December 3, 2014 - In This Issue:
Take advantage of down time at the holidays to reflect on  your career goals. What's in your future?

If you really have some extra time on your hands over the holidays, consider some alternatives to paper resumes. Most are intended to complement a traditional resume, not replace it... 

From Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa

In this post, Hannah Morgan covers One-Stop Social Overviews and Infographic Resumes with links to various sites where you can build and post them. 

She concludes by reminding you that you must have a plan to actively share whatever you build.

From Fast Company:

You want to stand out from the crowd and nothing says that better than a unique infographic resume.  But diverging from the status quo also poses risks. 
Rachel Gillett discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using an infographic resume, then offers tips for doing it right if you're going to do it:

Only do it if it really works for you and your skills & experience; never use it as a way to try to cover up deficiency--it will backfire.

Choose the right kind of charts.

Keep it simple and short.

Pick a color scheme.

Tell a story.

Include a call to action.

Pinterest isn't just for recipes and wedding planning.  Like most social media platforms, it can be used for professional purposes.  

Follow the above link to see nearly 900 examples of infographic resumes curated by Randy Krum of InfoNewt.com

Here are links to content that has been popular on darcylear.com: 

This post walks you through customizing your resume to job ads:

1-overhaul your generic resume (as detailed at right)

2-carefully read the job ad

3-highlight keywords in the job ad

4-switch out synonyms that are already on your resume for the specific keywords in the job ad

5-dig deep to find ways that your experiences match job requirements, but in ways that you haven't thought of before 

Remember: customizing your resume to each job ad might mean submitting fewer applications, but it is better to submit fewer targeted applications than blast out tons of generic applications that nobody will ever read. 

This post includes a specific example that walks you through the process of making your job search documents match the job ad. 


Overhaul Your Resume Over the Holiday
In just a few minutes, you can overhaul your ho-hum generic resume. Then when a contact says, "send me your resume," you can do so immediately. And when the right job comes along, you can quickly and easily customize it to the ad (see links on left under "What's everyone else reading on the blog?").

Here are my top 5 tips for a quick and easy resume overhaul:
1) Identify weak descriptors.  Banish these words form your resume: helped, assisted, supported, related to, concerning

At best, these weak terms make it sound like you were passive; you stood around "shadowing" others in the workplace and waited until someone directed you to do something. At worst, these terms make it sound like you don't even know what you did.

Cross out all the weak descriptors you find in your resume.  Use Word's "find" function to be sure you get them all.
2) Replace weak descriptors with strong action verbs. Say what you really did. Did you interpret, develop, design, write, distribute?  

If you worked at a day care, instead of saying you "helped with all child-related activities," say what you actually did. It would be better to say "prepared and cleaned up snacks" if that's what you really did.  Ideally, there are skills and experiences mentioned in a job ad that you actually gained at that day care. You just have to frame it in the same terms used in the ad and be explicit about it on your resume.

Here's a link to some powerful verbs you might consider using from themuse.com: 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome
3) Add quantifiable information everywhere you can. How many people did you work with? How many reports did you prepare? What was your return rate on the survey you conducted? How may hours? How many clients?  

For every line on your resume, ask yourself if you could add quantifiable information that would enhance the description of your experience. 

4) Reduce the "Education" section. This should be 2-4 lines total. Remember: you are not applying to be a student! The average time spent looking at a resume is 6 seconds--and most of that time is spent looking at the top third of the page.  You don't want to give the impression that you're applying to be a student. Or that you only have experience as a student.  Some kind of professional or para-professional experience must appear in the top one-third of the page. 
5) Remember: it's about themThink from the perspective of the recipients of your resume. What will they think when they first glance at your resume? What does your resume say that you can do for them? What is their need that you meet?  All of that should be obvious--preferably in a six-second glance.  Based on what the job ad says they are looking for, you can be sure that your resume says loud and clear, "I meet your needs." 

I'm on the Road in 2015
For 2015 I have trips planned to Valparaiso, Indiana and Northfield, Minnesota. 

There will be time in my schedule for meetings in those locations and I'll keep posting my travel destinations to Facebook and my blog: darcylear.com/blog 

Contact me to schedule a face-to-face or virtual appointment in 2015 or to overhaul your resume now:


Darcy Lear, PhD

Navigating your career transition


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