I attended a webinar on “the resume for the well-rounded student” hosted by well-intended career services veterans.
Unfortunately, at a time when soon-to-be and recent graduates, and current students need all the high-quality counsel they can get, the advice in that webinar likely wouldn’t help anyone find work – ever…
Everyone tells you how important it is to make a strong first impression with your resume … “you only have a few seconds” goes the standard advice.
And it’s true. Many employers get hundreds of resumes for their positions which means it’s vital to make an impression from the very beginning of your resume.
But how do you actually do that?
Every now and then, I work with a client who truly believes all their experiences are equally valuable in getting their next job. Sometimes, it’s hard for this person to accept that the year they taught scuba diving won’t help them in their search for a marketing job. Perhaps it should be relevant, but to a recruiter, it’s not.
Recruiters are looking for people with a straightforward career chronology that perfectly matches the job they’ve posted. So how do you show recruiters you have what they want?
According to The Ladders, “Hiring authorities are trained to match your background with their open position.”
That means they are looking quickly to see if what’s on your resume matches up to their needs. That means they are looking for signs that you speak the language they do. Today, too many resumes are focused on reciting all the great things you’ve done, and not enough on telling how all those great things create value for the prospective employer…
Does your resume start with an objective statement? Or a description of what you’re looking for in your next job?
If so, ask yourself why.
Is the resume objective simply there because that’s what you’ve seen other people do?
In truth most people start with a resume objective for this reason – they’ve seen it on other resumes and they feel it’s what they should do. But what most job seekers don’t realize is the resume objective is killing their response rate.
You worked hard on your resume and cover letter. You applied for the job that, according to the job description, met your qualifications perfectly. Your online presence is impeccable.
And yet, the recruiter never called. Before you curse out that recruiter, you should know that they likely never saw your resume…