Including references on your resume

Have you ever wondered what the most commonly used line on a resume is? It would have to be the all time favorite, ìReferences available upon request.î There is an ongoing debate among professionals about the inclusion of references on your resume. Some people will strongly encourage you to include the aforementioned line at the bottom of your resume. In a way, this lets your potential employer know that, if asked, you can name at least a couple of people that think you are a great asset to any company. The opposing side will argue the validity of this line as it doesn’t provide any information with a call to action; we should operate under the assumption that every professional with a resume will be able to provide references from his previous employers. And yet another group of professionals will urge you not only to include this section in your resume, but list anywhere from three to five references, along with their titles, contact numbers and a description of your relationship to them. So, how do you know who to listen to?

We advocate mentioning references no matter what. It is proper resume etiquette that you include a section for your references at the bottom of your resume. This lets your potential employer know that you not only have professional references but you understand that checking references is an important part of your interview process. Additionally, you will want to have an employer request references from you so that you can let your references know they can expect to be contacted. Listing someone as your reference on your resume without letting them know, even if they have previously provided a reference for you, is not a good practice. You don’t want anyone on your reference list to be caught by surprise when they are contacted; you’ll want to let them know about the job you are applying for so that they know which qualifications they should highlight when they are contacted.

If you are posting your resume on job search web sites, such as monster.com, or are working with a head hunter to find the best opportunities for you, it is best that you simple use the line, “References available upon request” at the end of your resume. As indicated above, you will want to let your references know ahead of time if they will be contacted by a potential employer. Listing references on your resume and making it available to multiple employers for review may result in calls to your references by employers you may not have even been in touch with directly. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid this kind of annoyance to people you are using as references. You don’t want to abuse your relationship with them; therefore don’t include a full listing of references on your resume if you are making it available to masses.

If you are sending a resume to a specific employer, after you have been in touch with the hiring manager or someone at the company that will refer you for the job you are interested in, we suggest including references on your resume. This allows your potential employer to have all the information necessary to consider you as a serious candidate for the job. The reference list should include the person’s name, their title and the company they are working for, their relationship to you and their day-time telephone number. As a best practice, before you submit the resume, let your references know about the job opportunity, and that you are passing along their contact information to the potential employer.

If you have already submitted a resume without references, but are going to meet with the employer for an interview, bring a printed copy of your resume that includes a list of references. Following a good interview, employers typically check references as a best practice, you will want to provide the hiring manager with a one-stop-shop of your qualifications and your references, so you should always bring a printed copy of your cover letter, your resume and references with you to an interview. Your vigilance is sure to make a great impression and bring you one step closer to getting the job you want.

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Entry level resume: how to highlight your education and your skills

highlight your education and your skills

Graduating from college is one of the proudest moments you can experience. Receiving your diploma validates all the hard work you put into your education, all the all-nighters you pulled before exams. Your graduation signifies your accomplishments as a student, and opens the door into the world of career choices, job searches, and 40-hour workweeks. All of a sudden, it hits you: how will you get a job that requires experience if you have none?

As a recent college graduate, you are entering the workforce at entry-level jobs. Your potential employers have very reasonable expectations. They expect you to have graduated from college and that your major is in line with the job you are applying for. They anticipate that you have some experience, a summer job or an internship, but they are not requiring years of professional experience. They would like to see some references: from your professors or previous supervisors, so that they can get a better idea of your personality and work ethic. Sound reasonable so far?

The best way to show your potential employer that you are a perfect candidate for the job is to create a functional resume. Functional resumes focus on your qualifications, not your career timeline. This style of the resume highlights what skills you have, rather than where and when you acquired or utilize them. In other words, instead of listing your experiences by your job titles, your resume will contained sections titled by your skills such as verbal and written communication, customer satisfaction, project management, etc. This resume style is highly recommended for and most often used by college students seeking internships or their first jobs out of college.

