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5 March, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Early Careerists, Resume, Uncategorized
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Your Resume Is the ‘Key to the Kingdom’

Posted March 5th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

Many job applicants fail too see the irony in applying for positions online.  

The resume is your first interview but you will not be present to answer any questions or explain your information. Your resume will determine whether you advance in the search.

Now here is the second irony, increasingly, no one from the employer side will be there either. The decision regarding your fate will be decided by a machine, an Automatic Tracking System (ATS) which not only categorizes your resume for the applicant database, but, in many cases, decides whether your resume will be referred to the recruiter handling the position for which you applied.  This is not so with every online website, but the the trend is increasing – rapidly.

Increasingly, no one from the employer side will be there either. The decision regarding your fate will be decided by a machine, an Automatic Tracking System (ATS) which not only categorizes your resume for the applicant database, but, in many cases, decides whether your resume will be referred to the recruiter.

To be clear, if your resume does not include evidence of all the position requirements, from years of experience to the type of and scope of your responsibilities, the chances are good you will not receive a call back.  Even if the organization’s ATS is not the latest and greatest, recruiters still must search using parameters including key words.  This is also true with search firms who may actually manually review your document.  

The Professional Summary must include the key words from the job description to ensure you make it past the machine.  In my practice I frequently hear complaints about the inequities in this new automated employment environment but when I ask to see the resume and the job posting, most appear to be submitting a version of a generic resume, that is to say marginally customized.  

You also need to incorporate those key words whenever possible in the job entries with your accomplishments.  Loading the key words only in the Professional Summary — called “keyword dump” — will not help with some of the more sophisticated ATS systems. 

Several executives who paid to have their resumes done professionally said they were not advised to customize their resume, nor did the designer/writer talk about the importance of identifying the keywords.  

Several executives who paid to have their resumes done professionally said they were not advised to customize their resume, nor did the designer/writer talk about the importance of identifying the keywords.  Executives need to ask for this type of guidance.

When I began my executive career as a Department Director, a wise Director of Human Relations told me that in the case of employee performance issues, if it was not documented in the employee’s official file that lived in HR, it officially did not exist.  

If your resume does not reflect these new rules of online applications, your great experience “will not exist.”

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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