Hiring managers are vigilant in screening and selecting candidates for employment because they know hiring the wrong person can cost the company mega bucks.
You have the power to influence hiring managers’ decisions by anticipating and addressing their top concerns in your résumé.
Top 3 Considerations Hiring Managers Weigh
Great résumés generate interviews and influence hiring decisions by conveying that applicants are competent, credentialed, committed, creative, and collaborative. Let’s explore each of these ideas and where to place the information in your résumé.
COMPETENCE AND CREDENTIALS
Begin your résumé with a value proposition that describes how your expertise enables you make a positive contribution to the company. Conduct research to understand the company’s unique mission, values, goals, and objectives. Review a job prospectus or job posting that provides details about the critical skills the employer expects the ideal candidate to have, then position yourself as a strong contender for the job.
If you have been in the workforce for years, list your education and certifications at the end of your résumé because your recent accomplishments are more relevant than your college degree. However, if you’ve recently earned an advanced degree or a required industry certification, you may want to include this in your value proposition.
If you are applying for an academic or scientific position, employers typically prefer to read your employment information in a hybrid CV-format that usually starts with your value proposition followed by your education, certification, and experience.
If you’ve recently earned your bachelor’s degree, list your education and academic achievements near the top of page one since your education is your most relevant qualification.
COMMITMENT AND MOTIVATION
Show that you are dedicated and driven. The hiring manager will review your career progression and length of employment in previous roles with the assumption that past performance is an indicator of future performance. An employer wants to hire someone who consistently delivers outstanding work and is committed to the company’s long-term success.
If you are a recent college graduate who worked your way through college or volunteered in the community, that’s a plus. Your determination to graduate debt-free by holding part-time jobs through school or your devotion to mentoring youth in an afterschool program expresses your commitment.
COLLABORATION, CONTRIBUTION, AND CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Position yourself as a thought leader and key contributor. Share how you’ve brought ideas and solutions to the table to streamline operations, improve employee engagement and performance, increase productivity, reduce costs, or generate revenue, depending on the employer’s expectations for the role you are applying for.
Explain how you’ve made a difference at work. Share your career success stories. Describe the key initiatives you’ve led or your contributions to project teams. Include quantifiable business results in concise bullet points that span no more than two lines each. Tailor your résumé to meet the needs of the employer by including meaningful and measurable achievements.
Mention your involvement in professional organizations. List presentations, publications, and patents. You may want to mention your involvement in philanthropic groups. It’s wise to omit references to religious or political groups unless you are applying for a job within a religious or political organization.
If you are a recent college graduate with little or no work experience, don’t write “strong work ethic” as a professional skill. Demonstrate it. Describe your academic research, capstone project, or internship experience. If you held an office in an academic society or campus organization, mention your leadership role and any events that your group hosted. If you served as a tutor in the university’s writing center, share how you contributed to the academic success of others. Be prepared to share what you learned from these experiences during an interview.
Think about the company’s mission and values. How do you fit within the corporate culture? Conduct company research and determine how you can contribute to the organization’s success.
Consider key qualifications the employer wants the ideal candidate to possess, then describe how you fit that image. Your résumé must convey how your credentials, core competencies, creative thinking, and commitment to making a positive contribution differentiate you from other applicants to score an interview. After interview, your résumé reminds the employer of your unique value.
Since you have limited space to describe your strengths, make every word of your résumé count. Remember, content is king if you want the phone to ring!
Have you ever wondered what on earth interviewers are doing when they ask you an off-the-wall question like,
"If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why?"
This question is designed to test your creativity and quick thinking. Remember, the interviewer is trying to knock you off guard in hopes of getting a glimpse into your personality and thought processes.
Stay calm. Take a moment to think. Ditch the first answer that pops into your mind (e.g., a sturdy oak because this example is frequently used). Deliver a more creative response such as:
"If I were a tree, I would be:
As for me, I'd rather be a money tree for obvious reasons!
Use your discretion. A comedic response could backfire on you if the interviewer does not share your sense of humor. Given the right situation, clean humor can break the ice, put both parties at ease, and facilitate a natural conversation.
Think before you speak. Never give a rude response, no matter how bizarre the question may be.
Take a moment to ponder the question and the personal attributes required to be successful in your career. Then, give a creative response that conveys your strengths.
