ask your connections for information regarding the hiring manager for the position you are seeking.
6. Important to list on resume and LinkedIn: school, sorority, field of study, function, company size.
7. Make connections on LinkedIn and Tweeter. Recruiters look at number of connections you have.
8. Fill out online applications very carefully; the system will kick you out if not done correctly and with no notification to you.
9. Put months on your resume so recruiter can accurately determine how many months you spent with that job.
10. Put dashes in between the phone number digits.
11. Repeat critical/key words often like non-profit or engineering.
12. Group words together like buyer and procurement /procure, accounts receivable manager and accounting manager, demand planning and inventory management (Boolean search)
13. Searches populate every Sunday on Boards and are pushed to professional recruiters.
14. A typical candidate pool will be 5-10 people.
15. Recruiters look at Consumer Packaged Goods companies like Nestle, Kraft, Wrigley, etc for people with Walmart experience.
16. ‘Book of Lists’ is the Bible for recruiters and headhunters. The Book of Lists gives you essential information on the leading buyers, businesses and employers in over 60 of the U.S.'s most dynamic markets; a fee is required.
Career Building Tips and Tools
Research shows that 87% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, so if you are not making proper use of your profile you are wasting a valuable asset.
Each segment in LinkedIn can be used strategically to reinforce your brand and expertise.
Start by making sure you have a Header that highlights your primary skills, title, experience and credibility. Your Headline is your most visible branding statement. Aggressively position yourself for relevant job opportunities in your desired field.
See the difference in the two headers below:
Sue Swinger-Ellbogen: Señor Manager Customer Logistics at Alberto Culver/Unilever Company
Sue Swinger-Ellbogen: Management Consulting | Customer Supply Chain | Logistics | Process Improvement | Transportation | Retailer Compliance | EDI | Bar Codes | Performance Measures | Logistics and Supply Chain
It is imperative to keep your resume and LinkedIn profile up-to-date in this fast-changing environment.
Reminder: I offer a refresher to your resume and LinkedIn profile for all my clients annually. Refresher would mean changing a word or line; if your resume needs an overhaul, we will discuss
Tips and Tools for Interviewing
Being prepared for your interview sounds logical and intuitive, but many people fail because they have not prepared properly. First of all, do not assume that the hiring manager has read your resume. Sometimes we feel that an interview is to go over questions that are not covered on your resume because we assume that the hiring manager has read your resume carefully. This is often, not the case. Many managers do not want to make decisions prematurely or they are simply too busy to focus on every resume. You have made it through the HR process and most likely a telephone screening. Now you have to sell yourself to the actual hiring manager.
- Create two success stories for each of your accomplishments listed on the resume. Write them down and note the key words in BOLD at the top of each story—problem-solving, communication, innovation, negotiation, etc. This will help to bring stories to mind during the interview.
- Make sure you can speak to every accomplishment listed on your resume.
- Review the job description and make note of the key words—sales, motivation, relationships, planning, finances, etc.
- Highlight your resume with these key words.
- Make sure your success stories use these words.
- Read your resume out loud.
- Practice answering questions with a colleague, friend or spouse.
- Take constructive criticism if given.
- Don’t be shy.
- Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer; after all, you are trying to determine if you want to work for this company too.
- Make sure to research the company, note their mission statement and mention it in the interview at the appropriate place.
- Work with someone to make sure that you have all the tough questions answered easily and calmly—like being fired, why did you leave this job, what are your long-term goals (this is often used for older candidates), etc.
- Be early. Make sure you have made a test drive to the location and know where to park, where the entrance is, etc. This will help to keep you calm.
- Take a notebook or legal pad to jot down long questions.
- Take several fresh copies of your resume; one for each person interviewing you and for yourself. Make sure this resume is the one you sent in to this company.
- Be bold. Ask the hiring manager if he had time to read your resume. If not or the answer is vague, be prepared to review your most recent job accomplishment.
- Make sure to call out any major accomplishment that may be a few years back on your resume to be sure that it is noted.
- Make it easy for your interviewer. Call out any anomalies or gaps in the resume and speak to them upfront.
- www.sueswingerellbogen.com has a list of tips and tools under Resume Writing. Aways contact me if you need help with job searches or referrals or interviewing. I am happy to work with you on any of these topics.
- Fee-based services that I have worked with: ExecuNet—www.execunet.com, RiteSite—www.ritesite.com
- Boards to post on: CareerBuilder, Ladders, Indeed, and Craig’s List.
- Check resumes every two to four weeks and make slight changes so that resume is refreshed. Example: June, 2014 to Jun, 2014. You can repeat this changing or adding the months, abbreviating the month, etc.
- Make sure your online applications are filled out correctly with no typos. Even if you resume is professionally done; it is your responsibility to double-check the work and make sure context is accurate and there are no typos.