Have you ever visited a company’s website and wondered, “What the heck does this company do?” and then somewhere buried behind all testimonials and customer lists you see the tab marked “What we do” Aha! It only took you five minutes to figure it out and by then you are just annoyed.
Well, the same is true for your resume. I am sad to report that I often read through someone’s resume and am left thinking, “What does this person even do?” If I don’t know what you do, I am not reaching out to set up an interview to ask. You will be hard pressed to find a recruiter who has the time to work at extracting what an individual candidate does or how they do it when there is an entire stack of resumes to weed through.
How can you avoid having your resume tossed aside? Spend time and energy filling in the details that matter most in these three key areas:
- Company Description: Whether you work at a company like Google, which is self-explanatory, or an unknown start-up with five employees and no revenue, you need a line below your company name and title that explains what the company does. For example:
XYZ Company May 2010-June 2012
3.5 Million Dollar company specializing in cloud-based storage solutions
By providing recruiters and hiring managers with that snippet of what your company does it gives your experience more color and provides the reader with a better understanding of your accomplishments.
- Relevant Experience Bullet Points: I often come across “fluff” bullet points listed under relevant experience that make me second guess whether the applicant spent any time at all really thinking about their accomplishments in a given position. Below is an example of the kind of meaningless bullet points that do more harm than good:
- Answered all emails in a timely fashion
Well, it is 2012 and I would hope with the advent of smartphones and wireless hotspots that all emails are answered in a timely fashion. I never thought to myself, “Wow, this candidate needs to be hired because they answer emails quickly!”
Instead of using fluff to bulk up your experience, try describing what you saved, achieved, or made. An example of saving is if you were able to save the company a substantial amount of money through tweaking a budget or doing an audit. Achieving could be any honors that you earned such as making President’s Club, or getting promoted. An example of Made would be if you exceeded your sales quota. Make every word on your resume count.
- Objective: The last important piece that is often overlooked on resumes is the objective. I see a lot of vague or blatantly wrong objectives on people’s resume. The short fix is that if you are not willing to tailor your objective for the type of position you are applying for then just scratch it all together. If you applied for a sales position and your objective is to obtain an entry-level marketing role it just looks unprofessional. If you are putting an objective on your resume, make sure it is pertinent to the role you are applying for.