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The National Résumé Writers' Association Article Library is full of great information on résumé writing, marketing, and more!
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  • April 09, 2015 1:03 AM | Anonymous
    Melanie L. DennyMBA, is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, an International Protean Career Coach and holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. Her work was featured in Gallery of Best Cover Letters Fourth Edition and she is the author of The Job Seeker’s Secret Guide to LinkedIn. 

    Melanie empowers dissatisfied working professionals, who feel stuck in a job they hate, to see beyond the limits of their current situation and gain the confidence and tools they need to create a rewarding career they love. Her "never settle for less" attitude inspires her clients to realize their true value and exude the confidence they need to stand out in today’s job market so they can actually secure the role they've only dreamed of. She believes everyone is entitled to a rewarding career. Her true passion lies with helping others realize their true value and travel their respective career paths to achieve life fulfillment.
  • April 09, 2015 12:52 AM | Anonymous

    You have probably already seen the icon for an RSS feed, it looks like this…


    RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Think of RSS feeds as a “news feed” that you subscribe to, and, whenever new content from your favorite website is published, it is delivered to anyone subscribed to the RSS feed. RSS is being used by millions of web users to keep track of their favorite websites. Instead of “bookmarking: websites in your browser and frequently checking for new content, you receive automated updates. An RSS feed delivers this “subscription” of information directly to your RSS feed reader, a method for aggregating all of your subscribed feeds. The most popular feed readers are Google Chrome RSS Feed Reader extension and Feedly.


    Why is having an RSS feed on your website or blog so valuable? An RSS feed makes it easy for those who are interested in you and what you have to say, to hear from you in real-time. In addition, an RSS feed is a great tool to generate more traffic to your website and more readers to your blog. Most WordPress and DIY websites have an easy option to create an RSS feed for your website. Or, contact your web developer to create one for your website.


    An RSS feed is very important and beneficial for The NRWA members. The NRWA will be starting a public RSS feed featured on the website; this will be exclusively for members. Much of the traffic we receive to The NRWA website is from job seekers in pursuit of hiring a qualified résumé writer. With this new feature, you are even more likely to get noticed by a potential client. In addition, it's a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in the résumé writing industry. Most importantly, by sharing your RSS feed with The NRWA, it will help generate traffic back to your website.

    For those of you who have a blog, but do not have an RSS feed, I created a short 2 minute video to explain how simple and easy the process is, go ahead a take a peak... 


    One more tidbit of information for those of you who have a WordPress website, you can generate a feed for any page simply by adding "/feed" at the end of any URL. 

    Cassie Olson

    The NRWA Marketing Chair


  • March 11, 2015 1:05 AM | Anonymous

    By: Jack Mulcahy

    If your answer to the above is, “Résumé Writer,” or “Career Counselor,” or some variation of the two, you’re WRONG!


    Oh sure, you have spent a great deal of time (and possibly money) developing and marketing your own “brand.” And, yes, you know that the résumés you write or the career counseling you offer are the best money can buy. But is that it? Do your brand and your business niche really identify what you can call your business?


    If you are thinking that way, here is some news for you: none of your businesses can be defined in such a narrow way. No matter who you are, no matter how you define yourselves, your real business is meeting the client’s needs, in whatever form they manifest themselves. If you do not realize that, you are not only kidding yourselves, you are taking the first steps on the road to oblivion.


    You need to look no further than the last half of the twentieth century for examples of this truth. Through the 1950s or so, the railroads were a major source of shipping. Food, passengers, raw materials, farm machinery, automobiles; you name it, if it needed to be moved from one place to another, the railroads were the way to go, and they were a major economic force.


    By the early 1970s, however, the U.S. railroad industry was in shambles. Has anyone today ever heard of the New York Central Railroad? How about the Ann Arbor Railroad? The Erie Lackawanna? The Colorado and Southern Railway? At one time, there were more than 140 Class I railroads in the U.S. (A Class I railroad is one listed as earning at least $1 million in annual revenue.)


    Today there are just four Class I railroads in operation in the U.S. What happened?


