Live Resume Walkthrough
Last updated May 20, 2020

Hosted by Hayley Benham-Archdeacon

Watch a live walk through of a resume by a recruiter. You’ll see her tips and tricks for customizing a resume to match your dream job description. She’ll show you how you get a competitive edge as a candidate - using the latest technology.

Dasha: Okay. Um, yeah, let me share my screen for my resume and I do havethe position open now if you want to look at that first. But, um, let's start with the resume.

Cool. [00:00:12] Hayley: Oh, there it is.

[00:00:15] Dasha: There it is and all its glory.

[00:00:19] Hayley: Cool. Um, so I guess, I guess as you, as you stated, you have. Two, two major backgrounds.

[00:00:27] You've been a frontline healthcare worker, and you also, I don't know if you mentioned your second master's is in writing. Um, so you definitely know how to do both. Yeah. But your, your experience has been mixed more on the frontline work side and you're looking to pivot to more on the communications and writing side.

[00:00:47] Yes. That's what you want tohighlight. Is that right? Exactly. Okay. Mmm. So this is your complete resume with every single role that you've ever had.

[00:00:57] Dasha: Well. Um, it actually does omit about like five different healthcare jobs that I've had. Um, I've worked for a lot, a lot of different companies in the Bay, and it is kind of typical for a therapist to be employed with a lot of different companies  and work like. It's sort of limited hours for each company. So if I put all of that on this communications resume, it would add, honestly, another two pages in there I think is already pretty long and maybe could already be benefit from being more concise.

[00:01:28] So I left a lot of a lot of that out, but my primary hospital positions that I think is the most important is there. And that's the of health position.

[00:01:38] Hayley: Okay, great. Yeah. Good call for sure. Mmm. So it looks like your top, sorry. Do you mind scrolling so we can see the title of your most recent role? Yes. Awesome. Okay. Oh yeah. So this is a, if you want to talk a little bit about, um, with the support fund is, sure.

[00:01:56] Dasha: So the support fund was, um, something that I created in April, and it's just a volunteer position that I spearheaded essentially, and created it from the ground up. And it's, um, a direct action, um, fundraising initiative I created to basically collect community donations and redistribute them to healthcare workers who have expressed a need for, okay.

[00:02:20] Financial support right now. And this is in response to, um, you know, obviously the risks that they're facing with COVID, but also some of the cuts in pay and benefits that they've been having to endure. So this isn't something that I am paid to do, but I think that it's pretty important and specific and pertinent part of advocacy and communication. So that's why I put it at the top. It's also my most recent, so that's why it's up there.

[00:02:49] Hayley: Okay, cool. Um, so I have some ideas, but let's show everybody else that the job description for the role that you're applying to.

[00:02:56] Dasha: Um, let's see. So I'm going to stop sharing this. And then I'm going to share my Safari screen, talk myself through this sometimes. [00:03:08] Perfect. Yeah. Gotcha. Yeah. [00:03:12] Cool.

[00:03:14] Hayley: Um, are you easily able to go back and forth between the job description and your resume?

[00:03:19] Dasha: I don't know. I think that if I maybe enable, what do you see now?

[00:03:22] Hayley: Oh yeah. No, that's perfect. I think you're just seeing your fullscreen. You're good. Okay. Um, okay. So back to the job description. So this isa communications and advocacy manager. So what I really liked that you have at the top is yes, sure. No one's paying you to make the health care fund. Oh yeah. Perfect. Okay.

[00:03:40] Yeah. Go back to your resume. This already is an active advocacy, right? Like that's in the title and, and you're proving that that's your perspective and what drives you. One thing that I would say upfront is that, I see when you mentioned, um, writing, that's not your first bullet point.

[00:04:03] I would put the shortest, fastest to read bullet point in terms of a communications role right at the top.

[00:04:15] Dasha: Okay. Whoops.

[00:04:18] Hayley: Yeah. Perfect. The next one as well. Oh, and disseminate outreach materials.

[00:04:25] Dasha: That could even be combined into one bullet point later on maybe.

[00:04:30] Mmm, sure, sure.

