20 Steps To Better Business Writing

Strong marketing documents can help you get in the door. But, as you know, they are not that easy to write. So, before you spend an hour composing a cover letter, spend ten minutes reading the following proofreading and style tips.

While these guidelines will help with your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, following them will improve all your written communication.  Always represent yourself in the best possible light.

Here are 20 steps to the write stuff.

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3 Reasons Recruiters Aren’t Calling You

As a businessperson, I go to a lot of networking events. Some, like SHRM, provide professional development. Often, I’m speaking at job seeker groups. Wherever the event, I always meet people who are looking for a new job.

Their most common complaint is not getting interviews.

Before becoming a resume writer, I worked as a recruiter. That means I reviewed countless resumes and spent hours on LinkedIn looking for candidates. That experience gives me some insight into why recruiters call some candidates but not others. Here are 3 reasons.

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4 Ways To Age-Proof Your Resume

35863818_sA breadth of experience, combined with a solid career progression are prized by many employers. Unfortunately, the biggest concern for many job seekers who possess those assets is age discrimination. Particularly those of a certain age.

There’s no doubt that some employers do discriminate. However, often the reason they are reluctant to hire candidates over 50 is because they are afraid they won’t be current with their skills or familiar with not-so-newfangled things like social media.

While to-date there is no anti-aging cream for your resume, there are ways to ensure that your resume doesn’t make you look old and, maybe worse out of date. Here are four.

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6 Point Executive Resume Checklist

You may have heard of Marshall Goldsmith’s bestselling book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. The truth is, it’s the same with resumes. The resume that generated interviews early in your career, won’t get you noticed once you reach the executive level.

The resume that listed your duties and responsibilities won’t impress recruiters and employers who are filling executive roles. Here is a 6 Point Checklist for developing an interview-generating, executive resume.

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Don’t Get Caught Off Guard Without A Resume

job-lossToday every job is temporary. When our parents, or grandparents, were in the workforce it wasn’t uncommon to have a job for 20 years. That’s not true today.

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who’s never been laid off or fired that doesn’t necessarily mean job security is a sure thing.

We’ve had a local cable news program covering Fairfield County CT for over 30 years. Last year, a European telecommunications company bought our local cable company. Last month, they announced that they are closing the production studio to New Jersey.

So the “as local as local news gets” station is going to be coming from a production studio 2 states away.

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3 Executive Resume Must Haves

legendary-leaderTo be effective a resume needs to convey value. Immediately. Early in your career you may have been able to get by with a basic employment history. However, once you reach the executive level, or are targeting those rolls, demonstrating value becomes critical.

Unfortunately, most of the resumes that come across the desks of recruiters and hiring managers are boring lists of duties and responsibilities. Nothing to motivate the reader to set up an interview.

The good news, is that if your resume does demonstrate value and engage the reader you will stand out from the pile of other candidates. In a good way.

If you’re targeting executive roles these are 3 things your resume must have.

Quantifiable Results

Employers expect senior professionals to do more than manage a team, run a department, or be responsible for a sales region. They want to know what you’ve done that’s had an impact.

The best way to demonstrate value is show how you’ve made money, saved money, saved time, anything that’s had a positive effect. While quantifying results may be easier in some professions, like sales, if you take the time to “dig deep” you can come up with results.

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How To Show Momentum On Your Executive Resume

Unfortunately, most resumes, including executive resumes, show change not momentum. Many of the resumes I see indicate that the client has moved from one position to another, but doesn’t emphasize the underlying factors.

One of the reasons employers prefer reverse-chronological resumes is because they show a candidate’s career progression. But, when you want to convey value it’s not enough to just indicate that you moved from one position to another. Even if that move has been to a higher position.

Some people are moved up the ladder because they’ve been with a company the requisite time. Others are promoted because of their achievements.

When you’re putting together your resume think about that.

Let’s say you were recruited by your current employer right out of college. Over the last 10 years you’ve changed positions 3 times. Maybe each time you were even promoted.

That’s great.

But, depending on your particular situation, it might be even better.

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Where Recruiters Look First When Reviewing Your Resume

You probably already know that recruiters don’t spend much time reviewing each resume. Hiring managers don’t either. So by all accounts your need to get their attention fast.

The often referred to study done by The Ladders found recruiters reviewed resumes for 6 seconds before making a decision.

When I was recruiting I spent more than 6 seconds reviewing candidate resumes before making a decision whether or not to contact them for an interview. The recruiters I know spend more than 6 seconds too.

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