Optimize your resume and keep it short. "If your resume doesn't fit on one page, I'm not reading it," states Cody Swann, CEO, Gunner Technology. "As an IT hiring manager at ESPN, I got hundreds of resumes. I'm not spending more than a couple minutes on each one." Moreover, "if it's more than one page, especially for new grads, it's mostly fluff."
Another resume tip: "use basic SEO techniques to help your resume get cataloged properly and found," advises Keren Douek, founder, Viral Workforce. "Make a list of keywords recruiters might enter when searching for a job seeker like you, and make sure your resume includes as many of them as possible. Remember that only plain text will be searchable, so skip images and tables. Keep the most pertinent and compelling information above the fold, so viewers do not need to scroll to access it."
In addition, she advises candidates to be strategic when naming their resume. "Don't save your resume as 'John Doe' or 'My Resume.' When a recruiter is scanning through listings on a job board or in their Applicant Tracking System, the file name of your resume is one of the few bits of information you get in front of them, and if you use it strategically you may lead them to view your resume," she says. "Use the name of your resume as one more tool to sell yourself. Save your resume as 'J2EE Project Manager' or 'Business Analyst with Financial Industry Experience.'"
Network, network, network! "Candidates who are most successful in finding that first opportunity are those who pursue all of the channels available to them, not just campus recruiting," explains Todd Weinman, president of The Weinman Group, a San Francisco-based staffing and recruiting firm, and a member of the Leadership Development Committee at ISACA, a nonprofit professional association of 95,000 IT security, audit and governance professionals in 160 countries. "Savvy graduates leverage their professors, alumni networks and personal contacts to increase the number of potential interviews. They should also consider joining professional associations, such as ISACA, "where individuals share tips and ideas, learn from more seasoned professionals and help one another find opportunities."
And once you've found the right person to network with, don't be bashful. "Ask for introductions, references and insight into the organizations you are targeting," says Ed Nathanson, director of Talent Acquisition, Rapid7, an IT security company. A 'warm' lead is always handled differently and is a great way to get in the door."
Use social media. "The savviest candidates nowadays are the 'connected' candidates," adds Nathanson. And chances are you already have a Facebook account, and possibly a LinkedIn account. If you don't have the latter, get one. "LinkedIn is a great way to introduce yourself and [connect with] the hiring manager," explains Ken Stasiak, CEO of SecureState.
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