In this virtual session, career coach and resume expert Ashley Cash discusses how to write and format a resume that will stand out from the crowd. Watch the video to learn what to include in a resume that gets results, from clean formatting to getting rid of what Ashley calls “resume language.”
Ashley Cash is a hiring manager turned career coach and consultant specializing in 6-figure resumes, interviewing, and salary negotiation. She helps women get hired and get paid! After 13 years of managing teams for big organizations like Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, and Globe Life, Ashley now teaches women how to create winning resumes, nail interviews, and confidently negotiate for themselves.
- Resume Rev by The Mom Project
- A Resume that Gets Results
- Clean Formatting
- No Resume Language
- Professional Summary
0:00 Katie Mack: Alright, hello everyone, and welcome to this week's Unity Hour. We are really excited for this week's topic, we're gonna be digging into all things resume, so I know we've been doing Unity Hours for almost a month now we're hitting our one month point and we've seen just over the course of the past few weeks, resume questions seem to be the thing that keeps surfacing itself over and over again.
So we were like, Let's address it. It also comes at a very important time for us this week. We at The Mom Project launched a new product called Resume Rev, which basically is a new tool that we designed to help you own your story, so we'll get into that a little bit before we kick things off. Just wanted to quickly welcome our guest for today.
Today we have Career Coach and resume expert, Ashley Cash. Ashley, welcome, thank you so much for joining us, we’re excited to have her on hand here to kind of share her years of wisdom and insight and resume expertise. But yeah, just to give you a rundown of how things are gonna go today, basically, we’re gonna kick off show you guys Resume Rev and how you can unleash the power of that tool on your end.
1:29 Katie Mack: And then Ashley’s gonna take us through a real-time resume review, this is gonna be really valuable... this time that Ashley is gonna spend just really kind of showing you what you should be doing as you're building your resume, whether it's in Resume Rev or on your own. And then the last half of the session is gonna be questions that you guys submitted, so thank you all for all 1500-plus of you that I think are here for submitting all of your incredible resume questions.
We've got your back and want to provide you with as much insight and clarity today as we possibly can, so if you're new to Unity Hour, feel free to leverage the live chat on the page, we are monitoring it in real time, and we'll try to pull in as many questions from you all as we can and get those answered today as well. Awesome! So, to kick things off, I just wanted to show you guys the beauty and power of Resume Rev.
So I'm gonna share my screen quick. And this is a resume built-in Resume Rev, so basically what we did is we really took as much insight and feedback as we could from our community to hear what your top resume concerns were, and wanted to give you guys a solution that enables you to build a resume through your profile with The Mom Project, so this is an example of the Resume Rev resume, it's streamlined, it's beautifully designed.
3:04 Katie Mack: We worked hard with our UX design and engineering teams to make sure the layout was something that could be quickly scanned by a recruiter or whoever might be looking at a resume, so that the most pertinent information really pops out... It's not too busy. There's not too much going on, it really lets you shine.
And one thing you can see here, this is an example. But a career pause is something that we know a lot of our community really struggles with when they have to put it into a resume, so we've... As part of this tool, The Mom Project pause is something that you can add to your resume directly from the tool, so you can really own that pause and embrace the power that is in that pause. So this is kind of an output of what you would get in Resume Rev, and I just wanna show you all...
So basically, to access Resume Rev, you would log into your profile with The Mom Project, you... Here's the marketplace page, your profile is the second tab, you would wanna complete it to 100%, and once you get to 100%... So you have to go through a lot of different pieces here.
4:17 Katie Mack: The one thing that's nice is we have augmented this process a bit to allow you to unlock some of these newer features of Resume Rev, so resume headline is something that's new. You'll see here under work experience where you add...you can either add a position or you can add a career pause, which is that awesome Mom Project pause that we talked about. When you add a position, you'll see here, we've got bulleted lists added in, which will help with the formatting of your experiences under any specific role, we also added in writing tips to help guide you along the way.
And then all these other factors. Now, not all of them will be reflected on your resume, but the things that we're known for, the Flex factors and things that you can kinda advocate for yourself when you're looking for a role in matching with positions, your education, you could add certifications and make it perfect. It's gonna be kind of your professional pitch which we’ll get into today, but once you have all of these elements loaded into your profile and you've completed it to 100%, you can download your profiles as a PDF.
So, right from there in your profile, you can kind of get a view of what your resume would look like, you could download and you are instantly provided with a PDF resume, so it's very simple, you don't have to do double the work, the work you're putting in here on your Mom Project profile, delivers you obviously great job matches through us, but also you can take this PDF resume and use it to apply for jobs with The Mom Project or anywhere else, it's yours to use, if you wanna use it...add it to LinkedIn, if you wanna email it out to people you're networking with or add to any other ATS? We're here for you.
6:05 Katie Mack: So this is Resume Rev, we couldn't be more excited, get in there, get into your profile and spend some time with it and... Yeah, it's just a major, major launch for us.
Colleen Curtis: Thanks, Katie. I’m also...I’m Colleen I'm monitoring the YouTube chat. So thanks for all the questions. Hopefully, Ashley's gonna get to some of these. But for those that are very specific to the Resume Rev tool, definitely email us. We're happy to help answer any questions.
Take any product feedback we’ll be continually evolving this tool and making it better for all of you, so I'll continue to answer questions in here, but I know it's a new tool, so we're all getting comfortable with it. I just wanna let you know that our hotline is open so email us, we'll get back to you.
