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Tips To Get Your Resume Noticed

The effects of Covid-19 on the job market haven’t abated in 2021, with unemployment rates in the U.S. still soaring at 6.3%. Like many HR professionals, I’m trying to help people in my network during this pandemic. This includes career guidance, resume reviews, facilitating connections and providing insight on successfully negotiating offers. I’ve done this once before when having to scale down a company, and the common thread I’ve realized after reviewing these resumes is that there is a disconnect between what people include in their resumes and what recruiters are looking for. HR professionals have an inside understanding of what recruiters and hiring managers consider an effective resume, and often, that clashes with what they find on a profile of even the most qualified candidates. 

When drafting a stellar resume, the objective is twofold: get your contributions noticed within seven seconds — the average time a recruiter spends on scanning a profile — and get keywords picked up by an applicant tracking system (ATS). Your goal is to optimize for that time and content. The quicker it is for a recruiter to find what they’re looking for, the easier it is for you to stand out and get an interview. My advice below is for anyone looking to spruce up their resume and enter the job market. 

1. Less Is More 

I don’t necessarily mean reduce your text — unless your resume is longer than two pages. I’m suggesting that your words should speak volumes. Use the precious real estate on your resume effectively and convey what you did and how that reflects on what you want to do next.

Remove the fluff recruiters skip through to get to the heart of your resume: your actual work. It’s common knowledge in HR that no one really reads your summary, objectives or hobbies; recruiters can tell from your title, responsibilities and achievements whether you’d be a good fit for the role. It all boils down to quality versus quantity; strong work content and results always make it easier for recruiters to notice you.  

2. Metrics Are Your Friends 

A strong resume should reflect your results in previous roles and the easiest way to do this is to showcase metrics. Quantifiable success in your roles helps recruiters and hiring managers assess the impact you had at your previous company and therefore the potential you’ll bring to this new role.

This may be slightly difficult for non-revenue generating roles (e.g., people ops) but in most cases, your contributions should have directly impacted departmental or company objectives and key results (OKRs) and that should be added to your profile. When listing responsibilities and achievements, I recommend having bullet points in an action-and-result format, supported by compelling quantitative data. 

3. Leadership Rules 

This may sound a bit unorthodox if you’re not technically a “leader,” but if you’ve ever worked directly with leadership in your company, that in itself can be an impressive skill. Many companies look for this and explicitly state so in their job descriptions, even for junior positions. Not everyone has the opportunity to work with executives in their roles, and those of us who have wholly understand the level of professionalism, communication, expertise and finesse that’s necessary to do so.

Alternatively, if you have had direct leadership experience, semantics is everything. Replace words like “demonstrated” or “coordinated” with “led” or “spearheaded.” Especially if you're applying within the tech industry, those words have more resonance and will show ownership over your work.

Lastly, it’s becoming increasingly common in interviews for leadership candidates to showcase their citizenship milestones. This can include efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); employee resource groups (ERGs); and anything else that creates sustainable value for shareholders and stakeholders alike. So even if you think all of that isn’t relevant for the role, it’s still relevant for empathetic and servant leaders, and we can all use more of those. 

4. Jack- Or Jane-Of-All-Trades 

Being the Jane- or Jack-of-all-trades is common for many young professionals, especially when you’re working with startups. While many people believe this can be a liability to their career, I think it adds layers of depth to their experience, especially when they’re just starting out. It’s easy to forget that in many companies, a COO can cover HR, legal, finance and sometimes even sales and marketing.

If you’re just starting out or looking to break into a new field, consider all the things you’ve done that apply to what you’re looking for next. Sometimes there will be a correlation between the roles. Keep in mind, this is different from jumping around in different verticals in your career, which can be a liability if you’ve done it too many times. 

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly 

I have to constantly remind myself that not everything I do will yield positive results or impacts. I had to, not once but twice, significantly downsize entire workforces. While this will always be an unfavorable experience, it’s made me a more well-rounded HR professional. Negative or difficult situations you’ve faced fortify your skills and build resilience. Even though you may think your negative experience is embarrassing and won’t add value to your resume, this can stand out for recruiters. It’s even likely the hiring manager will ask you about difficult situations, how you mitigated them and the end result(s), so don’t be shy about some of the challenging and arduous parts of your roles that didn't have a positive outcome. 

