Thursday, March 31, 2016

6 resume mistakes that could make you look clueless

Doing these things could make you look like you just fell off the turnip truck:
  1. Putting the word "Resume" on the top of the page - It's obvious, isn't it?!
  2. Writing an Objective - Superfluous! Your objective is the position you are applying for, otherwise don't apply. Objectives have been replaced by personal brand statements.
  3. Writing a biography of everything you ever did - Get over yourself. No one will take the time to read it. Keep your resume relevant to the hiring company's needs. Eliminate superfluous, non-relevant information.
  4. Grammar or spelling errors - Don't display carelessness.
  5. Poor formatting - Don't display sloppiness.
  6. References - Don't use up resume space. You will be asked for them if a company is interested in you.

Be contemporary, not "old school".

Get more info at bit.ly/1TEqj93. Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why you should not use a PDF file for your resume.


Some people will claim that ATS has no problem with PDF documents used in applications on job boards and company websites. But don't be too sure. Many ATS products will either not process PDF documents or will process them incorrectly. 

According to one of the leading resume parsing software companies, "The PDF standard is a “broken” standard. Text cannot be correctly extracted from MANY, MANY PDF files. As a result, if you use a PDF resume, there is a non-trivial chance that your resume will be unusable."

While the electronic application case is well-understood, it certainly is a fact that PDF files can be safely used for sharing your resume with a human. PDF files are only a problem if you are applying electronically for a job with a company that uses ATS on the front end (before a human ever sees your resume) of their hiring process.

Get more info at bit.ly/1TEqj93. Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Friday, March 25, 2016

11 tips to make your resume ATS compatible

Keep it Simple. Use a simple document format, not a fancy one. Keep in mind that computers do not have eyes.

Keep it Relevant to the position you are applying to. Resist the urge to write down everything you have ever done in your career. You could be rejected because of length. Besides, no one will read a career biography!

Put your Name on the First Line, By Itself. Your last name will be interpreted as the last word on the first line.

Do Not Use Graphics! Period! Make sure you understand what constitutes a graphic.

Do Not Use word processor Toolbar tools that utilize graphics in the background. Not always obvious.

Use Key Words in context Exactly as they appear in the job description.

Do Not Nest job titles under one company. ATS prefers you to repeat the company name for each position held with dates for each position. No, ATS will not think you are a job-hopper.

Do Not Use Columns.

Use Only One Font, preferably san-serif one like Arial or Calibri. OCR prefers them too.

Use Section Titles that ATS looks for, e.g., Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, etc.

Avoid Using Company Names without their Legal Structure Suffix. Eastman Kodak could be interpreted as a person's name. Eastman Kodak Company is the legal name. Kodak is a trademark, not a company name.

Don't Use PDF files for Electronic Application, e.g., on company websites or job boards.

Be Compatible with Scanners and OCR, occasionally used in conjunction with ATS.

If you don't understand, don't try to write it yourself ... unless you are not averse to  rejection or non-response.

Get more info at bit.ly/1TEqj93. 
Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

5 things you must know to get through ATS parsing

Who will win the race? ATS or Job Applicants

Outcomes - There are 3 possible outcomes when ATS is used in the front end of hiring processes:

1.    Inclusion in the applicant 'short list'
2.    Rejection
3.    Non-response

Cause of the outcomes:

1.    Short list: The applicants resume is compatible with ATS parsing software AND the applicant meets the criteria ATS parsing is looking for. A high score results and the applicant is included in the 'short list'.

2.    Rejection: The applicants resume is compatible with ATS parsing software BUT the applicant does not meet criteria set for the position and gets a low score. OR the applicants resume is NOT compatible with ATS parsing software.

3.    Non-response: Applicant never hears about the outcome of his or her application because his/her resume is not ATS parsing compatible, or he/she does not fit the requirements, or the search is closed.

Why ATS parsing scores low:

1.    Graphics: The resume includes pictures, charts, or any other type of graphic, including graphics the word processing 'toolbar' uses in the background (which may not be visible, but are there).

