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Understanding How A Great Resume Can Lead To A Great Interview!

great resume

great resumeA well-written resume and cover letter demonstrate the value you bring to an organization. This is the key to securing the interview.

In fact, when you are crafting your resume, if you consider that the ONLY purpose of your resume is to secure your interview, that one thought alone will help you craft a better resume.Your resume is not a record of everything you ever did. It is purely a marketing document with one objective – getting YOU in front of the interviewer!

Hiring managers are often inundated with resumes and cover letters. Initially, they spend less than a minute speed-reading your resume to see if you have the specific skills and experience that they are looking for.  If not, your resume goes in the round file. (This is the argument against one generic resume that includes all your experience that you send out for every position you are applying for). If you spend the time to tailor your resume specifically for the position you are applying for, you will avoid the round file on the first pass. The hiring manager needs to be captivated by your resume in less than a minute. Your applicable qualifications must leap off the page to make it to the second pass.

Then the hiring manager will spend more time reading through the specifics of the much smaller pile of resumes that is left over, and select a few candidates to see in person. Your well-crafted resume, which highlights your accomplishments and lets some of your dynamic personality shine through, will get you the interview.

If this is all your resume does for you, it has done its job.  It has got you in front of someone that can offer you that dream job you are looking for- whether it is fulfillment, happiness, or thousands of dollars more per year that you are looking for.  Your resume made the cut, and perhaps hundreds of others were weeded out on the first or second pass.

But that is not all your well crafted resume does!  It makes two more magical things happen in the interview!  

First, it makes your hiring manager concentrate the interview on your best accomplishments and greatest achievements, and what is easier to talk about? After introductions and small talk, he scans your resume and says “So tell me about…” an item that impressed him.  Or, he asks you to tell him about yourself, and you have a record of your top achievements on paper in front of you to act as a guide.

Secondly, because you have previously spent the time to lay out your top achievements and qualifications, you are now extremely comfortable discussing them (and can refer back to the resume for reminders!). That confidence broadcasts to the interviewer that you are the accomplished and capable candidate that clearly is comfortable in the type of role he has and would be an asset to the company and reflect well on him or her as your manager.

Compare the situation outlined above to a standard “life record” type of resume listing everywhere you worked and everything you ever did. That resume probably would not make it through the first 30-second scan for key skills, abilities, and experience.  But if it did, in the second review, the hiring manager would then have to slog through all the non-relevant content to dig out the pearls he was looking for. Let’s assume he spent the time and effort and you made the interview. Now he says, “Tell me about yourself,” and you recite the eulogy of everywhere you worked and everything you did.  How engaging would that interview be?  

Your resume’s main objective is to get you in front of the interviewer and give you the chance for that big salary, dream company, job satisfaction, or whatever it is that you are looking for.

But a GREAT resume also multiplies your confidence, pushes the interviewer to quiz you about your best accomplishments, and helps you present yourself in the best light possible. It stacks the deck in your favor. It is your differentiator that sets you above the rest!

Thank you to our resume expert, Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.