We’ve conducted a survey amongst hiring managers in Hong Kong. Below, you’ll find the top tips they’ve shared on how to get that first interview.
Your Resume Is Not Read By A Human – It’s Read By A Computer First
Every single company on the Fortune 500 list currently uses some form of an applicant resume screening software. These programs automatically scan your resume and pick out key words. They then approve or reject your resume based on these key words. As a result, you resume often never sees a single human reader.
This is why it’s so important to pad you resume with key phrases related to your job history. See our article on Automatic Resume Screeners for tips on how to beat the screeners.
Pretty & Well Structured Resumes Get Through
Once it gets past the computer, a junior recruiter briefly reads your resume. Several have admitted to us that a pretty, inviting to read, resume is more likely to get into the interview pile. Recruiters also selected well structured resumes as they were able to locate key achievements and skills that were important to the open position.
Ultimately, a resume is a projection of the candidate. A pretty and well structured resumes signals a methodical candidate with good communication skills in explaining his / her career history.
Resumes With Professional Photos Get More Call-ups
Candidates often underestimate the value of a well taken photo. It is so much more memorable to pick up a resume where one can attach a “face” to the text. This will significantly increase your chances of getting to the interview pile. Take note though, that it has to be a professional looking picture, a poorly taken grainy picture will do more harm than good to your profile.
Candidates Who Call the Recruiter Have An Advantage
When you submit your resume, don’t just blindly hit apply on the job portal. Instead, call the hiring manager and ask a few intelligent questions about the job. Then, get the hiring manager’s direct email address to send your resume to. If you project yourself well during the phone discussion, you’re almost a sure in to the round one interview pile.
Interviews Are Important – But The Resume Leaves A Lasting Impression
Some hiring managers admit that they often have a definite favourite prior to the interview phase based solely on the candidate’s resume and cover letter. Sometimes unconsciously so, hiring managers want their “first pick” to interview best, thus proving their intuitions correct and making the hiring decision a snap.
Other hiring mangers say that if two candidates interview equally well, they often pick the one with the better resume. One hiring manager shared that a resume is “the person’s best work”. It leaves a lasting impression long after the interview impression wears off.
Use your resume to set yourself apart, and above, the pack by driving home the message that you can add value to the organization.