Less Design is More – Top 5 Ways to Get Your Resume Thrown Out

25_1_3 Red Swans anad Floral Border Close-Up

 

1. Mail in a hard copy on floral stationary. Or any ‘stationary’. Could be that small companies or those with older hiring managers might be impressed with such efforts, but even those places generally want it faxed in. (On a side note: Can you believe people still use faxes? Sorry, I didn’t get it, do you mind sending it again? Oh, you have a confirmation receipt that it was sent? Isn’t that lovely.)

2. Email in a virtual copy on floral stationary. Or any ‘stationary’. Even the ones in outlook, like simple plaid, are completely unprofessional. Not for sending a resume, not for once you start a job.

3. Put a border on your resume or cover letter. Again, no design is professional beyond a small logo, if you have one. I’m not going to say that if you’re an artist you don’t have more leeway, but for everyone else, NO.

4. Put a picture on your application for any reason beyond modeling-type jobs. If it’s a job on craigslist requesting it, save yourself scumbags checking you out – just don’t apply.

5. Use the resume format template options in word. They’re generally terrible, and show up awkwardly. If you’re not a pro at word you’re better off just enlarging & bolding your name, headings (like “Experience” “Education” etc.), then center everything. Better yet, play with word when making your resume, and make yourself a pro. There are very few professional positions that wouldn’t benefit from those skills.

…I have yet to hear that poultry, kittens, or flowers on a resume helped to make that ‘special’ impression that helped someone snag the job they wanted…but maybe I’m hanging with the wrong crowd!

Care to Share With the Class? Want to write for Sharon.cc?

I’ve developed Sharon.cc as a Social Good platform. It’s not a business, it’s a collaborative site which helps people, companies, and places optimally market themselves.

Would you like an outlet for your career advice, job search struggles, free resume critique (anonymously published of course) or anything else you’d like to share?

Guest posters & interviews are encouraged – just send me what you’d like to share with my readers & I’ll post it if I feel they’ll benefit from it.

Also feel free to subscribe or follow me on twitter @sharondotcc to automatically be notified of new articles!

Catchy Websites Without the Dot Com

Although not career advise per se, I did an interview with Mike Sullivan http://sullysblog.com that you might want to check out –

http://sullysblog.com/Sharon-Siegel

It’s a bit more insight into why I didn’t choose a .com for my site, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to step a bit outside the norm when it comes to branding & marketing yourself.

You want to work in HR by choice? Seriously? Well…if you’re sure…here’s how…

Someone posed this question, and I thought it might benefit others to share on the topic.

I’d like to break into the HR field. I’m pursuing my BA currently. What majors or certifications would you recommend I obtain to find a strong position in the field when I graduate?

I’m sure many employers look for HR certifications, or I can’t imagine why they’d be so popular.

That being said, I have never come across a resume/application for a position where this was a deciding factor.

I’ve yet to see a resume with no relevant experience or education, but has HR certifications – and see the candidate be seriously considered for a  position.

On the flip side, I’ve never seen a great resume with strong relevant education & experience that was not seriously considered because they did NOT have HR certificates…but hey, could be this happens other places.

Majors: a business or liberal arts degree ought to suffice if complimented by internships or junior positions in the field. Depending on what type of HR environment you’d like to work in, you might want to major in something relevant to that, as opposed to an HR degree (which not every university offers). If you decide later on that you’d rather work in a different area (say accounting) a general degree would be more helpful than a specified one.

Very few HR leaders I’ve met knew they wanted to work in HR (like me!). They generally fall into it from other roles or positions. Even within HR there are many types of roles from benefits, employee relations, recruiting (yay), union relations, diversity specialists, generalists (who deal with everything), payroll, timekeeping, leaves…you get the point.

Taking a position or internship while in school is my best advice. Had I not done social work internships, I would be a social worker now. I only needed one more year of school to have my MSW, but upon working in various social work environments I realized it was not the type of challenge I would enjoy long term.

Before you plan your life around a career you have yet to experience, try it out (paid or not). It might help you specify the area you’d like to focus on, or like in my case, save you from wasting time and pigeon-holing yourself in the career realm.

Final note on certifications: Many are expensive, require annual payment, membership renewals, or maintenance to keep the certifications. In the end they’re a business. Many people will write “six sigma black belt certification obtained” as that they no longer maintain it, but once they’ve achieved it and put it on their resume, it satisfies their goal.