Begin your resume by stating your career objective. Make sure that your career goals are personal. Your objective should be specific to the position you want, and should indicate to your employer how you intend to utilize your education and how this position will help you develop your experience. Your education should be listed next. List the school you attend and its location, your graduation year, and your major. It can be helpful to include your GPA, specific courses you have taken, or any honors you have received while in school. Your professional skills should come next. This section will include sub-headings as they relate to specific qualifications you want to promote, such as communications, customer relations, managements, etc. Here, you can utilize any experience you have that relates to the sub-sections, including your part time jobs, internships, volunteer positions, community service work, or school-related activities. Only include a work experience/work history section if you have held part time jobs while in school or have had internships you’d like your employer to know about. This list should only include dates, titles, companies, and locations without listing any of your responsibilities, since you are covering them in the previous section. If you belonged to any clubs in school, include a section for activities and list only those that support your career objective. For example, if you were an editor of your school paper, and you are trying to get a job at a publishing company, make sure that you include this experience in your resume. Your last section should list references. As a new graduate, it is to your benefit to include references on your resume, and give your employer everything they need to consider you as a qualified candidate for the job. You have nothing to lose by providing this information ahead of being asked for it.

Before you start applying for jobs, take advantage of your school’s career center and have one of the mentors there review your resume and help you perfect both the content and the format. With a well-written resume, you are prepared to take the professional world by storm.

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Resume review: asking and getting help

Resume review

Writing a resume is a process of self-discovery in many ways. You have to market yourself to your potential employer, which is a very difficult task because we have to walk the fine line of objectivity and self-promotion.

Your resume must summarize your educational achievements, professional experience, and qualification in a way that best meets your career objective. Composing your entire professional history on one or two pages can be time consuming; thus, we sometimes spend hours and days writing and re-writing our resumes in order to perfect the content and the format before it reaches our potential employer. However, after looking at the same content over and over, it becomes easy for us to miss very simple typos or grammar errors, or even poorly written statements that may raise questions in the eyes of the hiring manager. Before posting your resume on job search web sites, or submitting it to companies you are interested in, it is in your best interest to have someone else review it. This can be a scary thought, while you may want help and feedback from your friend, you are concerned they will dislike something aesthetic and you’ll feel the pressure to make formatting changes. And since you have already spent a lot of time on your resume, you don’t want to have to start over.

Since you know you can benefit from having someone else review your resume, the key is to set some boundaries and goals for that review. Ask about specific things that are of the concern to you: if you know that grammar isn’t your strength, ask your friends to proofread the content. If you have gaps in your work history, ask your friend to act as a potential employer and review the resume and cover letter together. Do they have any questions about your work history, or have you addressed everything in your cover letter? Accept feedback about content, but make sure that your friends are raising valid questions about the statements you are making. If they suggest that you change an action word, can they give you a valid reason behind the change, or is the reasoning based on their personal preference? Don’t get into an argument over formatting, do your research ahead of time and know what the acceptable resume style is for your field. It is also beneficial that you have more than one additional person review your resume before you send it to your potential employers. This helps you in recognizing if the feedback is based on personal preferences or professional concerns. Ideally, the person you ask for help has experience in your field, and can help assure that the action words or phrases you have chose are appropriate for your industry and position level.

If you are unsure that you are even on the right track with your resume, and you feel that the research you have done is overwhelming and not helpful, seek assistance from a professional resume writing service. A professional resume writer should be able to help guide you in the right direction, revise your current resume or create a new resume for you. Make sure that the professional you are working with can provide you with references and samples, and that they are versed in writing resumes for professionals in your field of work. While this option requires you paying for someone’s assistance, it can prove to be a more beneficial one in the long run.

You can always serve as your own resume editor. Step away from your resume for a while; give yourself some time, usually a day or two, between writing the resume and reviewing it. This allows you to be more objective as you review the final draft of your resume, because you are not as intimately involved with it at the moment of review (the way you would be immediately after completing the draft).

