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How To List Contract Work On Your Resume

How To List Contract Work On Your Resume

How To List Contract Work On Your Resume

More and more companies are hiring employees on a contract basis. And in today’s “gig economy,” this contract work is especially appealing to many job seekers as they allow for increased flexibility and potentially even higher wages. However, creating a resume full of contract work is a little different than it would be for someone who has strictly worked in a permanent capacity. Here are a few important things you’ll want to consider when crafting your contractor resume:

Distinguish contract from permanent roles

If you have a mix of contract and permanent positions in your work history, it’s important to distinguish between the two on your resume. Oftentimes, employers will spot short work stints and automatically assume there’s some element of “job hopping” going on. However, if you identify your roles as contact, it’s understood that it was a temporary position, and therefore, more short-term. Here’s a great example of how to do that:

Company Name – Chicago, IL

Electrical Engineer Project Manager; Contract (March – December 2017)

Company Name – Westmont, IL

Electrical Engineer; Permanent (November 2014 – March 2017)

Don’t limit yourself to one page

You may have read articles suggesting that you need to keep your resume under one page. This is NOT true (especially for contractors)! Because you often have many more, shorter-term roles, that space on your resume can add up quickly. Feel free to extend your document beyond one page, as it’s essential to show the diversity of roles and experiences in your background of contract work.

Focus your bullets on what’s most relevant

While you certainly have permission to extend your resume beyond one page, it’s still important to keep it concise. Chances are, you’ve worn many hats throughout your contract career. Many of your experiences are probably relevant to your future career, while others, not so much. Keep the bullet points throughout your resume focused on what’s most essential to your next role and remove anything erroneous.

Keep in mind, this may vary between job applications. What is relevant for one position may be completely unnecessary for another. This is why it’s essential to custom-tailor your resume to each position to which you submit an application. Review the job description, and align your past skills and experiences to match what’s required. While it may be a little extra work, it will go a long way in landing you your next position!

How to Include Numbers on Your Resumes

How to Include Numbers in Your Resume

How to Include Numbers on Your Resumes

Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes in a single day. So, how are you supposed to stand out in a crowd when employers are only giving your resume a 6-second glance? One of the best practices in crafting a stellar resume includes adding impressive numbers, metrics, and stats. Above all, the visual appeal of numbers catches the eye of recruiters. Notable metrics also provide quantifiable and tangible evidence of your accomplishments. Certainly, no matter which industry you’re in, you can always find some positive and measurable numbers that help to establish credibility and build your reputation.

The Significance of Numbers

Numbers help boost the chances of your resume getting noticed in a mile high stack of paper. Furthermore, impressive metrics have the ability to help a recruiter see your great qualities in a matter of seconds.

For instance, adding a bullet point, such as:

  • Contributed to sales revenue 

Pales in comparison to a bullet point containing numbers:  

  • Contributed $104k in sales revenue in a 6-month time period

Therefore, utilizing numbers illustrates impressive and tangible results that you simply cannot express with just words.  

Choose Numbers Wisely 

There’s no doubt that numbers are a powerful resume booster. However, you must find a balance. Include too few and there’s a chance you won’t be noticed within the candidate pool. On the other hand, if you use too many numbers, their effect may be lost.

But what numbers should you use? Statistics show the direct impact of your work and can portray what kind of results you can contribute to any future company. For the greatest impact, be sure to choose statistics that demonstrate how you directly impacted the company’s money, time, and people. 

