Why Career Objectives Are Outdated

Career ObjectivesThe concept and history of the Career Objective is an interesting one; while it was once considered an integral part of an executive resume or CV, Career Objectives are now often viewed as an unnecessary and outdated practice that adds no value to your resume document. Why is this?

The History of the Career Objective

In more traditional recruitment times, a Career Objective was thought to be useful for candidates to communicate their career goals and to explain how their skills and experience could contribute to a given organisation.

Some employers also argued that a Career Objective was a way for them to quickly see whether the candidate was the ‘right’ person for the job and to confirm that the candidate was committed to the role long term.

However, over time, Career Objectives have lost a lot of credence, mostly because they are very limiting in nature and because they are usually poorly composed by candidates.

What many employers also discovered was that there was very little room for candidates to justify or elaborate on their supposed talents in the Career Objective.

Many candidates also used the career objective to tell the employer what they wanted to hear or to simply repeat what they had read in the job advertisement.

Why You Shouldn’t Include a Career Objective

When you apply for a job, a Career Objective does very little to convince the employer you are the best person for the job. Most of the time, the reader will simply skim over or ignore your objective and skip straight to the nitty-gritty details of your experience.

A Career Objective is also redundant because:

  • In applying for the job, you are automatically telling the employer that the job aligns with your career goals. If it didn’t, why would you apply for the role?
  • Recruitment is much more fast-paced and diverse industry in today’s times and most recruiters are now unconcerned about your personal career objectives or needs. All that matters to them is that you are the right person for the role. If they do want to know more about your long term plans, they will ask you during the interview.
  • If you do happen to make your Career Objective too detailed or specific, an employer may rule you out at the first glance, especially if what you have stated does not fit in with what they are looking for.
  • A poorly written objective can detract significantly from your professional resume, particularly if it clashes with the rest of the details in your resume or if it uses vague, flowery or weak language.

When Should You Use a Career Objective?

The only circumstances under which you should include a Career Objective in your executive resume is if:

  • The recruiter or employer has, for some reason, specifically requested it.
  • You are changing industries and your experience does not support the role you are applying for. In this case, you can use the Career Objective to clarify this move, so that the reader doesn’t feel your application is completely unsuitable or mismatched.

Alternatives to the Career Objective

Some executive candidates feel that having a Career Objective acts as an introduction on the front page of their resumes. If you feel the need to explain your competencies in your application, you should instead:

  • Include a cover letter with your executive resume application. A cover letter is a much more comprehensive document that allows you to clarify exactly how your skills relate to the employer’s selection criteria statement.
  • Replace your Career Objective with your Value Proposition. Your Value Proposition is a brief defining statement that summarises who you are, what value you can bring to a company and what your personal brand represents.
  • Consider including a summary of your talents and experience. This might be similar to the background summary that is included on your LinkedIn profile. This should be a quick, easy to read snapshot that gives employers an overview of your skills and value.

Above all else, you will need to make sure that whichever method of communication you choose is extremely well written in order to stand out from other applications.

Resumes Australia provides results-driven services to executives, CEOs and professionals who seek career guidance, resume writing assistance and executive coaching. Review all of our career services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Securing a Job the Right Way: 5 Mistakes & Solutions You Should Know

ResumewritingservicesApplying for new employment can be a challenging task, especially if you are still currently working and juggling a demanding job.

Although you will have invested much time and effort into strategising your next career move, it is often the smaller steps throughout the job application process that can make or break your success.

I see many candidates who are passionate about what they want from their career, but who sometimes fall through on the most crucial steps when applying for roles, following through on applications and moving through the interview and placement process.

Mistake #1: Rushing Through Documents

Instead: Prepare a Powerful Application

Promoting your skills and qualifications effectively is the only way to attract the attention of prospective employers. This is achieved by investing significantly in your cover letter and resume. These two documents are the first impression you will make on an employer and are essentially your only chance to take you from the application to interview stage.

When writing your resume, be sure to highlight your responsibilities and achievements that are relevant to the job specifications. Provide specific examples that showcase how your accomplishments have enhanced and improved the businesses you’ve worked for.

Similarly, your cover letter should also point out your key strengths and it should directly address the selection criteria or requirements the employer has laid out in the job description.

Employers also want to see that you can communicate properly, so always assume a clear and concise resume writing style when it comes to both your resume and cover letter.

Mistake #2: Waiting to Hear Back

Instead: Follow Up On Your Application

Many job candidates make the critical error of sending their application off and then sitting back and waiting for a response.

