The Basics of Resume Branding is very important, so to demonstrate my mantra, here are a few quick facts about the resume and how some HR professionals see it.
1. Resumes are living documents and should be tweaked to the position for which you are applying.
2. Most organizations use some sort of automated Applicant Tracking System (applicant processing), translation…resumes are read by computers looking for keywords within the resume to qualify the candidate.
3. Once the resumes have been placed in a repository for selected candidates, most HR professionals don’t start by looking for the most qualified because that’s always a much smaller pile. We start by looking by ruling out the least qualified to decrease the pile to simplify and decrease the time spent reviewing the candidate pool.
4. Simply ways to rule you out? From top to bottom.
a. Email addresses of a sordid nature.
b. Spelling and grammar errors.
c. Unreliable (or soft) information (e.g. personality traits in lieu of skill and proficiency).
d. Changing fonts.
e. Job Jumping (can’t hold a position).
f. Sketchy or unclear information.
g. Tense changes. Past stays in past, current in present.
h. Inconsistent format. What you start with (e.g. bullets, fonts, periods) end with so the resume format is strong.
5. Resumes should be two pages in length and should only contain relevant information that is applicable to the position you are seeking (see related article “Another Resume Story). We do not need to know that you went to beauty college if you are applying for an IT position (unless you worked on an IT system as a part of the job).
6. Please send a cover letter with your resume and nothing else unless asked.
7. Bring the cream to the top. Translation, what have you done for your employers? Have you developed, created, designed, implemented, achieved, supervised, managed, etc.?
8. I use something called CQTR, Cost, Quantifiable Data (metrics), Time and Result. Have you saved the employer any money? Did you streamline a process? How long did the process take and what was the result? Don’t make the employer guess why you are an asset; tell them how you will be an asset!
9. Know what type of resume you have and what type you need. Chronological is the most commonly used, but may not be the best fit.
10. Summarize your qualifications out the gate. If the bulk of what qualifies you is on page one, chances are page two is just icing on the cake.
Got it? Good. Class dismissed.