Looking for a job? Spruce up your resume!

A recruiter spends an average of 5 to 7 seconds on a resume, meaning that the decision to further evaluate a candidate is made within those 7 seconds. A resume is the most common way to receive job offers. It presents the candidate’s background and skills so that a recruiter can determine whether the candidate is suited for a job. A powerful resume is a very efficient tool which helps you sell yourself to the employer. Employers generally rely on the resume submitted by the candidates for the screening process which is generally conducted as the first step in recruiting. So, to be able to get to the next rounds and get the job, it is beneficial for candidates to focus and build a resume which is worth getting selected. 
Tina Nicolai (Resume Writer’s Ink) has read over 40,000 resumes; and states that there are several common mistakes that tend to occur. These mistakes may not seem very important, but they could be the crucial difference between getting the job or losing it.
  • Sloppiness: Pay attention to detail, as on a first glance, a recruiter will notice any spelling or grammatical mistakes a candidate makes. 
  • Long Descriptions: Long summaries with too many adjectives can be a buzz-killer for a recruiter. Be concise and straight to the point to get the recruiter’s attention.
  • Too many buzzwords: A lot of candidates include ‘base-line’ words such as- team-p
  • layer, out-of-the-box, good communicator etc. that have become over-used. For a candidate to truly stand out, using unique words will make their resume stand out.
  • Starting off with ‘Responsible for..’: A recruiter believes that this is a ‘lazy’ thing for a candidate to do. Starting with these words does not imply that the candidate actually performed these duties. Instead, a candidate should talk about his accomplishments. 
  • Overly formal: Resumes that are too formal may be annoying to some recruiters. It does not engage a recruiter and may be boring. A candidate’s resume should be a reflection of what his personality is like. 
  • Sticking to the template: Too many candidates have now become reliant on easy to find online resume templates. While these templates are meant to be used as a guide, many candidates use the template as it is. A candidate should instead adapt it to fit him/her, to showcase their personal brand.
  • White space: Having words justified to fit one side or the other, and having too much blank space does not utilize the resume. A recruiter will only glance at the first page before deciding to evaluate a candidate further or not. Therefore, it would be in a candidate’s best interest to utilize the space to fit in relevant information.
According to Brilliant 2010 orange country resume survey conducted by Eric Hilden, it was found that while scanning through a copy of the resume, the employers’ give: -
45% weightage to the companies worked for in the past
35% importance to the skills, abilities and educational qualifications of the candidate
25% importance to the fact that the resume is simple to go through
16% weightage to the achievements
14% importance to the fact that the resume is written in a well versed language
9% weightage to the objective of the candidate and his policy in life 
2% importance to the kind of keywords used

To simplify the process, here are some important tips to keep in mind while building your resume and making it spectacular. Points to remember are-
  • The first and foremost point to be kept in mind when preparing a powerful resume is to ensure that everything mentioned on the resume is in fact true. Lying on the resume is considered unethical by all companies. Also, it has been observed that nearly 51% employees have been terminated due to this sole reason. 
  • The candidates must also ensure that the resume is not very long. It should be short, crisp and concise. Do not blabber on your resume. It is not the number of words that matter, but the content; quality over quantity. No recruiter has time to read long paragraphs about where you grew up or the history of your first company. Keep re-writing until a well-read resume is produced. The maximum length should be two sides of an A4 size sheet.
  • Be specific in whatever is mentioned. Do not give a broad insight into the jobs you have worked for or your skills and abilities. Mold the resume according to the kind of job being applied for. This does not mean writing a brand new resume for a new company but to add or remove information depending on the requirement. 
  • It is very important to be innovative while writing a resume. If an employer has 10 resumes with exactly the same monotonous sub-headings and content written in Times New Roman, it becomes difficult to differentiate the good ones from the less deserving ones. It is therefore important to ensure that your resume stands out from the rest and makes the employer want to hire you. However, make sure not to overdo it, keep it professional and simple.

An instance where this was seen was when a man named Dan Conway from Newcastle, who was hunting for a job after college and took some extreme measures by posting videos of his daughter asking for a job for him and by writing “Employ Me” over his chest. Photos and videos of him went viral and drew the attention of some good firms towards him. He now works as the head of sales and online marketing.
  • Since a resume of a candidate is a written description about him, it is important that the self-confidence of the person gets reflected in it. A person who himself is not confident about his own capabilities has no charm in convincing the employer to hire him.
  • It is always advisable to present the information in the form of bullet points and not in long paragraphs. This enhances the readability of the resume and makes it easy for the employer to glance through it. 
  • Rather than giving attention to the formatting, focus on the text being included. A simple and meaningful resume drafted in MS-Word is more than sufficient to win the employer over.
  • The font type and size should be chosen with care. It should be easy to read and process otherwise this adds onto the frustration and can become a reason for rejection. 
  • 76% of resumes are rejected due to an unprofessional email, so make sure that your email address is presentable!

Build a confident, vibrant and strong resume because NO quality implies NO job!

A resume, ultimately, is a tool to gain employment and your first impression. This means that the resume has to be as charming and engaging as the candidate himself. Furthermore, resumes are just the starting point for a candidate. 93% of recruiters are likely to look up the candidate on social media, which means that when you submit a resume, make sure that all public aspects of your life need to be presentable, including your Facebook!

It is also vital to exchange proper pleasantaries and engage before and after the interview. But, a candidate’s resume has to qualify the shortlist. For a recruiter, it is a simple matter of accepting or rejecting the candidate. The recruiter, however, should always take time to evaluate a resume as they may miss a talented candidate if they are too hasty. It might be boring at times, but the difference between a great resume and an average resume can tell a recruiter many things about the candidate. 
Posted in : Talent Acquisition 
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