What Does Your Resume Really Say About You?

Bernie Reifkind

Bernie Reifkind

Good morning, ProviderNation.A resume is the very first impression that one makes to an employer. A resume is a mirror reflection of who you are. Are you serious about yourself? Do you respect your career? Do you want to be perceived as someone who has their act together? Of course you do.

A resume is a very serious document with very serious implications and insinuations. Your resume not only speaks volumes to a prospective employer, it also has powerful implications in not so subtle ways. Now, more than ever, in the very competitive hiring environment of long term care, resumes are being judged by their very appearance. That in itself is a serious implication about how an applicant is perceived.

In the digital age, resumes are glanced at before even being read. How do I know this? I am privy each and every day to business owners, employers, decision makers, and human resource professionals whom I assist in filling their very critical job openings.

They tell me—quite often—why they choose to interview one person over another. And in many cases, it’s about the actual appearance of a resume that will encourage further reading. I understand this because I see hundreds of resumes each month, and it is amazing to me that many people do not take the time and effort to create one that is professional-looking.

For example, if an applicant is a registered nurse, the letters RN should appear right after one’s name. The same with any licensed professional in long term care. Someone with an advanced degree should also add MBA, MS, or PhD after their name. This is a very common mistake—to believe that the reader should assume delineation by what is written on one’s resume.

The implication of a poorly drafted resume is that the applicant is not taking their career as seriously as they should. This, of course, may or may not be true; however, that his how it is perceived. And perceptions are powerful in the hiring business. Sometimes, I will see a resume so poorly written that I, too, will not bother to read any further. Nor would I ever submit such a resume to one of my clients. A great-looking resume means all the difference in the world in today’s competitive work environment.

Consider this: If a resume is not even appealing to look at, further reading is deemed unnecessary. This was the opinion of three of my longtime clients. What this means is that no matter what experience someone has had, the chances of an interview are greatly diminished with a poorly written resume.

A resume reveals and implies much more about a person than many are aware of. This is what poorly written resumes say about their authors:

  1. They do not take their careers seriously.
  2. They do not take the interview process seriously.
  3. They do not take themselves seriously.

Some employers feel insulted when they review a poorly written resume. Why? Having to read one is waste of their time. In addition, who wants to work that hard to read a resume? So it doesn’t matter who someone is or what they have done if their resume is hard to read, written backwards chronologically with employment dates overlapped, contains misspelled words, or is just plain ugly—the result is the same: It will not get very far.

Sometimes I receive resumes without a working phone number on it, only an email address. What if I want so speak with an applicant? An email address is not enough. Always remember to put your phone number on your resume if you expect to be contacted.

Not knowing how to create a great resume is no longer an excuse. There are plenty of articles on the Web that offer guidelines on how to create a good-looking resume.

As for the content of your resume, it is essential for the employer to easily and quickly identify what you have done, where have you been, and what have been your results. What kind of decisions have you made? A resume reflects your decisions. Are you a job hopper? Does your resume have holes in it?

Search the Web to see how others have created their resumes, or make the investment by enlisting a professional resume service to create a resume that highlights accomplishments versus job changes, if that is your case. This small investment in time or money just might pay huge dividends.

In summary, a well-written resume is a must. Your resume is all about who you are and how you feel about yourself. Perception is powerful. If you do not take the time and energy to respect yourself with a professional-looking resume, subtle and sometimes strong—though incorrect—messages are implied about you, whether or not this is fair.

Today’s guest blog is from Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, established in 1987, a nationwide talent acquisition firm in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Bernie@psihealth.com or (800) 801-1400.

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