Do Hiring Managers Really Read Resumes?

It’s no secret. Some of us have our degrees with aspirations of entering an industry that we studied for or still studying for. The truth to career life is that you never know what it holds. Life is like a box of Raisinets, you never know which one is a raisin or a small marble of cocoa that missed its target.

And sometimes we miss. Job seekers go through education sifting through the process waiting on the machine to coat us with something scrumptious. We roll past other raisins thinking we’d get there first. Somehow, we get into wrong position and fall right off the periphery, missing the key component that makes us attractive.

So what do we do? We get up, dust off, and get back in the mix hoping to get picked.

Resumes are a lot like that. They start out  dried out and blank waiting patiently for the job seeker to put something delicious on its person. The brainstorm spins a tasty morsel in a bowl of memories, which job seekers drizzle neatly over the page. Voila.

Apply. Submit. Into the box it goes with other resumes wanting to be reviewed. Hopefully they’re taken serious.

Out of the batch, hiring managers select each piece–tasting each one and deciding which Raisinet was the best. But when you eat a Raisinet, do you really measure which one is best? Sadly enough, resumes are treated the same.

Sometimes that resume we spent all week to prepare is consumed without much thought. Does that mean job seekers should stop writing resumes and cover letters? No. It simply means that we have improve our recipe.

That’s why most recommend that resumes be one page–it’s short and sweet, a delicate quickness that’s appreciated and missed almost instantly. If it tastes great, the hiring manager will hum on it savoring it on their taste buds. That desire to savor the taste is the phone call or response email we get after we’ve applied for the job.

So do employers actually read our resumes? Yes. But not all of them considered. Don’t get discouraged. Keep exploring ways to improve.

 

How Marketing affects the Indie Author

If you’re anything like me, marketing feels like learning another language like a mysterious code fluently understood by suits and intimidating to the average person.

There’s no question. Marketing is an essential to creating a successful title. For indie authors, it’s a lot tougher considering that we do everything ourselves.

Thanks to social media, the average can attempt marketing techniques through promotion through social media. But what else can indie authors do besides post to social media? Should we invest into a marketing firm or should we implore a college student looking to make a buck or two.

How we market our brands is very important. A lot of times the conditions of our careers and our lives is like a dam hindering our ambitions to publish or finish that project you desire to share with the world.

At the earliest opportunity, try and post whatever you can to WordPress, Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. Let’s encourage one another by sharing post, hitting like buttons, and funding campaigns.

Any action taken to market yourself is better than not taking action.

Update: Check out this list of resources. This describes what places give all authors a platform to market (promote) their literature. 
 

Got Genre?

As I’m building my brand as an indie-author, I write and read in different areas of the fiction world. In the past, I had no clear direction on what to do or what to write.

I began my career in college when I barely read anything, and my writing skills were staunched by lazy habits, parties, and college girls. 

Now, I miss those critical peer reviews. It was the perfect time to mold my skills. Live and learn. To all collegiate writers out there with aspirations to entertain from books or eBooks, appreciate the critiques from professors and course-mates. 

My go-to genre during those collegiate days was fantasy. I didn’t have much knowledge on fantasy. And my ignorance was displayed in less than 4000 words, a short story I called a chapter.

Back then, I didn’t want to write about “black stuff”. Y’know, the stereotypical buffoonery, demonizing Caucasians, and unrealistic religious interpretation. I wanted to do something different. 

Some of my inspiration came from video games, cartoons, TV shows, and some books. It’s a great well to draw from, but the best well was everyday life.

Since I’ve graduated from college, my relationship with reality has fluctuated. Characters, ideas,parallels, and plots were unpredictable. My brain was a mine field. My thoughts were triggers exploding on a word document. 

Within all the notes, outlines, research and short stories; I found my genre, Urban Fantasy.

For past five years, I wrote whatever plot or character came to mind. Most of my expertise was in short stories, so that was the area where I explored the most. 

Recently, I completed an urban themed short story collection. Some stories have fantasy elements, some don’t. 

