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Archive for the ‘resume’ Category

There is a theory circulating that the Resume is on its way out. Over the past six months there seems to be a lot of chatter on the internet. In fact, during a training session 2 weeks ago the facilitator insisted there is no longer a need for the resume. It was not clear exactly what is replacing the resume but did make me ponder this paradox. Hmm, I have been in the recruitment and selection industry for over 25 years and the resume has always been a key part of the process. However, I will be the first to admit that things do change, not always for the better, but they do change.

Of course, I realize this is only my opinion so I set out to conduct research to see what other recruiters and hiring managers think. I spoke to a multitude of people – asking the same questions – “Do you think the resume is on its way out?” and the response was an overwhelming “No”. In fact, Carolina Diaz, Senior Recruiter at Ian Martin says “I have yet to see a substitute for the resume. The hiring managers I work with want to review the resume”. She goes on to say “the format of the resume may have changed, i.e. more attention is given to the “Summary” at the top of the resume outlining key strengths and competencies”. I would definitely agree. Like it or not the “Objective” is outdated and the “Summary” is a value add replacement. A summary or profile situated directly under the heading (eye level) to whoever is reviewing the resume is very important. If done properly, it should catch the reader’s attention creating the interest for more information.

According to Laura Machan, Partner Talent Acquisition at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions “until I see a substitute the resume will remain a critical part of the hiring process”. Laura goes on to say that in her business she must maintain a strong relationship with her clients in order to be able to help recruit and select the right talent. Once she has done her due diligence, Laura will pick up a phone and have a one-on-one conversation with the hiring authority; however the resume is still a key piece of the process.

Doug Alexander, VP and General Manager at Wing’s Foods states “the resume is the candidate’s business card and an essential tool in candidate selection.” Doug agrees that an effective pre-screen is also required; however the resume is a key piece of the hiring process. Doug questions how a candidate would introduce themselves to a potential employer if not for the resume?

Charolene Hollister, HR Coordinator at Amdocs comments on the fact that the hiring managers at Amdocs want to see a resume. However she acknowledged that the corporate recruiters are required to conduct a thorough pre-screen and only pass on qualified applicants. When an applicant is passed on to the hiring manager the resume is not far behind.

Well by now you can see a trend; the majority of people I spoke with were adamant that the resume is not on its way out anytime soon. Will it happen? Can it happen? My philosophy is “never say never”.

In fact there is probably a talented student working on a web-based software application right now. By the time it is ready to be launched 98% of the population will have some sort of access to a computer and subsequently resume replacement software might just be successful. Until that time, the resume is alive and well; so make the most of it especially if you are in career transition. Remember the resume will not get you the job, but definitely can land you an interview.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert in recruitment, selection and career transition management.

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I just read this article written by Erin Carson – it has some very good pointers if one is in the market for a video resume. Most of you know I sit on the fence when it comes to a video resume – why? Well because it usually does more harm than good. People are only human and tend to be subjective which leads to unfounded and non-supported biases. However, as Erin states, a video resume may make sense if done in the right setting with the proper equipment within an industry which requires strong presentation skills – Enjoy!

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/video-resumes-the-dos-and-donts/

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing. Her core competencies are Recruitment, Selection and Career Transition.

Check out this article by Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff. There are some very good points here especially the part about networking. Successful job seekers know the value of networking, don’t just send a resume on-line, get out there, be visible and network. Also pay attention to the section about keeping your resume simple, no graphics, tables or logos which might “clog” an applicant tracking system. Enjoy – Lee A Koren, PHR

Many job seekers spend countless hours writing, polishing and blasting their resumes to dozens of companies. Then they wait, and wait, and never hear a thing.
That’s because human resources people and hiring managers receive heaps of resumes for any given job opening, and they end up missing, skipping or tossing a lot of them. However, it turns out there are things you can do to help ensure your resume is seen.

Career experts and a spokesperson for Glassdoor.com, a jobs and career community where people share information and opinions about their workplaces, weigh in.
“I think resumes end up in the resume black hole if the person just responds to a posting or ad and does nothing else,” says Anita Attridge, a Five O’Clock Club career and executive coach. “Today companies are receiving hundreds of resumes for each position and, due to the volume, are not acknowledging receipt of them. Most large and medium-size companies are using applicant tracking systems to screen resumes before a person looks at them. Smaller organizations many just review the ones they receive until they find enough qualified candidates and then set the other resumes aside.”

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at the jobs site CareerBuilder.com, says she suggests that candidates use the job posting to their advantage. “Use some of the same words and phrases that appear in the job posting in your resume,” she says. “The computer will then recognize them and move your resume toward the top of the pile because you will be a match. But don’t just cut and paste the job posting into your resume or cover letter. If the computer doesn’t catch it, the hiring manager definitely will, and it could hurt your chances of moving forward with an interview.”

