A Bona Fide Recruiter’s Top 5 Resume Tips

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Job Hunt, Rewarding Careers | 2 Comments

I review thousands of resumes every year that represent thousands of candidates who would love to work for Daxko. I’ve seen some truly great resumes, and I’ve also seen some that are not so great. A great resume is a must-have regardless of the career you want, and these are my top five tips for creating a resume that will get noticed at Daxko (and likely anywhere else you apply).

#1: Design matters.

The role you apply for will dictate just how creative you should be with your design, but any resume should have a design that makes it easy to read and find the pertinent information. Keep in mind that the average recruiter or hiring manager spends about six seconds reviewing a resume before making a decision to look further or move on (but lucky for you, we’re not average here at Daxko).

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to have a nicely formatted resume, either. You can find templates on Microsoft Word and Google Docs; or, if you want a fancier format, you can find some on Freepik or Creative Market. And if you are a graphic designer or applying for a creative position, please don’t come at me with an ugly Indeed resume with no formatting!

#2: Like a good suit, the best resumes are tailored.

Your resume should be tailored to the job you are applying for, not for any job at any company. I’ve heard many people compare interviewing to dating, and that comparison really works well here. When you’re dating, you want to feel like your date really wants to be with YOU, not just any warm body. Employers have feelings, too… and we want to know you want THIS job at THIS company.

#3: Objectives are so 1996.

If you’re applying for a job, we’ll assume that your objective is to get said job. Instead, use that valuable resume space to provide a summary of your experience or to highlight some of your career successes. If you’re a new grad or someone just entering the workforce, focus on classes you’ve taken that are applicable or successes while in school (did you maintain a 4.0 while working to support yourself through school?)

Other things to leave off your resume include:

  • References – We’ll ask for those separately if you make it to that point in the interview process. Save that space on your resume for more useful information.
  • College details from more than a decade ago – Most employers don’t care what sorority you were a part of in 1998. Internships also take up valuable real estate on your resume and can be removed for anyone more than 5 years out of school (unless your internship was especially noteworthy/career defining).

#4: Everyone loves a mystery… except on your resume.

Don’t make me guess or jump through hoops to get the information I need. What do I mean by this? Well for starters, make sure you put your contact information at the top of your resume. Don’t hide it at the bottom, or even worse, forget to include it altogether. And your LinkedIn profile is great, but I want an email and a phone number to reach you (call me old school).

I also don’t want to guess about your work history – include dates and locations. I’ve yet to meet a recruiter who actually enjoys reading functional resumes; so skip that, include your work history, and write a cover letter if necessary.

#5: Check yo’ self (before you wreck yo’ self).

Really though, proofread your resume… and then have someone else proofread it for you. You don’t want silly grammatical or spelling issues to stand between you and your dream job! It’s almost laughable how many resumes I see with “detailed oriented”… you’ve just got to love the irony there! I can look past a typo, but if you can’t string a few words together without me shaking my head, we have a problem.

There are probably several more I can think of, but these stand as my top 5. If you have questions, or want to tell me how wrong I am about functional resumes… good news! We’re hosting another #AskDaxko Twitter chat on Wednesday, July 19th, at 11:30 AM. We’ll chat for an hour about resume do’s and don’ts, our favorite formats and fonts, and all that jazz. Got a question, but can’t join live? Feel free to send it in ahead of time using the #AskDaxko hashtag, and we’ll address it during our chat. Hope to “meet” you in the Twittersphere!


Beth Wolfe is Daxko’s Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist who is from the beach, but thinks Birmingham is waayyy cooler; and who enjoys any Seinfeld reference worked into everyday conversations.

Somehow I Manage

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | No Comments

In the television series The Office, Dwight Schrute is convinced he doesn’t waste any of his company’s time. Learning of this, Jim naturally seeks to distract him. Jim butchers the plotline of the TV show Battlestar Galactica hoping that Dwight will defend his favorite show. Dwight, visibly angry, continues to work in silence as Jim talks about the show’s protagonist, Dumbledore Calrissian, who needs to return the ring back to Mordor. Jim also times Dwight whenever Dwight does non-work related things like sneezing and going to the bathroom. To Jim’s amusement (and amazement), Dwight manages to sneeze with his eyes open as he looks over spreadsheets.

