In 2021, many companies are looking to revamp their workforce after the pandemic. They want to plan with the future in mind, now more than ever. Unfortunately, this leads to many companies looking at older, experienced professional resumes unfairly because of ageism.
Ageism, discriminating against someone because of their age, happens all too often in job searches. Companies want to invest in people who they think will stick around for a long time. Seeing that someone has been in the workforce for 40 years doesn’t give this impression.
But your resume doesn’t need to misrepresent you to avoid ageism. In fact, there are some subtle but crucial tips that will optimize your resume towards positions you truly deserve.
Relevance and Recency
Perhaps always the most crucial part of any resume, your work history needs to focus on how you are specifically qualified for the job to which you are applying.
In regards to ageism, this doesn’t just mean avoiding irrelevant job history entries, but also avoiding outdated ones. Experience from more than 15 years ago might be in the correct job field, but as positions evolve over time, anything older than 15 years can come off as out of touch.
For example, if you have decades of experience in accounting, clearly including your recent experience is smart. But accounting experience from 1999 isn’t as relevant on a resume, because the accounting job world uses so much more technology now.
It’s more impressive to have extensive knowledge in a modern job setting than it is to have 20 years of outdated experience. That’s not to say your 20 years is pointless, because it is important and will surely aid you in any job you work in. But as far as marketing yourself on your resume, think about what will impress an employer looking for people on the cutting edge in their job field.
This focus on relevancy and recency extends to education. Anything beyond high school you should definitely include. But depending on how old the degree is, consider leaving the graduation year off the resume.
To put this into perspective, seeing someone’s Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from 1993 on a resume can come off outdated, as if you don’t utilize that knowledge anymore. Conversely, seeing a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree with no date implies a more current, permanent and relevant piece of the resume.
Your age and experience are nothing to be ashamed about, but you should take every advantage you can to ensure companies look at your resume and evaluate your talent, not your lifespan.
If you’re worried about ageism affecting your resume, contact our writers at RazorEdge Resumes for a free consultation.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that now that millions of people have received the vaccine, businesses are reopening left and right.
On the flip side, you have also probably heard that many companies are struggling to fill open positions. You yourself may be looking for a new job, which means that you may have considered taking one of these open positions. However, if other people aren’t taking those jobs, then why should you?
If you have struggled with deciding whether or not to return to work as the pandemic nears its end, follow these tips to determine whether or not it is a good idea for you.
Why People Actually Aren’t Returning to Work
A lot of the jobs that are struggling to fill open positions are jobs that require people to work on the “front lines,” but with pay that does not reflect that risk.
For example, a job posting went viral on social media after a restaurant owner posted a passive-aggressive job posting saying “nobody wants to work.” Someone who was annoyed by the job posting did some research and discovered that the open jobs only paid about $2.50 an hour plus tips.
Furthermore, people have discovered that they are actually making more money receiving Unemployment benefits than they were when they were actually working. The reality is that people are unwilling to take jobs on the frontlines if the pay does not reflect the risk.
It’s not that people are unwilling to work; people are unwilling to work for less than what they need. If your line of work doesn’t follow under this criteria, then you should consider returning.
What You Should Know Before Returning to Work
Before you dive back into your career, you need to ask your boss/potential boss a few questions to make sure that you are making the right decision. Just because your job may not be on the front lines does not mean that you aren’t taking a risk by returning to work.
The first question you need to ask is what new safety precautions have been put in place. A lot of businesses have reduced their employees risk of contracting COVID almost entirely by having them do their job remotely. Others have added temperature takers and COVID monitors to make sure that employees and customers are not entering the business sick, and that once they are in the building, they are following CDC guidelines.
The next question you need to get answered is how has this job adapted to the pandemic. The businesses that have survived the pandemic are ones that changed how they conduct business rather than did the usual. Find out what your job is now doing differently and how it has worked out for them.
You now need to find out what your job will do in the unfortunate event that you do get COVID. You need to make sure that you will get paid sick leave should this happen.
Finally, you need to compare the pros of this job versus staying on Unemployment. Granted there are hardships that come with being on unemployment, but if you are making more money on Unemployment, it’s worth considering saying on it.
