Let’s say you have a stack of 100 books and want to narrow the choice down to the best 10. What do you do? Simple. You quickly scan the beginning of each one, using criteria such as:
- Most interesting – Does it pique your interest and come closest to what you’re looking for?
- Most readable – Is it clear, understandable and flowing?
- Writing style – Can you easily follow the story line without having to figure it out?
Once you have the top ten books you want, then you prioritize the books from first to tenth.
The same is true with how your resume is sorted when you apply for a job. The hiring manager takes all of the incoming resumes, scans them against the criteria and chooses the top ten to interview. On the first pass, hiring managers don’t have the time to read in detail each and every resume. They quickly scan each one and only read in detail those resumes that are of interest to them:
- Resumes that get to the point quickly
- Are focused on the measurable experiences the hiring manager is looking for
- Parallels the position description at least 70%
The top ten resumes have piqued the interest of the organization and will get a telephone-screening interview.
Is the process of scanning, prioritizing, reading, and interviewing for the top 10 efficient? Absolutely. It saves time, effort, money and priorities of the hiring organization. As an applicant, if you understand the process, you can design and produce a resume that will get a telephone interview as one of the top ten applicants. The marketplace is crowded with people like you who want to get ahead and move up the career ladder. You have to be smarter and quicker than your competition.
How do you do that? Take a lesson from the experts in the media businesses:
- Use an eye-catching summary at the top of the resume to “hook” the reader
- Use headlines that are bold and paragraphs that captures the readers interest
- Use short sentences with lively text that engages the reader
- Use numbers and content that increases the credibility of the material
Think of yourself as a product to be marketed. Interested parties are looking at your resume with the question, “Can this person achieve the results we need over the next two years?” If your resume can describe experiences you’ve had, that the hiring organization needs, that captures the interest of the hiring manager, you will receive a telephone call to interview. After reading your resume, you want the hiring manager to say, “This is someone I definitely want to talk to”
Make your resume engaging. Make your major points early. Back up your points with metrics and experiences that will excite the hiring manager. If you don’t, someone else will.
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