TriCom Technical Services

Less Than 60 Seconds

In Advice, benefit, competition, consultants, Contracting, Guest Posts, Interview, Interviewing, job seekers, resumes on January 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

Before you walk into that office building, whether it is high in the center of a city, or a small office off the beaten path, you have to prove you have the skills for an interview with a small piece of paper: the resume.

All too often, we quickly put together a listing of where we have been and what we have done, without a second thought to it.  So many people assume they can win an opening with their brilliant personality.  Though this may be true, you have to first develop your “brilliant” resume to shine above the rest, so you may then truly show off who you are, and what you can do.

“The average resume is reviewed for less than a minute, says Kimberly Schneiderman, owner of City Career Services. That’s why a nicely formatted resume is so important.” Resume Refresher: Less Is More by Rebecca R. Hastings: 2006 via SHRM.org.

Start the clock – one minute and counting.  Over 50 additional resumes. 45 seconds.  Name. Skills summary.  30 seconds. Job title. History. 20 seconds.  Too much to read.  Your resume is now in the trash.  Less than a minute, no way of arguing your points and it is over before it began.

So how do you prevent this show stopper?

1. Target the company and its needs that you are applying for.  Prove you have the experience and knowledge to be the person they need.

2. K.I.S.S.  Keep is simple stupid.  If there is too much clutter, resumes look sloppy.  If it is too complicated, the employer will not know where to look.  Keep it simple, you have less than 1 minute.

3. “‘A resume is not a job description, … It’s a tickler to get the reader to want to call you. As a result, brevity is to be desired…'” – Carla Vaughan, owner of Professional-Resume-Example.com.

4. Save in a rich or common text so nothing is lost in transmission.  This also keeps it clean and professional.

5. Unprofessional-sounding e-mail addresses should be avoided.  Managers have a hard time taking kitty2cool4u@hotmail.com seriously as an Executive Manager.

6. Career paths can take an unexpected turn, in which case it is even more important for a resume to be carefully considered and modified accordingly.

  • Vaughan says. “The only time I would really suggest a functional format is if someone is changing careers or re-entering the workforce” as a way to deemphasize employment gaps and experience that doesn’t match the position being sought.
  • Emphasize skills that obtain to this new career path you have learned or performed in previous jobs, as opposed to your primary skill sets
  • “Eliminating information from a resume isn’t lying,” Schneiderman says. “You should do that when the content isn’t going to lend itself to your ultimate goal; don’t feel obligated to include years of graduation, for example.”

7. Personal information, such as hobbies, marital status and religious affiliations should be avoided unless they directly pertain the career being applied for.

8. Check it TWICE! It may seem like the small stuff, but typos, grammar errors, or even resume inconsistencies (such as writing out “January” then abbreviating it later) can make all the difference.  Skipping this step could give the impression of a lack of detail or laziness.  Do not be afraid to have other persons look over your resume, edit and critique. It could make all the difference.

9. Avoid titling your resume “Resume”.  We all know what it is, and if we do not, there are bigger problems at hand.

10. Show what you are capable of doing, not what you did.  “Clean” “Customer service” “Computer/Printer/Copier Trouble Shooting” is not telling anything other than you are a 1980’s robot.

Resumes that have real thought and time put into them shine through, and only need less than a minute to prove that you are the best person for the job.

SHRM.org

This guest post is authored by Lindsey Blakeman, 
Customer Care Manager 
at TriCom Technical Services

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