How to Help a Hiring Manager Pick You From a Stack of Resumes

I’m currently reviewing resumes to hire a web coder/designer. There’s nothing like looking at someone’s work to help you decide who to interview. It surprises me how many people applied for this job without making it easy for us to do that. I mean, it’s the Web! One of the joys is being able to share what we do with others (here, I mean mostly family and friends, not employers, but the same idea applies).

So today I tweeted:

Tip to job-seekers: discovering talent is hard. Make it obvious you're a rock star. For ex. if you're a webbie, provide URLs in your resume.

And quickly got a great response:

and if you're a designer.... DESIGN your resume! :-)

Which led me to think of a few more:

  • If you’re a writer, provide URLs for articles
  • If you’re a graphic artist or photographer, provide URLs for your online portfolio (and if you don’t have an online portfolio, GET ONE)

Being me, when I start to list stuff like this, I think all of you must have even more good ideas.

So – how can you make yourself convince a manager who’s reviewing loads of resumes to bring you in for an interview?

UPDATE: based on Andrew Krzmarzick’s suggestion below, I wrote a new post to see whether people could tweet what they offer employers. Join that discussion, too!

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Profile Photo Jeffrey Levy

Steve: interesting. I’m not entirely sure those infographics would’ve helped me pick out who to interview. I want to see people designing websites, not resumes. Now, if I were looking for an infographic designer, then they’d be helpful. Another, more subtle point: some of these have shapes and curves that seem to imply meaning, but I can’t discern any. If you overdesign, you tell me something as a manager.

In other words, for me, it’s not just about “stand out to stand out.”

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Profile Photo Kathleen Smith

Jeff

Yes it is amazing. I frequently recommend to people who are looking for a job to be sure that whereever their information is that it is presented as a marketing brochure rather than a list of job responsibilities. Better yet, make sure your profiles include good content. Furthermore if you are using LinkedIn and have made presentations be sure your profile is connected to SlideShare.

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Profile Photo Stephen Peteritas

This is solid common sense advice. I hate how when people think making their resume unique is all about presentation (colors, the paper it’s on, ect.) Any good resume review will tell you content and easy to find content that shows you’re thinking ahead will make you look good. If I’m interviewing you for a writing position you know at some point I’m going to ask for writing samples… why not just provide them from the get-go

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Profile Photo Stephanie Slade

I know a lot of my classmates at AU had started to include links to their social media profiles on their resumes to demonstrate competence in that field. I haven’t done it yet but have wondered if the time has come.

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Profile Photo Jeff Ribeira

Agreed that it should be common sense. Whether or not people are actually doing these things though is a whole other story. I’d say if a web designer of all people doesn’t have some type of an online portfolio right from the get go…that’s probably a bad sign.

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Profile Photo Bryan Conway JD, PMP

My mentor’s first cut of submitted resumes was to toss out all of the ones that were on colored paper, oddly sized paper, and/or were otherwise designed to stand out by their appearance alone! Visual appeal won’t short-circuit the system that the reviewer has for selecting resumes.

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Profile Photo Joe Flood

Having my own web site – joeflood.com – has helped me tremendously over the years. It’s a convenient spot to organize my clips and demonstrate my skills. I think everyone should have their own domain name. At the very least, get yourname.wordpress.com or yourname.blogspot.com

Remember, too, that employers google your name. It helps if your site comes up first in a search rather than embarrassing Facebook pics.

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Profile Photo CollabNature

I agree with Joe Flood.

While on active duty, worked in the Public Affairs Office the Base Commander as the lead webmaster in charge of everything from layout, content and graphics for internal and external audiences. At the time, our storage medium of choice were those Iomega Zip drives.

Post-Active duty, I could not provide visual examples (via URL) for resume inclusion for 3 reasons :

1. The web work accomplished over ten years ago is no longer available online, site under a new “look and feel”

2. Some of the web area contains Classified information

3. The non-Classified content was stored on Iomega Zips, I personally never owned an Iomega Zip Drive

I did however have copies of the articles I wrote via PDF so I could share those but it would have been great if I had my own site to highlight products. To ensure data privacy I would ensure the site was password protected so that only those who need to know, would be able to view the information/products I’ve worked on.

This definitely raises the question of how much information you should/can share on the information services and products you have worked on for the hiring manager to consider…

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Profile Photo Andrew Krzmarzick

That infograph resume shared below is slick…and would be more effective if it had less information. I want to be able to look at a resume and know the 4-5 things that are directly relevant to the job for which someone is applying. Heck, they might want to put at the top: “Top 5 Reasons Why I’ll Nail This Position”

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Profile Photo Jeffrey Levy

Andrew: I would love that!

We seem to be focusing a lot on whether flashy matters. Not to me. I’m just asking that you make it easy for me to see your work.

Because, y’know, most web coders are going to tell me they know HTML, CSS, and JS. But if I can go to your site and see you’re not using tables for layout (a real example of what I’m looking at), that gives me a hint you might be accurate in your self-assessment.

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Profile Photo Jeffrey Levy

Hey, if you skipped past Josh’s comment below, I highly recommend reading his excellent blog post that really drives home the point that the resume’s a small part of the story.

Read it now!

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Profile Photo Anna Abbey

What about for less obvious job skills? Would it be appropriate to showcase a budget spreadsheet you designed and populated, a strategic plan you developed or federal contracting documents you wrote?

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Profile Photo Susana Reyes Lee

Surely, you have to make sure that you get noticed with just the resume so make sure that your skills match what the job description lists as the minimum requirements. Then B.S….by this I mean Bring Something. Either bring it in the resume or bring it on the job interview, but show me what you can do or have done. This will definitely give you even more shine.

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Profile Photo Kevin Dubs

I’m a big fan of “layering” resumes where you start high level and then give the reader an opportunity to dive into more detail if they choose. This can be done fairly easy now through web links.

I’d like to see one page resumes that have a list of accomplishments and then an example of their work for each bullet point (using a link). This way, we can see first hand what they’ve accomplished and make sure the person walks the walk.

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Profile Photo Bill Brantley

Echoing Joe Flood – You really do need your own website where you can showcase your work. But remember to also stay active on a few social networking sites. Think of the social networking sites as the way to drive traffic to your site.

And a really good reminder for myself: keep your site fresh!

billbrantley.com

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