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Ten ways to build a better resume today

Brian K.M. Chan Photography

Having a great resume is an important part of the job search process. But, it can go wrong quickly if you’re not careful. Below are a few tips to help you spruce up your resume today.

  1. Use just your first and last names only. And, use the first name you go by on a daily basis. As strange as it sounds, your resume is more likely to get attention with the name “Chris” than with “Christopher.” Here are 13 surprising ways your name can have an impact on your success. Quite a few are unfortunate, but they are good to be aware of.
  2. Update your e-mail address. If you have an e-mail address that ends in @aol.com, @comcast.net, or any other e-mail extension from the 90s, it’s time to get a new one. Don’t worry; you can keep your old e-mail, but take it off your resume. By keeping an AOL e-mail address, you’re telling the company right up front that you’re behind on technology.
  3. Leave your age out of it. Drop your graduation years off of your resume. If you’ve been working for many years, consider dropping an old position or two. And, be sure your e-mail address doesn’t contain your birth year, your graduation year, or any other year tied to your age.
  4. Include a phone number that’s local to the city where you live. It’s not unusual to have an area code in a city on the other side of the country. In fact, it makes sense. Why would you change your cell phone number? But, you do want to be sure companies realize when you are in fact local. Rather than paying for a new number, check out Google Voice. They’ll give you a local number that redirects to your existing cell phone. It’s free and easy to use!
  5. Leave off your GPA. If you are more than a few years out of college, it is rarely appropriate to include your GPA or other test scores on your resume. Unless you’re in a very specific field where this is the norm, nix these details from your resume.
  6. Include results. Don’t just tell them you’re a great salesperson. Share your sales numbers. Include the percentage that you beat your goals by last year. Show the incremental revenue you generated. Stating your results in terms of numbers allows someone outside your company to truly understand the scope of your role.
  7. Look for typos. One of the quickest ways to lose a job opportunity is to have misspellings in your resume. Here are a few of the most common misspelled words.
  8. Check your formatting. It’s very important that your resume is easy to read. Mismatched formatting can make it impossible for the reader to understand your resume. Check to be sure every job is formatted in the same way. Every piece of educational history should be formatted the same way, etc.
  9. Save your resume as a PDF. It sounds weird, I know. But, when you e-mail your Microsoft Word resume to someone else, there’s a 50-50 chance it will look the same on their screen as it does for you. Worst case, your two page resume is four or five pages, with big font. The simple step of saving as a PDF ensures that your resume will look the same for them as it does for you.
  10. As a friend to proofread your resume. Pick someone who works in a different industry than you. You’d be surprised at just how many things you’ll include are specific to your industry. If your friend is confused, a recruiter will be too. Take the time to do this step and your resume will be easier to read for more people.

A resume is a critical piece of your job search. In addition to these ten tips, my eleventh tip is: do your resume yourself. Stay away from a resume writer who doesn’t know your work history. As annoying as it is, there’s value in you working through your own resume improvements. On top of ensuring everything is accurate, you will have the opportunity to think through your personal brand. If you do need help, reach out to a career coach (like me) who can work WITH YOU to make the improvements to your resume.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Making your resume stand out

Having a great resume won’t get you the job, but having a bad one will prevent you from getting an interview at all.  The purpose of your resume is to quickly tell a story about your career, who you are, and what you’re looking for next.  It helps potential employers determine if you’re a fit, and it helps your network to scope out new opportunities for you.

If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, updating your resume is the first place you should start.  Ideally, keep your resume up to date even when you’re NOT looking, so that you’re prepared when something great comes along.  It will also help to ensure that you don’t forget important accomplishments.

Many clients that I work with are unsure of where to begin.  Compiling your life’s work on one or two pages is stressful and can cause many people to avoid creating a resume altogether.  The good news is that once you have a solid resume, maintaining it is fairly simple.  Think of the initial painful setup as an investment (in your future!).

Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Look at other resumes for samples, and then create your own.  Stuffing your career history into a ready made template can often look awkward, and can be hard to update with your details.
  2. Include your objective or profile statement.  Many candidates forget this section (or avoid it). The objective communicates what kind of job you’re looking for to potential employers and your network.  It’s essential.
  3. Keep your resume to one or two pages max.  Beyond two pages, nobody will read it and you will look unfocused. If you’ve been working less than three years, keep it to one page. Beyond that, you can go with one or two pages.  If you have two pages, be sure to include pages numbers.
  4. Don’t use fonts smaller than 9 point. Employers don’t want to strain to read your resume.  Cut the details down to what’s really important and you won’t need to squeeze so much onto the page.
  5. Include measurable results. Explain your impact in terms of quantifiable numbers.  How many people did you manage? How much money did you save? How many campaigns did you work on? How much did you exceed your goals? Putting numbers alongside your experience magnifies your impact.

I hope these tips have helped you.  Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to make your resume the best ever.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

@CopelandCoach

Making Your Resume Stand Out

Having a great resume won’t get you the job, but having a bad one will prevent you from getting an interview at all.  The purpose of your resume is to quickly tell a story about your career, who you are, and what you’re looking for next.  It helps potential employers determine if you’re a fit, and your network to scope out new opportunities.

If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, updating your resume is the first place you should start.  Ideally, keep your resume up to date even when you’re NOT looking, so that you’re prepared when something great comes along.

