How Competitive Is Your Resume?

September brings out the competition. If you put your job search on hold during the summer months, you are not unlike many others who are now back to work, back to school or readying their resume to engage in a full time job search.

HR professionals and recruiters are receiving double the number of resumes than what would have been submitted over the summer months. With an average time of 30 seconds allocated to review a resume, it is safe to say that the months of September and October will receive much less attention in order to manage the flood of resumes. How competitive is your resume?

In a matter of seconds, it will only take the glimpse of a minor mistake, one wrong move and the decision maker will have reason enough to send your resume to the recycle bin, if it even gets printed. The limited time available will not allow for a detailed examination of content until the number of resumes has been reduced to a manageable level putting your resume in a highly competitive process of elimination.

It is a rare occasion that a resume is not sent via the Internet. What program are you using to send your resume? What font are you using? What format? First and foremost your resume and cover letter must be accessed in order to be reviewed. Send it to yourself, a friend, colleague or family member as a test to ensure it can be opened and read and remains in the format created. If you choose to use a .docx rather than a .doc, it is possible that someone will not be able to download it. If you choose a font which is not commonly used, it is possible that someone will open it that does not have that font available. If you are not careful with formatting your documents, you could have someone open up a 2 page document that spans 4 pages. A competitive resume will be easily downloaded and viewed as sent.

Competitive resumes will look professional with a consistent font type, size, limited white space and free of underlining or shading. 2 to 4 pages is the acceptable length in addition to a cover letter addressed to an individual which relates to the position and highlights the necessary experience and qualifications which will be supported in your resume.

Minor typos and grammatical errors will not be overlooked. If you do not put the time and effort in to preparing your resume without mistakes it will be seen as a reflection of your work. A competitive resume will have been spell checked, grammar checked and reviewed by a Certified Professional Resume Writer prior to being submitted for consideration as a potential candidate.

Is your name clearly displayed with the necessary contact details including a Linkedin address? Do you have an enticing tag line? Are soft skills and hard skills clearly defined? Beginning with your most recent position, is your title highlighted? Are accomplishments noted in bullet form beginning with an action verb and explained clearly as a situation, task, action and result? Have you included all of the relevant keywords and explained any significant employment gaps? Are all dates displayed for degrees, diplomas or other accreditation’s?

How competitive is your resume?

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