    While a part of the decline can be traced to natural disasters such as hurricanes, the major reason was that the railroads remained in a mindset that they were in the railway industry, and did not realize that their real industry was transportation. So, instead of seeing the newly emerging automotive and aircraft industries as potential partners in transportation, the railroads viewed those newcomers as competition and tried to fight them off. It took them too long to realize the mistake, until a government bailout (in the form of consolidation) was their only means of remaining viable.


    You cannot afford to make the mistake the railroads made. You must each learn to broaden your business definition. You are in the business of finding solutions to clients’ needs. Sometimes that definition will mean finding out that your individual solution is not right for the client, and that is fine. None of you can be all things to all clients, no matter how hard you may try. The occasion may come when you need to refer a client elsewhere, either because that client’s requirements do not fit your expertise or because another professional may be better suited to the client. 


    Jack Mulcahy has been a writer all his life and has written hundreds of resumes for people from all professions. Each resume he writes shows the unique selling proposition so necessary to market the job seeker. Jack has also contributed free-lance articles to newspapers and magazines, and has sold fiction to many publications. He and his wife Pat live in suburban Philadelphia, by the grace of their two cats, the real homeowners.


  • January 28, 2015 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    Lynn Talarico is an Employment Consultant with Missoula Job Service in Missoula, MT, where she has been employed since 2010. Her expertise is in assisting job seekers in creating and editing their résumé and cover letter, and giving presentations to high school students on job searching, résumé writing tools, soft skills, elevator speeches, and interviewing skills. She also teaches a monthly résumé writing class to the Department of Labor and Industry WoRC/FSET (Work Readiness Program/Food Stamp and Employment Training) Job Club attendees.

    After the Missoula Job Service contracted Dr. Cheryl Minnick at the University of Montana, Missoula to conduct résumé and cover letter writing classes for staff, Lynn became more familiar with Cheryl, who encouraged her to pursue the NCRWcertification. Lynn then set her sites on obtaining the certification as a career goal and was fully supported by her manager and supervisor.

    Lynn will soon be using the skills acquired from the NCRW process to benefit the job seekers she works with, in addition to her co-workers across Montana. Lynn says, “This is a huge gain for my office, as we are now the only job service in Montana with a nationally certified résumé writer!”

    Lynn says, “Prior to studying for the certification, I had not created a résumé from the ground up. My experience had been in taking a job seeker’s very generic résumé and turning it/editing it into a professional document or brainstorming with them their accomplishments to create a basic résumé that they would type. The process was difficult for me because I had to learn the ‘industry’ to start the process.”

    Lynn also says that, “Cheryl Minnick’s mentorship was invaluable. She provided me expert guidance, support, and constructive criticism. As I worked my way through writing practice samples, she would make suggested edits or ask me pointed questions that caused me to rethink how I had written something or to take a hard look at formatting adjustments. My first sample did not pass, and so I was happy to hear that when I was ready to submit my second sample, a year later, there was the option to speak with the person who graded the sample for feedback. I think it would be helpful to offer more mentorship assistance.”

    For those who may be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification Lynn recommends contacting aNCRW to request a mentorship, allow plenty of time to complete the process, then set goals and a time frame in which to complete each part of the process. -Great Advice, Lynn!

    Lynn Talarico is an Employment Consultant with Missoula Job Service in Missoula, MT, where she has been employed since 2010. Her expertise is in assisting job seekers in creating and editing their résumé and cover letter, and giving presentations to high school students on job searching, résumé writing tools, soft skills, elevator speeches, and interviewing skills. She also teaches a monthly résumé writing class to the Department of Labor and Industry WoRC/FSET (Work Readiness Program/Food Stamp and Employment Training) Job Club attendees.


    After the Missoula Job Service contracted Dr. Cheryl Minnick at the University of Montana, Missoula to conduct résumé and cover letter writing classes for staff, Lynn became more familiar with Cheryl, who encouraged her to pursue the NCRWcertification. Lynn then set her sites on obtaining the certification as a career goal and was fully supported by her manager and supervisor.


    Lynn will soon be using the skills acquired from the NCRW process to benefit the job seekers she works with, in addition to her co-workers across Montana. Lynn says, “This is a huge gain for my office, as we are now the only job service in Montana with a nationally certified résumé writer!”