Is Returning to Work Right For You?
If after reading these tips you still don’t know if you should return to work, you probably need to look at your own personal reasons for why you might not want to. For example, your family may really need you to stay at home. You also may have some underlying health concerns that make you more at risk than others.
If you have similar issues, then you should either hold off a bit longer, or look for some remote work opportunities. However, if you think it’s time for you to return to work, then allow us to help. Since you’ve been out of work for awhile, your resume could probably use some assistance.
Have you been struggling with the job application process? Wondering what could be holding you back from getting any type of response to your applications? Take a deep breath and relax, because the problem might have absolutely nothing to do with your qualifications, experience level or character. It’s very possible that ATS systems – or Applicant Tracking Systems – may be the source of your difficulties.
ATS systems are one of the most crucial components of the resume review process. These algorithmically-driven computer systems are designed to scan through and search for specific keywords (skills, phrases, experiences or tasks that are indicative of expertise and competency) in every resume from a specific job opening’s applicant pool.
By doing so, these systems establish an automatically-ranked list of candidates for hiring managers to review at their leisure. Using these lists, employers can determine whether they want to learn more about a candidate in a matter of seconds.
Although ATS systems are undoubtedly an effective means of discovering high quality candidates for any job, there are numerous pitfalls to the technology which can lead to some of the most qualified candidates receiving zero consideration for a job. So if you’re a qualified candidate who’s struggling, listen up!
Here, I will outline five categories of focus that any job applicant can utilize to draft the most ATS-compliant resume possible.
When most job-seekers prepare their resumes, they are primarily concerned with the immediate reactions of hiring managers. This often leads candidates to emphasize elements such as formatting or graphics in order to appear unique or sophisticated. Have you ever been told that you needed to include fancy colors, tables, headers or other graphic design elements in a resume in order to get an employer’s attention? Although this advice is well-intentioned, it is completely false. In fact, doing so will actually put you at a strong disadvantage when facing any ATS system.
Your resume will be reviewed, processed and evaluated by a computer program long before it ever reaches the eyes of a human being. Therefore, resumes must always be formatted in accordance with what computer programs would consider valuable. And from the perspective of an ATS system, elaborate graphical schemes are not only meaningless but can also negatively interfere with the program’s functionality.
The truth is that although ATS systems continue to be improved and built upon to increase efficiency and accuracy, many of the algorithms and programs are simplistic, dated and limited in capability. Most ATS systems are not equipped to parse through complex or unusual formatting schemes. Sure, your revenue growth table or the bursts of color in your elaborately-crafted header might look impressive to the eye, but there is virtually zero chance that they will actually help you score an interview. In reality, they might actually cause your most important qualifications to be overlooked.
With ATS systems, the positive human reactions to visual touches will not only be lost entirely, but the added elements will only make it more difficult for employers to receive and accurately review your resume. This means you should avoid including headers, footers, colors, tables, charts, images and other elaborate formatting elements in your documents.
In addition to visual elements, you will want to follow a general set of formatting guidelines to ensure that your text will be straightforward and easily-parsable for both ATS and employers.
First and foremost, work experiences should always be listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent position. With different chronological structures in place, ATS systems become vulnerable to confusion and may detect non-existent employment gaps in your career history.
With regards to visual style, most ATS systems are designed to scan only common and simplistic fonts. It is always most appropriate to use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Palatino or Helvetica for your resume. ATS scans can produce unpredictable results when less common or unusual fonts are present.
Lastly, you will always want to label each section of your resume with the most direct terminology possible. For example, you should always label the section containing your job history as “Work Experience”, “Professional Experience”, “Professional History” or another similar short phrase. Unusual labels such as “The Story of my Career” or “All of my Jobs” can confuse the ATS system, causing your information to be mislabeled or placed out of order.
Job Description Keywords
Typically, ATS systems will scan for two categories of keywords: job description-based or field-specific. Depending on which ATS system is in place, the algorithms will scan for either one or both types of keywords. To ensure that your resume complies with the specifications of every ATS system, you should prepare to include both job description-based and field-specific keywords.
