Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
Writing a resume is hard. Writing a resume that gets through an applicant tracking system, or actually read by a human, can be even more challenging. But there are tricks, and steps job seekers can take, to ensure there resume actually is read by a human.
Consider these tips from Henry Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting, a recruitment agency for mid-to senior-level professionals across North America and Worldwide.
Start by researching the company and/or individual who is recruiting for the position where you would like to apply. Using that information, follow these five strategies to get your resume read by a human.
1. Connect via email: If you find the actual email address of the recruiter, find a common interest. Mention something personal that you have in common with the individual to whom the resume is being sent. For example, “Wow, we both love horses. I have been show jumping since I was a kid, that is awesome. I am really pleased to be able to apply for this position. I hope my resume is suitable.”
How do you know if the person you are sending the resume to likes horses, or baseball, gardening, or world travel? By research, of course. Try to learn about a person once you get that contact info. Research their LinkedIn profile. Try to find them on Twitter, or Facebook, and learn what you can about them, to try and make a personal connection. If you know someone at the company who gave you this person's info, ask your contact for any information that connects the both of you.
2. Mention something related to the company and position you are applying for: “The new branch you are opening looks like it is going to be in a great location to service the toothpick industry in the north west of the state. I imagine ACME will be one of your big competitors for the business. I would be excited to be part of making this branch a big success.”
3. Find a common connection, colleague or reference who can send an email to the recruiter asking that they look at your resume: If applications are to a non-personal email address, find out who the recruiter is and their email address and send a separate cover letter to the personal email alerting them that you have forwarded your resume.
4. Make sure that your resume is clear and easy to read: You don't need a fancy resume, it's not about layout, it's about substance. But make it easy to read - short sentences, no long paragrpahs, bullets, and space. A resume should breathe. Avoid typeface that is too small, and too much dense prose as opposed to clear bullet points. Make it really easy to see and understand who you are, where you have worked (including in what capacity you have worked), and what you have achieved.
5. Video link: Put a link to a short intro video in your cover letter or email so they can see how bright and terrific you are.
This really happened: A sales rep wanted to be interviewed by the president/major shareholder of a national media conglomerate. After several unsuccessful attempts the applicant dressed a full-sized dummy in a business suit, put a folded resume addressed to the President in the front breast pocket and delivered it to the reception of the company. He was called that day for an interview. Did not get the job though. But remember, a resume doesn't get one a job, it gets an interview.
If your resume is struggling to get noticed, either by a human or through an applicant tracking system, contact Matt Krumrie for assistance with updating your resume.
STEM JOBS SET TO EXPLODE; ARE YOU ENTERING ONE OF THESE FIELDS?
As more and more jobs come under threat from automation, many Americans, particularly college freshmen, would be wise to enter a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field, according to one workplace authority.
“Technology is advancing at a record-setting pace, and the workforce needs to reflect this trend. The jobs of the future, no matter the industry or level, are no doubt going to involve at least a rudimentary knowledge of technology. Those who enter a STEM profession will have a leg-up in the new economy,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
According to the Department of Education (DOE), studying science or math in college leads to a higher employment rate and salary than other majors after graduation. Indeed, the STEM fields have shown an increase in total postings over the past several years. In fact, in May of 2015 there were nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs or 6.2 percent of US employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Employment in STEM occupations grew by 10.5 percent, or 817,260 jobs, between May 2009 and May 2015, compared with 5.2 percent net growth in non-STEM occupations, according to the BLS. Computer occupations and engineers were among the categories of STEM with the highest job gains, too. However, some STEM occupations lost jobs or showed little growth.
The STEM group that has the highest projected growth is the mathematical science occupations group, at 28.2 percent growth, compared to the 6.5 percent average projected growth for all occupations. This group includes occupations such as statistician, mathematicians, actuaries, etc. The group that is projected to show the little to no change is those of drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians with a decline of about 1.4 percent, or 9,600 jobs, according to the BLS.
