Resume Writing Tips: How HR Reads “Between the Lines” on Your Resume
Powerful resume writing tips from Resume Dictionary:
Employers and HR want a perfect resume and a “perfect hire.” They don’t want your past coming back to bite them. They look for inconsistencies in your resume, between your resume and cover letter, and they Google your name.
One sad, illegal, and common type of discrimination is age. Resumes are often classified as chronological or functional.
• A functional resume does not usually include the dates or periods of time of employment. You can shield detection of age, short employment periods, lack of experience, and gaps in employment history with a functional resume. A functional resume is also helpful for a career change or if you are new to the job market. This is because knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments are summarized and highlighted without specific dates and sometimes even without employer names.
• A chronological resume lists jobs by dates of employment. Applicants can cover for short employment periods, lack of experience, and gaps in employment history and shield age detection by using only years for dates.
Resume Writing Tip 21: For several reasons, most employers like chronological resumes with employment periods listed by starting month and year and ending month and year.
Newsflash: Employers commit discrimination.
Discrimination is basically selection based on distinction. If discrimination did not exist, everyone would qualify for every job. So there is legal discrimination such as that based on experience and other qualifications and there is illegal discrimination based on things such as religion, sexual preference, age, or race. We should all know that employers have laws regarding unfair discrimination because of religion, race, age, etc, yet laws do not ensure prevention of illegal activity.
Illegal forms of hiring discrimination are inexcusable and should be reported to authorities when there is sufficient evidence. The law most often broken during resume selection is age discrimination. Employers read between the lines to estimate an applicant’s age. The easiest way to prevent this is to list only the previous ten years of employment and omit dates of education.
Applicants frequently attempt to hide gaps in employment. Most employers do not care if you took a year off between jobs to soak up the sun in Barbados or to help raise the children. Tell them the truth.
Employer hiring practices have come under intense scrutiny in court cases involving liability issues when violent crimes occur.
Negligence could be alleged when an employer hires someone with a past record if a company’s hiring process did not attempt to uncover convictions. Unexplained time periods of unemployment could have been for time served. Employers are often held responsible for the hiring safe employees.
Leaving unexplained periods of time between jobs or employment and schooling requires the employer to dig for answers.
Resume Writing Tip 19: HR does not like gaps of unexplained time between jobs or education in your history.
Resume Writing Tip 17: Contrary to how much the interview might seem like an inquest, most employers do not like digging for information.
Businesses can spend twenty percent or more of a position’s annual salary just for the hiring process of that one employee. While many employers will perform a background check, they will not waste their time digging for information that should be easy to come by.
Five Resume Writing Tips: What You can do to Help HR Select Your Resume
1. What you don’t do can hurt you. There is something that many applicants do not include that might be hurting them. Most job seekers feel confident with describing their work history to potential employers but fail to actually describe the company’s industry and market.
If your past experience comes from a specialized market, the prospective employer might not have any knowledge of the company. You need to describe your previous employer briefly. Include items such as the size of the company, location, and the market focus. This will help a prospective employer determine where you could fit into their company.
Examples of identifying your previous employers in a resume:
• Privately owned painting company servicing the St. Louis area with lead paint removal certification
• Not for Profit women’s counseling center for abuse with four regional centers in the city of Madison, WI
• Major real estate firm with 30+ locations specializing in foreclosure properties
2. If you are sending a digital format resume, you can make the company name a link to their website.
3. If you have a professional website, webpage, MySpace, or Facebook page, include the url or hyperlink. You can also link to samples of your work, press releases or articles about you or your work, and other corroborating and relevant information.
4. Use a clean format and one common in your industry or career field. Use a good resume builder to create your resume. Rapid Resume Builder is one of my favorites because you can format your resume by section. This eliminates the frustration of making changes in a word processing program where when you change one thing such as a margin or the spacing – everything in your resume is affected.
5. You better have perfect grammar, punctuation, spelling, and meet the minimum requirements described in this book. You should use power words and describe your accomplishments in measurable specifics.
Copyright Phil Baker and Resume Dictionary
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