contributed by Dr. Stephen Bangert
It is generally agreed that a resume is an essential tool both for managing your career and when searching for a job. But how should it read?
A recent article referenced a Career Builder survey noting that 51% of hiring managers said they use a computerized applicant tracking system, and when read by a human 38% said they spent one or two minutes viewing it, while 17% said they spent less then one minute reviewing a resume. In short, you have precious little time to make a favorable impression. So again the question: How should it read?
Let’s look at your resume from the perspective of the reader.
When a hiring manager reviews a resume for an opening, an anticipated need or to assess available talent, they want to get a sense of corporate level, accomplishments, and credentials. If the resume “passes” the first read, the second is a more in-depth evaluation of your accomplishments, the significance of what was done, and career progression. Thus your resume needs to accommodate the reader and deliver a message that they can remember about you and the potential value to their organization.
So here are some tips for you to consider:
- If you are beyond beginning management, DON’T try this at home! It is dangerous to write your own resume. This is not a do-it-yourself project. Your resume represent you, your professional image. Most people are not professional writers, they lack perspective and find it hard to be objective. Suggestion: Call Executive Coaching & Consulting for a critique and advice.
- Your resume needs to have a single message. What is the brand that you are promoting? How can you verbalize this message? What do you want to implant in the mind of the reader?
- Your resume is your personal marketing tool. It needs to highlight your skills and achievements and needs to get the message across without getting lost in detail. Remember: less is more. Ideally it will leave the reader wanting more and asking questions—thus the need to contact you.
- Project value by quantifying your achievements. This puts your achievement in a context and shows the significance of your actions
- Electrify your resume. Reading resumes can be boring. Help your resume stand out through the use of action verbs that convey a dynamic and energy. You might also sparingly use emotionally charged words.
- Check your resume for spelling, grammar and content. Have others read it to ensure that your statements make sense.