Making your resume stand out from the crowd is one of the most important aspects on getting a new job as proved by my efforts a couple of weeks ago.
I put an advert for one of my roles on monster jobs in the UK a few weeks ago and was horrified with the result. I am looking for a very simple Sales Manager for a company here in Moscow, Russia and need to find someone with experience working in the UK who would be willing relocate to a country where its -30 in the winter and +40 in the Summer. I thought at best I would get maybe one hundred resumes and of that a few would be good.
How wrong was I……… After nine days, I have nearly one thousand resumes. How on earth am I supposed to get through all these. I do not have the time or the resources to interview one thousand different people and therefore I have to narrow down the numbers considerably.
Lucky for me, I made quick work of the resumes, and narrowed the one thousand down to a simple 26 that I would speak to. As I was looking at the resumes, one question did cross my mind. I wonder how many great candidates I have missed whilst I was going through the resumes.
On average I think I gave each resume a solid ten seconds of my time to make an impression and this made me think further about what I was looking for and therefore what you should have on your resume to make it stand out from the crowd.
Before you send your Resume ask Yourself this Question.
If someone looked at your resume for ten seconds and had nearly a thousand others to get through, would you call your Resume? If the answer is “No”, then maybe you need to make some adjustments.
Here are my Top Tips to consider if your resume is not getting you the right results
You Need to get my Attention Quickly – What does the first few lines on your resume say? My advice is to get as much good information on the first few lines as possible. Next to your name, put your qualifications. An MBA or another recognised qualification does stand out.
I will Normally Skim Read your Summary / Profile – What does yours say? You need to make sure that this is a compelling summary of your career showing your impressive achievements and possible qualifications.
I placed a Number of Keywords in the Job Advert – I want to see these on your Resume – Where are they? I have mentioned that I need someone to relocate to Russia. Where on your resume does it say that you will happily relocate to Russia. ”I am happy to relocate to Russia”, written in small letters at the end of your resume probably means I will miss it”.
Customise your Resume – Within the job advertisement I have also used a number of experiences and achievements that I need you to have. Where are they? They should be in both your summary/profile and your experience section. Are they? If the answer is No, well you know why you did not get that interview don’t you!
I Don’t care what your Looking for – You resume is at max going to be three pages long, although if I am honest, most likely I will not read the second or third pages. Why on earth are you using up valuable space on the first page of your resume telling me what kind of job you are looking for. If you are not interested in a Sales Role, why did you apply for it….!!!
Keep It Short – I am not going to read you eight page long resumes so why send it to me. At best I will read 75% of the first page and have a very quick skim of the second. Keep your resume to the last ten years of your career and list the rest in one paragraph.
I Want to Know your Achievements – Yes you can tell me about your responsibilities however for the most part I can assume 80% of them. I have recruited for a number of different roles in my career and therefore know what most roles do, however I do not know what your achievements are – Tell Me!!
Money, Money and more Money – Give me Numbers. The percentage improvement, profits made, money saved and any stats that you have that can show how could you are. Make it bold and make it stand out – I want to see these!!!
What do you do outside of Work – I think its always interesting to see what candidates do outside of work. What you do outside of work also speaks volumes about your personality, however keep it clean and professional. I enjoy drinking and getting my tattoos completed maybe not the best hobbies for a senior role.
Check and Re-Check your Spelling and Grammar – Come on, its a Senior role and you have made a spelling mistake. How does this make you look?
Get Feed-Back – Before you send out your resume, ask a few people for advice. Use your friends, business associated or even send it to a recruiter like me. I am always happy to help where I can and will offer any advice.
Forget the Reference – Yes I know you have references and if I ask for them you will provide. You wasting valuable space on your resume.
Making your Resume Stand Out from the Crowd is actually really difficult, however its important to remember one final point. What you think of your resumes does not really matter – Its all about what someone else thinks of it.
Given the competitiveness of the job market at present its important to make sure that you give yourself an advantage in as many ways as possible. Hopefully you will take my advice and make your resume stand out from the crowd.