What is Your Resume’s Personality Type?

resume types, resume advice

I have reviewed thousands of resumes as a career coach. I find that every resume provides clues about the person behind it and have a personality all on their own that may be a reflection of the author. Sometimes it’s spot on and other times unfortunately a false representation that often does not work in the job seeker’s favor. If I were to assess your resume it would be classified under at least one of the following four resume “personality types.”

workplace, bitstrip

The Slacker

This resume may appear neat and organized, but lacks content that highlights key skills and accomplishments. The position description is filled with job duties typically taken straight from the job description. This resume slacks…I mean lacks personality. The list of “skills” may include a lackluster set of soft skills such as “team player” or “hard worker” with little attention to significant relevant core competencies. It may include a statement like, “Review resumes and cover letters for grammar and spelling.” Although the statement may be accurate it’s BORING and reads “I just came to work and did my job.”

Move your resume from the slacker category by infusing your position description with relevant key skills that you have demonstrated while performing your duties along with key results to highlight your accomplishments. Example: Use keen attention to detail to review resumes and cover letters to provide personalized recommendations resulting in increased customer satisfaction. Here you have the formula

skills + duties + accomplishments = something the reader can chew on

. I’m dubbing this as the “sandwich method” where the skills are the bread slices, the duties serves as the meat of what you are responsible for and the accomplishments are the extras that make it oh-so-tasty.

The Generalist

Although it’s great to have diverse work experience and several different skill sets, stay clear from having the “general” resume. Appearing as “a jack of all trades” will give a recruiter a harder time identifying you as a match and the same goes with an application tracking system. This may result in your resume going into the proverbial “black hole.” If you are open to multiple career fields consider creating a resume tailored for each, highlighting core competencies related to the respective careers. If your last/current position isn't exactly reflective of your desired career path, I recommend creating a 1-3 line profile statement including your desired career path along with relevant key skills, experience, knowledge, and/or achievements that would serve as an asset.

Be sure to refer to the job posting to find keywords to inject into your resume where appropriate.

The Obnoxious Overachiever

This resume has a lot of great information, but instead of being a nice edible sandwich it’s the big fat hoagie that

Cliff Huxtable

used to live for. This is the type of resume that would give the recruiter heartburn and is typically longer than necessary. If your resume includes every training and certification you've ever completed, how many Girl Scout cookies you've sold, the trophy you coached the little league baseball team to win and then some, consider revising it for conciseness and relevance. Use the a job announcement as a guide to help you prioritize what is important.

The All-Star

This resume is the unicorn in the clouds and gets recruiters excited! It’s focused, yet provides sufficient details and includes keywords that will have your phone buzzing. The resume not only incorporates the sandwich method, but it’s prepared to the employer’s liking. Bring your to the ultimate personality type by incorporating the previous recommendations mentioned.

What is your resume’s personality type?

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward

 

P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.

 

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Sex, Culture, and Work: A candid conversation on sexual harassment in today’s workplace.

The idea for this conversation started with this

CBS News article

I came across where a writer advised women not report sexual harassment. I used this opportunity to bring in an HR professional into the mix. I had the pleasure of chatting with Zena Thomas, a certified HR professional and creator of

HerSavvyCareer.com

. We had a candid conversation about how today’s culture affects how sexual harassment may manifest itself in the workplace, even in subtle ways, and what to do about it.  

Cathy:

What is Sexual harassment?

Zena:

  Sexual harassment is something that is an unwanted sexual act or an aggressive offense towards a person. In order for it to be technically defined as sexual harassment it has to be consistent and

egregious. So you could have an incident that is considered inappropriate, unless it’s unwanted and continuous then it would not be consider sexual harassment. For example, someone putting up a picture of a woman in her bathing suit up in their cubical where everyone can see, that would be offensive and under most corporate workplaces it would be inappropriate, but that wouldn't be consider sexual harassment; versus, someone such as a boss who continuously makes inappropriate sexual remarks to one of their employees, if it’s unwanted. For it to be unwanted [the offender] has to know that it is unwanted.

Cathy:

What should an employee do in the first incident of sexual harassment?

