Do These Five Things to Improve Your Resume Right Now

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

From ZipRecruiter on Sunday – Jan. 24, 2021 by Kat Boogaard (ZipRecruiter.com)

If you’re like most people, you hear the word “resume” and let out an exhausted groan. I totally get it—resumes can be a pain.

Condensing all of your skills and professional experience into a document that’s incredibly scannable and easy to read—without 0.2 margins and size 6 font? Well, let’s just say it’s a challenge.

However, the key is to not get overwhelmed by your document. How? Well, try getting everything out on paper, and then work on polishing it up. That’s much easier than trying to make each line perfect right from the start.

Are you already to the polishing step? Great—the hardest part is over! So, here are five quick things you can do to improve your resume right now.

1. Remove Irrelevant Information

Since you spent your time essentially dumping all of your information onto those pages, it’s time to weed through and get rid of all of that stuff that truly doesn’t matter. Ideally, you’d like your resume to be one page—meaning you don’t have extra real estate to waste on pointless and irrelevant information.

Your high school extracurricular activities? Get rid of them. That line about your GPA? Delete it. That classic phrase that goes something like, “References available upon request”? Hit the backspace key. Most hiring managers assume that you’ll have references to offer if you’re asked—so there’s no point in wasting page space on that filler line.

You want every single line of your resume to be powerful. So, get rid of anything that doesn’t make you seem like an impressive and qualified candidate. Your resume doesn’t need to detail your entire life story—it just needs to showcase your professional highlights.

2. Check for Quantifiable Achievements

It’s all too easy to fill your resume with all sorts of buzzwords that hold very little meaning. And, I won’t even deny that those keywords are important.

However, you don’t want your resume to be all fluff and no substance. This is why it’s important to include several quantifiable achievements. So, comb back through your document and look for places where you can add some hard facts and statistics.

Instead of saying something soft and vague like, “Worked as a core member of the sales team,” you’ll want to state something more powerful like, “Grew sales by 25% in the first quarter.” Including those numbers makes the statement much more impactful by proving you not only know how to talk the talk—you can also walk the walk.

3. Tailor It

I hate to sound like a total wet blanket, but it’s imperative that you tailor your resume for every single position that you apply for. Yes, I know it’s a total pain to adjust a document that you’ve already spent so much time on. But, if you’re aiming to seem like the most qualified candidate for the position, then you need to make sure that your resume highlights exactly what the hiring manager is seeking.

This process doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated. Start by taking a look at the description of the specific job you’re applying for and pull out keywords and the most important skills they’re searching for. Then, take a look at your own resume. Make sure that those keywords are included in your own document. And, those skills? If they’re things you actually possess, then you need to make sure that they’re adequately emphasized in your document. Highlight them in our “key skills” section, and move any related bulletpoints toward the top of each job description so that they’re spotted first.

These changes seem small—and, in reality, they are! But, they can have a big impact on where your resume ends up in the pile.

4. Do the “Skim Test”

When you spend so much time agonizing over your resume, you’d love to think that hiring managers spend hours admiring each and every bullet point and sentence. However, that’s not the case. In fact, the average hiring manager spends just six seconds scanning your resume before deciding which pile you should be put in.

Needless to say, you need to make sure your resume not only incredibly easy to read—but easy to skim. Ensure that your name and contact information are in big, bold letters at the top of the document. Next, scan through to confirm that your eyes easily catch on your past employers and job titles. Finally, continue scanning your document to make sure that you can easily spot your education and special skills sections.

These are important portions that nearly every hiring manager will glance for. And, if they aren’t easy to spot within those six seconds? Well, you’re bound to head straight to the wastebasket.

5. Proofread

You might think your resume is flawless—but you’d be shocked at how many different typos and errors your eyes are completely skipping over. When you’ve spent so much time on a document, you become too close to it to pick up on those things. For some reason, your brain sees what it wants to.

