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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

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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            Last Updated on May 20, 2020

            What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

            What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

            Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

            These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

            What Are Analytical Skills?

            According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

            “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

            Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

            Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

            Visualization

            Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

            Critical Thinking

            Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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            As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

            Computing

            Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

            In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

            Problem-Solving

            Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

            Resource Management

            Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

            For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

            Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

            For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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            The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

            Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

            There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

            For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

            If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

            What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

            Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

            6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

            There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

            Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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            But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

            Below are a few strategies to get you started:

            1. Ideate Business Ideas

            Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

            You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

            2. Leverage Analytical Tools

            Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

            3. Have a Personal Learning Library

            Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

            Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

            For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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            4. Participate in Online Communities

            The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

            For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

            5. Seek Mental Stimulation

            To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

            6. Keep a Personal Journal

            Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

            Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

            Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

            Bottom Line

            As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

            More Success Skillset

            Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
            [2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
            [3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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