Employer perspective regarding resumes
As a business owner and potential employer, I used to receive 2-3 unsolicited resumes every week from people seeking employment and each time I advertised a position I would receive 20-30 responses.
I always took the time to peruse every resume submitted as I believe in giving the resume writer a fair opportunity to sell themselves as a potential employee; but having said that I have to admit there were a great many resumes that I would dismiss from consideration immediately.
It was not lack of experience or qualifications that led to my decision as I owned a service that frequently employed trainees with no former experience in the industry. There were several items included by job application writers that immediately gave me a negative impression.
The first was disorganisation. For an employer to take the job applicant seriously the job application writer should always use a format that is clear and easily perused by the employer. Using headings, bold font, bullet points etc gives the resume an appearance of organisation and professionalism.
Unprofessional email addresses were a distinct negative cross in my opinion. As an early childhood centre owner, I was not impressed by sexualised or R rated email addresses that were used and believe me this was a frequent occurrence. I firmly believe that every job applicant should consider this when they begin the job search and the resume writer should only include email addresses that are professional.
When a job application writing includes little or no detailed information about job responsibilities and achievements, I felt it demonstrated a lack of thought and effort. Even for those job applicants who are seeking to join a new industry have transferable skills that they have gained in past employment such as customer service skills, communication skills, organisation and prioritisation skills and WHS knowledge that the resume writer can use to list 5-7 responsibilities in their previous employment.
Many of the unsolicited resumes arrived via email and it was immediately apparent there was no individualised message introducing themselves and using my name or acknowledging the uniqueness of my company and explaining why they wished to gain employment with us.
When sending generic resumes via email it makes more of a positive impression if the job applicant puts some effort into personalising their greetings and telling the prospective employer why they chose to submit a resume to their company. Personally I preferred receiving the unsolicited resumes in person – the job seeker dressed appropriately and made the effort to come in and introduce themselves to me and hand me their resume.
When I advertised a vacant position, I always requested a cover letter detailing specific information about why they were interested in the position and what they could bring to our team.
Fully half of the applicants would ignore this requirement and for me that was an indication that they were only trying to tick off a quota of positions applied for. As a potential employer I showed a preference towards applicants who had clearly written a resume that reflected my position description and gave me information about them and their suitability for the vacancy.
From the perspective of an employer I can reiterate that it is extremely important to either write a good resume yourself or have a professional resume writer assist you to do it.