Welcome to a thousand words

Hello! I'm Jay! I'm a wordsmith. I've always been a wordsmith, and I'll always be a wordsmith.  

Back in the day when we had to memorize phone numbers, I was the kid in my family who turned those numbers into words. 

I loved writing in school - all the way from K through college - and it's something I'm still passionate about today!

I recognize that not everyone feels the same, so place your documentation needs in my hands and know they'll be well taken care of!


Resume RPEF!

Say "resume arpeff" ... go ahead ... say it! It's fun!

Resume Review, Proofread, Edit, Format!

There have been several changes to the general resume format and content. At the minimum, ensure you have effective Applicant Tracking System (ATS) keywords prominently displayed!

Your street address in the Header? Gone!

That "Objective" line at the top of the resume? Gone!

Struggling to keep your resume to one page? Gone!

Your current resume may have landed you the  job you have now, but as the saying goes: "What got you here might not get you there!"

a thousand words

Document Creation!

What do you need?

Resume ... Brochure ... Logo Design ... Business Cards ... Newsletter ...


Editing! Formatting! Proofreading!

If you haven't figured it out yet: Spell Check doesn't really work! Ctrl+Z has its limits! And speech-to-text functionality has a long way to go!


OK ... what's a Graphicom?


Well ... a picture is still worth a thousand words ... so ...

Also called a meme, a Graphicom is a personal picture provided by you that I add a caption, thoughts or words to.

A Graphicom can be funny or serious ... the point is it has meaning for you and the person you're giving it to.

DYK: the word "meme" is a shortened form of the Greek word "mimeme", which means "something imitated".



Isn't this just something I can do myself?

Well, actually, yes. But some people don't have the time, or the desire, or are just too busy. Some people don't like writing. Some people aren't good writers simply because they don't do it all the time! Some people rely on Spell Check or other computer applications to correct their documents and that's just asking for trouble! Some people write like they speak, and that doesn't produce professional, high quality documents. And when it comes to proofreading, you can't proofread your own work; you're too close to it.

Really? No street address on my resume? Why not?

Well, back in the day, we typed our resumes on special resume quality paper stock -  it was scented, thick, 32 lb, 100% cotton, ivory colored paper - and we land mailed it to every job we found in the Want Ads. And in 11 weeks, the HR department would land mail back the rejection letter. Our street address had to be on that resume, or we'd never know if we got the job! Now, of course, it's all email and a human may not even see your resume until you're sitting across the desk from the hiring manager!

(FYI - standard printer paper is 24 lb)

How about a Cover Letter?

Similar to the street address, Cover Letters are from a time when we land mailed our resumes, and we had to include a separate document letting the HR department know what job we were applying to! The typical Cover Letter started with something like: "Please find my resume for consideration of the Senior Technical Writer opportunity ..." Now the Subject Line and Body of the email contain all the details the HR department needs!

What's the best Keyboard Shortcut in the world?

That's easy: Ctrl+Z = Undo!

Not only does it Undo your last action anywhere in the MS Office Suite, it will also Undo anything anywhere in the Windows environment!

And here's why:

Keyboard Shortcuts are actually components of the Windows environment, remnants from the days of MS-DOS, before we used a mouse to interact with our computers.

Accidentally deleted a Folder off the Desktop? Ctrl+Z!

Accidentally deleted a File within a Folder? Ctrl+Z!

You'll find it works in some very unexpected places!

(And a close second best goes to Ctrl+Y: Redo!)

(BONUS: Ctrl+Y also repeats the last action you performed in the MS Office Suite. For example: Creating a Table in Word? Insert a new Row, then Ctrl+Y to insert more!)

I'm hearing a lot about "ATS". What is it exactly?

I'm glad you asked! Nice hat, by the way!

This is actually an important, current topic! A company's Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the most challenging aspect of a modern job search!

The nutshell: You email your resume to a company, it's uploaded into their ATS and is converted into a digitized format that can be searched and filtered for easy access. Makes sense; there are a lot of jobs and a lot of applicants out there these days!

DYK: A human may not even see your resume until you're sitting across the table from a hiring manager! And she may be seeing it for the first time!
That’s why it’s crucial to create an ATS optimized resume by using strategically placed, job description keywords and ATS friendly formatting!

So the keyword-heavy Skills section is right at the top of the resume, and the resume itself is formatted using very plain text, no columns, no tables, no shading, no pictures!

Mind if I ask a follow-up Question?

Don't mind at all! That's what I'm here for!

Q: Why should my keyword-laden Skills section be at the top of the resume? Won't the ATS search functionality find keywords wherever they're located in my resume?

A: Yes, but the Skills section isn't located at the top of your resume for the ATS! It's located at the top for the hiring manager sitting across the desk from you, seeing your resume for the first time! Ever hear of the SSRG, the Six Second Resume Glance? Well, it's not a myth! That's what the hiring manager does, and you want to be sure she clearly sees those keywords as soon as she starts reading!

More About the ATS ...

... because the ATS is a really significant part of the current job search environment ...

I had an opportunity recently to see an ATS in action! And I found it absolutely fascinating!

This screenshot >>>>>>>>>>>> represents what the ATS was able to pull from my resume.

Interesting to note: of all the Skills I have on my resume as keywords (and I have a lot!), the ATS only pulled 7 Skills. Why those particular 7? Most likely because they matched the specific job description of the position I was applying to.

(FYI - the Management Score is only used if you're applying for a management position)

More details:

Along with what was already identified in the previous FAQ, Hiring Managers use the ATS to automatically designate a "best fit" for the position you're applying to based on your experience level and the kinds of keywords in your resume.

BUT! The ATS isn’t just about keywords! An ATS "reads" your resume and makes "judgments" about you based on the content. In particular, the ATS is looking for frequently used words and phrases.

The ATS will also assign a percentage to any "Skills" and "Competencies" it identifies on your resume to help pinpoint who you are as a potential employee.

Here's a tip: Ensure the Job Title associated with each position on your resume has enough detail and relevant information to help an ATS determine whether you are qualified for the role! For example, instead of "Assistant Manager", consider: "Assistant Manager - Human Resources / Benefits".

Keep this in mind: the ATS is just a computer program, a cluster of algorithms! It doesn’t "know" anything, it doesn't "read" your resume, it doesn't "make judgments" about you. Its programmers created word lists and categories, and one of your goals is to ensure you're including words and phrases from these lists and categories in your resume!



a thousand words


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