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Perfect Resume Career Blog

Resume Writing Myth: Your Resume Needs an Exciting Format to Get a Hiring Manager’s Attention

January 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Resume Tips

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From Kent Lee, CEO of Perfect Resume

I’d like to take a moment to talk about one of the biggest resume writing myths. We’ve talked to several people this week who think their resumes look “boring.” Almost all of these people say they want “a resume format that looks exciting and gets a hiring manager’s attention.”

Hiring Managers Focus on Content, Not a Resume’s Appearance

The truth is, a resume’s format has little to do with getting a hiring manager’s attention. What truly gets the attention of a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR manager is resume content that relates to the job description for the position they are trying to fill.

Yes, having a resume format that looks professional is important, but it does not have to look flashy or be filled with colors and pictures to get a hiring manager’s attention. Recruiters and HR managers don’t care about aesthetics nearly as much as people think they do. They want to see relevant resume content presented in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to read. That’s it.

Standing Out Visually Isn’t Necessary in Today’s Electronic World

The resume writing myth of “needing to stand out from the crowd” was much more relevant two decades ago, when resume applications weren’t submitted electronically. The thinking was that if your resume was in a stack of papers on a desk along with dozens of others, you needed to have a resume that stood out to ensure it got read.

But today’s resume review process doesn’t work like this. Resumes are received electronically, and each resume is reviewed one at a time. In many cases, resumes are scanned by computer software for keywords, and a resume’s format isn’t a factor at all.

Does Your Resume Meet the Job Requirements? That’s What Hiring Managers Are Looking For

When hiring managers look at resumes, they will notice the document’s overall look and feel — but only fleetingly. Really, they’re trying to decide very quickly if a candidate meets their job requirements, and the resume’s format has little, if anything, to do with that. Again, they’re looking for content that relates to their job description, and that’s what will get their attention.

As a side note, it is important for me to mention that there are some rare exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you have a degree in graphic design or another creative industry, the format and overall presentation of the resume becomes more important.

Do you live in the DFW area and need help with your resume? Perfect Resume would be happy to help. Give us a call today at 214-431-5296.

Resume Writing Tips: Why Resume Templates Don’t Work

July 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Resume Tips

If you’ve ever used a resume template, you know it can feel like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. But the number one reason why resume templates usually fail is different than you might think.

An online search for resume templates will yield dozens and dozens of companies selling these products, but buyer beware. Resume templates are easy to find but are difficult to use, and rarely, if ever, work.

If you’ve ever used a resume template you probably know what we’re talking about.  At times it can feel like you are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

The biggest problem most people have with resume templates is the formatting. It can be difficult to get the text and spacing lined up how you want it.

But the number one reason why resume templates fail is that they lack relevant content.

Writing a resume is sort of like cooking a meal. You can have all the necessary cookware — pots, pans, and casserole dishes — but if you don’t have the right ingredients, you won’t be able to make a great meal.

The content of a resume works in much the same way. The most important ingredients for a resume are keywords. Keywords are what hiring managers are recruiters are looking for.

Keywords signify to hiring managers that you have the skills they’re looking for. But the majority of people who create their own resumes using templates simply don’t understand what the most important keywords are. It’s like cooking a meal without knowing what ingredients to use.

That’s the value experienced, professional resume writers bring to the table.

You won’t find this from national online resume writing companies offering resumes for under $100. Those companies don’t bring any real value to the table.  All they do is format the information you provide to them.

But if you use a high-level professional resume writing service like Perfect Resume, resume experts can share with you what keywords must be built into your resume.

A true resume expert will also be able to explain to you how to “optimize” your resume for keywords, which is a process of including important keywords in several different places on your resume.

Keyword optimization is done so that your resume will come up first in searches by recruiters and hiring managers who are looking for people with your skills.

Creating relevant content with keywords and using keyword optimization is how job-winning resumes are created.

Unfortunately, the majority of people who use resume writing templates don’t understand how to do this.

That’s why it’s important to use a professional resume writing company like Perfect Resume.

Resume Writing Tips: Why Your Resume Needs an Elevator Pitch

July 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Resume Tips

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Most people understand the importance of having an “elevator pitch” during a job search. It’s basically a 15 to 30-second spoken commercial that explains to people who you are, what you do, and what kind of position you’re seeking. Most people don’t understand, though, that an elevator pitch should also be part of your resume.

Prevent Resume Confusion

As a hiring manager and former recruiter, I am often confused by the resumes that land on my desk. In many cases, I have no idea why some candidates apply for certain jobs. I don’t understand how or why they would be a good fit for any of my open positions.

The problem is that 70 percent of resumes do not begin with an opening paragraph, which some refer to as an Executive Summary. Don’t let the name fool you — you don’t need to be an executive to include this crucial information.

Every resume should start with an opening paragraph. Why? Because it’s like starting the resume off with a 15-second elevator pitch that sells you.

Make it Easy for Hiring Managers and Recruiters

If you don’t begin your resume with an opening paragraph, you’re making the hiring managers, recruiters and potential employers reading it work too hard to figure out how and why you’re a good fit for their job.

An opening paragraph works just like an elevator pitch. It explains who you are, what you do, how many years of experience you have, what your strengths are, and, ultimately, why you are a great fit for the position. Best of all, the opening paragraph makes all of this information quick and easy for hiring managers and recruiters to find and understand.

You’ve Got 15 Seconds or Less – Make it Count!

You may have heard that you have 15 seconds or less to get a hiring manager’s attention with your resume. Leading the way with an opening paragraph prevents hiring managers and recruiters from having to scour your resume for the details they need to decide whether you’re a good match for the job. The most important information about you will stand front and center, conveniently located at the top of your resume.

4 to 5 Sentences is All it Takes

The opening paragraph, or elevator pitch, for your resume should be just four to five sentences. Ideally, it should be targeted and focused to clearly show how
you meet the requirements listed in the description for the job you are applying for.

Next time you’re applying for a job, put yourself ahead of the pack with a strong elevator pitch. Sell hiring managers on your best qualities from the get-go, and I can guarantee your resume will stand out from the rest.

Need help constructing a perfect elevator pitch for your resume? Let Perfect Resume help you! Perfect Resume is a leading resume-writing service located in the heart of Dallas. We have a proven track record of success writing resumes for all levels of employees, from administrative staff to C-Level executives.


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