What makes a resume meaningless? Listing responsibilities without context. A section devoted to keywords (I see you, ATS slaves) without context. Details so outdated that they do you more harm than good.
Let me explain, one point at a time.
Listing responsibilities without context.
- Perform accounts payable & accounts receivable functions – as a hiring manager, I need to understand the volume of these transactions you handle per week or month. After all, if I’m hiring for a small business, 20 – 30 per month is probably acceptable, but if it’s a large department of a large company, that won’t cut it. So if I can’t see right away whether or not you can handle the volume my job opening requires, I’m going to skip over your resume.
- Manage projects from bid proposal, scheduling, production, & installation, through completion – what kind of projects? I know you’re a mechanical engineer, but I’d like to know the scale of the projects you manage. Otherwise, I can’t tell if you are the right candidate for the large facility we’ve contracted to build.
- Lead sales team in southeast region – ok, how many sales reps do you manage? And it’s nice to know the region, but I’d rather know how long the sales cycle lasts and the rate of successful closing
A section devoted to keywords without context.
I see this all too often, and it’s unfortunately because the client thinks that the more keywords, the better response from ATS software. Yes, that works. But you know what works better? For humans? CONTEXT. Tell me thestory.
Details so outdated that they do you more harm than good.
- One client in financial services listed FINRA licenses….that had expired. The point being?
- Another client in IT mentioned RUP, which even I, a HR professional, know is obsolete.
- And I’ll never forget the administrative assistant who provided his WPM typing skill. Quaint.
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