Unbeatable Resumes: America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired

Overview

Whether you?ve been on the job hunt for a day, a year, or more, you already know that there are countless r?sum? ?experts? out there. So why is only one of them?Tony Beshara?a regular guest on Dr. Phil? Once you dig into Tony?s r?sum? book, you?ll understand why.

Unbeatable R?sum?s is first and foremost a treasury of great r?sum? tips. In this upbeat and incredibly practical book, Tony presents and critiques hundreds of examples from sample r?sum?s. He demonstrates specific, ...

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Overview

Whether you’ve been on the job hunt for a day, a year, or more, you already know that there are countless résumé “experts” out there. So why is only one of them—Tony Beshara—a regular guest on Dr. Phil? Once you dig into Tony’s résumé book, you’ll understand why.

Unbeatable Résumés is first and foremost a treasury of great résumé tips. In this upbeat and incredibly practical book, Tony presents and critiques hundreds of examples from sample résumés. He demonstrates specific, powerful techniques and attention-grabbing language, and shows how to stay honest and yet put the most positive spin on liabilities like employment gaps and job-hopping. Tony doesn’t stop there. After showing you how to create your killer résumé, he tells you what to do with it, including:

• How to identify every possible networking contact

• Whom to call, how often, and what to say

• How to complement your résumé with the only kind of cover letter you should ever use

• How to leverage Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and other online resources

• How to make your candidacy stand out in even the most crowded job markets

• And much more

Just as he does on television, Tony brings to this book his incredible wealth of experience—not just as a résumé pro but also as one of America’s most tenacious and successful recruiters. While most résumé services just do résumés only, Tony Beshara has personally placed close to 9,000 professionals in great jobs in every conceivable field.

And don’t forget his unparalleled access to executives, managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and the other people who hold the keys to your career success—including the more than 3,000 hiring authorities he has surveyed to reveal what really gets résumés read, interviews granted —and jobs offered.

Read on. The next one hired could be you.

Advance praise for Unbeatable Résumés:

“Tony Beshara never claims to be a magician at connecting people with jobs. I claim that for him! Tony’s the Abracadabra wizard I go to when I need the latest know-how from the ground up. Memorize this book and feel the magic!”— Joyce Lain Kennedy, syndicated columnist and author

Unbeatable Résumés is a valuable resource for job seekers today. As an experienced recruiter, Beshara brings a savvy and sensible perspective to the topic of résumés, and his practical insights can help job hunters who face a challenging job market. The book includes a wide variety of résumés as well as useful and up-to-date résumé and job-search advice.” — Martha E. Mangelsdorf, author of Strategies for Successful Career Change

Tony Beshara is the owner and president of Babich & Associates, the oldest recruitment and job placement firm in Texas. His previous books include Acing the Interview and The Job Search Solution.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A must-have guide….Beshara's a proven super talent. Read him.” - Joyce Lain Kennedy, nationally syndicated columnist, Tribune Media Services

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814417621
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 6/16/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 446,518
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

TONY BESHARA is the owner and president of Babich Associates, the oldest placement firm in Texas. He is the author of The Job Search Solution (978-0-8144-7332-0) and Acing the Interview (978-0-8144-0161-3).

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Straight Talk About Your Résumé (From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

This week I sent 221 résumés of my candidates to different clients

and helped three people find jobs. On average, I receive up to 40

résumés a day from people seeking my help in landing a job. I receive

a lot of résumés, and I send out a lot of résumés.

I am a professional placement and recruitment specialist, and

résumés are the tools I use to help my candidates get interviews. Since

1973, I have reviewed more than 32,000 résumés and have been per-

sonally responsible for placing more than 8,500 individuals in jobs, all

on a one-on-one basis. That means I picked up the phone, called a hir-

ing authority, got them an interview, helped with subsequent interviews,

and negotiated an offer for them—8,500 times.

That’s why I know what types of résumés are the most helpful

for getting interviews that lead to job offers. In fact, my livelihood

depends on that knowledge. The truth is that the vast majority of

authors who write résumé books and articles have never found anyone

a job, nor have they had to justify to prospective employers the

quality of good candidates with poor résumés.

