What to Include On Your Resume When You Are Not Working

Are you wondering what to include on your resume when you are currently not working?  If you’ve been out of work for a bit, it can be hard to reenter the job market. Employers like to see a constant flow of employment on your resume. How do you explain your time off? And what skills have you used during your time off that transition to the job market?

What to Include on your resume

Whether you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, retired but now want to go back to work, or lost your job due to COVID or other economic difficulties, your time off from a job has not been lost. You’ve used and possibly gained more skills than you know.  Volunteer work, working for free, or with a non-profit on an ongoing basis is work that can be put on your resume.  

Items To Include On Your Resume

Just because money did not exchange hands, does not mean it should not be included on your resume.  Your resume is about your work history, NOT financial payment history in exchange for using your skills.

Let’s take a look at some of these skills that can transition to the workplace.

Organization

If you’ve ever tried to manage the schedules of your entire household, you know what it means to be organized. Making sure you know where every child is supposed to be and when, and what time they need to be picked up from where, and the items they need to take with them is the epitome of organization. Add to that your own schedule and your spouse’s; if you can master all of that, you are a master organizer.

How about organizing your pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Are you a meal planner? Checking inventory to ensure you have what you need for an entire week of meals is an added layer of organization. These are not skills to be taken lightly. Many people struggle to organize their own schedule, much less one for their entire family.

Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking falls right in line with organizing and keeping track of your schedule. Have you ever dropped your child off at practice, run to the grocery store to pick up what you need for dinner, and realized you left your list at home but still managed to get everything on it and made it back just in time to pick up your child? 

How about doing laundry and cleaning the house while dinner’s cooking then cleaning up while helping your child with their homework as someone is texting you about something they need?  If these ring true for you, then you are also a master multi-tasker and this is a much-needed skill in the workplace.

Time Management

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a bit, you’re probably trying to figure out how you even found time to work with all that you have going on. Kids, chores, errands, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, making lists, and marking things off. It’s very time-consuming, but you’ve managed it all with, hopefully, a few minutes to yourself at the end of the day. 

Managing your time in order to get everything on your list done within a certain period is a skill that is much needed in the workplace. Employers like to know that you can get your work done on time and that you’re able to prioritize the most important tasks.

Volunteer Work

Suppose you’ve spent time doing any volunteer work while you’ve been out of the job market. In that case, these experiences can transfer into teamwork, team building, management, organization, time management, prioritizing tasks, and creativity. Don’t discount this work!  It’s very beneficial to your resume.

You Have More To Offer Than You Might Think

Take a look at your daily life. What do you do in a day? Are you managing anything? What do you keep organized? How many things do you usually juggle at one time? These are all skills that easily transfer to the job market and skills that employers will find impressive when you are ready to reenter the job market. Adding them to your resume when you are not working just makes good sense. According to an article on Forbes.com, “Inside you may be a quivering mass of imposter syndrome, but your resume needs to tell the story of why you are equal to the task.”

Do You Need Help?

If you are struggling with how to showcase these skills and abilities on your resume, please reach out to me, Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find. I will help you create a bulleted job description and job title that will communicate your abilities as well as your strengths. It will shout about your strengths from the rooftops and will not raise red flags. This will give you something to leverage and help you springboard into your next role.

 

By |2021-06-14T17:35:29-05:00March 17th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What to Include On Your Resume When You Are Not Working

How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

A smile can say so much about you. It can communicate warmth and openness, but it can also convey the wrong message. The saying is “eyes are the gateway to the soul,” but it can be said that the smile is the open/closed sign hanging above the gate.  Now that most interviews are happening online, your smile is even more important because instead of the interviewer seeing you from four feet away, they are going to be up close and personal in their view via the camera.  How can you ensure your smile is communicating what you want in a job interview or on a Zoom meeting?

Smile

 When job searching, it is important to put your best foot forward, come across approachable, nice, and open to opportunities. Start by checking your smile and your entire face in the mirror before getting on that Zoom interview.

Smile Tips For Interviews

What do you see?

Are your teeth clean? Be sure to always brush and floss before heading to an interview.

What color are your teeth?

