Posts Tagged ‘Human resources’

by Rachael Del Pino

RecruiterI recently read an article stating that Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds looking at your resume.  As a Recruiter, I would wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

Since you only have moments to capture our attention, it seems only fair that you have some insight into which components make us want to keep reading and which will cause us to swiftly move onto the next resume in our queue.

The first thing that I notice, before I look at any of the data on the resume, is the format.  If it is clean, concise and consistent it makes it easier for me to read and consequently, makes me want to keep reading.

Fonts should be the same size and type throughout the document.  If you bold one title, bold them all; or vice versa.  Keep your spacing and section headers consistent as well.

The next place my eyes go is to your name and contact information.  Make sure you include your email address (and also ensure that it is professional) and a correct phone number.

If you are applying for a job outside of the local area (that does not offer relocation assistance), remove your address or use a local address where you might be staying if you move there.

Most Recruiters will not consider non-local candidates if there are no relocation dollars available, but if you are serious about relocating yourself, this method can be an effective work around.

The next area I scan is the summary/qualifications statement.  This section should be tailored specifically to every job you apply to.  If I read the summary statement and it appears to be totally unrelated to the job you are applying for, that is a big red flag.

The job market is too competitive to for you to appear complacent, especially in the first paragraph of your resume.  There is NO one-size-fits-all resume.

You must modify it to the job or at a minimum the industry you are applying to.  Use keywords and phrases from the job description to further impress and captivate the reader.

The next section I will look at is education or work experience, depending upon which you have listed first.  Education should be listed before work experience only if you are a recent (within the last 2-3 years) graduate.

In the education section, I’m looking for a related degree (if required) and the year of graduation so that I can determine how much experience you likely have.

In the work experience section I’m scanning job titles, company names, start and end dates for at least the last 2 positions held.  I am looking for any red flags – short tenure, unrelated jobs or industries, etc.

The technical skills section is another area that I will scan within the first few seconds, especially if I am recruiting for a highly skilled/technical role.

I want to know that the candidate has the required technical skills before I read anything else.  For these types of positions, it can be a good idea to put that information at the top of your resume (below the summary statement) so the Recruiter doesn’t have to go searching for it.

These recommendations are general guidelines to follow.   Every recruiter may give you a slightly different spin on this and certain jobs require unique resume formatting, but from my experience, this is generally how it goes.

With an average of only 6 seconds to capture a Recruiter’s attention, it is imperative that you make it easy for us to find the critical job related data and entice us to want to keep reading.

Rachael Del Pino

Rachael Del Pino has significant experience in recruiting and talent management for Fortune 100 companies, as well as a master’s degree in Management with an HR concentration from the University of Central Florida. She also owns Accendo Careers, a career development and coaching company.  She has an innate passion for helping people reach their highest career potential.


by Daniel Scocco
resume writing tips
Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. That is beyond discussion. How does one make sure that his resume is top notch and bullet proof, however? There are several websites with tips around the web, but most bring just a handful of them. We wanted to put them all together in a single place, and that is what you will find below: 44 resume writing tips.

1. Know the purpose of your resume

Some people write a resume as if the purpose of the document was to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring piece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job (hopefully!).

2. Back up your qualities and strengths

Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up, else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.

3. Make sure to use the right keywords

Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts.

These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for. You can read more about resume keywords on the article Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness.


This is a guest post by Howie Appel, Executive Director of ProNet Career Resources.

The three common horror stories I hear are:

  1. 12 people have helped me with my resume and I’m STILL not getting interviews…what now?
  2. I spent over a $1000 on my resume last month and no interviews came as a result of my meeting with a “professional”.
  3. I wrote my resume because I know my self!! I had mom, dad, brother, and sister along with Uncle Joe review it and they said it was fine….how come no interviews?

People approach me all the time with these questions and I felt that it’s “high time” to give you my thoughts as to why these events are not leading to a new position.

Number 1: relates to both biases and opinions. These 12 people…what are their backgrounds? Have they done recruiting? Have they reviewed and revamped resumes for a long time? Have they “read up” on the latest trends in resume construction? I have read article after article on peoples’ attitudes toward resumes. In all honesty, the only ones that make sense are those who have engaged in the actual work of recruiting. If all of these people have been in this field, then chances are, most of their suggestions should be similar.