Alas, not all of us can harness Dwight Schrute focus within the hours of the workday. As a member of the Customer Success team, I can speak for everyone when I say that distractions bombard us all day long. And not the Dwight Schrute kind of distractions (although playing pranks on my coworker Jeff is a favorite pastime of mine; he’s such a Dwight). I often think that if I had one more hour of the day, I could accomplish the tasks that remain outstanding. But maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. Maybe the problem is not the amount of time, but what we choose to do with our time. One of the main reasons we experience the stress of task completion is the distractions that seep into our day. A study from the University of California Irvine found that once distracted, it can take 23 minutes to get back to task. That’s a LONG time. You can do a lot with 23 minutes here at Daxko – that is prime time to get close some cases, make a phone call, and talk with Darshell about her love for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But instead, distractions come in and chop block your focus zone, leaving you dazed and confused. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be willing to help people; I’m all about the team effort, putting the team on your back, jumping on someone else’s back, watching people’s back, scratching someone’s back, or any back metaphor that alludes to helping a teammate. But there is something to be said about guarding time and getting after it with less distractions. So…. I’ve compiled a list of helpful practices. As with many of the things I say, these aren’t my ideas. I found them all on the interwebs and by watching people at Daxko (for science purposes). All are pretty simple in theory but can be challenging to execute. But to be honest, so what? If habits aren’t hard to train, they probably aren’t habits worth having. Boom, roasted.

#1. Don’t keep your phone on your desk.

This may be the easiest one. It involves taking your phone and putting it in a drawer, or out of arm’s reach. The average American touches their phone about 2,617 times a day. Now granted, this number is an aggregate that includes every tap and touch, but it still shows we are reaching for our devices and interacting with them at an unprecedented level. Checking your phone when you’re in the groove can really kill your flow. Why cool down? Ride that focus out!

#2. Have an email plan.

Set aside some time and listen to this guy blow your mind on Outlook quick tips. Before I watched this gem, my inbox looked like someone took a fresh bag of groceries and dumped them on the kitchen floor. It was a mess. His videos help you organize Outlook and set you up for email success. Watch this one too: Outlook Time Savers

#2a. Figure out how often and when you will check your email.

Everyone has varying theories for 2a. It’s been helpful for me to have 4-6 scheduled times throughout the day to check email. Some people recommend waiting until later in the morning to check it while others benefit from checking just once in the morning. Regardless, some type of plan will help. Email can be just as distracting as your phone if you check it every five minutes.

#3. Plan your day before your day gets going.

Jot down some action items for the day ahead. I usually do this at the end of the day for the next but doing it when you arrive in the morning works too. It’s easier to get things accomplished when your task list sits on your desk all day.

#4. Run from meeting to meeting to save time.

See Marland.

#5. Scooter from meeting to meeting to save time.

See #4.

#6. Block off brain energy time.

Days are filled with processes, and most can be enhanced, delegated, or removed. With just a bit of brain energy time, these can be improved. It’s hard to ask the why behind why you are doing if you’re strapped for time. Some people call this reflection; others, pensive pondering. I like brain energy time. I made it up and it is the only thing I have authentically contributed to this post thus far.

#7. There is no spoon.

In The Matrix, Neo meets a bald kid in a bathrobe who is bending spoons with his brain. The boy tells Neo the key to bending the spoon is realizing there is no spoon (because they’re in the Matrix, duh). When Neo realizes this, he can also bend the spoon with his brain. What does this have to do with time management? This will seem utterly counterintuitive based off what I have mentioned so far but, according to entrepreneur and time master Rory Vaden, there is no such thing as time management. He says that you can’t manage time. Time continues to move on whether we like it or not. There is only self-management. For him, tips and tricks will only get us so far because time management is not just logical but emotional. Humans are emotional beings whose decisions are contingent on the desire of our hearts.  And if Rory is right, then even our “time management” decisions provide a small look into what we think is important, time sensitive, and beneficial. Understanding our time in this light may not give us the ability to bend spoons, but it could provide a paradigm shift that could lead to maximizing, prioritizing, and realizing the potential of what we can accomplish with our time.

