Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Should you Include GPA and Coursework on your Resume?

Your grade point in your resume speaks for your education and your level of overall academic success. It is vital to note these details on your resume; your interviewer will use it to determine your aptitude for learning which is important for new jobs and internships. Omit your grade point average and potential employers may wonder why. Generally speaking, those that omit GPA do so because they have a low score. If your GPA is above 3.0, make sure you include it on your resume. If you grade point average is 3.8 to 4.0, make sure you include that information in your cover letter also; it is something to be proud of.

You must also include a brief list of major coursework. This information offers information to a potential employer about subjects and areas of expertise that you have already been exposed to.

Your grade point average and major coursework speaks of your strengths and will enable your employer to immediately understand your ability to research, write and disseminate information. It is better to include your grade point average in your resume, as it is important for them to gauge you since you do not otherwise have any work experience so to say. It also provides you with a very solid reference, which is always desirable when you are first starting out in the working world.

It may look something like this:

Master of International Management – 3.8 GPA    May 2009
Name of College, City, ST
Specialty: International Marketing
Major Coursework: Business Management, Economics, Marketing, Sales, Corporate Finance
However, you should not include your GPA if it is below 2.7. Wait until the interview when you can discuss your reasoning face to face with the employer.

It is particularly useful to mention your grade point average because there are certain careers, which assign a lot of importance to your grades and your academic performance. These would include, but are not limited to, jobs that place a heavy emphasis on math and science knowledge. Along with your grade point average, you must also make it a point to elaborate on your other capabilities such as successful research projects, internships or relevant community activities at school. All this goes a long way in getting that sought after job.

Including your grade point average in a resume enables you to be evaluated based on your future capabilities. This along with including tangible transferable skills on your resume is what will land you a great job. It is always advisable to present as much positive information on your resume as possible, especially given the very competitive nature of most jobs these days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Importance of Cover Letters

Are you interested in changing careers?  If you are, will you soon start examining all open jobs in or around your area, if you haven’t already done so?  Once you are able to find one or more jobs that meet or exceed your expectations, you will likely start submitting your resume.  Before this point in time comes, you will want to place a focus on cover letters.

Speaking of cover letters, do you already have a cover letter developed?  If you do not, this is one of the first things that you will want to do.  Unfortunately, many job seekers do not realize the importance of cover letters and the impact they may have them.  For more information on why cover letters are so important, as well as tips on how to make the “perfect,” cover letter, you will want to continue reading on.

As for the importance of resume cover letters, you will find that there are a number of different reasons why they are needed.  Cover letters are most commonly used with resumes that will be mailed in.  When you submit a job application in person, you are able to introduce yourself to the individual who is collecting them. This introduction is not possible when you simply mail in a resume. That is what cover letters are used for. They give you the opportunity to quickly introduce yourself before your resume is read.

Resume cover letters are also important, as they can serve as a backup plan. Although resume cover letters come in a number of different formats, you often introduce yourself, outline how you learned about the job, why you would like to have it, and why you are qualified for it.  If properly written, a resume cover letter can act as a backup plan. This is important, as not all resumes or perfect.  If your resume is difficult to read, employers should be able to use your cover letter to determine whether or not you should be contacted for a job interview.

As outlined above, resume cover letters are important and there are a number of benefits to using them to your advantage. As nice as it is to know how cover letters can assist you with landing a job or at least getting a job interview, you may be curious as to what constitutes a good cover letter. A previously stated, cover letters come in a number of different formats. With that in mind, they all have the same goal. That goal is to sell you as the perfect candidate for the job. When an employer reads your cover letter, you want them to turn the page to see your resume with excitement.

When creating a resume cover letter for yourself, will want to first introduce yourself and mention the job that you are applying for. You may event to outline where you learned about the job opening.  Many employers like hearing this information, as it gives them reassurance that their marketing tactics are working.  You will also want to outline your work experience and state why you feel you are qualified for the position in which you are applying for. When it comes to listing your qualifications and work experience, it is important to only site a few examples, as this information can also be found on your resume.

