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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.


Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

The Power of a (Great) Resume

Kent Nolen

Last week, I promised to write more about how an awesome resume benefits its owner in many ways. Job seekers can get so frustrated by how we often have to apply for jobs – via clunky job boards and corporate websites – that it's easy to forget the many benefits of an outstanding resume. Not to mention the fact that searching for work can, in general, be a frustrating experience for many people. Clients are always telling me that they want their ideas and talents to matter, and that they struggle to make that connection in a resume.  This predicament prompts many people to question the value of a resume. We get into this topic a lot around here for good reason. It looks like it's time to reignite readers' job search enthusiasm by reminding you of the power of a resume.

Back to my recent post...

A few people e-mailed me requesting a deeper look at what I had written in this post:

I can tell you that an incredible resume is about the best thing you can have going for you when a hiring manager is making a final decision on which candidate to select.

I can't express strongly enough the impact that a crisp, achievement-focused resume can have when a hiring manager (or panel) is making a final hiring decision. When you're diligently applying for jobs, it's easy to forget that the resume you are about to submit will, ideally, be among 5+/- others in the moment of truth; that moment when a final decision has to be made.

Oftentimes it's a close call, which is why the ultimate hiring decision is often an arduous task. Companies are compelled to make the right choice, so making a selection can be even more challenging. One candidate offers a sought after skill, another offers prized experience.

How is a decision made?

Well, an outstanding resume is often a tie-breaker. It shows the hiring manager that you know yourself, and that you produce top-notch work. Imagine the opposite impression – the impression that's left with a "flat" resume – and it's easy to understand the significant difference that the right resume can make in this scenario.

Need more inspiration?

The following list is a re-post of 10 of the reasons why an outstanding resume matters:

  1. Like it or not, your resume is your personal marketing tool. Why would you want it to be anything less than great?
  2. Networking is important, but that doesn't dilute the fact that a strong resume plays a critical role in a multi-faceted process. How are your interviewing skills? How do you present yourself? Pay attention to the full package.
  3. Hiring managers and HR often view your resume as your first deliverable. Don't treat it like it doesn't matter.
  4. Your resume – and any other associated correspondence – will largely frame the context of your future communication with a company. A good resume will often drive the content of your interviews. Maximize that.
  5. Resume screening software is a reality. Follow conventions that appeal to it.
  6. The resume is often a tie-breaker when hiring managers and HR start narrowing down the field of candidates (see #3).
  7. A good resume is like steroids for your confidence, which lends trajectory to all of the other dimensions of the job search process (and your life!).
  8. Strong resumes do their job by cleverly enticing the reader to want to learn more. What better way for them to learn more than via an interview.
  9. A well done resume encourages you to look at yourself and your employment history in terms of accomplishments and success, rather than as only a series of tasks and job descriptions.
  10. It's often your first impression. Enough said.

When you're feeling frustrated or wondering about the value of a powerful resume, read the above list.