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Professional Association of Resumé Writers & Career Coaches

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.

5 Biggest Job Search Mistakes

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

From Kent Lee, CEO of Perfect Resume

In life, sometimes people make mistakes without even realizing it. This is especially true when it comes to looking for a job.

Here are some common pitfalls many of our clients make every day.

Mistake 1: Using a generic resume

I speak with clients all the time who use the same resume for every single job they apply to. This is a huge mistake.

Generic resumes don’t work because they don’t clearly explain how you are a great fit for specific jobs. The best resumes are always tailored and customized for specific opportunities.

That being said, you don’t need to have a completely different resume for every single job, either. But each resume should contain content directly related to the job description of the position you are applying for.

Mistake 2: Applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for

It surprises me how common this problem is. Many people either don’t understand how to read job descriptions or they just don’t take the time to read them closely.

When reading job descriptions, look at the requirements section first. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, don’t waste your time applying for that job.

In any given week, I’ll have a handful of clients send me jobs they are interested in, when they clearly do not meet the minimum requirements listed on the job description.

While it may seem obvious, don’t fall victim to this common mistake. Focus only on the jobs where you at least meet the minimum requirements.

Mistake 3: Only applying to jobs online

Having a successful job search means having a successful job search strategy.

And if all you’re doing is applying for jobs online, that is a very poor strategy. There’s so much more you can do, and it all starts with people.

Sometimes you may get so caught up on looking for work, you end up focusing on just the job. Instead, put some of your focus on meeting and connecting with new people.

Why? Because people hire other people.

Start building your professional network. Use LinkedIn. Attend networking events, and connect with people who might be able to help you.

Mistake 4:  Playing the blame game

If you’ve been unemployed 6 months, a year, or longer, it’s time to take a step back and recognize that there’s a problem.

The big issue here is that after a bout of unemployment, people often start playing the blame game. They say, “The economy is terrible” or “No one will hire me because I’m too old” and “I keep hearing I’m overqualified.”

These are just excuses. The real problem is almost always one with your resume, your professional network, or your job search strategy.

When you find yourself thinking these thoughts, don’t play the blame game. Instead, take a step back and ask yourself:

  • Am I using a tailored resume?
  • Am I getting the most out of LinkedIn profile and my professional network?
  • Am I using a balanced approach between applying to jobs and networking?

Mistake 5: A poor attitude, not being open to change

Einstein once said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Quite frankly, many job searchers act crazy.

If you’re having trouble, do something different. Be open to the idea that you may need some help. Maybe you need a new resume, maybe you really need interview coaching, or maybe you to learn and better use LinkedIn.

The key is to not let a poor attitude get in the way of trying something new, getting some help, and approaching your job search with new tools or a new strategy.

Use these tips to avoid making the top 5 mistakes we see clients make in your job search.

If you like what you learned or have a question, leave a comment below. Subscribe to our newsletter to get helpful tips and advice each and every week.

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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