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Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe..

Abraham Lincoln

Invest time, money and effort to learn the soft skills that are the greatest determinant of your success

As we embark on our journey to build new lives and embrace fresh opportunities, one vital aspect that demands most of our attention is crafting a compelling tailored resume.

Yes, you read it right a “tailored resume”. Not the one that you cut, copy and paste for every job position.

Just like your passport lets you travel to many counties. In a similar manner, your resume acts as your passport to the door to opportunities. Of course, your cover letter also acts as a gateway to unlocking countless doors, but we have already discussed that in our previous newsletter.

Now, back to Resume!

Tailored resumes act as a tool that showcases your skills, experiences, and potential to prospective employers; thus, making it crucial to invest time and effort into perfecting it.

In this newsletter, we will explore the benefits of creating a good resume and provide you with important tips to make yours stand out.

Additionally, we will be joining forces with Resume Expert Doreen Fernandez to deep dive this process.

Who is Doreen Fernandez?

Doreen, an experienced professional in the financial services sector, has a remarkable background working for the leading banks in Canada. With her expertise, she assists individuals in various areas such as crafting tailored resumes, providing interview coaching, offering guidance in networking strategies, and developing effective job search strategies. Notably, many of her clients have successfully secured employment through her mentoring and support.

What is a tailored resume?

Your resume is not just a word or pdf file; it’s your personal sales pitch, an opportunity to showcase your unique value to potential employers. To truly stand out in today’s competitive job market, it is essential to craft a tailored resume that speaks directly to the needs of each employer.

In the words of Doreen Fernandez,”Your resume is a sales pitch, so sell yourself.”

Keeping the above in mind, let’s shed some light on this statement:

Imagine you are applying for a customer service job at a leading company. The job description emphasizes the importance of excellent communication skills, proficiency in customer relationship management (CRM) software and problem-solving abilities. A generic resume may list your previous job titles and responsibilities, but a tailored resume takes it a step further. It specifically aligns your skills and experiences with the requirements of the role, captivating the attention of the hiring manager.

Now, let’s dive a bit further on how to effectively sell yourself:

🎯 Analyze the Job Description

Take a moment to review the job description and identify the key requirements and desired qualifications. Carefully highlight the key skills and qualifications the employer is seeking. For example, they may value excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and a customer-centric mindset.

🎯Create your Professional Summary

Start with a compelling introduction instead of a generic statement to catch the attention of the reader. Doreen Fernandez says “Craft a bold summary in your resume that will catch the hiring manager’s attention by showcasing your skills and accomplishments.”

“Results-oriented customer service professional with a proven track record of exceeding customer expectations. Skilled in actively listening to customer concerns, providing empathetic support, and delivering timely resolutions. Recognized for achieving a 98% customer satisfaction rating and increasing customer retention by 15% through effective problem-solving and personalized service..”

🎯Align your Skills Section

Emphasize those skills that directly relate to the customer service role. Be sure to use the same terminology mentioned in the job description to establish alignment.

“Active listening, Problem-solving, Effective communication, Patience and Empathy”

🎯Highlight your USP in Experience Section

According to Doreen Fernandez “Avoid using cliches and jargon and focus on telling your story. Talk about what you have done and what it resulted in. Address the gap and the need that exists in the job for which you are applying.” When detailing your previous work experience, focus on accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to excel in customer service and quantify your achievements whenever possible.

  • “Implemented a customer feedback system, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.”
  • “Resolved complex customer complaints, consistently achieving a resolution rate of 95% within a short turnaround time.”

★ Example on how to present a Gap in your resume:

“Family Caregiving Responsibilities (2018-2020)” During this period, I took time off to fulfil my caregiving responsibilities for a close family member. It was an invaluable experience that allowed me to develop essential skills in organization, time management, and empathy.

If the gap requires further explanation, you can provide a brief mention in your cover letter. Use this opportunity to highlight the personal and professional growth you gained during the gap and how it has positively shaped your readiness for the role.

