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The Best and Worst Resume Terms

When you’re creating or updating your resume, you may Google “resume keywords” or “powerful resume words”, which is a great way to learn since you’re not a professional resume writer. But the truth of the matter is that unless you’re hearing the advice from a hiring manager, you may still be utilizing words that are tired, overused or simply cliche.

CareerBuilder and Harris Poll recently teamed up to survey over 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals to find out which are the best and worst resume terms used. We wanted to share our favorites with you:

Resume Terms to Avoid

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Think outside the box
  • Go-to person
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Self-motivated
  • Detail-oriented
  • Track record

Resume Terms to Use Instead

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/Mentored
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Increased/Decreased
  • Negotiated
  • Volunteered
  • Under budget
  • The survey also found that only 17% of hiring managers look at perspective employee resumes for just 30 seconds. 68% of them spend less than 2 minutes reviewing resumes, which is why it is so important to include the correct wording and avoid resume mistakes.

    For the complete list of the best and worst resume terms, head over to read the CareerBuilder press release.

    And for more career or resume advice, contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

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Does Your Career Need a Tune-Up?

We are all guilty of getting too comfortable with work. You follow the same routine every day, you see the same people, you may even eat the same lunch day in and day out. You’re not necessarily unhappy, but you’re not excited about the work you do either.

If your career is in the need for a tune-up, you should start getting ready before it’s too late. Too late meaning the unfortunate circumstance when you have to quickly look for a job and do not have the luxury of taking your time.

Here are some tips to tuning up your career:

Get Up-to-Date

Can you remember the last time you updated your resume? If you’ve been comfortable in your current position for a while, we’re guessing it’s been much longer than that since you’ve even opened your resume. Well now’s time to delete those outdated jobs, revamp your objective, and add all of your accomplishments from your current job. Remember, it never hurts to have multiple resumes that are tailored to different positions you may be applying to.

Don’t forget to update your social media accounts – LinkedIn and Google+ are the important professional networking sites. Update that photo, clean up your profile, and then do a Google search for your name to see what comes up.

Reach out to People in Your Network

Have you lost touch with anyone in your professional network? Well, there is no time like the present – and when you’re without a job is the WORST time to reconnect. Instead, pick up the phone, invite them to lunch, and see if there is any way you can help them. This way, if there is a point in the future when you’re in need of a favor, they are more likely to help.

Create a Professional Portfolio

Have you always wanted to create something that showcases all of your work but just never got around to it? Well, get to it. Ideally you want to build your portfolio as you go, but if you start now you can continue to add to it and have something great for when you need it. Even if you don’t necessarily “create” something, you can keep testimonials from clients, a compilation of projects you worked on, or coding examples.

Once you’ve completed all of these steps and you’re ready to find a new position, give us a call at Maxsys Solutions and one of our team members will help match you with a great job.

How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

As an adult there are many things that may be uncomfortable to ask another adult. Like when you’re a four-year-old, it is perfectly acceptable to ask another toddler, “Will you be my friend”, but at thirty-four, not so much.

“Will you be my mentor? is not as ridiculous, but it can still be slightly awkward.

A mentor is a great resource in your professional life. They can help give you useful advice, they can help guide your career, and they can introduce you to influential people. The key is to choose someone with vast experience, who you know you can learn a great deal from.

Here are some tips on how to ask someone to be your mentor:

- Ask to meet them face-to-face. This is not something you want to do via email. If distance is an issue, pick up the phone.

- Be prepared to tell them what you expect from this favor – and it is a favor! Let them know approximately how much time you think you’ll need and what you hope to gain from this mentorship. This way they know what they may be getting themselves into.

- Explain honestly why you want them to be your mentor. Stroking someone’s ego a tiny bit never hurts. But let them know exactly what you think you can learn from them.

- Let them know that you’re not looking for someone to hold your hand and lead you. Show them that you will do your own work, but you’re just looking for a little guidance and advice.

So where can you find a mentor? Believe it or not, there are some people that are in search for a protege.  Look in your area – or even your current company – for mentorship programs.

Remember, even if the person says “no”, do not take it personally. It just may mean that they did not have the time or energy to put into a mentorship.

And even if you have a mentor, a staffing agency is another great resource to help you find that perfect job. Contact Maxsys Solutions to get started today.

Resume Advice from Google

If you ever wanted to apply for a job at Google, you’re in luck because the VP of People Operations recently wrote a piece for LinkedIn on resumes. Even if you’re not looking to work for Larry and Sergey and the gang over at Google, reading what Laszio Bock has to say in regard to resume mistakes he often sees, is pretty cool. Oh, and informative.

