Does Your Resume Serve its Purpose

You must have spent hours, or even days, creating your resume. It was a lot of work for you in crafting it and after you have sent it by email, no one seems to have seen it at all; you have not received a reply at all or even a phone call.

You could be discouraged with this development, so start looking into why this is happening. You may have actually committed some errors along the way, as errors in the resume may not find favor with the reader at all, especially if he is a discerning employer.

Many job seekers make basic mistakes with their resumes – mistakes that ensure that they will not get the interviews they hope for. If you feel that your resume did not work as you expected, review what you did and maybe you could improve it by following some simple rules below:

1. Is your resume of the right length?

You may have heard that your resume should just fit on one page, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Recruiter or hiring managers do not really care if your resume is one or two pages long. What is important to them is whether it is easy to read and gives key information they need.

Your resume can be one, two, or (occasionally) even three pages as long as the length would be appropriate for you. If in doubt follow the general rule of thumb that less than 5 years experience probably only requires one page, and more than that may need two.

2. How does your resume present you as?

A resume as an advertisement – for you. Just like any other advertisement, positioning is important. The employer or his representative who receives your resume will scan it quickly, for no more than 20 seconds perhaps, to determine whether you can help the company. Your job therefore in your resume is to say quickly, clearly and loudly that you can indeed help.

Do not just launch into a chronology of your career history; instead, what is important in the document is that you present yourself concisely in the first 1/3 of your resume to create a compelling personal profile which highlights your key strengths in an attractive, easy-to-read format.

3. Does your resume use an objective?

Do not start with an objective as recruiters and hiring managers do not like them because they focus on the needs of the job seeker rather than the needs of the potential employer. While you may be honestly trying to present your self through an objective declaration, the reader (employer), does not really care much about what you want and only cares what you have to offer. Instead of an objective, use a positioning statement that clearly and concisely explains what you have to offer, like:

“Senior Software Engineer with 10 years experience developing leading-edge technologies.” 

With that, the employer can immediately see your value to the company. (For even greater impact, craft this statement for each position so that the reader immediately sees a match between his needs and your skills.)

4. Does your resume contain the necessary specifics?

You must cite your achievements in context by providing specifics, and not in vague terms like “contributed to product design.” This is meaningless to the employer as nothing is stated about your actual contribution.

It will be better to report like this: “Conducted market analysis for (name of product) to determine design and mechanics and led changes to original design specs, even with initial developer objections. This resulted to the sale of over 4 million units.” This kind of specific contribution you did for a previous company will impress the potential employer as it clearly shows what you can contribute in the future to his cause.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.

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