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Your Resume’s Goal: Aiming for WOW!

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In 2021, antiquated as it may seem, employers and recruiters still ask for your resume (afterward, they’ll visit your LinkedIn profile and check your digital footprint). I don’t foresee this changing anytime soon.

 

Your resume is your primary marketing tool presenting a concise summary of your experience, skills, knowledge, credentials, and education. Envision your resume as a brochure selling what you’re able to offer employers.

 

It’s no secret it’s raining resumes these days; therefore, your resume needs to be competitive. It needs to clearly show how you created value for your employers, not that you just put in clocked time.

 

Your resume will solicit one of 3 responses:

 

  • No
  • Yes
  • WOW!

 

You’re aiming for WOW!

 

There are 4 cardinal rules to follow to create a resume that WOWs:

 

  1. Respect your reader (Be a good date for the reader.)
  2. Create continuity (Show career progression.).
  3. Show quantified results. (Employers don’t hire opinions.)
  4. Don’t undervalue the importance of keywords. (Assume your resume will be vetted via an applicant tracking system.)

 

When I read a resume, I look for answers to the following questions:

 

  • Can I relate to your career narrative?
  • How did you add value to your current and past employers?
  • What is your career direction?

 

Of the 1,000’s of resumes I’ve read; the majority are simply a list of opinions. The predictable “I’m a team player,” “I’m a fast learner,” “I’m detailed oriented” appear on almost every resume. Rare is the resume that quantifies. If you can’t quantify, then it’s an opinion.

 

HARD TRUTH: Employers don’t care about your opinion; they care about the results you can achieve.

 

What you think of yourself is a far second to what your resume’s reader will think of you by what your resume conveys. Just because you claim to be XYZ does not mean you are XYZ. Prove it undeniably (i.e., “Exceeded quarterly sales targets.” vs. “For the past 14 quarters exceeded quarterly sales targets by $25,000 to $45,000.”)

 

Businesses revolve around numbers, so should your resume; keep this in mind when interviewing.

 

Remember my column a few weeks back, ‘There’s No Universal Hiring Methodology’? —there’s no such thing as a “killer resume.” Don’t sweat your resume’s format, or whether it’s in reverse chronological or functional. Focus on telling a great ongoing career story, quantifying your accomplishments, having no grammatical errors or typos, and keeping it to 2-pages.

 

Your goal, the reason you want your resume to WOW, is to make the reader say to themselves, I must meet this person!

 

When it comes to your resume’s format, design it for skimmability. With a quick scan, the reader should grasp your expertise and have a solid understanding of your core skills, accomplishments (I repeat: Quantified), and career direction. Since the reader’s eyes naturally return to the left margin once it’s ready to move on to the next line of text, don’t center your text. Align your text to the left, even your section headings. This significantly improves readability. Don’t justify your text. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words making the text harder to read.

 

You don’t earn points for creativity. All points are earned via your content. Creative resumes aren’t more effective than a 2-page resume that WOWs. Most employers find “creativity” frustrating. As well, assuming your resume will be passing through an ATS, a resume with bells and whistles can’t be read by the computer and therefore will be discarded. Save your creativity for your portfolio.

 

One last word on your resume’s format, have generous margins. Resumes with text crammed edge to edge look messy and unprofessional. Bottom and top margins should be no less than 0.5″, your side margins no less than 0.75″.

 

The contents to include in your resume:

 

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary
  • Professional experience
  • Skills/Certifications
  • Education

 

I realize constructing a resume to do all the above-mentions asks a lot from a 2-page document; however, I’ve seen it done.

 

In next week’s column, I’ll discuss presenting your contact information, which most jobseekers don’t enough credence. In the meantime, brainstorm the following:

 

  • Details about your current and past roles
  • Accomplishments you’re proud of (remember to quantify)
  • How you compared to your peers
  • Career milestones and firsts

______________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

Business

TD Bank CFO Ahmed to head securities unit, move seen as CEO succession play

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TD Bank Group on Thursday named Chief Financial Officer Riaz Ahmed chief executive of its securities unit and head of wholesale banking, a move some investors interpreted as a sign he will succeed CEO Bharat Masrani.

For Ahmed, 58, the change marks a return to his TD roots. He began his career at the bank in 1996 as an investment banker in the securities division, following which he served as its CFO and chief administrative officer. He has been part of TD Bank‘s executive team for nine years, and CFO for over five.

“Cross-training in the capital markets role … increases the likelihood of (Ahmed) succeeding Masrani when he retires, but I doubt it would be soon, as that would create unnecessary turnover atop TD Securities,” said Brian Madden, portfolio manager at Goodreid Investment Counsel.

“Maybe Masrani announces his retirement next year (or the following) and leaves early in 2023” or 2024.

Masrani’s compensation arrangements anticipated his retirement in 2020, TD said in its 2019 shareholders meeting proxy circular. But he was granted stock options worth C$1.9 million ($1.5 million), vesting in five years, on the condition that he remain available to serve as CEO throughout that period.

