Lynne Williams, the Executive Director of the Great Careers Group, hosted a workshop titled How to Avoid the Online Application Black Hole on January 23rd. Speaking to a packed room of eager listeners ranging from Millennials like myself to Boomers, Lynne gave us the lowdown on how to save our resumes from said black hole — also known as the applicant tracking system.
Over the course of an hour and a half that blew by, Lynne outlined different ways to think about how one crafts a resume and why, and how, exactly, the applicant tracking system parses a resume. It certainly helped shine a light on the failings of my own resume – by including borders and section breaks as well as my information in a header, I could be dooming my resume into the bowels of the void, never to be seen again.
The discussion was lively, with different people chiming in their different viewpoints for including or not including something, as well of the benefits of generalizing vs. specializing your resume. Length and specificity were also topics up for discussion.
Lynne also extended her reach into LinkedIn, saying it was just as important as a resume for prospective employers. A strong LinkedIn can influence a strong resume when both work in sync.
I, myself, was so impressed with the workshop that I decided to work with Lynne’s side business, Around the Clock Executive Helper, to help me personally with my resume and LinkedIn one-on-one. More than just fixing my resume up for me, she steps into a mentor role that can give me guidance in general about my job search. I’ve had an initial meeting with her and I’m very optimistic about the results!