    Lynn says, “Prior to studying for the certification, I had not created a résumé from the ground up. My experience had been in taking a job seeker’s very generic résumé and turning it/editing it into a professional document or brainstorming with them their accomplishments to create a basic résumé that they would type. The process was difficult for me because I had to learn the ‘industry’ to start the process.”


    Lynn also says that, “Cheryl Minnick’s mentorship was invaluable. She provided me expert guidance, support, and constructive criticism. As I worked my way through writing practice samples, she would make suggested edits or ask me pointed questions that caused me to rethink how I had written something or to take a hard look at formatting adjustments. My first sample did not pass, and so I was happy to hear that when I was ready to submit my second sample, a year later, there was the option to speak with the person who graded the sample for feedback. I think it would be helpful to offer more mentorship assistance.”


    For those who may be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification Lynn recommends contacting aNCRW to request a mentorship, allow plenty of time to complete the process, then set goals and a time frame in which to complete each part of the process. -Great Advice, Lynn!

    Lynn Talarico is an Employment Consultant with Missoula Job Service in Missoula, MT, where she has been employed since 2010. Her expertise is in assisting job seekers in creating and editing their résumé and cover letter, and giving presentations to high school students on job searching, résumé writing tools, soft skills, elevator speeches, and interviewing skills. She also teaches a monthly résumé writing class to the Department of Labor and Industry WoRC/FSET (Work Readiness Program/Food Stamp and Employment Training) Job Club attendees.


    After the Missoula Job Service contracted Dr. Cheryl Minnick at the University of Montana, Missoula to conduct résumé and cover letter writing classes for staff, Lynn became more familiar with Cheryl, who encouraged her to pursue the NCRWcertification. Lynn then set her sites on obtaining the certification as a career goal and was fully supported by her manager and supervisor.


    Lynn will soon be using the skills acquired from the NCRW process to benefit the job seekers she works with, in addition to her co-workers across Montana. Lynn says, “This is a huge gain for my office, as we are now the only job service in Montana with a nationally certified résumé writer!”


    Lynn says, “Prior to studying for the certification, I had not created a résumé from the ground up. My experience had been in taking a job seeker’s very generic résumé and turning it/editing it into a professional document or brainstorming with them their accomplishments to create a basic résumé that they would type. The process was difficult for me because I had to learn the ‘industry’ to start the process.”


    Lynn also says that, “Cheryl Minnick’s mentorship was invaluable. She provided me expert guidance, support, and constructive criticism. As I worked my way through writing practice samples, she would make suggested edits or ask me pointed questions that caused me to rethink how I had written something or to take a hard look at formatting adjustments. My first sample did not pass, and so I was happy to hear that when I was ready to submit my second sample, a year later, there was the option to speak with the person who graded the sample for feedback. I think it would be helpful to offer more mentorship assistance.”


    For those who may be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification Lynn recommends contacting aNCRW to request a mentorship, allow plenty of time to complete the process, then set goals and a time frame in which to complete each part of the process. -Great Advice, Lynn!

    Lynn Talarico is an Employment Consultant with Missoula Job Service in Missoula, MT, where she has been employed since 2010. Her expertise is in assisting job seekers in creating and editing their résumé and cover letter, and giving presentations to high school students on job searching, résumé writing tools, soft skills, elevator speeches, and interviewing skills. She also teaches a monthly résumé writing class to the Department of Labor and Industry WoRC/FSET (Work Readiness Program/Food Stamp and Employment Training) Job Club attendees.


    After the Missoula Job Service contracted Dr. Cheryl Minnick at the University of Montana, Missoula to conduct résumé and cover letter writing classes for staff, Lynn became more familiar with Cheryl, who encouraged her to pursue the NCRWcertification. Lynn then set her sites on obtaining the certification as a career goal and was fully supported by her manager and supervisor.


    Lynn will soon be using the skills acquired from the NCRW process to benefit the job seekers she works with, in addition to her co-workers across Montana. Lynn says, “This is a huge gain for my office, as we are now the only job service in Montana with a nationally certified résumé writer!”


    Lynn says, “Prior to studying for the certification, I had not created a résumé from the ground up. My experience had been in taking a job seeker’s very generic résumé and turning it/editing it into a professional document or brainstorming with them their accomplishments to create a basic résumé that they would type. The process was difficult for me because I had to learn the ‘industry’ to start the process.”