While you should give employers and recruiters ample time to review the applications they receive (e.g. 1-3 days), following up with a phone call can bring many benefits. Following up over the phone means you can:

  • Confirm your application has been received
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role
  • Promote your skills and talents (if asked) and create a lasting impression that isn’t restricted to paper documents
  • Initiate a sustainable relationship with the recruiter or hiring manager

If you follow up and discover that your application has been rejected, you’ll also have the chance to learn why you weren’t successful and you’ll be able to amend the weaker areas in your application strategy for next time.

Mistake #3: Going In Cold

Instead: Prepare Thoroughly for the Interview

If you make it to the interview phase, preparing and rehearsing your interview technique can give you a strong competitive edge – and enhances your chances of standing out from other applicants.

  • Research the employer and the people who will be interviewing you as much as possible. Find out what you can about the company’s approach, values, goals and culture.
  • Practise your interview questions and answers. This involves not only knowing what to say, but understanding how to “read between the lines” of each question you are asked and formulating strong responses that speak directly to the employer’s needs. If you are unsure about how to conduct a rehearsal, a short coaching session on interviewing techniques may be beneficial.
  • Review the job description carefully before you go into the interview and make sure you understand exactly how your competencies fulfil each criteria and how they can consequently help the organisation achieve its goals.

Mistake #4: Disappearing Into the Woodwork

Instead: Follow Up After the Interview

After the interview, follow up with a thank you email. This gesture will leave a good impression on the interviewers and also means you can clarify or re-respond to any questions you were asked but felt you didn’t answer effectively in the actual interview.

If you don’t hear back from the recruiter or the employer after a significant amount of time has passed (I’d say a minimum of one week), continue to follow up accordingly.

Mistake #5: Saying ‘Yes’ Straight Away

Solution: Confirm the Details Before You Sign

Being the final, successful candidate in any application process is a wonderful feeling and it’s easy to just jump in say “yes!” However, this is also the crucial time when negotiations need to take place, so you should ensure everything is order before you accept:

  • Obtain a final copy of the contract and job description and double-check that your duties and responsibilities are documented and accurate.
  • Negotiate your salary and/or benefits, using clear evidence and examples to support your requests. In general, don’t just settle on the first offer, especially if you feel your talents warrant more. If you win any negotiations, make sure these are added to your contract before you sign.
  • Check and if necessary, negotiate your start date. Remember, you’ll need to give yourself ample time to resign and finish up in your present role.

Executives working with Resumes Australia consistently achieve successful results throughout the job application process. Learn more about our resume writing and career coaching services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Resume Writing Tips for University Graduates

university graduateIf you have just finished a university degree or if you’re nearing the end of your studies, you are probably beginning to think about employment in the ‘real’ world.

One of the biggest tasks ahead of you will be putting your resume together.

A powerful resume can greatly increase your chances of success in the competitive recruitment world.

But with hundreds of graduates like yourself starting to search for employment, how do you make your resume stand out?

Customise Your Application

One of the biggest resume writing mistakes many graduates make is to simply create one resume that they use for every single job application. In some instances, this might just be acceptable, but if you are applying for a multitude of roles, it’s important to customise your application to suit the job description and the employer.

One job advertisement might value sales skills in a small team environment, while another might be looking for someone with an eye for technical details, who can thrive in a corporate environment. When resume writing, ensure you address these individual criteria to increase your chances of success.

Emphasise Your Education

One of the first things recruiters will be drawn to in your resume is your relevant education, especially if you are applying for jobs in a specialist field. While you may have undertaken a range of studies at university, ensure that you emphasise the education that is most relevant to (a) the job you are applying for and (b) your desired career. This advice particularly applies if you completed a broad degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.

Focus on Transferable Skills

You may not have a substantial work history as a graduate, so in lieu of this, your resume should focus on your transferable skills. These skills can relate to communication, problem solving, sales, strategy implementation and so on, and can come from any area of your life, such as work experience, volunteer work or even your hobbies. Ensure that you provide specific examples of your transferable skills and check that they directly relate to the job description.

Employment History

If you have held down a job or any other type of work whilst completing your education (e.g. volunteer work, internships), it is important to include these when resume writing, even though they may not be completely relevant to your long-term career.

Past jobs will show future employers that you do have some experience in the workplace in which you have developed your skills and a work ethic.

Include Keywords

Today it’s highly likely that your resume will be submitted via an electronic database. Hence, keywords should form an important part of your resume writing.

