Friday, March 1, 2013

Resumes Get Seconds . . . . Make Them Count

Resumes get seconds  --  not minutes  --  on the first read-through by a recruiter.  Make them count!  The numbers vary - some say they get 30 seconds of a recruiter's time; some guesstimate it as low as 6.  Wherever it falls on the scale between 6 - 30, the fact is that you have a short amount of time to impress a recruiter.  So make the most of that time to engage your reader.  A job depends on it!

How do recruiters spend that 6-30 seconds?  In fact, the first read-through is NOT a read-through at all.  Generally, recruiters say, they read the top half of the first page of the resume.  If it catches their interest, they read on.  If not, they don't.

So, it becomes your job, as a job seeker, to make those seconds count  If you do, the recruiter will want to read more!  Here's how:
 Focus your efforts in customizing your resume for a position on 2 things - your goals for the work you want to do and the recruiter’s position.
(1)  Write your resume strategically so that it showcases the information about you that will help you get the work you WANT to do. Keep your goals in mind as you write.
(2) When you identify a position for the work you WANT to do, edit and focus your resume for that job as you apply.  Highlight and feature work skills, experience, capabilities, and accomplishments that meet the position’s requirements. Show that you have performed these, or similar duties, possess the requested skills, and achieved results.

Make it easy on the eye
Ensure that your resume is easy to read.  After you have focused your resume (see above 2 steps), step back and take a look.  Make it easy for the recruiter to read and to learn what you can do.  Here’s how:
● Use an easy-to-read format with plenty of white space.
● Bullet key points - no big blocks of text or type
● Use an easy to read type face that is commonly available.
● Use a large enough size of type so that is easy to read, generally size 11 or 12.
● For hard copies of your resume, use a good quality of paper.
● Keep it to 2 pages - 2 ½ maximum.
● Place contact information at the top of your resume.  Include (at a minimum) name, e-mail address, phone number. You may also add physical address, Linked In address, website, etc.
● Place some key contact information at the top of page 2 in case the pages get separated - name, phone OR e-mail, page number
● Write an initial concise and relevant summary of your work experience and skills, and put it on the top of your resume, directly below your contact information.
● Use phrases.  No complete sentences on a resume.
● No pronouns on a resume.
● State the content succinctly. 
● Don't waste the recruiter's time with descriptions of the company or its projects.  Instead, write about what you did and the results you achieved, i.e. Accomplishment Statements. Show what you have done and what benefit you provided your previous employer(s).
● Include only relevant additional information about your education, associations, publications, awards.
● Exclude hobbies, religious affiliations, political affiliations in most cases
The trick to producing a resume that gets read is to show what you have done and what benefit you provided your previous employer(s) in an attractive and easy to read format. 

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
 ____________________________________________________________________________                 AJC - for Your Career Path
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