Monday, August 22, 2011

10 things to do with your resume to get that interview

Now that your resume is perfect, what do you do with it? During my last post about resume writing, you ended up with an outstanding resume. I also told you the purpose of a resume: To get an interview. This post will concentrate on getting to that point.

  1. Create a few different 'flavors.' Since everyone is looking at your resume electronically these days, and you are probably open to a few different job options, make a few different versions of your resume geared to the different options available to you.
  2. Post it up on the job boards. Monster, Career Builder, Dice, Six Figure Jobs. All of these career sites and more are free to the job applicant. Use them. Look at it from the perspective of the person looking to hire someone. They have to pay to use these sites so they usually sign up for only one or two of these services. If you are posted on one and they are looking at the other, they'll never find you.
  3. Update your LinkedIn profile. More and more people are looking first on LinkedIn to find people. It's free and considered less 'commercial.' Make sure that has your latest resume available. Better stick with only one flavor here though.
  4. Post it on professional organization's sites. It is unlikely you'll get a job through these sites but it only takes a few minutes and you never know.
  5. Don't forget your college's site. The career placement center should have a database available for job fairs or companies looking for workers. Make sure they have your latest copy. And ask if other universities have a sharing program with yours. Get your resume up on the sister college's sites as well.
  6. Apply to every organization's job posting board. If you have a list of target companies, upload your resume to their job board, even if they don't have a specific job listed for your skill-set. Typically they'll look to see who is on their job board with the skills they need before they post the job opening.
  7. Verify that the resume looks good once it's on the sites. If you followed my advice and used Times New Roman font 12 point and no fancy stuff on your resume, you should be fine. But if you have anything weird in there like crazy tabs and other formatting, your resume might look terrible once it has been uploaded. All sites have a review button that allows you to see what your resume looks like once it's uploaded. Use it! I'm always amazed when the search terms turn up a resume that is unreadable because there is &%20%& between every word rather than a space.
  8. Update, update update. When a company searches for a certain set of search criteria, the results are sorted for them primarily by age of resume. So if you have better skills than someone who placed their resume on the job board a week after you, their resume will show up first. So do the following: Every week, add a space or take away a space from your resume so it looks like it has been updated recently. That way, you'll always end up first in the searches. It doesn't take long, just do it every Monday morning.
  9. Apply for job openings. If your target company has openings that fit your skills, apply for this. Add a cover letter that shows how you meet their requirements using a table. See below for details.
  10. Use a requirements table. People hate to read paragraphs but love tables. Convert their job requirements into a table with their requirements in the left column and sections from your impact statements filling out the right column. Title the columns: Requirements and Experience. Watch how it works for my ideal job:
Ability to recruit and train excellent project managers
Created recruiting arm of Q Pharma, developed systems to streamline recruiting process, resulting in a steady stream of excellent employees
Ability to recruit and train excellent project managers
Formalized training of in-house employees, ensuring that Q Pharma employees appeared at client site fully ready to take on the responsibilities required of them.
Set up and manage Project Management Office (PMO)
Built Project Office, instituting methodologies, standards, metrics and policies and ensure adherence to procedures; achieving recognition for CSSC as a company that embraces project management
Manage Programs
Program manager for major pharmaceutical clients, overseeing nine project managers and twenty projects
Establish methodology for planning projects
Facilitated over 200 project kick-off / planning sessions, gaining clients’ support through their understanding of the complexities of each project and their roles within the projects
Experience managing projects in the pharmaceutical industry
Led three teams designed to maintain $80M/year market share, maintaining contracts between teams and senior staff.

Notice that sometimes I'll repeat requirements to emphasize my experience in this area. Requirements I don't meet, I'll simply leave out of the table. Your cover letter should introduce the table in the following way:
As you can see from my attached resume, I meet the requirements of this position perfectly. I have highlighted some of these matches below.

Read the next post for advice on how to interview well. I also added a post about Network Interviews and negotiating your salary when they offer you the job.

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