Why StartWire asks for your resume, and how sharing it helps your job search

November 26th, 2012 No comments

Your resume is an important tool in your job search. Think of it as a marketing tool that markets your value to employers. Before employers get a chance to meet you face-to-face, your resume gives off the first impression…and first impressions can make or break it! Therefore, it’s important that you use your resume to increase your visibility to employers. StartWire emphasizes the importance of a resume because not only does it help your job search, but it’s also necessary to use some of StartWire’s best features:

  1. Your resume unlocks Express Apply Jobs. Ever feel tired of filling out the same job applications when the details on your resume should be sufficient enough to fill in those blank fields? Express Apply Jobs eliminate the long application process, and once you’re interested in applying for a job, click “Apply” and we’ll send your resume straight to the employer. (We can only do this if a resume exists in your StartWire profile.)
  2. Your resume in a resume database increases your visibility. 80% of employers search resume databases to look for new hires. StartWire offers free resume distribution so that your resume will land into the hands of employers seeking for employees like you. Employers prefer to search for candidates in resume databases because sometimes, unqualified candidates apply to posted positions. Finding candidates in a database helps them ensure they’re getting the right match. Increase your visibility and chances of being found by having your resume be a part of databases that employers are searching.
  3. Your resume unlocks StartWire Mobile. Many people are searching for jobs on the go and through their phones (or wishing they could!). Therefore, StartWire now offers mobile job searches. Once you locate a job of interest, click apply and your resume will be sent to the employer. In order for StartWire Mobile to work, make sure that a resume is attached to your StartWire profile.

How do you upload a resume to your StartWire account? Option 1) You can actually upload a resume to your StartWire account by forwarding an email with your resume attached to resume@startwire.com. The system will automatically attach your resume to your StartWire account. Option 2) Log-in at www.startwire.com and click on your name at the top, right-hand corner to view your profile. From there, you can either choose to attach or copy & paste your resume. Let your resume increase your visibility to employers—Upload your resume today!

Categories: Employment Buzz Tags: ,

How to Rock Your Resume (Even if You’re Unemployed)

May 15th, 2012 No comments

Listing the wrong degree on his resume just cost Scott Thompson millions – and his job! The former CEO of Yahoo! resigned this weekend after several days of “should he stay or should he go” discussion among board members. Thompson’s resume listed a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Science when it should have just listed a degree in Accounting.  When inquiring minds sought to verify the information, it ultimately led to Thompson’s resignation.

 

Having the wrong degree listed on your resume may be a much smaller error than the $2B trading loss that led to Ina Drew’s resignation as Chief Investment Officer at JP Morgan Chase over the weekend – but the end result is the same: job loss.

Writing a resume that sells your skills and experience can be tricky – especially if you are unemployed, meet most but not all of the requirements for the job – and have less than 10 seconds of your potential employers’ attention as they scan through your resume. You need to stand out. You need to show what you can do. And you need to provide all of this information without misrepresenting your experience, skills, or training.  It can be tricky.

 

To this end, here’s a crash course in how you can write your resume with accuracy and impact. Use these six strategies to make sure your resume stands up to scrutiny.

 

1. First things first: Start your resume with a short, tight summary that shows what you offer.

Start your resume with a concise header that includes key words relevant to the job – and a summary of how you fit those requirements. Here’s an easy way to find the right key words and a quick overview of how you can write a summary in three bullet points with what you need to include.

If the job is seeking specific technical skills and you have them – make sure you include this information in your resume summary.



2. Amp up your descriptions: Don’t just say what you did; say how your work was used!

One of the best ways to lose out on a potential job interview is to say exactly what you did on a job.

Here’s an example from my own work experience.

In a college internship, I edited a phone book and spent much of my day calling people to verify their phone number. Boring, right?

My supervisor helped me put this into perspective: The phone directory was actually the primary director for a Fortune 250 company – and I was one of two people who worked on it. Doesn’t “One of two fact checkers for global Fortune 250 phone directory” sound more impressive?

