Question 2. Who knows what industry you want to focus on better than you?
The answer to these two questions is obvious.....YOU DO!
Question 3. Who knows what HR Professionals, Hiring Managers, Recruiters and Applicant Tracking Systems
want to see in a resume package?
The answer to this last question is not so obvious.... a Professional Resume Writer!
Question 4. What is the best way to apply to a job posting, either online, through an advertisement in a newspaper help-wanted section, or directly to a potential employer?
The answers to that question, and there are different strategies depending upon the manner in which you are submitting your resume, are some of the best kept secrets of professional resume writers and will be addressed as you venture forward and deeper into my blog, But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's talk a little bit about what attributes should you expect in the professional resume writer you task with creating a properly formatted, well written and "responsive" resume package.
A Professional Resume Writer with the proper experience and expertise should have a specific set of skills, acquired through a variety of means, including:
1. A very strong command of the English language and an extensive vocabulary with an innate
ability to craft sentences and bullet points that convey to the reader a desire
to read on and not relegate the document to the "circular file"
2. A willingness to listen to stakeholders in the Human Resources, Recruitment and Head-hunting fields regarding the latest trends, best practices, and most importantly, winning strategies to get your resume to the top of the pile!
Think of creating your professional resume as a system, designed to lead the reader from the Cover Letter,
to the resume, to a telephone interview, and finally the in-person interview where you really sell yourself.
The best analogy I can use is when a business wants to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get their website to appear on the first page of any particular Google Search results. SEO uses a variety of keywords, both in the text that appears on a website as well as buried in 'metadata' running in the background of the website, that informs the search engine of what the website is all about. Those keywords and metadata help the search engine to rate each website, and moreover, each individual page, picture, and any embedded items, based upon certain algorithms that are created and used to define certain parameters that will "rate" a page higher if it has more of the keywords for the particular search criteria sought.
In today's computer-centric world, most larger employers utilize on-line Applicant Tracking Systems that can be used to track an employee or potential employee from the initial contact for the application through the entire applicant testing and on-boarding process and all the way through each phase of employment up through separation or retirement.
The Applicant Tracking System utilizes the same types of algorithms to rate an applicants cover letter and resume to see if it is "responsive" (there's that word again) - to the specific position being advertised.
A professional resume writer will do several things to ensure that your resume and cover letter are responsive to a specific position. The two most important things they will do from the outset are to LISTEN to the client and ASK QUESTIONS.
Each resume client is individual in both their life and employment experiences, their education and training, and their personal goals regarding their future.
A Professional resume Writer will also know how to translate the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) that the client possesses, in addition to their professional work experience and life experiences, into clear and concise language that will convey properly to the potential employer. Through a thorough understanding of the position to which the client intends to apply, the professional resume writer can best focus and target the resume to the industry and specific position at hand.
A Professional Resume Writer will review the job description for the specific position for which the client intends on applying, and craft a resume and cover letter designed to maximize the keywords and specific job duties and functions described in the job posting, in an effort make your resume score in the top 5% of all resumes submitted.
This reminds me of a very funny, but also unfortunate (for the applicant) experience I had when I was managing a division of a large company. We were advertising for entry-level employees in a specific field that, while not requiring specific prior experience, definitely required some basic skills. I received several hundred resumes for several positions, and a great many of those resume submissions were the result of what I refer to as the "Spray and Pray" method of resume submission. An applicant goes online to one of the many job search websites and just starts sending out a generic resume to as many companies as they can, with the thought that if they throw enough resumes against a wall, something has to stick. One of the non-qualifying resumes I received (scoring very low on the algorithm scale, was from a man I will call "John". (Not his real name, but I wouldn't want to embarrass the poor fellow). Anyway, John sent in a one page resume with minimal prior employment experience listed and a high school diploma as his highest level of education achieved (Not a deal breaker in and of itself, because some of the best and hardest working employees I have ever hired never went to college). What struck me as the proverbial nail in John's coffin, was the "Objective" he listed near the top of his sparse resume. You see, John wrote "Seeking employment as a full-time bartender". What struck me as odd was the fact that John had applied to, and we had advertised for, an Worker's Compensation Insurance Fraud Field Investigator. Now, don;t get me wrong, there was nothing more that I would have liked to have had at that particular company than a full-time bartender, but I'm pretty sure the owner of the company would have frowned on me (and John), if I had hired him. John was out of the running before he even got his running shoes tied. Under normal circumstances, John would have received a generic email response indicating that he did not make the cut in the vetting process and we would be happy to keep his resume "on file" for 3 years and that would have been that. But my need to educate the poor guy won out over my need to just send him on his way, so, I picked up the phone and gave him a call. He answered the call. "John?", I said. "yes" said he. "John, I am the Director of .................. at .................................., and I am calling about the resume you submitted for our Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud Investigator position advertisement." John replied "Did I send you my resume for that position?" "Yes, yes John, you did....and I took some time reviewing it and I just wanted to let you know that you aren't being selected for the position at this time." John was dumbfounded. "Why not" said he. "Well, John, as much as I would absolutely love to have a full-time bartender in the office, but such a position just wasn't available at this time." The funniest part of this story was the fact that John just didn't seem to understand the error of his ways. I had to explain to him why he should focus his resume to each specific job to which eh was applying. John, you see, simply replied "Yeah, well, that's a lot of work." The irony in his response to a prospective employer may have been lost on John, but I certainly got a good laugh out of it and said "good luck in your future" and hung up the phone.
Many unprofessional resume writers are out there, are in the business of taking hard earned money from "clients" and drafting unresponsive, poorly worded and unfocused resumes while simultaneously charging ridiculous fees for the service. Many of these 'resume mills' will prepare a resume for you, then only provide you with a few printed copies, leaving you to either make copies (which are never as crisp and clean as a laser printed original document). Oftentimes, if the document is provided electronically, it may have a watermark across it that will prevent you form printing any copies yourself and relegate you to going back to them fro printed copies whenever you need them. They will also charge you for additional copies above and beyond the few they provide initially. Lastly, they will charge you additional fees for updating your resume, shipping and other fees.
Sure, you could write a resume and cover letter yourself and send it out in the hope that it will result in an interview and eventually an offer of employment, but a professionally written resume and cover letter, prepared by a resume writer with years of experience and the desire to ensure that your resume rises to the top of the submission field, will set you apart from the rest and ensure that you are viewed as one of the best.
At Resumes By Joe, we have the experience of having written over 2,000 professional resumes over the past 20 years, and we work hard to deliver the results that you expect, and your satisfaction is our guarantee. Give us the job of helping you get the job!