When we talk about the application process, there is always a lot of emphasis around the resume. It may seem unfair to have to fit all your years of experience onto one or two 8x11 inch sheets of paper, but unfortunately, that’s how it’s done. Candidates put so much work to make their resume true to them by incorporating design, long intellectual sentences, and every single project they have ever worked. The truth is, your resume might be saying too much, and have too much design, which could be working against you. There are common mistakes all candidates have made at some point, and easy ways to get around it.
Too Much Design
With so many companies turning to candidate screening software, AI, and resume databases the vast majority of resumes sent to a company don’t even get looked at by a human. To make things worse, all the design effort you put into making your resume “pop” might actually be keeping the resume database from accurately inserting your information into the system. Text-based resumes are more likely to behave with keyword searches, candidate databases, and screening software giving you the best chance of getting your resume straight to your future boss. The information in the fancy designed resumes gets lost, this is especially prevalent among creatives that try to make their resumes stand out. You can make your resumes stand out without all the design formats. It’s best to keep your resume in a more traditional format and add some visually appealing logos or colors to break the monotony of the reading. Also, be sure your contact information is in a dark color, never white, as it will get washed out when transferring to the white backdrop of the databases.
Every industry and company has acronyms that are pretty universal: PPC, B2C, KPI, SKU. However, keep in mind HR and people from other industries or departments often don’t understand department-specific language. A candidate was once telling us how their resume for a digital marketing application detailed that he had experience creating MAPs (Marketing Automation Programs) that could integrate with GA (Google Analytics) for real-time data. HR’s Response: “Sorry, we aren’t looking to expand into Georgia at this time, nor do we have any need to integrate our systems with any federal or state maps." If you are going to use an acronym, spell it out first with the acronym in parenthesis so the reader knows what this acronym means if they read it later on thru the resume again.
The average resume gets looked at for six seconds. That is not much time for you to get your experience across if they have to read every single word on the page to understand what experience you have. Utilize styling and format to guide their eyes where you want them to go. Put your most relevant information as the top bullet points. Increase the size of your headers (company and position). Utilize LIGHT design techniques to set aside any points that should be focused on or highlighted. While your resume shouldn’t have too much design to confuse resume bots, it should still be intuitive to the reader.
Unnecessary Context Clues
It’s possible for your resume to say too much about you. Having obsolete programming languages, operating systems, or programs will age you and make you seem old school. Similarly, keeping your sorority position on your resume after you graduate will make you appear inexperienced. Too many volunteer positions means you might stretch yourself thin. Look for context clues that might give the wrong impression of you, and limit what you decide to put on your resume.
Out of Scope
While you want your resume to show that you are well rounded, you also need to express that you can excel in your given department. Make your resume as relevant to the job requirements and qualifications as possible. We call this a ‘you need, I have’ or the ‘backward resume approach. Find the job requirements from a similar job posting and write your resume based on what you find out is needed to succeed in the position. Your resume should be able to check off all requirements asked of you plus added skills that are relevant to the position. Irrelevant information is taking up valuable space and the reader’s time. If you have various distinct skill sets, have different resumes for different positions.
Resumes are the art of giving the hiring manager enough to want to meet you, but not too much to overwhelm them. At DCAProsearch we have 20+ years of experience in recruiting and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of resumes. Give us a call if you are not sure where your resume stands, or if you are looking for the perfect candidate to be part of your company team. We will never overwhelm you with resumes but will send you the top 3-5 candidates that fit your requirements.
Let me let you in on a recruiting secret. In the recruiting world, there are average candidates, and then there are the Most Placeable Candidates (MPCs). An MPC is a candidate who we are confident will not only meet but exceed the expectations of a given or potential client. With that being said, if you are not an MPC right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t become one down the road. MPCs are based on two things: our clients and what we know about your career.
Although there isn’t much you can do to determine our book of clients or what they are searching for, you can ensure that your resume and career reflect what we are looking for in regards to potential MPC status once the right client comes along.
1) Loyalty to their Work
While it is great to have choices in your career, we want to see that you see your role or project through at a company. It may be attractive to jump from job to job after only a year or two, but that doesn’t look promising to us or our clients. When our clients hire for a job, they want you to remain with the company for a minimum of three years and gain greater responsibility. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to stay at only one or two companies your entire career, but you should exhibit that you stayed with each company you worked at for a significant period of time.
2) Clear Career Progression
Remaining loyal to your company and remaining loyal to your job title are two very different things. In your career, we expect to see you move throughout your career in a timely manner. That means getting promoted, taking on greater responsibilities, or taking on new roles that expand your skillset. When you are stuck in a role for longer than what is considered the norm it tells us that you were not performing above expectations or that you didn’t have the courage to look for opportunity elsewhere.
3) Wide Range of Capabilities
If you want to be an MPC for multiple clients, you need to fit and exceed the expectations of multiple clients. A wide range of capabilities allows you to perform a wide range of tasks that can work for various job positions. If you are a chameleon and have the skills that allow you to adjust to any role be sure to display this on your resume or send us various drafts of your resumes that focus on different skill sets. One example of this is an MPC of ours who has provided us with her Digital Resume, her Account Planning Resume, and her resume with a mix of both.