There you go! These have been beneficial for me since being at Daxko and have helped in making the most of my day. All in all, I am thankful to work at a place that does not view time simply as a commodity but a space in which excellence, collaboration, and hard-work are always at play. It means the world that teammates, in considering the best use of their time, graciously give me more of it than I deserve.


Sam G. is a Customer Success Advocate who enjoys slow mornings, coffee, and homemade waffles with his wife every Saturday.

May 2017: Be a Brand Ambassador Through Social Recruiting

By | Culture, Employment Brand, Free Career Advice, Life at Daxko | No Comments

On May 3rd, our lovely Talent Marketing Manager (and editor of the Culture Blog that you’re reading right now!) Janna Stevens-Bradt led a Daxko TMD encouraging us even in its title to ‘Be a Brand Ambassador Through Social Recruiting.’ Self-styled as our ‘Daxko’s chief story-teller,’ Janna is the marketing extension of our People team, ensuring that we are recruiting as many good hires as we can.

In an earlier TMD, the idea that we should want to impress our interviewees as much as they want to impress us was proven to be beneficial for all parties on both a personal and professional level. This plays into how recruiting has changed, as well: we live in an increasingly globalized world and economy. Top talent is no longer wooed by local companies, but nationally and sometimes even internationally as well. In a job market where nets are being cast so far and so wide, companies must go out and search for the best and the brightest. Utilizing social media, be it LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or whatever platform you prefer, it is possible to reach a much wider range of applicants. For example, Glassdoor is now our top source of influence for candidates. Since January of this year, we have had a 214% increase in views on our Glassdoor page.

As an example, Janna asked us to raise our hands if, when applying for Daxko, we had sought out the company on social media. As expected, the grand majority of hands were put in the air to indicate that most of those present had done so. Having an engaging and inviting social media presence is a good way of showing Daxko culture to potential teammates.

Now that Janna had proven how integral recruiting through social media is to a company’s hiring process, she had some guidelines on what to share and what not to share. Sharing career opportunities or photos and videos of neat Daxko gatherings is of course recommended! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, some find it easier to tout a company’s strengths with a picture as opposed to written word. However, many of us aren’t so great at taking pictures… which is why I choose to write for the Culture Blog! Be it submitting a post or simply an idea, we’re encouraged to contribute to the Culture Blog in any way we can. After Glassdoor, it is the second highest source of influence for our candidates.

Janna concluded with how we should put our best selves forward: be professional, be fun and be responsive. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and, really, if you’re already active on social media, just keep doing what you’re doing. Tagging Daxko and throwing out that shout-out, showing that you’re excited about your job and the company, will continue to cast the net of social recruitment far and wide.

March 2017 TMD: Own it Like Oprah

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For March’s TMD, many teammates and I congregated in the Garage to learn how to Own It Like Oprah, courtesy of our VP of People, Dawn Burke. This TMD, promising tips to be an outstanding presenter, certainly did not disappoint, as I left the session with ideas to ponder and practices to perfect (at best; at worst, I had to break some old habits).

Dawn got right to the heart of things by asking the group how, on a day to day basis, we present materials. Her point, of course, was that everyone presents all the time, be it in Sales or onsite training a customer, or anything in between. This light conversation got the crowd engaged and feeling comfortable, which she later pointed out is a good technique to presenting well.

She then asked if there was anyone who had not heard of Oprah, to which the room was unsurprisingly silent. Be it for her magazine, her talk show, her book club, or her philanthropy, I would wager there are not many people who do not know Oprah. Her interviewing skills were the things we spoke about the most, how she has a way of making the interviewee feel as if they are the only person in the room as she asks questions, listens well and then asks follow-up questions. Her charisma and body language paint her as authentic, which makes her engaging.

