When I receive a resume from someone, one of the first things I do is to look at the candidates’ job movement. I want to establish if this candidate has shown stability and increased responsibility through out their career. The first thing that a hiring manager is going to do when they receive your resume is to try to disqualify it from the pool of candidates. With the unemployment at an all time high companies are getting inundated with resumes. Hiring today is not any easier due to high unemployment, in fact it’s even harder.

When we submit a job candidate’s resume to one of our clients we write about four sentences explaining why this candidate is a good match and answering any objection that we think they will have. We answer questions like “Why did this person leave a particular position?” and “Why they are currently looking for employment?” A conversation will pursue and an interview will usually be scheduled.

When submitting a resume on your own, you must have a good cover letter, one that is short and to the point. War and Peace will only end up in the trash. If you do have movement on your resume then this would be the time to explain why you left or why you were asked to leave. Gaps on resumes are like the 800 pound Guerrilla in the room, especially if they were during a good job market. If you want a shot at an interview, all red flags must be explained. People that have job gaps due to this economy will not be scrutinized as severely. People who choose to consult during a good job market find it very difficult to get a full time job when the consulting gig is up. Employers always ask me “Why were they consulting in the best job marker ever?” If you do get an interview be prepared to discuss these points in detail and DO NOT LIE! As far as your resume is concerned, keep it relevant to the job and keep your objective short and sweet - sometimes less is more.

Some other things you need to be prepared to explain are the 3 W’s.

Why you are looking? (More responsibility)

What is or was your salary? (Separate base and bonus)

When can you interview? (2 dates with times). I can do Monday at 2:00 or Tuesday at 9:00 which one is better for you?

Being upfront and hitting these points straight on is the proactive thing to do and I highly recommend it. Like dates on a resume, not having them is a big red flag that says “Hey I’m hiding something!” No need to hide anything. People tend to hire people they like and trust!

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