2.    Format: The resume is organized in a way that is incompatible with ATS parsing.

3.    Order of information: ATS parsing software is searching for information in a particular order that is not used in the resume.

4.    Key words: The resume lacks key words that conform to the job requirements and they are not used in context.

5.    Font: An uncommon font is used, or multiple fonts are used, or toggle case is used, or drop caps are used, etc.

The bottom line: Resume writing has become a non-trivial task. Not only must one be a competent, creative writer with strong grammar, spelling and punctuation skills, but one must understand how ATS parsing software works, and more importantly, how to prevent it from failing!

Parsing software knowledge is the only way to consistently win interviews!

Get a FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Tough On Resumes?



ATS is a software program companies use to reduce hiring cost by automating the evaluation of candidates and manage the hiring process.

ATS software has been created to make it possible for companies to quickly manage the high volume of applications they are flooded with at reduced cost and less human intervention. It has become the front end of the hiring process in over 60% of U.S. companies and is growing rapidly.

ATS parsing software scores every candidate on how well they match the job requirements. It then forwards only those few candidates with high scores for further processing by humans.

But it is limited in what it is able to 'read' electronically, which makes resume writing more complex today than ever before. Candidates are often rejected because of attributes within their resume that have nothing to do with the written text. It may simply reject candidates because either it cannot read their resume correctly, or at all.

While most people understand the need to insert keywords into resumes, few understand what all of the attributes that cause problems are. The issue goes well beyond simply using the right keywords.

There are over forty little known document creation attributes that can cause parsing issues! Chief among them is graphics. For example, did you know headers are graphics that contain information. Put your name and contact information in a header and parsing software will never know who you are or how to reach you. (Do you wonder why you never hear from the company when you KNOW you are a great fit for the job?) There are many other similar issues plus a few non-attribute issues, like organization of information, titles of sections and file types that can cause issues.

Bottom line: It takes a competent professional to prepare ATS compatible resumes. 

Related to ATS, some companies use Scanners and Optical Character Reader (OCR) software in their hiring processes. While most companies have moved away from that practice, there are unique document creation issues if OCR is being used. Although ATS software is not reliant on scanners and OCR software, when scanners are used, it is necessary to assure resumes and cover letters can be read cleanly by OCR because the output files will be submitted to ATS for parsing.

Therefore, in addition to understanding ATS parsing, a writer needs to understand Scanner/OCR technology as well.


Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Will ATS do this to your resume?

ATS is an acronym for Applicant Tracking System, a software program companies use to reduce hiring cost by automating the evaluation of candidates and manage the hiring process.

ATS software has been created to make it possible for companies to manage the high volume of applications they are flooded with at reduced cost and less human intervention. It has become the cornerstone of the hiring process in most large companies and is growing rapidly in medium and even small companies.

ATS Parsing Software scores every candidate on how well they match the job requirements. It then forwards the few best candidates to HR. Only those with high scores get further processing by humans.

But ATS parsing software is limited in what it is able to 'read' electronically, which makes resume writing more complex today than ever before. Candidates are often rejected because of attributes within their resume that have nothing to do with the written text.

To adequately ensure a resume or cover letter will not have parsing issues, it is necessary to understand how parsing technology functions. While most people understand the need to insert keywords into resumes, few understand what all of the attributes that cause problems are. The issue goes well beyond simply using the right keywords.

There are over forty little known document creation attributes that can cause parsing issues! In addition, ATS parsing software is sensitive to format, file types, and other nuances.

Related to ATS, some companies use Scanners and Optical Character Reader (OCR) software in their hiring processes. While most companies have moved away from that practice, there are unique document creation issues if OCR is being used. When scanners are used, it is necessary to assure resumes and cover letters can be read cleanly by OCR because the output files will be submitted to ATS for parsing.

It is unfortunate, but advisable, for job seekers to get professional help in resume writing.

Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Trying to make people you meet drink from a fire hose?

Are you a job seeker and not getting interviews or job offers?