Google gets more than 50,000 resumes a week and it’s Bock’s job to find the best candidates for positions at the number one search engine company. He states, “I have seen A LOT of resumes. Some are brilliant, most are just ok, many are disasters. The toughest part is that for 15 years, I’ve continued to see the same mistakes made again and again by candidates, any one of which can eliminate them from consideration for a job.”

It’s that simple – a bad resume is not going to make it past the initial viewing. And we’ve said this many (many!) times, resume mistakes are so simple to make and so simple to correct.

Some of the examples Bock gives for resume mistakes:

Typos

It can be as simple as a missed period or a wrong subject/verb agreement. Any time you go in and tweak your resume – even if it’s the smallest change – re-proof your resume all over again. Better yet, have someone else proof it. Mistakes in your resume show that you are not detail-oriented.

Formatting

Bock says clean, legible, white paper, black ink. Whatever formatting you choose, make sure it’s consistent. And remember folks, PDFs are universal; not everyone has plopped down $20 for Pages.

Lies

It’s something you learned in kindergarten – just tell the truth. Even if you think fudging your achievements a bit won’t matter, you just never know what information will come back and haunt you.

To read more of what Laszio Bock had to say, click here for the rest of his tips. If you’d like more personalized advice on your resume and job search, contact Maxsys Solutions today.

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IT Temp Jobs on the Rise in DFW

There are many things Dallas/Fort-Worth is known for – Dealey Plaza, the Stockyards, Fuel City Tacos and now the largest creator of temporary jobs, especially in IT.

According to the Dallas Morning News, there were almost 24,000 temp jobs established in the past 12 months, which is a 23% growth rate. And out of the $3.4 billion spent in temporary jobs, $928 million of that was in information technology.

IT has experienced some labor shortage in the area and this helps fill some gaps, and also keeps salaries competitive.

Last year we highlighted several reasons why taking a temp position may be beneficial for you if you have not already found permanent employment. The main benefit is the opportunity to make connections within a company; when they are ready to hire permanently, you may have an advantage over external candidates.

One reason for the temp job surge in the DFW area is due to the increase in businesses relocating here. And according to the article, “in a recent survey, 30 percent of surveyed companies here said they planned to increase staffing levels in the fourth quarter.”

To strike while the iron’s hot, and find an IT temp job – or permanent job – in the Metroplex, contact one of our staffing experts at Maxsys Solutions.

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The One-Day Job Search Marathon

The Muse featured a piece this week on “The 10-Hour Plan Guaranteed to Kick-Start Your Job Search“. Now before you start whining ‘where on earth am I going to find 10 hours in one day??”, you should know that this plan does require you to take a personal day off from your current job.

Don’t cry. One personal day is nothing compared to the joy you will feel when you find that dream job.

The 10-hour plan includes an hour by hour breakdown of your day. It provides everything you need to forge through that job search to-do list.

Starting at 9am – no sleeping in! – where you will reflect on exactly what is you’re looking for in a new job. Moving on, you will update your resume. The schedule only allows you 1 hour for this and that should be all you need.

Now part of this plan requires you scheduling a networking lunch, either with a mentor or old colleague. The hour before your lunch (11am), brush up on some important info – browse your lunch date’s LinkedIn page or social media accounts and make sure you have some questions and your elevator pitch ready.

Speaking of social media accounts, after lunch you will clean up yours. You will also create a list of about 10 to 15 companies that you’d want to work for, and then research each. This will help you narrow things down a bit, making the job search process less overwhelming.

To end your day, you’ll want to send some emails – either to another former contact to reconnect or to someone who works for one of your targeted companies.

We’d also like to add that at some point during your job search marathon, you should touch base with the staffing or recruiting agency you’re working with. It’s always best to keep them in the loop of your progress and vice versa.

Apps For Your Job Search

There are two types of people looking for a job – those who are serious and treat the search like a job itself, and those who are employed, but just checking to see what else is out there.

For both of those job seekers, a staffing or recruiting agency is the best resource. But if you’d like to add some fun to your job hunt while the agency is finding you something, here are some apps you can play around with.

Poacht

For Android and iOS, Poacht is perfect if you’re ‘sort of’ looking for a new job or if you don’t want to put too much effort into it.  It actually advertises itself as “covert job search for the currently employed”.

Simply link it to your LinkedIn profile, pick your salary level, benefits and the app’s algorithm will help you find a job match for you. There are currently 70 companies using Poacht to find quality employees.