    Lynn also says that, “Cheryl Minnick’s mentorship was invaluable. She provided me expert guidance, support, and constructive criticism. As I worked my way through writing practice samples, she would make suggested edits or ask me pointed questions that caused me to rethink how I had written something or to take a hard look at formatting adjustments. My first sample did not pass, and so I was happy to hear that when I was ready to submit my second sample, a year later, there was the option to speak with the person who graded the sample for feedback. I think it would be helpful to offer more mentorship assistance.”


    For those who may be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification Lynn recommends contacting aNCRW to request a mentorship, allow plenty of time to complete the process, then set goals and a time frame in which to complete each part of the process. -Great Advice, Lynn!

  • January 14, 2015 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    Nelly Grinfeld is the owner and sole operator of Top of the Stack Resume in Cincinnati, OH. She loves working one-on-one with her clients to create powerful job search documents that will help them advance their careers. Nelly has an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, but the NCRW certification is the first résumé writing certification she has obtained.


    Since joining The NRWA in 2013, Nelly soon realized that the NCRWcertification is a great way to enhance her knowledge and offer credibility to her clients and prospects. She says, “I realize there are other certifications out there, and that some may be easier to get, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could get this more difficult certification.”


    Nelly plans to highlight her NCRW certification by sending a press release to be published locally. Nelly says, “Anyone can say they are a résumé writer, but not just anyone can say they are a certified résumé writer.”


    Nelly feels that the certification process is quite reasonable. She also learned a great deal about résumé writing, proper grammar, and the standards résumé writers should hold themselves to in order to provide clients with the best career marketing documents possible.  


    For those who may be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification, Nelly says, “I say, go for it! It sounds quite daunting at first, with all those steps and parts to accomplish. But, by taking it one part at a time and not rushing through it, it can be done!”

  • December 03, 2014 3:31 PM | Anonymous

     By:Mill Montejo

    If you've ever heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) reverse engineering science, then you know that Machine Learning powers it, and with the right mix of words and concepts you can see actual results within a couple of months, maybe sooner, and sometimes immediately. Machine Learning is also what helps power Applicant Tracking Systems that recruiters and Human Resources offices use to search for talent.  This is the basis of my theory on the significance of LinkedIn Endorsements. See the images in this article for the actual search results of LinkedIn profile optimization and the steps I describe that can help anyone achieve them.


    I have conducted my own tests on these SEO (Search Engine Optimization)tactics since 2011. Initially, when I left the transportation industry and was looking at available work online, I began to update my LinkedIn profile. I also attended a free webinar by Greig Wells, in which he discussed his web-optimization techniques. I took notes, I read more and more, and I took Udemy and Khan Academy courses to refresh my previous web-development and computer knowledge. Slowly but surely, I began to build my connections on LinkedIn. While I am not a “Super Connector” as mentioned in Greig's webinars with thousands of connections, I am way ahead of where I was in 2011 in profile completeness and ROI. Yes, you heard right, “return on investment.” LinkedIn is the number one water cooler to hang out by if you want to be found for diverse work arrangements. It doesn't happen overnight, but there is a visible, measurable return on your invested time. 


    I recommend to all my clients, and anyone who will listen, that they should check into their LinkedIn profile a minimum of three times per week.  LinkedIn also has a news feed which will recommend articles to you. They should click on those articles, comment on them, and share them in groups. All of these actions help search engines find your activity online. When recruiters need to fill a job requisition, they sometimes useBoolean searches in Google. They list skills and this is where the endorsement section comes in.


    Some of your LinkedIn Connection's skills will already be populated into the text field that pops up. You may actually be helping your connection tremendously by adding a skill you are aware that they possess, but that they don't have that many endorsements for.  You can tell how many endorsements they have in a certain skill by looking at the graph of the profile pictures of endorsers next to their skills. Don't worry as your connection will have the final say on whether they add it to their profile or not.


