Standing out in a Competitive Industry

Standing out in a Competitive Industry

When you’re applying for a job, standing out from the crowd is always a challenge. But, this tough task can suddenly seem insurmountable when you’re applying for an extremely competitive position. Have a read below for 5 actions that are helpful to you standing out in a competitive industry.

However, spending all of your time obsessing over the intense competition will only serve to make you feel more anxious and self-conscious—qualities that definitely won’t help you approach your job hunt and interviews with confidence. So, let go of that intimidation and instead focus on doing what you need to do to separate yourself from the pack.

But, how can you draw positive attention to yourself, when there are hundreds of other people applying to that exact same job? Here are five tips that are sure to help you stand out from that pile of other applicants.

1. Get Personal

Feeling like you’re submitting your materials into cyberspace is always frustrating—especially when you put so much time and effort into them. And, when you know that tons of other people are following that exact same process, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a long line just waiting to draw your number.

This is when making a personal connection can make a huge difference. What exactly does this mean? Start by seeing if you know anyone who currently works for that employer. Whether it’s an old friend or an acquaintance on LinkedIn, having someone who can hand-deliver your resume or put in a good word for you can really help to put your name at the top of the interview list.

If you can’t track down someone who can refer or recommend you, you should still make an effort to be as personal as possible in your application materials. Skip that generic “To Whom It May Concern” line (those letters typically find their way directly to the wastebasket!), and instead do some digging to see if you can find the name of the person you’d be working directly for—or even the hiring manager.

Knowing that you put in the legwork and research necessary to personally address your documents immediately portrays you as a dedicated and resourceful applicant. And, that reputation is sure to put you back at the top of the pile!

2. Improve Your Documents

A resume that’s riddled with typos and grammatical errors. A cover letter that contains the wrong company name. Yes, they’re all sure to make the hiring manager remember you—but not necessarily in a positive light.

It seems basic, but going through your resume and cover letter with a fine-tooth comb is absolutely necessary. Not only is this a best practice when applying for any sort of job, it’s also a surefire way to help you differentiate yourself from the crowd—you wouldn’t believe how much of your competition is immediately discounted, simply because their documents are sloppy.

Aside from just scanning for basic errors, now’s also a great time to polish your materials and make sure that they’re memorable and impactful. Ensure that you include quantifiable achievements in your resume that don’t only tell how great you are at what you do, but show it as well. Start your cover letter off with an engaging and captivating story, rather than that standard, “I’m writing in regards to…” line.

No, you don’t want to send a singing telegram or print your resume on hot pink paper. However, these more subtle tweaks and additions can really help you to be remembered—in a way that’s not eccentric and over-the-top.

3. Go Above and Beyond

I won’t deny that your resume and cover letter are extremely important documents for job search success. But, does that mean they’re absolutely the only things you need in order to land your dream job? Absolutely not.

You should never hesitate to go the extra mile, show some initiative, and share some other materials that a potential employer might care about. Go ahead and send them a link to your portfolio or personal blog. Anything that helps them to get a better sense of who you are as a candidate will benefit you!

You can even take things one step further by completing a sample specifically for that employer. Applying for a social media management position? Pull together a brief example of a social media strategy that you think could work for them. Want to be a data analyst? Share that amazing Excel spreadsheet you built—complicated macros and all. Showing that extra effort demonstrates how interested you are in the position. And, if they actually like the sample work you create? Well, then you’ve already got one foot in the door!

4. Polish Your Social Media Presence

Your work examples and official career documents will only take you so far. After all, employers pretty much expect that you’ll put your best foot forward when it comes to those materials. So, what will they do next? More than likely, hiring managers will look you up on social media.

Believe me, you don’t want to be remembered as the candidate who stars in that video for “Phi Sigma Rho’s Longest Keg Stand” or the applicant who writes scathing reviews of every single ex-boss on Facebook.

So, before even submitting your stuff, ensure you’ve taken the time to clean up your social media profiles. Bonus points for actually taking the time to polish and update your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it!

5. Follow Up

You know all of that intense competition we talked about? Well, it not only overwhelms you—it’s also pretty overwhelming to the hiring manager as well. Suddenly, they have an inbox full of submissions, and it’s up to them to weed out the junk in order to find those diamonds in the rough.

So, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back immediately about that job you’re so excited about. In fact, you likely won’t receive a super timely response. This is why following up is so important.

If you haven’t heard anything (whether that’s a “yes”, “thanks, but no thanks”, or a “we’ve received your submission” email) in about a week or two, feel free to reach out personally and check in on a timeline for a hiring decision. Make an attempt to use the most personalized email address you can find. But, if you can’t hunt one of those down, a general “info” or “careers” address will suffice as well.

Craft a friendly message just asking for an update on the hiring process for that specific position, reiterate your excitement about the opportunity, and thank them for their time. Still radio silence? You’re free to follow up once more. But, after that, it’s time to let it go. We all know there’s a fine line between being persistent and being a pest.

Standing out from the crowd when the job competition is stiff can undoubtedly be tough. But, it’s not impossible! It just involves some thought and creativity. Put these tips to use, and you’re sure to find your way to the top of that resume pile.

Need to get ready for job search success?  Our team at PWU is here to help.

We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization, Recruiter Services, and Professional Career Coaching.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

Poor Leadership and Employee Stress

poor leadership and mental health

Lately, we’ve discussed the topic of improving executive leadership and executive presence.  In contrast, let’s take a look at the other side of these skills and how poor leadership and employee stress are linked. Certainly, it is without question that the two go hand in hand.

Defining Expectations.

As a starting point, the management staff of any business or organization is responsible for setting priorities for the staff. These priorities define expectations and allow the entire team to run smoothly.

If management does not fulfill these responsibilities or is doing a poor job, employee stress is going to increase.

What Employees Seek.

When it comes to organization, the human mind is actually a very simple machine to operate. In practice, the mind loves to compartmentalize situations.

Therefore, employees perform best when duties and responsibilities are clearly defined. Defining duties and responsibilities allow the mind to further divide tasks into attainable daily, weekly, and monthly goals.  

Which, as a result, works perfectly in-line with larger goals put forth by management.  

Bite-sized goals. Now that’s the stuff that motivates employees!

Identifying Mental Health Priorities.

Furthermore, to expand the message of how poor leadership and employee stress are entwined, we found this perfect bullet list of risk definitions from the World Health Organization.

Risks to mental health include:

  • inadequate health and safety policies;
  • poor communication and management practices;
  • limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work;
  • low levels of support for employees;
  • inflexible working hours; and
  • unclear tasks or organizational objectives.

Additionally, The WTO released an information sheet in 2019 that speaks directly to mental health in the workplace.  

“Mental health interventions should be delivered as part of an integrated health and well-being strategy that covers prevention, early identification, support and rehabilitation. Key to success is involving stakeholders and staff at all levels when providing protection, promotion and support interventions and when monitoring their effectiveness. “

Setting Workplace Priorities.

Altogether, leaders are responsible for deciding the team direction. Leaders choose the project focus, and how fast it needs to be done. Unfortunately, some managers project management skills are weak. This throws a team into chaos.

As a rule, the best management goals are ones that are quantifiable. Stick to concrete numbers or measurable benchmarks.

For example, a good goal for a sales department is to increase sales by 15 percent over the next quarter. A poor and vague goal is to “do a good job.”

With this in mind, clear standards of performance allow employees to measure their individual success at work. As a result, a lack of clear standards causes morale to suffer. Which, in turn, makes it very difficult for an employee to gain a sense of fulfillment.

Ultimately, everyone wants to feel like they can ask for a raise, pursue a promotion, and, generally, feel successful at their job.  Indeed, we all want to achieve.

Mental Health Awareness.

What’s inspiring is the framework being established as the norm when it comes to employee stress and the nature of workplace mental health.

Over the years, we’ve seen a rise in corporate efforts that support a positive and healthy work environment for all team members. These days, it’s not uncommon for companies to have a functioning wellness program.

Most recently, some organizations are adopting the title role of Chief Wellness Officer. A role entirely dedicated to navigating employee stress. For example the facilitation of training seminars, leadership coaching, employee support sessions, and programmed stress-reducing retreats.

Furthermore, institutions such as Stanford University School of Medicine offer Chief Wellness Officer courses. While initially, these targetted only healthcare professionals, they are fast becoming desirable by those in high-level leadership roles.

In the case of Standford’s course, registration is formatted as a one-week intensive. Designed to “help participants cultivate expertise in the principles and applications that contribute to physician well-being.”

