5 Things People Reading Your Resume Wish You Knew

Lily Zhang, Career Development Specialist at MIT, told several hard truths.

1. «If your relevant experience, education, or skills are hard to find at a glance, your resume might as well be blank.»

It’s understandable to want to make your resume stand out a bit from the typical resume, but getting creative in InDesign isn’t the way to do it. As the head of Google’s HR states, «Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible.»

2. If it’s not immediately clear from your experience why you’re applying, no one will connect the dots for you.

Whether you’re a career changer or just applying for a reach position, if a recruiter’s initial reaction to your resume is confusion, you’re not going to get very far.

So, make sure you connect the dots for the reader. It’s likely that you have an idea of how your skills can be transferred or why you’re more skilled than your years of experience might let on. But, unless you spell it out on your resume, the recruiter probably won’t be able to put the pieces together—and you’ll never have the chance to explain in person.

3. If your resume is difficult to skim, it probably won’t be read at all.

There’s some debate over how much time a recruiter will spend looking over a resume, but everyone agrees that it’s less than 20 seconds. What does that mean for job seekers? It means your resume needs to be as easy to read—really, skim—as possible.

4. If you expect to get your resume in front of a hiring manager, you need to first make sure you get through HR.

That means making sure a layperson can understand what you’re talking about in your resume. It doesn’t matter if you’re managing complicated supply chains, coding complex algorithms, or conducting cutting-edge research on nanolasers—none of your impressive feats will reach the appropriate hiring manager if you can’t at least explain it in a way that a nontechnical human resources representative can understand well enough to put you in the right pile.

5. If your contact info isn’t correct, nothing else matters.

Finally, don’t be that person who has everything a recruiter is looking for but is just impossible to contact. Check, double check, and test your contact information. Typos are always bad, but a typo in your contact information is probably as bad as it gets. It’s a really crummy feeling to notice an incorrect email address a couple months into your job search. Don’t let that be you.

You’re skilled, but unemployed? Maybe you don’t present yourself right?

Photo: mashable.com

There are many reasons why your resume is totally imperceptible for potential employers. Most of them openly say that half of your resume is garbage. They also say that they prefer a clear demonstration of your skills. What does it mean?

There’s tons of advice out there about how exactly to answer interview questions, what to wear to that interview and how to follow-up afterwards, but what if you’re having trouble even getting your foot in the door? For many people, it isn’t a lack of experience, education or training that is keeping them from getting a call back — or these days, an e-mail back. Instead, it often comes down to how you’re presenting yourself via your resume.

Elli Sharef, co-Founder of HireArt, says: «I see hundreds of resumes a day. The biggest mistake I see is people overstuffing their resumes, trying to cram every single activity, skill or job they have ever had onto one page instead of focusing on creating a coherent story. Just recently I was reviewing a 12-page resume that started out with the following:
«My skills include marketing, social media, project management, accounting, tax law, labor law, financial management, sales strategy, 6 Sigma, operational effectiveness, ad operations and software sales. I’ve also published two novels and took a few months off to write a poetry book last spring.

Employers won’t remember anything if you try to focus on everything. If you write out a long list of skills, an employer likely won’t recall any of them. It’s simply impossible to form a mental image if you present yourself as a lawyer, marketer and venture capitalist all in one. Which is it? Pick the one that is most important to you and emphasize it throughout your resume».

So what if you have a lot of skills? You can create a few special resumes instead of one incomprehensible and jumble.

One more widespread problem: many people write voluminous resume. There is a lot of advice about resumes out there. If you’re applying for a job at a technology company or corporation, it’s very clear: employers really dislike long resumes. Being succinct is among the most important skills for a job applicant.

Ok, you have something to tell the employer about yourself. How to make it brief and at the same time exhaustively? Use visualization. Visual things are better and impressive because they are easy to understand and remember as compared to a page full of text. This will allow them to identify you and your skills among the tons of text.

If you want to impress an employer, it’s much better to show than tell. Before you apply for your next job ask yourself: who am I? Or rather, who am I in the context of this job application? Tailor your resume to tell a story that is so compelling that they’ll want to meet you to hear more. You have many accomplishments?

One can incorporate designs and pictures that will show your personality and makes you different from the crowd. You can highlight the things that you think are most important. Maybe you want to put your awesome skills first and your work experience last if you are right out of college. In any case, it’s better to show results than talk about these results.