If you are planning on applying for multiple jobs, you will want to create multiple resume cover letters.  This is important, as not all job opportunities are the same.  You can create a resume cover letter template, but be sure to customize that template each time before submitting it to prospective employers.  Customization and personalization is important, as it can help your resume and cover letter stand apart from all of the rest.

As previously stated, you are advised to submit your resume with a cover letter. This is particularly important if you will be mailing your resume in, instead of submitting it in person.  In fact, you will see that many employers are now starting to require cover letters for mailed in resumes and job applications.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

13 Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You The Interview

1. A BLAND OR GENERIC OBJECTIVE: If your objective could be applied to a marketing resume as easily as a resume for an accounting position, then your objective says nothing and will get you nowhere. An objective is NOT some required paragraph at the top of the page that is an exercise in 5 lines of job speak. It's an actual and real description of your skills as they're related to who you are and what you want. It should vary with the type of job for which you are applying.

2. BLAND JOB DETAILS: "Responsibilities included overseeing construction of 4 Hilton Hotels in Tri-City Metro Area, each 50 floors in height." Yeah? So what? That doesn't say if they went up on schedule or if you brought the projects in under budget. It doesn't say if you took all four from site work up or if the guy handling two of the four hotels was fired and you were promoted to overseeing all four. Differentiate yourself from the others coming in to interview. If you don't tell the hiring company how you will be an asset to them, how will they know?

3. WHO'S THE MYSTERY COMPANY?: Don't assume the name and purpose of your company is common knowledge. If it's a competitor, it might be, and if it's in the same industry and located nearby, it might be. To be on the safe side, provide a sentence or two about the focus of your company's products or services.

4. ANOTHER JOB, ANOTHER PARAGRAPH: Don't keep adding on to your resume job after job, year after year. By the time you're in your 40s, you need to have weeded out some of the earlier stuff. You don't need all the college activities, just your degree. You don't need ALL 5 bullets for each of your first two jobs.

5. REFERENCES: Shouldn't be listed on your resume. "References available on request" is the proper phrase. You present them separately when they're requested. This isn't about protocol. This is about protecting your references so they aren't called until you and the company are serious about each other.

6. IT'S NOT A STORY!: Don't - whatever you do, DON'T - write your resume in the third person!

7. SKIP THE PERSONAL INFO: You might think your weekend baseball coaching or your church choir participation shows you're an interesting and well-rounded person, but they're irrelevant. If the interviewer wants to know who you are as a person, aside from the job interview and your qualifications, he'll ask.

8. DEGREE DATE: No matter how old you are, don't leave the date of when you were graduated off your resume. It looks like you're hiding something (well, you are, aren't you?), and then everyone counts the years backwards and tries to figure out how old you are. Sometimes you can be ruled out - just for leaving the date off. If you're trying to hide your age by not stating the date, what else might you not be forthcoming about?

9. SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK: Spell checking visually by you AND someone else, any fewer than three times, isn't enough. And don't forget to check your punctuation.

10. GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part one: Don't use one of those resume blaster things. Half those sites aren't even valid. You don't know how it will come out on the other end. You don't even know where it's going or if the landing targets are employment related. It's bad form and just....NOT the way to find your perfect job. Finding your perfect job takes focus, attention, detail, individuality, tailoring, specifics. Resume blasting is about as far from that as you can get.

11. GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part two: If it's an ad, you probably have instructions as to how to send it. If it says email, cut and paste it in the form, AND attach it. You never know what it can look like on the other end because of the variety of settings available to each user. Quite frankly, you're better off not emailing it at all, because it usually just goes into cyber space, and then it's all about the hiring company - but unfortunately, besides not sending it at all, sometimes that's your only choice. Emailing your resume takes any option for further participation right out of your hands, because often there's not even a name given for a follow up contact. You've no other option than to wait and wonder. (And half the time it's going to HR or an admin department to be scanned into an electronic database.)

