Category: Career Tips Tools Advice

Career tips, tools, and many other resources curated by Mill Montejo & Associates at The Talent Mill.

Eight Steps to Help You Relate to the Job Search Robot

Human hand reaching out to robot hand and touching fingers
Human hand reaching out to AI robot hand and touching fingers

In this day of digital marketing media and job search, you must keyword focus your résumé to the automated robot. Companies receive hundreds of applications for one job opening so they need help to sort through applicants. This AI (artificial intelligence built into the software) will sort and send qualifying documents through the applicant tracking system (ATS) system.

A screenshot of LinkedIn Recruiter platform and its many tools
Besides optimizing and targeting each résumé, you should use your “master résumé” to optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords from the industry you are targeting.

Even if you are the world’s best candidate your LinkedIn profile, or résumé you uploaded may get nowhere unless you can relate to the robot. You may be qualified but if your documents are not laser-focused on the company’s needs with measurable accomplishments, your documents may not make it to the top of the pile.

Of course, there are certain industries and job roles where recruiters will seek you out even if you have bare-bones résumés in a template you found on the web. However, if you are not one of the sought-after lucky ones, you need extra help from artificial intelligence.

You can use the same technology that filters you out when you do not tailor each résumé to the job ad to reverse engineer the process so your profile and résumé turn up in a recruiter search.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Use https://skillsyncer.com or https://jobscan.co to scan your résumé against the job ad you wish to apply to.
  2. The resulting report will tell you what keywords are in the ad but not in your résumé. Insert not all but 75% of the words by rewriting certain sections in a grammatically correct way.
  3. Follow all the tips that the report gives you and try to change about 60-70% of what you can. I always tell my clients that their match score should be at least 60% or better.
  4. Once you have raised your job match score for your résumé to the job ad then you can follow the same process with your cover letter. No cover letters are not dead and can make the difference in landing the interview or not.
  5. Research the company’s ‘About’ and ‘Mission’ pages on their website and write your own career story aligning it with their culture and goals.  
  6. Write another section below that listing bullet points from their job advertisement on the left (their job requirements) and write how your skills can help them on the right. List actual skills or previous examples if possible.
  7. Perform the same keyword scan for the cover letter against the job advertisement.
  8. Follow the SkillSyncer or JobScan report’s instructions and change at least 40-60% of the content to align with the job ad provided you have the skills but the job advertisement phrases them differently or uses different words.
Facts about how ATS systems filter job applicants
Facts about applicant tracking systems and how they eliminate candidates to achieve their shortlist

You may wonder if there are any companies that do not use Applicant Tracking Systems to review résumés. HINT: If a company receives over five résumés for an open job, then they likely use an ATS. Since smaller businesses create the most jobs, we can assume that both smaller Fortune 100, Fortune 500, and larger corporations all use ATS’s to help them sort and filter candidates. According to 2019 statistics, an average of 250 résumés come in for one job posting. Click on the image below for additional mind-bending stats.

Stats about how many résumés are received for one open job
(Source: Glassdoor Image Credit: Zety Blog)

According to our own ATS research and informational webinars attended hosted by Pat Criscito we learn the hard truth’s that we need to always assume that the documents we submit including cover letters will always go into an applicant tracking system. Companies do this so they can refer to their database for future job openings and maintain their sanity while searching through hundreds of applications. They could never physically review that many résumés.

“There is no way to know for sure. You should always assume a résumé will become part of an ATS system if you upload it or attach it to an email message. However, some of the engineers I interviewed said, “Typically, if a company has 4–5 open positions per month consistently, they should be using an ATS.” One company said that 100% of Fortune 1000 companies use ATS and 80% of small/medium businesses use them (100 to 15,000 employees).”

Pat Criscito – Résumé Writer and Author

Keep all of this in mind when you apply for jobs. The fact that only an average of six people make it to the final shortlist of candidates from an average of 250 shows you what kind of competition is out there. You can raise your percentage score of matching the job ad and getting a call for an interview by following the steps I have outlined here. So besides writing a sharp-looking résumé to print to bring on the interview, start the job search process correctly by using technology to help you. Use your LinkedIn profile, which when used correctly can help to shorten your job search because recruiters are finding you from keywords they enter. Read my new eBook to learn about LinkedIn profile optimization here. You can also find FREE tips on how to improve your profile here.

