As the saying goes, “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. Your resume is that first impression to a perspective employer. A well-constructed resume can get you in the door and give you the opportunity to show a hiring manager what you are all about. A poorly constructed resume can leave you wondering when that next opportunity is going to come. There are many opinions as to what makes a strong resume. Having reviewed resumes professionally for over 15 years, there are a few things I’ve learned:
This one has never made sense to me, yet it is the one I most commonly hear. If your career is two years long, yes, you should be able to write that on one page. But if your career has spanned 10-15 years and involves 3-4 employers with multiple projects for each, how can you be expected to sum that up in one page? Six or seven pages is far too many, but if your resume is three pages long you have nothing to worry about.
This is not an art project, it’s an opportunity to display your professionalism. Use a font (and font size) that is easy to read. Write in black or dark blue. Whatever font/color you choose, stick with it throughout the resume. You may want to adjust the font size or use italics/boldface to denote a job title, company name or similar heading. Beyond that, stay consistent.
If you are posting your resume on the job boards (Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder, etc.) post a version that gives a good general overview of your skill set and will cast the widest net. Your goal with this resume is to get a recruiter or HR professional to call you. Once you get that call though, you should be open to modifying your resume to fit the specific job for which you are applying. Your original resume may dedicate one bullet point to a subject whereas your targeted resume dedicates 3 or 4 in order to show how in-depth your experience is in that area.
Don’t even exaggerate beyond a few flowery adjectives to describe what a wonderful person you are. Anything you claim on your resume, you should be prepared to defend in an interview. If you claim expert knowledge of something on your resume and do not demonstrate it in the interview, you have not only wasted your own time but you’ve also wasted the time of the manager you expect to hire you. If you’re thinking that you can lie to get in front of the hiring manager and then your winning personality will get you the job, you’re kidding yourself. No one is going to hire a candidate that started lying to them before they even met.
All employers notice when you make spelling errors. And it’s not because all jobs require someone with advanced grammar skills. Spelling errors on a resume show a total lack of effort on your part. It shows that you are not taking this process seriously at all. Why? Because you don’t even need to know how to spell, your computer does! Take advantage of the spellcheck feature on your computer. Don’t blow the game by missing a lay-up.
Your resume is the first step in demonstrating who you are to potential employers. Take advantage of the opportunity and show them the best possible version of yourself!
If you need help, feel free to reach out to us for resume consultation below:
It is no secret that job seekers can have vastly different experiences working with recruiters. Some will tell you how valuable their recruiter was in helping them to get their job. Others will tell you horror stories about working with a bad recruiter and vowing never to do it again. What I have found is that most negative experiences could have been avoided by a simple explanation of services. So what sort of services should you expect from a quality recruiter?
All Recruiters and Recruiting firms are not created equal. Some will deliver better results than others. Regardless of whether you ultimately get the position you are targeting, you should expect nothing less than your recruiter’s full effort and these basic responsibilities.
How do you, as a candidate, successfully find a new full-time position, consulting assignment or onboard at a new client? Since a physical interview is most likely not going to happen, the interview will occur by phone, skype, or other medium. There are challenges for the client (how can I truly know the candidate is “the one”). You, as the candidate, are never sure if you really hit it off with the client and nailed the interview.
Here are some tips to help you secure your new position.
Recently, there has been, on occasion, misrepresentation of the person interviewed versus the person reporting for work – in other words, a scam. The chances of misrepresentation increases if the entire process is conducted exclusively by phone. Staffing companies and end clients have become more careful as a result. Therefore, it would be very beneficial for both you and your potential employer to have your documents available, including transcripts and other vital documents ready for review and identification. Having your documents prepared in advance will avoid wasting time. If Skype or similar method is the beginning of the interview process have a form of ID readily available when needed and other necessary documents that authorize you to work in the United States.
Another tip is to have available, if possible, any technical items you created as a proof of your ability and knowledge. As long as it is not proprietary to your previous client, have it available for presentation. Any item or difficult work problem that you have successfully completed can attest to your expertise and may be critical to securing the assignment.
As you know, a phone or skype interview is not as reliable as face to face interaction. Therefore it is essential that you get your message across by honing your interpersonal skills. Especially since the meeting is not person to person, make sure you are ready for the video interview. Present yourself in a professional manner. I would suggest you wear proper casual dress attire, maintain good posture, and speak clearly and concisely. Posture and verbal conversation are essential and will help you convey your message in a positive way. Create a pleasant general environment for the viewer and avoid having children or pets in the room. As always, before any interview, whether in person, skype, or phone, take the time to review the company, its products, and how it presents itself to the world. The better prepared you are, the better the chance to secure the assignment.
