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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted April 29, 2016 by

20 ways to rock your resume

Resume with pen on table closeup courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Another week without attention paid to your resume. You are applying for jobs that match your education and skills; you have a nicely formatted document; and you have outlined your work experience very well with bolded headings and bullet points like you were told to do. You’re qualified but just can’t manage to get that call for an interview. Could there be that many people more qualified than you? Maybe not. There may be some flaws in your resume you have not realized.

Here are 20 tips that can improve your resume.

Make sure you are emphasizing results, not responsibilities

It’s a common error; job seekers are trying very hard to list all of their responsibilities for each position. Their thinking, of course, is the more responsibilities, the more qualified they will be. What is more important to employers is the results, what job seekers have actually accomplished.

Take a look at the responsibilities you have listed for each position. Can you list any quantifiable results? Did your re-organization save the department $50,000 a year? Sometimes, you may think results will be hard to provide. For example, perhaps you took over a department that had no baseline data to work with to show improvement. And maybe the improvement was qualitative rather than quantitative. Take employee morale, for instance. You know you improved it when you took over that department. But how was the improvement measured? Maybe there was much lower turnover or maybe the rate of absenteeism dropped significantly. These are important figures to have. Never leave a position without gathering figures that support your results.

A lot of space was spent on this item. Why? Because it is the one thing employers say is usually missing from a resume.

Target skills/background for each position

This is the primary reason why you need to tweak each resume for every job opening. If you have background in training, administration, HR, and sales/sales management, and are applying for jobs that focus on one of those, then focus your resume in that direction. Spend far more space on that focus area than on others. Generic resumes don’t really work anymore.

Re-visit keywords for each position

Change out your keywords based upon two things: the job description and the company’s website. Sometimes, reading through the company’s home page and the “about us” page will give you more keywords to include. And keywords that relate to the position should be placed as close to the top of the resume as possible and included in your cover letter.

Include a summary section

A statement of your career goals at the beginning of your resume is not advisable. Companies don’t care about your goals; they care about what you “bring to the table.” Switch that out for a short summary of your skills and experience that relate to the position, with four to five sentences only.

Use standard software

Microsoft Word or a PDF version of your resume should be the only programs used to submit resumes. Scanning will probably not recognize any other programs, and you will never know your resume was unreadable.

Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

Aim for one page

Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything superfluous, reduce sentences to phrases, and remove some of your contact information. Employers don’t need your address and don’t include references unless specifically asked to do so. If you are able to edit the resume to one page, that is ideal. But NEVER go beyond two pages unless you are preparing a CV.

Do not lie

Not about anything. Of course, you want to try to avoid resume mistakes, and of course you want to present yourself in the best light. Exaggerating or giving yourself a job title you did not actually have are big risks. These things can be discovered when references and/or social media are reviewed. Focus on your skills and qualifications completely but honestly.

Use action verbs

They are so much stronger. If you don’t know the difference, here is an example:

1. Responsible for implementing budget reduction by 10% without loss of productivity

2. Reduced budget by 10% without loss of productivity

The second phrase is strong and active. (P.S.: Never use “I”)

Visual appeal is a must

You’ve seen enough resume templates to understand what visual appeal is. The best font now is probably Arial, 12-14 point. The reason for this is there’s good, natural spacing between lines that are not complete and enough white space between bulleted points. Your final resume should have sub-headings in bold (e.g., each position), and a larger font to separate sections of the document. The goal is to make it scannable, not just by a computer program (applicant tracking systems), but by humans, too. No one wants to search for your information.

Be clear about job titles

So long as you are not exaggerating, use a job title that will make clear what you did at a previous organization. Sometimes, organizations have internal titles that mean nothing on the outside. So, if you were a “Level II Tech Support,” change that out to “Systems Analyst,” if that was what your position really entailed.

Be really brief

Do not use full sentences unless you are crafting a CV (These are prose documents). Brief phrases only, please. Remember – scannable.

Perfect grammar and spelling

Don’t rely only on grammar and spell-check programs. They will not recognize incorrect numbers or words that are wrong but are still words. And, in some instances misspellings will not be caught either. If you are really good in this area, read your resume backwards, and you will catch misspellings; read it forward line-by-line. If you are not highly skilled, get someone who is.

Avoid gimmicks

Having your resume hand-delivered by FedEx or courier is not appreciated, and, in fact, is a bit of a turnoff. Just don’t do it. Submit your resume according to the instructions on the job posting.

