Sorry to disappoint you but this post is not about Mitt Romney or presidential politics. However, it is about an equally serious topic – how to get career climbing, underemployed, and out-of-work Americans back to work and/or into higher paying jobs, therefore helping the economy grow and lower the unacceptable unemployment rate.
If you have been reading my posts for awhile you know I offer to review resumes without cost or obligation. Therefore I get to speak with a great many job seekers of all ages, coast-to-coast in all fields, professions and occupations about the relative strength and weakness of their resumes and whether the resume they are using helps or hinders their job search efforts.
For the most part people who contact me are not getting the results they anticipated. Similar to a person who is feeling ill and does not know the cause of the illness goes to a physician for a checkup, people who are not getting responses to their resume come to me to find out what is wrong, and hopefully confirm the problem is not serious and they need not take drastic actions to rectify the situation.
What I find most perplexing, is the answers I get to my initial inquiry “If you were a hiring manager and received this resume would you call this person in for an interview and hire him/her?” Believe it or not nearly 53% of the people I ask this question to respond “based on this resume I would interview and hire this person.”
Then after a comprehensive resume critique highlighting where and why their resume is hurting rather than helping their cause, nearly 47% (usually the ones with the worst resumes) become a bit defensive and tell me I am nitpicking and being overly critical of their work.
It’s true, nearly half the people looking for a job have absolutely no conception of what a good resume looks like.
Worse yet I’ve found the men and women with old fashion, boring, poorly constructed and visually unappealing resumes are the job seekers who assume making simple adjustments to their resume is all that is needed to make it sparkle and get employers to start calling them back.
The reality is that resume writing requires much more than the ability to put the proverbial pen to paper and articulate what you were responsible for doing in the past, where you went to school and what you studied, and the various skill sets you’ve acquired in your career.
So here are a few pointers for those who do not yet understand what is involved in creating a “WOW” resume.
- Understanding what decision makers in their field are looking for in a resume.
- Understanding what ATS software used by companies in their field is programmed to look for their resume.
- Knowing the most desirable resume styles and formats and how employers in their field want pertinent information presented to them, and knowing what will turn them off.
- Building an ICP (ideal candidate profile) for the job/s they are looking for.
- Determining how they stack up against the ICP and how to portray what they bring to the table in a way that makes them come across on paper as an ’ideal candidate’ and not just a “usual suspect” for the job.
- Identifying their achievements and potential for success, how to put this into words and where to place it so as to generate maximum impact.
- Understanding what a personal brand is and how to establish one on a resume document.
- Knowing how to incorporate social media into your resume.
So now that you know what you’re supposed to know, if I asked you the question “If you were a hiring manager and received this resume would you call this person in for an interview and hire him/her?” how you would respond?
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