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In a recent nationwide survey, CareerBuilder.com found that nearly one-in-four human resources managers said they receive, on average, more than 75 resumes for each open position; 42 percent receive more than 50 resumes. This survey was conducted online among 252 human resources professionals and 8,038 U.S. employees.

Other key findings:

  • The vast majority of human resources managers (78 percent) reported at least half of the resumes they receive from various recruitment resources are from unqualified candidates.
  • Thirty-eight percent of human resources managers report they spend one to two minutes reviewing a new application; 17 percent spend less than one minute.

With numbers like that, you need to know how to make your resume stand out among the masses.

Executive Quotes and Tips

Advice from Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com:

  • “Human resources managers serve on the front lines of a company’s recruitment efforts and are often the gatekeepers of the interview process. Because they can receive a large volume of applications, you may only have a matter of seconds to make a lasting impression. Make sure to include a career summary at the top, which provides a quick snapshot of your skills and accomplishments.”
  • “Half of workers we surveyed said their resumes are not up to date. You should always have a current resume and portfolio ready to go because you never know what the next day will bring whether it’s a weak or healthy economy.”
  • “Fifty-one percent of human resources managers reported they use an applicant tracking systems to screen and manage their resumes. It’s important to incorporate keywords from the job posting into your resume because it will increase your chances of appearing near the top of the employer’s ranking of the most relevant candidates.”
  • “Many workers, especially those operating in industries that have experienced mass layoffs, are looking to new industries and professions to find opportunities. In these cases, your best option may be a functional resume, which lists experience by skill categories rather than chronologically.”
  • “If you’re a recent college graduate, make sure to include volunteer work on your resume as most employers consider this to be relevant experience.”
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Right about this time of year, life gets a bit crazy. School’s in full swing, Spring Break’s too far away, but summer’s close enough that you have to decide if you’ll take more classes, get a job, graduate, etc. Not to mention the fact that, if you live in a cold climate, the snow’s lost its charm and you miss the days when wearing two layers of clothing was enough.

Bottom line: Stress can get really high right now.

What to do? Well, I’ve got some ideas.

Relax
Get a massage. Read a book. Veg out on the couch and watch TV without thinking about all the papers you’re not writing. Your brain can’t function if it doesn’t have a little bit of rest.

Have fun
There’s a reason you loved recess when you were a kid and you love Facebooking when you should be studying. You can’t always be serious and concentrating. Everything in moderation. Play a friendly game of cards or football or Guitar Hero. It’ll feel good to laugh and will help you get some work done.

Manage your time
There’s a reason administrative assistants and executive assistants get paid so much: They simplify the daily lives of other people. It’s a lot easier to function when somebody else is taking care of things. Most of us don’t have that luxury, sadly. But if we take a cue from them and realize that certain tasks always need to be done, we can set aside time for those things. You (hopefully) do laundry and buy groceries every week, so get on a schedule. One less thing on your mind makes life easier.

Reassess your situation
Sometimes it helps to figure out if everything you’ve got going on in your life is necessary. Are you in seven organizations, holding down a job, interning, and trying to squeeze friends in there somewhere? Maybe that’s all doable for you; maybe it’s not. Just make sure you’re doing what you want.

These are pretty simple ideas, and none of them are groundbreaking, I know. But when you’re in the middle of a stressful time, it’s really easy to lose sight of what you need to be doing, both for school and for yourself.

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