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Choosing References to List on Your Resume

Employer Checking References

If you’re applying for a job, be sure that your employer has access to prior employers and references, as they often will check.

During the hiring process, employers routinely check the references applicants provide in order to verify past experience and learn more about potential candidates. A positive, well-worded recommendation could help you land the job. Likewise, lack of references – or poorly chosen – references can land your resume in the trash. It’s essential that you choose your references carefully to increase your chances of getting hired. Follow these tips to ensure you pick the right people to list on your resume.

Stick to professionals – While your friends and family probably have tons of positive things to say about you and could provide you with a glowing recommendation, you should never list personal references on your resume or an application unless it asks for them specifically. It reflects poorly on you as a professional, and potential employers may pass on your resume entirely thinking that all of your references are biased.

Select by seniority – Current or former co-workers can be used as references, but a supervisor or other higher-up looks much better when listed on your resume. Try to list people who have a lot of seniority on your resume, as well as people who have known you long enough to really provide a solid reference. For example, a former boss who only worked with you for a month won’t be able to provide as in-depth of a reference as a low-level supervisor who worked with you for several years.

Choose people you can find – If you can’t locate contact information for your reference, it’s highly unlikely a potential employer will be able to either. Make sure that you have a current phone number for each of your references, and that it’s either listed on your resume or you have it readily available when a potential employer asks for it. If you can’t find the person, skip on listing them as a reference and select someone you do have information for.

Ask for permission – The last thing you want is for your references to be blind-sided and caught off guard when a potential employer calls them to discuss you. Ask every person you’re thinking about using as a reference for their permission before adding their name to your resume or providing a potential employer with their contact information. Some people may even give a negative reference if you fail to obtain their consent. Advance notice will also give your references time to reflect on your work ethic and professionalism, enabling them to make a much stronger and more thorough recommendation on your behalf.

Five Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

While many job seekers once sought out the services of a professional resume writer to put together their qualifications on paper, this practice is becoming far less common and many applicants are opting to write their resumes themselves. However, it’s surprisingly easy to let mistakes on your resume slip under your radar before it’s too late and a potential employer has already seen them, and the slightest mistakes could send yours to the bottom of a hiring manager’s stack. Triple check your resume for these common mistakes to ensure your resume makes a positive impression – and helps secure an interview for you.

What to Avoid on Your Resume

If you’re writing your resume for the first time or are updating your current resume, be sure to avoid making these mistakes.

1. Glaring Mistakes – Typos, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and awkward sentence structure are by far the most common mistakes job seekers fail to notice on a resume, and a potential employer might think you’re incapable of paying attention to detail if he sees them on yours. Proofread your resume multiple times to make sure it’s free of spelling and grammar errors, and read it out loud to make sure it flows properly and all of your sentences make sense. Have a friend or family member read over it at least once to see if they pull out any mistakes you missed, and fix them immediately before printing the final document.

2. Too Much Emphasis on Duties – While it’s important to let a prospective manager know what you’ve done at your previous jobs, focusing too much on your duties and not enough on your accomplishments is a huge resume faux pas to avoid. A hiring manager wants to see results, and wants to know that you’re capable of obtaining them. Focus the bulk of your resume on highlighting what you achieved in your prior positions and less on the minor details of what you did in your daily work.

3. Vague Descriptions – Your resume needs to provide an employer with a clear picture of your experience and what makes you qualified to work for his company. Many job seekers are overly vague when describing their experience, and their resumes fail to stand out from the crowd. Be as specific as possible when describing your experience and achievements.

4. Including an Objective – An objective statement was once considered a resume must-have, but today, most employers tend to skip over this section entirely when browsing through resumes. Don’t waste your time or energy on writing an objective that likely won’t be read – or worse, won’t coincide with the employer’s vision for his company – and instead focus on clearly branding yourself throughout your resume. Tell the reader exactly who you are and what you have to offer that will benefit his business.

5. Improper Length – There’s a fine line between a resume that’s too long and a resume that’s too short, and it’s important that you find the perfect balance between the two. Your resume should be one to two pages, at most, and the length should offer an accurate reflection of your experience. Don’t try to draw out your resume if you have minimal experience, and likewise, don’t edit down your experience if you have a lot of it for the sake of keeping your resume on one page.

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4 Reasons to Work for LGI Homes

Whether you’ve just stumbled across our company or you’ve had your eye on our job postings for a while, if you’re considering applying for a position to work with us, we encourage you to do so! We’ve established a strong reputation for ourselves as the leader in quality, affordable new homes, and we’re well-known for our superior dedication to customer service. But our commitment to quality isn’t simply limited to the homes we build and the way we care for our buyers – it also includes the way we treat our staff. We understand that the hard work of our employees has played a huge part in how much we’ve grown, and we strive to make sure our team members are proud to be part of the LGI Homes family. Here are some reason we know you’ll love working for LGI Homes, and we look forward to reading your application.