4 Easy Steps to Adding Numbers in Your Resume

  1. Determine the key indicators of success in your industry:
    • Assess which accomplishments future employers will find most impressive. Most importantly, really sell yourself here! Pick out what professionals in your industry value and find worth in. For instance, what may be impressive in one industry, may not have an effect in another. 
  2. Use a baseline for references:
    • To show true growth or improvement, use baselines to convey your numerical worth to recruiters. For example, a bullet point stating “improved production efficiency from 30% to 35% over a one-year period” would effectively show the growth you individually contributed.  
  3. Decide the type of numbers to include:
    • You can show your contribution through various types of metrics. Including, but not limited to:
      • Ranges:
        • Edited 20-30 professional blogs per month
      • Rankings:  
        • Generated the first software that focuses on customer satisfaction 
      • Comparisons: 
        • Improved client retention tenfold from the previous quarter 
      • Percentages:
        • Increased company’s market share by 5% 
      • Exact Numbers: 
        • Implemented cost-saving plan that saved $21,087 in the first quarter 
  4. Enhance Your Impact Through Action and Detail Words:

Resume Building Never Stops 

In addition, remember at your current job to keep track of your numerical and non-numerical achievements so when you are ready to change your career path, your resume will be ready! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more job search advice like how to rejuvenate your resume, head on over to the JSG Blog. And if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact a JSG recruiter today 

resume

How to Rejuvenate Your Resume

resume

Has it been a few years since you were last on the job market? Even if you have a great job, it can be tempting to see what else is out there in this candidate-driven labor market. If you haven’t had to think about your resume in a while, here are a few tips to breathe some life back into it.

Remove your resume objective

Most resumes don’t really say anything meaningful. “Experienced mechanical engineer looking for a new position to challenge…” Just stop right there. What is the ultimate goal of every resume? To help you get called in for an interview, and hopefully, receive a job offer. You don’t need to tell the hiring manager or HR that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Instead, get right into the meat of your resume, which is your work experience.

Bump your education towards the bottom

After your contact information, get right into your work history. Unless you are fresh out of school, you should move your education farther down your resume. I know you are proud of your alma mater, but recruiters, hiring managers, and HR want to see your work accomplishments and experiences.

And while you’re at it, you can remove your graduation date and GPA off your resume. Again, if you’re a recent graduate, then your GPA and graduation date are fine. However, if you’ve been out of school for a few years, employers do not really care about your grades. And by adding your graduation date, you may be doing yourself an injustice by letting a recruiter or your future employer know your age. Age discrimination is illegal when considering a candidate, but it’s better to play it safe and leave it off.

Add a skills section

Employers and recruiters commonly use application tracking systems (ATS). Essentially, ATS are automatic systems that recruiters and HR use to organize, track, and, automate the recruiting process. It also helps them search for resumes with certain criteria, experiences, and skill sets. In other words, if your resume doesn’t have the right keywords or skills on it, you may find yourself not receiving a call for an interview.

A quick solution to mitigate this is to add a skills section to your resume. After your work experience, add a skills section that neatly displays some key skills that you bring to the table. We recommend keeping it a list of eight to twelve skills. You don’t want to bog your resume down with every single software or skill that you know. Instead, read over the job description carefully and highlight the skills essential for this role. If you have these skills, this is where you want to list them. A skills section is also great for recruiters and HR who may be too busy to read your entire resume. Employers only spend an average of six seconds reading a resume, so the more skimmable you make it, the better.

These are just a couple of quick tips to jump-start your job search. If you need more help crafting the perfect resume, JSG has dozens of resources to help you land your next position. Good luck!

resume tips

Resume Tips to Start Your Job Search on the Right Foot

resume tips

A resume is like a snowflake – each and every one is unique. However, there are several things each resume should incorporate to ensure you’re setting your job search up for success. Here are four resume tips to get you started off on the right foot.

Appropriate file names

When you apply for a job or send your resume to a recruiter, the file must be named appropriately. Human Resources professionals and recruiters look at hundreds of resumes each week. If yours isn’t easily identifiable, it may be lost in the weeds. In other words, don’t submit a resume titled “resume” or “copy of resume.” Instead, make you, as the candidate, identifiable without anyone even having to open your resume. Name it something like “First Name Last Name 2019 Resume.”

