You’ve survived the first six seconds, and….
Your resume has made it into either the yes or maybe pile. Phew … you’re over the first hurdle, but there’s still a long way to go before you receive that job offer. Now comes the time for a more detailed reading of your resume. So what are they looking for this time?
The short answer is information… information about your experience, which will indicate whether or not you have the skills, attitudes and attributes required to make you suitable for the job. You need to give specific details of your paid or unpaid work. The person reading the applications is literally looking for any excuse to put you into the yes, no or maybe pile. It really doesn’t take much. A second or third look is possible if you’ve provided details of your work, personal achievements and voluntary experience.
You mightn’t think much of the fact that you have been captain of the local cricket or basketball team that won the district or regional competition several years running. To a potential employer however, this tells them that you have discipline, communication and leadership skills, with demonstrated ability to perform under pressure.
You also mightn’t think much of the fact that you’ve helped out at the local school canteen, or with organising fundraising activities for the soccer or hockey club that your children play for. Yet to a potential employer this demonstrates your ability in the area of customer service, food preparation, cash handling and team work. Your actions will always speak louder than your words. If your resume doesn’t contain enough information, the recruiter cannot be expected to know what your experience and contributions have been.
One thing we have noticed over the years however, is this. No two jobs, be they paid or unpaid, are ever the same…. even if they have the same job title. This means you always need to be very clear about what YOUR duties and responsibilities have been. Your level of detail just might be enough to keep you in the race, once you’ve survived that first six seconds.