You’ve Survived the First Six Seconds…

So your resume has made it into either the yes or maybe pile. Phew … you’re over the first hurdle, but there’s still a long way to go before you receive that job offer. Now comes the time for a more detailed reading of your resume. So what are they looking for this time?

The short answer is information… information about your experience, which will indicate whether or not you have the skills, attitudes and attributes required to make you suitable for the available position. You need to give specific details of your paid or unpaid work, because the person reading the applications is looking for any excuse to put you into the next yes, no or maybe pile. It really doesn’t take much for you to be given a second or third look if you have provided details of your work and personal achievements, or voluntary experience.

You mightn’t think much of the fact that you have been captain of the local cricket or basketball team that won the district or regional competition over a number of years… but to a potential employer, this tells them that you have discipline, communication and leadership skills, with demonstrated ability to perform under pressure.

You also mightn’t think much of the fact that you’ve helped out at the local school canteen, or with organising fundraising activities for the soccer or hockey club that your children play for. Yet to a potential employer this demonstrates your ability in the area of customer service, food preparation, cash handling and team work. Your actions will speak louder than your words, but if you don’t give enough information in your resume, the recruiter cannot be expected to know what your experience and contributions have been.

One thing we have noticed over the years however, is that no two jobs, be they paid or unpaid, are ever the same, even if they have the same job title. This means you always need to be very clear about what YOUR duties and responsibilities have been. Your level of detail just might be enough to keep you in the race.

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