Many clients that I work with are unsure of where to begin.  Compiling your life’s work on one or two pages is stressful and can cause many people to avoid creating a resume altogether.  The good news is that once you have a solid resume, maintaining it is fairly simple.  Think of the initial painful setup as an investment (in your future!).

Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Look at other resumes for samples, and then create your own.  Stuffing your career history into a ready made template can often look awkward, and can be hard to update with your details.
  2. Include your objective or profile statement.  Many candidates forget this section (or avoid it). The objective communicates what kind of job you’re looking for to potential employers.  It’s essential.
  3. Keep your resume to one or two pages max.  Beyond two pages, nobody will read it and you will look unfocused. If you’ve been working less than three years, keep it to one page. Beyond that, you can go with one or two pages.
  4. Do not use fonts smaller than 9 point. Employers don’t want to strain to read your resume.  Cut the details down to what’s really important and you won’t need to squeeze so much onto the page.
  5. Include measurable results. Explain your impact in terms of quantifiable numbers.  How many people did you manage? How much money did you save? How many campaigns did you work on? How much did you exceed your goals? Putting numbers alongside your experience magnifies your impact.

I hope these tips have helped you.  Check back at CopelandCoaching.com for more resume tips.

copeland_coaching-angela-copeland-logo

 

 

Building your personal brand

You’ve just started to think about looking for a new job or internship, and you’re wondering where to begin.  The entire process can be quite overwhelming for many, especially if you don’t have family members you can lean on for help.  You may be graduating from college, finishing up graduate school, just looking for something new, or switching careers altogether….

No matter what your situation, the first thing to consider is your own personal brand.  Yes, YOU.  Your personal brand is a lot like the big brands that you think of such as Target, Apple, McDonald’s, and Facebook.  What do you think of when you think of these brands?  Do you love them? Do you hate them?  Where did you come up with these impressions?  I will be that there are brands that you’ve never used before, but you already have an impression of.

When you’re looking for jobs, the first thing you need to consider if your personal brand.  You may wonder how to begin to evaluate your personal brand.  Here are the steps you should follow to start with:

  1. Get your resume in order.  Draft a new resume or update your existing resume.  Then, work with a professional career coach to ensure that your resume really makes the cut.  The worst thing I’ve seen is candidates with a great education and great background who are overlooked because of a sloppy resume that doesn’t succinctly highlight their skills.
  2. The first place an employer will look other than your resume is in the search engines.  Do a Google search of your name in quotes.  For example, I would check out “Angela Copeland.”  What pops up?  Are there positive or negative results?
  3. Do a Google search again, but within Google Images (Google.com/images).  You may never have noticed, but Google also allows you to search through their images using your name.  Are there beautiful photos of you and your parents from your graduation?  Or, do photos also show up that your friends posted on Facebook after a drunken party?
  4. Take a second look at your resume, and the e-mails you’re sending.  Ensure that your e-mail address is clear and concise.  It should not make a statement about your hobbies or your age (such as green_girl_1992@gmail.com).  It should be plain and easy to understand.  Try something like firstname.lastname@gmail.com.  If you’re an older job seeker, stay away from e-mail addresses that date you, such as anything@AOL.com, or anything@HOTMAIL.com.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone gossip, “Did you see his e-mail address?  Oh my gosh! He is either extremely old, or he knows nothing about technology!”  Neither of these is something you want an employer to think (even if they are kind enough not to say it).
  5. Take inventory of your social media.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, your blog.  Whatever you’re using, it’s time to go through it.  Look at your privacy settings.  Ensure that they’re set so that random internet stalkers (a.k.a. “future employers”) can only see what you want them to.  Check that your visible profile picture is also in line with the professional brand that you want to display.  Consider hiding or removing old photos that don’t represent who you are today.  Drunken party photos are not what you want to be part of your personal brand.

Following the steps above will help to ensure that you’re driving your own personal brand, and avoiding a social media nightmare.  Stay tuned to CopelandCoaching.com for more tips for building your brand and finding the job for you.

Copeland Coaching Brand Building

Welcome to Copeland Coaching!

Welcome to Copeland Coaching.  I’m Angela Copeland, and this site is dedicated to helping you find the right job faster.  I’ve been helping job seekers informally with their search for over 9 years.  After a recent string of requests for help, I decided it was time to officially offer my career coaching services to you.

What makes me a good interview coach? It’s simple.  When I was younger, I thought of interviewing as a sport, and I wanted to make the big leagues.  I have years of experience interviewing for (and negotiating offers in) all sorts of positions in various industries and I’m here to share what I’ve learned with you.

Let me explain. After starting my career in engineering, I wanted a career change.  In addition to engineering interviews, I interviewed jobs in other areas including sales, marketing, and operations.

I have experience interviewing with and working for many different types of organizations, including:

  • For-profit and non-profit
  • Small companies and Fortune companies
  • B2B and B2C companies
  • Different industries, including automotive, home services, logistics, financial services, and travel

I was once so determined to work for a particular big name clothing company that I snuck onto a rival graduate school campus just to meet their recruiter.  And guess what? It worked. I was invited to the company’s headquarters where I met with employees, toured the building, and had lunch with the staff.  On top of that, my graduate program, Pepperdine University, wrote an article on my experience that was mailed to 18,000 alumni.  Talk about exposure!

If you’ve found yourself feeling stuck, or are just not sure where to start and you want to start getting real results, reach out to me here.  I’m happy to help!  I will help to polish up your resume, develop creative ways to find your next perfect job, and negotiate your best offer ever.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Angela

Angela Copeland Career Coaching