Zena:

At the first incident they should acknowledge the incident by telling the offender. This can fall under any time type of harassment, if you're being offended you should let that person know and I say it's easier said than done, so I usually tell people to say, "Hey, that offended me" or "Hey, that made me uncomfortable" or "That didn't feel right," to let that person know that it's something that did not feel good to you. And then after that, if you're comfortable, then yes you should go to your manager first, unless it’s your manager [that's the offender], then you can go to HR. But if somebody makes a joke about a woman having big breast that's not something you would go to HR about necessarily, unless it's something that's been repeated and you've told that person to stop. I would agree with the article that you mentioned to say that you would not go to HR for every little sexual offense that may happen in the workplace, because you probably would be at HR a lot. But, if you have someone that continues to harass you in a sexual matter, then the first thing that you should do is to let them know that you want them to stop, that you're not comfortable with it, you won't tolerate it and that you're offended. And then if they continue to proceed with the inappropriate behavior, then you should let your manager know and/or HR.

Cathy:

I'd like to go back a little to what you said, so if you let the person know at the first instance that he or she made you uncomfortable, then go to your manager?  Or, if you're okay with that should you leave the situation as is once you've let offender know?

Zena:

I think it is okay to leave it as is, but it's up to you. Everyone has a different level of sensitivity. As a seasoned professional with many years in a corporate environment I'm less offended than most people are, but I would say that if you're uncomfortable with letting the offender know, then of course let someone else know. But you are your first defense. A lot of times people don't know that they've offended you unless you tell them. I would not say that with every offense or inappropriate thing you should pull management in on. I do think that as an employee, professional, and a team member you owe it to the person to tell them that they made you feel uncomfortable, even if it is your boss which may be a little bit more difficult. I think the person will respect you more if you tell them first how the action made you feel. In the long run it will help you in the work environment if you're the first person to communicate how you feel to the offender. 

Cathy:

People may feel uncomfortable about approaching their manager about any grievances that they may have and may be a bit hesitant about approaching a manager regarding workplace issues. What would you advise if someone was sexually harassed specifically by a superior? 

Zena:

If it is your superior, then you should go to HR right away. In any work environment that I worked in and with my management style, we just don't say that we have zero tolerance, we mean it. Your manager should be working with you to help you achieve success in the workplace and if they are harassing you or offending you, then that's not happening. If you’re in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable with confronting the person, then definitely go to HR so that they can help you get the issue resolved. I like to encourage people to try to find the strength at least once to tell the person that they offended them, even if it is your manager. But if you can't, definitely bring it to HR.

Cathy:

How do you feel about calling the anonymous hotline that some companies have for their employees as opposed to revealing yourself by going directly to Human Resources. 

Zena:

I've worked for one of the Fortune 50 companies and have experience with that. It's a tool there for you to use so definitely take advantage of it. The one thing that you must know is that it’s not totally anonymous. If it's something like harassment, then it's something that is going to be investigated. And I always tell people this and I am sure other HR professionals would agree. If you bring something to me then I have to try to resolve it. You can't tell me that you've been sexually harassed and not tell me who sexually harassed you. If you are coming to me I am assuming that you would like to resolve the problem and that's what I am there to do. So I highly encourage people as a method for reporting to use those tools, but for something like sexual harassment which may be different from whistle blowing, reporting thief, or other inappropriate conduct at work, there will more than likely be an investigation. 

Cathy:

As an experienced HR professional, can you tell me an incident where somebody did something that seemed harmless, but was taken as sexual harassment?

Zena:

Yes, I worked a company with a very young workforce where most people were in their twenties. It was very collegiate atmosphere with young leaders. There was an incident where one of the team members (who actually sat beside the young lady) had received an email that showed a very voluptuous woman and they referred her body shape in an inappropriate way in reference to the only female coworker on the team. She saw the email and she was in tears; very offended and embarrassed. She didn't go to HR, however she told somebody else and it got to HR and at that point we had to take action. We found that the email was forwarded on and that even her manager was part of the email chain. To be honest with you, I can't say that most people would have considered it as being sexual harassment. If it was Kim Kardashian and they said she looked like her, it may not have been as offensive. But it was offensive and inappropriate and we did consider it sexual harassment, especially if there was leadership involved. As a leader, our expectation is that if they saw that they would bring the hammer down and say, "This is inappropriate," and take action. That's a case that may seem innocent, maybe, but is offensive. It was an indication of the culture because there were 6-7 people who saw the email who did not think it was offensive. 

Cathy:

You brought a good point about how culture plays a big part on what may be considered sexually harassment. 