We’ve all been affected by the current health and economic crises, whether we understand it or not. For everyone currently job hunting, it’s easy to get discouraged but the right role is out there that suits your needs and experience. While the job market and interview experience vary for everyone, having a well-written and succinct resume can help you get noticed out of thousands of applicants. So even if you’ve just joined the professional world or you haven’t interviewed in over a decade, a strong resume can be the key to landing your next dream job.

Written by Forbes

4 tips for negotiating your first salary when you have zero industry experience

Just 38 percent of recent graduates negotiate their salary upon receiving a job offer, according to personal finance site NerdWallet. That’s despite three-quarters of employers saying they typically have room to increase their first salary offer by 5 to 10 percent.

College and career coach Kat Cohen says that despite fear around negotiations, recent graduates must do a better job at confidently asking for the pay they deserve. After all, 84 percent of employers say an entry-level candidate will not be putting their job offer at risk by negotiating their pay, according to NerdWallet.

Below, Cohen, along with financial journalist and author Jennifer Streaks, share with CNBC Make It four tips that can help young professionals negotiate their first salary.

1. Do your research

In addition to using sites like PayScale and, Cohen and Streaks say recent graduates should use their friends, mentors and colleagues as resources for determining their pay.

“If you have friends in a similar industry, use them,” says Cohen, who is the CEO and founder of educational consulting firm IvyWise. “You don’t have to ask them exactly what their salary is, but you can ask something like, ‘What’s a competitive salary for an entry level graphic designer position in New York?’”

Aside from using your peers as a resource, Cohen says your college career center can provide guidance because it often has useful data on entry-level jobs in various industries.

Streaks says once you’ve exhausted these resources and gathered an idea of what your pay range should be, you want to be sure to negotiate a salary that is at least in the middle of the two figures.

“If the range is $50,000-$70,000 you don’t want to be at $52,000,” says Streaks, “because that can set the tone for how much you get paid down the road.”

2. Look beyond salary

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that benefits account for roughly 31 percent of your compensation package. That’s why Cohen and Streaks say you should look at more than just your salary when entering a negotiation.

“You should look at compensation holistically,” says Cohen. “This means reviewing the retirement savings, paid time off, commuter benefits and whatever other benefits are offered.”

She says that in some cases, such as with tuition reimbursement, your benefits can actually help to cut down your monthly payments on a bill. In this situation, Cohen says, it should not be a deal breaker if a company can’t increase its salary offer.

3. Don’t undervalue your past experiences

No one expects a recent graduate to come out of college with years of professional work experience. But, employers are looking for candidates who hold a certain level of skills, expertise and knowledge. Cohen says that’s why it’s important for young professionals to not undervalue the work they did in school.

“If you had internships or volunteer experiences, then you need to explain them,” says Cohen. “Make sure that every component of your job application, from the resume to the interview, is highlighting those experiences and be as specific as possible when referencing your skills and abilities.”

Before an interview, young people should write out the things that set them apart from their competition, she says. Brainstorming these qualities, she says, will help you answer confidently. Those lines will also “serve as a reminder of what you’re bringing to the table.”

4. Don’t make it personal

Before your negotiation meeting, Cohen says, you should practice your approach in the mirror or with a friend so that you’re better equipped for the real conversation.

“Rehearse what you will say and how you will say it,” she says. “And be sure to avoid discussing any personal financial concerns like student loan payments and rent. Instead, focus on the professional aspects that make you worth the salary you’re asking for.”

Cohen and Streaks agree that negotiations are never easy, but they say it’s important for you to know that employers are eager to hire you so the ball is in your court once an offer is made.

“When you come to a company, everything like raises and bonuses are based off what you negotiate so that is why the beginning is so important,” says Streaks, author of “Thrive Affordably.” “You help set that up. So, while you may not have five or six years of work experience, there are other things that you may bring to the company that you need to emphasize.”