Most of the stuff written about résumés reflects those authors’

opinions of what they imagine works. Instead, I tell you exactly what

does work, based on the opinions of the hiring authorities I speak with

every day. So, in this book, you’re getting proven résumé knowledge

about what works in the real world.

Here is a quick example. Some national “personal marketing”

firms (i.e., professional résumé services) write résumés for fees of

$150 and up. They recommend, and will write, a “functional”

résumé for anyone willing to pay their fee. Unlike the traditional

chronological résumé, a functional résumé lists all the duties and

responsibilities spanning a person’s career. Then, at the bottom of

the résumé, are the names of companies the person has worked for,

along with the corresponding dates. Usually there is little or no

explanation of what each company does. Yet, here are the facts:

Most hiring authorities don’t like or read these types of résumés.

(Résumé types are discussed in Chapter 3, where you’ll also find

the results of a survey involving more than 3,000 hiring authorities,

which backs up this fact. Indeed, you will learn what they do want

to see in a résumé.)

Does this mean that no one using a functional résumé ever gets

an interview? Or ever gets hired? No, of course not. But it does

mean that your chances of getting an interview are better if you don’t

use a functional résumé. And, after all, doesn’t it make sense to stack

the odds in your favor?

The reason hiring managers don’t appreciate functional résumés

is that the experience and accomplishments of the candidate are not

set in the context of particular companies or job functions. That is,

after all, the context in which they are hiring.

A functional résumé crossed my desk a few years ago, in which the

candidate had written: “#1 salesperson in the U.S.” I went ahead and

interviewed the candidate because I recognized the companies he had

worked for, listed at the bottom. But I explained that he needed to write

a chronological résumé connecting his experiences and successes to

each job held. When he did so, it turned out that he had been the “#1

salesperson in the U.S.” 10 years ago! That’s why hiring authorities don’t

like this type of résumé. They hide the details. Unfortunately, this candi-

date had paid $5,000 to a “consulting firm” that had guaranteed the func-

tional résumé it wrote would land him a job. Guaranteed?

The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and

effort in writing a résumé is that this is the one activity within the job

search that they can control. Instead of picking up the phone and calling

a prospective employer to ask for a face-to-face interview—risking

potential rejection—people agonize over their résumés. It’s true that

agonizing over a résumé won’t get you rejected, but spending hours on

your résumé doesn’t automatically mean it will be successful, either.

Here’s the Truth: Nothing you think about your résumé matters

unless it helps you get interviews that result in job offers! So, here’s

what I suggest. If anyone charges you money to write a résumé, tell the

person you will double the asking price after the résumé gets you an

interview, let alone a job. Yes, you read that right. Tell the agency or

individual you will pay contingent upon the résumé’s working for you.

If the agency truly believes the résumés it produces are as effective as

it claims, then it should have no problem taking this deal.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw

Acknowledgments

Preface The Top Ten (BIG) Mistakes of Résumé Writing

Chapter 1 Straight Talk About Your Résumé

(From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

Chapter 2 Surprising Facts About Your Résumé Audience

Chapter 3 The Résumés 3,000 Hiring Authorities Want to See

Chapter 4 Key Features of the Most Effective Résumés

Chapter 5 The Basic Résumé and Some Résumé Makeovers

Chapter 6 Sample Traditional Résumés

Chapter 7 Nontraditional Résumés

Chapter 8 E-Mailing Résumés, Cover Letters, and Attachments:

Increasing the Chances Your Résumé Will Get Read

Chapter 9 Leveraging Your Résumé

Chapter 10 How to Handle Common Résumé Problems

(Too Many Jobs, Employment Gaps, Changing Careers, Relocating, etc.)

