Intelligent Hire: An Insider's Guide to Resumes

Job hunting can be a stressful and difficult activity especially in today’s competitive job market. With unemployment levels higher than ever, it is important to make a positive first impression when searching for your next career.

Your resume is the key to getting your foot in the door. It doesn’t matter how many jobs you apply to if you have an ineffective, bland or low impact resume it’s going to be disregarded immediately and you are not going to get an interview.

Remember hiring managers are busy and typically receive 10 or more resumes per job posting. Their job isn’t to read resumes all day, therefore, it’s critical that your resume can stand out and make an impact at first scan.

As an insider to the professional recruiting industry I have seen many different resumes; some good/some bad. To make sure you are making a positive and professional first impression here are some things to remember…

What are Hiring Manager’s Looking For?

1. When a hiring manager is reviewing your resume they are looking to see what you have done. It’s important to include what you have been responsible for, as well as, the level of responsibility you have held. Include information on the environments you have worked in. Be detailed. And finally, hiring managers are looking to see what kind of a match you are for their position. Be sure to include relative information that fits their needs.

Layout and Overall Appearance

 

2.      Looks are not everything, however, the quality and neatness of your resume’s layout can provide clues to your motivation and interest.  It can also send up red flags if sloppy and inattentive.  Tailor your resume to the job.  This displays foresight and care.  And yes, consider printing your resume on quality resume paper.  This shows selection level.

Red Flags

3.     A) Beware of writing and grammatical errors. B) Avoid leaving gaps in employment history. (C) Do not provide hazy descriptions of your job duties – this can be interpreted as a way to disguise lack of performance.

Resume Catagories

4.      Experience – Be sure to include relevant work experience.  Be detailed when describing your responsibilities.  Questions to consider:  What does your responsibility include?  What, quantity, kind, size, budget, level, track record, figures?  Detailed and powerful statements will make your resume 10x more effective.  Education – This shows the employer that you have goals and have taken the necessary steps to train and educate yourself in an attempt to meet these goals.  Affiliations and Activities – These need to be highly relevant and can be bonus points to your resume.  Having memberships shows your level of engagement and motivation.  Hobbies – this is the least helpful portion of your resume for a hiring manager.  However, be careful when including hobbies as this can indicate that you have limited work history or educational background or that you have many distractions.  Not all things derived from this section are necessarily unfavorable, however.  This can show the employer your level of energy and helps the employer learn more about your interests. 

 

Remember, a good resume is a critical first impression to landing that next job.  Take your time and be mindful of the layout and information you are submitting.  Good hunting!

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