Minggu, 25 Juli 2010

Why Your Resume Isn't Working

by Mike O'Brien, Climber.com


If you're like most job seekers, you're probably satisfied with a resume that does a good job of positioning you and presenting your skills and experience.


Unfortunately, "good" isn't good enough anymore. Climber.com recently polled its entire national database of recruiters, and that poll shows that these one- to two-page documents have never been more critical to the professional job-search process.


The primary reason is sheer volume: recruiters are now reviewing at least 300 resumes per posted position, and taking approximately 10 to 30 seconds per document to decide whether or not a candidate is worthy of further review. Now more than ever, resumes are being used as reasons to say no to a candidate, not yes. What used to be considered minor errors--typographical issues, lack of scanability, or incomplete or poorly executed job-experience descriptions--are now enough to get your resume discarded.


To keep this from happening to you, consider the following tips:


Use generic 12-point fonts. Climber.com's recruiters became visibly frustrated when they had to increase the font size so they could read it.

Save your resume as a Word or PDF document--nothing else. A number of resumes that cross recruiters' desks are saved as CSV or RTF files--but this approach can be dangerous. More than one recruiter said that they are unable to open odd files due to their company's policies.

Create an easily scanned document. Experienced recruiters can scan a resume in less than 30 seconds. They have trained themselves to process a resume quickly, and then sort it into the "yes" pile or the "no" pile. Resumes that appear confusing or too dense don't fare well in this system.

Optimize your resume with the appropriate keywords. Research the companies that interest you the most, and see what keywords they utilize over and over again in their website content. If those keywords aren't present in your resume, you may not pass the automated review process many employers now use to weed out non-viable resumes.

Provide context for little-known companies. If you've worked at a company that isn't top-of-mind for a recruiter, explain a bit about the organization within your resume. For example, the following description not only names the organization but also positions it well for a recruiter's consideration:

"Medical Device ABC, a $30,000,000 leading manufacturer of medical equipment, located in New York, with approximately 300 employees"

Your resume is often the first opportunity you have to share yourself and your experience with a prospective employer--and you often won't get a second chance. If you don't feel confident enough to make changes to your own resume, many career-management sites offer resume-analysis services that provide feedback and guidance. Whether you seek outside guidance or do it yourself, however, take the time to create the best resume you can. It will help get you noticed by the people who matter.


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