    "These endorsements are extremely valuable because the more you have, they higher your profile will rank for each skill. For instance, if you have one hundred professionals endorsing you for your “social media” skills, then when a recruiter is looking for someone with those skills, your profile will appear higher in the ranking than others. Endorsements will help your profile become more visible on LinkedIn, giving you more opportunities as a result." Dan Schawbel - Branding Expert


    "LinkedIn isn't weighting endorsements in search results yet, but it will soon. This means, the more endorsements for your skills and talents that you get, the more often you'll appear in search results, the more trusted you'll be, and the more leads you'll potentially generate from LinkedIn." Dave Kerpen, CEO Likeable Media

     

    "Whether it’s an on-site search engine or someone much larger like Google, the purpose of the search results will always be to find the most accurate match, so don’t be surprised to see those who have accumulated the most endorsements featuring more frequently. Many dub LinkedIn the social media platform for professionals, with numerous organizations using it for recruitment purposes and/or new business opportunities. So where you rank in search results on LinkedIn for the areas you specialize in is going to affect how people find you." 
    Matthew Moore - Traffic Digital London, UK


    You know what those one-click endorsements smell like? Links. The skills are the keywords. Once you have started accumulating this data, you can rate the authority / credibility of a profile for a given skill. A search for “pricing strategy” under this model would return a list of candidates who claim this skill, ranked by the power of the endorsements they’ve received. Endorsements received from other LinkedIn members with high credibility on pricing strategy or other relevant skills would carry more weight that recommendations from people without pricing expertise." 
    Margin Hound


    Mill Montejo helps Millennials and graduates land entry-level jobs. She helps professional Baby Boomers and Seniors to bridge the gap between "old-school" and digital-age job search methods. She is passionate about helping Americans get back to work by teaching them about the new Digital Global Labor Market. With her tech background and bilingual writing ability, she employs keyword technology to give her résumé clients an edge over their competition.    


  • December 03, 2014 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    In, 2011, Cheryl Cooper started Professional Best Writing Services in the Metro Atlanta area after years of personal and volunteer writing services that included résumés, business documents, bios, books, and more. She currently specializes in career-marketing documents and ghostwriting for individuals. In 2015, she plans to add grant proposal writing and voiceover services (script writing and voice recordings) for businesses to her list of products.


    Cheryl obtained her Certified Professional Résumé Writer credential in 2011, and earlier this year she completed an editing certification course. Cheryl’s main reason for pursuing the NCRW credential was to gain confidence in her skills and to offer her clients more assurance of her expertise.


    Cheryl plans to promote her NCRW certification when advertising to potential clients and her colleagues. She says, “I’m now looking to build a portfolio to showcase to other certified writers. I’d like to transition to solely subcontract résumé writing by summer 2015. I enjoy the challenge of strategizing and writing résumés and want to focus on that part of the process by supporting others who are in need of a credentialed ghostwriter.”


    For those who might be hesitant to begin the NCRW certification process, Cheryl recommends for them to study the material and then jump right in. “Of course try, but don’t worry about having a perfect first review,” she says. “The certification team is extremely supportive and will provide great recommendations of how to strengthen your résumé-writing skills.” She adds, “You may be enlightened throughout the process and you may gain more confidence in your writing in the end. You may not breeze through the process but you will definitely feel that it was worthwhile.”

  • November 05, 2014 6:32 PM | Anonymous

    Today, up to 80 percent of résumés are scanned by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) before a human being gets even one glance at them. If a résumé does not pass the ATS criteria, it is likely the résumé will never be read by a human being. In this article, I will explain what the ATS means for job seekers.

    Human resource departments, hiring managers, and recruiters use applicant tracking systems to streamline and accelerate the recruiting process. By using automated, computer-based ATS technology, hiring managers can more easily and cost-effectively identify and hire the best-qualified job candidates. Since the advent of Resumix, the first-ever ATS introduced in 1988, the industry has been marked by enormous growth, technological advances, consolidations, the birth and death of entire companies dedicated to posting jobs and parsing résumés, and finally the dependence on ATS that we have today.

    Why have applicant tracking systems emerged as a dominant force in the employment industry?

