Recently Vault.com and SixFigureStart teamed up to host an Ask Anything teleclass. We received over 200 questions!
Here are some on resumes:
Amanda asks: …do employers like to see an objective/profile on a resume?
Some employers like it and some don’t. This is true, not just of the objective or of resume issues but most everything in the job search. The reality is, there is no one way, and employers and recruiters will not agree 100%. What employers/ recruiters can agree on, however, is that succinct is best, and everything on the resume should count. So if you decide to go with an objective, make sure it’s clear and positions you effectively.
The major benefit of an objective: it states clearly what you are looking for and therefore the resume reader knows what to consider you for.
The major downside of an objective: it states clearly what you are looking for so the reader will consider you just for that, rather than a possibly similar but not quite matching job that is available.
John asks: Could you also give a bit of a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the resume management software that larger corporations typically use to filter and prioritize resumes using keywords?
Companies use different things, including no filter or software. I have recruited for large, global, Fortune 500 firms that did not use any type of software. However, in places that didn’t have a technology filter in place, I would often manually filter resumes looking for certain keywords. These words would vary based on the search.
And therein lies the answer for the jobseeker for firms that use automatic or even manual filters: your resume should have the keywords that are relevant for your skills, qualifications and interests. Make sure to list specific technical skills, industry buzzwords and jargon that are searchable, and any credentials/ certificates/ training spelled out. You may not know exactly how the companies are searching, but they are searching, so include those searchable terms in your resume.
Adam asks: How can I really make my resume stand out and get a call? What are recruiters looking for when combing through resumes? Basically, how do I increase my chances of getting an interview?
Less than 20% of jobs are filled from job postings.
So the best way to increase your chances is to move beyond answering job ads and hoping recruiters will call.
Network, get introductions, contact decision-makers directly. The resumes that stand out and get called fit the job requirements exactly. If you are doing the exact same job for a key competitor, you will likely be called in for an interview. If you are crossing industries, coming back from time off, currently unemployed, you have red flags on your resume. This doesn’t mean you don’t deserve an interview or won’t get one. It just means you are less likely to get one from the strength of your resume alone. So get off your computer and meet with people and access the 80%+ jobs that are filled outside of postings.
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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and Vault.com.
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