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200 | Pro Recruiter Reveals Resume Tips That Work & Other Job Seeker Best Practices

200 | Pro Recruiter Reveals Resume Tips That Work & Other Job Seeker Best Practices


I’ve had some interesting resumes that
have shared a little too much personal information. TMI? Yeah, and it’s it was quite concerning to me when someone shares, you know, certain views of, you know you, know
politics they share, you know, I’ve had some that came through with their date
of birth, their height, their weight, their age. I really don’t need to know all of
that from Rea and Associates studio, this is
unsuitable. A management and financial services podcast for entrepreneurs, tenured business leaders and others who are ready to look beyond the suit-and-tie
culture for meaningful measurable results. I’m Doug Houser. Are you one of those people who only reviews and updates their resume when they need to look for a job? Or do you prefer to take a more
proactive stance to the exercise? Desiree Lyon, talent acquisition
specialist with Rea, is here to help us celebrate international update your
resume month along with our 200th episode of unsuitable. Who’da thunk it?! If you’ve ever wondered why resumes are important, what will get yours thrown out
of the running for a particular position, and how often you should dust yours off
and make updates, be sure to stick around. We’ve got some great tips for you. Welcome Desiree. Thank you for having me, Doug. So good to have you here. So you are
a special guest. 200th episode. how do you feel about that? It’s pretty awesome. I’m excited about it. You know, Beautiful balloons here, and
great staff around me. Who could ask for anything more? Absolutely. I feel a little bit unworthy though, myself, because, you know, my predecessors aren’t here and I wish they could be here to celebrate with us. Maybe later. Maybe after the show. Anyway, so international resume month or update your resume month … What going on? I didn’t even know that existed. Is that a new thing or, what’s what’s the story? Well, you know, there’s so many days for
different things. There’s wine days, there’s wine months, there’s, you know, left-handed month, there’s all kind of fun things. So I think these things just come
along as people become creative so … I didn’t know anything about it either,
obviously. But the nice thing about it is it is something important that we can
all take into consideration to remind ourselves how valuable it is to
update our resumes. Talk a little bit about that. What’s best practice in your mind in terms of keeping a resume updated? So, for me, one of the things that I like to do, I actually keep a list of new things that I come across in my day-to-day activity. Sometimes, you know, I find new information online or, you know, just new skills that I might read about
or going to an event out in the community, you know, with some other
business professionals, just hearing more about what I do. And then keeping track
of those things. So, for example, the CRM tool that’s something that a lot of
folks here at Rea use and one of the nice things is it’s something that
everyone’s been trained on. That, actually, is a tool that many other organizations use as well. So that’s something that you can add to
your skill set. So, if it’s something that’s really going to impact what you do on a day to day basis, and that can continue on with you, I’d always say to
add that to your resume. So, if you do a review, I’d say every six months or so. It’s important to keep a list of things that you do so you don’t forget. And then you can add to it. Oh that’s great advice. So some of those things are things that you take for granted in your your day-to-day activities. But yet they can be meaningful right? For sure. Because, I mean, we’re all so busy, we have a lot of things going on. So to eliminate that, it’s good to keep track of it because you will forget. And
then, when the time comes and someone says, “Hey Doug, you’ve been doing a great
job. I’d love to promote you to president of
the organization.” Not me. And you say, “okay, great!” Well, you got to talk about some presidential activities that you’ve been
a part of. And you may have been a part of so many things, and you didn’t add that, which could be the selling point to getting you that role. Okay, now having gone through the process of hiring folks in the past, obviously that’s that’s your your business I’ve done some of that as well. I continue to be amazed by what I
see in terms of divergent resumes. Not only length, but how they’re put together. All those types of things. What can you tell us today about best practices? There used to be this old adage of, you know, no more than one page and all that
kind of stuff. But yet now I sometimes see four and five pages, which seems ridiculous. What’s best practice in your mind? One of the things that I always tell people, you don’t want it too lengthy. Even if you’ve done so many different things, which you know are very important to you, you have to think about what’s important for the position you’re applying for. And important to the organization you’re applying to. So, you know there’s a lot of folks out here now with 12- to 15-years of experience. But you still have that your resident assistant in in grad school. So now it’s time to get rid of that . That’s great to have that there, however it’s not really relevant to what you’re looking to do – unless you’re applying for a, you know, a housing job. But either way you still had some business professional experience between that time. So it’s important to eliminate things that are just irrelevant. Now, on the other hand too, you have to keep in mind the chronological order of a resume. So, it’s important to have those details there, and according to what you’ve done,
