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How Anyone Can Be a Star Candidate and Impress an Employer in 9 Seconds

How Anyone Can Be a Star Candidate and Impress an Employer in 9 Seconds

Have you ever had one of those days where you sat down and wondered why you hadn’t received a call back from that place? Did you ever think about how you didn’t get as many interview calls as your friends and peers? The problem might not be that you are not the right candidate: it could be the ultimate job fetcher, your resume.

New research has shown that you have only less than 9 seconds to grab the a potential employer’s attention.[1] A resume is the employer’s window to a candidate’s profile. Your resume represents you. Sure, it might be just a document with all your key skills and qualifications, but it’s also your identity in that office before they have seen you. Your resume matters as much as your performance in the interview

A talented candidate can get rejected easily with a bad resume.

Let’s just roll with a hypothetical scenario: you are an Engineer from a reputed college who has just completed his graduation. You are looking out for an opportunity. You have a basic resume with some information provided in it and that’s your identity in the companies that you apply in.

Remember that each brand wants to hire the best of the best, leaving no room for doubt.[2] If your resume isn’t up to the mark or presentable, it wouldn’t matter how talented you are, they will just reject you. No second thoughts. Terrifying, eh?

Make your employer fall in love with your resume first.

Ask HR experts out there, they will tell you stories of companies falling in love with resumes and hiring people way out of their requirements. Recently, Microsoft has gone out of its way and appreciated a Teen girl’s effort to impress her crush through an innovative powerpoint. Those things strike a chord amongst employers. Your resume should be like that.

There are multiple approaches you can have while creating a resume: you can create a simple one or a visually heavy simple one and many more. If you are a graphic designer or a creative head or something of that sort, your employer would expect a visual appealing resume that reflects your skills.

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For more technical and clerical jobs, they expect simper resumes as minimal is best. That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with them, you can and you should, but stick to the basic hygiene and try not to go overboard because that distracts the employers from paying attention to your skills and qualifications.

Good language that’s void of spelling or grammatical errors is obviously required in every resume. If you want to take it a notch higher, we have a short cut for you.

Did you know that there are stunning and free resume templates for word? Here are 9 amazing platforms in which you can download free resume templates in word:

Hloom.com: With over 1000 resume templates for MS Office

    With over 1000 resume templates in their database, you can choose the best that fits your needs. Moreover, they have a resume builder tool to create resume templates specifically curated as per your experience and skill set.

    Resumecompanion.com: Helps you showcase your experience better

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      Resume Companion is yet another exciting place to download free resume templates in word and showcase the experience in more better way.

      Microsoft Featured Word Templates: Basic templates provided by the official MS site

        Templates.office.com is the official platform provided by Microsoft office services. Although these platform has very basic templates to provide, this is still quite a crisp destination to create a decent resume.

        The Muse: With over 200 resume templates for any job aspirants

          It stands out with its variety this particular platform provides you up to 275 templates which is quite a diverse range of resume templates for any job aspirants.

          Resume Genius: With high quality resume samples handpicked by professionals

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            It has a dedicated section for resume sample which are downloadable in word format, but they distinguish themselves from the rest by ensuring higher quality because these samples are handpicked by experts whom they call Resume Genius professionals.

            Freeresumes: With templates that are visually attractive

              Although it has a limited number of templates, it has a very visual centric approach.

              Resume World: With technical-specialized templates

                They specializes on CV templates that are slightly technical. Although this platform is quite user-friendly, it requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the templates.

                Template.net: With lots of resume and cover letter samples in Photoshop and Word

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                  This website provides great resume formats in both Photoshop and Word. This will help an aspirant even further is the cover letter templates which are pretty awesome.

                  Resume2017.net: Focuses on chronological resume templates which are loved by HR professionals

                    They focus on chronological resume templates which is apparently quite a hit among job seekers and HR professionals. With only 16 formats, this platform could still help you as its templates are well-researched with a mix of different types of templates.

                    The idea is simple: Create a resume that catches an employer’s attention in the right manner without being distracting. We promise you that a good resume can bring you hundreds of opportunities, unlike a detailed one that doesn’t do much.

                    Reference

                    More by this author

                    Abhay Jeet Mishra

                    Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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                    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                    The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

                    How about a unique spin on things?

                    These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

                    1. Empty your mind.

                    It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

                    Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

                    Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

                    Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

                    How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

                    2. Keep certain days clear.

                    Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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                    This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

                    3. Prioritize your work.

                    Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

                    Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

                    Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

                    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                    4. Chop up your time.

                    Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

                    5. Have a thinking position.

                    Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

                    What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

                    6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

                    To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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                    Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

                    7. Don’t try to do too much.

                    OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

                    8. Have a daily action plan.

                    Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

                    Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

                    9. Do your most dreaded project first.

                    Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

                    10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

                    The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

                    11. Have a place devoted to work.

                    If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

                    But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

                    Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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                    Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

                    12. Find your golden hour.

                    You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

                    Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

                    Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

                    Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

                    13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

                    It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

                    By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

                    Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

                    14. Never stop.

                    Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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                    Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

                    There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

                    15. Be in tune with your body.

                    Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

                    16. Try different methods.

                    Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

                    It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

                    Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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