2018 resume refresh: top tips from the latest research

Refresh your resume for 2018

Updating our goals for the new year is a time-honored tradition, and if career success is on your 2018 agenda, a resume refresh should be on your resolution list. The job market is changing fast, and whether you’re actively seeking a new role or aiming for a promotion, you’ll want to sharpen your professional presence and digital footprint to keep up with today’s demands. We’ve polled our own recruiters and dug into some new scholarly research to compile the top three tips for upgrading not just your resume, but your professional clout, networks and personal pitch.

Manage your personal brand

Job seekers should treat their public social media profiles like a company manages its brand1. Maximum visibility will result from best practices such as using strong keywords, professional images and engaging summaries.

Social media is disrupting the recruiting process, as candidates and recruiters connect and build long-term relationships online and skip the middle men, such as job boards1.  Online networks provide ongoing relationships through the power of connection, messaging, big data and forum discussion. While LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform1, platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are becoming more frequent sources for recruiters looking for top talent. Most CA Technologies recruiters have Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, where you can connect with them and see regular job openings and other CA career updates in their posts. You can find them easily with a quick search for #BringWhatYouBring on your favorite social network.

Don’t limit your connections on professional networks such as LinkedIn to people you have worked or gone to school with. It’s wise to search for others with similar skillsets and recruiting professionals at the companies on your target employer list.  Pro tip: recruiting professionals have various titles that do not include the term “recruiter” – “talent acquisition,” “headhunter” and “sourcer” are all common versions of titles you should value in your professional network.

Connections are most valuable when you maintain and nurture them through discussion. Regularly sharing interesting thoughts on industry news and collaborating with others in your area of expertise will demonstrate a passion for your work and keep you top of mind for your connections. And don’t just share; add your thoughts and expertise to spark a conversation. If you enjoy writing, a LinkedIn article is an easy way to publish long-form thoughts on succeeding in your line of work. The point is to craft a strength-based narrative and authentically communicate your career identity. According to data expert Rachel Cohen and career counselor Rebecca L. Toporek, successful career narratives can be achieved through both positive and negative stories and experiences, which can shape strengths and assets2. Identify your career narrative by attaching your real-life successes and lessons to hot topics on your timeline.

Learn the key to keywords

Be sure to identify active, clear keywords to feature in your resume. Building a solid keyword list to describe your work value can be key to standing out and confidently communicating in interviews, cover letters and profile summaries. According to master resume writers, you can build a strong list of keywords by thinking through five distinct categories3:

  • Hard skills and factual data

Include words that demonstrate key skills that apply directly to your tactical work, such as “media buying,” “programming” or “web design,” but don’t forget the specifics like “HTML,” “Java” or “data analysis.” These keywords should be featured in your skill tags on your LinkedIn profile as well.

  • Soft skills and attributes

Think of how you work with others, and try to be more distinct than “team player.” Terms such as “networking,” “time management,” “critical thinking” and “conflict resolution” will stand out and clearly communicate those qualities that are difficult to display in a portfolio.

  • Employment details

Give specifics on the types of projects, products or services you’ve worked with. “Agile project management,” “DBaaS sales” or “gamification development” are more specific and intriguing than the same terms without descriptive adjectives. Additionally, list attributes of the industries of your professional experience. “Retail,” “transportation” or “finance” can go a long way in establishing yourself as a strong match for a role that prefers that background.

  • Education and training credentials

Give your schooling or certifications a plug wherever possible. You may have been an IT support technician for 10 years, but if you don’t have “A+” somewhere in your online profiles and in your resume, you risk getting missed on automated searches and algorithms that match talented people to open jobs.

  • General information

Are you passionate about a cause, volunteer in your community or have an interesting hobby? Sprinkle some of that personality into your online profile summary to stand out amongst your peers.

Don’t just list skills, show them

You’ve probably been asked to show ROI on something in your professional career, and the same principal applies to “showing your work” on your resume and in your online profiles. There are two key ways to do this.

First, on a resume, you should add a few stats that show the results of the efforts you’ve listed under each title. Whenever possible, those stats should include a business result. If you managed a team, what specific steps did you take to develop them and what percentage of your total headcount were promoted? If you were responsible for ordering supplies, what did you do to improve that process and what percentage of your budget was saved as a result? Data is everything; be concise and specific about your impact.

Second, when it comes to your public online profiles, include links to case studies, blogs, Slideshares, images, gits, or videos displaying your work. If you don’t currently have any relevant professional content like this, you may want to consider compiling a portfolio for this purpose.

 

You can find many more tips on resumes, job search and interviewing in our Candidate Toolkit.

If you’re interested in exploring careers with CA, search here or create a custom job alert to get notifications on sales roles that match your search.

Want to learn more about #LifeAtCA? Follow the hashtag and LifeAtCA on Instagram to see employee pictures from around the world.

Rachel Duran
Rachel Duran

Follow me on Twitter > @TheRachelDuran

Sources

  1. Macabe, M. (2017). Social media marketing strategies for career advancement: an analysis of Linkedin. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences,29(1), 85-89. Retrieved January 9, 2018. ISSN: 1099-5374
  2. Toporek, R. L., & Cohen, R. F. (2017). Strength-Based Narrative Résumé Counseling: Constructing Positive Career Identities from Difficult Employment Histories. The Career Development Quarterly,65(3), 222-236. doi:10.1002/cdq.12094
  3. Enelow, W. S., W, CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW, & Kursmark, L., CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW. (n.d.). The Best Keywords for Resumes, Letters and Interviews: Powerful Words and Phrases for Landing Great Jobs! (2nd Edition). Career Planning & Adult Development Journal,33(3), 55-56. Retrieved January 9, 2018. ISSN: 0736-1920

Kick-start your 2018 job search with these 3 tips

2018 job search tips

New year, new career?