Ruth Robbins, a certified career counselor with the Five O’Clock Club, agrees that using buzz words and key phrases that demonstrate you are a perfect fit for the job will help you get on the employer’s radar—but even with a perfectly tailored resume, there is no way to know if or when it will be reviewed by the hiring manager.
“The best way to make sure your resume is seen is by networking into the company,” Attridge says. “Let your networking contact know that you have applied for a position, and ask that person if he or she would send your resume to the H.R. department with an endorsement of you as a candidate. Another way is to try to determine who the hiring manager is and send a resume directly to that person, with a letter asking for an informational interview.”

Robbins agrees. “H.R. managers are often avalanched with resumes, so if you can find someone who works at the company who would be willing to hand in your resume directly to a hiring manager or interested influencer in the selection process, your chances of landing in the black hole [will shrink significantly],” she says.
Mary Elizabeth Bradford, an executive resume writer and author of the bestselling eBook series The Career Artisan, offers some alternative advice. “From what I have seen, what works best in any market is for the job seeker to take a pure, entrepreneurial approach to their job search process,” she says. “I think it would be futile to call H.R. and leave repeated voice messages. A better way is to contact a key decision maker through hard mail and follow up with a phone call. Go around H.R. That’s provocative, right? Well, it works.”

Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor, agrees that it’s smart to look for more than one way to apply. “In addition to sending your resume through a company’s online job portal, also take the time to do some research and try to identify who the hiring manager may be. If you send a personalized note to the likely hiring manager, a good e-mail may get your resume pulled out of the stack.”
Zupan offers some additional advice:
Have someone proofread your resume. Sometimes it can be something as small as a typo that may turn off an employer and land you in the black hole, she says. “Before sending your resume, have at least one person you trust review it so that it can have a better chance of catching the eyes of the employer.”
Keep it simple. Avoid graphics and logos and other things that may “clog” how an applicant tracking system reads your resume, Zupan suggests.

Research the company’s hiring process. “Companies like Google and Facebook include specific insights into their interview process,” Zupan says. “For example, on the Google careers page, they let you know that one of their recruiters is the first to review your resume and that they look first at your qualifications and experience.” Thorough research can help you properly prepare to avoid the resume black hole.

I shared this Q& A over a year ago, I have since made some updates – enjoy!

Q: With the job market so competitive, getting beyond the resume to an interview is difficult. Resumes are screened by recruiters or systems – any advice on how to get noticed?

A: The purpose of the resume is not to get you a job – it is to get you an interview. Therefore, the resume must optimize your key strengths and competencies and highlight them in a way which “catches the eye” of the recruiter or whoever might be reading the resume. Therefore, it is important to insure your key strengths and competencies are identified and strategically placed on the resume using “keywords”. This will improve the odds of your resume being noticed during the screening process. Also make sure your email is hyperlinked – the easier you make it for the recruiter to contact you the better.

Q: Do cover letters really get read?

A: Depends on the person – I have been a recruiter for 20+ years – if the cover letter is in the body of the email I will read it. If it is attached to the email along with the resume I will open the resume first. If it is incorporated into the resume document well I might scan it quickly. The shorter the cover letter the better, recruiters are just not going to read a 2 page cover letter. Three short paragraphs – First Paragraph contains your interest in the job. Second Paragraph makes the link between the key skills required for the job and your strengths. Third Paragraph is the close.

Q: I do not have a problem getting the interview; in fact I get good feedback on my interview skills. I usually get invited back for a second interview; however I just can’t seem to get beyond this point. Do you have any words of wisdom?

A: Oh to have a magic wand when it comes to the interview! There are so many things riding on a successful interview, some of them are out of your control. I coach my clients to be as prepared as possible. Find out all you can about the company on the internet, its website and Linkedin. If you know any employees ask for a few minutes of their time to chat about the company. Spend time going over the skills required for the job and identifying your accomplishments which demonstrate these skills. Be prepared with specific examples which link your skills to the skills required for the job. If the interviewer does not perform a behavioural interview work some of your good examples into the conversation.

Q: Does it matter if my resume is a Word document or PDF when applying on-line?

A; Many companies are purchasing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems may or may not be integrated with the rest of their business systems. If not integrated, then the system may or may not open a PDF.doc so to be safe I suggest using a Word doc Why? Because if the recruiter cannot open your resume he or she will most likely move on to the next resume on the list.

Q: You talk about a “system friendly resume” what does this mean?

A: Again, it goes back to a company’s technical infrastructure; and if there is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), whether or not it is fully integrated. If you up-load your resume online and it happens to contain fancy formatting, graphics and tables there is a possibility the text will be distorted when the document is opened at the other end. To be on the safe side, keep the formatting simple; avoid graphics, table and fancy bullets.

Q: I am in career transition and have been told to put a profile on Linkedin. As a recruiter do you use Linkedin to locate talent?

