Recruiters read each resume for an average of 10 seconds. How can you keep them from casting yours aside?
Think of the top of your resume as the start of a great James Bond movie. Don't they usually start with a high-impact (and often highly unbelievable), exciting scene? It's a way to grab attention right from the start and make sure that people stay in their seats until the end credits. I'm not asking you to start doing your own stunts (and to start taking on international spies), but it's important to keep this idea in mind when you're writing your resume. The people you're dealing with have tight schedules and short attention spans; do what you can to get their attention right off the bat.
To get your reader engaged with what you have to offer, begin your resume with a powerful and unique value proposition statement. This one change can make an immediate impact in the number of interviews you land.
Replace your objective statement with a professional profile
It might sound unsettling, but think of yourself as a product. You have to sell it (you). Your professional profile is your value proposition statement, the place where you clarify, right from the start, what it is you can bring to the table.
Most objective statements are not effective in communicating the skills, experience, and qualities of job applicants. Instead of suggesting the value of the potential employee, they tend to communicate personal goals. Starting your resume off with what you have to offer, instead of what you want to receive or achieve, makes you come across as a much stronger candidate, and will win you more interviews.
Not sure how to write a great professional profile?
Here is an example of a statement that discusses the value you can bring to prospective employers.
Management professional with more than 10 years of experience in leadership, sales, and customer service. Self-motivated with prior success building and leading high-performance organizations. Generated $1 million in revenue within the Ontario region by both increasing sales within the existing client base and bringing in new business from referrals. Highly collaborative team leader inspiring superior performance by developing, coaching, and mentoring employees. Visionary change agent with a consistent record of transforming challenges into expansive business opportunities.
When it comes to length, a paragraph like this is ideal, but remember to only focus on relevant information. You don't want to pad this section with filler. Bond, after all, doesn't stop for a drink when he's in the middle of a car chase to start the movie.
Where possible, it's also a good idea to use numbers and data. Doing so can instantly make an achievement more memorable and impressive (e.g. "Increased web traffic by 25% vs increased web traffic.")
Spending some time to make this one change to your resume could result in significantly more interviews. You need to get your reader hooked until they have read every last word about what you have to offer. The more your resume gets read the more your phone is likely to ring, with a job offer waiting for you on the other end.
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