Hollie Baker, Associate
GIGO and ATS
Many years ago the term "GIGO" reminded us that not all we see on the internet, on a report or in the media is true or accurate. "GIGO" means "Garbage In, Garbage Out". We should consider the source of information. Online searches often yield opposing views on the same topic. One such topic is how your resume may be read by an "ATS" (Applicant Tracking System). There are often questions about the use of underlining, bold type, italics, margins, headers and footers, text boxes, tables, the list goes on.
What I KNOW is the resume format we use WILL be read by the ATSs. One example that confirms this: I received a call from a professional in the medical field who wanted to relocate. He submitted his resume to several companies but had not been contacted for an interview. He was frustrated and felt his resume was "not making it passed the 'BOTS'". (His slang for robots aka ATS.) He hired Custom Resume Writer. I emailed his new resume at 8 p.m., he applied with it and before 10 a.m. the following morning he had a phone interview scheduled which led to a face-to-face meeting. He was thrilled! We want YOU to be thrilled with responses to your resume!
Call us! 903-574-5154
SPELLING & GRAMMAR REVIEW
If posting or commenting on posts consider using a spelling and grammar review feature or app. Grammarly is a free app that will alert you if there are errors in your writing. Since many people use LinkedIn to search for jobs and to network, it is paramount their comments are free of errors. The most recent comment I read was very short but had 3 spelling issues. That comment did not reflect a good first or best impression.
This is an easy fix, and IT MATTERS!
With the restructuring of companies or changes in ownership, there are often jobs lost. It is essential you have the following documents on your PERSONAL computer, on your phone (or AT LEAST a paper copy):
The information they contain is vital and will help as you move forward with a GREAT NEW RESUME!
"Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid" -
excerpts from article in Business News Daily
Not following instructions
I just hired an assistant and had to review over 250 resumes and cover letters for this position. My ad asked to not send a generic cover letter and to visit our website and explain why their skills are a good fit for us. Seventy percent of the time they'd shoot off a non-customized resume, and 90 percent of the time they wouldn't include a cover letter. Because of this lack of following it weeded out a huge portion of applicants. - Julie Weinhouse, principal at HERO Entertainment Marketing.
The rest of the list...
- Nondescript objectives
- Small fonts
- Formatting problems
- Colored resume paper
- Using the wrong tense
- Not listing details
- A bad resume name
- No photos, please
Your résumé will only be as good as the information you provide.
If you are engaging someone to write your résumé, be ready to provide the information they request in a timely manner to expedite your project. The differences in the communication style of clients are very interesting. We might get a 2 or 3 line response to "what did you accomplish in that job?" OR we might receive several paragraphs to pare down to the 'meat' of the matter.
Although industry 'jargon' may be perfectly fine for the understanding of a first-line supervisor, don't forget there can be one or more levels (of people OR screening software) that will have to pass your résumé on to that person. Using proper terminology and spelling out acronyms is crucial. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. It is much more impressive to say "increased sales by 50% in first year of business" than to simply say "grew business."
If you have more than a few training courses and certifications, you can save yourself (and your résumé writer) time by simply providing copies of the certificates or cards. This helps ensure accuracy of the course or certificate names, the date issued and by whom, and whether or not they are current or expired.
I hope these tips will help as you gather information for your professional résumé!
Prepared for your interview?
Are you spending enough time in preparation for an interview? Do you have 'prepared talking points?' Have you formulated an answer for the most commonly asked questions to avoid stumbling when asked? Have you brought additional information (in writing) to share with the interviewer? Have you watched interviews on YouTube to see "do's and don'ts"?
"Custom Résumé Writer" can help you find creative ways to be a stand out!
Job Search Resources
Are you at a crossroad in your employment? Do you know which path to take? Looking for more than "just a job?" Have you explored several options? Have you considered aptitude testing to see what your strengths are and what job would be most fulfilling for you?
Do you know about the wealth of FREE resources such as job search sites? Some sites are specific to certain industries, so gone are the days when you can just choose a ‘one size fits all’ site.
Search engines are full of important information from articles about the latest trends in employment to reviews of your potential employer. Books can also guide you in your quest for something new!
Have you considered using an agency? Do you know how they work? Do you know which agency would be best suited for you?
If you need more information about HOW to search for your next employment opportunity, we offer one-on-one help with job search resources.
This may seem obvious, but it is very important.
Your job search documents must not contain one typo, one misspelling or one usage error. Your proper use of the language conveys your intelligence and maturity. When a hiring manager gives your résumé look, be sure there aren't cliches and over-used terms that immediately make him/her think "This looks no different than the boring résumés I've read before."
Always use Action Words
Your résumé should describe what you have accomplished in your job
and let the reader know what skills you have. In other words, what makes you qualified for the job for which you are applying?
A common mistake in résumés is simply listing your job duties or responsibilities instead of your accomplishments and results.
Below is a list of some action words that are effective. How could you use these to describe YOUR work?
Check to be sure the verbs are in the proper tense. Example: Use present tense if describing your accomplishments in a job you still hold. Likewise, use past tense in describing previous jobs.
"White space" is important for your documents to be easily read. You do not need to fill the page with words.
You might consider separating your experience into more than one category such as "Relevant Experience" and "Other Experience" if some of your employment is not related to the job for which you are applying.
Good cover letters are valuable selling tools.
Are you getting interviews when you have the experience and talent to do the job? Many times hiring professionals will reject résumés that have cover letter problems. Even if your résumé is great, you may need professional help with your cover letter.