How it works
The initial goal is to get your resume onto a managers desk and have him/her notice it.
If you understand the following points, you will have a better idea of how to reach that goal.
First of all, managers do not usually advertise jobs in the newspapers.
They would get hundreds of resumes from unqualified candidates and could potentially
waste days searching through them. Their ideal way of filling a position is through a referral.
Resumes are usually handled by machines.
The machines receive resumes, store them and search through them.
The resumes and various other documents requested from applicants can be scanned or copied into the resume database.
HR people then use keywords to search the database for candidates.
For example, they can search for resumes that contain software+C+unix.
The keyword search brings up several dozen resumes which contain all three words.
Then they add another keywords to reduce the number of resumes further.
From the now filtered pile of documents, the HR person can select the best candidates and follow-up with them
to see if they are available.
Finally, the list of the best available candidates will be presented to the hiring manager.
It is not always correct to assume that recruiters and human resources personnel understand the full job description.
Thus, it is a good idea to include words and descriptions in your resume that could potentially be used as keywords in an
Some tips to remember
Postage, envelopes, and time are expensive.
Email is the best way to submit your resume. It is fast, reliable and easy to keep track of and find in your mailbox.
If you need to address multiple recipients don't forget to use BCC: (blind carbon copy) instead of CC: (carbon copy).
If you get a pre-interview call from a recruiter, try to get the managers name and contact information just in case.
You can then call the manager to introduce yourself and discuss the job to make sure you meet each others expectations.
Recruiters are pressed for time so they only glance at resumes.
Put your most important information at the top third of your resume.
Make brief and concise bullet points that are easy to skim through.
Some people like to have a summary section instead of an objective to highlight their experience.
Note that you may have to tailor your resume to different positions you are applying for.
- If you send your resume as an attachment, give it a name other than Resume.doc.
For example, if you name it John_Reed_resume.doc there are less chances that your resume will get lost among a thousand other files.
- If you are a recent graduate or have limited work experience, don't try to stretch out
your accomplishments to two pages. One page should be enough. For experienced workers it is ok to have
the resume on multiple pages.
When a recruiter tries to set up an interview, be flexible and available.
He/she probably has a long list of candidates that would accept whatever time and place they are given.
Managers also scan resumes briefly. Thus, dont wait for them to ask; be ready to give three good,
concise reasons why you are perfect for the job.
Including a cover letter with your resume has become an important part of good business etiquette.
It should be sent as an additional attachment like the resume when possible, or at least written out
in the body of an email to which your resume is attached.
After the interview, it is appropriate to send a thank-you letter or email to your interviewers.
This is usually something short that thanks the interviewer for taking the time to meeting with you.
Writing a short follow-up note will leave a positive impression of you and show that you care about the position
and value your interviewers time.
However, it should be obvious that even the most brilliant thank-you letter cannot cover poor technical skills.
How long should you stay at one company?
There has been controversial discussion over the optimal amount of time one should stay at a company.
It may be that one or two years could raise an interviewers suspicions regarding your ability to fit in
or follow up with long term goals, for example.
On the other hand, many years at one company may suggest that you get too comfortable and are afraid to take risks.
This may be particularly true if you are interviewing for small start-up companies.
Either way, you should be prepared to explain why you moved or why you stayed.
When preparing your explanation remember to demonstrate your professional growth!
Show that you advanced professionally with each new position.
This will show your future employer that you are going to stay at a position as long as you have the opportunity to grow
instead of leaving to find something better as soon as the job market picks up.
If you have many years of experience at one company you should attempt to portray to your interviewer that you
were not stagnating, lacking flexibility or ambition and that your professional experience and responsibilities grew every year.
Use your contacts
Your contacts are a great resource!
Take some time to sit down and make a list of people you have worked with; peers, customers, vendors.
These people could all be potential employers and sources of referrals to a new job.
A resume passed to a hiring manager through a contact is more likely to get read than a resume submitted randomly with many others.
Do you need a headhunter?
Executive Recruiter or Executive Search Consultant are another name for a headhunter.
Many companies use headhunter services because their own human resources department has deviated
from recruiting to focus on administering benefit plans, employee surveys and training.
Note that there is a difference between headhunting agencies and employment agencies:
employment agencies find jobs for people, headhunting agencies find people for jobs.
Your question may be: why should I work with a headhunter?
Well... why not?
First of all their service is free for you.They are paid by the company that hires you.
So let them work and save you time!
Another good thing is that headhunters often have insider information. For example, you
wouldn't want to join a company that will be
laying people off in a few months.
Headhunters have knowledge of positions that are not heavily advertised and are often not posted
to the general public.
You could also spew your salary expectations comfortably to the headhunters
and let them do the negotiating for you, this often beats haggling with your future boss.
The problem with headhunters is that they sometimes just put your resume in their database and wait for a match,
which could take a long time.
They can also sometimes be pushy and have their own benefits in mind.
If that is the case, find a different headhunter and if you run across a good one, let us know and we will pass on the word!
Do you know how much you are worth on the market?
If you stayed with the same company
for a lengthy period of time, there is a big chance you are under-earning.