It’s about taking your product comprising of your Label, features, and benefits of the product (resume), to the customer (employer). One of the difficulties which people face in today’s marketplace is that there is so much competition from other jobseekers that companies who advertise, and recruiters at recruitment agencies are swamped with resumes and therefore they are becoming disposable assets. It’s very often forgotten that there’s a real human being behind a cv, and that when hundreds of resumes arrive for an advertised job but 90% of them are just filed or thrown out without ever seeing the light of day, that’s people’s lives.
However unfortunate that fact may be, it is a fact nonetheless. People become FAR less disposable once they make the transfer from paper to flesh and blood. To the point where personality can start to take over and where personal relationships can begin to be built.
It is rare that a resume will secure you a job in itself so it is wrong to expect this to happen or to write a resume which has this as an aim. The SOLE purpose of a resume is to make the transition from paper to real person begin and it is with this purpose in mind that it should be written.
Today the average on-line job advert is returning around 600 resumes on average across all industries. In reality, a great many of those will never even get looked at and those which do get looked at are firstly given VERY little viewing time (10-15 seconds initial scan is not unusual) and are, at least in the first instance, being looked at for reasons to exclude rather than reasons to interview. Simple rule, don’t give them the bullets to shoot you down with. Let’s not pretend that people these days are in any way taken in by phrases like “career break” or “travelling” to cover several years of gap on a resume. Also trying to launch into explanations of gaps will far more likely give a reason to throw your resume in the bin than to attract the attention of the reader and make them think that YOU are the person who can solve their problems.
Something as simple as showing your address on a resume can be used as a filtering mechanism. Just because you are prepared to travel 2 hours each way to work, does not mean that the employer will not be conscious of the fact that the further a person has to travel to work, the higher the likelihood of lateness and as such the higher the likelihood that your cv will end up in the bin if you show your address. Conversely, if you live very locally to the employer, this would be seen as a benefit and in this instance showing your address would be a good thing to do.
Another good way to pretty much guarantee that your resume is never read is to use a resume that is badly spaced and/or in too small a font. The layout of your resume should be clean, open and clear. Use headlines and bullet points in order to make it easier for the reader to access the parts of your resume which they may be interested in and to get at your key skills (the features of your product) easily and quickly to see if they match their buying needs. Every time you tick one of the customer’s need boxes, you are buying precious seconds of their time and interest in your resume.