How To Begin Preparing Your Professional Resume

July 10th, 2023

When you begin the resume process, you want to make sure it is professional looking.  Sloppy or disjointed resumes will usually get immediately passed on by the reader.

Before you start writing your resume, you should make sure that you have a professional email address like, rather than After you update your email address, you will want to make sure that you correctly update your personal information like your phone number and address.  You will also want to make sure that you do not put in your marital status, date of birth or photograph.

One of the biggest mistakes often made is showing your address in an area far from your current listed employer.  In doing this you may give the impression that you are working remotely.  So, if you have recently moved please be sure your last employer information shows you have left.

Next month we discuss the proper formatting of your resume to get the attention of the reader.

How to Win the Job Search Competition

November 21st, 2016

When you talk about hiring an employee, sometimes it seems that a job applicant prevails because of a favorable convergence of the sun, moon, and stars.

Or, maybe hiring an employee is just like a crap shoot. Or, hiring an employee is like throwing a bunch of darts and hoping that one of them sticks in the target. I have heard all of these references to the process of hiring an employee.

But the fundamental question remains.

What makes one applicant the winner in the job search competition? Employees who were hired did a lot of things right. Better, they did almost nothing wrong. How did Mary get the job?

When comparing candidates, an employer has to differentiate between well-qualified applicants. Applicants who appear to have the qualities, skills, education, experience, and knowledge the employer seeks are invited to interview. One is selected. How do you get to be the one?

Your Personal Presentation Must Make You Stand Out

An effective, targeted, customized resume and cover letter got you in the door. Perhaps a telephone screen allowed you to highlight experience and interest that matched the employer’s needs. You’re on track, and an interview is scheduled.

From this moment forward, the potential employer is assessing your fit for the job, the culture, and the needs and strengths of the team. At this point, the employer is giving you every opportunity to blow your chance.

Your physical appearance matters. It’s the first thing the employer sees. Your clothing, hair, makeup, jewelry, and accouterments make an immediate impression. Make the best possible first impression. Your presentation of yourself as a candidate must be flawless. Unpolished shoes do sink job searches.

Your Interaction During Interviews Either Nails Your Job – or Fails

Your preparation for the interview needs to include formulating specific, professional answers to potential questions. You want to sound knowledgeable, competent, and experienced. You need to be prepared to cite examples of what you have accomplished, contributed, and believe is important. This is not something most people do well off the cuff. Prepare responses.

Pay particular attention to the physical parts of you that will be in evidence throughout an interview across a desk or conference table. Dirty fingernails matter as does that faint stain on your shirt. They send loud messages about your attention to detail and personal care habits.

Relaxed communication is critical. Talk about workplace issues and goals that are important to you. Ask questions to assess whether the culture is a good fit for you. You don’t want to join every organization you encounter in a job search. Trust me; sometimes it’s better to keep looking.

Your Past Will Come Back to Haunt You

Before making an offer, smart employers send out a wide networking inquiry to find people who have known you in your past jobs, professional associations, and community involvement activities. Smart employers also do extensive background checking. What people say about you matters.

You may find it difficult to believe that how you live your life and comport yourself in the workplace matters. But, your values and their manifestation in your work life do matter. Living with integrity, playing well with coworkers, leaving friends – not enemies – in your prior jobs will support you in your job search.

And, when the employer who has the job you really want casts his net to solicit feedback, ensure what people say about you will win you your dream job.

Prepare your references and former supervisors to quickly and professionally return the call of your prospective employer. Smart employers call them and ask many questions. References who are unreachable can torpedo your job offer.

Employers customarily “google” their candidate’s names and do online searches to do a background check of the candidate. If you have odd Internet references to your work, your life, or your background, beware.

If you blog or write a website, your comments will impact hiring decisions. You may never know why you were not hired for the job. The interested employer will ask about their concern, however.

Behave as if Every Interaction Matters – Because They Do

From the initial phone screen or the phone call during which an employer sets up an interview, every interaction matters.

The receptionist has a vote. She or he makes statements like, “I really liked that candidate. He was so nice.” “Did you see how late he was and he never even apologized?” “I didn’t like him at all.”

Additionally, if you are a favored candidate for hiring, the HR staff or the hiring manager will stay closely in touch to give you feedback. They will let you know how the hiring process is progressing because they think you may be the one. When these calls start coming, you still have competition from other job searchers, but you are definitely on the short list.

