Career Adventure Guide

The Resume and HR Systems

The Resume and HR Systems

We have put energy and focus into researching jobs, companies, and informational interviews.  We may now know what we want to do and what skills we want to work on.  We might have met people at our 3 top companies and have developed a rapport. 

And then we see a job we want posted.  Or we know there is a need for a role that they have not posted yet. 

In most cases, the action of filtering and hiring belongs in HR — and you need to understand that system.



HR is human resources. They have a challenging job. They need to deliver a great candidate who will stay and add value to the company. The hiring manager needs someone right away who is perfect in the eyes of the hiring manager. They need to keep the company from getting sued. They need to use their time well in doing this for often many jobs at a time.

Hiring the wrong person can be very expensive.  In days past, a recruiter used to do the legwork to find the right candidate — and takes a large chunk that is part of your first-year salary if you stayed.  Ads would be posted in the local newspapers.  Companies would hire from their pet undergraduate schools where they had good yields before and they would train new hires (and some still do).  The demands to hire well have led to a large business system that is Internet job postings instead of some of the past systems– all feeding too many candidates or the wrong candidates to HR. 

HR staff are not necessarily your best friend in the process. They also have this awkward document called a Job Description, which may or may not match the job and the needed Transferable Skills well.

Your best bet: Come in by knowing or meeting the hiring manager or people they trust.

Your hardest bet: Winning the Resume Game, especially as it has become automated in this digital filter age.

You probably have a resume of some type, though you might not have updated it yet. Let’s start with some resume basics, which include that resumes have quietly been changing a lot in the past few years. So it may be time to update it anyway.

Resumes can do several things:

  • Be something to be Filtered quickly — and often they are scanned instead of read for the first pass at an organization. In fact, computers are now reading them, which we will return to shortly.
  • Be something that someone who is supporting you can hand to someone else to recommend you
  • Be something that sits in a digital pile of hundreds of other resumes and not be read by a person at all

It can be a bragging device to represent you or a reason you are filtered out for a job. It can be a poor way for you to tell your story to yourself. And, given the way that computers will help with the filtering, it needs to be customized to the job.

So, is the resume itself the first thing to create?


It is time to start with the Super Resume! Ta da!

Let’s start first with what you have done and the Transferable Skills you want to highlight. You also have three versions of your story that you created with your maps that may have nuggets to pull from that are not in your current resume content.

Write on a paper (or the back of your resume) the Transferable Skills that you want to do in your next job or series of jobs. Highlight or mark the top 3. Now, go to your resume, and highlight or mark every item that supports those skills.

What percentage of your resume did you mark as helping your story? What else is left? Do those items support your story? Add flavor? Confuse or muddy the story?


Optional – Give your resume to at least one friend, and ask them to read it for 30 seconds, then have them write on the back the main 3 things that they see from it. Match those list items to your Transferable Skill list. Is your story getting across? Are they seeing other cool things? Or are they reading a different story than you intend?

We’re going to work our way to a Super Resume, the mother or father of all resumes, that you can pull from going forward.