Why Your Resume Belongs In A Paper Shredder & How To Fix It
Here’s how you find a job. You write a resume. You search open positions. You apply to any position that has a pulse. Right?
Far too often, people use their resume as a means to no end. They think all they need a resume and POOF and a job offer will appear. And yes, this does happen sometimes, but it’s a gamble, and more than likely you’re not getting the position you really want.
What if you could have a better ROT (Return On Time)? Because little do you know, your resume is getting ignored 99% of the time.
Why Your Resume Belongs In A Paper Shredder & How To Fix It
Employers skim resumes. I skim resumes. But above that, if you don’t have a cover letter, I don’t even look at your resume. Madness!
It all depends on the position but there’s a ton of resumes to look at. Just imagine. We’re hiring for 5 positions right now at Skylink. That’s hundreds, if not thousands of resumes by the time all positions have been filled.
Your resume is a snapshot
It’s your business card. But it is not what gets you the face to face meeting.
It’s to show your past history, the accomplishments that you've achieved, your education. And maybe that you’re not lying or making stuff up? Yea, that too.
But really it’s a 30,000-foot view of you.
It’s not going to tell the Hiring Manager everything they need to know about you. It’s a reference. It’s your job to sell you…off paper.
Why your resume belongs in a paper shredder
Here’s how it happens…
A possible employer posts a position. You then mass send your resume to all companies fitting a certain profile. With no update on your resume or planning on how you’re going to connect with them.
We delete 90% of the resumes sent to us. Why?
Your resume looks terrible.
You open it up and the formatting is all wrong. There are typos. It looks sloppy. Can you imagine if that’s on your resume how you’d perform in the role? Not good. Your resume needs to look good.
The punctuation and typos is a problem. Any typos and it’s over. Shredder!
Have someone edit your resume.
Two, it doesn’t need to be glitzy and glamorous. I’ve seen pictures on resumes where it looks like someone is going to the prom and others where, well, the picture looks a little creepy.
On other’s there are enough colors to match the rainbow. You don’t need something super creative and sparkly (if you want that use a website to show off your talent).
Just make it clean and concise.
Three, you send your resume naked.
It means you mass sent the resume. Click and send to everyone.
For example, I get resumes every day. Right now, I'm looking to build my sales team. I'll see things like, "seeking a position in a large media firm" or "looking for a position in sports management."
Well, we're neither of these. Shredder!
You're sending it to whoever's posting a job. Anyone that has a pulse.
Don't send your resume naked.
If you have some key jobs that you are looking for then write a resume for each. Don't be lazy.
And let's hit another point.
Naked also means you better have a damn good cover letter.
Hiring managers are scanning resumes and going fast. You have to make it stick out. A good, clear cover letter specific to that organization is going to be huge.
How to get your resume out of the shredder.
Let's chat about how to get your resume out of the shredder, or out of the email delete box, or "out of the job application, I don't want to contact this person ever" file.
One, you need to spiff up your resume.
Under each experience, one, it becomes a slight problem if you're rotating jobs every three months. That's going to be a really difficult one to avoid. I don't know how to help you there, to be honest. Be awesome in the job you're in for at least a year is my suggestion.
What you need to do under the intro section is to give a nice call to action.
Something that punches the hiring manager in the mouth with value.
And then under experience, you want to give you've achieved. Yes, what you did is great but the impact you had on your organization is crucial. We want to see numbers!
Remember, when you're applying for an organization it's not what's in it for you, it's what's in it for that organization. So saying you need a job, or your family needs help, or you're looking for a change. So what.
You're looking to create some form of an impact. If you just need a job I'm sure you can find one in a nine to five hourly position. Apply there. They'll hire anyone.
But if you want a career to grow into, you better bring value. So remember that.
Under your experience write three to ten bullet points, bullet points are easier to read, about the impact you had on the past organizations you've worked for.
And education, fine.
I'm neither here nor there on education. You can post it. MBA's great. But education tells me nothing about you as a person or how you've succeeded in past experiences. As a hiring manager, I pay very little attention to education...I just care about how you've committed to learning.
And that's another point, life is all about consistent and constant learning.
Two, formatting is crucial.
I already mentioned it but it's worth repeating.
Have someone else read your resume. Make sure your grammar is good and the typos are non-existent. If I see a resume and see a typo, if I see something that needs to be capitalized and it's very kindergarten basic grammar, I'm deleting it automatically.
It just means you're sloppy.
Your resume should be clean. Maybe even with a nice headshot (not mandatory especially if you're on social). There's a lot of debate on people hiring based on headshots. Whatever. People can find you on social. Get over it.
Three, your social media must be on point.
If I'm bringing you in for an interview I'm pulling you up on LinkedIn.
And if your LinkedIn is crappy, or sloppy, or not up-to-date, there's an issue. It's the modern world.
You may have problems with technology is what I ass-u-me. And if you're bad with technology, in 2017, then there's an issue.
Now depending on the role, I might give you some slack.
But if you're applying for a sales and marketing role, I'll automatically delete the resume.
Four, write an awesome cover letter.
You need to write a detailed cover letter to the person you're applying for.
Don't apply for everything! Have a goal. "I'm going to apply to ten positions in this field and I'm going to contact them directly. Then I'm going to create a cover letter for each one stating what I've done and how I can impact their organization and by when."
Be very detailed on how you're going to grab the career you want.
Fifth, and last point is you're going to state the value you'll create. You're talking in terms of what's in it for them.
Once you've sent your resume with cover letter, you then need to call them. Yes, call!
If they don't answer, hand deliver it.
But don't be annoying.
Just say I'd like to hand this to the hiring manager for the [x] position and set up a time for us to discuss the value I can bring to him/her and your organization.
Remember, don't be sloppy in your resumes. Don't mass send it. Create a resume that looks good and it sounds good and it punches people in the face worth of value. So what's in it for them.
Those are my tips for how I screen resumes and that's how to get your resume out of my shredder.