On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, four to six will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. The job of a resume is to get you an interview, and its contents must reflect an understanding of what it is intended to do.
Your resume must first pass through initial human and bot filters, which attempt to weed out non-qualified applicants. Recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume, and bots scan hundreds of resumes in seconds. It must then impress employers and recruiters and demonstrate your capabilities.
First, to get your resume seriously considered by employers and recruiters, it must contain the basic requirements listed in the job description, it must show that your experience and personality make you a culture fit, and it must demonstrate that you are detail-oriented and not likely to make costly mistakes on the job. Second, to help you secure an interview, your resume must show that your achievements make you one of the exceptional applicants. There is no time to waste with filler, as 40% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds reviewing each resume they receive, and if you think that’s bad, 25% spend less than 30 seconds.
Collectively, the elements in your resume demonstrate how you make employers stronger by hiring you. The following elements do not contribute to this purpose and are detrimental to your candidacy:
The fact that you are applying for a particular job tells the hiring manager or recruiter that you are interested in a certain type of position with a particular type of employer. Yet the objective takes premium real estate to make a point that doesn’t need to be made at all. Instead of an objective, consider a headline or a quick career summary. A headline brands you as a candidate and distinguishes your unique selling proposition (USP) from your competitors. It could be something like these examples:
- Award-Winning Customer Service Representative
- Social Media Manager for Fast-Growing Technology Company
- Health Care Director with Expertise in Expanding Services
If you are applying for different types of positions, make sure that your branding headline reflects your USP for each job description.
A career summary or statement is your written elevator pitch that succinctly explains why you’re an ideal fit for the advertised position by summarizing your qualifications and achievements. It should be about 2-4 lines.
For each job, you should have no more than three bullets. Bullets are intended to highlight key achievements, as well as hard and soft skills, but if everything is listed in a bullet, nothing stands out. The effect this has is that you are using smoke and mirrors, rather than real successes, just to fill the page. Spend time focusing on your most relevant accomplishments. Consider that 63% of recruiters want resumes tailored specifically to the open position and 69% of resume errors involve missing accomplishments.
In the days of paper resumes, unconventional formats were good for catching the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. In the digital world, elaborate designs confuse applicant tracking systems and get your resume discarded before humans ever see it. Reviewers who do see it will have a tough time scanning for the information they need to determine whether you should be called for an interview, so stick to a clean, tried-and-true design.
Contact Information Overload
The only address information you need to provide now is your name, city, state, and zip code. Including the street address is now considered an identity theft security risk, considering all of the places that resumes are posted online, and the risk of security breaches. Just provide one professional email address, one phone number, and the link to your LinkedIn Profile. If you are in a creative field or have a professional website with content that demonstrates your expertise, include this as well.
Don’t write your resume in the first or third person. Write in what is referred to as the absent first person, which eliminates all pronouns, such as “I,” “me,” “he,” and “she”. You will find that this creates a more succinct and professional resume. Adhering to the absent first person also keeps your resume consistent and free of proofreading errors. Consider that 77% of hiring managers immediately disqualify resumes because of grammatical mistakes or typos
Once you make these changes to your resume, you may want a final professional review. Imprimis Group recruiters will be happy to set up a meeting with you and to help you make any final necessary tweaks, considering the types of positions you are targeting.