Career Night for Returning English Teachers in the JET Program

On Thurs. Nov.19th, I will be giving a talk to 2014-15 participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program at the JETAABC Career Night. I will be talking about one of the best ways you can make your resume compelling to an employer. Career Night will be held at the Alliance for Arts and Culture at 938 Howe St.,Vancouver, from 6.45 – 9pm. If you’re a returning JET participant or JET alumni, RSVP right now!

JET Reception

Second from left: Milton Kiang
Middle: Consul General Seiji Okada
Second to Right: Dr. Ross King, Head of UBC Asian Studies

I was also a participant of the JET Program. In 1989, I was assigned to the City of Yokohama, where I taught at an elementary school, three junior high schools, and one evening technical high school. I found the experience rewarding and picked up a lot of valuable life skills that later helped me in my career. In my talk, I will guide JET participants in taking stock of their greatest strengths and skill sets, and in learning how those skills can best serve a future employer.

On Nov.5th, I attended a reception held at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan, where returning JET participants were officially welcomed by Consul General Seiji Okada. Talks were also given by Dr. Ross King, Head of the UBC Asian Studies Dept. and Mike Dalley, president of JETAABC. More details about the event can be viewed here.

 

Need a LinkedIn Profile?

Nowadays, more and more professionals are being viewed by prospective employers, headhunters, and HR recruiters on LinkedIn and other social media websites. As a resume writer, I can write a professional LinkedIn profile that will highlight your greatest skill sets, qualifications and professional accomplishments. When you post a profile that can be viewed by potentially hundreds within your industry or sector, you don’t want to make a causal effort. Hire a professional resume writer today. Call Milton Kiang at 604 838 1222 or email him at milton.kiang@gmail.com.

 

For My Resume, Do I Need To Include Every Job I’ve Ever Had?

Resume tips

As a resume writer in Vancouver, this is a common question that I get asked, so I thought I’d address it in my blog. As you probably guessed, it’s not always necessary to state every job that you’ve had since the beginning of time! While your resume should set forth a fair and accurate biography of your work history, there are some exceptions.  Here are some exceptions that you can apply:

Summer and part-time work.

These are seasonal or part-time jobs that you took during your university and college years to help you pay for tuition. These might include working as a barista at a coffee shop, a server at a restaurant, or a sales clerk at a clothing store. You can leave them out unless you utilized and developed certain skills that are relevant to your future career.

For example, if you are aiming to start a career in sales, your summer job as a sales clerk at the Gap will be important. The job shows that you have learned how to provide customer service, how to handle customer complaints, and how to talk to customers about a company’s products.

Jobs that you’ve worked in before a career change.

Let’s say you worked as an accountant for 10 years before deciding to re-train to become a computer programmer. In that case, I would say that your previous employment record as an accountant wouldn’t be of interest to a future employer, and therefore can be either be deleted or significantly abridged.

As a computer programmer, you may also remove mentions of your accounting education, training and certifications; this won’t be relevant to an employer looking to hire a programmer.

If you’ve recently re-trained as a computer programmer, and you’re out looking for your first job, you won’t have any work history in your resume, other than your previous accounting jobs. In that case, do mention your accounting jobs in your resume, but pare back on the description of your job responsibilities.

Your prospective employer won’t be interested in reading in great detail about what you did as an accountant. But if you’ve ever been promoted, then you’ll definitely want to include that information because it demonstrates your potential to outperform your peers and handle greater responsibility. If you’ve ever hired, managed and trained subordinates, then, again, your employer will want to hear about that.

Jobs that have lasted for a short duration.

This will happen to most people at least once in their career: starting a job, and then later finding out it’s not the right fit. If you’ve left the job during the probationary period, or after a few weeks, I believe it’s fair game to leave that information out. Everyone deserves to make an honest job mistake at least once in their career.

__________________________________________________

The question I ask myself, in deciding whether certain information can be excluded, is this: “If I was the employer, what would I want to know about this employee in order to make an informed hiring decision?”

___________________________________________________

Temp jobs unrelated to your primary occupation.

In today’s world of retrenchments and mass staff layoffs in order to shore up the corporate bottom-line, it’s not uncommon to see even the most loyal and dedicated worker out of a job. We all have bills to pay and we sometimes need to take temp jobs at Home Depot or Starbucks until we find our next “real job”.