Although full-time hires are accomplished in a similar way, the onboarding process is more complicated. Many corporations are in the process of defining new procedures or postponing the actual hire until the Coronavirus subsides. If the project is critical, the company may consider a consulting assignment in lieu of a fulltime hire. Other options for the company is the ‘try-and-buy’ method. In this case, the full-time hire starts as a consulting arrangement that will convert to a full-time hire. It is critical that the intended temporary consultant is within the hiring guidelines of the full-time position and salary requirements. A person who traditionally works as a full-time employee and accepts a temporary consulting assignment should accept the assignment as an hourly employee with all taxes paid and deducted during the payroll process. Avoid getting incorporated if working as a consultant is a short term solution until things get back to normal. However, if you want to now start your career as a consultant, speak to your accountant before incorporating. An LLC is not a separate tax entity like a corporation. An LLC is more like a partnership or a sole proprietorship where all the profits and losses pass-through the business to the owner. The owner of the LLC then reports this information on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself does not pay any federal income taxes. Thus, many staffing firms will not risk violating the IRS Misclassification Act by working with an LLC.
Once onboarded, more than likely you will be working off-site to accomplish the intended project requirements in lieu of onsite interaction with management. Although the assignment is time and materials and not a statement of work, keep a complete diary of your daily accomplishments for presentation. Review your work at the end of each day and identify your accumulated accomplishments.
CEO, DTG Consulting Solutions
Talking about your weaknesses can be a difficult task. You should not speak about a weakness unless it’s something you’ve overcome.
You can learn to put a positive spin on your weaknesses with a bit of practice. You need to make a good impression. The old cliché “that you don’t get a chance to make a good impression” is true! For example, answering the lack of skills question, your response should be that you will be willing to learn (Smith, 2013).
Smith, J. (2013, January). How to ace the 50 most common interview questions. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com
You spent hours on documenting your skills and talents for your resume and then sent it off to potential employers. You wait and wait for the email or phone call that never comes.
Most of the time, employers don’t read your resume. They’re scanning your resume. Since they are inundated with resumes, they can’t carefully analyze each resume they receive line by line – when all they need is a few qualified applicants to select for first-round interviews. Therefore your resume needs to create a good first impression immediately, and have some impressive keywords to catch the recruiter’s attention. Many large companies use Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan your resume for keywords – most likely the exact same keywords from the job description. Hint: modify each submitted resume, paying close attention to the job description.
Resumes usually fall into one of three formats.
The chronological resume is the most commonly used format and is usually the employer’s favorite as it is very easy to read and it is hard to hide anything in it. It works best when you have stayed consistent in your career. As long as the job you are applying for is in the same field, the full chronology will be relevant to the reader and therefore the focus will be on your experience.
Hint: Your employment history is actually in reverse chronological order and your current position will be at the top of the list. The chronological resume doesn’t work well when you have gaps or when you have shifted industries often, as it will expose your weak points. Make sure that your resume flows in the following way:
This resume format highlights experience over skills. It is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. It is ideal for those who have experienced linear career growth or who have worked in the same industry but for different companies. While the chronological resume is the preferred format by recruiters and other decision makers, it may not be the format that is right for your career situation.
By its very nature, the design of the format can highlight negative aspects of your career such as job hopping or an extended absence from the workforce
The functional format should be used when you want to draw attention away from your work experience due to job hopping, a very long career, a very short career, long gaps, re-entering the job market and so forth. The functional resume focuses on what you can do, what your achievements are and your core competence.
Hint: This format is used by recent graduates, people seeking to change their career completely, and anyone with employment gaps that don’t add any value to their experience. If you are looking to change industries, make sure to focus on transferable skills such as sales or people management. Your resume should flow like this:
The advantage of the functional resume is that it helps to mitigate career flaws such as gaps in employment and job-hopping. But, it is also a way to showcase skills you’ve learned as a result of a non-career path.
Hint: keep in mind that many employers do not prefer functional resumes and they are not accepted on many online employer career pages and job sites.
