Category: Applicant Tracking Systems – ATS

Don’t Hire a Résumé Writer Before Taking These Preparation Steps

For those of you who have been out of the job search for years or maybe even decades the barebones classified section of the Sunday newspaper may come as a surprise. Gone are the days when you could pick up a couple of the local Sunday papers and circle job opening ads that you could easily fax, or email your generic résumé to.

Today’s 21st Century digital job market can begin on your smartphone and an internet search, and winds a job candidate through tunnels and caverns of steps from the initial application process, through perhaps several interviews, until you get to the final decision stage. Since this process can be so daunting and a job in itself, many folks enlist the help of a résumé writer or career coach who can help them put their best foot forward. What some don’t understand is that career coaching and even résumé and LinkedIn profile writing MUST BE a collaborative process between the client and the writer. 

The writer cannot create a compelling career story without your input.

  • You will be throwing away the money you pay the writer if you pay and then disappear expecting them to write your career story without your detailed information.
  • You risk not providing enough material to the writer that helps them create a keyword optimized résumé that boasts about 1000 characters (with spaces) within a two-page résumé.
  • Yes, a two-page résumé by the mere fact that it is two pages allows for a more keyword infused document that applicant tracking systems like.
  • At The Talent Mill / #JobSearchSuperhero we believe that a résumé’s length should be determined by the client’s years of service, their industry, the number of relevant awards, courses, certifications. In other words, each project is different, and it is not a sin to use a two page or even a three-page résumé.

So, before you search for and hire a résumé writer, you should prepare by doing the following.

*Write down notes about your career story or answer a couple of the writer’s questionnaires to provide them with content, clarity, and clear/concise information for the writer to tell a compelling career story and highlight key points in your accomplishments.

We believe that everyone can come up with accomplishments if he or she thinks back on his or her life. Keep in mind these essential facts while writing:

  • What kind of job are you seeking? To target your resume so that an actual person will see it, you should provide at least two job advertisements to the writer.
  • The writer can then scan the document against the job ad to make sure that the targeted industry and job role keywords are in your new resume. The days when you could use a “basic resume” to submit to a potential employer are long gone. It would significantly improve your chances of your résumé being seen by a human if you edit each résumé before you upload it to a corporate or recruiter website to apply for an advertised position. Your résumé will be analyzed by algorithms using whatever search query the hiring manager or recruiter entered on their end. That is why keyword dense (2 page) résumés for a mid-career to upper management person increases their chances of hitting the right target keywords and selected to be shown to the recruiter in a search for candidates.
  • What are your job titles? If you have had many years of service/employment for the same company, you must have changed roles or moved up the corporate ladder. It would be best if you were prepared to provide the writer with the job title, dates held, accomplishments, and description of what the role is.
  • What are your accomplishments? To make your resume stand out, you must show your achievements and how you helped the company. Did you bring in more clients? Have you trained people? Did you earn any recognition? How is that company better off from the service you provided for them during your time with them?
  • What honors or awards have you received? During the course of your career make sure you can document and share all the honors and awards earned over the years of employment. If you have any copies of annual reviews or reference letters from management share them with the writer.
  • What kind of professional development did you receive? Were you sent on a corporate outing or given any education to improve your performance, on the job training, and then received certification for that workshop?

After the client has provided this information they should also adhere to this:

  • Have access to a computer or laptop so they can enter their edits and promptly return them to the writer. (All free public libraries offer the use of computers)
  • Client’s cannot expect to efficiently edit their résumé on their mobile phone when necessary which will be quite often. It would be best if they at least owned a tablet with a keyboard. Microsoft Word .doc and .docx files are sent to the client along with a basic ASCII text file. They can also usually be edited and opened/viewed on free software like OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice.org however the writer is not responsible for, nor can guarantee document compatibility between software. Therefore your document may look skewed or resized. For this reason, we at The Talent Mill also include an Adobe PDF file that maintains the format. We provide our clients clear instruction with their final files on which files to use for which type of application, interview, etc.

Communicate with your writer and reply to emails which can be several during the writing process of your documents.

  • Get all the questionnaire answers back to the writer quickly. If the writer does not have information, they can’t write your resume. Remember they don’t know you personally. They ethically cannot just copy and paste data or job descriptions from another online résumé. It is imperative that the client provide answers. The career writing project is a collaborative effort, so the client needs to make themselves available to work with the writer. This is generally handled through emails or a quick text or call.
  • Résumé writers try to finish projects promptly since they continue to see more and more clients in today’s tight and downsizing job market. Most writers are usually working on documents for anywhere from two to ten clients simultaneously. Most projects are typically completed within the 7-10 day average industry turnaround time, dependent on how quickly the client returns emails, questionnaires, or text message replies from the writer or writer team.