No matter what option of review you chose, make sure that you do in fact review your resume before submitting it to your potential employer. You don’t want your hiring manager catching your mistakes, do you? A well-written, error-free resume is more likely to get you noticed, and get you the job that you want.

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Resume action words

Resume action words

You’ve heard it over and over again: a well-written resume is a winning resume. What does that mean? How can you determine whether your resume is written in a tone and style that employers will respond to? Synthesizing your educational achievements, years of your professional experience, and numerous qualifications you have acquired over the years into one to two pages is not easy to accomplish. Every phrase or statement you write has to convince your potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To do so, you will need to use action or power word. You’ve heard it over and over again ñ a well-written resume is a winning resume. What does that mean? How can you determine whether your resume is written in a tone and style that employers will respond to? Synthesizing your educational achievements, years of your professional experience, and numerous qualifications you have acquired over the years into one to two pages is not easy to accomplish. Every phrase or statement you write has to convince your potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To do so, you will need to use action or power word.

Action words, or power words, are keywords (verbs) that add strength and positive implication to your job responsibilities or qualifications. When you submit your resume to your potential employer, there are two scenarios that will occur. One, your application will be ran through a computer software program, which searches your resume for key terms as indicated by the employer. If your resume contains those key words, your resume will be pulled aside for further review. Two, a hiring manager, or most often a human resources associate, will receive a stack or resumes and scan through them quickly to pick out those that stand out the most, again based on certain key words. It should now be clear why these action words are critical to your success in job hunting.

When listing your employment history, each job’s responsibilities should be listed in bullet point form, with each statement starting with an action word. Using power verbs or phrases will indicate to your employer that you are driven by action and results, and that you can effectively articulate your professional experience (thus, showcasing your communication skills).

Here is a small sample of action words:

– created

– developed and implemented

– managed- delivered

– designed

– facilitated

– negotiated

– coordinated

– budgeted

– acted

– communicated

– consulted

This is a very short sampling of action words. Many resources on the Internet contain extensive listings of action words or phrases. Do some research and use only those terms that are relevant to your field of experience. Your best bet would be to locate samples of resumes by professionals in your industry. Review those resumes for ideas on how to list your responsibilities. Important note: do not copy exact statements from someone else’s resume; while you can do your research, you will want to make your resume personalized to your professional experience.

Don?t fall into the trap of using the same action word over and over. If you have in fact managed multiple projects, you may want to be a bit more specific about your role in each. For example, maybe you were the communication liaison in one project, while you were the project manager for another task. Begin the first bullet point with “communicated”, and the second bullet point with “managed”. However, be aware of the words that you are using and consider their value in your resume. Do not go overboard with using varying terms, especially those that may change your role or your responsibilities.

Additionally, you can find key action words in job descriptions. Review your resume against a job description and make sure that all required qualifications are addressed in your statements. This will also help you identify action words that the employer uses, which you can in turn use to customize your resume or cover letter to that specific job.
Always make sure that you are consistent in the way you list all of your responsibilities and qualifications, and make sure that your statements exude positive attitude and focus on actions and results. By doing so, you are guaranteed to create a winning resume that will get you noticed.

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Designing your resume to grab employer’s attention

Designing your resume

Job hunting can be one of the most exhilarating and yet one of the most agonizing experiences in your life. While you look forward to the new chapter in your professional life, finding a way to stand out from other candidates, who are at least equally qualified for the position you want, is a difficult task. Job hunting can be one of the most exhilarating and yet one of the most agonizing experiences in your life. While you look forward to the new chapter in your professional life, finding a way to stand out from other candidates, who are at least equally qualified for the position you want, is a difficult task.

Your resume is the first contact your potential employer has with you. A well formatted and a well-written resume can make a difference between getting the interview and getting the job, and being passed over. Most employers receive a stack of resumes of qualified candidates and scan them quickly before they decide whether or not hey want to read further. You only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression. Don’t panic. Instead, focus on the design of your resume as it is the first thing your employer, whether on paper or in electronic form.