Written by Cnbc

What to know before signing an employment contract

Contracts may bore you to tears, but they are crucial to your career.

Give all employment contract items a thorough review.

Depending on your experience level and industry, your next job offer may come with a lengthy employment contract that you’re asked to sign. While your prospective employer might pass it off as a formality, you never want to just skim and sign anything without delving into the details.

“The excitement of getting hired and starting right away is great, but there are a few things you must look out for before signing on the dotted lines,” affirms Elaine Varelas, managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career- and talent-management services firm.

Most important is making sure you’ve taken the time to give all contract items a thorough review, and when in doubt, have an attorney weigh in.

To help you understand what you might be signing, here are some important elements that might appear in an employment contract.

Is it even a contract?

For almost every job offer, you can likely expect some sort of memorialization of your terms, such as how much and when you get paid, or the bonus structure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a contract, says Michael Elkins, an attorney with Bryant Miller Olive, P.A., specializing in employment disputes. “A contract is something that has stated beginning and ending dates and has some very specific provisions relative to termination—we tend to see these types of contracts with higher-level executives,” he explains.

The general rule is that, absent something in writing, most employees are “at will.” That essentially means an employer can fire you at any time for any reason—or no reason at all—excluding for discriminatory reasons, of course. At will also means you (the employee) can quit your job for any reason or no reason at all.

Know your state law

One last thing before getting into the employment contract nitty-gritty: You’ll need to know which state governs your agreement, says Varelas. “In New York State, if you leave before you finish 12 months, the employer doesn’t need to pay your accrued vacation time? Yet this isn’t the case in Massachusetts,” she says. Do some research to understand how state law might dictate (or override) the terms of your contract. 

The length of the employment contract

Contracts always have a set term, but you should be aware of what will happen when the term ends. Some will also have auto renewal provisions, says Elkins. “Some have a one-way renewal. Some have a joint renewal. Some have no renewal. It depends on what the employer/employee wants,” he says. “If there is a contract end date, it should trigger a careful review of how it renews.”

If your contract is evergreen, meaning that it automatically renews, just be aware that if you wish to renegotiate anything, you should begin that discussion well before the term expires.

Job security

Some employees have a contract that dictates the specific ways they can be terminated. “That’s a ‘just cause provision,’ such as if you breach the contract, or are not performing your duties,” says Elkins.

As for what to look for, Elkins says you want to avoid quirky things such as automatic termination clauses. “Most employees will never agree to that. You want there to be some notice and that they have to give you an opportunity to make corrections,” he says. In other words, look for language that specifies that both parties must give 60 days’ notice (or some other set time) before terminating the contract.

About the bucks

The good news is that your base salary and how/when you’ll be paid is usually straightforward. However, once you get into signing bonuses and commission, things can get complex.

“Ideally, you would like the structure to be as simple as possible, and you should understand it,” says Elkins. It should be clearly spelled out not only how much you will get paid, but also when. For instance, if you earn commission on sales, do you get paid at the point of sale or when the client actually pays?

Also, confirm what happens to outstanding commissions/bonuses should you leave the job. “Ask your future employer if you have to be employed when bonuses are paid out, and not just through the year when they were earned,” says Varelas.

Your side hustle

In these gig economy times, it’s likely that you may do some side work, so be sure to see if there are any restrictions on outside work in your contract. “You want to look for provisions that may restrict or prohibit your ability to have a side hustle,” says Elkins. “You won’t see a lot of, ‘You can only work for us,’ since it’s antiquated. But you will see, ‘You can’t be in conflict with us.’”

Non-compete clause

Many contracts contain a non-compete clause, which basically says that if you leave the job, you can’t go work for a competitor for a set amount of time. This is one area in which state law can come into play regardless of what the contract says.

“It’s tremendously important to know that every state is different. In some states, you can’t have a non-compete at all; and in some states, you can have them and enforce them, but there are limits,” says Elkins.

For example, in Florida, there has to be a legitimate business interest to support the non-compete, such as if the company has proprietary information that can’t otherwise be found on the open market. And the non-compete also has to be reasonable to geographic scope and time, so it can’t limit you from working for others forever, or in any location around the globe.

