Learn Why A Resume Is So Important
by Riia O’Donnell
Do you want to fill out an application, or do you have a resume? Which sounds like a path to a job, and which sounds like a path to a career?
A resume is an important tool that does more than market your skills, education, and abilities.
It translates to employers that you are aware of your value and able to quantify it.
A strong resume tells the story of who you are, what you have to offer, and where you can go in the future.
Discounting its worth can be the difference between taking your first step on a career trajectory to success and a lifetime of just making a living.
A strong resume outlines what you’ve done in the past, certainly, but more, it predicts what you can do in the future.
When a recruiter looks at your resume, they’re looking for key points: what you’ve achieved so far, and how your career has developed.
The trajectory you outline with your resume helps forecast whether you’re on the path for growth or stagnating.
For most recruitment professionals, even the barest of resumes, or those with little actual job experience, can be revealing. They outline your goals and aspirations and the steps you’ve taken to start your path.
The first touchpoint
A resume is the first view an employer sees of you. That first point of contact is critical to set the tone for any potential relationship.
Like an in-person connection, you never get a second chance to make that first impression. Your resume is the professional first impression you make with a potential employer. It must speak to the qualities they look for and require in a new hire.
Recruiters spend, on average, mere seconds reviewing your resume. If Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) screens resumes for the company, you can expect they’ll spend a bit more time on those resumes who pass the screening, but not too much.
They’re busy professionals.
Whether electronically or manually, recruiters know what they’re looking for and are quick to eliminate resumes that don’t meet their needs.
A good resume is:
- Organized – work experience, education, and credentials are easy to find and read
- Professional – neat, without typos or corrections: it looks and reads like professional work product
- Succinct – with only seconds to devote, recruiters are looking for information quickly. Long descriptions are quickly passed over.
When a resume successfully outlines your qualifications, and are aligned with the open position, it can mean an interview is scheduled. But even the best match may not mean you’re scheduled.
Resumes, whatever the market conditions, are often a number’s game.
The more you send out, the more opportunity you have to gain an interview. But too many, for positions that you’re not qualified to perform, aren’t the answer.
Focus efforts on realizable goals to see the best results.
Your resume may not land an interview and a subsequent job, but that doesn’t mean it’s failed.
A strong resume leaves an impression. Even when the job is taken by another candidate, a good recruiter will hold on to an impressive resume for future openings.
Resumes market or sell you to the business community. Your resume offers employers your talents, skills, and potential.
Few things sell themselves: your qualifications included.
A resume allows you to market your abilities to employers in the language they speak. How do your skills match their needs? The resume makes the case that you’re the right fit for the job.
Additionally, a resume outlines you’re the right fit for the employer. A company with a strong commitment to social responsibilities seeks out candidates whose resume outlines similar values.
Companies that are looking for fast-trackers look for signs of ambition. The values you hold are a match for the right employer. Your resume starts the process of finding that fit.
Resumes ready you for the process
Another key value in crafting a strong resume is readiness. You have the time, as you create your resume, to prep for the interview process with all the information you need.
Organized: a strong resume puts together a cohesive list of your background and experience. It provides a guideline for the interviewer to discuss your qualifications.
Highlights achievements: a strong resume gives you time to quantify and focus on achievements to discuss with a potential employer as well as the challenges you hope to meet.
Readiness: a strong, current resume on hand is there when the opportunity presents itself. Rather than wasting time putting a resume together, you’re ahead of the curve if yours is current and impactful.
Introduction: like a calling card, a strong resume introduces you to recruiters and hiring managers in the most professional manner possible.
Resumes are an integral component at any stage in a career. Whether you’re just starting out, moving on or moving up, or shifting career gears completely, they are the strongest means to your ends.
Having a strong resume at the ready means you’re prepared for whatever challenges are put before you professionally: that’s what all employers are looking for.