With learning objectives as follows: 

  • Leadership skills to spearhead the organization’s physician wellness efforts.
  • Knowledge and hands-on experience in developing a customized strategic plan.
  • Expertise in the principles and applications contributed to physician well-being. Including the development of an organizational culture to foster engagement and professional fulfillment.

As leaders who aim to create optimal work environments, our focus points are well defined to encourage healthy and vibrant mental health across our teams.

Holiday Reading for the Career-Driven.

holiday reading books for the career driven professional

With the holidays upon us, we thought we’d dedicate some thought towards scheduled (ok: forced) downtime. In doing so we polled the office and discovered 3 books that came highly recommended as holiday reading for the career-driven amongst us. 

A Case of The Go-Getter.

For the highly career-driven types, the act of ‘not working’ can come at us with rough edges. It’s not entirely natural to just sit back and not work our game strategy. In many ways, the idea of slowing the pace can feel like losing ground.  As a potential solution, we recommend double-timing the concept of taking a ‘holiday break’ with the addition of some inspirational reading. 

These 3 books are bountiful with ah-ha moments, industry hacks and refreshing stories of challenge and triumph.

#1:  Driven by Robert Herjavec

This book has achieved legendary bookshelf cred.  Some may recognize Robert Herjavec as one of the Shark Tank hosts.  Others may know his name from the massive career wave he’s made in the tech industry.  Either way, his story is that of a classic grind from near poverty to astounding wealth and career successes.  The book is written like an approachable novel traveling through biopic storylines with powerful advice and validation. It is a captivating read and a truly inspirational business book. An absolute must-read!

#2:  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

At 164 pages this little book is a powerhouse of gloves-off dictation.  If you are a writer, this is your book.  Creative entrepreneurs, this is your book.  If you are a visionary who is constantly seeking routes of betterment in life and in career, this is your book.

Steven Pressfield is the author of several novels including that of The Legend of Bagger Vance. (Which if you haven’t seen the movie, you haven’t fully lived.  Strong opinion but I’m sticking to it!)  The Art of War goes richly into content regarding the challenges faced when we ask too much from our creativity. 

Honestly, it’s a funny and lighthearted read even though it touches on inner battles and the psychology of creation. Go get this book. I will completely alter the quality of your work.

#3: Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson

Altogether, what’s refreshing about this book is the female perspective of corporate success. Arlene Dickinson was a single mother who literally went from newly divorced with no savings, only a high school diploma and four young children to CEO of one of the countries largest marketing firms. All within the span of a decade. In short, this woman has grit! 

The book teaches patience, it teaches how every little, tiny step forward is still worth celebrating and it teaches the depths of digging into your goals through the art of persuasion.

Gift Yourself Time.

To summarize, take a moment to yourself this holiday season. Gift yourself time to calm down.  Put the phone down, leave the to-list in the office, kiss your family and then get comfortable in your favorite chair. 

There is a great benefit to awarding yourself genuine downtime, not just for our health but also for our continued career-driven momentum. 

How To Choose a Career Coach

Choosing the right career coach

With the closing of the decade, we’re seeing all sorts of 10-year reflection content on social media right now.  Have you seen it?  Perhaps it’s the end of an era that sparks the human interest to compare and assess using time as the main reference. Whatever the reasoning now is a great time to check in on career goals. Here are our tips on how to choose a career coach, should you be so inclined.

What A Career Coach Can Do

Some of you would have been in school at the crack of 2010 and are now well seated in your chosen careers.  Others may have changed directions several times and are looking back at an intersection of self-discovery and career interests. Looking forward, consider the benefits of sourcing, vetting and connecting with a career coach who can help you identify goals for the next 10 years of career growth.

6 Tips for Choosing a Career Coach

1. Define The Problems.

Ask yourself: Why do I need a career coach? If you’re not clear, take out a piece of paper and write down every question that comes to mind about your career transition.  Once you understand your needs, you can identify the best type of coach for the job.

If you’re interested in changing career directions: Find a coach who is experienced in career reinvention.

If you are looking to stay in your field but need help navigating the job search process: Find a coach who has strength in resume writing or has exceptional referrals to a professional resume writer.  Additionally, this coach should also have good tactics for job searching via social media and other job-hunting avenues.

