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Open Sesame! How to Use Keywords to Get Your Resume Past ATS

One of the resume questions I get most often is regarding keywords. People hear stories about a mysterious computer system that screens resumes and discards those that don’t have the magic words! The stories are true. Many companies, particularly large companies doing high-volume hiring, use Applicant Tracking Systems (known as ATS) to streamline the hiring process. An ATS scans incoming resumes to measure how well the resume matches the job posting—simply by comparing how many keywords from...

Checklist for a Great Resume

One of the challenges for many people in preparing a great resume is…knowing what exactly makes up a great resume. Here’s a handy checklist of the major components of a strong resume. How does your resume measure up? Does it look sharp? Good looks aren’t everything, but they certainly help. Make sure your resume is easy to read—clean, not cluttered; sharp, not confusing. Does it have a well-designed letterhead with your name larger than surrounding text? Does it include your contact...

The Recruiter-Approved, High-Impact Strategy for Submitting Your Cover Letter

Like Mark Twain (pre-1910, anyway), reports of the death of cover letters are greatly exaggerated. A good cover letter lets you break through the limitations of a just-the-facts-ma’am resume so you can introduce yourself, describe your career trajectory, and reveal your working style and career philosophy. Perhaps most important, a cover letter shows that you go all the way and that you know how to play the game. But in a world of email attachments and online job applications, how exactly do...

Resume FAQ: The Classy, Correct Way to Handle Professional References and Salary Requirements

Among the dozens of questions about resumes and job searching I get from my resume clients, here are two that pop up again and again:  how to submit professional references and how to handle requests for salary requirements. These are sticky little issues, but fortunately, here are clear, simple answers to both. References Some people write “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of their resume or even list their references’ contact info on the page. This is outdated and frowned...

3 Things I Hate about Your Resume: Notes from a Professional Recruiter

Wanna know what people really think about your resume? Check out this no-holds-barred list of pet peeves from a Salt Lake professional recruiter. Think of it as the resume version of What Not to Wear. The great mystery of resume writing is…what do recruiters and hiring managers actually think of your resume? Recently, I had lunch with Marilyn McSweeney, Executive Recruiter at Principal at The McSweeney Group, to share notes on recruiting, the job search process, and how resumes are evaluated...

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