But readers need more, therefore, I will include a novel and add another short story to the collection. 

Will I indulge in various genres? It may not be wise to some, but yes, I will visit different genres. 

There’s no turnng back! The outlines have collected some digital seniority. They’re old, faithful bullets waiting to be loaded in a story. 

So many ideas. So much to write. 

No Turning Back

After months of deciding what to do with my career, I finally bought the ISBNs to self-publish. 

I meant to post something about this a while in May, however, life keeps you busy. 

The $300 investment will tag my titles under my publishing name and title of my choosing, so I’ll be working some titles and checking some names to ensure I have something original and captivating to deliver.

What am I saying? 

Readers want good reads. They want the words to jump off the page and kick ’em in the nose.

I don’t intend to disappoint, so I’m writing and editing with everything I have. Also, I’ll have to invest and market strategically, which is much tougher than putting words on a page. 

Aargh!!!!! 

Self-Publishing 2.0

I’ve visited self-publishing many times through WordPress. It’s something I have to try, but it’s also one the costly processes I’ve researched thus far. Of course, I can go with the traditional route and submit my work to a publishing house. As we all know, getting through a publisher with an unsolicited manuscript could land in the discard pile no matter how good the writing is.

Self-publishing seems to be the way to go. It’s DIY process to getting the content out there. The upside: The author becomes the publisher. They yield 100 percent of the profits. They get all the credit through copyright.

The downs: All of the work is on the author, and the process is extensive. Promotion, marketing, and cost is all on the self-publisher. Let’s not forger editing. And yes, as an author and publisher, an editor is required to polish the written content. As the author, you’ve seen the story over a hundred times. A second or third pair of eyes will help flesh out those characters and inconsistencies you might have missed.

It’s quite a journey, but I imagine that a future publishing house will take you more seriously if they see you’ve gone through the proper channels to get self-published.

What are the proper channels?

From my research, here’s what I found.

In the event that an author wants to self-publish, the author should:

  1. Purchase ISBNs from the website Bowker. The website suggests 10 ISBNs which costs $295 (price subject to change). Barcodes (about $25) are designed to stand on the book cover, which hosts the ISBN along with other vital information on the book edition such as Hard Cover, Paperback, or eBook.
  2. Purchase copyrights from the Library of Congress. By right, the author is entitled to copyright for creating the work. Registering your work with Library of Congress sets it in stone further protecting your work. It’s a safeguard investment everyone should take.
  3. Make sure manuscripts have been edited by others. All solid, good books have editors. CreateSpace seems to be a good source to start. If not, find an editor that can do several rounds of editing ensuring the content.
    1. Find a graphic artist whose skilled at book covers. It’s part of the investment. If the self-publisher is an artsy person, then time will be only invest there.
  4. Promotion and marketing. Getting the word out is easy but like this entire process, it will take time. Self-publishers have to funnel through hashtags and posts to get the message out, “Buy my book!” Don’t forget a solid synopsis. If you can, see if you schedule an interview with your local media.

Again this is my research. I haven’t actually done all of this yet, but I’m really close. Soon, I will purchase the ISBNs. Finding an editor for the nine (or ten) short stories I’ve written is much tougher than buying the ISBNs. But I’m coming along.

 

Recovery

I’m not sure if I posted anything about this, so I’ll just talk about it to cover my tracks.

On December 1, 2015, my stuff was stolen due to my carelessness. I forgot to lock my car door, and my laptop, flash drives, writing guides, camera, and tooth brush was stolen. What hurt the most was the stolen writing that I worked two years on.

It was devastating.

But I recovered.

Currently, I have a new laptop and two more flash drives (one containing some of the rough draft stories I wrote over the two year period).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading, editing, and proofreading these stories. Somehow, I’m working faster and more efficient than before, so I guess the setback wasn’t really a setback. In a strange way, by having my stuff stolen, it made me appreciate my work more than ever.

And I’ve noticed my work, my writing is getting better. I wish I had this mind when I left college. But hey, we live and learn, right?