I believe it’s fair game to omit those jobs since they’re not related to your main occupation, provided that those jobs are temporary (i.e. less than one year). If asked by a prospective employer what you did during that period, you can be honest and say that you held a part-time or temp job while searching for work in your field.

There are probably other situations where, as a professional resume writer, I would say it’s fair to leave out certain job information. The question I ask myself, in deciding whether certain information can be excluded, is this: “If I was the employer, what would I want to know about this employee in order to make an informed hiring decision?”

Obviously, not everything about an employee would be of interest to an employer. As mentioned above, it’s up to an employee to use her discretion, and to give a fair and accurate picture of her work and education history, while keeping her resume on-point, succinct, and relevant.

Do you have a resume that’s out of date?

It can be a daunting task to re-write your resume, trying to record everything that you’ve done during the last 10 or 20 years. As a professional resume writer, I can help you capture that information on paper in a way that underscores your strongest skill sets and talents and would impress a future employer. I can also help you with your LinkedIn profile, since more and more employers use social media to find new talent.

Call me today at 604 838 1222 or email me at milton.kiang@gmail.com to see how I can make this process much easier.

Resume Writer Milton Kiang Joins UBC Tri-Mentoring Program

UBC Tri-Art Mentoring ProgramIf you’ve read my earlier blog concerning the value of a Humanities degree, then you will know that I support the UBC Faculty of Arts Tri-Mentoring Program. Last Tuesday night (Oct. 20th) was the kick-off event, where I got to meet other Arts alumni and my two mentees. Christine Lee, an associate director of alumni engagement, together with her team, hosted the event. Lee spoke about the program’s objectives, describing areas that worked well, and others that might need improvement. She talked about the ways mentors can help their students, and how mentors themselves can benefit from the program.

One insight that I learned was that the relationship forged between mentor and mentee is unlike that which a student normally shares with his parents or teachers. Perhaps for the first time, students can interact with adults in a way that’s different from their parents and teachers.  Mentees value the relationship they have with their mentors, and from my observation, they are eager to learn as much as they can, and want to be prepared for their working life once they leave university.

For those of you who’ve left university for several years, and are thinking of ways to give back to their alma mater, participating in a similar mentorship program that your university runs is a great way to achieve this goal.

Here is a recent press release talking about my support of the program.

 

Need a Resume Writer?

One of the most difficult things about writing your resume, is that it is awfully difficult to be objective about your strengths and talents. Talking to a professional resume writer is a good way for you to identify areas that you are good at, and to recognize ways you can add value to an employer. Unlike other resume writing services, I actually meet with all my clients so that I can personally assess their strengths and key skill sets. Call me today at 604-838-1222 and find out how I can help you create professional resume.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Resume Mistakes to Avoid!

Vancouver resume mistakes to avoid. September seems to be a busy month for Vancouver resume writers like myself. With kids going back to school, and the summer being over, I guess people want to try applying for new jobs. September feels like the beginning of a new year, so why not start a new job?

Before sending out your resume, quickly review your resume and make sure you avoid these common errors found in resumes. (If you’re planning on re-writing your entire resume, try following these guidelines that I put together in an earlier blog.)

1.  Typos and Spelling Errors.

Every time someone asks me what are the most common mistakes I find in resumes, I tell them they are typos, spelling and grammatical errors.

Make sure you print out your resume and proofread the hard copy.  I find that once you print your written work in hard copy, it is far easier to spot the errors. The reason for this, according to a  2014 Wired article, is that our brains already know what meaning you want to convey from your work. Therefore, when you reproduce your work in a form that is unfamiliar to you – such using a different font or printing it on paper – then the errors become easier to spot. And remember: spell check everything.

2.  Your Resume Isn’t Tailored for the Specific Job.

Many job applicants don’t spend enough time tailoring and modifying their resume to fit the job they are applying for. What they need to do is re-read their “Career Profile” or “Career Objectives” section at the top of their resume, and make sure those sections are consistent with what the employer is looking for.    

Example:

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager, and you currently handle online marketing, as well as events marketing. If the position calls for an Events Marketer, then you want to emphasize your events marketing skills above everything else. Your “Career Profile” section might start off looking like this:

“Senior marketing manager specializing in events marketing, including the planning and organization of conferences, galas, exhibitions, luncheon and evening events, covering venues for 50 to 1,000 attendees.”    

