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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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            Published on March 20, 2019

            How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

            How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

            Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

            As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

            While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

            What is a Mission Statement?

            Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

            In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

            “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

            In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

            Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

            While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

            First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

            While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

            While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

            “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

            This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

            What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

            When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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            Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

            When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

            • What we do?
            • How we do it?
            • Whom do we do it for?
            • What value are we bringing?

            Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

            After all, that did check off all the boxes:

            What we do? Provide widgets.

            How we do it? Online.

            Who do we do it for? The consumer.

            What value we bring? The best widgets.

            The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

            Compare that mission statement to this one:

            “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

            What’s the difference?

            Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

            Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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            You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

            A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

            Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

            1. Keep It Brief

            Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

            You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

            2. Have a Purpose

            A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

            Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

            3. Include a “How”

            Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

            How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

            4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

            This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

            Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

            5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

            It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

            Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

            6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

            Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

            7. Think Long Term

            A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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            8. Get Feedback

            This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

            Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

            9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

            You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

            First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

            And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

            For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

            The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

            It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

            First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

            If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

            Strategic Planning

            A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

            Measuring Performance

            By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

            Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

            Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

            Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

            As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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            Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

            To Hold Management Accountable

            By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

            So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

            If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

            To Serve as an Example

            This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

            After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

            Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

            Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

            Final Thoughts

            Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

            Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

            That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

            By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

            More Resources About Achieving Business Success

            Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
            [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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