As always we wish you the best of luck in your job search!

Mill Montejo aka the Job Search Superhero

One Question You Should Ask Before Writing Your Résumé

Dear Amy,

I hate my new job. I worked at my old company for 12 years but was let go in a major restructuring. I found a new job, and I’ve been here for four months, but I hate it, and I’m going to quit.

My question is: Should I include this job on my résumé?

— Wondering

Should I include a short job on my résumé?

This is a common question — but there is no simple answer. As with many job search-related issues, the answer is: it depends.

The first thing to consider when deciding whether to include a short-term position on your résumé is whether it was planned as a short-term position, or if it simply ended up that way.

If the job was a contract (or a contract-to-hire role that did not get picked up), the usual answer is: Yes, include the job on your résumé. Make sure to describe it as such: “Hired for temporary, three-month role during family leave of key staffer” or “Contract-to-hire position ended prematurely due to termination of company relationship with client.”

Hiring managers are often sympathetic to short-term engagements when the circumstances are explained.

If the position was not meant to be short-term, it may be wise to find a way to make it seem like it was not as short. You could include it on the résumé but list your experience by year, instead of month/year to month/year.

For example, list the experience as Bumblebee Incorporated (2019) vs. Bumblebee Incorporated (March 2019 – August 2019).

Also consider whether you can “group” the role with other positions. For example, if you had several short-term roles — even if they were not technically temporary jobs — think about whether you can combine them into a single description.

For example, if you had a sales role with company ABC for eight months but left for a better opportunity with company XYZ — but only worked there for a year — consider listing the positions jointly as “Sales Representative, ABC/XYZ” with the inclusive dates. This only works, however, if the titles and work responsibilities are very similar.

If the job was not intended to be short-term — but ended up that way because you were fired, or you quit because you did not like the job/company/people, consider leaving it off. But even in this situation, there are exceptions.

For example, did you learn any new skills in this role, or use any skills that are not described elsewhere on your résumé? If so, you may want to include the position so that you can highlight those skills.

Both hard skills and soft skills matter…make sure to mention any new skills learned that are sought after by your job target companies

Did you work for a name-brand company (for example, a well-known startup or Fortune 500 company) or did you work with a name-brand client in the scope of your work in that role? You may want to include the position on the résumé to increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of the résumé for applicant tracking systems — or simply to impress a hiring manager.

Will having this position on your résumé help position you for a career change? Even if your time in the position was not long, if having that experience on there helps you bridge the transition from one career to the next, consider including it.

Finally, is this role your only work experience relevant to your job target? For example, if you are a recent graduate but were “first in and first out” at your first job, consider including it if you were on the job more than 90 days. (Often the most recent person hired is the first person let go, and most hiring managers recognize this.) Having some experience — even short-term experience — is better than having no experience.

And remember, if you were laid off because of the economy, loss of a key company customer, or another reason unrelated to your performance, include that in the résumé (and possibly also the cover letter).

If, on the other hand, the role does not fit in the narrative of where you’ve been in your career — and, more importantly, where you’re going — consider omitting it. Sometimes you take a job because you think it will open doors or lead you to a new path, and it does not end up that way. If including the job on the résumé will raise more questions than it will answer, consider not mentioning it on the résumé. Especially if omitting it would not cause a significant time gap on the résumé.

For example, Ted left the military after a career in naval intelligence and took a job at a startup software company, working in their security department. After being on the job for a few weeks, he decided that the laid-back company culture was not suited to his personality and he left the role. Instead, he went to work for a defense contractor, and has been there for two years and has now decided to look for a new job. Ted may choose to omit the position at the startup from his résumé.

Remember, your résumé is not an obituary that lists every job you have ever held. Instead, it’s a marketing document whose content should support the job target you’re seeking.

Consequently, you may choose to only include the most recent 10-15 years of work experience on your resume. Not only can this help reduce the likelihood of age discrimination, but in a world where things change at a rapid pace, your older experience may no longer be relevant. You likely have newer skills, experience, and projects that better reflect where you are going, not where you have been.

However, you should not leave a job off your résumé that you held for any significant length of time (say, more than six months) just because you were fired (even for performance) because you do not want to talk about it. Instead, be prepared to address the reason for your departure (including taking responsibility for shortcomings in your performance) and being able to describe how you took corrective action to ensure the situation does not happen again.

