The best way to know whose job search advice to follow

job search advice to followJob search advice is readily available on the internet, but it is the best advice? When I speak with job seekers, this is a common question. How do I know if the advice is right?

My family often clipped resume and job search articles from the newspaper to give to me. (I know old school, but…) The first thing I do is scan the article to see who they are quoting. If I know the experts quoted, then I read to see if I agree. Most of the time, I will.

The real career community is not that large. The career community changes as new people decide to make career marketing, career coaching, and resume writing their profession.

Some people dabble in the field and  leave the entrepreneurial life for a paycheck. Serious career professionals belong to career organizations and hold professional certifications.

Whose job search advice to follow?

Don’t follow the job search advice of your brother-in-law — unless he is a credentialed career professional.

Don’t listen to every blog you read.

Ignore the advice of speakers on job search unless you know they are current on job search strategies.

Follow people who work with job seekers every day.

Follow resume writers with multiple years in the career industry and are credentialed. Certifications in our industry mean that a jury of top resume writers are reviewing your resume samples to determine if you match the standards.

For example, I am a Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM), Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW), and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW).

When I need advice, I check with experts. A list of my favorite job search experts can be found here.

Top questions from job seekers

Frequently, I hear that my resume samples break the rules for ATS resumes. They do for multiple reasons. ATS is not the only place your resumes should be targeting and humans benefit from presentation resumes.

What is ATS? Applicant Tracking Systems

ATS, the online application systems that frustrate 95% of job seekers.

Last night someone said she was confused about my resume samples because my resumes are in color, have bold, have graphic features, use tables, and these are all things that she heard speakers say were not good practice for ATS resumes.

Here is the problem:

  • You are trying to create a resume only for the ATS system.
  • I create resumes in presentation format using Microsoft Word.
  • Then I save as PDF.
  • And finally…  I offer a plain text or ASCII resume for use in pasting into online applications (ATS) that parse your resume information into the wrong fields.
  • You can use the Text resume to paste into the correct fields.

Most ATS systems will load a Microsoft Word or PDF file but most of them still put information in the wrong fields. My Advice? Upload the Word resume or PDF if the system specifies PDF. Many systems store a real copy of the resume that looks and feels like the presentation version. Then use the text resume as you review the application to paste information into the correct fields.

What is most critical for job seekers to know?

ATS or online systems should be used when it is the only way to apply. Get the resume into their system. But then, implement networking strategies to find the decision makers so that your resume is read by someone who really wants to fill the position. Look for directors of departments or if you are an executive, look for the C-Level in charge of your area.

Job seekers who land fastest are adept at finding network connections who can help them land their next role. Use LinkedIn for research. Use the phone to find the right people and let them know you care about the company and the position.

Tell them your value. Not only in the resume but in every contact you make.

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Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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