Since I am an HR Professional and on the job hunt myself, I thought I would share my experiences with resumes and how you should alter them for each application.
“What?!?”, you say? Yes, you heard me correctly. You NEED to update your resume for each application. I am not saying you need 6500 resumes, but I am going to tell you to have at least two resume templates.
Example: I have a heavy HR template and I have a heavy Talent Acquisition template. I can do both but if the job requires more recruiting, then I have the base document to update for the particular position I am applying for. Here is another thing. In this paragraph alone, I used “talent acquisition” and “recruiting”. Which word is more relevant in the job description I am looking at? If it is talent acquisition, then I want to update all my “recruiting” words to “talent acquisition” so the ATS matches it up or the HR professional screening my document sees I have the experience and skills they are looking for.
You can also look at your resume to see what kind of person they are looking for. It will say something like: “You are…” or “The successful candidate will have…”. Statements like these can be inserted into your cover letter and your resume where appropriate.
Here is another example: If they are looking for FMLA skills, and they post Family Medical Leave Act, I would suggest spelling it out and then putting the acronym at the end in parenthesis. This way, again, the ATS will pick it up and you will be on your way to your first phone screen.
These examples are for an HR resume but can be duplicated with marketing, sales, operations, etc. Use resume readers that compare your resume with the job description and give you a percentage of matching qualifications. You can usually get five free matches, then they will ask for a membership. You can also earn more free matches. The best scenario for getting matched with a company is to get at least an 80% match or higher. This is not a guarantee that you will be chosen, it is a guideline set by the matching software company.
Make sure your resume is the same font and the same font size throughout the document. Spell check, spell check, spell check! I can’t reiterate that enough! Spelling counts. Have a trusted friend read it for grammar and stylization. Believe me, when you have read it a thousand times, it all seems like stereo instructions. Having a second set of eyes to check out your document and give you feedback will be very helpful before you start applying and submitting.
Another piece of free advice, track your jobs on an excel spreadsheet. PLEASE!!! I have been doing some recruiting on contract and when I have called the candidates for their phone screens and they ask me, “who are you again, I have applied to so many places”. This is a real turn-off for me. You should always be prepared to know where you are interviewing and who is calling you. Granted, sometimes you don’t know the name of the company if it is a recruiter reaching out to you with a blind ask, but you should still remember that they are contacting you and what the job title is that you will be discussing.
That being said, I wish you all luck. I am in it with you for sure! Let’s get this done by 12/31/2021! We can start off 2022 with new positions and a great new attitude! Happy Holidays everyone and may you have a prosperous new year!
The HR People Wrangler