We are very consistently asked to review and comment on resumes - with good reason, we see a ton of them. Quite honestly, we know what hiring managers like to see - for the most part. You will read tons of articles on crafting the perfect resume and format, layout, white space, objective or no objective and how many pages it should be. Trust me, everyone you talk to will have an opinion, and the only opinion that truly matters is that of the hiring manager. But there are some very basic things that I like to share with people, and I hope they are helpful.
- You had better know the information that is shown on your resume inside and out. Oftentimes people enlist the help of their friends, family, colleagues and recruiters to help them write their resume, and when they do they often take it back and never review it. Seriously, I have seen this happen a LOT. You need to not only know everything listed, but you need to be able to speak to all of it as well.
- Know that your resume is never "complete". Your resume is being worked on until you find a job. Otherwise, you are relying on it to get you to a place that it has yet to get you to. The mission is not accomplished until you land the role that you are looking for, so don't be afraid to change wording around and add skills you possess as you look at new job descriptions.
- You are looking for new job; therefore, use the descriptions of the job to help you understand what people are looking for in their next hire. In other words, read job descriptions, lots of them, and use those words to craft your resume. If you are using stale or outdated verbiage or relying on the internal nomenclature that is relevant only to your last company, you are likely missing the target role and the target audience.
- Be open to criticism. Good or bad, it is better than no response at all. Get all the advice you can get and make sure you are prepared for honest critics. If you are able to get people to give you a reply on your resume, it carries a lot more weight than those who say nothing - take it for what it is worth and see if their advice can be used to your advantage. The offense comes when you get no response, not when people are trying to offer helpful insight or suggestions.
- You should worry about white space, formatting, layout and all the other things you have been told are important. Though these things are all important, nothing is more important than content. Don't use too many cliches, don't use too many adjectives and don't use words that you are not comfortable using in your normal conversations with people. Don't go back more than 10 years unless there is relevance to going back further. For example, there is relevance when you went from working on the help desk to being CIO, and now you are looking to be a COO. There is no relevance when you were on the help desk 10 years ago and you still are today. Nothing is right or wrong with either of those scenarios, but if you show career progression and need to advertise that in order to get the role you are looking for, then show it - if what you are looking to do next is either the next natural step or falls in line with what you have recently been doing, then leave anything past 10 years off the resume.
Here are some other articles I found to be good on the topic. By the way, always open to criticism - share your thoughts!
Phoenix Staff Selects Tech-Savvy Austin, Texas, for Third Location
Professional staffing and recruitment firm Phoenix Staff Inc. has announced plans to open a third regional office in Austin, Texas on June 2. Along with offices currently in Phoenix and Las Vegas, Phoenix Staff’s move into Austin positions the company to offer candidates and customers increased exposure and relocation potential within three opportunity-rich markets. Phoenix Staff specializes in professional recruitment and hiring within the information technology industry.
According to Phoenix Staff President Allen Plunkett, Regional Director Keith Bailly has been named to head up the Austin location. Bailly comes to the position from the company’s Las Vegas regional office, where he was instrumental in establishing its strong presence in that market.
Regarding Phoenix Staff’s new location in Austin, Keith commented, “Austin affords us an opportunity to expand our reach into a market that has stellar tech talent, robust economic growth and an educational system that fosters a sense of community involvement and engagement with the businesses in the area. Expanding to Austin is a logical thing for us and definitely brings us a higher level of exposure to the people we serve.”
The announcement comes as Phoenix Staff Inc. is making plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary in December of this year. Launched by Plunkett in the Phoenix area in 2002, the company expanded to Las Vegas in 2005.
When asked about plans for other office locations in the future, Plunkett replied, “We will see great things from Austin and will look forward to other regional offices in the very near future. Our goal is to have even more options available regionally as the candidate market continues to get more competitive”
Phoenix Staff was founded to fill what Plunkett believes is a need for a deeply hands-on approach to professional placement. Company personnel work closely with clients and customers over long periods of time to refine goals and develop an understanding of where each candidate would best fit from a holistic perspective.
With its emphasis on placement as a process, Phoenix Staff’s approach hopes to go beyond information found in typical resumes and job postings to hone a vision of career development, harmonious corporate culture and mutually beneficial, relationship-focused outcomes.
Further company information and regional office addresses can be found at the company’s website, http://www.phoenixstaff.com/.
As witnessed on the reality show “Undercover Boss” tonight, a company executive can learn a lot about themselves by working in the field with their people. They set out to make what they believe will be the most important discoveries they can make as an Executive, whether their message is reaching the employees and with what “filter”. The message tonight from Mr. Cloobeck was that YES is the motto of the company. The great thing about this episode is that you believed - entirely - that he was in charge of his company. I have always watched the show wondering how a CEO could allow certain things to happen, not tonight!
Stephen Cloobeck is a very genuine and very interested ‘boss’. What he learned on the show is that even with his message being delivered to all levels of the organization, there are some aspects that are missed. More importantly, however, he learned and we witnessed that this was a less important discovery. By working with his people, Mr. Cloobeck gathered insight that can help him and the company grow and gain even more traction. He was also learning about the values that drive his people and which will ultimately help him retain his most valuable asset, his employees.
Glad to count DRI as one of our customer's - they made it easier to recruit for them by showing their CEO "in the trenches" and displaying that his heart and soul really are the fiber of the company he is building.
Kudos to Undercover Boss for getting it right this time.
Even in a robust economy, at least 70 percent of corporate positions are landed because of someone you know, according to several data sources. In a weak economy, the adage is never more true, especially for entrepreneurs and the self-employed, whose business survival is directly related to each contact and sale that can be generated.
Social networking has increased dramatically since the economic downfall in 2008. However, those who are thriving have learned that networking is more than just filling a contact list with names and numbers. It is about making personal connections, building relationships and offering reciprocal help even when there is nothing to gain in the short term.
In 2005, entrepreneur Keith Ferrazzi explored in his engaging book, Never Eat Alone, how successful business professionals are able to flip new acquaintances into life-altering relationships. Ferrazzi contends that the primary difference between networking and connecting is the ability to help others build their networks while simultaneously building your own. By passing on knowledge gained, others will be more willing to share their knowledge with you. Success fundamentally rests not only on the ability to reach out to other people but also to build real connections. Ferrazzi calls this genuine relationship building.
This concept of quid pro quo has been around as long as business relationships have existed. The point is to not keep score, to reach out when you do not need something, to help whenever you can. It is important to identify what your colleagues need, then offer creative, valuable solutions. This can be as simple as sharing a link on Facebook to a recent research study in their industry, referring a client to their services or just being there to listen and brainstorm.
This idea of networking through relationship building is one reason why professional social sites, such as LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo and Plaxo, have experienced such phenomenal success in the past few years. LinkedIn is growing by 1 million users ever week, while a new Social Recruiting Survey by Jobvite [http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/07/12/report-percentage-of-companies-recruiting-on-facebook-stagnates-growing-just-0-7-this-year/] indicates that nearly 87 percent of businesses actively recruit using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s Press Center [http://press.linkedin.com/success-stories] recently released several success stories, including an Italian lawyer who has converted 70 percent of his international connections into clients, as well as an American entrepreneur who landed an executive position with IBM through his profile. Each story contains one similar element – they all focused on developing quality relationships with each person they befriended rather than just amassing a large number of nameless followers.
Many more of these stories exist and will grow. I would love to hear from you about your own.