Tuesday, August 28, 2012

There are common resume writing principles to adhere to regardless of your resume writing style.

From my background as a hiring manager and recruiter I have learned three of the more important ones are:
1-Be responsive to the hiring managers’ needs. While a resume is all about you it must also be responsive to the needs of the hiring manager. If it isn’t you can be sure your competitions’ resume will be.

2-Focus on your accomplishments and results; not just what you did but what the outcome was. Because hiring managers are results oriented, resumes should focus on accomplishments and the results of one’s work. Boiler plate that only tells what your responsibilities were will give the competitive edge to the others responding to the needs of the hiring manager. Results should be placed in the resume where the readers’ eye will pick them up early/quickly/easily.

3-Make sure your documents are ATS-ready. You may run into ATS systems and you may not, but will you know when you are likely to encounter it? The playing field has changed, requiring resumes to be compatible with ATS software used by many companies today to reduce HR costs. All resume writers should know this means making sure appropriate key words and phrases are included. Unfortunately that's not all there is to ATS. Word processing software enables the use of many features which cause attributes which can confound parsing software. Unless you understand the attribute issues regarding ATS you can unknowingly contribute to the rejection of your resume. 

There are people who take a cavalier position that not every company uses ATS software or that very few do, therefore there is no point in making them ATS-ready. Actually they are quite wrong. They argue one shouldn’t apply online anyway. I agree, applying online is not the most productive approach to job searching, but I also recognize it may be the easiest way, so from a practical standpoint, people will do it. Not only that, even if you get your resume into the hands of a hiring manager at a company without applying online, that person is likely to pass it to HR in order to comply with company protocol. If the company uses ATS the resume will likely be scrutinized by the software anyway. Thus I feel very strongly that all resumes should be made ATS-ready!

If you think you may need help, send me your resume (kl@hoochresumes,com). I'll review it and respond at no cost to you. For more information please visit http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keep your street address off of your resume!

Every day we hear horrible stories in the news media. Because the public seems to have an insatiable appetite to hear about others’ misfortune, news media spews bad news items like there would be no tomorrow because it brings listeners, improves rating and garners more advertising income.

But providing your street address on your resume could make you the subject of a news story. And a street address is not even needed on a resume. What company makes its’ initial contact to you by mail? After you have interviewed with a company there may be a reason to share your street address, for instance to receive a benefits package or, hopefully, a formal written offer. So there’s plenty of time for you to supply such information.

Get more help on this and other topics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It’s not just Key Words that will cause ATS problems!

If you have been told just having the right key words on your resume is enough, you are in for a rude awakening! You can get a high ATS score …. that is IF your resume is prepared correctly. But learn what else can happen when your resume is ‘read’ by ATS software. If you get a low score or cannot be contacted you may never hear from the company. Don’t let that happen to you!

Does your resume contain attributes that will cause ATS to incorrectly parse it? That’s the key to parsing issues!

Will ATS even be able to know who you are and how to contact you?

Here’s a clue for you: ATS is blind. It cannot see what you and I see. It lives in a computer and ‘reads’ your resume from binary data on a hard drive. Unless the ATS software says it’s worthwhile to read, a human being may never see your resume. That’s where scoring high comes in.

Besides ATS issues, what about the key words you’ve used themselves? Have you considered the hiring manager? Is your resume responsive to his/her needs? Have you used the key words correctly? Have you written them in the right context? Have you edited your resume for the specific position you are responding to?

Do you understand how the hiring manager views the hiring process?

Help can be found here: http://ow.ly/d5tQd

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

If job searchers are not skeptical about using resume writers, they should be!

There are things some resume writers may not know that can hurt a job seeker, not help them.

Because of the web it takes only a computer to ‘hang out a shingle’ and declare one to be an experienced professional. And there are companies that offer certification courses for resume writing to further infer the holder is a subject matter expert. What it takes to become certified is money and the intelligence to pass an exam to become “certified”. Unfortunately that does not necessarily equate to competence. The question then is how do you determine who is a competent resume writer?

Ask a prospective writer some key questions:

How long have you been writing resumes?

What hiring managers want to see in a resume that will motivate them to respond to a it? 

Ask them to explain how ATS software works, how it parses information and what it cannot parse. If they respond by only telling you that you have to have the right key words in your resume, they do not understand what else besides key words matters. See if they know why these ATS questions are important by asking them how your resume is stored on a company server and how it is ‘read’ by ATS parsing software.

Ask them for examples of their work.

If the prospective writer cannot answer these simple questions to your satisfaction, perhaps you should move on to the next.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, August 6, 2012

As a job seeker, do you know how to close an interview? For that matter do you practice closing on every action you take in your job search?

A Close is defined as "to put an end to; to finish." In selling, this means the process used to bring your interviewer to a decision, whether it is a yes or no. Closing is a logical progression of ideas bringing about a decision. It means an agreement is reached that a specific action will be taken.

At the end of every interview with each interviewer do you try to close on what next steps the interviewer will take? Wouldn’t you like a positive recommendation from each interviewer you speak with? If you do, close each person!

Do you close on who will contact you to provide status? Do you close on getting names and email addresses of specific people from the interviewer? Do you remember to get business cards from everyone you are interviewed by? Do you close each networking conversation?

As a job seeker you have become a salesperson selling the benefits of hiring you. Learn closing skills and practice them in every interaction you have with people.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.