Even if you’re doing monotonous work with a high volume of routine tasks, the work can sound more exciting – and relevant to your next job – if you say how your work was used by the company, and what business impact that it made.

 


3. Mind the time gaps!

If you’ve been out of work for a while, it can be helpful to provide information on how you’ve used your time. (Just make sure any information shared is accurate and correct.)

If you’ve been volunteering, include this information in a “Volunteer” or “Leadership” section.

If you’ve taken time off to help a family member with an illness, add an “Additional Information” section and say “Caregiver” then list the dates – as if the Caregiving responsibility was a job…

If you’re unemployed, one way you can fill any gaps in employment is to become a consultant or freelance contractor – and list this on your resume. You may also want to consider starting your own business. Free resources on how to do this are available from several organizations, including Score and Small Business Development Centers located throughout the U.S.



4. Include as much education as you have!

Don’t have a college degree? Don’t beat yourself up – only 30.4% of all Americans have Bachelor’s degrees. A larger percentage of people have finished “some college.”

If you don’t have a degree but have attended college, you can list the school on your resume as well as details on what you studied – and indicate clearly that you did not graduate. Example:

Clemson University, Clemson, SC                                        2004 – 2007

Completed 17 classes towards a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management
Note that this does not list a graduation date – or say you earned a degree?

Before you list on your resume, verify the accuracy of any programs you list on your resume – don’t list a potential degree if you didn’t declare a major!



5. Be your own fact checker.

Who wants to lose a job on an error, incorrect date or other inaccuracy? No one! Verify your details as you apply for jobs.

If your school or company has changed names – list the one that is accurate for you when you were there and then the new name immediately after.

Example–

Dartmouth Medical School (now Theodore Geisel School of Medicine), Hanover, NH

If you can’t remember past dates, call up and verify them – as if you were applying for a job yourself.



6. Seek advice on what to say when you don’t know how to say it.

When in doubt, get a second opinion! If you feel awkward about how to say something, seek out others who have been in similar situations or ask individuals who won’t be in on the decision making process – before you apply. Find someone you trust and ask – you can do this through StartWire or on your own.

 

Follow these six tips and you’ll be on your way to mistake-proofing your resume. Got other questions? Run them by us in the Comments section – and we’ll get back to you!

Categories: Resume Tips Tags: ,

The 5 Habits of Effective Job Seekers. Habit 4: They Get Found!

April 3rd, 2012 No comments

 

 

 

It’s week four of our 5 part series on “The 5 Habits of Effective Job Seeker”!

The fourth habit of effective job seekers is: They Get Found!

What does that mean?  80% of companies are now searching resume databases to find their next hire.

With many applicants applying with unqualified credentials, employers offset this by turning the search around.  Instead, employers are doing the searching.  Knowing this, what can you do?  Take the initiative to be found.

The benefit of posting your resume online is the increase in eyes that your resume will be receiving!  Instead of sending your resume to a specific number of job postings and restricting your resume to be read by the HR manager behind those postings, posting your resume onto a job board allows a larger pool of employers to review your resume.  Do make sure your resume is in the right databases by searching for and placing your resume in job boards that cater to your industry, function, or geography.

A quick tip to posting your resume online: format it to be posted online.

  1. Convert it to text-only form by saving it as a .txt file.
  2.  Edit by left-aligning everything.  Center or right-aligning text will be lost on most online resume postings.
  3. Indent using spaces, not tabs.
  4. Don’t use special characters or symbols.
  5.  Protect your identity! Leave out personal information, such as date of birth and home address.  Instead, post your city and state as an alternative to your home address, and set up a special email for job search.

Follow us throughout this week for more tips on getting found!

The 5 Minute Secret to Landing A Job Interview

February 15th, 2012 No comments

This is the third and final installment in our series of posts on how to keep your resume from falling into oblivion. This series was sparked by a Wall Street Journal infographic that says 25 out of 100 resumes submitted for any job applied to online are read.

What happens to the remaining 75 applications? They remain in the application folder online and aren’t opened because the key words and information in the resumes do not match the job requirements in the applicant tracking system used by the company where you’ve applied.

