By On Dec 01, 2019 Template Free
Several months into her previous job, Claire Smith realized that she needed a change. The job, the industry, and the institution were not the right fit for me. It just was not where I wanted to be in my career, she explains. She started to look at job descriptions, honed in on positions or organizations that were interesting to her, then decided to work with a professional resume writer. I tried to do a little changing and reshaping on my own at first but it did not feel all that different from where I began, she says. Working with someone else helped her see that the resume was not about explaining what she done in her career but why she was the best person for a particular job. Claire started with one resume and then tailored it to each position. You have the same raw materials — the accomplishments, the skills, the results you achieved over time — but you have to pick and choose to shape those things into a different narrative, Claire says. The summary, which on her resume consisted of three bullet points, was the element she tweaked the most. For example, when she applied to be an editor, the first bullet point read: Versatile writer and editor committed to speaking directly to readers needs. But when she applied for a marketing position, she tweaked it to emphasize her ability to recruit customers and be a brand champion: Innovative brand champion and customer recruiter in marketing, product development, and communications. Then, before launching into a chronological list of her jobs, she highlighted, selected accomplishments related to each point in her summary. For example, under writer and editor, she included three achievements, including this one: Based on customer data and email performance metrics, wrote new email series to provide prospective students with more targeted information about Simmons and to convert more of them to applicants. Improved performance over past emails producing average open rates of more than 20%. Claire equates collaborating with a resume professional to working with a personal trainer. She felt challenged to keep rewriting and improving. And the hard work paid off. She recently landed a full-time job, which she starts next month.
Carrying on with our discussion of the importance of keywords, as an HR professional you have an advantage over most candidates. You have the opportunity to look, under the hood of an applicant tracking system (ATS) to see what happens in a typical keyword-driven resume review. Use that knowledge for your own benefit. Because there are so many ATSs, and because candidate searches are conducted by humans who have their own habits and preferences, you can not guarantee a perfect result from every ATS scan. But you can—and should—follow best practices for formatting your resume, integrating keywords and increasing keyword density. For example, in Lorettas resume you will note that the acronyms after her name are later spelled out fully in the appropriate section of the resume. SHRM-SCP becomes Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional under the Education & Professional Credentials section. This gives her a greater chance of being found in a computerized keyword scan, regardless of the exact term the hiring manager inputs for a specific search.
Stop fiddling with the margins. Lees says the days of a one-page resume are over: It used to be that you used a tiny font size and crammed in the information to make it fit. Nowadays, two or three pages is fine, but that is the limit: Any more than three and it shows that you can not edit. Heifetz agrees: I have never met a resume that fit on one page, even for a recent graduate. If you are going to tell a compelling story, you need more space. You can supplement what is on the page with links to your work but you have to motivate the hiring manager to take the extra step required. Tell them in a brief, one-line phrase what is so important about the work you are providing, says Heifetz. And stick to the most common fonts. It is not how fancy it is. It is how clear, clean, and elegant it is in its simplicity, says Heifetz. Vary the line length and avoid crammed text or paragraphs that look identical. The goal is to include enough white space so that a hiring manager wants to keep reading. For example, the opening summary could be three or four lines of text or two or three bullet points. It does not matter as long as it is easy to read, says Heifetz. It can be hard to be objective about your own experience and accomplishments. Many people overstate — or understate — their achievements or struggle to find the right words. Consider working with a resume writer, mentor, or a friend who can help you steer away from questions like, Am I good enough for this position? and focus on Am I the right person for the job? At a minimum, have someone else check your resume for logic, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
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