Courtesy of Commpro.biz
Happy 2013! At the beginning of this new year, I compiled some of the most frequently asked resume writing and building tips. The goal here is to help you on the road toward developing an awesome 2013 resume.
Applicant Tracking Systems
- All applicant tracking systems work basically the same. They use a ‘parser’ to read the information in your resume.
- The parser will read your information vs. the information it has been given by the company. In most cases, keywords pulled from the job description will be used. Unfortunately you don’t know the keywords or the parameters they have been given. What this means is that your resume submission must use the exact terminology or you risk the parser not forwarding your resume.
- Yes, you read that correctly. Just because you submitted your resume and received notification that it was accepted, it doesn’t mean it will reach the hiring manager or HR. Unfortunately, unqualified candidates answer job ads so the applicant tracking system helps to sort resumes.
- It is important that you customize your resume to each job description.
- Your resume is scored for relevancy. Relevancy is based on the correlating matches between your resume and the job description’s keyword.
- You must also read the disclaimers/information on the web site. You need to know how long a company keeps your resume, can you update it and can you apply for different positions or does one resume submission cover other jobs as they become available. This is important because one general resume for a media relations position may not fit the qualifications for a corporate communications position, etc. Some companies post a new position and look at the resumes they receive for that position. They don’t go through the database to search for other candidates. You need to know how long it will be on file so you know when to re-submit it.
- If you have submitted a resume online, a recruiter cannot resubmit it.
Online Resume Submission
- Think keywords. Computer software programs make matches by keywords. Read the ad, job description and any other materials so you can use the company’s words as your keywords. You probably need 25-30 keywords in your resume.
- Position yourself. If you are going to post your resume online, find the right ones. If you are a senior-level professional, look for sites that only handle your level or area of expertise.
- Profile yourself. Your statement is important on your resume but is extremely important on your web site and social media pages. You can expand your statement online sites but make sure you fill it with Google optimized words.
- It’s an advertisement for you, not your autobiography. You want a particular job; your resume is your chance to call attention to you and what you’ve done. Some people believe resumes should be one page because they want to see a quick glimpse of you. While we don’t believe in one-page resumes, you must be careful to be specific, concise and to the point. You want the hiring manager to want to learn more about you.
- No gimmicks please. Gimmicks may get attention, but they won’t make up for a sub-par resume.
- Formatting is important. It makes your resume easier to read/scan and it provides the reader with a road map to follow – all your titles, dates etc. will be in the same place. If you are submitting a resume online, be careful of your margins. You don’t know how a computer scanner is set so leave at least a 1” margin all around. Since you don’t know the age or eyesight of the reader, use an easy type to typeface.
- Objectives are out, summaries are in. Unless you have a specific objective and will only consider that type of job, use a career summary – a short concise pitch about you and what you have to offer.
- Interviews. You should be getting 5 or 6 first interviews for every 100 targeted resumes you send out. If you are not, you might be sending out resumes to every ad you see, whether the job fits or not. Also, have someone review your resume to make sure it’s clear as to what you are looking for and that it doesn’t contain a typo.
- You should be getting one second interview for every 8 first interviews. If not, ask yourself whether you need to polish your interviewing skills. Are you coming across as desperate or unsure?
- Have you ever been a finalist for more than 8 or 9 positions and not landed a job? If so, try to review what happened. If the companies hired from within, there isn’t anything you could have done. If the company decided not to hire anyone, there isn’t anything you could have done. But to get this far this many times and not have closed the deal suggests that something is wrong. For starters, you might want to review your references. Are you giving them enough information so that they can be helpful? Consider adding new ones to the list. Sometimes, the personality of the reference makes a big difference, too!
- Update, Update, Update. Each job is a little different. Before you send out a resume, update or tweak it for each job position.
- Resumes are written in the third person and they are written in past tense. You may opt to put your current job in present tense but the rest is in past tense.
- A resume is a marketing tool. Use it that way. It’s the paper that shows what you have achieved to take you to the next step in your career.
- Don’t lie. Titles, dates, compensation, education are all very east to check.
- Computers are often the first readers of resumes. They will scan for keywords. It is important that you use the keywords from an ad or job description in your resume. Otherwise, a human may never see your resume.
- References on request. This is a given. Don’t waste a line on your resume with it.
- Your resume is yours. It represents you and it is how you sell yourself. You can’t please all the people all the time. △
Resumes in 2013 should be worded short, concise and to the point. Let’s take a few minutes to review new emerging trends for the resume for this upcoming year 2013. The resume still remains the essential tool for your job search but the ever changing explosion of new technology is re-shaping industry demands. The job seeker still needs the traditional resume/CV as a career overview and introduction to employers, recruiters and network contacts.
Here are 20 high points to consider before you start writing your resume.
- One- or two-page resumes for very experienced professionals.
- Writing concise, short paragraphs with brief lists with bullets and good organizational strategies so the resume can be easily skimmed.
