What Your Resume and Online Profile Says To A Hiring Manager

interviewing personal branding resumes tips Jan 10, 2011
what does your resume say to a hiring manager

As a hiring manager in the consulting and financial services and consulting industries I have reviewed literally thousands of resumes. It is true that most of the resumes get about 10 seconds of consideration before they are dismissed. However, some of the resumes receive a lot more attention, even if the keywords or skills are not initially apparent. Why do these resumes stick out and receive a closer read and maybe even a phone call?

Simply, it's more effective communication skills. It's not that someone is tricking me with a fancy sales pitch or presentation. Rather, these resumes are showing a strong ability to present and communicate information clearly and effectively in an engaging manner. Who do you think a hiring manager would rather have on his or her staff - someone who can communicate in an engaging manner or someone who just lists a bunch of facts?

Increasingly, the ability to communicate well is a top priority for hiring managers, at all levels. Technical skills are less and less of a differentiator, especially in this job market with so many qualified people looking for work and looking to change jobs. Additionally, jobs are changing and staff at all levels need to have a broad range of skills and abilities to be successful. Communication skills and interpersonal skills are two of the top skills employers are looking for when making their hiring decisions.

Your Resume Is Marketing Material

Your resume is your personal marketing material. Your resume conveys your personal brand just as much as any advertisement you see on TV, in a magazine or on the web. What impression does your resume give:  interesting, elegant, great presentation skills, well organized, sloppy, inarticulate, etc.?

Three Resume Tips

  1. Lead With Forward Looking Summary. Use the top 1/3 of your resume to communicate how you are the right candidate for the position you are applying for. Write a few sentences that draw on your personal experience and illustrate your ability to add great value to the company. This is a great place to include your personal branding statement. Avoid using the traditional "Objective Statement", which is often meaningless and conveys nothing about you and your unique value proposition.
  2. 3-5 Key Word Qualities. Include in the top of your resume 3-5 single word key qualities of yours. These are the words that you want people to think of when they think of you in a work context (and all of the time, for that matter). Words like: Reliable, Intelligent, Integrity, Go-Getter. This is your personal brand in a nutshell. These words can be presented neatly in a row at the top of your resume.
  3. Contact Information In Main Body. If you put your name and contact information in a header rather the main text of the body of your resume you run the risk that you may never be contacted. Depending on the view in which the reader is looking at your resume, this information maybe invisible to him or her. And not all hiring mangers or HR professionals are aware of this. They may read your resume, like it and then wonder "why is there no contact information here?

What does your resume say to a hiring manager?

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