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Looking For a Job? Don’t Do This-Part 3

June 12, 2014
Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

The job market is tough. Even with the unemployment rates dropping, we have one of the smallest work forces in decades. So it stands to reason that competition has never been higher. This is now the third time that I have approached this subject over the past couple of years, but given its importance, I think it’s worth further discussion. In a recent new job posting, we received nearly 100 resumes! To put things in perspective, the same position just eight or ten years ago might have brought in 15 to 20 resumes.

A resume offers an employer a window into what type of candidate  you might be.

What is it that will make you stand out in a sea of competitors? Companies large enough to have the luxury of a Human Resource Department are receiving piles of resumes to sift through every day. Smaller businesses like Founders don’t have that luxury. So timefunny executive is of the essence when looking at a new batch of resumes. Recently, I received a resume that was 7 pages long! We, like most employers are looking at your past work history and education first and foremost. Making your resume clear and concise is important. With that in mind, here are some more examples of what not to do when completing a resume.

Most people will state their career objective at the top of their resume, just below their contact information. I recently received at least 10 resumes that stated an objective that had nothing to do with the insurance industry. A fabricated example would be a resume that states an objective to become a nurse. There would then be listed courses or prior jobs in the nursing field. This sends a message to the potential employer than if you should happen to receive a job offer that it will only be a temporary stop until you reach your chosen field. The cost of hiring and training is expensive, especially to a smaller business. Don’t discount yourself in the first line of your resume!

The design and structure of the resume is important too. I am not suggesting that it needs to be fancy, but it should flow and make sense. First and foremost, your name and contact information should be at the top. I recently received a two page resume where the applicant didn’t state their name or contact information until the bottom of the second page! Font size and style is also important. Since most folks have access to the “Word” program. There are many fonts to choose from, however, some fonts make it difficult to read your information. I received a resume for our current opening that the font was so odd that the resume was almost unreadable. It should be pointed out that in the electronic world of resume submissions remember to attach your resume to your submission. Some web sites will allow you to make up your resume on the spot. More often than not, the information looks unprofessional when it has been done by the third party website. Attaching your existing resume is always the better way to go.

I know that I have mentioned this in the past, but if possible, have someone proof read your resume. In addition to poor grammar, I have seen resumes that have very obvious errors, like forgetting to capitalize your name. A current example would include an applicant that intended to type the beginning of a parenthesis, but instead typed the number “9.” We all make mistakes and a simple mistake like that isn’t the end of the world, however if there are multiple ones on the same submission that will usually cause us to place the resume in the “reject” file. Insurance requires precise note taking as we are binding a contract putting several hundred thousand dollars on the line for the client as well as the insurance company. Attention to detail is very important.

Next on my list pertains to the interview rather than the resume. I am often amazed by the number of interviewees that have not taken any time to research the company, namely taking a look at the company website. During every interview cycle, we come across several people that have never looked at our company’s website. In the age of the internet this information is readily available. It is also available for your history as well, so remember that things you say or post on the net will likely be available to a potential employer.

Speaking of the internet, nearly all of our resumes come to us via a job website. This makes it easy for a job seeker to simply “press the button” and “carpet bomb” every position, whether the job seeker is qualified or not, to send out resumes in mass. I have actually called job seekers that didn’t remember that they had sent me a resume just a week or two before!

I have a tremendous amount of empathy for job seekers, especially in this difficult economy. It saddens me every time that we have to place a resume in the “reject” pile. But with the large number of applicants we are receiving for a new opening, it isn’t practical to call fifty people in for a screening interview, so put your best foot forward and know that we take this responsibility seriously.

Good luck and have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

 

 

 

 

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