2. The Interview

Yes, of course, it’s recommended to interview potential coaches! This is your career. You’re in the driver’s seat so vet ay potentials and set up some meetings.

Keep in mind, some coaches offer a free introductory call, while others only do so unless you sign on for three months or more. Also, it’s common for people to work with career coaches on a shorter-term basis, such as three sessions for job-search coaching or six sessions to complete a career exploration package.

Smart questions to ask during the interview:

  • How would you describe your coaching style?
  • What should I expect from our work together?
  • What are your fees, packages and/or recommended routes?
  • Can you share some of your success stories? (Listen to see if the coach tends to work with people like you.)

3. Choosing The Services Best Suited to You.

Coaches charge in a variety of ways: by the hour, by the month, by the task or some combination of all three. Some ask for a multi-session commitment; others go session-by-session.

Some offer full branding packages that include reworking a resumé, LinkedIn profile and cover letters while others offer each of those services a-la-carte.

Ask a lot of questions and be sure the coach is clear about what you’ll get for your money before you start work together.

4. Ready Yourself to Win.

Coaching sessions are generally about an hour long and to the betterment of both parties, you want to go in prepared.  Ready any questions or specific topics of direction.  Organize relevant documentation. Speak your mind. Be honest about the process, if the coach is doing (or not doing) something that doesn’t sit right, share and help the relationship achieve full potential.

Additionally, maintain open lines of communication regarding any personal challenges impacting your career plans.  The goal is to craft a realistic action plan.  To do this, all facts should be on the table.

5. Respect The Process.

To achieve a deeper understanding, many coaches use one or more industry-specific assessments.  Techniques such as personality tests and interest inventories help you identify your strengths, interests and best work options.

Now, while these are helpful, they can’t always provide you with “the answer.”

All career changes involve a process of assessment, reflection, research, and testing. As well as hard work and patience. This all takes time before you gain real and lasting clarity. 

6. Manage Timeline Expectations.

There is no clear timetable for a career change. It truly depends on you, your goals, the state of the economy and a thousand other variables. From a coach, you may only need a couple of brainstorming sessions, or you may get into the process and realize you’d prefer a few months of support.

Just know, you are going to hit plateaus and they will be frustrating. Be patient and loving to yourself.

Ultimately, the key to a good coaching relationship is finding the right coach for your specific needs and then working together effectively.  Some coached are available to advise clients in person; others use a mix of phone, video conferencing and in-person meetings. 

Ideally when vetting a potential coach think about what best suits your style of work ethic and daily practices. On our team at PWU, we have exceptional career coaches available. Reach out if you would like a recommendation and contact details.

Whether you are anticipating a new career direction, seeking advice on the job search or planning for semi-retirement, a good coach can help you reach goals faster and more successfully than by going it alone.

Will Resumes Be Necessary in 2020?

will resumes be necessary in 2020

There has been a lot of talk about resumes becoming less important in the future. We understand things change rapidly in the world of hiring practices, but could this be true? Will resumes be necessary in 2020?

It has been said that resumes really only account for about 10% of the hiring process and that social media accounts are replacing resumes. While it’s true, hiring managers are using social media platforms to investigate and vet potential employees, the idea that the resume is going away is not actually supported by career experts.

Social Media vs. Resume

Undoubtedly, recruiters are turning to platforms like LinkedIn, when they connect with potential candidates, what do you think is the first thing they ask for? That’s right, a resume!

LinkedIn is a great place to build your “brand” and strategically develop your profile to reflect your professional interests, experiences, and what you have to offer. Additionally, a great advantage to LinkedIn are the recommendations and multi-media options. All of these are great tools to entice recruiters, and once they are interested, that’s when a resume will always be necessary.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

More than 98% of Fortune 500 companies are utilizing the benefits of ATS these days. In the past decade, only the larger companies were using ATS. Now, it’s common practice for smaller companies to also be using ATS. This means that the chances of your resume being scanned for keywords and phrases are even greater. This allows the recruiters to filter out potential candidates and theoretically make sure their candidate is a good fit for the position.

The responsibility is really on you, the applicant, to be sure that keywords and phrases are in your resume. The success of your resume will be totally dependent upon ATS.

Resume Formatting for 2020

Knowing that ATS is so valuable and will only grow in importance in the future, how can you be sure you are ready for it? One of the most important things to consider is the fact that, while word processing details can make your resume fancier, ATS prefers very simple text-based documents.

