Are you being judged by your Resume?
By John Sattler
Unequivocally, yes, but you knew that. What you may not know is to what extent and how harshly. The fact is, resumes are first and foremost an elimination tool. Hiring managers and headhunters see your resume before they see you, so there you are – on a flat screen or a piece of paper. Think about that. Your resume represents and speaks for you before you ever have a chance to open your mouth or present yourself in person. There are few things you have control over in the interview selection process. Is it not wise, then, to give your all to what you do? Would you invest $1,000 to receive $22,000 in return over a 1 year period? (this is a conservative estimate)
Hiring authorities judge you based on your resume. Do all of them? No, not all, but a high percentage do. Is it worth the risk? You be the judge. I have witnessed many 6 figure income earners go through months of anxiety unemployed, yet remain(ed) stubbornly unwilling to seek help and/or devote resources to create a resume truly reflective of their professionalism and capabilities. Is it ego? I do not know. My questions is, why suffer? The ROI is undeniable. Here are 5 negative judgments made by HR, headhunters, hiring managers, and others every day based on resume pitfalls.
1. You have poor work habits. Yes, if your resume has a chaotic layout, choppy margins, several different fonts, and / or has an overall DIY look. This lack of symmetry shouts out that you do not think your resume is worth an investment of your time, thought, energy, or any other valuable resource. It is a reflection of your attitude in the workplace and is exponentially true if you are a marketing professional. This is how a marketing professional markets him/herself?, asked the VP of Sales & Marketing.
Question: Would you want to hire someone with poor work habits OR someone who takes a methodical, professional approach to their work?
2. You are scatterbrained / Sloppy. Yes, if your resume does not have a logical flow and a clearly laid out framework. Yes, if it has spelling errors, grammatical errors, spacing errors, and/or gaffs in the employment-date sequence. These errors shout out that you cannot or will not sit still long enough to do a professional job; moreover, that you probably do not care. They are an indication of of how you perform your work.
Question: Would you want to hire someone who is scatterbrained and sloppy OR someone who thinks and communicates clearly, and methodically approaches their work?
3. You are lazy / Oblivious to others. Yes, if your resume does not clearly and concisely describe your accomplishments, skills, job history, promotion history, additional training, and professional affiliations (among other things). Yes, if your resume reads like a narrative with large blocks of print (long paragraphs). This display of obliviousness shouts out that you do not place yourself in others’ shoes and you assume people have oodles of time to review your work. It is an indicator of what it is like to work with you.
Question: Would you want to hire someone who is lazy and self-centered OR someone who is motivated, energetic, and conscious of others’ needs?
4. You are dated / Closed minded. Yes, if your resume does not incorporate a social media aspect, such as a link to your LinkedIn profile and / or does not include an email address. Yes, if you start with an “objective” and end with “references available upon request”. This lack of awareness shouts out that you are stuck in the past and not open to new ideas. This is an indicator of how customers and coworkers perceive you.
Question: Would you want hire someone who proclaims, “I am not a social media person” OR someone who is open minded and excited by current trends, including the potential of social media?
5. You are hiding something / Untrustworthy. Yes, if you only go back 8 years of a 25 year career. Yes, if you have a “functional” resume vs. a chronological resume. Yes, if you do not include employment dates. Yes, if you are a salesperson and do not include sales performance data. These omissions indicate that you would rather gamble that your shortcomings go unnoticed vs. meeting them head on. This is evidence that you cannot be fully trusted in the workplace.
Question: Would you rather hire someone who tries to hide / cover up OR someone who is open, honest, and tries (ethically) to turn perceived negatives into positives?
Solution: Read again the resume pitfalls mentioned above and make sure you avoid them all. Resumes now live forever in cyberspace and databases. No other document will have more influence over your income, lifestyle, and day-to-day life. DIY is good for replacing a commode, not so much for preparing your resume. NOTE: If you would like to know how I arrived at the numbers in the last sentence of the first paragraph, please email me: email@example.com and I will gladly and promptly reply.
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