Katie Mack: Thanks, Colleen. Yes, email@example.com. We're checking it 24/7 so please, please, please send feedback, thoughts, questions, we'll get back to you as quickly as we can. And then there's one other piece before we kick off the live resume review, starting on Monday, this coming Monday, April 20th, we are going to be marching the Five-Day Resume Challenge which basically is something we've created, it's five days of content that will really help you guys think about your story, think about the experiences you should be putting into your resume, your skills, whatever it may be.
Think about how to address your specific situation, whether you’re returning to work or looking to make a career pivot, and then using all of those things that you do over the course of the five days, you'll input it into Resume Rev and by Friday of next week, you'll have a really next-level resume.
7:47 Katie Mack: So we will throw the sign-up link for the Five Day Resume Challenge into the live chat here, but we'll also email it off to everybody afterwards, but you can do it with us in real time next week, you can self-pace, but overall, we've really broken the resume building process into a bite size like five-day series that I think we think will be really beneficial for everyone. So stay tuned for that we’ll throw that link in the chat. And yeah, so lots of resume stuff coming from us this week. So that being said, I'm excited to move on to the main show here, Ashley, and the real-time resume review. So Ashley, thank you again for being here and donating your time to kind of share your expertise with our whole community, it means the world to us. Oh, no! Did we lose her? We might have lost her.
Colleen Curtis: Did we lose her already? There she is!
8:56 Ashley Cash: Here I am! It looks like my Zoom meeting just restarted. Gotta love technology, so... Luckily, you guys can still hear me...I don’t know if you can see me...Can you see me at all?
Katie Mack: No, we can just hear you.
9:11 Ashley Cash: Okay, looks like Zoom is restarting so we... Give me just, I guess, hopefully one second. I'm gonna go back and try to maybe re-enter the meeting. It’s so funny, Katie, the whole time you were talking about Resume Rev I was just like Oh my gosh, this is awesome. And then of course, the moment you say, Okay, we're gonna check it over to Ashley...womp womp. Always right? So just give it another second for me to jump back into the Zoom meeting, I don't wanna touch anything because I don't wanna lose audio but while Zoom is being kind to me and reloading, but I do wanna say it's just one... A big thank you to The Mom Project and to you Katie and Colleen for having me today.
During this crazy time that we've all found ourselves in, one of the things that was really important to me was to have the opportunity to serve. I thought that that was probably the most important thing, as I know a lot of us are facing a lot of uncertainty, situations we've never been in before, working from home with children, all sorts of things. And so for me, I think that the one thing that I could do was really use my gifts to help other women either blaze towards a new path or even in this season take the opportunity to pivot into something else.
10:51 Ashley Cash: So I just wanna say a big thank you there. And the other thing that I wanna do, if it's okay with you guys, again, while technology has some mercy on me, is if you are watching this live, I really love to start all my sessions high energy, so let's get the vibe up. I want you to type in the chat for me, one thing in the last month that has made you smile or bonus points, something that’s made you just laugh out loud, big belly laugh. Type that up, let's get our energy and our vibe up while we do that.
Katie Mack: Love it.
Ashley Cash: Hey guys, I'm still here. So why don't we try this? I'm gonna log into the meeting from my phone, and then Katie, if you will, I think you still have the link to the deck, so why don't you run the deck for me, and then at a minimum... We can get this party started right.
12:21 Katie Mack: Perfect.
Colleen Curtis: Sounds great. I wish you guys could see the chat with all of the answers to your prompt, Ashley.
Ashley Cash: Read some of them!
Colleen Curtis: I'm gonna live do some of them. Shawna’s friends did a live Price is Right from Instagram Live yesterday, bad quarantine hair cuts, Virtual Book Club meetings, video calls with friends, dance parties, carbs, call out to the carbs our real MVP of the quarantine, watching my husband cut his hair, passing the bar exam, got into grad school... Let's see... they're moving so fast... Oh, tik tok, big winner of quarantine tik tok.
No question about that. Being able to re-start exercise classes via Zoom, but many mentions about the hair cuts, I think we're flowing into week five and people are really feeling the lack of our hair stylists. It is something I know intimately as well.
Ashley Cash: I love it.
Colleen Curtis: And I'm trying not to do anything drastic. While home, untamed. Alright so now we see Ashley, we’ve got you.
13:46 Ashley Cash: Alright so I’m logged in from my phone again, just so that we maximize the time, but I just wanna say thank you for everyone who commented, and I'm feeling good even with technology not working in my favor right now. My husband is running to go grab his computer, so we'll at least be able to have some visuals there.
I think what I'm gonna do is probably restart my computer, but since Katie's got the deck, I'm gonna restart my computer, I'm gonna get going, I'm gonna restart my computer and then hopefully everything will be back on track. So all is not lost, we are gonna get some resume... some ways to elevate your resume today. So computer’s restarting, husband just got down with…
Katie Mack: I have the deck up right now.
Ashley Cash: Alright, perfect! Alright so Katie, once again, let's go ahead and go to... Next slide. Alright, so again, my name is Ashley Cash, and I am a six-figure resume writer, interview and salary negotiation expert, and how I... You're wondering, How does one become... All of those things?