Epilogue The Top Ten Rules (You Now Know) of Résumé Writing

Index

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First Chapter

Unbeatable Résumés

America's Top Recruiter Reveals What Really Gets You Hired
By TONY BESHARA

AMACOM

Copyright © 2011 Tony Beshara
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1762-1


Chapter One

Straight Talk About Your Résumé (From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

THIS WEEK I sent 221 résumés of my candidates to different clients and helped three people find jobs. On average, I receive up to 40 résumés a day from people seeking my help in landing a job. I receive a lot of résumés, and I send out a lot of résumés.

I am a professional placement and recruitment specialist, and résumés are the tools I use to help my candidates get interviews. Since 1973, I have reviewed more than 32,000 résumés and have been personally responsible for placing more than 8,500 individuals in jobs, all on a one-on-one basis. That means I picked up the phone, called a hiring authority, got them an interview, helped with subsequent interviews, and negotiated an offer for them—8,500 times.

That's why I know what types of résumés are the most helpful for getting interviews that lead to job offers. In fact, my livelihood depends on that knowledge. The truth is that the vast majority of authors who write résumé books and articles have never found anyone a job, nor have they had to justify to prospective employers the quality of good candidates with poor résumés.

Most of the stuff written about résumés reflects those authors' opinions of what they imagine works. Instead, I tell you exactly what does work, based on the opinions of the hiring authorities I speak with every day. So, in this book, you're getting proven résumé knowledge about what works in the real world.

Here is a quick example. Some national "personal marketing" firms (i.e., professional résumé services) write résumés for fees of $150 and up. They recommend, and will write, a "functional" résumé for anyone willing to pay their fee. Unlike the traditional chronological résumé, a functional résumé lists all the duties and responsibilities spanning a person's career. Then, at the bottom of the résumé, are the names of companies the person has worked for, along with the corresponding dates. Usually there is little or no explanation of what each company does. Yet, here are the facts: Most hiring authorities don't like or read these types of résumés. (Résumé types are discussed in Chapter 3, where you'll also find the results of a survey involving more than 3,000 hiring authorities, which backs up this fact. Indeed, you will learn what they do want to see in a résumé.)

Does this mean that no one using a functional résumé ever gets an interview? Or ever gets hired? No, of course not. But it does mean that your chances of getting an interview are better if you don't use a functional résumé. And, after all, doesn't it make sense to stack the odds in your favor?

The reason hiring managers don't appreciate functional résumés is that the experience and accomplishments of the candidate are not set in the context of particular companies or job functions. That is, after all, the context in which they are hiring.

A functional résumé crossed my desk a few years ago, in which the candidate had written: "#1 salesperson in the U.S." I went ahead and interviewed the candidate because I recognized the companies he had worked for, listed at the bottom. But I explained that he needed to write a chronological résumé connecting his experiences and successes to each job held. When he did so, it turned out that he had been the "#1 salesperson in the U.S." 10 years ago! That's why hiring authorities don't like this type of résumé. They hide the details. Unfortunately, this candidate had paid $5,000 to a "consulting firm" that had guaranteed the functional résumé it wrote would land him a job. Guaranteed?

The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and effort in writing a résumé is that this is the one activity within the job search that they can control. Instead of picking up the phone and calling a prospective employer to ask for a face-to-face interview—risking potential rejection—people agonize over their résumés. It's true that agonizing over a résumé won't get you rejected, but spending hours on your résumé doesn't automatically mean it will be successful, either.

Here's the Truth: Nothing you think about your résumé matters unless it helps you get interviews that result in job offers! So, here's what I suggest. If anyone charges you money to write a résumé, tell the person you will double the asking price after the résumé gets you an interview, let alone a job. Yes, you read that right. Tell the agency or individual you will pay contingent upon the résumé's working for you. If the agency truly believes the résumés it produces are as effective as it claims, then it should have no problem taking this deal.

The Real Value of a Résumé

It is rare for someone to get hired by simply submitting a résumé—the purpose of the résumé is to help get you an interview. And at the interview, remember that 40 percent of a hiring decision is based on personality. The series of interviews is used to judge the compatibility of your personality with those of people in the company. That is, companies hire people they like; a résumé cannot communicate your personal traits.