Zena:

Absolutely! Sexual harassment is sexual harassment, but in terms of how it manifests in the workplace I think it varies from job to job, industry to industry, and culture to culture. And that's why it's very important that if you are offended to let it be known. As you become more mature in your professional career, it's important that you have the ability to communicate when you're uncomfortable or offended. I want to acknowledge that it's not always easy, but when you do you're setting yourself up for success in terms of how people treat and respect you. Be really honest and forthcoming about how you want to treated as a professional and how you want to be perceived.  It is so easy to turn a blind eye and work in a workforce where sexual harassment is running so rampant that when something does happen and someone takes a stand it becomes a shock to the culture of the workplace. It’s important for both men and woman to take a stand when there is something inappropriate and doesn't look or feel right. Whether it's when you say something inappropriate and a person says, "I am offended" you just say, "I'm sorry I offended you. I didn't realize that hurt you. I now know that was inappropriate and I won't do it again." We are no longer is the days where the boss is slapping somebody in the bottom asking them to go fix some coffee. Today sexual harassment may manifest itself in little comments that may come up in everyday conversation, but are inappropriate for the workplace.  

Zena Thomas is an experienced Human Resources professional located in the Washington DC area.  Zena is the founder of Her Savvy Career, a blog dedicated to supporting women through the world of work.  Learn more about Zena on www.hersavvycareer.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @hersavvycareer.

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward

 

P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.

 

Subscribe to our blog for career information and inspiration to move you forward>>

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Gain New Experience Without Giving Up Your Day Job

If you are transitioning into a new career, gaining initial experience can be a difficult feat. It’s far too easy to say, “Oh, just get an internship.” Although there are internship opportunities that provide a competitive salary, many do not (assuming they provide compensation at all). For many, particularly those with family responsibilities or who wish to maintain a certain standard of living, a full-time internship may not always be the answer. Here are some alternate ways to gain resume-worthy experience while keeping your day job.

Gain experience on the job. While your current position might have nothing to do with your desired career path, a little creativity can change that. For example, if you are pursuing a bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a concentration in Sustainability you can join the Sustainability Committee at work, or provide a proposal for a sustainability initiative in the workplace. Someone pursuing a marketing career can offer their talent on related departmental projects, share new marketing projects, or reach out to the marketing department and inquire on how you can assist with any projects they may be working on. However, prior to pursuing anything outside your assigned duties, ensure you have a conversation with your manager about your career desires. A good manager will help you nurture your talents if possible.

Join a committee outside of work. Volunteering on a committee not only gives you experience, but can provide you access to networking opportunities as well. Consider your alumni association, church, a non-profit organization, the PTA, a professional organization, or a meet-up group related to your industry of interest. However, keep in mind that you don’t need an official title to contribute and share ideas. Take on roles that will help you shine and sharpen your skills.

Start/contribute to a blog or forum. Personally, I know starting and maintaining a blog is hard work, but if you’re passionate about what you do, it will show. Blogging is not just ideal for those interested in a career in writing or journalism. For example, someone interested in Information Technology can start a blog expressing their point of view of emerging technology, or perhaps start a vlog (video blog) on You Tube providing programming tutorials. In addition, use social media to showcase your work (e.g., Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and/or Tumblr). When using these sites, offer your insight on forums, which gives you an opportunity to learn from others, build your personal brand, all while having the advantage of doing it on your own time. The opportunities are endless and so is the exposure.

Take on freelance opportunities. Freelancing gives you a chance to build your portfolio. There are project-based virtual internship opportunities that may provide flexibility around your work schedule to consider as well. However, be prepared to do some pro bono work. Despite the lack of pay, always do your best work, as satisfied clients make the best references.

When doing an internship is not feasible, remember you can start your “YOUternship” on your own terms. Keep your job while you find a way to do what you really love. Now that’s having your cake and eating it too.

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward

 

P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.

 

Subscribe to our blog for career information and inspiration to move you forward>>

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7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Job Seekers

The job search process can be challenging for many and with so many avenues to explore, it may be difficult to figure out which direction to go. However, there are certainly some habits that make the job search process more difficult than necessary.  Here are seven habits I have noticed with job seekers struggling with their job search.

1.  Demonstrates a Lack of Focus. Do you know what you are looking for or are you indecisive about your career path? If so, you may want to make some decisions about the career you would like to focus on. It does not mean that you have to choose just one type of job, but you do need to establish area(s) of focus before proceeding with your job search.  This allows you to maximize your time and energy towards a specific goal.


2.  Takes a One-Size-Fits-All Approach. Does your job search strategy lack variety? Is your resume posted on just one or two job boards or are you using the same resume for each position that you apply for? If your answer is yes, then consider beefing up your job strategy through diversifying your search. This may include seeking opportunities through social media, company career portals, industry specific job boards, and publications. Your resume and cover letters should always be tailored for each position to ensure that you have highlighted significant key qualifications, skills, and experience.