3.  Your Most Relevant Job Skills Aren’t Emphasized.

This relates to my earlier point about one’s resume not being tailored for the job application. As you go through the “Employment History” section, elaborate in detail your skills, experiences, and accomplishments that are directly relevant to the job opening. Cut back or delete information that is not directly relevant to the job description. Start with your current or most recent job, because that is where the employer would first look at.

4. Consistency.

(a) Employment Dates: If you’ve given the month and year of when you’ve started and ended previous jobs, make sure you follow through in giving both the month and year of every job that you’ve worked at.

(b) Periods: If you’ve ended a sentence with a period, make sure you follow through in ending every sentence with a period. (As a matter of grammar and style, every sentence should end with a period!)

5.  Proper Email Address.

Use an email address that is professional in appearance (e.g. john.smith@gmail.com). Avoid using cute or clever addresses like tweetybird604@hotmail.com.

 

Keep these five common mistakes in mind, each and every time you review your resume, and especially before you fire off your resume for a job that you’re dying to apply for.

 

Do you have an outdated resume, or a resume that needs a lot of improvement?

Consult with a Vancouver resume writer who can help you create a professional resume that will dramatically improve your chances of getting a job interview. See why numerous satisfied Vancouver job applicants recommend Channel Resume to help them create a first-class resume. Call 604 838 1222 or email me at milton.kiang@gmail.com

Vancouver Resume Writer Milton Kiang Featured In UBC Alumni Spotlight!

Asian Studies

After graduating from the University of British Columbia 26 years ago, I was glad to be re-connected to my alma mater through a recent interview I did with the UBC Asian Studies Department.

The interview really brought back memories from my undergraduate years – cramming for exams, writing term papers, playing intramural sports, going to keg parties. In the interview, I talk about how the university experience is as much about academic learning as it is about “social learning”. When I say social learning, I mean learning to network, working and cooperating with others in projects, building social relationships, developing your personal confidence. In many ways, it is the social learning that endures years after you leave university.

How I Became A Vancouver Resume Writer

Graduating from university, I didn’t set out to become a Vancouver resume writer. Rather, the route that I took was a rather long and winding one. I studied law at the University of Calgary, became a lawyer, and initially practiced in Vancouver.

In 1995, I moved to Hong Kong to work as a lawyer. After 10 years of practice, I decided to try something different, so at the invitation of a friend, I joined her headhunting company, which is now the world’s largest legal recruitment firm  I worked as a headhunter recruiting lawyers for legal jobs at law firms, banks, private and public companies and non-profits.

As a recruiter, I would screen hundreds of applicant resumes, and I would often come across resumes that were poorly written and needed a lot of improvement. After re-writing their resumes, these applicants would get immediate calls for interviews. It was at this point that I realized I had a talent for writing strong resumes. Working closely with employers, I knew exactly what they looked for in their new hires. Surprisingly, I found that many applicants would fail to highlight those skill sets and job experiences that matter most to an employer.

Setting Up a Vancouver Resume Writing Company

When I moved back to Vancouver in 2008, I established a Vancouver resume writing business called Channel Resume  where its primary objective is to help clients create professional resumes that would land them job interviews. Why the name “Channel Resume”? Well, I used the word “channel” to convey the sense that one shifting and diverting one’s energies and focus towards a single objective – which in this case, is landing an interview and getting a new job.

Have a look at my UBC Alumni Spotlight.

Vancouver Resume Help For University And College Graduates

I am a professional resume writer and help university and college graduates write professional resumes that help them get their first “real jobs” outside of school. I also help students with their application letters to graduate school, law and medical school, and MBA programs. Find out what’s unique about my Vancouver resume writing services and how my services can help you stand above the crowd.

How Do I Choose a Vancouver Resume Writer?

how to choose a vancouver resume writerI didn’t want to write a self-serving article about how to choose a resume writer in Vancouver, but I felt that there weren’t many materials out there that serve as a guide for choosing a resume writer.

