Writing a Resume Tips For Job Seekers Directly From Recruiters

The Business of Recruiting: A colleague of mine works for a major glass manufacturer in purchasing. The global company’s in-house recruiting department, like most, uses two things to recruit for open positions: recruiting software/automated tracking system (ATS) and a third party recruitment process outsourcing company (RPO.) In the last six months alone she has referred three candidates for open positions who did not make it past the initial screening by the RPO. Two of them got the job. Closer examination of why this occurred revealed that the candidate did not have well written resumes. In the words of an executive recruiter, “Unfortunately great candidates do not always put together great resumes so they may not get through the auto screening process.”

A good recruiter realizes that the ATS and RPO are tools that support them in finding good candidates for their open position. In the healthcare industry, one open position garners as many as 300 resumes of many unqualified candidates. Recruiters have to rely more heavily on the tools to help them manage through the sifting for a qualified candidate. Additionally, both in-house and third party recruiters often times have broad search assignments and a large number of open positions on their plates. Recruiters are measured and compensated on placement, so the sooner they get a new hire in the door the better. Keep in mind, however, that the recruiter is just the initial gateway to getting a job offer; the hiring manager makes the decision. Many times, recruiters do not have enough in-depth technical skills to really understand what they are looking for and therefore cannot decipher a bad resume when a great candidate is behind it. This is when they start relying solely on ATS searches by using keywords. The more technical or specialized your profession, the more likely it is that the recruiter will use the ATS system more heavily to screen candidates. Thus if you have a bad resume, your chances of being selected are slim. The business of recruiting is a difficult one, make no mistake about it. They, too, are trying to do much more with much less and have a tremendous amount of responsibility on their plates. They are required to have technical knowledge of the job, the recruiting and HR field, and the candidate. The easier you make their job, the more likely it is they will find you. The way to do this is to have a great resume.

Elements of a Great Resume: The number of people I talk to in a week who tell me they don’t have the “time” to put into researching companies and jobs in the hidden job market is astonishing. If you are a job candidate who is willing to put some elbow grease into your job search then you are already ahead of many. It is a full time job to find a full time job. It’s hard work, too. However, having the right tools to get the job done will make the search go more smoothly and much quicker. The main tool in your toolbox – you guessed it – your resume.

The resume is designed to give the reader a summary of your career. Note the key word – summary. Recruiters do not like, let alone pay attention to, resumes that are long winded, too detailed, not detailed enough or read like a job description. They want to see word jump out at them, first through their ATS software then in print. Keep in mind that they want to find you as much as you want to be found and the more concise your resume is, the higher the chances are that will happen.

SWOT Analysis: The first step to a great resume starts with an assessment of your strengths and what sets you apart from other candidates. The SWOT analysis, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, is a great tool to use to do this. This is a critical piece of the resume and one many candidates miss. It can also be the hardest for the job seeker to assess, so take great time and care completing this exercise. Identifying where your skill gaps are relative to the job you are looking at can be helpful in deciding whether you should even apply for it. Don’t waste your time or the recruiters. Opportunities are where you can identify skills that can be transitioned to another industry or field. Threats can help you assess the changing dynamics of the job market in the field you are pursuing and will help you make adjustments to your resume.

S.W.O.T. Analysis

Strengths – What am I good at and/or want do I want to continue doing?

Weaknesses – What do I not like to do or am not good at? Where do I need more training and focus? What do I not want to do anymore?

Opportunities – What careers/jobs are available in my current profession? What careers/jobs are available in a profession I’m interested in?

What are the threats preventing me from getting a job in my current field? In the field I want to go into?

Format: You have three choices in formatting the summary of your career: chronological, function and a combination of both, or hybrid.

Chronological Resume: The traditional and most commonly used format for resumes is the chronological resume. This type of resume is organized by your employment history in reverse chronological order, with job titles/names of employers/locations of employers/dates of employment/ accomplishments, working backward. A standard chronological resume is the appropriate format if most or all of your experience has been in one field, you have no large employment gaps, and you plan to stay in that same field.

Functional Resume: The resume format that is appropriate for job seekers with a limited job history, a sporadic job history, or a job history in a different career field. The functional format organizes your resumes by skills and functions categories. In a purely functional resume, company names, employment dates, and position titles are omitted in the category and presented in summary at the end.

The Hybrid: Is just what the name implies – a combination of both.

More than One Format? Your resume is one of the most fundamental tools of so take the time and care to develop the best resume based on your previous work experience and job-search aspirations. You are going to need to be flexible so have one of each prepared so that you can either at your fingertips for whichever format your audience is requesting.

Contact Information: Your contact information should be simple and concise. Your name, address, ONE phone number with a professional voicemail message, email address and a link to your LinkedIn profile. You should have a professional profile, particularly if you are more technical and specialized. You can give the reader more information about your career through a professional profile and you will make it easy for them to find you by providing them that link.

Resume Title: A resume title sets the tone for the entire resume and should contain a keyword that is critical to the job you seek. It is an opportunity for you to present yourself at a professional level rather than starting out with an objective, which is only appropriate for those just entering the professional realm. It gives the reader a sense of your confidence and allows him/her to know what you do within a split second.

