10 Seconds to Success

Can you pass the 10-second test?

With on-line job boards, you have moments to catch the reader’s eye.  Tailoring your résumé for every position guarantees that you are the one who will get the call.

I was working with a candidate and sent him a note asking him how many people he had managed.   He replied via email, “it was on his résumé.”  It was on his résumé… but only if I could decipher between the many jobs he held, and find where he managed his largest team.   Make it easy for your reader to pick out the key points regarding your background and how these match the job.

Is your résumé tailored for every position?  Will your background match the needs of the hiring manager?  Look for the key words on the job description and if appropriate, mirror the same words on your résumé so that your background jumps as perfect during a key word search.

Basics:

  • Contact information including your city and state, email and daytime phone number
    • Be sure to use the same font as the body of your resume, although it’s acceptable to bold or enlarge your contact information
    • Write contact information directly on your resume.  Avoid putting into a header as not all online programs can see this information.
  • Summary of your skills
  • Chronological professional experience with most recent at the top
  • Education
  • Professional licenses and certifications
  • Professional associations, affiliations, honors, and speaking engagements

Résumé etiquette:

  • Keep your résumé length to no more than two or three pages. Respect your reader. No one wants to slog through six or more pages.
  • Watch your tenses. Current jobs are in present tense. All prior positions are in the past tense.
  • Never use the word “I” on your résumé.

Tailor your résumé to all positions.   And use the key words affiliated with the job description as close to the top as possible on your résumé.

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How Much Time Does It Take to Get a Job?

The job boards are showing fewer positions; however, the ones that are posted are generally true needs for a firm.

Want to get the call?  Tailor your résumé to every job. One way to do this is to paste the job description directly into your résumé and make sure that your skills set and key words match the position.   Applying for a position online is an exercise in patience.  For the most part, your résumé will go into a Human Resources database.  Unless your résumé contains the key words and skills required for the position, your résumé will probably end up in the abyss.

Here are tips to get a phone call:

  • Call into the company and learn the name of the person who is staffing for the position
  • Leave a message when appropriate for the recruiter or hiring manager
  • Email your résumé directly to the staffing manager, if you can establish a contact
  • Consider mailing your résumé to stand out from the crowd

It’s not unusual to spend an hour applying to a position that matches your skill set and interests.  You many consider writing a brief cover letter, making it easy for the recruiter by explicitly detailing why you are a perfect match for the position.   Your time spend job hunting should include online database searches, resume submissions, and personal networking in your industry.

Looking for a job is a full-time job.

KEY WORDS

 

 

 

A vice president at a major bank (not affected by the mortgage market) said that the bank is receiving over 2000 résumés for every open position.

 

If you’re actively looking for a job, then you know that it takes over an hour to drill through the job boards and set up an online account. Only then can you submit your cover letter and résumé.

 

How can you get noticed when submitting your résumé on-line?

 

Key words are the answer.

 

Formula For On-Line Submission Success

  • Find the job to which you’d like to apply.
  • Paste the job write-up directly onto your résumé between your summary and your first position description.
  • Look at the description; then add to the summary, when appropriate, skills you have that directly apply to the job.
  • Tailor your résumé to match the key qualifications of the position.
  • Check to make sure your technical skills and education are up-to-date.
  • Use “power verbs” such as “responsible for,” instituted, integrated, validated, etc.
  • Be sure to delete the job description you pasted into the text.
  • Save your résumé with your name so the reader sees your name in the attachment. For example: John Doe Résumé.doc

 

Consider how an internal recruiter or hiring manager searches for your résumé in a database. What key words do you need to stand out? The closer your résumé seems to the job, the more likely you are to gain an interview.

 

You may consider adding a section called “Key Words” to the bottom of your résumé so that you are more likely to appear at the top of the skill set search.

 

A tailored résumé will get you called in for the interview.


 

To see more of Stuart Rosen’s work: www.gurustu.com

 

Why You Can’t Find a Job

 

According to a study released in March 2008 by the National Foundation for American Policy, there are an estimated 140,000 posted jobs for skilled labor available at S&P 500 companies. This, of course, does not include positions at fast-growth firms, small businesses, associations, educational institutions and government organizations.

 

In addition, some open positions are posted for six months or longer.

 

At Tech Exec Partners, we receive hundreds of résumés for every position. All companies with posted open positions do, too.

 

Positions are not getting filled because hiring managers seem to have a disconnect with the ability to access talent pools. Companies are dragging their feet, whether this is because they are stalling in a weak economy and don’t want to spend the money at this time, OR because they have a generally slow bureaucratic pace to their hiring practices.  Very qualified candidates often slip through the cracks because life will not wait.

