Tag: résumé writer

What You May Be Doing Wrong with Your Résumé and Why It’s Costing You the Interview

By Mill Montejo – The #JobSearchSuperhero

 

Why do job seekers insist on using one-page fancy/sexy resumes with photos that are hurting their chances of being selected for the interview? 

They’re sexy and short but the ATS doesn’t like them. Use them for the interview ONLY instead.

 

The answer here is that whoever is passing along this information must not be doing the research by speaking to the engineers of companies like Adobe, and the makers of ATS systems. If they did, they would realize that “No, lean/short résumés don’t really work with today’s ATS systems. Résumés have been getting longer and longer for more than ten years now. There are still recruiters who suggest one-page résumés, which is 1990s thinking. The nature of the workplace has changed dramatically since then. Young people can expect to change jobs 15 times or more during their careers, and even if they stay with the same company longer than 5 years, product-to-market times are so short that a résumé will contain lots of significant projects and title changes.”

-Pat Criscito – CPRW

Artificial Intelligence is the “first impression” that gets you the interview now.

 

 

Not only do short one page resumes not offer enough space to write all the keywords necessary to be scored higher by the ATS, but they don’t allow you to create enough white space for readability, and to include all the relevant information for consideration. “The most important thing is to get the résumé selected from the ATS system in the first place. Otherwise, it won’t be read at all. If that means the résumé has to be a bit longer, then so be it.” -Pat Criscito.

 

So the fancy one page resumes created in Adobe Photoshop, or PowerPoint with the candidates photograph on it are likely not being seen by a human because 1) they do not parse well when uploaded/submitted through a website, 2) if they are in PDF format there is a chance they will not be seen, and 3) the inclusion of the candidate’s photograph is actually frowned upon by most HR Dept’s because they want to avoid the appearance of practicing any “ageism” in their hiring practices.

 

A longer resume allows for additional keywords and white space for readability.

 

What is it about keywords and how can I make sure I’m using them correctly?

Our resident Job Search Superhero at The Talent Mill writes lots about keywords, keywords, keywords. The reason is that this is where the initial recruiting and hiring process is handled. With so many applicants applying to limited jobs companies employ the help of machine learning software first before a human even sees the resume. This makes it a priority for either you or your resume writer to always identify targeted keywords from the job advertisement you are pursuing, and work to insert them into appropriate sections of your career document.

Please DO NOT believe the misguided advice that résumés should only be one page in length. At the National Resume Writers Association, writers subscribe to the idea that a modern, professional resume should be “as long as it needs to be to present relevant, concise information that will properly position the candidate and distinguish them from the competition. If that can be accomplished in one page fine, but we should not get hung up on the length of the resume as long as it includes relevant and targeted information.”

-Norine D’Agliano – Résumé Writer & Trainer

You should also keep in mind that a longer resume can create more keyword density and is likely to be scored higher by the Applicant Tracking System. Optimizing your resume with targeted keywords from the job ad is an excellent strategy when you are trying to work less at your job search. A keyword-dense resume will help recruiters find and contact you instead of the other way around.

In this digital job market each resume must be targeted to the job advertisement keywords.

 

Why are “keywords” so crucial in today’s job search?

Even though you must first know what problems companies in your target industry are having that they need to solve in order to sell your skills to them, using the right keywords is the first ticket to the interview because they will be reviewed and selected by a software search string (whatever the recruiter or hiring managers enter). Keywords are job-specific terms, industry-specific language and abbreviation, jargon, acronyms, and even buzzwords.” Keywords in a resume should mirror the industry and employer language. See some examples of industry keywords below that should also be inserted into LinkedIn and your resume to help them match you to open jobs.

  • Degrees (e.g., “MBA,” “BA in Business Administration with a Minor in Marketing”)
  • Industry Certifications (e.g., “CCNA,” “CPA,” “CFA,” “MCP” “CPRW” “NCRW” “ACRW”)
  • Job Titles (e.g., “District Manager,” “Pharmaceutical Sales,” “Administrative Assistant,” “Operations Manager”)
  • Job Functions (e.g., “Office Management,” “Payroll,” “Grant Writing”)
  • Computer Applications (e.g., “MS Office Suite,” “Word,” “Excel” “PowerPoint” “Publisher” “Visual Basic” “VBScript”)
  • Industry-Specific Terms and Programs    (e.g., “Six Sigma Black Belt,” “HIPAA Compliant”)
  • Employer or School Names (Names of employers are used to recruit from the competition)
  • Hard Skills (e.g., “Web Development,” “Network Security,” “Accounting”)
  • Soft Skills (e.g., “Teambuilding,” “Problem-Solving”)

 

Keyword Stuffing

When stuffing your LinkedIn profile and resume with job-specific keywords you should always try to follow the writing methods that professional resume writers use to maximize keyword density. They include all possible formats of the keyword somewhere on your resume.

