Your Résumé — Your Strengths | Your Power-Packed Showcase

The new IT resume is a much more readable and value-focused document that tells a story in a glance. Find out how to get yours...
Saturday, 13 May 2017

The U.S. Department of Defense doesn't post guards at the entrance to the subterranean bunker in Cheyenne Mountain for show.  They're there to keep out individuals that don't belong.

Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) does the same thing for businesses that are seeking employees.  It may not be a stunning revelation, but HR departments are faced with a deluge of résumés every time they offer a position.  Most HR professionals will tell you that, at the very least, half of the applicants are unqualified for the job.

The function of ATS is to skim off the cream and eliminate the leftovers.  What is it looking for?  Words the company has used to describe the position!  I have said in this space before that if their ad says:

"We are looking for an experienced Senior Manager for Strategic Sourcing who can lead, and work with our global team, ensuring a robust supply chain to support the demands of the business and our customers"

…then your self-description says:

"In my role as a Senior Manager for Strategic Sourcing my leadership experience with global teams has maintained a lead by ensuring a robust supply chain.  My chief concern has always been to support the demands of the business and our customers."

…and although it may not win any beauty contests, it will light up the ATS gate keeper and get your résumé transferred to the To-Be-Viewed-By-A-Human-Being pile.

Once it has created a pool of actual candidates, there is still the arduous, manual task of eliminating the least likely candidates, and then deciding, from amongst the remains, whom they wish to interview.

Dallas technical staffing and you

We want to help, so let's go over the most important points for designing your IT résumé and then getting it into the hands of someone who  can make the decision to offer you an interview.  Follow along and learn how to be attractive and interesting enough to get your foot in the door.

Perspective Shift

Imagine that you are no longer the applicant.  You are the IT staffing agent in Dallas on the other side of the door who is holding a "skills wanted" list from a department manager.  Phrase everything in a way that will appeal to that person.

Whether you became aware of the job opportunity through a newspaper ad, a job website, or through a headhunter/recruiter, you know what that list says.  Now it's time to slip onto the World Wide Web and research to find out precisely what that particular job requires.  Once you have that, you know what they really need; it's time to give those answers in a way that they will love to read.

The Art of Résumés

  • Be succinct and trim the excess verbiage; that HR staffer has a lot of résumés to get through so make sure yours is easy to read;
  • Use bullet points where possible because it makes material easier to skim; it provides a brief moment to remember the information they have just read;
  • Use action-words combined with facts and numbers instead of generalities to demonstrate your talents (Saved 45% over previous year's budget, or Increased 2016 sales by 15%, or Recovered $360,000 in past due accounts, previously written off);
  • Continue that with non-monetary information (Consistently placed 1st among 65 sales reps, or Trained 1,015 employees on new database software, or Doubled the e-mail response rate with a sophisticated new campaign.)

Life Imitates Art

Now when you are crafting your résumé, you will be answering their most vital questions right up front: 

  1. Can this person do the job?
  2. Will hiring this person solve (or create) any problems for me?
  3. Does this person have the drive to take control of this job without a lot of hand-holding?
  4. Does this person have the ambition and creativity to deliver more than expected?
  5. Will this person integrate smoothly with the team, and fit into our organization?

Tell a Story

Be like a real author: Show don't Tell.  Always avoid the poisonous phrase "Duties included…" because that will get your résumé thrown out immediately.

Relate experiences that show that you can solve problems and get the job done.  You're a problem solver, not a problem creator.  Show how you proactively solved a problem, obtained a new customer, added to the bottom line, and "saved the day.”  

Tell how you solicited additional responsibilities and then excelled in that new capacity.  Tell how you inherited a dysfunctional team, or created a brand new one, that set company records; that achieved magnificent goals; that enticed new customers.

The Takeaway

The most important thing, however, is to remember that this is a short story.  Respect your reader's time.  Even if you have never bothered to read Shakespeare, there is a vital lesson you can take away from a single line in his play called Hamlet.  "Brevity is the soul of wit,” and if you keep that in mind, your reader will respect you because you respected their time.

Read 3347 times Last modified on Monday, 31 July 2017