Can Your Resume Pass This Six-Second Test?
If You've Sent Out More Than 50 Resumes and Received No Job Offers, Here's Why
Cynthia was laid off due to budget cuts at her last job. That was six months ago.
After being without a job for over 6 months, Cynthia was at her wit's end. She is highly educated and professional and has a ton of reference letters to support that she's a great employee.
She's had several over-the-phone interviews that she feels went very well, but she never gets a call back for an in-person interview.
She's done everything right and has nothing to show for it. She's reached out to her connections on LinkedIn for assistance, and she's received zip, zilch, nada from doing that.
She's submitted her resume and her cover letter to well over 200 jobs on job boards. She's even customized her cover letter for most of the jobs she's applied for.
She's applied for positions that pay far less than what she's used to making. But at this point, she's willing to accept a lower salary just so she can have some money coming in.
But even those jobs aren't calling her for an interview.
If you can relate to Cynthia's situation, then listen up because this may help you out. In fact, get out your resume now so you can see if your resume is making the same mistakes.
Where the Above Resume Goes Wrong
Cheap resume templates are everywhere. You can redo your resume for the affordable price of $14.95 using an online website. It will even "customize" what your resume should say based on your chosen profession.
You'll get to choose from a variety of templates, colors, and designs. Within a few minutes, BAM, you have a nice shiny new resume.
And it won't land you the job you want. Why?
The Six-Second Test
Recruiters and HR Managers only give your resume six seconds to impress them, according to a survey conducted by Career Builder.
Did you hear that?
You have only 6 seconds to make a good impression. The resume above fails the six-second test with flying colors. Why?
Because it looks just like hundreds of other resumes with its formatting and generic wording. For example, the paragraph in Profile states that Melissa want to "apply my knowledge and skills for continuous improvement, as well as provide each client's needs."
Umm . . . what does that mean? That sentence is as clear as mud. Because of that, it would end up deleted off their desktop or physically thrown away in the trash.
The 3 Questions Your Resume Must Answer in Six Seconds or Less
No matter how pretty your resume looks or how well designed it is, if a Hiring Manager or Recruiter can't answer these three questions when looking at your resume, you're toast.
1. Why are you considering this position?
This basically gives them insight on whether you're entering a new field or if you're trying to move up and take on a new challenge.
2. What relevant experience do you have to apply to this position?
This is a way for them to determine whether or not your soft skills can help the company achieve their overall goals with minimal hand holding.
3. What makes you different than everyone else that has the same degree?
This is the good ol' "why should I choose you?" question that most job seekers dread because you have to basically sell yourself. But if you can answer this question on your resume, it makes calling you in for an interview a no-brainer.
These 3 questions must be answered within the first 6 seconds of a hiring manager reading your resume. Screw that up, and your resume is trashed.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.— George Eliot
Your Homework: Give Your Resume the Six-Second Test
Now it's time to look at your resume.
Warning: This part of the process is hard and may take you some time to finish. That's ok. Be patient with yourself. This is the most important part of the process.
Think about the positions you're applying to and the jobs you'd like to work. What are those hiring managers looking for in a candidate?
When they look at your resume, will they be able to answer these three questions:
- Why are you considering this position?
- What relevant experience do you have to apply to this position?
- What makes you different than everyone else that has the same degree?
If you answered yes, congratulations! Your homework is done. You can now start applying to all the jobs you want.
If you answered no, think about how you can answer those three questions in six seconds or less on your resume. If you can do that, you are well on your way to landing your next best job.
Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.— Author Unknown
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.