Beyond the Resume: What Other Documents Are Essential To Your Career?

Resumes_cover-letter_cvHaving an engaging and professional resume under your belt puts you in a highly beneficial position when it comes to job searching. But many candidates repeatedly assume that a resume alone is enough to secure a role in a competitive marketplace.

But the most successful candidates in the executive space are often the ones who have gone beyond a resume to develop a comprehensive career package that includes a range of documents, all of which can be vital in the job search and interview phase.

While a resume is perhaps the most important document you can invest in over the course of your career, what other documents and materials can also push your career forward and give you a distinct advantage over other, job-seeking candidates?

1. Cover Letters

Cover letters are of utmost important in any job application and many recruiters and employers consider cover letters just as mandatory as resumes. While your resume portrays your experience, it is the cover letter that highlights precisely how your skills and talents relate to the position at hand.

Thus, every cover letter you write must be different. It must be tailored to the specific job you are applying for and it must address the selection criteria or the requirements listed in the job advertisement.

If you simply have a generic cover letter than introduces your basic skills and your reasons for looking for work, you will need to upgrade your document so that it is much more impressive, appealing and competitive.

2. LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn is an extremely powerful job searching tool and today, almost 100% of recruiters and employers are on LinkedIn. Many recruiters and employers also make first contact with new candidates via LinkedIn and use your profile in lieu of a resume.

Hence, your LinkedIn profile carries just as much weight as your paper resume and it should be given the same attention and investment. A pristine LinkedIn profile should be:

  • 100% complete and up-to-date – don’t leave sections blank or with only a small amount of information and detail; also make sure that your work history and skills are updated to the present time
  • Comprehensive and exhaustive, covering all of your skills and experience; unlike a resume, a LinkedIn profile is not targeted at a particular position, so it must emphasises your value in a rounded and all-inclusive way
  • Keyword centric; while you don’t want to become a victim of over-using keywords, including the relevant keywords in your profile will ensure you show up in online search results. If you are unsure of how to use keywords correctly in your profile, talk to a professional resume or profile writer.

3. Selection Criteria Statements

Accurately addressing the selection criteria of any opportunity is one of the most significant tasks in securing a new role. Responses to selection criteria are often used exclusively to shortlist applicants, so your document must be exceptionally relevant and convincingly written if you are to secure an interview.

The key benefit here is that even if a position doesn’t have a formal selection criteria, your application will still stand out if you address the requirements and demands of the job advertisement in the same way. Investing in a worthy selection criteria document also means you can re-use some of that content in your other documents, such as your resume and cover letter.

4. Corporate Biographies

You may not think you need one, but a corporate biography can give you a distinguished edge over other executives.

Corporate biographies are the perfect way to give recruiters a concise, quick look at your professional background and will provide insight into who you are as an executive and what you have accomplished throughout the course of your career.

What should you do with your corporate biography? Your biography can be published anywhere you like; it can be placed on your company website, it can accompany content you write or it can simply form a part of your online profiles and brand.

5. Digital Resumes

A digital resume – which uses images, dialogue and text to present your professional personality to a recruiter – is a creative and innovative tool that will differentiate you from your rivals and give your applications a unique edge.

A digital resume can be a great way to put a ‘face’ with your ‘name’ and give recruiters and employers a more personal introduction to your abilities and talents. A digital resume shows that you can communicate and articulate well and creates the impression that you are truly a refined and forward-thinking executive candidate.

If you decide to invest in a digital resume or CV, you will need to select the services of an experienced and professional company who can guide you through the writing and presentation process and also ensure a highly polished and remarkable final result.

Learn more about how Resumes Australia can help you manage and drive your career through intelligent documentation and winning career strategies.

Regards,

kylie hammond

4 Tips That Will Transform Your Resume in 2013

resumeToday’s high-powered resumes are changing and evolving at a rapid pace. In order to stand out from the crowd, your resume needs to represent your leadership and tactical strengths in a way that is quickly readable, creatively presented and modern.

