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Why You Need To Customize Your Resume To Every Job

We can all agree that putting together a resume isn’t one of our favorite ways to spend our free time. Which makes the thought of creating a different version of your resume for every single job you apply to just a tad intimidating. If you’re actively on the market for a new position, it’s downright overwhelming. However, the key to landing your next job and advancing your career lies in a well thought-out and tailored resume.

Employers Are Looking For Specific Keywords

Many employers still use an ATS system to filter candidates. When they’re sifting through hundreds of resumes, it is the fastest way for them to identify those who are qualified. (Other than working with a recruiter, of course!) Knowing this, check out the job description and pick out keywords that match your qualifications. Be sure to highlight and feature those throughout your resume. This will push you right through the ATS system and onto the next round.

Titles Are Ambiguous

Just because two roles might have the same title doesn’t mean the duties and necessary skills will be the exact same. Job descriptions and duties can vary drastically depending on the industry, company, and seniority of the position. While you’re going through the job description looking for keywords, pay close attention to the subtleties of how this position may be different or similar to roles you’ve had in the past. Pull out experiences, quantified achievements, and skills that you’ve accumulated over the years that pertain to each specific listing.

Varied Skillsets Offer Unique Value

Just because your past experiences don’t exactly match the job description you’re applying to, doesn’t mean you should take them off your resume completely. Think about each role that you’ve held. Paint a picture of all the different skill sets that you have gained over the years and how they might pertain to this specific application. Many employers value a variety of past experiences and the depth of knowledge that brings to a team.

The couple extra minutes you put into your resume for each position will pay some serious dividends when it comes to securing that offer. Think of it as a precursor to the dedication you will put into the job once you’re hired!

under one page resume

Does Your Resume Have to Be Under One Page?

resume under one page

It’s simply not possible to fit all my experience on one page!

The rule of one-page resumes has been dead for a while. The best candidates stick to two pages as strong candidates know how to present their background and accomplishments concisely, drilling down their experience down to what matters most.

Now that every organization utilizes Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan and review resumes, it’s unnecessary to trim down your resume to one page. ATS analyze your resume to ensure they are relevant to the position. No hiring manager will see a resume without it being filtered through an ATS. And guess what? There are no features that weed out resumes over one page, so don’t be skeptical to go over a single page.

You don’t need every single detail

As you grow in your career, you will find that working experiences and skill sets on your resume that were once relevant, aren’t anymore. If you have been in your career for a few years, then it is unnecessary to list every single duty or responsibility you’ve had.

Also, there is no reason for your resume to go into detail about things you did 15 – 20 years ago.

Be strategic with keywords keeping it concise and quantifying your achievements. Your resume should be a high-level overview of your accomplishments and qualifications.

Here are a few tips for crafting a concise, yet effective resume:

  • Bring the most relevant information to the forefront, creating a strong impact on the top half of the first page
  • Use short sentences
  • Brief lists with bullet points
  • Use good organizational strategies
  • Quantify your achievements. If you increased productivity by 30 percent, highlight how you did so with a statement

Formatting

Also, use the same font (readable type) no smaller than 10.5. All resumes beyond one page should be numbered, and don’t forget to include your name and contact information at the top!

The simpler the format  is, the easier it is for an ATS to scan it. If an ATS struggles to scan your resume, it will probably never reach the desk of the hiring manager.

resume

What Makes Your Blood Boil on a Resume?

resume

At JSG we see a lot of resumes come through. Recruiters want to make sure that the candidates they submit for a position have the correct background and experience to excel in the position. Thus, the resume plays a huge role in the process. It’s basically your first interview!

More often than not, we see mistakes that are worse than others, and they really make our blood boil. I asked a few recruiters which resume mistakes really make their blood boil. Make sure your resume doesn’t have any of these mistakes if you want the best chance to succeed! (You’re Welcome)

Misspellings

Grammar and spelling are so important when it comes to the resume. If you have typos on your resume and you submit it, you’re going to look inattentive. I mean after all it’s not a timed assignment – it’s your life on a paper.

Lucky for you there are multiple ways to fix this. One is to carefully read over your resume yourself. Say everything out loud to make sure it sounds good. If you’re comfortable with it, then a hiring manager will be too. You can also have a friend read it over. Have them read it out loud. It may be awkward, but it’s necessary to ensure your resume doesn’t look lazy.

Pro-tip: Use the right-click thesaurus function on your computer to avoid repeating the same word twenty times!

Formatting

This one is a little harder to put an official “right way” to execute. However, it is still important, and it still boils the blood of recruiters. Why are some things bolded and some italicized? Consistent formatting is key when it comes to a great resume.

