Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Does Your Resume Pass the Hiring Manager's 30 Second Test? Part I

The average hiring manager spends less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume. With so little time and so much at stake, applicants must strive to create a self-marketing tool that passes the hiring manager’s initial screening test. Hiring managers scan resumes to quickly see what “pops” or sparks their interest in a candidate. Their first glance at the document often focuses on the text within the top third of the page. This makes it imperative for candidates to create a career summary at the top of the document to quickly communicate competency, scope, fit, and value add. Here is the first of the three “tests’ hiring managers use to screen candidates .

THE COMPETENCY TEST Strategies for Showcasing Your Skills

First, the hiring manager looks for your competencies to determine if you have the experience and scope necessary to perform the job. When writing a resume, make sure that your areas of knowledge and expertise are communicated clearly within the top third of the first page of your resume. Don’t hide the competencies within your profile summary; instead create a separate section in the resume called core competencies, areas of expertise, or areas of knowledge to call direct attention to your qualifications. Make sure your competencies section discusses specific rather than general job expertise. Try to match your competencies to the words and phrases that are most commonly used in your industry. Review job postings and job descriptions for positions in your field that are similar to the ones you will be targeting in your search to create a clear match between your competencies and those necessary for the position.

Check back tomorrow to learn about the second hiring manager test.

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