You’ve put all of your skills and experience into your resume and sent it out to scores of companies. Your resume is neat and tidy and gives your complete work history, showing various duties you’ve performed and companies you’ve worked for. Overall, you feel it’s a good presentation of where you have been and what you have done.
So, why doesn’t the phone ring with interview requests?
Maybe your resume isn’t focused on its main purpose – selling you to the prospective employer. When crafting your resume it’s important to remember that a resume is a tool with one purpose – to get an interview. If it does that, it’s an effective resume.
Think of your resume as an advertisement, with you as the product. Like any good ad, your resume should inform the hiring manager of what they will get should they hire you. In short, if they buy this product they well get specific benefits. Your resume should present you in your best light and convince the prospective employer that you have what it takes to be successful with their company in the position you are applying for.
Other purposes of a resume are:
- To provide contact information
- To pass the prospective employer’s initial screening (requisite experience, education level, etc.)
- To present facts that might sway an employer, such as affiliations, companies you worked for, etc.
- To establish you as a professional with excellent writing and organization skills and as a person of high standards. A well-written resume that is clear, well-organized and attractive speaks volumes about you by serving as an example of your skills.
- To help you clarify your skills, strengths, qualifications and direction, as well as boost your confidence.
Your resume is NOT:
- A catalog of your past history
- A personal statement
- An exercise in self-expression
Hiring managers are receiving hundreds of resumes for any one job opening. They’re likely to be skimming resumes until their eyes glaze over. Write to pique their interest so your resume is read in its entirety, and put in the short pile of those called for interviews. The secret is to write subtle but effective ad copy, rather than a dull recitation of your employment history.
An effective resume will garner attention if you craft it to:
- Focus on the employer’s needs, not yours. Do your homework and determine exactly what the company you are applying to needs to achieve with this hiring.
- List the talents that make you their ideal candidate. Again, do your homework. Emphasize the talents you have that will help the company meet its goals for this position.
- Catch their attention early with a powerful Summary. Craft a subtle ad that keeps the hiring manger reading.
- Leave them wanting to know more
A successful resume is attractive to look at and entices the hiring manager to read it. Its purpose is to whet the appetite and stimulate an interest in learning more about you. If your resume does its job, it will assert and demonstrate that you are the best and most desirable person for the job, and the hiring manager will be inspired to pick up the phone and call you to schedule an interview.