While there are still many traditional characteristics that work well in resumes, the explosion of new technology is rapidly re-shaping industry demands.

Forcing even the most experienced professionals to re-think the way they present themselves. To get the edge on your job search, here’s how I recommend sprucing up your resume for the year ahead:

1. Highlight Your Social Presence

Savvy job seekers are starting to communicate their unique selling points through social media. Social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter not only provide a way for potential employers to research your qualifications and experience, but also provide you with the opportunity to sell your achievements and reinforce the successes outlined on your resume.

Including links to your LinkedIn or Twitter profiles in your resume can help you come across as a candidate who is keeping up with technology and social media trends. This is even more crucial if your field of expertise exists within the digital industry. To use a social media profile to your advantage, however, you must keep it professional, up-to-date and relevant to your field of expertise.

2.Create Context For Your Skills and Successes

Resume writing is often a challenge in itself and it is important that your resume is not overly functional; a functional resume focuses heavily on skills, rather than emphasising the benefits that your skills can bring (functional resumes only are ideal for graduates, executives changing careers or those who have been out of the workforce for a long time).

When your resume outlines problems you’ve solved and challenges you’ve overcome, your career story and individual value instantly becomes more engaging. For example, you could mention a problem you have faced in the workplace, and what specific skills you utilised to fix the problem and how this brought value to the business.

These types of stories demonstrate how you approach problems and show decisive leadership skills that benefit the company as a whole, rather than simply listing skills and allowing the reader to surmise their own conclusions.

3. Rethink the ‘Objective’

Traditional resume writing techniques have always included an ‘objective’ line that states what your needs are as a job seeker. Objective lines are generally passé and out-dated in today’s recruitment world. Instead, use a headline that highlights the skills and abilities that you can offer to a company based on what you know they are looking for.

4. Flaunt What You’ve Got

If you are the type of executive who participates regularly in the online community, linking to examples of your work can be highly beneficial and can demonstrate to employers exactly the type of results and value you can lend to an organisation.

Personal branding videos, websites, blogs or official publications, for example, can be strong illustrations of the kind of work you do and can create high impact in conjunction with your resume. If you do choose to link to something online, you will need to ensure that it is entirely your work and that it is an exemplary representation of the talents you have to offer.

These tips will all put you on the cutting edge of hiring trends this year and will ensure that you market yourself in a powerful and engaging way. To learn more about Resumes Australia and our resume writing services, visit http://www.resumes-australia.com.au.

Regards,
kylie hammond

Take Your Resume Further with Professional and Social Media

social mediaOver the past year, we’ve heard lots of success stories about people finding employment by utilising professional and social media.

We’ve also heard plenty of negative accounts from job applicants in relation to social media too, about employers and recruiters “spying” on potential candidates via social media channels and demanding private information, like Facebook passwords.

While the paper resume isn’t dead (after all, who is going to hire you simply based on your Twitter tweets?), professional and social media does influence the way we interact – and the way in which recruiters, headhunters and employers develop a further understanding of who you are. Here are my thoughts on the latest professional and social media tools and how they can complement your professional resume, and ultimately increase your chances of employment success.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is, by far, still the most powerful and popular professional networking tool, especially when it comes to finding employment. A well-written and keyword centric LinkedIn profile is highly recommended for every executive. Your profile should also be an accurate reflection of your professional resume, portraying relevant experience and skill sets to attract employers.

Once you have set yourself up on LinkedIn, it is also imperative that you network and promote your talents as much as possible. This includes sharing valuable content, joining groups and discussions, and connecting to people who can influence your career.

Twitter

With over 140 million users worldwide, Twitter is also becoming a hotspot for job seekers. However, the challenge with Twitter is in selling your skills via your 160-character bio and your 140-character tweets (that is, you only have a limited amount of characters for each!). The secret to getting noticed on Twitter is to follow influential people and also tweet relevant, industry-specific information or views that will help you stand out and gain attention.

