You have probably heard the phrase, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
I’m sure you’ve met someone who initially didn’t impress you. Then you met them again and they made a better impression, but you couldn’t get past the first meeting. That first impression set the tone with that person going forward. This can be said about your resume as well. Contrary to what you may think, the resume does not get you the job. However, it is the first and critical step toward landing a job.
Ninety percent of Fortune 500 companies filter job applicants and resumes through an applicant tracking system. A recruiter, administrative assistant or manager enters keywords from the job description and the resumes with the most matches advance near the top. If it passes this initial process, a hiring manager spends about six seconds scanning the resume and makes a decision as to whether you are a suitable candidate. Managers are very busy and your resume must catch their interest quickly.
Would your resume pass the applicant tracking filter and the six-second scan test?
In the past several months, I have met with alumni for job search assistance. They applied and submitted their resumes to numerous positions, but hadn’t received any calls for an interview. When asked whether someone has reviewed their resume, the response was no. As I read their resumes, I identified potential problems: skills not identified, key academic projects overlooked, vague or confusing accomplishment statements, absence of action verbs, typos/grammar errors and omitting important activities that would be of interest to an employer. During the review, I explained the process and coached them in making improvements. As a result, their resumes were more polished and they had renewed confidence in their skills.
When was the last time your resume was reviewed? As you can see, it is essential to have it reviewed before submission. This applies to all students whether you are pursuing your first professional position, transitioning to a new career or looking for advancement within your company. Make an appointment with the Fulton Schools Career Center today!
I don’t want you to make a good first impression. I want you to make a great one!
Betty Boza is a career development specialist in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She has a master’s degree in professional counseling and has the Master Career Counselor designation in the National Career Development Association.