Graphics should fit the company culture

It is more acceptable today to use some color and graphics than in the past, but these resumes are best suited for younger, more progressive organizations. Tailor color and graphics based upon the culture of the company. If you are not sure, check the website. As a general rule, banks, financial, and educational/scientific institutions are conservative; tech and marketing companies are more progressive. For creative positions, graphics are certainly suitable.

Never state salary

Never include past salaries in your work experience. And absolutely never include your salary or benefit requirements for a new position. Epic fail if you do.

Don’t address negatives

If you were fired or laid off, never state this in your resume. That is the stuff for discussion during an interview. And don’t lie about it either; be as honest as possible, and never “trash” a former boss or company.

Add links

Long before submitting resumes, it will be important to have a professional online presence. Include the link to your LinkedIn profile and, if warranted, a website with a portfolio of your work and/or accomplishments. If you have been a guest blogger on relevant sites, provide links to those posts too.

Update consistently

It is often advised when you start a new position, you begin updating your resume. This is because you want to be sure to remember all of your accomplishments if and when you decide to make another career move, or if, for any reason, your employment is terminated (companies do close). Keep your resume updated all the time.

No tag lines

Lines such as “References available upon request,” are not necessary and just take up space. Leave them out. If you are asked for references or links to things during an interview, you can provide them at that time.

Do not abbreviate

The only abbreviation you can use is “U.S.” Otherwise, spell everything out. Even abbreviations for schools attended may not be known by employers. The rule for acronyms is the same; spell them out.

This article provides a good checklist for job seekers, whether they are crafting their first resumes ever or if they are veterans with several previous resumes under their belts. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a difference.

Need assistance with your resume for your job search? Get a free resume critique on College Recruiter. Also, come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter.

Posted April 22, 2016 by

TATech 2016 Fall Conference & Expo: Doing better deals

The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions (TATech) will host a fall conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 19-21, 2016. Peter Weddle, CEO of TATech, is excited to announce the conference and share information about the conference’s scope, purpose, and agenda with viewers in this video hosted by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager of College Recruiter. Bethany interviews Peter and Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, who will present a session for talent acquisition leaders at the TATech 2016 Fall Conference & Expo.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Peter Weddle explains that TATech is the global trade association for the talent acquisition solutions industry. It represents the for-profit enterprises and not-for-profit organizations that provide technology-based products and services for talent acquisition professionals, from applicant tracking system companies, job boards, and social media sites to mobile apps, recruitment advertising agencies, and cloud-based recruitment marketing platforms. Collectively, its members power or operate over 60,000 sites worldwide and provide state-of-the-art solutions services for virtually every facet of talent acquisition.

The purpose of the TATech 2016 Fall Conference & Expo is to provide cross-talk and information sharing between recruiters/talent acquisition professionals and vendors who provide products and services for talent acquisition professionals. Peter Weddle believes there is a lack of communication and interaction between these two groups of professionals, and that enabling employers and recruiters to get the information they need from their vendors will help them improve their return on investment.

Steven Rothberg, President of College Recruiter, hopes to help talent acquisition leaders improve their return on investment when working with vendors, too, and that is the scope of his presentation entitled, “Doing better deals: How to be a smart consumer of talent acquisition solutions.” In the past, many employers simply posted jobs and assumed the risk; either the jobs would perform well or not. However, with the solutions available to employers now via technology, employers should do their homework and understand the estimated return on investment associated with various types of advertising (banner advertising, email campaigns, pay per click, etc.).

Steven will cover this information in his presentation and believes it will empower talent acquisition professionals to make informed decisions regarding their college recruiting budgets. It will also help employers to negotiate better deals and to make cost comparisons between proposals from different vendors. He emphasizes that employers should negotiate with vendors and provide justification using metrics and pricing information using this type of cost comparison information.

Peter Weddle emphasizes the value of attending a conference like the TATech 2016 Fall Conference & Expo; there isn’t always an opportunity to visit face-to-face with owners of organizations like College Recruiter. In addition, TATech is offering free hotel accommodations at The Palms to those who register for the conference by June 15, 2016. Lastly, Peter mentions that the conference is truly a fun experience, featuring the 2016 Recruiting Service Innovation Awards (the ReSIs). Modeled after the Oscars, the awards are a red carpet, black tie optional celebration.

Be sure to follow our blog for more information about upcoming conferences and events for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

 

 

Posted May 20, 2015 by

“This $#@&! Thing Doesn’t Work!” How to Improve Adoption of a New Technology or Process.

