When applying for a job, the things that we usually focus on are our lack of qualifications, missing keywords and spelling errors. Stressed by our desire to make a good first impression, we give it our best to make ourselves look perfect, forgetting one important factor – that is, the person reading our resume!
As the co-founder and CEO of Aha! Brian de Haaff points out in his Linkedin article Your Resume Is in the Trash — 5 Questions Tell You Why, it is not about making yourself look good rather than inspiring trust and respect through your resume, and making the hiring manager feel good about you and your professional character.
To achieve this, Haaff suggests you ask yourself these 5 questions before sending your application:
1. Am I being considerate towards the recipient?
To show respect towards the person who’s going to read your resume, start by carefully reading the job description to make sure that you meet most of the criteria; include a simple and to-the-point cover letter along with a short and focused resume that highlights the experience they made it clear they’re looking for.
2. Are my goals mentioned and praised?
Create a results-driven resume to bring forward your major accomplishments, show that you’re focused on achievement and that you work hard to realize your goals.
3. Am I using too many clichés?
Do not take the safe road of using industry jargon to spice up your resume. Instead, be confident about your results and include clear descriptions of your responsibilities and achievements in previous positions.
4. Am I a team player?
Give credit to former co-workers for results that you have achieved as members of the same team to show that you are a considerate and reliable team player.
5. Am I exaggerating my skills?
Be honest from the very beginning and, if you do not have the required skills, show that you are eager to learn.
Finally, keep in mind that the hiring manager has never met you, and that this is a unique chance to show who you are as a professional and as an individual - use this opportunity to your advantage by submitting a content-specific, time-respectful resume! Good luck!