Applicant Tracking Systems are very particular about formatting. There are many fonts they can’t “see”. They cannot “read” what’s in a text box, and pictures or graphics do not mean anything. However, bold, italics, underline, and shading is fine.

It’s one thing to hand out fancy resumes, but when it comes to applying online for jobs, simple, text-based, .doc resumes are going to increase your chances.

Beware Social Media Self-Expression

Now that we live in a world where it’s easy to google another person, recruiters too have adopted this ease in their candidate research. Knowing you will be researched, use it to your advantage!

Create social media accounts where you can develop your brand. Allow these accounts to reflect who you are, what you’re about, and what you have accomplished. As always, carefully consider if your accounts are reflecting the kind of information that you would want recruiters to find. While it’s fun to be impulsive and passionate about our social profiles, to maintain professionalism remember to consider future perspectives.

2020 Job Search

Not a lot is changing when it comes to the job search. While there is an increasing role for social media platforms, the resume is still essential. Another “old school” idea that still, and will probably ALWAYS be important is NETWORKING. In truth, someone who is referred to a hiring manager is more likely to get an interview and with the potential to be hired.

So, don’t be shy, network with your friends, in-laws, and other folks you know in your industry. Referrals always have an advantage compared to someone the hiring manager has no reference for.

If you have any questions about your resume or job search, reach out for a free resume review and consultation. Our team at PWU offers Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Coaching and Recruitment services. 

Connect with us here for a free 15-minute consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

4 Career Benefits of the Holiday Season

4 career benefits of the holiday season

The holidays are just around the corner and with them are a much-needed break. For many, especially if you’ve recently started a new job, it’s tempting to skip the holiday downtime for fear it will reflect badly on your productivity. Truly though, with a bit of planning and heart, these 4 holiday season career benefits

1. Taking breaks improves productivity

It’s easy to believe that working late and not taking time off means you will get more work done. However, recent research has found that when working long hours, employees lose creativity while also find it hard to maintain the same intensity level in their work. So, by working yourself too hard, it could actually be detrimental to the quality of your work.

A better strategy is to budget your time around daily, weekly, monthly tasks.

Especially if you’re seeking to maximize the career benefits of the holiday season.

To help manage the workload try assembling a plan.  Take early stock of all high-level tasks that must be finished before your break.  Write these into your schedule and tag them for importance.  This is your mandatory list.

Secondly, form a list of mid-level tasks.  These are the non-immediate-but-overall-important tasks that will greatly benefit current and upcoming workflows.

Lastly, write yourself a bonus list. I find this one the most fun to write.  These are the tasks that if you got to them, it would be considered stepping ahead of your goals. Be specific here to help guide the process.

What small elements would boost your current progress to the next level?

These 3 lists combined will not only gain you traction on the current momentum, but they’ll also greatly ease your mind when away from the office.

2. You’ll be healthier

If you don’t take the time off to relax and unwind, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming overly stressed. We all know stress has negative implications for your health with outcomes such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.

It’s important to look after yourself, as well as your workload. 

With an increase in spending and pressure of family, it can be easy to lose focus on your self-care needs at this time of year. 

Now is a great time to use those massage gift certificates or max out the annual health benefits package.  Book the acupuncture, check-in with the chiropractor, make the time for a little pampering.

3. Quality time with loved ones

Chances are that if you’re working long hours, you don’t get to spend as much time with your loved ones as you’d like to.

By taking this annual leave from work, you set time aside to connect and appreciate, whether it be at home or on a trip together. Spending time with your friends and family may be just what you need to unwind and improve your mood after a stressful period at work.

4. Work-Life balance is important

If a good work-life balance is not met in your job, it’s likely that you will start to build negative feelings towards work or your employer. In order to be happy at work and maintain the drive to work to the best of your ability, it’s important for you to balance work and your personal life.

There is so much to do and see in the world, which just isn’t going to happen from the confines of your office. Take a break and experience new things, or you may regret it later.

If you’ve been meaning to take up a new hobby, this could be your chance to give it a go and you never know, it may even open doors to new opportunities in the future. Step away from the computer and go enjoy yourself over the holidays! 

