The leaves are turning colour, there’s a slight chill in the air, and the rain has started…all reminding us that fall has arrived and school is starting. Although some of us are finished with school, fall indicates a new start and a kind of new beginning, even though the calendar year is not yet complete.
For us McNakers, we start to think about the upcoming year by planning our corporate philanthropy initiatives along with other strategic objectives. Next year, we plan to hold our annual charity event called GrapeJuice, in support of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, whose mandate is to help young girls through their mentorship program. We are also working to plan another Career Launcher session to help job-seeking aged ‘little sisters’ prepare for the start of their own financial stability. This initiative, which we have hosted in past years, has a goal to help young girls launch their career foundation.
All too often, young people are unsure of where to start when preparing for their first job. We try to help guide the development of a well-prepared resume; a resume that chronologically lists some recent work experience and other skills they have acquired over the years. If there is not a lot of work experience, then we suggest listing their volunteer work or extra-curricular activities, as it can be just as important for future employers to review. Skills gained while volunteering or studying are applicable to list on a resume – skills such as meeting deadlines (completing homework on time) as well as being organized and detail-oriented. Some students struggle as to what to put on their resume to make it long enough, but a 1 or 2-page resume is more than adequate for future employers at this level.
The interview is also critical as an excited student only has a few minutes to make that positive first impression. We try to pass along tips to be prepared for a first interview. We recommend reviewing what the company and position require, preparing appropriate examples of experience, arriving early and dressing appropriately, answering the questions succinctly, making eye-contact and showing enthusiasm, and following up with a thank you. These suggestions may seem like common sense, however, for a young person who hasn’t interviewed before, this is completely new territory and requires preparation.
Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, too many pages long…recruiters have seen many resume mistakes. Make sure your resume is polished and ready so you can get that interview! Hiring Managers have been known to spend only 6 seconds looking at your resume. Not getting any call backs from your job applications and resume submissions? Perhaps it is time to review your resume, and make sure it is clear and concise.
Here is a short video on 9 common mistakes people make on their resumes.
video credit: Business Insider
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At a quick glance at a resume, hiring managers can easily be too quick to judge to determine if the candidate deserves an interview.
In this TED Talk video below, HR Manager Regina Hartley shares with us why highly motivated ‘scrappers’ are the kind of candidates hiring managers should be looking out for. Scrappers have experienced hardships and overcome adversity which has shaped them to be highly motivated, productive and successful.
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Your resume is often the first impression you can make at a company – make it a good one so hopefully it isn’t the ONLY impression you get to make. As a recruiter I have seen all sorts of resumes from various countries and the formats can change frequently. Saying this, there are some resume blunders that no one can afford to make. Here are just a few of the resume mistakes I have seen.
An applicant submitted the resume with a cover letter addressed to another company for a very different role.
A woman included a photograph that was shoulders up, wearing a strapless shirt – it looked like she was baring it all!
No contact information was included. Talk about making it hard for someone to reach you!
A candidate described themselves as “detail oriented” but the resume was littered with careless errors.
A candidate listed her e-mail address as HOTMILF@*****.com
Avoid these blunders, and you will have a chance at making a good, professional first impression.
Alana Savage is a Recruitment Consultant at McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group, specializing in full-cycle recruitment and client relations within Investment and Financial Services. Alana handles the entire recruitment process for her clients including identifying position requirements, developing job postings, sourcing and interviewing of candidates, checking references, negotiating job offers and onboarding support.
Jobseekers often ask if a resume is still really necessary when we have a tool like LinkedIn at our fingertips.
Resumes are definitely not dead – with a few industry exceptions, you can’t get a job without one. Saying this, the resume is not what gets someone hired anymore. Who you know, or get to know is very important, and your resume allows you to go through the formal HR process which is most often still required.
As for the immediate future of resumes, I think we’ll see some creative changes to the resume, streamlining the content so it is quicker to learn about someone’s professional background. I think the three page resume has already gone out but maybe the two page will follow and be replaced by some format that showcases your real personality rather than some cliche “interests” at the bottom. Video resumes are gaining attention, Q+A’s online, as well as assignments before a first interview. All of these processes are tools used to get to know the person and their abilities.
Looking long term, the future of resumes would probably depend on where technology goes. I could see resumes being changed by new format options, and perhaps being replaced altogether.
LinkedIn absolutely compliments a resume but I think if it was going to replace it, then it would be happening right now, and it doesn’t for most HR processes. You can really make an impact with LinkedIn – maintaining a professional and up to date profile is absolutely necessary. But to really use LinkedIn to your advantage – create content so you set yourself apart from your peers and are viewed as a specialist in your field. You can use LinkedIn to connect with companies/people of interest to get that job interview, then to research hiring managers and team members before meeting them in person.
Consider both resumes and LinkedIn as essential career tools. Consider LinkedIn as your living resume.
Writing your resume is about showing yourself in the best light. This informative infographic put together by Colorado Technical University gives tips on fonts and typefaces to make it easier for the recipient to read on a computer screen, as well as other advice for the traditional paper resume.
Paying attention to these basic elements and more can make all the difference in having a resume that gets noticed.
So, you’ve uploaded your resume to various job board websites, created online social media profiles for all industry leaders to see, and applied to every opportunity that interests you. You’ve managed to be accessible to almost all the employers out there. “This must lead to a new job!”, you might think. That might not be all it leads to….
Not only have you made your work history and educational background available to hiring managers, you’ve made your personal information readily available to scammers. On the surface, it looks like you are just going through the common job search process. Fact is, potential employers only really need your name and phone number or e-mail address to be able to contact you. Providing them with your street address, apartment number, and worse – Social Insurance Number is just plain dangerous.
As a recruiter with McNeill Nakamoto, I view countless resumes online and a surprising number of them have personal information included that makes identity theft too easy for criminals posing as potential employers. Scammers have been known to simply use the information you provided on your resume or online profile to access your banking information, make duplicate government documents, and much more.
There are more complex tactics that every job seeker should be aware of… Some con-artists pose as hiring managers and email applicants who submit their resumes to legitimate job postings. By hacking into a hiring manager’s email account, they can respond to applicants – confirming that they have won the position, and then ask the unsuspecting candidates to provide personal information, government ID numbers and banking information. Read This! Job Seeker Identities at Risk
Moral of the story – Think twice before sharing personal information online.