12. GETTING YOUR RESUME OUT THERE - part three: If you know the company, call and ask if they prefer email, fax, or snail mail. I know a recruiter who never even opened his email. Because he was listed in The Kennedy Guide to Executive Recruiters, he received so many resumes emailed to him cold (so NOT pro-active) that he just did a mass delete every morning. Candidates contacted for a specific search were requested to snail mail their resume to him. How about that? I'll bet less than 10% of those who emailed their resumes even bothered to follow up to see if it was received (this isn't a numbers game).

13. RESUME VISUALS: Ivory paper. Black ink. Individual pages. No plastic, 7th grade, science report cover with the plastic slider or metal push down tabs. Your name centered at the top, not on a cover page that says "Introducing Clifton Lewis Montgomery III". No exceptions. Your resume is a professional document, not a school book report or an art project. Until every resume is done this way, yours will still stand out in the crowd.

You are the product, and your resume is the marketing piece. To find your perfect job you must differentiate yourself from the other people who will be interviewed.

Your resume must be specific, individualized, easy to skim so it invites a closer reading, and focused on the differences you've made with your previous companies, as well as the accomplishments you've achieved with - and for - them. This tells the hiring company what you can do for them - and it IS about the hiring company, not you.

Of course this assumes you meet the requirements for the job - otherwise it doesn't matter how good your resume is! The resume is what gets you in the door. If your resume is poorly written, looks sloppy, is difficult to read, is cryptic in any way, or necessitates being slogged through to learn your information (they won't bother), you won't even get in the door. And how can you decide whether you like the company, if they've already decided they don't like you?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The importance of a resume and how to get started… to get noticed.

Studies show that the average hiring manager spends approximately 20 seconds looking at your resume. Facts say 10 seconds. The truth is, you have minimal chance to get noticed and get the interview if your resume doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

In the past decades resumes have changed dramatically thanks to the Internet. The electronic resume, one of the newest resume upgrades, has changed the application process and resume writing as a whole. An effective resume in this decade must be written with scannable keywords in mind, as it is commonly scanned into a job board or publication database where thousands of potential employers can view it and then download it. The response the candidate receives from their resume writing is no longer assumed to be a phone call - it may in fact be an e-mail.

If the candidate is applying online she or he is often able to upload the resume she's writing in a word processing format such as Word, or cut and past it to the online application. There are even templates the allow job candidates to write their resumes from scratch right on the site.

Keep in mind, as you are writing your resume, that the simplest and most common format for saving a resume file is with the help of a word processor like Microsoft Word or Open Office. These software will capture the various bolds and fonts, as well as italics and indentations.

Resume writing, though in a very different version than is now used, came into being around the 1930's. Prior to that, candidates filled out an Application for Position that most resembled the curriculum vitae used by professionals today and in Europe. It was used in conjunction with a cover letter, with work experience noted in chronological order. It also included much personal biography. In the 1930's the theory from hiring professionals and educators was that applicants should not look conceited by bragging about their accomplishments.

Up until the late 1940's a resume was expected to include your age, your weight, your height and your parents country of origin. You were also to include a photo of yourself in professional attire such as a suit.

It wasn't until the 1980's, however, that books and periodicals really started to talk about resume writing. Now there is a lot of advice out there in print and on the Web, not only about resume writing but resume writing specific to your situation or industry.

Competition is fierce and resume writing has changed. You don’t need “resumes” anymore but “Attention Grabbing Resumes”. This is the only way for you to get noticed and get the interview, fast, without sending hundreds and thousands of resumes throughout the country.

You must assume as you write and design your resume, that it will be scanned as well as manually read. For this reason your layout should be clear, without lines or borders, with large top, bottom, left and right margins, on white or off white paper and your name and contact information should be centered at the top of the resume.  Further keeping in mind the current electronic processing of resumes, you should be always cognizant of keyword search, making sure that your resume is replete with the skill words that are required for the job.  That’s the first step.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Background Checks and Resume Verifications Protect Employers

If you are a business owner, manager, or work in the human resources department of a company, you've probably hired employees who have been less than truthful on their resumes. In fact, recent studies indicate that 75 percent of all resumes contain some form of falsification and fully 89 percent are misleading.

