How’s that RESUME Look?

We all want to work at our dream job, right? So not a single day ever feels like work, right? But to get that so-called dream job you’ll need to have a killer interview. And before you can even interview you need the most important tool to sell yourself to employers, recruiters, and HR departments before they ever even meet you. What is it you may ask? It’s having an effective resume! Here’s a few tips and guidelines to improving that resume to get you through the company’s door and landing that interview.resume-interview-620x480

1.) Formatting Your Resume

Generally the first time a resume gets looked at it’s for 10-25 seconds. What’s this mean? This means that your resume better be as clear and concise as possible.

  • Be sure to use a logical format and wide margins, and clean type along with clear headings.
  • Use bullets in order to call attention to important points.
  • Apply bold and italic typeface to help guide the reader’s eye to important content.

2.) Identify Accomplishments, Not Job Descriptions

Hiring managers seek candidates who can assist them with solving a problem or satisfying a need in their company, so you’ll need to make sure your resume states how you’ve solved similar problems at past work experiences.

  • Focus on what you did in the job.
  • Include one or two top line description of the job, then list accomplishments.
  • Accomplishments should be unique, not just a list of day-to-day tasks.
  • For each point/accomplishment you should ask yourself, what was the benefit of having done what you did?

3.) Quantify Accomplishments

When it comes to reviewing resumes, a very common mistake hiring managers face every day is the use of too much industry jargon and confusing general claims. Be sure to use your resume as a marketing tool to sell your skills and strengths effectively.

  • Include specific achievements and accomplishments that will send a comprehensive picture of your marketability.
  • Quantify achievements at any chance you get by generating percentages, dollar amounts, number of employees, results, etc. These are big confidence boosters for hiring managers.tailor_255x255

4.) Tailor Your Resume for the Industry

When designing your resume you need to be aware of the industry you’re going into and what kind of territory comes with that industry. For example, the resume of someone in advertising and design has a lot more leeway when it comes to creativity with the layout compared to someone in chemical engineering.

  • When in doubt stay on the conservative side when it comes to style (not to be confused with boring… more along the lines of less flashy if you’re a chemical engineer.)
  • Essentials: Accomplishments, grammatically-correctness, error-free writing, and a clean crisp type will make the right impression.
  • When revising don’t rely on spell check… Use it, but review it many times yourself, and then get another set of eyes to look it over to get another perspective on things.

5.) Think Career Summary Versus Your Objective

What’s the difference? A Career Summary gives a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Where Objectives all sound the same: seeking a challenging position, interested in position A where I can use my skills A, B, and C in order to contribute to the bottom line. What does that tell us? Not much at all.

  • With a Career Summary you need to grab that hiring manager’s attention right from the get-go, with keeping in mind you have less than 25 seconds to make a good impression.
  • Spend a decent amount of time developing your career summary so you achieve getting their attention by accurately and effectively describing you as a solution to their problems.

6.) Network! Network! Network!

If you’re an unemployed candidate, then handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of positions today are filled through networking, so contacting anyone and everyone you know with the addition of recruiters who are in a position to hire or provide insights is crucial. Networking can include:

  • Personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you.
  • Vendors / sales representatives you’ve dealt with in past 5 years.
  • Friends and family that work in the same or similar industries.
  • People listed in alumni directories of your alma mater.

With a solid resume you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting through the door, landing that interview, and being one step closer to securing your dream job.

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Traditions: Advice from the Top

One of the many reasons I decided to intern here at PBP is that interns are truly made to feel part of the company, from the kinds of assignments we are given to our inclusion in work-related events and training.  Like all other new hires, interns participate in “Traditions,” a seven-week orientation program.

During Traditions, we play fun icebreakers to get to know each other, explore our individual strengths and how to enhance them, learn about the history of the company, and receive valuable advice and insight from top PBP executives.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

Last week during Traditions, we had the opportunity to have a Q&A session over lunch with Ed Satell, PBP’s CEO, and Tom Schubert, the COO and CFO.  Ed was inspiring when he encouraged us to “create our own realities,” much the way he did when he started PBP.

Ed explained how, while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut, he began working as a china salesman.  After experiencing success at sales, in 1959 Ed founded PBP’s parent company, American Future Systems (AFS).  Then, in the 1980s, PBP was born when Ed expanded into the world of publications.  PBP’s first newsletter, The Selling Advantage, was aimed at helping other business executives do their jobs better.

Since then, PBP has grown substantially, publishing twenty different newsletters, and encompassing many different divisions, such as Progressive Gifts & Incentives and Progressive Business Executive Education.

By telling his own success story, Ed made us feel as though we could also turn our dreams into realities. Ed taught us that to be great leaders, we should always remember to help others, ask more questions than we give answers, stay resilient, and view every experience as a building block to a future goal.

Tom added that mentors can be great resources to interns and other young professionals.  A mentor can be a peer or someone at a higher level, but in either case, you should not hesitate to ask for guidance, or simply to strike up a conversation.   One key aspect of success is to expose yourself to as many ideas, opinions, and job functions as possible.

When we left lunch, we all felt both humbled and empowered and are looking forward to the next Traditions class.

Keep up to date with what we are doing by following us on Twitter.  Make sure to participate in #TriviaTuesday and look out for Phoebe the PBP Polar Bear in #WhereIsItWednesday for your chance to win a prize.

How to be productive during a slow day

We have all been there: the day is dragging on and all of your assignments are complete. Now,  if only the last couple hours could go faster…

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What not to do.

When faced with this dilemma, it’s sometimes tempting to get off track. Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Instagram, and others are where people will go to kill the time at the desk. But is that going to impress your boss? Is that an efficient way to spend your time? Being productive when you have some downtime  is a great quality to possess, and it could leave a lasting impression on those around you.

So how can you be productive when the day is slow and you’ve finished all your tasks? Here are 3 easy tips:

  1. Organize: Organizing your workspace and assignments is crucial to having efficient days. It is important to know where everything is and be able to get to it easily.
  1. Help others: You may be all caught up, but your fellow employees may not be. Ask  if there’s anything you can do for them! It’s a big help for co-workers and they’ll return the favor next time you are caught in a time crunch!
  1. Get ahead: There is going to come a time when you have so much work and not enough time. So why not get ahead while you can to ease the stress?! Start outlining the next few days and map out your action plan to ease the tension and make the rest of the week manageable.

Using these 3 simple strategies can help you be more productive, even during the slowest of days. The time will go faster and you are sure to be prepared for the road ahead!

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