Posts tagged ‘resume’
Penned by Christina
As applicants feel more and more desperate in applying to jobs, the old adage about quality over quantity holds truer than ever. As you job search, consider that it is better to narrow your search to those positions that you are really interested AND those that you are actually qualified for.
These days, most positions are being filled with those that hit all the requirements and then some. I most certainly believe in aiming high and definitely don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but being realistic about positions in the current job market will save you effort and should better your chances of getting the positions that you do apply for.
Consider a couple points to keep in mind as you’re searching:
- Do you fit the job description? If the job description lists 3-5 years experience of Smart Grid technology as a requirement and you are just graduating from undergrad, that is likely not a good match for you and by applying you may come across as lacking judgment. (Certainly, an unfortunate biproduct.)
- If you do fit, make it obvious! Trying to match your background to the requirements shouldn’t be a game of memory for the hiring manager. The less work you create for him, the better the chances that your resume will be read closely. Mapping your skills to the job requirements is important – see Raj’s previous post. You can do this well by really understanding what the position entails which yes, will require research, networking, etc.
- Keep cover letters short and applicable. Again, this is a great place to highlight specifically how your background matches the requirements to be successful in the position, but if it’s too long, the reader will skim and value will be lost.
Next week: how to narrow and maximize your networking.
If you want to learn more about this in a personalized career coaching session, let us know – we’d be happy to help!
Happy St. Patty’s Day – our favorite Bright Green holiday. If you’re celebrating, follow Tom’s example and be safe and be green!
Penned by Carolyn
Last week, in the first installation of Bright Green Talent’s Resume Boot Camp, I discussed some general tactics for not having your resume immediately thrown out.
Before I get started on formatting and other juicy resume advice, let me just give a plug for Bright Green Talent’s newly unveiled career counseling and resume services. We try to give catch-all advice on the blog, but everyone has their own unique issues and getting personalized advice can make all the difference.
So, as for formatting:
- Rule #1 – Simplicity reigns. We receive resumes all the time that look like they were composed in Kid Pix – colors everywhere, different fonts, clip art… scrap all of that. The flashiest your resume should get is bold type on the schools you attended and the titles of positions you’ve held.
- Rule #2 – Do not succumb to the desire to have columns in your resume. I don’t know from whence said desire comes, but it makes the resume visually confusing and a lot of automated applicant tracking systems will mangle all your information as they upload your resume.
- Rule #3 – As lovely/mature/handsome you might look in photos, please don’t include any in your resume. Nick, our Managing Partner, sums it up as such: “It distracts from your accomplishments and oftentimes lowers recruiter’s opinion (makes it seem like you’re relying on your good looks, or are over-confident).”
- Rule #4 – And while we’re on the subject of visuals, let us touch upon video resumes… basically, we’ve yet to see one done well. In the future, they might become the norm (for instance, keep an eye on Visual CV) – but for now, it seems like the flashiness and entertainment value are covering up weak experience or some other shortcoming.
- Rule #5 – Don’t make any of your resume too text-heavy. Bullet points are a great way to go — they make your resume seem digestible at a glance, which will in turn increase the likelihood of someone reading through the whole thing. Plus, it’ll make you avoid rambling and vagaries, which there’s no room for in a one-page resume.
Rules 6 and beyond to come next week. Stay tuned! For advice in the meantime, find us twittering away.
Penned by Nick
Yesterday, due to popular demand, we launched our Career Coaching service to offer individuals 1-on-1 consultations.
Choose your flavor — $57 for 30 minutes, or $97 for 60 minutes — and enjoy a generous, fun, professional portion of career counseling, courtesy of Bright Green Talent.
Though this announcement itself is hardly newsworthy, the back story on why we’ve brought this service to the fore, well, that’s worth delving into:
Recruiters live somewhere between lawyers and tax collectors on the professional reputation scale — nearly universally reviled, we’re ultimately seen as a necessary evil. Many charge too much for services that oftentimes seem unprofessional and unscientific. There’s little transparency in the industry, and even fewer firms have innovated in the sector.
Candidates also conventionally dislike recruiters. Most candidate-recruiter interactions feel like the exchange of a $1 bill: something done quickly in order to consummate a transaction, with little personal appeal. The industry’s ethics industry, are questionable at best. Having worked in the field for 15 months, I’ve seen enough to make a dead executive turn in his grave. “Bait and switch” tactics where recruiters say they have a candidate just to get a job order, only to then say “the candidate took another job, but I’ll find you another one” are rampant.
Bright Green Talent has always aimed to set new ethical and practical standards in the recruiting industry, building our practice around helping people find meaningful careers. With the launch of our Career Coaching service, we take another step in this direction. We’ve always been focused on building long-term relationships with candidates. By sharing with candidates what we’ve learned from sending folks on over 500 interviews in the last year, we hope to improve others’ chances of getting a green job, and also increase transparency in the field.
This is a small step towards a more personal, professional service. More importantly, we’re moving towards a more human practice that reconnects people with quality, practical information on green jobs in hopes that we can start putting people back to work.
To learn more or sign up, please visit www.brightgreentalent.com/career-coaching. As always, we’re happy to help.
Penned by Carolyn
For the past few weeks, I’ve been rattling on about prepping yourself for the job search, meeting people, and generally avoiding disaster as you try to find a green job. However, if your job search is anything like mine was come March of my senior year, your mom probably isn’t really buying the “I’m taking it slow and making sure I do it right” excuse anymore.
Given everything I’ve said about students and grads having a hard time differentiating themselves, your resume and cover letter might be the only shot you have to do so, so you need to take some time on it and get it right.
So, with the usual disclaimer that everyone’s case is different, here are some general tips for what to include in your resume and what you should definitely leave out (more to come as Bright Green launches our green jobseeker services in the next week or two).
First things first: your resume should be one page. You shouldn’t have a two page resume until you’ve been out of school for ten years. People have short attention spans, so you need to get to the point.
Brag all you want:
- Awards and grants. Don’t be modest – if you won the international Rubiks Cube tournament or were named smartest student in the Slavic Studies department, play it up. Even better if you can say how many people you beat out for the award or grant.
- Concrete achievements. Include all the jobs, internships, and positions you’ve held in student groups. More on how to present these next week.
Proceed with caution:
- A low GPA. No one requires you to include your GPA; if it’s not awesome, you don’t need to stress about not including it.
- Your SAT scores. Haven’t we all suffered enough for this test without bringing it into the job search? You took it at least 4 years ago, and it’s not even on the same scoring system anymore. If you got a perfect score, okay — but lay it to rest if your scores weren’t stellar.
- Discussions of religious/political beliefs. You don’t need to make your resume totally secular if you’ve been heavily involved in religious life or play down that you campaigned for your local congressperson, but your resume shouldn’t come across as any sort of manifesto.
- TMI (too much information) — like how much you love your girlfriend or how recently you’ve had a dental cleaning. If interests of yours aren’t obvious in your resume, you can list them at the bottom in a “Skills/Other interests” section, but think through how they’ll come across.
My rule of thumb: think about a 45-year-old reading your resume – channel someone like your 5th grade teacher. What makes you sound like a serious candidate, and what makes you sound ridiculous? (Hint: unless you can make some convincing arguments about what you learned about event planning, don’t just list all the frat parties you helped buy kegs for.)
Next week: how to actually write all of this up into one page of pure Bright Green genius.