Resumes Aren’t the Problem …

It’s your lack of preparation.

Resumes get a lot of slack from people, myself included. Not as much as cover letters, but still. We have a lot of questions about the best way to set up a resume to make sure it is appealing to recruiters and able to pass any ATS a company might use. Now, I could go into the troubles of ATS, but in this post, I want us to take some responsibility for the way our resume is prepared and updated.

I needed my resume to apply for an HR program recently and gave a fierce eye roll because I didn’t have one prepared. My computer crashed a few months back and I had to do a hard reset, getting rid of all my files. This wasn’t a biggie because I really didn’t have much on the computer, but my resume was one of the documents I lost. Thankfully, I’d emailed it to a few contacts last year when I was on my job search, but of course, that meant it had not been updated since 2019 and I had two job changes within the year. As much as I wanted to be upset that this program was requiring a resume, that blame fell on me because I wasn’t prepared.

In my work to help HR students and newbies get right for their entry-level job search, I’ve come across a few who don’t have a resume created at all. Some might say they haven’t held any jobs relevant to the career field or that they haven’t gone over the proper steps to create one in class. Making a good resume as a college student/new graduate can be tough but how can a company or recruiter know what you’re able to do, or what you’re interested in if you’re not providing them with the information? You’re not fighting for yourself or giving people the opportunity to show up for you.

My first HR opportunity came because I had my resume visible on career sites like Monster. At that time I knew no one in the HR space in Huntsville, didn’t have a twitter, and I had not heard of the local HR chapter in the area. Now we have LinkedIn and many university sites that recruiters go to first, for entry-level positions. If you want someone to give you an opportunity, you gotta play your part.

A few people have reached out to me to help them create a resume that speaks to the HR field. They are transitioning from the military or medical field and now want to join the fun world of HR. If you do have experience in another profession and looking to make a career move into HR, or any field, your resume/cover letter, in my opinion, should be done with a resume writer who specializes in that field. Everyone doesn’t know how to write for multiple industries, keep that in mind. Also, stop getting upset at resume writers/recruiters who tell you they don’t source for the type of job you want, be thankful they know their limits, aren’t scamming you and move on!

We can blame ATS for a lot of the issues behind people not getting hired, but if you’re not doing your part to be prepared, you need to hold that accountability on yourself. If you keep applying and nothing is happening, have another set of eyes grace your resume, sometimes the smallest change might make a difference.

Times change, having a job for 30 years is no longer the norm and resumes are needing to be updated constantly. Here are a few small tips for you to get it right your first go-round:

  1. Create a Resume – If you can’t hire someone to help you through the process, there are plenty of templates online to at least get you started. State/City job agencies are usually always able to help you with your resume and help with finding a good job. Research different programs in your area to see if someone is holding a resume workshop. Reach out to local HR organizations to see if they have someone or something in place to help. Some job fairs even have a small space set aside for resumes to be reviewed before you walk around to different companies.
  2. Keep the Resume Updated – Sometimes opportunities fall in your lap. You never know when someone might be ready to recommend you for a position you’ve been wanting. Don’t wait until it gets bad at a job, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
  3. No Pictures – This shouldn’t be a thing. Don’t help organizations show bias towards you by giving them a picture on your resume. All they need to see is the work you’ve done, not what you look like.
  4. LinkedIn – When you update your resume do the same on LinkedIn. Last year, I found a real appreciation for LinkedIn and Cover Letters when working with my recruiter friend, Kristina. I also learned that I don’t hate cover letters as much as I thought I did, I’d just never been shown the correct way one should be done or the value it brings when you’re sourcing for a job.

To help you get started, I’ve listed a few recruiters/resume writers that do great work, if you’re really ready to make an investment in your career:

Chris Field – Resume Crusade

Keirsten Greggs – TRAP Recruiter 

Adam Karpiak – Karpiak Consulting

Latesha Byrd – Byrd Career Consulting

Also – If you’re a business that needs help writing your Job Post:

Katrina Kibben – Three Ears Media 

Remember, resumes aren’t always the enemy, sometimes it’s you.

Until Next Time … Resumes Post




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