Even though the numbers alone make the case for background checks and resume verification, employers often forgo pre-employment screening of applicants. When they do, the employers' lack of foresight can come back to haunt them. In some cases, companies have been found liable for negligent hiring and retention. In other cases, employers have faced public relations nightmares. Not too long ago, a prestigious university made the news when it was discovered that their admissions officer had allegedly lied about her educational background, and had not received the degrees she had claimed. In the most tragic cases, workplace violence has claimed innocent lives.

Pre-employment screening and background checks prove due diligence, and so can prevent lawsuits claiming negligent hiring. And, by screening out unqualified applicants, employers can save time and money otherwise wasted by recruiting, hiring, and training the wrong applicants. Resume verification and education verification can even help head off wrongful termination lawsuits.

Companies that provide employment screening offer a number of services. The type of screening that best serves you often depends upon the industry in which you work. For example, in the healthcare industry, background checks typically include a state criminal report, a social security number report, education verification, employment verification, a professional license check, a medical abuse check, and a sex offender check.

Those companies that hire delivery drivers or that employ long-haul truckers most often benefit from a national criminal report, a social security number report, a motor vehicle report and a license verification. Educational institutions and childcare centers usually request a national criminal report, a social security number report, a sex offender check, education verification, and employment verification. Those who work in the accounting or finance departments of companies should undergo a national criminal report, a social security number check, a credit check, education verification, employment verification, and an OFAC terrorist check.

Once you make the sensible decision to do pre-employment screening, how do you go about selecting the right company to do background checks? First, look for a well-established company that has a proven track record in both quality and accuracy. Next, make sure that they guarantee confidentiality. Third, check to see that they employ licensed investigators and provide you with the opportunity to speak to a live researcher. Finally, select a company that does both domestic and international searchers, and that does hands-on court research in the United States.

In today's litigious society, and with the prevalence of dissembling on resumes and employment applications, you can't afford to forego background checks and pre-employment screening of your employees and applicants. It's a small price to pay for the peace of mind you'll have knowing that the people you hire are who they claim to be.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Face to face Interview? Here's some code of conduct!

Whеn уоu gо оn a job Interview, thе firѕt thing уоu muѕt dо iѕ make ѕurе thаt уоu аrе dressed appropriately. Guys ѕhоuld wear a suit in a nice black, blue color оr gray with a solid color tie аnd a white shirt аlwауѕ kind оf works. Women ѕhоuld wear a button dоwn blouse in white preferred аnd a blazer jacket in a nice dark color оr beige. Sоmе Women prefer tо wear a skirt inѕtеаd оf thе slacks. Shoes muѕt bе closed аnd shined. Yоu muѕt kеер jewelry tо a limit.

Women ѕhоuld nоt wear a lot оf makeup оr a lot оf fragrance. Men ѕhоuld nоt wear a lot оf fragrance also. Yоu ѕhоuld trу аnd find оut аѕ muсh information аbоut thе company thаt уоu аrе gоing tо interview. Thе rеаѕоn thаt it iѕ important tо find оut аbоut thе company, iѕ bесаuѕе уоu саn speak аbоut thе company аt thе interview. Thе interviewer will notice thаt уоu hаvе a strong interest in thе company оr position in whiсh уоu аrе applying for.

Yоu muѕt hаvе eye contact with thе interviewer аt аll timеѕ аnd sit uр straight. Yоu аlѕо muѕt relax уоurѕеlf аnd hаvе in mind thаt уоu аrе thеrе bесаuѕе уоu nееd thiѕ job, but аt thе ѕаmе timе асt аѕ if уоu аrе hаving a conversation with thе interviewer inѕtеаd оf a screening process. Mаnу people dоn't land jobs bесаuѕе thеу аrе tоо uptight аnd dоn't relax.

Thе question уоu ѕhоuld bе аѕking уоurѕеlf bеfоrе thе interview iѕ "Why ѕhоuld I hire mуѕеlf fоr thiѕ job, if I wеrе thе interviewer?" If уоu саn answer thiѕ question tо mуѕеlf bеfоrе уоu gо оn thе interview уоu аrе аlrеаdу half wау thеrе in landing thiѕ job. Bоdу language iѕ vеrу important. Interviewers саn pick uр оn уоur bоdу language vеrу easily. Therefore, уоu muѕt speak clearly, bе confident оr аt lеаѕt асt аѕ if уоu are.