The combination format is exactly what it sounds like: it combines chronological and functional formats to ideally give you the best of both worlds. It allows you to use the features from the functional resume while flying in under the radar in the eye of the reader.
Hint: Examples of people that can benefit from a combined format would be someone wanting to change careers and has some relevant skills for the new field. It can also be useful when someone wants to pack more skills in than the work experience section allows for or would not bring out adequately. Your resume should look like this:
If you can, go with the chronological as it is most employer’s favorite. If you are shifting careers and possibly have transferable skills, go combined. If you have a short career or big holes in your experience, go functional.
Hint: Only if you have gone to an Ivy League school or have attained an advanced degree (which would be helpful in the job you want) place your education after Summary and before Accomplishment
To be successful everyone must maintain a proper amount of self-confidence which should be applied throughout all areas of your present and future career moves. Your confidence should motivate your preparation and your presentation with your colleagues, your superiors and perspective employers.
For example, when preparing or updating your resume you should demonstrate confidence in the skills you have acquired throughout your career thus far. Your resume is a representation of your strengths and achievements and will be used by the prospective employer you want to impress. It should convey your competitiveness and demonstrate your abilities. It is the tool that will be used to consider you for the position you are seeking. Confidence is a representation of your professionalism and there should never be a hesitation regarding your background and abilities.
It is imperative that your first impression in an interview is done with complete confidence of your ability and knowledge. Your confidence is a reassurance to your potential employer that there is no doubt of your skills, that you can accomplish what is expected of you flawlessly and that there is no doubt that they have found the right person for the job. There is no possibility to make a second first impression.
Dress for success should be part of your character representation and confidence is an important part of how you will portray yourself. Unless informed otherwise you should always dress business professional for an interview. Following instructions is something critical as well and one must always be confident that they understand the rules. At times you may find clients that dress more casual and request that the candidate does the same. In such situations you should follow the instructions and dress as instructed, as disobeying your instruction could be a horrible start to your next possible career. You should be confident that the way you are presenting yourself is exactly what they are looking for.
The firm representing you must be on the same page as you. If they have done their work they should be confident that they know you well enough to present you correctly. There are times in which the hiring manager asks the recruiter questions about the candidate before an interview is even requested. If the recruiter is unsure of their candidate and unable to convince the client, there is a risk of losing a good opportunity.
These steps will help you in conducting yourself with confidence throughout the interview process.
So let’s assume that you, the reader, are probably a technology professional of some kind.
And let’s also assume that you may, in some form or another, be open to (just a little bit) hearing about what else may be out there in your field. Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s opportunity. Maybe it’s the mind-numbing commute.
Whether you’re a DevOps Engineer, QA Tester, Python Developer or Network Admin, keep reading…these 4 extremely simple tips apply to all of you:
#groovy #hadoop #chef
It’s not the kind of rocket science that you usually do, but Technology Recruiters are using Boolean Logic to search extremely specific technologies and buzzwords in order to magically find candidates to recruit. (Stay with me on the whole specificity thing…)
In addition to all the bullet points detailing all the great stuff that you did at every job you’ve ever had, please make it easy for us to find you by listing every single tech in your stack at every single job you’ve ever had. A majority of tech professionals end each job segment with a section: “Environment: AWS, C#, Node.js, ElasticSearch, etc…” If you don’t list your specific technologies on your resume, you run the risk of being missed by a recruiter! Be comprehensive by all means, but please be honest too 🙂
The resume you post on Monster/DICE/Etc. definitely does NOT need to be the resume that hiring managers use to figure out if you’re the one or not. Feel free to get pretty detailed with the resume you post on a search site. Most technology professionals feature posted resumes of 6-7 pages, so take note all you young guys thinking you have to somehow fit it all on one page. When you get contacted (assuming points 1 and 2, naturally) you can work with the recruiter to ensure that the best resume is utilized.
Back to the money/opportunity/commute thing…at least give it some thought. This way, when a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity that they believe could be a fantastic fit for you (you know…help you, help me), both you and recruiter can figure out if you’re on the same wavelength in 47 seconds.
While these basic steps may pale in comparison to what you may have built in the cloud, they may help you land your next opportunity. Good Luck!
Founded in 1972 by John Di Bari, a Vietnam Combat Veteran, DTG Consulting is a boutique search & staffing firm that has been placing candidates in technical positions for over four decades. Learn more about career opportunities with our direct clients and our commitment to recruiting excellence at www.dtgconsulting.com
Show up 20 minutes before your interview to give yourself time to mentally prepare.
