We had a recent blog post that asked the question, “What type of resume gets a better response – a chronological resume (that lists out accomplishments from each position) or a hybrid resume (that places accomplishments in one place and list positions under a separate headline–or a mix of that)?” There were a lot of questions about which one we thought was the best, but with so many responses we began to wonder what type of resume is best.
What do you think? What’s your opinion on the matter and do you have any tips for maximizing your resume?
We can look at statistics to see that the average HR manager looks over a resume in about 10-15 seconds. So, a hybrid resume where your accomplishments are listed in one area and job listings in another may work to draw attention since the reader can skim your highlights and skills right upfront. If they like what they see, then your chances of them reading further increase. But, if they have to browse to find your qualifications, they will move on to the next resume. Your choice of resume could change depending on what you type of position you’re applying for. Does your field deal heavily in accomplishments or with experience? Look and see what type of requirements are involved before sending your resume.
Of course there are pros and cons to both. One person responded that they found chronological resumes to be the most requested type by companies hiring, and basing their decision off of that, they believe that it’s the most effective form (this is what I hear often as well). If it’s what the company wants, then that’s what you should give them. Also, they believe that a capabilities resume does not do enough to showcase, specifically, what type of work (or the experience level) you had with your past jobs. Some point to chronological resumes being a little to heavy on text, making it hard to get a clear picture of your past. You want to showcase what you’re qualified to do, so find a way that works with your skills. It’s not a bad thing to combine resume types as well.
The important thing is finding a job. That’s the bottom line. Whatever resume type you choose to use, recruiters will see that you are the most complete choice for the position. A great resume can make it easier to find a job.
Resume Best Practices (at a glance)
• Make sure to mention which company you achieve great results – “Reduced overhead by $X for McDonalds Worldwide, LLC.” It frustrates readers if they don’t know where you did what.
• When you make mention of past companies, include information so that they can get a sense of the company’s size and scale, including how your position affected the company, assuring that your involvement was really meaningful.
• If you’ve had a lot of jobs, you may want to summarize your earlier info. You don’t need to put work history from the 1980’s and early 90’s on it. Too many jobs looks like you can’t sit still, plus summarizing some of your earlier stuff adds interest and breaks the monotony of job after job after job.
• Add key accomplishments to grab HR manager’s interest.
There’s a fine line between over using keywords in your resume and having just the right touch. It’s trickier than you think to create a effective and dynamic resume, so what do you have to do in order to get the right about of keywords that balance out the resume?
A lot goes into finding the right way to encode your resume. You need to be able to entice HR managers into reading your resume without rehashing the same old thing. Over the past few years, more and more software programs have been designed in order to minimize the time it takes hiring managers to read through the mountain of resumes they receive. Employers’ are dependent on keywords to find candidates that they want to interview. The key is having the right amount of keywords on your resume. Most companies, including Fortune 1000 companies and smaller companies, know how to use these technologies to assist in finding new hires, so you have to know how to take advantage of the same processes that they do. According to the National Resume Writers’ Association, more than 80 percent of resumes are searched for job-specific keywords.
How do you determine the right keywords?
In most cases, job-specific keywords are nouns. Resume writers have long used action verbs in their resume creation, and that same model is still used. But, what are the action nouns that you need? They depend on the type of position you’re applying for, your field and the type of career you seek. Still, there are many words that will work for a standard, first draft resume.
Say for instance that you’re applying for a customer service job. Some keywords for that job could be “customer database” or “upgrading software”. Review the job description in order to find keywords that match potential employers searches. The typical keywords are often related to the skills and experience each employer will be seeking in new candidates. Other times keywords are precise keywords that HR managers are looking for in order to eliminate a wide swath of candidates. If you do not have “IT Administrative Privileges” as part of your keywords, you will be overlooked for that specific position.
Narrowing down your keyword choices.
You do not want to load up your resume too much with keywords. Instead, sprinkle the right keywords throughout your resume.
One idea to add more keywords is by creating a “Areas of Expertise” or “Core Competencies” section. This way you can add in keywords that represent the bulk of your qualifications in a space that is acceptable to the majority of HR managers. This does not penalize you, but instead enhances what you’ve accomplished.
Because you do not know all of the keywords HR managers will use, it’s a good idea to make use of synonyms or jargon words that will appeal to more specific searches. There are a lot of options available so get some help from a professional resume writer.
Social Media has dramatically changed the job landscape. Today’s job seekers must remake themselves as a brand. Think of McDonald’s golden arches or Ford’s iconic script logo. People remember these brands because they set themselves apart from the rest. People don’t settle for any old hamburger when they know what they will get at McDonald’s. Brands build trust with people and that trust translates to increased business and a reliable customer base, which is exactly what you want your online brand to do for you.
Your personal brand builds trust in prospective employers and opens the doors for you to find new positions. Unfortunately, most people don’t think that they need a personal brand, and they are so wrong in assuming this.
Below are 5 reasons why you should establish a personal brand on your resume and online:
1. A personal brand differentiates yourself…
When an HR Manager scans the pile of resumes on their desk, they look for someone who stands out. But, they don’t just focus on the resume, they also look for your online presence because the internet contains much more information about you as a worker. Do you have an industry specific blog or website that you regularly update? Is your personal brand listed on your LinkedIn profile, along with your best career achievements? Listing a successful work history and any extracurricular activities that you’re involved in helps to build your online brand.