These interactions and the relationship building are critical to the employer hiring an employee. When the eventual offer comes, you already have a relationship with the new employer. Building the relationship matters.

  • By:  Susan Heathfield 

Reputation Management of Job Boards

January 5th, 2015

Finding the right job board is just as important as finding the right job, which is why reputable job boards are so important for recruiters and potential employees.

Whether it’s finding a job board with dependable listings or one where employers can seek out ideal candidates, reputation management can help.

Here are just a few ways reputation management is having a positive influence on job boards:

Providing the Best Results

Besides being some of the largest job boards on the Internet, sites like Monster, Indeed, and Career Builder have something else in common: inconsistent search results. The last thing recruiters want is to find themselves lumped in with less-than-reputable job posts or worse, spam posts.

In addition, the last thing job seekers want is to sift through hundreds of generic job postings just to find one that’s actually legitimate.

With reputation management, employers and employees alike can find job boards with the most reputable resources, which make the job posting and searching process more efficient.

Avoiding Outdated Listings

There’s nothing worse for job seekers than taking the time to track down a job post and fill out an application only to find out the position has already been filled. Not only is this a waste of time for the site’s visitors, it also makes the job board seem out of date and ineffective.

Cutting the Job Board Clutter

Although the larger job board sites suffer from it the most, even some niche job boards are plagued with clutter. This clutter comes in the form of paid advertisements, paid postings, and spam-like posts that don’t actually lead to the job offerings that are represented in the posts.

Reputation management is looking to cut the job board clutter by monitoring job boards and addressing problematic postings.

By using information based on search results and customer feedback, reputation management services can better represent job boards that pride themselves in clutter-free postings and up to date offerings.

Benefits of Reputation Management

Businesses and job seekers alike benefit from reputation management regardless of whether it’s through job boards or not.

Reputation management improves online job boards and hundreds of other websites in many different ways.

Among them:

  • Customer Satisfaction – Reputation management provides websites the insight they need to improve customer satisfaction. By making sure customer feedback is monitored and the goods and services websites offer are legitimate, reputation management is helping to make the Internet a better place.
  • Positive Perception – For those job boards that put quality first, reputation management services are helping to boost the online presence of sites that go above and beyond.
  • Identify Drawbacks – Through constant monitoring, reputation management services can help job boards pinpoint negative practices as well as website drawbacks. This gives job board sites and other websites an opportunity to provide the best services possible.

When it comes to job boards, reputation management is helping to get the job done more efficiently.

Is your resume ineffective?

September 10th, 2013

We see it every day!  A candidate with outstanding qualifications not getting noticed or receiving that first call from the HR department.  You are an outstanding candidate and may have years of qualified experience.  You may even be the perfect fit for the opportunity you seek.  Still, no phone calls, no emails and no response from the HR department after sending your well-intended resume.

Well, the silent show stopper is likely your resume. Indeed, the construction and content of your resume maybe the only thing preventing you from even getting noticed.

The Symicor Group, and many other talent acquisition firms across the United States, receives feedback from HR Directors lamenting the fact that candidates continue to send them resumes that do not inspire or warrant further review.  These demanding HR leaders readily admit that many candidates may likely be a good fit but these candidates never reach a state of relevancy because of their substandard resume.

Bottom line, your resume must be value-based and enticing. Further, your resume should make irresistible!  It must quickly convey the notion that you are the solution your next employer has been seeking.

Now more than ever, it’s time for your resume to stand out among the sea of resumes competing against you.  A value based resume that is clear and compelling may put you at the front of the line. Call for your free consultation today.  It is time to get you placed with the company and career that offers you challenge and fulfillment.  Call Kelly or Tom today at (847) 325-5457 or email us at

Time for a Job Change? (Part 3)

September 4th, 2013

Part Three – Money and More

In this final part of our 3-part series “Time for a Job Change?” we are going to discuss a little about money, job offers and moving on with your career.

The Money Factor

We all know that money can be a motivating factor on your decision to changes jobs, but be very careful of changing careers simply because of the almighty dollar. Remember that you may make more money, but if you dislike your new career, you’ll probably be spending that money on stress and health related expenses. So before making a jump be sure that you do your research so you know that the new position will be a cultural and professional fit for you.