What Color is Your Parachute?

Based on the popular job hunting guide, this app will help you discover job related details about yourself. Including skills, values, goals, working conditions, salary levels and more. The app also features a diagram to help you track your job search progress, sticky note reminders and a salary calculator. What Color is Your Parachute is only available for iOS.

Job Search by Indeed.com

Also available in both iTunes and Google Play, the Indeed job search on-the-go app is very similar to the website. With over 1 billion job searches happening on Indeed per month, you’re sure to find the perfect job. You can save your favorite postings and the app will store your searches for your next visit.

While these apps are a good job-hunting source, remember that a live human being – especially one of our team members from Maxsys Solutions – is always a better avenue to explore when looking for a job.

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Why Interviewers May Give You a Personality Test

Employers don’t only want to find a smart, hard-worker to sit at that desk. They want to find someone who is a good fit for the position AND the company.

Many companies have learned that just because a job candidate may have the best resume and skill set, making sure they can mesh well into the company’s culture is just as important.

This is where the personality test comes into play during the hiring process. And it’s important to remember that taking a personality test not only benefits the company, but it also benefits you as a perspective employee.

Here are some tips to use a personality test to your advantage:

Learn More about the Company’s Environment

If you take personality test and they ask many questions relating to team-building seminars and outings, but you’re an introvert, perhaps it’s not the right company for you. Just like you wouldn’t apply for a sales position if you’re not outgoing and competitive, try to think more about the position than just the pay or job duties.

Keep an Open Mind

So you went to school to become a journalist, but that doesn’t mean that you should only focus on that career path. By taking a personality test during the interview process, you may discover that your skills may be just as valuable as a social media manager or in marketing. The results of a personality test may open up more options for you in your job search.

Learn More About Yourself

Personality tests can teach you new things about yourself or they can give you better ways to communicate your strengths. After taking one, you may be able to explain exactly why you would be a good fit for the company, “…because of my strong leadership skills…”. This sounds much better than saying simply saying “I’m think I’m the best candidate for the job”.

It’s important to remember that when taking a personality test to be honest. If a position or company is not a good match for you, you may be searching for a another new job before you know it. To find the perfect career and company for you (for good), let Maxsys Solutions help you.

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Should You Keep Your Job Search a Secret?

Searching for a new job while you’re employed can be a tricky situation. Should you tell your current boss that you’re looking? Should you use anyone you work with as aprofessional reference? Would a perspective employer find it suspicious if you asked them not to call your current job?

While we would love to give you a yes or no answer, it’s simply not that black and white. There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to advertise your job search:

How Supportive is Your Boss?

If you are looking for more responsibilities or a new challenge, perhaps your boss can help you find something within your current company. It depends on your relationship with him or her. It also depends on how you’ve witnessed your boss reacting to others leaving. Many supervisors know that they cannot retain employees forever and that people will eventually want to climb the ladder of success.

Will You Check-Out Early?

Will you be one of those employees who starts to let the quality of their work slip just because they’re looking for another job? You may want to consider the fact that it may take you a while to find a new position and you don’t want to be passed over for any new projects, or worse – a raise. Keep your head in the game and continue to do good work at your current position.

Be Consistent

If you decide to remain discreet about your job search, you probably should not tell any fellow employees. Also, keep your news off of any social media websites. For two reasons – you boss may see them and a perspective employer may no appreciate your lack of discretion.

Remember that if you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth and looking for a new IT position, callMaxsys Solutions to help you.

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Salaries Increasing in DFW

If that headline doesn’t get you all excited, then you’re probably already rich and don’t really need our help. If however you are not independently wealthy, read on to learn about how you may be making more money very soon.

According to the federal index of employment costs, salaries in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have increased 4.4 percent in the past year. This increase is double the national average and the largest for DFW since 2006.

A regional economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently told the Dallas Morning News that while our area has been a leader in job creation, the salaries haven’t always matched. But now that is changing.

And there is even more good news for those of you in the tech industry – DFW salaries are on par with those in the San Franciso-San Jose area. And if you factor in the cost of living difference between those two areas, tech workers in DFW come out ahead.

Local recruiters, like Maxsys Solutions, have noted the strong demand for IT workers, as well as energy, construction, and engineering. One recruiter had a client who hired 40 high-tech employees for a one-year project without conducting interviews.

The tech demand is not exactly equivalent to the dot-com bubble of 1999, but it’s close. So it’s a good time to live in Dallas-Fort Worth and work in technology. And if you’re in the market for a new position, contact Maxsys Solutions to help you today.

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