Episode 333: The HR Job Market Is Hot! Resume Writing With Shennee Rutt

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Episode 333: The HR Job Market Is Hot! Resume Writing With Shennee Rutt

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Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools and case studies for the business leader, HR, and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Episode 333: The HR Job Market Is Hot! Resume Writing With Shennee Rutt (@ShenneeRutt)

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:26.52] Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace The HR Exam. I feel like I need to start this podcast with some sort of song that the job market is hot, hot, hot. It’s hot. The HR job market is on fire. All right. Fire. HR job postings on indeed are up 87 percent. Eighty-seven percent since the beginning of the pandemic. Maybe you have had 87 percent more phone calls from recruiters asking if you’re interested in, in job opportunities. It’s just one of the signs of the significance of our industry in HR at the current moment. HR is leading conversations in the boardroom and we are in demand. This is our time to shine and jump into a new opportunity. If you are thinking about a new job this year, I wanted to name this podcast “New Year, New You,” but I kind of felt like it was cliché. But if you’re looking for a new job in the new year, you have come to the right place. And I know so many of you are and I want to be able to help with that.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:01:57.27] Well, since I’m hearing so many of you are thinking about a job change, I wanted to tap an expert to talk to us about what we need to know. What do we need to do in the new year when it comes to upgrading our resume and our social profiles? How do we need to prepare for that new job? How can we get ourselves in order to step into that new job opportunity and hopefully a higher salary in the New Year? Because, frankly, after these two years, we all deserve a heck of a race with all the work that we’ve been doing in HR. Today we’re talking to Shennee Rutt, she’s my friend, a founder, executive resume writer, and career strategist at Laurel Virtual Solutions. Shennee is the resume writing pro for HR Pros. She does a lot of great work with HR leaders. As a former recruiter of 15+ years, she knows what executives and hiring managers want to see in those resumes of candidates that they choose to hire. While she focuses on HR, Shennee writes for all industries and career levels, from entry-level to C-suite executive professionals. Shennee, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Shennee Rutt: [00:03:04.98] Thank you, Jessica. How are you?

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Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:07.95] I am great. We’re talking about New Year, New You. I know that sounds lame. Maybe it is, but stepping into the New Year and maybe a new career. So welcome, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you here.

Shennee Rutt: [00:03:21.75] Yaaay, thank you so much. I’m happy to be here. So happy to be here.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:27.09] It is a new year, 2022, and after a very chaotic two years, I wanted to ask you what kinds of requests are you seeing the most from people in HR for career strategy help?

Shennee Rutt: [00:03:40.95] That is such a good question, and we have really, really had a tough two years, to say the least. What I am seeing most in in reference to answering that question is a need to deep dive into each of my clients really into the breadth of their experience, positioning them for more leveraging and really identifying where they are now, where they can go and opening them up to greater possibilities in their industry or HR specifically.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:04:22.80] So are you seeing people who are looking for a career change or is it maybe people who have been out of work for a while? Like what is, what’s coming into your like LinkedIn in mail, or your email and, and on the phone? What are people looking for?

Shennee Rutt: [00:04:38.91] Well, I’m seeing a combination of a couple of things. I’m seeing one particular client profile, I would say, is somebody who has been in the space for over 10 years and has worked their way up from perhaps a generalist role and just, just needs an extra little boost of help in the leveraging of realigning their skills both on LinkedIn and their resume to position themselves for perhaps a Senior HR Business Partner opportunity that they are definitely qualified for. But on paper, it doesn’t articulate that. And then the other, certainly the other possibilities are that are coming across my, my desk and in LinkedIn land for sure are people who just need a refocus. They need. They need to revamp. They need a refresh. They just as they may want to pivot all together for career. So, you know, I think I think people are to the point now where they’re looking for more, they want more, they need more. They’re not willing to settle.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:47.07] I love that’s the direction that they’re going because they shouldn’t have to do those things. And why? Why do you think there is such an uptick in looking for jobs right now? I feel like everybody’s in the market. Why is it a good time to look for a job?