You Get a Better Offer

Out of the blue you get a call from an another company offering you more money, more flexibility or better benefits, all in an effort to convince you to join their team. If this does happen, remember that you are the one holding the power.  Ask tough questions about the company’s business and its work culture. If the answers you receive are not right for you, you can simply reject the offer and stay in your current position.

A solid outside offer may also put you in a position to ask for more of your current employer.  It is a common and courteous practice to give your current employer a chance to make a counter-offer and keep you on the team. With proper negotiations and you could end up receiving a raise, promotion or other benefits without having to change jobs. On the other hand if your employer won’t negotiate you should take that as a sign that you may be better off in a new job. 

Getting Help in Your Career Search

In this series we have discussed many factors to consider when thinking about a career change.  Once you have decided to make a change you may need help in jump-starting your search.  You may want to consider engaging a professional recruiter who specializes in your industry.  These professionals will work on your behalf to find a position for your unique skills and experience that have shaped what kind of professional you are. Professional recruiters can provide career counseling as well as helping with your resume and interviewing skills.

We hope this series has been helpful to you in your pursuit of your dream career.  The Symicor Group is here to help you though the process.  Please take a few minutes to scan our website to see all of the services we can provide you to help you with your banking career.


Time for a Job Change? (Part 2)

June 27th, 2013

Part Two – Personal Factors

In part-2 of our 3-part series “Time for a Job Change?” we are going to explore some personal factors that may play a part in the decision process on whether it is time to move forward in your career.

You Can Gain a Broader Base of Knowledge

Like with anything thing new you try there is a learning curve, the same applies to your job.  When you are first hired you are thrust into a face-paced indoctrination.  You have to learn the basics of your new position coupled with learning about your co-workers and how you fit into the organization.  That is then followed by a longer period of fine tuning your skills and mastering your position.  Experts express that this period of time is approximately 3 years for the typical worker.

But is that all that there is?  Are you capable of learning more? Is it possible that you can advance your personal base of career-specific knowledge by repeating this learning process in a new position? The answer could be “yes.”

Changing position within your industry may force you to gain new skills that can complement those you already have, allowing you to become a more well-round, and capable professional.  If this is something you personally feel is needed in your career it may be time to start seeking a job that will provide you that growth.

 Your Job Does Not Challenge You Anymore

Have you ever said to yourself “This job has become boring?”  You have mastered the requirements of your position and cruise through it day after day.  You find that your job no longer provides any challenges.  Working at a job that lacks challenges can often result in negative work habits such as surfing the web, playing games, etc. to kill time.  Lack of challenges can also often lead to a lower morale and a lack of enthusiasm on your part.

If you find yourself in this situation you should seek more challenging work assignments within your current organization.  If more challenging assignments are not available to you, you may want to consider moving to a new job where you are again challenged on a day-to-day basis.

 Major Changes in Your Personal Life

There are many different personal circumstances which may necessitate you finding another job.  They can range from wanting to shorten your daily commute time to your spouse has been offered a tremendous opportunity in another city.  Some employers may be willing to work to keep you, especially if you are a key employee, by offering you a transfer to another location.  The key is to keep your employer informed of any pending life-style changes so they are not surprised when your time comes to make a decision.  If however they unwilling or unable to help you in your situation you may be forced to seek out other employment.

The Symicor Group understands how these factors play a part in your decision to look for other work.  A very important part of our process in finding you an opportunity is we take time to get to know you.  Our recruiters spend time talking with you to understand you, your personality, and your unique situation.  Contact us today and let us help move you forward.

Next time in Part-Three of our three-part series we will wrap up the “Time for a Job Change?” series discussing earning and some helpful steps in moving forward.

You can view Part-One of the series at:


Time for a Job Change?

June 6th, 2013

Having been within a few organizations for several years I personally know it is often hard to leave due to friendships you have made, the routines you have established, and familiar environment you have been accustom to.  Other times you just know it is time to seek other opportunities because of issues within the workplace.  This 3-part series will examine some of reasons you might be ready for a change in careers.

Part One – Work Environment Factors

Here we will explore three factors, which certainly can cause undue day-to-day stress in your working environment.

