Bertha Davenport. Resume. September 25th , 2017.
Scannable resumes -- also a printed, hardcopy format -- are designed primarily for accurate scanning into a computer. Captured as an image, scannable resumes are fed through OCR (optical character recognition) software that reads and extracts the text. The extracted text is databased for storage and later recalled by keyword from an applicant tracking system. Scannable resumes are very rarely requested any more. If you are asked for a scannable resume, the most efficient option is to email the requestor your plain ASCII text resume (described next).
Another distinguishing feature is the fee that a resume writer charges. I know of many writers who charge exorbitant fees and then guarantee their resumes will produce jobs or job calls. I do not believe that anyone can guarantee results solely based upon the resume; however, what a resume can do is present the best a candidate has to offer and help generate interest. My clients have told me that after receiving a resume I've written they started receiving more job calls. It was then up to them to speak well and encourage the potential employer to consider them further. I have also found that another benefit from having a resume professionally written is that it provides a boost of confidence as the person sees themselves in a better light, as they are reminded of the skills and qualities they possess.
Write a Novel and Call it a Resume - I repeat: Do NOT write a novel and call it a resume. Too many people make this mistake. They want to write this wordy, drawn-out thesis outlining their life story and their career aspirations. They have all these skills and accomplishments and they want to include them all in there somewhere, but the problem is most people just don't know when to stop. Don't be afraid to leave out some of the details and explore those further in the interview process. My advice is to highlight only those aspects of your background which are most applicable for the job, or types of jobs, you are planning to apply for.
Include a Core Competencies Section - I find Core Competency sections to be fairly worthless in a professional resume and I'll tell you why: It doesn't matter if you're a waitress, an administrative assistant, a nurse, a teacher, or a sales executive - it doesn't matter what kind of background you have - anyone can describe themselves as 'Self-Motivated'. Anyone can say they are 'Goal Oriented' and 'Results-Driven' and everyone has 'Strong Verbal and Written Skills' when they're applying for a job. I can say with some degree of certainty that the majority of hiring managers and HR administrators skip right past a Core Competencies section and with good reason. The key to a successful resume is in SHOWING a manager how you are 'Results-Driven' and 'Goal Oriented' instead of just TELLING them! Your accomplishments speak volumes, let them do the talking. If you are going to include a Core Competencies section, make sure it's unique and adds value. Again, vagueness will often work against you here because it cheapens the experience of reading your resume.
Different employers place different emphasis on professional certifications. Many employers find these certifications very important, often even requiring them for certain positions. But there are also other employers who might prefer candidates with certifications, but do not require them. Still others do not pay attention to certifications at all. Since you have no idea what the company or reviewer believes about certifications, you should always list them if you have them.
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