10 Recommendations for Successful Job Searching

Job searches can be intimidating if you don’t have the right set of tools and guidelines to help you. Checkout this list of ten recommendations for a better job search to help you in finding the perfect role.

1. Have an ATS Compliant Resume

Recruiters and hiring managers utilize Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to collect, sort, scan and even rank applicants during the hiring process. Much of this process is based on key word searches within a resume. When applying to a position ensure that the skills necessary for the position are accurately represented on your resume so that you will rank hire during this initial process.

2. Learn to Network

Networking is a critical aspect in finding potential employment. Having a large network of people to turn to for opportunities or recommendations makes the job search process that much easier. You never know when an opportunity may become available and its best to present yourself in a professional manner to be ready to seize opportunities when given the chance.

3. Be Employer Oriented not Needs Oriented

Although it would be nice to have a job that worked around your exact schedule and met all your needs this usually isn’t the case. Employers are looking for candidates that can adapt to situations and offer value to the company based on their skill set. It is best to land a job and work around the job rather than trying to find a job that will work with you.

4. Quality over Quantity

Sending out resumes in mass quantities may seem like a good way to land a position, but if you don’t have a quality resume employers aren’t going to give you a shot. It is important to develop a quality resume before sending it out.

5. Enthusiasm>Skills

Having a quality skill set that is pertinent to the position is a great way to get in the door for an interview, but interviewers are looking for candidates that are enthusiastic about the new position and opportunity. An employer is more likely to hire someone that is excited about the job and easy to work/communicate with rather than someone who is highly skilled but may be difficult in other areas of business.

6. Consistent Job Search is Insurance for Future Success

Consistently updating your knowledge of the job market and being ready to quickly apply to jobs you want ensures success for the future. It is better to be searching for a job while you still have one instead of when you’re out of work.

7. Invaluable Assets Can’t be Dismissed

Making yourself a valuable asset at the workplace ensures you son’t be dismissed when cuts need to be made. Whether it’s your consistent rate of success, your ability to fix office supplies, or picking up lunch for team members, you are more likely to be kept on if you demonstrate value.

8. Information is Power

Before applying to a job or getting an interview always research the job market and company you are applying to so you are prepared for the interview process and can ask questions of your own. This also allows you to fit key words into your resume that are specific to the indsutry.

9. Never Stop Learning

Always continue to be seeking knowledge when it comes to the job market and gaining skills. The more you know, the more of an asset you will be.

10. Credentials

Throughout your life and career you should be looking to pick up credentials as much as you can. Whether its certifications, licensures, classes or anything else, the more credentials you have, the more opportunity there will be.

Interested in updating your resume and implementing these job search techniques? Make sure you have a resume prepared for when your next opportunity presents itself. A Better Resume Service has been in business for more than 30 years, has an A+ BBB rating and provides full re-writing, layout, design and formatting of a new resume, cover letter and any additional documents you may need in your job search. Call 773-525-2450 to make an appointment for a free resume consultation today. Check out why to hire a resume writer here.

Chicago’s Current Job Market – Looking Good for Recent Grads

A job search can always be an intimidating and frustrating task, but knowing the market will give you the edge that you need to secure the job that you’ve been looking for. Chicago is home to a vast number of industries including finance/business, health care, engineering, medication services, transportation and more.

Current Job Market

Currently the Chicago job market is growing faster than the rest of the United States. Between June 2018 and June 2019 the city added around 90,000 jobs with about 1.8% job growth per year. Two particularly strong industries at the moment are construction and manufacturing. With the job market constantly growing there is a developing need for office and residential buildings. A strong benefit of the construction industry is that it offers jobs in a wide array of positions including sales, management, legal affairs and more. Manufacturing has always been considered to be a staple in the city’s job market as it involves procurement, supply chain, engineering and sales and shows no sign of slowing down in the near future.

Tech industry

Recently, the Tech Industry has also seen a buzz in the Chicago area. Within the last year tech-related employment grew by nearly 6000 jobs, many of which are going to recent grads. Tech companies are looking for young graduates to provide a youthful spark within their companies. The highest employed positions were software and web developers, computer system and cybersecurity analysts, network architects and administrator and support specialists. Companies across industries are currently growing their tech teams especially within cybersecurity and looking for young grads with diverse skill sets to fill positions.

Good News for grads

There is more good news for recent grads as well. In an article posted by CBS Chicago, reporter Lisa Fielding states, “experts say the job market for soon-to-be grads is looking up. “What we’ve observed this year is that all indicators of hiring activity are up, which is really encouraging” said Northwestern University director of career services Lonnie Dunlap.” The article continues to state that many business-focused, engineering, journalism and communication jobs are seeing higher representation at job fairs and looking to recruit new talent. Although there is a high-demand for new grads, the competition for jobs is rising. There are many applicants that are not considered due to lack of preparation. For young grads making a decision on a career can be tough and many are eager to jump at any opportunity that arises, however, choosing a career is a decision that will last a lifespan and being prepared to make the best decision is key in landing the best job.