Shennee Rutt: [00:06:03.20] I think it’s a great time to look for a job because organizations are all having to reevaluate how they operate everything from what are we going to offer for wellness initiatives, mental health? I mean, there are companies LinkedIn and Spotify gave their employees a week off in the fall, early fall. I think it was before Halloween, and they, they, they told them, all don’t work, don’t come in, don’t check your email, go, go somewhere or spend time with your family. Bake cookies, whatever it is you want to do. But just, you know, take the time for you. And I think that’s, that’s actually a great incentive. But companies are not going to be able to operate the way they did before this pandemic. So, you know, it is I think the advantage is in the job seekers’ quirk.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:56.52] Absolutely. And I think that right now there are more HR jobs and recruiting jobs than ever before in recorded history, open jobs right now. So if you are an HR leader who is thinking about looking for a new job, I think this year is the year to do it. It’s one of the reasons why I started my new job board. Workology has our own HR and recruiting job board and there are so many jobs and so many good people who are open to new opportunities, I feel like with HR in the spotlight, the time is now.

Shennee Rutt: [00:07:36.72] The time is now and you know, the the the jobs are there, so people are, they’re on it. They’re looking, they are hungry for more.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:49.62] But they need to get their digital stuff, organize their LinkedIn profile, their resumes like they need to get all those things done or put together before they start looking for work.

Shennee Rutt: [00:08:02.30] This is true.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:08:03.53] What are you seeing from clients about why people are shifting roles or leaving their jobs? What’s the, what’s the factor that’s driving this great resignation? Great realignment, whatever? Why are people leaving?

Shennee Rutt: [00:08:15.77] Wow. Well, it’s been called so many different things, and I think that just keeps evolving. Every other day on LinkedIn, they’re calling it the reinvention, the re-evaluation, the whatever you want to term it for the, for the moment du jour, I suppose. But one of the, one of the major glaring insights that I’ve noticed is that they just aren’t being respected, they aren’t being valued. I had a C-suite client walk away, message me walk away from a six-figure salary just because she had put over 20 years into the company and her job was being reduced to almost administrative level things. And she’s, she’s far to accomplish to be sitting, you know, around answering the phone and typing things. So she’s, she’s asked for more. We realigned her, we got her organized and ready, and she is. She’s applying for CHRO and Chief People officer positions. Now, I’m so excited for her.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:18.47] That’s amazing.

Shennee Rutt: [00:09:19.36] And people are just walking away from a culture that doesn’t suit them anymore.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:25.13] That’s, that’s the realignment. People are making some choices and saying, Hey, the, this job isn’t the kind of environment or the hours or the experience that I’m really looking for anymore. And I think that that is an absolutely OK thing to do. Boundaries are good.

Shennee Rutt: [00:09:42.26] It’s all sectors. It’s, it’s, it’s tech. I’ve seen it in one of my technology clients, in my global total rewards, amazing people. You know, these are, these are CHRO. These are, you know, chiefs of organizational development. They just, that’s it. They’ve had enough. They’re moving on.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:02.51] Well, let’s say for maybe argument’s sake that you’re not a senior HR leader who’s moving in to a chief people officer role. Do you think that it’s still the time if you’re a coordinator or your manager or you’re, or you’re maybe looking for for for something else?

Shennee Rutt: [00:10:22.55] I don’t think anybody should be sitting on a position and going to work and being miserable every day. You know, life is short. If anything, this has been a very insightful two years to realize that there’s a demand. There’s an there’s a movement. And you know, I’m seeing it from folks who are recruiters who are, you know, wanting to leverage into generalist role. They want to be marketing, you know, end of things. They, they just want to expand their horizons. So certainly it’s, it’s really all levels I’m seeing. All levels, all industries.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:11:04.55] Want to shift gears a little bit and switch over to the resume because that is the primary mechanism or tool that you use to showcase your skills when you’re applying for your job outside of an online application. What are the top five primary factors that everyone needs for a complete resume? Are there some components you can share with us without giving away your trade secrets?