It's that simple. Your résumé won't get you hired; rather, your résumé should help you get face-to-face interviews—so that your winning personality can convince your interviewers.

It is possible that you may be lucky and get an invitation to interview strictly by sending your résumé to a hiring authority. But in this market that situation isn't likely. You're going to have to do a lot of other things to secure the interviews, and I tell you what these things are in the chapters of this book.

Résumé Secrets? Résumé Magic? Hogwash

If you Google the words résumé magic, you will get over 1.9 million results. If you Google résumé secrets, you will get 22.5 million results. What's so absurd about all of this is that there is no magic, there are no secrets to résumé writing. In fact, the process is not even mysterious. Writing an effective résumé is simple—as long as you have an effective résumé strategy.

You want to write and use the most effective résumé possible so that you can get as many interviews and job offers as you can. It's a simple statistical challenge. But this book will help you learn how to write a résumé that will have a higher probability of helping you get those face-to-face interviews.

Conquering the Biggest Challenge

You've come to the right place. Here, you will learn how to write a simple, straightforward, and effective résumé. But that's actually not the hardest part about getting a face-to-face interview. Your biggest challenge is knowing what to do with the résumé after you've written it.

How you use your résumé to secure face-to-face interviews is where the rubber really meets the road. The vast majority of people who call me to complain about their zero job responses think that their problems lie with their résumé. And while for some there may indeed be some résumé kinks, that is not the primary reason they're not getting interviews. Rather, the problem is a lack of technique and strategy.

In Chapters 2 through 7, I show you, step by step, how to write an effective résumé. Then, in Chapters 8 through 10, I coach you on how to use your effective résumé to get results—that all-important golden egg, the face-to-face interview.

Chapter Two

Surprising Facts About Your Résumé Audience

MOST PEOPLE assume that if they write an effective résumé it is going to be read by decision makers with great business acumen and experience. And that since these decision makers are so intelligent, they will naturally have the wisdom to interview and hire them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 7.5 million businesses in the United States with employees, and the average number of employees in those 7.5 million businesses is sixteen. The BLS also tells us that between December 2000 and November 2008, the monthly turnover rate for U.S. companies was 3.3 percent. This means that we are a nation of small companies, with 3.3 percent of our employees coming and going on a monthly basis.

The average job in the United States lasts two and a half to three years. In 2008, every day 1,751 companies went bankrupt or closed. And each day they were replaced by 1,781 new companies. Even very large companies make poor business decisions and sometimes teeter on insolvency. Most of us are not aware of just how phenomenally erratic businesses are, even in the United States. We tend to think that most businesses are very successful—and that definition of success can be very broad. Yet the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that seven out of ten new employer firms last at least two years but only about half survive five years.

So, businesses expand, contracts are born, and companies die erratically. In 2008, 1.8 million businesses in the United States expanded or opened, creating 7.3 million jobs; meanwhile, 2 million businesses contracted or closed in the same year, eliminating 7.9 million jobs. This means that the hiring authority who might be interviewing you probably hasn't been in that job very long, either. Even "long-term positions" can be short. According to Crist Kolder Associates, roughly half of the CFOs of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies are in their jobs for fewer than three years—that's about the average tenure of an NFL running back.

Guess why hiring managers want to know "What can you do for me ... right now, today?" It's because (1) chances are they won't be there long, and (2) they know they have to perform now to keep their jobs into tomorrow.

And with an economy that has been shaky at best, most businesspeople are operating more out of fear of loss than from a vision of gain. They are afraid of just about everything—especially the economy. They don't know how long this malaise will continue.

When a business is fearful about the future, it's difficult to make hiring decisions, but it's even more difficult for job candidates. With so many candidates to choose from, hiring authorities are compelled to seek out the "perfect" candidate. They feel that they can't afford to make a mistake. And they expect better candidates than they interviewed and hired just a few years ago.

If you are like most candidates, you think your résumé is being perused and considered by intelligent businesspeople who have a genuine sense of appreciation for what you can do for their companies. You imagine a wise hiring authority who is personally reading your perfect résumé. But the truth is, the chances are poor that your résumé will ever get in front of that person, let alone be read by him or her.