“From a practical standpoint, employers sometimes have people sign non-competes as a scare tactic even if they won’t hold up in court,” says Elkins. “But if you have to fight it one day, you will have to get a lawyer and that will get expensive, so think about that before you sign a non-compete.”

Ownership changes

Another employment contract provision to consider is what happens to your contract if the company is acquired or sold? “If you think there might be a sale, which is pretty important if you’re at tech companies, you want to make sure your contract can’t be terminated,” says Elkins. Or, he adds, there might be a buyout provision that says in the event of a sale, the new owner has to provide some sort of offer to you if you’re not kept on.

Negotiate before you sign

No matter what an employment contract looks like when you get it, it’s well within your rights to request some changes before signing. In fact, employers expect that you will. “More seasoned employees often push back on things like non-competes, bonus payments (when they’re due and how they’re due), and more,” says Elkins.

The bottom line? Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of a new job opportunity that you don’t review all the paperwork for your benefits agreement and in your employment contract. “Details count and can cost you significant money in the future,” says Varelas.

Be smarter with your career

An employment contract may bore you to tears, but it's crucial to your career. These 10 considerations are by no means an exhaustive list, and there are innumerable state and local variations in employment law. Want to learn more ways you can stay on top of your career? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you'll get career advice and job search tips sent directly to your inbox to teach you the ins and outs of the (complex) workforce. Knowledge is power, whether you're an entry-level employee or CEO with a corner office.

Written by Monster

6 Differences Between An Internship and Apprenticeship

1. Internship programs outnumber apprenticeships

Apprenticeships aren’t as common in the U.S. as they are in Europe, but there are a number of ones you can apply for. Often they are geared toward highly skilled technical jobs in areas such as engineering or construction. Other popular trades where you can find apprenticeships include carpentry, plumbing, electrical and telecommunications. Internships, on the other hand, are readily available for most college students through their school or university and are often generalized rather than specified for a particular trade.

 2. Apprenticeships are longer term

When it comes to an intership, most people either do it for a semester or summer and then move on to the next one or get hired full-time. With an apprenticeship, it can take years to complete and requires a full-time commitment. While there are programs that last only a year, many are multi-year in length. “Internships are generally shorter and don’t have any classroom instruction attached to it,” says John Ladd, administrator, Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor. “An intern gets work experience and an apprentice gets more than just work experience.”

3. The pay is greater than with an internship

Apprenticeships are highly competitive, and one of the main reasons is because you get paid while you learn. While you won’t be banking six figures in year one of your apprenticeship, you are going to earn more than with an internship. Often internships give you college credits, a small stipend or something to add to your resume, where an apprenticeship gives you a salary you can live off. “The difference with an apprenticeship versus other types of training is it’s directly tied to paid employment,” says Jeff Vincent, the National Training Fund Director for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).

4. Apprenticeships give you hands on training

Anyone who has completed an internship knows you aren’t going to have too much responsibility. Yes, you’ll get to see how the marketing department works or how a newsroom operates, but chances are you won’t be creating a marketing campaign or publishing a news article. An apprenticeship, on the other hand, gives you real on the job training in the profession you will eventually work in. “The whole deal is your seeing what you are doing for the rest of your career,” says Vincent.

5. Classroom training is tied to the apprenticeship

Internships are a great way to get exposure to corporate America and to beef up your resume, but typically what you learn during your stint with a company isn’t going to be taught in the classroom. This isn't the case with an apprenticeship. “A key piece of an apprenticeship is that your classroom instruction relates to your occupation,” says Ladd. “You get a combination of classroom and on the job training and you’re getting paid.”

6. You’ll come out of the apprenticeship with a job

In a perfect world, you would complete an internship in your senior year of college and then get a full time offer from the employer you have been working for, but that’s not always the case. In many cases, your internship won’t get you that foot in the door. However, an apprenticeship will. Since the employer is sponsoring you and spending the time to teach and train you, you are almost guaranteed to have a good paying job once you complete the program. “When you complete an internship you don’t have anything at the end that says I’m ready,” says Ladd. “When you complete an apprenticeship you’ve earned the certificate that says I’m fully proficient to do the job.”

