If You’re Resume isn’t Working Hard for You, Fire it!
I’m a sales recruiter who looks at resumes for hours and hours every day. I have done this for more than a decade. Every day I wake up to an inbox of at least 50 resumes and the number grows throughout the day. What have I learned after reviewing, evaluating, and deciding on all of these documents?
Most people underestimate the importance of their resume.
Why is your resume important? It is a visual impression representing your skills, accomplishments, and career success as a professional. It demonstrates your communication skills, ability to capture and convey concepts, details, and ideas. It stands in your stead. It is your proxy.
What your resume should do is get you through the interview door. Think of it as a ticket that gets scanned at the entryway of a large public event. It either has the right code that opens the turnstile or the wrong code that keeps you locked out while others pass right on through.
Don’t think your resume’s important? Think about how many opportunities you’ve missed out on because of a few minor mistakes on your resume.
I’ve had hiring managers refuse to interview candidates with spelling mistakes and typos on their resume. Seemingly small mistakes can close big doors come interview time.
So if you don’t have a winning resume, you’ll just have to work harder at developing one. Either get professional help or invest the time it takes to learn more about writing your own resume.
Three Key Areas to Consider When Evaluating Your Resume
Key #1--Content: What does your resume say? Even if you can’t hear it, your resume does a lot of talking for you. Is it full of fluff or stacked with measurable achievements and results? Are you administering or spearheading? Are you coordinating or collaborating? There’s a difference in how you’re perceived by the verbs you pick to describe your achievements. Including strong action verbs and content that relays specific achievements will help you form a powerful first impression.
Key #2--Format: The design—style, font, white space, consistency, margins, length, color, etc.. will convey an impression to the reader about who you are. If your resume is cluttered and lacks white space, the readability of your resume will drastically decrease no matter what content is on your resume.
If you can’t get the formatting right, it’ll seem like you haven’t kept up with technology or the times.
Key #3--Consolidation: Pare down your resume’s content and make every bullet point, every word, and every page count. Too many bullets or a three page resume implies you’re either unorganized or have trouble being concise. Hiring managers might hesitate to call you and ask the questions they need answered to evaluate your fit for the job. Because they’re afraid you’ll eat up thirty minutes of their time just so they can gather a few simple data points.
Remember less can be more when it comes to writing your resume.
Getting these elements right can take time and practice. If your resume is under representing you, fire it. Start over and craft something better. After all...your career depends on it. You never know what new opportunities await you. Getting your resume right the first time will help you get the job you deserve.
What can you do to update your resume so it’s working hard to help you land quality interviews?