Dr. Diane Hamilton's Blog

Update Your Resume for the New Year

 

One New Year’s resolution to consider is to update your resume.  Whether you are in job-search mode or have been with a job for a while, it is always good to be prepared.  The job market is constantly changing and people sometimes lose jobs that they had considered solid.

I recommend checking out the Ragan article 10 Words or Phrases That Shouldn’t be on Your Résumé. I like that the author mentioned the importance of not simply listing the word experienced. “Although you may have many years working in a certain field, don’t sell yourself short by using a word as vague and general as “experienced.” Get specific. Make a note of how long you’ve worked in a certain industry, how many clients you’ve had, what your sales were, and how much you increased profitability. Employers want to see results, not fluff.”

I have had to review many resumes that were sloppy, complicated, and just difficult to decipher. Due to a wealth of information on the Internet, there is no excuse for having a poor resume.

I recommend checking out some of the following links:

It is also simple to create a resume within a Word document.  To find templates, go to the file dropdown menu and pick new.  In the search bar, type in the word: resume.  This will bring up a list of free templates that can be easily modified.

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Stand Out In Job Market with Mini Resume Cards

Combining a resume with a business card in a smart, easy to read fashion, is a great way to capture a future employer’s attention.  ResuMiniMe is a site that has done a nice job of creating such a card.  In just minutes, job-seekers can create a traditional-sized business card that promotes their strengths while serving as a nice ice-breaker for networking opportunities.  Prices start at $90 for 1000 cards.  Gift packages are available.  A free profile on LinkedIn is required. 

They offer two style choices for the back of the card.  A traditional standard style that lists education and experience is one option.  Also offered is the option to include a QR code on the back.  For more information about using QR codes to find a job, click here. 

The following are examples of the cards that can be created on this site.  The back of the card is shown vertically here for easy readability.

Front (although not listed here, a phone number may be included):

Back Traditional:

Back QR Code Version:

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How to Use QR Codes on Your Resume and Business Cards

QR codes are the latest thing in marketing.  They are in the newspapers, on billboards and on just about every kind of marketing material you can imagine. Now you can utilize this amazing new technology to make your business card and/or resume stand out from the rest.  This is an innovative way to show prospective employers that you are tech savvy.  It also can redirect them to important information on your website that you cannot include in your resume. 

Here is an example of how to put one on your business card. 

Anyone with a smartphone that has an app for reading QR codes can easily point their phone at your card and find out more information about you.  If you don’t have a QR reader app on your phone, they are easy to download from sites like iTunes and they are free.  I use QR Reader for iPhone.  Once you have the app on your phone, open it, and point the phone’s camera at the square on my card.  See how it directs you to a site. 

The QR codes are simple to create.  Check out this article:  how to create your own QR codes.

Here is an example of how to include them on your resume:

 
If you used your reader to scan these codes listed here, you can see they each will send you to a different site.  You may just want to send them to your LinkedIn page or some other website that showcases your abilities.  You could create a presentation in Google Docs or on YouTube that would make you stand out from the crowd.  If you have always felt that you could get that job if only they could see you, now is your chance.  Just be careful to create quality content on the site where you direct potential employers. 

To see QR codes in action, check out this video about how QR codes are changing the way people shop:

2011 Top 10 Things You Should Not Put On Your Resume

image via google.com

In a tough economy, many people are trying to perfect their resumes.  It is a very competitive market out there, with many competing for the few coveted jobs.  It is important not to make the mistake of including inappropriate information in your resume or cover letter as this is the first thing that companies use to judge you.

I read an interesting article about whether you should include your MBTI and IQ results on your resume.  AskaManager.com didn’t think this was a good idea explaining, “Resumes are for listing your accomplishments; they’re not for personal traits. Listing that you’re an “ESTJ” does give me some information about you, but it doesn’t tell me what you’ve achieved and experienced, which is what I’m looking for when I look at your resume.” 

This made me think about all of the resumes I’ve screened that had inappropriate information listed on them.  Here is my top list of things you should never include on your resume:

  1. Age, weight, height, religion, race, political affiliation, pets, marital status and other personal information
  2. Salary requirements
  3. Inappropriate email names (example:  Toosexy at blahblah.com)
  4. Medical issues
  5. High School Information, High School Memberships
  6. Photograph
  7. Personal negative feelings about a position or employer
  8. Hobbies or activities that imply religious affiliation
  9. IQ, EQ, Personality Results, Mensa, GPA
  10. Overly large or busy fonts and colors on resume and cover page

Some career sites note that the objective and reference sections are not a good addition.  I don’t personally think those are as much of a problem.  In fact, I think an objective statement can help if a person’s past jobs aren’t in line with the job they are hoping to obtain. Including the phrase “References Available Upon Request” is still acceptable although not required.  It is not correct to actually list the people being used as references unless they are requested.