 

Individual managers within companies seem to be afraid to make hiring mistakes. Unless a candidate’s résumé looks exactly like the posted job, overqualified (aka – age discrimination) or under qualified, the interview doesn’t happen.

 

While the news screams recession, full employment will create new opportunities for all.

 

If you are in a position to hire, you have projects that need to get done. What are you waiting for?

 

If you’re indecisive, there is no risk. Hire on a contract or contract-to-permanent basis.

 

Your country needs you to start hiring. Hire someone already! That’s patriotism. And good sense!

Advanced Interview Tips

It’s hard enough to get an interview today and… easy to bomb once you’re there.

There are more people in the active job market, many who have not interviewed in years.  What will set you apart?

Back to basics!

1) Tailor your résumé for every job.  This will set you apart more than

anything else.

2) Review your résumé.  Be sure that if you list a skill set, you can discuss

your experience in this area.

3) Companies have more stringent background check requirements.  Do

not fudge dates of employment, titles, educational background or other

information which could be revealed on a background check and

potentially cost you the job.

4) Know the company.  Review its Web site and every module within the

site.

5) Look at competitors of the company where you’re interviewing.  See how

your target company compares.

6) Use the search engines to research the names of the people with whom

you’ll be meeting.  See if they are listed on Linked In, Face book, and

other social networking sites.

7) Be prepared.  Make sure you come with a list of questions regarding the

company and the job.  (This is critical)

8) Freshen up your interview skills and know how to answer standard

interview questions related to your skills, background and career

interests.

Most important, put on your consultant hat when you interview for any position.  Find out what the key issues are for the role.

1) Why is the job open?

2) Is this a new position?

3) How long has it been open?

4) What are the challenges of the role?

Gear your interview towards ways you can solve the company’s problems and make your manager look more successful.

Be proactive in selling yourself, especially if you’re in a panel interview situation.  Unless you speak up and toot your own horn, the interviewer will not have the impression that you can handle the challenges of the position.

Follow up with all involved in your interview process.  Be sure to send a thank you note.  This will absolutely set you apart.

When unemployed, you are in sales.  The product you are selling is you.

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Recession Proofing Your Job

Stocks are down, the mortgage market crashed.  What are some of the ways you can protect your job in a turbulent economy?

  • Make yourself easy to work with.  Become even more of a team player.  Be low maintenance.
  • Act like you’re the owner.
  • Be known as an expert.
  • Become a super star employee.  Take on more when possible.
  • Take on a high profile project at the office.  Be visible and indispensable.
  • Cross train as much as possible, depending on your career level and goals.
  • Continue your education.
  • Expand your professional network through your company and industry.
  • Be proactive.  Keep your résumé updated.
  • Set up an emergency fund of three- to six- months living expenses.

Although the economy is out of everyone’s control, taking personal charge of your career path will keep you centered through the storms.

 

After the rain comes the sun.

 

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Back to Basics. Write an Effective Résumé.

Your résumé is your calling card and first impression to a potential employer. You have less than 10 seconds to grab a reader’s attention.

Every line a reader sees when your résumé is viewed on a screen will influence the decision to call you.

You may want to format your resume like this:

_____________________________________________________________

NAME

ADDRESS

CELL PHONE OR DAY TIME PHONE/PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS

OBJECTIVE

Your only objective is to get a call about the job for which you are applying. If posting on a job board, be broad in your requirements or, better yet, drop the objective on the résumé.

TECHNICAL (or SKILL SUMMARY)

  • Can be at top or bottom of résumé, depending on position and title.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE (preferable over “Work History or “Past Experience”)

(Chronological order)

Name of Company, City, State    Dates

Your Title

  • Unless applicable to a specific requirement, no need to go back more than 15 years.  Please don’t list high school or college jobs unless you are a recent graduate.
  • No “I,” “He or She,” or “Your first name” in body of résumé.   Use third person.
  • Tie summary of achievements into specific positions.  Give numbers when possible.  Example:  Saved company $400,000 by implementing marketing strategy.
  • Make it easy on your reader.  Use bullets.
  • Triple check spelling, grammar, and dates of employment.

EDUCATION

Chronological with highest degree first.  No need to put in year of graduation unless you are a recent graduate. Why have someone count your age on their fingers?

Master’s Degree
School

Undergraduate Degree
School

Special Training or Certifications
School

References Available Upon Request
Don’t worry – someone will ask if they want your references.

This is now a great cliché.

***

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Not sure how to best update your résumé?  Consider hiring a professional résumé writer to assist you. We can forward resume writer referrals if you like.

 

To your career success!

 

Dianne Gubin
818-222-0300

 

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