Of course, you can also utilise Twitter for specific job searches – consider investigating ‘Twit Job Search’ or ‘Twellow’ or searching relevant hashtags (e.g. #jobsearch #Sydney). It can also be helpful to put your professional resume online, and direct future employers and recruiters to your resume to increase your chances of success.

Facebook

Facebook is predominantly viewed as a personal, social networking tool to connect with friends and family. However, some professionals do see Facebook as a valuable job searching resource.

Facebook can be used in a similar way to LinkedIn or Twitter: you can follow businesses, network with others, and connect and market yourself with useful posts. Unlike Twitter, you can write as much as you like. If you choose to incorporate Facebook into your job search strategies, you will need to create a profile for yourself that is as professional as possible. If you already have a Facebook account, consider creating a professional profile that is separate from your personal one. Once again, your Facebook profile should be on a par with your professional resume.

Facebook also launched its Marketplace several years ago, which contains a ‘jobs’ section. In my experience, these listings are ideal for mid-level or start-up candidates but very few jobs are posted there will relate to executive or senior roles.

Google+

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has followed in the footsteps of LinkedIn and Twitter, with connections known as ‘Circles,’ with the primary benefit being that you can divide and categorise your connections into private and professional circles. One of the major advantages of Google+ is that you can also build your personal brand in order to promote your professional image online. This gives executives more flexibility than some of the other social media marketing sites. You can also conduct video-chats with your connections via ‘Hangouts,’ which can be useful in maintaining professional relationships.

Resumes Australia is a leading career coaching and resume writing service for executives.

We can write your executive resume, create your LinkedIn Profile and help you brand your professional image online. Simply get in touch with us today!

Regards,

kylie hammond

LinkedIn: Networking Beyond Your Contacts

LinkedIn NetworkingIn early August, LinkedIn announced that it now has over 175 million members across the globe, with over 3 million of those members being in Australia. Add this to the 2 million Company Pages that exist on the platform, and it becomes clear that LinkedIn is one serious, professional networking tool.
Connecting with colleagues, friends and other professionals via LinkedIn is one of the best benefits of being a member. Yet what happens when you want to network beyond your current contacts?

You might want to get in touch with an industry executive, connect with a potential employer or introduce yourself to a headhunter.

What should you do before you make contact?

1. Refresh Your Profile

Before you start diving into new LinkedIn connections, it’s crucial that your LinkedIn profile is accurate, detailed and up-to-date. Ensure that your work history is included, along with details of your experience, skills, education and any other relevant information. This should align with what you’ve included in your executive resume.

You should also focus on your summary, since this is one of the first things a reader will encounter when reviewing your profile. Use short, succinct sentences, and employ bullet points where possible to highlight your talents and achievements.

2. Have Your Executive Resume Ready

If you make a successful connection with someone outside your network, it is vital to have your executive resume ready, especially if you are seeking additional contacts to progress your career. An outstanding executive resume can create a strong impression, and could lead you to the next career opportunity, while a poorly written resume will have your opportunities dissipating quickly.

Make sure your executive resume is fully updated and adequately reflects your competencies and expertise in relation to your industry. If you are unsure about how what an executive resume should contain, our executive resume writing service can help transform an average resume into a highly effective one that will help you get an interview.

3. Who Are You Contacting?

There are over 3 million people on LinkedIn in Australia and so you will need to be selective about whom you are contacting.

Research is key when it comes to connecting with executives, firstly because you will only want to contact those who can influence your career and secondly, because you will need to know whom it is you’re going to be dealing with.

If you don’t know whom to contact, a good place to begin your research is with employers in your field, or with executive search consultants and or headhunters who specialise in your industry.

4. Decide How To Make Contact

There are many ways to make new connections on LinkedIn, but if you are searching outside your circles, the best way is to make direct contact with someone is through the official mail system, called ‘InMail.’

You will need to purchase InMail credits and use them to send an email to your desired contact (if you don’t receive a response, your InMail credit is returned).

Make sure that you include a detailed but brief introductory note in your InMail message (the same as you would with any email) that effectively describes who you are, your present situation and why you’ve decided to contact this person. Be clear and concise in your message and remember to keep it short – executives are busy and they don’t have time to read one-page emails.

