4 Career Benefits of the Holiday Season

holiday season career perks

The holidays are just around the corner and with them are a much-needed break. For many, especially if you’ve recently started a new job, it’s tempting to skip the holiday downtime for fear it will reflect badly on your productivity. Truly though, with a bit of planning and heart, these 4 holiday season career benefits

1. Taking breaks improves productivity

It’s easy to believe that working late and not taking time off means you will get more work done. However, recent research has found that when working long hours, employees lose creativity while also find it hard to maintain the same intensity level in their work. So, by working yourself too hard, it could actually be detrimental to the quality of your work.

A better strategy is to budget your time around daily, weekly, monthly tasks.

Especially if you’re seeking to maximize the career benefits of the holiday season.

To help manage the workload try assembling a plan.  Take early stock of all high-level tasks that must be finished before your break.  Write these into your schedule and tag them for importance.  This is your mandatory list.

Secondly, form a list of mid-level tasks.  These are the non-immediate-but-overall-important tasks that will greatly benefit current and upcoming workflows.

Lastly, write yourself a bonus list. I find this one the most fun to write.  These are the tasks that if you got to them, it would be considered stepping ahead of your goals. Be specific here to help guide the process.

What small elements would boost your current progress to the next level?

These 3 lists combined will not only gain you traction on the current momentum, but they’ll also greatly ease your mind when away from the office.

2. You’ll be healthier

If you don’t take the time off to relax and unwind, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming overly stressed. We all know stress has negative implications for your health with outcomes such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.

It’s important to look after yourself, as well as your workload. 

With an increase in spending and pressure of family, it can be easy to lose focus on your self-care needs at this time of year. 

Now is a great time to use those massage gift certificates or max out the annual health benefits package.  Book the acupuncture, check-in with the chiropractor, make the time for a little pampering.

3. Quality time with loved ones

Chances are that if you’re working long hours, you don’t get to spend as much time with your loved ones as you’d like to.

By taking this annual leave from work, you set time aside to connect and appreciate, whether it be at home or on a trip together. Spending time with your friends and family may be just what you need to unwind and improve your mood after a stressful period at work.

4. Work-Life balance is important

If a good work-life balance is not met in your job, it’s likely that you will start to build negative feelings towards work or your employer. In order to be happy at work and maintain the drive to work to the best of your ability, it’s important for you to balance work and your personal life.

There is so much to do and see in the world, which just isn’t going to happen from the confines of your office. Take a break and experience new things, or you may regret it later.

If you’ve been meaning to take up a new hobby, this could be your chance to give it a go and you never know, it may even open doors to new opportunities in the future. Step away from the computer and go enjoy yourself over the holidays! 

As always, if needed, our team at PWC is here to help. We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization and Recruiter Services.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca



Will Resumes Be Necessary in 2020?

will resumes be necessary in 2020

There has been a lot of talk about resumes becoming less important in the future. We understand things change rapidly in the world of hiring practices, but could this be true? Will resumes be necessary in 2020?

It has been said that resumes really only account for about 10% of the hiring process and that social media accounts are replacing resumes. While it’s true, hiring managers are using social media platforms to investigate and vet potential employees, the idea that the resume is going away is not actually supported by career experts.

Social Media vs. Resume

Undoubtedly, recruiters are turning to platforms like LinkedIn, when they connect with potential candidates, what do you think is the first thing they ask for? That’s right, a resume!

LinkedIn is a great place to build your “brand” and strategically develop your profile to reflect your professional interests, experiences, and what you have to offer. Additionally, a great advantage to LinkedIn are the recommendations and multi-media options. All of these are great tools to entice recruiters, and once they are interested, that’s when a resume will always be necessary.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

More than 98% of Fortune 500 companies are utilizing the benefits of ATS these days. In the past decade, only the larger companies were using ATS. Now, it’s common practice for smaller companies to also be using ATS. This means that the chances of your resume being scanned for keywords and phrases are even greater. This allows the recruiters to filter out potential candidates and theoretically make sure their candidate is a good fit for the position.

The responsibility is really on you, the applicant, to be sure that keywords and phrases are in your resume. The success of your resume will be totally dependent upon ATS.

