Why your current resume isn’t going to get you hired (but this one will!)

As a technical recruiter, I see about 20-30 resumés per week. Usually I scan them for 10-15 seconds, look for the important qualifications and relevant projects, and then decide to archive it or forward it to a current job opportunity.

Because recruiters and hiring managers go through resumés so quickly at such high volumes, it’s imperative that resumés be concise and draw the reader’s eye toward the most important facts. So often, however, this is not the case—a person’s golden ticket to the hiring table is often buried under too much distracting detail, too many words, too much junk. If I have to spend more time weeding through the muddy bog of detail about the minute details of your lawn bowling hobby and your near defeat at student council presidency and the distracting (flashy, or so you thought) visuals that you use to fill space because since college that’s how you’ve been taught to write a resumé but really I just need to get to the important facts as to why you’re the best person for the job …

Guess what? I’m bored, you’ve stood out for the wrong reasons, and I’ve already moved on to someone else. Case and point.

The new way to resumé

Recently, however, there has been a particular type of resumé that has cropped up across technical industries and is getting people more interviews than ever before. And it’s no wonder: these resumés are cleanly organized, direct and concise in their wording, and most importantly, they make use of bolded text to draw the eye toward the most important qualifications that hiring managers are looking for.

The bolding technique acts like a search optimization tool—using these key phrases, words, and specializations, a recruiter or hiring manager can easily scan your resumé and get a good idea of the most important aspects of your qualifications. Your resumé is your greatest personal marketing tool – you want to make sure those diamonds of your experience shine through the rough.

Moreover, because recruiters and hiring managers are famous for quick spot checks of resumés, beginning with a concise professional summary will ensure that the best of your best is distilled in their minds from the get-go. The summary is a declarative statement or list of your most sought-after hard and soft skills, specializations, and accomplishments. This statement replaces your father’s father’s tired “objective statement” that does little more than tell the employer the obvious: that you want the job. Of course you do!

After your professional summary, organize your professional experience according to projects you’ve done. Don’t get long winded – pick the top four or five major projects you’ve worked on that showcase your training, your specialization, and your expertise. State the specific tools and skills you used to complete the projects in bold. If you did an IT technical implementation project, for example, bold the keywords, techniques, and niche software that you used for the project.

To get you on the fast track to getting hired, follow the guidelines in our example template below for that pitch-perfect technical resumé that will make hiring managers ooooh and aaahh at your fireworks display of abilities and achievements.

(click the example below to enlarge)