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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2013
Job Search

9 Steps You Can Take Today To Find A New Job in 2013

2013_2

It’s a brand new year, a time where many people attack their New Year’s resolutions with excitement and resolve. If you were one of the many people whose resolution involves finding a new job or making  career change, you may be wondering where to start. Here are nine steps you can take today to position yourself well to find your next gig. 

  1. Update your resume: How long has it been since you updated your resume? Chances are it could benefit from at least a few tweaks. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, it’s a good idea to keep you resume current as you never know when an opportunity may come along. Here are some resources that can help: How To Spruce Up A Boring Resume (via Mashable), Tips for Writing a Resume in Online World (via WSJ)
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile: Most recruiters are actively using LinkedIn to find candidates. Will they find you? If so, what will they find? Do you have a (somewhat professional) photo? Do you have a compelling headline that will catch their attention? Is your profile 100% complete? LinkedIn is one of the top sourcing platforms for Recruiters, so how you present yourself here is important. You can find some great tips on how to create a compelling profile from LinkedIn expert Craig Fisher hereContinue reading
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

pen_paper
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?