This week I spoke with a young woman I coached who was on week five of her first professional job. One of Jillian’s many tasks was to look through over 100 resumes and pick out a handful to phone screen. I thought you would like to hear her candid response to her experience. The first thing that struck Jillian was how crazy it was that she – an entry level employee – was the first level screening of resumes for staffing important projects. It is worth remembering that the person looking at your resume is not necessarily a sophisticated assessor of critical skills and experience. And, their job is not to try to find you, but rather to get rid of most of the resumes to find a handful to interview.
Here are some tips from Jillian had for keeping your resume on her desk, and out of her trash bin:
- “Make it really, really easy for me to understand what your jobs have been. Make sure that your resume is chronological. Confusing is not ok”.
- “Don’t have all kinds of design stuff – it just makes it harder to figure out what is going on. I looked at one resume with a crazy amount of underlining and bolded stuff and things in Italics, with wildly different font sizes, and I thought – “I just don’t want to read this”.
- “And I also didn’t want to read the resume that had absolutely no white space on it – it had words covering every square inch. I am a little embarrassed to say that I just threw it away. It was like my 70th resume and I was looking for any excuse”.
- “Stop applying for jobs for which you aren’t qualified. Almost ½ of the resumes were not even close to meeting the requirements of the job. And if the job spec says you need international experience and you don’t highlight your international experience I assumed you didn’t have it. And then of course I don’t call you”.
I agree with Jillian. Get that chronological, well-laid out resume together and fill it up with accomplishment stories that make you an irresistible candidate, and don’t apply online for a job when you aren’t close to qualified.
And, if you could use more help putting this kind of resume together feel free to contact us at LaunchingU for a free 30 minute consultation.