Aimee Alya Resume October 11, 2015 04:53:46
Writing a Resume can be a labour of love, but all too often in today’s uncertain economic climate that love can go unrequited when it comes to job applications. If I had a dollar for each time a client said they had not received a response to a job application, I would be considerably wealthier. Like a first date, it is critical to make a first good impression when it comes to writing a resume. Employers and recruiters tend to work on a strict ’love (or at least attraction!) at first site’ policy, and if your resume is not up to scratch, you can expect immediate rejection. Writing a good resume is a challenge. In a few short pages the author is required to distil a lifetime of work experience, achievements and aspirations, whilst at the same time convincing a third-party of their value as a potential employee. It is not unusual for applicants to spend a considerable amount of time drafting and redrafting their resume. And given the potential benefit a good resume can deliver – namely obtaining that desired job – the effort agonising over the right words, phrases and content is time well spent.
A poorly qualified candidate with an elegant, professional looking resume may get called for a job interview, while a stronger candidate can be left behind because of poor resume aesthetics or subpar presentation, and no one will ever know. It’s a one way street. A poor resume might generate a 1/20 interview ratio, while an exceptional resume should generate a 1/6 ratio or better. Resumes are often read with a negative bias. ”What is this candidate missing?” As a longtime recruiter, 50% of the resumes that I screened were poorly written. About 40% were average and only 10% were effective selling resumes. Most resumes are narrative, unfocused and are not ”selling resumes”. A Selling resume is at least 31% more likely to land interviews, 40% more likely to receive a job offer, and 38% more likely to be contacted by recruiters, compared to an average resume. A Selling resume is about 70% more likely to get interviews than a poor resume.
Text resumes (also referred to as ASCII resumes) are just what the name implies, an ASCII-formatted version of either your traditional or scannable resume. Text resumes are universally readable on all computer systems and platforms and are the preferred format when you are emailing your resume. An ASCII resume received in email can be entered directly into an applicant tracking system without the added step of needing to scan it. Entry into the system is fast, easy, and accurate and so many employers and recruiters prefer this format. The phrase ”keyword resume,” as it was first used, referred most often to either a scannable or text resume that incorporated a focus on nouns and phrases that employers were likely to use when searching for an applicant. Sometimes the keyword resume had a section at the beginning or end that listed the keywords separated by commas or periods. Today, there is no need to maintain both a keyword and a non-keyword resume. Keywords have become such an essential element in resumes that you should ensure that every version of your resume, whether meant for the human or the computer reader, incorporates the keywords most important in your field or industry.
Inappropriate pictures: Within the last five years I have seen a definite increase in resumes that include a picture or pictures of the candidate. Interestingly, hiring managers seem to have a difference of opinion regarding the addition of pictures; some hiring managers seem to appreciate being able to visualize a candidate while reading over the candidate’s qualifications, whereas others seem to think that it is a distraction. Personally, I am not a big fan of this practice, as I have seen the most inappropriate pictures that you can imagine! For example, I have received resumes submitted by female candidates where they are photographed with short skirts or showing their décolletage. I have received resumes from male candidates where their pictures show them in casual attire (fishing hats, swim suits, etc.), or worse, in pictures that include their whole family. However, the most inappropriate picture that I have ever seen to date on a resume was one that included a nude photo of the candidate’s genitals! Not only is this the most inappropriate picture imaginable, I have to say it is extremely creepy!! If you are inclined to include a photo on your resume it should be professionally photographed, and should include a head shot with a plain background in professional attire. My professional opinion is that if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a picture, do not include it!
Tip 3. A Simple Resume Format and Resume Template Work Best. A lot of the initial resume review process may be done using software tools as discussed above. This software typically scans a resume for specific sections of information, such as profile or summary, work experience, education, training, etc. If the software can’t identify where information is in your resume, it is likely that the information you worked so hard to put in your resume will just be skipped over. Rarely will you get a second chance from an in-person reviewer. So keep your resume format simple to avoid having any issues with software tools used by potential employers. Tip 4. Present Your Work Experience in a CAR. Not a literal car, but an acronym CAR to help guide your resume writing. First, for each position listed on your resume, provide a short paragraph that describes your roles and responsibilities. This tip is designed to make sure you use keywords related to the position that the software may be searching for in your resume. If done correctly, it should allow your resume to earn a higher ranking in the system.
Targeted Resume. 1. Highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. 2. Takes more work, effort and time to write. 3. Has to be very specific. 4. Recommended for Industry Experts. 5. Preferred format when asked by Decision Makers or Business Owners. Mini Resume. 1. Contains a brief summary of your career highlights qualifications. 2. Used for networking purposes. 3. Recommended use for introductory purposes or to break the ice. 4. Mostly used for networking purposes. Resume With Profile. 1. Includes a summary of an applicant’s skills, experiences and goals as they relate to a specific job. 2. These kinds of resumes are very detailed and long drawn. 3. Mostly used and asked for Legal purposes like migration or by the law. Infographic Resume. 1. An infographic resume uses visuals including images, photos, graphs, charts and other graphics to provide information about a job seeker. 2. Infographics can be shared with connections and prospective employers and pinned to Pinterest. 3. They are like traditional resumes in that they convey similar information such as contact information, previous work experience, and related skills. 4. However, infographic resumes convey this information in a highly visual format; for example, instead of listing previous work experience in chronological order, an infographic resume may display this information in an illustrated timeline. 5. An infographic’s unique blend of text and images can help job seekers stand out from other applicants.