4) The WOW Factor
This is something that is harder to put a finger on, but the best way we can explain it is that if you can make us audibly “wow” while we are looking at your resume, talking to you, or looking at any supplemental material, that is a good thing. This can be anything from creating a viral campaign to circumnavigating an impossible task. More than anything, this is something that makes us excited to see more of your work and should make the client excited to imagine what you could be doing with them.
5) Measurable Results
It is one thing to make us go wow, it is another to prove the impact of your work. When we present you to a client we want to be assured, without bias, that your work has exceeded expectation. The best way convince us and the client of that is to give quantifiable results. How much did your promotional strategy increase sales? Was your conversion rate off the charts for your digital campaign? While numbers aren’t everything, they do give us an unbiased measure of your work and performance.
6) A Strong Recruiter Relationship
More than anything we want to get to know you. 9 out of 10 candidates will only send their resume to us one time and never follow-up. This is an easy way to be forgotten. We want to see our MPCs build a relationship with us. Get on the phone and talk us through their career progression and what their goals are for future positions. The more we know about you, the more we are able to advocate on your behalf to our clients. Don’t be a needle in the LinkedIn haystack.
We are always looking for new MPCs and re-evaluating the needs of our clients to determine who the best-fit candidates are. Do not let yourself be overlooked by not taking simple steps in your career or forgetting to keep a relationship with your DCAProSearch recruiter. If you are a company in search of a Most Placeable Candidate give us a call and we would be happy to learn more about how your needs match up with our talented candidate pool.
Diversity in the workplace has been praised as not only being ethical but a smart business decision. However, the main question that stumps passionate diversity advocates is, “How will investing in diversity make us money?” In, a perfect world, arguing that investing in diversity is the ethical thing to do would be enough for any hiring manager. Unfortunately, most of us live in the business world where nothing is done unless it helps raise the bottom line, and now it is up to you to prove that diversity does exactly that.
Admittedly, it’s a difficult argument to quantify. Saying that adding diversity initiatives would add X amount of dollars to the bottom line would be oversimplifying the benefits of diversity because the exact benefits are hard to trace. Lucky for you, we’ve put together the business case that you have been looking for. Whether you are a skeptic of diversity or a diversity devotee, the numbers prove that diversity works.
Diversity is an Expectation for Top Talent
Job seekers are beginning to expect companies to have a diverse workforce and value diverse employees. According to Glassdoor, 2 in every 3 active and passive job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. According to a Glassdoor study, when asked how important a diverse workforce is when evaluating companies and job offers 67% of respondents indicated that diversity was important or very important to their decision. When broken down, the numbers were even higher among women (72%), African Americans (89%), Hispanics (70%), Asians (80%), and millennials (86%). However, nearly 6 out of 10 employees think their company should be doing more to increase diversity. Therefore, by not investing in diversity efforts you are actively persuading top talent to look elsewhere for the diversity of thought they are looking for.
Higher Financial Performance
McKinsey & Company published a study in 2018 correlating higher gender and ethnic diversity to higher earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). The study concluded that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity had a 21% higher likelihood of above-average financial performance than companies in the bottom quartile. Similarly, companies in the top quartile of ethnic diversity saw 33% higher likelihood of having above-average financial performance than companies in the bottom quartile. This is in part to diverse teams having more innovative R&I, enhanced group think, greater insight into real-world perspectives, quick access to cultural ambassadors, new product concepts, and introduction to new markets.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) came out with a similar study concluding that there existed a statistically significant correlation between the diversity of management teams and innovation. Companies that had higher diversity within management saw 19% higher innovation revenue than companies with below-average diversity. A Harvard Business Review study tied this correlation to the fact that diverse teams understand diverse market needs, leading to more relevant product development that meets real-world needs versus non-existent problems. A 2017 Harvard Business Review report found that teams with higher cognitive diversity were 53% more effective and efficient in completing cognitive tasks than less diverse teams. From being able to identify sore spots in brand marketing to revealing new product and research opportunities, multicultural talent brings new perspectives and solutions.
Racial Minorities are only Getting Larger
The Brookings Institute estimates that minorities will make up the majority of the United States population by the year 2045. The Hispanic community is set to see the fastest growth in population. However, all minority groups are forecasted to see steady growth as well. By 2045, whites will make up 49.7% of the United States population, while Hispanics will make up 24.6%, African Americans 13.1%, Asian’s 7.9%, and all other racial minorities 5%. If we look at the racial demographics by age in the table, minorities will be the majority of the workforce even sooner. Therefore, by delaying diversity initiatives you are isolating young talent and simply delaying the inevitable.
Not only is diversity the right thing to do, but it would be a mistake to ignore or delay the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Although many skeptics still believe the financial benefits of diversity are non-existent or not proven, hundreds of companies around the world have proven that diversity initiatives are beneficial, if not necessary, to grow in today’s consumer-driven market. That is why DCAProsearch is dedicated to diversifying the marketing and advertising space with top diverse talent because we believe that diversity isn’t only the right thing to do, it is the way of the future.