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Reclaim Your Candidacy: Top Resume Tips from Hiring Managers

If you've found yourself in a situation of applying with no call backs, it may not be an issue with your experience, but your resume presentation. Whatever stage in your career, try to think of your resume as a "calling card" and you want to get the call.

Hiring mangers and Recruiters have spoken about trending resume issues. They are:

1. The candidate's lack of providing all office-technical skills,

2. Resume readability,

3. There's too many unanswered questions on a resume,

4. Actual and applicable experience is unclear or vague, and

5. Infographics are replacing content.

Hiring managers say these are the top turn-offs when reviewing resumes.

Don't be the candidate that gets rejected!

Start by showcasing your "office technical" skills. Technical capabilities speak volumes, draw people in and can open many opportunities for you. Hiring managers say they look for office-technical skills in most or all of their roles, any level. Take the time to be specific about your comprehensive technical skills, systems used, additional MS Office capabilities and skill level. Recruiters, HR and hiring managers say they take a mental note of these skills and are more likely to keep a candidate in mind for other opportunities where they can utilize them. This will increase your chances of getting in the door. If you need to take a refresher course or learn a new skill, don't put it off.

List relevant experience in a clear and concise way. Most hiring managers say they read pages of a resume and are still uncertain if the candidate has the right experience. They tell us resumes are too vague and filled with infographics versus content. Review your resume and quantify with numbers, percentages, and descriptive specifics where appropriate. Be sure you list relevant skills and experience.Your resume should answer specific questions about what you did. For example “Processed reports every week” could be written as “Created and maintained weekly sales and cost reports for the management team.” This answers the type of report, frequency and who viewed the report – questions a Recruiter or hiring manager would ask.

Here's a few more mentions, before you hit send:

Top Resume Check Points

  1. Be brief and pointed. Aim for two pages or less with a clear layout.

  2. Your resume is valuable space, the top half should have contact information, a brief enticing summary (elevator pitch) and your professional experience listed with your job title plus company name, start and end dates. Start with your current or most recent role.

  3. Remove infographics, references, logos, designs. Replace with relevant content.

  4. Focus on recent roles, applicable experience, all phases of projects and tasks. List training received or given. Note accomplishments or any triumphs beyond expected duties.

  5. Think about your role and day-to-day tasks. Be sure your resume reads in your narrative, not a job description.

  6. Include added duties, timelines of a project, milestones, promotions, recognition or cost savings.

  7. Share partnerships you've built, such as client or vendor relations, repeat customers and relationships with internal managers or colleagues.

  8. Include education, relevant courses or volunteer work, certifications, or industry memberships.

Remember, the resume you submit represents you. Following these tips should help the flow and readability of your resume while leveraging your experience. Hiring managers respond well to clear and concise resume presentation. Don't be the candidate that gets rejected at the first hurdle because of a poor resume.

By taking the time now and putting in a little work on your resume or "calling card", you add to your chances of getting a call back. Remember, once you get the interview, you are half way to your end goal of getting hired.

About the author:

Lisa Hollister, CDR is the Recruiting Director and Founder of Talent Suede. Lisa has a dual background as an HR leader and full cycle Recruiter. Her focus is sourcing quality talent and Executives, employee lifecycle planning, and blogging success tips for job seekers.

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