Top 5 Reasons to Work with a Resume Writer
Employment was on the rebound in November 2020, but it’s still recovering from the pandemic setback. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm employment was steadily increasing since January 2010, but today’s employment numbers haven’t improved beyond where they were 5 years ago. They are 9.8 million jobs less today than there were in February 2020.
That means today’s job market is more competitive than it’s been in recent years. According to research by recruiting software company Lever, applicants are the biggest source of hire, followed by sourced candidates and employee referrals. Only 1 out of 100 candidates is hired.
Wondering how can you make sure your resume gets you an interview? Make one of your 2021 resolutions a resume refresh. Here are five reasons you should consider working with a resume writer to make sure yours is up-to-date.
1. Use Keywords to Get Noticed Online
In today’s search engine-driven world, keywords are key to making sure your resume rises to the top of results. Recruiters use them when they’re searching profiles on LinkedIn. And today’s job banks are more technologically sophisticated than ever. A lack of keywords that match what a hirer is looking for may mean your resume never gets seen.
A resume writer will know which keywords relate to the jobs you’re interested in. Using research of relevant jobs, you can update your resume to feature keywords that reflect your skills and that are also used by hirers to find the best candidates. A resume writer will remove fluff and flowery language to distill your resume into one that’s crafted exactly to match the jobs you’re applying to.
You may think you’re familiar with the keywords that matter most to your industry. But a resume writer will have recent experience working on resumes for industries like yours so you ensure you’re not missing anything. You can also use content from a strong resume to feature on your LinkedIn page, so you increase your visibility online, as well.
2. Adapt a Resume to ATS
Ever heard of an applicant tracking system? Also known as an ATS, these digital software systems track and manage candidates in a single database. They’re sort of like customer relationship management systems. They enable hirers and recruiters to filter applications based on criteria they set.
That criteria may include:
- Years of experience
- Education level
- Former employers
One important consideration with ATS systems is that to ensure all your copy matches up to the proper searches, a resume needs to be formatted correctly. Certain types of formatting may restrict the ability of the ATS system to properly scan a resume.
In addition to making sure you include relevant skills and keywords and thoroughly you’re your relevant experience, you also need to make sure your resume is ATS-friendly. An experienced resume writer will format yours so it works with the most popular ATS software.
3. Feature Accomplishments You’re Missing
If it’s been awhile since you’ve refreshed your resume, there may be critical information missing from it. When you use resume writing services at HiConsulting Services, the process starts with an extensive intake process. We enquire about your long-time goals, most significant accomplishments and noteworthy contributions to each organization you’ve worked for.
This informational process frequently uncovers key details that should be on a resume. Some clients don’t realize that certain information could help them get an interview. A resume writer will identify the best info to feature that means most to recruiters and hirers.
4. Create a Professional, Clean Resume
A single minor spelling error could be enough to turn some hirers off. When employers are evaluating resumes, they’re looking at more than your work experience. Sometimes, attention to detail is just as important because they may view it as a reflection of your job performance.
A resume writer will ensure your resume is free of:
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Repetitiveness and overused words
- Confusing copy
- Use of passive voice and filler words
Many positions require strong communication skills. Your resume gives an employer the opportunity to evaluate your written communication. You’ll want to put your best foot forward. A professional resume writer can help with clean, professional copy.
5. Tailor a Resume to a Specific Job
Your resume should be updated to reflect each job you’re applying for. If you’re looking to move into a new industry or apply for a higher role, it’s especially important that your resume fits that industry or position.
A resume writer will use their experience with the industry or type of role you’re seeking to make professional recommendations on what to include to attract the attention of employers. Your resume should reflect your career history, but it should also position you as a candidate who’s a fit for the position you’re seeking. This is done by careful creation and selection of keywords, featured accomplishments and professional summary.
Refresh Your Resume for 2021
It’s always a good idea to have an updated resume so you’re ready for whatever comes your way. From applying for a higher role in your industry, to finding a job when you’re unemployed, to getting a job in a new industry, a resume is a powerful tool for helping you accomplish your career goals.
HiConsulting Services specializes in resume writing for all levels of professionals. These include:
- Entry-level and college students
- Technical professionals
- Federal professionals
If you’re interested in refreshing your resume, book a free 25-minute resume consultation. We’re happy to help in January 2021 and beyond
Tips for How to Email a Resume
When you apply to your next job, you might be emailing the hirer directly. Maybe you’ve met them in person, or you were referred to them by someone you know, or the directions for the job you’re applying for ask you to do so.
