You are a recruiter who is currently seeking to fill 25 positions weekly for, let’s say, a call center. Or maybe you recruit for a large national company (you know, the one you covet working for)and you have 20 to 40 positions you are trying to fill. Anything from mid-level management to senior-level positions.
It would not be uncommon for you to get to work today and have 200 to 1200 (or more!) resumes/applications begging for your attention in your inbox upon your arrival.Sidebar: I have a friend you owns a boutique (think: small) staffing company who receives on the order of 1100 to 1200 resumes daily. Being that she is in the staffing business she will actually give everyone of those resumes a thorough scan, if not a good, hard read. Why? Because resumes are the inventory of staffing companies; people are what they sell. They will review each resume seeking those ‘diamonds-in-the-rough’ who are potentially qualified applicants but may be “resume challenged.” In other words they will scan the junk searching for the good stuff.
Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. Now let’s say your resume is somewhere in that mix of 200 to 1200 resumes above. You are hopeful you’ll be found but let’s get real. If you are still living with the idea that each resume receives 20 seconds or so of review, forget it. That’s just not the case. An experienced recruiter has the ability to scan a resume in a 2 or 3 second glance and make an instant determination if said resume has any quality and is worthy of further examination. Two or three seconds. And then you might receive the 20-second scan.
The on-staff corporate recruiter can easily make an instant determination and decide to move on to the next candidate. That, and the fact that the resume-filtering software that ‘allowed‘ you to get this far indicates there are 22 other similarly qualified resumes in the queue so said recruiter can simply move on to the next document.
Less Is More
(Apologies. Self-promotion ahead.) I spent 10 years in my job board days calling on corporate recruiters and hiring managers. I used to watch them eliminate perfectly good resumes/candidates out of hand. This is when I got on my little high-horse and decided to create my (now highly successful) one-page, Short-Form Resume. I’m not going to go into all the details here. (You can see samples at RickGillis.com/resume.) What I DO want you to know is that my concept of the ABBREVIATED resume has been successfully used across the nation.
The idea is to provide ONLY that information the recruiter needs to make an initial determination that you are that person they should spend their time reaching out to. This resume is based on your personal best accomplishments–hence my calling it the Accomplishments-Based resume. Think of it this way: Accomplishments are the currency of employment. The more you have and can speak to (more on this in an upcoming post) the more you can sell yourself for.
Now I’m not going to spend a lot of time here going over the Short-Form Resume. What I will tell you is that you CAN, regardless of your employment history, create an abbreviated one-page resume. (Click link above.)
What I do want you to think about is how much you can get a recruiter to LIKE you right from the start. By that I mean right from the header of your resume through to the keywords at the bottom of the page. (Keywords? Bottom of page? We are talking here, once again, about my format which is very successful at navigating that pesky resume-filtering software.)
Think about why Twitter is SO popular. It’s a message of power and reach presented in a maximum of 140 characters. Brilliant! We are all reading Tweets aren’t we? We follow those who can impress us in 140 or less. We, each of us, like short messages. Fits into our busy schedules. Apply this lesson to your resume. Keep it short and on point. (Hmm. Note to self–consider calling your resume format the “Twitter Resume.”)
For those of you just cannot fathom the idea of drafting and submitting a one-page, abbreviated resume know that I have you covered. Head to that very same, too often mentioned link above where you can also view the accomplishments-based, Long-Form, Resume that you will use to follow up when you get that call from the recruiter complimenting that short think you sent over.
For entry-level job seekers the Short-Form is a classy way to make the cut. Try it. It works!
If you STILL can’t deal w/such a “radical” idea as a one page resume I offer you this little Chinese gem of a proverb: “Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it.” Cheers!
Next Up: “Are You Interview Challenged?”
Good (JOB!) Hunting!