Getting your resume to stand out for the right reasons is one of the biggest challenges job seekers face.
You and dozens — or sometimes hundreds — of other candidates are vying for the same coveted position, and hiring managers only spend an average of six seconds looking at your resume before deciding whether you're a good fit.
In a recent LinkedIn post, Ruben Quintero, a director on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, says that most people think announcing their career objective and aspirations at the top of their resume is the best way to make the most of those six seconds — but it's not.
"We have been led to believe that this shows you to be a highly motivated and ambitious individual," he says. "This is a mistake. The decision maker is wasting valuable seconds reading about your career objective and may move on to the next resume. No one cares about your career objective. Nobody cares. NOBODY."
Luckily, there's a quick and easy way to correct this common resume mistake.
Replace your career objective at the top of your resume with your qualifications.
"Employers are looking for the best fit," Quintero says. They have a problem, and they want the answer to just one simple question: Can you help solve it?
By listing all of your skills and experience at the very top of your resume, you make things easy for them: You quickly answer their question and tell them whether you're a good fit.
"If the position requires a certain level of experience in a particular skill (e.g. five years of customer service experience), add up all of your years of customer service experience from every job you've had and list it in bullet points," he suggests. "If a college degree is required, list it here. If you think a particular skill is helpful (e.g. fluency in Cantonese), list it here."
For example, the top of your resume might look something like this:
123 Main Street, New York, NY | 555-555-5555 | Janedoe@email.com | @janedoe
Qualifications:Bachelor's degree 7 years of customer service experience 3 years of outside sales experience Fluent in Spanish 6 years of healthcare experience
Next you'd list your relevant work experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent job.
"If they want to read the rest of your resume, they can, but they don't have to," Quintero says. "You told them everything they needed to know [right at the top]. You gave them what they were looking for." And it probably took them less than six seconds to read it.
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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