    • Monster Effect: With thousands of folks responding to every job posting, it is no longer possible to read every résumé for every open position.
    • Matching Ability: ATS can help the hiring manager find candidates that truly match the job requirements without expending hours reviewing irrelevant résumés.
    • Ability to Find Candidates: ATS can search LinkedIn profiles and other social media for matches to the job.
    • Regulations: The federal government requires employers to report hiring statistics and to ensure hiring policies follow EEO requirements. ATS makes this easier.
    • Automation: By automating the hiring process from the beginning and tying the ATS into the existing HRIS platform, companies increase efficiency and save significant costs.
    Every ATS is different. That said, here is how applicant tracking systems work from the candidate’s point of view. First, the candidate selects a job to apply for. The candidate uploads a résumé online and may need to fill out company-specific forms and answer additional questions.

    Second, at the company, the ATS “reads” and parses the candidate’s uploaded résumé. Based on how the software algorithm “reads” the résumé, information from the résumé is entered into set fields in the ATS database. Many ATS use clues from the résumé, such as standard headings, to determine where to put the information in the database. The résumé joins the LinkedIn Profile, other social network information, and application answers in the ATS.

    Third, the ATS uses algorithms to score the candidate based on the job announcement. Many ATS either use keywords entered by the hiring manager or select algorithms based on the job announcement itself.

    Finally, the ATS uses the scoring algorithm (equation) to determine how well the candidate fits the job requirements, based on keyword matching and/or answers the candidate made to the questions.

    Ideally, the ATS will select the best candidate(s) to be referred to the human resources department, hiring manager or recruiter. Many hiring managers and recruiters will read only the résumés with the highest scores.

    Drawbacks and Myths about ATS

    Despite their advantages, applicant tracking systems screen out many well-qualified candidates. Most candidates submit résumés that are not optimized for ATS, with incorrect headings, formatting, characters, and wording. If a résumé is not formatted correctly, solid skills and achievements in the résumé may be ignored. In addition, a résumé that is good for one ATS may not be good for another.

    If a keyword, phrase, or requirement is not listed on the résumé, a résumé may end up rejected, based on ATS algorithms and government requirements, even if it is formatted correctly. Many ATS use automatic algorithms to determine keywords. These keywords may not really make sense for candidates to use in their résumés. It is possible for an ATS to find no qualified candidates if the wrong keywords are used, especially if the recruiter or hiring manager entered keywords that are too specific.

    Some ATS now are trying to use neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to overcome the lack of keywords in qualified candidate résumés, LinkedIn profiles, or other social media profiles. These systems, new to the market, still need development to work properly.

    Myth: An applicant who networks can avoid ATS.
    Reality: In 2012, 60 percent to 70 percent of all companies, big and small, used ATS according to Preptel (a reverse-engineering service to help résumés pass ATS; the company closed in 2013). Today that number is closer to 80 percent. ATS use is increasing. Recruiters scan paper résumés and place emailed résumés into ATS.

    Myth: A candidate who uses ATS can avoid networking.
    Reality: Hiring managers like to hire people they know or who are recommended. A survey by HR Daily Advisor (2012) revealed that referrals are still the #1 recruiting source. Networking allows the hiring manager to select the candidate once the résumé passes the ATS. In addition, if a hiring manager wants a particular candidate for a job, the hiring manager can change the job requirements and/or keywords to match the candidate’s background.

    Myth: All ATS are the same.
    Reality: ATS differ; there is no one-size-fits-all. Even ATS implementations differ within the same ATS technology. A hiring manager and/or company can choose to set different options in the system. Different versions of ATS software may act differently.

    Myth: ATS can read all files, formats, and characters.
    Reality: Some ATS can read only text or Word 2003 files. Many ATS cannot read tables or graphics. Some ATS cannot scan italicized or underlined words. Many ATS cannot read special characters (such as accent marks, curly quotes, and ampersands) and will replace them with meaningless characters.

    Myth: ATS can figure out where to organize all the data on the résumé and can use all the information.
    Reality: Many ATS need guidance, using headings, to determine where to put data. So good information gets misfiled and ignored. Many ATS use only information that matches their formatting rules.

    Myth: It is better to have a 1- to 2-page résumé.
    Reality: ATS-optimized résumés, often longer because they have more keywords, generally score higher.

    Myth: Passing the ATS alone will get you the job.
    Reality: A human being will read the résumé before selecting a candidate. Unless already known by the hiring manager, a candidate will need to be interviewed – probably several times – to get the job.

