1) What do human resources professionals / employers want in a resume?
The most important part of a resume is the same no matter if you are a student or recent graduate or a CEO or executive. Recruiters and employers are looking for achievements and the value added skills you can bring to the job. Too many times a candidate will focus on the duties and responsibilities. While this is important it will not make a candidate stand out from the competition. Emphasizing achievements backed up with examples is the most important part of resume writing.
2) Can you give us examples about why some resumes are never read past the first sentence?
There is no set rule why a particular resume may be deleted however there are many factors that can contribute to a hiring manager pressing the delete button. What every candidate needs to remember is that for every job there is potentially another 100, 200 or even 300 other candidates applying for the job. Your resume is the first impression which a hiring manger will make about a particular candidate. Using fancy fonts, long sentences, bad spelling and grammar are just a few reasons why a resume will be deleted before the hiring manager has even completed the first sentences
3) How can you make your resume stand out?
Professionalism is the key and targeting the resume for the job you are applying for. Remember your resume has a purpose and that is to get you an interview. It is not a piece of artwork that will be hung on the wall. If the job you are applying for requires leadership abilities than provide examples about ways you have performed as a leader. Do not make the reader have to guess!
4) Can you offer some tips to create a resume that gets the interview.
Achievement based resumes!
5) In your experience, what are some of the mistakes that appear in resumes?
The top 5 resume mistakes I see on a daily basis are as follows:
6) What do you think about including a “career objective” statement in your resume?
Career objective or career summary when written well adds great value to your resume. However when written badly or “generically” can have a negative effect on the resume. In my opinion I like to include a career summary to introduce the candidate to the reader. It is however very important to include value added information in the career objective rather than generic information such as “hard working individual who is very loyal and solve problems”
7) Can you give us an example of how a candidate can address gaps in their work continuity?
Always one of the hardest aspects of writing a resume is dealing with working gaps. A cover letter goes hand in hand with a resume and a well constructed cover letter can explain to the reader why there is a gap. I recently worked with a senior executive who took 2 years off to travel and perform community work. We included the community work on his resume to show the reader that he had been actively doing something over that certain time period and than was able to explain in the cover letter that after working non stop for 20 years he took a 2 year break from his professional career in order to perform the community work which he had not been able to do due to his work commitments.
8) Should you include your hobbies or interests in a resume?
If the hobbies and interest add value to the resume than I recommend including them. If not leave them out. (Remember to target everything on your resume to the position you are going for)
9) How long does a resume have to be?
Resume writing is not an exact science and there is no exact answer. A standard resume will be between 2-3 pages. This is also dependent on the stage of the career a candidate is currently at. For example a graduate or young professional will typically want to have a 2 page resume. A more senior candidate may need 3-4 pages to include all of their achievements and work history.
10) Do you need to include your whole employment history or should you list only the positions relevant to the role advertised?
This answer is different for every candidate. Obviously a student or graduate will have fewer positions to include than a senior executive and therefore although a certain job may not be relevant to the position which they are applying for it does show the reader that they have work experience. A senior executive can afford to be more targeted and include positions related to the role.
Do you know someone who is unemployed and desperately attempting to rejoin the job force? Are they applying day after day to different jobs and not having the success they require? With the current state of the economy, this theme is common and many skilled professionals find themselves unable to secure the interview that will give them the chance of actually getting the job. If you know someone in this situation (and let’s be honest we all do), give them the perfect present – a brand new resume.
There is nothing worse than job seeking and being told repeatedly by everyone to “stay positive” and that “your new job is right around the corner”. Let me tell you some news that you’re probably not going to like – if you’ve been out of work and your current resume is not getting you interviews, then it might be time to begin looking at alternatives and preparing a new strategy. If your current resume hasn’t been working, there’s no reason to think that it will magically begin to work.
What will a professional resume actually do?
The resume has only one aim, and that is to get you to the interview. If it lacks this, the resume is worthless. Many people feel that in order for their resume to shine and stand out, they need to use fancy fonts and dazzle the hiring manager into giving them an interview. Another common mistake is turning the resume into a life story. Unfortunately, there is no exact science when it comes to resume writing, but there are, however, many best practices that if implemented correctly will increase your chance of finding success. A professional resume writer is familiar with these strategies and will implement these on your resume.
How will the professional resume differ to my original resume?
Professional resume writers have written hundreds of resumes and know the best formats, layouts and strategies for writing a functional resume. Most, if not all, have experience within recruitment or HR and are therefore familiar with what hiring managers look for. Better yet, professional resume writers bring objectivity to the table.
When people write their own resumes, they tend to be a bit vague on certain points because they’re not used to looking at it from an outsider’s perspective. They fail to elaborate on certain duties they performed or achievements they earned because they forget that the reader knows nothing about them aside from what they’re reading on a piece of paper. The resume writer alleviates this mistake because their job is to describe your skills and experience on paper in a way that can translate to anyone.
At the end of the day, there is always a way to improve on your chances at getting called for an interview. If you know someone who’s not finding success, consider offering them the services of a professional resume writer who can help give them an edge on the competition.
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