Discolorations can cause someone to shirk away from you. If you see that your teeth are discolored and yellowing from all of the coffee, red wine, and soft drinks consumed, you may want to consider a tooth whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, or professional teeth whitening in a dentist’s office.

Don’t forget your hair

Is it clean and neatly styled?  No one expects perfection, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

Facial hair matters too

Your beard and mustache should be clean and neatly trimmed.

Make-up neatly applied

If you wear make-up, make sure it is neatly applied and not overdone.  You want to only use make-up to enhance your natural beauty.

Dress professionally

Yes, you are just on Zoom, but you still need to appear professional.  It is best to wear a solid color near your face and the color should be one that flatters you.  A pattern draws attention away from your face, so stick with a solid.  It can be a scarf, shirt, sweater, or tie.

If there is any chance you will need to move at all during the interview, you might want to make sure you have appropriate attire on your bottom half as well.  You don’t want to jump up and show your underwear, PJs, or stained sweats.

Meeting In Person

If you are meeting in person, there are three additional personal hygiene items to be concerned with.

What do you smell?

Cup your hand and do a “breath check”. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, some of which indicate gum disease and other issues within our mouths that need the attention of a dentist. Bad breath will kill an interview faster than you can say, “excuse me”.  An interviewer would prefer to end the interview quickly and get you the heck out of there than offer you a mint.  After all of your hard work and interview preparations, don’t allow bad breath to prevent you from moving forward in the interviewing process.

Hands up!

If meeting in person you will be shaking hands and perhaps moving your hands around as you talk.   Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clean and trimmed.

What is that scent?

If you desire to wear cologne or perfume, use it lightly.  You don’t want the perfume or cologne to be overpowering.  Remember some people have allergies to scents.

You can find other tips for Zoom etiquette for meetings here.

A strong job search strategy will open interviewing doors for you, and a smile that looks great, is warm, and communicates that you are approachable, will keep you on the screen for a Zoom interview or in the seat in the interviewer’s office.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-10T00:48:19-05:00February 16th, 2021|career search, Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

Zoom Interview and Meeting Etiquette

Have you participated in a Zoom interview or meeting?  I’m sure you have.  In this day and age of working from home and still needing to keep in touch with your coworkers and clients or participating in online job interviews, Zoom has become a necessity of life. Having your coworkers, clients or potential employers see into your personal life through a small camera means that you have to consider what they can see and how much of your personal life you want them to be able to view. 

We have all seen the Zoom footage on Facebook where the person forgot they were on camera and recorded video and sounds of things they probably didn’t want the world to see or hear.  

zoom interview etiquette

Meeting Etiquette on Zoom

Proper Zoom meeting etiquette can help you ensure that you’ll come across as a professional in all of your meetings and interviews.  Here are a few handy tips and tricks to keeping your Zoom communications professional.

1. Use the Video Option

While it’s tempting to turn the camera off so that you’re only heard and not seen, it can be unsettling for the people on the other end of the conversation. If you are going to be speaking, always use the video option when it’s available. In conferences and webinars, you may not need to use the camera if you’re only listening and not participating, but a camera is essential if you’re participating.

2. Dress Appropriately

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean other people want to see your pajamas. Sweats and pajamas are an option on days that you don’t have Zoom meetings, but if you’re going to be on camera, dress as you would in the office. And don’t forget pants!  I remember the video of the guy who spilled his cup of coffee and had to jump up quickly and only had underwear on.  Comedy for the viewers, but not the way you want to make a good impression.

3. Stage Your Area

Find a place in your home where you can easily participate in a meeting without distractions, then stage the area behind you. Don’t let your camera catch an open bathroom door behind you; hang a curtain or close the door. Make sure the area behind you is clean, organized, and presentable. 

If you don’t have the option of a clean background, try using the Zoom virtual background feature.  Set it up in advance with a photo of a clean office or nicely decorated professional wall and check that the correct background is selected prior to turning on your video.  (Don’t select the moon shot or other neat but unprofessional backgrounds.)

