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4 Easy Resume Tools to Breathe Life into Your Resume and Boost Your Chances of Getting Hired

4 Easy Resume Tools to Breathe Life into Your Resume and Boost Your Chances of Getting Hired
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Let me take a wild guess. You scour the job boards by day and night, subscribe to a ton of new job alerts, follow all the job application advice out there to the T, and religiously keep your eyes peeled for a hint of opportunity from ideal employers. Yet no job interview calls whatsoever.

Here’s a disturbing fact: There’s only a 17% chance that your cover letter will be read.

What’s more, recruiters will spend 6 seconds looking at each of the 250 resumes they receive on average for each job position. And according to a 2006 survey, 77% executives turn to Google before hiring a candidate.

What does this mean for you?

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is if you are actively looking for jobs, you have to swim in the big pool of competition and impress the recruiter within as little as 6 seconds.

If you do apply for a job, pass through the automated filters, and arrive on the desk of a real human, you still have to impress them with what they find out about you online.

Now, for the good news. In a Beyond.com poll, 57% HR professionals said that a visual resume would help them evaluate their candidates faster. If recruiters are asking for it, why not give them some visual candy?

There are tons of awesome and free tools to help you stand out using a visual-style or infographic resume. Having an updated profile on LinkedIn is a given, but I am talking about tools that make your resumes shine big time. Here’s are 5 of these tools.

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1. Re.vu

Re.vu is a free tool to create a visually-appealing representation of your resume. They also offer traffic stats so you keep a tab on your popularity. Creating a profile takes three steps and you can populate more details once inside. Once you’ve created an account, they ask you whether you’d like to import from your LinkedIn account. You can create customized backgrounds, or upload your own up to 2MB in size.

Re.vu Barack Obama

    Source: re.vu/barackobama

    I also found that you have to edit information pulled out from LinkedIn anyway because not everything is imported (such as logos and images). They have quite a few customizable options as compared to other services.

    Pricing: Free.

    2. Vizualize.me

    Vizualize.me lets you create infographic resumes and connect them with your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have an active LinkedIn though, simply create a profile manually using the tool.

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    VisualizeMe

      Here’s one example:

      Vizualize.me example

        Source: Vizualize.me

        Pricing: Free.

        3. Enthuse.me

        Enthuse.me’s vision is to help anyone with the expertise and knowledge to promote themselves online. A profile comes with a single-page layout and looks clean with lots of white space. You can also integrate with LinkedIn. The downside is that all profiles have a simple standard design so you can’t customize your profile much. They feature a “User Directory” which showcases profiles by profession.

        Here’s an example:

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        Enthuse.me Example

          Source: Enthuse.me

          Pricing: Freemium, $4.99/mo, $47.99/year

          4. About.me

          About.me is a landing page service that’s easy to configure. It lets you bring together your whole online life in one place. You can connect with Facebook or Twitter accounts, too. I created a profile and signing up was fairly quick with few questions. For a flat monthly fee, you can remove About.me branding from your profile. The layouts are somewhat standard but you can experiment with the fonts and colors.

          Ideally, to create a killer profile, you need a good, hi-res photo of yourself. Like this profile:

          about.me Example

            Source: About.me

            Pricing: Freemium, $4/mo

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            Remember, a cool design alone won’t get you hired!

            Think of a good design as an add-on. Like the title of this post says, it will help you boost your chances. It doesn’t say it will bring you a job automatically. You need to optimize your resume for maximum impact. But before that, it’s a given that you have the right skills for the job in question – in short you’re neither under- nor over-experienced. Keep sharpening your skills, apply for the “right” match and send them your new shiny visual resume.

            Some visual platforms allow you to link to your personal social media accounts. Be wary of doing it unless you’re totally sure of sharing a piece of your personal life with the recruiters.

            In a nutshell, all things being equal, a visual resume can help you stand out of the pack and give you an edge over other candidates.

            Got more tools to add? Tell us in the comments below!

            Featured photo credit: Catching up on e-mail/Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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            Published on July 27, 2021

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

            15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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            During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

            But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

            Put the Pro in Professional

            After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

            1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

            The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

            Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

            2. Dress the Part

            While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

            Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

            For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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            Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

            3. Stage Your Workspace

            Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

            Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

            4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

            Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

            Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

            Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

            Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

            5. Arrive on Time

            In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

            Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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            6. Turn on Your Video

            Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

            If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

            Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

            7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

            Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

            Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

            Attend to the Pesky Details

            8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

            With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

            Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

            9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

            Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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            Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

            10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

            As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

            Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

            Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

            Talking Has a Time and a Place

            11. Chat Appropriately

            Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

            At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

            12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

            The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

            Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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            13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

            In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

            Manage Yourself

            14. Minimize Distractions

            While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

            Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

            15. Save Snacking for Later

            Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

            However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

            Final Thoughts

            Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

            Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

            Reference

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