Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Mona Abdel-Halim. Mona is the co-founder of Resunate, a web-based software to help you build a resume and automatically evaluate and improve it for every job. You may have read some of her guest posts on my blog in the past abut how to improve your resume. Mona, thank you so much for being here!
The sound is a little off in the beginning but it gets better quickly!!
In case you are reading this at work and can’t watch the video, you can read all of the great resume writing advice below instead!
1) How can applicants differentiate themselves in this competitive job market?
This is probably the number one question we get when people ask for resume writing advice. It’s funny how many emails we get from people who ask us how to differentiate themselves in their resume and even outside of their resume. So if you are applying to jobs at a large organization, it is actually quite simple. A lot of people don’t realize that employers are scanning resumes before they score and rank candidates and decide who they are going to interview.
One way to differentiate yourself if by putting your resume in a very easy to understand and organized format so it is easily scanned into the system. The second way of differentiating yourself is making sure that you are really reading the job description before you apply so that you understand how to tailor your resume, your cover letter and even your interview. Third, is networking and making sure that you really understand the culture in not only the company, but also the department that you are applying to.
You have to know what you have to offer to them and that you have made the effort to show them that you are interested. Right now, companies are spending a lot of money just to retain their great employees, so having that enthusiasm and interest in a particular organization really gets you farther along that hiring process.
2) How can Resunate help applicants create resumes that hiring managers are looking for?
We should talk about how Resunate first came about. We spoke with a lot of job seekers and we realized that job seekers were just submitting a general resume to a million different companies or they were spending huge amounts of time tailoring their resume for every job. We just saw this as being an inefficient process.
So we started speaking to HR directors and employers to see how they process resumes. What we tried to do is create a tool so that you can quickly evaluate a resume the way that an employer could see it and improve it. You can upload your resume or even import you LinkedIn profile. Then, you can copy and paste your dream job description and we will give you a score out of 10.0 that is almost identical to the score that employers see which they then rank candidates against.
We will tell you based off of your resume, what are the key skills that you seem to have so you get an idea of the impression that you are leaving on an employer because often you send your resume to friends and family members and you don’t realize the impression that you are giving off may not be the one that you want the employer to have.
So even if you have a lot of skills you still may want to cut back on part of those skills to show yourself in a certain focused light. And that is what Resunate helps you do. We even have an auto-focus feature that with a one click button, it automatically selects the most highly matched parts of your resume and arranges that in an easy to scan format so that you have that tailored resume for any job in seconds.
3) How can applicants use their personality types such as Myers-Briggs when applying for jobs?
Often we don’t realize that what makes us unique is our personality. An assessment like the Myers Briggs can really help you evaluate what you can bring to the table that is unique from others. So what we did is we partnered with the publishers of the Myers Briggs assessment so you can take the assessment at a discounted price and we feed you back your personality type.
As an example, I am an ENTJ. That means I am an extrovert, I tend to like to think intuitively, I am a thinker so I tend to plan, and the last letter stands for Judging which means I like to make decisions quickly. So it helps you identify how you interact with the world and how you make decisions so when an employer asks you a question such as “How are you going to contribute on a team?” you have bullet points that we provide you that tell you how you are likely to fit in at that organization. We even give you tips based off the job description that you can insert into Resunate.
We reference what types of personalities do well in different types of jobs and we tell you how your personality can be a competitive advantage. Your personality should not be a selection criteria so we actually advise that you don’t put your personality type on your resume but your resume should be a teaser. It should almost be like an online dating profile. You want to entice the hiring manager or recruiter to call you in for an interview to find out more about you.
4) What made you decide to start your company?
Resunate started two years ago. I was a graduate student myself in business school and I was also getting my masters in public policy and my co-founders and I were in a student research group looking at how we could utilize technology to solve different labor issues.
So we spoke to a lot of job seekers and asked them what were the problems that they were facing on a daily basis and resumes was always brought up. That is when we realized that there were a lot myths roaming around there, there were a lot of resume builders online but they don’t give you quantitative feedback and they didn’t tell job seekers how they are evaluated.
After graduate school, we got accepted into a business accelerator and we prototyped Resonate. We did a study and it showed that it doubled the chances of someone getting an interview. So then we thought it was good enough to publicly release.
5) Did you always see yourself as an entrepreneur?
I have always been entrepreneurial but I am very application based and at the end of getting my MBA I thought it was an ideal time to start a company. I had just learned all of these skills that presumably equipped me to run a business.
6) What do you wish you would have known when you were a young professional woman just starting out in her career?
When I was young, I knew I was capable of many things but I felt sometimes like I didn’t have the skills and I didn’t really know that certain career paths were open to me. So too early on I negated them. I think earlier on I wish I knew that even with undergraduate degree in biochemistry degree, I could have applied to different types of jobs but I didn’t think were an option like consulting. I have since been an advocate for many multi-disciplinary programs and showing people different career paths that they can follow because when I was younger I didn’t realize the breadth of opportunities available. Even if you pick one career path, you don’t have to stick with it and you can choose other areas as well.
Thanks for all the great resume writing advice, Mona!
Note: I am an affiliate for Resunate because I have used it and recommend it. If you purchase an account through my links I will earn a commission. When you order through my link, it helps me continue to offer you lots of free stuff so thank you in advance for your support!