4. Show Your Best Self

Make sure you’re not hiding in the shadows or blinding the other participants with too much light. Try having a lamp nearby instead of harsh overhead lighting. And look into the camera. Lifting your camera up just a little so that you look up at it instead of down will help eliminate a double-chin effect. Place your laptop on top of a couple of books to raise it to a higher level if necessary.

5. Test Your Connection

Before your meetings start, go to zoom.us/test to check your settings and make sure your internet, camera, and microphone are all in good working order.

6. Mute Yourself When Not Talking

If you’re not talking, use the mute option to help eliminate any background noise that may disrupt the meeting. Your coworkers and clients don’t want to hear the dog barking, your husband watching TV, or your neighbor cutting their grass.

7. Don’t Eat

Having a bottle of water or a cup of coffee close by if you need it is fine, but try to avoid eating and only take a sip of your drink when you’re not talking. No one wants to see you eat your lunch on screen.  Some businesses are hosting “Lunch and Learn” Zoom webinars.   If you are participating in a webinar where you are only watching, turn off the video and sound if you are eating.  

8. Stay Focused

Do not check emails or browse Facebook while in the meeting; the other participants will know that you’re not paying attention via video. Stay focused on the meeting until it’s over.  Remember many meetings and interviews on Zoom or other conference platforms are recorded and replayed at a later time. Your every move is recorded, make sure what a viewer will see is appropriate.  

9. The Meeting Host Should Be the Last to Leave

When the meeting host leaves the meeting, it abruptly closes the meeting for anyone that’s left. This is why the meeting host needs to make sure everyone has logged off before closing the meeting. Or at least waits a few seconds to give everyone the opportunity to leave before ending the meeting.

Zoom meetings and interviews will be with us for a long time to come, so be sure to use proper etiquette so that you can maintain your professional image to your coworkers and clients.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:35:43-05:00February 4th, 2021|Interview Prep, Job Stress|Comments Off on Zoom Interview and Meeting Etiquette

Things To Do At The Start Of The Year

A New Year, a fresh start, a beginning.   Maybe things didn’t work so well in your job search during the year.  Now is the time to prepare for upcoming opportunities.  There are a number of things to do to prepare yourself to hit the ground running with your job search in the new year.

Things to do

Get Ready For Success in 2021: Things To Do

Keep this list of “Things To Do”  at the start of the year handy and check them off as you go:

Update Your Resume

Be sure to include anything new you have accomplished, any new skills you have acquired, and any additional work experience you may have had.  You might even want to give your resume a new look and format.  Just make sure all the information is current.

Update Your Photo on LinkedIn

Changing your headshot at least annually is a good habit to get into. You may have changed your hairstyle or it’s just time for a new pic. Remember, the best headshots for LinkedIn are cropped so  60 – 80% of the image is a closeup of your face, with a plain solid background.

Revise And Update Your Bio Info on LinkedIn

Review your bio summary as appropriate. Maybe you have a new role or skill to add.  Make sure your info is authentic and shows that you’re ready for the next role you seek to hold. Your summary is the place where you can shine and tell your story. Make sure yours is current.

Update Your Work Experience Entry On LinkedIn

If you have completed another year of work experience, be sure to reflect that. Even if you are in the same role, you likely have some new skills to add.  If you have done odd jobs, show your work history and new skills you have acquired.

List New Accomplishments

LinkedIn allows you to document your accomplishments.  If you have taken a course or completed a volunteer project, or become certified in anything, be sure to list it.   Make sure you are up to date in the following areas:

  • Certifications
  • Courses
  • Honors and Awards
  • Projects
  • Publications

Request Testimonials On LinkedIn

If you have not requested testimonials from employers, professors, or others you have worked with during the past year, now is the time to connect and ask.  It can make a difference in your success in the new year.  (They don’t have to be a supervisor to recommend you.  It can be a coworker or someone you supervised.)

Update Job Boards

If you have your information listed on various job boards, be sure to take the time to make sure they are updated.  All information should be current and if they permit a picture, make sure it is a recent one.  Using the same one you update your LinkedIn profile with is a smart idea since employers may review both.