Work for LGI Homes

Ever thought about a career in the homebuilding industry? If so, now’s the time to apply at LGI Homes!

NUMBER 1: We’re a Company With Values – While other builders are satisfied with cutting corners to pad their own wallets, we focus our time on bringing exceptional value and great deals to our customers instead. We pride ourselves in our commitment to superior quality, and you’ll pride yourself in working for a company that truly strives to better the lives of others. We’ve helped hundreds of families reach their goals of owning their own home, and once you join our team, you’ll have the same chance to help make peoples’ dreams come true.

NUMBER 2: We Offer Great Opportunity for Growth – Since our inception in 2003, we’ve quickly become the leader in affordable new homes. We stood out as one of the only builders in the nation to maintain profits through the housing market crash in 2008, and we have no plans to slow down any time soon! We’ve expanded our company from our headquarters in The Woodlands to include communities across the state of Texas, as well as in Arizona and Florida. Today, we’re only continuing to grow, and you’ll love having the chance to flourish with us as a member of our team.

NUMBER 3: We Offer a Competitive Benefits Program – We treat our staff members like family, and provide them with access to some of the best benefits available. We firmly believe in taking care of our employees, and once you’re a member of our team you’ll have access to health and dental insurance, long-term and short-term disability insurance, a 401(k) plan with discretionary company matching, life insurance, Ad&D insurance, vacation pay, sick pay and holiday pay. We’ll also provide you with access to exclusive training opportunities to further your career, and if you’re interested in purchasing one of our homes to call your own, we’ll give you a generous new home discount!

NUMBER 4: You’ll Be Proud to Work for an Award-winning Company – We’ve had the honor of receiving a number of awards and industry accolades throughout our history, and we fully plan to earn many more in the years to come. We’ve been listed as one of the Top 100 Builders in the U.S. By Builder Magazine for three years running – and trust us, we’re going for a fourth! In 2009 we were named one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. 500 Magazine, and in the same year we were recognized as the only builder in the U.S. to achieve increased sales and revenue over the previous three consecutive years.

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26 New Team Members Have Joined the LGI Homes Family!

LGI Homes Logo
LGI Homes proudly welcomes new team members. We’re thrilled to announce today that we are welcoming 26 new staff members to the LGI Homes family! This expansion will enable us to work with more buyers and provide even better service to our customers and residents. The hard work of our dynamic employees has always been to thank for our company’s growth and success, and we’re excited to continue to grow with these new additions to our team. We would like to invite our staff to welcome their new colleagues to our company, and we encourage you to show them first-hand why working for LGI Homes is an experience that’s second-to-none.

We are always looking for new professionals to join our team from a variety of fields, including development, construction, sales and more. If you’re interested in working for LGI Homes, please take a few moments to read about our history, benefits and awards before checking out our current job openings.

Please visit www.lgihomes.com for information about new homes in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

5 Things Employers Look for in Job Seekers

Employers see thousands of resumes and candidates throughout their careers, and after awhile, it’s easy for every cover letter, suit and tie to look the same. With the economy still staggering slowly uphill, employers are being pickier than ever about who they add to their teams, and look for only the best of the best who truly shine in their applications. Knowing some of the most common things employers look for in job seekers will help you adapt and showcase your abilities on your resume and in an interview – and could help you secure the job.

Job Interview

Knowing what employers are looking for in a good job candidate is half the battle to earning the position.

1. Clear Branding – If you’re unfamiliar with who you are, what you do and what you want, an employer will be at a complete loss when it comes to determining what makes you special. Your cover letter, resume and interview answers should all depict an accurate picture of you as a professional, and it’s essential that you’re consistent across all three. Showcase what makes you unique, whether it’s your experience, skills or values, and find a way to clearly articulate your qualities.

2. Adaptability – Employers want team member who can adapt quickly to environmental changes or sudden problems that arise rather than simply cave under the pressure. Demonstrate your ability to adapt in your resume as well as your behavior during the interview. Don’t allow yourself to panic over unexpected questions, and be prepared to handle anything the interviewer throws at you.

3. Reliability – An employer wants to know that he can count on you to show up on time every day and get your work done on a deadline. Demonstrate how reliable you’ve been in the past on your resume by highlighting jobs you worked for long periods of time, and discuss how punctuality and accountability are two traits you most admire and strive for within yourself.