This authenticity aspect was my big takeaway from the discussion: because Oprah is authentic, when she praises something, her viewers will see it as an honest and earnest recommendation and try it. Good examples include her Book Club and how those books rose to become best-sellers after Oprah’s recommendations. This authenticity led to a connection, and as Dawn put it, ‘the more you connect, the more you’re heard.’

Another excellent quote from Dawn, the one which she described as the biggest focal point of her presentation: ‘the reason you present is so people hear your message.’ Combined with the ‘authenticity’ piece above, it makes sense then that to successfully communicate your message to an audience, it is best to engage them well. Which leads us to Dawn’s 13 Tips on Talking (a name I just made up, but you’re welcome to it for a small fee, Dawn):

  1. It’s all about engagement. Dawn suggests immediately engaging the audience by captivating them with a story or some other form of ‘hook’ to immediately grab their attention. Anything that makes the audience want more will do, be it ‘Call me Ishmael’ or the opening riff on the guitar in the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Satisfaction.’
  1. Start strong. Similar to the above, generally speaking the first and last five minutes of any presentation are the ones that will stick with the audience. Hit the ground running and finish strong! A big point (for me, at least) that Dawn made here is that starting with an apology is seldom the best move.
  1. Slow down. Remember to breathe. Another important idea is to view the presentation as a conversation, which will make it feel more natural and, importantly, ease the feeling of wanting to sprint through the prepared material.
  1. Be aware of verbal garbage. The ‘empty calories of conversation,’ filler words should be avoided. Uh, um, like, y’know, ah…these are verbal ticks best avoided though, as Dawn points out, filling silence in this way is not as big a deal as many often make it out to be. Avoid using these when possible, but do not lose sleep over an errant ‘um.’
  1. Make eye contact. Making eye contact builds trust, though maintaining eye contact too long or in a manner that might be seen as inauthentic does more harm than good. Singling out one person and holding eye contact for too long makes all parties uncomfortable and scanning from side to side looks robotic. Move from person to person, do not linger too long.
  1. Know your audience. Without knowing your audience, you will have trouble connecting with them; without a connection, your communication will be hindered. Dawn revealed her questions in the earlier parts of the TMD were building rapport and a connection with the audience.
  1. Make Shakespeare proud. More for in person, but presentations, like Shakespearian plays, are better seen and not read, better as plays and not novels. Body language is crucial. Stand like an actor. Body language, though subconsciously, is more telling than speech.
  1. Hand-le with care. Continuing on that, your hands are the biggest tells your body has as to how you’re feeling. Are your hands in your pocket? That might come across as boredom. Are they across your chest? You now seem standoffish. Dawn recommends keeping them at your side or, if that induces too much discomfort, lightly linking your fingers together in front of your stomach.
  1. Don’t turn your back on the audience. Instead, use what she called the ‘actors’ cheat,’ which is when two actors are having a conversation and somewhat ‘open up’ to the audience, so that they’re included in the conversation. Turning your back to the audience is insulting at worst and, at best, it makes the presentation significantly harder to hear.
  1. Work the tools. Don’t let the tools work you. Have your technology together, have your files together, and know how everything works with one another.
  1. Have a Plan B. That being said, technology can and will fail, so it’s best to be prepared. There is no shame in taking a small break to resolve any issues that have sprung up before a presentation.
  1. Practice. A quote Dawn used here that I enjoyed: ‘make talking to yourself an art form.’ However, over practicing can lead to a rehearsed feeling, which is something we want to avoid entirely. Practice to the level of your own comfort and be comfortable in your material.
  1. Be yourself. You knew it was coming, but the last tip is to be authentic. Again, without a connection between the presenter and the audience, communication will be hampered. Be yourself, be authentic. Enough said.

As we were leaving, though, Dawn had one more piece of wisdom that seems to be the case regardless of any of the rules above: content trumps everything. Of course, the tips above are the stars for which we all shoot, but if your presentation is on a topic that is of immense interest to the audience, all the ‘ahs’ and ‘ums’ of the world will not be able to detract from your presentation.