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How to Get Noticed By A Prospective Employer

How to Get Noticed By A Prospective Employer

Do you feel like you are failing to get noticed by your target companies during your job search? It can be challenging to earn the attention of competitive companies when the job market is so tight. If you are looking to make a splash with your job search this year, here is how to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Start building connections

The first thing you can do to start gaining a prospective employer’s attention is build some connections within the company. If you know someone who works there, this will be much easier. Reach out to your network and ask them to introduce you to the hiring manager of a job that interests you. If you don’t have a connection, you will have to stick your neck out a little more. Find people that are in similar fields with you at this company and start introducing yourself. Send them a LinkedIn connection request with a custom message. Introduce yourself and share (very briefly) why you are connecting with them.

Apply directly to the hiring manager

Once you start building these connections with employers you wish to work for, it’s time to start applying. Of course, you will want to submit your resume through the company’s career portal. However, if you know who the hiring manager is, you can submit your application directly to them. Competitive companies receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single position. So, instead of getting your resume thrown into the pile in an applicant tracking system, get your resume right to the source. A hiring manager or recruiter is much more likely to review your resume if you stick it right in front of them instead of letting an ATS do the work for them. Bypass the competition by sending your resume directly to the hiring manager, and you will start to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Go above and beyond with your application

If you are just blindly submitting your resume to every position in your field, you won’t experience much success. Due to the pandemic, we are in a competitive job market. You have to put in more effort to beat your competition and receive a callback. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for to ensure it illustrates that you are a strong fit. Write a custom cover letter for each application, even if one is not required. A thoughtfully crafted cover letter will help you stand out and connect the dots between your transferable skills and the position. Also, an excellent way to showcase all your skills and qualifications is an online portfolio. Submitting a link to your portfolio with your other application materials is a great way to show off your work examples, experience, and other things that make you a fantastic candidate. They are easy to make and often free to build on certain websites.

Need more help?

These three things will drastically help you get noticed by a prospective employer. But if you are looking to take your job search up a notch, consider working with a recruiter. JSG’s recruiting team can work with you to find the career that matches your skill sets and career goals. We have opportunities across North America and are ready to get you back to work. Reach out to us today!

How to Beat the Resume Bots

How to Beat the Resume Bots

Did you know that 75% of job applications are rejected before a pair of eyes even lay on it? Now more than ever, employers will be utilizing application tracking systems (ATS) to filter out candidates’ resumes. Millions of people looking for new employment opportunities and an ATS helps hiring professionals to weed out resumes to make the hiring process more manageable. So, how can you optimize your resume to get past the resume bots and into the hands of the hiring manager?

What is an application tracking system?

An ATS is essentially a software hiring professionals use to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive. They are basically a gatekeeper for employers and recruiters to efficiently filter out or find candidates for open positions. ATS software was initially designed for larger corporations that receive thousands of applications each week but are commonly used by many employers to streamline their hiring processes.

So, how can job seekers get past these resume bots and get their resumes seen by a human being?

Clean formatting and layout

ATS is a piece of software – it can’t use logic to analyze unique resumes with fancy designs. In other words, your resume should have a clean format and layout. Don’t try and cram everything on a single page (your resume can be longer), don’t hide your contact details, omit any graphics or headshots, and use a standard font and headings. Also, be sure to save your resume as a Word document or PDF file because 43% of resumes are submitted in an incompatible file type. Keep it simple and easy to read if you want to get past the resume bots.

Use keywords from the job description

If you want your resume to enter a hiring manager’s hands, you must tailor your resume. Gone are the days of submitting the same resume over and over and hoping your get a call to schedule an interview. To get past an ATS, you need to include keywords and phrases that match the job description. The ATS is looking for specific skill sets, experiences, certifications, and other essential qualifications. Take time to review the job description and tweak your resume carefully so it matches it (without lying about your qualifications, of course). If you don’t tailor your resume for each position, the ATS will filter you out no matter how strong of a candidate you are.

Use bulleted lists

Bulleted lists are easy for both bots and humans to read. You can use lists for your accomplishments, skills section, and job duties. However, it’s best to keep it simple. Don’t use fancy bullet points or other indications for your bullets. Stick to classic bullet points like solid circles, squares, or dashes to ensure your resume is compatible with an ATS. We often see elaborate bullet points that you might think make your resume stand out but, in reality, are impossible for an ATS to scan and comprehend.

Need more resume advice?

These are three simple ways you can optimize your resume to beat the bots. If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our resume resources page. We have dozens of helpful tips, tricks, and insight to help your job search end with an offer letter.

Resume

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Resume

As a Sr. Recruiter with over 20 years of experience, I have seen thousands of resumes.  Some have stood out and others fell flat. Your resume creates the first impression for recruiters and hiring managers. Sending a sharp, well-written resume that describes your technical skills and reflects experience relevant to an opening is key to getting noticed. And most importantly, you must include proper grammar and punctuation. Especially when it comes to making sure there are no typos.

Taking the time to really review and clean up your resume is worth doing before you start a job search. A good habit is finding time once a year to update and fine-tune your listed skills and accomplishments. This keeps your resume relevant and ready for a new opportunity.