Ahmed replaces Bob Dorrance, who will retire on Sept. 1 after about 16 years at the bank, Canada’s second-biggest lender by market value said in a statement.

When asked about TD’s succession plans, a spokesperson said: “Today we are celebrating Bob Dorrance’s incredible career and accomplishments, and the appointment of top executives to critical, leadership roles.”

At a time when diversity, particularly in executive and board ranks, has come under increased scrutiny, Ahmed’s appointment as CEO would mean TD, the only one of Canada’s six biggest lenders to have a non-Caucasian at its helm, would retain that aspect.

Ahmed’s appointment comes after TD’s wholesale banking unit recorded an 8% revenue decline in the second quarter from a year ago, contributing to the bank’s overall underperformance versus some rivals.

Kelvin Tran, currently executive vice president for enterprise finance, will replace Ahmed as finance chief.

Dorrance, who has headed TD Securities since 2005, will stay on as chairman of TD Securities and serve as special adviser to Masrani.

TD shares were flat at C$87.12 on Thursday afternoon, compared with a 0.2% gain in the Toronto stock index. The shares are up 21% this year, versus a 15% gain in the benchmark.

($1 = 1.2303 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in BengaluruEditing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis)

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AIB agrees to life and pensions joint-venture with Canada Life

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Allied Irish Banks on Wednesday said it would form a joint venture with Canada life as it seeks to plug gaps in its life, savings and wealth products.

The joint venture will be equally owned by Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.

“The move to create this joint venture is aligned with AIB’s stated ambition to complete its customerproduct suite and diversify income,” AIB said in a statement.

“Through this strategic initiative AIB intends to offer customers a range of life protection, pensions, savings and investment options enhanced by integrated digital solutions withcontinued access to our qualified financial advisors.”

The Irish lender highlighted Canada Life’s “deep experience” of the Irish bancassurance market through Irish Life Assurance, which is also a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco.

AIB currently operates under a tied agency distribution agreement with Irish Life, and will enter into a new distribution agreement with the new joint venture company.

Chief Executive Colin Hunt highlighted the need to plug gaps in AIB’s life, savings and wealth products when he set out the bank’s medium-term targets last December.

AIB expects its equity investment in the joint venture will be around 90 million euros ($107.51 million), equating to around 10bps of CET1.($1 = 0.8372 euros)

(Reporting by Graham Fahy;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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Business

Interac: Canada’s Latest Payment Solution Phenomenon

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Few can argue that digital payment methods aren’t central to modern-day society. In recent times, increasing numbers of payment solutions have come to the forefront, offering consumers more choice regarding their transaction preferences. Canada, in particular, has embraced a wide-ranging selection of secure, forward-thinking options. Of those available throughout the country, Interac has piqued the interests of local consumers the most. So, let’s look at why this payment solution is an especially popular option throughout Canada. 

Usable Across Various Markets 

It speaks volumes about Interac’s versatility in that it’s usable across a variety of different industries. Since being founded in 1984, the Canadian interbank network has become integral to numerous markets, including local air travel. Air Canada, which has been operating since 1937, has expanded their accepted payment methods, and now passengers can pay for their flights using Interac. According to the airline’s official website, the Interac Online service lets consumers pay for their tickets via the internet directly from their bank account. 

Not only that, but Interac is also available at Walmart. In November 2020, the two organizations partnered together to expand in-store and online payment options. Walmart has adapted well to the digital trend, with American Banker reporting that they’ve opened Interac Flash sale points throughout their stores. 


Source: Unsplash

Aside from the above, Interac has also taken the digital world by storm. Following its rapid rise to prominence, the solution has also altered the online casino industry, with platforms like Genesis Casino now accepting the transaction type. The provider, which features Interac Canadian casino options, uses the popular payment method to enhance transaction speeds of deposits and withdrawals, as well as security. Players can use Interac Online and Interac e-Transfer to make deposits or withdrawals from their desktops or mobiles as the platform is fully optimized. 

A Reflection of Modern-Day Society 

In recent times, Interac recorded a 55 percent increase in transactions between April and August 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, as per BNN Bloomberg. These figures somewhat reflect the current state of e-Commerce and modern consumerism. Following the rise of Interac and other payment methods, it’s now less troublesome for consumers to complete in-store and online purchases. 


Source: PxHere

There’s an ever-growing perception that land-based businesses need to adapt within the digital era and accept forward-thinking payment methods. According to Cision, Interac is of utmost importance to the Canadian economy, and a year-on-year increase in Interac Debit payments of 333 percent reflects that. Not only that, but Interac e-Transfer payments are growing at 52 percent each year. This Interac-oriented trend appears unlikely to fade over the coming years, with the network being selected as the country’s provider for a new real-time payment system, as per Lexology. 

Consumer Habits are Changing 

There can be no doubt that consumerism has changed drastically over the past decade. The popularity of Interac suggests that a cashless future may be on the horizon, with increasing numbers of shoppers enjoying the security of online payment methods. While it’s currently unclear if that will happen, Interac appears to be prevalent for the long run.

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