Resumes – how much do they really matter?
The short answer – too much. They are a valuable and very necessary tool in the overall process of finding, interviewing, and ultimately making an offer to a candidate. As I’ve told many candidates, “resumes are the key I get to turn to unlock the door to an interview.” Although a bit corny, it rings very true.
Why do hiring managers ascribe so much weight to a resume? Usually because that is all they have to go on prior to making a decision to invest their most valuable resource – time – into the person on the other side of that resume. And that’s where a great recruiter can be a huge asset to an organization and to that hiring manager!
Under the right circumstances and with a strong partnership in place, a recruiter will invest time to understand not only the content on the resume but also the stuff in between. What generated the transitions over the course of someone’s career? What would be their ideal role… and why? What are their primary drivers for looking for a new role? What type of culture aligns with what they desire? What about location and how important is it? What type of career path is desired? Does the size/style of the organization play into their decision? Money/salary is always important… but how important and what is the real range based on all the factors? Being able to invest the time and have a conversation about someone’s successes, failures, how they are wired, and what they desire is where the true evaluation happens. From there, recommendations and presentations are made and the hiring manager can make an informed decision knowing, and trusting, that the heavy lifting has been done and can be confident to move forward with interviews.
I digress. This is about resumes. Because there is such a lack of trust that exists in the contingent recruiting world (and usually rightly so), resumes must do a phenomenal job of representing both what you do and especially what you’ve done. It is not an easy task to boil down a career into 2 or 3 pages; to do so in a compelling yet readable way is even tougher.
Invest the time, utilize various resources, and leverage all the content out there to best represent yourself via your resume. Oh, and if you can find and work with a great recruiter that has built a solid base of trust with their clients, one that has invested and developed a solid partner relationship that is ultimately about results, you can rest assured that the effort applied will be used wisely!
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