Land a Job with These Must-Have Skills for Your Resume

It’s no secret: job hunting is a pain in the neck. Sending out resume after resume hoping an employer emails you back for an interview can get pretty tiresome after a while — especially if you’re really looking for that perfect dream job. 

There’s no surefire process to guarantee a job, but there are big steps that you can take to make your resume more appealing to potential employers. One way to do that is showcasing your skills. Skills are a great resume booster because they show potential employers exactly what you’re bringing to the table. Sure, education and past experience are important to include, but often, employers want a more direct description of your abilities before they seriously consider you for a job.

 In this post, we’ll walk you through what you should know about skills for resume building. Read through and apply these tips to your resume today to start seeing better results in the future. 

  • What are the best skills to put on a resume?
  • The difference between hard skills and soft skills
    • Hard skills: examples for your resume
    • Soft skills: examples for your resume
  • How to match your skills to the job description
  • Where to include a skills section on your resume
  • Resume-boosting skills: the takeaways

What are the best skills to put on a resume?

Good skills to put on a resume depend on your industry and personal expertise; there’s no one-size-fits-all set of skills that will work for everyone. However, there are some prominent skills that almost every employer will find appealing, including:

  • Clear, direct communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Team leadership and collaboration 
  • Problem-solving
  • Basic computer literacy 

When listing skills, it’s a good idea to tie them back to some experience that you have. For instance, let’s say that in your current job, you collaborate with a team to produce a budget report every month. When you list your “Team leadership” as a skill, be sure to cite your budget meeting collaboration as an example. 

We’ll explain more about how to include and format skills in your resume further down. But first, there’s an important distinction that we should explain. 

The difference between hard skills and soft skills

You might have heard recruiters, HR reps, and other professionals mention hard skills and soft skills. It’s not a hard science, but this is how each one works. 

  • Hard skills: Industry-specific skills that often require school or training to achieve 
  • Soft skills: General skills that can be applied to a diverse range of work environments

It’s easier to understand the difference by considering a few examples. 

Hard skills: examples for your resume

As mentioned, hard skills are developed through training or in school, and usually apply to one or more specific industries. For example, here are a few hard skills for your resume that employers are often interested in:

  • Computer programming
  • Web design
  • Technical writing
  • Marketing copywriting
  • Applied math
  • Engineering
  • Heavy machinery operation
  • Research skills
  • Legal analysis
  • Medical diagnostics
  • Psychological counseling 
  • Electrician skills

Typically, hard skills are part of the hard requirements for a job. If you don’t have chemical engineering as one of your hard skills, you will likely not be hired for any job that requires it. To learn hard skills, it’s a good idea to attend a trade school, junior college, or four-year university and take the necessary classes. 

There may also be industry-led training programs that you can apply to, such as initiatives to train employees in programming and other skills for growing industries. If you need a certain set of hard skills to put on your resume in order to succeed in your favored industry, your first step should be to research how you can get those skills. 

Soft skills: examples for your resume

On the other hand, soft skills are more general. They can also be developed in a variety of places: in school, on the job, volunteering, and sometimes people are just born with them. Soft skills often involve working with others. A few examples of soft skills for your resume include:

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Empathy 
  • Active listening 
  • Public speaking
  • Problem-solving
  • Computer literacy 

Soft skills might not be strict requirements for many positions, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In fact, because many applicants to a given position will likely already have the hard skills required to perform that job, soft skills can make a huge difference when it comes to setting you apart.

For instance, say you’re applying to that chemical engineering position mentioned before. Likely, most of the applicants will have a four-year degree or equivalent training, and will know the basics it takes to get the job done. However, you might be the only one with a proven track record of communicating and collaborating with a diverse team. Highlighting that skill can set you apart from the pack. 

  • Are you trying to build up hard and soft skills? Read our guide on how to get a virtual internship. 

How to match your skills to the job description

Something you may have read online or heard from professionals is that it’s smart to match your skills to the skills asked for in a job description. It’s pretty clear why you’d want to do this: potential employers are looking for someone with a certain set of skills, so you want to make it obvious to them that you have those skills. 

On top of that, some employers use algorithmic methods to sort out resumes because they get so many applicants. Using the skills mentioned in the job description increases the likelihood that the algorithm will serve your resume to the human hiring manager. 

