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The Last Résumé Standing

What Do Employers Want To See?

You are an entrepreneur who has been successful building your business over the past two years. Your company has grown to the point where you are no longer able to be the president, the accounting manager, the operations manager, the sales manager, the purchasing manager, the marketing manager, the customer service manager, the shipping & receiving manager...well, you get the idea.

No one can do everything and do it well.

You are spread too thin. You are overworked. You need some help. You have come to realize that in order for you to continue to grow your company, you need to hire some folks to fill those positions that you have been trying to handle by yourself.

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You decide to hire the operations position first. You are unsure whether you want to call it “office manager” or perhaps “operations manager” or maybe “administrative services manager” or “assistant to the president. You decide you want to hire a qualified professional, and that in order to obtain a suitable candidate you need to give your job opening an appropriate title so that you can attract suitable candidates. You settle on “operations manager” as the best job title. You think that with this job title, you are more likely to attract a high-caliber candidate.

Your next task is to compile a job description. What do you want that person to do? What duties and responsibilities? What qualifications do you want? Experience? Education? Background in the industry? What is most important to you? Knowledge of QuickBooks, Word, Excel, PowerPoint? What about phone skills? Followup abilities? Is the candidate personally motivated? Does he or she have a good record of attendance? Is he or she reliable? Likeable? Can you visualize yourself being around this person for eight hours a day, five days a week, 12 months a year?

When you finish compiling a job description that fits you, your company, and its needs, you start your search by advertising on a leading Internet job site.

You receive 355 résumés in response to your advertisement. Most of these résumés are not qualified, many are poorly written. Two people sent only short responses with their phone numbers asking you to call them! Overall, you are disappointed, until you finally read four that deserve a screening call.

Of 355 résumés, only 4 made the grade. What did they have in common?

All four candidates listed the target goal of a position in operations in the profile portion of their résumés. One of the four even mentioned in her profile that she had helped an entrepreneur succeed in growing his business and add employees. Each of the four featured bullet points listing areas of expertise, qualifications, or skills. Each of these skills and qualifications presented desirable traits for an operations position.

Next you note that all four had the “operations manager” job title for at least seven of the last ten years. They were experienced, and one had a background in an industry that was closely associated with the position in question.

All four résumés outlined a brief job description of the operations positions that they had held, and detailed the duties and responsibilities, along with some accomplishments and achievements for each of the jobs they held. One had even detailed clearly documented results including numbers and percentages. Very impressive.

All four of the winning résumés were less than two pages, were easy to read, had no misspelled words, and featured bullet points which quickly pointed out to their reader the most important items.

In these trying times, when companies have a huge candidate pool from which to choose, one needs to be very careful when preparing an outline of one’s credentials on a résumé. It makes little sense to apply for positions for which you are not qualified. Find positions that fit your qualification, and make sure your résumé agrees.

Richard M. Knappen is the president of Chessmen Career Movers, an outplacement, career management, and consulting firm that is one of the oldest and largest locally-owned companies of its type in Southern California.

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You are an entrepreneur who has been successful building your business over the past two years. Your company has grown to the point where you are no longer able to be the president, the accounting manager, the operations manager, the sales manager, the purchasing manager, the marketing manager, the customer service manager, the shipping & receiving manager...well, you get the idea.

No one can do everything and do it well.

You are spread too thin. You are overworked. You need some help. You have come to realize that in order for you to continue to grow your company, you need to hire some folks to fill those positions that you have been trying to handle by yourself.

Sponsored
Sponsored

You decide to hire the operations position first. You are unsure whether you want to call it “office manager” or perhaps “operations manager” or maybe “administrative services manager” or “assistant to the president. You decide you want to hire a qualified professional, and that in order to obtain a suitable candidate you need to give your job opening an appropriate title so that you can attract suitable candidates. You settle on “operations manager” as the best job title. You think that with this job title, you are more likely to attract a high-caliber candidate.

Your next task is to compile a job description. What do you want that person to do? What duties and responsibilities? What qualifications do you want? Experience? Education? Background in the industry? What is most important to you? Knowledge of QuickBooks, Word, Excel, PowerPoint? What about phone skills? Followup abilities? Is the candidate personally motivated? Does he or she have a good record of attendance? Is he or she reliable? Likeable? Can you visualize yourself being around this person for eight hours a day, five days a week, 12 months a year?

When you finish compiling a job description that fits you, your company, and its needs, you start your search by advertising on a leading Internet job site.

You receive 355 résumés in response to your advertisement. Most of these résumés are not qualified, many are poorly written. Two people sent only short responses with their phone numbers asking you to call them! Overall, you are disappointed, until you finally read four that deserve a screening call.

Of 355 résumés, only 4 made the grade. What did they have in common?

All four candidates listed the target goal of a position in operations in the profile portion of their résumés. One of the four even mentioned in her profile that she had helped an entrepreneur succeed in growing his business and add employees. Each of the four featured bullet points listing areas of expertise, qualifications, or skills. Each of these skills and qualifications presented desirable traits for an operations position.

Next you note that all four had the “operations manager” job title for at least seven of the last ten years. They were experienced, and one had a background in an industry that was closely associated with the position in question.

All four résumés outlined a brief job description of the operations positions that they had held, and detailed the duties and responsibilities, along with some accomplishments and achievements for each of the jobs they held. One had even detailed clearly documented results including numbers and percentages. Very impressive.

All four of the winning résumés were less than two pages, were easy to read, had no misspelled words, and featured bullet points which quickly pointed out to their reader the most important items.

In these trying times, when companies have a huge candidate pool from which to choose, one needs to be very careful when preparing an outline of one’s credentials on a résumé. It makes little sense to apply for positions for which you are not qualified. Find positions that fit your qualification, and make sure your résumé agrees.

Richard M. Knappen is the president of Chessmen Career Movers, an outplacement, career management, and consulting firm that is one of the oldest and largest locally-owned companies of its type in Southern California.

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