Your Resume: Is it Working for You or Against You?

Your resume is either working for you, or it’s working against you.  It cannot be neutral – it’s not Swiss (unless of course, you’re Swiss, and in that case, it could be neutral). For the rest of us who are not Swiss, it’s either capturing and boosting your value to a future employer, or ….it’s not.  And if it’s not, then it’s working against you.

I know what you’re thinking:  “Who really even looks at resumes anymore?  Networking sites have made them nearly obsolete, right?”  Well, networking sites have certainly taken center stage in terms of achieving your “Hey everybody, look at me – come and like my post and see who’s following me” vibe.  But they (networking sites, that is) haven’t yet (at least) replaced the resume.

So until they do, let’s talk resumes.  Aside from the obvious goal of highlighting how incredibly awesome you are, resumes should accomplish several important objectives:

  1. Quickly engage.  Statistics tell us that recruiters, when reviewing a resume, spend an average of 6 seconds per resume. It seems unfair, really, when you consider it costs about $2,000 to have one professionally done – don’t even get me started on that.  But recruiters get literally hundreds of resumes a day (just imagine how many employers get through their ATS!), so in their defense, 6 seconds is about all they can give you. And, it happens to be all they need to make their initial decision.  So, my advice to you: Cut the fluffy action words & fancy fonts. Cut the cover letter, no one reads those. Cut the objective, no one reads those either. Focus on delivering the most important content in a clean, easy-to-read layout.
  2. Perform well under SEO.  With algorithms & AI driving much of the employer filtering processes, it’s imperative that your resume contain the right descriptors, keywords and terminology.  Here’s an example of a poor attempt. “Promoted flagship product, earning #5/50 in my division. Here’s a better way “Promoted our flagship regenerative tissue product, Derma-Seal, earning #5/50 in the Surgical Tissue Division, 2018”.  See the difference? Having rich content significantly boosts your chances of being discovered through software algorithms (which are doing most of the pre-screening, not people).
  3. Promote Performance over Experience.  Toting that you’ve got 25 years of experience doesn’t tell anyone anything except for maybe that you used a rotary phone to make sales calls when you used to sell copy machines.  Focus more on quality of your performance, instead of quantity & descriptions.

Review our free checklist below to ensure your resume is working FOR you, and turning the right heads!

Parting Shot:

  • Keep resumes to about 2 pages.  Anything longer than 3 is too long.
  • If your city isn’t widely familiar (Think: Spuds, Florida), include a note like “Metro Orlando”.  Throw your audience a bone. They probably aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of Central Florida, and would appreciate you enlightening them to the potato capital of Florida’s proximity to MCO.  
  • Believe it or not, your email domain says a lot about you.  And considering a lot of important people will see it at the top of your resume, you may want to think about that for a sec. AOL, Hotmail users…you’re being judged. It’s not fair, but it’s true. Gmail is the way to go, I promise. Just google it!