    Myth: Companies are using ATS because they do not care about people.
    Reality: Companies are overwhelmed, and the ATS is both effective and efficient in weeding out inappropriate candidates. In addition, if the ATS wrongly eliminates several good candidates for the job, companies are not worried as long as one good candidate remains. Moreover, the U.S. government requires companies to report EEO statistics, which the ATS compiles automatically.


    How to Help a Résumé through the System

    Now it’s time to discuss how to raise the chances that a résumé will be selected by the ATS and be read by a member of the human resources department, a hiring manager, or a recruiter.

    The first and most important step to take is to conform to ATS requirements, starting with full contact information at the head of the page. Many ATS will select candidates only from the local area, and many will eliminate applicants who do not at least enter ZIP codes. I recommend candidates get a local address to apply for jobs online if they are not looking to be reimbursed for relocation expenses.

    Use standard header names for each section: For the summary section at the beginning of the résumé, use the words Professional Profile or Summary. Include the job title and keywords from the announcement and add a skill list if you want. Just be sure that the summary is readable by humans as well. Of course, that’s true for the entire résumé.

    For your experience list, use the Professional Experience heading. Use a reverse chronological format. You may want to add the word company after each company name. Enter in dates, including month and year. Enter the company's city and state. Write job descriptions and accomplishments with keywords and phrases from the announcement. Repeat the keywords as you describe each position to make the résumé score higher and show the depth of experience.

    Spell out acronyms the first time you use them and put the acronym in parentheses following the full definition; for example, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Thereafter, you can use just the acronym.

    In the education section, use Education as your heading. Type the full name and abbreviation for each degree, major, school name, and location. Consider adding degree dates, grade point average (if recent and if high or relatively high), and honors (if any). Consider adding a course list to include even more keywords.

    Other headings you should use if needed are Training, Certifications, and Skills.

    Ensure both humans and the ATS can read a résumé. Candidates have limited control how a résumé will be used. In addition, in many cases the résumé that is read by the ATS is still stored in its original form in the ATS. The hiring manager may access that résumé rather than the mangled ATS format to read it.

    Be careful with formatting and capitalization. Check the résumé for grammar and spelling. Avoid using fancy characters, graphics, and tables. Modify the résumé, as appropriate, for each job application.

    Select the right job announcement: Use the job boards and/or network to find job announcements where the job seeker meets all the basic and most of the desired requirements and where they have experience in most of the job duties. In the U.S., many companies cannot hire a candidate for a job if they do not meet the advertised job requirements. Job seekers have the best chance to be selected for a job if they can address the job requirements and the job duties. If there is a questionnaire, they must be able to indicate that they are an expert in all the areas in the questionnaire and then justify their answers in the résumé.

    Find keywords and keyword phrases and use them in a résumé. Read job announcements and select keywords and keyword phrases in the announcement, even those that may not make sense. If the ATS is using an automatic selection algorithm, those keywords and phrases will, most likely, be included in the announcement. To identify keywords that are not in the announcement but are likely in the ATS, analyze a group of announcements.

    Robin Schlinger, a recognized Résumé Writing Expert, is a Master Career Director (MCD), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Master Résumé Writer (CMRW), Certified Federal Résumé Writer (CFRW), Certified Electronic Career Coach (CECC), 360 Branding Analyst, and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC). Since 2001, Robin has been adding value to résumés and other career-marketing documents to win job interviews for her clients. In 2006, she started her own company, Robin’s Résumés® (www.robinrésumés.com), specializing in executive, technical, student, and federal résumés. Robin uses her previous experience as a senior chemical engineer, quality engineer, process engineer, planning analyst, and applications engineer to help her clients. Robin earned a BSChE with a concentration in Writing from MIT.


  • November 05, 2014 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    How would you like learn the secret of social-media targeted ads? When we start to look closely at our ideal client we begin to discover similar characteristics. With targeted ads, we are able to use those common traits to ultimately make our marketing efforts more successful.

    Unfortunately, because of the recent changes in Facebook's algorithm you are unlikely to see any new traffic to your Facebook page unless it's through a paid ad. Facebook is a platform where content marketing is key. You want potential clients to see an image, video, or article that is interesting and relevant to them. 