Computer occupations make up the highest representation of STEM jobs. In May 2015, they made up nearly 45 percent of STEM employment, with engineers following in second making up 19 percent. Computer occupations also show the highest projected job openings according to the BLS. “The computer occupational group is projected to yield over 1 million job openings from 2014 to 2024, with the smallest number of projected job openings in the architect, surveyors, and cartographers group, at only 52,500 projected openings.”
While women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law, and business, they are underrepresented in STEM fields. A 2015 research report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on women in these fields found that just 12 percent of engineers are women, and the percentage of women in the computer industry has fallen from 35 percent in 1990 to 26 percent today. They also found that scientists were more likely to choose a male candidate over an identical female candidate for a hypothetical job opening in a lab, along with higher salary offers and mentoring opportunities. However, they found that the chance of choosing an under-performing male was around 29 percent, while the chance of choosing an under-performing female was 2 percent.
“Women are an important aspect of any workplace, as is all diversity hiring. According to McKinsey, companies with a racially and ethnically diverse workforce outperform industry standards by 35 percent, and those with high gender diversity outperform by 15 percent.
“Companies, especially those who primarily recruit from one of the STEM fields, would be wise to invest in implementing diverse hiring practices, as well as programs that encourage women and minorities to enter STEM fields,” said Challenger.
The wages for STEM occupations vary vastly, but the national average wage for all STEM occupations was $87,570, according to the BLS. This is nearly double the average wage for non-STEM occupations ($45,700). Additionally, 93 percent of STEM occupations had wages higher than the national average mean wage. The highest paying STEM occupation is petroleum engineers with an annual mean wage of $149,590 – over $100,000 higher than the national average across all occupations.
Challenger offered a list of the top STEM jobs for 2017:
TOP 5 BEST STEM JOBS FOR 2017
1. Computer Systems Analysts – Implement and design computer systems for an organization.
118,600 Projected Jobs
$85,800 Median Salary2
.4% Unemployment Rate
2. Statisticians – Collect and analyze data to solve problems or create efficiency within an organization.
10,100 Projected Job
$80,110 Median Salary
0.8% Unemployment Rate
3. Software Developers – Create programs that allow people to work more efficiently or perform new tasks.
135,300 Projected Jobs
$98,260 Median Salary
2.0% Unemployment Rate
4. Mathematicians – Apply mathematical techniques to analyze data. These workers typically work for the federal government and public and private engineering and science research.
700 Projected Jobs
$111,110 Median Salary
0.8% Unemployment Rate
5. Financial Advisors – Advise consumers and businesses on best ways to manage assets.
73,900 Projected Jobs
$89,160 Median Salary
2.0% Unemployment Rate
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are you a STEM major or graduate and can't find a job? Perhaps it's time to update your resume and create a targeted job search. Contact Matt Krumrie to learn how he can help with your STEM resume needs.
While the idea of entering the workforce post-college this May is incredibly daunting for the nearly 3 million young adults graduating with associate or bachelor’s degrees across the nation, the current economic growth in the United States should put these worries at ease, according to the latest from outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The overall prospects for college grads are on par with last year, according to the National Association of College Graduates’ 2017 Job Outlook. Just over 98 percent (98.3) of employers plan to hire bachelor’s-degree earners in 2017 compared to 98.2 percent last year.
Those with business degrees are most in demand, according to the survey. Nearly 78 percent of employers plan to hire business-degree holders, while 70 percent want those holding engineering degrees. Another 54.2 percent will hire graduates in the computer and information sciences field.
While women continue to earn more college degrees than men year-over-year, the most in-demand degrees are in male-dominated programs. According to an analysis of 2012 education data from the National Center for Education Statistics by Randall Olson, less than 20 percent of bachelor’s degree-holders in computer and engineering fields were women. Just over 40 percent of bachelor’s in business were women.
“Companies benefit from having a diverse workforce, and many employers want a gender-equal workforce. Encouraging women to enter and thrive in these fields will have an enormous, positive impact on the workplace,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
College graduates in the computer and information technology sector are experiencing the highest rate of employment, according to 2015 data from NACE, with 76 percent. The class of 2015 has an employment rate of 58.4 percent, compared to the 55.4 percent of 2014 college graduates who found full-time employment.