Number 2: relates to those, again, who claim to be “close” to Human Resource recruiters. They may, indeed, have their credentials and feel that the time they spent and the monies they spent to get their certifications enables them to justifiably charge this type of money. That’s a hard “pill to swallow” in this economy. Many resume writers are coming down in their prices. Some even do it for free. Bear in mind the old saying, “you get what you pay for”. I’ll cover that in the next paragraph.

Number 3: finally, relates to having a resume reviewed and revamped for free. It’s not costing you anything, so why not? Again, the concept is simple, if the person with whom you’re dealing is knowledgeable in the current practices and what should and should not be on a resume and they opt to rewrite yours for free….then good luck….my guess is that they will help you by ensuring there are no typos or other “red flags”. They have no “stake” in your future, they are just trying to help…..and that is completely understandable. Many come to me and say, after much frustration, my spouse looked at this and said it was fine. I went line by line, only to find various “red flags” which were pointed out.

Bottom line

This is your resume. It needs to portray you. One typographical error could separate you from your peer who opted to spend some money and have a professional review it. What does it take? It takes the formulation of phrases, it takes a first and second draft. It also takes open-mindedness on your part. It takes accepting the fact that some terms are old and should not be used. One should never give a resume to a writer and say”do your stuff and then get back to me”. Collaboration is the key here. If you do not have MAJOR input into the making and building of your personal portfolio, then it is not yours but that of the writer.

In the interview, you will be tested on every word on the resume. If you felt comfortable that the writer knows what they’re talking about, then good….but is he/she coming to the interview with you? Horrible things can happen if you leave out vital information that could lead to your being a “notch” higher than your competition.

Resumes must be chronological in that the reviewer wants to know where, when, what, and how. They want to see quantitative information. They want to see action verbs. Finally, they want to test your memory and your knowledge of yourself. Does that sound weird? No, it is just that you must tell the recruiter/hiring manager about yourself using short, succinct and action phrases that will make him want to know more.

How long should your resume be? Obviously, it depends on YOU!! Here are some general rules of “thumb”: Recent college graduates need only assemble one page. College graduates with 10 years experience need a 2 page resume. Have a Masters degree? You will probably short circuit yourself with a 2 page resume. Font should always be 12 font….I don’t want to take out a magnifying glass and then a microscope to read the resume….I’ll just pass and move onto the next one.

Don’t Miss:  A Month by Month Guide to Your Career in 2012

Howie Appel

Howie is the Executive Director of ProNet Career Resources, Inc.  He has been a corporate and agency recruiter for 25 years.  A member of the CFEC Resume Critiquing Team at their Job Fairs, he is also an expert resume writer with a passion for helping succeed in their search for the position they desire..


By Maro Onokpise

The part of the interview that could determine whether or not you’re going to move on in the process or not is when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions.  I’ve been hearing from a lot of hiring managers and recruiters that they are amazed at the amount of people that don’t have any questions.

This is the opportune time to make one final impression on a potential employer. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers aren’t taking advantage of the last 5-10 minutes of the interview to stand out.  The key to a great interview isn’t always about how well you answered questions, a lot also has to do with the questions you ask.

I have to draw a distinction between asking relevant questions and asking questions just for the sake of asking them.  You may not get the opportunity to ask as many questions as you would like, so it’s a great idea to have some questions prepared that you can refer to once that time comes.  To get clarity around the role that you’re interviewing for, and to give you the best chance at success, you’ll want to get answers to the following questions:

Why is the role open?

Is this a newly created role or has someone left or been promoted.  It’s always interesting to hear why a role has become available.  If it’s due to someone moving up within the company, that’s a great sign of what could be for you.  If the previous employee left the company all together, you probably should find out why so you have a better idea as to what you’re getting yourself into

What challenges does the interviewer see in the role?