Negative Issues with Your Boss

If you stay at any job long enough you are likely to get a new boss or two.  The person who hired you may have moved up or moved on, and you just might not click with the new boss for a number of reasons.  You may feel that your boss does not do their job as well as they could, or you do not like the direction they insist on leading the organization. Or you may have clashing personalities making every conversation tense and filled with second-guessing and distrust.

You Don’t Fit into the Company’s Culture

A company’s culture will determine whether employees are happy or not. Often executives are too busy managing finances and launching marketing campaigns and do not spend the time to create the company’s culture. Without leadership involvement, a culture will emerge and typically it’s a negative culture.  Creating and managing the organization’s culture is imperative to keeping the best employees.

If you find yourself in a work environment where the culture is not conducive to your productivity, happiness or comfort, determine root cause of the discomfort.  If you find that the cause is something nonthreatening, such as the group’s love of football, for example, perhaps you can find other co-workers who share your outsider interests.

If you find however that the culture is based on unhealthy themes, such as sexual discrimination or the use of drugs and alcohol you must make a decision on whether you want to be part of that culture or find a new job where the culture suits you.

The Company is About to Fail

Companies fail for many reasons, but the end result is the same: the company shuts its doors and stops providing much-needed services and paychecks.  If you can see that your company is in trouble or on its way to failure, it’s probably a good time to find a new job.  Some of the warning signs you should watch for are:

    • Cutting down operational expenses.
    • Hiring freeze.
    • Hours cut at work
    • Downsizing: lay-offs
    • The company is cutting back on staff perks

If you find yourself looking to move on from your current career, The Symicor Group can help.  At The Symicor Group, we know you’ve worked hard to get where you are.  And we know a job is about much more than the skill set.  It’s about the person who does it.  So we’ll take the time to find out about you—where you are and where you want to go.  And we’ll find you the positions that will help you get there.

We recognize that you have unique skills and experience that shape what kind of employee you are.  And we believe that cultural fit is one of the best indicators of success for both employee and employer. So we take measures to ensure that every employee is placed in a work environment where they can succeed and thrive.

Contact us today and let us work for you to find your dream position.

Next time in Part-Two of our three-part series we will explore personal factors in the “Time for a Job Change?” series. 

Six Reasons Why Job Seekers Should Work With a Recruiter

November 8th, 2012

An article we recently found on Yahoo! Voices, submitted by Lisa Ann Burke, lays out several reasons why working with a recruiter during your jobs search can be beneficial to your job hunting success. Listed below are just some things a recruiter may be able to do for you that you are unable to do by yourself in securing employment.

1. Chance to Apply for Un-Advertised Jobs.

Often companies choose not advertise job openings but rather use the services of staffing professionals to locate suitable and pre-screened candidates for them. Many times, their openings are listed with recruiters before they even appear on the company website. The job seeker may be missing out on a number of available positions by simply searching the job boards and applying to companies directly rather than working with a recruiter.

2. Recruiters Market Candidates.

Recruiters take the time to get to know the candidate’s work experience, personality, and other factors in order to match them with positions. When an ideal match is found by a recruiter, they will actively sell the candidates to the employers by highlighting their experience and accomplishments. The relationship that a recruiter has with the employer is a large benefit when presenting a candidate for consideration.

3. Assistance with Your Resume.

Recruiters can assist you with highlighting your most relevant accomplishments and marketable qualities so that your resume will set you apart from the crowd of other candidates. Often employers use software to pre-screen candidates by searching for keywords within your resume. Resumes submitted directly to employers from a recruiter are considered as being pre-screened and are almost sure to get into the hands of the hiring managers.

4. Assist with Targeted Job Search.

As stated above, an effective recruiter takes time to get to know the candidates. In doing so, the recruiter will submit your resume for those openings that most closely match your qualification, greatly increasing your changes for interviews and job offers. Recruiters may also send your resume to employers who are not actively looking for employees to see if they might have an interest in someone with your unique qualifications.

5. Interview Feedback.

In many cases, due to the relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager, the recruiter can obtain feedback and insight regarding your interview that you could not obtain. This information is valuable as it may prepare you for your second interview with that company or with the next company.

6. Offer Negotiation.

When it comes to the subject of compensation, it is generally not wise to bring it up during early-round interviews. However, the recruiter will often know the compensation range for the position and will share that with you unless the employer requested that they do not. The recruiter is also there to help if you receive an offer below your expectations. The recruiter can step in and help you negotiate the terms of your offer.

