Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Want to get an interview? Focus on the hiring manager.



The fundamental reason for creating a resume is to get interviews. Some resumes achieve this. Why do others fail miserably? Usually because the resume does not answer what the hiring manager is thinking, "What can you do for me?"


A resume certainly is all about you, but what about the hiring manager's needs?


Resumes that win interviews are focused on hiring manager's needs, not the candidate's. The logical approach to writing a resume is to find out first what the needs are and then describe the accomplishments and results of your work that show the hiring manager how you fit those needs.


So to get interviews:

  • Focus on the achievements and results of your work. How did the things you have done keep business going smoothly or improve something?
  • Format for skimming, not reading. People don't really read resumes. They skim them, quickly glancing for key words, numbers, and phrases that interest them. Make it easy for them to find them without bolding, italicizing, or adding color. Position them where they will almost jump out at the reader.
  • Remember your resume is an advertisement, not a biography. Avoid writing paragraphs. Paragraphs are not as easily skimmed by eye as crisp bullet statements. Remove words and sentences that are not relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Avoid excessive description of responsibilities. Responsibilities, positions and even job titles may not be as important as you think if you have not described the results of your work.
  • Avoid appearing ignorant or careless. Spelling and grammar are important. So is neat, orderly formatting.



The takeaway is this: Writing your resume is arguably the most important project you ever worked on. If you really want interviews, find out what the hiring manager's needs are and make sure you respond logically and professionally.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

6 things job candidates can do to get feedback



How often have you applied for a job and not received any response?
Have you ever had a great interview that you thought went real well and not heard back?
Could at least one of the following mistakes be the cause?

If you are not getting responses to your job applications, maybe

  • You applied for a job you are really not qualified for. Be honest with yourself. Make certain you fit the key requirements.
  • You failed to write a resume that described how your accomplishments can help solve the needs of the hiring manager. Find out what the key issues are and tell how you can help resolve them in your resume. Talk to the hiring manager before you apply. The job description may not adequately describe his or her pain.
  • Your resume is not compatible with ATS. Get resume help from competent ATS experts who understand how to prevent ATS rejection.

If you haven't heard back after you had a great interview, perhaps

  • You failed to sell your skills and achievements very well. Role play responses to typical categories of interview questions. Video record them if possible. Practice repetitively.
  • You did not ask for feedback at the end of each conversation with key interviewers. Ask what each interviewer thinks about your fit for the job. This gives you the chance to overcome objections.
  • You failed to set expectations about what the next steps would be before you left the interview. Say you will follow up after a specific time so that you don't have to wonder what you should do if you don't hear after that time passes.


Searching for a job is difficult enough without making these kinds of mistakes. If you don't know why it's happening, competent help is available.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Some Resumes are Incompatible with ATS


There is a lot of information about the causes of ATS rejection and non-response to job applicants. Some of it is correct and some of it is conjecture passed on without an understanding of reality. 
The following are realistic causes of rejection or non-response by ATS:
Sometimes people ignore the key words written in job descriptions or do not list those that they meet on their resume or use them in context. Many times applicants are simply not qualified. 
ATS parsers read text. ATS cannot read text located inside graphics. Frequently resumes are created using word processing shortcuts comprised of graphics embedded into the document. Headers, footers, tables, charts or text boxes that contain text are problematic examples. For instance, if a name and/or contact information is located inside a header, ATS will not know who the person is or how to contact them. If skills or other information is listed in a table, ATS will not know it is there.
Sometimes text columns are used to format a resume. ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time. This jumbles columnar information into disconnected phrases that make no sense.
Not all ATS or OCR software includes a PDF to Word converter. Although some ATS providers can read PDF files, what they fail to say is "converted" PDF files. There are two types of PDF files, Native and Scanned plus, many variants. Native PDFs are generated from a Word document. These have an internal structure that can be read and interpreted by PDF converters because they contain characters that have an electronic character designation. Scanned PDFs are created by scanner and OCR software and must be converted by a PDF to Word converter. 
To be safe, use keywords exactly as written in job descriptions, do not use word processing creation tools, and don't apply online with a PDF file. Apply online with txt or doc files.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Resume templates are a perfect solution. Not!

If you believe in using templates, you better listen up.

We are bombarded with advertisements for resume and cover letter templates on LinkedIn, resume writer sites, and other sites. And when you open the links you are taken to a webpage that exhibits some beautiful looking documents. Usually there are many options displayed and they are very impressive to be sure. They are also convenient to use, an easy way out when you aren't an experienced resume writer.

However, you will not be warned about their use. Resume templates typically place text inside graphic boxes. Text located inside graphics cannot be read by ATS resume parsers. The graphics are usually hidden to the human eye, but computers know they are there. So that is a problem if you use them to apply online.

