On average, a recruiter spends 8 – 10 seconds on a resume before deciding if the candidate goes into the next round hence resume writing is very important. You might be surprised to know that 55 percent of the rejection happens only because their resume writing is not upto the mark.
The mood in the market is low and I hear “Days are tough. There are no jobs.” so often. I, agree and disagree with the two statements. Days are tough – no doubt, but jobs are always there. Even in current economic conditions, hiring is happening.
Question is whether you are getting the interview calls or not?
If your resume does not make the cut, chances are very little it will make the cut next time, even if it filed for future reference. Why do most candidates fail to get the call?
Professional recruiters are smart and savvy people. It is their job to read beyond the written word. Recruiters read in-between the lines. And, this is what they read:
1. Self Confidence
This might sound odd, but a confident candidates’ resume has confidence written all over it. A confident candidate does not write “Seeking a challenging position in your esteemed company…blah blah blah”.
A confident candidate approaches the recruiter on an equal footing, realizing the fact that companies need good candidates as much as candidates need good companies. It is a two-way street.
It is not uncommon to find confident candidates’ starting their resume with a short summary of their personality and career which reads something like “A self-motivated, honest marketing professional with an exceptional track record of achieving all major objectives assigned in the past 5 years…”.
2. Use Buzz Words, Technical Terms & Acronyms in Resume
Companies run on buzz words, technical terms, and acronyms. These three are very different from one another and recruiters use all three differently while evaluating a resume.
These words are the latest industry lingo that demonstrates a candidate’s up-to-date knowledge of the industry. For example, in the advertising industry the word “Account Planning” is getting successively replaced by “Insights generation”. Same job, just described in more contemporary words.
Technical terms used by companies are more for being politically and legally correct. For example, when a company says “responsible for Accounts Payable” in the job description, they are describing a fairly well defined and accepted job role. Recruiters often receive a copy of the job description and then use powerful data-mining tools to scan through thousands of resume scanning for technical terms mentioned in the job descriptions. This ensures best-fit in shortlisted candidates.
Every company has acronyms that are understood within the company, eg. SOP could stand for “Standard Operating Procedure” or “Social Orientation Protocol”. Recruiters hate acronyms and it reflects badly on the candidate because it indicates candidates’ assumptive nature.
It is a professional recruiters’ job to vet the truth from all the heap of achievements and responsibilities mentioned in a resume. Recruiters read thousands of resumes in a year and meet hundreds of candidates.
With experience, they can make out the difference between truth well told and truth oversold. Oversell yourself and you fall into the “Too good to be true” trap. Undersell yourself and you are not good enough.
4. Systematic Approach
Organized candidates have an organized resume. Simple. It is a matter of attitude. It might be argued that a candidate can use a professional resume writer to achieve a good presentation and organization in a resume.
Yes – it is possible, but professional writers do not finalize the resume without the candidates’ approval. And, disorganized candidates can make even the most organized resume disorganized before submission.
5. Spelling and grammatical mistakes
“I was responsible for bulling clients on an hourly basis…blah blah blah”. There is a huge difference in the words “Bulling” and “Billing” and no one wants a candidate who bullies clients.
Spelling mistakes indicate a lack of attention towards finer points. If you cannot take care of your own resume, do not expect an employer to trust you with their business.
Below is an excerpt from an actual resume that I saw ones
“I am responsible for writing cheques for suppliers, getting them signed from the boss, putting them in envelop, putting a stamp on envelop, writing address and posting them to suppliers”
The above statement reflects one of the two things: the candidate thinks either too much of himself/herself or too little. Both are bad.
A good resume takes time to build. So put time and effort into writing it. Before the article is closed, I will share with you one secret of writing a good resume – write a resume and leave it. Revisit it a couple of days later and if like what you read, use it.