I started my business and started working with women after 13 years, what I call explosive career, working for some big brands that you all know and love, like Coca-Cola, Whirlpool and Globe Life. And from that time on, from those experiences, I got the opportunity to have to do a lot of hiring, firing and managing teams, and what that led to was me really getting the inside scoop on how hiring and salary decisions get made, particularly for women, and so as you can imagine, that meant that I got a lot of experience, looking at resumes, and really is a high manager understanding what is...What on a resume is gonna make me pick up the phone and say, not only I hope that this person will join our team, but I hope that we can afford this person.
16:00 Ashley Cash: And so after an explosive career, I decided to take that talent and also take my desire to serve women and help us ask for and confidently earn with what we're worth. And so then I started creating coaching and courses basically to help women to teach women how to get hired and get paid, and the reason why I decided to focus on women is because there's... We all know as women, the nuances for us in the workplace, are sometimes very different than our male counterparts.
And every time you layer or what I call a hat on top of that, be that being a minority, being a mom, a caregiver...you know the list goes on and on. I think those complexities expand a bit, and so my work is really all about helping women get hired and get paid. Awesome, so I wanna talk a little bit about, just so you know that you're in the right place and you're talking to the right person who I’ve helped, and so as I mentioned, I work with smart, driven professional women who I imagine are all on this call right now, who wanna like what they do and earn what their worth.
17:10 Ashley Cash: So typically, the women that I serve are mid to senior level professional women, they are high earners and high achievers, and they represent a broad scope of industries. So women all the way from HR practitioners to data scientists. I have clients who work in government and non-profit and education, you name it. And so that said...I think that’s enough I think about me.
And let's talk a little bit about what we're gonna be talking about today. And you guys, I appreciate your grace 'cause I am literally, I'm talking to you, navigating new slides and also on the other side here, trying to get dialed back in to the meeting so that I can actually share, not just the slides that Katie... She's running for me right now, but also the actual resume that I wanna show you guys... That's the meat of it. So let's talk a little bit about what we're gonna talk about today, and there's really four components of... Four major components of what I consider to be a resume that gets results, so regardless of what your salary target is, there are primarily four components of a resume that's gonna get you results. And that's what we're gonna focus on today.
18:31 Ashley Cash: So the first one is clean formatting, and then if you're using Resume Rev, some of that's already done for you, so that's a win there, but if you are making the decision to continue with a resume that you have either created or are updating yourself, then clean formatting is a big component of that, and I'll talk a little bit more about that here in a sec, and then I'll actually show you what I mean by clean formatting. The second component... And this is a big one.
I think this is probably one of the reasons, or one of the big motivators that The Mom Project decided to create Resume Rev is because it's always so hard to know what to actually stay on a resume, and then sometimes you might find yourself thinking like... I'm not a writer, and knowing what to say and how to say it, and really being able to use that kind of fluffy resume language sometimes can be a struggle. Well, I have great news for you. When I write resumes, I don't use resume language, and what I mean by resume language it’s that fluffy, results-oriented, proven-track-record-type language.
19:45 Ashley Cash: That, when you really get to the heart of it, doesn't necessarily mean a lot, and so I'm gonna show you some alternatives for resume language while I get logged in on another screen. Okay, the third thing, and I also think this is super important, is you need to have a compelling professional summary, and in the example that Katie showed you guys just a few minutes ago, a resume....I think you called it your resume, Katie, was it... Was it your summary?
Katie Mack: A headline. Yep, resume headine.
Ashley Cash: Your headline, so really calling the same thing something different, but that's compelling, and the reason why that is, is 'cause you wanna let the reader know right off the bat that they have the right person and they need to keep reading. And then the last and final thing is the way that you approach describing your experience. And so you wanna make sure that that is always relevant and that it is results-focused, so let's get going. We're gonna go to the next slide, and y’all I think... I'm almost back in. So the other thing... Oh Katie you can actually go back one. Go back one. The other thing is, they already mentioned this, is that I am going to show you so many times we've probably been to Webinars or classes like this to talk about resumes.
21:13 Ashley Cash: So here's the thing, a resume is one of those things that you really have to see. You wanna see feel touch live, and so that's what I'm gonna be doing for you today, is actually showing you what you need to do. So I am one second away guys from being back in the meeting, and we’re gonna get this party started. So we’re gonna give it like one more second, and then we’re gonna get going.
Katie Mack: Awesome. Perfect.
Ashley Cash: Awesome, you guys thank you so much for just staying with me and giving me grace through the tech difficulties. We... Katie and I did a tech check yesterday. Jumped on early today. And of course, wouldn’t you know it...Zoom re-started. So, that said, I’m actually in.
22:05 Katie Mack: Good. Okay, great. Should I... I'll stop my share and you can kinda take over again just so you can toggle back. Okay.
22:14 Ashley Cash: Look, I’m back!
Katie Mack: There she is!
Ashley Cash: Again, just thank you guys a time for just being super gracious while I got that figured out.
22:29 Katie Mack: A little real talk while you were doing that and I was on mute, my three-year-old just came barreling in here…
Colleen Curtis: Yeah, we’ve got kids, we’ve got technical problems, this is like a work from home with kids SNL skit….I’ll get my dog over here she’ll start barking soon. Lots of grace, thank you Ashley for navigating all that.
A resume that gets results
22:52 Ashley Cash: No problem at all. Right it really is. You got working mom working from home, realness happening here. So the heart of what we're doing though is obviously here to help, and so I think fingers and toes crossed that we've gotten through that. So, ah! Alas! I have my screen up, hopefully you guys are seeing the deck. Let's get right in. This is the stuff that I love, total resume nerd here. So here is one of the first things, this is almost kind of a bonus tip, so if you really learn nothing from our time together today, this is...