5. What Next?

Once you’ve successfully received a response and made a new connection, it is important to keep the relationship going. Depending on whom you contacted, you could politely request a meeting or offer to send them your executive resume. Alternatively, you may simply choose to join a LinkedIn ‘group’ that your contact belongs to. You can also follow the contact (or their company) on Twitter, Facebook or other networking sites.

Are you ready to make contact?

At Resumes Australia, we specialise in executive resume writing, with the expertise to tailor your executive resume and your LinkedIn profile for the greatest success.

Good luck connecting!
kylie hammond

LinkedIn Establishes New Group Search

linkedin group search“Are you looking for a job? Because I know someone … who knows someone …”

Sound familiar? It should! Like a professional resume, online networking has become one of the key tools in the employment arena. Rather than trawling through job sites or newspapers, many job candidates (not to mention employers and recruiters) are now focusing on digital networking to search for new jobs and advance their careers.

With LinkedIn’s New Group Search, finding a network of like-minded professionals to connect with in your industry has become easier.

Introduced only a few weeks ago, New Group Search allows you to conduct searches across the 1.2 million groups on LinkedIn, to help you find those that are relevant to your employment profile or your professional interests.

So what’s new about it, exactly? Previously, if a user conducted a group search, the search algorithm only sifted through the group titles and descriptions. Instead, New Group Search also adds in the best results based on how well your search matches online conversations. Furthermore, users can actually see, in the search results, if anyone from their current network is a part of their chosen group.

From a candidate’s point of view, LinkedIn’s improvement of the search tool is a positive one, giving users the ability to locate more groups and join more discussions, thereby enhancing their professional profile and connections.

This opens up a realm of possibilities for the job hunter and the opportunity to connect with many more relevant professionals. To put it simply, this is a chance to promote yourself to people in your industry who you might not have previously linked to, and it could potentially set the scene for showing them your professional resume.

New Group Search follows shortly on from the update to the ‘People You May know’ function, which was recently improved to produce more accurate networking suggestions for users, based on their employment history, education and current network.

So What’s Next?

Ensuring you have a professional resume will benefit you greatly. While LinkedIn is fantastic for networking and building your profile, most employers will still probably request a resume from you. Is your professional resume up to scratch?

Did you know that the resume writing and executive resume services at Resumes Australia can rewrite and customise your resume, expertly highlighting your skills, experience and achievements? Contact us today to find out more!

Regards

kylie hammond

Step Up and Be Ready for a Career Change in 2012!

executive resumeWhy You Need Executive Resume Writing and Coaching

It doesn’t seem long ago that joining a company meant you were committing yourself to a life-long career choice and sustainable employment. However we’re now living in a time of fierce business competition on a global scale, which means to stay competitive, companies need to re-examine their operations and reduce costs to be more efficient and profitable.

It’s a fact that today’s employment world is more difficult than in the past. If you read the news, you’ll soon learn that markets are dimming and job advertisements falling. There’s also plenty of information published about the worldwide economic outlook and the impact that this is having on hiring decisions.

With all this doom and gloom published daily, the best solution is to remain positive and be prepared. If you didn’t commit to a New Year’s Resolution for 2012, now is a good time to think about work volatility, risk, and to give yourself a personal job assessment.

Manage Your Career More Effectively
To prevent a career disaster, develop your own career management plan, so you are not caught off guard. Here are my top tips when times are tough, to help you avoid the most common mistakes, and stay ahead:

  • Be prepared for change
  • Learn to adjust quickly to change
  • Start by building a strong professional network today!

Being Prepared for Change
It can be quite confronting thinking about employment change. However, by remembering that “whenever one door closes, another one opens” and by ensuring that all your bases are covered, you’ll be better prepared!

Keep Your Skills Current
This is essential if you want to offer value to a future employer. Also, keep up-to-date with your industry’s certifications, and abreast of trends.