Proper file type

You also must be conscious of the file type of your resume. It’s always advised to submit your resume as a PDF. Microsoft Word or Pages documents don’t always open up in certain software applications. For example, if you send your resume in a Pages document, it can’t be opened or read in Microsoft Word. However, every device and computer can read a PDF document, so be sure to export your resume as one before you submit it!

Formatting

Keep the formatting clean and simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate your resume with colors, graphics, and any other design elements. Hiring managers and recruiters are BUSY. The more basic the formatting and layout of your resume, the easier it is to read. Have nice margins, plenty of white space, and utilize a legible font.

Gone are the days of the one-page resume. Don’t try to cram your years’ worth of experience onto one page. It’s perfectly acceptable to have your resume on a couple of pages, especially if you are well into your career. Don’t do yourself an injustice by weeding out experiences to try and fit everything onto one page.

Tailor your resume

Unfortunately, you cannot just submit the same old resume to every job posting. You must tailor your resume to each position you apply to. Yes, that can be exhausting, especially if you’re actively searching for a new job. However, if you spend some time reviewing the job description, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The job description is actually detailing exactly what the hiring manager is looking for in an employee. If your resume reflects the job description, you’re in good shape for receiving an interview!

Keep these four resume tips in mind the next time you decide to hit the job market. And if you feel that your resume is looking great and you’re ready for a new opportunity, check out JSG’s job board!

Resume Mistakes

10 Resume Mistakes That Will Haunt You

Resume Mistakes

Since it’s almost Halloween, I thought it would be important to remind you how these little resume mistakes can haunt you on your job search. You obviously don’t want to scare those looking at your resume! So, make sure to avoid these 10 resume mistakes to ensure you get that call for a job interview.

Misspelling and grammar issues

Something that will get your resume thrown out quickly is blatant spelling or grammar issues. To avoid this, make sure you’re checking everything before you submit it. Because the last thing you want is for a potential employer to see you spelled your title and think, “this person is not the brightest.” When in reality it was just a simple mistake…

Visually distracting

If your resume is full of colors, different fonts, or distracting images will most likely hurt your odds of landing an interview. Hiring managers and HR just want to see that you have the experience and knowledge needed to fill their positions. Distracting them with too much going on will make them want to pass on you even if you’re qualified for that position.

References on resume

Please don’t put your references on your resume. Removing your references will keep yourself safe from potential employers interested in you, calling references before they call you. And let’s be honest, you don’t want a prospective employer to put your current position at risk by letting them know you’re searching for other opportunities!

Limiting your resume to one page

This myth is one you probably hear often. But the truth is, if you have more relevant experience than that, include it! No one will be upset to see the great experience you’ve gained over the years. By leaving valuable skills and work experiences off your resume just to keep it under one page, you’re doing yourself a disfavor.

Wrong contact information

Be sure to list your most current phone number and email address on your resume. You don’t want to miss out on great opportunities because a company can’t get in contact with you! You’d be surprised by how many people miss out on great opportunities just because their contact information was incorrect.

Putting your address on it

No one will be mailing you anything before you’re offered a job. And you don’t want to be kicked out of the running for a great position, just because you are not a local candidate. You want the chance to show them you have the skills they are looking for. So taking off your address will help you to accomplish that.

Not putting most relevant experience first

On your resume, you want to ensure you are adding experience that matters. But you also want to ensure that you place your current position first and go in chronological order from there. This way, no one is confused about where you’re working now and when you worked somewhere else.

Lying

This should be a no-brainer. If on a job listing, they say you need to know or have experiences in certain things, like software or tools, don’t lie about it. They will know if you don’t and this will be the quickest way for you to get fired.

And sometimes, companies are still willing to hire someone who doesn’t know how to use a certain software or tools because it can be taught to them. So before you lie about knowing how to do it, give yourself the chance of them wanting to hire you and have you learn those skills.

Not customizing your resume

This can hurt you in more ways than one. With every job you hold, there are different skills you gain. And highlighting the ones that pertain to the specific job you’re applying for, will help you showcase those important skills needed.

