Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A resume reader’s confession…some truths about resumes from my perspective

I am busy and probably have ten other things on my plate in addition to reviewing resumes and screening candidates. You have no more than 10 seconds (and in many cases less) to grab my attention. That’s it. So how are you going to grab my attention?

Most resumes today are housed in large resume databases. Most searches of those databases are done by HR generalists and recruiters that while skilled in the art of staffing, are not fully versed in all of the positions that they recruit for. How can they be? That is the dilemma that you face. Your solution is…?

I am busy. At this moment, I only care about what I am looking for. You either have the skills and experience I need or you don’t. As I am reviewing your resume very little else matters to me. Can you help me fill my need?

Sorry, but your marital status, age, weight, high school attended and love of butterflies really doesn’t interest me. In fact, it has me wonder why you would think I cared in the first place.

The look and feel of your resume does matter. With all of the books, articles and general information about writing resumes available, if your resume isn’t well formatted and visually pleasing, consider the red flag

Typos = Careless = Poor Quality = NO THANK YOU.

I rarely read cover letters. I will read the email message that accompanies a resume. If your resume doesn’t pique my interest in the allotted 10 seconds I will NEVER read your cover letter. Couldn’t you address whatever you want to say in the cover letter in the resume itself?

Unless you are in academia the only purpose of your resume is to generate an interview. If your resume is not generating interviews it is not well constructed or you are not targeting the right jobs. Don’t use what doesn’t work.

I would be happy to offer some simple and pragmatic solutions to all of the scenarios and questions posed above. Just ask…

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