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With 14.9 million people unemployed in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pressure to get resumes in the “yes” pile is immense. Nearly half (48 percent) of human resource managers surveyed by CareerBuilder reported they typically review 25 applications or less for open positions. Thirty-eight percent said, on average, they spend less than a minute reviewing a resume; 18 percent spend less than 30 seconds. The CareerBuilder survey was conducted among more than 2,500 employers between May 18 and June 3, 2010.
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make that can take them out of the running is a lack of customization. Seventy-nine percent of human resource managers said they pay more attention to resumes that are tailored to their open positions.
When asked for the most memorable missteps they encountered when going through resumes, human resource managers and hiring managers reported the following:
"While it’s important to stand out from the crowd, job seekers need to make sure their resumes catch hiring managers’ eyes for the right reasons," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Job seekers need to communicate their relevant experience and utilize keywords from the job posting, while customizing their resume for each and every position. Focus on what you can bring to the table right from the get go.”
Haefner offers the following tips to get you started on your road to resume success:
Quantify your experience – Have you helped increase client business, made significant sales or increased team productivity? Make every effort possible to quantify these experiences so you can show employers how you’ve positively affected bottom lines in the past – and how you can hit the ground running at their organization.
Keep it professional – While it sometimes can be helpful to include personal achievements on your resume, leave off information that is too personal. Instead, focus on items that are business-related, such as volunteer work or membership in professional organizations. Also, make sure you leave emoticons, inappropriate e-mail addresses and cutesy fonts off your final product.
Make it easy to read – Avoid using large blocks of text. Use bullets to break up text and make it easy for hiring managers to zero in on important points. Avoid using ornate fonts that may cause formatting issues when sharing electronically.