[00:04:33] Hayley: Just reading them now. Cool. I'd also, I think the, the creating written materials translated to Spanish detail is really cool. Not everyone has done that. And that could be, that could definitely be a need. I would maybe put, put that third, just imagine that somebody may not read this entire thing, but they're, they're scanning for key words that they're looking for. Cool. So I'm actually, I'm going to send you to a tool that we can use to make sure that you are using all the right keywords that this job has in the description. Um, so first let's just look over it a little bit together. If you want to read the description more closely.

[00:05:24] Dasha: Um, let me stop the share. Where can I find the link?

[00:05:29] Hayley: Um, real quick, let's look at the job description.

[00:05:31] Dasha: Sorry.

[00:05:33] Hayley: No, you're good. And then I'm just sending, I just sent the link to you and zoom chat. Okay, cool. Um, yeah. Do you want to go over the key responsibilities.

[00:05:45] Dasha: Sure. So I actually find that this section is shorter than a lot of job postings.

[00:05:52] Hayley: This is the sort of job description I've maybe ever seen. Really short.

[00:05:57] Dasha: So, I mean, that could be a good thing for me cause I can make my experience applicable to it. So there's two components. The first is policy, government affairs and advocacy responsibilities to track and interpret policies and key issues, monitor trends and opportunities.

[00:06:14] Then to participate in policymaking through campaigns, coalitions, letter writing, public comment, direct outreach and then to participate in and coordinate advocacy activities, including building a culture of advocacy.

[00:06:28] Hayley: Okay. Anytime you're a candidate for a job, it has to be a story of everything that you've accomplished.

[00:06:33] Right. And it's good to always have practiced. I'd be like six is a safe number of stories that you can use to answer any of kind of the basic questions that you might be asked in an interview. So you've probably experienced this a ton. Recruiters will say something like, tell me about a time you did this, or give me an example of a time, you know, you made a mistake and how you dealt with it.

[00:06:58] STAR. Stands for, I wish I had a whiteboard now. But S is for situation. So for example, in that last question, the situation would be the mistake that you made and what you messed up.

[00:07:17] The task as the T and star would be maybe what you were supposed to do, uh, and how you did the task wrong.

[00:07:25] A in STAR is for action, which would be how then you corrected it, maybe who did you communicate with? How did you communicate it? How quickly, and then were you given the directive to fixit a certain way, or did somebody else have to fix it for you? And what did your communication look like? Right. It's all about owning, owning the situation as best you can. That's the A for action.

[00:07:49] And then result is obviously the happy end to that story, which is something like, you know, and then I realized that how to never make that mistake again and it actually brought my manager and I closer was a humanizing experience, that type of thing. So you can literally frame even the question, which I hear all the time, and I've asked before, like you can frame a failure as a success because you learn something from it and hopefully never made the same mistake again.

[00:08:17] I see Tali pop back up on the screen and we, we are at 5:30. Did you want to jump back on Tali?

[00:08:30] Tali: Yeah. Thank you guys so much. That was, that was great.  I feel like you guys can keep speaking for along time. I just wanted to pop in with some of the questions that I've gotten.

[00:08:44] I think one of the questions that I got, um, was how to reframe, uh, past experiences. And, and I think this is. Particularly topical here, um, where, you know, Dasha is so qualified. But also relevant, I think, to some of our audiences questions. How should they think about framing their own past experiences when they're not, not super relevant to the role they're applying to.

[00:09:15] Hayley: Sure. Um, I can't answer to, and then Dasha if you want to share how you're currently doing that. Um, we've all heard the term transferable skills.Um, I think that there are more kind of meta meta themes to jobs than you, than you realize until you look at it. For instance, uh, when I started pitching myself for corporate recruiting positions, I actually used my comedy show booking as an example.

[00:09:44] I've never done that before. I usually don't bring it up necessarily in a job interview, but I described how I had to be really organized and working with the venue in. Literally booking, scheduling people the same way I would be doing scheduling interviews. Um, I would love to, I mean, if somebody had an exact example, I'm sure I could find a theme.

[00:10:05] Um, and it's, it's kind of like a practice. There's always a way to qualify your skills in a way that's relevant. There's probably a reason you're interested in the job in the first place. So sometimes it helps to talk out loud, like what conversation we do, I think makes me good for this role and finding that answer.

