Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Is Your Resume Falling Into The Black Hole?

Ponder This

  • Would you expect to eat a great meal without recipes to guide your cooking efforts? I don't think so.
  • Would you expect to get to the end zone on a football field without a book of plays? Of course not.
  • Would you expect to create beautiful music on a piano without ever having taken piano lessons? Not a chance.
  • Would you expect to create software without knowing how to write code? Highly unlikely.

For a technology professional, writing a resume that requires a mix of technical writing, business writing and creative writing simultaneously is generally not part of the gifted technology professional’s skill set. It’s not only okay to get help with this project, it’s a smart move.

What is a “Great Resume”?

  • A resume that can be reviewed and understood in 5-15 seconds.
  • A resume that is written with the resume’s audience in mind. 
  • A resume that does not have to be interpreted by its intended audience.
  • A resume that is written in a clean, clear and logical manner.
  • A resume that is written in a language its audience can understand.
  •  A resume that opens interview doors.

Is your resume opening doors or is it falling into the Black Hole where Resumes Go To Die?

Some persistent people invest hours upon hours to send out hundreds of resumes to not get results.  If your resume isn't getting results, doesn’t it make sense to determine if there might be something you could do to re-position your resume so it does get results?

Here are some of the elements / people a resume has to satisfy before you’ll be granted an interview.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Your resume’s audience includes many different people and an applicant tracking system.  Every company uses some kind of applicant tracking system.  Be sure that your resume plays nicely with all applicant tracking systems or you won’t get interviews. 

The Check Box Person

Once your resume lands in an applicant tracking system, the first person who will likely review your resume will be a check box person.  This person very likely will not understand your background but they've been given a check list of criteria to find on your resume.  Is your resume written in such a way that it is easy for the check box person to check boxes?

Your Resume’s Audience

Your resume should be written for the audience of people who will potentially review your resume.  Some of your audience will have technical backgrounds.  What about the part of your audience that crunches numbers or interprets laws and does not have a technical background?

Does all of your resume’s audience speak your language of acronyms and abbreviations?  If not, why would you load your resume with a language that your audience doesn’t understand?

5-15 Seconds

Did you know that your resume will generally receive 5-15 seconds of attention before someone in your resume’s audience makes a decision to trash it or take action on it?  A recent study from The Ladders suggests that your resume gets 6 seconds of a recruiter’s attention before a decision is made.

Bottom Line

Can someone in your resume's audience review your current resume and gain an understanding of who you are, where you are, how to contact you, how you’re educated, how you’re certified or credentialed and what you’re great at in 5-15 seconds? 

If not, your resume may not achieve desired results.


If I’ve identified a potential stumbling block for you, there is a solution.

Visit the 1 Hour Resume Coaching page on the Security Job Coach website and you’ll quickly learn how many of your peers are addressing their desire to build a resume that opens resume doors.

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