Including keywords in your resume will increase your chances of being found if the recruiter/employer conducts an electronic search when trying to fill a position. Your keywords should match the ideal position/s you want to obtain; other keywords can also be included with your skills, competencies and education. Think about what an employer would need to “type in” if they wanted to find your resume in their system.

Career Objectives

At Resumes Australia, we advise our executive candidates to omit any career objectives at the start of their resumes, as these rarely add value to the document.

However, as a graduate with little work experience, you may want to include a brief statement that will give the employer an idea about your career goals and how you plan to develop your career in the long-term. Once again, make sure this is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Get Online

Once you have completed the resume writing process, the next crucial step before you begin applying for jobs is to get yourself online professionally. LinkedIn is the ideal place to start, so ensure you create a LinkedIn profile for yourself that matches your resume, and outlines your skills and experience.

Need help with your graduate resume writing? Resumes Australia is a professional resume writing service that works with many candidates – from graduates to senior executives – to produce crisp, effective and influential resumes that secure first-time interviews.

If you’re keen to stand out against all the other graduates in your field, Resumes Australia is the place to be.

Regards,
kylie hammond

Opening Doors With Your Executive Cover Letter

opening doors to careerWhen recruiting for high profile corporate positions, employers and headhunters will be on the look out for candidates with outstanding management experience and transferable executive skills.
Most importantly, they will want to see evidence that your talents have been used to execute key strategies, improve bottom lines, and essentially lead businesses to new heights of success.

 

While your professional resume will indeed showcase all of this, your executive cover letter also needs to be powerful and convincing if it is going to open the door for an interview.

1. First Impressions Last

Your executive cover letter must make an immediate and lasting impression on potential employer, and hence, your cover letter should contain a powerful, professional statement about your capabilities. This statement needs to give the reader a precise idea of who you are and what you can do.

Example of a weak opening:

I have recently been made redundant and I am now on the search for a new senior position in the financial services field. I have spent the last few years working in the financial industry, where I have gained an understanding of financial products, leadership, wealth management and what is involved in managing successful wealth portfolios.  

This example is vague and includes very little relevant information for the employer. Worst of all, it does not invoke a sense of professionalism or expertise.

Example of a powerful opening:

I am a knowledgeable financial services expert who offers 12 years’ experience in financial product niches, particularly in relation to insurance and banking. My experience at XX has seen me rise from a product manager to a wealth expert, who has succeeded in executing wealth management and corporate strategy initiatives for portfolios over $10 million.

The second example may not be 100% perfect, but it is indeed much more powerful and exact in its depiction of what the candidate can offer. It describes their distinct areas of expertise, and gives the employer the impression that they are highly experienced and knowledgeable.

2. Customise Your Letter

While generic cover letters may be suitable for some entry-level roles, executive cover letters must be specific, persuasive and tailored to meet the requirements that each employer is looking for.

Customised cover letters are particularly beneficial when you are have a specific job description or where criteria is given, but a formal selection criteria document is not required. In this case, it is imperative that your cover letter responds directly to the advertisement, outlining your skills and competencies in a way that is relevant and that will portray you as the perfect applicant for the position.

3. Use Specific Information

As with your professional resume, you should use specific and relevant information in your cover letter to create a persuasive impression of your skills and abilities.

Using facts and figures (such as percentages, statistics, measurements) to support your achievements is excellent cover letter (and resume) practice. It’s much more effective to state that you “increased customer satisfaction by 2.5% in 2012, and 2.7% in 2011” than to simply say you “improved customer satisfaction.”

Be selective in the information you convey in the letter, and utilise white spacing and bullets points where necessary. This makes it easier for the reader to skim through your letter, gain a quick idea of your accomplishments, and immediately form an opinion of your suitability for the role.

Are you struggling to put together a convincing cover letter that effectively outlines your executive experience? Resumes Australia specialises in producing compelling professional resumes and cover letters that open doors, kick-start opportunities and transform the careers of high profile candidates.

Regards,
kylie hammond

3 Tips for Securing an Interview

interviewtipsThere are many elements that can lead to job interviews. But also many factors that can lead to a rejection. Executive job applications require a meticulous and dedicated approach, supported by a good executive resume and strong career direction. If you’ve been experiencing difficulties in securing interviews, try these three tips that will help strengthen your credibility – and put you on the path to success!

 

1. An Outstanding Resume

An outstanding executive resume is the key to securing job interviews, whether with a recruiter or an employer. If you are not being invited for interviews after the initial submission of your executive resume, it may need careful reviewing.

