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.
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