Make A List

If you have interviewed or contacted people regarding jobs in the past or even worked for them at some point, add them to a list so you can begin the new year by reaching out to them to touch base.  Ask about current or future openings.  This is to build your relationship and stay on their radar.   Do the same with the contacts you have met while networking.  (You are not asking for a job at this point, you are just connecting and relationship building.)

Review Your Social Media Accounts

Perhaps you have headed out to a few parties or get-togethers over the holidays.   Be sure to review your social accounts and remove any tags or photos that do not show you in a positive light.   Employers do look at social accounts.

Take the time at the start of a new year to take care of this list of “Things To Do.” Some of these tasks may seem tedious, but they’re important to help you get ready for success with your job search in the new year.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:35:55-05:00December 31st, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Things To Do At The Start Of The Year

Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Is your LinkedIn profile complete?  LinkedIn is a great way to connect with potential employers. LinkedIn has over 760 million professional members and over 303 million are active users looking for connections. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis. LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook where you can spend hours of time.  It is used sparingly, so you only have to invest a few minutes to make an impact. Users only spend about 17 minutes per month on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile

You can use LinkedIn to build an online presence as well as a professional identity. Anyone who wants to extend their reach and connect with potential employers should be using LinkedIn to do it. Let’s get started with your LinkedIn Profile.

Whether you currently have a profile or are just setting one up, there are few things you need to know regarding accounts available and ways to improve your profile.

Types of Accounts

On LinkedIn, you are a person, first and foremost. When you signup, you create a free personal account and profile, which includes background and professional information relevant to your potential employers.

LinkedIn offers two types of accounts, free and paid. The main difference between the two is that the paid account does not limit the number or frequency of your actions, as the free account does. With a paid account, you can join more groups, send more messages (InMail) and introductions, view more profile information, see everyone who has viewed your profile, and check references, among other things. Most people begin with a free account and only upgrade if the need arises.  So don’t get out your credit card till you need a paid account.  Use the free one until you outgrow it.

Whether you have a free or paid account, your profile is the foundation you build on. Let’s go over the parts of a profile so that you can have your information and details ready to add to each section. It’s important to include as much information as possible.  Remember,  you want people to read your profile and want to connect with you.

Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has set up each personal profile to include information that is similar to a resume. You can include links, images, videos, slide shows, and more. Most of these sections can be repositioned to your liking; however, the headshot is always the first section.

Check out these tips to have a stellar LinkedIn Profile:

  • Headshot

You’ll need a professional-looking profile photo. You should stick to the professional images in order to get the best results. But don’t worry; you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. Just get someone to take a high-resolution, high-quality headshot or torso shot.

Tip: You should be looking at the camera and your head should fill at least 60 percent of the frame.

  • Profile Headline

Look at various profiles. A headline area appears under each member’s name. In this area, write a headline that identifies and describes you. This helps others to find you, even if they don’t know you on a personal level yet.

Tip:  Don’t get too long-winded here.  Say as much as you can but do it succinctly.

  • Summary

This area should include a well-written summary of your experience, education, and knowledge.

Tip: Consider using bullet points for easy readability. Use power words to grab attention and include keywords. Keep it professional. Your authority, credibility, and reputation are at stake.  Make yourself look good, but be honest.

  • Professional Experience

Here, enter in each job you’ve had.

Tip: List each job separately even if you worked for the same company, but did different things or had different supervisors.    This part is important because if you worked on a specific project and you want a reference, it’s a good idea to list them separately. This allows the people you worked with to link their references to that particular project or task.

  • Skills & Endorsements

In this area, check off everything you have experience with including software programs and more. Your connections can then endorse anything that you’ve said you can do in order to validate your experience.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask previous employers or coworkers for endorsements.  You will be surprised by the people who will be happy to help you by endorsing you and your work. Every endorsement gives you increased credibility.

  • Recommendations

This area is where people can recommend you. LinkedIn provides an easy way to request recommendations from people you’ve worked with and are connected to. A recommendation carries more weight than an endorsement.

Tip: Send personalized, individual requests for the best results. Mass messages tend to be frowned upon by those who receive them and are less likely to take the action you’d prefer.  Remind them of what project you worked on or any special accomplishments or details you want them to focus on in their recommendation.