*Exception tip: Once you’re working in a field, many employers will pay for you to obtain certifications & allow you to do them on work time. If so I definitely recommend this! It can’t take away from your resume, and will broaden your network and skills without losing time or money. Talk to your employee development person or someone from HR to see if your employer allows for this.

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-93

Mission: Meet the Kardashian Sisters & Coach them?

Edited Image via Gawker.com

So in my path towards of life coaching I’ve worked with severely socially & physically handicapped individuals. I’ve helped them to find careers, a place within their community, and comfort in their own skin.
Now how do you do that for those who, as my friend Cathy so lovingly put it, do this for people who, “Have built an empire on based on the size of their assets?”

Oh, not just the Kardashian sisters, also their bodyguard, Hector. He’s my new boy. We had a little chat, which is what brought me into this challenge (oh that and my fierce love of healthy competition). I spoke with him on the radio (yes FM, not AM, I’ll be mature in my next life. Maybe.). Unless it says something about my maturity that I’ve never watched an entire reality show, and specifically never saw the Kardashian’s one, although now I might be on one on E! EEEEEEEEEEK!

Not sure who was listening last night to me on the radio, but I pretty much got this gig by promising to help the bodyguard find a career path, as that he doesn’t want to be in the ‘security’ field for the rest of his life.

So I guess I needed a little entertainment in my life. Will keep you all updated. Worst case I’ll just be clubbing VIP style for a night.

5 Second Survey: What Topic(s) Would YOU Like My Advice On?

What’s the biggest obstacle in your career search that you’d like advice on? Click here to answer & let me cater to you!

Disclaimer: Please note all answers will be kept confidential and will not be visible to others. Should I choose to share any information all names & companies will be changed to protect privacy.

Looking to Hire: Freelance Experienced Web Designer & Developer Needed


Looking for talented & fast freelance graphic designer/developer (or numerous freelancers to cover all functions).

This is for my personal web design & marketing business. Yes it’s legit. How much work will there be? Well that depends on the week, on your talent, and your turn-around time.

Web design with attention to detail.

Knowledge of the latest design trends.

UI & UE motivated.

Expert Photoshop designer. Providing Clean and organized designs & comps.

Web developer:

Expert PSD to HTML conversion.

Experience with usage of Java libraries (e.g jQuery, Ajax).

Cross browser compatibility.

Clean Code & CSS. SEO friendly.

Please email work samples for consideration. Starting salary $20/hr (no benefits, can be paid electronically if overseas candidate).

This will be telecommuting only. No need to waste time traveling.

Email work samples & questions to: jobs@designsdesigns.com

Mind Your Grammar: Top 5 Resume Tips of the Day

EGG Nonpast tense

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Keep all past job duties in the past tense, keep all current duties in the present, unless it is an accomplishment that was completed. If so that belongs in past as well.
  2. Be consistent with grammar. Either punctuate every sentence or don’t, either would be acceptable – but do stay consistent for all positions.
  3. Capitalize each job title, company, school attended, and the first word of each line. Use ‘sentence case’ feature on word to correct this for all if you do not have it consistent now.
  4. Do feel free to add more than one responsibility per line if related, i.e. answered phones, performed data entry, and organized files all belong on one line. If you did nothing else at a position that you could possibly correlate to the role you’re applying for, then keep it at one bullet.
  5. Do not leave cliffhangers, i.e. “Worked with CEO”  – this would be a wasted line/bullet/responsibility. Write what you accomplished for said key player, otherwise you’re leaving the reader to believe you fetched the CEO coffee or parked his car.

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-8w

Follow sharondotcc on Twitter

I Dream of Google – Getting a Job in 10 Not-So-Easy-Steps

Image representing Google Search as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

…but I don’t actually work there.

Noticing a lot of traffic is coming to my blog from people googling ‘google recruiter’ and ‘getting a job at google’.

Readers are confusing my blog, ambition, and talent for recruiting for being an actual google recruiter.

Yes, I’m a corporate recruiter, no, not for google (yet…).

Although I would assume the steps to getting a job there are the same as everywhere else. Here are my tips, I hope you started on this route when you were in 9th grade. Otherwise it may be too late and you might find yourself approaching 30 without the career of your dreams, but alas at least you can blog about it and know that thousands of people are in the exact same boat. Ahoy shipmates!

1. Push yourself to be the top of your class in high school, participate in extra curriculars, and learn as many languages as possible.