Matching your skills to the job description is pretty simple. Take a look at your resume, then look at the skills the job description asks for. Let’s say that the job description asks for an “effective communicator,” and your resume skills section (more on that in just a sec) says “clear communicator.” These are pretty much the same thing; simply change the wording on your resume to match the wording from the job description. 

Where to include a skills section on your resume

We’ve mentioned a few times that it’s a good idea to have a skills section on your resume. These days, having a well laid-out, dynamic resume is important. A simple Word document printed in black and white Times New Roman may still be the standard for some industries, but in many fields, visually standing out is important. 

One way to do that is to have clearly labeled sections on your resume, sometimes graphically laid out in modular boxes that are fun and eye-catching. Whatever layout you choose, prominently identifying your skills is usually a good idea. In that section, simply list your skills. Some professionals also recommend giving clear examples of your skills in action. 

For instance:

  • Web design: Build company website from the ground up using HTML and CSS coding. 
  • Clear communicator: Worked collaboratively with a team of designers to improve software UI
  • Leadership: Stepped up and took the lead on a project when the manager had to step out. 

Using evidence to support your skills gives potential employers an idea of what they can expect from you — a critical leg up as they assess their many options. It’s also just part of having a strong, well-rounded resume. 

When it comes to placing the section for skills for your resume, there is some debate over where the best location might be. There are some options to choose from:

  • As the first item on the page: This bold move demonstrates your abilities immediately, before even getting into education or experience. This might work better for jobs that require a number of harder-to-find hard skills. 
  • Near the bottom: Some jobs might be pickier based on education or experience. If that’s the case, you’ll still want to include your skills, but foregrounding those other accomplishments might be the savvier move. 
  • MIxed in with experience: Some resumes pepper skills in with experience. List each job you’ve had, then under it, the specific skills (and accomplishments) that you attained there. 

Ultimately, the important thing is that you customize your resume to suit the job you’re applying to. Different industries, different employers, and even different individual hiring managers might all have their own preferences and standards. Doing your research to try to match your resume to those standards is your best bet when trying to stand out. 

  • Pro tip: if you’re headed to a career fair soon, don’t just stop at your resume. Check out our guide to questions to ask at a career fair so you show up informed and prepared.

Resume-boosting skills: the takeaways

Here’s what to remember as you start putting together your professional resume:

  • The best skills to put on your resume include both hard and soft skills. 
  • Hard skills for your resume usually require education or training, and include skills like:
    • Computer programming
    • Technical writing
    • Medical training
  • Soft skills are more general, can be learned from experience, and can be applied to many jobs. Good soft skills to put on your resume include:
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Computer literacy 
  • One way to help your resume stand out is to phrase your skills so that they match the job description. This lets employers know you’re paying attention, and will help keep you from being sorted out by a resume-sorting algorithm (if they use one). 
  • Different jobs and industries require different resume layouts. However, it’s usually a good idea to highlight your skills in their own section. 

Having a well-written resume can increase your earning potential, help you find better jobs, and even help with getting a promotion or salary increase. Try these tips out as you continue your job hunt — and good luck on the market!

Sources

Harvard Business Review | Indeed | Purdue OWL

The post Land a Job with These Must-Have Skills for Your Resume appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

Do Personal Guarantees Affect Credit Scores?

A group of coworkers sit around a table with their laptops open.

Whether you’re a solopreneur launching a start-up or a small-business owner seeking to grow your company, you might need extra funding. And if you’re looking for business loan, you might need a personal guarantee. Does a personal guarantee impact your credit and your own financial situation? Find out below.

What Does a Personal Guarantee Mean?

A personal guarantee means you personally promise that a debt will be paid back. If you sign a personal guarantee on a business loan, you are responsible for paying back the money if the business is unable to do so. The lender can try to collect the money from you, including by suing you.

Why Would a Lender Require a Personal Guarantee?

Personal guarantees are all about reducing risk for the lender. If you sign one, it has two potential entities to chase to collect the loan. First, the lender will attempt to collect from the business itself. If the business doesn’t make payments as agreed or defaults on the loan, the lender will try to collect from you personally.

The benefits to the lender are pretty big. They’re much more likely to eventually recoup their investment, even if your business fails. That means many, though not all, small-business loan options do come with a personal guarantee requirement.