These are just a few of the many things a good recruiter can do to help you land your perfect job. Choosing the right recruiter is important. We suggest you start by seeking out recruiters who specialize in placing people in industries that interest you.

The Symicor Group specializes banking and finance positions. Our goal is to find you that perfect position that matches your unique experience, skills and personality. The Symicor Group includes former bank executives who truly understand the unique demands of this evolving industry and have deep connections within the industry.

If you have any questions about The Symicor Group, contact us and we will put you in touch with one of our recruiters.

Hey Job Candidate…Are You a Crystal Ball?

October 22nd, 2012

Is your past performance transparent to your interviewer?  I’ll get back to this question a bit later.

During your interview, you are on the receiving end of a bevy of questions designed to predict the future…based your real past performance.  As a candidate, do you fully understand behavior-based interviewing?

You see, the whole idea behind behavior-based interviewing is to authenticate your ability to do the job.  So many candidates don’t get this! Good interviewers who use this questioning style will ask a series of past performance questions.  Then, they will ask the questions again and again until you offer them detailed examples of how you did it.  The definition of ‘it’ is up to you.  What do you want them to remember about you?  That’s the real secret, standing out among the ocean of other candidates.

So, what are examples of behavior-based interview questions?  Try these on for size:

  • tell me about a time when…,
  • give me an example of what you mean…,
  • give me another example of…
  • tell me more about that…,
  • what were the specific results and how did you achieve them…,
  • could you be more specific…
  • and this is one of my favorites… please give me another example of when…
  • Not to worry, if this happens, someone is very interested in your story.  Just remember, the story you tell needs to have legs. The answers you give should be rooted in your own actual experiences.

So, do you want to nail that interview?  Here are a few musts:

Be prepared… no I mean really prepared. 

Go on the internet and find a list of behavior-based interviewing questions.  Then, print them off and ask someone (with experience) to interview you.  If you cannot find these important questions, call any one of our Symicor Group recruiters for help.  Your interview partner should insist that you provide specific behaviors and results about how you did it and how you could do it again for the company you are dying to join.

Be Truthful. 

Behavior-based interviewing is designed to catch you puffing or exaggerating. Try to avoid this.  Your clarity and facts will leave the right taste in your interviewer’s mouth.  Think about three to five work related stories that showcase your skills.  Remember to include those failures that taught to you the best lessons. As you recall these examples, try to remember all the important details.  The secret sauce is embedded in those details.

Be Convincing. 

With the same detail, convince the interviewer that no one will add more value to the company then you.  Remember, you are on the field of battle with other formidable foes.  Transform the interviewer into a believer…a believer in you!  Your potential employer must believe that you can and will duplicate your past success

So, do your homework. 

Find out what is important to your new company.  Using your new behavior-based interviewing skills, make it your mission to learn about this company’s priorities.  If I had a nickel for every interview I sat through with candidates who only knew what was important to them…not me (or my firm).

This research requires an innovative spirit.  I had a candidate once tell me that she called other employees of my company to discover:  if they liked working for my company and why, what were the top issues or priorities, or what are the top challenges facing my company.  Don’t press them for company secrets, just a few high level themes.  Now indeed, many employees may not be able to clearly outline these priorities or challenges.  You will get the idea as you gently nudge them for their thoughts (employees enjoy offering opinions – don’t you?).

Remember that crystal ball question?  If your interviewer can clearly see that you enjoyed previous success, you can clearly describe how you did it, and he/she clearly believes that you can do it again, you become their clear choice.

Resume Writing Tips Every Job Seekers Needs to Read

October 9th, 2012

Every job seeker wants to present to prospective employers a resume that is both professional and effective in hopes of getting noticed in a positive way.  Often resumes fall short of that goal and the job seeker is passed over not because they don’t have the qualification for the position, but because the way they information is presented.  The folks at have pulled together 44 resume writing tip that can help anyone prepare a resume that will help them get noticed.

44 Resume Writing Tips

Now that you have read this informative article and have put together that great resume, let The Symicor Group help you in your job search.  If you are looking for a new career opportunity send us your resume and let us help.  We also can have your resume professionally written if needed.  Click here to learn about our Comprehensive Resume Service