These are the only rule rules, so when you say it twice, you know it's real, that you need to remember when you are creating a resume, and again, I'm gonna illustrate this, but the first rule is you must remember that your resume needs to be searchable and what I mean by searchable is more than likely the majority of us when we apply for a job, are gonna submit our resume through an online portal, also known as an applicant tracking system, and what's gonna happen is the first entity that's gonna see that resume is actually a computer.
24:03 Ashley Cash: And so what that computer is looking for are basically the candidates who are best matches, so that’s gonna include key words and phrases from your industry so that that applicant tracking system can pull out or say, Hey, yeah, Ashley needs to go into the yes pile, Katie needs to go into the Yes pile, Colleen needs to go into the yes pile. If you don't have those applicable keywords and phrases, and also, let me be clear about keywords, you can't just be like, I wrote marketing on my resume 100 times, 100 times.
The ATS is also looking for context, so it's super important. Rule number one that your resume is searchable. The second thing, and I think this is something that a lot of people make the mistake of not doing, is that your resume really needs to be specific to the job for which you are applying. Now, I told you guys a couple of slides ago that I work with high achievers, women who are very, very accomplished in their fields, who have 10-plus years of experience. And so what happens sometimes is two things: either one, there's so much amazing experience that we feel like we wanna throw it all on there, and when we do that, what happens is the key or star attributes as it relates to the job, sometimes get watered down or they get lost.
25:29 Ashley Cash: The second thing that sometimes happens though, is that we don't always see the significance in the simple things that we do every day, if we've been in marketing for 15 years and we can create a digital campaign in our sleep. For us, it's simple, and so we don't always see the significance in that, and so we don't always tell those stories and bring those to life on a resume. So the second important thing that you must remember is that your resume must be specific to the job for what you are applying, and the way I like to think of that is, for the job is what you wanna focus on, are the things that are specific for that job and anything else you just wanna mention.
Anything that's sort of relevant, but not...a nice to know or a nice to have... You can mention that, but you don't have to make it the star, and the third thing is your resume needs to be scannable, so we know that first step, your resume is probably gonna be observed or seen by the computer or the applicant tracking system. Well, then after that, it's actually gonna make it into the hands of a human being, and what that means is it needs to be scannable, so we've all heard this stat that on average, a decision maker is gonna spend six seconds or less on a resume.
Personally I think that's probably very generous, I know from my experience as a hiring manager, literally, I'm giving it a quick glance and if I don't see the terms or the experience I'm looking for right off the bat, that might look more like three seconds. And the other thing that you wanna remember is, put the most important information first, that's why that resume headline and that professional summary is so important, because you want the person...the reader to know right off the bat that they've got the right person and they need to keep reading.
27:18 Ashley Cash: So let's keep going. Alright, so we talked a little bit about the importance of clean formatting. So before we do that, I'm gonna show you some quick examples here. Got Microsoft Word coming up on another screen. So a couple of things about what I mean when I say white face and clean font, you think about a crowded piece of paper, it just makes you busy. So you wanna make sure that you leave a little bit of margin, you leave a little bit of room to make sure that the person is not overwhelmed by your resume, and then the other thing is the fonts make a difference.
I'm gonna go ahead and pull over a resume, that actually is breaking some of those rules, right? So this resume right here, we've got decent margins, but the font, which is being used here, I think it's Arial, it's heavy, it's dense... And so what we wanna do here is just even a quick 30-second makeover, you could do a control all and actually just change the font on your resume to something like a Calibri... right off the bat without any other changes, we've gotten a little bit of a brighter refreshed resume, right off the bat.
Now again, if you're using Resume Rev, you don't have to worry about that, but if you're gonna continue with a resume that you've already had written, this is a great way to do that. And the other thing I wanna call out is in terms of formatting, is that you can use a mix, and let me just say this y’all...
28:57 Ashley Cash: There are multiple schools of thought on this, do I use a paragraph and bullets one or the other, and my professional opinion is you wanna use a mix because all bullets... Let's just pretend we started here. This could be a little bit, not necessarily overwhelming to the eye, but if I'm scanning this, my eye doesn't necessarily know where to land. So what I like to do... And I'm gonna actually show you... this is the “before” of Jennifer's resume. I’m gonna actually show you really quickly the actor...come on be good to me, but what I want to do is utilize a mix... Okay, there we are. Alright, let’s bring this over. A mix of paragraphs and bullets.
So the paragraph basically looks like kind of a summary of your duties, and then we use the bullets to really tell the eye where to land and we focus that on the key achievements or the things that we really have done well because that again is where we want the eye to land. The other two key points I wanna make here, and this is important, is that, again, even if you have had a 10-plus year career and lots of amazing things, you really wanna focus on the last 10 years of work experience, and there's a couple reasons why.
30:30 Ashley Cash: One, again, your resume is likely just getting scanned. Two, think about the last... Over the last 10 years, the way that your industry have evolved, a lot of the tools, techniques, strategies that you used 10 years ago, we may not be necessarily using now, and so when it comes to a decision maker, a lot of times they're thinking about your experience as in, What have you done for me lately? Are you up-to-date on current trends, techniques, consumer habits, etcetera.
So I'm certainly not suggesting that if you have experienced greater than 10 years, that you ball that up and throw it away, I'm simply suggesting that you summarize that and use the bulk of the space on your resume for the last 10 years, and that I think is a great segue into... And I know Katie agrees, and we’ve talked about this...