Using wrong or no keywords

Keywords are essential to getting through the ATS (Auto Tracking System) that almost every employer uses to filter and store resumes. If you don’t use any keywords, you will be left wondering why you never heard back from jobs you’re qualified for. And it will be because your resume never got to their desk in the first place.

Not reviewing it

You must always review your resume! A good way to do this is to print it out and read it out loud. This will allow you to see exactly how it looks and typically makes mistakes more apparent. Another great idea is to have someone else you trust look over your work. It will only help you have the perfect resume.

All of these resume mistakes could really affect your chances of getting that new job you’re hoping for. So instead of haunting yourself with them, avoid them and make your resume great!

Job Application Mishaps That Could Get You Fired Before You’re Even Hired

Maybe you haven’t had to apply for a new job in a while, so you’re going over everything. Resume, Cover letter, what you will write in your application. But you also need to make sure you do NOT make one of these mistakes that’ll end up getting you fired before you’re even hired!

Grammar/Spelling Mistakes

Some people think this isn’t a big deal and that hiring managers will just look over it. Because come on, it’s just some grammar and spelling mistakes, right? Well, actually, wrong! If you’re not even willing to double check your application materials, a hiring manager will think you don’t care enough about the position. This will most likely end with your application being put in the, “do not contact list” and you never hearing back.

Double checking everything you write when you are filling out an application will ensure that you get seen and hopefully offered an interview. The last thing you want to happen is to be skipped over when you have great skills to be successful in the position.

Lying on your Resume

This is obviously a no-go… And there is a difference between making yourself look good over flagrantly lying. When editing your resume and cover letter, it’s important to incorporate keywords and activities you’ve accomplished relating to the position. But do not add things you haven’t done. Do not add experience you don’t have. They will figure it out. And whether that is during an interview or after you’re hired, you will get fired.

So, don’t lie. Even if you feel your experience isn’t where they want it. If they like who YOU are, they can help you get to where they want you to be. Never risk losing a job because you’re afraid you won’t get it in the first place. You just end up shooting yourself in the foot and leaving a terrible taste in that hiring manager’s mouth.

Bad References

When you write down references make sure they are aware and willing to help give you one in the first place. Having a hiring manager calling someone who hasn’t worked with you in years isn’t the way to go. Especially, if you haven’t told them that you put them down.

Companies do call your references and it could tank or make you landing the job… So find people who have good experiences working with you. Update them on the fact that you’re looking for a new position and would love to put them down as someone to contact. Update your list as necessary! This way when hiring managers contact them, you know they will help you land the job, not lose it.

Bad Mouthing an Old Employer

When you’re lucky enough to be called in for an interview, you will be asked about why you want to leave your current company. A lot of people find this question stressful. But really, it’s simple. If you stay positive and talk about what you learned and how leaving is what’s going to help you grow, it makes you look confident and optimistic. Which in turn, makes every company want to work with you.

If you decide to bad mouth your current company it starts to look like you’re the problem. The hiring managers will not want to hire you. Even if these problems at your current employer are real and terrible. Every position you hold will have people you don’t like. But people want to see that you can work with these hard characters and still be productive.

Bad mouthing your previous/current company is a sure way to be fired before you ever get the chance to be hired. And when you’re looking for jobs and applying for positions you really want, this is not something anyone wants to do. So, make sure you keep these tips in mind so the next interview you get will help you be a sure-hire for the position!

resume errors

Z is for Zero: How to Ensure Zero Errors on Your Resume

resume errors

You find your dream job online and you’re chomping at the bits to apply. You grab your computer and find your latest copy of your resume. It’s just sitting there waiting to be sent. But is it ready to be seen by a prospective employer?

If you haven’t reviewed your resume in a while, it shouldn’t be sent out anywhere. Here are five steps to ensure your resume has zero errors.

Accurate resume information

The first thing that you need to do is ensure all of your information is accurate. From your contact information to your job experience, your resume must include the most recent information.

