Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Résumé Tips - Trade Secrets

A lot of job seekers just haven’t been told some of the most important facts about how employers regard a résumé. Have you ever heard that “knowledge is power”? Knowing what an employer looks for in a résumé is valuable information as you begin to prepare your presentation. I have taken the time to list a few things about employers, and other things you may consider as you prepare to submit your résumé to a prospective employer.

The actual hiring authority is not the first to receive and review your résumé. That’s right. Even if you address the résumé to an individual, there are “others” who screen your résumé first. Most every company has a human resource representative, a secretary, administrative assistant, or just a clerk to screen for the needs of an employer.

The typical Résumé only receives about 10-20 seconds of attention. If a large corporation places an ad, or just has career information on their website, imagine how many other job seekers submit their résumé just like you. Then imagine how that human resource representative may have to review hundreds of résumés a week. Your résumé is just a tool for weeding out job seekers.

The best résumé doesn’t always get you hired. You may qualify for the job, even exceed the qualifications, however if the information provided in the presentation doesn’t impress the reviewer with the greatest impact, or portray your skills appropriately, your résumé may end up in one of the other piles. And we haven’t even talked about how an employer may advertise a position to meet basic requirements of law, and already know who they want to fill the position. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get hired!

One, simple typographical error may eliminate your résumé from consideration. That is a scary fact, but true. Employers look for attention to detail, as do their reviewers. Especially when considering applicants for administrative positions. Proofread, over and over again; get help from others.

Spelling and the ability to write without grammatical errors is essential. You may be the best at what you do, but if you can’t spell, or you tend to write like you speak, you may consider having someone else prepare your résumé for you. Your résumé is your introduction, and you want the first impression to be positive, and effective.

Honesty is the best policy. Seasoned résumé reviewers are renowned for being able to see through wordy attempts to inflate experience and proficiency. You don’t have to sound perfect, but you do have to portray your relevant skills. If you have to stretch the truth, then maybe the position isn’t right for you.

Objective statements may result in elimination from consideration. Yep. Think about it. Do you really think an employer cares what your objective is? Most people put this right up top on the résumé, and unless your objective is exactly what the employer’s objective is – you should refrain from stating yours. If you use an objective statement, the best one is specific, focused, and related to the position you are seeking.

Too much information can be just as detrimental as not enough. It pays to research the company, the hiring authority, and the boss. Your credentials may very well exceed those of the person you are trying to get to hire you. The goal is to get your foot in the door for an interview.  Carefully consider the content in your résumé.

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