    First, you must determine who your ideal clients are: career-changers, college students, executives, IT professionals, etc. Next, start to explore the similar characteristics and attributes of your ideal clients. How old are they? Are they typically male or female? What is their income bracket? What are they interested in?

    In order to create an advertisement through Facebook, first you must have a company page. Then simply go to the dropdown arrow and click, “Create Ads." Next, select the type of results you want for your ads. If you are seeking direct sales, I recommend using the, “Clicks to Website,” option. However, if you are looking to increase the number of likes on your business page and build an audience, then, “Page Likes,” would be a good option.


    Once you are brought to the ad creation page, I recommend that you unselect the right column option. The reason being that only a very small percentage of people actually click on right column ads; therefore, they have a very low ROI (return on investment). However, it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you and your business! 


    Next, select your audience. You can see that there are A LOT more options for targeting on Facebook versus LinkedIn. You can see that without any filters the potential reach starts at 15 million people.

    You can start to narrow down your target audience by first focusing on age. The example below is targeted towards parents of college graduates. Most college students graduate between the ages of 22-25, and most people become parents between the ages of 26-35, therefore I set the age range to 48-58.

    I also specifically targeted those who have identified themselves as parents, who are college grads, and who are on the higher-end of the income bracket.


    Action Steps BEFORE Setting Up Social Media Ads:

    1. For a week or two, spend ten minutes per day researching your target market using tools such asKeyword SpyISpionage, and Pew Research.
    2. Set aside 20-30 minutes to consider what the pain points are for your potential clients.
    3. Devise with one or two potential ideas for content that will solve your clients' pain points.

    Your First Campaign: Start Out Small

    Begin with a small budget of $15-$20. You may not see a lot of traffic because of this low budget, but it will give you a good idea of how strong your message is. It will also give you a chance to make adjustments before you invest in a larger campaign. Bottom line, you don’t want to invest too much before you know that everything is working properly. You can also run A/B tests to test out different copy writing techniques.

    Now that you know the secrets to Facebook marketing go try it out! Please reach out to me if you have any questions at marketingchair@thenrwa.com

    Cassie Olsonis a professional résumé writer currently serving as The NRWA Marketing Chair. She has managed the career services department as the Director of Career Services at a for-profit college. In June of 2013, she started her own career services business called Career Confidence. Career Confidence, specializing in an all-inclusive career services package designed to guide and support her clients throughout their career search. She also shows clients how to stand out above the crowd with infographic and online résumés. Her professional background mainly includes working with college graduates, one of whom recently started a communications internship at Facebook.

  • October 08, 2014 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    Bob Janitz wrote his very first résumé in 1993 for a co-worker who promised him lunch in return. The résumé ultimately won the co-worker a promotion, and he started telling others that Bob would write their résumés for the price of a lunch. “Obviously, I don’t write for lunches anymore,”Bob says now. Bob did continue to write résumés part-time until he decided to open a full-time practice in 2008, when he joined The NRWA. Within The NRWA, Bob became a Region Representative in 2012, the Membership Chair in 2013, and the President in 2014.

    Bob considered pursuing the prestigious NCRW certification for several years. In January 2014, Bob set a New Years resolution to obtain the certification before The NRWA conference. After preparation and practice, he received the good news of his achievement of the certification on September 2, just 15 days before the conference.

    For those who might be hesitant to pursue the NCRW certification, Bob says, “I think there’s a general perception that the NCRW certification process is near impossible to attain. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. If becoming a NCRW is something you truly want to achieve, study, have confidence in yourself, and you will reach your goal. The graders truly want you to become certified. If you take their constructive criticism and comments to heart, you’ll become a better writer and get your certification. I love this quote from Earl Nightingale: ‘All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.’”

    Bob also strongly believes that the lessons he learned through the process will remain with him, and continue to help him improve his writing skills. “It is a great educational process,” Bob added. “The study guide gave me excellent information on how to better my writing skills. The honest feedback I received after I submitted my samples and final exam emphasized the importance of proofreading and adhering to the guidelines set in the study guide and Gregg Reference Manual.”

    Please congratulate Bob Janitz, our newest NCRW!

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