Monday, August 16, 2010

A Byte of Resume Advice – It’s Only Wafer Thin

Amidst the virtual ocean of online resume advice available for job seekers and career enhancers, I’ll add precious few drops. As one who reads/skims 30 - 50 resumes a day, I’ll share my thoughts on the quickest and possibly easiest way to boost effectiveness of resume organization and – in particular – applications to specific job postings.

Those who know me know my mantra is “friends don't let friends write [resume] objectives.” Deleting that line or paragraph, moving everything up a cm or two on page one is the easiest, arguably best thing you can do. Trust me. Corporate recruiters either don't read or don't believe anything they read in objectives. Please don't tell us your objective is ‘to drive value for our respected organization’ or any other platitude. Also please don't tell us that your objective is to be the exact position we have advertised (worse yet is not replacing the title from your previous application with another employer – this happens at least once a day).

Every word on your resume must add value. If it doesn't, delete it. White space or a 1/3 of a page less is more.

If you absolutely must include an objective, make it interesting. If you are junior or intermediate in your career, why not sketch your 5 or 10 year plan? I’d much rather read that an SAP Consultant’s long term objective is ‘to work towards a career as a project manager of cross functional ERP experts’ than that their immediate objective is ‘to be an SAP FI Consultant in your company.’ I actually get that; he/she applied for the position, after all!
Again, every line, every word must add value.

1 comment:

Me: said...

While we have the hatchet out (to cut 'objectives'), let's do away with the cover letter, as well.

In these days of limited to no mail or fax in applications, there really is no need for a cover letter. Both sides have a job to do, without the shortcut a cover might provide. The applicant should organize his/her resume in such as way as to maximize the 'fit' and the recruiter or HR person must read the resume and have a follow up discussion with applicant to determine suitability.