A resumes purpose is to get your foot in the door. It needs to show why you are a fit for the position. When writing, your resume take into consideration who will be viewing your resume, how much time will they devote to reading your resume, and knowing this, how do you effectively display why you are the right fit for this position.
Gatekeepers and Decision Makers
When writing your resume, you should think about who will be viewing it. Your audience is very important, they’re the ones that get you hired after all and you should consider who they are before writing your resume. They can fall into two categories; gatekeepers and decision makers.
Gatekeepers are the buffer between you and the decision maker. Generally, they are the ones that determine if you are a good fit for the position that you are applying to. They can be recruiters, assistants, secretaries, human resources, or lower level management.
Decision makers are the ones who decide if you get an interview. They can be partners, presidents, CEO, CFO, a manager or another executive. They will also most likely be the ones interviewing you. On most occasions, this will be the person you will be working for or reporting to.
The content on your resume is important. It will be the deciding factor on whether you get an interview. So, you need to make sure your resume expresses to the reader why you think you can do the job you are applying for.
When describing your past experience, include details that would be relatable toward the position you are applying for. This is especially important when pursuing opportunities that you have never done before.
Craft your resume to the position you are applying to. It needs to show why you think you are a good fit. If you have a degree in mechanical engineering, but think you can do geo-technical engineering, Why? Think about why your previous experience will let you do the position you are applying for and put it on your resume.
Think “Elevator Pitch”
According to Google on average a recruiter takes about 6 seconds to review a resume. 6 seconds! Not only do you need to have the right content, but you need it to be in the right places.
The first place their eyes will go when reviewing your resume is the top. If you are already in the position you are applying for, then you should include a title at the top such as “software programmer” or “chef”. Also, make sure to include the titles that you have held in the past.
It’s not necessary to include an objective, but if you choose to, craft it toward the position you are applying for. For example:
To pursue a position as a site superintendent, where my 15 years as a construction professional in high-rises can be utilized.
Applicable work history
Next their eyes will go to the first position you have listed. Generally, it is best to have your most recent employment at the top, but this is only the case if it is applicable to the position you are pursuing. If you are pursuing a position in a field you have not done in 5 years, then you should arrange your resume so that the first section the reader sees is your applicable work history. This section allows you to put down only those position you have done that apply to the career you are pursuing. Then underneath this section have an unrelated work history showing what you have been up to in the meantime. You do not need to go into detail of what you did in these positions. Just show the firm, what title you held, and the dates.
For example, if you are a surveyor with 15 years of experience, but for the last 5 years you have been running your family’s accounting firm, then you’d put all of your surveying work history and experience at the top. Then underneath that, you’d put your work history for the last 5 years.
After viewing your top position the readers is going to scan the rest of your work history. They will not take the time to read what you did in each position, but they will view your title, the dates of your employment, and maybe the first bullet of your responsibilities in that position. It is very important that you include the title and dates for each position. This way your potential employer knows what you did at that firm and how long you were there for.
Stick to 1 page, 2 if you must.
Gatekeepers and decision makers are busy. Not only do they have other resumes to look at, but they also have other responsibilities at their firm. You can’t expect a president to devote 15 minutes to a resume.
Therefore, you need to keep your resume to one page, two if you have to, but one is best. Be brief, for each of your past positions include one to two bullets no more than a sentence in length. The bullets need to include the work you did that makes you a good fit for the position you are applying to.
You need to cut to the chase, you wouldn’t stand in an elevator for 10 minutes and introduce yourself. Why would you expect someone to read a 7 page 3500-word resume?
In conclusion, before writing your resume think of the people that will be looking at it, the time that they have and the content that you include. All of them are important. When crafting your resume, make it relevant to the position, keep it to one page, and chances are you’ll make it past the gate keepers and impress the decision makers.