If only I knew what they wanted to see – on my resume, that is!
Everyone seems to have an opinion on resumes, what works and what doesn’t. With 30 years working a recruitment desk I am no different, but my opinions are right, or at least I think they are.
In the 80’s a client showed me the latest resume trend. A hard cover book with over 20 pages of minutia covering everything from the candidates first part-time job delivering newspapers, to the books he had read, the movies he had seen, the television shows he liked, the places he had visited and on and on and on.
The resume cost over $1000.00, a huge sum in those days, and the client thought it was a joke and he laughed about it, but he also interviewed the candidate and hired him.
One thing I know is that oddball things can work and that connecting with someone late at night in a bar and writing your contact info on a napkin can end up with a job offer, but for most people the tried and true approach, especially in today’s market, will work the best.
In the internet age we are all about instant gratification, 140 characters (including spaces) and the 20 second resume review, so you need to know what we look for in those all important 20 seconds.
1. Where do you live – local to the position or is relocation required.
2. Education level – every position has one, even if unstated.
3. Work environment, past and present: manufacturing, service, office, corporate, distribution, transportation, hospitality, health care, teaching etc., plus: product or service offered, customer and any other relevant information that quickly shows your knowledge and skill set.
4. Positions held by job title and career progression.
The two main reasons for immediate rejection are:
(a) We do not know what the companies you have worked for actually do.
(b) Your experience is just not a fit for the position you have applied for.
If we see 100 resumes or online profiles in a day and spend three minutes on each one that’s 300 minutes or five hours. No breaks, lunch, chats in the office, phone calls or emails – not going to happen.
Brutal yes, but listings on our website get picked up by job banks and those who have signed up with these services often get postings sent directly to them.
On recent posted positions we received over 300 resumes in just a few days. In two hours we rejected 95% and marked the rest for further review.
The 95% were permanently deleted from our system.
Unfair? Absolutely, but that’s the way it is. There is just no time to call everyone or to Google company names.
Understanding this can help you put together a resume that works more effectively.
At this point I usually get a number of comments from people who tell me that, oh yes, but I got a great job with no experience or my neighbours friend hired me to be her international sales director, and yes, I know it happens often as many find jobs through their network, the people who know them, know what they can offer and trust them, but for most, getting a new job is a grind out and hopefully getting an insider perspective will help you.
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And don’t forget to make a note to watch for our next LinkedIn post:
What we don’t want to see – on your resume, that is!
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