In many cases this could be the first time you arrive to the company conducting the interview. This means you are not familiar with the parking/traffic and exact location to meet. The last thing you want is to be running late and feeling distressed moments before the possibility of this interview potentially being the best career in your path.
Always be prepared for any situation. Interviews are planned ahead which gives you time to organize your thoughts. This includes familiarizing yourself with the company and reading reviews. If you are willing to devote time into your next position, researching the company you are interested in is imperative.
The way you carry yourself has a lot to do with how the interviewer reads your personality.
Being overly confident can portray arrogance. You have to put yourself in the interviewer’s perspective. Most companies are not only looking for a technical match, but also for someone that works well with the existing team.
The best thing to do is to be honest. When coming across a question that you are unable to answer, let the interviewer know. If you have run into a similar situation in your past positions, you may want to mention that experience. Never let one bad answer discourage you as you carry on throughout your interview. You do not want to lose focus over an obstacle that can be overcome by doing well on the rest the interview. Sometimes interviewers want to gauge how a candidate deals with stressful situations.
You can hire someone to tweak your resume. You can get the best suit money can buy but when it comes to the all-important time to make the decision to accept a position, make sure your head is in the right place! Don’t let fear creep into the process and sabotage your best efforts!
For many, change can be scary and stressful. It’s important to know, understand and remember the reasons that brought you to search for a new position in the first place. Share that information with the recruiter. During the interview process you’ll want to obtain all the information you can about the company, the culture and the job itself. Make sure it is in line with your original motivators and goals. When you have that information and compare it to the criteria you have set you will feel more confident and less fearful. You will be able to make a great decision – one that will be a great outcome for yourself and your potential employer.
Recruiters often are thought of in a negative way by a lot of jobseekers. The misconception is that we are in it for the money. The truth is, at the end of the day, good recruiters want to be successful and make a difference in a positive way for our candidates. When I can help someone make a change that is going to improve my candidate’s career, home life and increase the success of a client, money is just the cherry on top!
In making your decision, you’ll want to make a list of compelling reasons that got you started on your job search and have a few goals you want to accomplish by making a career move. The most popular reason I get is the salary increase. For some that is an easy switch especially in the consulting world. It gets more complicated in the full time world. There is the desire to switch expertise focus, growth opportunities, work life balance, location and company culture. Compensation and benefits are high on the list as well. It’s important to know what motivated you to start the search and your goals that you want to accomplish in your next position. Knowledge is power and you will need that to seal the deal.
You always want to put your best foot forward when meeting someone for the first time. That starts with dressing the part, especially for a job interview.
Except for rare exceptions, men should always wear a suit and tie and women should always dress in appropriate business attire.
While you may be applying for a position at a company that is “business casual” and would never require you to wear a suit to the office that is irrelevant. You are not going to your job. You are going to meet the people you want to impress enough to give you a job.
Suits do not need to be black or blue, and ties don’t need to be solid. But suits should not be neon green, and I would advise keeping your fish ties at home too. It’s good to show off some style, just don’t go over the top to the point that the suit becomes the subject of the interview.
Your clothes matter for a few reasons. First, it shows that you are taking this interview seriously. You don’t want to look like you just stopped in to meet them on your way to do something more important. Second, it is a visual representation of your preparation. A good interviewer will spend time preparing questions for your interview and is most likely taking time out of their busy day to meet with you. Your being prepared shows that person that you took equal time preparing before you even open your mouth. Lastly, it will improve your chances of successfully getting the position, particularly if this is a client facing role, and isn’t that the point?
The rare exceptions mentioned earlier is when you are specifically told not to wear a suit. Perhaps you are applying for a job that will involve manual labor, and you are going to be expected to demonstrate something physical on the interview. Then it would be wise to ask ahead of time what would be appropriate attire for the interview. As another example, I have a client which is a completely casual environment, and they tell all candidates to dress comfortably and DO NOT wear a suit. I had one candidate think that they would distinguish themselves by being the only person to come in a suit. They did distinguish themselves…by being the only candidate who was incapable of following basic instructions. They took it as red flag, and he did not get the job.
In such a competitive job market every detail matters. Don’t let the easy ones be your downfall. Dress the part, let the interviewer check off that box, and move on to showing them why they would be lucky to have you as part of their organization!