The reason why so many people are willing to invest a significant amount of time, energy and money into creating a résumé is because it is the one area of job hunting that is controlled by them. Psychologists will tell you that an innate fear of failure causes people to take what seems like forever to create their résumés. They fear rejection via a face-to-face interview which is why they spend so long crafting the ‘perfect’ résumé rather than calling a prospective employer on the phone for example. Hardly anyone ever gets hired via a résumé alone and must also face an interview. You should know that according to recruiters, 40% of a hiring decision is based entirely on the individual’s personality. Therefore, your résumé is only the beginning of the job seeking journey so stop taking so long creating it!
What To Include In Your Résumé
Keep it under 2 A4 pages because most résumés are scanned in a matter of seconds. The content should be easy to read and relatively free of jargon. Why? Because the person reading your résumé will probably be from the company’s HR department and may have no clue about technical issues related to your industry. Stay traditional in terms of font with Times New Roman 10-12 font size and black type against white paper. A simple Word Document format is sufficient and your employment and education histories should be written in reverse chronological format.
Believe it or not, including personal information is what could keep you from being hired. For example, if the job you’re looking for involves lots of travel and you are married with young children, the company may decide against interviewing you. Avoid fancy phrases and use words that refer to titles such as controller, manager and customer service. Above all, tell a story in your résumé as much as space allows. For example, explain that you completed a project 20% under budget or else you were responsible for initiatives that yielded a 14% increase in company profit.
Courage & Initiative
Initiative is not just something that should be showcased on a résumé; it should be in everything you do related to job hunting. Approximately 60% of jobs are found through networking so instead of hoping that your résumé will be spotted online by a recruiter, start picking up the phone and talking to everyone you have worked with that may have connections. Leave no stone unturned in your bid to become known and to find important information about people and companies that are hiring.
In the end, it is courage that will land you a job as much as your experience and qualifications. You could be the most talented person in your field but if no one knows you exist, how can you expect to get called for an interview? Everyone can send out a résumé but ultimately, it is interviews that get you a job. It is important for you to accept the risk of being rejected and to keep trying again and again until you succeed. While you should absolutely take some time to create an excellent, professional résumé, don’t spend weeks and months on it because it is just one step in a very long journey.