Hiring managers are vigilant in screening and selecting candidates for employment because they know hiring the wrong person can cost the company mega bucks.
You have the power to influence hiring managers’ decisions by anticipating and addressing their top concerns in your résumé.
Top 3 Considerations Hiring Managers Weigh
Great résumés generate interviews and influence hiring decisions by conveying that applicants are competent, credentialed, committed, creative, and collaborative. Let’s explore each of these ideas and where to place the information in your résumé.
COMPETENCE AND CREDENTIALS
Begin your résumé with a value proposition that describes how your expertise enables you make a positive contribution to the company. Conduct research to understand the company’s unique mission, values, goals, and objectives. Review a job prospectus or job posting that provides details about the critical skills the employer expects the ideal candidate to have, then position yourself as a strong contender for the job.
If you have been in the workforce for years, list your education and certifications at the end of your résumé because your recent accomplishments are more relevant than your college degree. However, if you’ve recently earned an advanced degree or a required industry certification, you may want to include this in your value proposition.
If you are applying for an academic or scientific position, employers typically prefer to read your employment information in a hybrid CV-format that usually starts with your value proposition followed by your education, certification, and experience.
If you’ve recently earned your bachelor’s degree, list your education and academic achievements near the top of page one since your education is your most relevant qualification.
COMMITMENT AND MOTIVATION
Show that you are dedicated and driven. The hiring manager will review your career progression and length of employment in previous roles with the assumption that past performance is an indicator of future performance. An employer wants to hire someone who consistently delivers outstanding work and is committed to the company’s long-term success.
If you are a recent college graduate who worked your way through college or volunteered in the community, that’s a plus. Your determination to graduate debt-free by holding part-time jobs through school or your devotion to mentoring youth in an afterschool program expresses your commitment.
COLLABORATION, CONTRIBUTION, AND CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Position yourself as a thought leader and key contributor. Share how you’ve brought ideas and solutions to the table to streamline operations, improve employee engagement and performance, increase productivity, reduce costs, or generate revenue, depending on the employer’s expectations for the role you are applying for.
Explain how you’ve made a difference at work. Share your career success stories. Describe the key initiatives you’ve led or your contributions to project teams. Include quantifiable business results in concise bullet points that span no more than two lines each. Tailor your résumé to meet the needs of the employer by including meaningful and measurable achievements.
Mention your involvement in professional organizations. List presentations, publications, and patents. You may want to mention your involvement in philanthropic groups. It’s wise to omit references to religious or political groups unless you are applying for a job within a religious or political organization.
If you are a recent college graduate with little or no work experience, don’t write “strong work ethic” as a professional skill. Demonstrate it. Describe your academic research, capstone project, or internship experience. If you held an office in an academic society or campus organization, mention your leadership role and any events that your group hosted. If you served as a tutor in the university’s writing center, share how you contributed to the academic success of others. Be prepared to share what you learned from these experiences during an interview.
Think about the company’s mission and values. How do you fit within the corporate culture? Conduct company research and determine how you can contribute to the organization’s success.
Consider key qualifications the employer wants the ideal candidate to possess, then describe how you fit that image. Your résumé must convey how your credentials, core competencies, creative thinking, and commitment to making a positive contribution differentiate you from other applicants to score an interview. After interview, your résumé reminds the employer of your unique value.
Since you have limited space to describe your strengths, make every word of your résumé count. Remember, content is king if you want the phone to ring!
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Compassion Church. He also draws exquisite portraits! Austin's favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.