It’s hard finding a good job this days. It’s even harder if your resume is not appealing.
Hiring managers spend 40-50 seconds scanning through your resume. What this means is that you only have less than a minute to impress them!
So how do you make hiring managers interested in reading your resume in detail? Apart from obviously making sure that it is error free in terms of grammar and spelling, you should also organize it in a way that will appeal to them.
A survey conducted by Accountemps found out that three quarters of employers prefer a chronological resume that features the most recent employment history first to resumes organized by skills and job function.
For the survey, telephone interviews were conducted with 150 senior executives from some of the country’s largest companies.
The executives were asked,
Do you prefer to receive a resume written in a chronological format that is organized by dates of employment, or one in a functional format that is organized by skills?
This is how they responded:
- Chronological format – 75%
- Functional format – 17%
- No preference – 8%
Chronologically organized resumes easily won.
According to the chair of Accountemps and author of “Job Hunting for Dummies.”, Max Messmer, chronological resumes offer job seekers a chance to present to prospective employers how they have progressed in their careers in a straightforward way that is easy to follow.
“Functional resumes, which emphasize skill sets rather than jobs held, are popular among professionals in career transition or who have had lengthy gaps in employment, but they are not a favorite of employers. It is often better to address a career challenge directly than try to write around it,” he explained.
In this YouTube video, Nicole Williams, a career expert, offers insights into how a traditional resume can give you another way of thinking about a chronological resume.
To help job seekers create the best resume, she offered these additional tips:
- Instead of just listing the tasks you carried out on a day to day basis, try to highlight how you achieved results.
- Only list the skills and work experience relevant to the job opening you are applying for.
What about those whose resumes are not perfect? The best advice is not to lie. According to a study carried out by CareerBuilder 75 percent of hiring managers said they had discovered a lie on a resume.
Trust is priceless
It’s always important to be as truthful as you can because once employers discover lies in your resume, they will completely lose any trust they had in you. Accountemps offers the following tips to help you out:
- Limited work history – if your employment history is short, try to boost it through part time work, internships, volunteer work, and temporary assignments.
- Change in career – try to emphasize your transferable skills and accomplishments.
- Gaps in employment – in your cover letter, explain briefly any gaps that exist in your employment history.
When you are drafting your resume, it’s always important to try to put yourself into the shoes of the person who will be reading it – the human resource manager. This way, you will be able to understand their thinking and know what they are looking for.