What is the purpose of a résumé?

‘To get a job,’ you might answer. It’s not quite that simple. In fact, the best a résumé can do is get you an interview. But way before that comes its very first job – to not get rejected.

The 15 Seconds That Can Last A Lifetime…

Employers spend 15 to 45 seconds scanning a résumé! That’s all the time your résumé has to succeed in not getting rejected and maybe getting a second reading. Tough task.

A résumé is a short commercial about you. It has to look good and almost instantaneously communicate the most important factors about you that will interest the employer.

Education vs. Experience

There continues a debate as to which should come first in a résumé. Most employers prefer to see RELEVANT EXPERIENCE first; but if you don’t have relevant experience, you have to put your best foot forward with education.

It really does depend on each specific case. We can help you decide what’s best for you.

Some employers say they prefer to see any form of work experience before education. If you go that route, make sure you present your work experience in a “cause and effect” way. For example: instead of simply stating that you were a Sales Assistant, describe, as succinctly as possible, how you performed that function, the way in which you interacted with customers and how that impacted on sales, repeat business, etc.

Getting started

At this point, put down all the information that is in any way relevant… all your skills, abilities, education, work experience, extra curricular activities, awards – anything you feel is important about you. (You are going to have to cut this way down, but it’s a good way to start.) When you’re writing, use action words and make your accomplishments really stand out. Include extracurricular activities like athletics, etc, because that shows the employer a good balance between academic achievement and time/interest management. (Some or all of these may have to be cut out later.)

Structuring your resume

Your name is first and predominant. Then put how to contact you – address, phone number, e-mail address – directly beneath your name.

Next state your OBJECTIVE, the kind of work you are looking for, in terms specific to the job you are applying for. Even if you are sending a covering letter in which you can state and elaborate on your Objective, it’s a good idea to include it on your one-page résumé.

Next, present your (related) work experience or (related) education. (Try it both ways and see which is the most impressive. Ask other people. Ask us.)

Whether you decide on work experience or education first, make sure the most important points really jump out. Last degree or job comes first, second comes second and so on.

Cut Refine and Proofread. Cut Refine and Proofread…

Be prepared to go over your résumé many times, fine tuning and editing all the time. Take out anything that doesn’t make an impact or contribute to you getting an interview. Ask other people for an objective viewpoint. Ask us. Your résumé has to come down to one neat, dynamic page.

SPELLING, GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION ARE OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. This cannot be emphasized too strongly. Your résumé really does have to be perfect to have any chance at all.

Your résumé has to be scanner-friendly or it may be rejected. This is what scanners like:

  • text that is clear and free of graphics
  • no italics, script or underlined words
  • a sans-serif typeface
  • one typeface only
  • a point size of 10 to 14
  • white or off-white paper only
  • 8-1/2 by 11″ printed one side only
  • no staples

This is meant to be a rough guide. Do all the work you can on your résumé, until it is as perfect as you can make it, and then consult us.

If you require help writing a resume or would like Resume Templates for your experience and position please email us at this link Resume Templates and request the position(s) you would like templates for  .

Putting your best foot forward

Dress for the interview not the job. Dress to show your potential. It’s best to be conservative: a dark suit with a light-coloured shirt and dark socks, tie and shoes for men; likewise, a dark business suit or dark jacket and skirt with a light-coloured blouse, medium heels and skin-tone stockings is recommended for women.

Be polite and courteous with everyone. You just never know what will be noticed.

You may be asked to fill out an application form before or during the interview. This may simply be standard company procedure, or it may be a test. Perhaps you’re being tested on how well you process information and follow directions, and/or how well you handle written documents. But the first test will be how pleasantly and calmly you cooperate with this request. Don’t write “See Resume” on the application, fill it out.

Be honest. For instance “Why did you leave your last position?” write in “Will discuss.” If asked for a salary figure, write, “Open for negotiation.” When salary is brought up in conversation, let them know what you have been earning, but keep it open from your point of view and theirs. There may be prospects etc. in the position that may be worth taking less than the “ideal” figure for. Let them know you are reasonably open on this. After all, you are only after a job offer at this point.

Download Interview Tip Sheet

Work With Us – We’re On Your Side!

We know that the only way to clinch a job is through a successful interview. We also know that a person can become a successful interviewee. An interview is never wasted even if you don’t get the job! Learn as much as you can from every interview situation. And work closely with us to gain the maximum insight from every interview experience. And when you get that job offer…We’ve been your ambassador and representative to this point, so get us in on the finale! We’re experts in follow-up and negotiation. We can professionally negotiate salary or other issues on your behalf, or, say “no” nicely on your behalf. We’ll be there for you all the way through to a successful outcome.

Five tips for success at an interview

1. Do your research. How much you know about the company you are interviewing for can show how much you want to be a part of their team.  Be prepared.

2. Make a good first impression. At the interview, greet your interviewer with a smile and firm handshake.

3. Good body language. 55% of communicating a message is through body language. Good body language includes smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening and nodding.

4. Be yourself. Prepare but don’t be someone you are not.  Be upfront honest and your unique self.  They want to hire you not a clone of what you think they want.

5. Ask insightful questions. As much as our clients want to learn about you, they want you to learn about them. Questions will demonstrate your interest and commitment to the role and career path you are interviewing for.

Need Help Preparing for your next interview then Download our PDF by clicking this link Interview Tips and Interview Questions.

Get Resume Templates

We have seen tens of thousands of resumes at HotRun both good and bad and we have assisted thousands of candidates in editing and building their resumes.   We have compiled a list of what we believe are some of the best position resumes that will get you noticed by decision makers in world class companies.  Should you need help in constructing your resume or like to have templates of resumes relative to your position please do not hesitate to email us and request them free of charge.

Click here and add in the body of the email the position(s) you would like to have a template of and we’ll gladly email it back to you and even consult with you to put yours together correctly.

“We have utilized HotRun, Inc., for a number of our Engineering professional hires. They have always been very quick to respond, and their suggested candidates usually hit the mark exactly. They do a great job of pre-screening candidates and is always looking for feedback to those we interview. Because HotRun focuses on the plastics industry, we typically receive resumes that are also plastics industry specific. No matter the level or requirements of the position, we can always count ond HotRun to provide an excellent, well-rounded candidate pool from which to choose.”

International Plastics Company