Guest Post by Barbara Safani – Transcript from Last Friday’s Chat

Barbara Safani, Career Strategist

Why Your Resume Isn’t Working & What to Do About It

Last Friday I hosted #HFChat, a weekly Twitter chat dedicated to sharing information on job search strategy with fellow peeps. #HFChat is the brainchild of Margo Rose, the founder of #Hire Friday, a comprehensive community and resource for job seekers. Even though I was leading the chat, it really resembled more of a brainstorming session or think tank with great ideas being shared. Perhaps the one difference was that the ideas were being shared at a rapid fire pace and all using only 140 characters. The result was an amazing collection of short digestible sound bites for job seekers.

My topic was Why Your Resume Isn’t Working and What to do About It. During the chat we covered three main questions:

1. How can I create a resume summary that captures the reader’s attention?
2. What are keywords and why does my resume need them?
3. How can I create stories of success that get my resume noticed?

Below are my suggestions followed by suggestions from some of the top career professionals, recruiters, and HR practitioners.
How can I create a resume summary that captures the reader’s attention?

Tips from @barbarasafani

1. Create a resume summary to prove your value proposition to a hiring authority instead of an objective
2. Your resume summary is the 40,000 ft. view of what you do.
3. Add a resume headline-headlines sell newspapers and can sell candidates too.
4. Your summary is forward thinking-explains where you want to go.
5. Forgo dense chunky blocks of text in the resume summary.
6. Opt for bullets suggesting competencies in digestible sound bites.
7. Nix using personal attributes in summary-they prove nothing.
8. Words on resumes like trustworthy, dedicated, loyal-so cliché-barf!
9. Focus your summary on your top 2-4 competencies with proof of success for each competency.
10. List core competencies, keywords or buzzwords for your job function/industry 2 please recruiters & resume parsing software.

Tips From the Crowd

1. Make sure to read the job description thoroughly. @landovertechjob
2. ATS loves keywords, not resume. @komal85
3. Effective resume summaries are the hook to make readers want more. @dawnrasmussen
4. Be specific about what you have done in the past and make sure it applies to the future. @jumpstartHR
5. Your summary should tell the employer why they should hire you. @recruiterAT
6. Your summary should be more like a movie trailer; not the whole movie. @komal85
7. Make sure you are tailoring the summary to the company position/job; don’t be generic. @insperityjobs
8. Summary should be active, present tense; not read like a tombstone. @careeraction
9. Summaries that are long paragraphs might not be read. Keep it short and use bolding for key points. @hollysreslink
10. When recruiters scan your resume in 10 seconds we are looking for keywords related to the job; you want these in your summary. @levyrecruits

What are keywords and why does my resume need them?

Tips from @barbarasafani

1. Keywords are the words synonymous with your job function/industry.
2. Keywords can please both recruiters and resume parsing system.
3. Ignoring keywords and ATS systems=ostrich with head in the sand.
4. Create a section called areas of expertise to showcase keywords.
5. Optimize keywords by using both term and acronym-i.e. Sarbanes Oxley & SOX

Tips from the Crowd

1. Be sure to read the job description.@landovertechjob
2. ATS loves keywords not resumes @komal85
3. Consider the keywords the language the hiring manager speaks related to the job he needs to fill. @resumedreliz
4. I prefer quality over quantity-takes little time to research what’s hot in the eyes of a functional leader @levyrecruits

How can I create stories of success that get my resume noticed?

Tips from @barbarasafani

1. Use CAR stories-explain Challenges, Actions, and Results.
2. Quantify results whenever possible.
3. Explain context-statistics without context are meaningless.
4. To generate resume content ask yourself what did I do better, smarter, faster?
5. How did I make money, save money, or save time?
6. Did I create any best-practices or first-ever practice?
7. What do my colleagues and my boss say about me?
8. Did I win any awards?
9. Use charts and graphs on your resume to show impact: a bit of bling is not a bad things.

Tips from the Crowd:

1. Share specifics on how you improved something; the numbers and how you did it-what were the long term results? @lynncmbl
2. If English is your second language, get a native speaker to check your business communications. @animal
3. Keep it easy and simple: What was the problem, how did you solve it, and what were the results? @fordcareers
4. A resume isn’t a strategy; it’s you telling me how you will solve my problems. @levyrecruits
5. Add social media links to your resume; you can say anything on the resume; prove it via social media. @heatherecoleman
6. No resume is one size fits all-customize your resume to fit the job. @fordcareers
7. Bullets and bolding key numbers and percentages are great. Makes my eye go right to those points. @emiliemeck

About The Author

Margo Rose

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