Elite Executive column: Will your resume hit the YES pile?
Imagine this, it’s late at night and a HR Manager or Recruiter has 120 resumes to get through and a shortlist of no more than ten to compile for interviews. Now think of the resume that you are going to send...
Market conditions are tough right now and you are competing against hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of other applicants. Don't just email your resume off and 'hope for the best'. If you are serious about finding the right job then your resume must reflect that.
Nowadays it is important that you present a results-focused resume. It should be easy to read and your prospective employer should find it easy to extract the relevant information. It should be no more than 2-3 pages long. Remember, the purpose of your resume is not to get you the job; it is to get you an interview, so make it snappy and punchy!
The interview is your opportunity to go into detail with your prospective employer, not your resume. Try to use bullet points where applicable and keep the statements short and to the point.
List your ‘achievements’ under each job to highlight what contribution you brought to your previous employer.
Most resume readers are short on time and on patience and will sooner reject your application rather than calling you for answers. Here are some of the most common mistakes found on applications:
• Resume is either too long or too short.
• Too ‘fluffy’ – ‘dedicated’, ‘conscientious’ or ‘good communicator’ is all well and good but you will be expected to substantiate your claims with skills and competencies to match.
• No value-add- if your resume does not stand out, it will end up in the ‘maybe’ pile and guaranteed you will never receive a call. It must scream out to the reader and offer what the others don’t.
• No focus – listing everything will cloud a resume, concentrate on what is relevant to the job or industry you are applying for.
• Grammar mistakes and typos – this is nearly a guarantee your resume will end up in the bin!
• Visually unappealing – try to avoid the online templates. A basic font and clear outline is all that’s needed.
• These days it is not necessary to put your picture on your resume. If you do, ensure that it is a ‘professional’ image.
Remember also that a “one-size fits all” approach to your resume won’t cut it in a marketplace of increasingly specialized needs. So plan on having several versions of your resume adjusted for the different jobs you are applying for.
Finally, the biggest mistake people make when applying for jobs is not reading the job advert thoroughly. Review your resume and adjust it to contain the “key words” that employers and recruiters will be searching for.
If you follow these guidelines, your resume will demonstrate your commitment to both the job and the company you are applying to, this will guarantee you will end up in the ‘Yes’ pile! Good luck!