For example, if you are sales professional who was let go because you missed two consecutive quarters of sales quotas, you might include the role on your résumé (especially if you were selling a desirable product or working with high-profile clients) but be ready to explain that you didn’t have the depth of product knowledge that you should have had in order to be successful in that position. This is a particularly effective strategy if you have been successful in previous sales roles, but just not in this one.

One important thing to note: If you are asked to complete a job application that requires you to list all positions you’ve held (read the application directions carefully!), you should include each and every role — no matter how short — particularly if you’re required to sign the application (and, therefore, attest to the truthfulness of the information included).

But on the résumé, you can decide which positions to include and exclude, and even how they are arranged.

Determining what to include — and what to exclude — on your résumé to maximize your chances of getting an interview is one of the important functions a professional résumé writer can assist you with. Having the guidance and experience of a professional to help you navigate your job search can save you time and money, landing you that dream job faster, and potentially even at a higher salary than you were expecting. Keep the easy to follow chart below handy when re-writing your résumé for that new job, so you can make the best decision about including all of your past job roles.

Need our help writing your résumé or LinkedIn profile just call/text us at 201-667-2994 or tell us about your job search needs at this link https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form

Does a Cover Letter Still Matter? (Template Included)

When I was applying for jobs in the 1980 and 1990s, having an appropriate introductory cover letter was not only expected, but also practically mandatory to submit along with my resume. The cover letter was the golden key to open the door to at least getting an interview with HR. It set the tone for what is to come. Hiring managers were all about the cover letter back then.

Fast forward to the days of the digital job search market. Should you include a cover letter with a résumé? That all depends.

To cover letter or not?

Why write a cover letter?

Nowadays, résumé writers write a cover letter that is fit to a specific job and its qualifications. Known as a “personalized cover letter,” this introduction tells recruiters that you are uniquely qualified for the advertised position. You have the qualities they are looking for.

The Cover Letter Structure

When perusing a job ad, you must have a connection that compels you to want to apply. The key here is to do your homework. Research as much as you can about that company so you can show how your philosophy aligns with theirs. There is a saying that “people understand the intellect but connect emotionally. The heart will always rule over the head.” Therefore, the cover letter must capture the reader’s emotional attention. How do you do this?

Make this job personal. We had a client who came from another country and wanted to change careers. As a plant manager, she decided she had a passion for real estate. We researched the company she wanted to work for, wrote her story, aligning it with the CEO’s story and goals, and addressing each of the job requirements. She got the job in about two weeks! See the cover letter sample template below and some headings that you can use in your cover letter.

1.    Problems I Fix

2.    Areas I Excel In

3.    What I am Passionate About

4.    How I Contribute to Team Goals

5.    My Proudest Moments

You get the idea.

(Image credit hloom.com)

See the sample template below to help to write your own compelling, personalized cover letter.

=============================

JANE DOE

Hollywood, CA 10000 | 555-555-5555 | jdoe123@email.com

November 11, 2015

General Hospital

12345 Hollywood Road

Hollywood, CA 10000

Career Opportunity: E.R. Information Receptionist (Hollywood) ─ Department 56789 ─ Req. #ER56789

Dear Hiring Manager:

WHY GENERAL HOSPITAL?

When I read your “Life at General Hospital” mission statement on your website, I quickly connected to your core values, including “collaborative…a place that values diversity…devoted to compassionate and comprehensive care for patients.” Your open position for an ER information receptionist aligns perfectly with my goal of working in a supporting role in a hospital environment.

I’M PREPARED FOR THE POSITION

My 6 years serving as a police department desk clerk with the New York City Police Department has given me the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to add value and excellence to your E.R. team. I believe that quality care at any hospital is a team effort and that everyone the patient or their family encounters needs to have the same passion and goal of delivering a quality care experience.