Optimizing Your Resume Using Keywords on Sites Like LinkedIn

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I give a lot of tips about how to get an interview and obtain a job. Part of being successful in the interview process is to have a strong resume. Keywords are a big part of getting your resume noticed.

You may hear a lot about using keywords when optimizing websites. Now that sites like LinkedIn are increasing their searching capabilities, you may want to revisit how you have worded your online experience to be sure you are including appropriate buzz or key words. Employmentdigest.net suggests the following:

1. Go to web sites that represent companies and associations related to the candidate’s target industry in search of other buzzwords.

2. Search LinkedIn profiles of users who have similar jobs to see what keywords they’re using.

3. Go to association websites to see what keywords other industry professionals have used.

The specific words employers seek relate to the skills and experiences that demonstrate your experience with the skills necessary to do the job. Both hard and soft skills will fall in this category. Industry- and job-specific skills are almost always included in keyword lists. Highly technical fields can also include specific jargon or terms that demonstrate subject expertise. Job titles, certifications, types of degrees, college names and company names also demonstrate an applicant’s qualifications. Awards and professional organizations can also be considered strong keywords.

Linkedin Endorsements Poorly Utilized

 

Linkedin has provided an opportunity for networkers to endorse the skills of people with whom they are connected.  This was meant to be a time saver for people who normally wrote full recommendations. The idea had promise.  However, it is not being utilized well.  When users sign onto their Linkedin profile, they are given a list of people in their network and asked if they want to endorse them for a particular skill. There is the option of being able to endorse all of the people that pop up as choices.  The problem is, many people are doing that.  People may receive many endorsements from people who have not witnessed some of the skills they have endorsed.  At that point, the Linkedin endorsements become meaningless.

It is far too easy to choose the option of endorsing people as it is currently configured.  If the point was to make recommendations easier, it is understandable that there should be some way to do that.  However, if everyone is endorsing everyone for everything, there is no value to the endorsement.

To find out more about Linkedin’s Endorsements check out the following articles

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Pharmaceutical Job Candidates: Stand Out With CMR

 

The pharmaceutical job market is extremely competitive.  One way for potential applicants to stand out from the crowd is to become a Certified Medical Representative (CMR).  The Certified Medical Representative Institute has recently launched a pre-hire program, designed for someone interested in entering the biopharmaceutical arena. The program is designed to provide basic knowledge that would help make someone a better candidate or provide deeper knowledge to enhance their abilities in a potential position.

When I obtained my CMR, I found that the training was excellent.  Adding the CMR designation to my business card also demonstrated that I had received training that went above and beyond the industry standard.

CMR’s latest program covers the following topics:

The Biopharmaceutical Industry

  • Overview of the Drug Development Process
  • Promotion and Advertising in Pharmaceuticals

The Sales Environment

  • The Evolution of Managed Care
  • Healthcare Insurance Plans and Healthcare Financiers

The Science of Medicine

  • Systems of the Body
  • Evaluation of Disease
  • Medical Terminology

The Science of Pharmacology

  • Basic Principles of Drug Actions
  • Classification of Pharmaceutical Products

The Biopharmaceutical Representative’s Job

  • The Role of the Biopharmaceutical Representative
  • Elements of Good Communication
  • The Business Planning Process

For more information, check out the CMR Institute.

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Unusual Uses for QR Codes in the Classroom and Job Market

 

QR codes are those little barcode looking squares that are popping up everywhere.  They are an excellent marketing tool.  They have some unique applications as well.  The article 50 Great Ways to Use QR Codes in the College Classroom lists some unusual uses such as:

  • Using QR codes on name plates to find instructor office hours
  • Adding QR codes to the syllabus to link to classroom calendar
  • Adding to class announcements to create buzz for upcoming events
  • Linking QR codes to lectures, videos or answers to commonly asked questions
  • Linking QR codes to digital portfolios

These are just some of the unique classroom uses.  Click on the link above to read all 50 uses.

For more articles about using QR Codes check out:

SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month.

Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

 

If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation.

 

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