4. Results – A list of skills on your resume means nothing to a potential employer if he can’t see how you’ve put them to use in prior work situations. Employers want results, so find a way to include what you’ve used your skills to achieve. For example, don’t simply state that you have excellent sales skills, show him that it’s true by telling him how you used your sales skills to increase sales at your previous company.

5. People Who Know Their Own Value – While it’s important that you refrain from presenting yourself as cocky or arrogant, you won’t get very far by downplaying your experience and failing to show off your own value. Confidence is an important quality that employers tend to value rather highly. Know why you’re unique and know what you’re worth as an employee, and demonstrate this in your resume and in the interview.

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Tips for Staying Confident During a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are a common preliminary screening method employers use to narrow down their applicant list, and are also used occasionally when a candidate can’t make it to an in-person interview. Phone interviews can be a convenient time saver for both yourself and a potential employer, but it’s easy to feel nervous once you’re on the phone and unable to read the facial cues and body language of the person on the other end of the line. Don’t let your nerves cause you to lose focus and hurt your chances of hire, and follow these tips to stay confident throughout the entire interview.

Phone Interview Tips

Remember that good research and prep work will make you more confident during your phone interview.

Practice – They say that practice makes perfect, and this is certainly true when it comes to interviewing. Do some research and compile a list of common interview questions and questions you think the interviewer might ask you, then have a friend or family member help you by hosting a mock phone interview. Get on the phone and have them ask you the questions, and answer each as you would if you were actually interviewing. This will help you sort out and memorize important answers and put you at ease about answering question when they’re thrown at you. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel which will be reflected in your voice and picked up on by the interviewer.

Go to a Quiet Place – A room filled with other people or with a noisy TV is not conducive to a positive interviewing environment, so put yourself in a quiet place where you can focus your attention entirely on the phone call. With no distractions present, you’ll be able to focus clearly on the questions and listen for fluctuations in the interviewers tone. Since you have no visual cues available, you need to be able to listen carefully to verbal cues when adapting your answers and your own tone of voice.

Look at Your Resume – When you’re stressed out and a potential job is on the line, it’s easy to forget all about the times your last job named you employee of the month or the skills you know would make you an excellent asset to the company you’re interviewing with. Keep a copy of your resume in front of you as a reference. It will help you answer questions and provide you with topics and points to bring up during the interview.

Stop and Think Before You Answer – Rushing your answers can cause you to stress out and get nervous, so take time to carefully think through each response before you provide it. Speak slowly and clearly on the phone and smile as you speak – it will make your tone more friendly and positive sounding.

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LGI Awards & Recognitions

LGI Homes has repeatedly been recognized as a star-performer, setting new paradigms for success in a changing housing industry. With every completed entry-level home, LGI Homes is literally building the dream of homeownership for families throughout Texas, Florida, and Arizona, and we take our mission of dream fulfillment seriously. Our thoughtful attention to the wants of our customers, and our emphasis upon their satisfaction has combined to build our own company’s success; most importantly, it has built our reputation for quality affordable homes and peerless customer service.

Choosing the Right Resume Format

Types of Resumes

When it comes time to write or rewrite your resume, be sure to choose a format and stick to it.

When it comes to applying for a job, few things are more important than a strong, eye-catching resume. Nearly all professional-geared positions require a resume rather than a standardized formal application, and a resume is an applicant’s chance to make a lasting first impression on their potential employer. Since hiring managers encounter thousands of resumes in their lifetimes, it’s essential that your resume stands out above the rest.

The easiest way to ensure your resume is strong and accurate reflects you as a professional is to use the appropriate format for your level of skills and experience. If you’re unsure of which resume to use, follow this guide to help you determine which format is right for you.

Chronological – Often considered the “tried and true” format, the chronological resume is by far the most common resume format that crosses the desk of hiring managers across the country. The chronological resume is perfect if you have a lot of work experience under your belt, because it lists every job you’ve ever had in order, as well as a brief description of your duties and responsibilities for each. Chronological resumes also include sections for education and certifications. With this format, you essentially want your experience to speak for itself. You focus primarily on what you’ve done rather than what you are capable of doing.

Functional – The functional resume is a new format that many employers might not be familiar with, but it’s much more effective for new entrants to the workforce than the chronological resume. Instead of focusing on work experience, you tailor this resume around your skills. Rather than a bulleted list of every job you’ve held, you’ll create a list of your areas of expertise related to the position you’re applying for and follow up each area with a set of relevant skills. You can also include a section about your education if you desire. The functional format is essentially the cover letter of resumes. The downside to the functional resume it is provides little-to-no insight into your career progression, which may be a turn off to some employers.

