Resume Writing Tips

There are as many ways to write a resume as there are people to write them. Some of the most important considerations of resume writing include: making sure it is readable, that the type size and format is easy on the eyes. I like the use of bullets rather than sentences in paragraph form.I favor a resume that displays work history in reverse chronological order. The people in charge of hiring and staffing, are most concerned with your most recent work history. A reverse chronological resume lays it out there. A resume that highlights skills and accomplishments, then lists previous positions in another section, makes it difficult if not impossible to determine when, and at what job, a person acquired the skills or accomplished a particular task. If applicable job duties are dated, associated with a position held, say, ten years before, it is probably less desirable experience than a person who is currently performing the required duties.Resumes that have been watered down with corporate-speak, and glittering generalities, with all specific job duties, and reference to products removed, are confusing, and hard to understand just what a person did and with what/whom. These resumes are often written by professional resume writers who try to make a resume generic, so the person's background will appear to be a fit for as many jobs in as many different industries as possible. This type of resume may work to someone's advantage if they are trying to change industries. They often generate more questions than usable information about a candidates work history.I have encountered grammatical errors, typos, incomplete sentences, duplicate sentences /words, when reading professional, management and C- level executive resumes. When typing a resume in Word format, be sure the spell check is turned on. When revising an existing resume, make sure you have deleted what you needed to, and added what you intended to add. I believe that I see most of these types of errors in revised versions of previously written resumes, or resumes revised for a particular position.When revising existing resumes, make sure you use the same font and bold face type, and italics, in headings, job titles, employer names, etc. I see many resumes form management level candidates and above with mismatched type size. If you are not proficient in Word, ask someone who is, to retype your resume.Use past tense grammar for past jobs.List not only responsibilities but what a person has accomplished during her/his time performing in the position. Listing only Responsibilities on your resume gives the impression that you are a processor, tend toward tunnel vision, narrow scope, and my job only thinker. Listing your accomplishments conveys a big picture thinker-strategic person, leader, ready to accomplish even more in the next position, etc. It gives you a value added advantage over another candidate.


 Prepare for these Questions:


Why do you want to work here? - Based on company research the company can provide a happy, stable, challenging work environment.

What did you like/dislike about your last job? - Be positive about last company, not challenged.

What would you like to be doing 5 years from now? - To be challenged.

What are your greatest accomplishments? - Although I feel my greatest accomplishments are ahead of me. I'm proud of...

Why should I hire you?

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

How do you take direction? - If I am unclear, I'll get information for clarification.

Tell me about yourself? - Get the specific area of need they have and then tell how you can contribute in that area.

What is the most difficult situation you have faced? - Instances of high pressure....

Do you prefer working alone or with others?


Background Checks:


These days, most companies perform a background check as apart of the hiring process. Here is what a background check may include:CREDIT REPORTS: Some companies check credit, others do not. If they do, your credit report will probably pass if:

  1. It has less than 30%of trade accounts in negative or collection status.
  2. It will not have any tax liens that are not satisfied.
  3. It does not show child support payment in collections.
  4. It is free of home foreclosure or asset repossession.

The highest level of Education listed on your resume will be verified, and all other formal education may be verified.Your employment will be verified and employment dates on your resume should be accurate and any salary listed on the application should be accurate.All licenses and professional certifications may be investigated.Criminal history, based upon where you have lived will probably be investigated (state, county, federal). Any criminal violations must be listed on the employment application.


Drug Testing:Companies drug test potential new hires 80% of the time.  
 

Behavioral Job Interview:

   

  • The behavioral job interview is based  on the theory that past performance is the best indicator of future behavior, and uses questions that probe specific past behaviors, such as: “tell me about a time where you confronted an unexpected problem,” “tell me about an experience when you  failed to achieve a goal,” and “give me a specific example of a time when you managed several projects at once.” Job-seekers need to prepare for these interviews by recalling  scenarios that fit the various types of behavioral interviewing questions. Expect interviewers to have several follow-up questions and probe for details that explore all aspects of a given situation or experience. Recent college grads with little work experience should focus on class projects and group situations that might lend themselves to these types of questions. Hobbies or volunteer work also might provide examples you could use. Job-seekers should frame their answers based on a four-part outline: (1) describe the situation, (2) discuss the actions you took, (3) relate the outcomes, and (4) specify what you learned from it.

Some additional behavioral interview questions:    

  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy to which you did not agree.
  • Please discuss an important written document your were required to complete.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
  • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and your were required to prioritize your tasks.   
  • The behavioral job interview is based on the theory that past performance is the best indicator of future behavior, and uses questions that probe specific past behaviors, such as: “tell me about a time where you confronted an unexpected problem,” “tell me about an experience when you failed to achieve a goal,” and “give me a specific example of a time when you managed several projects at once.” Job-seekers need to prepare for these interviews by recalling  scenarios that fit the various types of behavioral interviewing questions. Expect interviewers to have several follow-up questions and probe for details that explore all      aspects of a given situation or experience. Recent college grads with little work experience should focus on class projects and group situations that might lend themselves to these types of questions. Hobbies or volunteer work also might provide examples you could use. Job-seekers should frame their answers based on a four-part outline: (1) describe the situation, (2) discuss the actions you took, (3) relate the outcomes, and (4) specify what you learned from it.

Some additional behavioral interview questions:    

  • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  • Describe a time when you were faced  with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.
  • Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy to which you did not agree.
  • Please discuss an important written document your were required to complete.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
  • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and your were required to prioritize your tasks.

University’s student-run captive creates next-gen talent pool

  Source: Gloria Gonzalez 9/12/2017 - Business Insurance Magazine Article   SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda — Initiatives such as the student-run Butler University captive insurer could serve as a model to engage millennials and help solve the insurance industry’s looming talent crisis. Nearly 400,000 positions will be open by 2020 as baby boomers retire from the insurance industry, creating a “talent cliff,” which is why such projects are critical, George Leite, head of business development at Aon Insurance Managers (Bermuda) Ltd., said Monday at the Bermuda Captive Conference in Southampton, Bermuda. By running the captive, the students are learning about all aspects of risk management, including rate-making, underwriting, reinsurance and loss control, Mr. DeKoning said. For example, in a loss control effort driven by their research, a leaky drain that threatened that expensive telescope is being fixed, he said. “Butler University students can replace two to four of your baby boomers who are retiring,” Mr. DeKoning, Student CEO said. “We are working not just to build students and graduates, but professionals.” The biggest issue Mr. DeKoning said he sees in engaging not just millennials but others is a lack of knowledge about what the insurance industry does and how it functions. “There’s not even a perception to be had, because there is not even knowledge that this industry exists,” he said.      

New Legislation - The Salary Question

California recently passed legislation that prohibits employers or an agent of an employer from asking about an applicant's previous salary. If the applicant voluntarily provides this information without being asked, the employer can use it in determining salary for the applicant.


Delaware, Massachusetts and Oregon have passed similar laws which will take effect within the next 12 months. New York (effective 10/31/17) and San Francisco effective July 1, 2018) have passed similar laws.