- Use strong merchandising and positioning strategies to bring the most relevant information to the forefront. (You may want to consider inserting a “Career Highlights” section with your most high level accomplishments in the header of your resume. Highlight your “Unique Selling Propositions”, those attributes that distinguish you from the competition.)
- Critical: Creating a strong impact “in the profile” or top half of the 1st page of the resume. This is especially important in competitive employment markets. (Creating a personal brand is the key to attracting hiring managers).
- Emergence of Micro Resumes at the Executive Level featuring primary talking points; those are nothing longer than a tweet.
- Online formatting moving from .txt to .doc files to ensure integrity of both content and format on some websites and databases.
- SMART Phones are changing everything from the way hiring managers are reading resumes. Readability is a major problem so to accommodate formatting is Key!! Messaging should be condensed and concise with good headlines. (Readability for mobile devices/smart phones, top to bottom scrolling).
- Twitter has become a viable medium for resume messaging. Savvy job seekers communicate their “Unique Selling Propositions” and brand in Twitres@twit_res, a series of 10 tweets (each 140 characters). Combine message with your cohesive overview of core qualifications and values.
- Resume needs to be ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) Savvy. Formatting is being scaled back (straightforward and simple formatting for best results) and text being carefully selected to optimize keyword identification and search engine capabilities.
- Shorter resume drive greater demand for addenda. Project highlights, client/engagement highlights, leadership, bios, technology profiles and other in-depth documents. (Post these documents to your LinkedIn or Website where people can view your work.)
- Paper still important. In-person meetings best to have nicely printed copy of your resume.
- Resumes become portals to blogs, web pages and portfolios. Increased inclusion of URL’s and QR (Quick Response) codes to link readers to additional materials about the job seeker.
- Resume “extras” are important to distinguish you from the pack. Personal brand should include community service, civic background, continuing education, professional development, multicultural attributes/experiences and qualifiers that establish character and personality.
- Add Powerful 3rd Party Testimonials or Endorsements to near the top of the resume. (You can pull from your personal recommendations LinkedIn page, but add the source name/position.
- Applicant Tracking Systems Evolving: to the point that they now search for the rare (rather than the common) keywords and phrases. Monster.com and other jobs boards offer services to help resumes rise to the top. Some of the services include: Web-based software that assesses resumes for keyword matches compared against job listings. Look for companies such as Paptel @ http://www.preptel.com/.
- Consider using a free cloud generator as part of your branding. Check out Wordle@http://www.wordle.net/.
- Twitter Generation: Write short brand statements and all marketing communications.
- Consider mailing a high-quality paper resume along with customized cover letter. People still open mail.
- Resumes slowly being replaced by online communications such as LinkedIn.
- Show competencies, skills and experience through chunks of time (3 years, 18 months) rather than dates so as it translates experience into meaningful terms and a cohesive relevant background for employer. △
Credit: Resume Tips for 2013
A new year has begun and that means new job hunting trends. While the resume has also played an important role, there are also new trends to which we must pay attention. The most important thing to remember in writing your resume is that 2013 is the year of showing, not telling. What are some other resume writing trends for this year?
2013 Resume Writing Trends
If you want to write a resume that will help you stand out, you should pay attention to these tips:
1. Social Resumes
If you are serious about landing a job in 2013, then you’ll have to realize that resumes are no longer static pieces of paper. One of the most important changes in 2013 is the sociability of resumes. Resumes are becoming living entities online. Social Media means that the type of communication between hiring managers and prospective employees has also changed, is more direct and closer.
Prospective employees have the opportunity to interact with, and sometimes befriend, hiring managers before applying for a position. Companies are increasingly likely to use social networks and your social media accounts are now the true first impression.
The popularity of Twitter is growing astronomically. The good news is that you are probably already on it. Job seekers can harness the power of a tweet by explaining why they are an excellent candidate in 140 characters or less.
Fortunately, you have 160 characters to describe yourself in your Twitter biography. Your Twitter biography section is the online version of your elevator pitch. If you find the task of condensing your qualifications daunting, then you just have to view this as an opportunity.
It is your opportunity to figure out what really makes you different. Brands refer to this as their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Twitter is your chance to figure out your USP and develop your personal brand. Once you’ve hooked your prospective employee with your amazing biography, then you need to link your website, resume or other professional networking site, i.e. LinkedIn.
3. QR Codes
If you are applying for a technology-related position, then QR codes might help you stand out. A QR code is that small, square, barcode-looking image that you’ve probably seen in publications, advertising, and some product packaging. It shows that are aware of technology trends and that you know how to use them too.
It’s not mandatory, of course, but it can be a good way to add some coolness factor to your resume and make it stand out from the crowd.
Some tips for using QR codes on your resume:
- Take into consideration the type of position and the “audience”: QR codes will be more accepted by marketing-oriented employers
- Include your website’s URL in addition to the QR code
- Make sure that the website to which your QR code goes is fully accessible and mobile-friendly.
A picture is worth 1000 words. Infographics are popping up everywhere online and on print. Candidates most likely applying for visual or creative positions can use the popularity of infographics to highlight their qualifications and skills.
