Hiring
Job Search

How To Write The Perfect Resume

The title to this blog post is a bit of a ruse. There is no ‘perfect résumé’. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder, and you never know who’s going to be reviewing your résumé – recruiters, hiring managers, founders, admins, etc. Aiming for a ‘perfect résumé’ is a lost cause.

Like most recruiters, I’ve read thousands of resumes over my career. Some great, some awful. Some memorable, some not. The key (in my mind) to a great résumé is one that’s laid out in an easy to follow chronological order. A format reviewers can scan vertically from the top, and ascertain in the first 10 seconds whether there is enough relevant experience to review more thoroughly.

Wait, isn’t the résumé dead?

There is a lot of chatter these days about the death of the résumé, that your ‘digital footprint‘ or LinkedIn profile have made your résumé obsolete. This is (for now) a myth. The reality is while there are sufficient tools and platforms out there to allow hiring teams (in many industries) to make early stage viability decisions, most organizations are still managing through hiring apparatuses and workflows designed 5+ years ago, before some of these technologies existed. This is particularly true with large organizations, or those required to have compliance-driven processes. For now, resumes remain a necessity in most job searches.

What about the robots?robot

There are many blog posts out there advising candidate to load their resumes with keywords to get past keyword scanning tools some organizations have baked into their ATS (applicant tracking system). I personally don’t put a lot of weight into these tools, but there are organizations that do. If you heed this advice, be sure the flow of the résumé is still logical, and doesn’t read as if you’re aiming for keyword density. You might get past the robots, but eventually a human will see and this and may be turned off if it’s an obvious ploy to get past the robot gatekeepers.

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Job Search

20 Tweet-Sized Social Media Job Search Tips

jobsearchwebsitesSocial Media has impacted the job search process for a broad range of jobs, and changed the ways organizations and candidates court and connect. These changes have raised new questions:

  • How do I stand out in a crowded job field?
  • How can I use social media to gain a competitive edge in the job market?
  • What the hell is a personal brand?

Recruiters are often asked these questions, and fortunately many of us feel its important to help job seekers find answers. Below are 20 tweet-sized tips from leading career experts, many of which were shared during #NPRTwitterChat (a collaboration between NPR and Twitter’s HR teams aimed at providing job search advice).

If you like a tip, click the (tweet this) link to share on Twitter.

    1. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a job, recruiters are always looking for you. Be ready.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)
    2. “Use SM to network. Reach out to people who are doing the job you aspire to + ask questions.” @TdoubleD (tweet this)
    3. “You can find a job on twitter by helping other people find jobs on Twitter. Good karma and reciprocity are valued.” @lruettimann (tweet this)
    4. “Own your brand. What do your last 20 tweets say about you?” @JMass (tweet this)
    5. “Create lists to show you know your industry–a unique way to stand out and help others.” @SusanLaMotte (tweet this)
    6. “What’s a personal brand? Google yourself.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)
    7. “Check Wefollow and Listorious to find and follow thought leaders in your industry.” @Keppie_Careers (tweet this)
    8. “Recruiters and hiring managers can see via your #twitter that in hiring you, they inherit your network 2!” @SHRMSMG (tweet this)
    9. “Share valuable content-the more relevant contributions u make, the more others will want to connect w/u.” @anitra10 (tweet this)
    10. “Consider building a personal web page (eg. about.me). They’re effective, creative supplements to resume.” @dobbins (tweet this)
    11. “At networking events you have to speak up, get out of comfort zone. Listen & Learn. Twitter is same.” @JenniferMcClure (tweet this)
    12. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Also important: what the internet knows about you.” @mattcharney (tweet this)
    13. “Authenticity = degree of transparency UR comfortable sharing. Don’t fear UR personality.” @jmass (tweet this)
    14. Here’s a guide for how to use #LinkedIn as a job seeker. http://slidesha.re/17EPgcG Good luck. @lruettimann (tweet this)
    15. “Follow people at target companies on twitter. Linkedin-search types of people that your target company hires.” @clairetapia (tweet this)
    16. “What if you treat each bullet on your resume as a tweet? It’d get some attention+cut thru the clutter.” @nikilustig (tweet this)
    17. “I was told that good jobs come to those who bust their butts and get lucky. You need both.” @skuranda (tweet this)
    18. “Networking: Use SM as a sourcing tool. Then find events where u can translate “names” into relationships.” @lruettimann (tweet this)
    19. “Alumni networks are great avenues, I’m more likely to help out someone who went to my school.” @LindsayClaiborn (tweet this)
    20. “Don’t be a ‘personal brand’, be a person.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)
NPRTwitterChat2
Job Search

