If your job search efforts have stalled despite a career with notable achievements, your resume may be to blame. The reality is, even in an era of virtual networking events and Twitter job fairs, that one- to-two-page document is still a job seeker’s most powerful tool. If it’s not packing a punch, you won’t get noticed.
Here, we talk to Tiffani Murray, founder of the resume revision and career coaching company Personality on a Page. She’s dishing up expert advice on how to polish your resume and (finally) land the job of your dreams.
MadameNoire: So much emphasis is placed on networking to get a job. Why is it still important for people to have a solid resume?
Tiffani Murray: While networking is a large part of the job search process, at the end of the day, even if someone in your network gets you in the door of a company, there needs to be some representation of your work history, skills and experiences. Despite all of the technology, social media profiles and the like, a formal resume is still the standard for most hiring organizations. At the point that someone in your network is attempting to convince others to become interested in what you might bring to the company they need a solid resume to tell your story.
MN: What is the biggest and most common mistake you see when evaluating client resumes?
TM: One of the most common mistakes I see clients make is that they try to put too much information in their resume. I have had clients with seven- and ten-page resumes. The resume is meant to be an advertisement, and its purpose is to gain the interest of the recruiter or hiring manager to the point that they are intrigued enough to know more. My time working in human resources at a major Fortune 100 company and my current work as an HR technology consultant has afforded me the opportunity to talk to many recruiters. Simply said, they just do not have time to review a long resume. I have had recruiters tell me their first review of a resume might be less than 60 seconds. If they can’t see in a glance the points that make a candidate attractive to the role, they may go on to the next one.
MN: What is the biggest change that people can make to their resumes to receive the greatest impact?
TM: Make your resume clear, concise and easy to read with an emphasis on tangible results. As much as possible, try to quantify your impact on the company. Speak to the problem and the results that your work [will] lead to.