After reviewing 50 resumes from connections, we could do much better at communicating our worth to potential employers.

Over the past 2 weeks, I received dozens of resumes for roles I'm not hiring for. "Send me your resume. I'll send you feedback." – I offered to my LinkedIn connections, never expecting to have a packed inbox with requests from people all around the world looking for their next job.

I genuinely thank everyone for trusting me with their resume. From Product Managers to Support Specialists to Software Engineers, I've been humbled by the opportunity to help.

After reviewing the first 50 resumes, I've noticed a couple of trends that may be putting some people at a disadvantage when applying for a new job.

Content & Format

Writing a captivating resume that stands out from the crowd is hard. People tend to squeeze as much information as they can into one or two pages, often resulting in an overwhelming document with poor margins and white space.

In 65% of the resumes I reviewed, I suggested focusing on relevant, impactful information to the application process and condensing previous work experience (if applicable). Your resume represents who you are. Well-written, thoughtful & concise resumes show you care about details and presentation.

Think about it from the recruiter's perspective. Most companies will assign multiple roles to each recruiter. Imagine, one recruiter has 4 roles to fill with ~150 applications per process. That's 600 resumes to triage for the hiring managers. The best thing any candidate can do is make the recruiter's job as easy as possible.

Optimize your keywords, clearly list your headings, and always use measurable achievements.

Measurable Achievements

This is by far the biggest opportunity in the first 50 resumes I reviewed. To truly stand out in the hiring process, candidates should focus on how they have created value in previous roles.

These are 3 examples from real resumes I received. I rewrote them to include fake measurable achievements that would highlight value created.

I know sometimes it can feel hard to accurately measure your impact in a role, but I encourage you to be creative. Speak about the skills you developed or the tools you used to achieve results. Make it tangible.

You should also stay away from listing responsibilities that are implied by the title of your role. For example, if you work in Business Development, you don't need to include that you interact with potential customers (also a real example in a resume I received). Instead, focus on explaining what type of interaction you were responsible for and what results were associated with it.

Nothing is more powerful than measurable achievements when it comes to creating a highly effective resume.

What's next?

Although this is a short piece, I'm hoping these thoughts may help you with your job search. If you'd like me to build on any of these topics and expand with a longer post, please let me know.

A few months ago, I wrote an article for the Observador, a Portuguese publication, with my thoughts about standing out in the hiring process. Since then, I've received a few requests to write a part 2 with more practical examples on how to create effective resumes that land interviews.  

I will use this blog as a platform for these resources, as well as my personal thoughts about the hiring process.

Until then, I'll keep reviewing more resumes 😊


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