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Common Questions and Answers
I’m a hiring manager with a job description that clearly outlines the specifications of my job. And what do I receive from candidates, usually with no cover letter? A piece of paper that spews out useless information about a total stranger, in chronological order. Great. So, in my left hand is what I need. And in my right hand is a one, two or three-page pile of words, leaving me to figure out if they should be applying at all.
Given that the resume is all I have, I do the following: glance down the experience list, seeing if any companies are in my industry or on my target list to recruit from or high caliber companies at all. Then, I might look at titles to gauge level of experience. At this point, I will delete, toss, or put in a “maybe” pile.
I don’t read objectives since they are one of two things: Written exactly for my position, so I know they are being tailored for each application, or, two, so general and squishy, this person has no focus. An example of #2: “Proven executive searching for an exciting position that leverages my strengths with people, technology and process.” Huh?
What I do like at the top of the resume is an Executive Summary. A set of 10-12 skill sets that describe you, in two columns of short bullets. Net out the “so what” from your years of experience. LinkedIn is a great resource for identifying those skill words, assuming you have a 100% complete profile, which you need. Example, my bullet points might say: Global Sales Leader, Marketing Strategist, Strategic Planner, Team Builder, Channel Chief, Cross-Team Leader, etc.
There are many great resume-writing resources on the web…use them. Make it clean, easy-to-read, and error free.
Since there is no one right way to format a resume and I find ALL resumes a hard way to find my candidates, I recommend the following:
Candidates, always put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and raise the quality bar. Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Best of luck!
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