Came across a video the other day that provides tips for graduates who are looking for their first job. What many entry-level candidates don’t realize is that the audience for their resume isn’t their mom, peer group or guidance counselor. It’s a hiring manager or a recruiter. Their preferences are what matter most.
This video details what hiring managers want to see in a candidate’s resume.
Hiring managers from Select Staffing, Target, and Robert Half, Intl. weighed in with their opinions on the following topics:
Which Kind of Resume is Best?
They discussed the differences and the pros/cons of reverse chronological or functional resumes. As a hiring manager and a resume writing expert, I have learned that functional resumes are generally used by candidates who have something negative in their background. That could be job hopping and long stretches of unemployment. If you use a functional resume, you might be hurting your chances.
Should You Use an Objective?
Although the hiring managers in this video used the term ‘objective’ interchangeably with ‘summary’, the two are quite different. An objective tells a hiring manager what you want (eg: a position with career advancement), while an opening summary tells the hiring manager what you can do for the company (eg: accounting graduate with internship experience in tax audits). Hiring managers and recruiters prefer to know what you can do for their company, rather than what you want from the company.
Is it Wise to Include References?
The hiring managers had no consensus on this. However, the rule of thumb is that references should not be offered until you’re invited to interview.
The reasoning on this point was that the resume should contain only relevant information. Therefore, if you’re including nonessential data in your resume, as it pertains to the job search, your resume may be too long.
Are Cover Letters Essential?
One hiring manager said yes, the others had differing points of view. If you do include a cover letter, make certain it’s targeted to the specific job opening. Hiring managers do not like one-size-fits-all cover letters in which they have to guess what job position you’re applying for.
What Not to Do…
The hiring managers pointed out many mistakes candidates make that diminish their chances of an interview. Use of slang or IM writing on a resume was one of them.
How Do Hiring Managers Choose Candidates?
The professionals on this video explained what makes them choose one individual over another. Important information everyone should heed.
The certified writers at ResumeEdge have decades of experience in crafting achievement-based resumes for 40+ industries. We specialize in resume writing, resume editing, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.