As always, if needed, our team at PWU is here to help. We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization and Recruiter Services. Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

8 Tips to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems

8 tips to beat applicant tracking systems

From the first known resume in 1482 by Leonardo DaVinci through the 1500s in England into the 20th Century and current Digital Age. Resume formats have changed dramatically over the years. Modern-day resumes must now contain a very specific format in order to beat Applicant Tracking Systems.

If you’re on the search for a new job and not getting the desired traction, your resume may not be ideal for ATS. In which case, have a read below for 8 tips to beat Applicant Tracking Systems.

#1 – Use ATS Resume Keywords Correctly.

The design of Applicant Tracking Software is to scan for keywords that relate to the job and industry. The proper usage of keywords is what sets your resume apart from others by gaining ATS high ranking. Like a high score in PacMan, ATS high ranking means your resume levels up.

Look at the job description of your ideal position. If you’re applying for a job within a specific industry, this is where you can identify the major keywords that relate to that industry or the position you seek. 

Include these keywords in a core competencies or skills section.

But be careful, one thing that’s just as bad as not having the correct keywords is over-using them. The ATS will reject an overstuffed resume as quickly as it would a resume with insufficient keywords.

#2 – Format Your Resume Correctly.

Stick to a traditional resume format at all times.

Text boxes, footers, headers, and graphics read as clutter during the scan which can result in your resume being rejected. Choose a basic format like reverse-chronological, functional or hybrid, to ensure the resume can be scanned by ATS and easy for a recruiter to read.

#3 – Send The Correct File Type

 Applicant tracking systems need to be able to scan and read your resume. The safest way to ensure that your resume will be read is to submit it in a Microsoft Word Doc file. 

Even though many of the systems are now advanced enough to read a PDF, you should still send a Doc file to be on the safe side. A Doc file is the preferred file type for both ATS and many recruiters.

You should also always check the job description to see if the employer wants a certain file type. Often times, employers will specify a certain file type, so it’s recommended to have both versions available.

#4 – Label Sections

If your layout is not done properly, the ATS may have trouble identifying where you worked, what you did, and how long you were there. We want to ensure the ATS can read the entire resume correctly. To do this, label your resume sections properly. Use subheadings such as work experience, education, and interests, etc.

Also, verify that the location, position, and length of employment information you provide is clear and consistent throughout your resume.

use a professional font

#5 – Use A Professional Font.

We can’t stress this enough, stick to a professional font. When your resume passes through ATS, the next step is recruiter review. And professional recruiters generally do not favor comic sans.

The best fonts to use for your resume are:

  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica

#6 – Make Spelling And Grammar Top-Level Priority.

Spelling errors can, and will, cause a resume to be automatically rejected. Additionally, the majority of recruiters will also dismiss a resume even if it contains only a single error.

Consider this, according to CareerBuilder, 58% of resumes contain spelling and grammatical errors. Read that again, over half of the resumes out there are a hot-mess in the actual wording department.  Join 40% of applicants that get spelling and grammar correct.

Pro-Tip: Grammerly is a wonderful tool!

#7 – Resume File Name

Yes, what you name the file matters. Even though it might get through ATS, recruiters will often ignore unprofessional resume names. Use your first and last name, or a combination of the two.

You should also add either the word “resume” or the position you seek.

Examples:

JohnS.Resume.doc

JohnSmith.Resume.doc

John.SalesManager.doc

This is also important because if a recruiter needs to go back and find you in the system, they can easily do so by searching your name in the database. This also holds true if someone is referring you. Your resume needs to be easily found should the recruiter want to pull up your file. 

#8 – Make Sure You Are Qualified For The Job.

To sum it all up, make sure you meet the qualifications of the job posting. Blindly sending out tons of resumes is a waste of your time.

It’s better to take your time and go through each job description to verify that you’re qualified. The ATS are designed to see if the candidate is a good match for the job and verify that he or she has the qualifications needed.

However, don’t be discouraged from applying for jobs where you meet most of the qualifications. If a position asks for 2 years of experience and you only have one, go for it anyway!

Patience and persistence are the names of the game now. It may take longer than you anticipated, or you could find the ideal fit quite quickly. Stay with it to step up to your next opportunity!

If all this overwhelms you…

Remember, you can always hire a professional. Whether you’re needing a Resume update, Cover Letter, Recruitment Services or LinkedIn Profile Optimization, our team at PWU has what you need.

