Would Your Resume Pass A Hiring Manager’s First Scan?

iStock_000005359781SmallIt is well known throughout the job market that hiring managers spend little time giving resumes a once-over to weed out who makes the cut and who doesn’t. This is why it is so important to have a polished, professional resume that clearly conveys what you have to offer and attracts positive attention. It is not enough anymore to submit the same resume for every position. The more you can tailor it to the opening, the better off you will be. In addition, you must also hit on key points that hiring managers are looking for as they do a preliminary scan.

 

Here are a few things that hiring managers are looking for:

 

  • Clear Focus: What position are you applying for and what skills and experience do you have that support it? A hiring manager doesn’t want to guess what role you are looking to fill. Give yourself a clear brand and a consistent message to go along with it. Scrap unrelated details that do not bring value to your experience or what you have to offer. You don’t have to include every detail of every position you have held.
  • Relevant Keywords: A solid list of core competencies should highlight hard and soft skills that show you are a good fit. What strengths do you bring to the table? Look at the job opening to see desired qualifications and make sure that the ones you possess are included. Hiring managers list them for a reason, and if your resume goes through a scanner, it will be targeting these phrases.
  • Metrics: Numbers tell a story. They show proof of a job well done and are evidence of what you are able to achieve. Hiring managers are able to measure performance and get a sense of how you will benefit their company. Be proud of your accomplishments and give quantifiable statements to back them up.
  • Clean Format: If the hiring manager has to spend time searching for key information, your resume will probably be passed over. The same goes for resumes that are cluttered with text and have tiny margins and fonts. Use standard margins, size 11 or 12 font, and clearly label each section. Go easy on the bolding and break up text using bullet points. Strive to be clear and concise so that you present a strong message without a lot of excess.
  • Personality: With a focus on professionalism, you also don’t want to lose out on personality. Include statements that show your leadership skills, positive contributions, awards, and achievements. Use conversational language that does not make you come across as stale or robotic. If you wouldn’t use a word when talking to someone, you probably shouldn’t use it in your resume either.

Your resume should be clear and to the point, emphasizing your strengths and accomplishments and how you will contribute to your next employer. You don’t need to rehash every detail of your career – you simply need to give enough incentive for them to want to interview you. You can always provide more information at that time if necessary. Too much or too little information can both have a negative impact, so it’s important to find the right balance.

 

Author: Amanda Clark

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