Some questions you may want to consider in regards to your executive resume include:

  • Does your executive resume give an accurate description of your skills, experience and achievements?
  • Is your executive resume showing the employer that you regularly achieve goals, make decisions and influence outcomes? Or is it only a list of responsibilities and nothing more?
  • Does your executive resume reveal that you are a proactive problem solver?
  • Does your executive resume relate specifically to the position description you are applying for, and have you added some points that were mentioned in the selection criteria.

2. A Focused Career

A focused career is about having more than a stable employment history. Many top-end corporations want to see a clear, career path showcased in your executive resume. What are the efforts and achievements that have been crucial in forming and shaping your career, and are these highlighted on your resume?

How will this next position contribute to your future career direction and success? Make sure your executive resume or cover letter answers these questions, either directly or indirectly – otherwise you may leave the employer wondering if you are really the right person for the job.

3. A Passionate Attitude

Beyond determining that you have the experience and skills to be successful in the role, employers and recruiters also want the security of knowing that you have the right attitude and will have the right cultural fit. They want to see evidence – both in your approach and in your application – that you feel passionately about the company, the position and its products.

A lethargic or nonchalant attitude won’t get you very far, so focus on highlighting the passion for what you do through solid achievements and strong successes in your executive resume, and through showcasing your dedicated ideas in relation to the employer’s business in your cover letter.

Are you having trouble with your executive resume or cover letter?

Resumes Australia can help you with your executive resume writing, cover letter and interview coaching – simply contact us today to talk to one of our executive coaches.

Regards,

kylie hammond

How Twitter Can Increase Your Chances of Employment

First, it was all about Facebook and LinkedIn, and now Twitter has established itself on the social media scene as a strong employment search tool and a platform through which you can use to promote yourself and your online resume.

With 140 million users and 340 million tweets per day, Twitter is becoming a central hub for employers and recruiters to promote their vacant positions and locate outstanding candidates.

Of course, one of the biggest advantages of Twitter is its networking capabilities.

Complementing your applications for jobs online, alongside hundreds of other applicants, Twitter gives you the chance to get up close and personal with employers, recruiters and HR managers – and other executives who can truly make a difference to your career.

Here are some of my tips to help you find employment opportunities via Twitter:

Follow Relevant People

One of the key ways to keep up with your industry and find a new job in your field is to follow and connect with relevant people. If possible, get them to follow you, too. Like many other networking sites, Twitter is also about “who you know.”

Tweet Your Industry

In the Twitter world, you are what you tweet. Write tweets that will attract potential employers. Ensure your tweets showcase unique thoughts and a sense of professionalism, which will contribute to your online persona. This will establish you as an expert in your field and enhance your credibility.

Refine Your Bio

Your Twitter bio appears directly below your profile name. You should make your bio as professional as possible – and include your current position.

If you can, review your professional resume and highlight any specific skills or achievements in your bio that you think will attract employers.

For instance, your job title might be, “Project Manager at Company X,” but you may also want to include something like “bringing successful ad campaigns to life” or “regular contributor to the Financial Review.” Any information that showcases your experience is highly valuable and will stand out in the eyes of potential employers. But remember your bio is limited to 160 characters.

Search Twitter Regularly

Twitter has several hashtags (#) you can use to search for job listings, such as #jobs, #recruiting, #jobsearch and #careers, to name a few. Combine your hashtags with more specific areas like #jobs #Sydney or #salesjobs #Canberra.

You can also search sites like twitterjobsearch.com and tweetmyjobs.com and connect with (or follow) those who are associated with any jobs you find. You may also find other users have started accounts for certain industries, such as @ITJobsSydney.

Share Links

Twitter is one of the biggest link-sharing platforms in the world and you can attract more followers by sharing relevant, up-to-date articles, comments and videos that pertain to your industry. Linking is also a great way to show your followers what you’re interested in – and how you feel about certain business issues.

Link to an Online Resume

Having your professional resume online is an effective and quick way to give employers more detailed information about your work history and expertise. A well-written resume is crucial in taking you to the next step with your Twitter contact.

Haven’t got an executive resume yet?

My resume writing and cover letter service can help you strategically customise your resume and introductory letter to emphasise your current strengths and capabilities to appeal to future employers.

Happy Tweeting!

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

Take the Time This Holiday Season to Reflect, Renew, and Review Your Resume!

I can’t believe we have reached the end of another year, and we are now entering the holiday season!

2012 will be a new beginning for many of us, and a time to set new goals, make resolutions, and take your life in a new direction!

Have you Thought About a Resolution for 2012?

