How great resumes trigger interviews and phone calls

Great resume

In the last few weeks, we shared with you what recruiters look for in a qualified resume. We also shared the top 3 resume mistakes that will send your resume to the recycle bin. This week we continue the series and explain how a great resume will trigger a phone call or interview.

The recruiter’s perspective

What most candidates fail to consider is what a resume looks like from the other side of the table. As a candidate, you need to consider the company’s point of view. Recruiters and hiring managers have a lot of resumes to review. You can assume there are literally 100’s of resume per position. The more entry-level the position the more candidates will be interested. The more desirable/prestigious the position or company, the more applicants. Don’t worry, we can make you stand out!

Entry level competition

Entry level positions don’t require specific experience. These are usually “foot in the door” or “stepping stone” position. There is always a lot of competition for these entry-level roles.

Highly desirable position or company

In a highly desirable position, whether it is for salary or with a prestigious hiring company, there will be a high level of interest. Companies like Google, Amazon, Big 4 accounting firms and many others will attract candidates from all over the country because of company success or stability. Your town may have one or two employers that carry a lot of panache.

This is why your resume needs to be on point and effective. A great resume will be called because it is easy to read. Easy to read will win you round one and trigger the phone screen. From our experience, we know you can be the most qualified candidate, but if the recruiter finds your resume hard to read or decipher, you won’t receive the call. Regardless of your qualifications, a great resume lists the specific information the recruiter is looking for in an easy to find manner.

The recruiter can be looking to fill 10 – 20 positions. 100 resumes per position can quickly become a lot of resumes to review.

Numbers game

For recruiters, filling a position is a numbers game. With so many resumes available, there just isn’t enough time to read each resumes line by line. This is why most resumes only receive 5 seconds of eyeball time.

If we know we will receive less than 5 seconds, we need to write our resume for this style of reading.

Your goal is to draw the reader to relevant information that connects you to the job description as quickly as possible. Increasing eye-ball time from five seconds to 10 seconds is an eternity in resume reviewing time. The last 5 seconds will confirm our qualifications are relevant to the job description. The format of our Resume Builder is effective because it extends the recruiters viewing time.

Top ½ of the first page of the resume

When the reader pulls up your document on a computer screen, the first thing that comes into view is the top half of the first page. On most computer screens,  the bottom half of the page will be not be seen. This makes the top section of the first page the prime real estate. The goal of this section is to give the reader as much relevant information as possible and connects you directly to the job description. We want to position you as a great fit for the job in as short of a time as possible.

Career Tracker’s Resume Builder formats your resume so that the first half of the first page is tailor-made for a speed reading recruiter. We only include the information that recruiters are looking for. The Resume Builder lists this information in a specific order and places the information in strategic locations.

Your document is custom created for the reader who is skimming documents and not reading entire documents line by line.

Bullets and bolding

Accomplishments will be much easier to read when formatted with bullets. Paragraphs of accomplishments are harder for the eyes to focus on because there is a lack of white space. Big blocks of accomplishments are harder to keep track of mentally. Bullets make the task of skimming a resume easier than reading paragraphs.

Non-relevant information

An example of non-relevant information is your home address. This information is often included and has nothing to do with the job description. In the age of email, companies are not going to send us anything via postal mail at this stage of the process. We want to use the space that might be taken up by the address to show our relevant skills.

If you have years of experience in a specific field, experience older than 5-7 years isn’t as relevant to the current job of interest. Older experience is usually too junior for the position of interest. Our Resume Builder purposely builds your resume so that the emphasis is put on your most recent job experience and only outlines earlier experience.

Personal interests

Listing personal interests at the end of the resume can separate you from the rest of the candidates. All qualified candidates interested in a specific position will have a similar background and experience. (Otherwise, they wouldn’t be qualified) It is only human nature to form a mental picture of the candidate as your document is reviewed. Adding personal interests can humanize a resume filled with technical bullets and help form a mental picture. The following provides a mental picture of you as a candidate.

“Passionate NFL fan, just ran a half marathon and training for a full marathon”

Key Takeaway: Being qualified isn’t enough when there is interest from other candidates. It’s not just what you write on the resume but how you present your information that will determine whether you receive a phone call. Resume Builder will help you present your information clearly and efficiently.

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