This personal way to apply presents some opportunities to make a great impression on the hirer and connect with them so you stand out. It also presents some pitfalls, since something like a spelling error or wrong tone of voice could hurt your chances before they even open up your resume.
If you’re sending a resume by email, use these tips for crafting a email that’s professional and moves you along the hiring pipeline.
Use a Professional Email Address
Make sure you create a professional email address from which to send the email. Generally, one that has your first and last name in it is best. If an email address with just your first and last name is unavailable, it’s OK to add a number or two, but try to avoid putting in your full birthday with the year you were born to avoid age bias.
Do not send an email from any address with vulgar or unprofessional language in it. Make sure you have the log-in details for your professional email address so it’s easy to check any communications you receive back.
Read the Directions
The person you’re emailing your resume to may request that it’s sent as an attachment. Or, they might want you to copy and paste a resume and/or a cover letter into the body of the email.
The directions might include specific notes what for to include in the subject line, how to label your resume attachment and how to create a heading, including the exact order you should list your name and contact information in.
Following any directions you’re given for emailing your resume is the first important step to advancing your candidacy. If you send an email without all the elements that are needed, the employer may take that as a bad sign that you won’t follow directions on the job.
Use Attachment Best Practices
If there’s no note to copy and paste the resume content into the email, then send it as an attachment. Typically, a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) and PDF file are the most commonly accepted file formats. You can find tips for saving PDF files here.
Label the file so it’s easily recognizable as your resume. If there aren’t specific directions for how to save the file, use your full name and “Resume” in the label. You might also want to add the name of the company to personal what you’re sending, so something like, “First name_Last name_Resume_Company.”
Follow these same best practices with a cover letter. First see if the employer prefers you paste the cover letter contents into the email or add it as an attachment. If you’re attaching it, save it as a Word doc or PDF and label it accordingly.
If there are no directions about what to include in the subject line or body of the email, and you’re sending your other materials as attachments, tailor the email to the job and company you’re applying to and keep it simple.
For the subject line, start with the position you’re applying for, add your first and last name and the word “Resume.” For example:
[Position] – [your full name] – Resume
In the body of the email, address the hiring manager with a professional salutation if you know their name. For example, “Dear Ms. Smith.” If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, “Dear Hiring Manager” works.
Start the email stating the position you’re applying for. If you were referred to the hiring manager through a personal contact, or you’ve already met the hiring manager, you may add a note explaining the connection. You may also add a note about what makes you qualified, but keep it brief and distinguish it from language that’s in a cover letter.
Then explain what you’re attaching or pasting into the email. Offer to follow up with additional materials if needed. For example:
I’m very interested in applying for the [position] at [company name]. I’m grateful to [referral name] for connecting us. My objective is to leverage the [number of years] of experience as a [job title] to help [company you’re applying for] achieve its goals.
I’ve attached my resume and cover letter. Please let me know if you’d like me to send additional materials or information.
Then, thank the hiring manager for looking over your materials. Add a call to action to advance the conversation.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Close out the email with a professional salutation. “Best” or “Sincerely” work well. After your name, list your contact information.
[Your full name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Your LinkedIn profile, if applicable]
Before You Hit Send
Run the contents of your email subject line and the body of the email, as well as your resume and cover letter, through a spelling and grammar check. In addition to using the Word document spelling and grammar feature, you can run everything through a free tool like Grammarly to get more feedback on spelling and grammar issues.
Remember that everything you create for an employer, from an email subject line to an email greeting, may be evaluated as a reflection of how you’d perform on the job. You want to make sure what you send is professional and error-free.
Send yourself a test run first to make sure everything reads well and is formatted correctly. You’ll also want to make sure the attachments open without an issue. You might want to send a test email to someone else to see how everything looks on their email client.
Once you’ve proofread your email, tested it and corrected any errors (test again if you make fixes), send it off.
Want to ensure your resume, cover letter and email are all good to go before sending? Contact HiConsulting Services online or at 623-738-4470. We can help.
Do You Need a Cover Letter? Benefits & Tips
You’ve found the perfect job to apply to. You’ve polished your resume. Are you ready to apply?
Well, maybe not quite. Many jobs require a cover letter as part of the application process. A 2019 study by The Ladders found the majority of tech jobs do, with a higher demand for cover letters from medium-sized companies and fast-growing startups.
Even when a job description doesn’t stipulate a cover letter requirement, you may want to send one. Here’s why and how to craft yours to stand out to hirers.