Shennee Rutt: [00:11:29.64] Oh, sure. Well, the resume is composed into several sections, obviously, and right out the gate. The first, the first item of business is really having a strong header. You know your name, your title. Who are you? Do you have any certifications that need to be, you know, are you an MBA? Do you have, you know, the SHRM certifications, HRCI? Any of those things that are important with highlighting your qualifications certainly need to be at the top. And then we would move into the summary of who you are and what you know and why you are the best at what you do. Then we move into what used to be called the career summary. I like to call it the career narrative, which is basically your experience, your your job history, what you have done, where you have been, how long you’ve been there. Then I would move into core competencies and your skills, what you know, whether it’s strategic leadership, project management. Corporate communications process, inflammation, whatever it is, you know, how to do. And then, of course, technical acumen and education is still on the last page, whether it be one of three pages or one or two. So just the completeness and the just being decisive with how we tell your story. I believe you are.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:07.53] Which is really important, especially if a lot of people are moving. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of jobs open, but there’s also a lot of more applications and candidates for recruiters to sort through than maybe ever before.

Shennee Rutt: [00:13:20.10] Yes, there is.

Break: [00:13:21.90] Let’s take a reset. This is Jessica Miller-Merrill and you were listening to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace The HR Exam. Today, I’m talking with Shennee Rutt. She’s the founder, executive resume writer and career strategist for Laurel Virtual Solutions.

Break: [00:13:39.03] Personal and professional development is essential for successful HR leaders. Join Upskill HR to access live training, community, and over one hundred on-demand courses for the dynamic leader. HR recert credits available. Visit UpskillHR.com for more.

How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:54.72] What is the most common oversight you see for job seekers that they’re making on their resumes and or LinkedIn profiles?

Shennee Rutt: [00:14:02.13] The two, the two are distinctively, you know, different, and I think we covered what I see on the resume oversight. But the LinkedIn is a little bit more front and center, digitally speaking and what I see, the three things that I see folks really missing the mark on with LinkedIn is their profiles are incomplete. And what I mean by that is LinkedIn has a completeness barometer, so, the easiest way to explain that is if you go to apply for a job and you only fill out your application halfway, you know you’re not going to, it’s not going to be complete. So many folks leave a lot of blanks and their, their profile is incomplete and not fully optimized, and that’s what we work together on with myself and each individual client. Outdated experience for sure, meaning greater than 15 years. And you know, if you’re most, most of your career was centered with the top three employment, you know, then you have, why do you have, you know, 20 years ago listed on there? It’s not necessary. And then, of course, lack of engagement, for sure. Many folks want to position themselves and, you know, a minimum engagement of, of really attracting a good algorithm and engaging is, is at least being connected to 500 plus, you know, genuine LinkedIn connections. So, you know, we work together on improving engagement and teaching folks how to, how to leverage that best. So those are just a couple of things that I’m noticing.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:56.82] I love that, and I just want to add one more thing I, LinkedIn, I’m seeing a lot of visibility on LinkedIn polls right now. So if you’re looking to get some more eyeballs on your LinkedIn profile, I would recommend that you do polls and maybe it’s one or two a week, depending upon your comfort level. Just ask questions. It just seems to get, right now the algorithms loving polls. You’re going to get more views,

Shennee Rutt: [00:16:21.09] Polls and organic posts. I had an organic post that I, that I did last week, and I have almost a thousand comments and views, and it’s amazing when you just speak yourself and you’re empathetic or you comment or you have something insightful to share. You know, people just embrace that.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:16:44.88] I love it.

Shennee Rutt: [00:16:46.26] Yeah. So it’s good stuff. We just need to work with everybody to, you know, get everybody on on, on the right track. That’s all.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:16:55.26] What do you think are some major mistakes people can recover from that maybe actually make their resume stand out?

Shennee Rutt: [00:17:03.90] Well, overcoming is something we do together as a client and myself, you know, between the client and myself, but it’s very hard to write your own, your own resume. And I, and I think when you have a different perspective and you, you know, invite someone like me and to articulate how wonderful your skills are and, and talk to them one on one and get them to realize that they are, you know, so capable in their, their space that they don’t have this identified. And when we pulled this all out and place it in the appropriate, you know, spot on the resume, it just, it just pops and shines and, you know, high impact is what we’re going for, for sure.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:51.54] Let’s talk a little bit about ageism because I’m guessing that most of our listeners are over 30, maybe 40 or more. And that’s OK. What do you typically recommend for clients who are hesitant and maybe about making changes? Maybe they’re switching careers or leaving a job when they are over 40 and they might be more concerned about ageism?