Resume Formatting for 2020

Knowing that ATS is so valuable and will only grow in importance in the future, how can you be sure you are ready for it? One of the most important things to consider is the fact that, while word processing details can make your resume fancier, ATS prefers very simple text-based documents.

Applicant Tracking Systems are very particular about formatting. There are many fonts they can’t “see”. They cannot “read” what’s in a text box, and pictures or graphics do not mean anything. However, bold, italics, underline, and shading is fine.

It’s one thing to hand out fancy resumes, but when it comes to applying online for jobs, simple, text-based, .doc resumes are going to increase your chances.

Beware Social Media Self-Expression

Now that we live in a world where it’s easy to google another person, recruiters too have adopted this ease in their candidate research. Knowing you will be researched, use it to your advantage!

Create social media accounts where you can develop your brand. Allow these accounts to reflect who you are, what you’re about, and what you have accomplished. As always, carefully consider if your accounts are reflecting the kind of information that you would want recruiters to find. While it’s fun to be impulsive and passionate about our social profiles, to maintain professionalism remember to consider future perspectives.

2020 Job Search

Not a lot is changing when it comes to the job search. While there is an increasing role for social media platforms, the resume is still essential. Another “old school” idea that still, and will probably ALWAYS be important is NETWORKING. In truth, someone who is referred to a hiring manager is more likely to get an interview and with the potential to be hired.

So, don’t be shy, network with your friends, in-laws, and other folks you know in your industry. Referrals always have an advantage compared to someone the hiring manager has no reference for.

If you have any questions about your resume or job search, reach out for a free resume review and consultation. Our team at PWC offers Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Coaching and Recruitment services. 

Connect with us here for a free 15-minute consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca



Can a Resume Be Multiple Pages?

Resume length is always a hot topic in our office. Can a resume be multiple pages? The overall feeling is that if a resume is too long, then it’s at risk of a hiring manager/recruiter not reading the entire document. On the other hand, if the resume is too short, it can come across like a shortage of desired experience.

Without a doubt, there’s no magic resume length that works for everyone.  Every resume should be customized according to each individuals need.

One-Page Resumes

Depending on where you are on the career path, a well written one-page resume can absolutely make the perfect impact. However, with expansive education histories and applicants navigating a dynamic workforce, single-page resumes oftentimes create limitations.

Absolutely, the goal is to create a document that represents skills, accomplishments, and experience.  If the focus is primarily on the appropriate number of pages this can really inhibit one’s ability to effectively market themselves. 

There’s just no advantage to cramming everything on one page. Especially if the end product cluttered and difficult to read.

Situations where one-page resume can be ideal:

  • Fewer than 10 years’ experience
  • Career changes where past experience doesn’t transfer to new goals. 
  • Work history of one or two positions with the same employer

Two-page resumes

But how long should a resume be if you’ve been in the workforce for a while? This is a valid question for those with extensive work histories.

Obviously, with one-page, we’re working with a small space yet aiming to offer a high impact. With a heading at the top and resume sections below including qualifications summary, experience, education, and skills, there’s not a lot of room left over for in-depth accomplishments.

Two pages allow extra space to really showcase the history while targeting your desired job postings. 

Just remember, you do want page-two to see the light of day! If the resume length extends to two pages, be sure to include the most compelling information on the first page.

Three pages or longer

While three pages may seem like you’re entering novella territory, this resume length is oftentimes necessary for high-level professionals.

To keep it concise, write with the employer’s needs and wants in mind.

In addition to this, we recommend you take inventory of why you need a longer format. As well as that, we need to allow for several adjustments before going to multiple pages.

The aim is to build on quality versus quantity.

First to consider is letting go of early career experiences that don’t market to current goals. A resume should not be an obituary of one’s career. It should tell a detailed story highlighting the specifics of your job search.

The ideal resume length depends on you

Are you a student or new graduate with qualifications that don’t quite fit on one page? Try two pages. Are you a CEO with a penchant for getting to the point? Try a one-page resume. The rule is there is no rule.

Resume Goals: Craft an easy to read document that consists of relevant content with a clear and consistent theme. Aim to distinguish from the competition by portraying current and detailed information.  Target keyword optimization to meet ATS approvals.

If all of these factors can be positively addressed on one page, so be it. But if it takes two pages—or more—to address each factor, that’s fine too.