Some factors that can increase the chance that a lender might ask for a personal guarantee include:

  • You’re a solopreneur or very small business. In this case, the business’s reputation and credit is likely very tied to your own.
  • Your business is new and doesn’t yet have a solid credit history of its own. The lender can’t decide if the business is a good risk, but it can decide if you’re a good risk.
  • Your business doesn’t have enough income or collateral. If you’re trying to borrow money to grow your business, it might not make enough money for the lender to seriously consider shelling out funds. But if you’re confident in the growth plan and know money will come in once you implement it, you might put up your own collateral to secure the loan.

How Does a Personal Guarantee Affect Your Credit Score?

Whether or not a personal guarantee affects your credit score depends on the situation. First, business loans may or may not be reported on your credit history.

If you sign as a personal guarantor for a traditional business loan, the loan itself will be reported on your business’s credit report. Timely payments on that loan will help build your business’s credit history. Missing a payment could cause the business credit score to take a hit.

In these cases, your personal credit isn’t likely to be impacted. However, if the business defaults on the loan and the lender comes to you for payment, your credit history could start to take a hit. If you immediately make a payment to catch up the loan, you may not see any impact to your personal credit. If, however, you don’t pay and the account goes to collections, that’s likely to show up on both your personal and business credit histories.

Other types of business funding, including some small-business lines of credit and credit cards, do get reported on your personal credit. This can be a good thing if payments are made timely and as agreed, as you could get a bump on that for your own credit score. In the meantime, however, it does potentially impact your credit utilization ratio and your debt-to-income ratio.

Should You Sign a Personal Guarantee for a Business Loan?

This is a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors, including your confidence in the business. But here are a few questions to ask yourself before you take this action, which can have long-lasting consequences on your own personal finances.

  • Do you really need to guarantee the loan? Your business doesn’t need perfect credit to get a loan, and there are many financing options available. Make sure you explore all your resources and understand what they’ll cost you and your business before you decide on one.
  • Are you confident the business will be able to handle the debt? If the business is stable and you know it will be able to cover the debt, you have less risk in signing a personal guarantee.
  • Are you in control of how the business handles finances? If it’s your business and you’re the one who signs the checks, you can make sure the bills are paid on time. If someone else is handling the accounting, you may want to be wary about signing a personal guarantee.
  • Can you afford to take the hit if the business fails? There’s no such thing as a sure deal, and you can’t assume the business will 100% make it. That means you need to be able to make good on the debt yourself in a worst-case scenario without giving up your personal financial stability.

The Bottom Line

Ready to get that business loan? If you’ve thought it out—and analyzed your personal financial situation—start shopping for options today. If you’re wondering where to start, check out the business loans at Credit.com. You can compare rates and requirements, so you can find the right business loan for your needs. 

Find the right business loan for you today!

The post Do Personal Guarantees Affect Credit Scores? appeared first on Credit.com.

Source: credit.com

Starting a Business With a Friend: 4 Things to Consider

The ultimate question: Could you and your friend make the perfect business duo? The answer may be more complicated than you think. You love spending time with your friend and the idea of becoming entrepreneurs together. Why not fulfill your dreams with each other? Companies like Airbnb and Ben & Jerry’s had success in this area — they all started from friendships.

But much more goes into starting a business with a friend. You may make great business partners, or you could wish you had taken your venture solo. Before making any financial decisions, analyze the pros and cons and ask hard questions. For example, will you equally invest? Who will take on which tasks and responsibilities? Sift through the easy and hard questions to see where your business friendship lies.

To help you and your friend make a confident and informed decision, skip to our flowchart or keep reading.

karen-gordon-quote

Questions to Ask Before Going Into Business With a Friend

Before jumping into your business plan, ask the hard questions. These can be tough to ask and answer, but they could save your friendship from a business relationship gone sour.

Question 1: Do You Share the Same Values?

Depending on your life stage and goals, your values could differ greatly from those of your potential business partner. You may appreciate living a relaxed lifestyle that gives you the financial freedom to do what you love, while others may value a fast-paced lifestyle filled with activities and long workdays. Differences in values could spark tension in your business relationship.

Ask yourself: Do you and your potential business friend have the same values? If so, great! If not, note your differences and if they’re worth working through.

Question 2: Do You Share the Same Business Goal?

To make sure you’re on the same page, schedule a brainstorming session with your friend. Map out your one-month, six-month, one-year, and five-year goals for your startup. Is your goal to make a certain amount of revenue? To hire a certain number of full-time employees? Or to take your business idea global?

