Filling the Gap
In a few weeks, once Christmas and New Year’s festivities have passed us by, I anticipate seeing a flurry of tips and reminders geared towards job seekers looking for a change. There is no time like the present, so here is my two cents now.
Earlier this year, I made a commitment that I was going to play a role in assisting professionals with their career transitions. My experience working in the business world, “insider” exposure to selection processes as a recruiter and hiring manager and my own perpetual transitions boosted my confidence in my ability to perform this role well.
While I enjoy writing, prior to assuming this role, I was never eager to write a resume. Most of my clients share these sentiments.
Writing about ourselves in a manner that is not intended for us requires objectivity and focus.
Plus, with the advance in recruitment processes, one document needs to serve multiple purposes, including making it past the ATS along with the human test, which may involve a recruiter and hiring manager- each with varying perspectives.
While the process can seem daunting and overwhelming, creating an appealing resume is absolutely doable.
The real challenge lies in our perspective.
As a job seeker, we view our resumes as a running tally of everything we have done over the years. It is hard to maintain objectivity because we are so personally involved with the words on the piece of paper. Removing one element or accomplishment can seem overwhelming, because as a job seeker, each accomplishment matters.
The reality is that recruiters and hiring managers are not as involved. Unless they are intrigued or see a match, they have barely absorbed your name.
Here is some renewed perspective that may help you in creating a resume that appeals to your reader.
View each vacancy as a gap, leaving a unique unfilled space within the organization. Your resume needs to illustrate to the reader that you:
a) understand the gap and b) can effectively fill the gap through your unique combination of skills, training and experience.
While peppering your resume with keywords may help you pass the ATS, it is important to realize that the recruiter and/or hiring manager will likely not be doing a cross-match between your resume and the job ad in a robotic manner.
As the popular stats demonstrate, recruiters spend a mere 6 seconds reviewing your resume. You have 6 seconds to make an impression and demonstrate to the reader that you have invested the time and effort to understand the void this opportunity has created within the organization and crafted a document accordingly. This stat alone proves that the first few lines of your resume are crucial to making an impression!
With this said, applying with a “generic” resume, while fast and convenient for the job seeker, can leave a poor taste in the mouth of the hiring committee. Investing a few minutes tweaking your professional summary can go a long way.
So invest more than a mere 6 seconds before applying to your next job. Take time understanding the void you will be filling with your experience and skill set. Focus on highlighting accomplishments fitting to the role at hand.
This process can seem overwhelming, but don’t fret! I am honoured to be a part of a professional community called Career Professionals of Canada. Here you will find a diverse group of professionals across Canada who are passionate about helping professionals with all aspects of career transitions and have invested time and effort to keep their skills up-to-date. Feel free to peruse the directory here:http://careerprocanada.ca/about/findaprofessional/