Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
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In his more than 25 years as a corporate HR management executive for such high-profile companies as Pepsi Cola, Nestle and Hard Rock Cafe, Matt Durfee has been on the receiving end of nearly a 100,000 resumes from prospective job candidates. It was his responsibility to screen and digest each resume to find the best match for each job opening. It wasn’t an easy undertaking, made more difficult when the resumes were lacking in essential information such as a clear and specific career objective.
Durfee, an Orlando business owner and the author of Job Search Skills From the Reluctant Expert, says that while there is no one right way to write a resume, there is vital information that must be included if one truly expects to be in the job hunt.
“Your resume is your personal billboard and it should be as inclusive and specific as you can make it,” he says. “Today, with millions of people out of work, HR recruiters are literally flooded with resumes, sometimes thousands of them for one position. Your resume is your first opportunity to make a good impression and it must stand out – particularly with the recruiter.”
Today, through his online company Navigator Institute, Durfee offers individuals job search skills and provides career development training. One subject that commands much attention – and rightfully so – is the resume
Following is Durfee’s response to a question he’s frequently asked about including a specific career objective in the resume, hoping it might be helpful to those currently in the job market:
QUESTION: I want to keep all my options open, so I deliberately don’t include a specific career objective in my resume. However, my spouse says it’s important and should be included. Should I or shouldn’t I? What is the right approach?
ANSWER: There is no ONE right way to write a resume. But I can tell you that when I was in my corporate role looking to fill a position, one of the first things I looked for in a person’s resume was the Professional Objective & Profile section just below their name and contact information. I call this the billboard within the billboard because it summarizes key information about the applicant in the already abbreviated format of the resume itself.
While I sometimes have clients who argue that this approach potentially limits their career options, I quickly tell them that when I reviewed a resume without it, I typically placed it in the reject pile.
With literally hundreds of resumes stacked on my desk, it was essential to sort through them as quickly and efficiently as possible. And, if someone failed to provide a brief overview of their qualifications, I simply didn’t have the time to determine if the jobs I had open fit their particular interests and skills. My feelings were, “if they don’t know what they want to do, I’m not going to figure it out for them.” And that’s a sentiment shared by many corporate recruiters today.
While this may seem harsh, it’s reality. Your goal as a job candidate is to get the recruiter to review as much of your resume as possible. To entice them to do this, make it as easy as possible for them by including a Professional Objective & Profile section. Otherwise, the recruiter may do as I did and not give your resume more than a cursory glance – and you easily could have been the best candidate.
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About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,