"Resumes don't get you jobs, interviews get you jobs."
That adage has been around a long time and is as true today as it ever has been. However, in reality, resumes, along with your networking, do help you get interviews.
Too many resumes templates start with an 'Objective' as the first category.
A lot of the objectives found on resumes start sounding the same after you have read a few: "Looking for a progressive company that can use my skills, yada, yada, yada."
In truth, most employers are not as concerned about your objective as they are meeting their objective of finding the right person with the right skills.
I strongly recommend starting your resumes with a summary of your skills and background and a few words on how they apply to the job you are seeking. It should no more than three, maybe four, sentences and it ideally should include some major accomplishments.
The title of this first section can be Summary, or Profile, or Summary of Skills, or Summary of Qualifications.
Another reality about your resumes is that you, and maybe someone who helped you write it, are the ones who will read it word for word. Almost all potential employers will skim over your resumes, looking for key words, phrases and accomplishments, and will only read it in more detail if they are interested in it.
Imagine an employer receiving 20 or 50 or even 100 resumes for a single job opening. Your resumes is just one of many, many others. To get that all-important interview, it has to include something that will let them know you have the skills and experience they're looking for.
When it comes to resumes and cover letters, redundancy is perfectly OK. In fact, it is recommended. For example, let's say you received a big "Salesperson of the Year" award with a previous company, and the job you are applying for is in sales. You can list that award in your cover letter, in the summary section, and again in the experience or accomplishments section and once again in an awards' or recognitions' section of your resumes. That's once in your cover letter and an additional three times in your resumes.
This is important because we know that resumes are merely skimmed and not read word for word by most potential employers. Don't take a chance that they will miss this important accomplishment.
Mike Taylor, a career coach for the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, sent me a great link to an article by Vivian Giang in BusinessInsider.com about this topic. It discusses a research project conducted by TheLadders that reveals recruiters spend an average of six seconds before they make the initial "fit or no fit" decision on candidates.
Six seconds is not much time and if you want to get that all-important interview that ultimately can get you the job, it will be up to you to make the most of those six seconds by ensuring key words, phrases and information can be easily found in your cover letter and resumes.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.