  • Education

This is where you should include any education you’ve received. Even if you didn’t finish your course of study, include it so that you can connect with fellow alumni.

Tip: If you received some type of recognition or excelled at something, include the specifics.

  • Groups

Any groups you join will show up in this section. You don’t have to do anything but join.

Tip: Try to keep the first 8 to 10 groups related to your career goals.

  • Add Media

You’ll notice that under Summary and some other areas, you’ll be allowed to add a document, photo, link, video, or presentation.

Tip:  This is a great way to introduce yourself and help viewers get to know you.  Remember a photo speaks a thousand words.  Multiply that for video.  These are the extra things that many don’t bother doing.  Adding any or all of these items will make you stand out.

  • Publications

If you’ve written any books or published works, you can list and link to them in this area.

Tip: This is a wonderful way to show your professionalism.

LinkedIn constantly improves the profile area. Whenever there is a change, take note of it and make use of the improved or added functionality. The more areas you complete in your LinkedIn profile, the more likely you are to make meaningful connections.  The goal of your profile is to make people like, know, and trust you so they will want to connect.  This is very important when searching for a job or new career.

Time to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

So now it is your turn.  Time to go and start completing or updating your profile.  Short on time? Try one or two areas each day.  In a week or two,  you will have a completed professional LinkedIn profile.  Then you are ready to start connecting with those potential employers.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:36:03-05:00December 17th, 2020|Job Search|Comments Off on Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?

During normal times it is easy to find yourself neglecting your network of professional contacts. During this trying year, it is even more likely that you might be neglecting to reach out if you are not on a zoom meeting with them.

Neglecting Your Network

Active job-hunters know social networking sites, especially LinkedIn, can be some of the best tools for finding employment opportunities because it is easy to network with other professionals, friends, family, co-workers, and new contacts. But suppose you are happy in your job. In that case, you forget to continue to update your LinkedIn profile with recent accomplishments and connect with new co-workers and industry contacts you’ve met at previous conferences.

While we don’t think you need to be always looking for the next best thing, we do believe that you need to be prepared when life throws you an unexpected curveball, especially during a year like this. In other words, you never know when you may need to utilize your resume and contacts again.

Tips to Connect With Your Network of Professional Contacts

Here are four tips to help you stay on track with your resume and professional contacts:

  • Stay in Touch

Carve out time each week to go through your business cards of new and old connections and get LinkedIn with them. It’s an easy way to say “it was nice to meet you” or “remember me, I met you at…” and that you would like to stay in touch.

  • Help Others

Help Others

If you know a professional contact, friend, or family member looking for a job and you can help, don’t hesitate. Getting recommended for an interview gives that job-seeker a leg up on the competition. You also never know where that person may be able to help you out in the future. During trying times, helping someone else can be a mental health boost for both you and the recipient.

Consider using any free time you might have to give others recommendations on LinkedIn. When employers see current recommendations, they usually feel the person is a relevant candidate, especially if they are getting genuine recommendations during this time.

  • Show Off

When you further your education by taking some classes, getting promoted, or landing a big client, don’t be afraid to add that to your LinkedIn profile and resume. As your job changes and grows, so should your resume. The easiest way to update your resume is through your LinkedIn profile, where co-workers, clients, and even your boss can comment on a job well done. Be sure to thank them for their comments and keep the connection going.

  • Promote Good Things That Happen To Someone In Your Network Of Professional Contacts

Another opportunity to connect is when you see something positive happening for someone else.  You comment and share their good fortune on social. According to a post on the Muse, “When they get a new job, give a great presentation, or publish an article on a major website, send them a quick note to congratulate them on their milestones and tell them that you admire the work they are doing.” The person who congratulates and promotes others always looks good and others see you actively helping others.

A job search strategy isn’t something you should only think about when you are actively looking for a new job. It’s what you do BEFORE you start looking for a new job that’s equally important. If you have been neglecting your network of professional contacts, now is the time to do something about it.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:33:42-05:00November 18th, 2020|Job Search, Professional Contacts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?
Load More Posts