31:21 Colleen Curtis: Can I ask a question on that? Okay, so I have a couple of questions in the chat that relate to caregivers currently on a pause who are re-entering the workforce. And so how to articulate that if it's a chunk of that 10 years or potentially that your most relevant work experience was 8 to 10 plus years ago.
31:43 Ashley Cash: Absolutely. Well, here's the thing Colleen, that is such a great question. Guys, you can't get blood out of a turnip. So guys if you have taken a pause or an extended pause, what I recommend is probably thinking about a resume format that is more skill-based as opposed to chronological. And so what you're gonna do is if you and that chunk or pause have been saying up-to-date or you’ve taken courses or gotten certifications, start there.
So you might start with, instead of jumping right to...and here I'll pull a resume up so that you can see it...and there with me and the technology....so instead of maybe starting here with professional experience, maybe we revise this section to... Let's see, something like key skills and certifications. And so I won't make you guys watch me type and spell things wrong…
Colleen Curtis: Love that, no pressure!
Ashley Cash: You know how it is when somebody's watching you, you can't type or whatever. So essentially what I would do is instead of trying to do a chronological resume, I would then create a section about key skills and maybe even key skills and projects. Maybe you've done some volunteer work for your kids’ school or your church or something like that, but never ever feel like you are bound by what a traditional resume layout looks like, Start with what you have. And then from there, then go into their chronological piece. Love that question. Love it.
33:28 Colleen Curtis: Thank you so much. I think that's super powerful. We, obviously, we’ve done a lot of work around power in the pause, and we have some great content coming out next week that walks through that, and with the tool that we built with Resume Rev it allows you to create a super succinct concise career break, so that...
And really the insight there being that it doesn't take up so much of the space chronologically. So even if you were out for 11 or 15 years it’s taking up a line as opposed to 11 to 15 years of real estate on your kind of precious real estate on your resume. So thank you, that was a great answer, Ashley.
No resume language
34:05 Ashley Cash: Oh, awesome, okay. And the next thing is, so once we've gotten our head wrapped around formatting right? And you saw in 10 seconds, I was able to give that resume a really quick refresh just by changing the font. When we start thinking about writing our story and talking about who we are, big rule is no resume language, and what I mean by that is what you wanna do is use clear, concise and industry-appropriate language, you wanna convey three things: who you are, what you do and what you've accomplished for the organization. No results-oriented. Everyone is results-oriented. At the end of our work week or work period, the result we're expecting is probably a paycheck, right?
So results-oriented, one, is sort of that language that doesn't necessarily tell the reader anything...what’s more compelling, and what will make you stand out is actually describing those results, so instead of saying, I'm a results-oriented marketing professional, and actually, you know what? I'll just show you. Instead of thinking, results-oriented, what does that actually mean? Or proven track record. So if you have a proven track record of success, instead of saying proven track record, actually take the time to summarize your accomplishments. So let me show you kind of a before and after what I mean by that. So bear with me, I'm gonna do some toggling.
35:43 Ashley Cash: Alright, so I'm gonna pull... So this is again, that before and after, so this is a... resume...names have been changed to protect the innocent. Where you see in Jennifer's resume that she leads with, I’m highly skilled and result-oriented leader. Now, remember what I just mentioned a few moments ago. If your resume is only getting a couple of seconds. Right off the bat, I wanna know that I'm dealing with the right person, and so opening your resume with this kind of language doesn't tell me that right off the bat.
So, Jennifer also says that she's got a proven track record, so let me show you in the revised resume, you guys bear with me on the toggle, let me show you on the revise what we can do to make that a little bit more clear. Let me get rid of some of this stuff. So the first thing is you'll notice that we added that headline, which is now framing Jennifer as the professional, that she is... the senior level compliance professional and leader.
So again, right off the bat, I know, Okay, Jennifer is the right person, I need to keep reading. And then the second thing that we do is we start with, instead of result-oriented leader, we actually start talking about what she does and who she is, so she's a compliance leader with 20 years of experience helping companies avoid costly lawsuits and actions.
37:13 Ashley Cash: If we just start with her distinctions, if we just start with that first sentence, we've moved completely away around result-oriented, now I were a hiring manager looking for someone to help me avoid costly lawsuits and sanctions, it tells me a lot more than just someone who is results-oriented. 'Cause no doubt Jennifer's work, that results-oriented work trait that she's talking about, this is what she means, and that's a lot more clear. So…
Colleen Curtis: Ashley, can I ask a question from the group here? Alright, so quick question, I've got one on... Let's say we're getting rid of things like detail-oriented or results-oriented, but those are words or phrases that appear in the job description, and so does that mean bring them into your resume, or would you still recommend... That's not the right way to translate that information?
38:09 Ashley Cash: I think that that's still not the right way... That's a great question. I still say that's not the right way to translate that information, and let me tell you a secret, let me pull back the curtain on being a hiring manager. We're not always great at writing job descriptions. And the same pain that we all feel when we write a resume, what do I use? What do I say? Is the same pain that sometimes hiring managers have when writing a job description.
The other thing I'll tell you is the ATS, that applicant tracking system is likely not scanning for results-oriented. It's likely looking for industry-specific keywords. So that is a really good question, but I would still put my money on being very clear and direct about the results that you're talking about in terms of results oriented. Super fair question.
39:04 Colleen Curtis: I did not know the answer. We're always trying to figure out how do you hire? The curtain wall is pulled back…
Katie Mack: Pulling back the curtain.
