Top of the Stack Resumes: 5 Ways to Break Through a Noisy Job Market


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Job boards and social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter have collapsed candidate search time giving managers quick access to the industry’s best, brightest. A high unemployment rate, off-shoring, company down-sizing and cost-cutting is making competition fierce for the available jobs. With a candidate surplus and technological and cultural advances, hiring managers are now riddled with hundreds or thousands of resumes for even one position.

Crisp, compelling, “at-the-ready” resumes are essential for every professional in this competitive job market. Will your target hiring manager find you among thousands in the stack?

Take a look at the research on these resume stats:
- 10-200 resumes are generated per want-ad
- 80% of candidates are screened solely with the resume
- 1 in 245 resumes result in an interview
- 3 seconds make-or-break a positive 1st impression
- 10-30 seconds are spent to review 1 resume
- Less than 1% of the managers keep or respond to unsolicited resumes

Join us for a free online workshop to discuss “Top of the Stack Resumes: 5 Ways to Break Through a Noisy Job Market.” We'll discuss methods for building high-impact resumes including personal branding, self-assessment, resume messaging strategies, and a step-by-step approach to upgrade your resume for immediate impact.

Christine Farmer, Founder/Principal Consultant

Since 1999, our expert, Christine Farmer, has professionally coached executives and professionals on career strategies, resume messaging, interviewing and job search skills. With fifteen years in high-tech marketing, finance & product management, she offers her clients a business-minded, numbers-based approach to resume development. She holds degrees in Finance and an MBA from Boston University.

Published in: Career, Business
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Top of the Stack Resumes: 5 Ways to Break Through a Noisy Job Market

