Your ‘Good” Resume just Cost You the Job you Wanted

Is the resume “dead”?  According to some, yes; it is. But the resume is still the foundation for your networking, LinkedIn profile, screening interviews and face to face interviews.

The purpose of your resume is to:

  • convey your value to a prospective employer
  • get an invitation for an interview
  • showcase your achievements

And, first, you need to get through the ATS robot which screens you “in” or “out” based on programmed keywords and key phrases determined critical according to the hiring manager.

I have reviewed over 40,000 resumes in my career and most have not met the “interview-worthy” test.  Why?

Your Resume is failing you

YOU ARE CONFUSING THE RECRUITER –  Recruiters just don’t have the time or desire to guess what job or profession you want. You have 6 – 18 seconds so make the most of it. I led a team of corporate recruiters and each, on the average, reviewed 200 resumes a day!  If your resume is forwarded on to the hiring manager, you may be one of 10 – 20 resumes and s/he will take about 5 minutes to review your resume. Bottom line: you must make those quick “reviews” count. Prospective employers need to quickly see what value you would bring to the team and the organization. If they like what they see, they’ll want to meet with you.

YOUR RESUME IS TOO GENERIC – the most common mistake I see is the resume written to address several job opportunities.  It is overly general and cheats the job seeker of creating a compelling message of value based on specific experience education closely matched to a particular profession or job.  While you can have a master resume, take the time to customize it to a specific job posting of interest.

YOU DON’T STAND OUT  – Most Accounting Manager resumes all look the same.  Most IT Sales Director resumes look the same.  YOU HAVE TO STAND OUT!

 Write a professional summary of 3 – 5 sentences and concisely describe your scope of responsibility, types of industries, clients, and transferable experience.  Help the reader of your resume to “see” you in their organization.  If a recruiter or hiring manager reads nothing else, your “Summary” should be all they need to know about you. Highlight your knowledge (relevant degrees and industry or functional knowledge), your experience (what you’ve done that’s most relevant), your accomplishments (what qualifies you best for this position), and your personal qualities (how people describe you).

YOU FAILED  THE “TV REPORTER” TEST –  Imagine you are interviewed by a reporter and have 30 seconds to make your point. Write out a few bullet points you want to make and write supporting information. 

  • Include your most valuable achievements
  • Include your toughest assignments
  • Back up your claims with numbers (did you increase sales, decrease costs, etc?)
  • What are you recognized for by those who work with you or your clients?

Incorporate these changes and your resume will better serve you to demonstrate your experience, accomplishments and open the door to an interview.

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Want to know more about how to STAND OUT and GET HIRED sooner?  I have written over 80 articles (to be published soon) and you can find them at www.CareerWisdomCoach.com

Better still, contact me and we can discuss how I can help you. Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

Older Job Seeker: Your Age is an Advantage, Not a Liability

Marty was adamant that she was not landing a job interview in her field of technology solutions marketing due to her age.  When she called, she told me that she expected me to disagree with her but I didn’t.  Silence on the other end of the phone followed when I replied, “Marty, I agree it could be a strong factor why you have not heard from one of the 16 companies you contacted or submitted applications to.” “Oh?, she replied.  “Tell me more and how you can help.”  So I did.

Yes – job seekers over 50 have a tougher time finding work but there is good news.

 The Age Advantage

Both recruiters and hiring managers are changing their attitudes towards older job candidates.  Many are impressed by decades of experience and they know the benefits of an older employee include:

  • better attendance
  • company loyalty
  • less drama

In addition, they are appreciated for:

  • wisdom in decision-making
  • stability
  • enhanced communication skills
  • the ability to mentor younger employees
  • strong work ethics

I know this to be true based on my corporate experience managing a recruiting team and also weighing in on selection decisions with hiring managers.

However, expect to encounter these perceptions

Unfortunately, there are negative attitudes towards employees over the age of 50 and these include concerns about them being:

  • less tech savvy
  • less agile
  • resistant to change
  • less adaptable
  • not as innovative
  • not able to work well with younger employees

The good news – you can overcome these biases

  • On your resume
    • Utilize a progressive format – no objective statement
    • Communicate in contemporary verbiage and use current keywords
    • Reference experience and knowledge of technology
    • Showcase achievements with metrics and data
    • Do not list experience or education prior to the year 2000
  • In your Linked In Profile
    • Your photo – is your clothing and hair style contemporary?
    • Do all your connections have gray hair?
    • Networking with Gen X and Y keeps you current
    • Avoid obsolete or dated language, phrases or words
  • In the Interview
    • Watch your language – avoid “1980s and 1990s speak”
    • Use examples from recent experiences
    • Don’t say “Back when I ………” or “It used to be…….”
    • Cite references to your current personal development
      • Refer to process improvements you have made recently at work
      • Share a change you championed or examples of your adaptability
    • Demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to work for the long-term
    • If asked about hobbies, refer to those involving vitality, health, exercise

Having done all this, you may still encounter recruiters and hiring managers who assume they can’t afford you because you come with a much higher price tag than a younger candidate.  That’s the reality; maybe it is true in your case and maybe it is not.  Be prepared to state a salary range which is commensurate with the position, your experience and value and what is fair.

Looking for more strategies to land your dream job, your perfect career?  Contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com for a free consult.  I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes,  interviewed and hired hundreds of professionals and I know what it takes to get hired.