 

TIPS ON CHOOSING A RESUME WRITER

As I wrote this article, I tried to put myself into the shoes of the client, and asked myself, “What would I look for in a resume writer?” Here, in no particular order, are some of things that I would be mindful of:

1.  Can your resume writer write?

You should look for previous samples of her writing in judging whether this person has the ability to write a professional resume. If you don’t have his resume samples, look at his website, blogs and articles; you can learn a lot about a person’s writing abilities from those pieces of writing.

2.  What qualifications does the resume writer have?

Nowadays, a person can be certified by such associations as the Professional Association of Resume Writers or Career Coaches and The National Resume Writers’ Association. If your resume writer is certified, it is a plus, but not an absolute requirement.

I don’t have a resume writing certificate, but one doesn’t need special certification to work as a resume writer. Many resume writers have relevant experience gained from previous work, such as serving as a career counsellor, recruiter or head hunter, outplacement consultant, or even as a copywriter.

The important thing is that the resume writer understands what employers look for in an applicant’s resume. A good Vancouver resume writer will know how to highlight the applicant’s key skills and qualifications as they relate to a job opening. She will be skilled in presenting the person’s work biography, and education and training history in a succinct and
compelling way.


“A good Vancouver resume writer will know how to highlight the applicant’s key skills and qualifications as they relate to a job opening.”


3.  What is the resume writing process like?

A professional resume writer will clearly explain what the writing process will be like. In order to write your resume, the writer will require your work and education information. To get that information, the writer will do one of three things: he can have you fill in an online form; interview you over the telephone; or meet you in person for an in-depth discussion.

As a resume writer, I prefer to meet with my clients in person. This way, I get to know them better, and am able to grasp their special skills, unique work experiences and educational backgrounds.

Many resume services require clients to fill in a set of online forms; what they do is re-assemble the information that you provide to them. The problem with this method is that it fails to pull out all of an applicant’s talents and qualifications that might lie hidden away. From my experience, I find that this valuable information only surfaces when you have rigorously questioned the client, drilling deep into his work experiences and qualifications.

Applicants who do the same set of tasks everyday, over a period of decades, have a difficult time articulating their unique skill sets until you ask them very specific questions about their work responsibilities. A good resume writer will uncover an applicant’s key talents and core competencies by asking a set of insightful questions.

4.  Are you able to talk to the actual resume writer himself?

Before you hire your resume writer, it’s important to be able to talk to him and ensure you are comfortable using his services.

You will want to ask:

•  How long has he been a resume writer?
•  What qualifications or relevant experience does he have?
•  Has he prepared resumes for someone in your profession previously?
•  Is he familiar with the job market for someone in your occupation or profession?

Before you decide on your resume writer, do a Google search of some of the resume writers in your area, call up two or three, and then decide. It’s important that you build a good rapport with your writer, and quite often, it comes down to your “gut feel” about the writer himself. Good luck!

Hire a Vancouver Resume Writer

If you feel that your resume is too outdated, or don’t have the time to rewrite your resume, why not hire a professional Vancouver resume writer? As a former headhunter, I know what employers look for in a resume. By asking you a set of detailed, insightful questions about your work history, I am able to pull out your most marketable skillsets and qualifications. Find out about my fees and the full extent of my services, and call me if you have any questions!

Sponsor Me! July 12 Bike-a-Thon for the Rotary Hearing Foundation | Resume Writing Vancouver

Vancouver Resume Writer, Wearing Bike Helmet Photo!Hello there! I know this isn’t related to resume writing, career exploration or job hunting, but I’m trying to use all social media platforms to get the word out about my upcoming Bike-a-Thon to fund-raise for the Rotary Hearing Foundation. For this Bike-a- thon, I promise to ride 120 km from Burnaby to Harrison Hot Springs, rain or shine.

Can you imagine not being able to hear your child speak his or her first few words? Or not being able to savour the simple pleasure of listening to your favourite song? Most of us know someone who is coping with hearing-related issues.  I am sure that you or someone you know has already benefited from the excellent research being done in this field.

Over the past 30 years, our club has raised over $2.6 million in support of hearing causes in B.C. , including programs at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, B.C. Family Hearing Resource Society, and many others.

To see a great example of how your donations can help others, listen to  young Janelle Milne’s uplifting cochlear implant story.

A common donation is about $50, but, really, any amount would be appreciated. Any donation of $25 or more will qualify for a tax receipt. As a plus, your donation will be matched by corporate sponsors to support the Women’s National Soccer Team! [1]

Visit Milton’s Fundraising Page to make a donation.

