What Employers Secretly Think of Your Resume
By Eve Harris, Hcareers.com
Recruiters were asked what makes a resume stand out. They jokingly responded:
- • You're assuming I actually get a chance to read resumes.
• Someone who went to my alma mater. Not that I'm biased.
Jokes aside, what do hiring managers actually want to see? And on the other hand, what makes them throw a resume away? What do they secretly think when they see your resume?
A resume is still the backbone of how you represent yourself to potential employers. Substance and language both count when someone is making a quick first assessment. Recruiters said they look for:
- • A well-rounded candidate
• Relevant, appropriate experience
• Accomplishments – preferably measurable
• Immediate availability
• Something that makes you stand out
The ease of applying online contributes to a flood of irrelevant responses recruiters and hiring managers say they get after posting a job. Most said they receive hundreds of responses per posting, yet the majority of resumes do not match the job description.
Unless you want them to laugh at you or throw your application away, don’t send an irrelevant resume. Here’s an example of how to match your experience and accomplishments to experienced required in the job description.
If the description says: "Four-year college degree or previous experience in the hotel hospitality field required. Alcohol awareness certification required. General Manager and/or other certification as required by franchise."
Do not fail to specifically note where and when you received those qualifications and where they are valid.
Those are the right things to say; remember to also take time to say them right. To keep your resume – and your candidacy – viable, use specific, memorable language.
Executive Resume Writer Laura Smith-Proulx has a helpful suggestion. If you think what you’ve drafted might be cliché, Google it! Search for it on LinkedIn profiles. The phrase “go-getter” came up on Google more than 1.6 million times and on LinkedIn more than 6,000 – so you probably want to avoid it, along with “self-motivated,” and “team-player.”
To make your resume stand out, show – don’t just tell about – your accomplishments. Describe your skills by their results using power verbs, said Smith-Proulx. In the example below, see how the bullet points refer back to the job requirements as advertised while using active verbs and citing quantifiable metrics.
* Managed all sources of revenue including the rooms, housekeeping, food and beverage, engineering, and other departments.
* Ensured staff received proper training for each position, including safety training and standard operating procedures.
* Inspected guests' rooms, public access areas, and outside grounds for cleanliness and appearance.
The sheer number of responses to job postings these days is a real challenge. Don’t make the mistake most job seekers do and send a generic response! Seize this opportunity to be a savvy resume writer.
Hcareers is the leading job board for hotel, restaurant, food service, travel and other hospitality industries. In addition to thousands of searchable jobs, Hcareers offers resources to job seekers such as employment tips, industry articles and salary guides.