Since infographic resumes do not cover in-depth details (they tend to be more simplistic than the standard resume), job seekers can use them to supplement their resume. In some cases, an infographic resume could catch the employer’s attention, but probably they will never replace the traditional text CV.
5. Other Useful Tips
Resumes should always be targeted, specific and quantifiable. Make sure that your resume is not only tailored to the position that you are applying to, but it should also be tailored to the company that you are applying to. Numbers, figures and percentages show what you can do. Quantifying your experience, where possible, also makes you appear more professional.
Hate to break it to you, but the standard “References Available Upon Request” is really outdated. Instead of using that overused phrase, consider showing managers what others have to say about you in 2013. You can pull your strongest third party testimonials and put them at the very top of your resume. The easiest place to find testimonials is from LinkedIn recommendations.
The debate of one- or two-page resumes continues. If you are making a resume that is tailored to that specific job description and company, then hiring managers can overlook the length. Edit your resume, where necessary. Hiring managers are busy and have limited time. An important tip is to make sure that your resume is readable on a computer and another mobile device.
Try reading your resume on a phone or tablet because hiring managers can quite possibly be reviewing your resume on a mobile device. Readability with bullets, bold fonts and short paragraphs matter more than resume length. △
Jose Sanchez has been a resume writer and career advisor since 1999. He writes and shares content related to resume writing, job interview questions, and cover Letters. Managing editor for resumetemplates.org.
When you are out looking for a job, there are some things that go unspoken when you’re on the hunt, which is really too bad because they are things that are really basic, but they make a large impact on how you are perceived by future employers. Don’t worry though. We are going to say them out loud so you’ll keep them in mind when looking for a job.
This is very important as you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make sure that you shake with your right hand, and give a firm handshake without squeezing too hard. A firm handshake communicates confidence while squeezing is seen as aggressive. No cupping the hand when you shake, as it can be seen as condescending. Keep it brief, but long enough for you and the interviewer to introduce yourselves.
When someone enters the room, regardless of the gender, you should stand and greet them. Smile, rise, and greet them with your new-patented handshake and confidently introduce yourself. In the world of work, confidence is key and if you can’t make them believe you’re confident and that you’re right for the job from the get-go, then it’s going to be an uphill climb from there.
Do not pocket the card right away when you are handed one. It appears dismissive. Smile, thank them, and politely take the time to read the card over. Review it for a few moments. Confirm or ask any pertinent questions while memorizing their name. Then put it away.
Always silence your cell phone prior to any meeting or perhaps, put it on vibrate. During the interview, what you are trying to accomplish is that you give the impression that nothing is more important then what is going on at that moment. Constantly ringing phones not only interrupt your possible employer, it interrupts the whole interview.
Thank You Notes
Always follow up with a thank you note. This is a good idea for those of you with itchy call fingers. Not only does it make you stand out, it also leaves your meeting fresh in the employer’s mind without being pushy. It also keeps you from burning bridges. Even if you decide not to take the job (which can happen), a simple thank you for the opportunity can go a long way.
One of the things that you should have gotten, or at the very least politely asked about, was a length in time in which they would let you know if you got the job. Do not call everyday afterward. Follow-ups are important, but don’t call until the time frame is up. You want to appear excited about the opportunity, but not annoying to anyone who is still reviewing your resume.
Always dress appropriately for an interview and bring a smile with you. Even if your interview has been scheduled on a casual Friday, dress appropriately anyway. If you are going to get a job digging ditches, dress appropriately for that appointment. You are selling yourself and you are getting the chance to market yourself to someone who is hopefully going to be paying for your skills. You and your resume deserve to be presented in the best possible way.
If it’s cute, funny, religious, political, suggestive, has kids chanting, or has music in the background… lose it. It may be great for grandma to hear the kids singing the caroling of the bells for five minutes before she can leave a message, but for an employer, it’s annoying and it’s a waste of time. Try to keep it short, to the point, and professional.
Be clear, be confident, be polite, and identify yourself. The first two things that should fall from your lips over the phone should be your name and the reason you are calling or the person you are trying to reach.
Putting the Employer On Hold On the Phone
It is not okay to put a possible employer on hold. If you are getting another call while you are conversing with the employer, it can go into your voice mail. If the employer is calling, that means they are interested in speaking to you. Do not stop the gravy train before it has left the station by putting them on hold because Aunt Flo just had to tell you about what Timmy did last weekend. Those individuals who know that you are on a job hunt will understand when you get back to them.
When going into a new work environment, make it a point to be polite to everyone! That means everyone. If the janitor says hello, you return the hello. If the secretary smiles and asks how your day is, you tell her it’s marvelous. If she just looks you up and down and sniffs, smile and ask how her day is going. You never know who knows who or who is related to whom, or even how close these people are to the person you’re hoping to work for. Not only will they be helpful in getting any information you may need, they are very likely to report any mishaps in your behavior to your future employer. In other words, just be nice, smile and treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Why? Because it’s just the right thing to do!
Now that you’re all prepared for the interview, go out there and get that job! △