Resumes and Job Search Alignment
The only constant in life is CHANGE. This theme is no different in job hunting, preparing resumes, as well as getting yourself ready for an interview. Knowing our market changes as technology becomes more advanced and automated means processes become quicker and human touch is not necessarily a part of the candidate experience. Lemme give an example—
I was talking to a woman at a SHRM mixer I attended in Chicago earlier this year about recruitment industry pros & cons. She had been in this field since I was in High School and has seen so many changes in how resumes are presented and even how companies write job descriptions. She told me how resumes were a million bullet points and cover letters were like novels. We laughed at the thought of having to screen those documents in the fast paced recruitment world of today! Whew.
Not to say, we both do not get those resumes that have the job description written in bulleted form on a resume OR a candidate couples said resume with a lengthy cover letter. We definitely get those resumes too! Since, my passion lies with both sides of the desk when it comes to recruitment (candidate side vs. recruiter side) it pains me to see people miss out on opportunities because they may not know the changes or trends in resume formatting and aligning their documents for a successful job search. I do a bunch of coaching and some some workshops around this theme… but here are a few tips:
1. 90-10 rule: 90% of your resume will not change. 10% of it will need to be customized to the job you are applying. Each job is different- your resume should speak to that need. Even when you have a professional write your resume you know your skill and your goals better than anyone. Well, you should anyway ;) Make sure you are adjusting and editing as needed.
2. Bulleted resumes are not a bad thing. They’re not a good thing either. Staffing companies love this format because it is easy to sell your profile to their client. However, if you are doing the search on your own and applying directly to companies- you should be mindful of formatting as achievements and value add statements vs. bulleted job descriptions.
3. Your cover letter is kinda ol’ school. I mean- in some industries they still work. In most- not really. In the fast world of recruitment, or shoot, in general, hiring managers wanna get to the goods quickly. Do you fit my role and are you good at what you do? If you have a page and half long cover letter fluffing them up- that strategy is definitely a thing of the past. There is a way to format cover letters for today’s market, if you have to have one.
4. Relevant keywords and descriptions aligning in your job search are important. With so many applicants coming through ATS portals (Applicant Tracking System) Recruiters have best practices to ensure they are reviewing all viable candidates. Make sure you are using words that matter in describing your role and experience. Stay away from unnecessary adjectives and jargon. For example, if you are a Project Manager- say it. Don’t make a clever descriptive title to try and attract a hiring manager to view it. Trust me. I’ve seen it.