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How to Get a Great Recommendation Letter

As many summer jobs and internships are coming to an end it’s time to start thinking about getting a letter of recommendation. These can be a great assessment of your qualities, capabilities and performance. While there is no set format for a letter of recommendation, it gives someone the opportunity to vouch for your skills and experience. These letters come in handy for a variety of reasons, such as applying for scholarships or a job/internship. Be strategic about who you ask to write your recommendation letter. Choose someone you know with a great professional reputation, and can speak specifically from working first hand with you. Talk about what kind of position you are looking for, and make sure to give them the necessary background and points they should be including. Make sure to keep the person writing your letter updated about your job search. This allows them to make your letter targeted and focused.

Ask Our Recruiters: Should I Include All My Past Jobs?

AskRecruiters

Our Ask Our Recruiters series is back with another great question. Don’t forget you can leave your questions in our comment section below, thanks!

I have been out of school for about 10 years, on my resume should I include each job I’ve had since graduating? Will it look like I didn’t work if I don’t put some of my entry level jobs I had right after school?

Erika

This is a great question I am sure everyone at your level has had at one point or another. While each resume is unique to the individual, it is my standard policy to include all work experience on a resume. This way, your entire professional career progression- from entry level out of college until present day- is represented.

Speak to your recruiter (or call us!) and allow him/her to review your resume and see if any edits can be made. Perhaps a “Freelance” section would be best for the temporary roles you had while job searching, maybe more detailed bullets in your current position will help highlight your desired career direction, or maybe you can create a separate section for those positions that are a separate industry (ie “Retail positions”). Be prepared to discuss any gaps in employment and any shorter stints at positions.

Being full disclosure on all of your employment on your resume leaves nothing up to chance and no question marks to the viewer. Then, it is up to you and your recruiter to create the flow in your resume which will lead you in the direction of the position you are applying for.

How to Impress Your Recruiter

Job interview

Each and every day, recruiters are exposed to hundreds of both amazing as well as disappointing job seekers. Out of all the resumes, it is important to find a way to separate yourself from the others. In order to stand out to your recruiter, we recommend following these guidelines to increase your chances of getting hired.

First, be enthusiastic. If you are contacted by a recruiter, be excited! Whether it’s a call about your dream job, or to just make money during the holidays, show eagerness. Recruiters are always excited to bring individuals with high energy and motivation onto new teams, so show them you are just as thrilled to fill the position.

Once you are told about a job opportunity, take the time to research the company and position. This will make your interview much easier and will also show how passionate you are about the job. The more you know about a company, the more you will be able to relate yourself and your experiences to the specific role.

Be specific. Resumes that are specific and well-formatted are the ones that will catch a recruiter’s eye. You can also attract a recruiter’s attention by keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date and making sure your most recent resume is posted on various job boards. Manage your social presence so a hiring manager or recruiter can see if you are a good fit for a position.

Don’t forget to keep in touch. Recruiters may not always have the perfect job opening for you, but this doesn’t mean to cut off contact. You never know when a position will open up and you want your recruiter to think of you when a job comes in that fits your skills.

For other tips, read our previous blog post about working with recruiters here!

Building Strong Business Relationships

Workplace

“It’s all about who you know.” We all recognize how true this statement is. Building business relationships can play a critical role in your success, however it’s not easy. Strong relationships need trust and consistency, requiring a lot of time and effort. When you’re looking to build valued business connections, remember these tips:

Be helpful. Make sure you offer mutual benefits. Provide advice or feedback, and share information such as events or research to others. Promote your contact by discussing their work and sharing it with others. Send people updates about what you’re doing and learning and ask your network to do the same. This will allow you to determine who could lead to a connection in a specific field. Be proactive when you may find things that will interest your contacts. Use your knowledge of your relationships to share relevant information and show that you are there to help.

Finally don’t forget to stay in touch. Meeting for coffee, attending an event, or communicating via email will keep you on someone’s radar. Don’t let too much time lapse in between communication; you may lose your connection.

The Most Important Part of Your Resume Is…

Resume

In a tough job market, hiring managers’ attention span for reading resumes gets smaller and smaller. Typically, an employer spends all of about 10 seconds looking at any resume. To make this time count, you need to make sure you create a concise, attention grabbing profile.

So where is their attention going first? The top. The first third of your resume is where they will spend the most time reading. If there is too much text, and doesn’t cater to the position they are trying to fill, you’re sure to lose their interest.

The top third portion of your resume should include the most noteworthy details about yourself and your career. Tell them why you’re most qualified for the job, by showing your career highlights. Make sure you include the exact position you are applying for, and if you are currently employed explain why it relates to the position you are applying for. Don’t fill your career summary with generic statements that don’t speak directly about who you are. Think of it as your sales pitch. Sell yourself as the hardworking, qualified candidate you are!