14 Things HR Won’t Tell You About Your Résumé
Your résumé is your first impression. Make it a good one.
We don’t like résumé gaps
“Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered pretty much unemployable. We assume that other people have already passed you over, so we don’t want anything to do with you.” –Cynthia Shapiro, former human resources executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know. Learn the best way to explain a résumé gap.
We won’t see it unless you network
“When it comes to getting a job, who you know really does matter. No matter how nice your résumé is or how great your experience may be, it’s all about connections.” –HR director at a health-care facility. Try these 12 networking tips to get started.
Hand your résumé to someone outside of HR
“If you’re trying to get a job at a specific company, often the best thing to do is to avoid HR entirely. Find someone at the company you know, or go straight to the hiring manager.” –Shauna Moerke, an HR administrator in Alabama who blogs at hrminion.com
Focus on your résumé more than the cover letter
“People assume someone’s reading their cover letter. I haven’t read one in 11 years.” –HR director at a financial services firm. Find out more about when to include a cover letter and why.
Your email address could work against you
“We will judge you based on your email address. Especially if it’s something inappropriate like [email protected] or [email protected]” –Rich DeMatteo, a recruiting consultant in Philadelphia. Don’t miss these 9 other résumé mistakes that could cost you the job.
Dates might work against you
“If you’re in your 50s or 60s, don’t put the year you graduated on your résumé.” –HR professional at a midsize firm in North Carolina
Give your experience the space it deserves …
“There’s a myth out there that a résumé has to be one page. So people send their résumé in a two-point font. Nobody is going to read that.” –HR director at a financial services firm
… but know when to cut
Ana Blazic Pavlovic/Shutterstock
“I always read résumés from the bottom up. And I have no problem with a two-page résumé, but three pages is pushing it.” –Sharlyn Lauby, HR consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Just don’t cut this one thing employers really look for on a résumé.
“Most of us use applicant-tracking systems that scan résumés for keywords. The secret to getting your résumé through the system is to pull keywords directly from the job description and put them on. The more matches you have, the more likely your résumé will get picked and actually seen by a real person.” –Chris Ferdinandi, HR professional in the Boston area