If you have the same intentions, move on to question three. If any of your goals contrast, there may be trouble in paradise. See if you can work through your differences before investing your time and money.

Question 3: Do Your Skills Complement Each Other?

You and your friend each have your own strengths For example, you may be good at time management while your friend is better at sales. For skills you’re both lacking, think about how you’ll fill in the gaps. If you and your friend’s startup plan has a budget for hiring freelancers, or one of you has the dedication to learn something new, this may not be a concern. No matter what, especially if you’re bootstrapping your business idea, it’s essential to talk through it.

If you don’t compliment each other’s needed skills, who will step up and learn them?

Question 4: Do Your Career and Lifestyle Habits Align?

Depending on your business goals, this could be a make or break question for a professional partnership. For instance, one friend may be a morning person while the other’s a night owl. One can take over morning meetings and emails while the other’s responsible for evening website development and customer service.

If one friend’s lifestyle habits don’t suit the other, it may be best to opt for other business opportunities. While starting a business could adjust your habits, it’s easy to fall back into old ones from time to time.

baylie-carlson-quote

The Pros and Cons of Doing Business With Friends

Before entering any business arrangement, it’s reassuring to weigh the pros and cons. Could your new business idea benefit or hinder your future relationship and career?

Pros: You Have a Friend Through the Ups and Downs

Starting a business with a friend is similar to marriage — you’re there for each other through the good and bad. Whenever you’re having trouble, you know who you can go to for help. And you’ll be able to do most tasks together. For example, approaching investors as a team vs. going solo could put your nerves at ease.

Cons: You Know the Same People

Instead of getting together for your weekly catch-ups, you could spend all day together! While this can be exciting, it can also be hard to leave work at work. When you both hang out with the same people, there may be little room to disconnect from each other and your business.

Pros: You Understand Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses

You likely already know how each other operates and your strengths and weaknesses. Instead of learning the way a new business partner functions, you already have the upper hand. On day one, you and your partner could delegate tasks that fit everyone’s strengths best.

Cons: Your Friendship Could Turn Strictly Business

Your current friendship can be hard to separate from your new work partnership. Taking your work too seriously could stiffen your current relationship. Even after your work’s done, “friend” time may slow down. To have the best of both worlds, over-communicate throughout your entrepreneurial adventures.

mike-falahee-quote

Pros: You Feel Comfortable Communicating

You may have been friends for months, years, or even decades. Having a strong friendship foundation helps bolster your communication in the workplace. Plus, you most likely know how your friend may react to a situation gone wrong. Take note of your friends’ communication habits and foster them throughout your business relationship.

Cons: It’s Easy to Let Emotions Get the Best of You

Be careful not to let your emotions dictate your business decisions. A situation could happen in your friend group that makes its way into the office. To avoid any personal matters in the workplace, come to an agreement — no drama. If situations arise, take some time off to clear your mind, rest, and come back more motivated and inspired.

Pros: You Get to Spend More Time With Each Other

You get to spend countless hours talking and doing business activities together. You could spend all day tackling business tasks and wrap up the workday chit-chatting about your lives. It’s an amazing opportunity to spend more time with your friend without letting other responsibilities slip through the cracks.

Cons: Friendship Failure Could End in Financial and Business Failure

When tension builds in the workplace, it could damage your business outcomes. Not wanting to attend a meeting with your partner could halt business productivity, or worse, end it. To avoid losing profits on your friendship and investments, you should both outline an exit plan if things go wrong.

Tips for Starting a Business With Your Friend

Before toasting to your other half and investing in your passions, properly prepare yourself. Show up to your new business like you would a new job. Have your plan documented before building your business empire.

1. Nit-Pick Your Business Plan

Small issues could grow months or years after starting your business. To avoid future problems, talk through small and large inconsistencies with your partner. Having different lifestyle habits may not be an issue now, but could be difficult after a year of working together.

2. Communicate Often

About one third of projects lack proper communication. Avoid project or business failure by finding a communication method that works for you and your partner. Daily catch-up meetings or weekly email updates are a few examples. Make it enjoyable by sipping your favorite coffee or eating your lunch while playing catch up.

3. Establish and Honor Boundaries

Eliminate tension in the workplace by setting a rubric for working hours. Avoid talking about personal matters until you step away from your work tasks. If you and your partner need to establish additional boundaries, clearly outline them as they come up.

