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Posts Tagged ‘resume’

Inc Magazine had a great article in their April issue aimed towards helping companies find talented candidates in a crowded talent pool.  I read the article and thought, “I can turn this around, so it can be applied to the candidates themselves.  The same tips they are telling the companies to look for in people can be used to stand out to those companies.  It’s win-win.”

The Problem for Both: The Shotgun Approach Has a Low Success Rate

The article opens with a story about a Dallas fast-food chain looking to hire 32 employees in anticipation of opening a new store.  They posted positions on the 2 major online job boards (Monster and CareerBuilder).  They bought ads in the Dallas Morning News and advertised over the local radio stations.  The result:  10,000 resumes.  It’s the recruiting version of the shotgun approach.  “Just send out as many postings as possible, that’ll give us the most resumes to look through…”  The problem:  They didn’t focus their efforts.  Blasting the openings out across all media outlets will result in all different kinds of people with all different kinds of skill sets applying for positions.  The same can be said for applicants who send their resume to 1000 different job postings in the hopes that someone will bite.  I wrote here and here how this just doesn’t work.

Solution 1: Focus on the Industry

It’s okay to use job boards, but go local.  For recruiters, this allows them to reduce the number of applicants that don’t have the qualifications.  For candidates, this narrows the competition because not everyone uses the local job boards.  You stand out more.  The article lists a lot of unique websites but I would recommend doing your own searches to find out what works best for your needs.

Solution 2: Make Sure the Resume Has the Right Words

The article recommends using special recruiting software that is designed to automate the screening process.  It helps companies narrow the results by ruling out candidates that do not have enough education, or aren’t skilled in a particular area.  For candidates, my recommendation would be to make sure your resume contains the facts needed to get through these screeners.  If the job you are applying for requires project management skills make sure it is mentioned in your resume.

Solution 3:  Pass the Test

They recommend testing the candidates early in the process to measure various skills.  Examples used are typing speed, QuickBooks knowledge, or even people skills.  My recommendation: You probably shouldn’t be applying to the job if you don’t think you are going to pass the test.

Solution 4:  It’s Who You Know

This one is obvious.  Use social-networks such as Linked-In, or ask friends for referrals.  Try and find someone that works at the company and reach out to them.  Being referred internally greatly increases your chances compared to an outsider.

Final Thoughts

It was very easy to apply these recommendations to the candidate even though the article was written for companies.  If you’re stuck in your search don’t be afraid to try to apply a story written for them and relate it to your situation.  Who knows, it just might work.

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some resume tips

Since my current company is moving to Pittsburgh our HR department is doing a great job with helping us beef up our resumes and interviewing skills. We acquired a larger company and some of our jobs are redundant or no longer needed, or some of us just plain don’t want to move to Pittsburgh.

Anywho, below are the tips that I took away from the meeting on building your resume:

-Resumes should steer away from being traditional (chronological) and move to being more functional.  Instead of having sections for each job and what you did within them, you should list all relevant tasks/experience together towards the top of your resume.  List the most important tasks/experiences at the top, and the less important ones towards the bottom of your list. At the bottom of your resume list the jobs and their dates.  This makes it easier for them to read as they don’t have to jump reading your experiences from job to job…they care more about what you did that’s relevant to the position you are applying for.

-List the college you went to, but don’t list the year you graduated.  I believe this has to do with figuring out your age based on the year you graduated.  If you leave it out, they can’t discriminate against that.
-Cover letters aren’t as important.  They are secondary to the resume.  Most HR people don’t even read cover letters, and sometimes just throw them away.  I still think it’s good to have to just in case, but she did make a point that they look at the resume well before they glance at a cover letter.
-Not all companies have programs to filter resumes.  However, if you want to get past those programs, modify your resume to include words that they mentioned in the job description for the job you are applying for.

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