Colleen Curtis: And then asecond question on that. Sorry, let me just get my spot... Okay, the summary paragraph, I think you were showing in Jennifer's resume, do you still need that if you also are accompanying with the cover letter? Do you recommend that there is that professional summary?
39:33 Ashley Cash: Oh my gosh that is such a good question. Absolutely. So let me tell you guys kind of high level the difference between the two. So your resume, just think of it as sort of a snapshot, is you don't have enough room to tell the whole story, the cover letter on the other hand, that's where you can tell more story, put more narrative around who you are, what you do, what motivates you, why you're interested in the company, why you're interested in the position. If you're transitioning from one industry to another, you can explain in your cover letter why you're doing that and what makes your skills transferable.
The cover letter is really...it really allows you to bring your career story to life. The professional summary, in my opinion, what that serves is again, is just another area to one: sprinkle in keywords, and two: tell the reader to keep reading. Because the way your resume is set up is you have your name, your professional branding, like that headline, and then the third thing is your professional summary, and so all those things just sort of build this case of like, Yes, Katie is the right person. Colleen is the right person. Let me dive deeper.
40:44 Ashley Cash: So that is actually a good segue. Let's talk about your interesting and compelling professional summary. Now I'm gonna go back, we're actually, you've seen Jennifer’s and I'm gonna show you a second one here in just a second, but let me make this really easy for you to write on your own. All you're thinking about is who you are, so who are you? And what you do... So some of the examples that you see on my screen here, the first one is Senior Digital Marketing Professional. Now it's important to include your career level where applicable, because again, you wanna be taken seriously or you wanna start to create the narrative that you are a senior professional, or you are in executive, or you are experienced.
So that's important. And then you wanna be thinking about what do you do? Now these, I call them “I statements.” So what you don't see here in the second column is the invisible “I”, meaning I create and execute campaigns that make people click. Super clear, super concise, nothing about that is flowery or fluffy, it doesn't make anyone guess... It's super clear. The next one, business leader turned HR recruiter, so this is someone who may be pivoting, and I love to use that word turned or transitioning to indicate to the reader that I'm making a change here, but again, right?
42:06 Ashley Cash: So I match top talent based on business needs and goals. Super clear. And that could even be language taken out of the job description. This next one, awarded interior designer. So right in this instance... Well, at first, you guys hardly talk about including your career level... Well, I had a client who was actually really awarded in her field, she's got all these interior design awards, and I thought, Hey, tell them up from... Let them know you are someone who is really recognized in your industry as being the best.
And so for her, we started with perfect...someone who perfectly balanced style and budget, so you guys can read the other two, I won't... Just read them to you. So the professional and compelling professional summary is super easy to write, and then I'm gonna show you another example. Bear with me, I'm gonna get Microsoft Word pulled over. So this is another example, since we already saw Jennifer’s a little bit from a client, Brittany, and hopefully this is large enough for everyone to see...give it a little zoom.
But again, opening sentence. Right, we start with career level. And then we start with the idea of what do you do? So if you just sat down and made a list and said, What do I do, I build processes that don't exist and improve those that do. I leverage marketing and operations, my operations background together, requirements create processes, etcetera, etcetera.
43:38 Ashley Cash: And then here, we had a little fun with this, we got a little bit even more direct. So we called Brittany a master flow chart creator, someone who easily cuts through the noise and strategic and analytical thinker who delights in making the complex and labor intensive simple, right? So again, imagine if you are a hiring manager looking for someone who is a master flow chart creator, even if they didn't have that in a job description, if the job description read heavily towards, this person's gonna be creating flow charts. Wouldn’t you pick up the phone and be like Brittany, Oh my gosh. You have to come in for an interview. Absolutely. So simple. simple, simple language, right?
44:17 Ashley Cash: And then the last thing, and then we'll move on to our questions portion, and I'll show you another example of this, is as you're writing or framing your story and your narrative about who you are and what you've done, and trying to translate that into resume bullets, let me make it really easy for you. The first thing that you wanna make sure that you have your head wrapped around is what will you be doing and how do you know what you will be doing?
You can read things like the job description, that's straight up the answers to the test, you can read reviews about the job from sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, those are my favorites to start with, and then you can also ask your network. So if you are someone who maybe has had a pause or you're transitioning or pivoting into something different and you wanna learn a little bit more about, Hey, what are the key skills or what's important in this particular field or industry, talk to people in your network who have done that work. They will be able to tell you, this is really important, and then from there, you know, these are some of the things that I need to call out on my resume.
45:47 Ashley Cash: Now again, people always are like, I have no idea what to talk about. And so there are three things that you can focus on when you're writing your bullets or summarizing your work. You can focus on exactly what you did and think about it in the vein of people, projects and processes. If you think about it in those lanes, you will surely capture your relevant work experience.
And the last thing, probably the most important thing is the... So what... So if you did a certain task, what was the benefit? Why did you do that? And you can think about this in three categories. You either help increase or decrease something for the organization, that could look like a count or a total… so if you’re in a HR that could look like headcount or a leadership pipeline or something like that. Or if you see budget, it could be monetary. So if you're in maybe a sales role or maybe even depending on what role you're in in marketing, it could be something like maximizing a budget.
