Recruiters and hiring managers read resumes looking for information that identifies two types of people.
“Hit the Ground Running” Candidates
The first type of candidate is someone so able and willing to do the job that the manager can happily delegate responsibility to that person and turn their attention back to other matters.
Most managers want to hire someone who can hit the ground running.
“Leap of Faith” Candidate
The second type of candidate, if the manager can’t find or afford the Hit the Ground Running Candidate, is someone who is willing to do the job and able to learn how to do it.
What Your Resume Must Show
Thus, to make yourself an attractive candidate, your resume must show:
1. Intrinsic motivation.
2. Ability to do the job.
3. Ability to learn what you don’t know.
Your Resume’s Summary
The first place readers look for these qualities is your summary. Do you tell them, in three lines or less, what you can do for them?
Your Resume’s Experience Section
The second place your readers look for these three qualities is in the experience section. They scan:
1. Job titles.
3. Employment dates.
The 10-Second Resume Review
That information creates their basic impression of your abilities and your career progression.
If your summary didn’t grab them, and there’s nothing of interest in your experience section, they’re done.
That’s the 10-second resume review you hear about so often.
(Note: A third element might be geographic location.)
Your Resume’s Length
Savvy recruiters and hiring managers will also look at your resume’s length. It conveys:
1. Your ability to communicate clearly and succinctly.
2. Your motivation. Have you made an effort to communicate well?
What About Accomplishment Statements?
If your work history fits and shows an appropriate rate and level of career progression, and you show motivation, you’ll probably get a call — even if you don’t have accomplishment statements on your resume.
However, you’ll get your call after the people who wrote great accomplishment statements get their calls. Why? Because they look more results-oriented. Thus, it’s in your best interest to include accomplishment statements on your resume.
Those are the basics on speaking to a hiring manager’s true desires. Nail the basics, and you will likely get an interview.
I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Updated June 2017
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