★Snippet from Cover Letter:

During the gap in my employment history, I took a sabbatical to focus on personal development and explore new horizons. This experience provided me with valuable insights, allowing me to gain a fresh perspective and renewed motivation. I am excited to bring the skills and knowledge acquired during this time to contribute to your organization’s goals.

🎯Commitment in Volunteer Experience

Incorporating volunteering experience into your resume conveys your eagerness to make a difference in causes that resonate with your values. This demonstration of active involvement beyond professional pursuits can create a favourable impression on employers, highlighting your positive impact. Including volunteering experiences enables you to showcase transferable skills to potential employers. Moreover, if you have gaps in your employment history, incorporating volunteering experiences helps to fill those gaps and illustrates your continued engagement and productivity during those periods.

ABC Community Center, City, State – Volunteer Coordinator (Jan 19 to Jan 23)

  • Led a team of 10 volunteers in organizing and executing fundraising events, resulting in a 30% increase in donations year-over-year.
  • Developed and implemented volunteer training programs, improving overall volunteer engagement and satisfaction.

Additional Tips

In addition to the previously mentioned guidelines, please consider the following points as well.

  • Keywords: Employers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage resumes. To increase your chances of getting past the ATS, incorporate relevant keywords from the job description into your resume.
  • Language and Tone: Align your language and tone with the company culture and values. Research the organization’s mission and vision, and mirror their language in your resume to demonstrate your alignment with their core values.
  • Proofread and Seek Feedback: Before submitting your tailored resume, proofread it carefully to ensure accuracy and correctness. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to review it and provide feedback on its clarity, impact, and overall effectiveness.
  • Formatting and Presentation: Make your resume visually appealing and easy to read. Use clear headings, bullet points, and appropriate spacing. Consider using action verbs like “assisted,” “collaborated,” or “achieved” to describe your experiences.
  • Font Size and : We recommend incorporating either serif or sans serif fonts into your resume design. For the body of your resume, including section headers, opt for 10- or 12-point fonts. To make your name stand out in the heading banner at the top of your resume, consider using a larger font size between 16 to 18 points.

Now, it’s your turn!

Take a moment to review a job posting you’re interested in and identify how you can tailor your resume to highlight your skills and experiences that closely match the position’s requirements.

As Doreen Fernandez says “Show your best self so your resume gets to the top of the “Yes” pile.”

So remember, a tailored resume not only increases your chances of getting noticed but also showcases your genuine interest in the role and your ability to meet the employer’s needs. It communicates that you have taken the time to understand the company and have carefully curated your resume to align with their expectations.

If you need assistance on how to craft your tailored resume, then we got an Army of Ambassadors ready to hear you out.

If you wish to learn more, you can always connect with us. Our team at Immigrant Networks is here to listen and provide support. Register with us and tell us about your journey!

Networking to get working! 💪

Welcome to Canada, a land of opportunities and a vibrant job market. As you embark on your professional journey to establishing yourself, finding a house, connecting with professionals, drafting your resume..don’t forget to equip yourself with one of the best tools that will help you stand out in the competitive job market. A tool that will significantly boost your chances of success but is often-underestimated i.e. “cover letter”.

Yes, cover letters!

A true source of both anticipation and dread for job seekers.

Many newcomers find themselves struggling with the challenge of crafting an impactful cover letter because writing a compelling cover letter takes time and effort. One needs to research the company, tailor their letter to the specific job requirements, and craft their message to make a lasting impression. This process takes place while one is dealing with the stress of applying to numerous job applications and interviews. Hence, making it even more overwhelming.

To add to the list of our woe’s, despite spending time copying, pasting and editing our cover letter, we do wind up questioning the actual impact of our cover letters. Did I do it right? Do I have to send a cover is not a mandatory field in the job application?

The answer is, Yes, you need to craft a cover letter and attach it even if it is not required.