One of the biggest mistakes some job seekers make is to assume that if they write enough and say enough, something will stick, they will be remembered, and they will get the job. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Like it or not, job seekers become salespeople the instant they start searching. Selling is about human behavior and mindset. Successful salespeople are good listeners. They ask questions about what the buyer needs, what is important. They listen carefully. Only then can they offer a solution. (Think about that the next time you are networking).

Trying to force people to absorb too much information or irrelevant information is like trying to make them drink from a fire hose. It has a negative impact. It turns people off.

So what is the solution?

First of all, find out what the hiring manager needs and why. What problem needs to be resolved?

Focus your resume on those needs. Listen, then refine your resume. Respond by addressing how you can help resolve the problems. Make your resume crisp and succinct, removing things that are not relevant to the need.

Focus on the needs as you respond to interview questions. Don't lose sight of what the hiring manager needs as you answer. Practice answers to typical interview questions before the interview. Remember this: If you are asked what time it is, don't respond by telling how to build a watch!

Focus on the needs as you negotiate a salary in the job acceptance process. Don't think that you are at a disadvantage because you are searching. The hiring manager has needs too.

Get more info at bit.ly/1TEqj93. Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Job Searching is all about Marketing and Selling, but ...

It's not so easy for many people. None-the-less, Job Searching is a marketing and sales job, like it or not. The choice is mislead yourself into thinking that what you are doing is productive and watch others get jobs or learn marketing and the art of selling.


Resumes and cover letters are advertising literature used for marketing. If you've created one, you are already starting to market. The question is, are you getting interviews? If not, it's time to make some changes. Is it your resume content? Is it your marketing approach? Is it the search tactics you are using? Is your resume incompatible with ATS parsing software (a very common cause of not getting responses)?


If you are getting interviews but not job offers, why? Is it your selling skills, your interviewing technique, your body language or other soft skills? Do you direct your campaign at "back-room" people, not the actual decision-maker? Do you know how to engage the decision-maker? Do you have the skills necessary to get past the gatekeepers? Lots of help is available to improve these skills.


It's also possible you could be a salesperson successful selling products or services but not proficient at selling yourself.

Get more info at bit.ly/1TEqj93. Get your FREE resume assessment today! Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com. Then let's talk, no obligations!

Friday, March 4, 2016

It's the hiring manager you need to impress, not the recruiter. Go directly to the only person that matters.

Many people are too lazy to take the difficult route to the hiring manager. It's far easier to let someone else get you to the interview table. Easier, yes, but it's also the least effective way to get a new job.

You are the only person most interested in finding a new job for you. So don't join the 'stampeding herd' of people. If you need help learning the most effective way to land interviews and jobs, get it! It may be scary to you, it may be difficult for you, but most people who land a new job get there by taking charge of their own destiny and by using a direct approach. They don't apply and wait for something to happen. They reach out directly to the hiring manager, communicate, find out what the real needs are, edit their resume to respond to those needs, and then apply.

Go directly to the king of the mountain!


Each job searcher needs different kinds of help. Clues on how to find and speak directly to the hiring manager can be found in many articles, but individual solutions require individual coaching. Unless you are an accomplished salesperson who understands prospecting and knows how to get past gatekeepers and how to engage decision-makers, you would be best served by getting professional help. One source can be found at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. Get a free resume review at kl@hoochresumes.com.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

99% of hiring managers don't give a hoot about what you want.

Your resume is all about you. Your job search is about what you want. But a hiring manager views you from a 180 degree perspective.

The hiring manager has needs, wishes, and wants too and will look at your resume to see if you meet any of those things. It follows that if you don't illustrate how you satisfy the hiring manager's needs you probably won't get asked to interview. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Astute job seekers will find out what the hiring manager's critical needs are and edit their resume to be responsive to those needs. They know the best way is to talk directly to the hiring manager. And to do so requires training and practice. Therefore wise job seekers will seek out professional help if they don't have basic sales skills like prospecting, script writing, and closing.


After all, job seeking is a sales job by default.

Get help at bit.ly/1TEqj93

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. Get his help! Email him today at kl@hoochresumes.com