Finally, don’t sweat it. If all this overwhelms you, our team of professional resume writers has just what you need.  Reach out for a free resume review and consultation. We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Coaching and Recruitment services. 

Connect with us here for a free 15-minute consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca



Cover Letters – Do I Need One?

You may be wondering if you need a cover letter to compliment your resume when applying for jobs. Are you asking yourself “What difference will it make or can it make?” Let’s discuss when you should send a cover letter and why.

Essentially we should be sending a cover letter along with our resumes to hiring managers unless they specifically say otherwise. Here are the two main reasons:

  1. You can speak directly to your specific qualifications and why these make you the best candidate for the job. Your cover letter allows you to tell employers “who you are” and align your experience and career with their business needs.
  2. The cover letter is used to send a targeted message specific to each job/career for which you are applying.

It is possible to find numerous examples of how to write a cover letter and what the best formatting options are. However, when you work with our professional resume writers you will get the benefit of experience, past client feedback, and current formatting to optimize the ROI. In addition, it can be a struggle to capture who you are on paper. This is why it helps to have a professional writer head the effort.

The window of opportunity to make a strong first impression can be a narrow one. This is especially true when the job market is flooded. The higher the volume of job seekers the more challenging it is to grab the attention of hiring managers. Once you have their attention your cover letter needs to be strong enough to hold it.

Knowing what to put in your cover letter is important, however, knowing what not to add is just as important. In a blog written by Joe Matar titled, 6 Things Your Cover Letter Should Never Say (But Probably Does)

The author talks about the need for your cover letter to be concise. The cover letter is your opportunity to fashion a direct message to the company. Joe Matar explains that saying “a skills and experience section” will not have as much impact compared to telling the story of your career and the value you bring. The same goes for this statement: “I want to work in this industry”. It does not show the employer your passion for their particular company. You want the hiring manager to know you are ready to invest yourself into the very specific needs of their business. Read more of what Joe Matar has to say on this here.

It is also important that you choose the appropriate letter type as well. For example your letter will read differently if you are applying for a specific job posting or you are simply inquiring about job opportunities within that particular company. Hiring managers should not be left guessing about your goals via the cover letter.

Before you start applying for jobs, be sure to invest time in creating a professional cover letter. Make the cover letter concise and direct. This document is an invaluable tool in ushering you through to the interview process in your job search. Use this opportunity to show future employers who you are, and why they need you on their team.


Power Writers Canada wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and  PWC is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!


3 Key Differences Between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume

Ever wonder what the differences are between a resume and a CV?  Now you don’t have to!  This quick to read article breaks down the 3 main differences and shares when it is appropriate to use either format.

Original article click here.

A curriculum vitae (also known as a CV) and a resume both reflect a person’s skills and experience, but they are vastly different documents. Here are three important distinctions between the two.

Length of Resumes and CVs

Resumes are typically one or two pages long, depending on how much experience a candidate has. To keep a resume to one or two pages in length, it is necessary to omit older positions and details as time goes on. On the other hand, a curriculum vitae grows longer over time as new information and accomplishments are added. A curriculum vitae can be two pages long, or it can be upwards of a dozen. There are a couple of reasons for the difference in length. One is that resumes often use short phrases and bullet-point formats, while a curriculum vitae goes into more depth.

Typically, education is the first portion of a curriculum vitae, including a listing of all degrees earned or in progress; areas of academic interest; and thesis and dissertation titles and descriptions. With the exception of recent graduates, however, resumes tend to list education last.

A curriculum vitae also includes sections listing teaching and research positions; works published; presentations given; grants, awards, and other honors received; scholarly and professional affiliations; and a list of references.

When to Use a Resume or a CV

A good resume is concise, highlighting select experiences and accomplishments, while a curriculum vitae is instead a complete catalog of a person’s educational and professional background. The purpose of a curriculum vitae is to provide a comprehensive look at a person’s experience, while a resume is intended to provide an at-a-glance overview (one study found that recruiters spend just six seconds reviewing a resume).

Where Resumes and CVs are Most Common

Resumes are more commonly used than curriculum vitae in most fields in the United States. Academia and research are notable exceptions; fellowship and grant applications also sometimes request that applicants submit their curriculum vitae. In most other parts of the world, however, curriculum vitae are used more often than resumes.

