Job seekers today are thrown into a team of people that range from freshly-minted graduates to lifer’s who have been forced to retire early or have had their job eliminated because the company has moved overseas.  It’s not an even playing field.  The rules aren’t even the same for everybody.  It’s an evolving process.  And your resume has to evolve with it.

One of the key obstacles that you can’t plan for; 80% of your resumes are never seen by a real person.  Large companies, governments and recruiters often use sophisticated computer software that is programmed to scan a resume for certain key words.  If your resume does not contain these exact words it will not make it to someone’s desk.

When the HR professional or recruiter at the company you have applied to is faced with hundreds or even thousands of resumes, they give each resume about 6 seconds of their time.  They have learned to ‘skim’ over your resume.

If your resume is too long, or too short or contains endless amounts of unimportant information it’s not helping you.  In fact, it probably ends up in the ‘no’ pile. Your resume is a reflection of you, your abilities and your competencies.  It deserves to be the best it can be.

Revamping your resume is not something everyone is good at.  Most people will tell you that they don’t like talking about themselves.   They often think important facts about their abilities, experiences or the jobs they have had are irrelevant.  Or they are not able to express what they want to say in the language that suits resumes.

Quite often, depending on the types of jobs you apply to, you may have more than one version of your resume. Perhaps you have one that highlights your strengths in event planning, and another one that focuses on your marketing experience.  Not everything you have done or everything you are good at has to all be in one document.  In fact, it’s critical that you tailor your resume to suit the job you are applying for.  This sounds more complicated than it is. The key is building an arsenal of well described pieces of information about your work, volunteer, educational and personal experiences so that you can pull each one out when you need it and mold your resume accordingly.

Improving your resume is not something you have to stress over.  There are many very qualified people that can help you with making your resume the best reflection of you.  I know most of you are thinking, “I don’t know if I want to pay for this kind of thing”.  But, if you aren’t prepared to invest in yourself, how can you expect a future employer to?

If you know of someone who could use a resume makeover, please share this blog post with them and let them know that Ross Street Agency can help them create a new resume that passes the 6 second scan.

As an example I have linked a before and after version of resumes from an actual client of mine.  The names and details have been changed for confidentiality reasons, but the format and content are the same.

Happy Fall.

Lisa Jibson,
Owner and Chief Factotum
Ross Street Agency