Resume Strategies to Get You Hired

On 02/27/2013, in Cover Letters & Resumes, by Jordan Wilson
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Resume strategies that will help you get hired.

Always good to know.

So what are a few resume keys to get a job offer? 

Salary.com offers “5 Resume Strategies That Will Get You Hired”.

Thankfully only 5. After 14 “Common Job Hunting Blunders”, my fingers are still bleeding.

Write a Resume for the Reader

The overall theme of the 5 keys. But I want to emphasize as a point made here is crucial.

Readers come in various forms and differ throughout the stages of the job search. The first reader is often an admin assistant doing resume searches. The second reader may be a recruiter, an interviewer or management-level human resource professional. These individuals are the ones making the decision to contact you for an interview. The actual hiring decision will be made by someone else or a group of other people.

Ensure your resume and cover letter is understandable by all potential readers. As the ultimate decision-maker, I may understand your technical jargon and acronyms. The HR assistant or recruiter may not. Tailor your points to each level so that you are clear.

The first reader may also be a computer program. One that looks for key words. Factor that into your verbiage.

5. Emotionally Detach Yourself

Start with a master resume holding your entire life. Then tailor specifically for each position.

Have someone with an understanding of the industry or business in general critique your submission. Not your mommy, but someone who will call a spade a spade.

4. Give the Reader What He/She Wants

My favourite recommendation.

Reverse chronological order not functional.

Make the resume easy to read and make the reader’s work a little easier. It will be appreciated.

3. Never Underestimate the Reader

Address obvious red flags up front. By obvious, a 5 year career gap, in the news for embezzlement, etc. If there is a blatant problem in your resume, you probably want to deal with it in the cover letter. Otherwise, the reviewer may guess the worst and toss your resume.

Hold off on less obvious red flags. No sense calling attention to things that may be overlooked by the reviewer. BUT, make sure you are ready to address any potential red flags in the interview. Because they will likely be raised.

It is a fine line between disclosing up front and holding off.

Also, readers hate to have their intelligence questioned. If a reviewer thinks you are trying to pull a fast one or be cute, your resume will usually be tossed.

The other point here is flowery language.

Some computer screening software may search for buzzwords. Be cognizant of that.

In general though, be professional. Clear, concise, and conservative.

And if you are going to talk the talk, be certain you can walk the walk.

2. The Reader is Not Seeking to Include You

Yes and no.

Initial reviewers have to winnow the applicant herd down to a few interviewees. So yes, they are looking for reasons to delete your name from consideration. Tailor that resume to hit all the required qualifications. Avoid the dross.

But when you get to the actual decision-maker, he/she is looking for reasons to include you. The company needs a new employee. It can be a long process to find someone. Once at the actual real interview stage (with perhaps 10 candidates), the employer is hoping one of the candidates will be a great match. You need to feed that desire.

Now I am not saying you bring up everything in your life during the latter interviews. Stay focused. But as the process continues, how you will fit into the team and corporate culture takes on added importance. Does your potential boss see you as a positive member of the team? Be prepared to augment the stated job requirements by demonstrating you have excellent interpersonal skills.

1. The Reader Might Not be Human

Yes, consider submitting both scannable and human-friendly resumes. If this is possible.

Or just be aware that a computer program may be assessing submissions (it is often easy to determine) and populate your single resume with keywords as appropriate. If software is being used, the human readers realize that this is necessary for screening. They will expect and tolerate buzzwords in this case. Just do not overdo it and destroy the feel of your resume.

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