Time to Get Recruited: Tips from Former HR Director of EMEA Facebook

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With the start of recruiting season upon us, and more people looking for jobs, we had the chance to speak with the former Head of HR EMEA of Facebook, Eimear Donaghy to get resume tips. Donaghy successfully grew the Facebook EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) office out of Dublin, Ireland from just 5 employees to 1,007. She was part of the Lean In phenomenon with Sheryl Sandberg. As the main lead for sourcing global talent, Donaghy weighs in on how to have a recruiter call you back from your resume.

You might be wondering about how to actually get the call, or how to get past the initial interview, or onto the next interview and finally get the job. While we can’t submit everything for you, we have the 5 best tips and a pro tip for the interview you’ve always wanted for the resume you’ve submitted.

Remember, “You get one chance”

The importance of a good resume shouldn’t be to just send one resume out after another, with long unformatted lists, but edited, with time well spent. According to Donaghy,

“You get one chance. One phone screen. An initial interview. Sometimes this is your one shot.”

You’ll need to take your time, edit, revise, do what you have to in order to land at the top of the stack of a Recruiter. Recruiters want to see the resume in perfect form. Although you want to convey your personality through the resume to get yourself hired, use these tips to carefully lay out how you appear on paper.

1. Be concise

If you want a recruiter to call you back, be concise. We always advise that your resume should not be too long. Keep it to 1 page to 1.5 pages. Donaghy points out, Recruiters are reading so many of them. Recruiters need to read resumes, but “don’t tell us about the resume”, write your resume carefully tailored to the job description.

If you don’t have the ability to condense it all, try. You want people who can adhere to 1 page to 1.5 pages. This can show your personality. While it is excellent to show your talent, skills, and successes within the workplace, you can show this off within the interview.

2. Leave out your references and interests

There’s an assumption you have excellent references. This is also a great way to condense your resume and save space at the bottom of the page. Once you get to the interview stage, a Recruiter may as you for references.

Leave out your general interests. This does not make you stand out from others in a recruiter’s stack. If you’re thinking of condensing your resume, the content should speak for itself, so stay relevant to your work experience, talents, and skills. Make sure these are all actionable statements, according to the company’s culture and job description. Donaghy suggested staying concise with the standard resume format, without the fancy fonts. Be simple, stay clean, and focused. Remember, if you want a Facebook Recruiter like Donaghy to scan your resume quickly, it needs to be formatted.

3. Mention the gap in your resume

As the economy changes and people are finding different ways to take vacations and earn more money, Donaghy recommends acknowledging the gap you may have in your resume, if it’s relevant. In years past, job-seekers may have thought twice about leaving out some time on their resume, “in this day and age, people take time off, including myself. I took 6 months off to travel, and I think it’s good to acknowledge it. I think those days are gone,” Donaghy exclaims.

We are living in the Gig Economy, where entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and freelancers (including those with full time jobs) take on side jobs. These side jobs and side gigs can supplement the work. As a freelancer in the Gig Economy, this will work in your favor if you’re looking to apply for another job by mentioning any freelance you have done in the past.

Others are working longer hours. Donaghy believes “people are more flexible, people work longer hours.” She said she works longer hours. Sometimes, we just need a break. As long as it’s relevant to what you are applying for, briefly format and explain it in your resume.

4.Keep the awards up to date and relevant

While awards demonstrate your ability to accomplish goals, they need to be relevant to the job. Donaghy suggests keeping the awards relevant to how the awards reflect upon you as a team player, not just as an individual person. If you have received an award at your university and you graduated 15 years ago, the award may not seem relevant to you or the job description. Although it may have been an excellent award you received, make sure to stay relevant.

5. Edit and read it well

“Read the job description and read it well,” Donaghy could not stress this enough, as well as our HR Managers when we asked them their resume tips. Your resume “must be targeted at job requirements, and although this might seem obvious to you, have someone else check your resume. If I see spelling mistakes, it’s gone. That’s it, but that’s just me. So, have one or two other people review it. When other people review your resume – they see what you haven’t after staring at your screen. This is the best practice to polish your resume,” according to Donaghy.

The Recruiter called, I got the interview, now what?

If you’re an excellent fit on paper, Donaghy tell us you should “Always be prepared. Always. You should volunteer your information, know your background information, and where you have worked. It is not acceptable not to know the dates of your past employments as it will make you look disorganized. It can make you look dishonest.” Although this can be a factor in nerves, take time to relax, but know your resume, your dates, your skills, everything about yourself. If you know your resume, you will feel more comfortable talking with the recruiter and future employer.

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Katherine Penta
Brand and copy expert with over six years of experience developing brand personas, managing content, and writing copy for brands like Neutrogena, Visa, and Adobe.