Your Online Resume

Time to move onHere is a SHOCKING fact!

If you have posted an online resume, it has been sorted and categorized by a computer algorithm. What does that mean? It means that the computerized systems sort through thousands resumes each day and most of them find their way to seemingly a black hole. Furthermore, you will probably never receive a response from a real human.

However there may be a few thing you can do to improve the chances that your digital resume will find its way into the email box of someone involved in the interviewing and hiring process. Job search websites have incorporated social networking or other online tools to help you use their database most efficiently. Study them carefully and determine the ones that are suitable for you.

Here are a few suggestions:

Personalization
The digital job application process is impersonal, so you have to devise ways to show that you’re interested in a particular position by tailoring each resume you send out or post. Hiring managers don’t need to know everything you did at your last job, just what you did that is relevant to what they need you to do.

Evidence and Proof
The best way to be distinctive in a “stack” of resumes is to prove your experience and skills. Demonstrate what you have accomplished and highlight your skills, because you have added some actual facts to your claims. Your competition may not have taken this approach and your credentials should standout. Quantify your accomplishments with facts, figures, numbers, and the active, not passive voice as you demonstrate your value. This approach should help you to stand out.

Keywords
In the “old school” your resume had to arrive and catch the attention of a live recruiter or manager. Now, your resume must conform to a software algorithm designed to identify keywords. Here is how you do this. Never write a generic resume and send it of for posting to multiple job boards. The first thing to do is find the job opening that interests you and read it carefully to identify keywords and terminology used therein. Then edit your generic resume to include as many of these keywords or phrases that you can include accurately and truthfully. You will find these keywords under the credentials, skills, and experience required for the position. Although this is no guarantee that your resume will be read by a human, but increases the odds.

Continuity
There may be gaps in your resume and you should explain them. If you conclude that you can wait until the interview to explain the gaps, you may never even get the interview. There is one alternative. If you were laid off and have been out of work for an extended period of time, you may consider the functional resume format. This may not eliminate the need to outline you experience during the lapse between jobs.

Brevity
Edit your resume down to one page as you would with a hard copy. Some job boards allow for the submission of a cover letter, and it should also be brief and concise. The cover letter should expand on the keywords that are emphasized in your resume. Point out the three or four experiences that correspond to the selected keywords.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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