Lеt thеm knоw hоw muсh thiѕ job wоuld mеаn tо уоu аnd whу уоu feel thаt уоu саn bе аn asset tо thе company. Uѕе аnу information thаt thе Interviewer givеѕ rеgаrding thе company аnd trу tо add оn thаt fоr уоur advantage. Thiѕ will show thе Interviewer thаt уоu hаvе a lot оf interest in thе company.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Practical Resume Tips

Personal submission оf resumes iѕ bесоming a thing оf thе past. Mоѕt оf thе job offerings today аrе аlrеаdу аvаilаblе online. Hence, it iѕ оnlу practical tо submit уоur resume online аѕ well. Companies work with recruitment portals, оr develop a recruitment page in thеir website, tо collect resumes аnd applications. In thiѕ information age, online resumes аrе thе mаin tool in evaluating a candidate's qualifications. Unfortunately, enumerating уоur employment аnd achievements iѕ nоt еnоugh tо gеt thе attention оf thе HR facilitators аnd gеt called fоr аn interview. Sо whаt аrе thе practical resume tips thаt саn gеt уоu a job frоm аn online job application?

Thе firѕt аmоng thе resume tips iѕ tо tailor fit уоur resume tо thе job requirement. Applicants uѕuаllу prepare a generic resume аnd upload thеѕе in thе recruitment portal. Thеѕе generic resume аrе uѕuаllу vague аnd tоо lengthy. Unfortunately, HR facilitators ѕее thiѕ аѕ tardiness аnd lack оf creativity. Uѕе уоur generic resume аѕ уоur basis. However, rephrase, edit, аnd if required, delete, уоur statements in order tо fit thе job requirement thаt уоu аrе applying for.

Othеr thаn juѕt tailor fitting уоur resume, thе ѕесоnd оf thе resume tips iѕ tо work with keywords. HR facilitators uѕе a search engine in screening thе thousands оf resume thаt thеу receive. Thе engine searches thе resumes uѕing keywords provided bу thе HR facilitators. Unfortunately, thоѕе resume thаt dо nоt hаvе thе keyword, rеgаrdlеѕѕ оf hоw muсh thеу аrе qualified, dо nоt gеt screened.

Sо hоw wоuld уоu knоw thе specific keyword tо use? Thiѕ iѕ whеrе wе discuss thе lаѕt оf thе resume tips. Review thе job description attached tо thе position thаt уоu аrе applying. Thе HR facilitator iѕ mоѕt likеlу tо uѕе thе wording оf thе job description аѕ keywords in thе search. However, dо nоt juѕt copy аnd paste thе job description. Yоu саn rephrase thеѕе аnd improve thе chances оf уоur resume receiving search hits.

Resume writing iѕ nоt аѕ simple аѕ whеn оur teachers taught uѕ hоw tо write it. Thеir resume tips аrе nоt еntirеlу obsolete though. Grammar аnd spelling ѕtill plays аn important role аѕ lapses in thеѕе aspects portrays уоur inadequacies аnd lack in diligence. Thеѕе resume tips offered in thiѕ article аrе аn addition tо thе lessons уоu learned in уоur school years. Kеер thоѕе lessons in mind, incorporate thеѕе resume tips, аnd good luck in уоur job hunting.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mobile Trends - 2013

Every new day is the birth of a new invention in Technology.  Everyday something new is created.  What Einstein quoted years ago still holds true that “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” (Albert Einstein)

I think we have a great track record on being relevant, on identifying consumer trends, needs and wants. The year 2012 finished with some great inventions in the field of mobile, especially the introduction of the iPhone 5 was a great success in the market.

