With the advent of the DVR, the prevailing wisdom was that it would bring an end to television advertising as we knew it. After all, making it easy to fast forward through commercials would diminish if not destroy their value. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the death of the TV commercial, study after study showed that consumers stopped the fast-forwarding and rewound commercials that caught their eye. Why? Sometimes the commercials were creative and stood out; often they were for products the consumer was in the market for. Either way, it is a funny paradox that commercials have become more powerful at the same time it is easier to avoid them as consumers are engaged in the decision on whether to view.
It is the same with your resume. It is, in essence, your advertisement. And it is competing with other “advertisements” from dozens of other candidates. It is your job to get the resume screener to stop, rewind, and take a good look at your resume.
One way to do that is to focus on what the screener sees first – the top third of your resume. No matter who is screening our resume, you can bet that they are busy and are looking to size up your experience up front. If your most demonstrable experience towards the position(s) you are applying for is on the lower half of page one, or worse, on the next page, you will need to get creative.
One way to accomplish this would be a “professional summary” at the top of your resume. This should list your accomplishments, qualifications and proficiencies for the position you are applying for. Whether you have one that fits all of your applications or customize it for different openings, it is quite possible that this is the only thing a screener will look at – so make it relevant! But relevant does not mean comprehensive. Your goal is to write something that will lead into the rest of your resume… to stop the screener from fast-forwarding.
Additionally, don’t make the resume screener look through your job experience to find your skills and experience. Create a separate section before you list any job with your skills, capabilities and talents.
Contact anyone on the Willory team and we’d be happy to help you clean up your resume and craft one that doesn’t get ignored, missed, or fast-forwarded through.