  1. 1. Top of the <br />Stack Resumes<br />Webinar Presentation<br />July 8, 2009<br />Presenter: Christine Farmer, Resumes for Results<br />
  2. 2. About JCSI<br /> JCSI is a recruitment consulting firm working with emerging companies and Fortune 1000 organizations <br /> CareerAssist initiative to offer guidance and information to the candidates we work with<br />Twitter<br />Facebook Page<br />Blog<br /><br /><br />
  3. 3. Top of the Stack Resumes<br />5 Ways to Break Through <br />a Noisy Job Market<br />Christine Farmer<br />Founder/Principal Consultant<br /><br />
  4. 4. Agenda <br />Break Through the Noise<br />Job Search Challenges<br />Branding YOU, Inc. <br />5 Ways to the Top <br />Resume Components<br />Resume Goal and Purpose<br />Content and Format<br />Market & Self-Assessment<br />Writing for Impact<br />Ready for Hire!<br />
  5. 5. Job Search Challenges<br />Economics of supply & demand<br />Stand-out in a noisy job market<br />Avoid the “black hole”<br />Employers seek best-of-the-best<br />The most important document in your career<br />
  6. 6. Interesting Facts…<br />3 seconds to make a positive impression<br />10-30 seconds to review a resume<br />1-in-245 resumes result in an interview<br />80% are screened solely with the resume<br />&lt; 1% keep or respond to unsolicited resumes<br />84% say &lt;5years experience for 1 page<br />80% say a cover letter is important<br />100% expect Thank-You notes<br />80% of jobs landed through networking <br />Source: Association for Job Search Trainers., Charlotte Community College<br />
  7. 7. 8 Laws of Personal Branding<br />Specialization<br />Leadership<br />Personality<br />Distinctiveness<br />Visibility<br />Unity<br />Persistence<br />Goodwill<br />Source: Peter Montoya -<br />
  8. 8. Branding YOU, Inc.<br /><ul><li>Self-Assessment
  9. 9. Know yourself, your competition and your value-proposition
  10. 10. Create a compelling story about YOU
  11. 11. Experiences, talents, attributes, skills
  12. 12. Passions, values, work ethics
  13. 13. Your message communicated consistently
  14. 14. Across multiple venues, vehicles and media
  15. 15. Resume – hard copy, on-line, modified versions
  16. 16. Social networking – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc..
  17. 17. Elevator pitch – personal/professional networking
  18. 18. Success is achieved when it…
  19. 19. Invokes a positive reaction and action is taken!</li></li></ul><li>5 Ways - Getting to the Top…<br />Illustrate your unique value proposition <br />Make key points early AND upfront<br />Select formats to show off strengths<br />Use text that makes a human connection<br />Strategic execution -“confluence of contacts”<br />
  20. 20. Resume Goal and Purpose<br />Get to “Wow!”<br />3 seconds for a GREAT 1st impression <br />Convince the reader to TAKE ACTION<br />Get the call and in the door NOW!<br />An “Ad” about YOU…<br />Make YOUR story come alive!<br />Not an autobiography or job description<br />Unique and quantified qualifications, skills, expertise<br />RESUME - “U” before “ME”…<br />Convey how you “perfectly match” the job/company needs<br />Professional virtues, style and company “fit”<br />Format type reflects job targets <br />
  21. 21. Content<br />Truthful <br />Honest, accurate, verifiable<br />Tone <br />Action words, your “vernacular” & personality<br />Expertise and Experience<br />Industry standard disciplines, practices, tools, methods<br />Your innovative solutions, strategies, tactics<br />Differentiation <br />How did you made a difference?<br />What value did you create?<br />What YOU did that NO ONE ELSE accomplished?<br />Accomplishments – S-O-A-R<br />(S)ituation <br />(O)pportunity and obstacles<br />(A)ctions taken <br />(R)esults - size, scope, depth, reach<br />
  22. 22. Format<br />Choice <br />Chronological vs. Functional vs. Combination<br />Clean <br />Easy to read<br />Check <br />Spell and Reality <br />Concise <br />2 pages (CV/Technical+ and Legal -)<br />Consistent <br />Text, titles, bolding, underlines<br />Copies<br />Hardcopy - MSWord, Adobe<br />Online - ACSII Text, Scannable<br />Internet Presence -LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook<br />
  23. 23. High-Impact StructureChronological/Combo<br />Name<br />Headline<br />Summary<br />Expertise<br />Accomplishments<br />Experience<br />Education, Prof. Development, Training<br />Certifications/Licenses<br />Honors/Commendations/Awards<br />WOW ZONE<br />
  24. 24. JOHN H. STARR, CPA<br />1001 Avenue of the Americas  New York, New York, 01001  555-121-5554 <br />FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT<br /> Accounting Management – Financial Management – Controllership <br />A senior financial manager with exceptional leadership and keen business partner skills. Manages and influences with accountability and accuracy. Results-driven and focused on improving operations and efficiencies. Makes tough decisions under high-pressure. <br />SELECTED MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS<br /><ul><li>Appointed and served as Financial Advisor to CEO/Owner of privately held $800 million corporation.
  25. 25. Maximized owner’s net worth by 20%. Realized more than $10 million in savings and efficiencies.
  26. 26. Researched and identified oversight in charge-back expenses to Fortune 500 customer. Recouped $4 million to the bottom-line.
  27. 27. Advised and managed $5 million loan repayment in only 6 months. Ensured proper financial reporting and integrity of operations.
