The résumé – a page or two of information highlighting your skills, qualifications, education… blah, blah, blah. Take a long, honest look at the document you’re sending out to recruiters and hiring managers and ask yourself one question: “Would I hire myself?”
Before you answer the question, consider the fact that the decision makers on the receiving end of your quest to get a foot in the door are inundated with résumés from the moment an opportunity hits the job boards. More than likely, they’ll decide whether or not to take a deeper look based on a first glance that lasts a few seconds. Furthermore, applicant tracking systems automatically filter résumés before they are even seen by a human (we’ll talk about keyword optimization in an upcoming blog post)!
So, how does the average job seeker stand out from the crowd and go from obscure to interviewed? The key is to strategically determine the characteristics your résumé needs to possess in order to differentiate yourself.
1. Read the job description. We’re all guilty of it – applying for a role based on the job title versus the job description. Before applying, look beyond the company name and the job title and thoroughly read through the entire posting. Do you meet the qualifications, possess the necessary skills and education, and see a culture fit? If so, you’re almost ready to toss your résumé into the hat.
2. Cater your résumé to your industry. This may require some cleverness and brainstorming as your challenge will be to find a balance between creativity and professionalism (gimmicks can be distracting and take away from the overall purpose of a résumé). If you work in the fashion industry as a designer, a small detail such as a watermark of one of your sketches can add a personal touch while speaking to your skills. Perhaps you’re a graphic designer. Transforming your résumé into an infographic can help to visually demonstrate your abilities.
3. Cater your résumé to the position. You’re qualified for the job and you’ve figured out how to give your résumé an edge. Now you’re ready to get down to business. The bullet points you list under your current and previous job titles are crucial pieces of information. Ensure each bullet goes beyond listing what you do and focuses on how your actions have led to a particular outcome that benefits the company. For instance: Analyzed the design process to eliminate unnecessary steps and decrease production time.
4. Let it flow. Think of your résumé as a work of art – it should be just as informative as it is visually appealing. Keep font types and sizes uniform and list topics from most important to least important. An entry-level candidate may start with internships or education while a seasoned professional would list their most recent work experience towards the top.
Apply these four tips to your job seeking efforts to help elevate your résumé to the “set up an interview” stack.
One should never have to add any more stress to preparing for an interview than necessary. The least of your worries should be deciding what to wear. A timeless, classic look is fail-safe – all you need to do is add your personal touch and you’re ready to go.
Dress codes and expectations depend on the company (so do your research) and there is truth to the statement that the first impression is everything. For women, a blouse and pencil skirt combination is the go-to professional option, but how do you make it your own and stand out from the crowd? Let’s start from the bottom:
Color Palette: Black, White, Grey with Blush/Nude Tones
Footwear: Black shoes are versatile and professional. They must be clean and you have to be able to walk in them!
Left to right: Gianvito Rossi pointy-toe pumps / Yves Saint Laurent embellished pumps / Yves Saint Laurent high heel booties
Skirt: A grey or black pencil skirt that hits at the knee or five to seven inches below the knee. Anything shorter or longer is either too risky or too hipster, respectively.
Left to right: Proenza Schouler black skirt / Victoria Beckham calf hair-paneled felt pencil skirt / Victoria Beckham pencil skirt / DKNYC black skirt
Blouse: Choose a blouse in white or black. Depending on the company, blush- and nude-toned blouses are an appropriate way to add a feminine touch. Be sure to test the fabric for sheerness before walking out the door.
Top to bottom: Michael Kors white blouse / Oscar de la Renta white blouse / H&M chiffon top / H&M chiffon blouse
Opportunity to elevate your look: We know, it’s hard to stand out in basics. Don’t be afraid to make it your own with accessories, but remember to keep it minimal.
Jewelry - An exceptional piece whether it’s classic diamond or pearl earrings, a bold cuff, or a statement necklace will do, but choose just one area in which to accentuate. Anything else must be simple and complementary.
Top to bottom: Reed Krakoff bracelet bangle / Coach bracelet / Stella & Dot cuff
Bag: A woman’s bag of choice says a lot – whether she wants it to speak for her or not. A structured, professional handbag allows for enough space to hide all of your belongings out of sight during the interview and holds its shape to complement your look versus take away from it.
Left to right: Givenchy black handbag / H&M black bag
Recently, our ceo had the opportunity to speak to freshmen in an Industry Exploration class at LIM College in New York City. Entering the job market can be daunting for new graduates so we were happy to offer some fashion industry insight and insider tips.
For any job applicant, at any level, it all starts with the résumé. For the recently graduated, creating a résumé is a unique challenge because of the lack of work history and experience. Completing your education is the first step, but certainly not the last.
We asked our recruiters for some real-world advice in regards to what companies are looking for – or expecting – on an entry level résumé. Consider these tips as you set out to craft the words on that document meant to remain in the hands of a hiring manager versus being tossed into the “no” or “unqualified” pile.
- Objective – Not Necessary
- Internship(s) – Listed
- College Education – Required
- Computer/Software Skills – Indicated
- Relevant Affiliations – Noted (more…)
On the fence about becoming a freelancer? Graphic Design Degree Hub created an infographic to help you make the decision. ‘The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer’ highlights the life of a freelancer from compensation to location. After weighing the good and the bad and applying the below information to your personal situation and industry, you may be ready to make the switch. If not, we’re here to help!
Check out the full infographic:
LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest online professional networks connecting people from virtually every industry to other professionals and businesses. You know this, we know this, so how do we make the most of all LinkedIn has to offer?
