I get to interview some great people for jobs at our companies. The process always starts with a resume review. I must confess, I already know many of these resumes are not a true representative of the person applying. As a matter of fact, as a hiring authority, I look though resumes to find the resumes other companies may be eliminating because they have a bad objective or can’t immediately find the skills sets they are seeking.
The bad news for job seekers is many hiring managers or initial “resume screeners” don’t think the way I do. Many pride themselves on the ten second resume scan to determine if you are the next great thing. (They can pull this off right now because they are still getting plenty of candidates for jobs they have open.)
What are they looking for in the ten second scan that can help you get your foot in the door?
- Clear Objective. If the job is for a bodily injury claims adjuster and that is what you do, your objective is “Bodily Injury Claims Adjuster”. It is simple and powerful. Gone are the days where you state you are hard-working, career-conscience professional that adds value to a company. Your accomplishments will do that!
- Bullet Point Your Skills. These go right beneath your resume objective. They are an organized list of skill sets you have that are needed for the job are seeking. Look at the example below.
Example of keywords for an LPN. What are your keywords that match the job you are applying to? Keywords are POWERFUL in the 10 second scan!
- Past Company History. They are simply looking to see if you have ever worked at any of their competitors. If you have not, but do the job they are hiring for at a similar company (or not a well-known company), make sure to “connect-the-dots”. Name the company and put a brief statement of what that company does that is similar to the company you are applying to. If you are a recent college grad, your past history has to be the internships, clubs or any extracurricular activity you participate in.
- Job Title. When you apply to a position that you qualify for and the job title is different than the one you have, you must change your job title to the job you are applying to if it is not obvious. How many “account manager” positions are out there? Some are sales but many are administrative in nature. You have to be able to have a “like” job title (even in your old jobs) if you want to get noticed in a ten second scan. Your work history will back up the rest.
The bottom line is your resume has to talk the language of the job posting (as long as you qualify for the position). If you find yourself making too many changes, you are probably not qualified for the job anyway. However, if you can do the job and don’t make any of these changes, your chances of getting an interview are greatly diminished.