The most commonly made mistake in resume design include using templates that are already available in Microsoft Word. While these templates provide a quick, easy to follow tools to create your resume, they are outdated, and they will make your resume appear generic and uninviting. Additionally, these templates, while well formatted in Microsoft Word, will not translate well when emailed or uploaded to job search engine web sites.

Second most commonly made mistake in resume design is inclusion of graphics on the page. Your picture and/or any other graphics are not appropriate for a resume. Including anything outside of plain text will make you stand out in a way that makes the employer think you are not taking yourself seriously as a professional, and this is certainly not the first impression you want to make. You can find samples of resumes on the Internet; search for resumes by your industry to find the templates that make most sense for the job you are seeking. Than work on a blank page to replicate the look and feel of the resume you like. The following are basic formatting rules for your resume:

– Limit the length of the resume to two pages.

– The page should have one

-inch margins, top and bottom, right and left.

– Use left justification only as a rule, do not center the content of your resume.

– The font and font size should be consistent.

– The bullet points should be basic: use circles or squares, but never any symbols that may not translate well when you email your resume to your potential employer.

– Headlines can be in all caps; the remaining text should not have special formatting.

– Do not underline any of the information in your resume. In the world of Internet driven job applications, underlining in a document implies a web link.

– The font size for headlines should not exceed 14 points; the remainder of the text in the resume should not exceed 12 points.

– Use the Tab key instead of the Space bar to create spaces between the text in your resume.

As a last formatting check point, ask your friends or your family for help in reviewing your resume. Send the resume file via email to a few of your friends and ask them to review the resume and make sure nothing seems out of place. Print out the resume on paper and review to make sure that margins are accurately set, and that the content doesn’t appear crowded on the page. Keep in mind: when it comes to your resume, sleek simple appearance, and great writing, will get you the job you are seeking.

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Resume headings: what information to include and how to format it

Resume headings

The first and most prominent item on your resume if your name and contact information. Your name is typically in the largest font, standing apart from all other text on your resume. A common mistake professionals make is trying to emphasize their name in a special font type. As it is difficult to anticipate the software and its version your potential employer is using, you run a risk of not knowing exactly how your name will show up on their screen. Stick to the basic font types: Arial and Times New Roman are most commonly used and are least risky when it comes to formatting your resume. Don’t go overboard on the font size either. Your name should be in point size 14 or 16; all other headings should be in 12 or 14 point font, while the remaining text of your resume should be between 10 and 12 points. Along with your name, the very top of your resume should contain your mailing address, your email address, and at least one phone number where you can be reached. It is best to include a physical mailing address over a P.O. Box, whenever possible. You should never include an email address at your current place of employment (believe us, it happens). A helpful hint about listing your email address: make sure that it contains your name, as this helps you appear more professional. You can create a free Yahoo email account; it also maybe helpful to have one email address as a point of contact for your job search.

At least one phone number should be listed; make sure to indicate if you are listing a home or a mobile number. If you have a professional web site, you can include the address to it along with your contact information. Please note, only do so if there isn’t anything on the web site that is personal; the only reason your potential employer may want to look at a web site is if your professional portfolio or a copy of your resume can be found there. The first and most prominent item on your resume if your name and contact information. Your name is typically in the largest font, standing apart from all other text on your resume. A common mistake professionals make is trying to emphasize their name in a special font type. As it is difficult to anticipate the software and its version your potential employer is using, you run a risk of not knowing exactly how your name will show up on their screen. Stick to the basic font types: Arial and Times New Roman are most commonly used and are least risky when it comes to formatting your resume. Don’t go overboard on the font size either. Your name should be in point size 14 or 16; all other headings should be in 12 or 14 point font, while the remaining text of your resume should be between 10 and 12 points. Along with your name, the very top of your resume should contain your mailing address, your email address, and at least one phone number where you can be reached. It is best to include a physical mailing address over a P.O. Box, whenever possible. You should never include an email address at your current place of employment (believe us, it happens).

