A friend passed along a Readers Digest article entitled “Get Hired, Not Fired” by Michelle Crouch. Crouch lent an ear to 18 human resource professionals and asked them to provide insider tips on how to get/keep a job. Spread among a few blogs I will share their advice with my antidotes!
Hiring and Resumes
“When it comes to getting a job, who you know really does matter. No matter how nice your resume is or how great your experience may be, it’s all about connections.” – HR director at healthcare facility
ABSOLUTELY TRUE. That’s why my business email address and website include “the C3connection!” It’s all about relationships and connections. A resume might get you in the door but personal interactions keep you in the game.
“If you’re trying to get a job at a specific company, often the best thing to do is to avoid HR entirely. Find someone at the company you know, or go straight to the hiring manager.” – HR administrator in Alabama
The honest truth. Frankly, we wish you would by-pass the HR office to cut down on our foot and phone traffic! It is a huge advantage if you know someone within the company who can recommend you TO HR. Of course, if you know someone in HR, all the better for you and for us if you’re a REALLY GOOD candidate!
Well, of course we do, and so does everyone else! The same can be said for email@example.com! Stand on your own two feet, not on your identity or association with your latest love interest or your sports team.
“If you’re in your 50s or 60s, don’t put the year you graduated on your resume.” – HR professional at midsize firm in NC
I recommend to ALL my clients that graduation dates be omitted. It’s often as much of a disadvantage to be a recent college graduate as it is to have been out of school for decades. Some people return to school in later years. It’s a non-issue. OMIT IT! And omit mention of your GPA too!
“There’s a myth out there that a resume has to be one page. So people send their resume in a two-point font. Nobody is going to read that.” – HR director at financial services firm
CORRECT! This is a pet peeve of mine. I say, if you can get your life on ONE page, I’m not interested. A two page resume is perfect unless you are a high-level executive. That said, many financial companies prefer one page. Hey! All they care about is numbers anyway. Words mean nothing to them!
“Most of us use applicant-tracking systems that scan resumes for key words. The secret to getting your resume through the system is to pull key words directly from the job description and put them on. The more matches you have, the more likely your resume will get picked and actually seen by a real person.” – HR professional in Boston area
TRUE! My daughter-in-law successfully landed with a great company this way. Larger employers have APTS but for those that do not, it is IMPERATIVE that you brand yourself and tell resume readers who you are and what you have to offer in the top third of the first page. Education should be listed at the end of the resume unless you are applying for a job in academia.
“Resumes don’t need color to stand out. When I see a little color, I smirk. When I see a ton of color, I cringe.” – Recruiting consultant in Philadelphia
TRUE with one exception: those in design careers, graphic artists, etc. prefer their resumes to reflect their skills and personality. Otherwise, omit color and make sure your cover letter, resume and reference sheets all match in paper, font and format. Sometimes taking an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach can be successful. Against my advice, my son created a website with a catchy URL, had an interview within a week and a job within two. Pretty gutsy!
So what is the bottom line lesson here? From this day forward, you should consider yourself to be your own ‘free agent,’ responsible for your own identity, (branding), career and future. The days of staying with one company in one career are over.
“The days of the mammoth corporations are coming to an end. People are going to have to create their own lives, their own careers and their own successes. Some people may go kicking and screaming into the new world, but there is only one message there: You’re now in business for yourself,” Robert Schaen, former controller of Ameritech, currently a publisher of children’s books.
Next up? Brutal Business! Stay tuned!
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
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