Drafting the perfect résumé can be a cause of much anxiety for job seekers. Often there are questions such as: Can my draft be more than a page? Should I use an objective statement? Does my draft contain any red flags for employers?
Correctly answering such questions is critical. If your draft does not make the cut, chances are no interview invitation will follow your application.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2015 report, at the national level the top five attributes employers seek on a candidate's résumé are leadership, ability to work in a team, written communication skills, problem-solving skills and strong work ethic.
Other top significant attributes employers endorsed included analytical/quantitative skills, technical skills, verbal communication skills and initiative.
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Below are some key tips directly from "the source," local human resource and recruiting experts right here in the bluegrass state.
When asked what are some of the key elements in a job candidate's résumé, Palak Patel, University Relations Coordinator at Lexmark International Inc. stated, "First, we ensure that candidates meet the minimum qualifications for the position for which they're applying. ... In addition, we look for soft skills such as examples of teamwork and leadership."
"There is a certain degree of subjectivity when it comes to résumés. Personally, we prefer a simple approach since recruiters are reviewing a large number of résumés each day. In general, we prefer that information is in reverse chronological order, bulleted with accomplishments for each position/project and all on one page." Patel shared.
June Carpenter, Human Resources Officer at Central Bank & Trust Co., advised, "I like the résumé to be easy to read and straight to the point (easy to skim through). It should be orderly ... Dates are very important to me. If they simply put 2013-2014 that really doesn't indicate how much experience they have; it could be one month or 10 or 12."
Regarding format, Carpenter says, "It helps if the experience is bulleted that way I can simply look at the bullets and see what they have done (not sentences simply handled cash or customer service etc.). ... I'm OK with a two page (or more) résumé, if you have the experience show me you have it."
Carpenter also shared a few common pitfalls for résumé writers. "I hate to see typos. Most of our positions are very detail orientated and typos are not a good indicator of someone who shows attention to detail. I often have a difficult time contacting potential employees because the phone number or email on the résumé is no longer valid."
When asked preferences regarding objective statements Autumn Drane, College Programs
Recruiter at Humana Inc., recommended, "If an objective is used, it should be used as an opportunity to tell the employer what an individual will bring to the organization. Getting very goal specific could be a disqualifier if the goal doesn't align with the opportunity presented. I would steer clear of a 'what I want' objective and focus on a 'what I bring' or 'how I can impact' statement."
Additionally in regard to objective statements, Carpenter shared, "I don't think objective/goal statements are necessary. They take up space and recruiters are usually very busy and don't have time to do much more than skim over it."
When asked about candidates including LinkedIn profile hyperlinks on résumés, Patel at Lexmark International Inc., advised, "Absolutely! Here at Lexmark, like most large companies, LinkedIn is a key source as we seek candidates for all of our positions. It's good practice to maintain an up-to-date profile at all times."
Also, Drane, at Humana Inc., stated, "I think employers are making a shift, utilizing LinkedIn much more for their recruiting function."
Overall, here in the bluegrass the majority of human resources and recruiting experts prefer bullet formats with experience and education in reverse chronological order. Use of objective statements can go either way. If you choose to utilize an objective statement it should be personalized for the job and company that you are seeking. Many recruiters prefer a one page draft, but some are open to multiple if the experience included is relevant to the desired position.
Keep these tips in mind when drafting and submitting your next application and you will be one step closer to receiving an offer for an interview.