How To Write Effective Resumes For Better Careers

Whether you are currently unemployed, underemployed or possibly still a student searching for a job, a well-written and formatted resume will help you land the best job for your qualifications.  Creating an impressive resume is a critical skill which will enable you to move up in your chosen career field.

Many highly skilled and knowledgeable adults are underemployed in America.  One contributing factor to this problem is an inability to present your value to the prospective employer in a resume.  This is something that you can fix in a day or so with some good training.

Maybe you have decided to pursue a higher paying position after reading my post 5 Better Solutions Than A More Competitive Minimum Wage.  Perhaps you don’t currently have a job.  Until you land a job, hunting for a job is your job.  Either way, a well-written resume is one of the tools you will use to land the ideal position.

A Well-Written Resume Leads to Interviews

Maybe you have applied for positions, but not received a callback, invitation for an interview, or job offer.   The cause might be that your resume does not adequately convey your unique qualities to your desired employer.  Reshaping a resume to emphasize your strong points pertaining to the position you desire doesn’t take long.A Well-Written Resume Leads to Interviews Click To Tweet

There are a myriad of preferences that hiring managers might want to see.  Having served in the process of hiring about 400 employees, I have seen a range of resume styles and qualities.

Throughout the process of hiring all those people, I had weekly meetings with our recruiters and dealt daily with the hiring managers of various departments to get the best candidate for each slot.  The number of times that I had to go to the recruiters asking for a specific application of a candidate known by a reputable employee was staggering.

When I reviewed these resumes, it was hard to understand why the recruiters did not send it up with the rest.  A couple of common reasons were recurring.  One was that applicants did not apply for the position that the hiring manager was filling.  If this fits your situation, my suggestion is to stay in touch with any contact that you have at a company where you applied and make sure that the human resources/recruiters have your application aligned to the correct position.  This is hard to do from outside.  Let your contact help you.  You know what they say about “…it’s who you know”.

Keep in touch with hiring managers and HR to ensure you have applied for the correct position.

Resume Writing Assistance

There are lots of places to find basic guidance on writing a resume.  Templates are available in most word processors and from plenty of sources online. This post is intended to help you take a basic resume and make it effective with a few tweaks.

I have had my resume reviewed by a couple of groups that offered the service for free and have gained some valuable writing skills in the process.  You can find plenty by googling ‘resume review’.  I used a service tailored for veterans by Orion International.

There are a lot of people between the hiring manager and the screening machine.  The manager has a job to do that does not include programming the recruiting website.  Some companies even outsource applicant screening to a completely different company.  Many of the online recruiting sites use one of very few tools.

A Well-Written Resume Leads to Interviews

Adjust your resume to the position you are applying for

Getting Your Resume Seen by a Human

One of the rising problems a job seeker has to contend with is employer’s increased use of automated resume screening programs before a human actually lays eyes on your application.  If your resume does not get past the screening machine, a person will never see it, much less the right person.  The only potential candidates the hiring manager even has the opportunity to look at are those that got past the screening software.  So those machines are hindering both ways.  Keeping well-qualified applicants out and preventing hiring managers from seeing them.

These tools only see the words of your resume, not the layout, font, paper quality or all the other aspects that have an appeal to a manager.  With that in mind, it might be a good idea to present a hard copy of your best-looking resume into the hands of the hiring manager.  Bring a few copies to all interviews.

With automation currently being used by hiring companies, resumes now have an additional challenge of getting past an automated screening program.  Now I will introduce you to a tool that I have seen work very well with this part of the problem.

On-Line Resume Evaluating Tool

After I completed my Master’s Degree, Trident University sponsored a webinar demonstrating the automated resume reviewing process.  The tool that was introduced during this webinar is called Jobscan.  I have used the tool a few times to get past the automated scanner.  You simply copy and paste your resume in one box, and the job description you are applying for in the other box in the tool.  The tool shows you how well your resume matches the job description.  At that point, present your skills and abilities using the same key words that the screening computer is looking for in your resume.

Let’s talk about the advantages of jobscan.  As I said before, I have had and seen success by using this tool.  The first application I used it on resulted in a returned email offering an interview with a recruiter in the company that I applied for.

Don’t you get tired of seeing computer generated email responses to your applications?  They might say something like, “sorry your resume does not indicate that you have the qualifications for this position”?  That can be so aggravating when you know that you have done a similar job already and it is on your resume.  The problem is that the machine can only match words; it does not have cognitive ability to recognize synonyms for the word it is searching for.

Using Jobscan

Jobscan can help you get by that.  The way to make it work for you is to have a master resume that you have written and had reviewed by a trusted expert.  These people are easy to find online.  They like to help job hunters connect with employers and will not only help you get your resume in good shape, they will get your resume in front of employers that will compensate them for screening resume and pitching good candidates their way.

Take that master resume and put it into jobscan with the position you are applying for and then save a copy of your master resume with a name that will let you know what job you are editing for.  Now make adjustments based on the results you got from jobscan.  Think of jobscan as a thesaurus and state your same experience using the words that the screening machine will be searching for.  It is that easy.  Let me know how that improves the responses you get from employers.  You might want to go back to the past 10 or so jobs you have applied for and try again with a revised resume using jobscan.

It’s worth the effort

You might be thinking that you don’t want to waste time editing your resume for every job. And you make a good point that this will take a little extra time.  First, like any other skill, you will get quicker at it the more you use it.  Think about this.  Why waste time going through the long process of applying online just to be rejected by a stupid machine?  Investing a little time adjusting your resume to pass the screening process will be well spent once those offers start coming in.

Jobscan will let you submit a certain number of job posts for free!  This is great if you are ‘keeping an eye out’ for a better position.  This is the mode that I have been in.  However, if you are in the hunt for a new position, you can subscribe for unlimited use of the tool.  If you are in need of a new job for whatever reason, this might be some of the best money you have spent.  Check with your tax adviser, but I know that certain job hunting expenses are deductible on your taxes.  I’m pretty sure that the jobscan expense would qualify for that.  Be sure to confirm that with a tax professional.  In my case, working on a government contract, there is always the possibility that you will need a new job on short notice.

 Summary of Steps

Start here once you have the basics and use these tips to go from well written basic resume to a Job-scoring masterpiece

Align your Resume to the position you are applying for and make sure you apply for a specific job.  Although the career sections of a company’s website tells you that they will refer your package to open positions, you want to apply for specific positions.Align your Resume to the position you are applying for Click To Tweet

The next step once your resume does its job is to present yourself to the hiring manager.  This might call for phone skills or in person interview skills. We’ll cover that in another blog post.

Match the words used to describe your skills and experience found in the job advertisement you are applying for.  Have a master resume that contains all the important components and represents you well.

Make sure you tailor your resume and apply for every position that you want to be hired for.

Provide an aesthetically pleasing version of your resume to anyone you know at the company you are applying at.  The HR department and automated system can only do so much.  The Hiring manager’s impression of you based on the resume counts.

You can hire experts to smooth your resume and make it appear more professional.  If it lands the right job, then it is money well spent.  Investing a little time and energy to learn how to make it effective also goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

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