In these challenging times, so many resumes come in for a single job opening that companies have trouble finding the best candidate. Also, interested applicants have difficulty getting their resume in front of someone that will invite them to an interview. A successful resume is one that gets you through the door, generating a job interview for you. Once you are in the building, you take your best shot at winning that job.
Employers are looking for the BEST FIT. They have a problem and they need to solve it quickly. They will only take a few seconds to look at your resume and they will quickly determine if you’re worth their time to talk to.
From my experience, these are the most common problems with the resume:
- CAREER OBJECTIVE – People like to announce their career objective and aspirations on the top of their resume. We have been led to believe that this shows you to be a highly motivated and ambitious individual. This is a mistake. The decision maker is wasting valuable seconds reading about your career objective and may move on to the next resume. No one cares about your career objective. Nobody cares. NOBODY. The decision maker has a problem and they want the answer to just one simple question, “CAN YOU HELP ME SOLVE IT?”
- EMPLOYMENT HISTORY – The recruiter or the decision maker will quickly glance over the job descriptions of your previous jobs, looking for commonalities, similar skills or experience that match the job opening that you’re applying for. If your job description doesn’t clearly show that, it’s over. You’re done.
Here is a quick and easy way to correct it, improving your chances of getting a phone call:
- Replace Career Objective with QUALIFICATIONS – The recruiter or decision maker is looking for someone that closely matches the job opening so make it easy for them by listing all of skills and experience at the very top of your resume. If they want to read the rest of your resume, they can, but they don’t have to. You told them everything they needed to know. You gave them what they were looking for. If the position requires a certain level of experience in a particular skill (ex: 5 years of customer service experience), add up all of your years of customer service experience from every job you’ve ever had and list it in bullet points. If a college degree is required, list it here. If you think a particular skill is helpful (ex: fluent in Cantonese), list it here.
- Bachelor’s degree
- 7 years of customer service experience
- 3 years of outside sales experience
- 10 years of MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint experience
- Fluent in Spanish
- 6 years of healthcare experience, etc…