Cover Letter Benefits
A resume is a straightforward, quantitative view of your work experience. A cover letter shows a more personal side of you as a candidate. It explains why a company should hire you and how you match up to the job requirements.
When a job description requires a cover letter, you definitely need to send one. When a cover letter is optional, the benefits of sending one include:
- You can stand out among candidates who don’t send a cover letter, because you’re showing you’re going above and beyond for the job.
- The details you reveal in a cover letter may compel a hiring manager to move you along the hiring process.
- If there are questionable issues in your resume, like an employment gap or short-term employment, you can explain those in a cover letter in a positive light.
Cover letters do take extra time, especially because you should make each one personalized to the job you’re applying for. But when you’re really interested in a job, a cover letter could be the deciding factor that gets you your dream position.
When should you not send a cover letter?
If the job description states not to include a cover letter, then don’t send one. Doing so could be viewed negatively, that you’re not following directions.
If you’re submitting an application online and there’s nowhere to submit a cover letter, take that as a sign the employer doesn’t want one. There’s no need to go out of your way to send one when it’s not desired.
Otherwise, when you have an opportunity to send a cover letter, you should make the effort to send one and show the employer you’re invested in the potential job.
What to Include in a Cover Letter
A cover letter should be a one-page document that matches the design (fonts, colors, etc.) and contact information of your resume.
First, include your contact information and the date you’re writing the letter.
Then, greet the recipient. Address the letter to the hirer’s name, i.e., “Dear Jane Doe,” or “Dear John Smith.” If you don’t have the hirer’s name available, use, “Dear Hiring Manager.”
In your introduction, explain that you’re interested in applying for the specific position at the company’s name. If you were referred by someone, note that person’s name and title at that company. This establishes a personal connection, enhances your credibility and may pique the interest of the person reading the letter.
In the body of the letter, tell a compelling narrative about why you’re a candidate the hirer should be interested in. Explain how your specific experience and achievements make you the perfect fit for what the job requires.
Differentiate your cover letter from your resume. Give insight into your personality and what makes you different compared to others who have the same qualifications. Your cover letter is an opportunity to show how you’d be a cultural fit, so you may want to mention how you connect to the organization’s mission, product or service.
If you want to explain something from your resume, like a gap or potential concern (such as short-term employment, an incomplete degree, irregularities in employment, etc.), you can use your cover letter to do so in a positive light.
If you currently don’t live in the area where the job is, you can also use the letter to explain your interview availability or confirm your willingness to relocate.
To conclude the letter, show gratitude to the hirer for their consideration. Include a call to action to keep the conversation going – for example, something like, “I look forward to speaking with you soon and hope we can connect for an interview.” End the letter with a formal salutation, such as, “Sincerely, [your name].”
Avoid These Cover Letter Mistakes
Sending a bad letter is worse than sending no letter when there’s no cover letter requirement. Keep these pitfalls in mind.
- Sending out the same cover letter for multiple jobs: Each cover letter should be specific to the job you’re applying for. Savvy hiring managers will notice when a cover letter isn’t personalized. Sending one that has the wrong identifying details will eliminate you from the job pool.
- Typos: Hirers might view typos as a reflection of how you’d perform on the job.
- Inaccurate information: An exaggerated claim or dishonest detail may be investigated during the job search process. It could cost you the job and your reputation.
- Negative information: Don’t point out qualifications you’re missing or attempt to explain away any hesitations a hirer may have about your experience. Focus on your strengths and what you can offer.
Just like your resume, a cover letter is an important representation of your professional experience. Ensure it’s a positive, accurate reflection of your qualifications and employment desirability.
Use These Cover Letter Tips
As you craft a unique cover letter, remember these tips. Use these as a checklist before you send any cover letter.
- Keep it to one page.
- Proofread for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, contact information inaccuracies and false claims. Have someone you trust read it, as well, if possible.
- Explain what you can offer, not what you want. Focus on the value you can bring to the job and company.
- Highlight standout achievements when possible, instead of listing daily responsibilities.
- Use consistent design and contact information with your resume.
- Double-check that the cover letter follows any instructions that are given. Some companies may ask you to highlight certain topics in the cover letter.
Cover letters aren’t always required, but when you’re able to send one, they can make you stand out as a job candidate.
If you want expert eyes on your cover letter or need help getting started, contact HiConsulting Services for a free consultation. We offer cover letter writing assistance to ensure what you send makes a great impression.