Follow the link for a free resume review and consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

How to Reenter the Job Market

reenter the job market

Without question, to reenter the job market is a challenge that requires strategy to navigate.  No matter the reasoning, whether you’ve started a family, took the time to care for an aging relative, re-invested in yourself by returning to school and finally finished that Master’s Degree or just needed to dedicate a portion of your life to traveling, cracking out the old resume takes patience.

Overcome the Bias.

Recruiters and ATS technology are directed to find the “best talent,” which means they rely on specific indicators to narrow the search. These indicators include recent dates, length of previous employment along with, specific acquired skills and job title. When reentering the job market these indicators are vital.

To help combat any stigma, job seekers need to communicate clearly and focus on the right indicators.

Reenter the Job Market – 4 steps to begin:

  1. Begin updating your skills before you start to look for a job: If you can, start padding your resume a few months before you want to start looking for a job. Volunteer, take an online course, investigate internships — do anything that can help fill gaps and reboot your resume.
  2. Create a resume that is functional rather than chronological: The key is to take the focus off precise employment dates. As professional resume writers, this is second nature to us, however, if you are planning to re-write your resume you’ll want to create headings that show the experiences, successes, and benchmarks and then list your achievements accordingly.
  3. Be courageous. A killer resume is a good first step, however, to land a great job, you gotta nail the interview. If you’re out of practice, consider hiring an interview coach.  These highly skilled professionals are masters of streamlining your dialogue and presence once your foot is in the door.
  4. Be open to new experiences: The reality of reentering the work world is that you might have to make some compromises. Be open to part-time, project or contract work. These short-term jobs provide great experience and contacts that can help you land a job that is a perfect fit for you and all of the experiences you bring to the table.

What if they ask why I was away so long?

emphasize your skills to reenter the job market

If asked about it, discuss your time away briefly. Don’t worry about the details. Emphasize your skills and work ethic rather than your time away. Sell yourself as a blank slate ready to jump in and work hard in a new work environment.

When applying and interviewing, you just have to showcase what you did, where you went, and most importantly, what you learned. It’s about communicating why you made those choices.

As always, we at Power Writers are here if you need a professional resume writer. We offer a free consultation, free resume review and free quotes. Bridging a time gap on your resume is technical, although with our expertise you are certain to enter the job search with a confident and direct resume.

Good Timing for Big Momentum in your Sales Career

We’ve recently seen a surge in resume requests for professionals seeking sales promotion and career momentum which got us thinking about the specific requirements recruiters and executives are seeking. As resume writers, it’s always interesting to connect skills on paper to what really motivates personnel to seek higher positions.

So what’s going on out there that sparked this current career momentum?

There’s potential we’re seeing the increase as a result of more companies making the connection between the marketing and sales departments which in turn is driving in-house competitiveness in both departments.

Are you familiar with the term smarketing?

The concept was first introduced by the masterminds at Hubspot in 2008 and is only now becoming more widely implemented. The idea is to create a hybrid role evolving from the amplified skills of both marketing and sales professionals.

Smarketing Goal: Create a common integrated approach to streamline strategy, communication, and realtime workflow efforts.

Read more on specifics of Smarketing here: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/
sales-marketing-

So, how do you ready yourself to make a move?

Step 1: Hire a really really REALLY
amazing resume writer (like us!) who spends all day immersed in multi-industry verbiage and stays updated on current ATS requirements.

More often, at the higher career levels, unless you’re changing structures within your current company, you’re going to need a powerful resume to make it past modern-day applicant tracking systems or ATS’s.

What the heck is ATS? In short, ATS is a software that manages the recruiting and hiring process. Learn the details here. If you’re in the game at higher career levels, these tracking systems must be your ally.

Not feeling the need to hire resume professionals? No problemo. You’ve always got the option to go-it solo. Check out these helpful career tips offered by the good folks at Top Resume

Speaking from our perspective, the #1 client feedback received on why our clients looked to hire a professional resume writer is that they are not gaining traction on recent application processes.

“I have a diverse background but am having difficulties explaining my skills on paper.”

“The current resume, I wrote, and have sent over 50 applications but i’m not getting interviews”

“I believe the resume is the issue.”

“How do I frame my diverse experiences and accomplishments to capture the interest of hiring managers?”

Step 2: Evaluate your current skills.

