Did you know your resume will have about 6 seconds of attention from a recruiter?
Of course, some resumes may deserve a closer look and a recruiter will take longer to go through those. Is your resume in this category?
Think about it from the perspective of the recruiter. Sometimes they might receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes for a single position.
If they dedicate a minute per resume it would take days to just pre-select candidates. This is why we have to think from the perspective of the recruiter when we make our resume.
You have to make it easy for them to identify if you are the right candidate. Also, if you are the right candidate, we have to be sure to include the right information so they take action and contact you.
The goal of this article is to help you create a resume that will earn the attention of a recruiter. Also, we will share with you some habits that will help you maintain your resume updated in a simple way.
If you want to be in a great position to get a job you enjoy then this article is for you.
No resume will get you a job by itself, there are a lot of other variables that need to be in place for the job to happen. Yet, the resume is key for putting you in the right position. The right resume will get your foot in the door.
More than 70% of candidates are rejected because of their resume. Let’s make sure you are part of the other side of that statistic.
Now let’s explore some simple habits you can develop to create and maintain a great resume.
The Perfect Resume
First off, keep in mind BizLatte’s overall philosophy on finding an amazing job. We believe you should network your way into your ideal career once you know your professional purpose. Yet, resumes are still a fundamental part of attaining a great job.
Your resume is a tool, a tool which is vital to land that job. It is the highlight reel of your accomplishments. Let’s take it another step, it’s like a movie trailer for a summer blockbuster which leaves you in anticipation for the release.
Your resume gives just enough to show you off and for an employer to fear losing you to a competitor. How do you make this resume?
Alejandro will explain some important aspects, and I want to explore the idea of quantitative information. Do you like sports? If so, think of the top athlete in your favorite sport, when you read about them you likely see their dominating statistics.
Maybe sports isn’t your thing, how about movies or television? A show or film can objectively be good, yet what makes something a blockbuster is how many tickets it sells. Same goes for any industry, data doesn’t lie.
The same is true for your career. There is a huge difference between saying you have "overseen a marketing department" and explaining you "oversaw a team of 5 for 3-years with campaigns grossing $5m." Those descriptions could be for the same person, yet your idea of the individual changes the moment you see numbers.
Let’s think of another example, imagine someone puts on their resume, “increased efficiency with product X,” well that’s nice. The same person could have said, “decreased distribution time for product X by 1-day resulting in a reduction of 10,000 hours in costs year over year.” Technically both reflect the same accomplishment, but one gives a clear picture.
Your resume must provide an accurate description and highlight your achievements. Numbers are your friend and will keep people glued to your resume. Look over your current resume, are there places which need quantitative information? If so change it today.
The same goes for your LinkedIn, but we'll save that for another time.
The Bible is one of the most read books, if not the most read, in history.
Even though it is one of the most read book, you can ask people about the 10 commandments and most probably don’t know them.
Yet, if you ask about the last supper, or about David and Goliath, most people will know exactly what you are talking about.
This proves the power of telling stories. Everyone loves a good story or a good joke (which is just a funny short story).
We can leverage the power of storytelling in our resumes. In fact, that is what the STAR method is all about. It gives you a structure to tell impactful and memorable stories about your professional experience.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. You should always tell your professional stories using this structure.
Do you remember everything you have done in your career? Do you remember all the results that you achieved in each project?
It is IMPOSSIBLE to remember everything in our careers!
That is exactly why we must begin with the end in mind. Now that you know this, every project or career related activity that you do should be tracked and measured. You should already know how you are going to tell the story, and most importantly the results, before beginning.
Let me give you a specific example.
When I moved to Houston, a couple of years ago, I didn’t know anything about networking. Everyone (faculty, peers, career advisers, and mentors) kept telling me I needed to network.
This is when I decided to learn everything about the topic and also implement it. There are many results, related to networking, that cannot be measured in numbers (like the quality and depth of the relationships), but there are some variables we can use to show value.
When I started with my networking efforts I had about 200 contacts on LinkedIn and two years later I have over 1,400. I have kept track, each month, of how many contacts I’ve added and the activities that have lead to those numbers.
Yet, this knowledge on how to build a network in a short period is not so valuable if I don’t share it. This is why I decided to create and conduct a Networking Boot Camp for the Bauer MBA Consulting Club.
Before starting I knew that I had to be able to tell a good story about it, with results!
This is why I asked the participants to share with me the number of LinkedIn connections that they had, before participating in the Networking Boot Camp. So that at the end I could measure that growth.
Thanks to this I can know say I have created a training session that allowed MBA students to increase their network, and presence on social media platforms, by at least 50% in less than a semester.
Imagine if we would’ve conducted the training sessions without tracking some kind of variable. How would I tell a result without numbers? Or a concise statement that could be used in a resume?
Yes, there is much more about that story. I would save that for an interview. Remember that you only have about 6 seconds to make an impression and having number oriented results in your resume will help you do that.
Be sure that you always begin any project and activity with the end in mind so that you can then maintain your resume updated with valuable and memorable information.
Stand Out with a Great Resume
Your resume is a tool which amplifies who you are and what you have accomplished. None of us at BizLatte would tell you to blindly send your resume to hundreds of people, that would be a waste of your time and the tool which you have masterfully crafted.
This is the moment where you hit the interviewer with shock and awe. You have already done the hard work or spending hours getting to the interview and it’s time to finish the deal. Your resume should be the ultimate highlight reel which shows verifiable data of your awesomeness.
Are you confident the interviewer’s eyes will widen the moment you pull your resume out? Will they spend time looking it over or will they simply glance at it and push it aside?
Don’t go into the interview with uncertainty. We want to give you confidence in all your tools, from your professional purpose to networking to resumes.
Stay tuned as we will share more information on this topic.
Alejandro I. Sanoja & Matt Avery