3. Does Not Forge New Relationships. You should also expand your job search through networking. This is typically a key component that I find missing from many struggling job seekers’ strategy. Relationship building is a great habit to form even if you are not actively seeking a new opportunity. Otherwise, it feels awkwardly painful if you lack practice. Networking is not just about meeting new people, but includes nurturing your existing relationships.
 

4. Inconsistent. Being inconsistent with your job seeking efforts may leave you frustrated just like stop-and-go traffic in Washington, DC.  This does not mean you have to complete job applications daily. However, take that time to complete tasks that will keep your momentum going such as submitting your resume for professional review, researching a company of interest, or checking company updates on social media.

5. Does Not Follow Up. Following up is an essential job searching task and lack thereof may mean a missed opportunity. Follow up on the status of your applications, new people that you meet, and existing people in your network.

6. Unorganized. It’s really hard follow up if your searching techniques lack organization. I recommend creating a spreadsheet to list each position that you have applied for or inquired about. Include pertinent information such as dates, links to websites, names, and contact information. In addition, use a calendar to set reminders for yourself.

7. Displays the Wrong Attitude. Last but definitely not least, having the wrong attitude can really hinder your success even if you are doing everything else right. This may include being overly pessimistic or arrogant. As you network display a healthy balance of optimism and self-confidence. These are vibes that could be contagious, which may leave the recipient feeling good about you and confident in your abilities.  
 

We all have habits that could steer us in the wrong direction and identifying them is the first step towards improvement.

This article was originally posted on Careers in Government 

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward

 

P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.

 

Subscribe to our blog for career information and inspiration to move you forward>>

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You’ve Done Everything Right and You Still Can’t Find a Job

This post was motivated by readers from my last post who were looking for deeper reasons why they are struggling with their job search. While many where appreciative of the simple reminders, the savvy job seekers were like, “Tell me something I don't know.” Perhaps your resume as been reviewed and revised many times over;  you've gotten interviews, but have yet to be selected; attended career fairs, but came up empty. Well here’s something you can chew on.

You've been stigmatized by long-term unemployment.

According to the Department of Labor, job seekers who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more are considered to be long-term unemployed. However, the concerns with gaps in one’s employment history happen before that. This is a serious national issue, but while Congress tries to figure out how to remedy it, millions are without work. The quickest way to move from unemployment is through self-employment. Consider hiring yourself; consult, sell, serve, direct, rebuild, or create something new. This may be the perfect time to explore business opportunities. And yes, please add it to your resume! Any work experience counts.

Your online presence does not speak well of you.

Have you goggled yourself lately? Really, type your name and see what comes up. Examine all your profile and cover photos for any social media network that you’re on because most of them are public. Would you hire you? Perhaps, nothing comes up and depending on your industry of interest that may not be a good look either. Maybe you have a popular name like “Michael Jordan” and you are not really worried about what someone may find. Whatever the case, I recommend that you provide employers with a link on your resume that shows specific information about who you are as a professional, such as one that leads to your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio.

You lack a quality network or haven’t used it effectively.

I find that people who are well connected and who cultivate their network stay employed or bounce back from unemployment quickly. Who do you know in your industry of interest? When’s that last time you made a new friend? It might be time for you to reconnect with others or reach out to communities in your area or virtually online. Perhaps you may need to consider relocation and reaching out to those in areas with opportunities.

You share too much information with employers.

What are you saying during the interview or including on your resume or cover letter that may be a red flag for employers? They don’t need to know whether you’re married or have children, don’t have a car (unless it required to perform the job), that you have many doctor’s visits, what you hated about your last job, specifically why you left a position, and what happened that one time at band camp. I've personally seen resumes and cover letters that divulged information that made the job seeker look like too much trouble to deal with. Do not act as your own barrier to employment; focus on sharing information regarding your skills, knowledge, and experience that may benefit the employer.

You've lost your confidence and it shows.

The lack of employment can bruise your ego. I know what it feels like personally, but you have to remember that your talent hasn't been taken away from you and you still have something valuable to offer to the world. Of course you don’t want to appear arrogant, but most certainly appear to be sure of yourself and not at the mercy of the employer. Remember, employers are seeking to hire the best candidates. Walk into an interview believing, “if you don’t hire me, someone else will.”

Whatever your struggle may be, reach out for help, remain persistent, and maintain a positive attitude. Remember you are talented and valuable with or without a job title. 

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward

 

P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.

 

Subscribe to our blog for career information and inspiration to move you forward>>

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