JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

What the #dressgate Furor Means for Your Executive Resume

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 5, 2015 8:57:28 AM

Image-the-dress

Do you sometimes just scratch your head because you know you'd be great for the job and you think your resume communicated your qualifications but nobody on the other end "gets" it?

If the impassioned even embittered debate on Twitter and Facebook about whether the above dress is gold and white or blue and black tells us anything, it's that we don't all see the same reality.

I'm afraid this is a rather profound truth and is at the basis of many human misunderstandings. For instance, ISIS sees the world differently from your average Westerner. This ability to look at conditions in the world and perceive radically different things is surely tragic for humanity.

What about the typical spousal debate about money? It's obvious that legal tender is "seen" in different ways by different people. That's why studies show that having very different views of money is a very common cause of divorce.

It's worth pointing out here, though, that without this very human, built-in variety of perceptions we would have no great art, music, drama, or even cosmology to excite, awaken, inform, and inspire people. How often we "see" a new reality when confronted by great art!

So what does all this have to do with your resume? Well, if your resume evokes in the recruiter an entirely different picture of who you are professionally than you thought you were projecting, your candidacy in not apt to go any further.

Many people "perceive" that they are telling the hiring authority that they have the a,b, and c skills and experiences required for the job. But is the recruiter seeing that also? Usually not.

This dilemma is the reason why you as a job seeker need to throw away many of your personal preferences in writing your resume. Instead, follow these simple rules:

  • Weave the exact keywords or key phrases you find in the job ad into your resume's profile and the descriptions of your job responsibilities
  • Take the key skills the job ad specifies and, in addition to weaving them in, provide examples of using them in your jobs
  • Put information the recruiter wants to see in the expected places on the resume: Summary, Experience, Education

Yes, this means customizing every resume you send out to the exact key words and key phrases in the particular job ad.

If you folllow these rules and construct an ATS-friendly resume (see recent blog posts + free example), you will be in a good position to have your resume retrieved by the recruiter in a search.

So, if you don't want your "blue and black" dress to appear "gold and white" when the recruiter wants to see "blue and black," observe the above conventions!

 

 

more

Topics: executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, applicant tracking systems, ATS systems, Executive Resume Writer Massachusetts

Why's My Executive Resume Not Working? 2 Words

Posted by Jean Cummings

Oct 22, 2014 11:07:19 AM

Image-Simple

Image attribution: creative arts workshop

It's been a long time since anything's been simple about executive resumes. People ask questions such as: should my resume be two pages or one, can you have three or more pages, how should it look, can I have a functional resume? And, about the response to their resumes people ask: why I am not getting called back, why aren't recruiters contacting me, why have I been looking for months with no luck?

Well, the simple answer to all these questions is, drum roll here, you have to make sure to provide, in your executive resume, a

FAST MATCH

to the job ad. That's it! That's the one important thing your executive resume has to do: provide a fast match to the employer's job ad. If you do this, you will have a resume that has a good chance of getting retrieved electronically when the hiring manager (HM) does a keyword search using the company's ATS - Applicant Tracking System.

Also, by implementing this FAST MATCH technique, the HM is likely to respond positively to your content. S/he will not be worrrying about the length or the look or the style of your resume and you will have a good chance of being contacted.

Also, by providing the HM with the content s/he is seeking in a way that is familiar to them (through their own words), you are respecting their time as well as acknowledging the reality that the HM spends on average 6 seconds scanning each retrieved resume!  