It’s a good idea to get the interviewer to talk about the challenges versus the problems with a position.  It shows that you are looking at things with a positive lens.  Some challenges may be structural, while others may have to do with a gap in abilities and the responsibilities of the position.  Either way, it’s best to find out which if you plan on succeeding.

What are the firms expectations

If these haven’t been covered during the course of your interview, ask this question directly.  In addition to the long term success of the role, you want to find out what the firm plans on doing to stay ahead of the competition.  I’ve worked at places where we relied on our name alone and stood by while our biggest competitors innovated and ultimately took market share.

Be careful how you pose this question.  The interviewer may not know the answer, and you don’t want to scare them off.  Use this opportunity to see how the company defines success and what success in this role means to them.

What are the priorities?

You need to have a firm understanding of what your priorities are.  If anything major is going to go wrong, it’ll probably go wrong within the first 90 days on the job.  Get an idea as to what their onboarding process is and if you will have to travel for any initial training.

Are you the right person for the job

If you feel that that the interview is going really well, this the question that you want the answer to!  Don’t ask this question too directly.  If you ask too directly, you could get a vague answer.  You need to express your interest and enthusiasm about the opportunity and ask if there are any reasons that would prevent them from moving forward with you.  Hopefully there aren’t any, but if there are any reservations, you want the opportunity to show the interviewer that you are more than capable of doing the job.


Hiring is more of a headache than ever, so say many companies who receive HR services from my firm. This might come as a surprise considering that there’s no longer an overheated talent market in which companies desperately compete for top talent. But instead, business owners are facing a down economy in which scores of job seekers clamber over each other in order to land scarce positions. The influx of new candidates into the marketplace makes it even more difficult for executives and hiring managers to find the perfect people for open, high-impact positions.

And yet, hiring the right person is more important than ever. A single bad hire can cost between $60,000 and $120,000–that’s not exactly the way you want to spend precious dollars in a difficult market.

For the most part, the way to make the right hire is the same as it’s always been:

  1. Define the requirements carefully. This sounds ridiculously easy, but it’s amazing how many business owners will embark on a search without determining exactly whom they want to hire. It’s important to detail the specific job requirements and desired personal characteristics, creating a “hiring scorecard” that can be used in screenings and interviews to determine if a candidate can fulfill the requirements of the job. Needless to say, it’s also critical to determine if the candidate will be a cultural fit as well
  2. Look for repeated patterns of success. Don’t just look for tactical job responsibilities and skills–find the applicants who have repeatedly made a mark and exceeded expectations, time and time again. Drill down in the interview to ask those questions; find out how they measure their own success and whether their employment history tells a story of a superstar.
  3. It’s the network. With so many resumes flooding in for each open position, you should rely on inbound candidates even less than you ever have. Your friends and their friends know the fantastic players who are searching for their next opportunity; tap into them and save yourself a lot of paper time.
  4. Find a recruiting platform that allows for pre-screening. When you do need to wade through resumes, use a recruiting system with pre-screening questions and candidate rating capabilities. This allows you to focus on the exact capabilities you need and only review the candidates who have passed the initial screening, saving yourself massive amounts of time.
  5. It’s still about the passive seekers . I personally recently hired a VP of Marketing for my company, but when I first came across him, he was already installed at another company. I courted him for months, persuaded him and eventually he came to work for me. In essence, I treated this executive search as though it was occurring during a gangbusters economy where talent is scarce. The reality is, the truly premium talent is still scarce, and always will be. If your bar for talent is as obscenely high as mine, passive seekers can make or break your search.
  6. Don’t settle. Almost every tip I’ve provided works in both a good and lousy economy. But let’s be honest: When the good times roll, it’s easier to find someone and say “good enough.” But in a down economy, you should never do this. Take the time you need to find the right candidate, either active or passive, and make the right hire.

There’s no question this is a great time to hire people. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’ll be easier. The exceptional hires are out there, but just as in the old days, you may need to do some detective work and actively seek out the people who will make your company great.

Burton Goldfield is president and CEO of TriNet, an HR outsourcing partner to small businesses located in San Leandro, Calif. Goldfield is responsible for setting TriNet’s overall corporate strategy, directing business and providing strategic guidance regarding TriNet’s human capital offerings.