A helpful hint about listing your email address: make sure that it contains your name, as this helps you appear more professional. You can create a free Yahoo email account; it also maybe helpful to have one email address as a point of contact for your job search. At least one phone number should be listed; make sure to indicate if you are listing a home or a mobile number. If you have a professional web site, you can include the address to it along with your contact information. Please note, only do so if there isn’t anything on the web site that is personal; the only reason your potential employer may want to look at a web site is if your professional portfolio or a copy of your resume can be found there.

Whether you decide to create a chronological or a functional resume, you will need to separate the information by headings. The best advice we can give you is to keep the section headings professional and stick to the basics. Don’t try to come up with creative titles for your professional summary, or for your qualifications. Your chronological resume should have the following sections/titles:

– career objective

– professional summary (optional)

– professional experience/work experience/experience

– education

– publications/special achievements (if applicable)

– qualifications/skills

– references/references and portfolio.

A functional resume is slightly different, and the headings you chose will truly depend on the skills you are trying to highlight. You should include:

– career objective

– education

– professional skills/professional qualifications (this section will include sub

-headings as they relate to specific qualifications you want to promote, such as communications, customer relations, managements, etc.)

– work experience/work history (if applicable; should only include dates, titles, companies and locations without listing responsibilities)

– volunteer work/activities (if applicable)

– references

These are the typical sections of chronological and functional resumes. Do some research on resume styles and find sample resumes of professionals in your industry. You may need to adjust these headings based on your field, although the content should be consistent across industries. Stick to the basics; don’t try to be creative in order to stand out. A professional and polished resume will get you noticed, so do your best to create a resume that is error free and best supports your career objective.

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How to list education and experience form different countries on your resume

education and experience

As a collective, we feel proud of our selves in our diversity and make conscious effort to appreciate each other’s cultures and backgrounds. In any given company in America, you can find training teams conducting inclusion trainings, and openly discussion diverse work environments. Diversity has become a part of our culture, both in and outside of work, and it is something that we seldom stop to appreciate.

A sizeable portion of the American workforce has acquired at least a part of their education in a foreign country. If you are in that group, one of the main challenges you will face when composing your resume is transferring your education and any experience you may have from another country in a way that shows your qualifications and achievements in a way that is relevant to your American employer.

When it comes to your scholastic achievements, make sure that you understand the education system in the US. Familiarize yourself with various levels of college degrees; make sure that you understand the difference between trade schools, colleges and universities, as well as the various degrees you can acquire at each of these educational facilities. Do not translate your degree directly ñ make sure that the terminology you are using is appropriated to educational achievements in the US.

I would advise seeking assistance from a translating service or from a resume writing service that may have someone on staff that speaks your language or is familiar with your country and its culture. This will assure that the education and employment information you acquired in another country is properly listed in your resume. Do not make a mistake of exaggerating the position you have held or the degree you received in another country. Consider the fact that your potential employer has very limited resources in order to verify the foreign education or employment you list on your resume. This doesn’t mean you have a free pass to make things up; instead, gather any documentation you may have that shows your achievements. If you have any transcripts or degrees from your school, or any awards from your previous employment, take them to a translating service that will recreate and notarize these documents in English. Make a note on your resume or in your cover letter that you can show such documentation upon employer’s request. Additionally, if English is your second language, under your qualifications make sure to list any additional languages that you speak fluently. Having a resume free of typos and grammatical errors will indicate to your employer that you have taken the time to learn the language and that you place high emphasis on your communication skills.

As a best practice, if your resume includes education or work experience you acquired in a foreign country, your cover letter should address any concerns that may be brought up by this information. Your employer may have questions on why you left the country where you previously work, or if you intend to go back after some time (if you came to the United States to further your education, indicate the length of time you are staying). Keep these things in mind ñ put yourself in a position of your potential employer who is reviewing your resume and anticipate any questions they may have about your professional history. Addressing any concerns about your resume ahead of time will assure that you are taken seriously as a qualified and credible candidate.

