Dear Headhunter – Answers To Your Resume Questions

Dear Headhunter, here

I am putting together a resume and I am wondering which is more effective the Chronological or Functional format?
                                               Thanks, and looking 

Dear Looking, cialis
I have very strong feelings about resumes. I look at over fifty resumes a day. Most resumes have less than 10 seconds to make the first cut. You need to think of your resume as a promotional brochure about you. You need to show a potential employer what industry you work in, what you have accomplished, and where your experience lies. Your strategy should be to emphasize your experience and skills that a particular employer is looking for.

I personally would suggest to always use a Chronological resume. In a Chronological format, the emphasis is placed on your employment experience. The applicant’s job history is presented in reverse chronological order, with the most recent jobs placed a the top of the list.

A Chronological resume is the most common style of resume, and the one that employers’ prefer. Employers’ prefer a Chronological resume because in a glance they can see where you worked, the dates you worked, and what were your responsibilities, and what were your achievements in that role. They can also see at a glance how your career has progressed up to this point in time.

Functional resumes raise concerns in some employers’ minds as to whether you are withholding information – wondering if there is  something this person is trying to hide, and is that why they did not use the chronological format?

Functional resumes are usually used by applicant’s that have gaps in their work history, or have too many jobs, or they may have held a job recently that has no relevance to the position they are applying for.

I would suggest if you have any of the above issues that you still use a Chronological resume and really polish up your cover letter to specifically state why you are good for the position that you are applying for.

Good luck,
The Headhunter.

Dear Headhunter,

I have been applying to positions online, applying to positions listed on job boards, and I have had my resume sent out to different search firms, but I am not getting many replies. What could I do differently to get better results?
                                               Searching

Dear Searching,

In this electronic age everything seems to move at a much faster pace, that not only includes the number of resumes you can send out to prospective employers but it also includes the amount of time the gatekeeper spends on screening your resume. Your email only has 3-4 seconds to make the first cut.

How to make the first cut:

  1. Be specific in the subject line.
    • If you are in a specific industry and you are looking for a specific title put it into the subject line of your email. Example: SBA lender, Chief Credit Officer, Risk Analyst…
    • If you have a specific skills that are key buzzwords in your industry – put those into the subject line of the email. Example: SAS, Sarbanes Oxley, Corporate Lending.
    • If you are applying for a specific job that was posted on a website or in an ad. Put the title of the position into the subject line. Example: Product Manager – Consumer Division.
  1. Include your resume in two different formats.
    • Include a professional copy of your resume and attach it to your email. That way they can quickly see your professional resume, and a professional version can be printed for the hiring manager.
    • In addition to your attached resume, also cut and paste your resume into the body of the email. That will help whoever screens the emails to see if you have the type of back ground they are looking for without having to wait for attachments to open.

Good luck! The Headhunter

Dear Headhunter,   

My job search is stagnating. I have been following the tried and true job search strategies and it seems like I am just spinning my wheels. Do you have any suggestions on what might be the problem?

Spinning my wheels

Dear Spinning Wheels,

Perhaps you are the victim of “Labor Market Myths.” While there are no “rules’ in the labor market, what works for one person in a certain situation may not work for others in similar situations, there are some common “myths” that can stymie the job search.

LMM #1 – The best way to get in to a company is through the human resources door.

Definitely not true. While a posted job opening tells you this is the process – and you should follow the rules – you should also go in the back door that leads directly to the decision maker. There are many instances of a job seeker receiving a “thanks but no thanks” from HR at about the same time he receives an invitation to interview from a decision maker.

LMM #2 – Most job openings are advertised.

Not in today’s overcrowded job market. Most companies only advertise difficult-to-fill positions. That means, if you are relying on posted job openings, you are tapping into a mere 10% of the market.

Because companies are always looking for excellent talent, the smart job seeker researches companies and targets their pain/need.

LMM #3 – A good resume is a guarantee of a good job.

The two are not related and the purpose of a resume is to get you an INTERVIEW, not a job. That means you still need to ace the interview once you get in the door, and on average, 90% of job seekers crash and burn during the interview process.

LMM #4- The interview begins when you meet the interviewer.

Sound like a trick question? It’s not. The interview begins when you make contact with anyone from the company. From the lowest employee to the most senior level executive, many companies survey all their employees to assess your interactions with others.

The morale of this story is … treat everyone you meet as though they make the hiring decision – because they just might.

                                               Good Luck, Headhunter