I have been a professional recruiter since 1973, and in that time, here's what I have noticed:

* 60 percent of résumés received for a particular opening are never reviewed by the hiring authority. * 70 percent of résumés received for a particular opening are reviewed by a third party—that is, a human resources (HR) individual, internal recruiter, or some administrative person—who may or may not be qualified to interview a prospective employee. (A few years ago, we got a call from the CEO of a $40 million manufacturing company. He said he needed to hire a controller and that his daughter was going to do the initial interviewing—while she was home from college over Christmas break.) * 60 percent of the third parties who review a résumé have no direct experience with the job they are recruiting for. Rather, they are relying on information given to them by someone else. * 40 percent of résumés that are "opened" to be read are deleted because the reader isn't clear about what kind of job the person has done, who the applicant has worked for, and how successful the person has been.

Additionally, most people imagine that companies fill most of their job openings within one to two months. In reality, the average time is more like four or five months.

The average résumé gets read in ten seconds. On top of this, there are at least 100 résumés received for every job posted to the public. Even if a hiring authority decides to read all of the résumés him- or herself, the odds of yours surfacing to the top aren't great.

If you have been looking for a job for a while, and you have sent your résumé to many companies, you may have asked yourself, "Why don't those people call me? I am an absolute perfect match for their jobs! What's wrong with them?"

Well, now you know. It is not likely your résumé even got read, and it's even less likely that it was read by the right person—the person feeling the pain. By "feeling the pain" I mean the person who needs to hire someone because, if someone isn't hired, he has to do the job himself.

Although it is easy to get discouraged when you hear all of this, if you follow the advice in this book you will significantly improve your odds of getting interviews. And, after all, it is better to be aware of what really goes on than to live in a fantasy world and be disappointed.

There's really not much you can do about the chaos that goes on in most companies, especially relating to the hiring process. At least by recognizing the relative mess you will be able to get your expectations in order—and you will realize that "it's not you." And then, having a well-written résumé with a high probability of being read is a good first step toward breaking through that chaos. Of course, it's important to have an effective strategy for using your résumé to get an interview—because a great résumé is only as good as your ability to get the interview.

Chapter Three

The Résumés 3,000 Hiring Authorities Want to See

THIS CHAPTER may be one of the most important things you ever read about getting a job. It translates research findings into practical information that can help you get that job you need.

We surveyed more than 6,000 hiring and interviewing authorities in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. These authorities ranged from first-line hiring managers to CEOs, at companies employing from six people to more than a thousand employees. A full 11 percent of those surveyed were third-party recruiters, such as human resources (HR) managers, while the rest were individuals responsible for managing the persons they would hire. These hiring authorities represented a wide variety of disciplines, including sales, engineering, architecture, administrative support, healthcare (i.e., physicians, nursing, and allied professions), accounting and finance, and information technology.

The Survey

A total of 3,129 people answered our survey. To ensure a good response, we kept the questions short and to the point. Here are the questions we asked:

What are the critical components of a well-written résumé? When you scan dozens of résumés, what do you look for? What length of résumé do you prefer? What are some of the things you see in résumés that you really don't like? What shouldn't be on a résumé? What distinguishes the résumés of candidates you interview from the large number of résumés you ignore? How many résumés do you personally review—per week? per month? per year? per position you are trying to fill? How important is a cover letter when you are receiving résumés? Is it you or your HR department who reviews the résumés first? When you have a stack of résumés in front of you, how long does it take to initially review each one? Do you receive or use video résumés?

The Results

Here are the results, with the percentages of respondents specifying the answers given:

What Are the Critical Components of a Well-Written Résumé? * Reverse chronological order: 98% * Names of companies, a clear indication of what they do, specific dates, specific job titles, and a clear list of duties: 98% * Concise evidence of success: 96% * Quantifiable results and accomplishments: 94%

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Unbeatable Résumés by TONY BESHARA Copyright © 2011 by Tony Beshara. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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