I have teamed up with T.M.Lewin, British experts in work-ready attire to show you how to be best dressed for an upcoming interview or new position. If you’re wondering what to wear to work this graphic has many useful style tips. If in need, T.M.Lewin has an unmatched selection of men’s dress shirts for any work environment and beautiful classics for the ladies. Let me know what you think. rg
Then there is the trend of reducing monumental, genuinely important journalism, facts and ideas to three paragraphs or less.
In light of both of these trends I have determined how I can synthesize my message into as few words as possible. I have come up: How and Wow.
HOW refers to how your resume/CV will successfully navigate resume-filtering software. This is accomplished by taking those significant keywords from the job posting and making certain they appear ON your resume. Note I did not say IN your resume. You don’t have time to craft a new resume from scratch for every submission. For an example of how I accomplish this go to this page on my website: https://rickgillis.com/job-sample-documents/ and download the sample SHORT FORM RESUME. Look at the bottom of the page for the KEYWORDS section. It will be the section that is of a significantly smaller font size than the rest of the document. These random looking terms come directly from the job posting. This is HOW you manage the software portal. Or, in other words, whether a real, human-person will see your document on the other end.
And now for the WOW.
The WOW comes from speaking to your accomplishments. All statements on a resume should resolve with a net result. This is my accomplishment statement formula: Responsible for ______ that resulted in ______. This applies to your LinkedIn profile as well. Every statement; every bullet point should end w/a value statement that will make someone ask you, “How did you do that?!” In reality what they are actually asking is, “Can you do that for me?” Express to an employer how you are categorically going to make or save them money and you will have their attention.
What I have just provided you is a two-word synthesis that is my JOB! Search Optimized book.
As always, I wish you great success!
In a previous life I hosted radio and TV employment-based talk shows and one of the questions I asked almost all hiring professionals I interviewed was “Do you read cover letters?” The since-you-ask standard response was usually “No,” occasionally followed with a “Sometimes.”
I knew what ‘sometimes’ meant.
Most hiring professionals are so inundated with ‘paper’ that it is an accomplishment just to get through the thousand or so resumes that land in their inbox on a daily basis. On occasion a resume may be received that catches their eye and, if a cover letter is included, it may receive a glance.
Here is what you should know.
Cover letters are a test. If you see a posting and the instructions to apply say ‘submit your resume and a cover letter to…” then you MUST submit a cover letter. It may not even be reviewed but those resumes received without a cover letter will be summarily dismissed. Get it? This is your first test. Can you follow basic instructions? This is why I say that cover letters may be necessary.
I have even used this technique when hiring. Those responses I received without a cover letter after stating it was a requirement in my posting were straight away deleted and, honestly, who knows how many talented individuals I never considered simply because of their not being able to follow this basic instruction?
So what do you say on a document that is not going to be read?
First rule regarding cover letter content: Keep it short. Three paragraphs at most and only a sentence or two per paragraph. Show the reader how eloquent you can be in just a few lines. Brief is good!
- Paragraph 1—State that you are the ideal candidate, your interest in the position and working for the company.
- Paragraph 2 – Present a broad overview of your qualifications as they relate to the job. Do not go overboard. Your cover letter is not a second resume.
- Paragraph 3 – Create a call to action. This piece is up to you but I have always liked something as simple as: “I am ideally suited for this position and look forward to hearing from you soon. With two weeks’ notice I can begin work. Please call.”
Close with a proper “Sincerely” or “Respectfully”; your signature, your name typed, a single phone number (recruiter’s don’t call second phone numbers), and your email address.
I can’t emphasize how much short-is-good when it comes to a cover letter. Don’t waste your time trying to sell yourself here simply because (1) as mentioned earlier it probably won’t be read and (2) because your resume is your sales tool.
As always, I wish you great success!
Well I’m back to talk about keywords (once again). In my opinion your ‘modern day’ (I hate that phrase) resume must be built on a foundation of keywords. In order for this to make any sense to you please visit this link to my website and click on the SHORT-FORM RESUME ICON (illustrated up there to the left). What will open up is a sample of an Accomplishments-Based resume of my own making. Scroll to the very bottom of the document and notice a section there called KEYWORDS. Notice also that it is of a smaller font size than the rest of the document. I’ve been telling you all along that there are no rules to resumes. And I should well know. I made up a bunch of my own!
Now I’m not going to go into all the detail here about the what and why’s of how I created my resume format but know that the title and the reasoning comes from knowing (and now you will too) that some of the resume filtering systems allow the end user (the recruiter) to review only the first page of a what a job seeker may submit. Knowing this I created a One-Page resume that, quite simply, covers all the bases. And when I say ‘the bases’ what I’m really saying is enough “to get you the phone call.” 9I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: A resume does not get you a job. It gets you a phone call.0
There is SO MUCH more for you to know about this document and the sheer simplicity of it that I spent 4 chapters in my JOB! book discussing every what, where, when, how and why of this document. If you want to learn more about what may look to you like a skinny, little document (that isn’t!) check out Chapters 4, 5 and 6 in JOB! and then you will run headlong into Chapter 7 which is solely about keywords and how the process works.
