Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Keys to a Strong Resume Summary

 A resume summary needs to capture what the recruiter and hiring manager should expect to see in the entire resume. It should be a glimpse of the resume. It should not be the only place that a recruiter finds your skill sets. Keep in mind that your resume summary should repeat, in short, what your work experience states in more detail. When written correctly, this key strategy will help highlight your talent and increase your chances of getting you in front of the hiring manager.

When you're writing a resume summary I would recommend that you write it after you've completed all of your related work experience. If you're revising your resume it might be better to just delete your resume summary, update your work experience, and re-write a new resume summary by taking words from your work experience. This is key! Take words from your related work experience and insert those words in your resume summary.

For example, let's say you worked at IBM as a tester and you conducted black box testing for a project. Your work experience could look something like this:

IBM, Sacramento, CA (Jan 2005 - Dec 2012)
Rational Tester
- Performed Quality Assurance (QA) testing which included black box testing for project X.

Your resume summary should include "black box testing" and "quality assurance" as keywords. When recruiters have a requisition (job opening) that requires someone with at least 5 years black box testing they will search for these keywords in every resume they have on file. They will see these keywords in your summary and in your work experience. This will help recruiters associate your work experience with the number of years you worked as a tester, the position you held at the company, and any details specific to a project. Essentially, your resume summary should emphasize what the recruiter and hiring manager can expect to see when they review the rest of your resume.

Remember, many recruiters use a keyword search strategy as an effective technique to help find the right talent. If those keywords only appear in the resume summary and no where else in the resume, the recruiter is likely to move on to the next candidate.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's Important to Give Examples during an Interview

This morning I completed a client submission for one of the hiring managers. It was the standard process (i.e. source, qualify, interview, Skype interview). As I reviewed my notes from the interview I smiled at the positive outcome. It's not just the candidate who gets excited about moving forward to the next phase in the interview process, the recruiter also gets excited! It's an amazing feeling finding a candidate that is such a good fit for a job requisition. It's like having the time to enjoy that perfect latte without the pressure of running late.

When I was writing a short paragraph explaining to the hiring manager about why I would recommend this candidate I smiled to myself thinking about the caliber of talent that I was sending. I took a moment to appreciate what it was that I enjoyed so much about reading my notes taken during the interview. I realized that it was the examples that the candidate gave with each question that I asked. Each example gave a clear picture of how the candidate applied their skills to identify and solve opportunities.

That being said, I would like to say "Thank you". Thank you to the candidate who communicates clear examples. Thank you to the candidate that paints a picture of their experiences in the field. Thank you to the candidate who provides examples that give insight into the passion that drives you.