Before you decide to relocate for a job opportunity, analyze the job market, the prospective employer’s corporate culture, your earning potential, and cost of living differential. Use data gathered by top researchers to find the best places to live and work in the USA.
STUDY THE JOB MARKET
Each month, LinkedIn shares valuable insights about the job market in its LinkedIn Workforce Report that’s divided into two sections–a national section and a city section. The national report offers insights into hiring, skills gaps, and migration trends across the USA. The city report shares insights into local employment trends for the top 20 largest metropolitan areas in the USA.
The November 2019 LinkedIn Workforce Report can be viewed at this link:
To find the reports for future months, simply change the name of the month-year on the hyperlink above.
RESEARCH PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER’S CORPORATE CULTURE AND HIRING PRACTICES
Three reliable lists of top employers are listed below.
KNOW YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL
Four websites for comparing total compensation (salaries, bonuses, benefits, and perks) based on your job title, level of experience, and company location include:
CALCULATE THE COST OF LIVING IN A DIFFERENT CITY
Determine how much you will need to earn to maintain your current standard of living in a different city. Here are a few websites with cost-of-living calculators:
Look before you leap. Analyze industry growth and available jobs. Understand a prospective employer’s corporate culture and hiring practices. Research total compensation by industry, experience in your professional role, and geographic location. Calculate the cost of living in a different city. Armed with these facts, you can make an informed decision about your next career move.
At Written by a Pro, we offer one-on-one career coaching to help you plan an effective job search campaign and guide you through every step of the way. Our mission is to help you land your dream job fast! Schedule a free, 15-minute consultation today at www.calendly.com/writtenbyapro. We look forward to speaking with you!
I've been out of the job market for 10 years. LinkedIn is new to me. Who uses LinkedIn and how important is LinkedIn to my job search?
LinkedIn is designed to connect job seekers with recruiters and hiring managers. Using LinkedIn should be an essential part of your job search.
In 2017, 92% of recruiters surveyed sourced candidates through LinkedIn.
Approximately 93% of hiring managers read LinkedIn and other social media profiles to screen candidates with 92% reporting that they have hired new employees who applied through LinkedInJobs.
InMail messages have increased 35% year over year.
Employees hired through LinkedIn are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first 6 months.
Should I copy-and-paste my resume into LinkedIn?
No. Your LinkedIn profile has a much different writing strategy from a resume or CV. It is written as a first-person narrative that delivers your value proposition statement and career highlights in a more conversational tone of voice. Think of your LinkedIn profile summary as a hybrid (part elevator pitch and part letter of introduction).
At Written by a Pro, we offer LinkedIn profile editorial reviews and complete writing services. Schedule your free, 15-minute phone consultation today.
(2) Jobvite 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey
(3) Career Thought Leaders 2017 Hiring Trends Report
Page Kemna, a graduate of University of Denver, landed a position with Zoom Video Communications shortly after posting an original, singing resume titled "Hire Me!!" that demonstrated her creative bent and quirky sense of humor. Her YouTube video went viral, garnering the attention of LinkedIn users and national media.
What song does your resume sing? Is your resume a mournful job obituary or a vibrant, upbeat tune that conveys the heart of your personal brand?
To gain the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, let your achievements take center stage.
Soon, you'll be singing all the way to the bank!
P.S. If you enjoyed Page's song, comment on how her video brightened your day on YouTube.
A cartoon caption read, “My resume is just a list of things I never want to do again!”
I laughed, but it gave me cause for concern.
If your resume is a list of the things you never want to do again in your lifetime, how do you expect to land a job doing the things you love?
Your resume is a vehicle to take you to your dream job, located at the intersection of the employer’s needs and the work you are passionate about doing.
Interview-generating resumes have seven common characteristics—what I call the 7 C’s of high-performing resumes.
1. Crisp, clean, color design
Create visual appeal with a contemporary resume design, conservative use of color, and classy fonts to grab the reader’s attention upon first glance.
2. Clear focus
Target your resume for the next step in your career path. Increase your resume’s performance by customizing each resume to a specific professional role. Laser-focused resumes outperform vague, generic resumes by as much as 10X.
3. Consideration of the employer’s needs
Use the prospective employer’s requirements to form the framework for your resume.
4. Captivating hook with a unique executive brand
Develop a value proposition statement that connects with the company’s mission and specific needs.
5. Correlation between your professional strengths and the job the employer needs done
Write a concise work history that proves you can do the job based upon successful past performance.