Here it is in a nutshell: Your resume MUST, as much as possible, contain those keywords/key phrases that appear in the job posting. Job seekers think they know this stuff so they choose the obvious terms like: ‘SAP’ and ‘Logistical Software Support’ and ‘Developmental Metrics.’ But what about those OTHER rich key terms such as Southwest Houston or Attention to Detail or Good Pronunciation and Professional Appearance?! A little clue for you? Just about every word in a job posting is a keyword. BUT DO NOT COPY AND PASTE FROM THE POSTING. Doing so can potentially have your resume deleted from consideration.
Ever heard of a little technique called the “White Out” technique? If you know what I’m talking about DON’T DO IT! Your resume WILL be deleted from any consideration whatsoever. Oh, BTW, I’m the guy that brought that little strategy to the public in my first book way back in 2006. And it worked for about two years but no more. Times have changed. You can’t get away with it. The software converts your resume content to the chosen font, font size and font color so it’s pretty easy to understand that your WHITED OUT COPY will now appear in it’s full glory and you, dear job seeker, will be eliminated from consideration from the position for being deceitful. If they can’t trust you on paper how can they trust you ON THE JOB?!
So your other option, which is SO dumb and time consuming is to write a new resume to embed those necessary keywords into your resume OR you could just do as I suggest and add a new section at the bottom of your resume called KEYWORDS that you can use to place those important terms to be flagged by the machine.
Hey, listen, I could go on here for another 3 pages but it’s all in the book.
FYI, I’m also Periscoping these posts which then land on Twitter (which owns PS) for 24 hours and I’m also placing them on my YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure. (Check it out. I have a ton of stuff over there that I never tell anyone about including my live, little goofy Periscope wonders!) It’s all free. Share this good fortune with anyone you know currently seeking a new opportunity who aren’t getting any calls!
Today’s motto: It’s all in the keywords, baby!
To your success!
Hey Parent’s, what follows is only a smidgen of what your new grad will need to know about successfully submitting a resume that will actually be seen by a real, human person. In other words: A resume that will successfully navigate the software that is, as CIO.com says, “The bane of all job seekers.”
PS This is a reprint of an article that I originally published at Salary.com.
With the overwhelming number of applications and resumes received on a daily basis, recruiters must do all they can to manage the flow — thus resume filtering software.
What follows here varies by company and the software used, but for now let’s work from this premise: In the larger (and not so large) companies, your resume/application is not initially viewed by a “real human person” but is scanned and graded by a piece of software and then archived until those results are called up. What this means is that only those resumes that”made the grade” (literally) will rise to the top of the pile to be reviewed. To help you successfully negotiate this software, here are some first-glance Dos and Don’ts.
- DO NOT include your physical address on your resume.
Professional recruiters don’t want me to tell you this but this tiny little piece of what you may think is harmless information is very often the first point of elimination. You might be able to cure cancer but if you live too far away from the job site your resume might not receive any consideration whatever. You may be willing to relocate or carpool, but you never got the chance to express that you understand that may be a consideration. [PS–and I have mentioned this before–should young women just out of college be providing their home address to who-knows-who-might-be-on-the-other-end?! Just sayin’!]
- YOU MIGHT not even want to include your city or town on your resume.
I live in a small town outside of Houston. My resume says “Houston, TX.” When the recruiter calls to ask me what part of town I live in, I’m going to respond with “Where’s the job located?” Get my drift? She had to call me, which creates a conversation. (Remember that you don’t get a job from a resume. You get a phone call. Be ready to take that call!)
- DO NOT use the Header feature of your Word doc software to place your name and contact information. Headers and footers are not read by some of the softwares. In effect you may be submitting a ‘headless’ document.
- DO draft a conservative resume that takes filtering software into account.
- No script or designer fonts. The software might reject your document.
- No tables for the same reason.
- No logos or graphics. Almost guaranteed to get your resume rejected.
- No continuous formatting lines that cross the page. Filtering software may read a continuous line as a page break and skip to the next file meaning yours just got passed over without a read.
- No giant fonts. A common mistake of the recent graduate trying to fill vacant space on the page is placing their name in a 36PT bold font. The software in most cases will be set not to accept PT sizes in excess of 16 or even 14PT.
- DO include a Seeking Statement (my little invention) telling your reader which position you are applying for. Just below your contact information and above your Objective Statement, add a single centered and bold line stating: “I am seeking a position as (use the exact job title) with (insert company name), reference #(fill in the blank).”
- For example: “I am seeking an interview for the Entry-Level Graphic Artist position with Dell Computer, Inc., reference #67890.”
- Know that the software is looking for an exact match of the job title. Make it easy for this to occur. Make it easy for the reader to “like you” by making it easy for them to do their job.
- Yes, I know–it might seem redundant to mention the name of the company to which you’ve just sent your resume, but my best information tells me that, based on the software used, you may get points in the scoring by using the company’s name.
- If a position contains a reference number, by all means use it. Make it easy for the recruiter to route your resume to the hiring manager.
This is only a sliver of what you need to know re: job search/resume filtering software. You can read the ‘rest of the story’ in my JOB! book.
As always, I wish you great success!