Pattie Hunt Sinacole advises an engineer on a resume question

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Q:  Throughout my current resume, I have included several logos.  I have worked for some very recognizable companies.  With my current job search, I am now focused on both small and large companies.  I am a mechanical engineer.  Some say they “hate” the logos.  What is your opinion on logos embedded within a resume?  Second question, are there fake jobs posted on different sites?

A:   The goal of a resume is to provide a summary of your skills and professional experience but also to land you an interview (and hopefully your next role!) with a prospective employer.  Some interviewers may have strong opinions about logos on resumes.  If interviewers “hate” your resume, then perhaps they are not sharing your resume with others?  Logos are unusual on a resume, unless you are a graphics or design person.

Additionally, sometimes logos can be problematic for resume scanning systems.  Large employers often use resume scanning systems.   Within these large companies, a resume is scanned into a database which makes a resume much easier to review, and then retrieve, if there is interest by a talent acquisition person or a hiring manager.  Sometimes these scanning systems are a bit selective, even finicky.  Typically, these applicant tracking systems (ATS) dislike unusual fonts, photos or logos.  With some systems, a logo is displayed as a black box.  If a company is using such a system, you want your resume to be one of the resumes which is easily scanned and then hopefully reviewed and retrieved by those responsible for hiring new employees.

In response to your follow-up question, I would be shocked if companies were posting fake jobs on reputable sites, like Boston.com, LinkedIn and other professional/trade association sites.  On LinkedIn, an employer can post a free job, one at a time.  While the role can be searched by a job seeker, there are limitations.  Paid job posts are placed in front of qualified candidates, and these jobs “rise to the top” of search results.  If there are 122 mechanical engineer posts, and a company opts for a free post, yours may be number 122.  The other advantage of a paid job post on LinkedIn is that a candidate will receive an alert when a suitable role has been posted.  These qualified candidates still need to be screened.  Algorithms are helpful, but they are not foolproof.  As an example, a candidate may have “Greater Boston” listed as their location and the candidate may live in Otis, Massachusetts.  Industry or professional association sites most often charge a flat fee based on a specific time frame.  The most common timeframe is a month.  Sometimes members may receive discounted pricing from professional associations.   There may be some sites that have fake roles posted, but they are the least commonly known sites.  Are there some stale roles out there?  Probably.  Perhaps an employee is on vacation and a role is taken down a week after a candidate accepted an offer.  I think dated postings are more common than fake postings.

This is a great time to be a candidate.  With unemployment in Massachusetts hovering around 3%, and a mechanical engineering background, you are in a strong position.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.

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