“The relationship is a two way partnership built on trust.”

Bob Mulcahy – Uniting
Read More
For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]

jobs

It’s 1998, I’ve graduated from university with an Honours degree and it’s time to step out into the real world to find my first real job. Now, fast forwarding 20 years to 2018, I take a look at how things have changed for jobseekers, to a process that is now barely recognisable.

 

Back in 1998, you would have to set time aside to look for your next role. Usually, after work one evening or at the weekend and the first step was to pick up the newspaper and trawl through the adverts. Quite often this was a once a week publication, if it was a local paper, or if it was a national print, certain days were popular for advertising the latest openings. And to make things worse, there were no classifications. All jobs, accounting, engineering, plumbing, IT, or whatever were all bundled together.

 

Secondly, most people only produced one version of their resume back then. What was better known as a Curriculum Vitae, or CV, it was mostly printed and sent in the mail or even handed over to reception for the attention of the “Personnel Officer”. CVs were often quite lengthy documents too, outlining every job you’d had since leaving school.

 

If you were selected for an interview back in the day, they were fairly straight forward. Often, you’d be invited in to answer a series of questions to an interview panel including the HR team, the hiring manager and somebody from the team. The questions would be fairly straight forward, with candidates needing to demonstrate they had the previous experience and qualifications to be able to do the job.

 

So, what do we do now?

 

Technology has changed every part of the process. And not just computers, but phones too. I last heard that something like 80% of jobseekers use the mobile apps to search for their next role. People are looking at opportunities at any time of day now, on the way to work, at lunch or when they’re heading home.

 

So that part is significantly easier. However, the actual application process is now much more detailed.

 

When applying for a role these days, it is often recommended that candidates tailor their resume to the requirements of the role, rather than keeping a generic resume for every job. You need to think about what skills and experiences you have, that can be specifically applied to the role you are applying for. Another reason for tailoring the document is that many firms are now using technology as the first part of the filtering process, so candidates need to ensure that their resumes contain key words that appear in the job advertisement.

 

When your resume gets in front of a human being though, it needs to be presented in a more professional style than in the past. It should highlight your achievements and demonstrate what you have done for your employer that was above and beyond what they expected from you when they offered you the job. I read recently that some recruiters take just six seconds to review a CV. I find this hard to believe myself, as I know that when I am reading resumes, it takes me longer than that to read your name, address and date of birth. I believe most recruiters take around 30 second to decide whether to call a candidate or not, so the presentation needs to grab the eye.

 

Once you are selected for an interview, the preparation process is far more detailed. With so much information online, candidates need to research the company’s website, read up on news releases, understand the industry and know who the competition are. You need to spend time looking at the backgrounds of the people that you’ll be meeting, by viewing their LinkedIn profiles. And once you have completed the face to face interviews, we are often faced with a range of testing. Many employers now use psychometric or personality assessments and many continue to test potential employees on the IT skills with online skills testing.

 

jobs

How can you get your resume to stand out from the competition? Online resume submission has made it much easier for candidates to apply for jobs than it was in the past. Unfortunately for job seekers, it has also increased the number of applicants for most positions.

Emphasise accomplishments with power verbs. When describing your previous employment experiences, emphasize how you solved problems and added value to the company.

Begin phrases with keywords like “increased,” “initiated,” “resolved” and “improved”; these power verbs go beyond simply stating your duties to emphasize how you produced results.

Quantify your successes and the magnitude of your responsibilities. Numbers jump off the resume page. Identify the bottom line for your department. Is it sales volume, profit margin, donations generated, savings on expenses, expanding memberships, grants secured, or something else? Figure out the rough baseline level of activity before you arrived at the company and calculate the difference that you or your team has made. For example, you can include phrases such as “Developed PR initiative to increase number of donors by X%” or “Implemented Fiscal Plan that Reduced Expenses by 10%.” Also consider incorporating numbers to show how many staff, how large a budget, or how many customers you are responsible for. These numbers will help demonstrate the weight of your responsibilities.

Highlight awards and recognition. Demonstrating that others value your contributions often has greater influence than you tooting your own horn. Include a category heading for honors/awards if you can fill it with formal recognitions.

In your descriptions of the awards, use keywords that imply recognition, like “selected,” “elected” and “recognized.” Quality recommendations are another form of recognition. Beef up your recommendations on LinkedIn and be sure to include a link to your profile on your resume. If an employer asks for written recommendations, select recommenders who know your skills and accomplishments well.

Show how you have been a strong leader and team player. Most organizations value leadership and teamwork very highly. When writing descriptions of your previous jobs, try to include examples of how each job required you to demonstrate these skills. Incorporate words that show formal and informal leadership and teamwork, such as “led,” “mentored,” “drew consensus,” “collaborated” and “sought input.”

Target your document to the job at hand. Emphasize skills, accomplishments and responsibilities which are most related to the requirements of your target job. To do this, find keywords in the job posting and incorporate them into your resume. You can also consider including a summary at the top of your resume that makes reference to the most relevant skills, accomplishments and other qualifications. You can also include a resume title as another way to get your resume noticed.

Show evidence of your eagerness to continually upgrade your knowledge and skills. Include a category for training, certifications, publications/presentations and/or professional development. Emphasize any leadership roles with professional groups and any publications or presentations.

Think of your resume as ad copy. Use bold for words that draw the eye to key accomplishments or recognition. Make sure important information is situated towards the top of your resume or in the beginning of your descriptions so it isn’t overlooked.

We found this on The Balance by Alison Doyle.