What Your
Needs Are
What I Bring to the
Table
Interpersonal
skills to
effectively
communicate &
collaborate.  
Experience handling a
busy information desk in one of the busiest
precincts in Manhattan.  
Treats
co-workers,
patients,
and families with dignity &
respect.
Promotes an
environment
sensitive to
cultural
diversity.
As an NYC Information Desk Clerk,
these are core values that I adhere to,
and strongly believe in. I communicated
with the public and maintained a calm
and professional demeanor with highly
diverse communities.  
Ability to
set
priorities,
solve
problems,
use
proper
judgment
in difficult
situations
and be
flexible.  
I can re-prioritize on a
dime, using my
judgment in high
pressure situations to
solve and address
problems.

I am excited at the possibility of becoming a part of your team. Please call (111)-870-8758 for an interview.

Respectfully,

Jane Doe

Jane Doe

Encl: Resume

========================

When writing your cover letter simply follow the list of job requirements that you have copied and pasted from the job advertisement. I suggest that you address at least 6 to 8 points in the right column filling in your career story and skills. If you are uncertain if your cover letter made it through the ATS to a human, then you can even send it by snail mail along with a handwritten stickie (brief explanation or thank you for taking the time to read note).

The answer is to treat each situation separately and creatively for each client’s situation. We analyze each company’s size and culture, check to see if you are connected to anyone that could introduce you. Alternatively, perhaps they know a decision-maker that can pass along pass along your résumé. We believe that the cover letter can still work to set a candidate apart if used correctly in the right situation. If uploading to a website to apply, a good clue if the company believes in cover letters is how easy they make it for you to add one. Job seekers are coming up with many creative ways to stand out and called for the interview. For example, I read about an individual that uses “out of the box” tactics. He delivered a box of doughnuts to the hiring manager in person that contained his cover letter and resume. This may not be your cup of tea; however, this illustrates just one way each job seeker is unique in their own way of getting noticed.

Keep the cover letter in your career toolbox and pull it out when needed and appropriate. We hope this has helped you write your cover letter. If you would like us to research a company and write one for you, we customize cover letters for $89-99. Please send us a message at 201-667-2994 or https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form

Click Image to Upload Current Résumé or Cover Letter for a FREE CRITIQUE

Social Media Job Search eBook Debut

We are happy to report that Mill has finished the new and improved “Social Media and Your Job Search” eBook which is an information packed guide to follow up her 2012 release.

With corporate job listings sometimes attracting an average of 250 résumés, and 98% of Fortune 500 companies using (ATS) Applicant Tracking Systems to sort and filter candidates you must be on LinkedIn with a completely developed profile if you want to be found for work. If you’re going to make your job search more manageable for you with less work required on your part, you need to be on LinkedIn. This eBook will guide you through the steps you need to take to develop a stand out, compelling profile that rises in recruiter and hiring manager searches so that they can contact you for open jobs.

Job Search Guide eBook for sale click image.

We hope that this guide helps many find their way to their dream job!

Why Hire Me

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WHO I AM – WHY HIRE ME TO HELP:

I am a Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE), and an active member of The National Résumé Writers Association. I was The NRWA’s Education Chair for a few months in 2012 and then I went on to serve 5 years as their first Social Media Community Manager. I currently help the organization facilitate monthly career related webinars.

  • I’ve spent 7+ years, developing résumés and profiles that convert into interviews and new jobs for job seekers.
  • Prior to that I was a Fleet & Operations Manager for 7 years that worked closely with Human Resources to recruit both drivers and operations staff.
  • I handled inbound candidates through the complete hiring lifecycle from their recruitment, to their interview, and thereafter where I was tasked to make hiring recommendations to my superiors. Finally once hired, I handled new employee on-boarding and training.
  • I became very passionate about putting the right (peg) candidate in the right (hole) job.
  • On average – 75% of my clients see an increase in LinkedIn profile views within days after I revamp their profile.
  • 85% of my résumé and or LinkedIn clients receive calls for an interview.
  • As of our most recent client feedback survey, we were thrilled to learn that an average of 75% of our clients have been interviewed or hired after we helped them with their career documents and LinkedIn profile.
  • We work with clients from all around the United States remotely using Skype, FaceTime, and other similar video chat options along with phone, text, and email to optimize their career brand.

WHAT CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME:

To see valid, verifiable reviews of my resume writing business, written by my clients, please see Google reviews –> click here and also visit my LinkedIn recommendations, and Yelp reviews.

Mill Montejo & The Talent Mill Team
CONTACT THE JOB SEARCH SUPERHERO FOR HELP!

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