January 8, 2020

5 Resume Truths for Today’s Job Search

In our conversations with consultants, we occasionally hear “I want to transition from my current permanent position to consulting” or simply “How do I get the next great consulting job?

When seeking a new job for any reason, it’s good to keep in mind the following:

Truth #1 – Your resume may need to pass a system test before being seen (in most cases).  

Most job applicants understand what an ATS (applicant tracking system) is, but few are in the mindset and habit of adjusting their resume to ensure it’s optimized and will therefore get prioritized (ranked highly) by an ATS.

To optimize your resume organically, try adding the following:

  • Key job titles
  • Technologies
  • Certifications
  • Cores responsibilities and requirements
  • Industries

Additionally, try using a resume optimization tool/service to ensure your resume is a match for specific job descriptions/postings when applying.

Truth #2 – The first person who reviews your resume will likely be a Recruiter/Talent Acquisition Specialist or other non-technical person. 
The second step of the application process is a review by an actual person (usually a recruiter or member of the talent acquisition team). Resumes should be in a language that’s easy for a non-technical person to understand and digest.

Conduct a resume “litmus test” by showing a non-technical person in your network your resume and ask, “Can you understand what I was able to achieve and the value I brought to each position based on my resume?”

Truth #3 – On average, your resume will get six seconds of attention before your “interview fate” is decided. 
The average length of time someone spent reviewing a resume has dropped from 8.25 seconds to a mere 6 seconds in recent years.

Be strategic about communicating your core qualifications, relevant successes, and other differentiators quickly. Pay close attention to layout, formatting, and design so key details are apparent and not lost in long paragraphs.

Truth #4 – Your resume is no longer your only important “professional marketing material”. 
If your resume triggers interest, most hiring managers immediately look you up on LinkedIn or on a more specialized professional platform like GitHub. According to many of our recruiters, “hiring managers may want to have the link to your LinkedIn or GitHub profile directly” to review additional details about your experience that may not be included on your resume.

Make sure all your professional profiles are up to date, easily found, and ready for review by potential hiring managers.

Truth #5 – Communicating the impact of your contributions is vital. 
Hiring managers express the importance of seeing the direct impact an individual has made via resume. While it is important to express what the project accomplished, ensure your impact is evident and what the ROI (return on investment) of your role was/is.

For example, if you’re a Project Manager, how much time/money did you help save the organization on your most recent project?

If you’re working with a SOW already, this is a great place to start for your summary since it already contains milestones and deliverables. In all instances, taking some time to reflect back on your work and document your accomplishments. It’s an important step to help you quickly and easily represent your work, and get the job you want. Shape

Looking for a new project immediately? Our dedicated recruitment teams are ready to connect you to the right opportunity and help you define your career, your way. Get in contact with Oxford and submit your resume today.


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Whether you want to advance your business or your career, Oxford is here to help. With nearly 40 years’ experience, we know that a great partnership is key to success. Start a conversation today.