Keep Your Professional Resume Up-to-Date
Be ready at a moment’s notice to apply for a new position and to attend an interview. There’s nothing worse than rushing to make changes to your resume and risk making mistakes.

Learn to Adjust Quickly to Change
Finding positive outcomes, when your career is edging towards insecurity, requires you to be strong. Start by believing in yourself, and you’ll be better positioned to keep your career momentum going. You’ll also be better prepared for change, and able to adapt quickly, if you think positively, avoid over-analysing, and start planning your exit strategy as soon as possible.

Start Building a Strong Professional Network Today!
Be sure your LinkedIn, social media, and career site profiles are up-to-date and an accurate reflection of your current skill set.

If your professional network is limited, get working on it! Build your connections with professional associations, university groups, and former colleagues, to foster relationships that will help you to identify career opportunities.

How Up-to-date Is your LinkedIn Profile and Resume?
Whether you are looking for employment or just thinking about your next career move, now is the perfect time to engage a professional writer to update your LinkedIn profile, professional resume and cover letter. Resumes Australia can help you to showcase your abilities and values to a potential employer.

Resumes Australia has the best resume writers in the country who can help you with a winning Professional Resume and Cover Letter. View our resume writing packages today!

Best Regards

kylie hammond

Is Facebook Set to Reshape the Employment Scene?

facebookOnce upon a time Facebook was considered a personal “play tool” to keep you up-to-date with friends and activities. It was initially viewed as a huge distraction, and a big time waster! Taking a closer look at the world of internet popularity, Facebook now comes in at second place to Google. With over 800 million users, Facebook is no longer a social utility that connects people with friends, it is also about connecting people to work.

While many people say LinkedIn is the first choice for social-media job searches, Facebook members are also finding huge success.

Some of the biggest companies and recruitment agencies now use Facebook to tap into the job market and engage new talent. Millions of people are now also using Facebook as part of their job search strategy to follow companies they are interested in working for.

Getting the Most out of Your Facebook Job Strategy

Here are my top Facebook strategies to help you get the best results in your job search:

1.    Spread the word to your Facebook connections. If you’re searching for new job opportunities, don’t be afraid to ask your Facebook friends if they know of any roles, or if they can refer you to a recruiter or hiring manager.

2.    Expand your social networks with LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure you edit your profile on Facebook to include as much information as possible, and also ensure your LinkedIn profile is current.

3.    Be careful with your privacy settings. Remember that employers do look on Facebook and they will find out more about you. They will also make a judgement based on the image that you portray. If you’re using Facebook for your family and friends only, then make your profile completely private, and create a new profile or page for your professional image. If you are using Facebook to attract recruiters and hiring managers, be careful what you post, and ensure that employers can only locate your professional page!

4.    Join Facebook groups related to your career.

Follow groups and share information. Look for job search resources.

How Up-to-date Is your Corporate Profile and Resume?

Whether you are looking for work on Facebook or LinkedIn, embrace these social media tools, and consider getting a professional writer to update your profile, professional resume and cover letter. Resumes Australia can help you to attract new career opportunities. Our exclusive LinkedIn Profile writing service is designed to get you noticed. Once you have this completed, you can use snippets of it elsewhere so that you maintain a consistent and professional profile online.

Rgds

kylie hammond

LinkedIn News – Volunteer Work Makes You More Employable!

linkedin profileAnnounced this week by LinkedIn, you can now add your volunteerwork,and the causes you are most passionate about, to support your LinkedIn profile.

You may be thinking that your volunteer contributions are irrelevant to job search or that this new LinkedIn feature is pretty small in the grand scheme of Social Media job networking? Read more of this post

Power Your Career with LinkedIn

linkedin profileOne of the most rewarding aspects of my job as an Executive Career Coach is helping people reach their full potential. So often candidates are on the verge of success but don’t have the background or know-how to showcase their skills and abilities in a way that is relevant to today’s tough job market.

Relationship building is the most relevant way to explore the many career choices and opportunities available to you. There are now over 100 million professionals who use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and career opportunities, giving you access to the largest audience of influential professionals worldwide.

Read more of this post

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