and make sure you put those key points out there. So making sure that if it’s something that was really small, you know, you helped water the plants during summertime it’s not really relevant. You don’t need it on there. So keep
those things that are impactful to getting you where you want to go. And add
that to your resume. Okay, and focus on the most recent stuff, I would assume? Yes. So, a lot of times, you know, for example some people may be at a job for 10- to 20-years. If what you’re going for focuses on your most recent role, keep the information from your most recent role active and at the top of the list. Because, you know, a lot of people have limited attention spans. So a lot of times when you’re reading things, and, you know, if I get a list of four and five to 12 items and, you know, by the time I get to three I’m already like, “okay let’s wrap this up.” You want to make sure those things are important and listed so that you’re
catching your readers attention. Because you’re selling yourself at this point. You want to put what’s important at the top and then you know just eliminate
those things that really aren’t gonna pull your reader in. Sure, now a question I’ve been wondering about. I’m interested to hear your professional opinion on this. What about a mission statement? I’ve seen resumes that have this kind of mission statement at the top. That seems a bit much to me. But maybe that’s just my antiquated thinking. So what are your thoughts in that regard? Well, at one point I would say, you know, a lot of places, a lot of schools were teaching their students to keep an objective, mission statement, something that you’re going for. One of the interesting things I see now lately, I don’t see that too often. However, you know, there are some that I see but they’ll have, you know, it’ll say
something like: “To get a job at KFC,” but
you’ve applied to Boston Market. You know, you have to be mindful of those type of things or make sure it’s tailored. if you’re going to write, it
make sure that it’s something meaningful. Not just a blanket statement to say, “hey I’m here.” Because there’s a hundred
other resumes I can look at that are gonna be more tailored to what I’m looking for. So, it’s a toss-up. I mean, for me personally, I have a listing of some
of my specific skills, specific things that I’ve done, abilities that are short and concise, to the point but that’s in to eliminate that mission
statement. Okay, so you talked about highlighting those skills. So let’s let’s talk about that, that screening process, a little bit. So, as a talent acquisition specialist, what are some of the things that you initially screen for? You know, say you get 200 resumes obviously for one position, you’ve got to quickly screen that down to a manageable number. What the first thing you look at? Is it is it those skills? Well, a lot of times, it’s the skills and how it aligns to that job description. So if someone has 2- to 4-years of experience, but I really need someone
with 8-10, Then that 2- to 4-year, you know, I’d eliminate and potentially save it. Down the road, to maybe revisit again. Especially if they have a strong educational background and came from some organizations that really align with where I’m recruiting for, then I may consider them at a later time. But for the most part, you want to focus in on the skills that align with that job description. So, what I’ve told some folks that have reached out to me for some guidance, is to read that Job Description. Make sure that what you have on your resume aligns with what they’re looking for. Even if it’s certain things that you may not have done for a long time, if you’ve done something similar to that, just put it on there, but be able
to speak to it if you’re asked about it. Okay, so highlight what’s relevant in
other words. Again, going back to that “really paying attention to what the position is,” and not using that shotgun approach, as it were. And be specific right? Absolutely. So you mentioned about some of the screening things there. What else would get a resume thrown out — beyond the the obvious just say grammatical errors or things like that? What are some other things that you’ll screen for right away? You know, it’s interesting that you bring up the you know grammatical errors. You’d be surprised how much that happens. Really? In today’s world, where we can pull up, you know, our text message, autocorrect us these days, there’s really any no excuse. You just have to review it. And a lot of times too, I tell people, there are professional resume writers out there. Reach out to someone and say hey screen this for me scan this take a look at it you know a lot of times too I’ve had some interesting resumes that have
shared a little too much personal information. TMI? Yeah, and it’s it was quite concerning to me. When someone shares certain views of, you know, politics they you know I’ve had some that came through with
their date of birth, their height, their weight, their … I really don’t need to know all of that. You know, so I’ve seen it and I’m just
like okay I didn’t see that I’m just gonna keep reading. So certain things, like that, you just have to remove but some other things that I would say could potentially get your resume eliminated, would be just not really sharing information of value Okay example if there’s a position that
you’re applying for and you have listed there just a lot of those words that
those big verbs, you know, that you’re taught to write down, what you’ve done, you know, “I’ve impacted” it and “I’ve established” and I … What does that really mean? Cuz
