Tips and Tricks to Tailoring your Resume

Do you want the best results with your resume? If you are working with a recruiter/headhunter, they should be able to help you with these services. If not, then you need to tailor it by fine tuning your resume and paralleling keywords and phrases that you can use to better speak to your relevant experience.

When tailoring your resume, you are tested with, “where do I begin?”  As a professional in the industry, I have the answers you need. First and foremost, you must always remember that even though we are in a technical age where you will receive emails with notices telling you jobs that you qualify for that you should never click apply all to them without viewing each job description.  Please remember throughout your job search and the higher up the job title it is quality over quantity.  Here are some tips to customizing your resume:

  1. Read and examine the job posting/description: Thoroughly read through the job posting and grab a highlighter or pen and circle the key areas, requirements and any key software programs or certifications. After you will need to correlate and write down which one’s best tie-in with your abilities. Many large companies have systems they use as the initial sorter for resumes which focuses on certain “keywords”.

  2. Rework your qualification summary: Now that you have identified key areas that the potential employer is looking for, you can reword and organize your bullet points to include the key items at the top and add or eliminate as need be.

  3. Edit your career experience: Once you have re-worked the summary area and weaved key words from the post into your experience your goal is to highlight key area in your resume that tie-in with the post that will excite the hiring manager once they read your resume. You need to remember that you do not want to over use or use too many words as the hiring managers time is very valuable and they only have a few minutes per resume, so you want to be eye catching.

  4. Ask a friend or trusted advisor: Mentors in your industry are key. They can keep you grounded but still assist you in advancing in your field. Please reach out to your mentor or friend to review and give feedback on your resume.

  5. Are cover letters optional? NO! You should always include a cover letter and not a template where you simply change the company name and job title. The cover letter should be customized to fit the job that you are applying for. You should do your research and due diligence on the company and add items about yourself and how you would work within their culture. You want the hiring manager and their cohorts to know that you have visited their company’s website and are not just blindly sending a blanket cover letter and resume.

I have seen more times than not individuals and/or recruiters try to place and oversell candidates that are not qualified for the role in order to make a sale. It does not work in the short or the long game for the client or the candidate

Do you need professional help with your resume?

If you need professional resume help, please do not hesitate to reach out. We know what employers are looking for on resumes and can help you tailor your resume to best fit the jobs you are applying for. I look forward to helping and hearing your stories. 

The Key to Creating a Great Company Culture

Social media, the news and other platforms are always mentioning the unique culture that places like Apple and Google have and how employees there are thriving. This has grown and had such an impact that we see people on social media posting about how their offices have fruit in in the lunch areas for healthy living or provide childcare for working mothers. The topic of company culture has become a hot topic. In fact, Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Trends report points out that the transformation from pure business enterprises into business/social enterprises is increasing. Organizations today are increasingly judged based on their relationships with workers, their clients and their communities. This ties in with the company’s culture and its significance not only to the employer but employee. The next question posed is what to look at in order to create a great company culture:

  1. Building a foundation:  The first steps to creating a great company culture is to understand what culture is. In order to do this, key management needs to have discussions and brainstorm about the foundational values of the business in order to cultivate the message that their people will apply and relay to clients.
  2. Identify the company’s value:  A good step towards clarifying your culture is defining your values. The values are what’s important to you and how your company wants the people to feel and connect internally and externally. It is very important that the Leadership is on the same page, because when leadership has differing values this effects the direction and can create chaos for employees.
  3. Put the values into action:  Communicate with your employees about the companies’ value. They will be interfacing and carrying that out to your employees and the public. Communication is very important within your organization. How we communicate our message has huge impacts on the direction of the company.
  4. Working as a Team:  When you have everyone working together as a team it ties to the social enterprise and helps unite the company. Employees have a strong sense of loyalty when they are apart of a team sharing in the same vision.
  5. Maintain and carefully evolve the culture: As the company grows and time changes it is important to be agile to the evolution of the company’s culture.


All these items tie to having a great company culture. A strong social enterprise in an organization is vital. The mission and values provide the foundation for that the company’s profit and revenue growth will build upon. It is important to remember to listen to, invest in and actively manage the trends that are shaping todays wonder. The millennials of today are strong in believing that the organization they work in shoulders the responsibility for them to be a good citizen inside and outside the organization. This in turn makes for a stronger employee connection that promotes more collaboration and growth at all levels. This collaboration creates a strong company with a strong culture.