Before submitting a resume, applicants should always plan to carefully read their job descriptions and highlight any standout phrases or required skills. From there, you can determine which keywords and phrases most accurately apply to your professional profile, then work them into your resume. In order to implement a large amount of keywords with ease, include a “Skills” section in your resume. Not only does this section help optimize your resume for ATS systems, but it provides hiring managers with a coherent and comprehensive glimpse into some of your most valuable attributes as a worker.
Some ATS systems focus more heavily on keywords that are broadly applicable to a particular career field. Generally the more high-level, hyper-specific and versatile your skill set is, the more likely that you will achieve a higher ranking in an ATS-produced applicant list.
Consider doing research into your target career field. It’s important to understand which abilities and experiences are most heavily emphasized and valued by recruiters and hiring managers in your professional realm. If you were in their shoes, what would be the most crucial and significant skills and assets to seek out in candidates?
Additionally, there are numerous transferable skills which function as keywords in almost every career field. For example, phrases such as “interpersonal communication”, “problem-solving”, “adaptability”, “team leadership”, “staff supervision” or “cross-functional coordination” are universally sought-after by employers and can apply to almost any job opportunity.
You should avoid excessive inclusion of keywords, especially those which are not applicable or suitable for your experience level. Some applicants will even attempt to include “invisible” keywords in white text. Doing this will not help you get hired. Maintaining honesty and integrity is always crucially important, and hiring managers will surely take notice if you are exaggerating or blatantly trying to cheat the system. ATS optimization is an incredibly useful tool, but overdoing it will only yield negative results.
There are several key stylistic elements to keep in mind when writing an ATS-optimized resume. All documents should be written in a direct, professional and concise tone in order to leave a confident, sophisticated impression. This means eliminating all colloquialisms, idioms and other informal language from your writing. Although resumes should always be written in first-person point-of-view, first-person pronouns such as “I” and “my” should be eliminated from all text and treated as implied words.
In order to boost your ATS ranking, any phrases, skills or titles which involve acronyms should be notated with both long-form and acronym formats. For example, an acronym such as CRM should be written as both “CRM” and “Customer Relationship Management”.
To ensure that your resume is effective, include four key sections: overview, skills, work experience and education as well as add sections for any additional relevant information. This may include volunteer experience, certifications, technical proficiencies, awards, organizational affiliations, publications and media appearances. All of these lead to ATS systems noticing your resume over the rest.
Looking to have a professional optimize your resume for ATS systems? Click here.
Henry Klein is an experienced professional resume writer who currently manages the Chicago Lakeview office of A Better Resume Service. He is passionate about his work, dedicated to helping clients achieve their career goals and gain valuable knowledge about the job search process. In his free time, Henry likes to cook, produce various styles of music, read novels and go running.
While many modern companies take pride in creating a more casual or laid-back workplace. Sometimes this allows for more honest communication with clients, in essence dropping the act.
But many times, your demeanor and your formalities are both vital when working with your clients. It establishes you and your business as truly professional.
Formalities bring professionalism to client relationships
When meeting with clients, especially new ones, it’s important to remain professional to establish yourself as legitimate.
Many potential clients can be nervous coming into a business for the first time. Friendly greetings, small talk and offering any niceties clients might need like water bottles go a long way.
These things all contribute to the image your clients see when they come to your business. If someone went to two resume services, and one treated them like a real person when they walked in versus one that cuts directly to the sale, where do you think the client will feel more respected?
Take yourself seriously, and others will too
When you go to a new mechanic, you want them to know what they’re doing, right? The first step to reassuring the client is that level of professionalism. Showing that you listen to clients’ issues and taking them seriously goes a long way.
Maintaining your professionalism through your conversations with clients will establish your expertise in your profession. From there, clients will refer to your business as the real deal.
Establishes clear boundaries with clients
Professional manners also create clear motives and boundaries your clients will understand. While you are providing a service or product to clients, you are also in business to make money.
When you are too lackadaisical or informal with your clients, it can lead to a breakdown in communications and expectations. While it’s smart to create a relaxed environment for your clients, it’s another thing to glaze over important parts of your sale for the sake of said environment.
