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.

Process, the Perfect Team, and Psychological Safety

By | Building a Company, Culture, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | No Comments

In 2013, Sam Hinkie took the helm as the general manager of an ailing Philadelphia 76ers (basketball) team and established what people refer to now as “The Process”. The Process was a calculated and devised plan to, over the course of several years, get the best young talent to the land of brotherly love where they could ball out. But like all good things, the process took time and included several (terrible) losing seasons, backlash from fans, and ridicule by analysts.

Hinkie, despite the controversy surrounding his tactics, was committed to The Process. Every act that he took, every decision his front office made, and every trade that he conjured was centered on his end goal: winning basketball games and building a franchise. Unfortunately, Hinkie supporters ran out of patience, and in 2016, he was forced out just a season away from the process finally (hopefully) yielding its first fruits.

Unlike the 76ers, Daxko has been a solid organization for years. But the similarity they share with the 2013-2016 76ers is the conviction that process is vital to progress. Understanding process increases scope and vision for where and what we want to be. I joined the Customer Success Team during a rebuilding phase; people were changing roles and moving on to other things during a busy time of year. Trusting the process was not easy when the phones wouldn’t stop ringing and cases piled up. The urge to overcompensate with impulsive hirings or knee-jerk reactions to problems were tangible. But with time, our a resilient and committed team weathered the storm. As we rebuilt, we became more tenured and experienced and, through deliberate hirings, we became stronger in number and proficiency. Now, a year and half later, our squad is stacked.

In trusting our process, did we achieve what we aimed to do? I guess it depends. The process of building a good team may not be able to quantify the intangibles that comprise a great one. Google, a company who prides itself on process and vision, recently conducted a study to uncover the characteristics of a perfect team. The study (Project Aristotle), despite pouring over decades of social and psychological group behavior and case studies on Google employees, found it hard to determine exactly what makes a great team. What they came to realize is that the lack of consistent patterns was because great teams took so many different forms. Some teams were balanced across the board which helped equally distribute duties. Other teams’ strengths varied but were able to give teammates tasks that fit their skill set. All in all, they identified two behavior traits that ran through the variations of great teams. One was what researchers call “equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking” which is a fancy way of saying that everyone on the team spoke an equal amount during team meetings. The other was social sensitivity, which is when people are aware of nonverbal cues: tone of voice, body language, group dynamics, facial expression, etc.

These observations comprise parts of what is known as “psychological safety”. The article quotes Amy Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School, when she says psychological safety is a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’ Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up … it describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’

It seems that for teams to succeed, there must be a good process in place to build for scale and growth, bring in all-stars, and craft a crew that can perform. But what may be the crux of impactful work, meaningful careers, and a successful team rests in the truth that to be excellent is to value those around you. Where work becomes excellent out of a sense of joy rather than a sense of fear, resilience replaces timidity, employees are teammates, and culture is a communal commitment to who we are and what we hope to be.


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

Transparency Means Show Yourself

By | Communication, Culture, Employment Brand, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | One Comment

I’ll confess: I’m a word nerd.

Words are important. How you put something matters, whether that’s in conversation, email, or just in your own head. I’ll often get wrapped up deliberating the right words to use, validating my struggle with that Thomas Mann quote about writers.

In another blog post, I tried pinning down what we talk about when we talk about engagement and how Daxko embodies it. I want to try that with the word transparency in order to see how it guides Team Daxko in what we do every day.

We’re all familiar with the sense that transparent means “clear or see-through.” Our pals at Merriam-Webster define it as “easy to notice or understand.” And most relevant to the business world is this definition: “visibility or accessibility of information.”

At Daxko, transparency is a guiding principle that defines our culture. Transparency is Open Q&As with our CEO and it’s our open-concept collaborative workspaces. But what does transparency look like for individual team members and what they can control in their own day-to-day?

Another definition of transparent that’s closer to what I’m getting at here is “free from pretense or deceit.” And when you slice the word down to its Latin roots – trans + parēre – you get “to show oneself.”

When a company’s culture is defined by transparency, team members feel encouraged to be themselves when they’re at work.

For professional development last month, I took a course on communication strategies. We focused on creating our personal brand and exploring how we can better show ourselves in our work. Ask yourself this: What is your unique selling proposition, and how does your work show who you are, your background, and your talents? Answering that question is easier when you work in a transparent environment because of the implicit invitation to show yourself.

I also think a lot about our team’s brand, about how we show ourselves. The Engagement Solutions Team implements and consults on Daxko Engage and Daxko Mobile, two of Daxko’s engagement tools. How should our team behave given that we stand for building relationships through engaging interactions, that we’re all about meaningful communication? It means we should be and do exactly those things for our customers and for our teammates across the company. Why the heck shouldn’t we have a reputation as an engaging team?

Here are a few things the Engagement Solutions Team has done lately to better show ourselves:

  • Our team is full of creative types, and we’re always looking for ways to use our skills in design, writing, music, videography, and even Excel wizardry to enhance what we do.
  • We started referring to implementation phone calls as conversations—because words are important.
  • At our team pod, we have a board where we highlight a customer’s “Engaging Conversation of the Week” and hold a weekly poll/conversation-starter like, “Is pineapple on pizza an abomination? Y/N.” (It turns out pineapple is not an abomination.)

The work of transparency doesn’t end. It’s a style, a philosophy, and a challenge – whoever you are. As you go through your day, think about how you show yourself in the work you do. Think about the effortless groove you get into when you’re simply being yourself.

There’s always something good cookin’ on the Engagement Solutions Team. Here we are at a recent team building event, where we whipped up a Tropical Tiki Party meal.


Charlie P., Engagement Solutions Team Lead at Daxko, wakes up early for a good long run, a good book, or just because.

Why Engaging Your Members Matters

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership | No Comments

Think about your organization and all the “things” that comprise it. Where did your mind first take you? The facility? Program offerings? Staff? Your cause? All of those “things” point back to two greater purposes – members and community. We wouldn’t exist without them.

Your members provide consistent support, volunteerism, donations and a sense of community unlike any other. Your function is to develop those members from casually associating themselves with a facility to connecting with a community. Then, develop those members into individuals who are committed to your organization’s cause.

This purpose is clear for a non-profit community organization, but the ideology is certainly applicable to other organizations as well. One of your focal points is retention – something that proves difficult in a world crowded with shiny, trendy, new offerings that you must constantly compete with. Members might be attracted to unique offerings, but they will stay if they feel connected with other members, trainers, or staff. Developing your community to be a supportive network that provides accountability will ensure a higher retention rate and a far more satisfied member.

There are two measures for engagement:

  1. Retention – improving your relationships with your members and connecting them to opportunities that they are interested in will decrease the rate at which you see memberships turn over. In a case study performed by our team (the Daxko Engagement Solutions Team), we found that organizations saw a 3-5% increase in retention year over year if they did the following:
    • Establish a new member orientation and develop a new member engagement initiative
    • All staff log 3-5 in person conversations each day in a tracking software
    • Communicate staff successes and coach underperformers
  2. Social Impact – engaging your members is incredibly important to accomplishing the mission of your organization, whether that mission is to make an impact through social programs OR to foster a healthy community and make a profit while doing it.
    • While retention is primarily focused on numbers, social impact focuses more on the stories that you will create when your members have an exceptional experience.

All the “things” that make up your organization are important. But what’s more important are the people and the relationships those people build with others.

 

Emily V. is a proud dog mom, and Netflix connoisseur, and lives on Daxko’s Engagement Solutions Team.