Resumes are the first impression that business owners have of potential hires. As a result, employers should use them to determine whether a person is worth calling for an interview. Each employer has their own requests for potential employees and looks for specific elements in candidates' resumes to determine a possible fit.
So how can job seekers optimize their resumes to ensure they have included the essentials that employers are looking for? To help, we asked for 13 successes entrepreneurs of Council of Young Entrepreneurs (YEC) the following question:
What does a resume need to have in order for you to be able to bring someone in for an interview? Why?
1. A CV adapted to the company
We are looking for CVs adapted to our profession. We want people who want to work with us enough to tailor their CVs to our needs. It's obvious when someone cuts and pastes a CV - and that's fine, I understand - but when someone takes the time to edit theirs for us, it shows that they're already invested. -Zach Binder, Bell + ivy
2. A summary
I always like to see a summary. This is the most crucial part of a CV for me. Resumes need a summary section where applicants try to tie their skills and motivations to the job. If the candidate has gone through the job description and has the skills required for the job, they can easily write a good summary. If I like the summary, I will read the rest of the CV. -Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
3. Extracurricular activities
For junior roles, extracurricular activities make all the difference: GitHub projects for developers; run a blog or small e-commerce site for marketers testing in the wild; Dribbble or Behance portfolio for designers. Having taken additional courses or boot camps is definitely a plus, but practical projects really say a lot about a candidate and their motivation. -Mario peshev, DevriX
4. Just the basics
I find resumes short or compact and focusing only on the most important details say a lot about the professionalism and intelligence of a job seeker. A resume that is several pages long and filled with large paragraphs is immediately off-putting. It's a sign of reflection when a CV highlights the most important details. You can always add a link or QR code to view more details. -Syed balkhi, WPBeginner
5. Big brands or universities
A good CV should include an address. Jokes aside, the qualifications need to match and they need to be perfectly formatted. There isn't really a thing. Correct spelling, correct grammar, punctuation, etc., all of these things are very important. Especially, however, if there are big brands or Ivy League training, it's usually a quicker pass for an interview. -Nicole munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.Other articles from AllBusiness.com:
I'm always looking for references on a CV. We specifically ask potential candidates to include this information on their application and CV. I've always thought that if someone didn't want to introduce you to people who can vouch for that, they lacked transparency and probably didn't suit our business. -Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Clear and concise writing
A CV should have clear, concise writing as well as appropriate grammar and spelling. The candidate for the job should be able to tell me not only what he did in his previous job, but also how he made a significant contribution. I want team players who can plan ahead and achieve their goals. To a lesser extent, all contact information should be correct. -Duran Inci, Optimum7
8. Imaging or video
A balanced portfolio that uses imagery, in addition to deadlines and skills, is really helpful. If you read CV after CV, even if they are suitable for the job you are offering, it can get monotonous. Imagery or video helps present candidate information in different ways for different audiences. -Matthew Capala, Alphametic
9. Surprising skills and hobbies
I am always looking for skills and hobbies that may surprise me. Learning a foreign language is always a good thing and there are apps to simplify the process. Did you know that reading sheet music counts as a language? A musician can put this under the skills he has learned and impress someone by reading his CV. -Riccardo tale, Virtus Flow
10. Proof of leadership skills
Good leadership skills are essential. Chances are, the person you hire will grow within the company, so you'll need someone who can manage multiple people at once and guide your team on the right path to success. -Patrick barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.
11. Impressive achievements
If a person has impressive accomplishments on their resume, this is a great reason to include them. This means that she has a unique experience that could bring a new perspective to the table and solve problems differently. It's always great to have different qualifications that make a candidate stand out and be chosen for an interview. -Jared atchison, WPForms
Other important elements to include in your application
A personal note
I always look for a personal note with the CV that highlights why a candidate wants to work for me or my company, and why it would be a good fit. It shows that they care about the job, and for me this is extremely important because it is an indicator that they will put effort into being successful in the job. -Diana goodwin, MarketBox
A personalized cover letter
I prefer to see candidates who write a cover letter specifically tailored to our company and the job itself. If someone sends me a standard resume with a generic cover letter, it shows me laziness and little initiative. A detailed cover letter that even incorporates basic company and job knowledge will go a long way in helping that person get an interview. -Justin lefkovich, Mirrored media
RELATED: How to structure your job search
The biggest problem founders and small owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a . That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.
Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about business, starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counterintuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.
Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank. Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is running out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now. You can’t fire bad employees fast enough. You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you ( see next tip ).
The problem is probably you. When I was a young manager, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.
Take care of your stars. This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet business leaders rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated. Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink. If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche ?
Learn to say ' yes ' and ' no ' a lot. The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no. ” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.
It boggles my mind how little most entrepreneurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat is the easiest to get. Learn two words : meritocracy and nepotism. The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The deuxième is how you don’t run an organization – by playing favorites and being biased.
