Posted by Chris Thomas, Regional Manager, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 2/22/2017

I am always asked how long a resume should be. 

Should it be just one page?  Maybe.

Is it okay to stretch it on to a second page?  Sure.

How about six pages? Never.

I think it is a hard question to answer but the answer I usually give is it should be long enough to make sure you share your relatable experiences.  A candidate straight out of college might need to use a little more fluff or bigger fonts to fill up a whole page.  But a management candidate with twenty years of experience wouldn’t want to run the risk of leaving off important experiences to make sure they stay under one page.

Information overload might be your worst enemy on a resume.  Too much information can hide the things that make you really stand out.  There are some easy things you can do to streamline a resume and make it more efficient for an employer to read and review.  Hiring Managers do not generally spend a lot of time on each resume that comes across their desk so you better be able to catch their eye as quickly and effectively as possible. 

We can start with a fairly easy decision to skip the Objective.  Everyone has the same objective and that is to impress you enough to get the job.  I think a better use of that space is a Professional Summary that just highlights you and what might make you different than the next resume they will pick up.  This is your chance to brag about yourself and the years of experience you have spent in a job or an industry or the education or certifications you have earned along the way. 

You will also be better served by simply omitting things such as hobbies, personal interest and other personal details.  Your resume should be a snapshot of what makes you great and the best fit for the position for which you are applying.  When you overload it with too much unnecessary information, you do nothing but dilute those things that might have made you stand out.

Under each position, be succinct and list the things that are important to the job for which you are applying.  You don’t need to have every position read like an actual job description.  Devoting a whole page to each position you have held over your career is just too much and most of the information will never get read anyway.  Utilize some of that space with Accomplishments from those positions.  Show what has made you successful in that role and ready to make an impact in the one you are applying for now.

Don’t fret over how long a resume should be, just make sure it highlights your career.  You want to show the Hiring Manager why you are the best choice for their company.  You want to create an easy-to-read document that will highlight your previous duties, education and accomplishments that will make you the best fit for the job you are seeking.      

If you are a candidate looking for a career in the credit union industry or a credit union looking for staffing help, please contact Credit Union Employment Resources (www.curesources.coop/cuer.html) and we can certainly help you out.  You can contact me directly at cthomas@cuer.coop

 

Categories: Employment & Staffing, Human Resources
Posted by Jon Knoll, VP Sales and Service, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 2/20/2017

Spring fever has set in; I am ready for winter to be done and some consistency in our Texas weather.  Recently, I have been looking to purchase a fishing kayak to help with the fever.  Several friends bought their fishing kayaks last year, and apparently the fish just jump in the boat.  I guess I will try it out.

Buying a kayak these days is tough business.  I was surprised by all of the options, brands, accessories, and the trend of kayak fishing is going through the roof.  It has been a challenging task to buy a kayak, taking a full month to figure out which kind of fishing kayak is the best for my purposes.

Recently, I found myself in the Plano, TX REI outdoor store, hoping they could special order a kayak that did not appear on their website or in their store.  I haven’t set foot in an REI store since, well, I can’t remember.

I guess I did not pay attention to the “signage” before walking in.  It had changed since the last time I was there.   In fact, it had changed in 2014 and 2015 during their major re-branding campaign.  The signage now shows REI CO-OP. 

The Plano store is beautiful, with amazing displays of mountain bikes, shoes, clothing, accessories for hiking, paddling, optics, camping gear, and the list goes on and on.  I also kept seeing signs for “membership” and special “membership offers”.   I finally realized that REI is a CO-OP, an unexpected surprise.  I researched further.  I asked one of the employees about becoming a member.  His face lit up, he became excited, and let me know that for $20 I can become a lifetime member.  I will have special access to outdoor education, trips, and can receive a dividend every year based on how much I spend online or at the store.  He did a great job sharing that many of their profits go back into the outdoor community and conservation.  And just think, all I wanted was a kayak, but I could also save a stream, river, and lake.  Sound familiar?

I decided to look further into their business model, and I felt like I was looking at a credit union, although it is an outdoor store with a mission of helping consumers explore the outdoors.  One of the company’s goals is to create a sustainable operation, which means to them that they will be “green”, and no waste by 2020.  There is more to their sustainable operations goal, here is a link to their “who we are” section of the website:  https://www.rei.com/about-rei.html.  They are not shy about this goal.  They made this a big part of their rebranding strategy.  I can’t recall the number of credit unions I have walked into over the years that have just gone to an optical storage system, and have went through great strides to become paperless.  These efforts were to save money, save space, save the environment, and “save trees” as I have used many times in discussions with credit unions.  A great lesson, we can be share our goals and successes about our operations with our membership/future members. 

