DIGITAL RESUMESOkay job seekers, here's the best kept secret in Digital Resumes: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE RECRUITER IS GOING TO SEARCH FOR! Searching a resume database to find a candidate is often very similar to searching any other database- you enter a key word or phrase that you're searching for, and the database spits out results that match your search. Sounds simple, right? While working in the field speaking with job seekers, I am continually amazed at how little direction is provided to them from "resume experts" on this extremely fundamental concept.
Normally, when reviewing a job seekers resume with them, I can find major ommissions in just a few seconds that dramatically affect their ability to be found in a database search. Often, its something this simple: you put your job title in that reads "Inside Sales Rep". What if the recruiter searches for Account Manager? or Sales Professional? or Sales Representative? Would you want to be found in those searches? This is the simplest thing job seekers can change on their resumes to increase the number of people who find them and contact them.
We advise that you simply add a "Keyword Summary" to the end of the digital resume, and list out all the terms that you could use if your were searching for yourself. We also suggest you include job titles that you believe in your heart you are qualified for, but have not yet done. For example, maybe you've have Assistant HR Manager in your work experience, and you've done it for many years. If you truly feel you are qualified for an HR Director job, you should include that keyword. At best, the recruiter who searches for HR director will find you, review your qualifications, and call you to find out more. At worst, they will see that you don't have that experience and not call...
RECRUITERS/HR MANAGERS VIEW: Remember, if you are searching a resume database, it's absolutely critical that you are creative and thoughtful with your search terms. This is the best way to ensure you're finding ALL the relevant candidates.
URI CAREER FAIRToday, JobsInRI, the Rhode Island-specific employment website operated by JobsInTheUS, exhibited at the annual fall career fair at the University of Rhode Island. We've attended URI events for the past 4 years or so, and this usually tends to be a good event with lots of college students getting ready to enter the workforce. Unfortunately, RI now tops the unemployment rates in the country at around 8.9%, nearly doubling in the last year. This isn't good news for graduating seniors. In fact, I believe I saw more graduate programs exhibiting at this year's event than any other I've attended- the message? Stay in school a couple more years until the economy and job growth is stronger!
Job Seeker Story of the DayThe URI career fair is open to the public. I spent a few minutes speaking with a gentlemen who had more than a decade (or two) experience in printing and graphic design / prepress for commercial printing. Two years ago, this was a highly marketable skill as print was still strong, and these skills becoming harder and harder to find. Now, with the slumping economy and associated belt-tightening, people are moving away from direct mail, printed newsletters, and other printed materials, choosing instead to move toward email and web based marketing and communication. The thought, of course, is that there's no production cost or hard costs, such as the paper, and that its more environmentally friendly. In reality, the decision is simple business economics- its cheaper to send emails, whether its internally for employee notices, to members for newsletters, or to customers for marketing, than it is to print and mail these pieces.
In speaking with this gentleman, I offered suggestions on career options that would take advantage of his transferable skills: Graphic Design and Layout skills are just as valuable now, but must be updated and modified for these new web tools. This may take learning new software, but if the most important knowledge is the general rules of good layout and design, which he likely has with his experience. Its much easier to teach the hard skills of a new software than it is to teach the soft skills of good creative application and knowledge of design elements. Another skilled trade being undervalued and underappreciated because of the advent of new software and technology...
THOUGHTS FOR RECRUITERS / HR PROFESSIONALS: It is truly important to understand the value of soft skills within your company, and to weight those appropriately in your screening and hiring process. Remember, FIRST WHO, THEN WHAT. If you have the right people with the right motivation, culture, ideals, morals, drive, intelligence, strengths, it is easy to teach them the hard skills that are relevant to your company. If you hire people based on hard skills that lack all those soft skills, you'll constantly be working on employee issues and retention programs, wondering why your turnover is so high when you always get the most skilled people.
That's the way it looks from the recruiting front lines today. I hope you'll share any thoughts via the comments link.