3 questions to ask yourself in testing the effectiveness of your resume.
This is a guest post by Isabella Mori. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
I've worked as an employment counselor for quite a few years and noticed that people tend to feel quite strongly about their resumes. I think to some degree – consciously or subconsciously – we see it as an autobiography; it feels like it's a statement about who we are as a person. However, looking at a resume like that does us a disservice.
A resume is a marketing tool. Its purpose is to assist an employer in making a decision to move you along in the hiring process.
Having established that, let's see whether you need some help writing or editing your resume.
1. What is your job search track record?
Are your marketing efforts paying off?
If you get good jobs relatively easily, your resume is doing the trick; no need to tinker with it. But what if you have doubts?
Here's a rule of thumb: Ideally, you want to have a ratio of 10:1 or higher; that is, you send out ten resumes, you get at least one response. Ratios from 1:10 to 1:20 are ok; everything above that: You need to do something! (Btw, these ratios apply best to cities with a population of over 500,000 and a normal labour market climate. Adjust accordingly).
2. Are you targeting your resume?
Are you talking to the right market?
You can have the most beautiful resume but if it isn't targeted at your audience, it won't do much for you. Targeting means first and foremost that your resume makes it abundantly clear that you have the skills, knowledge and experience that the employer is looking for.
Apart from being an employment counselor, I have also been involved in hiring and I can tell you that the majority of job applications I've seen don't use this very simple guideline.
Ideally, you should adjust your resume for each application.
3. How much time are you spending on your resume?
Are you spending your marketing time effectively?
If you spend four weeks agonizing over putting a resume together, you've spent four weeks not making phone calls, conducting networking meetings, researching your ideal company to work for all things that really get you the job.
Don't forget that the resume is just one tool; it will rarely get you a job. In most cases it's the interview that'll get you the job.
So let's review: Do you need help with your resume?
If your rate of interviews to resumes sent out is better than 1:20- maybe you do, maybe you don't. If it's better than 1:10- you're fine!
If your rate of interviews to resumes sent out is not so great, work on targeting your resume. If that doesn't work within a week or two, you probably need help.
If you're spending way too much time on your resume, you can definitely use some help. I've helped people make a brand new, effective resume within an hour or two when they've wrecked their brains and typing fingers for weeks. Remember: someone else can help you with your resume but no one else can go on a job interview for you.
About the Author
Isabella Mori is one of JobMob's Canadian connections. After growing up in Germany, and living in the UK, Paraguay and Chile, she moved to Vancouver, Canada in the late 1980s. She loves reading mysteries, adores her grandson and can't get enough of fractals. She is a writer and psychotherapist, blogs at Change Therapy and can be reached at moritherapy [at] shaw [dot] ca.
This article is the sixth entry in the JobMob Guest Blogging Contest.