6. Concrete examples of key initiatives and results
Show the size/scope of projects you have led and the quantifiable benefits to the company in terms of revenue generated, dollars saved, or productivity gained.
7. Coherent writing that is well organized and error free
Review the overall organization and progression of ideas. Condense lengthy content into the most relevant and engaging talking points. Delete redundant wording. Edit judiciously for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Banish boring resumes filled with tasks you hate to do. Use these seven steps to write a high-impact resume that positions you as the best candidate for that once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity.
Do you like the ideas contained in this blog post, but don’t have the time or energy to implement them? Put Written by a Pro’s writing/editing team to work for you.
I had a phone consultation with a client who was working multiple part-time jobs while searching for a single, better-paying job. The conversation went something like this:
Question: “Do I really need a cover letter?”
Answer: “Yes, if you want to make a good first impression,” I replied. “A cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. In a cover letter, you can mention talking points that are not normally included in a resume.”
Question: “Can I create a generic cover letter?”
Answer: “Situation-specific cover letters get better results.”
Question: “What do you mean?”
Answer: “Cover letters are like t-shirts. One-size doesn’t fit all. Generic, templated letters give the prospective employer the wrong impression that you are sloppy or insincere. For optimal results, write a strong letter of interest.”
Question: “I’m overwhelmed. Where do I start?"
Answer: "Consider your audience."
Here are a few ideas for cold call letters:
Keep your cover letter concise and to the point.
Customize a lean cover letter focused on the employer’s needs.
At Written by a Pro, we offer cover letter and resume review services, professional writing services, and job search strategies to help you land your dream job fast!
Leading job boards for biotechnology and healthcare professionals include:
Health Career Job Site
Healthcare Careers 2018
When you find a job opportunity that interests you, apply online, but don't stop there. Go online at LinkedIn.com and search for people who work inside the organization. Reach out to set up an informational interview to discover what it is like to work for the healthcare provider.
Another strategy is to use Google Maps to find healthcare providers within a 25-mile radius of where you live. Make a list of companies that interest you. Visit the company's website and apply directly.
Our specialty is writing for people who work as healthcare executives and hospital administrators, physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals as well as biotechnology and healthcare information technology professionals.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your career goals.
While job seekers could claim job search expenses on their 2017 income tax returns if they met certain restrictions imposed by the IRS, this is no longer an option. On December 22, 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which significantly impacts 2018 tax deductions related to job search expenses.
As detailed in the 2017 IRS Publication 529, job seekers could deduct things like moving expenses if they were relocating for a job transfer, the investment of working with a resume writer or a career coach, or the cost of transportation and lodging when traveling as part of their job search. These types of job search expenses were tax deductible in 2017 only if the total expenses exceeded two percent of the job seeker's adjusted gross income and the job seeker itemized deductions on his-or-her tax return.
All of this has changed. If you are looking for a new job in 2018 and beyond, you will not be allowed to deduct job search expenses on your tax return, even if the costs exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income and you file an itemized tax return.
You may also want to consider the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act when negotiating salary on your next job. With the new tax law, employees will no longer be able to deduct unreimbursed automobile expenses.
Be aware that unemployment benefits and disability payments are taxable income.
Good news. There is a silver lining to this dark cloud. The 2018 increase in standardized deductions and the 2-3% decrease in tax rate percentages in each of the seven tax brackets will help many Americans keep more of their hard earned money.
For detailed information, read the section-by-section summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act issued by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, and read the 2018 IRS Publication 529 when it is released.
Note: This information is not intended to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult with your CPA or attorney for specific guidance.
Do you remember this hilarious scene from the 2013 movie The Internship where actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson sit in the children's section of a library and participate in a video interview to land internships at Google? No matter how many times I watch the clip, it still makes me laugh.
(Be patient. It takes a minute for the video to load onto the screen.)
Employers have raised the bar for telephone and video interviews. Are you prepared to answer questions regarding whether or not you are the right fit for the job and the employer's corporate culture?
700 employers were surveyed about the use of video in the recruiting process:
Email email@example.com with the subject line "Virtual Interview Guide" in the subject line.
We'll send you a free 12-page report with tips for acing your virtual interviews and a shopping list for high quality, low cost audio/video equipment to help you make a great first impression!
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Savannah Christian Church. He also draws exquisite portraits! Austin's favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.