For practical application, make your greetings and get to know your clients, but also assert your objectives in the conversation including clear description of services/products and their prices.
Sometimes these things seem obvious, but consistently presenting yourself with professionalism is critical; it’s the little things that separate the good from the great.
We have all had moments where we took a look at our finances and thought, “How did
things get this bad?” You would like to hire a financial advisor to look things over, but
that can cost more money than you can afford.
Luckily, there are tons of financial tools that you can use online for free that can help
you get your finances in order. If you are having some issues with your finances, check
out some of these tools to help you whip your checking and savings accounts into shape!
Calculator.me is one of the best online financial tools we have come across if not the
best. This includes tools that cost money. The site offers multiple online calculators that can help you.
Among the available calculator tools are one that helps you calculate your car loan, one that helps you calculate your mortgage, one that helps you figure out how long it will take you to pay off your credit card and one for general financial planning. If you only check out one of these online tools, make it this one.
Making the decision to go to college is a big one and not just because of the amount of
time you are sacrificing. College is expensive so you shouldn’t take the decision lightly.
Before you decide to go to college, you should first calculate how long it will take you to
pay off your student loans. SmartAsset.com has tools such as a great calculator that will help you figure out just how long it will take, and how much interest will accrue during that time.
Once you use SmartAsset.com’s tools, you will be able to responsibly make the call of whether or not college is right for you!
Figuring out how to divide your paycheck into where you need to spend that money can
be a headache to say the least. Luckily, Nerdwallet has you covered with their financial tools, including their 50-30-20 calculator.
According to Nerdwallet, one of the most effective ways to divvy up your paycheck is to have 50% of it go to your needs, 30% go to your wants and 20% go into savings.
By using this calculator, you can start saving money while making sure that you still have your wants and needs covered. Simply knowing how your paycheck is going to be divided every pay period is such a relief that you won’t know how you went so long without knowing!
Working from home sounds great on paper–no idling through traffic, no communal microwave mishaps and you can wear whatever you want on your bottom half. But it’s not without its challenges.
In response to COVID-19 forcing human contact restrictions, an estimated 56% of Americans currently work from home–up from 43% in 2016. Zoom Conference Calls, setting up webcams and restricted communication already feel like the new norm–and many analysts agree that once the COVID dust has settled, working from home may be one of the aspects of this volatile year that sticks with us.
To maintain a healthy working life, employees must pivot their habits to accommodate the challenges that come with working from home. Engagement, communication and productivity can all take a hit through remote work–but there are ways to remedy this. Here’s how.
(Video) Communication is Key
To bridge the long-distance gap, establish a daily standup with your team through video conferences. A daily standup is a brief meeting at the beginning of the day to review your objectives with your team. Supervisors can clearly communicate their expectations and goals for the day, and employees can express their questions and concerns. This is also a great time to connect with your coworkers and socialize.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
It’s important to keep your work and home separate when working from home, as contradictory as that sounds. Set up a dedicated workspace so you aren’t digging for documents under your bed or analyzing spreadsheets in front of the TV.
Manage Your Time
When the line between your office and home gets blurred, time management can become fickle or even nonexistent. As the work parameters you’re used to in the office go out the window, it’s important to keep your work routine as regimented as possible. Limit social media distractions, set a schedule and keep to it and designate your spaces for work and home life.
Working from home can be an amazing, productive experience–but there are common pitfalls to watch out for. The most important thing is to be aware of these pitfalls and address them before they take root. Communicate with your coworkers, designate a workspace and manage your time, and you’ll be a work-from-home wizard!
There’s always something that can make us run out of time before work: the bus driver is new, the train runs late or you just plain woke up late. Whatever the case, if you’re not on time for work your boss is gonna be peeved, to put it mildly.
Whether you have motivation for your job or not, your boss does have a legitimate reason for their frustration. It’s not just on principle – being on time has important implications in leadership, teamwork and compensation.
What’s Fair for One is Fair for All
When your boss doesn’t enforce time rules, it sets two bad precedents: their authority isn’t solid, and there’s favoritism in the workplace.