A: Absolutely, Linkedin is the best social networking tool out there and is very popular with corporate and agency recruiters when it comes to locating qualified talent. Again, remember “keywords” are critical – use them in your Summary and list them in the Specialties section. Don’t forget to monitor the Jobs section and take full advantage of all the other nifty job search functions.

Q: I have a few companies I am targeting and would like your option on asking executives at these companies for an informational meeting – what has been your experience with this type of approach – does it work?

A: It depends on how and who you ask. I know of a PhD grad that targeted a pharmaceutical company she was very interested in. She sent an email to one of the executives asking if he would mind taking time from his busy schedule to meet with her for the purpose of learning more about the company. He agreed and when they met he asked for a copy of her resume and suggested she send her resume to Human Resources. She sent the resume and sent him a thank you note (letting him know she sent the resume) and the next thing she knew she was being invited in for an interview and yes, received a job offer.

Remember to take one day at a time as one never knows what tomorrow may bring!

Lee Koren. PHR
lkoren@selectionstrategy.com

Interesting Article by Gina Cajucom – she is right on – there will be lots of rejection during a job search -“don’t take it personally”……happy reading!!!

Being Rejected

You may have experienced being rejected quite a few times for positions you’ve applied for.  Each time is no better than the one before.  Rejections sting all the time.  Even when you receive tactfully written emails from companies saying they regret not to consider you for the position, you still wish that you had not received them anyway.  After all, no news is bad news when it comes to job application and you would rather not hear the “rejection” notice at all.

Different people react differently to this kind of rejection.  Some will consider this as a challenge or a motivator to do better and prove them wrong.  However, some people might get demoralized and continue to lose confidence.  They may settle for less pay or less attractive role. A client even asked me one time:  “What’s wrong with me?  I thought I was perfect for that role!”

Some people just give up altogether when they see how many people have applied.  Well, no matter how many people lined up for the role, they would definitely hire someone and that someone could very well be you.  Before you begin a litany of everything that is wrong about you, consider that, to some degree, intuition also plays a role in the selection and rating process.

This is why it is important to remember that recruitment, just like any assessment activity, is subject to biases, prejudices, and error in judgment.  Some companies hire unqualified candidates and miss hiring potential stellar performers.  Some companies correct this phenomenon by using specific metrics and highly structured selection process.  “Selection by scoring is a process whereby   selection factor or component run along a scale and is scored by value previously assigned.   Decision is made based on the total score achieved.  Selection by intuition is getting a feel of how a candidate will fit in based on the dynamics of personality that come out in the selection process, either through interviews or role-plays.”  [i]

It is then important for job seekers not to take this kind of rejection personally.  It is not about you.  It is about the unique demands of the position that the company needs to fill.  Sometimes, it is even about the corporate culture that the hiring company needs to consider. At the end of the day, wherever you end up in is the perfect place for you. Not only did you select that company but that company chose you.

I just read an article by Dawn Papandrea which outlines 3 key reasons why young professionals are not getting hired. I found it to be right on target with one exception. Under the heading “One Size fits all Resume” Dawn suggests the candidate insert a few keywords in their resume from the job posting.  It has been my experience, that if done properly, a person only needs one resume.   First, the individual needs to do his/her homework in advance – i.e., identify key strengths, research the job market and job posting for applicable skills and take the time to produce a resume which accurately  portrays their skills, knowledge and abilities. Couple this with a focused job search strategy based on key strengths and the need for multiple resumes goes away.  In fact, having several different resumes can come back to haunt you!   For instance, I was interviewing a young man for an entry level consultant role. I asked him to please explain his role at ABC Company. He was very quiet and then said “Lee can I please see the resume” I said “of course” and shared my copy. His face turned red as he stated – “I’m so sorry, somehow you have received the wrong copy of my resume”.  Well alrighty then – let’s continue shall we?  Needless to say the interview was cut short – why? because as a recruiter I expect the person I’m interviewing to be able to talk to everything on their resume. Hence my point, if you start customizing a resume for each position you better have a darn good memory.  I understand there may be exceptions; however, as a rule and to be safe, try to have one resume that does an excellent job of representing your strong performance and technical skills.  Remember, the purpose of the resume is to get you the interview then it’s up to you to sell yourself.  You only have one chance to make a good impression so make sure there are no stumbling blocks.

Enjoy the article by Dawn http://bit.ly/X5nq39

 

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.  Her passion and expertise is selection and recruitment.

By Ryan Rancatore

I came across this article and as a Senior Recruiter with over 25 years of experience found it quite interesting.  As more and more generations leverage and embrace the power of social media one can only assume the resume, as we know it today, will definitely change.

Hope you enjoy Ryan’s post

What’s the Prospect of Job Resume – Will Resumes Be Extinct By 2020?  http://bit.ly/IPFhU7

 

Lee Koren is certifed as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – her passion and expertise is selection and recruitment.


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