But these are typically... Sort of the three ways that you can think about when I'm talking about my accomplishments: Increase, decrease your account or a total of something, or possibly a budget, and it can also look like, Hey, what was the size of the budget that I managed? So really quickly, because I wanna make sure that we have time for questions that may come up, I'm gonna share Brittany’s resume one more time. And I'm gonna show you what I mean, and actually not Brittany I wanna show you Jennifer’s.
47:05 Ashley Cash: I wanna show you what I mean by that. So here's something that I wanna call out. The flow of this resume, we see right off the bat, helping companies avoid costly lawsuits and sanctions. As we get into her professional experience, we actually see her talk about how she's done that, where she's eliminated 100% of outside counsel expense by resolving lawsuits in-house.
She's talking about decreasing violations by 30%, and also implementing processes that have reduced customer complaints by 25%. So in her case, again, she's not just talking about the task that she may have completed, but she's also talking about the results as it pertains to that task. So if you do both of those things, you are gonna have a resume that puts you on top again and again.
Now I know a question that's gonna come up is, what if I work in a space where I don't have these hardcore numbers or hard core metrics? No problem. So let's say maybe you are a creative, maybe you're a designer of some sort, so a couple of things you can talk about are things like budget. You could talk about maybe count of projects, let's say maybe you worked in an agency space, you could talk about the audience that that project may impact.
But just always be thinking, even if you don't have hardcore numbers, that there is a reason that someone is hiring me to do this job or complete this project, and so the result part of it is always, why have I been hired to complete it? What are they gonna take? This project or this work that I completed, what are they gonna gain from it? So hopefully that makes sense. So that is all that I have prepared. So let's talk questions.
49:02 Colleen Curtis: Yes, I have so many questions, but I know we will not get to all of them, I do wanna assure everyone that we will share the deck and the recording, the recording also includes all the Q and A from YouTube. So any good nuggets that you found in there that will also scroll along with the video.
So, okay, the one I'm hearing over and over and over again in the chat is about multiple versions of resumes and it is a big question, right? Okay, I'm specifying my resume to apply for this specific job, but I also could be qualified for these other types of jobs, how do I manage my multiple resume personality? And what is the best path? I don't know the answer to this. I think it's a tough one.
49:50 Ashley Cash: Let me help some... Let me help some people out right now. You know how people will say like, Oh... I think the question too is like... Let me first address multiple resume personalities. Yes, you absolutely need to commit to at least one or two. What I'm gonna call “paths.” So what I mean by that is, if you are like... I'm gonna pick on marketing again, if you're a marketer and you have lots of experience, let's say, in events, but also digital marketing or specifically social media. Yes, you need an events-focused resume that's gonna have events-focused language and results and talk about the type of events and activations that you do.
And then you're gonna also need a second... You heard me right: second, resume that's gonna be social media-focused that has very specific social media language, social media oriented results, engagement, ads, whatever, because those two things are not one and the same. Because again, a hiring manager, a decision-maker when they look at a resume... Right off the bat, they wanna know that you're an expert for the job, for which I am hiring. So when it looks like you are... You dabble in events, you're dabble in social, that's typically not necessarily what someone's looking for it, they're really looking a little bit more for, this person knows what I'm looking for.
51:56 Ashley Cash: So yes, you do need to have... you do need to choose a path and have a resume for both. Now, if the question is around, should I change or modify my resume for each job. If you pick a path or two, you won’t have to... You don't have so much work to do because you're gonna be applying for... Again, I'll pick on that events example, if you're applying for events jobs, your events resume, that you've been very thoughtful and had a lot of moments, experience and results in... It's gonna do the heavy lifting for you. But then if you're like, Oh, today I'm feeling like social media, then what's gonna happen is your social media resume is gonna do the heavy lifting for you.
52:01 Colleen Curtis: Okay, great. Quick one: picture or no picture on your resume?
Ashley Curtis: No pictures!
Colleen Curtis: No pictures, people! No pictures. We agree with Ashley on that one, you do not need your picture. Okay, next one, and it's a little bit related to that last question, so I'll jump back a little bit, so we’ve picked our paths, let's say we have two, we've got events and social media. Now, what do I do with my LinkedIn profile to make sure that it adequately reflects the opportunities that I wish to come to me?
52:27 Ashley Cash: Yeah, absolutely. So LinkedIn is great ‘cause hyphenate Ashley-Cash-Marketing-Events-and-Social-Media. And then in your summary section, do a paragraph for each... Hey I’m Ashley, I’m a 15-year marketer, I love events and social media, paragraph two talks about events, paragraph three talks about social media.
52:53 Colleen Curtis: Yep, I like that. I like that a lot, and I think as we...and through my own personal experience, and I've also hired many, many people in my career. I do look at LinkedIn profiles, that is a thing people are using to ascertain if this is a candidate that you wanna speak to. And that ultimately you can only be that one person, you are who you are, so even if you've got significant skills in events and social media, you just become that person. You don't have to pick on LinkedIn. You can be... but not more than two probably.
Ashley Cash: Yeah, exactly.
Colleen Curtis: Okay, let me go back here we’ve got so many. So how do I maximize my 10 plus years of experience when I'm currently in a pause? I know we kind of covered that a little bit, so we get a lot of questions about the caretaking pauses, which I think is... We might just need to do a whole other session on that, so let us take that as a follow-up as well, but if you have a quick 15 seconds on like, How do we ensure that the pauses basically aren't causing a bias? I think that's what the question under the question is.