Formatting issues are easy to avoid, and the best part is you can put your own touch on it! Just be sure you bold the same things throughout the entire document, like section titles. Make it look easy-to-read and not cluttered so the hiring manager doesn’t take time deciphering everything.

Pro-tip: Make it aligned to one side or the other (left looks best), centered resumes look out of place according to our recruiters.

Specifics

This one is huge, mostly because it was brought up so frequently by the recruiters. How long did you actually work at that job? Are you exaggerating your responsibilities? Be as specific and accurate as you can – it’ll help you land the perfect job.

Our recruiters say there’s a pretty easy way to fix this problem – just be honest! If you worked at a company for 3 years and 5 months, make that known. The more information about previous employment the better.

Pro-tip: Include months on your employment history and make sure you’re not stretching the truth when you’re talking to recruiters!

How to get an interview with your resume

Lessons from the Trenches: How To Get an Interview with Your Resume

How to get an interview with your resume

We’ve all received resume advice from a friend or career center counselor, but have you heard (or utilized) any of the following resume ‘rules’?

  • As much white space as possible
  • Great opening skill summary paragraph
  • Write a job objective
  • Summary format, no more than 1 ½ to 2 pages
  • Address removed to eliminate regional bias
  • Eliminate duplicate words for clarity
  • Dates changed to show years of service only
  • Only show the last 10 years of work history

These guidelines are often given by resume ‘experts’ or career centers. While these ‘rules’ will result in a beautiful resume, it usually doesn’t make the cut when it comes to getting the interview. As new layers of regulations, technology, and risk management are added to a hiring manager’s already full plate, your resume now serves as your first interview.

The reality is if your resume doesn’t grab the attention of the hiring manager or HR team, you will likely get a “Dear John” letter, or more often, nothing at all. Your resume must clearly illustrate that you truly have the background, education, and experience necessary to do the job.

Get an Interview with Your Resume

As a recruiter, I review dozens of resumes each day. If you want to really wow the hiring manager, follow these resume tips and tricks to almost guarantee yourself an interview:

  • White space is great, but don’t sacrifice information to make it pretty.
  • The job objective should be the position you are applying for, so adding a job objective is redundant (and unnecessary).
  • Adding the city and state where you reside can be important, especially if you are a local candidate.
  • Skill summary – This should include actual skills, not things like “great attention to detail.” If you can’t learn it in an educational program or on the job training, it isn’t the type of skill for this section.
  • Take advantage of the Quadrant Test – The upper left quarter of the page is the power section of your resume. We read left to right, and top to bottom; that is the location that simply our brains tell us is most important.
  • Keywords – If you are a Director of Revenue Cycle, each position you have held that includes this job title needs to have these keywords or phrases. Yes, it seems redundant, but it shows the depth and tenure of your experience. Additionally, this will help your resume get past those pesky Application Tracking Systems (ATS).
  • Months and years of service – This will give the hiring manager the complete picture of your work history, and not look like you are trying to hide gaps in employment.
  • Comprehensive work history – Including all experience for the last 10 years, and as far back as you need to go if there is more experience that’s relevant to the position. If there is more in your work history, stick with a simple sentence or two that can say “prior work history also includes…”

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Most importantly, put yourself in the shoes of the resume review squad. Ask yourself this question: If you were the hiring manager, would your resume explain your qualifications well enough to warrant an interview? If the answer is no, then you have some work to do!

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

5 Things You Must Do Before You Start Applying For Jobs

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

So, you’re ready to put yourself out there. You’ve decided that you are fed up with your current employment situation and you start looking for greener pastures. But WAIT – before you get too deep into your job search, there are a few things you should do first to ensure a painless and successful process that will end with you landing your dream job.

Decide What You REALLY Want

Before you start applying for jobs, it’s helpful to understand what your future goals are. What do you want out of your next position… an opportunity for growth? Something challenging that pushes your limits? Whatever it is that you want, narrowing it down before you submit applications will help guide you to apply for the right positions.

Update Your Resume

I know, I know, updating your resume is the worst! But it is so much easier to do this before you start searching for jobs. That way, when an exciting opportunity comes along, you can make a couple final tweaks to fit that specific position and submit it within a matter of hours. Pro tip: if your qualifications allow you to apply within a couple different specialty areas, create multiple resume templates.

Create a Cover Letter Template

Cover letters should always be customized to the position you are applying for, no exception. However, it’s helpful to develop a template with a general outline that you can follow every time you need to craft a cover letter. And remember, even if the job description says a cover letter is optional, submit one anyway! It may just be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition. (For more cover letter tips, check out “How To Write A Killer Cover Letter.”)

