Does Your Resume Stand Out?

Are You in the Top 5%?
I recently spoke to the hiring manager of a major accounting firm who told me they can receive in excess of 500 professional resumes for a single job. She told me that reading through every resume is almost impossible, and therefore she makes her decisions within the first 10-15 seconds of opening the resumes. If she didn’t screen resumes this way, it would literally take her days upon days to read through every single application.
How to reduce 500 resumes down to the top 20
Presentation is important when it comes to resume writing. When you’re reading through 500 resumes you don’t want to have to search through resumes with a fine-tooth comb to find certain answers. Weird fonts, pictures and graphics make the resume harder to read and therefore increase the chance of it getting deleted. Bullet points, for example, are far easier to read than long drawn out sentences.
What you need to include on your professional resume:
  • Relevant skills
  • Employment history
  • Industry experience (depending on the job)
  • Measurable accomplishments
  • Professional presentation and layout 
    What not to do!
    • Long drawn out sentences for job duties and responsibilities
    • Irrelevant information
    • Lack of dates (don’t make the reader have to guess)
    • Lack of professionalism (if the resume looks like it’s been written in 10 minutes, it says a lot about the
    • Spelling mistakes 
    Distinguishing between a resume that was written by a professional resume writer vs. a resume that had been written by the candidate 
     When you read through enough resumes, it’s obvious to pick out the ones that have been written by a professional resume writer. Most of it has to do with the presentation and the format. From a hiring manger’s perspective we are only interested in the information contained within the resume. We are only concerned with hiring the right person and with what they can bring to our business. 
     Final Point 
     With competition for jobs at a peak and with online job portals in greater demand than ever before, having a professionally written resume can assist in the job seeking process. The resume is one of the most important documents you will ever write as it can potentially change your life. Just remember the golden rule. Your resume is a marketing document and needs to sell your skills. Once you have achieved this you are halfway towards your new job. 

     Seconds For Your Resume to Shine 
     One of my favorite books is the “The E Myth Revisited” written by Michael Gerber. In the book Michael speaks about the marketing strategy. He quotes 
     “In a television commercial, we’re told; the sale is made or lost in the first three or four seconds. 
     In a print ads, tests have shown, 75 percent of the buying decisions are made at the headline alone. 
     In a sales presentation, data have shown us, the sale is made or lost in the first three minutes” 
     Same is true for your resume – Reports suggest that a hiring manager will spend no more than 10 seconds reading through your resume before deciding to read on or delete. 
     Less and less time is being spent reading a person’s resume. In today’s society, hiring managers are more interested in eliminating candidates before they begin their pursuit of finding the perfect candidate. 
     When it comes to writing your resume, remember the golden rule of highlighting your achievements and putting them on the front page. No matter how good your achievements, skills, experience and knowledge if the hiring manager has not found them within 10 seconds than your resume will be deleted – and once it is deleted from the inbox it will never be read again.
    Your resume is a marketing document – it’s your marketing tool to sell yourself. First impressions count for a lot and if your resume is being deleted than it will be impossible for you to get the job
    Do the small things right and your already half way there to your new job.
    Listing Achievements on Your Resume
    It’s really important to remember that achievements are essential to every single resume.
    I’ve come across so many resumes that include no achievements whatsoever. It’s actually very common to see this, so it’s important that you include achievements in your resume as they provide a lot of value and depth. Most people forget to include achievements on their resumes because they simply don’t know how to communicate them.
    The best achievements on a resume are always specific. A lot of people will include “helped to increase sales,” for example, on their resume, and this is far from effective. If you did increase sales, tell me a little more about this. What did you do to achieve this? Did you introduce or implement new tactics into the business? Instead of the generic “helped to increase sales,” include something like “Increased sales by x% over a 6 month period by introducing new methods of revenue generation.” It tells the reader what you did, how you did it, and how successful you were at it.
    Be very careful to avoid generic achievements such as “effectively worked in a team environment” or “showed dedication.” I can assure you that plenty of other people will also list these achievements on their resumes, so you need to separate yourself from the competition by being one of the few to specify how you actually displayed those achievements.
    It’s essential to remember that hiring managers do not know you, so you need to be as specific as possible. Listing achievements is a good and effective way to do this, and it will definitely aid you in standing out a bit from your competition. 

    Is Your Resume Being Screened?
    Believe it or not, but your resume has probably been screened by a hiring manager at some point. One of the most common ways to screen a resume is through an applicant’s address. Technically, hiring managers are not supposed to do this, but it happens more often than not.
    Why does this happen?
    Hiring managers are always looking for the best candidates, of course, but they also want the interview process to be as efficient and easy as possible. They usually prefer candidates who live in nearby areas so they can meet with them in person, as soon as possible, and at no extra cost to the company. Out of state applicants are difficult and expensive. Interview arrangements can take days or weeks, and sometimes the company will have to pay for the applicant’s travel arrangements. Let’s just say it’s not the ideal situation for a hiring manager. 

    Hiring managers tend to make assumptions based on where people live and while this is by no means right, it happens all the time. A candidate can be considered to be too much of a hassle to interview if they live far away, or they may be assumed to be unreliable if they don’t live close enough. I was once asked to hire sales representatives for a retail shop, and I was told specifically to “only” focus on applicants who lived within a few miles of the store location. The manager was convinced that the reps had to live close to the business because he believed a commute meant they would show up late every day.
    If you find that you’re not receiving interview requests for positions considered to be “far away,” you might want to consider removing your address from your resume. You are not physically mailing in your application, so it is not an essential part to your resume. Removing your address might prevent this initial screening and at least get you to the phone interview where you can then “sell yourself ” further. 

    Rate My Resume
    How good is your current resume?
    The first stage you need to go through in order to secure a new job is resume selection. Without a powerful resume that has been properly formatted, presented and written to effectively target your key skills and achievements, your job search may take a lot longer than you first anticipated.
    Remember your resume is a marketing document, a compelling reason to interview you. 

    Find below 15 resume questions: Let’s find out where your resume rates:
    • Does your resume flow, enabling a reader to easily understand your career history?
    • Have you provided achievements throughout your resume?
    • Are your achievements backed up with evidence?
    • Have you included your Key Skills?
    • Is your resume written in chronological order – complete with dates, job titles, job positions etc?
    • Is your resume targeted toward the job you are applying for?
    • Is your resume the right length? (Or is it too short or too long?)
    • Have you matched your skills and achievements to the job you are applying for?
    • Have you used Keywords?
    • If a hiring manager was to read your resume would they be inspired to want to interview you?
    • Is your resume correctly structured and formatted?
    • Is your current resume visually appealing?
    • Do you believe that your current resume will stand out from the competition and give you the greatest
      opportunity of getting the job?
    • Does your cover letter introduce and compliment your resume?
    • If you apply for an online job that typically can attract between 100-300 applications, will your resume be in
      the top 10%?
      Give yourself a point for every time you answered “yes”. Did you receive a score above 12?

      A score of 12 or above will put your resume in the top 20%, and gives you a good chance of finding employment. But don’t forget that typically your resume needs to be better than just the top 20% - it needs to be in the top 10% appreciates your contribution please mail us the questions you have to so that it will be useful to our job search community

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