The worst part of being a hiring manager is reading resumes that are in no way a reflection of a candidate’s skills and abilities. Generally, candidates like to pack their resumes full of information and qualifications that fail to capture the applicant’s ability to perform the functions of the job.
The trap many resume writers fall into is that a good resume must show the entirety of a candidate’s experience and profile. Furthermore, if something is left out on a resume, then it’s possible that what’s left out could be the difference between obtaining the interview and being passed over.
This is not the case. Resumes are often an introduction to your skills and abilities. They don’t have to be everything to everyone. Hiring managers are often turned off to resumes that are clearly one-size-fits-all. It says to the hiring manager that the job isn’t really that important to the candidate, because if it is then the candidate would have a tight, interesting and specific resume.Â Fortunately, it’s very easy to have this type of resume.
Here are some tips that will give you the resume you need to obtain the job interview, along with taking less time to actually write the darn thing!
Be concise: Nothing is worse than reading a resume where instead of a person writing “Implemented strategies resulting in 10% sales gains,” they write “Built and customized a proprietary sales model which happened to result in a gain of 10%.” The words are needless and haughty. Worse yet, as a hiring manager reading the resume it appears the candidate takes themselves entirely too seriously. Precision is the key with resume writing. Try your best to keep it at one page.
Use active voice and active verbs: The goal with a resume is to get the hiring manager interested enough to call you for an interview. Active voice and active verbs are crucial. They communicate excitement and energy. Passive voice and past-tense verbs are indicative of a candidate whose best days are behind them. No one wants to interview that guy. Simple fix: Any time you want to say “Was part of a team” instead say “Participated in.” Sounds far more crisp and interesting.
No more than 5 bullet points: For all your experience in a job, it’s important to reduce your responsibilities and accomplishments to five bullet points. Five is simple, and it’s more than enough to give a hiring manager the flavor of what you’ve done in a job and how much of an asset you are to the company.
Make the resume specific: Resumes should be tailored to the job you’re applying to. Do not put extraneous duties that have no relation to the job you’re applying for. Hiring managers will notice and think you’re either filling the resume or giving them a one-size-fits-all resume. Something they may find a little insulting depending on the prestige of the vacancy.
Resumes are your introduction to a hiring manager. The best move is to keep things simple and easy. The reality is hiring managers aren’t interested in everything you’ve done, just what’s related to the job you’re applying for. Keep it simple, exciting and relevant and your chances for the interview have gone way up.