you’re not really saying much to me in that aspect. So, those are the things you just gotta move on and look for somebody who really is taking this seriously. So that all the latest lingo, as it were, you know somebody did an online search for all the latest lingo and just insert it in their
resume. Yes, yes. I had an example of someone who was applying for a sales manager job. And I think he put that it was something
like I established a team of 40 and made such a … We led the team to leading the sales region for … You know, some sort of elaborate and
magnified. And the funny thing was I got a chance to talk to the gentlemen, so I
said, “well tell me about this here. You mentioned this team that you’ve
built, it sounds pretty awesome. So help me understand what exactly you did there.” “Oh, well I worked with everybody and I met my numbers.” But you led the team, right? So you’re applying for a manager job. So, what managerial skills did you really share with me? And come to find out he just really didn’t do that. So, I just had to say, “Well, thank
you so much for your time and best wishes and well we’ll keep in touch.” Thank you very little. So, do you see a lot of inaccuracies or
embellishments? Does that happen frequently or no? Yes the embellishments definitely. I would say happen. And you know, on the brighter side of things, I think people just really want so much more and they read a job description and they get a little excited. So sometimes they just come across as, “I’ve done all these magnificent things but it really doesn’t align with the job.” And sometimes being in the position
I’m in, especially with the students that come to me and apply for a job. And they’re so excited, you know, they just just graduated. I try to share with them how to kind of bring it in a little bit. And to make sure that what you’re saying you can speak to. Because, if someone asks you a question, you don’t want to get nervous and then just kind of fall to pieces. Then it looks like you’re not telling the truth. Right. Right. So tell me about maybe a few horror
stories that you’ve come across. These are these are always entertaining for me. You know, at one point I said I can probably write a book
on some of the resumes I’ve come across. I had a young lady I was talking to, and I
heard this loud noise in the background. It sounded like maybe she was in a
factory or something. And I said “is now still a good time for you to talk?” You know we started talking getting this interview and I’m expecting this sound to just go away. It never went away. And then eventually I
just had enough and I said, “Okay, you know, what’s going on? Is something happening?” “Oh, I’m just vacuuming out my car real quick.” What in the world is going on? So I told her, I said, “Well, you
know what, it sounds like you’re busy right now. So why don’t we wrap this
up here.” And, “Oh no. I’m fine.” No, I don’t think you are. You’re fine but I’m not. This isn’t okay for me. So, I had to end that call. I had one lady, she answered the phone. I called and immediately she just picked up the phone and said, “I don’t want any,” and slammed the phone down. Okay. She must have forgot that two o’clock I was gonna call her for this interview. And thought maybe I
was a telemarketer or somebody, but you know, those things happen. Maybe it was best for her to, you know, just hang up the phone at that point because, I don’t know if I really want that same attitude here talking to our clients or even our employees. Right. Oh, very interesting stuff. I’m sure you’ve seen seen all kinds. Yeah. Lots of stuff. We can probably sit here for hours telling some of those stories. Later. For sure. Ultimately though, when we get down to it,
so in today’s world obviously technology continues to change, jobs continue to
evolve so quickly, why ultimately do we need a resume? We can Skype. We can, you know, do all these other things in terms of communication and introduction, you know. You’ve got LinkedIn and all this other kind of stuff. So why do we why do we ultimately need a resume today? Well one of the things about a resume is it’s really bringing yourself to the forefront to an employer. A lot of times now with, speaking to what you were talking about with the technology, you know, it’s not the same as where someone could walk into an organization and say, “hey, here’s my resume. Is your manager around I’d like to chat with them? You know, everybody’s busy and so many things going on so the nice thing is that we do have the technology that we can use. You need your resume to just kind of remind those who you may have reached
out to via email or you know you found this interesting job, ” Hey, I’m here and I
can do this and I’m excited about your your firm and I’ve heard so many good things. So you have to really sell yourself. That’s the first thing that’s really going to make the impression to someone. You always want to make sure that it’s updated and accurate. A lot of times, you know, if you think historically, even before you know this technology age and even before, years and years back you wrote letters to people. Sure people would write letters just to share information and say who they are or say, you know, hey I heard about your business and I’m congratulating you on something and, you know, how could I be of a benefit or a resource to you? It’s just sharing information came from written letters. And that’s what was
