I thought I would give you some totally honest inside information today on the topic of resume screening and how your resume format is probably keeping you unemployed!
I read an article yesterday that upset me. It was written by an “award winning resume writer” (what?) who claimed the resume format to use included a very well written profile. She even claimed that “hiring managers love reading” them.
Information like this, information that is packaged like good advice but is really hurting you and is killing your chances of getting hired really gets me going!
Hiring managers ONLY EVER read a profile or summary once they are down to the short list. It’s not that they don’t enjoy reading them, they just don’t have the time to read them. I’ll explain why below.
The entire application process has been streamlined to happen at light speed, thanks to the economy and time, you are facing different barriers than before.
Not only are you dealing with an application system that seems strange, unfair and mysterious. You’re also getting advice from every angle about what resume format to use, how to apply and how to interview.
For very cool and interesting take on being unemployed check out Tim Tyrell-Smith’s (he’s one of the good guys out there!) articleThe Compounding Value Of Being Out Of Work
So today, I want to share with you, from an honest (top secret) headhunters perspective of what resume screening looks like and how your resume format is probably getting you eliminated.
I’ve read several surveys and studies on resume screening and the facts are pretty scary.
- A hiring manager is recruiting for 2, 10, 20 or more positions
- They receive 80 – 200 resume for each position.
- They spend 6 – 8 seconds reviewing your resume.
Here are the TOP 3 reasons a busy hiring manager eliminates you in less than 8 seconds…
Resume Screening #1 – Do you live in the right place?
-Your resume appears on a list of applicants that displays your name, address, contact info.
-You will be eliminated if you are not in the right geographic area – regardless of your resume format, profile summary etc.
-If the company is only looking to hire locally and you are not local – you’re eliminated. If they are willing to look at a relo package, you might survive. Long story short make sure that your resume format clearly shows that you are in the right geographic area or you’ve already made plans to relocate.
Resume Screening #2 – Do you have the education I need? (If education is not required, skip to step #3)
-Education is the “qualifier.” If you are applying to be a lawyer and you don’t have a law degree you won’t get hired to be a lawyer. No busy hiring manager will waste their valuable time reading all of your highlights until they determine you meet their education requirement. They prioritize and if you NEED SPECIFIC OR A CERTAIN LEVEL OF EDUCATION, that’s the first and only thing they’re looking for.
-Some companies have a policy that states they will only hire people with a certain level of education. If the job ad says “Must have” a certain degree/diploma or a certain level of education “is required” use a resume format that highlights the education that will enable you to “pass” the initial screening.
Resume Screening #3 – Do you have the experience I need?
-This will be looked at next after you’ve met the education requirement (if there is one) or it will be the primary target if the company is only looking for experience.
-If you had to overcome the education qualifier, use a resume format that puts your education first and then tuck your experience up nice a close so both are on the top half of your first page.
-If you are showcasing your experience, use a resume format that puts your RELATED EXPERIENCE directly under your contact info. If this is the only thing they are looking for, give it to them. Don’t hide it.
Don’t forget you can sign up for my FREE eBook and start changing the way you approach resume writing.
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