This is the first post of a three-part series that takes an in-depth look into the interview process.
A successful interview begins before ever setting foot in a potential employer’s office – it begins with a solid resume. Rather than a listing of job functions, a resume should be a marketing tool for selling yourself to a potential employer. Your strongest abilities, best results and highest achievements should shine. An effective resume will highlight your strengths and provide useful, powerful information that sets you apart from other candidates in a competitive market.
Hiring managers rarely read resumes line by line. Rather, they take a holistic approach and search for qualities and accomplishments that jump off the page. There are several keys to ensuring your resume stands out in the crowd. First, quantify your accomplishments to demonstrate how you can add value to the company and, ultimately, improve the bottom line. For instance, rather than saying, “I increased sales year over year,” provide specific, quantifiable numbers: “I increased sales by 120% year over year.” In addition to concrete facts and figures, be sure to provide interesting, unique information about yourself and your career history. Consider whether something would be important enough to discuss in an interview setting. If so, be sure to include it in your résumé. Instead of the very general “International HR Professional,” a hiring manager would be more persuaded by, “International HR Professional who has worked with 26 countries.”
As an executive recruiter, I work with countless professionals as they navigate the next step in their human resources careers. I see first-hand the value of the resume as the first “meeting” with a hiring manager. If presented correctly, it can be a critical tool in helping you land the crucial meeting—the interview.
In my next two posts, I’ll discuss the interview itself and how both candidates and clients can improve their interview skills.