 

GREAT RESUME but NO INTERVIEWS? Think again.

WHY YOUR RESUME ISN’T GETTING YOU INTERVIEWS

It is not Relevant

  • Either your experience doesn’t match up to what is required of the position or it does and you have not shown how.  Do you meet 80% of the qualifications noted in the job posting.  If your education and experience are a match to the job requirements, make sure it is very clear in your resume.  Use the same keywords and phrases as noted in the job posting. Don’t forget that  includes Education, Experience, Certifications and Skills noted throughout the description of the position.
  • Don’t assume that the recruiter will connect the dots.  With responsibility for filling 10 – 50 job vacancies, they are simply too busy to do that job for you.    You may very well have the background which is a perfect match for the position but you need to communicate that so the reader of your resume sees that within a few seconds.  6 seconds to be exact according to  https://cdn.theladders.net/static/images/basicSite/pdfs/TheLadders-EyeTracking-StudyC2.pdf

 

Location, Location, Location – not just a Real Estate Mantra

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Is your Resume Interview-Worthy?

Most people agree: the key and foundation of an effective job search is a strong resume. But creating one is easier said than done, as most job seekers know from experience, and it takes a lot more than an impressive career history to catch the eye of the hiring manager.

Three strategies to an interview-worthy resume

  1. Accomplishments – not Duties
    Many resumes resemble job descriptions and nothing can be less compelling, less effective in demonstrating your value to potential employers, and downright boring to read. Your resume needs to grab attention and incent the reader to continue reading.

Hiring managers want to see results.

  • What improvements have you made to processes
  • Have you increased sales or expanded business
  • What cost savings have you contributed
  • Have you created new programs

If the answers to the above are “yes”, back up that claim with data and metrics. Numbers and Continue reading

3 WAYS TO STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITION

Consider these facts: On any given day, almost 500,000 job applicants apply to the Monster job board in hopes that they will be contacted for an interview.  Additionally, an average of 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a job posting that seems a perfect match for you isn’t the answer either because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. (Source:  http://www.ere.net)

Now that you understand what you are up against, how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

Demonstrate your credibility.

Showcase your strengths, reputation and value.

#1 – STORIES

 Enhance your job search strategy with Stories.  But not just any stories; your storyline must be about WHAT you did for WHOM to produce WHAT RESULT.  Throw in the obstacles and challenges you faced and you just made it a story people will remember.  Why is the obstacle important?

It invokes emotion in your reader

It creates suspense  –  the listener will want to know the end of the story

 #2 – QUOTES

It may sound overly formal or old school; however, when you receive a compliment that speaks to your differention, your BRAND, ask “May I quote you on that?”  Of course, s/he will say yes and humbled that you would want to use their statement of endorsement.  Continue reading

Is Your Resume “Broken”?

Most clients contact me because they are totally frustrated with writing and rewriting their resume with no results.  Daniel, who called yesterday, told me he has submitted his resume to over 75 job postings in the last few months and has not heard a word from any recruiter or company.  He told me he now realizes that he is doing “something wrong” and asked me to help him land his next position.

Want a great resume that “takes you to your next position”? 

In 5 Easy Steps, You can Transform your Resume!

  1. Your SPECIFIC LOCATION is not necessary

Not only are job seekers concerned about potential identity theft and safety issues, but your street address is not needed on your resume. Simply list your city, state, and zip code so that the recruiter and hiring manager knows that you are local and within a reasonable commute.

  1. A HEADLINE tells the world what you are or aspire to be

The mistake most people make is either not having a headline or using their current job title.  Why limit yourself, especially if you are considering a career change?  Help the recruiter by writing a short headline of key words describing yourself or using the job title of the position you are seeking.  You get “extra credit” for the headline, too, if it contains keywords which are discoverable by the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) when the recruiter is searching for candidates with specific experience, knowledge and abilities. Continue reading

Get Hired by “Showing”, not “Telling”

show-dont-tell
Shawn was a stubborn client.  Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation.  When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he.  Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.      tip-the-hiring-scale-with-an-achievement-based-resume-and-profile

A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work.  But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.

“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”

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How to Write a Winning Resume in 2017

designing-a-winning-resume-for-2017

 

Most job seekers know that the resume format and job search process have changed dramatically over the last few years.  To land your ideal career in 2017, you need to know and apply the following in order to attract recruiters and influence hiring managers to determine that you are the most qualified candidate.

This isn’t your Parents’ Resume………………vintage-man-2

Savvy job hunters know that an Objective statement is so last century.  It not only is dated but may harm your search because the focus of objectives are on you and employers want to hear what you can do for them.  Summary statements, similar to the elevator pitch, is a tweet-like reader’s digest version of your resume to describe your expertise and showcase your strongest accomplishments.  It is like the book jacket description to entice the reader to continue to read the remainder of your resume. If Continue reading

Brand your way to a Career Change

How to showcase your Brand when changing careers

Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments.  One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different.  I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter.  I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – Brand it!

Plan for your Career Change

Plan for your Career Change

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.
  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires.  She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates  once HR had screened them.  We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker.  Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not Changing Careers – How to Brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization.  A branded resume ensures that

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Hired or Not? Emotional Intelligence can make the difference

Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor

If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer.  In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!

More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge.  What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.

Hired or Not?

Hired or Not?

Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year.  Additionally, some companies use Continue reading