Unfortunately, 80% of the Resumes that I have come across reflect poor application of thought by a job seeker and I always think to myself “what an opportunity lost?”. The lack of focus on writing a strong Resume is primarily because it remains an undermined tool in the job seeker’s mind. It’s kind of ‘taken for granted’ because either a job seeker feels that being an achiever, he/she has all skills that are in demand or is well networked with professionals and recruitment agencies who will put them up to the hiring managers and many do not have the time to invest in writing a powerful Resume.
But we also know that job search can be a frustrating experience for job seekers and one cannot risk and underutilise even a single tool which is an integral part of the marketing mix for promoting a candidature. Just like in marketing, even if the product is good but the distribution is weak, the consumer will not be able to purchase it and one loses to competition. Similarly, a job seeker loses out on opportunities because his/her Resume has not succeeded in attracting the attention of a hiring manager who has to go through thousands of Resumes.
With my experience of over 3 decades, I know that a well written customised Resume combined with a powerful cover letter which connects with the job requirement improves the scope of getting a job seeker an interview call. A Resume plays the role of a silent salesman and quality time needs to be invested while writing it.
While you might be aware of them, let me share with you, as per my experience, the reasons for a Resume to be an important tool:
1] The first impression is the last impression:
A Resume is a document which is used to present your candidature without you being physically present to explain your suitability. You may be competent but a poorly presented Resume creates a poor impression and you may lose out by not being called for a meeting. Many times qualified candidates get rejected because of poor body language and it is the same if the Resume does not speak well for itself.
2] Widens the net:
A good Resume opens up doors of opportunities for you to apply at multiple companies across industries and domains and goes beyond any kind of limitation like knowing the hiring managers. This enhances your chances of being called for a meeting.
A Resume offers the scope of customising it as per the job requirement and backing it up with the impactful cover letter. This again motivates the hiring manager to want to meet you.
4] Success stories:
A Resume is an opportunity to present your stories of success and build momentum.
5] Interview performance:
During an interview, it prompts the interviewer to ask some relevant questions. So it is critical that the focus is on your achievements and not responsibilities so that you get a starting point of presenting your strengths.
6] Silent Salesman:
It serves as a marketing tool like a direct mailer to promote your candidature.
It allows you to differentiate yourself ( =within 2 pages) by presenting your individual strengths and hence your candidature.
It is a good idea to combine your Resume with a powerful LinkedIn profile because, in this digital era, it gives you a cutting edge.
Hopefully, I have given you some ‘food for thought’ to improve your Resume and widen your net of searching for a job.
Happy job hunting !! (the unconventional way)