Your 10 seconds

Wed 2 Mar 2016, 11:12am, Tell a Friend, Comments (0)

As an average, once your information gets to a recruiter you have about 10 seconds before he or she decides whether to place your resume into the "moving forward" category, the "hold for future opportunities" category, or the recycle bin (real or virtual). It sounds rough, but the initial screening isn't to locate the perfect candidate, but to screen out everything not even close. Separate the chaff from the whey, if you will.

This office has had some backups the last week or so, and as such the amount of resumes to be screened is huge. The 10 second rule is a necessity at this point!

For unknown reasons (as it typical with the peaks and ebbs in this business) the majority of the resumes I am dealing with now are either for our Manager of EHS Compliance of for our Fleet Maintenance Manager openings. These 2 positions have strict pass/fail requirements that are clearly spelled out in the job description. The OSHA position requires clinical experience. The Fleet Maintenance Supervisor position requires, well, fleet maintenance experience.

In this day and age there are many candidates for each position. As I open and look at each resume, most are lacking these basic requirements, to my initial decision is easy. Your last position was 3 years as a Supervisor at the Sunglasses hut? Guess which direction your resume is going. A quick "delete" and I'm on to the next.

I have been running into some that give me pause. The Fleet Maintenance Supervisor position needs someone with experience working with the Mechanics. I've received several good Operations supervisors I might want to hang on to. But, if they send me their resume for a Maintenance Supervisor position, are they weak at reading? Desperate? Just sending their resume out to any posting? Bottom line - is this someone I'd want to back for a position they ARE qualified for?

Anyway, I digress. 10 seconds. If you've sent me your resume for a job you're not qualified for, I lose 10 seconds. I'm sure you have lost more, and it's a waste of your time and mine. If you just want to get your resume into our system, find the link to do just that, find my email and send it to me with a personal note, do something. Just be aware of how the machine operates, and let it work in your favor.


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Resume Layout

Mon 20 Apr 2015, 18:52pm, Tell a Friend, Comments (0)

Something many candidates don't know (or don't think of) is the fact that in this day and age most resumes are imported into a program that can pick out all the pertinent words and phrases and store them away. Then, when the recruiter is looking for a candidate they put in their search terms and your resume will come up to be considered.

All in all, the system works adequately, but there are SOOO many factors that have to be considered. I'm going to touch on just a couple today, because I found myself with a little spare time and I'm adding about a weeks worth of resumes into the database. The very first one received 2 thumbs down from the computer, and I'll explain why.

At first glance when I opened this resume (it was a Word .docx) it looked very nice, but I saw trouble lurking.

The contact information was very high, which is an immediate indication that the candidate used the header. 2 things about this - I for one like to use that header space for my notes either during hard copy printing or after. Also, many resume programs won't read info from the header.

The left hand fifth of the entire resume was filled with a green column with information: Certifications, skills, etc and by the time you got to page 2, quotes from previous managers. Mixed thoughts on the quotes - initially I thought it looked good, then on reflection I thought it was a little tacky since this was a fleet job. More appropriate perhaps for a novelist. My third thought was that it was going to give my importing program indigestion.

I pointed my program at this resume and wished it "Bon apetit" and stood back. It didn't take long before the program called "Uncle!"

In my program, the first results screen is contact info, with a small window below showing the resume for reference. The only thing the program could ID was the email address. The window below showed nothing, so I had to open the original attachment to get first and last, city, state and zip, and phone numbers that were hidden in the header.

Moving on to the next screen where the computer makes note of all those terms I've taught it over the years I find the computer has decided this resume belongs to a mechanic instead of a senior Fleet Manager with multiple qualifications that should have shown. Looking back at what the computer sees, all I get is the information in green - the gravy, if you will instead of the meat I'm looking for.

I have to do something, because what I have at this point is a disservice to everyone involved. The way I see it, I have 3 options:

#1 Grab a couple of skills from the resume and cut and paste into my program
#2 Abort the import and then open the resume in Word, shift the info from the header, hope the green column is a table cell that I can easily delete and/or edit to nothing
#3 Save it as plain text and reopen and reformat
#4 Bag it. Save it with name indicating to address it if/when time allows (which may be weeks or may just lead to a delete - depends on time)

None of these options are really good to everyone. BTW, don't expect #3 to happen very often. I only do that if a resume has really blown my doors off!

Again, just my opinion.

I'm going to go reread this resume (the original) and decide what number I"m going to give it . . .

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Resume: Formatting

Wed 8 Apr 2015, 23:54pm, Tell a Friend, Comments (2)

As I mentioned before in an earlier blog, your resume is the 1st representation of you.

As such, who would not want an unforgettable resume?

I have seen some resumes where candidates have gone to great lengths to make their resume more like a piece of art. They had lines and squiggles and graphics and 3 or 4 different fonts to create their masterpiece.

There is one downfall to this. There are a million great fonts to be found on the Internet. You can install them and use them in your resume program to make things look very impressive. However, when you send that resume to me and I do not have the same fonts installed on my computer, my computer will substitute the fonts for something I do have. The results often time are nowhere near what was originally intended.

I also discussed using all caps in a previous blog. One thing that I forgot to mention is that words that are in all caps are usually ignored by the spellchecker. Remember this even if you just use headings that are in all caps. That style is difficult to read, and it's easy to overlook a misspelling or an extra space. I prefer bold, and many times when I've cleaned up a resume and I've made the change I have found misspellings.

A couple of suggestions regarding fonts on your resume:
Using a single font is preferred, using 2 is OK (especially if you're offsetting your contact information)
Use a font that is standard – one that came with your computer.
Use a font that is easy to read
Use a font that is professional – no comic


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