In the age of technology, a resume may seem like an outdated way to get a chance at your dream job. However, this piece of paper is not to be underestimated. Potential employers look at your resume on average for 20 to 30 seconds and decide if you will be in the pool of interviews. In that short time frame, it must be made clear as to why they need to meet you about the opportunity they have available.
When finding a job, there are four steps that must happen in some form or fashion:
1. You must find the opportunity you are seeking
2. You must be considered as a viable candidate by the person doing the hiring
3. You must present yourself as the right person for the job
4. Terms and conditions of the job must be agreed upon by both parties
The second step is where having a good resume is crucial to the remaining steps in the process.
So what is it that potential employers are looking for in a resume? In short, they are looking for a cohesive document that showcases what you have to offer to the company/business. They are also looking for some information about you that prompts them to want to get to know you better or to know more about you. Often, a cover letter is also required with your resume. That letter will give the employer an idea of your personal style. One style is not necessarily better than another, but a good presentation is a must.
In the world of business, we all need some kind of shorthand way to represent who we are, what we have done, and perhaps most importantly, why we are a great fit for the job opening. Consider the alternatives for a hiring manager. Interview every applicant? Some jobs receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. That would be a daunting and time consuming task for even the most ambitious of employers. The resume provides a filter for these individuals to weed out the bad, and use their time to evaluate the good.
Most job applicants go through some sort of filtering process. Sometimes it's the direct supervisor that sorts through resumes, sometimes it's a Human Resource Manager, and some larger corporations use software that specifically seeks certain qualifications. In each scenario, the resume is the ticket for additional communication. Building a resume is crucial to the job seeking process and should not be taken lightly.
Scary and irrational though it may seem, this means that, to most hiring managers, you are really little more than that one piece of paper.
The more time and effort that you put into your resume, the more you have a chance of getting into the door for an interview. Take proactive steps to making your resume stand out. Some schools, such as Western Dakota Tech, offer assistance in resume building, interview skills, and offer career guidance. Take advantage of these opportunities to help make your first impression the best it can be.