If your New Year’s resolutions include finding a better job, you’re not alone. But are you ready for the hunt? Here are a few tips to get your 2018 job search off to the right start.

Update your resume

You may have heard it a thousand times, but it bears repeating: always have your resume updated and ready to go. Even if you aren’t in the market, that perfect job opportunity will often present itself when you’re least expecting it, especially as many companies ramp up hiring in January. As you’re scrambling to add your most recent experience to your resume, the company is probably already talking to other candidates who may be better prepared. If you want a competitive edge, you should be able to provide an up-to-date resume at a moment’s notice.

Send the signal

In case you missed it, LinkedIn now offers a button you can click to discreetly let recruiters know you’re interested in hearing about new opportunities. To access it, navigate to your LinkedIn profile, then scroll down to view your dashboard. Under “Career Interests,” click on the button to turn the feature on.

You’ll be directed to a screen where you can enter more information about the types of job opportunities that interest you.

Lock down your social profiles

More and more employers are checking out social media profiles of potential candidates before making decisions on interviewing or hiring. You may want to think twice about posting things like:

  • Risqué photos, memes or stories – While may it have been an epic wet t-shirt contest, chances are the pics aren’t going to impress a potential boss.
  • Polarizing political or social opinions – You are certainly entitled to them, but be aware that a recruiter may not share your views and find them off-putting.
  • Ads for your side hustle – There’s nothing wrong with selling cosmetics, kitchen gadgets or home goods in your spare time. However, if your entire newsfeed is devoted to it, a potential employer might wonder if your attention will be fully focused on their job.

If you want to continue doing you on social media despite the potential pitfalls, at least be sure to go into your privacy settings and make sure only your friends can see your Facebook feed and your tweets are set to private.

Now you’re ready to launch your 2018 job search! You can find many more tips on job search, resumes and interviewing in our Candidate Toolkit.

If you’re interested in exploring careers with CA, search here or create a custom job alert to get notifications on sales roles that match your search.

Want to learn more about #LifeAtCA? Follow the hashtag and LifeAtCA on Instagram to see employee pictures from around the world.

Cathy Bible

Senior Marketing Specialist, Talent Acquisition

Follow me on Twitter > @cathybible

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Resume Tips and Linkedin Profile Optimization

Candidate Toolkit Resume Tips

Resume tips and LinkedIn tricks from Craig Fisher, personal brand pro

Do you ever find that submitting your resume to an online application is like dropping it into a black hole?  Maybe your resume isn’t getting the attention it should.

Your odds of getting an interview go way up when a recruiter or hiring manager can find your resume easily online.  Especially if they can find what they are looking for in it quickly and easily.

Skill keywords are crucial for getting your resume noticed.  Where they are placed is equally important.  You must explain properly what you have done and for whom.

At the top of your resume in the summary area, you should list the required skills for the job for which you are applying.  Next to each of these, you should list the number of years experience you have with that skill.  If you have no experience with that skill, just say so, or say “knowledge of” or “training in.”  Also list any core skill that you possess that may be relevant to that job with the years experience next to it. Ditch the generic summary at the top of your resume.

Make sure each skill that you have listed at the top is also shown in the body of the resume in each job where you used that skill so that the reader can see where and how you used each of these skills.  Under each job description, have a summary of skills used.  List the skills again, along with any other skills that were used during that job.

After the title and company name for each job description in the body of your resume, write a short paragraph with details about what the company is and does, and what your main job duty was there.  Although you may think it’s obvious, not every reader of your resume will understand what that company is and what your role was unless you spell it out specifically.

Don’t make the reader do any extra work (like having to click a link to find out more about a company you worked for) to understand exactly what you did and for whom.
In your bullet points under that short paragraph do not just list what you were responsible for.  List accomplishments.  Use numbers and descriptive words to show what your impact was.  “Increased sales” is not enough.  “Increased sales by 15% over 6 months” is better.

Repeat everything you have now done on your resume in your LinkedIn profile.  Use the information that you might include in a cover letter in the top summary portion of your LinkedIn profile.  Include your keywords there, too.  Start the “skills used” section under each job description with your name, like this:

Craig Fisher: Talent Acquisition Manager, Talent Attraction Strategist, Recruiting/Sales Manager, Sales, Business Development, Recruiter, Headhunter, Executive Search, Staff Augmentation, Information Technology Consulting Services; Contract, Temp-to-Perm / Contract-to-Hire, & Full-Time Staffing Recruiting; Executive Search. CIO, CFO, CEO, ERP, Oracle, SAP, Peoplesoft, .Net Application Developers, Project Managers, Business Analysts, DBAs, Software Package Installation/Configuration, Social Media Recruiting/Branding/Twitter Strategy Training

You need keywords that will be specific to what you do in order to help separate your resume from the thousands of resumes that are less specific.  A good recruiter will narrow their search with less generic keywords.  Having these listed multiple times in your resume will help it come up at the top of the search results in Google, Linkedin, Job Boards, and company databases.

See this article on Fishdogs.com >

 

Craig FisherAuthor: Craig Fisher
craig.fisher@ca.com
Connect with me on LinkedIn here