Job Search Advice: #NPRTwitterChat II Recap

This is a recap of the second #NPRTwitterChat, a collaboration between the HR teams of NPR and Twitter. #NPRTwitterChat is a quarterly chat that brings together experienced professionals at the intersections of HR, recruiting, and social media to provide job search advice and share jobs.

In this edition of the chat, we covered the following topics:

    • Q1: What Social Media advice do you have for recent grads or students/interns?
    • Q2: The job requires experience, but I don’t have any. How do I get it?
    • Q3: What are some tools, tips, and tech that can help in your job search?
    • Q4: I’m a perfect fit for the job why didn’t I get it?
    • Q5: How can I build relationships with recruiters and/or employees in companies I’m interested in?
    • BONUS: Hiring? Take the last 10 minutes to share your jobs with chat attendees.

We had over 50 participants sharing their experience, tips, and recommendations. You can find the Storify recap link below:

#NPRTwitterChat II Recap – 5/30/13

We’ll be back for the third installment of #NPRTwitterChat in late Summer. In the meantime, you can keep up with our friends at Twitter on @JoinTheFlock, and NPR at @NPRjobs.

Be sure to check out the Storify for many other participants who regularly share career and job search insights like Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann), Jessica Merrell (@Blogging4Jobs), Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Justin Mass (@jmass), Steve Levy (@levyrecruits), and others.

jobsearchwebsites
Job Search

Social Media And Your Job Search – 5 Myths (And Truths) You Should Know

The following is a post I contributed to Careerealism’s Professional Emancipation Project (P.E.P.)

There is a lot of discussion about how, where, and why one must use social media in today’s digital economy. It can be a bit overwhelming for some. The following myths and truths are intended to demystify some of the ways in which you can utilize social media as a job search resource.

Myth: You Must Use Social Media To Find A Job

Truth: Despite what many experts tell you, social media is not an absolute requirement for all jobs and careers. There are many fields where traditional job boards and resumes are still effective tools for finding your next job. Generally speaking, social media tends to be most effective as a job search tool in ‘corporate’ roles and careers where you have a cubicle, desk, or office.

Myth: You Must Build Your Personal Brand

Truth: The term ‘personal branding’ was introduced in 1937. It’s become a common, though somewhat maligned, term in today’s digital economy. Supporters view it as a word of empowerment, taking control of your ‘business of one’ and presenting your self in an orchestrated and deliberate way. Detractors argue the term is contrived, and positioning the individual as a commodity or ‘brand’ is wrong and lacks authenticity.

Perhaps a better term to define the concept is ‘Digital Footprint’. What does this mean? Google yourself. What you find is your digital footprint. It’s the sum of your collective digital presence – social media, blogs, interviews, etc. Putting some thought into how you present and organize these findings helps you cohesively build your digital footprint. You can use tools like Knowem to search domains and social media account for particular names you might want to use for your digital accounts. While by no means required, having similar names for Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and so on makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you.

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NPRTwitterChat2
Recruiting

NPR and Twitter HR Partner to Provide Social Media Job Search Tips

NPRTwitterChat2I’m excited to announce a new collaboration between the NPR and Twitter Human Resource teams aimed at helping job seekers learn how to use Twitter as a job search resource – #NPRTwitterChat. You can learn more about this project on the NPR.org’s This Is NPR blog here.

