I suppose it’s time to take my own advice from this blog to update my resume and online profiles! NO, I’m not looking for a new job, but I’ve realized my descriptors are tired, overused, and dated. Updating your personal introduction, social media profiles, resume or CV should be completed on a regular basis, even if you are happily employed. If you’re actively job searching, it can make all the difference if you delete old phrases and resume cliches and add a few powerful, action words.
Even though it may still fit, my “dynamic and driven professional” descriptor has evolved into a group of resume cliches. You know, those buzzwords that have become abused in the workplace? Synergy. Team effort. Strategic. Innovative. The words we are guilty of overusing in everyday life and conversations: excellent, very, good, love, great…and the list could go on and on.
Most of us on the road to career and self-improvement love (there’s that overused word again) lists of what NOT to do. I guess it’s easy for us to identify what we should be avoiding and make quick changes. By no means is this list exhaustive, but if you are wasting valuable space on your resume with some of these weak words or jargon, then you should consider replacing them soon:
There is certainly no shortage of advice when it comes to the job search process, as most everyone has an opinion about the steps both novice and seasoned job seekers should take. Knowing that the insight comes from a place of credibility is key. That’s why I’ve asked AgCareers.com staff members to share job search lessons learned from their personal experiences as well as from working with active job seekers as part of their daily roles. Interviews with these staff members included so much great information that is pertinent to today’s job seeker!
What are some of the most memorable job search lessons you’ve learned from the process?
“Accomplishments do not necessarily mean you will get a job if they are not relevant to the specific job. Out of school, I listed a lot of my awards and accomplishments that were not relevant to the job…employers are looking for specific skills and competencies.” Carolyn Lee, Talent Solutions Manager Western Canada
“Even if you don’t have all the preferred qualifications listed in a job description, apply anyway! If an applicant meets the required qualifications, employers will likely still consider your application. Oftentimes the preferred qualifications are their wish list, but perhaps not realistic in the candidate pool.” Bonnie Johnson, Marketing Associate
I know the feeling: seeing the job posting that you think could be your dream career and wanting to apply immediately. Hold on! Before you frantically type up your application, upload your resume, and hit “Submit,” think about how that might appear to your employer. Typically, employers can tell who hastily applied to their open positions, and trust me, it’s a turn-off from the get-go. I’ve sat on the other end and watched applications spill in for a position just posted less than an hour ago. Even though you may be excited, it sends the message that you’re sloppy and uninformed (and maybe even entitled). Here are a few reasons to wait to apply to a job posting that will likely make you look more impressive to employers.
Do Your Research.
Do you even know what the company does that you’re applying to? Make sure that you’ve checked out the company and the position through and through before beginning the application process. You may find that the company has an unfavorable reputation or that their values do not align with your own. If this is a long-term career move, you’ll want to wait to apply to be sure that the company you’re working for is one that you can stand behind.
By Danielle Tucker, 2017 AgCareers.com Marketing Intern
How long has it been since you’ve used your resume? It could be a few weeks, it could be a few years and a lot has happened in your life between then and now. If you haven’t been consistently updating your resume, you might want to think about a few things before applying to the new job.
1. Contact information
This might be obvious, but there’s a good chance your email has changed and maybe your address as well, especially if you are in college! Make sure that your contact information is updated and you are reachable by the information you give. Be sure to include an appropriate email that you check often. Employers don’t want to see an email that says, “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Better hope you don’t get called for an interview – that is, if you lie on your application! Lying could include listing education, skills, or experience that you don’t have, filling in gaps in your work history with “fake” jobs, or exaggerating your credentials.
Dishonesty in the application process doesn’t just impact you and the potential employer. Not only are you lying, but your references are forced into a rather sticky situation if they are put on the spot and become part of the deception.
Don’t hate me–I know, this blog post may not be super timely, as most of the college students I’m speaking to at this moment have just recently become graduates. But there’s still time to say you got a job right out of college if you haven’t already! Here are a few tips on how to land a job right out of college:
Not Too Picky, Now: I have always felt that you have a right to be picky with what you choose to pursue in terms of a career. It’s something you could be doing for a long time, so you should pick something that you want to do. But let’s get down to earth: if it’s your first job, it’s okay to go with something that isn’t your dream job right off the bat. Your dream job might not be available right now, so go for something that you can see improving you in the meantime.
Get Professional: Time to shape up social media profiles and get a professional email address. No more email@example.com or alcohol in your in profile picture.
If you are active in agricultural programs and education while attending high school or college, you likely have some very valuable experience and honors under your belt! But is it okay to put that on a resume to share with employers? In most cases, most certainly. Agricultural employers will want to know if you have relevant association experience. It also may serve as a source of connection if your potential employer was involved in these programs as well. Learn how and when to properly include association experience on your resume.
Association experience is helpful to include on your resume when you have been actively involved in an organization and have achieved multiple honors or gained highly valuable and exemplary experience relevant to the job you are applying for. If you have served as a State FFA Vice President, include that on your resume. If you earned the American FFA degree, include that on your resume. If you have taken part in an AFA Leader Institute, include that on your resume.
When applying for any jobs, the number one thing to keep in mind is selling to the employer’s need. This is also the case when applying for a job when overqualified. There are many reasons why a person may be applying for jobs when they are overqualified, including:
– Changing careers
– After a lay-off
– After completing a contract position
In these situations, jobseekers may be fearful that they are taking a step down in their career path, earning less money, and could be bored with reduced responsibilities. While these are genuine concerns, there are some positive aspects to applying for positions when overqualified:
Should you apply anyway? This is a question many job seekers face, but not one that you should stress over. Applying when you’re underqualified is totally acceptable as long as you have read the job description and know that this is something that you have a chance at.
Ask yourself these questions first: How underqualified are you? Can you do the job? There are times when you certainly won’t, and you must be honest with yourself from reading the job description. If the job requires a doctorate degree and you only have a Bachelor’s, you’ll probably just be wasting your and the company’s time.
Other criteria might include years of experience and specific skill sets. This is where things are a bit more flexible. If you meet some but not all of the requirements and you read the job description and you know you can do the job, then go for it! But you’ll need to do a few extra steps to ensure that you indeed leave an impression even if underqualified:
Evaluations of resume writing can be very subjective, influenced by personal taste and feelings. Potential employers may have an opinion on your font style, design, or whether or not you should use a summary or personal statement, to name just a few. But even though your resume is subject to this type of evaluation, it is important to not dismiss objective, measurable facts from your resume.
There are some key resume writing tips that hiring managers can agree on:
• Spell check, read and re-read. Have a friend check your resume. Misspellings and grammatical errors show a lack of attention to detail. This may seem obvious, but it happens frequently! These mistakes can often be fatal to your job search prospects and automatically send your resume to the “no” pile.