Jeanna Liana January 6, 2021 Resume
It is a powerful resume that tells Stephen’s story quite well. But we didn’t get to this resume quickly or easily. There were bumps and bruises, starts and stops, and detours along the way. I’ll also tell you a bit of my story, as I am a resume writer who learned and grew from the experience of working with Stephen. I’ll tell this story in the form of issues, describing each issue encountered and the ways that the issues were resolved. Issue #1-Personalization. Managers want to hire people, not marketing brochures. Your resume should give them a good sense of who are and how you might fit into their team. It’s a recipe for disaster when your resume tells one story and your interview tells another. You do a disservice to yourself when you let others describe you without comment or intervention. You know yourself better than anyone else, so it’s your decision how you are portrayed in your resume. The first sentence in Stephen’s summary of qualifications statement answers one of my common questions when gathering information for a resume: ”What is it that makes you most proud?” Stephen loves to stretch software functionality almost to its breaking point-it’s a game to see who will win. Even though he’s proficient with numerous BI and data warehousing tools, Excel remains his favorite. It was during our discussions about Excel that I captured this sentence: ”Innovative technology professional who takes pride in building complex solutions with basic technology, getting the most from a company’s technology investment.”
2. Use Key Words. Computer programmers understand logic and algorithms. Use this to your advantage by applying this approach to your resume. The prescreening process is very methodical. In many cases, these screens are done using logic in software applications especially if you apply online. Additional screenings may be completed by human resources or other non-technical personnel who do not always understand the technologies required for the position for which you are applying but are merely using a checklist for resume screening. Hopefully you are beginning to see why it is so important to use key words on your resume. Let me clarify that, it is so important to use the RIGHT key words on your resume. Nearly all initial resume screenings are done using a checklist of items that must appear in order to advance to the next level, regardless of whether it is screened by computer or staff. If you don’t have the correct ratio of keywords on your resume for the position, you don’t make the cut. So why do so many experienced candidates for computer programmer jobs not make sure that the correct keywords are on their resume for each individual position for which they apply? It’s usually a combination of attention to detail and desire to respond quickly.
The human reader – The traditional, printed, hard copy resume (yes, it does still have a primary place in job hunting!) is created to attract the human eye and attention. With the advantages of word processing applications, sophisticated formatting is possible and should be applied strategically to create eye-appeal and draw the readers’ attention to key qualifications. The computer reader – The electronic or computer-optimized resume is designed, first and foremost, to be readable by the computer. There are several types of electronic resumes, but the common element of all is the ability to be searched by keyword. Of course, once your resume has been tagged as matching a keyword search, it will be reviewed by a human. So compelling, easy-to-read content is just as important in the electronic resume as in the traditional resume. Miss these points and the effects could be devastating…you might send out hundreds of resumes only to sit at home and wonder why nobody, not even one company or headhunter, has called you for an interview. There are fundamental formatting differences between traditional and electronic resumes. If you do not understand these differences, your resume will make it into very few – if any – resume databases.
Prospective employers may spend as little as six seconds looking at your resume to make an assessment of your abilities and to match those abilities to their job opening. In those six seconds they do not read every word on the resume! Instead, employers look at the overall format – is it easy to read? Does this resume contain the relevant information to their particular field? Do the first bullets at the top of the resume match their job description? If any of these things do not meet their criteria, they move your resume into the ”bad pile.” Resumes in the bad pile are those resumes that will never be read completely and probably will not be looked at again. Avoid these five resume red flags to make sure you stay out of the bad pile!
Do not put an Objective section on your resume. Why would you? What value does it add? Space on your resume is limited and is better used to provide a one paragraph (2-3 sentences) summary of your qualifications for the specific position. This summary should include years of experience, types of experience, and highlight the most important technologies related to the position. This section is used to make the resume reviewer’s screening process easier and improve your chances of passing the initial screening. Use it wisely and tailor it for each position. Finally, make sure each job history write-up in your experience history (your job summaries) includes these details as well. When I get into a detailed resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I try to determine where and when you had the required experience for the computer programmer job. If I can’t find it called out in the details, I will assume you don’t have that experience, regardless of what your summary says. It is very important that you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are the key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.
Preparing Internet Resumes. What do I need to know about writing keyword resumes? Remember – it is absolutely essential that you create resume content that is keyword rich regardless of the file format. It is not necessary that you maintain a separate keyword version of your resume. ALL resumes must include a heavy emphasis on keywords. Keywords are generally defined as nouns or phrases that an employer will use when searching for an applicant with your skill set. To maximize the recall of your resume in a search, you will want to use as many keywords in your resume as possible. 1. Keywords should focus on technical and professional areas of expertise, industry-related jargon, and your work history. Also, include the names of associations and organizations of which you are a member. 2. Whenever possible, use synonyms of keywords in different parts of your resume and if you use initials for a term in one section, spell the term out in another. 3. Always be specific. For example, while it may be fine to include the phrase ”computer literate,” you will also want to list the specific software that you are proficient in using.
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