Make Your Resume Stand Out

Does your resume immedidately answer the “why should I hire you” question? In today’s market you’ve got to be able to compete and stand out – in a good way. Based on these stats, it’s essential to have a personal brand and communicate your value on a resume. Liz Harvey, a exec said she reviews resumes on her Blackberry! Would your resume grab attention on a 2-inch screen?

Here are some quick stats from’s survey of 360 human resources professionals.

Twenty-seven percent of human resource (HR) managers say they receive more than 50 resumes, on average, for each open position. More than one-in-ten (13 percent) HR managers receive more than 100 resumes per job opening. The survey, “Resumes 2007,” was conducted from November 17 to December 11, 2006 and included 360 HR managers.

When evaluating candidates’ applications, 77 percent of HR managers surveyed say they look for relevant experience. They also frequently consider a candidate’s ability to demonstrate specific accomplishments (48 percent) and whether the resumes are customized to the open position (41 percent).

HR managers also frequently search for keywords when screening resumes. Top-searched keywords include:

Problem-solving/decision making (56 percent)
– Leadership (44 percent)
– Oral/written communications (40 percent)
– Team-building (33 percent)
– Performance and productivity improvement (31 percent)

“In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential for a candidate’s resume to be flawless,” said Richard Castellini, vice president of consumer marketing for “Still, 33 percent of HR managers say more than half of the resumes they receive through online sources have formatting errors. To ensure your resume is error-free, be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread.”

Sixty-three percent of HR managers report that spelling errors are the most annoying mistakes they see on resumes. Other top mistakes include:

– Resumes not customized to the position (30 percent)
– Lies (23 percent)
– Including too many insignificant details on job responsibilities (21 percent)
– Resumes that are more than two pages long (21 percent)

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of between November 17 and December 11, 2006 among 360 hiring managers (employed full-time; not self employed; with at least significant or full responsibility in hiring decisions), ages 18 and over. Weighting for employers was adjusted by company size to bring them more in line with their actual proportions in the population.

With a pure probability sample of 360, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-5 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from subsamples may be higher and may vary. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Protect Your Online Job Search

By George Blomgren,

Identity theft is on the rise, and computers and the internet are often involved in this crime. Meanwhile, computers and the internet have also become the tools of choice for job seekers. As periodically reported in the media, job seekers can be vulnerable to scams and identity theft. After all, volunteering a certain amount of personal information is a necessary part of any job search. Fortunately, the following common sense guidelines can help protect you when using the internet for your job search.

  1. Choose employment Web sites which actively work to filter out suspicious employers and opportunities. You can typically judge this by the quality of the employment opportunities listed. If you see a lot of “work from home” opportunities, MLM opportunities, “secret shopper” gigs or anything that sounds too good to be true, you may want to avoid the Web site in question. Note that it is our policy to list only legitimate employment opportunities on our sites.
  2. Be on the lookout for foreign or international companies that want you to get involved in any sort of money transfer or merchandise shipping, especially if they imply that you will receive a percentage of large amounts of money.
  3. On many (but not all) employment Web sites, employers have to pay for access to resumes posted by job seekers. This helps protect job seekers, since scammers avoid things they have to pay for. Beyond charging employers to use their site, you may want to find out what additional measures an employment Web site takes to deter shady operators. We take a number of steps to ensure that employers who purchase resume database access are legitimate businesses.

Read on!

Top 10 Resume Blunders

By Anne Fisher, Fortune senior writer

You’ve worked hard on your resume, trying to squeeze all your experience in
and make yourself stand out from the crowd, and chances are you’ve done a
pretty good job. But even if your resume isn’t perfect, it’s unlikely to
include any real howlers.

Not everybody can say that. Job site recently asked
pollsters Harris Interactive to survey hiring managers and find out the
wackiest resume items they’ve seen lately. Out of 2,627 responses, here are
the top ten:

A job candidate…

1. … attached a letter from her mother.

2. … used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.

3. … explained a three-month gap in employment by saying that he was
getting over the death of his cat.

4. … specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays, or
Sundays is limited because the weekends are “drinking time.”

5. … included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.

6. … drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said the
car would be a gift to the hiring manager.

7. … listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching

8. … mentioned the fact that her sister had once won a strawberry-eating

9. … stated that he works well in the nude.

10. … explained an arrest record by stating, “We stole a pig, but it was a
really small pig.”

Feel better now?

Boston Globe interviews William Arruda

A few posts back we talked about lying on your resume. What happens? MIT dean of admissions resigns for just this thing. Hear what personal branding guru William Arruda has to say.

Discussion: Lying on your resume
(4/30/07 4:20 p.m.) MIT dean of admissions was forced to resign last week after admitting she lied on her resume 28-years-ago. Why did it take so long for MIT to figure it out? William Arruda comes to NECN to talk about it.

By the way, Arruda’s personal branding program Reach is a global leader. Check out our Reach certified branding programs.

And here’s our previous post on resume fibs.