How to Write A Resume for the Keep Pile

January 2, 2017

Jami Overcash is a recruiter at Providence Health. She fields resumes for positions ranging from environmental services, to security, to clinical, to administrative. We asked her for some tips.

How to Write A Resume for the Keep Pile

When I get a resume, the first thing I look at is the applicant’s experience and how it relates to the job requirements.  Different job openings have different requirements.  When applying to different jobs in different places, you have to take the time to emphasize in each submission how your experience relates to that particular job opening. I recommend you change the text in your resume for each submission to highlight how you gained and used the skills required for the desired job when you worked for a previous employer. 

After experience, I look at the education section to make sure it meets the level needed for the job. I don’t need every grade you received, but I do need to see how far you went in school and what, if any, degrees you received.

I also look at how long you worked at each organization. It’s fairly common these days for professionals to change jobs frequently. As a result, some people may think it’s a flaw to stay somewhere ‘stagnant.’ I say, spin it. If you stayed in the very same role for ten years, use that for leverage. State it right in the job description: “Remained a dedicated employee for ten years.”

How to Write a Resume for the Trash Can

A resume with misspellings tells us one of two things:

  1. You won’t take the time to represent yourself in the best way possible, so we can’t count on you to represent our hospital. 
  2. You are representing yourself at its best, and your best just isn’t good enough.

"Either way, it goes into the trash pile." -Jami Overcash 

You can also trash a resume by using a confusing format. Keep descriptions concise so they are easier to read, and use bullets to organize voluminous information.  When I’m cycling through hundreds of applicants, I don’t have time to navigate through a mess of text that doesn’t clearly display work history and dates. 

Some people try to make their resume stand out using, shall we say, “creative” methods. I have one word for them. Stop. Again, going through resumes is like sifting through a pile of data sheets. I am hunting for key pieces of information, and if it’s hard to locate because of a gimmick, chances are the whole resume will go in the trash.

Also, people in my field maintain rigid systems of filing the information we receive to ensure we are complaint with all the legal requirements of holding your personal information. If a resume’s “creativity” gives it an odd shape or size, I’m going to discard it for my own organizational sanity.

Don’t include pictures. I am required to hire without any discrimination or favoritism. Photos can add a whole different element of trouble that I am not willing to deal with. Leave the photos on your desktop, not mine.

Here’s the Deal…

So, if I am sifting through a large number of candidates and want a familiar format to find what I need… how can you stand out from the pile if you’re one of many in the same format? The answer is easy.  Focus on your accomplishments and how they relate to the job for which you are applying. You are the only one in the world with your precise set of experience, accomplishments and education. Tell me how those traits make you the fit for this role, and you will already be standing out because you are the only you.

Jami Overcash, Recruiter at Providence Health