2022 is just around the corner!
Despite some experts predicting that resumes are going the way of the Dodo, many others like David Chait, CEO of Greenhouse Recruiting, believe resumes are here to stay. In Chait’s own words, resumes are the “cockroach” of the recruiting industry. They’re common, pervasive, and adaptable. Recruiters persist in relying on them, which means job seekers, like you, need to keep using them.
However, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow’s resumes will look or function as they have traditionally. More than ever, modern resumes shape your brand and define who you are as a product.
You heard that right—a product.
Why do people buy products? Because of the specific benefits they offer.
Out with the old…
Driving much of the change are digital recruiting platforms like LinkedIn and universal forces impacting the world of work, specifically, Covid19, technology, and globalization. When seeking employment, forget what you used to think about mass applications, lengthy and comprehensive resumes, and other old-school thinking. Adopt a marketing mindset instead and get familiar with these “illuminating” realities.
Illuminating Reality One:
We live in a scanning society. Studies show that the average hiring manager glances at a resume for a MAXIMUM of SEVEN SECONDS before deciding whether it’s worth pursuing. To stimulate interest, your “sales page,” aka resume, needs to make an impactful first impression.
Illuminating Reality Two:
It’s not about your qualifications; it’s HOW YOU PRESENT your qualifications. You might be the perfect candidate – have every credential, the right experience, a great attitude, and relevant skills, but none of it matters if your unimaginative/boring/overwhelming/untargeted resume isn’t getting read.
Illuminating Reality Three:
The days of spraying qualifications across the document and hoping something sticks are gone. The content in every resume you send must be HIGHLY TARGETED to your chosen field and TAILORED to a particular position.
Scary? Not really. You just need to know how to play the game.
They say an image is worth a thousand words. Nothing does it better than a tasteful splash of color…and more.
Images, especially colorful ones, draw the eye. They’re highly effective communication tools that create instant connections and quickly evoke associations and meaning. I don’t suggest that you go crazy with graphics – simpler and organized is better – know though, that when well-placed and used judiciously, a small image can tell a very big story.
Savvy resume writers know this. It’s the reason graphs, Venn diagrams, bolded text, and attention-grabbing images have crept into traditional resume formats over the last several years. Professionals also understand the forces shaping the world of work and of how marketing permeates the landscape. They know, too, that as ATS technology evolves, so will the increased use of imaging in resume writing.
Unconvinced? Pretend you’re a busy hiring manager with a stack of applications on your desk; which of the two forms of communication below catches your attention faster?
- Dynamic sales leader with the ability to generate new business year-over-year and exponentially add to the bottom line.
See what I mean? If the rest of this resume lives up to this promise, you can safely bet this candidate’s application will go the distance.
ON POINT QUALIFICATIONS
Not so long ago, resumes contained comprehensive lists of duties and responsibilities. Years of service meant something. They also opened with objective statements, which, given the above-mentioned seven-second rule, occupied precious space on the most valuable piece of real estate on the resume – the top third – where a hiring manager’s eyes fall first. A Ladders 2018 eye-tracking study confirmed this and also determined that readers scan in an F pattern – left to right across the top, down the left towards the middle and across, and then back to the left and down the left to the bottom.
Maximizing the top third – three things to remember…
- Chuck the redundant objective statement (you wouldn’t apply for the job if it weren’t your objective).
- Headline the document with your highest attributes and impacts – your value proposition.
- Think like a marketer; get clear on your audience and determine the job’s buying motivators.
Buying motivators generally fall into four categories:
➨ Generating revenue (sales)
➨ Saving money (efficiency experts)
➨ Problem-solving (customer relations)
➨ Supporting the organization’s mandate (public relations, administration)
Because an image is worth a thousand words, look at the top third of this Logistics & Procurement Specialist’s resume. Can you guess the primary buying motivator for this role?
If you said saving money, you’re right. Logistics & Procurement Specialists fully leverage space and workflow to optimize income opportunities, improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and negotiate supply prices on a global scale to improve returns on investment in warehouses, manufacturing, and other stores processes. A glance at these headlines, and there’s no doubt that this candidate has what it takes to save the company money and maximize ROI.
Now that you have the hiring manager’s attention, it’s time to deliver on your promises. However, a word of caution; your deliverables must keep the reader’s interest and convince them that you’re up for the job. Don’t spew a laundry list of skills, duties, and responsibilities. Instead, include a brief listing of relevant skills, followed by accomplishment statements of where you applied those skills in former roles.
Skills, sometimes called Areas of Expertise or Core Competencies, must also command a primary spot on the front page of the resume. Determining targeted core competencies is as simple as scrutinizing the job description and creating a two-column competency chart that might resemble this:
Once you’ve completed the chart, begin sprinkling your matching competencies throughout the document. To optimize white space, use bullets wherever possible, allowing your qualifications to stand out and immediately catch the hiring manager’s eye. Below is a highly readable skill breakdown for our Logistics and Supply Chain Specialist.
Hiring managers aren’t interested in the duties you performed; they’re interested in the positive impacts your duties had on the operation. Applying the SMART accomplishment formula in your descriptions ensures that you meet the criteria.
SPECIFIC – What specific problem/situation does the job address?
MEASURABLE – How much? How many?
ACTION-ORIENTED – What did you do to resolve/improve, or otherwise positively impact the outcome?
RESULTS-ORIENTED – What were the impacts and/or benefits you brought?
TIME-BOUND – Were deadlines met or exceeded?
A SMART experience description for the Logistics and Procurement Specialist might look like this:
Typically, you should place your education and other credentials beneath your work experiences unless they are an essential competency. Again, let the job description be your guide and use your best judgment.
Another popular trend is letting others tout your character, abilities, and skills. They give power to your story and create balance and eye appeal when colorfully highlighted near the bottom of the document.
“I can’t list all the great things Zachary did for this company and its employees. Even today, years after he left, people still talk about his logical mind and wisdom as a leader.”
Procurement Director, XYZ Warehouse Group
OTHER TRENDS FOR 2022
➨Forego using your home address and instead include your LinkedIn URL, cell phone number, and email address.
➨Customize your LinkedIn profile by removing the random numbers the site assigned when you created your LinkedIn account and personalize it to you.
➨Replace older email service providers like AOL, Yahoo, and even Hotmail with modern ones like Gmail. They outdate you.
➨Indicate your willingness to work remotely.
➨Include your vaccination status – while sticky, many employers, especially in Canada, require it.
➨Include soft skills.
➨Add links to online work projects.
QUALITIES EMPLOYERS SEEK FOR 2022
➨Emotional Intelligence (check out the free personality test in the fun and free section below to measure your emotional intelligence).
➨Ability to Overcome Adversity
➨Ability to Motivate Teams Remotely