53:58 Ashley Cash: Absolutely. I think your cover letter is a great place, again, to add some story. And I don't mean a story about the pause. I just mean talking about your skills, bringing color to what you've done, what lights you up. Maybe some key projects or accomplishments that you had while you were working... I think the big thing here, and I know you guys echo this all the time at The Mom Project, you have to focus and highlight what you have, not what you don't. So don't shine so much light on the pause, talk about what you do have.
And the second little small caveat is, for someone who is in a pause, I think the most effective tool for you is gonna be your network, leveraging people in relationships and not worrying so much about just throwing your resume into an applicant portal. You need people to tell your story, and you can't always do that with an online portal.
54:52 Colleen Curtis: Yes. Awesome, okay, great. And we’ll, I think we are gonna dive into those specific questions in another session 'cause there’s... there’s just a lot packed in there, right? Let's see, I had one more that I wanted to make sure that we covered here. I think it was around contact information so another super easy one, making sure that people... How much is too much versus what do you need to have in there?
Ashley Cash: Name, phone number, city, state.
Colleen Curtis: City, state, email address? Do you need an email address?
Ashley Cash: Oh, yeah! Email address.
Colleen Curtis: That’s fine! I went to a resume the other day that someone had sent me and it had no contact information, and I was like, I don't know how to find you 'cause someone else had sent it to me. And I was like I don’t know how to find this person.
Ashley Cash: Absolutely.
Colleen Curtis: City and state is a good one, though.
55:42 Ashley Cash: And then optional LinkedIn. My resume has my LinkedIn on it optional, but if you can squeeze it in, get it in there.
55:50 Colleen Curtis: Awesome, that's great. Tons of questions about resume formatting, kind of figuring out how to get through the dreaded ATS systems. So I guess my last and parting question before we do the rallying cry for “you are more than your resume,” which you all are, Is there tricks to the trade on beating that ATS game? I know it's like there's a million of them, and they all work somewhat differently.
And in the speed of technology to make this better, we've actually made it a lot worse through ATS because it's created a really difficult thing, so I guess I'd love... Just your parting advice on, we get all of these high value pieces of information from you and that all makes a lot of sense. But is that gonna work with the ATS that you have to get through to get to a human?
56:47 Ashley Cash: Absolutely. What I would say is probably the thing that works the most or the best for my clients is use their language, so if something is being described on the job description... Again, that marketing term, right? If they're using terms like digital marketing and campaigns, maybe you use that term as well, as opposed to, let's say a social media campaign. It's really more about, again, using, I think not just the key words every chance you get, but also having context around those things.
So as you write your accomplishments, as you write your professional summary, including that type of language is probably... I wouldn’t say you beat ATS, but the higher you match in terms of work phrases in the appropriate context, the better off you're gonna be.
Colleen Curtis: Absolutely.
57:45 Colleen Curtis: Okay, great. And then we've got a lot of questions on PDF versus Word versus formats. I mean, we obviously...ours works in PDF and we did that intentionally because it is the universal format and it won't get all screwed up and it goes the way you want it to.
Ashley Cash: That’s it...that’s it!
Colleen Curtis: Okay, well, I'm glad to know that we’re right. I know that there is just conflicting information out there. Not everyone has Word, so if you open it up and it looks all weird, that's kind of a con. I know that... Obviously, a PDF is not editable, so... Interesting in that. Okay, any parting words for our community here today, everyone’s fifth week, work from home with kids, looking for jobs, like the mess out there, we're hoping to bring some kind of calm and consistency into the chaos, and so it would love just your parting words.
58:41 Ashley Cash: I just wanna, you know send love and light. The big thing is this: you already said it Colleen, you are not your resume. You are not your career pause. You are someone who is gifted, talented and worthy of a career that you love, and so I just want you... As we are, as you are thinking about the next step to give yourself enough grace and kindness to get there. It will happen for you.
And here’s the thing too about resumes from a higher manager's point of view. Formatting this or that. It's only skin deep, if you have the right qualifications and you have clearly and concisely conveyed your talent and what you can do for me... Right, 'cause that's what I care about as the hiring manager, What can you do for me? I will pick up the phone and call you. So don't get too bogged down in those details. Really, just be thoughtful, even if you're doing a Resume Rev about... Let me make sure that what I want to be known for is what leads on my resume.
The formatting and all that jazz, not that big of a deal, but I just want you guys all to give yourself enough grace to get through... one this global crisis and two... what can feel like the gauntlet as you approach new work so I'm just sending you all my heart and thank you so much for allowing me to serve and share with you today.
1:00:02 Colleen Curtis: Thank you. Oh my gosh, this was so wonderful, I wish...we will send you the recording with all the chat. People are just so grateful for your advice and sort of your calm, but buoyant energy in this kind of crazy time that we're living through, and so we appreciate it so much and thank you to everyone that joined us today.
Like I said, Katie and I will send out the recap, we'll make sure to share as much as we can from Ashley. We’ll kick off that resume challenge next week. So sign up for that. We'll send the link for that. Would love to just give you five days of bite-sized ways to break it down, and much of it relates right back to Ashley's advice.
And we would love to do whatever we can to support you in your job search, and so look forward to next Friday’s session. I've already got a list of all the future sessions we need for resume... and thank you again, Ashley, so much. This was just really super powerful and helpful.
Katie Mack: Thank you! Phenomenal
1:00:58 Ashley Cash: My pleasure. Thank you guys for giving me a reason to put on lipstick, it’s been over a month.
1:01:03 Colleen Curtis: You look lovely. Thank guys, have a great weekend!
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