2. Go go a great college & get a high GPA, participate in extra curriculars, and learn as many languages as possible.

3. Do internships in the field you will work in the rest of your life (which yes you should have known and been working towards even in high school).

4. Get jobs at impressive places in that field in increasingly challenging and progressive roles and titles.

5. Then apply to their jobs at http://google.com/jobs (or wherever you want to work…like http://tinyurl.com/NYCDOEJOBS).

6. Pray a recruiter is impressed with your resume or credentials (or at least went to the same school) to put you through to a hiring manager or interview process. Or the robo-recruiter is impressed because you have a lot of the words from the job description in your resume (AKA job score) thereby automatically ranking you as a candidate worth human review in the applicant tracking system (ATS).

7. Ignore http://glassdoor.com & other similar sites. Take their comments with as much worth as amazon ratings…people will give a book one star because they don’t like the color color. If you really want to know what people who work at a place think about it, network with them and ask them politely.

Maybe google’s dropped in their ratings from the best place to work to top 3 best places to work, but hey, it gets lonely at the top. No place is perfect, but most people will only go on those websites to bash their employer anonymously. If they were happier they’d be out at happy hour with their office mates after work, not going home to rant about them online. Just Sayin’.

8. Don’t call them, they’ll call you. I’m always super impressed & revolted at the same time when candidates find my personal contact number (especially my personal cell phone). I think it shows they desperately want the job, but never have these people actually been a good fit for a role. I’m not saying not to follow up, but do it through advertised venues. Don’t go linkedin stalking. Instead find HR info from the company website, follow them on twitter, chat with them through facebook. Do not do an intellius search on them and show up at their house. They will not appreciate it.

9. No response? Better luck next time kids. Repeat process for every place you want to work at. If you only want to work at that one place and you’re waiting for the call back then stay on top of the company’s job boards to see if a role that better suits your experience is posted, or a more junior one in your field. Sometimes you need to take a step back or laterally to take a step forward later at a place you want to work.

10. Got a response? Make sure you have a dark suit you look good in, a put-together, yet naturally comfortable style, printed copies of your resume that aren’t stained, folded or wrinkled (yes I actually get those all the time…but save your money on the fancy paper and folders, those make you look more desperate nowadays, they’re just not necessary. A slightly heavier stock is nice, but I hate the resume-in-a-folder-in-a-binder-in-an-envelope old school thing). Go on the interview, be your charming, brilliant self, sell said fabulous self as rockstar without using those words, and mazal tov. It’s a job. And if you’re really lucky, maybe even a career.

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-8j

Going to Work for Google: The Career Equivalent of Going to DisneyWorld

This is one of the huge welcoming signs for Go...

Image via Wikipedia

There are very few places that offer better benefits than the government. Now imagine this place valued its employees, developed them, promoted talent, and only hired the best people to work with. Add in an incredible mission, forward thinking, world changing technology, and lots of perks. Then imagine this place is real and hiring.

Oh wait, it is real.

Working for google or similar (if there are) top-rated places to work does happen for some people. The question is, how to become one of them? How does one find employment in an amazing place?

I once spoke with a google recruiter I’m networked with from California a few years back. He politely explained to me that as that I did not attend an ivy league school and had not worked or consulted for one of the major firms, I had very little chance of being considered. Sigh. Was very discouraged, especially when I saw on the application you have to check off how long you worked at either: apple, bain, amazon, mckinsey, bcg, ibm, pixare, adobe, oracle, ebay, etc. It made me want to go get a job with one of those places to increase my chances of google wanting me.

Fast forward a few years later…I actually met people who work for google, people who went to good but not ivy universities (hey like me!). They never worked for those big reputation places, and they were hired fairly through their application system. When I mentioned what the google recruiter told me back in the day they were surprised, said it’s just not like that, and that people like me get hired all the time. Dare to dream.

And so I do dream, that one day I’ll find a great position in a place that doesn’t do things ‘the way they’ve always been done’, that might appreciate me and my talents, and hey, while we’re dreaming it’ll let me have a healthy work-life balance so I can see the kids once in awhile.

So I’d love to hear from you, faithful readers. Do you work for a great place or know of an amazing employer? Why do you love it? Are they hiring? Let us know!

For public notice post a comment here, for private requests please email: amazingemployers@sharon.cc

Shortlink to this article: http://wp.me/pWfpN-7R