Written by Glassdoor blog

15 Positions in a Company: Job Titles and Responsibilities

From large companies and corporations to small businesses and startups, there are many different positions in a company. As you embark upon your career path, it’s important to prepare to navigate this sort of organizational structure no matter what you end up doing. L

5 Executive-Level Positions in a Company

Executive or C-suite employees run companies at the highest possible level. Learn more about these five C-level executive job titles and their duties:

  1. Chief executive officer: The CEO has authority over all other employees at a company. All other C-suite executives and their teams report back to the CEO. Sometimes, the chief executive officer is a member of the board of directors—an elected body of stakeholders that own large portions of stock in a given company—or the sole business owner. Other times, the CEO merely works for the owner or the board. 
  2. Chief financial officer: The CFO oversees all the financial dealings of a company and reports to the CEO as well as the chairman of the board. It takes years of experience in accounting, management, and plenty of relevant education (exemplified by certifications or advanced degrees) to obtain a senior management position as chief financial officer
  3. Chief information officer: The CIO oversees all the computer–related information technology for a company. As a senior vice president or chief officer at a company, the CIO reports directly to the CEO (or president) while managing a team of IT managers and specialists. 
  4. Chief marketing officer: The CMO oversees all decision-making for the marketing department. Under the leadership of the chief marketing officer, various marketing specialists and managers implement social media strategies, digital marketing campaigns, and advertising efforts. 
  5. Chief operations officer: The COO oversees all business operations at a company as a senior manager. As the supreme daily operations manager, they work with middle managers (especially project managers and office managers) as well as fellow C-suite employees to ensure day-to-day processes operate at maximum efficiency. 

5 Management-Level Positions in a Company

The executive team oversees a litany of managers and assistant managers. Here are five likely positions in a company you might find on the middle management team:

  1. Human resources manager: Though some companies might have a dedicated chief human resources officer (CHRO), others will likely have an HR manager report to the COO. HR managers ensure every employee receives adequate training and onboarding and has an avenue to raise concerns about their workplace. Those in human resource management might also oversee recruiters. 
  2. Information technology manager: An IT manager likely reports to the CIO or CTO. One IT manager might oversee cybersecurity, while another might specifically run internal networks for the business. 
  3. Marketing manager: With the CMO serving as their general manager, marketing managers run individual marketing departments. One might supervise a dedicated public relations marketing team, whereas another marketing manager might oversee a team of SEO-specific marketing specialists. 
  4. Product manager: It’s the responsibility of a product manager to oversee the development and improvement of products within businesses, whether that encompasses goods, services, or both. 
  5. Sales manager: This team leader ensures sales representatives meet their quotas, improve their sales pitches, and operate as ideal company ambassadors. A sales manager also oversees strategic planning for broader, long–term sales goals. 

5 Operational-Level Positions in a Company

Operational-level positions present a valuable leg up into any given industry for entry-level or new employees. Consider these five job titles and their professional duties:

  1. Administrative assistant: Sometimes also known as executive assistants, administrative assistants organize and plan the schedules of managerial or executive-level staff. They might just report to their immediate supervisors or to a chief administrative officer as well. 
  2. Bookkeeper: Businesses need people to keep track of their financial status at a granular level—that’s where a bookkeeper steps in. These accounting professionals can eventually climb the levels of management to become CFOs in their own right someday. 
  3. Business analyst: Companies benefit from internal analysis to see how they can improve processes. Business analysts work with COOs and the departments under their supervision to encourage business development on all fronts. 
  4. Sales representative: These professionals are on the front lines, representing a company day in and day out. Working as a salesperson requires strong skills in networking and persuasion in addition to perseverance. 
  5. Software engineer: These programmers design new software for companies, improve existing programs, and provide quality assurance for any upcoming initiatives developed in code. Software engineers can climb the ranks to become CTOs or even CEOs over time.

Written by Masterclass