  28. 28. Investigated and secured $1 million in overdue sales taxes from commercial rental property. Repayment saved 5% annually.
  29. 29. Served as Commander in U.S. Army National Guard. Directed 35-soldier Medical Evacuation unit in Bagdad, Iraq for 12 months
  30. 30. Piloted black-hawk helicopter. Managed 108 emergency rescue operations for United States service men and women. </li></ul>Accounting ManagementFinancial ManagementControllership <br />General Ledger Accounting Planning, Analysis & Reporting Sarbanes-Oxley & GAAP <br />Cash Management Budgeting & Forecasting Policies & Procedures<br />Account Reconciliation & Closing Variance and Investment Analysis Internal/External Audits<br />Foreign Subsidiary Consolidation Productivity & Cost Controls Tax Preparation & Filings <br />PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE <br />STARR INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE COMPANIES,$800 million accounting firm. New York, New York<br />Financial Advisor to Chief Executive Officer 2003 Present<br /><ul><li>Directed accounting & financial management functions. Executed due diligence in accounting principles, practices, procedures.
  31. 31. Managed general ledger accounts and reconciliations, monthly closing schedule.
  32. 32. Led cash management operations, fixed assets, loan covenants, accounts receivable/payable and payroll.
  33. 33. Prepared for executive review monthly, quarterly and annual forecasts, budgets, reports and financial statements.
  34. 34. Coordinated audits in compliance with GAAP regulations with no significant findings or commentary.</li></li></ul><li>JOHN H. STARR, CPA<br />1001 Avenue of the Americas  New York, New York, 01001  555-121-5554  Page 2.<br />STARR INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE COMPANIES, (CONTINUED)<br />Finance Manager 2000-2003<br /><ul><li>Managed non-core business interests, real estate, personal assets, retirement, succession and tax planning for S-Corporation.
  35. 35. Directed accounting management for $10 million real estate (commercial and residential) and leasing company operations.
  36. 36. Provided real estate investment analysis and coordinated purchase transactions with owner, property managers & legal counsel.
  37. 37. Directed estate planning including, grantor retained annuity trusts, investment trusts, leasing and offshore entities</li></ul>WHITE & WHITNEY ASSOCIATES, Certified Public Accounting firm. New York, New York. 1998-2000<br />Supervisor <br /><ul><li>Supervised staff on audit engagements including non-profit, government agencies, and government compliance.
  38. 38. Reviewed and prepared federal and state income tax returns; individual, partnership, S-Corporation, and corporate returns.</li></ul>STERLING, GOODMAN AND HOOVER,Certified Public Accounting firm, New York, New York 1996-1998<br />Senior Accountant<br /><ul><li>Compiled and audited various organizations, including commercial real estate property management and construction
  39. 39. Planned, organized and served as in-charge accountant for $200M corporation.
  40. 40. Analyzed and prepared interim and yearly financial statements. Forecasted and reported profit-and-loss and cash flow.
  41. 41. Compiled comprehensive reports for submission to state agencies.
  42. 42. Oversaw monthly G/L closing entries, ADP payroll system and sales and use tax compliance.</li></ul>UNITED STATES ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, OTIS ANGB, Cape Cod, Massachusetts 1998 – Present<br />Major, Commander of Medical Evacuation Company. <br /><ul><li>Dedicated 22 years of service, including 17 years as a commissioned officer.
  43. 43. Deployed as Commander of 35-soldier MedEvac unit in Bagdad, Iraq in support of Operation Steel Curtain Mission.
  44. 44. Trained as black-hawk pilot. </li></ul>EDUCATION/CERTIFICATIONS<br />Certified Public Accountant (CPA), State of New York, 1997.<br />Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Union College, 1996.<br />
  45. 45. Get Started…or Re-started<br />Homework<br />Research your target companies and jobs<br />Content:<br />Strategic inner work<br />Professional inventory strengths and weaknesses<br />By section, ask questions to reveal answers <br />Format:<br />Choose the optimal format for your message<br />The Pay Off…<br />Builds your confidence in the mission<br />Prepares key messages for resume and the interview<br />Primes “your” differentiation in “company’s” terms<br />
  46. 46. What companies are you targeting?<br /><br /><br /><ul><li>What companies are hiring? What jobs are available?
  47. 47. Job boards
  48. 48. Company websites – Direct and Agents
  49. 49. Network with companies and employees via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter</li></ul>What titles and job descriptions interest you?<br /><br />What is the job description terminology?<br />Convert company specifics to new target<br />Find examples of resumes with same targeted job description<br />Skills, talents, accomplishments, experience<br />Market Research<br />
  50. 50. Self-Assessment<br /><ul><li>What…
  51. 51. are your goals – short and long term?
  52. 52. new or existing responsibilities will you experience?
  53. 53. skills do you have vs. need to develop?
  54. 54. makes you unique or extraordinary?
  55. 55. Inventory of your skills vs. job requirements
  56. 56. “T” account and map 1-for-1