Professional Summary: Create a robust Professional Summary that supports the title. It should be one fluid, descriptive paragraph highlighting your experience in your field and overall results you have achieved with your education and work experience. Find keywords that are typical and critical to your expertise.

Content: Based on the results of your SWOT analysis, make a list of all of your strengths. Make a list of your job responsibilities in each position you’ve held. If you have trouble remembering or coming up with a comprehensive list, do a search for that particular job or job title on an online job search engine such as indeed.com or simplyhired.com and compare job postings with jobs you have done in the past; it will help jog your memory.

Core Competencies: Pull a list of core competencies out of the summary and make it a separate category so the reader has an easier time visually pulling that information out. Core competencies should be specialized skills you have that are part of your strength list from your SWOT analysis. In other words, this is your opportunity to list some of the skills that make you unique from other candidates. It should be a bulleted list of no more than 9 so you do not double dip in the rest of your resume or overwhelm the reader.

Professional Experience: The format of your Professional Experience should address three main areas: The challenge to be solved; the action you took to solve it, the results of your actions. Write a sentence or two describing the company you work(ed) for; what they do and how they serve their customer. If you have chosen a functional resume you will want to write a full sentence on a specific expertise you possess within the functional category; spell out for the reader why you consider yourself an expert in that function. It will bring a link between your responsibility and your contribution to the firm. Write a brief summary of your responsibilities and actions, and then give the results in a bulleted list under each job. Results should include hard numbers and show the reader how you added revenue or reduced cost in some way. Going back to your SWOT analysis, quantify your results for the reader and make it easy for a hiring manager to see what you achieved in each position you held.

When writing the action you took to get from the responsibility to the result, make sure you connect the dots for the reader. Instead of saying you are a team player, state that you “partnered with the accounting department and resolved invoices that were over 90 days old, resulting in a 64% increase in collections.” Tell the reader what you did and what result came from your actions. It makes a huge difference.

Tell a story and bring your resume to life: There is nothing better than a visual snapshot of ones professional career to spark a recruiter to take action. If you dusted off your old document and brought it up to date, you are sunk before you even sail. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and think about the last time the written word caught your eye. What was it about the piece that grabbed your attention? What compelled you to read on and find out what was behind the headline? What words provoked you to think or imagine the story as you read along? When writing your resume, do the same for the reader and make the document something they can imagine and get excited about.

Preparation is the Best Job Interview Tip

Perhaps the best job interview tip you’ll ever get is to be well prepared to answer any question that could be asked at a job interview. Questions are used to learn more about you and get to know you. An interviewer’s first goal is to determine whether you’ll be an asset to the company in regards to both your skills and your ability to effectively work with other members of their team. While preparing your clothing for the interview is important, you’re time is better spent preparing for questions that will definitely be asked at the interview sessions. Remember, you can always borrow clothes from a relative or friend, but they can’t help you in the interview room. Never forget this important job interview tip.

In most job interviews, there will be some questions regarding your past work history. This is usually the first place an interviewer starts questioning which makes perfect sense. After all, the company is more interested in your skills and experience and how they can benefit their business than how likeable you are.

Since how you respond to the questions is really important, you should prepare these answers before you step into the meeting room. Some other common questions you might be asked are:

  • Names of previous employers, title or positions held, and specific dates of employment.
  • Expectations you had of previous positions and if they were met by the job.
  • Previous salary as well as any salary increases
  • Job responsibilities, what you liked or disliked, rewarding aspects of the position, accomplishments or failures.
  • Expectations from your supervisors and co-workers.

Remember; never speak poorly about previous supervisors or coworkers. If your opinion is not favorable, say nothing at all. In this case it’s best to just stick to the facts without any elaborations.

To get a clear picture of what a job interview might be like, imagine yourself being examined under a magnifying glass. It probably took a long time for you to allow your best friend to know you well, but during an interview, a great deal will be revealed.

There’s no cause for concern about these questions. They will all refer to your professional abilities, never anything personal. While interviewing you should look for ways to turn some of your negative attributes into more positive ones. Remember, nothing about your personal life will be discussed. Here are a few questions that will likely be asked:

  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What schedules have you worked in past positions and average hours worked each week?
  • How well do you handle pressure and stress on the job?
  • What kind of salary do you expect?
  • What process do you use to make difficult decisions?
  • What are your personal motivations and desires regarding your career?

The last question and probably the most important of all will be to give a description of yourself. You should definitely take a modest approach while being careful not to overly downplay any of your accomplishments. You might decide to use what’s called the elevator pitch, keeping your answer short, simple, and to the point.

Once you reach this part of the interview, there’s a good chance that you’ll be questioned to learn exactly what you know about the position and the company. Before the interview, make sure you do some research and learn at least a little bit regarding the company’s history, reputation, mission, culture, and any other information that may be pertinent. Additionally, you should have an idea of how you will be able to fill the position that you’re applying for. There are questions you should be prepared for during this portion of the interview. Expect to answer questions such as:

  • What are your expectations regarding the salary, position, supervisors and co-workers?
  • Why do you want to work for the company, except for the fact that you are underemployed or unemployed?
  • What personal characteristics and professional experience are you bringing that will make you a perfect fit for the position?
  • What are you able to do for the company?