Looking ahead at 2013, it seems that more Tablets, Smartphone, Android versions, Apple IOS versions are ready to hit the market with surprising new features. Especially there is a great competition on bringing the compatibility of windows 8 on all windows phones. Similarly, in the business field, Black Berry has already stepped up with its marvelous launch of BB Z10 and another anticipated Q10. eMarketer predicts that the rapid expansion of Smartphone and tablet user populations will cause marketers to shift their ad spending from more traditional media to mobile at an increasing pace.

The question is not, “what Smartphones can do,” it’s “what can’t they do.”  The strategic imperative for organizations is to understand how they are going to meet the challenge of that change.

Here are few key mobile trends for marketers to grab opportunities in this year:

Quick Mobile Editing – The reason that most of the Smartphones in past few days were still losing their competition against the tablets was the need of editing real websites and the ability to use software such as visual studio and programming or web development applications. The reason was that these software weren’t 100% supported for mobile interface. However, companies these days are trying hard to create mobile interfaces for those applications whereby users will be able to create and edit data right from their mobile devices. An excellent approach was the entry of HTML5 web user interfaces which is predicted to be a mainstream in 2013. Why? HTML5 allows developers and designers to create one "universal" app without coding for each individual operating system. Similarly, their main hope is to create more real life applications, which will be able to support any interface and work seamlessly with them.

Location Based Services – A GPS function is located on most of the new devices to track current locations or to track your friends or family location when online updates that being shared among all social networks where to inform the location they are. GEO tagging is one of the best features, which was introduced with GPS.

Mobile Commerce – eMarket or eCommerce was what consumers were waiting for; to perform transaction on the go.  This has allowed companies and consumers to buy and sell right from their mobile phones. This trend will further grow in 2013 with retailers looking at new ways to attract and retain customers.

Mobile Apps – Tons of mobile applications are created these days and distributed in the online market worldwide. These applications are created for several different uses from gaming to entertainment to utility. The application downloads are increasing day by day and so more developers are getting on the bandwagon to create effect apps for every possible use. 

Storage – Cloud storage is another area that has gained momentum over the past few years. Storing important data and creating backups so as to use them and restore them as need are some of the most sought after uses for cloud. A use of cloud storage directly from the mobile device is what consumers need.  Cloud storage and cloud-based services like Dropbox, Google drive, Evernote, Sugar Sync, etc., will be important in the coming years, which will allow users to access and share information anywhere anytime. 

Object Recognition (OR) – “High End” devices have an increased sensor and processing capability that enables applications to recognize the user's surroundings, including specific objects of interest. OR provides an easy-to-use interface hence it is gaining popularity. The best feature launched last year  was the QR Code functionality where users are able to purchase or browse online by a simple capture of the QR code. Users will need to rely on the camera, as well as other device sensors to communicate when OR capabilities are combined with more-traditional app functions.

Mobile is a growing strategy for many companies as technology becomes more and more advanced, marketing will become more integrated and real-time where marketers will have to look forward in 2013 and beyond.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cloud Computing- What is it really?

Cloud Computing has been all the rage that many companies and businesses have jumped into the cloud but then the questions came after the fact.  Questions arose regarding on whether they should use a private cloud system?  Maybe they should use a public cloud?  Maybe use a hybrid system?  How do we find the right skills to make a cloud happen?  Business organizations have been jumping into the cloud only to get completely lost in the clouds.

However, within all of these questions businesses and IT leaders should ask the primary question of what do they desire to accomplish with a cloud computing system?  The cloud has been a trend that has been available for awhile and only recently IT leaders and large businesses have finally jumped onto the bandwagon so that they will be seen as a part of the advanced technology trend.

Using cloud computing allows IT departments to outsource their operations to third-parties who specialize in cloud technology.  Cloud computing gives companies a way to cut costs and run IT operations through other data centers. 

Using cloud technology allows for over-extended companies to go beyond their data center with ease and agility.  Those computing resources help companies with handling any spikes in IT resources have encountered.   In the past they may not have been to handle those requests but using cloud computing assists them with the abilities to do much more than originally expected. 
Several considerations businesses need to look into which is how will it help their business?  Are they ready to move their IT infrastructure to another location?  Finally look into security, and reliability of cloud computing.