Shennee Rutt: [00:18:12.33] Well, we talk about that. That’s ageism is, is a topic that is talked about on a daily basis, and most of my clients are the mid to senior level categories. So, I would say that you were fair and guesstimating that many are 40 and up. So. And this is becoming a little bit more of a a concern than it used to be several years ago, I think because of probably because of the, the number of social media channels that are available now. What we really try to do is we try to talk one on one about what their level of anxiety is and really what I try to do is put their mind at ease that, you know, we are really just trying to highlight there less, a lot less about the education and more about who they are and what they know. And that’s certainly front and center is, is the LinkedIn profile. It is so important to have a professional headshot, and it’s even more important to have, you know, the background photo too, because the two connect one another who you are, and then the background speaks to your industry, your passion, what you can offer. You know, I think, you know, many of these folks who are out in the, in the, the job interview space and marketing and looking for new opportunities, many of these folks have had to be interviewed or even thought about needing to prepare for a Zoom call and over 10 years. So I think more coaching, more strategy, more, more discussions about how to act. You know, when you’re talking to Zoom, it’s, on a Zoom interview, it’s really important to interview back and to use body language and to, you know, relax and be yourself and treat it more like a conversation and just be authentic.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:20:28.59] I love that. Well, Shennee, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I know I’m going to include your LinkedIn in our show notes, but how is the best way for our listeners to get in touch with you?

Shennee Rutt: [00:20:40.59] Well, certainly LinkedIn is where many, LinkedIn and Twitter and certainly my email, [email protected]. I’m happy to hop on an exploratory call with anyone and see what we can do together one on one. So we’re, you know, we’re passionate here at Laurel Virtual Solutions about writing high-impact profiles for successful professionals.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:14.28] Well, thank you so much, Shennee. I really appreciate your time and expertise today. In addition to our podcast, I wanted to share a snippet from a previous podcast episode, which I’m linking to in the show notes of this particular podcast, but it is about how to increase your earning potential in HR and recruiting specifically salary negotiation, how to get more money when you’re negotiating your HR or recruiting salary. This is a previous podcast from 2019 with Catherine Jewell. I’m going to include a highlight for you about salary negotiation because this is the next step. Once you’ve got your resume in order, you’ve got your social profiles and your LinkedIn all good to go and you’re in the interview, how do you set the expectation of what you want to be earning if maybe you haven’t been earning that much money? Or how do you give yourself a little bit or a lot of bit of an increase? Stepping into that new job in that HR role?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:10.95] What’s the first thing that H.R. leaders should be doing to try to get them over that hundred k hump?

Catherine Jewell: [00:22:17.62] Well, the first thing almost sounds too easy. It’s never tell what you earn when you’re looking for a job, the only person who should know what you earn is your spouse and your career coach. And so when you’re looking for a job, the most important thing is to act as if you are already at the 100k level, so you just hold yourself differently and, in the job hunt, you act as if you’re at that level already.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:55.92] I feel like that could be a challenge for some of us who are in HR and we do maybe salary and compensation, and we understand pay bands and raises arranges what you’re saying is don’t share that information about your current salary. So I wonder if for HR leaders, if I would be a little uncomfortable because it’s part of my job in HR to ask these questions, I’m how do, how do people get over that?

Catherine Jewell: [00:23:25.29] Well, what you need to remember is when you’re seeking a new position, you need to act like all the other job seekers. And so you don’t want to reveal that information, and there are a number of different ways to get around it. But the most important way to get around it is to simply avoid the conversation. So when, when a recruiter calls you from your LinkedIn profile, you’re going to start out by saying, Well, you know, I, the job sounds really interesting. Tell me more. And they’re going to say, how much do you earn? And you’re going to say, Well, I’m a human resources manager in a global company. I think you could probably guess my salary, but it’s more important right now that we know that this is the right job fit. So in other words, you’re going to avoid the answer. You do not speak numbers.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:24:27.03] I like that. So it might be a little bit of interview practice where somebody asks you that question so that you can be prepared to be able to handle the response, which is not telling your current salary and just saying, you know, you probably can guess my range based on my experience and what I do at XYZ.