What is a Cover Letter?

Imagine being an employer who receives hundreds of resumes for a single job posting. How can you make an unforgettable first impression? That is where cover letters come in. Creating a personalized introduction helps you to interact with potential employers on a human level.

A cover letter is a document that goes with your resume when you apply for a job, internship or any volunteering opportunity. It allows you to introduce yourself to the company, exhibit your qualifications, and convey your interest in a particular position. While a resume showcases your talents and experiences in a compact fashion, a cover letter allows you to add more information and personalize your application.

Power of Personalization

Change your perspective from seeing cover letters as a chore to seeing their opportunity for expressing your individuality. Cover letters gives you a chance to engage with potential employers on a deeper level. It enables you to display your genuine interest in the organization, present your experiences with the job criteria and display yourself as more than just a skilled worker to set yourself apart from other contenders.

Showcase your USP

Cover letters are an opportunity that exhibits your distinctive worth beyond what a resume can express. Highlight relevant accomplishments, abilities, and experiences that are directly related to the position you’re applying for. Use this space to connect the dots between your background and the job requirements. This shows the employer that you have taken the time to understand the role and are genuinely interested.

One size does not fit all

If your cover letter worked in your home country, then it will work here too! Nope, this is absolutely wrong. It is critical to tailor your cover letter to each job application. Analyze the job description and prerequisites carefully before tailoring your cover letter. Highlight the abilities and experiences that are directly related to what the employer is looking for and emphasize on your soft skills. By doing so, you can make a compelling case for why you should be considered.

Be concise and focused

Maintain a succinct and to-the-point cover letter. Aim for three to four paragraphs, with each paragraph serving a distinct function. Excessive explanations and details should be avoided. In Canada, employers value succinct, well-organized letters.

Use a professional tone

Throughout your cover letter, keep a professional tone. Avoid using slangs and informal speech. Focus on showing your professionalism by writing with courtesy, politeness, and respect.

Connect with the company culture

Incorporate mission or values statements into your cover letter to demonstrate how well you suit the company’s culture. By aligning your motivations with the organization’s goals, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm towards the objectives and business of the organization.

Format it professionally

Your cover letter should be formatted in a tidy and businesslike manner. Use a common font (like Arial or Times New Roman) and a 10 to 12 point font size. Use appropriate spacing between paragraphs and sections to maintain the layout’s order.

Address gaps or challenges

If you have any gaps in your employment history or other challenges, briefly address them in your cover letter. The key tip here is to highlight on your transferable skills that you gained during this time frame in a concise manner.

Request action

Conclude your cover letter by stating how excited you are to talk more about your qualifications and requesting for an interview. Always indicate your availability for a meeting or phone call and include your contact information.

Proofread and edit

Make sure there are no problems in your cover letter by thoroughly checking it for spelling, grammar, and punctuation issues. Ask someone else to read it aloud or to examine it for clarity and cohesion. A polished cover letter demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail.

In conclusion, make it a habit to ALWAYS create a cover letter for EVERY job application REGARDLESS of whether they explicitly ask for it or not. Why? Because when that phone call comes, you’ll have your salient points READY and ORGANIZED on a sheet right in front of you!

And if you need any assistance on how to draft your cover letter, register with us!

We are always delighted to assist you in your journey!

Networking to get working! 💪

9 Steps + 90 Days = Employment

  1. Weekly Peer Network – Informational Interviews (Online only)
  2. One-on-one with Ambassadors (Community)
  3. How to ignite your Personal Brand (Online Only)
  1. Weekly Wednesday Speed Networking (Community)
  2. Always on Whatsapp Group (Community)
  3. Monthly interview SOS – First Saturday of every month
  1. Immigrant reveal secrets to get jobs in your profession (Webinar only)
  2. Linkedin newsletters on job finding (Online only)
  3. 90 Days in your first job (Webinar only)