persuasive. So it’s the same thing with a resume. You have to be persuasive. Be able to speak to certain things in your writing. And then that’s what attracts that hiring manager to want to reach out to you. Okay. So the quality of the writing and the way you’re presenting yourself certainly does matter on the resume. So, now, you know bringing up something like LinkedIn, I remember a candidate a few years back that I talked to somewhere else and they had somebody right out of college, had sent me a resume, when I looked on LinkedIn the profiles didn’t exactly match up. So, do you see a lot of that kind of thing? Or, say, when we we get a resume, do we look at those kinds of profiles as well to see see what else is there? You know, one nice thing about LinkedIn, I’ve actually been impressed with, some folks that are really excited about, connecting and working for the firm, is that they’ll connect with me first before I even reach out. I kind of like that
because it tells me you’re really interested. This is serious business for you. And, of course, by then I’m sure they’ve made all the updates to make the paper and align with what’s online. You would hope. But that’s a good thing. Now for me personally, I don’t necessarily check the social media and all those things. I would rather get your information from you. I want to hear from you, specifically, first. I think that gives you the fair option to come with your best foot forward. To be able to communicate what you’ve shared with me at that point. Because sometimes, everybody doesn’t have a
LinkedIn. And you know LinkedIn is a fabulous tool. I love it. I use it all the time. I recruit with it. I’ve made some great business contacts
through LinkedIn. I think people don’t realize how important it is. We get caught up in Facebook’s grade, in Instagrams grade, and all these other
tools are great. However, LinkedIn is really that professional world that you can just really meet people and network. You’d be amazed at the relationships you build. Not just for your career, but even just for personal development. Absolutely. That’s a great point. So note for all you job seekers out there. Connect with Desiree. That’s right! So now, what about some of these other, you know, you see these other sites like Indeed or something like that where people can just post their resumes. I mean, is that it is that a good practice in your view? Or is that just your casting too wide a scope and and that’s not really useful? What are your thoughts on on that kind of thing? I think job boards are very useful and the
reason I think they’re useful is because, a lot of times, if I’m recruiting for a role that I need a large amount of people. … At one point I recruited for a call center. We had to fill a class of 40. So out of 40, I probably needed to reach out to
about 90 people just to get to that 40. So going through my job description and then allowing it with you know find what I’m looking for, and then going out to Indeed, I can actually do a search on Indeed. And there’s so many different ways to do a search on these job boards where you can actually pull in a bunch of resumes that actually align with what you’re looking for. So I can send out a mass email and say, “Hey, here’s a job description. This is my
company I work for. Why don’t you apply.” And then go from there. So it can definitely be helpful. And to another point. If you’re looking for
somebody with specialized skills, okay, so for example, somebody that has
some type of specialty that you really
need that’s hard to find. You can actually do a search with those specific words. So someone who may work in, you know, have a manufacturing or a construction background, or, you know, anything that’s related to what you need, you can do those really intricate searches to find people. And sometimes you only get five resumes, but hey, that’s great. Because I just need one person to fill this one position. But they’re very targeted. So if I meet somebody with specific state and local tax expertise, it’s easier to whinny that down to to what I’m looking for. Exactly. Interesting. So what else should should people be aware of in terms of resumes and careers right now? Obviously most of the the power lies with those looking for a job right? Because we can’t find people across, not only our industry, but the clients we talk to as well. Think that’s gonna be the case here for a while going forward? What trends do you see? Well, you know, it really varies on different roles. I’ve recruited for different roles with different organizations and it just really varies. I think that it also sometimes puts the onus on the organization’s to really sell themselves too. We always focus in on employees selling themselves, which is very important. However, organizations, you got a lot of competition out here. There are so many organizations with perks you would not believe. It’s just amazing. And I’m not saying we all have to do the exact same thing. But you have to really strategically figure out how we’re going to get the target market
that we need to work here. So really differentiate yourself if you’re an
employer. Yes. For sure. There’s some organizations they went to unlimited vacation, they have lunches brought in every Monday and Friday. So many different avenues you can go. And then some offer, you know,
opportunities to travel internationally. And that’s a whole different range and
even setting up a resume to send out internationally, you know, some of the rules are quite different than what we’ve experienced. So note to employers out there, differentiate yourself and present yourself well. Great stuff. Well, thank you Desiree. If you want more tips and insight or to
hear previous episodes of unsuitable, visit our podcast page at www.reacpa.com/podcast. Thanks for listening to this week’s show. You can subscribe to unsuitable on iTunes or wherever you’d like to get your podcasts, including YouTube. And while you’re there, please leave us a
review. You can also write to us at [email protected] I’m Doug Houser. Join us next week for another unsuitable interview from an
industry professional.

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