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Hobbies and interests: is there a place for them on your resume?

Hobbies and interests

There are two types of resumes: chronological and functional. As its name implies, a chronological resume is one that lists your experience and education in order, starting with the most recent jobs or achievements. This type of resume is sometimes also referred to as reverse chronological resume, because the order of the listing starts with your current employment. Functional resumes focus on your qualifications, not your career timeline. This style of the resume highlights what skills you have, rather than where and when you acquired or utilize them. In other words, instead of listing your experiences by your job titles, your resume will contained sections titled by your skills such as verbal and written communication, customer satisfaction, project management, etc.

The functional resume style is recommended for college students seeking internships or their first jobs out of college, for those with no professional experience, those who have not worked for some time, or for career changers. This resume style allows you to reference your hobbies and interests in a way that apply to your career objective only; listing hobbies and interests outside of your career objective is not recommended as it doesn’t promote you as a professional in any way.

Any time you are composing a resume, it is important to keep in mind your career objective. You want to present yourself in a best possible light to your potential employer. Thus, the information on your resume has to answer one question: Why are you the best candidate for the job?

The biggest mistake people make on their resumes is including information that is not related to their professional experience. Facts pertaining to your volunteer positions, community work, interests and hobbies that disclose your race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or any personal descriptors that do not directly impact your professional performance must be excluded from your resume. The functional resume does not require you to list names or organizations you have worked or volunteered for; thus, you can list the experience you have acquired there without potentially disclosing any demographic information. Additionally, don’t create a separate section on your resume for hobbies and interests. This is typically seen as amateur, and gives your resume less credibility.

Listing hobbies and interests as they apply to the position you are applying for should be done under specific functional sections. For example, if you are seeking a position in graphic design, and have samples of work that you have done as a hobby, indicate this fact on your resume or in your cover letter. If your hobbies are related to the type of work you are seeking utilize them to your advantage. If you have read books or completed seminars at the community center that are applicable to your job, make a mention of them. Any employer will welcome the opportunity to have you demonstrate the qualifications that make you a perfect candidate for the job.

As a final step, have a friend review your resume, or if you are a college student, seek assistance from a career center at your school. Having another person review your resume will help uncover any items that may raise questions about your experience or education, as well as address if the inclusion of your hobbies and interests works to support your career objective. Perfecting your resume will assure that you show your potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job.

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Tips on listing self-employment on your resume

self-employment on your resume

Being self-employed comes with many challenges: determining your niche, finding clients, having adequate insurance, hiring additional help, etc. To succeed as a freelancer, contractor, or a new business owner, you have to have determination, passion and patience, much of the same characteristics you need to successfully hunt for a new job. So why is self-employment on a resume a concern for your potential employer?Being self-employed comes with many challenges: determining your niche, finding clients, having adequate insurance, hiring additional help, etc. To succeed as a freelancer, contractor, or a new business owner, you have to have determination, passion and patience, much of the same characteristics you need to successfully hunt for a new job. So why is self-employment on a resume a concern for your potential employer?

Listing self-employment on your resume when looking for full-time job can raise questions for your potential employer. They will ask questions such as:

– Were self-employed because you were in between jobs, or because you wanted to start your own business rather than work for a corporation?

– Are you still working on your own, as a freelancer or a consultant? If so, do you intent to continue this work in addition to your full time job?

– Is your self-employment presenting a conflict of interest for the company?

– Are you working as a freelancer or a contractor on part-time basis, and never intend to have this replace full-time employment?

– Does your long-term career goal include owning your own business?

All of these questions are valid from your potential employer’s point of view. Companies do not want to hire you, train you and provide you with benefits only to have you quit after a year to start your own business. This is the main reason previous or current self-employment raises red flags for the hiring organizations. The best way to address any self-employment on your resume is to highlight the positives of working as a freelancer or managing your own business. It is important that your resume includes employment history that is honest and relevant to your career goals.