“The fastest growing industries in the United States this year are in construction and IT, but that does not mean that other industries are not hiring. Relocating may make it easier for college graduates to find jobs, as certain cities are currently booming with growth. Beyond the typical metropolitan centers like, Los Angeles and New York, we found smaller cities, like Denver are experiencing a job growth as well,” said Challenger.
Bachelor’s degrees are not only beneficial to recent college graduates. Older college graduates face much lower levels of unemployment when compared to those who did not finish high school, only finished high school, or only finished part of college. The unemployment rate for college graduates age 25 and over was a mere 2.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number held steady with the January 2016 unemployment number, suggesting that new college grads have the potential to have an equally successful hiring year.
"Every spring we see a number of surveys and projections about the job market for students and recent graduates," says Steven Rothberg, Founder of College Recruiter, named the top job search site for college students and recent grads by Recruiter.com, and recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top place for students and grads to find internships. "It makes sense because more students graduate in the spring than at any other time in the year, although it is no longer the case that most college and university students graduate in the spring. It is now a mere plurality as most students graduate at other times of the year."
Job outlook surveys and projections tend to focus on the percentage of students and recent graduates who have found employment and sometimes dig in a little deeper to look at the percentage who have found employment within their chosen career fields, adds Rothberg. Yet few look at the compensation that these mostly young adults are receiving.
"What we're hearing from candidates and employers is encouraging," says Rothberg. "A wage of at least $15 per hour is now deemed to be the minimum that candidates feel they should receive, and even many employers agree that they should be paying at least that much. Few would argue that those with a college education should be satisfied to receive a paycheck regardless of the wage, and few would argue that students should be happy to have an internship even if it is unpaid. There is little doubt that the slow but relatively steady improvement in the labor market since early 2009 is finally having the effect of putting upward pressure on wages."
Although this is a great time to get into the job market, competition is fierce. When it comes to applying for jobs, applicants need to stand out.
One way to stand out is by having a complete resume. Resumes allow employers to see how skills gained in college and through internship experience can transition to the work force. Make sure to show off unique experiences, including study abroad, volunteer activities, and student leadership positions, and do not be afraid to emphasize accomplishments.
“The most important thing grads can do to find their first post-college position is network. Not only do they need to utilize networking connections they made throughout college, including professors, mentors, employers, and students, but they should be building new contacts as well. Grads could do this by reaching out to employees via social networking sites like LinkedIn or setting up informal meetings and informational interviews with target companies,” said Challenger.
“Once college grads start attending face-to-face meetings and going on interviews, they need to have stories emphasizing accomplishments, as well as team-working and problem-solving skills.
“Perhaps you led a team on a class project or developed a strategy at work that made the office more efficient. You may have developed new skills through volunteer activities, such as fund-raising or event planning. Grads need to think through their college careers to prepare stories for hiring managers,” said Challenger.
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I recently reviewed a resume that won a best resume award from a career publishing firm. I was eager to review this resume, to see if I could learn something new, to apply to the resumes I write.
I clicked on the sample link and couldn’t believe it. It was so busy, I didn’t know what this person was trying to do, or really, where to read or look to learn more about them. I sent it two recruiters – they voiced the same opinion. “This is way too busy,” one said. “This would go in the ‘maybe’ pile,” said another.
A resume shouldn’t include a career history, and it shouldn’t be so busy it is hard to read. Providing too much information is actually a negative.
That and more, is discussed below, as Henry Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting, provides 5 common mistakes job seekers make when writing a resume:
1. Less is more: Candidates often write too much narrative instead of short meaningful concise sentences or bullet points. Employers or recruiters look at hundreds of resumes; make it easy and clear for them to see what you want them to see. On average hiring managers only look at your resume for about 30 seconds before deciding whether you fit the job qualifications. “Capture their attention so they read on,” says Goldbeck.