2. Make your name a well-known brand…
Who do you think HR Managers are going to go for? The new guy fresh out of college or the big name attached to great companies and amazing projects? Of course they are going to go with the big name. So to capitalize on your opportunities, you must make yourself into a brand name. Instead of seeing “John Smith – New Graduate”, they see “John Smith – Marketing Guru”.
3. Set you apart from your peers…
Your goal is to set yourself apart from your peers. You’re in direct competition for open positions. It’s just the way it is and having an online brand sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Start an industry blog, start a side business or develop a new marketing strategy that you can pitch to prospective employers. There are so many things you can do to highlight how you are a notch above your peers and get your brand out there.
4. Make you more attractive to employers…
Establishing your brand makes you more attractive to prospective employers because they know what they are getting. You’re not a faceless employee; you’re the one who wrote a new programming language, the one who developed supply chains that drastically reduced company overhead, etc. Match your brand to your achievements and employers will stand up and take note.
5. Open yourself up to new opportunities…
You want to find open positions and sometimes they may not be in your chosen profession. But, does that really matter? What if the perfect position is in another industry that you have minimal experience? Well, having an online brand opens the doors to those new arenas. HR Managers are looking for people with experience, and thankfully, your online brand is built around your experience. By viewing your online brand, HR Managers and potential employers can see what you offer the company. They are excited to find somebody with your expertise and skills, and you should be too. You have clout that you never knew you had and your personal brand should reflect the best you have to offer.
Today’s Guest Post is by Medical Sales Recruiter, Peggy McKee
The era of the thank you note after a job interview is over.
Well, not the actual “thank you,” just the delivery system.
It’s critically important that you thank the interviewer for the opportunity, but it’s also critically important that you get it to him within 24 hours. And a handwritten, snail-mailed note just won’t do that. Send an email.
Many people still extol the virtues of the handwritten thank you note as a way to demonstrate your good manners and set yourself apart in the interview process. But while that’s nice, it’s not necessarily effective. A well-written thank you note already demonstrates your good manners and excellent communications skills. You don’t need to put a stamp on it to do that.
But there’s something else that comes into play here: As a recruiter, I know that many hiring decisions are made quickly. You can’t wait to send your thank you just in case this window of opportunity is one that will close quickly.
What should you make sure you include in your message?
In your thank you email, you should talk about how much you appreciated the opportunity to meet with them, how much you enjoyed learning more about the organization, how you think your x, y, and z skills will really help their company with a, b, and c issues, and how you’re looking forward to talking with them further about this process.
If you meet with 4 people, you need to send 4 thank you emails.
But here’s one note of caution: While I’m all for sending your note quickly, don’t go too far and try to send it with a text from your phone. There are too many opportunities for mistakes-and they have been made. Stick with your email-and spell check it.
Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. She has one of the best blogs I’ve ever read and it is jam-packed with information you need to get into medical sales or increase your sales. Go to http://www.phcconsulting.com and see for yourself.
Have you wanted to sign up with LinkedIn but thought it sounded too complicated to begin? Just another profile to maintain? Oh, no. I’m here to tell ya–LinkedIn is a wonderful job search tool and (hopefully) here to stay.
You need to get around your hesitations in order to get your resume to the right people. One way to do that is to register with LinkedIn and develop a well crafted online business profile. If you’re not registered on LinkedIn yet, you are missing an excellent opportunity to get your name out. After you’ve registered, invite all of your friends and colleagues. The more connections you have there, your chances of forming an extended business network of your closest friends and associates rises – including their first and secondary connections.
Once you have your LinkedIn account set up and established some connections, use the search feature to try and learn as much about the different HR managers or corporate recruiters information. You can use the drop down menu to search for people and then type in the company name. Go through the results in order to find the people located in HR or people in leadership roles that you can befriend.
Start contacting these people through the following methods:
- If you see someone that’s a secondary connection (one of your friends is friends with them through a first degree LinkedIn connection), click “Get introduced through a connection” and add this person as a connection. This allows your personal friend to send a message to that person. Also, you can send your resume to your friend and have them forward it on to their first degree connections. Make sure you ask them to put in a good word for you.
- One option is to upgrade your LinkedIn subscription in order to send HR managers or recruiters a LinkedIn “Inmessage”. The cost is relative compared to the insider level it provides.
- See if you can find the HR manager’s email address through Google by searching their name and the company name through Google’s robust search features. If their contact information comes up in the search findings, you can contact them that way. Their information may be listed in a directory so it may take some time.
- If you can not find a valid email address, and the job requires that you apply by emailing a certain name, such as John Smith at email@example.com, then you all ready know what the email address will look like. So if you’re trying to email Kate Clayton at the same company, then the email address is likely firstname.lastname@example.org. Use this and send them a personal email with your resume attached.
Another option is to call the company and ask to speak with the HR manager by getting their name and information from LinkedIn. If the information is not available on LinkedIn, then the switchboard operator at the company may provide the email address and phone number.