Monday, January 21, 2008

Good resumes...good enough?

Daily I get resumes from business contacts, asking me to pass along a friend’s resume to headhunters or hiring managers. As a fan of Karma, I’m happy do this, if this will actually help the candidate.

Last night, I got one of those emails…and it also said “she doesn’t want/need them re-written”. Of course, before passing to recruiter contacts, I want to make sure this is a quality person, with a well presented resume. The resume was OK, no typos or grammatical errors.

But even a good resume isn't good enough anymore. So an OK resume can't be good enough either. Why?

Today, hiring managers and recruiters have sophisticated search tools used to micro-target exacting search criteria. With a few recruiters’ help plus these search tools, a hiring manager can come up with a full day of interviews with people who closely match their needs, from hundreds or thousands of responses to a job ad.

You want a left handed finance manager, who's evaluated mergers, implemented SAP, has Foreign Exchange, Credit, and Financial Analysis experience, is an Excel genius, done international budgets/forecasts in Hyperion, plays bass in a rock band, is a team player with strong communication skills and has an MBA from the University of Mars? Simple, place an ad, get a few good recruiters to help, you'll find dozens within a week or two.

And this can be done without even looking at the majority of resume’s sent. Monster and Careerbuilder both have tools that rank resumes by the number of words that match, so you'd never have to see a resume from VU (Venus University). These tools allow employers to search resumes in much the same way you search for websites on Google.

This makes resume searches so much more efficient for the employer, because they only have to look at 2-3% of the resumes sent to get an interview list.

These search tools also makes it so much more difficult for a candidate to get noticed.

What’s the chance that an OK resume will get interviewed, and end up in the top 2-3%? The chances are slim, unless the employer is looking for candidates who are just OK (maybe to find below market wage employees).

If you’re a professional, a manager, or an executive looking for work, do you want an OK resume? How about a good resume, a well written resume, a resume that's fine, a nice-looking resume?

Or do you want a KILLER resume that’s an exact match?

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