What does the content of your resume say about you? Is it an Autobiography, or a solution to your readers' problems?
IF your resume gets seen by human eyes (remember, 97% get pre-screened by a database search), you have an average 8-15 seconds to capture the reader's attention. That's the average time spent reviewing a resume.
In 8-15 seconds an interview/no interview decision is made. Just 8-15 seconds - That fast.
So how do you grab your reader's attention? Write about what is important to them. Don't write about what is important to your own ego.
Do you realize the majority of today's resumes don't address an employers' problems? Most are written for the job seekers own pride. Do you think it matters much to your audience what you are most proud of? Will your reader care enough to read your resume in detail to get an idea of who you are and what you can do? Or does your audience care more about rapid solutions to their problems?
A common resume improvement is WRITING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE. A resume is very personal…especially if you're a professional, manager, executive, or have had a long career - your resume describes your life. Most people write resumes listing accomplishments they are most proud of. I can recall numerous recruiting candidates I worked with who fiercely defended wording that made them feel good about themselves, while sacrificing opportunities to make statements that would interest their audience – the hiring manager.
So what's important to hiring managers? Hiring managers today hire people who can solve their problems without much ramp-up time or training. Today's hiring decisions are made efficiently. And the quickest way a hiring manager can find someone who can solve specific problems is to search for someone who's already solved those specific problems.
For instance, do you list detail of accomplishments that are important? Who are they important to? To the hiring manager for the job you're applying for? Or just to you? If you are a manager or executive, do you write about general leadership, or about detailed accomplishments? Do you write about general things that should be important to every hiring manager, or write about accomplishments that are important to that specific hiring manager?
Think of it this way - if the vast majority of resumes are written for the job seekers' own ego, and just a small percentage address what an employer wants to see, isn't it far easier to stand out in the crowd? Could this help you gain an Unfair Advantage over other candidates, if you are one of the few?
So write your resume to solve an employer's problems, and you'll get interviews. Discuss how you can an solve employer's problems in an interview, and you'll get offers.
Be the solution - get an Unfair Advantage - get the interview - and get the job.
In subsequent articles I’ll give tips on how to deduce the potential employer’s problems.
Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, author of www.pagepersonnel.com.hk, and Moderator of the Career Change Central group on Linkedin (www.tinyurl.com/cccjoinLI), recently named one of the top Linkedin groups job seekers must join.