Catherine Jewell: [00:24:48.42] Right. You can also turn it around and say what is the salary band for this position. And then if they’re willing to reveal any number, you can say we’re in the same ballpark. We’re good. Let’s continue talking.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:25:05.25] Let’s talk about this. So let’s say that we want to make some more salary. We want a higher salary, but maybe we’re not yet ready to start a new job at a new company. How does one go about getting more pay, maybe in their current role, or maybe in a different role in the organization?

Catherine Jewell: [00:25:25.50] Oh, that’s a great question. Well, number one, you want to keep your eye out for higher-level jobs within your company. And because sometimes a way to get a substantial raise is to move sideways in the company. And I’ve seen a lot of HR professionals move into other departments, such as operations, training if they have a separate training department. And so you want to post for higher-level jobs. But another great idea, and I’ve had a number of clients do this, they actually propose a new position that does not currently exist, but really is necessary. So for example, one of my HR clients who was in training under the HR banner decided that the company needed a learning management director, and this is a person who would basically catalog all the job knowledge for the entire company and be a resource to the training department and the HR department. And he actually proposed that job and got that higher-level job. And it was a raise for him from about this high 70s to the low 100s.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:27:00.54] I like it. I think this is interesting because not once did you say ask for more money in your current role. Do you think that’s an option or do you think that’s a career killer?

Catherine Jewell: [00:27:13.35] You absolutely want to do that, but timing is everything, and the performance review is the obvious time to go in and you want to come in armed with information. You want to be armed with information about what are other people being paid at your level. And so you want to do your research on Salary.com and make sure that you’re being paid equitably for what your, you know, for what your title currently is. The other thing is, you want to bring in your achievement list and show how you are actually operating outside your position. Most people who have been in a job for, let’s say, more than four or five years are actually operating one level above their title. And if you can convince management that you are actually operating at a different level, you can really substantiate maybe a $20,000 increase in pay.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:28:23.30] I am so glad to have the opportunity to connect with Shenae on the podcast today. Sometimes we’re too close to our own experiences to really showcase our skills and experiences in HR, and that goes for salary negotiation too. Sometimes we are too close to it because we see it every single day. Yes, working with somebody like Shennee and Catherine is an investment, but the job market is hot, hot, hot right now. Plus, you have all these great experiences that you deserve to be compensated for. I think we can increase our earning potential 10,000 dollars, 20,000 dollars per year or more, or you can make the decision to work remotely or in a different capacity. The options are endless. The sky is really the limit. I’m linking to the Indeed report in the show notes of this podcast. Along with that, other podcasts that I mentioned with Catherine Jewell about salary negotiation so you can hear it in all detail. If you are in the job market, I’d love for you to visit Workology’s of these new job board at Jobs.Workology.com. And if you’re looking to post an HR or recruiting job, you can use the coupon code 50OFF. That’s 50OFF, all caps, and you can save 50 percent off your job posting through the end of January. That’s Jobs.Workology.com, 50OFF your coupon code for 50 percent off. I am all about working smarter, not harder, and being really strategic and focused about my work and my personal time off. We in HR deserve to work less and have more money, especially after the two wild years we have had. Honey, it’s been a lot. Thank you for joining the Workology Podcast. We’re sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace The HR Exam. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Until next time, visit Workology.com to listen to all our previous podcast episodes.

Connect with Shennee Rutt.



– Shennee Rutt on LinkedIn

– Shennee Rutt on Twitter

– Laurel Virtual Solutions on Facebook

– Ep 167 – How to Increase Your Earning Potential in HR

– Ladders.com survey on recruiter time spent on resume

 – HR pros are doing ‘heroic things’ — and they’re in high demand

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