For example, here’s how a professional with an MBA listed this qualification on her resume:

UNIVERSITY NAME – City, ST

Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2004

Earned a master’s degree in business administration while working full-time.

In the example above both “MBA,” “Master of Business Administration,” and “master’s degree” were included, so that regardless of how a recruiter entered this keyword combination during a search, their resume would be “found” and register a “hit.”

 

One warning: DO NOT type in additional keywords in a white colored font to attempt to game the system by making the extra keywords invisible to the human eye. The ATS will still be able to read them in the underlying code. The reason I say this is because when the recruiter receives your resume it will be sent as an image with all of the keywords the recruiter selected (and you typed in white) highlighted in yellow. You will be BUSTED, and never to be trusted, and it is very likely that your resume will wind up in the trash.

 

 

How do I know if a small company is using an ATS to sort through resumes?

From our research as well as colleague Pat Criscito’s extensive research and ATS Engineer interviews we know that “100% of Fortune 1000 companies use ATS and 80% of small/medium businesses use them (100 to 15,000 employees).” We know for a fact that small companies create more jobs in the U.S. than larger companies. We should also keep in mind that many companies outsource their hiring tasks to recruiters and almost 100% of them use Applicant Tracking Software.

So the bottom line is that there may be many companies and individuals out here trying to sell you on using a one page-resume, or putting your photo into the resume, or promising you a great resume in one day for $49-99. These should be seen as red flags and possible scams. Our most recent client paid a company that said they were in California $250 for a resume and from the language and grammar used in the resume she said she realized they were probably somewhere overseas and that she had been scammed. She then had to pay us to write her a modern professional resume that she could be proud to use in her job search. She wound up spending about $600 by trying to save a few bucks and not doing her research online. When searching for writing professionals, one should not only search google but also search industry websites like The NRWA’s professional resume writer listings where many of the writers have been helping job seekers for decades. Remember that not everyone that hangs an internet shingle up is authentic, professional, and experienced. Do you want to trust your chances at getting called for the interview to just anyone?

Best of luck in your job search!  

 

About the author

Mill Montejo is a tech-savvy résumé & LinkedIn profile writer, an active member of The National Résumé Writers Association. She runs a small home-based business with a small team of writers in the Greater NYC area serving jobseekers in NY/NJ as well as from across the country via remote screen share & web chat. Changing careers? Need your career documents modernized or infused with industry keywords? Contact Mill at https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form

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 

My 2017 Reflections Guide For an Improved Me (Grab a Free Copy)

Happy New Year 2017!  
Answer the questions to help you reflect and improve in the new year!

One last parting gift to help you bust into 2017.

We wanted to give our clients and followers with an adapted guide from one that has been used successfully by many people in 12 step fellowships to get to the heart of the issues in their lives that might be holding them back. While we make no express claims or guarantees about using the guide in our free resources and tools section, we do feel it is a good place to start in getting to the root of what could be holding you back from career and success in general. Take a look at some of the following questions you will answer as you work through the guide and if you would like to see more and give it a try just follow the link to the download page.

 

1) Am I generally restless, irritable (which means “easily annoyed”) and discontented

(which means “never satisfied”)? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I experience these feelings often? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I feel like I never belong or that I am not a part of, even at work or home? YES _____ NO_____.

Am I usually uncomfortable in my own skin? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I experience an ongoing sense of sadness? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I often feel like “something is missing”? YES

Does there always seem to be the same thing bothering me? YES _____ NO_____.

Can I easily solve a problem YES _____ NO_____.

Or does the problem linger for months or even years? YES _____ NO_____.

2) Am I having trouble managing my personal relationships?

Do I take care for others too much, to the point where I neglect to do the things I need to do to take care of myself? YES _____ NO_____.

Is there anyone in my life that dominates my thoughts, my actions or how I feel? YES_____NO_____.

Is there anyone in my life who is controlling me through their actions?

YES _____NO_____.

Do I snap at people or talk harshly? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I find I disagree with most people? YES _____ NO_____.

Do I always want things my own way? YES _____ NO_____.

Is there a personal or work relationship that ended that I refuse to give up on? YES _____ NO_____.

If so, do I keep trying to find ways to contact or see this person or company?

YES _____ NO_____.

Am I happy with the way things are in my current relationship or work status?

 

*If you would like to see more and give it a try just click the image below to the free tools download page*

*This guide is on the last 2 files at the bottom in both PDF and Word formats*

My 2017 Reflections Guide For An Improved Me

2017 Reflections Guide For An Improved Me

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.