Dave Sarnowski of HarQen

Dave Sarnowski of HarQen

David Sarnowski is the Customer Experience Manager at HarQen, Inc. He has 18 years of experience across education, coaching, and marketing. He uses his skills, alongside the rest of the HarQen team, to help Fortune 100 and mid-market clients align and accelerate their recruitment processes to deliver the business outcomes that matter to them.

Since 2007, HarQen, has been helping Fortune 100 and Mid-Market clients align and accelerate their recruitment processes to deliver the business outcomes that matter to them. And, they’ve had had a lot of fun doing it.

(more…)

Posted February 11, 2015 by

Resume Tips to Reap a Successful Job Search

With so much competition in the job market, job seekers must find a way to distinguish themselves in order to get the attention of employers.  While some employers may look to play it safe and hire conservative candidates, others may look to bring in candidates who bring a little something extra to the table.  How can you go about proving you are the best candidate for a specific job?  One way is to write a quality resume that shows you can handle the position.  Here are some resume tips to help you reap a successful job search. (more…)

Posted January 26, 2015 by

Study shows ATS block 86-94% of those trying to apply

Most popular applicant tracking systems, as ranked by OnGig

Most popular applicant tracking systems, as ranked by OnGig

Human resource departments have always understood the need to efficiently manage the flow of information about people who want to work for our organizations.

Several decades ago the need for efficiency led to the popularization of applicant tracking systems and those have allowed employers to greatly reduce their costs-per-hire, time-to-hire, and ability to defend themselves in lawsuits. That’s all good but with the good often comes some bad.

At niche job board College Recruiter, we see ATS from the vantage point of our employer clients as well as the millions of actively searching recent grads and students who use our site and more passive candidates who we reach via targeted email, targeted mobile banner, and targeted display ad campaigns. As you might expect, many of them get pretty frustrated and the most highly qualified and therefore most sought after candidates tend to give up because, well, they can. (more…)

Posted December 16, 2014 by

College Students: Can You Use a Resume Template?

Mark Slack

Mark Slack

Getting ready to find your first internship or job? You probably have a lot of questions about how and where to begin.

Allow me to answer the following question, which will save you time and effort for the rest of your career: can you use a downloaded resume template?

The answer is yes, you absolutely can. Here are some myths about resume templates that need to be dispelled so that you don’t waste your time formatting a resume, or buying one for an outrageous price. (more…)

Posted September 08, 2014 by

Does Your Resume Have the Skills that Recruiters Want?

If you want to impress recruiters with your resume, make sure it shows the skills that will attract them.  Learn more in the following post.

Sitting down to write a resume is an intimidating experience. You need to decide on a format, a branding statement, how to list your work experience, and of course, how to highlight your skills. It is the latter, highlighting your skills the right way, that seems to give job seekers the most trouble. In

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Posted February 25, 2014 by

College Students Building e-Portfolios (Apparently for Self-Awareness)

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

By Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads

In another sign that job seekers and employers are disconnected from one another, the Wall Street Journal noted in the article Giant Resumes Fail to Impress that “more universities are pushing their graduates to complete e-portfolios: web based dossiers that showcase writing samples, class presentations and other evidence of skills…”

According to Educause, (a non-profit, that we guess does the due diligence on subjects like this) over half of US college students, many of them MBAs, are using the expanded resume approach up from 7% in 2010…and it is only expected to increase this year.

Eventually the article quoted a few employers like Marie Artim, TA VP from Enterprise Holdings who simply told the truth about the subject [paraphrasing]: we don’t see it much and if we did we wouldn’t use it. (more…)

Posted December 27, 2013 by

Jeanette Maister’s #truCollegeRecruiter Discussion Track: Data Driven Hiring Decisions

The #truCollegeRecruiter NYC conference was hosted on Monday, December 9, 2013 at the Times Square, New York headquarters of EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and organized by CollegeRecruiter.com niche job board and #tru recruiting event planners.

The conference brought together about 100 hiring managers, recruiters, and other human resource professionals who wanted to share best practices and learn from each other about how to more efficiently and effectively hire and manage college and university students and recent graduates. (more…)

Posted December 27, 2013 by

Gerry Crispin’s #truCollegeRecruiter NYC Discussion Track: Source of Hire

The #truCollegeRecruiter NYC conference was hosted on Monday, December 9, 2013 at the Times Square, New York headquarters of EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and organized by CollegeRecruiter.com niche job board and #tru recruiting event planners.

The conference brought together about 100 hiring managers, recruiters, and other human resource professionals who wanted to share best practices and learn from each other about how to more efficiently and effectively hire and manage college and university students and recent graduates. (more…)