Hybrid – Do you have a combination of work experience and a strong set of skills? If so, you’re probably best suited for the hybrid format resume. The hybrid combines elements of the chronological resume with elements of the functional resume to create a strong document that sure to please. This format is recommended for people who want to change careers or wish to demonstrate diversity and versatility in their professional backgrounds. You’ll list all of your previous jobs on the resume, but in addition to listing your duties associated with each, you’ll also outline skills you gained from each experience.

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4 Resume Building Tips for New Entrants to the Workforce

Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re simply entering the workforce late in life, it can be frustrating trying to create a resume that will help you land the job of your dreams. As a new entrant, you’ll be competing with people who have years of experience, and a poorly constructed resume is no way to help yourself stand out. Follow these resume tips for new entrants to the workforce to ensure your resume stays at the top of the stack – and doesn’t end up in the trash.

Resume Building Tips

If you plan on entering the workforce, your most valuable tool for landing a good job is your resume, so spend time improving it.

1. Create a functional resume – There are three common formats for resumes; the chronological resume, the functional resume and the combination resume. The chronological resume is one of the most popular formats, and while it may be perfect for applicants who have a lot of work experience, it’s not the best option for you as a new entrant to the workforce. Instead, opt to put together a functional resume. Functional resumes organize your experience around skills rather than job titles. Functional resumes focus instead on skills you have specifically related to the job you’re applying for, which in itself could catch an employer’s eye more than a chronological resume filled with irrelevant experiences.

2. Highlight your skills and life experiences – While you may not have professional experience, your skills could be enough to help you land the job. If you’ve chosen the functional resume format, you’ll have plenty of space to describe your skills and experiences in detail. List your skills in order of importance related to the job. Break each skill into sections followed by a bulleted list of your accomplishments related to each skill that you feel help make you a strong candidate for the job.

3. Include on your education – If you have a college degree, don’t forget to include it on your resume. List not only your degree, but any diplomas or certificates you have earned as well. If you participated in extracurricular activities, feel free to list them. Extracurriculars show your drive and determination, as well as your leadership qualities. If you were a stellar student with a high GPA or graduated with honors, let your potential employer know. You want to build yourself up as much as possible – while remaining truthful, of course – so no achievement is too small and everything should be included.

4. Don’t leave out work experience if you have it – If you do have work experience, it won’t hurt to include it in your resume. If your wok experience is unrelated to the job you’re applying for, consider listing is after your skills when using the functional resume format. This way, an employer sees your relevant skills and experiences first followed by the work history. If you do it the other way around, you risk having an employer focus too much on your unrelated experience and passing on your resume before he even gets to the section filled with relevant information.

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Can Your Credit Score Hurt Your Job Prospects?

Credit checks are a common and routine part of background checks run by employers across the country. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 47% of employers admit they run credit checks on select applicants, and 13% run credit checks on everyone who applies. If you’ve had less than stellar credit in the past, you might be worried about how the information revealed in your credit report could affect your chances of landing your dream job. Understanding why employers run credit checks and learning how to handle yourself in the event your credit is checked could prevent your past mistakes from negatively impacting your future career.

Job Interview Background Check

Many employers with sensitive information and assets to protect are turning towards conducting full background checks on job applicants.

What Does the Credit Check Tell Employers?

Credit checks reveal many aspects of your financial history, including outstanding judgments against you, active accounts in collection and whether or not you have filed for bankruptcy in the past. Typically, seven years worth of information is available in terms of collections, judgments and liens, and up to 10 years of information regarding bankruptcy.

Why Do Employers Run Credit Checks?

Employers typically run credit checks to see how stable applicants are. Many employers link financial stress to absenteeism and low productivity, and may think if your credit isn’t in order you’re unlikely to be a top-notch employee. They may feel that if you can’t pay your bills on time, you’ll be hard-pressed to fully commit yourself to a job. In some industries, they may think your poor financial state will put you at risk of being easily coerced or bribed, or they may think you may resort to stealing. While this all may sound harsh and seem like discrimination, current laws allow for employers to discriminate based on finances and there is no way to get around this.

Do All Employers Run Credit Checks?

Credit checks are becoming more and more common, but not all employers are willing to spend time and money to run a check on everyone who applies. Some fields and industries are more likely to check applicant credit than others. For example, jobs that work with sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers, are highly likely to check credit history.

What Can You Do?

If your credit problems are far in the past and your current financial situation is stable, some employers may overlook the issues entirely. If an employer asks you about your finances, be honest and candid about your situation. Since the recession hit in 2008, many people who were once financially secure have experienced a host of credit problems, so you are not alone. Explain how you got to be in dire straights and then explain how you worked your way back toward stability. If your credit problems are more recent, still be honest about them. Do not wait for your credit to repair itself. Start paying your bills on time and in full as soon as possible, and pay off any and all collections, liens and judgments that may be marring your report.