How to Keep your Resume out of the Trash Bin

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:

  1. “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”.
  2. “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”.
  3. “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”.
  4. “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.