Put Together a Portfolio

This may or may not be relevant for all careers. If your previous positions or volunteer work has been at all visual, you’ll want to include a portfolio. Examples of your most impressive work can be a huge benefit when it comes to outshining your competition. To go the extra mile, create a free website on Wix or WordPress and include links to any press releases, social media examples, or writing samples. The more accessible you can make it in the digital age, the better!

Sign Up For Job Alerts

Visit your favorite job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and JSG’s Talent Network and subscribe to receive relevant job updates. That way, you’ll be the first to know when a job in your field pops up and you can submit your application right away.

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting your resume

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Resume

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting resume

Believe it or not, almost nobody enjoys writing a resume. And if you are customizing your resume for every single job that you are applying for (which you should), it can be easy to overlook a simple mistake.

Even the tiniest of mistakes can leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager, and unfortunately, cost you a job interview. So, how do you prevent yourself from making silly mistakes on your resume? Ask yourself these four questions before you submit your resume to a job vacancy.

Is it free of grammatical errors?

Obviously, everyone knows that it’s important to ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. However, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate your biases and catch your own mistakes. Even professional writers use editors to review their work!

Ask a friend or family member to take a few minutes to go over your resume. Even if they don’t catch a grammatical error, they may offer other suggestions to help improve a certain bullet point or statement to kick it up a notch.

After you have someone review your resume, print it out and read it out loud. You’d be surprised at how many typos or funky wording you’ll catch when reading your resume out loud to yourself.

Should I add my address to my resume?

Even in the year 2018, many candidates still include their address on their resumes. However, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it off our resume.

If the job you are applying for is out of town, we recommend leaving your address off. An employer may or may not offer relocation, yet oftentimes, local candidates can take precedent. By forgoing your location on your resume, you eliminate any local biases and you’re judged on your qualifications and experiences alone!

Besides, people no longer communicate via snail mail when applying to or responding to job applications. It’s the 21st Century. Everyone communicates via email or using a smartphone, so it’s no longer essential to include your address on your resume. We are all connected and if your address is needed later in the recruiting process, it can easily be sent to the appropriate hiring manager in seconds.

Is it in a professional format?

Nothing is a bigger turnoff to recruiters than a poorly formatted resume. Whether it’s the use of an unusual font or inconsistent margins, formatting mistakes generate the impression that you are not a very detail-oriented person. This may seem obvious, but it’s crazy how many resumes we’ve seen with silly formatting issues that ruin the appearance of the resume.

More often than not, formatting issues are caused by sending your resume in an improper file format. When submitting your resume to an Application Tracking System (ATS) or emailing it to a recruiter, the formatting may get messed up. Margins can look funky or fonts may look different on another device. To avoid these issues, you must submit it as a PDF to ensure recruiters see your resume the way it was meant to appear.

Is my resume written in the proper verb tense?

This is one of the biggest mistakes we see when candidates submit their resumes. Except when discussing your current position, resumes should be written in the past tense. We often see the wrong tense being used when using action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point.

For example, for an old position on your resume, you should say “Develop marketing plans to…” instead of “Developed marketing plans to…” Not only is this issue an easy fix for you to make, it is also obvious for recruiters to notice. Make sure you doublecheck it for proper verb tense before you send it off to a recruiter!

Having trouble choosing the right verb tense? Here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Fall FOWARD into your career

Fall Forward Into Your Career

 

Fall Forward Into Your Career

September is here, which means the leaves will be changing colors, sweaters will soon be worn, and pumpkin spice-something will appear on just about every menu.

Nights will start to come faster and the air will soon have a distinct crisp to it – the perfect recipe for hunkering down to find a new opportunity. So while you’re cozied up on the couch next to the fireplace drinking something warm, crack open that laptop and get to work on your job search.

But don’t worry… we’re here to help – the JSG blog is full of expert advice from those that really know best – our recruiters. Here are some of our best resources to help you fall forward into your job search and hopefully, a new career:

If you think it’s time for a change…4 Signs it’s Time to Look For a New Job

When you want expert advice…Want to Get Hired Through a Recruiter? Here’s How We Find You

To help you create a stellar resume…4 Non-Negotiables You Must Have on Your Resume

When things aren’t going as planned…This One Thing Is Completely Sabotaging Your Job Search

If it’s been a while…If You Haven’t Interviewed in Awhile, Here’s What You Need to Know

On what not to do during the interview…Avoid These Words in an Interview if You Want to Land the Job

To nail your interview…These are the Most Important Parts of Your Interview

When you want to get what you’re worth…How to Hack Your Job Offer and Get What You’re Really Worth

For all the insider secrets…10 Things Recruiters Wish You Knew