Take a look at your contact information and check if your email address and phone number are still accurate. If you need to add a new position to your job experience, now is the time to do that. And if the duties of your current job have changed since the last time you updated your resume, you’ll want to update your responsibilities. Besides, you must tailor your experiences to the job you are applying for to illustrate that you’re a great fit for the job!

Check your grammar

You need to proofread your resume to verify that you’ve used proper spelling and grammar throughout. Grammar can be tricky, and you can’t always rely on spell check.

Once your resume is up to date, run it through Grammarly. Grammarly tends to be more accurate than Word’s spellcheck, and it finds more grammatical errors and misspellings than Word. Plus, it’s absolutely free!

You also must double check that you are using proper tense. If it’s an old job, use past tense. If it’s your current job, all of your responsibilities listed should be in present tense. Using incorrect or inconsistent verb tenses is distracting and gives the impression that you didn’t take the time to review your resume.

Read your resume out loud

Print out your resume and read it out loud. This will help ensure that it reads smoothly. It may sound fine when reading it to yourself on your screen, but when you print it out and read it out loud, you’ll catch awkward phrases or the wrong use of words better.

If it’s difficult for you to read out loud, then it will be difficult for HR or a hiring manager to read it too.

Have someone else read it over

You should always have someone else read over your resume before you submit it. It’s wise to have a fresh pair of eyes take a few minutes to read it over. They will likely find errors or mistakes that you may not have caught yourself. Plus, they may have some advice to help jazz it up a little bit!

Consistent formatting

Good formatting is often overlooked. The first thing a prospective employer will do before reading your resume is give it a quick glance. They will quickly notice any glaring formatting issues. Look over your margins and make sure everything is consistent and even.

work experience

X is Experience: How to Effectively Add Experience to Your Resume

work experience

If you haven’t been on the job market in a couple of years and you’re thinking of moving on and looking for a new position, you probably need to update your resume. That’s totally normal; most workers don’t regularly update their resume unless they often find themselves searching for new job opportunities.

With the unemployment rate being at a new 17-year low of 3.8%, it’s a candidate-driven market. You’d be silly not to see what other opportunities are out there! But before you start applying for new positions, you must update your resume with your most recent experiences.

But wait: How do you pack all of your new experiences in your resume? What should include and what can be left off your resume? Here are a few tips to effectively add experience to your resume.

Quantify your results

Which of the following statements is more impactful?

  • Significantly increased followers on corporate LinkedIn profile
  • Increased followers on corporate LinkedIn page by 200 percent, from 10,000 to 30,000 followers

I think everyone will agree that the second statement is more effective. Both examples are trying to convey the same that the candidate increased the fan base of the corporate LinkedIn page. However, the second statement illustrates how well growth was achieved.

Whenever possible, quantify your results and successes. This can be done with percentages, dollars, or numbers. Using measurable accomplishments is much more impactful to a hiring manager, so don’t be afraid to include them!

Consolidate your education

Now that you’re a few years into your career, it’s time to cut back some of your education experience. You haven’t been in school in years, and quite frankly, you no longer need to list your GPA or the courses you’ve taken.

All you really need is your college, the degree you earned, and when you attended school. This will save you valuable space on your resume, which will provide more space to elaborate on your most recent (and relevant) working experience.

Focus on the most recent or relevant

It can be tough to figure out what experiences to include on your resume. When you revise your resume, you’ll likely need to weed out some things out. You want to include the most recent and relevant experiences that will illustrate that you’re qualified for the position you are applying to.

For example, if you are applying for a Project Engineering Manager, you’ll want to highlight all of your work experience that includes project management and engineering. This means you can safely leave off that job as a pizza delivery driver you held during the summer before your senior year. It’s perfectly okay to cut out jobs or internships that will not directly add value to the job you are applying for.

Moreover, you must highlight your job duties and qualifications from each position that is relevant to the position you are applying to. This is especially true if you have a position that may not seem particularly relevant on paper. Your resume is your opportunity to elaborate on some of your duties that would directly correlate with your new prospective position!