This much is true for every social media platform – understanding how to get the most out of your membership will determine whether or not creating an account will be to your benefit. LinkedIn separates itself as not just a social media network, but a professional social media network that – if leveraged properly – can be a jobseeker’s/employer’s/employee’s/recruiter’s/networker’s goldmine.
Below, tips to take advantage of LinkedIn:
- Choose a professional profile picture. Having a profile picture in general makes it easier to stand out in searches. A picture that portrays you as a professional not only allows connections and future employers to put a face to a name – it’s an extension of your personality. For example, a picture of you taking shots at a night club may not be the right choice over a toned down picture of you looking like the professional you are. (more…)
The daily grind can take a toll on the average employee. No matter how driven and passionate you may be, there are some days that you find yourself making it through a day at the office without getting much done while emails and missed calls pile up into a mountain of impending follow-up torture.
How do you stay focused when everything around you beckons your attention? These tips may sound like no-brainers, but they could help you remain productive throughout the day. (more…)
Here at JBC, we’ve mastered the process of checking references. Probably because conducting a thorough reference check is essential to being a recruiter. Below, ten things to keep in mind when choosing and sharing your references.
1. Don’t list the names of your references on your resumé. There is no need to offer references to an employer until they are requested. Instead of listing the names on your resumé, list them on a separate sheet of paper (matching your resumé) titled “References.” Bring the list with you to job interviews.
2. Choose references who are relevant to the job in which you are applying. For those who have taken the straight and narrow career path this shouldn’t be a problem. However, for the career-hopping job seekers out there, references should be catered to the role. For example, if you are applying for a retail job, your references should be able to speak to your retail experiences. If you are applying for a role as a designer, your references should be able to speak to the skills you possess that would make you the right fit. (more…)
If you’re in the job market, don’t be misled into thinking the holiday season means break-time until next year. Contrary to the myth that hiring managers are on vacation and won’t be working on filling roles, companies do hire in December. Placing a hold on your job search will only make room for other resumés to fill the space and get the attention that could have been yours.
Companies and recruiting agencies like JBCStyle and JBCconnect are not in the position to place a job on hold because of any holiday. This time of year is especially important to keep up with demands for talent and get a head start on the new year.
True, there is a lull between Christmas and New Years; however, don’t assume that every company is enjoying the entire time off of work – there are plenty of business days in between the two holidays.
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that your resumé needs to be putting in hours this holiday. Now you’re ready for some seasonal job search tips:
1. Build your online network. Make new connections and reconnect with old acquaintances via Facebook and Linkedin. The holiday conversation is a great icebreaker that helps to make your approach less forward. Once the conversation has begun, you’ve placed your name in the person’s mind and you’re one step closer to your goal.
2. Send cards. Remind hiring managers that you’re still looking and still interested in working for their company. Send a holiday card or small gift with a cheerful note letting them know you are open to revisiting new roles that may have come up since your last interview. Use this method to reach out to hiring managers, recruiters, or anyone you know who may be able to help move your resumé along.
3. Go to holiday parties! Company parties are a great opportunity to casually network with all of the right people. Don’t walk around handing out your resumé – instead, have some great conversations with key people, hand out your business card, let them know you’re in the market, and keep it moving. It is a party after all! The following day, repeat step one.
4. Throw a party! Friends help friends find jobs. Invite your friends over for drinks or meet at a restaurant to catch up and enlist their help. This is a great chance to practice your pitch, go over interview questions, and share experiences with a crowd that will be honest and offer advice you can use come interview-time.
5. Be a part of the conversation. Most likely, the companies you are interested in have a Twitter or Facebook account. Follow them and participate in their online conversations. Don’t go overboard here – choose a post that interests you and reply with an intelligent statement. Replying to a company that posts open jobs on their social media accounts are a great way to get noticed. Warning: make sure your personal social media accounts are professional and showcase you in a positive light and only reply to jobs in which you qualify.
Take it back old-school. If you can find out the name of the hiring manager and their mailing address, send them a hard copy of your resumé and cover letter. Most resumés are sent online so take this opportunity to send yours straight to the desk of the person in charge. Who doesn’t like to get mail? Add a holiday card to your package and score extra recognition points.
Enjoy the holidays, but don’t take time-off from your job search. Instead, use the spare time to maximize your efforts.
Let’s face the cold, hard facts – looking for a job these days isn’t the same as it was five or ten years ago. So why are the job-seeking masses still employing the same methods now as they would have in the past?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
1. Understand what you’re up against. As of April 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.1% and the number of unemployed persons was 12.5 million. Keep these facts in mind as you apply for jobs and the need to not want to be a statistic will provide the motivation you need to keep going.
2. Know your industry. Know the facts. Research your industry to learn about the current state of and any signs of future growth or decline.
3. Is there a chance your job can be done by a computer in the near future? We know you’re not a fortune teller but use your judgement to prepare yourself for a workload shift.
4. Is there a chance your job can be out-sourced in the near future? Same as above.
5. Are you cool? It’s not okay to not be interested in new technologies and methods. You need to be aware to be relevant. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening by reading a variety of publications including trade magazines and blogs about your specialty or industry.
6. Keep in mind, there’s always someone out there who is younger, cheaper and hungrier than you.
7. Don’t just send your resumé and wait. Get out there! Make a phone call, send a follow-up email. Don’t be a stalker; but don’t be forgotten.
8. Does your resumé still look like your college career counselor made it for you? Time for an update.
9. Take advantage of the variety of ways in which you can apply for a job. Use online job boards and recruiters to your advantage; and don’t overlook the power of social media. Most brands post their hottest jobs on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.
10. Last, but not least, the oldest job search advice that will always be relevant – update your old skills and learn new skills. The more you know, the more you grow.