What type of Resume Should I Use?
What type of response are you getting after submitting your resume? Many job seekers, if not all, will say that if they are lucky enough to get a response, they are getting a confirmation of receipt via email. This email will usually instruct them not to reply to the sender, and that the HR Manager will contact them if they are qualified.
Although the job market is much better since the great recession, many job seekers are sending up to 15 resumes a week and getting little or no response. In today’s job market, if up to two weeks pass and you are not getting interviews (telephone pre-screened and direct) for jobs you are interested in, then it’s time to re-strategize your job search and fire the resume format you are using. There are three primary types of resume formats a job seeker can use (Chronological, Functional, and Targeted). We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing each format and which format is the best to use under certain circumstances. But first, before we discuss this we must address the fundamental question – What is the purpose of a resume? To most job seekers this is clearly a no-brainer, an easy question with obvious answers, some may include:
a.) To highlight your qualifications.
b.) To provide a summary of your skills and accomplishments.
c.) To highlight your work experience.
D.) To disclose your contact information.
e.) To demonstrate your communication and/or writing skills.
f.) To show gaps in your employment.
g.) To state your occupational objective.
h.) To disclose your educational achievements.
i.) To highlight specialty licenses and certifications.
Although all the above responses have merit and are excellent answers, none are the correct one. the one and only purpose of your resume is to –get you a job interview! Again, if after two weeks have passed and you have not been contacted for any interviews for jobs that you are qualified for, then it’s time to take a closer look at the resume format you are using. Of the hundreds of jobs search workshops we have conducted throughout the years, we have found that up to 97% of individuals attending have their resumes in a chronological format. Historically, the chronological resume has been the primary format used by job seekers to list their work history, the main type of resume format requested by HR professionals to determine the longevity of employment, identify various promotions, note salary increases, examine tasks performed etc. For decades the chronological format served its purpose for both job seekers and HR professionals. However, with the introduction of re-engineering, outsourcing , and periodic recessions, as the employment longevity that US workers had become accustomed to gradually began to disappear, and recruiters began to view the consequent gaps in employment as an indication of a candidate’s instability, the chronologically formatted resume has become a disadvantage for many job seekers to use. To highlight this new reality (according to a January 2016 USDOL BLS Employee Tenure Report) the median number of years that wage and salaried workers had been with their employer is 4.2.years. Many workers (dislocated, students, mature workers, veterans, youths, disadvantaged and disabled) from countless industries, for various reasons, have held 4 or 5 different jobs in the past 6 years with their separation from employment often not attributable to them. Since industrial and economic realities have continued to change, job seekers looking to remain visible and competitive in the marketplace must change their job search techniques
To obtain that elusive interview we recommend that:
Every participant should have one resume per skill set or occupation targeted toward a specific Job posting!
If a participant worked as a loan officer, then he/she should have a loan officer resume targeted toward a specific loan officer posting. If they worked as a shipping and receiving clerk in the past ten years, then they should have a shipping and receiving clerk resume targeted toward a specific receiving clerk posting.
For example, on a customer service rep. posting, the company is usually looking for someone with the following skills; strong telephone and/or social media, communication skills, demonstrable ability to identify customer issues, referral to the appropriate department, conduct follow-up, possess good time management, multi-tasking skills, and be tech-savvy. To greatly increase your chances of being contacted for an interview we recommend that If you have the qualifications and have performed the duties/tasks noted on the posting, then your resume should include as many keywords and phrases as possible that are in that posting. Why? If you have your resume in a chronological, rather than functional or targeted format, the chronologically formatted resume contains words and phrases of other non-posting related occupations consuming up to 90% of valuable space completely unrelated to the actual posting you are applying for if a company is using scanning devices and/or programs to select candidates for a posting the chronologically formatted resume greatly increases your risk of being passed up for an interview. Today’s corporations (because of the sheer volume of resumes they are receiving) are utilizing scanning programs to select specific keywords and phrases. Such as the customer service rep keywords and phrases listed above.
So, to increase your chances of obtaining an interview, change the format from chronological, to a targeted and/or functional resume, insert performance based keywords and phrases identified on the posting and be mindful to include other occupationally related duties, awards, and accomplishments. This will greatly increase your chances of being selected for an interview!
Remember the purpose of a resume is to get a job interview and every person seeking employment should have one resume per skill set or occupation targeted toward a specific posting!
At this point, an astute individual (generally Recruiters and/ or HR Managers) will accurately point out that removing past occupations from a resume can be viewed as fraud and serve only to eliminate potential candidates from consideration. As such they are 100% correct. However, please be assured that we are not instructing you to eliminate any past occupations on your Functional or Targeted Resume, but you are being instructed to deemphasize them, reducing them to bullet points or one or two lines if possible. Remember, the primary purpose of your resume is- to get you a job interview– and since scanning devices/programs are searching for specific keywords, if you’ve held multiple jobs in the past 5-10 years then we believe the targeted /functional resume format is best suited for you. However, job seekers must be aware that Recruiters and HR managers are fully cognizant of the different resume formats advantages and disadvantages and certainly will want to carefully investigate your full work history, so we strongly recommend that once obtaining the interview, you should be prepared to submit a chronologically formatted resume for HR officials to review and be prepared if necessary to explain any gaps in employment that may have occurred.
At this point –
It is possible that you can put together the very best resume of any candidate and still not be considered for an interview. How?
By providing employers with a contact email address such as [email protected]_____.com or [email protected]____.com lets the recruiter know that you are not someone who can represent the company professionally (and yes, many people still forget or are unwilling to change their email address). Nor do they consider their phone’s voicemail greeting for friends and family members that is primarily meant to shock or surprise the caller, reveal 4 minutes of their favorite spiritual or Rap song or pretend that they are not available haha. These “unforeseen errors” often prevent people daily from being contacted for an interview. Job seekers should be aware of these common occurrences and during their job search process professionalize both their email address and voicemail greetings to ensure that they are contacted for available job opportunities. And while on this subject, it’s extremely important that job seekers become aware of their digital footprint. Your digital footprint is all of your searchable, public activity online. This includes your social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. HR managers and talent recruiters will google your name to see what’s revealed. Although many HR representatives will state their hiring decision is not based on what they discover, they do indicate that the information does provide them additional insight into a prospective candidate’s character. Although currently rare, some may even request that you send your social media contact information along with your resume! If you are in the Job search process professionalize your digital profile or your “Brand” by-
a. Registering on Linkedin-Remember the lesson in Topic 2 – How Do Hiring Managers look for Employees? – Ergo, how do you (or should you) look for work? Register on Linkedin-if already registered make sure that your profile information is current and up to date. A September 2017 US Linkedin Workforce Report states that Over 138 million workers in the U.S. have LinkedIn profiles; over 20,000 companies in the U.S. use LinkedIn to recruit; over 3 million jobs are posted on LinkedIn in the U.S. every month; and members can add over 50,000 skills to their profiles to showcase their professional brands.
b. Delete unflattering pictures, negative statements or blogs, you may have on Facebook or Instagram (if this is not your preference or possible then change your access from the public to private). First impressions are important whether online or in person
In today’s job search environment, Talent Recruiters utilize a job seeker’s online digital profile in concert with a candidate’s resume to schedule an interview. To ensure the best possible outcome regarding their job search efforts, job seekers must make sure that their online profile highlights both their personal and professional abilities.
If you would like to learn more about how to land your dream job or you are looking for assistance with filling job vacancies, please feel free to visit our website at www.pointofsuccesswfs.com or email us at [email protected].