Resume

Madness in Your Resume

Resume

One of the biggest reasons certain teams succeed in March Madness is because of their resume. In basketball, a team’s resume is a breakdown of everything they’ve done that season – both good and bad. In order to get into the tournament and get a good seeding, your resume has to be better than the next team’s.

Sound familiar?

When you’re applying for jobs, your resume will almost always be asked for. And much like the teams in the tourney, your chances of being selected it to the interview stage depends on how good your resume is. Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? But don’t worry. We here at JSG have put together a little guide to help your chances of getting selected for a job interview.

The Resume basics

First, you’ll need the basics. There are so many different things you can include. Job experience, volunteering, leadership experiences, and education are just four of the many things you can include on that all-important resume. We’ve got you covered though. Check out our Resumes 101, where you’ll learn exactly how to get started.

When you start writing your resume, you’ll really start to wonder what exactly needs to be on there. Maybe you’ll write something and think, “Do I really need to put this on there?” It can be so hard to answer. Luckily, we’ve created a must-haves list of what you need on it, so you don’t have to stress out about what you should or should not include.

Perfecting it

Now more likely than not, you’re going to struggle to put your resume together. And when it comes to editing it, you need to make sure you’re not lying to yourself. Before you submit it, you need to make sure it lives up to these three phrases.

You’ve written your experiences and your descriptions. You’ve included all of those important hard-skills that make you a qualified candidate. One thing you can’t overlook is your soft skills, and this is the perfect time to insert them. Soft skills are what will really set you apart. We think these are the best ones to include on your resume. You can thank us later.

Before you submit it

Finally, when it comes to submitting your resume, you’ll want to give yourself the best chances of it getting selected. After all, you really want to get hired for this job or else you wouldn’t have put in all this work beforehand. When submitting it, you need to make sure these three things are up to par. If you do, your resume will make you a much better seed than the competition.

The tourney has just begun, but wow has it been an eventful week. Upsets, buzzer beaters, and overtimes helped start the first morning of the tournament. Take it from the teams playing, all you need is a good resume to get in, and the rest is up to you!

3 Phrases To Live By When Writing Or Updating Your Resume

3 Phrases To Live By When Writing Or Updating Your Resume

3 Phrases To Live By When Writing Or Updating Your Resume

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out what to put on your resume and make it all look cohesive and impressive. We’ve all been there before: Just staring at your computer screen wondering how to make it better. As you’re writing, updating, or just tweaking – keep these 3 phrases at the front of your mind.

Keep it Simple

I know what you’re thinking; “Aren’t I supposed to stand out from the others? How is making it simple helping me?” Here’s how: By keeping your resume simple you get straight to the point. There isn’t a whole bunch of fluff that a recruiter or hiring manager has to go through to get to the main points of your work experience and other parts of the resume.

When you keep your resume simple, you’ll be able to stand out with all of the things you have accomplished, and you won’t make the hiring manager regret looking at your resume. It’ll also help you keep your resume consistent, which is something every hiring manager looks for.

Keep it Honest

This one seems so easy, but it so often gets broken. Don’t say you’re bilingual if you can only speak a few sentences in a different language, and certainly don’t say you’re an expert in anything you would need help with. It’s so much better to be honest on your resume than trying to stretch the truth.

When you keep your resume honest, not only will you be able to have a strong conversation about your skills in an interview, but once you get hired you’ll be in the exact place your resume depicts you’d be able to succeed in.

Keep it Real

Keep it you. You’re a brand and it is vital that you stay on brand with yourself. If you’re a positive person, make sure you highlight that! Don’t use words you wouldn’t use in regular conversation. As difficult as it may be, you want to make sure that your real personality is coming across on your resume, because after all that is who a company will be hiring.

These three easy tips will not only help you build a resume, but they will also help you keep it consistent and make you stand out from the pile of resumes on a hiring manager’s desk.