How to improve your resume’s looks Tuesday, Jun 12 2012

Sometimes it can seem pointless to carefully format and organize your resume. The best way to share a resume so it looks the way you intended is to provide it in PDF format, but often that’s not possible. When you finally submit your resume to a potential employer, you sometimes have to copy and paste it into a text-only Web form or upload it as a Microsoft Word file because the company won’t accept PDFs. There’s not much you can do about those horrific text-only Web forms, but if you’re sharing a Word doc, it’s easy to make sure it looks its best.



The Sting of Rejection Thursday, Jun 7 2012

Being out of work is beyond disheartening.  I’ve been out of work for a prolonged amount of time twice in my career, and it was awful; it made me incredibly thankful for my wife, and made me question practically everything else.  Now, though, I’m employed, and I’m hiring!

Here’s the problem, though: I can’t hire everyone.  My recruiting team and I have fifteen jobs open as I write this.  In the last thirty days, we’ve gotten just over 500 resumes for these jobs.  These aren’t evenly distributed, either.  Yes, I’m averaging thirty applicants per job, but for a few of these, I’m *still* looking for candidates!

4 Major Interview Mistakes (and How to Recover) Tuesday, Jun 5 2012 

4 Interview Mistakes and How to Recover

After sending out countless resumes, you’ve finally landed a job interview with your dream company. You’ve picked the perfect outfit, tucked ample copies of your resume into your folder, and practiced your answers over and over.

And then—it happens. You realize the interview was at 11:30, not 1:30. You spot an error on your resume. Or you make some other totally avoidable mistake that you know, backwards and forwards, that you should never, ever make as an interviewee.

No matter how thoroughly you prepare, mistakes can still happen during the job application and interview process. But, they don’t always mean game over—yes, even imperfect people get jobs. If you’ve made one of these common blunders, a few key steps can help you make the best of a bad situation.


12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems Wednesday, May 30 2012

You filled out the job application, updated your resume and clicked “Submit.” But as the days or weeks pass, you never receive a phone call or email from the employer. What happened?

Unbeknownst to many job seekers, a whopping 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Why? Well, employers large and small now use applicant tracking software to parse the information from your resume and map it into a database called an ATS (applicant tracking system). From this information, the system will assign you a score based on how well you match the job the employer is trying to fill, and then rank and sort all candidates. Naturally, the potential employees with the highest scores move on, while others are left in the dust.

Wondering how you can optimize your resume and rank highly in the employer’s ATS? Here are several tricks to improving your resume’s score.

1. Use Language from the Job Description: Look through the job listing to determine the skills required. Identify industry terms, buzzwords and jargon the hiring manager uses most frequently in the description and incorporate these words into your resume when possible and applicable — the ATS is looking for these keywords.

What To Highlight In Your Resume When You Have Minimal Experience Monday, May 28 2012

As a student or recent graduate, it can be difficult to draft a resume when you don’t have a ton of work experience under your belt. But this isn’t the only thing potential employers want to see on your resume. There are plenty of other things you can highlight on your resume, even when you have a small amount of work experience. Here are some to consider:

  1. Volunteer experience. If you’ve volunteered your time at an organization where you’ve put your skills to use, this is certainly something to include on your resume. For instance, perhaps your education focused on marketing, and you spent five hours per week at your local animal shelter assisting in creating marketing materials. This is something you should share on your resume

– This article does briefly highlight a number of ways to flesh out a résumé when you don’t have much experience. I would encourage someone in this position to also look at any sports or extra-curricular activities you have participated in, as it gives an excellent indication of relevant skills/ qualities you may have, such as dedication, timekeeping and perseverance

– Conduit

4 Reasons Resumes Are Rejected Sunday, May 27 2012

Recruiters spend countless hours reviewing resumes and screening candidates. In fact, they spend so much time scanning resumes, they can often do it in one minute or less.

As disappointing as that may be given all the hard work you put into your resume, it’s the unfortunate reality…and with such a small amount of time to make an impression, it’s no wonder they occasionally get it wrong. You may have been the perfect person for the position, but because you failed to successfully package yourself, your resume and your chances end up meeting their demise with the click of a mouse. Read on to learn the top four reasons your resume may end up in recycle bin or folder.

