Friday, April 4, 2014

Resume Tips

In honor of the Game of Thrones Season 4 premier, I'll be tweeting resume tips all weekend - Game of Thrones style ;)  

Follow me @Natasha_29

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mini Rant: Buzzwords - Just Stop It Already

You are not a guru or ninja, so just to just stop it already. It may have been cute a few years ago for the first five people who used these terms.  The people that thought of them were creative, but when most people start adding these "buzzwords" to their LinkedIn profiles or resumes it gets annoying and truly does not add any value.  It's not important, it's not creative, and it doesn't mean anything so just don't include it.

What are some buzzwords that you can't stand?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Negotiating Pay

Money can be such a touchy subject and is always uncomfortable. I have talked about negotiating before, in this article. Make sure you do your research, find out how much people with your job title make, and make sure it's area specific. I highly recommend using,, and Google searches.

When asked about what you're willing to make, stick to professional reasons, including the amount of experience and education you have, the requirements of the job, and average pay for this kind of role. Do NOT, under any circumstance, use your financial situation as reasoning. Your bills/debt/etc should never be discussed with your potential employer, and could easily work against you.

Its always a good idea to negotiate, and if you're consistent with the numbers you give, you won't come across as greedy. For example, in discussions, if you always say you're looking for $75-85k and they make you an offer of $70k, it's perfectly acceptable to say, "Thank you, i'm extremely interested in this position and think I can make a big impact, however, I really can't accept anything less than $75k."

If they stand firm, then you can say something like, "Well I understand, but maybe we can be creative about the $5k difference. Perhaps extra vacation time or a sign-on bonus".

It's not your place to be grateful you were made an offer, it's your place to make sure this is a mutually benefiting partnership between you and the employer.

Have you negotiated your salary before? Let me know your story in the comments!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do You Love Your Job?

The vast majority of people are not happy at work.  According to the latest Gallup Poll from October 2013, "87% of workers are emotionally disconnected from their workplace".  While the numbers are better in the U.S., there's still a huge population unhappy with their work.  So what do you do?  People spend more waking hours at work than at home, that's more time with your coworkers and boss than friends and family.

You should enjoy what you do for a living, and if you don't, you should think about making a change.

  • Think about what tasks or activities you do that you really enjoy.
  • What things do you absolutely hate to do?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?  I know it's an annoying interview question, but think of it this way: what type of work do you want to be doing? Are you a numbers person or a people person, or both?  Do you enjoy interacting with others?  Do you like working on your set tasks or do you prefer working on tons of projects?  These answers will help steer you towards a job you'd actually enjoy
  • What type of company do you want to work for?  Fortune 500, medium/small business, start-up?
  • What about industry?  Is there a specific sector you're interested in or passionate about? 
You don't have to have all the answers now, but thinking about these things will help get you started, because no one should stay in a job they hate.  If you're ready to find something new, dust off your resume, look at job boards, and talk to your network to see what kinds of jobs are out there.

What do you do to stay engaged at work?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dates on a Resume

Dates on a resume are very important and something that EVERY employer looks at. They want to see how much experience you have and if you have any gaps in employment. This is one of the reasons why I don't like functional resumes, they don't show what position you gained your skill at and how many years of experience you have.

Graduation dates:Unless you're straight out of college and starting your career, I would typically recommend leaving graduation years off. They're a clever way for employer's to guess your age, which they don't need to know.  Another reason to include those dates would be to account for job hoping or a gap in employment while going to school.

"Degree - University Name, Year"

Employment dates:Include them, period. Months and years to and from preferably.  This should be for each position you've had and need to be consistent throughout your resume.  Don't use years for one job, and months/years for another, keep the formatting uniform.

"Title: Company Name, Location. MM/YY - MM/YY"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mini Rant: How to Not Get a Job (Full Voice Mailbox)

Okay so here's the thing if you're looking for a job, your resume is out on job boards, and you're talking to potential employers and companies: clear your mailbox!

One of the most frustrating things as a recruiter is contacting candidates and not being able to reach them because I can't leave a voice-mail. Delete your old voice-mails and listen to the new ones so you know who's calling you and you can return calls for job opportunities.

There is absolutely no reason to have a full voice mailbox is especially if you're already talking to potential employers and need to hear back from people. This prevents you from getting a job in many situations because time is everything in your job search and you can lose out to another candidate very quickly. There's absolutely no reason to have a full voice mailbox when it's on your phone and you can literally press one-button to delete the message.

What are your pet peeves when dealing with recruiters? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shine and Graphical Resumes

While technology has grown at light speed over the past several years, resumes haven't changed much in the past several decades.  They can be boring and plain, but when you try to make yours unique and interesting, it gets rejected.  Graphical resumes and apps like Shine by Boluga, might look awesome, but they aren't generally accepted by recruiters and hiring managers.

If you are in graphic design or some kind of artist, you may be able to do a lot more than the average Administrative Assistant or Operations Manager.  However, to the average person looking for an office job: do not use graphics.  They take up room that can be used to show your skills and experience, and don't add anything of value to your resume.  And please, for all that you consider holy, do not use multiple colors on a resume.  It is distracting, tacky, and will be changed before it is ever seen by a hiring manager.  Maybe the HR/Recruiting industry will catch up to technology one day, but they are slow to do so.  For now, if you want to use graphics I would recommend one or two and sticking to black, maybe navy blue.

Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are on graphical resumes or what ways you make your resume stand out :)