Robert Half Blog

Resumania: Bad Jokes Are No Laughing Matter

Posted by Robert Half on Aug 18, 2014 6:03:00 AM

RH_Blog-Bad_jokeWhen applying for a job, aim to present yourself as a highly qualified candidate – not a comedian. Yes, having a sense of humor can be helpful to your career, but there’s a time and place for it.

While it’s acceptable to inject a little personality into your resume and cover letter, don’t fill your application materials with jokes or sarcasm. Humor doesn’t always translate well on paper, so it’s generally best to stick to the facts.

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Craft Compelling Cover Letter Conclusions

Posted by Robert Half on Aug 11, 2014 10:43:27 AM

RH_Blog_cover_letter_closeWhen it comes to cover letters, it’s important to write a compelling, attention-grabbing opening sentence. But to leave prospective employers with a favorable impression, you also must craft a solid conclusion.

Consider using your last sentence or two to reassert your strong interest in the position and suitability for both the role and company. And, of course, make sure your conclusion is free of errors. As the saying goes, “Good to begin well, better to end well.”

Topics: Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: ‘Miscellaneous’ and ‘Other’ Matters

Posted by Robert Half on Aug 4, 2014 10:06:38 AM

RH_Blog_Resume_MiscellaneousCompelling content about your qualifications or trivial tidbits that have nothing to do with, well, anything? Guess what a hiring manager is more interested in?

We’ve previously written about why you shouldn’t focus on hobbies in your resume, but you’d also be wise to avoid including a “Miscellaneous” or “Other” section.

If you struggle to find a place on your resume for a certain piece of information, it’s probably a good sign you don’t need to include it.

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania

Resumania: Why to Put a Spotlight on Your Soft Skills

Posted by Robert Half on Jul 28, 2014 4:00:00 AM

RH_Blog_soft_skillsTop-notch people skills aren’t merely preferred by employers today — they’re now expected for most roles. 

Because attitude is everything on the job hunt, don’t just focus on your technical qualifications when crafting your resume and cover letter. Emphasize those increasingly pivotal soft skills, too. These strengths might include the ability to lead a team, negotiate, build consensus or resolve conflict.

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Thank-You Notes Should Be Proofread, Too

Posted by Robert Half on Jul 21, 2014 11:08:21 AM

RH_Blog_Thank_you_letterAsk job candidates to name the most important part of the hiring process, and a common answer is likely to be the interview. But many applicants forget that what they do after the interview also impacts how employers perceive them. For instance, 91 percent of managers said it’s helpful for a candidate to send a thank-you note following an interview, according to a survey by our company.

Promptly showing your gratitude displays good etiquette. It’s also a smart way to again express your interest in the job and re-emphasize the relevant skills that qualify you for the role. But as with your resume and cover letter, your efforts will backfire if you fail to proofread your thank-you note or take the wrong tone. Here are some thank-you note mishaps we’ve collected over the years:

Topics: Resumania

Resumania: Don’t Go Old School

Posted by Robert Half on Jul 14, 2014 1:52:10 PM

RH_Blog_education_on_the_resumeThe prominence of the education section of your resume relates to where you are in your career. If you’re a recent graduate, for example, it makes sense to place education-related information near the top of the document. But as your work history develops, details about your academic career should move toward the bottom.

Employers are more interested in your recent professional accomplishments than scholastic achievements from years ago. These experienced professionals included dated academic details:

Topics: Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Prune the Exclamation Points!!!

Posted by Robert Half on Jul 7, 2014 12:04:37 PM

RH_Blog_exclamation_pointWe recently wrote a blog post reminding job applicants to minimize the number of questions they pose in a resume or cover letter. But you also need to be judicious in your use of the frequently abused exclamation point, which should be reserved for expressing strong emotion.

While prospective employers seek highly motivated job candidates, you shouldn’t rely on endless exclamation points to spotlight your passion for your profession. Many hiring managers will view this as amateurish or inappropriate for a business document. As the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once suggested, “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Are You Self-Assured or Arrogant?

Posted by Robert Half on Jun 30, 2014 11:27:10 AM

RH_Blog_Arrogant_in_ResumeConveying self-confidence is critical when you’re applying for a new job. After all, you’re trying to convince a hiring manager that you’re a better fit for the open position than anyone else. But if you’re not careful, self-assurance can easily come across as arrogance.

As you proofread your resume and cover letter for typos, also review for tone. You might even ask a friend to read your work to make sure you’ve struck the right balance. Remember: There’s a very fine line between confidence and cockiness. The following job applicants came across as entitled, demanding and presumptuous:

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Polish Your Pitch to Get Hired

Posted by Robert Half on Jun 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM

RH_Blog_cover_letterThe pitch. It's what marketing and sales professionals use to entice potential clients and customers to buy (or at least further explore) a product or service. In many ways, your resume and cover letter combine to form a personal pitch meant to convince prospective employers that a certain product — you — is worth investing in.

As a job seeker, you need to quickly make a positive impression by presenting compelling and highly relevant information that will attract a hiring manager's attention. Unfortunately for the following applicants, their sloppy sales skills killed their chances of securing interviews:

Topics: Job Search, Resume, Resumania, Cover Letter

Resumania: Avoid Questionable Questions in Your Cover Letter

Posted by Robert Half on Jun 16, 2014 5:22:00 PM

RH_Blog_cover_letter_questions“There is no such thing as a dumb question."

Well, some employers might disagree with that well-worn cliché after reading one too many misguided cover letters. Remember that when crafting a cover letter, your objective is to supply information, not request it. Keep the queries to a minimum in your application materials, and use the job interview to ask highly informed questions that show you've done your research.

Topics: Job Search, Resumania, Cover Letter