2. Avoiding simple information: Too many people do not answer the three basic questions we want answered when looking at a resume: 1 Your chronological work history. 2. What exactly did you do 3. What did you accomplish, preferably quantified. “It’s frustrating to read a resume and not understand what the individual did in his/her positions,” said Goldbeck. Also, include your city/location so recruiters or employers know where you live (this can be important in some cases).
3. Lack of quantifiable achievements: Achievements such as % increases in sales, % decrease in costs, improvements in quality, waiting time, customer satisfaction, deadlines, deliveries, are easy to read and understand and let the employer know that the candidate accomplished something and quantified it. It also shows you are results-oriented.
4. Lack of customization: Candidates who do not customize their resumes enough for the specific positions they are applying for make it easy for hiring managers to exclude them. With the ease of online research, you can customize each resume you send out, at least with the name of company and position being applied for on the resume itself.
5. Lack of Focus: Make sure to emphasize and repeat the most important points in the resume. What do you want this employer/recruiter to know about you? Dale Carnegie said about public speaking, “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.” Do the same with your resume. Use the introduction, the bullet points under each position and every opportunity to tell them what you want them to know about you. Outline your strategic advantages in regards to being a candidate for this position. Think of the person reading this resume; it is 6:30 p.m., their eyes are tired of looking at the screen, they want to go home and have a glass of wine but they want to finish up the digital pile of resumes, hoping for a winner to fill this position and get it off their desk. They are going to look at the resumes, but not read them. So, make it easy for them to see if you are a fit or not. Make it obvious and clear.
For more career advice, resume tips and job search information, check out Talent at Work, the HR, recruiting and career blog of Goldbeck Recruiting.
If you find yourself making these common mistakes, it may be time to hire a professional to write your resume.
Nurse, Financial Advisor and Info Security Analyst Among Best Careers for Veterans
In its new report, CareerCast has identified eight of the best civilian careers for veterans, including RN, Financial Advisor, Info Security Analyst and Operations Research Assistant."There are many benefits to hiring veterans," says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. "The discipline, teamwork and leadership qualities emphasized in the military directly translate to the civilian workforce. Skills gained during military service are in high-demand."
Public and private sector efforts to recruit and employ veterans have paid major dividends in lowering the unemployment rate for veterans. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2016 that of the approximately 21.2 million men and women with military experience, an unemployment rate that hovered near 10 percent just seven years ago has been cut almost in half.
The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act was designed for the Department of Labor to match veterans with career paths based on their responsibilities while in service. Private-sector companies are also launching their own hiring initiatives to match veteran job seekers with open positions.
Growing emphasis on technological skills in the military translate well to a growing market for IT professionals. Information Security is an area of growing importance in both military and government matters. Veterans who work specifically in IT security during their service can effectively translate their skills into government positions of the same nature.
Another area of emphasis in military service is healthcare. Nursing positions are also in-demand for enlisted personnel, and many states allow veterans with experience as nurses in the military to apply that experience to civilian certification.
For those veterans looking to use their civilian careers to make a positive impact for others in the military, careers in management and finance offer great opportunities. Businesses tailoring their outreach to the veteran community are increasingly turning to veterans for Management Consultant and Operations Research Analyst positions.
Financial Advisor is the No. 1 most in-demand field in the CareerCast Veteran Network job database. Veterans with a background in mathematics and finance can work directly with military families to help them protect their investments and savings.
The improved employment landscape for veterans isn't merely a boon to one section of the workforce. Veterans bring skills that greatly benefit employers, making them prime candidates in a variety of fields.
The best jobs for veterans were selected from the 200 professions covered in the Jobs Rated report as a good match based on their responsibilities and skills gained while in service.
*Wages and projected growth outlooks through 2024 are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Read the full report
CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America; job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content; and videos and blogs; and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 800 niche career sites. CareerCast.com also compiles the Jobs Rated Report (www.jobsrated.com), where 200 jobs across North America are ranked based on detailed analysis of specific careers factors.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,