So, you need to go through your resume several times to make sure you’ve addressed all of those pesky slipups. My favorite tip? Read your resume backwards. Reading in such an unnatural way forces you to focus on each word—making you that much more likely to catch those embarrassing blunders.

There you have it! Five ways to polish up your resume. And, now that we’ve broken it down, it doesn’t seem that overwhelming, right? So, go ahead! Open up that document and get started. You’ll be glad you did it!

[larry@larrylitwin.com]

7 Tips For Leading A Successful Virtual Team

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From:

#1. If Possible, Start With A Face-To-Face Meeting – When working with a newly created team, it’s always best to have everyone meet face-to-face. Unfortunately, the expense of organizing an in-person meeting and current health restrictions often makes this impractical. A Zoom videoconference can be the next best thing. Offering virtual employees the opportunity to introduce themselves and meet others on the team will begin building team unity.
#2. Be Mindful Of Time Differences – With a virtual team, recognizing time zone differences is vital. Whether making a call to a team member on the opposite coast or scheduling a meeting with employees in other countries, you must be considerate about time differences. Maximize time differences by creating an overlapping schedule where everyone is working in their respective time zone.
#3. Use Online File Collaboration – For virtual teams, collaboration is vital. Often team members will share files and may work on documents simultaneously. Using a secure collaboration tool such as Microsoft Teams, Google Drive or Dropbox is essential to helping ensure everyone is on the same page.
#4. Set Up A Project Management System – E-mail can be a great communication tool. But relying on e-mail alone to track a virtual project can quickly become disorganized. While online collaboration tools help, an even better solution is establishing a project management system. With these systems, project documents and communications are organized into one central location. This makes tracking a project’s progress easy (and reduce project bottlenecks).
#5. Check-In With Your Team – To make sure everyone is up-to-date with company changes and other issues impacting your project, schedule weekly or monthly team calls. These calls also help to build a good rapport with the whole team. Keep calls short – no longer than 1 hour.
#6. Hone Your Meeting Skills – As the team or project manager, you need to keep your meeting and project management skills sharp. Having a clear plan for team calls is essential. Consider using screen-sharing to point out issues or to support your points visually. Create supporting documentation as a follow-up.
#7. Stay Connected – When in need of a quick answer to a question, virtual team members don’t always have the luxury of talking over a cubicle wall or walking a few feet into their manager’s office. Using chat programs, such as Skype, Microsoft Lync, or Google Chat, is a great way to foster instant communication among you and your team members. And, of course, the old-school phone is still the best tool for staying connected to the team.
Executive Summary: For your virtual team to work efficiently, you need to consciously build a good rapport with the whole team. Taking advantage of the latest technologies will not only help to manage projects more effectively but also keep the lines of communication open. Staying connected helps ensure the whole team is productively working toward the same goal.
[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

8 Tips For Generating Repeat Business

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From:

  • Word Count: 619
  • Time To Read: 2.5 Minutes @ 250 Words Per Minute
No matter where you are in your business cycle, more and more businesses are hyper focused on driving repeat business. Why? Because it represents a huge revenue stream to top-line sales. But with so many options out there for decision-makers to choose from, how can you ensure that your existing clients will keep coming back for more?
#1 Use A Client’s First Name – Treating each client as a unique individual is the key to good customer service. When you or your customer service team speaks to a client, be sure to address them by name throughout the conversation.
#2 Make GREAT Customer Service A Priority At Your Business – A bad customer service experience will not only affect how a client feels about your business, but it can impact how that client talks to others about your business. With social media becoming an ever-more popular way for customers to vent, one client’s dissatisfaction could mean widespread negative publicity for your company.
#3 Communicate Missed Deadlines – Sometimes, circumstances arise that will cause you to miss a deadline, such as a promised delivery date. In these cases, it is always best to let the client know as soon as possible. While an apology can go a long way, consider offering a discount on the current product/service or a future product/service.
#4 Incorporate Up-Selling And/Or Cross-Selling – Use client requests for products or services as an opportunity to discuss other related products and services your company offers. This is not only a great way to increase sales, but it also shows clients that you have experience and knowledge in other areas that could meet their needs.
#5 Follow Up After An Initial Order Is Placed – When orders are placed, be sure to capture contact information, including name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Then follow-up immediately with an e-mail or a phone call to thank the client for the business.
#6 Ensure Customer Support Information Is Readily Available – There is nothing more frustrating for a client than not being able to talk to a live person when they have a question. Make your contact information readily available and easily accessible. Display a customer service contact number prominently on your website.
#7 Reduce The Perceived Risk – Clients want to be rest assured that they will receive a high-quality product or service at the best possible price. By offering a guarantee, you will lower the perceived risks and gain your clients’ trust. This ultimately increases the chances of return business.
#8 Assess Your Company’s Performance – Be sure to offer customer surveys to assess the level of your clients’ satisfaction. If survey results shed light on an issue, take the proper steps to resolve the problem quickly.
Executive Summary: A happy client is more likely to become a repeat customer. With this in mind, it’s essential to make good customer service a top priority. Remember, if you are not making your clients happy, your competition will be waiting in the wings to do a better job.
[Questions: larry@larrylitwin.com]

5 Ways To Help Your Team Feel Appreciated When Working Remotely

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From:

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter
By: Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey
Employee engagement increases in companies that have strong teams. Likewise, a competent team can singlehandedly cut operating costs and reduce the amount of workplace stress.  A team that communicates frequently develops skills that lessen the chance of mistakes that are typically the result of a disjointed team.
 
5 Tips To Help Create A More Effective Remote Team
 
1. Empower Your Team Members – Encourage your team members to be self-managed and a contributing member to the team. Doing so will boost their productivity; however, you do have to encourage and monitor your staff by assigning specific responsibilities and due dates.  Doing so will help promote and foster a culture that harnesses forward-thinking strategies and generates results.
 
2. Ask Everyone For Their Opinion – An “open-door policy” isn’t compelling enough at soliciting frequent feedback from your team.  Establish a system for generating direct and candid feedback.  Furthermore, when evaluating your employees, promote an environment of positive discussion by communicating in a clear and focused manner. To help augment the opinion process, set up a brief meeting with all team members to get their opinion on what is and isn’t working.  Additionally, it might also make sense to have individual meetings to help better solicit each member’s opinion. 
 
3. Get Your People To Buy Into A Team – Team members should understand that the success of their individual career is tied directly to the trajectory of the group and company.  Team-building exercises are great opportunities for every member to feel included and valued. Encourage team members by complimenting positive examples of teamwork as you see them happen.  A team is most effective when it acts as a united front, and every member should be supported, so they feel like they are part of the team.
 
4. Focus On Efficient Execution – Consider the structure of your organization before your team-building exercise commences.  Large teams might need to arrange a central leadership team to make planning and execution more manageable.  Each sub-team requires equal time, treatment, and resources.  Monitor each team to make sure no one person is taking on too much control, responsibility, or the feeling of being overwhelmed.
 
5. Conduct Team Building Activities – Remote team-building activities are great ways to build camaraderie between employees.  As you introduce a team-building activity, structure, or exercise to your employees, be sure to include the expectation for the activity.  Not only should you explain the rules of the exercise, but you should also provide team members with the goal they should achieve.
 
Executive Summary:  A strong team works more effectively and efficiently — all in an effort to increase productivity and results.  The key to encouraging individuals to operate as a team typically comes down to healthy communication.  Make your expectations known and promote direct and candid feedback from team members.  Empower your team by putting them in a position to succeed and encourage everyone to take part in problem-solving to encourage positive attitudes and results. 

[For more: larry@larrylitwin.com]

26 industries that have added jobs

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By ZipRecruiter.com

The U.S. economy lost 22 million jobs between February and April, and had only recovered 42% of them by July, according to the latest jobs report.