REMEMBER: Achieving an impressive new résumé and other career documents or online profiles is a TEAM EFFORT between the client and their writer! Neither should go it alone.

Best of luck in your job search! ~Mill and the writing team 

*Need us to do it all for you? Text us at 201-667-2994 or drop us a note at https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form 

14 Must Follow Steps For Job Seekers

Anyone that has been working at the same job for the last decade and now has to look for work knows it's a whole new ball game.

Anyone that has been working at the same job for the last decade and now has to look for work knows it’s a whole new ball game out here. We can help.

Prepare your brain to be challenged by how the world has changed from the newspaper classified job ads with your paper résumé, to the only way to seek out, find a job, and get seen to get hired today!

Ever notice that even the Sunday paper barely has job listings these days?

As more newspapers go online it seems that the job classifieds we used to turn to when out of work are now worthless

But did you know that online job ads can also be a waste of time too?

Recruiters & Human Resources can receive upwards of a 100+ responses to one job opening.  That’s why as a job seeker, you need to work smart and not so hard by following certain strategy boosting steps:

Step 1 – build yourself a targeted list of companies that you would consider working for

Step 2 – work on building relationships with 2 people who work at a target company (1-2 people for each company on list)

Step 3 – without harassing them or becoming a pest, work towards having a real life coffee date.

Step 4 – ask them if they would be willing to introduce you to the hiring manager or decision maker for the department that you want to work for.

Step 5 – put yourself online before others do with a website, and a LinkedIn profile at the very least.  This will help you to be found online when a recruiter searches for your skills.

Step 6 – Google different variations of your name or common nickname that you have been known by for years.

Step 7 – If you find something potentially negative on the web don’t panic, but start dealing with it right away by following step 5 and maybe adding a few more social sites.

Step 8 – Make sure all your settings are set to private on all the social networks and websites you frequent.  If you make a comment you might have some control to erase it, but if you comment on someone else’s post you might not be able to ever remove it from the web.  Remember that when you are going to rage in comments on Facebook.

Step 9 – Create a twitter account and follow twitter job boards.  Just search #jobs and you will be able to find accounts that tweet about job openings.  You can also make your account private by selecting “protect my tweets” in settings although that can have a negative effect in being found for work via keywords in what you tweet about in an industry.

Step 10 – Make sure to develop a powerful keyword loaded profile on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is the professional go to network to build connections that evolve into real relationships.

Step 11 – Work on your brand by starting a blog related to the industry you want to work in, or to a related passion or hobby.

Step 12 – Think of all the keywords related to your job title a recruiter or potential employer would use and make sure those are both in your résumé and your LinkedIn profile.  But do not make your LI profile a duplicate of your résumé or that will seem redundant and a turn off.

Step 13 – Do not write “unemployed” or “looking for next opportunity” as your profile headline.  Instead use the last title you held or the job position you were trained in, experienced in, and are qualified to be working in.

Step 14 – Edit each résumé! The reason so many people are failing at getting calls and not getting their résumé past the ATS is that they are not optimizing them with job specific keywords.  Their résumés are being pushed to the back of the pile by artificial intelligence via the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Recruiters will also search Google to find candidate résumés or LinkedIn profiles, but they will not search for your name.  They will search for the skills/keywords related to the job they want to fill.  You need to try to match every possible keyword they would use to find you, so you can be found in their online search and make their “short list” for an interview.

Best of luck in your job search!  #JobSearchSuperhero

Welcome to the New Job Search Superhero Blog

#JobSearchSupergero

We are working to migrate everything from our old website and upgrade to a secure site that protects our clients information as well as our website.  We hope you will join us for weekly posts about the latest job search methods, résumé writing tips, free career tools, templates, and more.

Here is some of what you’re in store for if you stick around:

Old timer resume?

Can I write a résumé without sounding like an “old timer?”  Sure, it’s being done all the time.  Just put down only the last 15 years’ worth of companies you’ve worked for, then include a section titled “Other Experience” where you list the skills gained in the previous jobs.  This way your age is less obvious and you are not dating yourself.

Do keyword research and analysis on the job you want and your current resume.

Go to a job site like www.indeed.com and search for the job you want and logistical area that you want.  Then you’re going to copy and paste the job description into Notepad or a Word document.  This is just to save it for when you lose the page.  Now go to another site called Wordle at http://www.wordle.net/create and copy and paste the keywords from the job description into the text box.