Do Not Send Your Resume in PDF Format!

By: Tracy Levine, Principal, Advantage Talent

Many Candidates have started sending their resume in PDF format.  This can be risky.  PDF resumes are not read well by some database systems.

Instead of the PDF format, the candidate can create an unchangeable Word document.  In Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010, click on the Microsoft icon which is shown below.

A drop down menu will appear.  Look for the Prepare Icon.

A prepare for distribution list will appear.  One of the options is ‘Mark as Final’.

When the candidate marks the resume as Final, the document becomes read-only and cannot be changed.

10 Job Search Mistakes

By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent Inc.

If you do any of the following you might not get considered for the job.

  1. Sending an e-mail to the hiring manager with a summary of why you qualify for a job without attaching a resume.
  2. Sending a LinkedIn message to the hiring manager asking them to check out your LinkedIn Profile to see if your qualifications would be a fit for the job and if they are you will send a resume.  Not sending your resume when initially contacting the hiring manager is sending the signal that you are not really interested in the job.
  3. Being rude to the Hiring Manager or anyone working with the hiring manager, including their personal assistant or phone operator will prevent you from getting any current or future jobs.  This includes rude e-mails or rude calls.  It is important to keep in mind that a company may not consider you the optimal candidate for the current opening but may like you enough to call you for future opportunities.  Don’t burn bridges.
  4. Including unprofessional e-mail addresses on your resume.  The e-mail address was probably funny to you when you picked it, but “Fratboy” or “SexyChic” will probably not seem funny to the hiring manager.  There are plenty of free e-mail services to set up a professional e-mail address.
  5. Lying on your resume.  What might not have been an issue if revealed from the start, can become an issue if discovered after the fact.
  6. Telling the hiring manager where to go to find your resume instead of providing the information.  “You can find my full resume and cover letter on XYZ Board.”  Posting your resume on a job board is great if the person pays to get resumes off of that particular job board.  If the hiring manager is not buying resumes, they are not going to make an exception and buy yours to see if you are qualified for the job.
  7. Not paying attention to detail when including a cover letter.  Attaching a letter talking about another company and another position is not a good first impression.
  8. Applying for jobs based on job title and not on skill set.
  9. Not including an e-mail address or a phone number on your resume.  Only putting your name and address on a resume means you do not really want to be contacted about the job.  If you have applied for a job through a job board, the hiring manager that eventually gets your resume is not receiving a direct e-mail from you.  It is not safe to assume somehow, the hiring manager is going to go back and try to find your e-mail address.
  10. Playing games!  For example, saying you have a job offer in hand from another company when you do not can be a dangerous game.  Playing this bluff to try to get the hiring manager to speed up the process or make it seem like you are in demand is not without risk.  The hiring manager may call your bluff.  I have seen candidates dropped from the hiring process because the hiring manager feels like the candidate is on a different timeline–One the company cannot meet.

5 Reasons Applying for a Job Online Does Not Work

Applying for Jobs Online

By: Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent Inc.

As a recruiter, I have been approached by numerous people complaining about having to apply for most jobs online.  They want to know if it works for anyone.   Ignoring the tongue in cheek title of this blog, the answer is yes.  Most people will start their job application process with a company by applying for the job online.  This could be directly on a company’s website, a recruiter’s website or a job board.

Job Hunters take actions that assure they will not make it through the computer gatekeeper to even be considered for a job.  The following is a list of the top 5 reasons why applying for a job online does not work for many Job Hunters.

1. Downloaded resume templates with formatting. 

It may make you feel good that your resume looks totally traditional or “pretty” but the computer gatekeeper will not be impressed.  All computer databases utilize plain text.  This means your resume will be converted to the most basic of letters and numbers.   Plain Text does not read pictures or any type of formatting other than indent and return.  Therefore, the computer will interpret the tables and other formatting the best it can.  Your information might not make it into the correct fields.  If you cannot be found, you will not be hired.

2. Submitting Functional Resumes.

Do not even bother to apply online if you use a functional resume.  A functional resume almost assures that you will not come up toward the top of a list or on a list at all.  This is even truer if you post on a large job board.  Functional resumes are not computer gatekeeper friendly.  The computer cannot determine how much experience the candidate has within any particular skill or when the candidate last used the skill.

3.  Applying for jobs that the Candidate is not qualified to fill.

Many job hunters have become spammers.  DO NOT Apply for jobs that do not match your skill set.  Experts have been telling the unemployed to think of different ways their skills can be used.  Good Advice but irrelevant when applying for jobs online.  Computers do not think out of the box.  They find the resume that fits the exact words used in the data base search. Do you fit the job description?

4.  Trying to bypass the online application process.

There are many experts that are erroneously telling candidates to bypass the online job application.  These “experts” believe you are more likely to get the job if you send your resume directly to the recruiter or hiring manager.  In most cases this is not a good idea.

Larger corporations use the HR department for a reason.  In the past, many of these companies have been accused of hiring discrimination and sued.  To prevent any appearance of impropriety these companies make candidates go through the HR department first.  Depending on the company, going directly to the hiring manager automatically gets the candidacy denied.  Trust me on this one; it happens more than most people know.  In most instances the candidate will never know this is the reason they did not get the job.

In today’s market, employers and recruiters are inundated with resumes for each job opening. The employer posts jobs online to keep their e-mail box from getting bombarded with 1000s of resumes not attached to a specific job.  Sending the employer or recruiter an e-mail can backfire.  Do not do it unless you are truly the best or an expert in the field as it relates to the job that has been posted.  I cannot speak to others’ practices but we do read all of the resumes attached to job orders.  Typically, the person in charge of the job will look at all of the resumes for the job at once.  It is easier not to let any candidate slip through the cracks if the job description and the candidate competition are viewed simultaneously.  If the candidate is the right person for the job, they will be found in the group review.

5.  It is a lottery.

Anyone who has a computer can apply for jobs online.  It is easy.  Therefore, the competition is greater.  This should not discourage a candidate from applying.  We have all heard the saying, “The cream will rise to the top.”

Applying for jobs online does work.  If you are not having success it might be because of some of the things listed above.