But not all industries contracted during the pandemic. Some added thousands of employees to meet surging demand for groceries, gardening supplies, hand sanitizer, sewing machines, ventilators, video game consoles, plexiglass sneeze guards and mortgage refinancing, among other goods and services.

Here are the 26 industries that have added the largest numbers of jobs to the economy since February:

1. Warehouse clubs and supercenters:

156.9K

2. Supermarkets and grocery stores:

95.2K

3. Building material and garden supply stores: 62.2K

4. The federal government (excluding the post office): 48.9K

5. Couriers and express delivery services: 45.7K

6. Local messengers and delivery and private postal service: 14.3K

7. Children’s and infants’ clothing stores: 10K

8. Tax preparation services: 8.3K

9. Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers: 6K

10. Surgical appliances and supplies manufacturers: 5.3K

11. Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals: 4.2K 12. Direct life insurance carriers:

3.9K

13. Department of Defense: 3.6K

14. Farm product raw materials wholesalers (including of grains and field beans): 3.4K

15. Animal slaughtering: 2.9K

16. Securities Brokerage: 2.8K

17. Claims adjusting: 2.8K

18. Consumer lending: 2.6K

19. Scientific research and development services: 2.4K

20. Miscellaneous computer and electronic products manufacturers: 2.2K

21. Soaps and cleaning compounds manufacturers: 1.9K

22. State hospitals: 1.7K

23. Direct property and casualty insurers: 1.7K

24. Sewing, needlework and piece goods stores: 1.6K

25. Plastics packaging

materials, film and sheet: 1.6K

26. Investment advice: 1.6K

Other jobs report findings

• Performing arts and spectator sports lost 12.8K jobs in July as fall and winter season events were canceled or pared back. That industry now employs fewer than half as many as it did last year (253.7K vs. 514.2K). State mass layoff notices for July read like a list of the nation’s top orchestras, theaters, opera houses and sporting venues.

• Several high-wage industries where jobs can be performed from home continued to struggle as businesses sought to defray pandemic-related revenue losses.

For example, employment declines continued in management of companies and enterprises (-12.2K), advertising and related services (-8.2K), computer systems design (-7K) and publishing industries (-6.9K).

• Employment in support activities for mining (-10.6k) also continued to contract, as anemic global demand thwarted a recovery in commodity prices.

• As of July, payroll employment was lower than its pre-COVID February level by 12.9 million jobs (or 8.4%). In other words, the pandemic has sent the economy back to 2014-level numbers of jobs. Payroll employment now needs to grow by about 2.6 million per month to recover by the end of the year.

[Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

Get hired after you quit

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From ZipRecruiter in the Courier-Post on Sept. 6, 2020. By Zip’s Nicole Cavazos

If you’ve realized that quitting your last job was a mistake and you want to get rehired, all is not lost. You can redeem yourself with your ex-boss as long as you left on reasonably good terms. And even if you did not, you still might have a chance.

Here are five steps to make amends.

  1. Know where you stand
  2. Realize what went wrong
  3. Prepare your explanation
  4. Make your case
  5. Ask for a fresh start.

 

[larry@larrylitwin.com for more info]

The Dollar Bill Test

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Dear friend and layout expert Rowan University Professor Claudia Cuddy, ret., came up with this many years ago. It remains applicable as you can see in The Public Relations Practitioners Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators (Chapter 12).

The Dollar Bill Test is simple:

Take a dollar bill and turn it on a page of copy. To pass the Dollar Bill Test, it must touch at least one copybreaker. If it does, your publication passes. If not, it fails.
Professor Cuddy has her own list of copybreakers to assure publications pass the Dollar Bill Test:

• Heads
• Subheads
• Pull quotes (Blurbs)
• Rules
• Initial (or drop) caps
• Shaded (screened) boxes
• Pictures
• Art (line art)
• Bullet lists

There is much more in The PR PlaybookFor a copy, visit www.authorhouse.com

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