Most companies use applicant tracking systems — known as ATS for short — to help track applications, keep information on candidates, and share applications with hiring decision makers and interviewers. These ATS systems make the job search process more efficient for employers. They come loaded with features designed to save them time and — as mentioned above — one of these features is the ability for employers to specify key words and experience that is relevant for the job.

If you’re an employer, the ATS makes life easy for you. Because applications are ranked by relevance of keywords, you can review those applications that appear to be most in line with the job first.

If you’re a job seeker, the ATS can make your job search more complicated.  If you don’t have the right words and summary in your resume, you can get overlooked—even if you are actually the most qualified candidate to apply for the position.

Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to control the situation. Here is a five minute trick to make sure your resume gets read.

1. Find the key words you need to include in your resume.

To do this, copy the job description from the site where you found the job listing. (Note: StartWire has a slew of jobs listed on the site.)

Here’s a listing for a Production Manager job at MTV. We’re using this for a DEMO.

2. Paste the job description into a free tag cloud generator such as TagCrowd.

(Wordle and ToCloud also have this service.)

The results will highlight the keywords that are important for the job description.

3. Modify your resume to include the highlighted keywords.

Do you have a minimum of 70% of the qualifications listed in the job description?

Does your experience match the keywords that are prominent in the tag cloud?

If the answer is yes and yes, add a bulleted summary to start your resume that highlights your fit for the job.

Note: This exercise will not help you if your experience doesn’t line up with the job description. We recommend you apply for jobs that align well with your skills and experience.

Example of a resume summary:

Five years of production experience including multi-camera work and video editing. (Start by summarizing how many years of experience you have.)

Financial management experience with budgeting, process mapping, and forecasting experience. (Next, emphasize a skill you have that is relevant to the job. Here we focus on budgeting and management since they are prominent in our graphic.)

Strong technical skills with demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff and equipment vendors across production life cycle from proposals and pilots to live events and final cuts. (Finish up with a summary that directly relates to the subject matter of the job.)

Result: You’ve got a resume summary that shows both the applicant tracking system — and the hiring manager — your fit for the job. This should exponentially increase your chances of landing a job interview!

Categories: Interviewing Tags: ,

The two sides of the resume black hole

January 26th, 2012 No comments

Here at StartWire, we talk a lot about the dreaded resume black hole. It is our mission as a company to help job seekers get feedback by providing automatic application updates. We think that by gaining insight into information such as when a job is no longer posted (and resumes are under review), job seekers can have a more efficient job search. The truth is, both job seekers and employers struggle with this growing issue.

Job applicants, faced with the black hole, counteract the lower odds of eliciting a response from hiring employers by increasing the amount of applications they send out.  The mentality is—throw out a fishing hook and pray one gets caught.  Chances are, the more hooks you throw out, the more likely you’ll get a catch.  Furthermore, the switch to online applications has made applying more efficient, as jobs are consolidated into one search engine.

This leads to companies receiving an unmanageable amount of applicants to sort through. They have a hard time providing feedback, and the job application process becomes a vicious cycle.   

So how can understanding this help applicants improve their job search?

It helps to understand what companies are really doing with these applications.   

Lauren Weber in “Your Resume vs. Oblivion” shows that companies “cut through the clutter” by using “applicant-tracking systems to search resumes for the right skills and experience”.   These “tracking systems are programmed to scan for keywords, former employers, years of experience and schools attended to identify candidates of likely interest. Then, they rank the applicants. Those with low scores generally don’t make it to the next round”.

However, this tracking software can be flawed and may miss out on the most-qualified applicants if their resume lacks keywords from the job description. The best method to having your resume read is: get a referral from a company employee.

To summarize—what can job seekers do to avoid these pitfalls?

  1) Use keywords in your resume from the job description

  2) Get a referral from a company employee

Want to learn more? Find out how StartWire can improve your job application process at StartWire.com!

To find a thorough exploration of these ideas, read Lauren Weber’s Your Résumé vs. Oblivion.

Categories: Resume Tips Tags: ,

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