A 2019 figure shows that the average salary in the Chicago area is $54,160 outpacing the rest of the country with an average of $50,620. If you are looking for a job now is a great time if you are prepared to land the best position for you.

Interested in updating your resume and taking advantage of the booming job market in the Chicago area? Make sure you have a resume prepared for when your next opportunity presents itself. A Better Resume Service has been in business for more than 30 years, has an A+ BBB rating and provides full re-writing, layout, design and formatting of a new resume, cover letter and any additional documents you may need in your job search. Call 773-525-2450 to make an appointment for a free resume consultation today. Check out why to hire a resume writer here.

How to Read the February Jobs Report

Strong Employment Growth in February

What Industries are Doing Best?

february 2017 jobs report info

The February Jobs Report, released today by the BLS showed strong job growth. More than 235,000 new jobs were added to the American economy, exceeding expectations by more than 17%. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at a low 4.7%, but the strong increase in new jobs indicates many previously discouraged unemployed workers are re-entering the labor force. Strong gains were made in the construction industry, despite the fact that the new presidential administration has not yet released an official infrastructure development plan. Within the construction industry, the largest gains were made within the specialty trade contractor and heavy/civil engineering sectors. In total employment in the construction industry rose more than 58,000. In the past six months, the construction industry has created more than 177,000 new jobs, so the single month of February represents nearly one third of all new job growth in that area. Strong construction growth moving into the Spring and Summer months represents a positive sign for the economy.

Another surprise in this past month’s job report is the increase in manufacturing jobs. The manufacturing industry added more than 28,000 new jobs last month, with the strongest sectors being food manufacturing and machinery. The transportation equipment sector however, lost 6,000 jobs. Not all is lost with the transportation sector however, recreational vehicle construction has hit a production level not seen since the 1970s. This is a very strong indicator that consumer confidence levels are reaching highs not seen since before the 2008 economic recession.

Even seemingly forgotten industries such as mining added new jobs this past month, increasing payroll by 8,000, which is surprising considering the industry hit a recent low shortly back in October of 2016.

The biggest loser in jobs report was retail, which lost 26,000 jobs. Facing stiff competition from online retailers, most notably Amazon, this comes as little surprise. Most recently, JCPenney announced they were closing more than 140 stores. Additionally, Sears and Kmart are closing 150 stores total. Workers in retail be would well-advised to start planning their exit strategy into a new industry soon.

Consumer Confidence and the Economy

Here’s more good news for the economy: Consumer confidence levels have hit a 15-year high. Consumer confidence levels measure the health of the business environment and optimism about the economy. Individuals surveyed who reported it was difficult to find a job returned to pre-2008 recession levels for the first time. In general, consumers are expecting the labor market to improve and the business environment to become more favorable in the near future.

For the average American, one might expect this to result in increased spending in the hospitality and professional services sectors. However, brick-and-mortar retail is not expected to greatly benefit, since activity has steadily drifted towards online retailers for the past decade with little indication of reversing.

Is Trump Responsible for this Job Growth?

With mostly positive job reports since the election of Donald Trump, many are beginning to speculate whether or not he is responsible for the strong economic growth we have been reporting. As one commentator put it, the data is unclear as to how much influence a president has over improving the economy. Nonetheless, Donald Trump has been taking pride in the job growth and consumer confidence levels.

However, many economists are attributing this strong job growth to Obama. Social media feuds have been erupting about who is responsible for the strongest February job growth rate in three years. Even Slate Magazine is pushing back against the idea that Trump is responsible for the increase in job growth.

Despite the high job growth in the construction and manufacturing, Donald Trump has yet to release a comprehensive infrastructure program, which he promised during his campaign. It remains unclear when, where, and if this will be released.

Time for a Career Change

With a changing economy, individuals need to prepare themselves to be able to take on new responsibilities and duties. Brick-and-mortar retail, traditionally one of the largest employers, has been consistently losing jobs due to increase in popularity of online retailers. Luckily, individuals in these roles have developed many transferable skills, including customer service, conflict resolution and task management.

Looking for a career change? Contact us at 773-525-2450 to speak directly with an experienced resume writer.





Free Resume – Good Idea or No?

Free Resume Makers — a Good Idea?

The most commonly searched keywords regarding resumes inevitably include “free” or “template” in them. Nobody wants to pay for something they think they can do themselves. A quick search will yield dozens of different services and sites offering free assistance with writing your own resume. But before you decide to sign up for any of these services, you ought to do your research on them first. Just like with any industry, even resume writing services has its shady underbelly.

resume maker scam

One of the most common free resume template services involves an application where you provide your information such as name, education, work experience, etc., and the application plugs it automatically into a ready-made template. But before you are allowed to save your document or print it out, you are asked to pay a small, negligible fee, often around $2 or sometimes give your credit card information for a “free” trial that you can supposedly cancel at any time. Not so bad for something other people may pay several hundred dollars for, huh? Think again.