Many well qualified candidates are rejected every day because graphics embedded into their resumes prevent ATS parsers from reading the text located within the graphic. Excellent candidates get rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications and everything to do with graphics, even graphics we cannot actually see.


The takeaway is this: If you choose to use a resume template, do NOT use it to apply on a job board or company website because it is very likely you will be rejected outright or not responded to. You can use a resume created from a template to hand out to people, but it is not safe to apply electronically with it.


Visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Instead of saying it, Prove it!


Some self-assessing words candidates tend to use to describe themselves in a resume are also used by so many others that they become meaningless to resume readers. Readers see them so often they develop a bias against those who use them. That's not what a job seeker needs to have happen.

People are not likely to believe you just because you say things like "successful, motivated, results oriented, accomplished," or a myriad of other self-assessing terms. A far better use of precious resume real estate is to 'prove it without saying it' by writing effective statements of accomplishments and results of your work.

Because readers of resumes are looking for any sign to disqualify you, it becomes critical to demonstrate the outcomes you have achieved. The reader can relate your accomplishments to their needs, the things they need to have happen. The position they are trying to fill exists because it is needed. Your job as a candidate is to understand what the most critical needs are and describe how you can help resolve them. Only if you can describe your achievements successfully will you get interviewed. 


The takeaway is this: Self-assessing descriptions without backup simply aren't going to get you an interview. It is necessary to prove what you claim or the words simply sound hollow and echo what the rest of the 'herd' says. You will be better off by differentiating yourself from the herd.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What do you want to do when you grow up?



If you find yourself out of work or fed up with your job and you have worked in many different industries doing many different jobs, you may be totally perplexed about how to conduct a job search. You may truly not understand what you would like to focus your work life on. That's a tough place to be. But there is a process that may help you. Try this.

Make a list of all of your skills. After you're done, for each skill, ask yourself what  you like the most and least about using that skill. After you've finished, go back and rank them.

Next make a list of all the jobs you have held. For each position, what were the pros and cons and which jobs were you happiest and least happy with. Then rank the jobs.

When you have completed this process one or two distinct career paths should emerge. Now you can focus your search on the highest priority. Do the jobs you've identified require training or education? Is that realistically within your reach? Research is your next step.

Start your research using your favorite search engine. Find out what companies have open positions in your path. Read the job descriptions carefully, looking for responsibilities that fit your likes and requirements the companies want to see.

Don't allow your attention to be diverted, stay focused on one path. Find all companies with openings that match your job search to understand the general requirements you meet. With requirements defined resume writing can begin, not before.


The takeaway is this. You cannot be helped if you do not know what you want to do and what the requirements are, so help yourself and others who might help you by organizing your thought process so as to make some decisions first.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Searching for a new Job? Know your Customers!


That's right, know your customers, the hiring managers. Who are they and what are their needs?

If you don't know who the hiring managers are you can't talk to them to find out their needs.

If you don't understand their needs, you may not be able to properly sell yourself to them.

All job seekers are salespeople. Their customers are decision-makers, the hiring managers, period. No one else can decide who to make a job offer to.

It follows that all job seekers need to learn the art of selling.

To make a sale you need to sell to the customer's needs. This requires learning techniques for finding out who the customer is and learning skills for making direct contact to ask questions.

Once needs are understood you can hone your resume and practice your selling skills.

If selling isn't your gig, it would be wise to consider  engaging professional help for this important part of your search.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What's wrong with stating an objective on a resume?



Hey, it's your resume. You can write whatever you want. But isn't your objective the job you are applying for? If not, why are you applying?

Too often objectives are inane statements, like "A challenging and rewarding job that would benefit from my experience." That may have gotten you an interview in the last century, but it does nothing to make the reader want to interview you today.

Wouldn't it be better to use the valuable real estate at the beginning of your resume to describe your personal brand? A good personal brand describes what you do, with a marketing hook that entices the reader to read further.

Here are a few examples of personal brands that have resulted in interviews and jobs for professionals of various levels.

"An Industrial Engineer who is passionate about analyzing systems to identify opportunities for quality improvement and cost reduction. Has achieved significant process improvement in a various areas, e.g., freight logistics, production line rates and patient wait time satisfaction. A natural leader respected by peers and management."

"A Sales Professional with extensive international and domestic experience who has generated over $65 MM in product, accessory and professional services sales for three manufacturers. Knowledgeable in international contract negotiation and business development in diverse cultures of 30 countries. Knowledgeable in U.S. Department of State regulations."

"Recognized licensed Architect specialized in urban planning, land management, architectural design and Real Estate development who has developed major outstanding projects, notably the Resort City “Mediterranea Saidia” in Morocco."

Each of these examples tell the reader what the person does and provides some interest generating information. They can be enhanced by interjecting information from the descriptions of jobs the person applies to.


Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I can't hear you


Have you ever applied for a job and not received any response, or had a great interview that you thought went real well and not heard back?

Maybe you made at least one of several mistakes you can only blame yourself for. 

If you are not getting response to your job applications, just maybe:
You applied for a job you are not qualified for.
You failed to write a resume that described how your accomplishments can help solve the needs of the hiring manager.
Your resume is not compatible with ATS.

If you haven't heard back after you had a great interview, just maybe:
You failed to sell your skills and achievements very well.
You did not ask for feedback at the end of each conversation they had with each interviewer.
You failed to set expectations with the key people (preferably the hiring manager/decision maker) about what the next steps would be before you left the interview.

Knowing how to get feedback is a skill developed by good salespeople. And of course you know job candidates are salespeople by default. You have to learn how to sell yourself.


Searching for a job is usually not easy. Making these kinds of mistakes only complicates it.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Using Resume Templates is a Bad Idea


Templates are great for some things, but be cautious when considering using templates for a DIY job search, particularly those that have been embellished with features designed to make them look fantastic to the human eye.

Most resume and cover letter templates cause ATS parsing issues.

Computers cannot 'see' what humans can see.  We see words and graphics. While  we can see the word "and" on our computer  screen and printed copy, computers see only it in binary code. "And" looks like "010000010110111001100100" to the computer.

What's important is ATS parsing software only reads binary coded text. It cannot read graphics and may stop reading as soon as it runs into a graphic. Graphics are stored on your hard drive in one of several different methods, none of which can be read by text parsers. Most templates contain graphics or other attributes that will confound ATS parsers. Many well qualified candidates are rejected every day because of non-text attributes embedded into their resumes that have nothing to do with their qualifications.

Complicating matters, word processing techniques designed to make document creation easier introduce graphics into which you enter your text, such as headers, footers, tables, and text boxes. You may be rejected or not receive a response because of using these "tools", not necessarily because of what you wrote. In addition, there are over 40 document creation rules to follow to make ATS happy.

If you insist on using a template, make sure you save it in plain text format, *.txt, and apply on line with that file. After you save it, open it up and look at it. It may require a lot of editing to make any sense out of it.

If you want a beautiful document for handing out directly to a human, create a second "For Handout Only" document with whatever graphics, color, etc., you want. Just don't use it to apply with.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! Also visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Friday, August 5, 2016

How make that first call to a hiring manager


Does calling a hiring manager you don't know intimidate you? Make it easy by properly preparing yourself before you call.
Write a script: Practice it until you have internalized it, not memorized it. Role play it. Video record it. Correct your mistakes when it doesn't count. Successful scripts raise curiosity, ask permission to continue, ask questions to learn about needs, discover urgency, and establish next steps.
Due Diligence: Before the call, research the company, its history, products and services. Find out what's new, review recent PR announcements or other news, etc. Learn about the hiring manager's background and likes. Discover things you can align yourself with.
Time: You can safely assume the hiring manager is busy. Respect his or her time. Some small talk is OK but be sensitive of time. Avoid unnecessary elaboration.
Delivery: When you reach the hiring manager, briefly, introduce yourself. Say who you are, what you do, and state the purpose of the call without making the hiring manager defensive by announcing you want a job. Speak quickly but clearly, and enunciate carefully.
Ask permission to talk: If the answer is negative, ask when a better time would be or say "I'll just take a minute" and immediately launch your script without waiting for an objection.
Be conversational: After your opening, the call cannot be scripted. It never happens the way you script it. Focus on gathering information by ask questions to find out what the hiring manager's needs are. Look for opportunities to describe an accomplishment that could help resolve a problem. Ask about things you have learned by researching the company. Once you have generated interest, tell the hiring manager you'd like to send your resume and get his or her email address.
Next steps: Before ending the call, establish expectations. Say you will follow up, and repeat any next steps the Hiring Manager sets.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93. 



8/4/2016: 1888 gatekeeper4.jpeg
How to get past the hiring managers' gatekeepers bit.ly/2aw5LRw

Gatekeepers serve an important role for busy managers. One of their functions is to keep unsolicited callers at bay. Another is to filter important calls from unimportant ones. Gatekeepers have to make fast, intelligent decisions to allow a caller through or not. There are some things to do to get past gatekeepers.

Qualifications: Make sure you are a strong candidate for the position based on what you know about the job. If you are not qualified you will waste your time and theirs.

Approach: Approach the call with polite respect for the gatekeepers and hiring manager. If someone is rude to you, don't react, maintain your cool.

Time: Respect the time of each person you speak to. Some small talk is OK but be sensitive of time. Avoid unnecessary elaboration.

Due Diligence: Research the company before calling. Learn about its products and services, its recent PR announcements or other news. Align yourself with their mission, activities or thinking, particularly when speaking with the hiring manager.

