Resume, meet Technology: Making your resume format machine-friendly

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

08:00 PM

How to format a resume so that the software recruiters use to store resumes doesn’t garble your document – and your chances.

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You’ve probably heard this advice for making your resume stand out: Sprinkle in plenty of juicy keywords so recruiters will pluck your document out of the pile.

But these days, the first review of your resume is more likely to be a software program, known as an applicant tracking system (ATS), than a human being interested in the quality of your paper stock and the power of your prose. While those qualities will be important in subsequent rounds, your first challenge will be to win over a very sophisticated machine that plays by its own complex rules.

In these competitive times, is a grab-bag of keywords really enough to ensure your resume rises out of that mysterious electronic swamp? If not, what else do you need to know about the processes that happen inside these ATSes — systems that are, in fact, fueled by sophisticated data-warehousing technologies — to stand the best chance of getting your resume in front of human eyeballs?

Topics: Resume

7 mistakes that make your professional resume – and you – look old

Posted by Amanda Augustine

06:35 PM

Are your job applications saying the wrong thing about you?

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Resumes, like many other marketing materials, have an expiration date. As technology changes and the job-search process becomes more mobile, it’s important to reevaluate and edit this important document periodically.

Your resume is a reflection of you – and you don’t want recruiters thinking you’re outdated because your document is. Here’s how to know if your resume needs an update. [TWEET]

It’s become too long

An eye-tracking study by TheLadders found that the average recruiter spends only six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer inspection. Maximize your exposure by limiting your resume to one page if you’re new to the workforce or two pages if you’re a seasoned professional. Remember, your resume should always highlight the skills, experience, and accomplishments that are most relevant to your job goals.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Resume

Why your job search isn’t successful

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:00 AM

We’ve isolated five common job-search problems and are giving you the solutions.

Defeated_Sad_Face-RightAre you stuck in a job-search rut? You might be making one of these classic mistakes. Read on to learn some of the most common job-search errors, and what you can do to get your job hunt back on track.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interview, Resume

Job Search Strategies For Handling An Employment Gap

Posted by Amanda Augustine

08:00 AM

Overcome a resume gap when you’re back in the job hunt with these five tips. [TWEET]

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In today’s tough economy, many professionals find themselves with substantial gaps in their work experience. Whether you were laid off, took some time to care for a family member or battled a serious illness, it can be challenging to explain these gaps in your resume. Here are five tips to help you handle the employment gap during your job search. [TWEET]

Topics: Ask Amanda, Resume

Start bragging to advance your career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

03:50 PM

Chronicle your professional accomplishments to manage your career. [TWEET]

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Whether you’re updating your resume, preparing for salary negotiations, or are in need of a pick-me-up after a bad day at work, a brag sheet is a useful document to own.

In its simplest form, a brag sheet is a place where you record all your professional accomplishments and contributions. Some people store this information in a Word document, while others prefer a mobile format such as Evernote. Whatever format you choose, here are five tips to help you build a powerful brag sheet that can help you advance your career.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Salary, Resume, Changing Careers

Navigating the Resume Application Minefield

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:08 PM

Craft a resume that clears the gatekeepers and lands in the hiring manager’s hands.

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TheLadders conducted a study finding that the average recruiter spends six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer inspection. Translation: you have six seconds to make the right impression!

The recruiter isn’t the only gatekeeper you need to worry about. Before your resume reaches a human being, it will typically get screened by a piece of software known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Here are 5 resume tips to help you get past these initial application gatekeepers.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application, Resume

7 Resume Tips Every Recent College Grad Should Read

Posted by Amanda Augustine

08:05 AM

Craft a strong resume that says you’re ready for the workforce. [TWEET]

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Use these seven tips to help you send the right message to prospective employers with your resume.

Ditch the objective statement

We’ve all seen an objective statement that goes something like this: “Looking for an entry-level position that will help me gain skills and allow me to contribute to an organization.” This tells the reader nothing about the person’s goals or relevant skill-set. Instead of your run-of-the-mill objective statement, use the space to give the reader your elevator pitch. In three to five sentences, explain what you’re best at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. We call this your professional summary. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Resume, New to the Workforce

Improve your job application ROI

Posted by Amanda Augustine

04:00 AM

Before you hit the “apply” button, make sure the application is worth your time.

TheLadders Sheds Light on the Black Hole

As a career coach I often talk to job seekers who are frustrated over the lack of response from employers. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Black Hole,” and leaves most job seekers discouraged with no updates on their application’s status and no feedback to help improve their future applications.

While you can’t control the recruiter’s actions, there are things you can do to combat the Black Hole and improve your application’s return-on-investment.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application, Resume

3 ways to spring clean your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 AM

Give your job search a good scrubbing this spring. [TWEET]

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Can you believe that spring is here? Many of us use this season as an excuse to clean out our closets and give our homes a good scrubbing from top to bottom. It’s also the perfect time to take a look at our job-search tactics and give them a thorough cleaning.

If you’ve been reading my column for a while, you should be familiar with a concept of “harnessing the power of three.” As a job seeker, there are three main ways to pursue job leads – both hidden and published. I recommend applying and following up to online listings; utilizing your network of personal and professional contacts; and engaging with recruiters.

By sprucing up your job-search strategy, you can increase the number of relevant job leads in your pipeline. Use the following tips to get your job search in tip-top shape and help you harness even more job leads this season.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Personal Branding, Resume

Video chat recap: Mobilizing your resume

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:42 PM

The most popular questions asked during our live video chat about mobilizing your resume.

A big thank you to everyone who attended our first-ever interactive video chat on Mobilizing Your Resume. I had a great time and I hope you did too!  Click on the following links to view this Spreecast and to obtain a copy of a presentation I gave on the topic at TheLadders’ Job Central event. Below are some of the questions I fielded and links to more information on the topics. Enjoy!

   

Topics: Ask Amanda, Resume