Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Make Your Resume Razor Sharp and Focused

5-15 Seconds

My research over many years suggests that your resume gets 5-15 seconds of attention when someone in your intended audience first focuses their attention on it.

As a resume reviewer myself, I can confirm that the 5-15 second time frame for resume review is accurate.

Make it Sharp

If your resume doesn’t demonstrate who you are, where you are, how you’re educated, how you’re credentialed or certified, where you work and what you do and what you’re great at when a resume reviewer first looks at your resume, you could be eliminated from contention that quickly.

Try This

Instead of writing a resume attempting to capture everything you’ve ever done in your career, consider writing a resume that is highly focused on those things that you’re great at delivering.

When I receive a resume and the cover note suggests that the attached resume belongs to someone who could do well in multiple jobs on my website, I cringe.  

Allow me translate a message like this one.  What I fear is that I’m about to open a resume that is so watered down because the person is trying to write about everything they've ever done professionally that I likely won’t be able to tell where they excel.  My fear comes true more often than not.

Let me be more specific.  If you’re sending a resume for a Director of Security Policies, Awareness and Training, your resume should convince me or anyone else for that matter that you’re the greatest Policy, Procedure, Awareness and Training person the industry has ever seen.

Your resume shouldn't suggest that you're built like a Swiss Army Knife when the job you're chasing down wants you to be the sharpest blade on the Swiss Army Knife.  If you can do more than just deliver policies, procedures, awareness and training, that's great. Save the other information for an interview or better yet, get the job and save the other information for your actual performance on the job.

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