SO YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB
You’re motivated. You’re skilled. You are READY for the next step.
But there’s a catch. You need a résumé.
Maybe you have a résumé, but it’s old.
Maybe you wrote one yourself, but it doesn’t seem to be working. No one is calling. Why not? We’ll talk about that in a minute.
For now, just know that many qualified, competent, and downright awesome people miss out on career opportunities because their résumés don’t nail that all-important first impression.
About that First Impression
Here’s the thing: You actually need to nail THREE first impressions.
- The applicant tracking system (ATS). Used by 98% of Fortune 500 companies and a growing list of smaller businesses, this software sorts, tracks, and manages the recruitment process. Your résumé needs to comply with the system’s requirements and provide enough of the right information to show up when employers search the database for applicants. Pass this screen and you move on to . . .
- The first-level human screener. This could be an administrative assistant or an HR staffer, who may or may not know details about the open position. For these people, your résumé needs to be clearly targeted for a specific role, attractive, and easy to read. Then your résumé is reviewed by . . .
- The hiring manager. This is the person you’d interview with and, likely, the person you’d work for. Managers want to see value. They like to see an understanding of the industry and a history of contributions. Make this person’s short list and you get a call for an interview.
So your one résumé needs to meet the expectations of these three different audiences. That’s a lot to ask of one document.
Common Résumé Problems
What keeps résumés from moving through the process? Here are some typical issues:
- Incompatible formatting for ATS. Some formatting elements (tables, graphics, unusual fonts, etc.) can trip up the ATS, rendering the information partially—or even completely—unreadable.
- Poor formatting for humans. Large blocks of text, minimal white space for eyes to rest (and note takers to jot), hard-to-read fonts, etc. If the document takes too much effort to read, the readers will just move on to one that doesn’t.
- Boring. When one résumé looks and sounds pretty much like the one before it . . . and the one before that . . . what’s the point? Generic résumés are easy to toss in the “eh” pile.
- Lack of accomplishments. Hiring mangers like to see not just what you did, but how well you did it. Without specific results, your résumé reads like a job description. Again: “eh.”
- Lack of focus. A varied background with a lot of different skills can be an asset, but don’t make potential employers try to figure out what you want to do next. They won’t do it.
- Typos. If you’re looking for a reason to whittle down the list of to-be-interviewed candidates, typos are an easy disqualifier.
Obviously, you need a résumé that meets the challenges of a modern-day job search.
- One that plays nicely with those dreaded applicant tracking systems.
- One that tells your unique story concisely and clearly.
- One that conveys your value so well that employers can’t wait to contact you.
That’s where I come in.
You know how in middle school kids would go outside after lunch to play tag and flirt? I went to the library to browse the Occupational Outlook Handbook. (Yeah, I was kind of a dork.) But that odd interest eventually led me to professional roles in career education and recruiting.
And those jobs naturally led to Résumé by Linda. For 15+ years, I’ve been helping people in every career stage, from new graduates and corporate climbers to midlife career changers and C-suite executives. It’s a privilege and a joy to help people reach the next step in their professional lives.