In some jobs you might love or hate your boss, but for any workplace to succeed you and your coworkers need to respect your boss. When you don’t show up on time, it undermines their authority and can lead to a general laziness on your other responsibilities as well. It might sound extreme just for not showing up on time, even if by a couple minutes, but discipline makes excellence in any workplace.
If someone else was never coming in on time without any form of reprimand, you would be frustrated right? Knowing the level of acceptable responsibility is lower than what you put into a job would make anyone feel underappreciated for following the rules. This is the problem of favoritism, which can lead to bad relationships between staff as well as decreased morale and standards of the entire team.
As much as we’d like, no amount of multitasking can make up for coworkers who don’t arrive on time.
Every Person is not Independent
In any workplace, everyone operates as a team. In a restaurant, you need servers working with guests, bussers cleaning and resetting tables and chefs cooking the food. If someone doesn’t arrive on time for a hectic day, they not only increase their own workload, but all of their teammates as well.
On top of this, your customers/clients also suffer when your team suffers. Again, it seems like a minor issue, but these things can build up into compounding issues if you don’t discipline yourself on the simple things.
Compensation is based on time worked
Especially in hourly pay jobs, showing up on time is also crucial for your own well being too. Depending on the job, you might even get into much more serious trouble for missing work, including termination.
But none of this is as important as the fact that getting to work on-time and ready to go is for you, not your boss. It’s so you can start the day prepared and organized. It is nice to avoid dealing with the stress of an angry boss, but there’s no better reason to arrive on time than making your job the best you can for yourself.
Like a computer, resume outcome is only as good as the input. It only takes a small resume oversight to run your career off the job search highway. Often individuals will bring in unsuccessful resumes for review, only to find that with care, errors could have been avoided. Here is content from a few examples:
Certifications: Notary Republic
Completed evening shit work. (Too bad about the f in shift.)
Interests: Women and fishing, not always in that order.
Social Worker: Assisted undeserved populations.
Resume with a picture of a tombstone on the front which read, “This Could be You!” On the back was a resume with an opening indicating the consequences of passing up this candidates excellent background.
Retail Clerk: Pretended to be interested in clients so they would buy stuff.
Administrative Assistant: Supported staff in daily activities… basically the office bitch.
Reasons for leaving the last three jobs. 1). Boss was crazy. 2). Boss was crazy. 3). Boss was crazy.
Adept at daily flogging.
Called potential customers for aluminum siding sales preferably while they were eating dinner.
Hospital Engineer under personal: Married to Boffo the Clown, available for children’s parties.
Proofreader: Ensured eror-free copy.
Can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute
Can drink a gallon of milk in 10 minutes
Can recite Pi up to 500 digits
Can charm anyone, even a pigeon
I’m a big dude so I can handle myself in a fight
Experienced drinker and party animal. I’m comfortable with working in environments with drunk people.
Can hold five baseballs in one hand
Understood the movie “Interstellar”
Can cook Minute Rice in 58 seconds
Worried that mistakes on your resume are holding you back? Schedule a free appointment to speak with a professional resume writer. Call 1-800-730-3244 to speak with a resume professional today.
If you don’t think you need to have someone look at your resume, take the quiz below.
Should you write your own resume quiz.
Answer these questions.
1. True or False. A resume should always be one page.
Answer: If you answered true, then you should consult a professional
Answer 2: If you still think the answer is true, you REALLY need a professional.
2. Given a choice, you should have a friend, neighbor or relative write your resume or fix your brakes on your car.
Answer: It is more dangerous to have a non-professional write your resume than it is to have them fix your brakes. Your career can have a value into the millions and a poor resume will keep you from the best opportunities where as a bad break job has a much lower risk potential.
3. What is the best day to apply for a job?
Answer: Ask a professional resume writer or ask your neighbor who just fixed your brakes.
4. It is cheaper to write your own resume?
Answer: The bigger question is what would be lost by not having your resume done professionally. If for example, it took six months to find out a home made resume wasn’t working, then the cost of doing it yourself might be ½ a year’s pay which is definitely more than a resume writer would charge you.
