Job search expert gives resume tips


Rick Gillis usually charges hundreds of dollars for his job search secrets. A job search expert and author of the book "JOB," Gillis shared his rules for formatting your resume to make sure it gets through new software and into a human being's hands.

The days of handing a resume to a hiring manager are over. In most cases, your resume actually goes through an extensive filtering software program. If it survives that, you might be able to land an interview. Here are Gillis' tips on how to format your resume so that you'll make it to the next level.

1. Formatting Tips:

  • Don't use a header. Most software does not scan the header. You could be sending off a headless document.
  • Contact information should not include your physical address. Instead write "residing in ___". This is especially helpful if your cell phone number does not match the city area code in which you're applying for.

2. Make Them Like You:

  • Under your contact information, provide pertinent information that might help the hiring manager like you. For example; "bilingual", "security clearance", "non-smoker" or any other information that doesn't necessarily fit in your resume anywhere else, but is important.
  • Include a seeking statement. Tell the recruiter exactly the position you are seeking -- include the company name and job ID number. Make it easy for the recruiter to get your resume to the right person.
  • Use an objective statement to express to the reader how you will add value to the organization. That is all any employer wants to hear.
  • Take an accomplishments inventory. Back up what you said in your objective statement with a list of your professional accomplishments. Taking a personal inventory is first of all, a very good motivational exercise, but more importantly, preparation equals confidence. This list is confidence.

3. Keywords:

At the bottom of your resume, change your font to a smaller size and type every word that the potential employer has in the job posting and every word associated with the position and industry. This allows the software that is scanning your resume to "see" the words, thus pushing your resume through to the next step. Recruiters are using them. Resume-scanning software is seeking them.

They are in the job posting. This is how you get your resume seen! Before you apply, make sure you meet at least 70 percent of the criteria listed in the job posting. As long as you don't lie and you don't misrepresent yourself, Gillis says "there are no rules in job searching.

4. Make Social Media Work for You

Love social media? Here are tips on how to use it to find a job or get the job you want.

  • Social media is a moving target. What is said today may not be accurate tomorrow.
  • With social media you are looking for a person -- not a job, per se. Keep your audience (the recruiter) in mind.
  • Social media is a two-way street -- they are looking for you; you are looking for them. Social media is just another form of networking.
  • Social media requires planning, forethought and preparation. When responding to a job via an online platform (via LinkedIn, for example) your Facebook profile/blog/website, etc. must be prepared for critical review.
  • in a job search is mandatory. All recruiters use LinkedIn to seek or to follow up on a candidate after receiving a resume. Gillis conducted his own unscientific survey asking two recruiting forums whether or not they would accept a link in lieu of a resume. Half of those recruiters who responded said they would or already do. is the 'new resume.'
  • Google is the 'new background search.'
  • Facebook is where you are 'confirmed' or 'busted' based on your content/behavior.
  • Twitter is where you show how smart/opinionated you might be.
  • Instagram is like Twitter and Facebook combined.
  • Pinterest may be of value depending on the position sought and your interests - particularly if they align.

For Gillis' sample short-form resume, click here.

For more from Gillis, visit or call (281) 431-9721.

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