1. The length: Have you ever read a magazine article, short story, blog, etc. and remember thinking “Get to the point already?” Well, recruiters have this same thought when they read over a three-page resume. Nine times out of 10 they will probably just move it to the rejection stack.


– I disagree with a few parts of this article, length of resume is very much dependent on the type of role you are applying for i.e. it would be inappropriate for an executive role to have a brief resume, as with IT roles where it is necessary to give a significant amount of detail about your technical expertise. I also don’t necessarily think that a cover letter is a deal breaker – if your résumé is well written, and specific to the role you are applying for, a cover letter, or lack thereof, is not going to damage your chances.

However, spelling and grammar errors can automatically place your résumé in the reject pile. I would suggest having someone else, with a fresh set of eyes, review it before sending it anywhere.

– Conduit

What CEOs Expect From An Interview Candidate Friday, May 25 2012

Having written about what CEOs look for in the resumes of job applicants last week, I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d bring you along for the first interview.

First interviews are tricky because like a resume, there’s no way of knowing exactly what the prospective employer is expecting to hear you say and whether the answers you give are indeed the “right” answers. All you can do, beyond ignoring that pile of butterflies in your stomach, is take a deep breath, put on your best tailored suit, and come in confident about what you do know about the place you’re applying to work with.

But there are ways to kick your first impression up a higher notch than showing up in a sharp suit. Expectations that I like to look for aim to keep the interviewing process less nerve-wracking and more… well… just less nerve-wracking than it needs to be.

Is there a gap growing in your resume? Friday, May 25 2012

I’m getting more emails from people who’ve been out of work quite a long time. Not surprisingly, they’re very dispirited but what makes it worse is that they are worrying about how to cover the gap that is growing in their resume. Being out of work is debilitating because your morale plummets, your confidence starts to hemorrhage and your passion for network decidedly dwindles. What should you do?


I confronted this problem many years ago when I sold my business, moved continents and had my first child – all at pretty much the same time. (I would not recommend this to anyone.) So I found myself in a new city where I knew no one – so no networking. The industry I knew well – television – wasn’t a going concern in my new home. My confidence was rock bottom – having a baby at home will do that to you. What was I to do?

Warnings signs and tips for job seekers Tuesday, May 22 2012

In today’s market there is a lot of choice when it comes to looking for a new role. The volume of vacancies in the IT sector is incredibly high as we climb out of the recession and the battle for quality resource is at unprecedented levels. But things aren’t always what they seem and I’m about to outline some of the pitfalls you should try to avoid as a candidate when you are looking for a new role in today’s employment climate.

Everybody has one, if not several, stories of being mucked around by a recruiter when they have applied for a job. The common complaint I hear is that they received no response back on their initial application or even worse they are spoken to by the recruiter and agree to have their details presented to the client to then never hear from the recruiter again. The truth of what is going on here is that the recruiter is more than likely “fishing”. They haven’t done a thorough enough job defining the requirement with the client up front and therefore spend most of their days on a wild goose chase and unfortunately the innocent party in the equation (the candidate) receives the rough end of the stick by receiving no feedback.


Does it Every Pay For Someone to Fib on a Resume? Sunday, May 20 2012

When is a fib really a lie? And when does a fib-turned-lie really matter?

It’s a question I keep rolling over in my mind, especially given all that has been written the last few weeks over the résumé inaccuracies — some may prefer a stronger, more judgmental description — by now former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson.

He has been castigated for one seemingly minor, yet telling, résumé issue: he claimed he graduated from Stonehill College in Massachusetts with degree in computer science and accounting, when in fact, it was ONLY in accounting.

Why the silly (and stupid) lie?

This would be no big deal most of the time, because unlike so many other executives who have had resume issues, Thompson did actually graduate from the college he listed with an accounting degree as he said he did. His error was in claiming a dual degree in computer science that Stonehill didn’t even offer at the time of his graduation.


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