Since I didn’t recall REI being a CO-OP, I “googled”, when did REI become a CO-OP?  The answer, when they were founded in 1938.  What?  1938?  This store has been around since near the credit union act?  At some point in their history, they dropped CO-OP from their name. (a source said in the 1970s).  Since the rebranding, here are results as posted on their website.  2016 numbers are not available, likely released in March 2017.

  • Membership, grew by 1M in 2015, and ended the year at 6M plus.
  • In 2015, 72% of profits went back to their members, employees, and nonprofit partners
  • In 2015, the co-op had record annual sales revenue of 2.4B, 7% growth in stores, and 23% growth digitally
  • At close of 2015, REI had 143 stores and 12,000 employees
  • Consistently top 100 places to work, Fortune Magazine.
  • Closed on black Friday so that employees and customers can enjoy the outdoors (they actually promote state and national parks events in coordination with state and national park agencies)
  • REI also has a CO-OP line of clothing that has been really popular
  • Began a popular travel and event portal for members, providing outdoor destination trips and education events

Takeaways:

  • Profits and Growth is not the company’s priority
  •  They strive:
    • For the outdoor community
    • Promote outdoor stewardship
    • Believe being a great place to work for their employees
    •  Provide member dividends
    • The REI CO-OP Difference, 100% Satisfaction, Gear and Advice you can Trust, and 10% Member Dividend

A Bloomberg article I read began by stating that the co-op business model is Crunchy, Old School, a Farming Community model, a business model better suited in 1938 than 2017. 

Here is the nicely done Bloomberg article, lots of buried treasure and insight to a co-op and REI's rebranding strategy:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-27/rei-s-crunchy-business-model-is-crushing-retail-competitors

In summary, I didn’t buy the kayak from REI CO-OP, but it will definitely be a place for the paddling/fishing journey I will embark upon.  Isn’t that interesting?  I started the article that I wanted to buy a kayak, now it is a paddling/fishing journey, and REI is a part of it.  The trip to REI CO-OP breathed life into my view of our co-op experience, the credit union movement.  They found success in reinvigorating their co-op business model, and outpace many retailers in the country.  They did this by the philosophy we live for in credit unions:

  • Helping members achieve financial success
  • Helping members achieve financial literacy
  • Giving back to the communities in which we serve
  • And providing a great place to work for our employees.   
Categories: Business Partners, Education & Training, Marketing & Printing, Remote Transaction, Research, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting
Posted by Steve Stovall, AVP, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 2/17/2017

The simple things in life are important. I’m reminded of that every day when my son wakes up. He’s usually in a pretty good mood – especially so after he gets a clean & dry diaper first thing. This morning, he was a bit cranky. He just couldn’t wake up. That is, until he saw a bottle that my wife had just made for him. Once he saw that, his frown turned into a smile and his two little hands reached out for breakfast - little man was hungry! His life is pretty simple. Keep me in a dry diaper, feed me when I’m hungry, and hold me when I need attention.

If only it was that easy for the rest of us.

There are impediments in our life that make our life harder than we’d like it to be – both at home and at work. It’s important to look at those things and learn how they got there – simply, are they in or out of your control. There are three kinds of obstacles – things you have no control over, things that you can influence, but not totally control, and things you have total control over.

If you have no control over something, let it go. Worrying about things you can’t change is counterproductive and causes you to expend energy. What could you be doing with the emotion and energy that you’re using up on something that you cannot change? For example, I had absolutely no control over our move into our new building. It costs me quite a bit more in time and expense to drive up here every day. I’ve been dreading it ever since it was first announced. What have I done to change my attitude? I’ve focused on the fact that we’re now in a class 1 building that’s clean and smells great with lots of space. We even have covered parking! That’s something I can get behind.

Here at Resources and the league, we’re going through the second phase – things that we may be able to influence, but ultimately have no control over. While we’re excited about having a new CEO come on board in April, there is some apprehension about what will happen. We all know that some things may change, but, ultimately, it’s probably not up to us to make those decisions. What can we do? Continue to do our current jobs to the best of our ability and roll with any changes that may happen later.

When you do have control over something and it’s causing you angst, change it! Why let something that you can change get in the way of your happiness. Worried about your finances? Get with a certified financial counselor at your credit union. Tired of looking at old wallpaper in your bathroom, take it off & paint that wall! Want more out of your job, talk to your supervisor and see what steps YOU can take to move your career forward. Tired of listening to a fussy baby, give him a bottle!

Each of us has the responsibility to make our lives better every day. And, when we do that, the lives of those around us will improve as well. It’s amazing how much you can achieve with a positive attitude!

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