If you pick up a freelance project infrequently and do not intend to make this a full time career, you can omit any such experience from your resume. The only time you would list occasional freelance work on your resume is if it allows you to fill any gaps in your professional experience. If you have worked as a contractor for a period longer than three months, or if you have ever owned your own business, it is important that you indicate that on your resume. Highlight those attributes of the job experience that qualify you as a perfect candidate for the job that you are seeking. Your job responsibilities should be listed in the same way as they are for any other full-time job you’ve held; focus on those responsibilities which best meet your career objective and quantify your achievements when possible. Exemplify your self-starter attitude under the Qualifications section of your resume. Make sure to list any employability skills you have acquired or strengthened while you were self employed.

As a final indication of your commitment to the job you are seeking. Make sure that your cover letter or email addresses anticipated concerns of your potential employer. Make references to anything on your resume that may raise questions. If you still own your own business, but are looking for full-time work, for example, make sure to let your employer know what your long-term professional goals are and how you intend to balance your roles at both businesses. Don’t apologize for being self-employed. Your resume and cover letter should present you as a credible and passionate professional. Focus on the positive experiences and skills you have acquired as a freelancer, and make sure to let the employer know how these will benefit the company if you are their chosen candidate.

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What to do when your job title doesn’t match your job responsibilities

job title

A friend of mine asked for my help recently in composing her resume. She works as an Office Manager for a small business. In her role, she assumes all responsibilities of an Office Manager. In addition, she partners with the company owner to set policies, works with freelancers on marketing materials, serves as a liaison between vendors and shipping service companies, and conducts calls for sales leads that are collected at trade shows. In other words, her title doesn’t encompass all of her job responsibilities. Several potential employers have in fact had concerns about the difference in her title and her overall position in the company, wondering if she had exaggerated her responsibilities on her resume.

Many professionals run into situations where the title they have at their current job is so specific to the company that it carries no meaning outside of the organization, or it implies that they are a level or more below their actual work responsibilities. The difficulty we face in these situations is accurately accounting for our professional experience on our resume in order to advance in our careers. There is no easy way to address this as you want to remain truthful on your resume; you wouldn’t want your potential employer calling for a reference check and getting an impression you lied about your work history, do you?

There is a debate among professionals about listing job titles versus job functions on your resume. Some people prefer listing their title as it is, followed by a list of responsibilities, while others strongly prefer finding a way to rephrase your title to encompass your job function(s). The best option, however, is to find a happy medium and list your job title along with a few words that describe your job function, before you begin listing your job responsibilities.

First, let’s explore making changes to the job titles as you include them on your resume. If your title unusual, or very specific to the organization, you should try to find an equivalent title that is well accepted and understood within your industry. For example, if you work as a customer support representative supporting a specific product and your title contains the product name, you can simply list Product Support Representative on your resume. However, be careful not to exaggerate your title. Do not change your title so that it implies change in responsibility or salary level; do not change the area of the organization where you work, or change your title in a way that suggest you are directly reporting to a person in a higher position than that of your manager. Any such changes on your resume are dishonest, and will negatively impact your credibility with your potential employer.

If your title implies less responsibility than you hold, chose the middle ground option described above. List your actual title on your resume. For example, if you are a Product Support Representative but are also responsible for training new hires for your team, list your title as follows: Product Support Representative/Customer Support and New Hire Training. All you are doing here is elaborating on your job title by including a brief description of your job function. Following this title, make sure that your resume includes power statements describing your actual job responsibilities, in order of their importance and relevance to your career title. This method is preferred because you are honest about your title, but you are also indicating to your employer that your responsibilities are slightly different than what the title implicates. When background checks and reference calls are conducted, you will not have to worry about misrepresenting your title, or causing raised questions about your credibility. Above all, your resume must be honest. Do the best you can to remain objective when it comes to your job titles and functions ñ focus on the positives, and you are sure to have a winning resume.

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