Condensed from Reader’s Digest Magazine, April 2011
Use key words and not colored paper — plus other resume tips from potential employers.
1. “Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered pretty much unemployable. We assume that other people have already passed you over, so we don’t want anything to do with you.”
– Cynthia Shapiro, former human resources executive and author of ‘Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know’
2. “When it comes to getting a job, who you know really does matter. No matter how nice your resume is or how great your experience may be, it’s all about connections.”
– HR director at a health-care facility
3. “If you’re trying to get a job at a specific company, often the best thing to do is to avoid HR entirely. Find someone at the company you know, or go straight to the hiring manager.”
– HR director at a financial services firm
5. “We will judge you based on your e-mail address. Especially if it’s something inappropriate like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
– Rich DeMatteo, a recruiting consultant in Philadelphia
6. “If you’re in your 50s or 60s, don’t put the year you graduated on your resume.”
– HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina
7. “There’s a myth out there that a resume has to be one page. So people send their resume in a two-point font. Nobody is going to read that.”
– HR director at a financial services firm
8. “I always read resumes from the bottom up. And I have no problem with a two-page resume, but three pages is pushing it.”
– Sharlyn Lauby, HR consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
9. “Most of us use applicant-tracking systems that scan resumes for key words. The secret to getting your resume through the system is to pull key words directly from the job description and put them on. The more matches you have, the more likely your resume will get picked and actually seen by a real person.”
– Chris Ferdinandi, HR professional in the Boston area
10. “Resumes don’t need color to stand out. When I see a little color, I smirk. And when I see a ton of color, I cringe. And walking in and dropping off your resume is no longer seen as a good thing. It’s actually a little creepy.”
– Rich DeMatteo
By Lisa Johnson Mandell, Posted Mar 1st 2011 @ 6:38AM
What Employers Really Want from Recent College Grads
Perfect grades? Internships? Clubs and activities? Summer work experience? Many college students knock themselves out trying to add any or all of the above onto their fresh resumes, but will they really help them get the job?
A recent study done at Oklahoma State University concluded that certain experiences are likely to help land a job, while other experiences are not nearly as valuable.
Although what employers valued most varied by industry, at the top of their lists were (in no particular order):
- interview skills
- internships and majors related to the job being applied for
- ability in a foreign language
- communications skills
- problem solving ability
- the proven ability at working well with others
- critical thinking skills
- writing skills
- characterIt’s interesting to note that excellent grades were not ranked as high as other skills and experiences, but according to the study, employers still believed them to be important. The majors chosen by students and their coursework definitely ranked higher than clubs and activities.
The results also show that students who let their writing skills get rusty as the result of communicating via text and Twitter, had better brush up on conventional punctuation, grammar, spelling and sentence structure before they graduate.
“Each student should strategically acquire accomplishments and qualifications which are both valued by employers and consistent with the student’s preferences, goals, and talents,” says Bailey Norwood, one of the study’s authors. But above all, never underestimate the value of interview skills, which were ranked as one of the most important assets for job seekers .
Hopefully the information provided by the study will make it easier for recent college grads to get their foot in the door, in their desired field.
Related Stories from Readers Digest
Comment: When it all said and done, “To get that right Job” you must be prepared, Writing skills are a ” BIG MUST” , you maybe the greatest at texting or you are a wiz at the keyboard, but if you can not write, your chances are reduced substantially. Go back and study your basic Grammar, punctuation and Capitalization! “Hotdogfish”
- What HR People Won’t Tell You About the Job Interview (choosework.typepad.com)
- Surefire Resume Killers That Will Murder Your Career (businessinsider.com)