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What Can You Do To Keep Your Resume Out Of the “B pile”?
“Today, each new job posting elicits an average of 300-400 resumes.” How do you make it to the top of the heap? Regardless of whether a person or an electronic applicant tracking system (ATS) is scanning resumes – your resume will inevitable make into one of two piles. Below are exerts from the complete article: http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-can-you-do-to-keep-your-resume-out.html, located August 27, 2012.
“… It is now time to divide the resumes into the proverbial “A pile” and “B pile”. In some instances, there are literally two piles and in other cases, applicants are tagged as “hot prospect” (A) or “reject” (B) in the ATS. The all-powerful “A pile” represents candidates that were referred by an employee or “friend of the firm” and in some cases, it also includes the top 3-5% of online applicants. These “A pile” candidates will receive further consideration and perhaps even a phone call. The dreaded “B pile”, however, consists of the remaining resumes that will never again see the light of day! Unfortunately, if you were not able to secure an introduction into the firm, if you did not customize your resume to include the relevant key words, or if your resume does not offer that initial “wow factor”, chances are you will be sent to the “B pile”.
The first question, then, becomes: what can you do to ensure your resume doesn’t wind up alone in the “B pile”?
1. Apply only to those jobs where you possess 85% or more of the requirements.
2. Customize each resume to include every key word that is mentioned in the job description.
3. Develop a headline that provides a “wow factor”, uniquely defining your area of expertise.
4. Create 3 or 4 key sentences at the top of your resume to highlight your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
5. Focus on promotions, results and direct contributions, not responsibilities and tasks.
The second question, and the one rarely considered, is: what can you do to ease the pain of the HR professional?
1. Focus on securing an introduction to the company through a mutual colleague; contact the hiring manager and/or HR professional to leverage the contact and get yourself on the radar screen.
2. Clearly indicate how your skills match up with the job requirements – don’t make them search for your relevant skills.
3. If you are unable to secure an introduction, call the HR professional and/or hiring manager 2 days after sending your resume, to ensure it was received; during this call, acknowledge that you are aware of the volume of resumes they have received, and request “5 minutes to provide 3 factors” that will demonstrate your fit for the position.
4. Send a thank you/follow up card by mail to the HR and/or hiring manager reminding them of the “3 factors”.
5. Develop a campaign to follow up with the HR and/or hiring manager on a weekly basis.
While the job market continues to have its challenges, developing and maintaining a consistent strategy will greatly increase your odds of getting your resume into the “A pile”. Today’s job market is about visibility and differentiation.
Ken C. Schmitt
Turning Point Executive Search[boilerplate about-colo-springs]