Resumes: Unqualified until Proven Otherwise [OPINION]
How many times have you been rejected for a position that you were qualified or even overqualified for?
I sometimes think about the many conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues about resumes and what hiring managers are really looking for. We laugh and joke about the many rejections we’ve gotten although we were beyond qualified for the position. All this led me to think about the real reason resumes are rejected, weeded out, mocked and scorned.
I came up with the following:
All applicants are considered unqualified until their resume proves otherwise
It only makes sense! In order to be as fair as possible, the hiring manager must assume that all candidates are unqualified until their resume can prove that they indeed are a perfect fit for the position.
So, now we have to think about this: “I’m qualified, but I’m still getting rejected. Why?”
This is where logical thinking comes into play. Well, I can tell you that, as an applicant, your resume has anywhere from 5 to 7 seconds to catch the attention of the hiring manager. I’m not talking fancy font or cool formatting, because we’re assuming everyone has a fair shot, remember? Now I’m talking about the snapshot of your relevant experience, education and transferable skills. Unfortunately, you are probably making one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make: trying to list ALL of your work history and skills. WRONG!
In 5 to 7 seconds, the hiring manager is expecting to arrive at a destination on your resume that resonates with their interests. This part, or parts, of your resume makes it easy for them to assess how qualified you are as an applicant, and will encourage them to contact you for an interview.
One of the easiest ways to help the hiring manager locate what they are looking for is by having an uncluttered resume. Cluttered resumes can reduce your chances and ultimately get you weeded out as a qualified applicant. Every resume will receive their 5 to 7 seconds, but the question is: what will your resume do with its time?