Having worked with many of the Top Companies in the Seattle area, off and on for approximately 25 years now. I can tell you what it takes to get you in the door, and what the Employers are looking for, as many of them have hired me to do their internal recruiting. I have also written literally thousands of Job Descriptions and researched hundreds of position Salaries.
Some things that many Hiring Professionals may not tell you are:
We get 150 – 300 resumes per position advertised with up to 600 applicants at times. When hiring – many Hiring Professionals will take a 5 second (YES –that is 5 SECONDS) scan of your resume. If we do not see within that first scan the skills that show us “can you do the job I am hiring for” – your resume is thrown into the ‘no’ pile and generally not looked at again. Once we see if you can do the job the second glance is to “stability” – how long on any given job – are you stable or do you move around a lot from job to job. After reviewing those two things, if we are satisfied with what we see we will ‘dig’ further into necessary qualifications such as Schooling and/or Certifications.
Without a quality resume that shows an Employer right up front – that you can do the job you are applying for – you will not be called in for an interview. Hiring is very time consuming, and the more of a Hiring Professional’s time it takes in having to ask questions, or dig (aka; read all day) to find the necessary information – the less likely we are to do it. We will simply move on to the next candidate.
Another big mistake I see on many resumes is that many people ASSUME that you know what they did because of their Job Title. Unless you are being reviewed by a 10+ year hiring professional and they have dealt with thousands of Job Descriptions, most of those checking your resume have no clue what you did based on your Job Title alone. It is imperative in this highly competitive job market that you detail your skills and leave nothing to question on your resume and cover letter. Some companies are still using strict ‘old-school’ or OCR databases to do all the screening for them, so if you do not have your skills spelled out in detail – you more than likely will not be picked for an actual person to review your resume.
Forget the ‘fluff n stuff’… a large majority of individuals lean heavily on the fact that they have many accomplishments, and or hold several Degrees. Oftentimes Hiring Professionals are leery of such information as it appears that individuals may be trying to “dazzle them with BS” so to speak. Therefore, things such as; Volunteer activities, Hobbies, Major Accomplishments, etc. should not be on a resume. Any information of this nature pertinent to the job you are applying for (such as being stated in the job qualifications in the job add or job description) should be stated in the Cover Letter, otherwise it is irrelevant, may hinder you more than help you, and should be left out completely.
A mistake I see quite a bit in Job Hunting is that many are using sites like www.monster.com and www.careerbuilder.com as their sole sources of job hunting. Not good. Here is why: It can cost an Employer between $300 – $700 PER ADD (30 days), PER POSITION to advertise their positions. On sites such as www.worksource.com and www.craigslist.org it is MUCH CHEAPER to advertise for open positions – especially if you have several to fill.
Also, many individuals think that by simply putting their resume online – the jobs will come to them. Not true. All employers EXPECT you to come to them for any valid position online. Therefore, they post the jobs and wait for the resumes to come to them. The great thing about monster and careerbuilder is that you can create job searches specific to your skill set – those work quite well as long as you create SEVERAL of them and not just one specific to any ONE Job Title. You are also able to apply directly for positions listed on those sites once you have uploaded your resume, that too is a good thing. I suggest that you use all avenues/websites available and apply frequently for the positions that fit your skill set. However do not think that by posting your resume (which I recommend you post it as ‘private’ and not ‘public’) that the employers are going to come to you.
Another aspect is that often times many positions are miss-posted on ALL the job sites. It is difficult sometimes for an employer to find a good match in a job category in order to post an advertised position, and therefore you might find a mechanic job under non-profit because it is being posted by a Non-Profit Company. You must look in several different categories and/or create various searches in order to find a valid position – not simply the one specific to your desired Job Title.
The bigger mistake overall however, one that I see on a daily basis, is generally in how the resume and cover letter are set up. Many years ago I created two resume formats that have worked for every individual who ever used them. Both are easy to read and the information necessary in finding a given job is presented properly.
Today, there are so many resume programs out there and faulty formats that leave so many people wondering what it is they are doing wrong in finding a job. I know, because every time I hire for someone I see literally thousands of poorly written resumes that do not describe even a portion of what a person is qualified to do. Not to mention some of the firms out there charging people for those same faulty resumes. I am hoping that by sharing this information I can help empower people and direct them to the job they are looking for.
Some general Resume rules to follow:
1. Detail your skills
2. Put Education at the bottom of the resume – not at the top
3. An objective is not necessary and seldom read on a resume – instead incorporate
your summary or objective in your Cover Letter – don’t put it on your resume
4. Go back no more than 10 years (usually 6 years is plenty)
5. Keep Resume to 1 page for General Labor, General Office etc. Two to three pages for Professional/Executive Positions
6. Do not put references on your resume – have them prepared on a separate page and ready to present only when asked for them
If you would like more information, or need help in creating a quality resume and cover letter, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin R. Robbins
President/CEO/Executive Business Management Consultant & Business Coach
Mentor/Personal Development Coach, Social Media Mgr
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