(Or you can email me with the amount that you would like to donate, and I can arrange to collect a cheque from you.)

Respectfully, and with thanks,

Milton

[1]  This year, our club will be participating in a matching campaign organized by http://www.goplay4.com/.  Every dollar raised for the Vancouver Club of Vancouver Hearing Foundation will be matched by corporate sponsors to support our Women’s National Soccer Team.

Shall I State References In My Resume?

stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net

Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My original article appeared in Freshgigs.ca. In this blog, I discuss the straight-forward question of whether references need to be stated in one’s resume. The answer is “yes and no.” As I state in the article, listing out your references may not be so prudent because you never know when someone might call on your reference. On the other hand, if you have as a reference someone who is well-known in your industry (e.g. a software company CEO or bank VP), why not use his or her name to elevate your profile? It might quickly lead to a job interview, even if your resume does not meet all of the job requirements.

Should I Include References in my Resume?

Read my full article “Should I Include References in my Resume” to find out all of the factors you should consider before listing out your employment references. And what about that phase, “References will be provided upon request.” Is that even necessary?

Hire a Professional Resume Writer

I am a professional resume writer in Vancouver BC that gives job applicants a competitive advantage – helping you land that desired job interview. Learn more about my Vancouver resume writing services here.

How to Become a Professional Resume Writer

For this blog, I’d like to reproduce a recent interview that I did with the online job site, Freshgigs.ca. The interview is basically about how I came from being a corporate & commercial lawyer to a professional resume writer in Vancouver. I discuss how resume formats have changed over the years, and recommend some style guidelines when composing a resume. (My advice is that for anyone who is pursuing a non-artistic or non-design career, refrain from using colour in your resume, and keep graphics down to a minimum.)

I tell readers about some of the biggest mistakes I see in people’s resumes, and how to avoid them.

How do I write a compelling a resume if I have minimal work experience?

From college graduates, one of the common questions I get is: how do I write a compelling a resume if I have minimal work experience?

My answer is: “You’ve been in school for most of your life; you’re not supposed to have a work history!” That said, if graduates have any summer work experience or volunteer experience, I tell them to put that in their resume. Try to highlight some valuable skill sets that you’ve picked up from volunteering or summer jobs, and might be of use to your future employer. This can include things like customer service or dealing with customer enquiries, operating a cash register, filing or data entry, office administration, etc. If you have co-op or practicum experience, then describe your job responsibilities and key learnings in specific detail. Highlight key skills that might be of use to a future employer.

Becoming a resume writer

For those of you interested in becoming a resume writer, I share some tips on how to get into the resume writing field, and some of the challenges of being in this line of work. But there are definitely rewards in being a resume writer, so read on!

Becoming a resume writer
Vancouver Resume Writer

As a Vancouver resume writer, I help give applicants a competitive edge. Learn more about my Vancouver resume writing services, including my resume writing rates, my writing process, and how to contact me for help.

Is it important to include your hobbies and interests in your resume?

Is it important to include your hobbies and interests in your resume?

FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Khunaspix

Just how relevant are your hobbies and interests to your resume? Do employers really want to know what you do in your spare time, or what sports teams you played for in high school or university?

As a professional resume writer in Vancouver I get this question a lot, and the answer isn’t so cut-and-dried.

“Vanilla” interests

Some of you might feel that you don’t have any interests that are worth stating. If you think that putting in plain “vanilla” interests would only consume valuable sections in your resume – such as listening to music, reading, going for walks, etc. – then leave that area empty.

Important hobbies & interests

On the flip side, the “hobbies and interests” section of the resume is the only part that tells the reader who you really are, as an individual. If, for example, you run a music site where you showcase new independent acts in your town or city, and have managed to attract 150,000 followers on your site, and generate about a thousand dollars of online banner ad revenue per month, your employers will want to know about this.

Have a look at my article in Freshgigs.ca, “Is It Necessary To Include “Sports, Hobbies, and Interests” In My Resume?,” and read about the different scenarios where it might be relevant to describe your interests, sports, and hobbies.

Resume services Vancouver

I am a professional resume writer in Vancouver BC, giving applicants a competitive edge. Learn more about my resume services in Vancouver, including my resume writing rates and how to contact me for help.