Readers want the resume in a certain format – reverse chronological. No matter who has “sold” you on a functional format – do not listen! While a functional may make YOU feel better, it is not what the reader wants and you will suffer the consequences.
- Do not underestimate the reader.
The reader is not dumb so do not think you can hide an elephant in your resume. If you have a large date gap or other potential “red flag” it is much better to handle it head-on that to try to cover it up. Watch the over-the-top flowery wording, too. “Existential thinker” may sound really good to you but will elicit an eye-roll from the reader. Professional but conservative is always a safe bet.
- The reader is not seeking to include you.
Many people write their resume with only inclusive aims. They want to get as much information, no matter how irrelevant, into the resume because that one little thing may be the ONE thing that turns the tide in their favor. Actually, the reader is seeking to EXCLUDE your resume from consideration. Hiring managers and recruiters are looking at the resume not only for the skills they seek but also for information that might indicate the candidate is a hire risk or a poor fit. The first task facing the reader is to eliminate as many potential candidates as possible and narrow the field. Your resume has to make that first cut or you will not even be considered for the team.
- The reader may not be human.
In most cases these days, the first hurdle the resume must leap is the computer database search engine. Recruiters use both external and internal database search technology to look for resumes that meet their criteria – ‘datamining.’ These search engines are given specific keywords for which to search and they crawl the resumes in the database seeking those keywords. Once the database takes a bite of the resume, next up is passing the human test. It is never a bad thing to submit both a scannable version and a human-friendly version.
It all boils down to knowing the market, knowing what the reader wants to see or needs to see, and being able to create a resume strategy that meets those needs. The purpose of the resume is to get interviews. A resume will not win a job – only you can do that through a complete, effective presentation throughout the entire process from resume to interview to follow up. The resume can eliminate you as a candidate, though, so it is critical for it to be top-notch from the very start.
About the Author:
Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!
PS: As an affiliate, let me highlight that I get a small commission in case you decide to hire their services. That’s what keeps My Infosec Job free of those annoying “Google Ads” box.
PS2: Since the company is mainly based in USA, not all the countries are covered by their service.
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