[00:10:31] You can. Turn that into to resume jargon in whatever way makes the most sense.

[00:10:36] Tali: That sounds great. Thank you so much, Haley. We actually have a few more questions, so maybe, maybe I'll move on to our next question. I think that that's super helpful. So, uh, another question we had is, would you say that almost all companies use resume scanning software to filter out candidates?

[00:10:57] I also have an answer for this one, but maybe you can start. Um, and then I'll add, I'll add my take to it.

[00:11:04] Hayley: I definitely say, no, we don't, at my company, we don't. Um, and we sometimes get, you know, 500 applications in a week for one role. Maybe that's an argument for why we should, um, I'm not necessarily looking forward to doing that.

[00:11:18] Uh, but yeah. What I would love to hear your inputs Tali.

[00:11:22] Tali: I don't think that all companies do, but I think, uh, an increasing percentage of larger companies do, uh, for the reason that Haley just mentioned, um, because they get so many applicants for a job. And I think they also view it as a way, uh, to, to save time.

[00:11:39] So I would say more and more companies are using software, um, to screen people out of. To help screen people that are trying to get in. And so it's more helpful than ever to use these tools to get around that software. Mmm.

[00:11:56] The the next question is, um, Haley, what is your opinion on resume must be one page versus resume can be more than one page?

[00:12:09] Hayley: Okay. If I can speak for myself as an individual and not for any company I represent, um, personally I, I don't mind as somebody's resume runs over one page, I probably am not going to scroll thoroughly. Through to, but if you are slightly going over because you have enough experiences that are interesting enough for me to scan all the way down the page in a digital world, it's not the same as needing just one page stapled to one thing when you're flipping like the scroll is not extra work.

[00:12:47] So in my experience. Um, both having submitted and received resumes that do go over one page again, as long as the stuff in it makes sense, as long as it's has a place and I understand why it went over one page. I don't personally have any ban on that.

[00:13:05] Tali: Great. Okay. Thank you. Good. Do you take a stand on a controversial issue changing, um.

[00:13:14] One more. Um, and, and I, I also noticed this in job scan does, do you need to have an introduction, uh, to your resume to summarize what you're looking for? And do you need to, to put the title of the job?

[00:13:32] Hayley: Mmm. So in my experience now with ATS, there's, there's some rules like that that don't necessarily, um, apply anymore when everything exists digitally.

[00:13:44] So for instance, it used to make sense to put basically the same letterhead with all the information on every piece of paper you submitted. And that's so they could keep track. If they lost a page, they could literally put it back in a packet. Obviously that's not true anymore. Everything's in a file online.

[00:13:58] So if I were you, I'd saved your space. You don't need a long header. Um, I think the main thing for me that I've done, if I include anything up top, is a type of, um, highlights section. So if there, so say Dasha you had from your past three jobs, you had four to six bullet points that you could list column style, like really short.

[00:14:26] Um, or if you're an engineer or something and you want to list the stocks that you're fluent in, it makes sense to put those right at the top because then they don't have to go searching through everything. Um, but they have a more like a breadth of your entire role underneath if they want to keep scanning.

[00:14:43] But if. If you're thinking in your mind as you're like what we just did with the, um, the writing and the copy bullets, if you're purposely moving them to the top of a job description, so they're seen first, it's not a bad idea to just create a highlight section, and that might be all they read, but that's everything you want them to read.

[00:15:00] So that's something I've done personally.

[00:15:05] Dasha: Cool.

[00:15:07] Tali: That sounds great. Um, our next question is, should you always submit a cover letter if an application has cover letter optional?

[00:15:19] Hayley: Okay. I personally think, yes. Um, if you. Really care about the job and want to demonstrate that you've done your research and you can tell this job application from maybe the 20 other you submitted that week.

[00:15:32] It makes absolute sense to like for both sides, right? It proves to them that you actually have some perspective on the organization at large, but also I don't, I don't feel that represented by my resume. I would take any opportunity I can to give them a little sense of who I am. Re read what feels like a letter from a person and obviously the main traditional purpose of a cover letter is to connect dots in your resume, kind of for the reader.

