So much of job searching can feel like guesswork, from launching your resume into the ethers of the internet to crossing your fingers after an interview. What’s likeliest to catch the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers today, and how can you give your application an advantage?
Recruiters at CDW don’t believe best practices for candidates should be proprietary information. As talent acquisition leaders for the top multi-brand technology solutions provider, CDW’s recruiters are deeply connected to the company’s overarching investment in diversity & inclusion. And with that comes a drive to help women craft careers that speak to their skills and fulfill their passions.
This drive is undoubtedly part of the reason why women who work here speak so enthusiastically about their experiences. One coworker said of CDW in her review on Fairygodboss: “CDW has a vibrant and inclusive culture where women can thrive. There are many prominent female figures (including the CEO, COO and CHRO) as role models, who are all very giving of their time to provide guidance and mentorship.” Another commented on the “kind women across leadership,” and still another called the environment a “very positive one, with lots of opportunity for growth.”
In keeping with this theme of female leaders who believe in reaching down and giving other women a hand up the ladder, Fairygodboss handpicked career advice from four of CDW’s senior recruiters. They shared the resume hacks that almost always get their attention (think “power verbs”), the job search tips likeliest to land you an interview and what they think other women should know about life and work at CDW.
What makes a resume stand out from the crowd? What are some of the things you want to see included?
Wendy Pantano: “A strong summary of qualifications at the top of your resume — you want your resume to quickly sum you up to ensure you aren’t skipped over. When recruiters have several resumes to review for a specific role, they tend to skim; if your qualifications are at the top and easily summarized, this will ensure your resume is easily reviewed! Be sure to use power verbs when summarizing your experience — like “improved,” “initiated” and “developed,” for instance. Make sure you are quantifying your success, whether it’s cost savings or a percentage of growth. And highlight any certifications you’ve obtained in this section, too.”
Lynn Saratore: “Highlight your accomplishments in a simple, bulleted format. Ensure you construct your resume specifically for the stretch role you are pursuing.”
Tricia Stone-Lively: “The best way to make your resume stand out is to use the job description as a guide and be conscious of the type of role you are applying to when including content. For example, if you’re applying for an IT role, you’ll want to make sure you list technical knowledge that aligns with the experience needed for the role. If you’re applying for a Product or Brand Management role, you’ll want to include your experience building brand awareness.”
Jenny Romans: “Make it clean and concise! Your resume should speak to the specific position at hand. You want to show that your skills and experience are relevant to the organization and position you’re applying for. I love to see numbers, stats and facts that prove how successful a person has been in their career.”
How about tips that can help lead to a phone screen or interview?
Pantano: “Network, network, network! The power of networking goes a long way. Research the companies you’re interested in and connect on LinkedIn with people who have roles that you would be interested in. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those connections to ask them about their role and their thoughts on the company they work for.”
Stone-Lively: “Be conscious of the requirements for the role you’re applying to. First, you need to make sure your experience aligns with the requirements. If it does, don’t be afraid to use those keywords in your resume. Often times managers and recruiters are going through several resumes at one time and use keyword searches to determine if a candidate is going to move forward in the process.”
Saratore: “Utilize social media and your network to determine who within the targeted organization is in a leadership role. Reach out and ask to have a conversation or be introduced to the potential hiring manager.”
Romans: “Use your network! The market is competitive and sometimes it’s all about who you know.”
For those curious about careers at CDW, what do you think people should know about life here?
Pantano: “CDW is passionate about empowering all coworkers and embracing diversity. We are a company led by several women, including our CEO. CDW encourages its coworkers to develop and determine their own path through continuing education, training and mentorships. As a woman, I am proud to work for such a respectful, compassionate, positive and supportive company that empowers colleagues to grow and develop.”
Stone-Lively: “I would describe CDW’s culture as an inclusive and empowering culture that promotes a sense of belonging and value. The CDW leadership team encourages diverse thinking, wants coworkers to bring new ideas to the table, and inspires and encourages ideation, learning, and networking. I personally have had the opportunity to be a part of several initiatives and projects that allowed me to step out of my day-to-day duties and challenge myself. As a result, I have career fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment.”
Saratore: “CDW offers a wonderful opportunity to grow your career based on your personal interests and aspirations while providing guidance on how to work toward those goals. Also, work-life balance is just as important to CDW as ensuring coworkers have a satisfying and rewarding career.”
Romans: “Every voice matters, and hard work is rewarded. Our culture is one of a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. We strive to be the best in our industry and are always looking to add top talent to our organization.”
What’s your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Pantano: “Ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated and your ‘About’ section summarizes your experience. Use as many keywords as you can that relate to your experience and the role you’re looking for. Those keywords will help your profile to show up in companies’ searches. Also, it’s important to join online groups in your field of experience. This is important for several reasons, including networking, job advice and information on companies. Most of all, believe in yourself and your confidence will come through.”
Stone-Lively: “Have confidence in your skills. Don’t be afraid to network on professional social media sites and self-promote. Most recruiters use sites like LinkedIn to source candidates. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and lists your professional skills, as well as your interests.”
Saratore: “Don’t be afraid to do something different with your career. Stretch yourself by leveraging your experience as a foundation but pursue roles that you may consider out of your reach.”
Romans: “It’s a competitive market right now. Know what you’re passionate about and go after it! Be determined and relentless in your career search. Showcase your experience and be bold!”
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