1. Google Has Replaced the Resume
Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, instead of paying for job-board or talent databases, like they used to do. In fact, many companies are even mandating that every new application go through a Google screening process. So that means the first page of your Google results matter much more than they ever did before.
The problem is that what Google delivers on a search for your name isn’t regulated and is very difficult for the user to control. After all, background checks are very carefully regulated in order to avoid the types of misunderstandings happening now, online. Furthermore, Google’s algorithm changes several times a year. So what can you do about it?
The last thing you should do is ignore this reality. So the job seeker has two courses of action. First, you become a publisher of your own content and flood Google’s spiders with lots of great keyword rich content, my post on finding keywords. Second, you control the results on a Google search with Vizibility.com.
2. A Summary is Enough
Today, the resume is used mostly in the screening process while actual decisions are made after interviews. And because there are so many candidates competing for each job, HR people (or hiring managers if they are tasked with recruitment) often scan resumes very briefly. In fact, the average time on a resume is 30 seconds. Most resumes today are no longer than two pages but still include the expanded sections of yesterday’s longer resumes. So keep it short and take out that extra bullet point. Check out the new service called The One Page Job Proposal.
3. Social Proof is a Must
Social proof, testimonials or recommendations seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate. The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to hire the wrong person. Some say that if a new-hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and half that person’s annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse.
Set their mind at ease by offering testimonials on your resume and LinkedIn profile. A good standard is to have the number of recommendations equal to 10% of the number of contacts in your network.
4. Resumes and Cover letters are Not Read on Paper Anymore
Most organizations are not receiving paper resumes and when they get them via email or their application system, they don’t print them. So expect your resumes and cover letter to be read on a computer screen. This means you have to format your documents in a way that makes screen-scanning easy.
- Use headlines to break up content
- Keep paragraphs short
- Use bold and italics to emphasis key points
- Make sure there is plenty of white space on the page
- Use color tastefully, consider adding logos, icons or charts