5. What could possibly go wrong when doing my own resume?
Answer: Please reread this article from the top of the page.
RazorEdgeResumes is the executive resume writing division of A Better Resume Service, Inc., with more than 25 years of professional resume writing experience. We offer a full range of resources to help you get the job you want, from cover letter writing and personal branding to LinkedIn profile optimization. We provide personalized services focused on your specific situation and needs. With a proven track record of helping clients in all sorts of industries, put your trust in RazorEdgeResumes to help you take your career to the next level. Don’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because you aren not prepared. Send us your resume for a free consultation by one of our experienced writers and see what we can do for you. Email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-730-3244.
For more resources, visit Job Search Success Central where you can find advice on how to optimize your job search and tailor it to the career you want.
Your Alexa isn’t just a tool for setting timers for your laundry cycle, it can also help you find a job!
Through the Alexa app, you can add skills to your device that can help you find a job in this tumultuous job climate.
Adding them is easy, and using them is even easier if you follow these steps.
What Skills to Add and How to Add Them
From your app, go to the Skills and Games section. Under “Categories,” you will see a category called “Business and Finance.” From here, you can sift through some recommended skills to find some that work for you!
One that we highly recommend is the “Interview Me” skill. Through this skill, you can ask Alexa to interview you, and your device will begin asking you job interview questions. If you need to hone your job interview skills, you can bounce your skills off your Alexa device!
Another great job search skill is one literally called “Job Search.” Through this skill, you can ask your Alexa device to find you a job. You can even ask it to find jobs in a specific field and a specific location. For example, you can tell Alexa to find you a teaching job in Chicago.
Wow, What Can’t Alexa Do?
One of the areas where Alexa can’t exactly help you is with writing a professional resume. However, we can help you with that. Across the country, professionals are not landing jobs because solely because their resume is not getting through applicant tracking systems. However, you can get through applicant tracking systems with a professionally-made resume.
Click here for a free consultation with a professional resume writer. They will make a professional resume for you to help you land your dream job.
Businesses routinely need competent, creative problem-solving in HR. If you love solving problems and feel excited by new, unique challenges, human resources consulting jobs might be a salient fit for you. These bring to the table fresh challenges and a set of responsibilities that can truly help you develop and evolve in the HR field.
If you are contemplating a career in human resources consulting, there are a few things you need to have in place. It’s vital to understand the nuances and complexities of the job and prepare for them the best you can in order to find sustained success.
There are some important ingredients that you need to incorporate into your career and life to ensure success in this career path. Let us talk about some of these.
Learning and Evolving
While formal education is a great foundation to a successful career, learning and evolving can never stop in the HR field. The landscape of business changes constantly and best practices change along with it. Constant learning and evolving are a must if you want to be fully equipped for the challenges of a career in HR.
Learning the core tenets of HR and gaining the relevant experience can be crucial for success in human resources consulting jobs. You can look for opportunities that allow you to grow while teaching you the important concepts and ideas of HR management that can help you think of creative, innovative solutions when you are consulting.
Typically, businesses turn to HR consultants to solve unique problems and critical scenarios. This means that you would be expected to step into one-of-a-kind HR situations, quickly learn the dynamics, and provide a viable path forward. This kind of problem-solving skills can involve a strong core understanding of HR management, coupled with the ability to think out of the box.
Planning ahead and having experience of handling adverse situations can help you mold yourself for HR consulting. It can also help to specialize on specific aspects of HR management so that you can provide added value as a consultant and provide targeted solutions for businesses trying to solve specific problem areas.
The Right Outlook
A career in HR consulting can be rewarding and provide the opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment. After you have your initial education in order, it can be a perspicacious idea to look for HR consulting focused certifications and work experience and to find a reputed HR staffing agency to work with for viable employment opportunities. This can help you turn human resources consulting jobs into success.
Need to update or write a new resume? Receive a free resume consultation and critique from an experienced resume writer. Learn about our job search and professional resume writing services by emailing your resume to email@example.com or give us a call at 1-800-730-3244.