A recruiter receives countless resumes for any opening. Your resume would be one in the heap with bleak chances of short listing if it’s run-of-the-mill or if there is no uniqueness or differentiating factor.
Surveys conducted of internal and external recruiters clearly brings out that the average time spent on any resume is 5 to 7 seconds and this is the time it will either go in the bin or will catch recruiter’s attention.
There is no good or bad resume but there definitely is a ‘unique’ or a ‘different’ resume which sets it apart from others. Let’s start with originality – one of the most important factors that make a resume unique. Resumes which do not have copy paste content from websites or other similar resumes will definitely have an edge…..and believe me, recruiters are easily able to make out the same!
Hiring managers go through loads of resumes every day and can easily make out on repetitive content which makes them put aside resumes which lack original content or look similar to thousand others.
The other major aspect is highlighting your unique strengths and skills; there might be a skill required for a particular job which you do not have but putting that skill in the resume just because the job description has it will only land you in a soup in the interview. While it is important to highlight skills required for that particular job, it is equally important to be mindful of which ones to put.
Think….An easier way out is to sit back and introspect on what you possess as your greatest strength / asset and highlight that skill with specific examples / instances wherever possible. This would not only make your resume look different but will also give you that confidence to talk in the interview….because that skill/s is something which you naturally inherit or has learned over the years.
A friend can also be of great help in identifying and letting you know your key strengths and special skills that you possess. Colleagues whom you interact every day can be a very good and honest source in helping you put your thoughts together and bring out the best in your resume. A peer or friend review of your resume is also a good way to eliminate or add content as they have a fair idea of your skills and competencies. Skills here not only mean the functional or job-related skills but also soft skills which recruiters keenly look for in resume these days.
How to do it differently!!
The most important section in the resume which best captures your uniqueness and exceptional skills is the Summary which is generally the first and at times the only section potential employers actually read. Begin your resume with an introductory paragraph make sure it contains the highlights of the document below. This short paragraph of 5 to 6 lines should build the complete case for why you should be hired and what are those special skills that you possess.
Since the resume is the first document that goes to the recruiters even before you get to meet them, it is therefore important that it creates a ‘lasting impression’, the ‘difference’ to stay on the recruiters table. Hence, it is important for the resume to stand out of the crowd and this will only happen if it has original content, genuine skills and format that is appealing.
‘One size fits all’ may not be true in all the cases……..a format or content that worked for one might not work for all nonetheless hard-hitting keywords, quantified achievements and genuineness definitely works.
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