Hidden deep in the fine print, that no one seems to read anymore anyways, is the agreement you make to be charged for an automatically renewing subscription service. Before you know it, your credit card is being charged $40, $50, or even more every month. If you take a look at some of the consumer reviews for some of these “free” resume services, you will find that unfortunately many people do not pay very close attention to their credit card statements and may end up having these reoccurring charges for more than a year. What you thought was “free” or only a couple of bucks ends up turning out to be several hundred dollars or more, depending on when you notice the fraudulent charges.

Oftentimes, you will have little to no luck disputing the charges with your bank or credit card company. If the charges are reoccurring on your account, you will have been assumed to have agreed to them. This is another good reminder to always keep a close eye on your bank and credit card amounts. And good luck trying to dispute the charges with the actual company over the telephone or email. Why would they want to give you the time of day to cancel the charges when hidden fees and surcharges are their bread and butter? Always be suspicious of businesses without verifiable, physical addresses, and do your consumer research beforehand.

Many people who are looking to have a resume written are unemployed and looking to save money wherever they can, so they turn to “free” resume making websites that they believe will improve their chances of securing interviews. The sad reality is that there are many companies out there whose entire business model is based off scamming the poor and destitute with hidden fees and a sub-par product. If you are looking for help writing your resume, always do your research before you hand over any credit card information. Furthermore, ask friends and family what has best worked for them. Legitimate, professional resume writing services may not be for everyone, but they do help a great deal of job seekers. Sometimes the initial investment is well worth the reward. A well-written, effective resume could be the difference between you getting a new job in the next couple of weeks vs. you getting a job in the next couple of months, and all of that lost income will add up.

Actually Free Resume Templates

It is likely you have resume templates already installed on whichever word processing software you have. There are plenty of places where you can legitimately download them for free online and just enter in the necessary information yourself. For many people, this is as far as resume writing goes. Write a simple objective, name the school you went to, describe your work experience, and list any certifications. The problem is that, while templates may give you a basic format outline, it does not tell you what to actually write in it or how to write it. Just as all individuals are different, so should every resume be different.

Remember, free resume templates are designed to grab your attention, not the attention of the people who actually matter, such as hiring managers and recruiters. They may try to wow you with different fonts, graphics, and colors, but this is not what employers are looking for. You may think you will come off as interesting, creative, and eye catching if you used a unique resume template, but in the eyes of the hiring authority it will be clear as daylight that you used just another generic resume template.

When I have been in charge of hiring before, one of my most memorable examples was an individual who described themselves as a “creative type” and “proficient in Microsoft Office.” Their resume formatting and style was a little out of the ordinary for sure, but it was also obvious they used a rather common resume template. Why would I want to hire someone who says they are “creative” and “proficient in Microsoft Office,” if they can’t even format their own resume?

When looking at resumes, hiring authorities want documents that are simple, clean, and get straight to the point. With a competitive job market, a Human Resources official may sift through hundreds of resumes for a single position. They don’t spend too much time on each one, normally just a quick glance before they decide if it goes in the garbage or if the candidate needs a closer look.

A final warning about free resume templates is the question of how Applicant Tracking System (ATS) compliant they are. Many companies, especially large corporations, use ATS software to pre-screen applicants. This software scans the document for things like experience level, skills, certifications, educational background, industry keywords, and more. If you have a strangely formatted resume, it will be difficult for the software to read your resume. Even if you are the perfect candidate and have an otherwise well-written resume, it may get thrown in the garbage before a pair of human eyes ever actually looks at it.

Most people only write resumes a small handful of times in their lives. I know people who have only ever had to write their resumes once and are now well into their fifties with advanced careers. It is not something every one is capable of doing successfully. Like with any legitimate company offering services, a professional resume writing service will offer you a free consultation to sit down and explain what they can offer to you. Be cautious about any company that asks for your credit card information before providing anything.

Let Me Tell You a Little About Myself…

Hello readers,

I’m Jacob Cayia, Senior Resume Writer, with AAAA Better Resume Service (AAPSI) at 3354 N. Paulina St., Ste. 204A in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago.

After a career background in copywriting, editing, recruitment and marketing, I was drawn to resume writing after I discovered I enjoyed writing about individuals more than I did writing about products. In the past, I have written everything from product descriptions for flame-resistant jackets to flavor profiles of French brie to analyses of international political trends. What keeps my job interesting is the simple fact that every individual who walks through my door is a unique case, and it’s my task to develop a way to effectively market their skills, experience and personality in a way that will get them noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. Just like no two individuals are the same, neither are no two resumes the same.

My personal interests include politics and the economy. I am always analyzing changing market and employment trends, which coincidentally gives me the upper hand when assessing job market prospects. It is truly rewarding to have a career where you can combine your personal interests with the opportunity to help individuals achieve their personal goals.

Look forward to more content in the future regarding job hunting advice, employment news and economic trends.