The Admin: The hiring managers' administrative assistant may be a formidable and experienced gatekeeper. It is important to establish rapport with the admin in order to reach the hiring manager.

Process: As you work your way up through the organization on your first call, get the admin's name, pronunciation and spelling. Address the admin by first name and make a complementary remark. You need the admin's help and will be asking for it immediately.


Scripts: When searching for a new position, what you say to the receptionist and the admin is critical to reaching the hiring manager. Before calling, write scripts, then practice and internalize them. Successful scripts provide context to raise curiosity, ask permission to continue, ask questions to learn needs, discover timing, and establish next steps. 

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How to get past the hiring managers' gatekeepers


Gatekeepers serve an important role for busy managers. One of their functions is to keep unsolicited callers at bay. Another is to filter important calls from unimportant ones. Gatekeepers have to make fast, intelligent decisions to allow a caller through or not. There are some things to do to get past gatekeepers.
Qualifications: Make sure you are a strong candidate for the position based on what you know about the job. If you are not qualified you will waste your time and theirs.
Approach: Approach the call with polite respect for the gatekeepers and hiring manager. If someone is rude to you, don't react, maintain your cool.
Time: Respect the time of each person you speak to. Some small talk is OK but be sensitive of time. Avoid unnecessary elaboration.
Due Diligence: Research the company before calling. Learn about its products and services, its recent PR announcements or other news. Align yourself with their mission, activities or thinking, particularly when speaking with the hiring manager.
The Admin: The hiring managers' administrative assistant may be a formidable and experienced gatekeeper. It is important to establish rapport with the admin in order to reach the hiring manager.
Process: As you work your way up through the organization on your first call, get the admin's name, pronunciation and spelling. Address the admin by first name and make a complementary remark. You need the admin's help and will be asking for it immediately.
Scripts: When searching for a new position, what you say to the receptionist and the admin is critical to reaching the hiring manager. Before calling, write scripts, then practice and internalize them. Successful scripts provide context to raise curiosity, ask permission to continue, ask questions to learn needs, discover timing, and establish next steps. 
Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How to identify who the hiring manager is


If you have decided to take my advice and apply for jobs by making direct voice contact with the hiring manager first, searching for who it is could be easier than you think.

Get introduced by a current employee of the company: This is the best approach of all. If you can get an employee to recommend you to a hiring manager or recruiter, you will nearly always get an interview. Often employees get bonuses for referring candidates who get hired, so they have an incentive to help. Find current employees by asking people in your network. Or do an Advanced Search on LinkedIn to find employees. You might even find the hiring manager directly.

Try searches on Google, Google+, and Twitter. Insert words into the search functions using quotation marks around phrases, such as "Ford Plant Manager". 

If you already know the person’s first name and initial of the last name, try a search giving the first name, last name initial and company name. This will often get you the last name and sometimes lead you to a website that gives you email addresses as well.

Search for senior managers and ask  who the hiring manager is. They are often more helpful than lower level people and are often the most willing to engage with you. You might get rejected or you might get help, become known to them and also add them to your network. Search the About Us page on company websites. Or you can always find the names of senior officers of public companies by searching financial websites as if you were a potential investor. Visit Yahoo http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/ind_index.html, Google http://www.google.com/finance, MSN http://money.msn.com/stocks, and the SEC at http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
Try local Business Chronicles, news media and your public library.

Happy sleuthing!

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Talk to the Hiring Manager First Before You Apply


Does that sound backwards to you? Maybe, but it shouldn't.

Are you are job searching on job boards and company websites or using recruiting firms, and not reaching out directly to hiring managers? Are you very likely frustrated with your success in finding a new job? Be different: Those who make direct contact with hiring managers before they apply for a position are usually employed much faster than those who waste precious time following what the 'herd' does.

For most people, learning new skills required to make the initial contact with the hiring manager requires preparation and practice in things they are not used to doing. Even experienced salespeople, comfortable with prospecting, needs identification, presentations, overcoming objections, closing, and follow up, often find selling themselves is different than selling a product or service.

In job hunting each of the elements of the sales cycle happens, either consciously or unconsciously, either formally or by happenstance. The best job seekers take control of the hunt by learning or refining their sales skills; they don't leave it to happenstance. 

The best job seekers prospect to find out what companies are hiring people for positions they want. They learn how to find out who the hiring managers are. They develop their prospecting skills, selling skills, and how to ask questions that ferret out key needs. They learn how to respond to the key needs with a description of their accomplishments, they find out how to determine and overcome concerns interviewers have about them, and they learn how to build 'buy in' to the reasons they should be hired. Then reach out to the hiring managers.

More about these topics are forthcoming.

More about these topics are forthcoming.Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.