Now is the perfect time to take a closer look at your career. Ask yourself the big question “am I happy at work?” Let’s face it, most of us spend at least 38 hours a week working. Your well-being, productivity, decision making, professional and personal relationships, all benefit when you are happy in your job!

Are you showing the signs of job dissatisfaction? If you’re not sure, think about your responses to these questions:

1)    Am I satisfied with my job?

2)    Am I satisfied with my salary?

3)    Do I receive great benefits and a enjoy a good work environment?

4)    Are my contributions appreciated?

5)    Do I enjoy going to work every day?

6)    Is there room for personal growth in this organisation?

Take Time this Holiday Season to Reflect, and Update your Resume

If you’re showing signs that you are unhappy in your job, and wondering if it’s time to leave, it would be a good time to update your resume.

Changing jobs is one of the biggest decisions you can make. To be prepared for new opportunities on the horizon, you will need a professional resume that communicates a complete, up-to-date representation of your skills, expertise and achievements that showcases your value to a potential employer.

Resumes Australia has a high quality team of resume writers that can help you with a winning Executive Resume and Cover Letter. View our resume writing packages today!

Have you Really Proofread Your Resume?

resume writingFor many job seekers writing an excellent resume can be pretty tough, and it is absolutely crucial to ensure you submit a document free of grammatical and other errors.

Today we live in a world where we have become too reliant on spell-checkers and the Thesaurus. Whilst these tools make a great resource, unfortunately they are not 100% error free, and will not always pick up every error in your document.

Perfect your resume proofreading and you are half way there…

Here are my top tips for proofreading effectively. These tips should help you see (and hear) your errors, before the recruiter does!

1)    Read before proofing. Read the entire document through once to get an overall feel for content and layout.

2)    Proofread the text. Proofread the document, checking for punctuation and spelling irregularities.

3)    Print a hard copy. It’s much easier to check your Resume or CV from a hard copy, and errors are often easier to spot on a piece of paper than on the screen!

4)    Read it Aloud. Believe it or not, reading your resume aloud will give you a feel for the flow of your document, and you’ll be surprised at the errors that will materialise!

5)    Read your Resume backwards.  By proofreading  headings, subheadings, and body text backwards, you are focussing on the words rather than comprehension.

6)    Check spacing. Look for any excess white space between words and characters to ensure there are no inconsistencies.

7)    Have someone else read your Resume!  Even after checking a hundred times, we can overlook simple errors. A second set of eyes can often pick up mistakes you may have overlooked.

When you are applying for positions, don’t let a resume filled with spelling errors and poor punctuation affect the number of interviews you get, and the quality of the jobs you are offered. Resumes Australia has the very best Professional Resume Writing team in the country. We can help you with a structured and superior professional resume that will make you stand out from other candidates, and encourage employers want to read on. To view our Resume Packages, please visit Resumes Australia’s Online Shop today!

The Impact of a Powerful Cover Letter

resume and cover letterAs an employer and executive talent agent, I have seen many poorly written cover letters, and it has often been a challenge for me to read the resume that follows. At the end of the day, my reputation is on the line when I’m hiring or recommending a person for a position. If the cover letter does not fit the job and is inaccurate, you’ve lost my confidence right from the start, by casting doubt on your professional abilities. Honestly speaking, why even send a cover letter in the first place if it is going to have such a negative impact?

The good news is that with the right approach, your cover letter can win over recruitment consultants and employers, and get you an interview!

Give your Resume or Professional CV an edge with a compelling Cover Letter

Your cover letter and any additional supporting documents, should follow a strategy that will help you reach the number one position. By tailoring your cover letter, presenting your personal brand as unique, and by marketing your skills effectively and relevant to the job role, you will outshine your competitors.

Your cover letter must also complement your professional resume and serve as an introduction for you. The primary purpose of your cover letter is to demonstrate your abilities that are relevant to the position, so that recruiters will want to read on, and ultimately request an interview.

Don’t waste your time with a cover letter that says “Dear Sir or Madam… attached is my resume”. A form letter will not present you in your best light. By crafting your cover letter with content relevant to the position that highlights your achievements, you will demonstrate your strong communication skills, attention to detail, and that you’ve taken the time to make a positive impression.

Do you struggle to write your cover letter or resume?

It can be quite daunting and overwhelming to write a cover letter and resume, and many people struggle with this. Every year, Resumes Australia helps thousands of candidates to secure more interviews by crafting resumes and cover letters. Interview coaching is also available. We can help you to open the door to new opportunities and move forward in your career – visit Resumes Australia to find out more about our Resume Writing Packages.

Regards

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