4. Make it Official With Contracts

Once you’ve worked through any complications, put it all in writing. If things were to go wrong, documents and written statements can be referenced in court. To do this, contact a lawyer and draft up a business plan. Any business promises you make should be in writing for any miscommunications. Compensation rates, profit shares, investment contributions, and business accounts are a few things that should be listed on this document.

Before investing your time, energy, or money into your startup dreams, make sure you’re fully prepared. Could you and your friend be great business partners? Take our quiz below to find out. Don’t forget to keep track of your budget and investments throughout the startup process.

Starting a Business With a Friend: 4 Things to Consider appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

Guide to the Ramp corporate card

The Ramp corporate credit card is one of many startup business credit cards designed to meet the needs of small business owners. If you have a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) based in the United States with at least $250,000 in a U.S. business bank account, you might be able to use the Ramp corporate card to streamline your expense tracking, save money on monthly bills and earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Is the Ramp startup card right for everyone? Not necessarily. Sole proprietors are not eligible for the card, and many small business owners won’t have enough assets in the bank to apply successfully.

However, some startup founders might be able to use Ramp to help their business ramp up – so let’s break down what the Ramp card offers, how it compares to other corporate credit cards and whether you should consider the Ramp credit card for your business.

What is Ramp?

Ramp is a corporate credit card designed to help small businesses save money on everyday expenses. In addition to the corporate card, Ramp also provides small business owners with a spend management platform – and savvy business owners can use these tools in tandem to automate their accounting and lower their bills.

Like many corporate cards, Ramp does not require a personal credit check or a founder guarantee. With Ramp, you can get a business credit card without a personal guarantee, which means you don’t have to worry about your personal credit score affecting your eligibility, and you don’t have to worry about losing credit score points after a hard inquiry into your personal credit.

Plus, since you are not personally liable for any charges made on the Ramp credit card, you can keep your business and your personal finances completely separate. Startups can be financially risky, so being able to separate your business’s financial concerns from your personal assets is a huge benefit.

Ramp card benefits and perks

The Ramp credit card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase – and that goes not only for your purchases but also for any purchases your employees make on their Ramp cards. These cash back rewards can quickly add up, especially for a growing startup. If your business puts $50,000 on a Ramp startup card every month, for example, that’s $9,000 in cash back each year.

In addition to cash back rewards, the Ramp card also offers expense management tools designed to help startups streamline their accounting and save money on the cost of doing business. Ramp uses algorithms to identify wasteful spending, and it sends your finance team notifications whenever it spots price increases, duplicate subscriptions and other indications your company might be spending more than it needs to. According to Ramp, companies using the Ramp startup card save an average of $100,000 or more.

Is the Ramp corporate card a high limit business credit card? It depends. Ramp credit limits are set dynamically and are based on your company’s cash balance. That said, when used wisely, the Ramp card can offer enough credit to help your business grow. Use your Ramp credit responsibly, and you could find your business ramping up faster than you realize.

Ramp vs. other small business cards

There are a lot of small business credit cards out there, including business charge cards that don’t come with preset spending limits. How does the Ramp credit card compare?

Let’s take a look at how Ramp stacks up against the Brex 30 Card, another popular credit card for startups that does not require a personal guarantee. While both Ramp and Brex offer credit card rewards, Brex cardholders don’t earn a flat-rate cash back percentage on every purchase. Instead, Brex offers points based on purchase category: 7 points per dollar on ride-shares, 4 points on flights and hotels booked through Brex Travel, 3 points on restaurants and dining, 2 points on business software subscriptions and Apple products purchased through the Brex portal and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

If your business doesn’t spend a lot of money on ride-shares, flights or hotels, you’re already at a disadvantage – and might want to consider the Ramp startup card instead.

On the other hand, businesses with less than $250,000 in the bank might be more interested in the Brex card. Unlike Ramp, Brex does not include a minimum asset requirement in its eligibility guidelines.

Startup founders interested in both cards might want to contact Ramp and Brex directly to learn more about each card’s options and whether their business might be eligible to apply.

Should you sign up for the Ramp corporate card?

If your small business is a corporation with at least $250,000 in cash, you might want to consider the Ramp corporate card. It’s a great way to get a business credit card for your startup without having to provide a personal guarantee or risk a hard pull to your credit, and you can use Ramp’s expense management tools for startups to help your business save money.

The Ramp credit card can help your startup ramp up – and just might be the tool you need to take your business to the next level.

Source: creditcards.com