The event will be held Thursday 1/31 from 5-6pm EST. You can follow along by watching the #NPRTwitterChat hashtag through Twitter.com or a tool like TweetChat.com. I’ll be using Storify to compile the key highlights and recommendations from the event for job seekers I’ll share here following the event.

If you have questions about using Twitter as a job search tool you’d like us to cover, tweet them to us using the #NPRTwitterChat hashtag by 1/25/13.

youre_hired
Job Search

How To Impress A Hiring Manager

If you follow this blog, you know I work for NPR. As you might expect, I get to work with some smart people. Mensa smart. After 18 months at NPR I’ve grown accustomed to the intelligence in the building; but am also reminded of thoughtful, caring and compassionate employees we have quite often.

One of these colleagues is Matt Thompson, our Director of Digital Initiatives (and Mischief). Yes, that is his real title. Yes, he is cool enough to carry it. Matt wears many hats at NPR, but one of them is to be the lead resume reviewer on a new hiring initiative building our new Race, Ethnicity and Culture team.

We’ve had over 1300 applications for four open positions. Matt and the hiring team will be reviewing every one of them. He recently penned an article for Poytner detailing what he’s learned in an effort to help journalists seeking jobs - 10 ways to make your journalism job application better than everyone else’s. You should read it. The tips and points he lists are valuable for all job seekers, and transcend journalism. It was one of the more thoughtful collections of advice from a hiring manager I’ve read. I wanted to highlight a few tips that really stood out: Continue reading

CHO-PNG2
Job Search

Introducing Career Hangout

Pay it forward.

My friend Laurie Ruettimann and I got together a few months ago and talked about the state of the job market. Many people are struggling. Struggling to find jobs, to keep jobs, to find their way out from dead end jobs, and struggling on how to advance their careers in a climate where salaries are flat and opportunities are scarce. This discussion got us thinking about what we can we do to help.

We’ve both been in HR for our entire careers. We’ve been exposed to almost every HR scenario you can imagine: hiring, firing, promoting, training, developing – you name it. We both have a lot of smart friends in our industry with great expertise in job search and career development. We know recruiters at many top employers throughout the U.S. We have friends who are accomplished professionals in a variety of fields. We realized we could leverage those contacts, knowledge and expertise to to help people manage and develop their careers, and we could do it through Career Hangout (CHO). Continue reading

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Job Search, Video

4 Tips For Writing A Great Cover Letter [Video]

I just returned from the UNITY12 conference in Las Vegas where I had an opportunity to lead a panel discussion of recruiters sharing job search tips. We spent a good amount of time discussing cover letters so I wanted to share some of those tips.

  1. If the application instructions request a cover letter, be sure to include it. (you’d think this is a given, but recruiters and hiring managers see a lot of applications without them. Don’t be that applicant.)
  2. Avoid cover letter templates that are clearly boilerplate. It’s important to personalize your cover letter to the organization. More on that below. (If you do use templates, BE SURE to double-check the company name before sending. Listing company A when you’re applying to company B will sink your application)
  3. There are 3 things you should convey in every cover letter: a) why you’re interest in the organization b) why you’re interested in the role c) why you would bring to the role or team. The last point is important, as it allows you ro present yourself as someone who is bringing solutions to the problems this job is trying to solve.
  4. Make sure your cover letter does not exceed one page. This is a general rule.  There are exceptions in situations where you’re asked to answer multiple questions or provide lengthy feedback. Anything more than a page runs the risk of not being read when a recruiter or hiring manager has hundreds of applicants to consider.

 

There was a great article shared by Craig Fisher (@Fishdogs) recently, Best Cover Letters of 2012, with examples of cover letters you might want to review for inspiration. A key point to consider is cover letters won’t even be read if the resume doesn’t align with the role, so make sure your resume is strong first. What advice would you have?