  57. 57. Maximize your job prospects
  58. 58. Step out of your comfort zone
  59. 59. Transfer your skills into jobs available
  60. 60. What job titles are you targeting?
  61. 61. Exact
  62. 62. Modified
  63. 63. New
  64. 64. Will this job be at the right level?
  65. 65. Next position – and long term?
  66. 66. Short-term win – long term obstacle?
  67. 67. Or survival…</li></li></ul><li>Take Inventory<br />Job Description<br />Skills <br />Tools<br />Techniques<br />Technologies<br />Systems<br />Strengths<br />Your Experience<br />
  68. 68. Write for Impact<br />Name<br />Headline<br />Summary<br />Expertise<br />Accomplishments<br />Experience<br />Education, Prof. Development, Training<br />Certifications/Licenses<br />Honors/Commendations/Awards<br />WOW ZONE<br />
  69. 69. Headline<br />Your marquis to attract a hiring manager/agent<br />May match job description title exactly, if qualified<br />Use industry standard titles vs. internal company titles<br />Objectives are less popular -“Me” vs. “company-centric”<br />Sub-Head<br />Directs reader to your key areas of expertise<br />3 major areas may be re-prioritized based on job sought<br />Powerful impact if “spot on” <br /> MARKETING MANAGEMENT Industry Innovation • Turn-Key Execution • Achieves Results<br />
  70. 70. Summary<br />A short paragraph about your “fit”<br />List 2-3 major functional areas of focus and experience. <br />How many years in this area?<br />What are the major transferable skills?<br />Knowledge, methodologies, tools, techniques<br />Who did you work with, engage, support?<br />Customers, partners, vendors, executive clients<br />What personal virtues best describes you? <br />Determination, perseverance, enthusiasm, drive, collaboration, innovation, dynamism, clear communications, analytics etc…<br />Action Word List -<br />Senior marketing leader • Big-picture thinker with creative, recurring, results-driven tactics • Innovates break-through, “first-in-industry” campaigns • Passionate execution and precision • On-strategy, on-time, on-budget • Pragmatic acuity in business, financial, project and management • Articulate, fact-based negotiator, decision-maker, influencer across management levels.<br />
  71. 71. Key words to match up with requirements<br />List 2 or 3 columns with strategic major headings <br />Left column is usually the highest priority<br />List models, methods, procedures, standards, functions, tools, techniques, processes, models, metrics, industry standard practices, protocols, systems, technologies<br />Areas of Expertise<br />
  72. 72. Big, bold career-making achievements<br />3-5 major efforts – in scope, depth and numbers<br />Success stories despite obstacles and road-blocks<br />Bottom-line value - revenue, savings, productivity, efficiencies, expansion, consolidation<br />“Attaboys” and any other testimonial “quotes”<br />Example: <br />(S) Field needed technical training. Only 1 in 3 techs receive proper training from Corporate <br />(O) $250K funding eliminated for travel & materials<br />(A) Suggested and developed web-based training <br />(R) 300 field techs trained. Customer satisfaction increased from 60%-95%. Revenue increased 20%. Other areas interested.<br /> Proposed and created company’s 1st web-based training series – 48 US; 4 in AMEA; 12 in Europe in 3 months. Preserved $250K in expenses. Revenue increased by 20%. Customer satisfaction ratings increased by 58%.<br />Accomplishments<br />
  73. 73. MARKETING MANAGER January 2003 – Present Electronics, Inc.,a $225M global consumer electronics provider. New York, NY. <br />Developed and executed innovative marketing strategies, plans and programs, including, branding; pricing and positioning; advertising; merchandising; communications and channel programs. Managed $2.5M budget. <br /><ul><li>Led new, worldwide product launch team. Achieved$5M in new sales - 175% revenue increase revenue in 3 years; 10% average market share growth.
  74. 74. Developed company’s 1st integrated, promotion calendar and planning tool. Increased sales efficiencies by 98%. Reduced $1M in headcount and operating costs. </li></ul>Experience<br />Value-add to get the job done<br />Titles, company names and dates<br />1 sentence describing the company<br />2-3 lines job, focus, responsibility, scope, budget, size.<br />3-6 bullets on key experiences with bottom-line impact<br /><ul><li>What was the experience? What was the deliverable or solution?
  75. 75. Who benefited? With whom did you support, leverage, engage, optimize? How was this managed, communicated, resolved?
  76. 76. Ask “WHICH RESULTED IN?”…for each bullet</li></li></ul><li>Last, But Not Least…<br />Education, Prof. Development, Training<br />Dates may be removed based on circumstance<br />Certifications/Licenses<br />Scientific or technical professions may lead on page 1<br />Professional Honors/Commendations/Awards<br />Scope and reason for achieving award<br />Personal Achievements vs. Interests<br />Separate section <br />Based on relevance or illustration of your message, brand and differentiation<br />
  77. 77. Ready for Hire!<br />Branding …in review<br />Develop and execute your job search strategy<br />After you land the interview …<br />Touch-base and prep your references<br />A marathon – not a sprint – but perseverance pays off!<br />
  78. 78. Your Questions<br />Submit your questions in the box on the right of your screen<br />Thank You!<br />Christine Farmer<br /> <br />