Because a resume and a curriculum vitae serve different purposes, job candidates should consider having drafts of both written and ready to use.

 


 

Power Writers Canada wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

This is a great article to read if you are considering writing your own resume.  Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, we are here to help you!

Original article click here.

For busy hiring managers, your resume provides a snapshot of your career and is often the determining factor in whether you land an interview. If job search is a journey, a stellar resume is your passport.

The fundamental principles of resume writing have remained constant for generations, but evolving technologies mean more aspects of the application and hiring processes take place online than ever before. It’s up to you to stay informed of modern best practices and really put your resume to work for you.

If you’re getting ready for your next career move, keep these six universal rules in mind as you create or brush up your resume.

1. Cover all the basics

  • Relevant educational degrees or certifications. The importance of your educational background will vary based on the job or industry you’re interested in.
  • Relevant work and volunteer experience. Most people choose to list their experience beginning with their most recent job. Don’t include everything you did in your past jobs. Instead, focus on achievements over responsibilities.
  • Contact information. Your full name, the city where you live, your email address and phone number. Because this personal information is sensitive, you should be cautious about who you share your resume with. Read over these guidelines for a safe job search to protect yourself.
  • Relevant skills and your level of mastery (for example, “conversational Spanish” or “familiar with Microsoft Excel” vs. “fluent in Spanish” or “expert at Microsoft Excel”).

2. Explore other resumes for inspiration

Search the Indeed Resume database for the job title, industry, or company that you’re thinking about and see how others present their backgrounds and skill sets. This is a great way to uncover stronger ways to describe your experience or to avoid overused words.

You can also get a sense of the internal language used within a particular industry or company. You might have experience that isn’t directly related but is still highly relevant to the position you’re applying for, and you want to include it in your resume. Someone else’s resume might feature a similar history and offer an example of how to frame this experience in a compelling way.

3. Use as few words as possible

Employers need to quickly understand your work experience. Format your experience as a list of short, scannable statements, rather than writing out dense paragraphs. For example:

Too wordy: Applied expert budget management skills to achieve a 20% reduction in departmental expenses through diligent research, identifying significant inefficiencies.

More concise: Achieved 20% departmental cost savings by eliminating inefficiencies.

The typical resume is two pages maximum, so make sure all the information you’ve included is essential. If you can’t decide what is essential, ask yourself if what you’re including is relevant to what the employer is asking for in the job description.

It’s also important to consider the kind of work you truly want to be hired to do. In other words, don’t include past experience for tasks you strongly dislike doing. Keep the experiences that you want to keep building on and match what the employer is looking for—this meets the definition of essential information to include on your resume.

4. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible

Numbers and data bring your work experience to life and help hiring managers envision the potential impact you could have in their organization. When you can, back up your achievements with real data to boost your credibility and add informative detail to your resume. For example:

Numbers and data bring your work experience to life and help hiring managers envision the potential impact you could have in their organization. When you can, back up your achievements with real data to boost your credibility and add informative detail to your resume. For example:

Unquantified: Improved lead generation through strategic content marketing initiatives.

Quantified: Achieved 180% year-over-year lead growth through strategic content marketing initiatives.

5. Use keywords that employers are using in their job descriptions

Hiring managers want to see that you can speak their language and know the lingo of their industry. When they see their own keywords mirrored back to them in your resume, it reinforces the idea that you’re a strong candidate for the role. And if your resume will be posted to an online database like Indeed Resume, the right keywords are critical to getting found by employers.

To research keywords commonly used in job postings, explore Indeed Job Category Trends and select your industry. Here you can view top keyword searches and top job titles by month.

6. Proofread several times to catch typos and misspellings

Unfortunately, a single typographical or spelling error is sometimes enough to get your resume discarded early in the game. Review your resume multiple times, doing a thorough line-by-line, word-by-word edit. Reading content backwards—awkward and time-consuming though it may be—is a great way to catch minor mistakes that you might otherwise miss. And an outside perspective is always a good idea. Ask a friend, mentor, or family member to review your resume for you before you begin submitting it to employers.

A strong resume can streamline your job search process, helping you showcase your strengths and get one step closer to your dream job. With some diligent work up front—and by adhering to these six rules—you can turn this fundamental job search document into one of your strongest professional assets.

 

Power Writers Canada wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!