So, how exactly do you do a fast match?* We need to assume that you have selected a job to apply to that is, in fact, a good match for your skills and experience. Then you begin with the job ad. And if you're thinking there's no way you're going to write a different resume for each job ad then you'll be back to asking the questions in paragraph one:)

The first step is to highlight the keywords and key phrases in the job requisition (ad). Then you weave them into your executive resume, paying particular to the following points:

  • The title of the job you are seeking should be at the top of your summary section, like this: "Targeting: Job Title"
  • You make sure the the primary skills being sought are included in the summary you write. It is best here and elsewhere not to rely on a simple lists of keywords alone. Try to include them naturally in the points you are making. If there are too many to substitute in organically, go ahead and include a list at the end of your summary.
  • When you start listing your professional experience, use a 5-line job description to list your primarily activities and responsibilities. This is prime keyword territory! You can substitute in the keywords and key phrases in this section. By doing so, you will be showing the ATS software and the HM that you use these relevant key skills in your job.
  • When you write your bulleted list of accomplishments, be sure to weave in the keywords and phrases. You don't want to have keyword overload, but it is OK to use a given keyword more than once in a resume.
  • With the keywords and key phrases that are less important, or that you were unable to include, or that were worded oddly, you may have a subtitle "Additional Relevant Skills and Knowledge" and list those phrases at the end of the resume. Use the exact wording you find in the job ad. Don't try to be tricky and copy/paste the whole ad in.

If you have done this skillfully, you will satisfy both ATS compliance requirements and attract the HM's interest. You will have demonstrated that your background and skills are a good fit with the target job.

* A very important caveat: your resume must be able to be processed correctly in terms of format and design by the ATS. To find out how to do this please refer to one of my earlier posts.

 

more

Topics: executive resume writing, executive resume, ATS, applicant tracking systems

Silicon Valley Startup Shaking Up Hiring of Elite Programmers?

Posted by Jean Cummings

May 22, 2013 9:30:00 AM

Algorithms and Your Job Search

An algorithm deciding which programmer to interview? Permission to ignore resumes?

It had to happen sooner or later. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) were the first major application of technology to the decision about whom to interview. Now there is a new kid on the Siliconblock in Gild.com.   .

A good article in the NY Times ties the paradigm of applying technology to applicant selection to Big Data and the emerging field of work-science. Already top companies are testing and using Gild's software: Facebook, Wal-Mart, Twitter and others.

The thesis is this: Traditional hiring of programmers for coveted employer brands such as Google and Apple has depended on credentials such as a degree from MIT or Stanford, work experience at another premier company, etc. Glid.com believes that talented programmers who may be as good or better are being overlooked because they don't have a degree from a top tech school or a prestige background. They have developed a technology to address this problem.

How do they identify promising candidates then? By applying Big Data analytics to recruitment and using ~300 variables to predict a valuable hire. Instead of looking at three or four factors, they weigh more heavily the actual programming work someone's done.

The NY Times describes the broader criteria this way: "The types of language, positive or negative, that he or she uses to describe technology of various kinds; self-reported skills on LinkedIn; the projects a person has worked on, and for how long; and, yes, where he or she went to school, in what major..."

Executives at Gild.com in an interview with NPR said that they have ambitions to apply similar technology to fields in which work is harder to quantify: teaching, community organizing etc.

Gild's vision aligns well with the paradigm shift going on in HR (human resources) towards metrics-based decision making about recruitment and new hire evaluation. HR increasingly is needing to justify its existence in terms of providing quanitifiable value to the business.

Takeaways for programmers and job seekers in general? If this early-stage tech company is a harbinger of things to come, jumpstart your online footprint now! Leverage Linkedin to the max, including work products (once you get the media feature), put up a personal website to provide even more examples of your work and its impacts, start now to build thought leadership on Twitter, and blog. In other words, be everywhere and anywhere recruiters might be looking.

It's hard for me to say this more strongly: If you're not branded online - with breadth and depth, you will not be ready for the hiring environment of the future. With the tremendous communication potential of the Internet, you have the potential to beat out other applicants with much more impressive credentials. Who doesn't want to be able to do that?

What are your thoughts on this trend? I'd love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

more

Topics: job search, resumes, recruitment, employment trends, hiring, applicant tracking systems

What's new in high tech resumes, executive resumes, cover letters, job search, and personal branding for executives in technology.

Subscribe to Email Updates

New Call-to-Action

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

About the Author

Tyrone Norwood