Zzzzzz.oh! Excuse me. I was just dozing from reading one of the most boring resumes submitted by one of my clients.
Why was it boring? Well, there were no accomplishments referenced anywhere within a mile of the document, and most of the bullets started with the dreaded ‘Responsible for’. How am I supposed to be engaged or excited by that? It was also a good four pages long. Right there I want to take a snooze. I am really not interested in reading a four-page document. I am looking for a quick impact – something that provides me with a quick hit of information. Four pages? Yikes! He’s interesting, but not that interesting. I say that lovingly, of course.
There is also an entire section dedicated to personal things like number of children, including their ages, and what he enjoys doing with them. Not being a part of his family unit, do I really care about that? Sure, I’m glad he’s happy and has ‘three great kids’. Since they will not be applying with him for the job, and more importantly, won’t impact his performance that can be backspaced out of the entire section. Overall the resume is filled with hyperbole that I really don’t want to see; there’s simply no excitement or interesting information on there.
There are a few hallmarks that represent a good resume. A strong document should have the following:
Strong Opening Summary: A summary sets the tone of the document and quickly provides the reader with a peek about what you bring to a new position. If someone is only going to spend about 10 seconds looking at the resume, the first thing you should do at the top is lead with some hard hitting evidence of your ability to produce.
Core Competency Section: A grouping of words that will provide a hiring manager with key words about your overarching skills. This area is also important if you are uploading a document to a company’s database. If there is a system that is scanning for key words, yours will be picked up immediately.
Ample Use of Action Words: Lead the bullets with strong action-oriented words that engage the reader. Spearheaded, Championed, Drove, Initiated, Led are all words that help someone understand that you mean business.
Metrics: Draw attention to your document by supplying the reader with strong results. Use the SAR method to provide information: Situation – Action – Result. This will allow you to quickly define what you did, how you did it, and the results produced.
KISS Factor: Keep It Simple Silly. You cannot get everything you have ever done on the resume; more importantly, you should not try. The resume is designed to ‘show a little shoulder’ not give away the entire store. You simply want to get the reader interested in you enough to call you for the interview. You can then blow them away during a face-to-face meeting with how you can make an impact for the company.
Leave Off Extraneous Information: It is not necessary to include ‘References available upon request’ at the bottom of the resume. I am sure the reader knows that if asked, you would certainly supply them. Additionally, unless your hobbies are things like rock climbing and jumping out of planes, it is not necessary to include hobbies on the document. Reading is a hobby, but not an icebreaker in an interview.