“Time spent on hiring is time well spent.”
– Robert Half, American Businessman
For years, we have been ringing the death bell of the resume. It hasn’t died yet, there is still a need for job seekers to have a resume today – the biggest need? To have a good resume. In one week’s time, I have had three members of Gen Y contact me requesting help understanding the job market and if I could/would take a look at their resumes and give them pointers.
I understand resume parsing software and I am well aware of matching software which links resume/talent profiles to jobs. The problem is I am not a job seeker. The job seeker needs to know these things and they don’t. I have referred my Gen Y and Now Gen friends to a resume expert and friend, Christopher Fields, MLHR of The Resume Crusade. Why refer? Because Chris know his schtuff – he knows what is happening in the job market today and I want my friends to be assisted by an expert during their job search and resume refinement.
The Recruiter Scan
When I was actively recruiting, I could quickly review a resume and know within ten seconds whether or not I was going to call the job seeker – within ten seconds! In a recent post, How to Pass a Recruiter’s 6-second Resume Scan, Chris shares some keen insight. You should read the whole post, but here is a quick overview…
1. Word Count – Keep it at or under 700 words. Chris adds, “Resist the urge to pile on duties to try to make your resume longer thus making you feel more important about yourself. Just state the facts and the value you bring to the table.”
2. Heading – Your heading should be clear and concise. “Name, contact info; the best phone number, not all phone numbers, your email address, and maybe a link to your LinkedIn profile…”
3. Summary of Qualifications or Objective – “If you are going to have them, keep them short and sweet. No more than 3 sentences and they should tell the reader what you can do and how long you’ve been doing it.”
4. Bullet Points – No paragraphs! “Start your bullet points with action words, e.g. Managed, Led, Developed, Designed, Worked or Created. Depending on what you do”.
5. Strategically Position Your Strengths – Don’t “bury your strengths in a pile of words or at the bottom of your resume which hardly gets read. Your strengths should be highlighted toward the top of the resume.”
Survive the Scan
When it comes to looking for a job or presenting yourself for your next best opportunity – give yourself the best chance possible to not have your resume end up int he round file or cyber nowhere. And once you get it is front of a resume, past the screening software, survive the 6-second scan. These tips will help.
I refer my job seeking friends to the experts. I can help a little, but it isn’t my job – it isn’t what I do every day. I don’t mince words – I tell them when their resume sucks and when I think they need help. That’s just #BasicHR