[00:16:00] Again, you are telling them how to see you. You're telling them what to think of you, so you might as well take the opportunity to tell them what you're hoping they're gathering from what you're submitting.

[00:16:13] Tali: That sounds great. And just as a, as a plug for puck, we have seen a lot of people create videos on their cover letters.

[00:16:20] Not that, I dunno if the, this was an anonymous question. Uh, not sure if the anonymous attendee had that in mind, but that's certainly one option we've seen.

[00:16:29] Um, our, our next question is, uh, is another kind of like controversial one. What should you do about gaps in your resumes?

[00:16:39] Hayley: Yeah. Um, every situation is so different, and I'll just say it like a disclaimer, I tend to be pretty understanding based on the types of candidates, like the life experience I've dealt with in the past.

[00:16:53] Um, but I think, I think recruiting's moving more and more towards looking at people holistically. Um, I think the main thing you can do is control the narrative. Um, I think in not very convincing cover is what I see a lot is people putting founder, CEO at a company named after them. Um, if you've really been a freelance worker, there's a way to describe that that doesn't make it look super bogus.

[00:17:20] And that's something I see a lot when I'd rather somebody just say in their cover letter. Um, I took time off to travel for a year. Like I. My contract ended, I'd saved up money and I went to these places and came back feeling this way. Um, that I find interesting. I remember a person based off that we've had people who. um, didn't tell us til way later on throughout the process that they had taken time off to take care of a sick parent, um, or raise a child. Awe almost never talked to them in the first place because of that, only because it was so competitive. If someone had just filled in that gap for me. I think we wouldn't have had the feeling of like, wow, we almost missed this person.

[00:18:01] We would have never had a hesitation in the first place. Again, you probably have a great reason for taking a gap, and so to be the first person to name it rather than leave question marks in people's minds, I think will will do well.

[00:18:14] Tali: That sounds great. Um, I've got one more question and then, uh, just wanted to give all of our attendees a heads up that, um, you know, uh, we're, we're scheduled to end soon, so, um, I'll ask, I'll ask this one more question and then if you have anything else, type it in the Q & A section. Um, and otherwise we'll, we'll call it a night.

[00:18:35] Um, so, so Haley, the last. The last question that I've got queued up in this Q & A section are coming from our attendees is, uh,  what  do you, what do you do? Um, if you do, do you indicate if you were laid off from a role, um, differently or should you address that in your resume in any way?

[00:18:59] Hayley: Yeah. Um, I know everyone feels you feel bad and you feel kind of. You know, personally disappointed if you were chosen for a layoff. But I'll say this, and I won't name any names, but there have been some companies that obviously for global pandemic reasons have had to face layoffs and everyone's pretty heartbroken about it.

[00:19:20] But with companies that especially have a good reputation. Without sounding insensitive, we're happy because we're like, what if these people want to now apply to our company? Um, you know, talent is talent and people know there's a lot of reasons to be laid off. And I'm going to repeat something I said already.

[00:19:38] If you're the person that explains it first and. Especially if you have a really positive attitude about it. Like, I learned so much while I was there. Like I'll always keep those relationships. My company did this, this, and this for me. Um, and I'm just getting a head start on looking any way that you can, again, frame yourself as a story of success, even though your company went through something like, you don't have to take on.

[00:20:02] Yourself and your identity that you got laid off, something happened with the company and you're moving on. It happens to everybody. It happens multiple times to people. It doesn't mean anything about you. Um, but be ready to talk about it and I think own it in the most positive way as possible.

[00:20:16] Tali: Terrific.

[00:20:17] Um, well I think that's a great, a great place to wrap up. Dasha thank you so much. I think your story is, uh, you know, is a terrific one and I have to say that, um, that like, it's, it's great to know that you can use.Sort of new words to describe the same thing, and it can get you past the ATS.So that was an education for everyone.

[00:20:39] And Haley, thank you so much for sharing your time. Um, both with Dasha and with all the folks that asked questions, um, the attendees. So thank you. Thank you both. Um, and to all of our attendees. Have a great night, everyone and everybody stay healthy and well.

[00:20:55] Dasha: Thank you so much. Thanks for the night.