Know when and when not to be transparent. Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.
Trust your gut. This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea. ” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.
Protect and defend your intellectual property. Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.
Learn to read and write effective agreements. You know the expression “good fences make good neighbors ? ” It’s the same in business. The more effective your agreements are, the better your relationships will be.
Far too many fondateurs run their like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Know your finances inside and out. If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits ( gross and net ), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for dysfonctionnement. Big dysfonctionnement.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Humility is a powerful trait for précurseurs, and that goes for new business owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers. Behind every failed company are dysfunctional, delusional, or incompetent leaders. The irony is, none of them had the slightest idea that was true at the time. Even sadder, most of them still don’t. Don’t end up like one of them.
For every success you have in growing your market share, another business or other businesses will inevitably lose ground. Here are 11 quick and easy tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.
Of course, we all want to spark growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans. Content marketing, paired with optimized website forms and compréhensif email automation follow-up is critical to success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money. Not an spécialiste in creating optimized lead generation pages on a website ? No worries, use a trusted tool like Leadpages to make it happen.
Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product ( unless you run Starbucks or Adidas ! ) Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals. Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan : When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services. Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable ?
Dropping prices doesn’t necessarily raise sales, for instance ( though it will definitely squeeze margins ). If you place yourself as a premium brand, then your customers aren’t necessarily value-driven in the first place, and cutting prices could even tarnish your brand. Consider this case study from Robert Cialdini’s seminal book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ : a jeweller sold out of turquoise jewelry after accidentally doubling, instead of halving, the price. The inflated price tag lent the product an unwarranted cachet ! If you are a de haute gamme brand, there are ways to optimize your pricing without lowering prices. For example, offer the quality-conscious customer an ‘exclusive’ benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, on the other hand, don’t assume slashing prices means incurring a loss. Low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your site and return again. Context also counts for a lot with pricing. The best way to sell a $5, 000 watch, for instance, could be by putting it next to a $10, 000 watch. Think strategically when it comes to deciding any price point.
Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s so very important ! Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who’s attending to them. While the employee’s personality obviously has no bearing on the price or your product’s ability to serve their needs is irrelevant. Friendly customer-facing staff will always attract more sales. Be rigorous in hiring people who are genuinely cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Make sure your training program teaches them to adopt a consistently friendly approach that puts customers at ease and feel like a priority.
Say you’re a bricks-and-mortar store and you’re getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches… why not close up an hour later ? While this may cause disgruntlement among staff, solve this issue by getting creative with rosters. Monitor customer footfall throughout the day and week to identify your busiest periods, and équipe people accordingly. You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer sérieux hours created by your extended opening hours. It’s a win-win !
Even in the web age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than email or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand. By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funnelling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage ( i. e., FAQs ). But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number. Put it front and center on your web page, particularly if you’re a retail offering. ‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.
Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services ? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this. It’s good for you because : It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies ! When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale. Oh, and guess what ? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.
Local businesses can arguably connect with their unique communities with much greater authority than any global chain. A local retailer, hair mobilier or gardening company can sponsor a kid’s sports team and offer deep discounts for OAPs at the same time. Some cinemas feature special ‘sensory’ screenings where parents can bring kids with autism ( who would normally be overwhelmed by busy, noisy environments ) to enjoy a movie in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. This reflects well on them and also guarantees them a loyal customer niche. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering and business journey to date.
Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers – just don’t forget what ‘social’ actually means ! Soul-less corporate shop-talk won’t work on Twitter. Try to give your brand some ‘personality’ when you write updates or posts. This can bring its own risks, of course. But if you get it right, the benefits can be très grande. Develop a tone of voice that aligns well with your brand identity. Seek to inform, help, entertain or amuse. And most importantly – given the dire PR consequences – don’t patronize, try too to be funny, or tweet after a few alcoholic drinks !
Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk : if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too : specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a solo product or service. So what should you specialize in ? tera state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel. You could also pick something with rising or recession-proof demand which is resilient to technological change in which you possess a competitive advantage over your rivals or where there’s an obvious gap in your local market. Own it, whatever you do.
Don’t ever get too satisfied with your business. You can always improve – and improve you must ! Don’t get me wrong : without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point ? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time ! Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless hitherto thriving brands : complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market précurseurs that just got lazy. You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired model. So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other entrepreneurs, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.
There are lots of ways in which you can improve your business, and not all of them are complicated ! Try out the above business tips or integrate them with your existing strategies, and let me know how you go in the comments below. Guest Author : Faye Ferris is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Dynamis APAC Pty Ltd offices in Sydney. She develops the DYNAMIS ne change pas of brands and their expansion into the Asia Pacific region as well as BusinessesForSale. com, FranchiseSales. com and PropertySales. com. If you have an interest in partnering up with Faye or advertising on any of these websites in the APAC territories, please do not hesitate to contact her on faye@businessesforsale. com.