Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why so Many Resume Formats?

The much maligned resume is used as a branding tool in the market-place of competing staffing firms and executive search firms. 

Resume writers typically align on a format developed over-time or model a structure which appears to be popular. 

Boom. 

That is it. 

That is why your outplacement firm told you: 
"do not to change a thing."

Most outplacement firms have a staffing arm. Since they compete for corporate bonuses, it is rare one-side helps the other. 

This is also why people get so much conflicting resume information. 

You have vendors competing for eye-balls and they opted to use the resume layout as their competitive edge. 

This is also why "professional" or "certified" resume writers can be a waste of money if there is a VMS involved. These people are not affiliated with an outplacement or agency. This means unless they are doing some deep-detective work, they are not using the prevailing format. 

If you are using a resume writer - find out if they "do placement" with any local companies. If not -  you are probably are wasting your time, too. 

The other component to this resume-kabuki is technology. 

There is technology sold as a way to manager resumes fairly - for the vendors (not the candidates).

The technology goes by the generic name of Vendor Management Software (VMS). 

If a company is using a VMS for resumes, it is likely they have 20 to 30 companies providing resumes. 

The VMS makes the resume agency and or source agnostic

This is suppose to stop hiring managers from playing favorites with agency contacts. Married people straddling the corporate divide. Former employees offering resumes. Vendors who go bankrupt and come back as something new. 

That is the theory. 

In practice, staffing firms, agencies, executive search firms have crafted resume layouts to brand their candidate submissions from one another using fonts, words, phrases, margins and layouts. 

While the VMS can be managed in a variety of different ways - essentially, the hiring manager reviews resumes and selects candidates. 

If he or she has a relationship with a specific agency; they will be on the look-out for their specific layout - not necessarily the best qualified candidate.

In some cases, pet-phrases and sentences are used to aid in the branding/identification of the source.  

This is why so many resume layouts defy or out-right go against the science of good copy-layout and optimum focal point to ease eye-strain. 

Remember - they said - "don't change it." 

Now you know why.

To overcome this lunacy - build a resume that is easier to read, contains more keywords than marketing-hype with deconstructed experience statements that allow the reader to find their bias faster. Give them a reason to select the better qualified candidate. 

Create a resume so rich with content the reader thinks "we should hire this person" instead of "maybe we should interview this person."

This is a science. 

There is difference.

Learn to compete. 

To your best resume yet,

Dirk Spencer
Recruitment Consultant
Author of Resume Psychology and The Candy Maker Resume

The Candy Maker Resume: Resume Writing Hacks by Dirk Spencer; ISBN-10: 0692652698 and ISBN-13: 978-0692652695.

Resume Psychology - Resume Hacks and Traps Revealed - Beat the Machine. Be Seen. Get Hired! (ISBN-10: 0692525602 and ISBN-13: 978-0692525609 print and Kindle eBook)

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