As a recruiter, I am guilty of resume scanning to identify keywords, skills, and relevant job histories. So here are a few ideas to make your resume stand out to people like me who are scanning them:

Keep the Design Clean and Sharp

  • Say no to Photos and Graphics – They distract from your skills
  • When submitting a resume online via a portal (such as Indeed), the formatting and visuals get lost and can impact the recruiter’s ability to see your skills
  • Don’t use Tables/Columns – They create a distraction for the recruiters
  • Use a readable font and avoid using multiple fonts; it makes the resume hard to follow

Delete the Resume Objective

  • Make yourself stand out! “I am a hard working professional who wants to work in your industry” is old school. Highlight what you bring to the table rather than telling them how hard you work

Replace your Objective with your Skills – Make your Talent Stand Out

  • The days of a “One Page” resume is behind us; sharing your career history and relevant skills makes you more marketable
  • The skills section of your resume includes your abilities that are relevant. Recruiters want to see abilities and expertise that are applicable to the position you are applying for, such as computer skills, software skills, and/or language skills. Specialized or hard-to-find skills are especially important to make you stand out
  • Make sure the skills section of your resume not only highlights the skills for the job you are applying for but also emphasizes how you utilized those skills under your previous positions
    • The closer a match your skills are to the job requirements and how you previously used those skills, the better your chances are for being called for an interview
  • I’m primarily a Technical Recruiter. And I recruit for Information Technology professionals. So if you are a Software Developer, state the programming languages, software, platforms and other Information Technology proficiencies you have
  • In the Digital Age, most employers utilize automated applicant tracking systems and searchable sites such as LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice to search for specific keywords that match the jobs they are looking to fill. The more skills you share, the more likely it is that your resume will be selected for consideration

Delete Personal Data

  • Omit any reference to your birthdate, marital status or religion. It’s illegal for employers to consider this when looking at your resume
  • If you’re more than a few years out of college, don’t include your graduation dates or GPA. You don’t want recruiters to inadvertently discriminate based on your age
    • Move your degree to the end of the resume; your skills and most recent positions are more relevant to you getting noticed

Spell Check

  • Grammatical and spelling errors can mean your application is more likely to be overlooked. It is critical for you to make sure your resume has no spelling or grammatical errors before you submit it to a recruiter or hiring manager

Following this advice will help get you noticed in your next job application! Remember, the old adage is true in the world of recruiting: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Happy Job Hunting!

 

keywords application tracking systems (ATS)

K is for Keywords: Using Keywords to Get Past an ATS

keywords application tracking systems (ATS)

Submitting job applications online is kind of like playing darts blindfolded. You’re not sure where you’re throwing or where they’ll land. It’s a shot in the dark, and we’ve all been there.

In the digital age, most resumes never reach the desk of human resources or the hiring manager. They’re automatically processed and stored into an application tracking system (ATS). An ATS is a software application that allows employers to search through thousands of resumes to quickly find top-level candidates for job applications. Yep, your resume is being analyzed and filtered by bots.

So, how do you get your resume past the bots and into the hands of your potential employer? Keywords.

How to get past application tracking systems

Companies started incorporating ATS to simplify the recruiting process. Nobody has time to review and sort through hundreds (or even thousands) or resumes. ATS do the heavy lifting for HR and recruiters by scanning a database of resumes from desired keywords and criteria at once.

Application tracking systems help recruiters quickly filter out unqualified candidates, saving them much needed time and energy. However, good candidates can also slip through the cracks. You could be the most qualified candidate for the position, but if your resume doesn’t have the required keywords, your application will never make it past the ATS.

Mirror the job description

To ensure your resume makes it through the application traction system scan, you need to add relevant keywords to your resume. That means you must customize your resume for every job application. And the best way to do that is to mirror the job description.

Now, I am not saying to copy and paste entire sections of the job description in your resume. But spend some time and carefully read through the job description. Highlight some keywords that stand out in the description and utilize them in your resume.

If the description uses a specific keyword or phrase that’s pertinent to the job, add them to your resume! For example, if a job description for a marketing manager is looking for someone to “develop and execute comprehensive marketing plans and programs,” it’s probably a good idea to work this phrase somewhere in your resume.

Essentially, to describe how you meet every requirement in the description, you need to use the same words in your resume. No more submitting the same resume to every job opening!

Avoid generic keywords and be specific

The ATS is very intelligent, but it is not as intuitive as a human. Therefore, you need to avoid generic keywords to ensure your resume lands on the desk of a hiring manager.

When using acronyms, it’s better to play it safe and use both the spelled-out version and the acronym itself. An application tracking system doesn’t always recognize that “SEM” is the same thing as “Search Engine Management.” It’s important to take the time to analyze the specific job description keywords you’re applying for.

Don’t “stuff” your application with keywords

Have you heard of keyword stuffing? That’s when you load a web page or job application with keywords or numbers in an effort to manipulate the system. And this is never a good practice on a job application.

Remember, even if your resume gets through the ATS, it must get past HR or a hiring manager. Never try to trick the system. If you are unsure if your resume has too many keywords, print it out and read it out loud. If it is difficult to read and sounds funky, you probably overdid it with the keywords. Try to find a good balance between optimizing your application for an ATS and a human reader.

Customizing your job application can be a pain in the neck, but if you want to make it through those pesky application tracking systems, it’s well worth your time!