How would a busy recruiter react to your resume? Would it make the “A” pile, or get tossed into the “round file” (i.e., the trash)? To find out, we asked our recruiting team for their recommendations. Our team receives over 300 resumes every week and they have plenty to say about the good, the bad and the unmentionable.
Get a towel – our recommendations may hit you like a bucket of cold water. Especially if your resume makes one of the following common mistakes…
Mistake #1: A Sputtering Start
The average online job posting produces an average response of 300 resumes.
So if you want to get from the bottom of that pile to the top, your resume had better open with a bang. Unfortunately, most don’t.
Only about 5-10 of the 300 resumes hit the mark. The rest…do not!
Present a clear objective at the top of your resume. This allows the reader to quickly figure out if it’s worth their time to read further. This is not a dress rehearsal – you get only one chance to get into the head of the hiring authority.
Recommendation: Remember that the purpose of the first line of your resume is…to compel readers to go to the second line. And so on, and so on.
Hint: The job posting can provide clues as to how to best present your objective.
Mistake #2: Not Enough Information
“You’ve got to back up what you say in your resume with your work history and with evidence – specific facts and figures.”
If you don’t prove your case, wary employers and recruiters often move on to other candidates – even if you are qualified for the job. Want an example?
“I got a resume from a candidate who used one paragraph to describe 16 years at one company. That’s not enough. There must be more stories and achievements there.”
Recommendation: Never assume the reader knows what you do on the job. If you’re a project manager, for example, describe your most important initiative. How long did it take? What were the specific results?
Mistake #3: Too Much Information
You can also hurt your chances by submitting a resume that rambles on or is stuffed with irrelevant information.
If you’re applying for a position as a sales manager, for example, keep the information relevant to support your qualifications to this role.
Recommendation: Know what to omit from your resume. Every word, every sentence, should build a case for employers to call you. When in doubt, revise or leave out. The aim of your resume is to make the phone ring, not to tell your life story.
Remember, your goal is to get the job of your dreams, give the hiring authority a good reason to call you.