Quote: There's a good chance you already have the skills to gain sales career momentum.

Now, we could list a million key skills required to succeed in sales,
but none of it would be anything new-to-you. If you’re currently succeeding in sales,
you already have what it takes to keep building out your path.

Advancing in sales is more than doing a good job and waiting in line for the next opportunity. It’s about understanding where your company is growing and
identifying how to serve the needs of the business before those needs become
problems or major initiatives.

That’s how you become a person people are excited to work with AND walk the path to exponential career growth.

Fun fact tho: Sometimes to get the growth, you may find yourself in a financially less-fulfilling role, on-route to your target position. This type of growth won’t always feel like progress. Yes, it’s sticky and uncomfortable. And you may make a few perceived steps backward to gain traction on a major step forward.

Planning momentum in sales career with notebook and mac computer.

In summary, we learned that when it comes to sales promotions, the world is your oyster – there are countless career paths to choose from in sales. It’s just a matter of discovering what you enjoy doing most and where you want to end up.

Reduce Work-Related Stress: Create A Self-Care Plan

Tight deadlines, budget cuts, economic change, interpersonal conflicts, and an overall lack of sleep is enough to make anyone overwhelmed with stress. And this list is only the tip of the iceberg.
Even though we have seen an increase in self-care campaigns in the past few years work stress is still a prevalent issue. However, this is not a surprising phenomenon considering we spend a large part of our lives at work. Our careers and the level of success we have within them often times dictate how we perform in other areas of our lives. At times it can be difficult to keep work-related stress where it belongs- in the office and so it goes home with us and there it continues to infiltrate our lives even further. So, with that being said wouldn’t it be better to have a preventive game plan for stress reduction/management?

The American Institute of Stress, says this about workplace stress:

Stress is a highly personalized phenomenon and can vary widely even in identical situations for different reasons. One survey showed that having to complete paperwork was more stressful for many police officers than the dangers associated with pursuing criminals. The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the demands that are being made and the individual’s sense of control or decision-making latitude he or she has in dealing with them. Scientific studies based on this model confirm that workers who perceive they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.


The American Institute of Stress. [Web log post]. Retrieved April 30, 2019, from https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress

As mentioned by the American Institute of Stress, the cause and effects of stress vary from person to person. Some individuals thrive when faced with high-pressure situations and work environments while others perform better under slower paced, less frenzied environments. It all hinges on the individual’s personality and work/learning style. Either way, having a toolbelt of stress-reducing tactics can only serve to promote a healthy life both in the office and at home.

Taking time for self-care is such an important element for reducing and managing our stress levels. So it’s a great place to start thinking about your stress management plan. What do you absolutely love to do? And we are not talking about work here, this has to be something non-work related that you can do for pure enjoyment. Read this article, “10 Tips to Help You De-Stress” for inspiration on implementing activities and an overall mindset towards self-care.

A stressed-out worker is an unhappy worker, and an unhappy worker is an unproductive worker. In fact, an estimated 1 million workers call in sick as a result of stress every day.

Uzialko, Adam C. [Web log post]. 3 Steps to Eliminate Workplace Stress. April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2019
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8129-stress-reduction-tips.html

In the article above the author breaks it down into three easy categories to help us focus our efforts on reducing workplace stress. 1. Identify the cause 2. Assess your communication habits 3.Do more for yourself.

Read the full article here.

Stress and how we cope varies from person to person. So what helps one person may not be helpful for another. No one else truly knows where your area’s of struggle may be in the work environment. This is why it is important to be proactive in your own self-care/stress management strategy.

It is a good idea to routinely take stock of your work day and see where there is room for improvement, not only in productivity but also in stress reduction/management techniques. Because let’s face it, our level of success depends greatly on our health. In order to continue performing well in our jobs, we need to ensure we are strong both physically and mentally so we can not only meet the demands of work life but exceed them.

Additional Reading:

https://www.forbes.com/2009/09/30/executive-job-stress-leadership-ceonetwork-ccl.html#668ee1e75faf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/03/20/12-ways-to-eliminate-stress-at-work/#708a16aa7f29

https://www.business2community.com/strategy/8-proven-ways-to-overcome-work-stress-01267151

https://hbr.org/2018/08/you-know-you-need-more-sleep-heres-how-to-get-it?autocomplete=true


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!