The Right Cultural FIT

When prepping candidates for an interview, we are looking to connect them, their skills and personality with the right employer, but another key component that needs to be considered is the right cultural fit. The question of whether a candidate fits the culture is often missed by both the employer and the candidate. A strong company culture impacts everything from employee productivity and happiness to customer retention and market growth. But every company’s culture is unique, often time even within the same industry. So, the question candidates must ask themselves is, “am I the right fit for this company’s culture?”. The following are a sample of ten questions to ask yourself or the employer:

  1. Does your company offer training and development opportunities?

  2. What type of individual succeeds at this position in your organization?

  3. What type of personality thrives in your company culture?

  4. Do you offer company team building activities outside of the workplace?

  5. Is there a focus on work-life balance at the company?

  6. How will my manager share feedback with me?

  7. What is the usual company dress attire?

  8. Is there room for growth and opportunity for advancement?

  9. If you are a veteran, is this a company that embraces that culture?

  10. How are employees incentivized?

Some of these questions may or may not be relevant depending on the role and the direction the interview is going. It is also important to develop some of your own questions about things that are important to you for a cultural fit. If you are working with a headhunter or recruiter, they can help you with cultivating this list during your prep time. If you have additional questions or feedback, please message me.   

Skills vs. Attitude Which is more important?

The other day I had lunch with a client for whom we have been sourcing skilled trade hires in preparation for the upcoming busy season. He brought up some interesting points about the candidates and it was not about just the skill level, but their personality and “attitude”. I have heard this quite a bit from various production managers, HR managers and supervisors in our market. We are continuing to notice more and more during our placements that companies are focusing more on attitude and personality and not just their skills and background. We are selecting a candidate to submit for consideration it is important to not only consider their skill level and abilities but to also see talk with about non-skill related questions. Companies are not wanting to churn through employees as much as they once did and be sure they are the right fit. As a recruiter it is important to have that connection with clients and candidates to better understand what they are looking for beyond the skill level. The following are items that should be taken into considered when you are making a placement:

The Actual Job:

For some jobs, it makes sense to focus more on attitude; for others, technical skills are of prime importance. For example, when I placed for an Accounting Manager I had to not only consider the very specific skill set for the role, but to also analyze how the candidate would fit with the personality of the CFO. You must keep in mind that the best attitude in the world still won’t matter much if the technical skill isn’t in line as well.

Company Culture

As a recruiter/headhunter you get resumes from candidates with tons of experience and high levels of enthusiasm.  However, once on the job, you could find out they’re a complete dud. What gives? After all, they seemed to have both the right technical skills and a good attitude.

We in the industry know it often comes down to poor fit. For example, if your culture is fast-paced and collaborative, and your new hire is more laid back, likes to fly solo, then they’re not going to thrive in your environment. The right skills will not change if the candidate’s personality does not fit the environment. So cultural fit is critically important to assess in addition to skills and attitude.

The Supervisor

The personality traits of the candidate and their interaction with the supervisor is vital. A couple of months back I staffed for another accounting role. After the supervisor interviewed the candidates, I debriefed each candidate after their interviews, came to the conclusion that this was a more challenging role to fill but not because of the accounting software but because of the personalities specifics. After learning more about the supervisor’s style from the debriefings, I was able to find the right personality match for them and my candidate is not only happy, but has drawn rave reviews from the supervisor.

Consider the candidate.

When you’re trying to decide between a candidate with a better attitude and one with higher skill level, it can be difficult to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each. In such a difficult situation I make sure that I utilize my well-honed process to make the best decision. For example, a few of the questions I like to ask are: Does one candidate seem more focused on learning and skill development than another? Who has stronger communication skills? Who works more effectively in a team? Who is going to fit into the culture better?

Another specific example of something I’ve had to look at to for a client, was to analyze if a candidate from a corporate environment was a cultural fit for a computer company where everyone wears some form of Converse/Abercrombie/GAP/Old Navy every day. In the end, your goal is to ensure that your candidate is the right fit and connects well with the environment and can do the job at 110%.


Need help hiring candidates with the right skills and a great attitude?

Call in the experienced recruiters and headhunters that can help you. The reason why you want experienced recruiters is because the philosophy is completely different when we are sourcing for a permanent position/direct hire position, because we are looking for the connection that fits your culture and excel at the job. If you are in the market for this, please do not hesitate to reach out.

In conclusion, whether you are an employer, recruiter, or a candidate hoping to land a job, it is important to remember to consider not just the skill fit, but the personality and cultural fit as well.

As always if you have any questions please comment below or message me directly. I will have another article next week.