Well, I wanted to talk about this great site.
I posted an Account Manager position like a week ago or so. I received 8 applications in a week, 3 of which were a great match for the position, which is quite a lot for the tight profile they are looking for.
Some features and services I liked about TheLadders:
- It’s Free to post jobs on TheLadders.
- Customer Care service is absolutely amazing. I called them up and a person picked up, no machine, no menus, no routing, no hold, straight to a person. This guy was amazing, he tracked my account in 5 seconds, provided me with all the help I needed, approved my postings within the minutes (the website states that it can take up to 48 hours) and sent me off with a smile.
- Their candidate managing interface and applications managing interface is absolutely great. Incredibly comfortable, simple, fast, with no unnecesary features, lets me save resumes, accept or decline a person for a position, gives me a direct contact link. Cheers for the developers at TheLadders.
- The database is very well fed. I found matches for my positions straight out, and my posting was viewed by more than 80 relevant candidates in just 5 days.
I recommend and evangelize the use of TheLadders amongst my colleagues. Of course that it will bring in more results in certain areas than others, but there is no cost in posting a position and it takes something like 5 minutes, and you can always decline an application.
Well, as promised, here is a full CV that you can use as a template when building your resume. I have deleted all personal info and company info from it, but left all of the rest because I thought this was a great CV, that provided complete and total information of the qualifications of a candidate with 16 years of intentse IT experience in very good form and lenght.
Enjoy! (You’ll find it below, I did the break because it would be too long if I didnt)
I conducted a small survey to fellow recruiters inquiring about how do they like to see resumes. The answers were varied, but some points stand out in most of the answers. Listing these points first, then I will try to say a couple of tips on how to get your resume up on the pile.
- Grammar and Spelling.
- Readability and Summarization.
- Layout and Sections
- Esthetics and Tables
Grammar and Spelling:
Spelling mistakes take you down, definitetly. Have 2 or 3 people read your resume, run it thourgh spell check, the whole thing. Even typos are not acceptable. I can live with typos when I know the CV was filled in a website (IE: Monster), where tools are somwehat uncomfortable. But when reading a CV sent me via E-mail directly, or knowing that the person drafted the CV in word, comfortably, and still typos show up, this will definetly take out points. It’s really basic, so be careful!
Readability and Summarization:
Its a fact, bullets are better than paragraphs. I go over 30 CVs a day, and a good flow of bulleted resumes always eases my sight as short sentences in a constant format, with small comments is much better than reading paragraph after paragraph, and I’m sure that I can’t help it but to pay more attention to these resumes. It is ok to see paragraphing when describing Objectives, but when describing roles and accomplishments, use bullets.
Use short and to the point sentences, and dont try to squeeze in numbers and info in one sentence. Summarization is key.
Layout and Sections:
Typically, a barebone CV structure looks something like this (In the case of a technical CV)
- Personal Info
- Skills (a skill table might be present here)
- Work Experience
(For Recent positions)
. Date begun – End
(For Older positions)
. Date begun – End
. Trainings Attended
In the case of word resumes, a good use of Bold, Italic and Underlining, as well a bulletting levels, are vital to the readability. Tossing around formats is no good. You really need to look into it having a coherent formatting (For example, every job duration should have the same formatting, every section title also, etc). You need to use formatting to give a perfect sense to the hierarchy of each element of the resume.
Using standard fonts and as little tables as possible is important. CVs are often cut-pasted and read by automatic-parsing applications, and moving around a resume with too many tables, strange formatting or unavailable fonts can really be a pain, and definetly something that will make your resume go to the bottom of the pile now and then.
As a rule of hand, a resume with as many pages as Years of experience / 2 is too long. So, if you have 10 years of experience or so, your resume is too long if you have 5 pages, you should probably be aiming for 4. With 12, your goal should be 5, and it should never ever go over 8 pages (This would be for a very Sr applicant, with 20 years of experience or so, in a very detailed resume). Some tips for shortening a resume are:
- In the “Layout” section of this post, I mentioned a different structure for recent experience and older experience:
(For Recent positions)
. Date begun – End
. Environment (For Older positions)
. Date begun – End
- Shorten down those descriptions. We all know what a Sysadmin does, so you dont need to be too redundant in those repetitive job descriptions. I would be glad to see a “similar to previous positions, with these additional responsibilities”. Leave something to mystery. If you give 100% details of every position in your resume, what will you talk about in the interview?
- “Summaries of qualifications” that have more than 6 or 7 bullets, or more than one paragraph, are probably too long.
- Dont hit “Enter” every time you put in a skill. Use comma-separated-lists, they are just as good and readable.
Esthetics and Tables:
I, personally, dont go for esthetic resumes. Design is something that I dont look into. Nothing is more of a hassle than receiving that beautiful work of art resume only to cutpaste it to my notepad to parse it, taking 20 minutes to do it because of “Esthetics”. I generally leave them for last. Thus, you’re at the bottom of the pile. Everything said before here is a priority before esthetics.
On future posts:
- Tips on how to get your resume out there.
- A full CV Template with indications.
I recently came across JigSaw and I thought it would be a nice tool for recruiting. The “Community Submitted” structure seemed to be a good idea. I ran a question on LinkedIn to this regard. Got the following feedback:
Michael Dennis said:
I have used jigsaw in the past for both client leads as well as sourcing talent. I find that it is a good tool, but you really need to sift through most of the contacts as there is a lot of outdated information that they have not flushed. It is not a bad resource to have for its price, just be mindful of the e-mails you send and be sure to confirm the person still works at the company with a follow-up call.
David Gentry said:
I currently have a pro account and am not too impressed. There is a lot of bad contact information. You can only search candidates job titles, therefore it hard to tell if the person is worth contacting. I wouldn’t recommend it. Use LinkedIn and Zoominfo.
April Eubanks said:
I love Jigsaw… Sometimes it will give you outdated info, as Michael indicated. When this happens, I just make the extra effort to get a good number – since I now have a solid name.
I use it daily…
Michelle Battle said:
I have used the “free” account…but I have gotten a lot of bad information from it. If you have the time, I really don’t know who does, then you can challenge the bad information and get more contacts…but I think that is only with a paid account. I just found it more time consuming than useful.
Mark Bergman said:
I use jigsaw regularly, mostly when I know that there will be people I want to recruit at a particular company, and I sift selectively through the titles before selecting the contacts to download.
The process of entering info to gain points is too cumbersome and time consuming for me, so I just “buy up” points when needed, usually spending $100-200 at a time to replenish my account.
Matthew Liptak said:
Use it all the time, it is one of the better tools. Zoom Info is used as well but isnt better than Jigsaw. If I had a choice I would go with Jigsaw. Zoom info search tool is better but has a lot of higher ups and C-Level candidates and those are not always the ones you want. The info on Jigsaw is always corrent as is Zoom, but Jigsaw has more of the midlevel candidates.
The feedback was mixed, but it seems to be that with Jigsaw you’re looking at a payed account for getting not so-good contact info. Using the free account would be a problem, since submitting candidates probably means they are gonna start getting calls constantly for any reason. Challenging the bad contact info to get the double refund (which is never cash, just searching credits) seems like more of a hassle and a service to them than actually getting something off of it, I feel like im doing the cleanup for the other guys that are submitting bad contact info on free “Play” accounts. The database size (6 million or so) is not that bigger than my own LinkedIn network (2 Million, and it’s free), and contacts in LinkedIn are pretty much 100% accurate. Ok, you dont get a phone number, but there are better (free) ways to get a phone number on the Internet than paying for a JigSaw account. It just doesn’t seem to be worth the while.