What Is Your Story?
I’ve been spending a lot of time pouring through resumes this week. It has been a disappointing effort. It hasn't been disappointing because the quality of candidates is poor, far from it. It hasn’t been disappointing because the formats are poor, generally speaking, they are fine. It hasn’t been disappointing because the candidate's contact information is missing either. Well, one resume was missing an email address. They are disappointing because the content was poorly structured and tedious. The prose lacks critical information making the resumes less than compelling. It also costs me more time! Looking at resumes is fundamental to my work. I see a lot of them. It’s the resumes from two current assignments that are giving me angst.
One of my searches is to find a new Financial Controller for a small, but successful company. The job specs call for someone with Controller experience in the restaurant industry. Many of the candidates have experience with companies I don't recognize. No problem. I don't know all of the employers in the market. The problem is that these folks do not provide a description of their employers . Their resumes lack company revenues, product lines, years in business, and industry sectors. This is a problem because it makes the reader's job much more difficult. The other problem is that these resumes don't make a clear distinction between roles and responsibilities and accomplishments. That creates, even more, work for me. I might not like reading resumes that are poorly constructed, but I know from experience that good candidates don't necessarily have the best resume. I have also seen excellent resumes from candidates I would not present to a client. I will invest the extra effort to find viable candidates for my client. On the other hand, I am confident that many of these poorly constructed resumes are going into the circular files of other recruiters.
Also at this time, I am working with a Senior Executive to help him craft a new resume and rebuild his LinkedIn page. He is a smart guy who knows that he needs help. He is willing to hire a professional to solve his problem. His issue is similar to those of my Controller candidates as he doesn't showcase his accomplishments as distinct from his job responsibilities. His biggest issue, however, is that his verbiage is confusing and doesn’t position his capabilities appropriately. I will fix his resume and dramatically improve his digital presentation.
We all know that recruiters and software quickly scan resumes. Job Seekers have precious little time to make an impression that will lead to an interview. Putting extra effort into the quality of your resume is vital to your success as a job seeker. Make sure to provide a short sentence that describes your employer by industry segment, sales volume, and whether it is public, private, or a PEG portfolio company. Provide a short sentence or two to describe your job responsibilities. Use bullet points to list your accomplishments at each job. Also, it can be very helpful to mention the circumstances for leaving you employers.
Your resume is not just a job history; it is your career story. By describing each employer, your job responsibilities, and accomplishments your story is revealed. Your strengths and interests become evident. In all likelihood, you will find a common theme to your work, your positioning statement. You will become a compelling character in your play, stimulating interest on the part of the reader.
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Jim Weber, President