Published: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Think of your resume as your personal story; resumes need a beginning, middle, end and takeaway. This is your opportunity to explain who you are, what you have accomplished, and what maybe most important, what you will do for a potential employer. Telling the story in an efficient way is half the battle these days, with the invention of the internet, your resume is no longer a piece of paper in a file, it is an identity that can be searched, found and picked through with your social media profiles, the keywords you use, and the titles you have held.

Social Media and the Role it Plays with Potential Employer.

Meet Ted, Ted is an average guy who happens to post a lot of public pictures on Facebook of him and his frat buddies at the annual homecoming reunion, he also has a professional profile on LinkedIn that lists him as an alum from that college or university.  His professional profile comes up second in the search engines to his Facebook profile...  Ted what is your first impression?  Many employers are going to search you out, so make sure that your social footprint reflects the professionalism you want to portray.  Even if you are not searching for a new career, you may want to consider that your dream job might be looking for you.

Wait, Did I Say Keywords and Job Titles?

YES - when potential employers are searching for qualified candidates they are often hunting online for key word descriptions and job titles of potential employees.  They are often looking for people who already hold those titles and may be currently employed.  The same is true for the resumes you post on job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and others like them.  Make sure that your resume is filled with the same keywords that you would find in the job description youare looking for.  How would you know what words to use?  Look through employment ads for your profession, and see what words they all have in common, what degrees they are all requiring, what titles they are all using, then make sure your resume has a Skills Summary and also mention those skills in the body of the resume (job descriptions).

Target the HR Manager Who is Looking at Your Resume.

When composing your resume use a job's requirements and qualifications as its foundation to provide direct examples to hiring managers and recruiters of how your skills match the job you're seeking.  You may have to change this for every position you are applying for.  "The objective should be targeted to what the potential employer is looking for. The résumé should highlight the skills the HR manager is looking for," says Vicki Krotzer, human resources consultant with Maximum Business Consulting, LLC. Make sure you are speaking the HR person's language, tell the story that fits what they are looking for, but make sure you are truthful; it is pretty easy to find the tale tales.

Save Something for the Interview.

A resume is not a novel, it is a short story, make sure that you are presenting the information chronologically and  accurately depicting your unique set of skills.  Being too creative with your resume will often hurt you rather than help your job prospects.  Consider the digital footprint and trends of a potential employer before choosing a non-traditional resume style. Simple additions, like a picture, can complicate HR professionals' decisions when considering an applicant for hire.  Often physical appearance and characteristics such as race and ethnicity should have no bearing on hiring considerations so including an image can often present a problem. Non-traditional resumes also aren't ideal if your target company uses an applicant tracking system that strips pictures and logos from submitted files, or refuses to accept applications with these elements.  The applicant tracking system may also filter through each resume for keywords and sort them into different piles accordingly. 

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