In order for the interviewer to accurately assess your skills, capabilities, and abilities in order to determine whether you are right for their company, you should answer these questions honestly.

As the time approaches for a job interview, you should spend time preparing yourself. This will mean preparing answers to these common questions before the interview so you can answer as honestly and accurately as possible. You don’t want to worry about remembering lies that may expose you in front of the person interviewing you when the truth will be fine. Perhaps the simplest and most important job interview tip is to always be truthful when answering questions.

Offshore Jobs Interview Tips

Getting offshore job for new graduate is as simple as getting other job if you know the tips. I will share my experience how to face the process with you. Interviews process is the second step in getting offshore jobs where you will meet the potential employers after the first step that an applicant has successfully completed sending the application and passed the screening process of the company.

The offshore companies usually get the resumes of the candidates by several of sources such as news paper advertisement, campus fair, a referral from your senior or lecturer, or by a person who simply submitted an application by logging on the company website.

Here are tips that will help in having a successful offshore jobs interview for new graduate;

  • Please remember when you are taking the phone call or any invitation method, please do not forget to get the company name, business involve, contact person, email address, and phone number.
  • Some days before meeting the interviewer, it is strongly recommended to do some research about the company.
  • You have to prepare for general question that usually being asked in the meeting such as: What is your strength point and weakness point, why you want to join this offshore company, how long you will be stay with the company, salary expectation, etc.
  • Try to practice with friends or families member to mock up questions that the employer will likely ask so you do not choke during the real time.
  • You have to arrive 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time to give you enough time to relax and to show to the employers that you are a punctual guy, as you know that offshore jobs needs punctual time and downtime for some minutes will cause the company losing thousands of dollars.
  • Bring an extra copy of the resume and other documents that are needed, some time it will be useful for you.
  • Dress appropriately. This shows the employer sincerity on the part of the applicant applying for the job. The outfit worn should be professional.
  • Remove your jewelry and tone it down for the interview. Offshore safety regulation is very stringent; wearing jewelry may cause a hazard for you if you are in the offshore job site. The interviewer may give you minus value if you are wearing it.
  • Smile and greet the interviewer with a firm (but not bone crushing) hand shake .
  • In the session of interview, listen very well to the questions asked. Each must be answered truthfully and confidently to be able to sell yourself to the potential employer.
  • If the interviewer gives you time for asking something that not clear, use the time as necessary, ask important thing that you need to know.
  • Before the session being ended, ask politely if for interviewers contact detail. You will need it for sending thanks letter.
  • Do not forget to thank to the recruiter for the time that was given to meet him and interview time.
  • Once you get home, prepare a thank letter and send it as soon as possible.

You can improve your performance once you have face some offshore jobs interviews.

Getting an offshore job is a nice starting career for new graduates since the company will pay you more and for sure above the average. However you should realize that there are many other that become your competitors. Once your cover letter and resume has been selected for further process or you got an invitation letter from the offshore company for interview then you have to prepare it carefully otherwise you will miss it. You have to prepare the answers related to what kind of questions that most likely will be asked and practice it at home so you will be relax during the session.

Job Interview Tips That Deliver

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All new job seekers have plenty of questions about the job interview. Almost intuitively they know their success or lack of it in the interview can make the difference in them getting the job. Sadly, this fear of success keeps many job seekers from doing their best. Here, are a few job interview tips to help make sure this does not happen to you:

1. Research the company. Spending some time to learn some basic facts about the company will do wonders for your confidence level. It provides you with some information you can share with your interviewer and will help to get you to start focusing on the company than rather your “fear”. This is a good proactive step in helping you look forward to further interview preparation.

2. Practice and refine your answers to interview questions. Simply thinking about and practicing interviews before the event will make the real thing much easier. As you practice answering interview questions, you will start to see where you can improve your answers and will gradually come to a point where your scripted answers will become natural. This will be a great tipping point because you will begin to actually look forward to the interview to be able to show off all you have learned and done. This will be similar to the feeling you had when you took a test where you were way over-prepared for it.

3. Dress for success and have a backup plan. This means make sure you have a good conservative suit or pants suit that will not detract from your candidacy. If you do not have a suit, go ahead and buy one as you will end up needing it for other purposes and most business professionals should have at least 2 to 3 suits anyway. Also, bring along an extra suit and clothes just in case and leave it in your car. This will give you some additional peace of mind knowing that you have a backup suit just in case your coat rips or you spill some coffee on your shirt.

4. Follow-up with the company after the interview. Send those thank you cards and follow-up with the company every 4 or 5 business days after the interview. The thank you cards can be used as an opportunity to showcase your talents one last time or help address any concerns they may have about your candidacy. Do not neglect this step as it could mean the difference in you getting to the next round or getting the boot.