Stop Making These Resume Mistakes

February 17th, 2017

If you’ve been sending out an avalanche of resumes and you just aren’t getting the response rate you need, it may be time to return to your document and take another look with a fresh set of eyes. Even if you’ve edited every section multiple times, there’s a chance you may be committing one of these common mistakes. Reopen, review, revise, and try again.

Minimal Customization

Are you doing everything you can to tailor your resume for a specific audience? Don’t spend hours customizing your document for every opportunity that comes your way, but at the same time, you’ll want your resume to look like a targeted and specific message, not part of a spam campaign. Put brackets around three or four sentences and phrases, including your target job title, your target industry, and a phrase or two in your summary. Each time you submit to a potential employer, revisit each set of brackets and type in a title, industry, and area of focus that align with the wording in the job post.

A Lack of Keywords

Since most larger employers place resumes into a database immediately upon receipt, you’ll want your resume to find its way back out of that database and into the hands of a human reader during the review process. In order to increase your odds of being seen and read, make sure your resume contains some of the terms and words that will likely be typed into a search bar by managers and reviewers. Likely keywords include 1.) the exact job title 2). the geographic area or city where the job will be offered and 3.) a few of the most important skills and qualifications required by the employers and mentioned in the job description.

Seeming Conflicts

Your target employers want a full-time worker who will be willing to work off-shifts. Your last few positions were part time jobs, and a quick glance over your resume doesn’t reveal much evidence of working different shifts. If this results in a trip to the recycle bin, that may seem unfair. But during the early rounds of the review process, employers are heavily guided by impressions. So make sure a ten- second glance over your document suggests a candidate who aligns with the position in the broadest and simplest terms. For example, do you live in the area? If not, have you clearly expressed a willingness to relocate?

For more on how to avoid the kinds of simple errors that can allow your resume to slip through the cracks, turn to the job search pros at PSU.

Low Workplace Morale? Eliminate it from the Beginning!

February 3rd, 2017

Low morale can sneak into your workplace and become an insidious drain on your productivity and your bottom line. But if you know how to recognize the early signs and squash this expensive problem before it starts, you’ll avoid countless headaches and lost revenue in 2017. Here are a few tips that can help you keep an eye out and take quick action before a small dip in morale becomes a thorny and complicated hassle.

Don’t let it start.

When morale drops and workers dial out, they don’t typically come to your door to announce this. Nobody ever says, “Hey, my morale is low and it’s making me less productive. Can you help?” In fact, most employees who feel this way believe that they’re alone, and they work hard to hide the issue instead of seeking outside support. Don’t wait for an announcement; just watch out for subtle signs of disinterest and a disconnect between effort and reward. If employees are no longer giving their best efforts and they seem unconcerned about the long term, it’s because they’ve done a kind of cost-benefit analysis and they’re reallocating their energy and attention to other aspects of their lives. That’s when it’s time to step in and take action.

When you see the signs, speak up.

During the cold winter months, employees get sick, their family members get sick, gloom takes hold, once-exciting projects feel like drudgery, and daily challenges become daily chores. If your teams seem slower to react to new assignments and they don’t rush to contribute during meetings, ask what’s wrong. Ask how you can help. If you don’t get a concrete response, you can act on your own initiative. But ask first; the answer your receive may provide a shortcut to the solution.

Make a decision.

If your employees won’t tell you exactly what they need, take action on your own. Schedule team building and leadership workshops to break up the monotony. Shift assignments and responsibilities to encourage teamwork. Provide fresh new incentives for excellent work. Foster a culture of encouragement and support instead of depressing internal competition and backbiting. Find ways to make dull responsibilities and goals into games.

When in doubt, offer food.

Nothing tends to boost a gloomy, disengaged team like free food. Something as simple as a box of donuts in the break room can lift some spirits and show your teams that you care about them. A more elaborate gesture, like sandwiches or a pizza lunch, can take the message even further.

For more on how to boost morale and encourage employees to stay focused amid the distractions of the season, reach out to the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.

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