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.

Continue reading

Job Search

Announcement: #NPRTwitterChat To Return As A Quarterly Series 5/16

#NPRTwitterChat To Return As A Quarterly Series

By Lars Schmidt

February 26, 2013

Washington, DC / San Francisco, CA – The collaboration between the Human Resources teams at NPR and Twitter, #NPRTwitterChat, has been extended to a quarterly series. The one hour chat, covered in the Mashable article, ‘How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource‘, brings together a mix of global subject matter experts at the intersections of human resources, recruiting and social media to share insights and tips with job seekers.

“#NPRTwitterChat is intended to bring together diverse views and opinions about the role social media plays in your job search,” commented #NPRTwitterChat founder and NPR Head of Talent Acquisition & Innovation Lars Schmidt (@ThisIsLars). “We received a lot of great feedback on the first #NPRTwitterChat, so are excited about the opportunity to continue collaborating with our friends at Twitter HR to keep it going.”

Twitter’s Recruiting Operations Lead and #NPRTwitterChat co-founder, Anitra Collins (@anitra10), added “I love being a part of such an insightful discussion. The #NPRTwitterChat gives participants front row access to real-time engagement between HR Experts across the globe. The diverse tips and techniques shared during the chat are unparalleled.” Continue reading

Live Blog

Live Blog: My Day At NY Social Media Week (#smwny)

This is my first attempt at a live-blog, and will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday 2/20.

Today I’m traveling to New York to join The Muse’s panel, The 140 Character Resume: How Your Social Media Footprint Can Get You Hired (#smw140resume), at NY’s Social Media Week – and I’m taking you with me. The day will be filled with coffee, trains, wifi, sessions, meetings, coffee, and mixers. I’ll be taking pics, vines, and video along the way. I think it will be an interesting way to share the experience and what I learn – and hopefully it won’t suck.

5:30am: Good morning. Here we go…


Rise and shine

7:03am: Arrived at Union Station. Checked in. Bought coffee. Wondering how many times I’ll write ‘got coffee’ today. Also, learned how to embed a tweet into WordPress.

Job Search

Handshakes To High Fives: A UK Ex-Pat’s Journey To The US

The following post is a guest blog post from a friend and former colleague – Sue Dickinson. In the post below, she shares her journey as a UK ex-pat transitioning to the US, and what she learned along the way.


“HEADQUARTERED IN WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA.” These words flashed in front of my eyes, in letters the size of the Hollywood sign. I knew as soon as I saw the job description for the role of HR Advisor with Ticketmaster UK, that not only did I need to get this job, I also had to find a way to make my lifelong dream of living in the United States of America come true.

After a nerve-wracking interview I accomplished part one of my plan, I got the job. Over the next four years I worked hard to build a successful Human Resources team at Ticketmaster’s Contact Center in Manchester, England. I raised my profile internationally by volunteering for global projects, gained credibility, built relationships with key leaders, and four years later was given the opportunity I dreamed about – a new role as Senior Manager of Human Resources with the corporate HR team in Los Angeles. I couldn’t have been more excited, and was ready to pack up and leave rainy Manchester for sunny California to start this new chapter in my life. Continue reading

Job Search

A Recap Of #NPRTwitterChat

Twitter's Chris Dobbins, NPR's Lars Schmidt, Jennifer McClure and William Tincup discuss the upcoming #NPRTwitterChat event at Twitter HQ. [photo courtesy of Craig Fisher]

Twitter’s Chris Dobbins, NPR’s Lars Schmidt, Jennifer McClure and William Tincup discuss the upcoming #NPRTwitterChat event at Twitter HQ. [photo courtesy of Craig Fisher]

Last week was the debut of #NPRTwitterChat, a collaboration between the HR teams of NPR and Twitter aimed at helping job seekers use social media as a job search tool.

There were over 800 tweets sent throughout the one hour chat. The Storify link below captures some of the highlights. Feel free to share freely with anyone you think could benefit.

Click to view the story “#NPRTwitterChat Recap” on Storify

Thanks to our friends at Twitter’s @JoinTheFlock, especially Janet Vanhuysse (@janetvh), Anitra Collins (@anitra10), and Chris Dobbins (@dobbins) for collaborating on this effort. I also want to thank some of the HR/Recruiting friends who shared their expertise including Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann), Alexandra Levit (@alevit), Craig Fisher (@Fishdogs), William Tincup (@williamtincup), Susan LaMotte (@SusanLamotte), Jennifer McClure (@JenniferMcClure), and Curtis Midkiff (@SHRMSMG). Continue reading

Job Search

You Never Forget Your First

As we go through life, we’re fortunate to meet some amazing individuals who inspire us; professionally, personally, and when we’re lucky – both.

hr fishbowlI waited roughly a year from the first moment I considered blogging until I launched this site. Why? Blogging was new to me, and I knew I had a lot to learn. Fortunately for me the HR community has a deep pool of experienced and talented bloggers and writers to learn from – and one of the best is Charlie Judy, and his blog HR Fishbowl. Continue reading


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.

Job Search

How To Pick Your Next Employer

A former colleague reached out to me a few weeks ago with a quandary. She had recently joined a well-known company in a Marketing leadership role – and learned a few weeks in the manager, culture, and organization were not at all what she expected. She loves the work she’s doing – but doesn’t feel she’s in the right organization and was seeking advice on how to pick the right employer. The full background of our discussion is here.

We talked about a few things she could do, which led her to suggest the topic would make for a good blog post. I wanted to tap into the collective wisdom of my network so thought I’d pose the question to some smart HR friends and see what advice they have. I got some great responses below that provide valuable insights and action job seekers can use when vetting their next opportunity. I also recommend reading this recent article by George Anders, 11 Ways to Gauge Your Next Employer’s Culture.

Susan LaMotte (Exaqueo.comblog@SusanLamotte

  • Ask to speak to more people in the organization–make sure you get 15 minutes with key team members in all reporting lines
  • Ask your potential new boss what his/her day is like–what meetings they have on the calendars and how work gets done
  • Find people who have just left the org (previous job on linked in profile) and find out why
  • Ask for examples of times things happened that they promise. for example: “that’s great to hear that you’re really focused on career pathing as an organization. Can you provide an example or two of how that has played out for a few individuals?”
  • Ask things like “how would you react to me doing _____” and fill in the blank with the innovative idea or unique work practice you’re accustomed to. Continue reading
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