Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your Resume's Got Only 30 Seconds! Make It Count...

I hate to admit this! But that’s the truth.

Every recruiter around the world will deny this flatly, saying, “No! I spend about a couple of minutes or at times even more per resume”. Let’s face it, as much as we would love to, that much time isn’t available at the first go. With thousands of resumes flowing in daily, it’s hard for the recruiter to do 100% justice to every resume. I know that’s a reason and also the truth stated again. Do I see the brickbats flying thick and fast? I’ve heard recruiters give their best explanation and the end the result is the same 30 seconds.

Think about it this way, if you had 30 Seconds to introduce yourself personally to your prospective employer, what would you tell them? I’m sure you’ll leave all the riff-raff out and get straight to the point. Right? It’s harsh, but that’s the way it happens. Your resume is speaking for you. It’s just an introduction; you’ll get your chance for a detailed conversation later. Get to the table first.

There are numerous websites that tell you the order in which information must appear on the resume. Yes, there are standard templates available and can be used too. But will the standard template work for you? If not, you decide what goes first depending on the job you are applying for. That will in turn be decided by what the employer is asking for. See the connection? It’s simple. They are looking for a person with a certain skill-set and you are telling them in less than 30 seconds, that you are best qualified for that job!

Here’s what would help with breezing through the 30 seconds:s

- Please don’t write an essay! It’s the biggest turn-off for any recruiter. Make info available by using bullet pointed single line statement.

- If you are part of a team, then you must tell the recruiter your role & accomplishments in the team. Most often I get to read lines like, “The team accomplished the target a week ahead of the deadline”. It’s great! But what did you do to help the team achieve that goal? That’s what is important. Even if you are a manager, spill out the reasons on how the team succeeded by your actions.

- The resume is about you. Keep it that way. There’s a tendency to tell more about the current company, projects, etc. Mention your company website and elaborate about the project later on when you meet in-person. For now, a brief about the project should suffice.

- Ensure to read through the job requirements and priority that is given to certain skills. If you think you match that. Then your resume should match that list.

Make It Count!